• Published 1st Aug 2015
  • 2,459 Views, 166 Comments

An Interesting Arrival - Moongaze14

Retirement in Equestria is harder than expected. Even in such a peaceful land, Statice finds that his new life can be just as stressful as his old one, especially after getting in the bad side of a certain purple alicorn princess and her friends.

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Ponyville Party

Ponyville Party

To say that Rarity’s bathroom was overly girly was no exaggeration. The room itself was filled with perfume. It had lots of health care products ranging from shampoos to aromatic soaps. The unicorn turned pegasus investigated the bathroom as he tried to find a decent shampoo for his coat. He found a mint scented shampoo that he could use for himself.

“Thank the stars,” Statice smiled as he opened the shampoo and smelled its contents. The scent was refreshing and addicting. “At least I have a shampoo that is equal to both genders. I can’t show up to the party smelling like a girl.”

He opened the knob to fill the tub with water. Once the water volume was at a decent level, Statice entered into the tub and applied the shampoo onto his mane. He hummed a tune to himself as he scrubbed his mane with the shampoo.

Normally, a bath for Statice usually lasted a few minutes thanks to his magic, but it was going to take him longer in this occasion. He was a pegasus now, so he had to use his hooves to groom himself. There was also the possibility of using his wings as a couple of extra limbs, except that he lacked enough practice to use them correctly.

“I might as well enjoy the bath,” Statice sighed as he continued scrubbing his mane with his hooves. “I hope Rarity is not going crazy with my costume.”

I should also start practicing with using my wings to do activities other than flying if I am to keep up with this charade.

Rarity smiled lovingly as she looked up the ceiling. “If this is a dream, do not wake me up,” she tittered happily as she levitated her working tools close to her.

As much as she loved her hometown, Rarity was disappointed with the lack of stallions in Ponyville. There was very little male material available for her in the dating stage, so it was impossible for her to try to pursue a romantic partner unless she travelled somewhere and had the good luck of finding an attractive stallion. This time, she was fortunate enough that a young, handsome stallion moved in to Ponyville, even if it was only for a little while.

“Oh, Aster,” Rarity arched her back as she fawned over him. “I wonder how well you’ll look in one of my attires.”

It was the first time in ages since she had a stallion inside her boutique and she definitely wanted to make him some dashing attire. Deciding that she waited long enough, the white unicorn called out for her visitor.

“Aster!” Rarity called out in a singsong voice. “I’m ready to make your attire. Are you done or do I need to give you a few more minutes?”

“I’m done!” Aster’s deep voice rang out as he climbed down the stairs. Rarity gasped in awe as she watched his dark blue coat sparkle and his white mane and tail perfectly brushed. He looked different when he was cleaner than when he was dirty and covered with mud.

“You look radiant, darling!” Rarity cried out as she rushed to him, her muzzle very close to his cheek. “A bath has really made a difference for you.”

“Thanks,” Aster smiled nervously as he pulled his face away, a little blush present on his cheeks. “Anyway, can we go with the preparations for my suit?”

“Of course, darling!” Rarity pulled away dramatically, sporting a more evident blush in her paler coat. “Stand in front of the mirrors while I take your measurements.”

The dark blue pegasus smiled nervously as he stood in front of Rarity and let her use her measuring tape on him. The white unicorn smiled approvingly as she took his measurements and noticed that he was in perfect shape.

Such slim perfect musculature... It's no wonder that he was able to match Rainbow Dash in that Iron Pony Competition.

“You got good measurements, Aster,” Rarity batted her eyelashes at her client. “I can see how you were able to keep up with Rainbow Dash.”

“Thank you,” Aster gave her a charming smile in response. “I work out a lot, but you also look like you exercise regularly, as your figure elegantly shows.”

Rarity giggled in response. “You flatter me, Aster!” she blushed at his compliment and shyly turned her head away from him. To be honest, she did the occasional aerobics routine to maintain her weight and figure. Having an attractive stallion point out her attributes filled her stomach with butterflies.

“Is there something wrong, Rarity?” Aster walked close to her, looking concerned for her health. This only made Rarity feel more attracted to the pegasus.

“Nothing, dear,” Rarity backpedaled a little bit, feeling a little more conscious about Aster’s presence. “I am going to work a little bit more on your suit. You can take a rest on my couch while I finish it. Give me a couple of minutes and I’ll have it done, Aster!”

The unicorn promptly levitated a couch close to Aster and placed the pegasus on top of it. She adopted a confident expression on her face as she levitated sewing needles and fabrics for the suit. “Your new suit is going to be fabulous!”

Statice was surprised at the sudden change of personality that he witnessed on the white unicorn. One minute she was flirting with him and enjoying his compliments and on the next one she was completely focused on finishing her work.

“I guess she is very passionate about her special talent,” Statice muttered to himself in awe. “She is certainly more than a drama queen.”

He didn’t like to put on the gentlecolt act with her, but he still needed to maintain appearances for the time being. He was incognito after all. Still, it was amazing to see Rarity at work. In the eyes of most ponies, the levitation was just a simple spell. However, in the magic of a professional, levitation was the most versatile spell a unicorn could have. This was the main reason for his theory of why most unicorns only bother to learn the levitation spell rather than continue their magical education as one could suffice in life with just that single spell.

“That’s an impressive control,” Statice complimented Rarity. He wasn’t one to compliment his enemies, but he just felt as if he needed to express his respect for Rarity’s magical dexterity.

“Thank you, Aster,” Rarity smiled proudly as she stitched the suit together, humming the Art of the Dress to herself. “Being a fashionista is a challenge as you require multiple tools for this craft. I developed my levitation spell so that I can always have all the tools that I need at the right time.”

“It is a nice control,” Statice smiled at Rarity in respect. “You levitate those tools with grace and poise. The tools in your magical aura move elegantly like a specially designed choreography.”

“Thanks, Aster,” Rarity smiled as she continued her work, yet still got a light tint of pink on her cheeks. “But my levitation is not that impressive. You should see how strong Twilight’s levitation can be. And that was even long before she became an alicorn.”

Statice grimaced. He HAD seen how powerful Twilight’s levitation was. She actually used it to stop an Ursa Minor from rampaging across Ponyville. The true extent of Twilight’s levitation scared him, especially when he had been the victim of the spell when he pushed his luck with the horn sucking incident.

“Is there something wrong, Aster?” Rarity asked at Statice with concern in her face...and yet she still continued to masterfully work on the suit. “You look a little distressed.”

“I was just thinking about some stuff,” Statice admitted, trying to sound vague.

“If I may ask, were you thinking about your family or something like that?” Rarity questioned as she felt more interested on his life. Statice flinched in response, surprising the white mare.

“It’s nothing,” Statice responded as the concerned look in Rarity’s face got him to speak more. “I was just thinking about my family.”

Rarity stopped her work, placing her working tools back on their places. The suit was not yet finished, but she needed to put all of her focus into listening to Aster if she was going to find out what was troubling him.

“Can you tell me about my family?” Rarity nervously asked him. As much of a basic question as it was, she still felt reluctant to ask him that. If his reaction was anything to say about him then chances were that his family life was less than stellar.

“I have two nice parents and a little brother,” Statice answered simply.

“How are your parents?” Rarity asked. She felt as if the answer she was going to get was not going to be pleasant.

“My father is a florist from several generations and my mother is an amateur writer,” Statice admitted, surprised at how much information he was giving about himself to somepony who was his enemy not so long ago. “They’re decent folks. The problem is that we have communication problems. It’s like we don’t exist to each other.”

Rarity noticed how the last line was spoken with sadness. A part of her wanted to ask what he meant by that, but she knew that it was probably going to make the talk more awkward than before. “Can you tell me about your little brother?” Rarity asked hurryingly to change the topic.

Hearing that question made Statice smile. He loved to talk about his little brother during the few times he was given the chance. “He is very young and a nice pony at heart, just like I was when I was his age,” he smiled wistfully. “I don’t see him very often since I work too much, but those few moments I spend with him mean a lot to me.”

“That sounds wonderful,” Rarity smiled at him. “I have a younger sister. Her name is Sweetie Belle. I rarely spend time together with her, but she means a lot to me. The moments on which I am together with her are a source of comfort for me.”

“A bond with a younger sibling is quite magical,” Statice smiled warmly at Rarity. It was an aftereffect when he talked about his younger brother. He was one of the very few things in life that made him happy.

“You should see Applejack when she does chores with Apple Bloom,” Rarity said proudly. “I’ve never seen a pair of sisters that close in my entire life. They’re the ones who taught me what a sisterhood between Sweetie Belle and I should be.”

Statice nodded. He had seen Applejack’s interactions with Apple Bloom in Discord’s movies and it was no lie that the bond between the sisters was strong. He was about to say something else when he noticed that Rarity was back at work, turning her back at him.

“You don’t have to say anything,” Rarity spoke without looking at him. “I can see that I touched a very sensitive subject and for that I apologize. I’ll let you rest a little bit while I work on your suit. We’ve already wasted enough time talking when you have a party coming up. It’s not dignified to be late at your own welcome party.”

She continued working where she left off. Statice was about to say something, only to cut himself off at the last minute. He had said more than enough. All that he needed to do now was enjoy the show Rarity was giving him.

You've said more than enough already.

It had taken a few more minutes, but Rarity managed to finish the suit. Statice came back wearing a black suit and a red tie that complemented his coat and mane. Rarity was walking by his side wearing a purple dress with golden trimmings. Statice had to admit that she looked beautiful. Still, that raised a fact that needed to be brought upon.

“Why are you wearing a dress, Rarity?” Statice asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Can’t a lady look her best at a party for her new friend?” Rarity batted her eyelashes at Statice. “This is your welcome party, Aster. Consider me being dressed at my best as my way of welcoming you to Ponyville.”

Statice blushed at the flirtatious gesture, barely managing to give a little smile of appreciation at the underlining affection. “Can you lead the way, my lady?” Statice asked, more out of genuine playfulness than fake politeness.

“Just go to the center of Ponyville,” she winked at him. “You can’t miss it. You just need to follow your way to the crystal castle next to us and ask.”

Statice laughed at the sarcastic yet playful jab Rarity threw at him. She rarely showed such humor, albeit it was definitely worth hearing it from somepony who liked to act like a proper lady. He rarely laughed around others because of his upbringing and only did it whenever somepony he didn’t like suffered some deserved misfortune. The fact that Rarity elicited a laugh from him with a good natured joke surprised him. He had not laughed like that since his chats with Digitalis. His laugh increased in volume when he heard the sound of Rarity’s laughter.

“I haven’t laughed like that in years,” Statice admitted, feeling some relief in finally getting that out of his system. “You’re a really funny pony, Rarity.”

Never thought I was ever gonna say that to her.

“You should try to spend time with Pinkie Pie,” Rarity walked close to him. “She is the Element of Laughter. I’m sure that she can make you laugh better than I did.”

“I guess it’s true,” Statice said as the castle got larger with each step they took. “If she was chosen by the Element of Laughter then she must be some first class comedian.”

As long as she does it from afar...

“She is indeed the comedian of the group,” Rarity smiled at him. “But you’ll see more about her right about now. Look in front of you and tell me what you see.”

Statice did as he was told and was stunned to see the door to the castle. He went on to open the doors when the handles were surrounded by a blue aura. He turned around to see Rarity had used her magic to open the doors for him.

“Isn’t it the stallion that is supposed to open the doors for the lady?” Statice asked teasingly at the fashionista.

“It’s your welcome party, Aster,” Rarity smiled pleasantly at him. “Your rule about the stallion opening the door for the lady is right. However, I decided to make an exception for you in this party.”

“You are such a gentlecolt,” Statice complimented her teasingly.

“Thank you, my lady,” Rarity bowed at Statice the same way a stallion bowed to a mare. It was a surprising gesture for Statice, who expected Rarity to overreact and not to laugh it off and counter his joke with her own.

“You didn’t think I had any sense of humor, did you?” Rarity winked at Statice as she passed by his side.

The stallion was surprised by her clever response until he decided to shrug it off rather than question it and entered into the castle.
He was surprised to see lots of ponies in the main hall. Loud music was being played in the background. There were many party games around. Tables full of food and drink were spread across the hall. A large cake was resting on the largest table that had “Welcome to Ponyville, Aster” written with frosting. All of the party guests were extremely happy, talking and laughing with each other.

“That’s some party,” Statice stared in awe at the place.

“That’s a Pinkie party for you,” a feminine voice spoke from behind Statice. He turned around and saw Twilight Sparkle giving him a friendly smile.

“Hi, Princess,” Statice greeted her quickly. “I got to say. This castle looks amazing. I got to congratulate whoever built it.”

“It is a nice castle,” Twilight smiled at Statice. “And I got the Elements of Harmony and my friends to thank for it.”

“I didn’t know that you were an architect,” Statice smiled teasingly at Rarity. She and Twilight giggled at the remark.

“Nice joke,” Twilight smiled at Statice. “I can see that you’re a nice pony, Aster. Thank you for coming here.”

“Thank you for hosting it,” Statice replied.

“You should thank, Pinkie Pie,” Twilight gestured at Pinkie Pie, who was happily dancing with some friends. “She always throws a welcome party to every newcomer in Ponyville. I still remember when she threw me my own welcome party when I first moved in to Ponyville.”

“That was a nice gesture,” Statice remarked. He had seen Pinkie’s nice attitude towards others. Her cheery disposition and desire to make everypony around her happy was quite an inspiration…when she was not being annoying.

“It was,” Twilight looked up into the ceiling nostalgically.

“You made it!” Spike came in and gave Statice a jumping hug. The dark blue pegasus smiled embarrassingly as he put the baby dragon back to the ground.

“It is my welcome party,” Statice smiled as he patted Spike’s head. “How are you doing, Spike?”

“I’m doing fine,” Spike brushed Statice’s hoof from his head with a smile.

Statice looked down at the baby dragon. “Are you enjoying the party, Spike?”

“Who doesn’t enjoy a party made by Pinkie Pie?” Spike asked in bewilderment. “It is literally impossible to have Pinkie host a party and not have any fun.”

“You don’t say,” Statice patted Spike on the head again. “I’m going up to the tables to see what’s there to eat. I’m a little hungry for the moment.”

“Sure,” Spike smiled. “Go ahead and have fun. I’ll stay here and have a chat with Twilight and Rarity.” He mentioned the last name with obvious infatuation. Both mares giggled at Spike’s crush while Statice went on to the tables.

“Everypony is having fun,” Statice observed as he reached the tables and took in some snacks. He had to give credit to Pinkie Pie. She was a real professional if she was able to make parties of such magnitude on a daily basis.

The party just got started and everypony is in the perfect mood. Who would have thought a new face was gonna be such a big deal around here. Can't blame them...last one became royalty.

“You can say that again, partner,” Applejack’s drawl made Statice turn his head to notice her and Rainbow Dash next to him. The apple farmer looked as friendly as before, and Rainbow Dash seemed more relaxed than when he was facing her in the Iron Pony Competition.

“It’s nice to see you, girls,” Statice saluted the two. Normally, he would have faked a smile for them if it weren't for his encounters with Rainbow Dash annoying him into just giving them a cordial gesture.

To his surprise, Rainbow Dash flew to him and wrapped her foreleg in a sisterly fashion. “How are you doing, Aster?” she asked in a friendly tone, surprising him. He was taken aback by her cheery disposition in spite of their Iron Pony Competition. He thought that she was going to act more…smugly.

What's the big deal with this chick?

“Hi,” Statice greeted her reluctantly. “Did something happen to you, Rainbow Dash? I noticed that you’re a little…touchy.”

Rainbow Dash flinched and broke the hug, laughing nervously. “Sorry about that,” she rubbed the back of her head embarrassingly. “I’m just in a good mood to see you after giving it my all in that Iron Pony Competition.”

“And a nap on that cloud you won doesn’t contribute in that better mood?” Statice asked with a raised eyebrow. He was met with laughter from both Applejack and Rainbow Dash.

“Nice joke, Aster!” Rainbow Dash chortled. “I did take an excellent nap for half an hour in that cloud. Then I went here to prepare your welcome party.”

As much as it annoyed Statice, he decided to move along with Rainbow Dash’s conversation. “Thank you.”

“Ah’m happy to see ya again, Aster,” Applejack tilted her hat at Statice.

“It’s only been an hour,” Statice dully noted. He didn’t understand what was the big deal with spending so little time separated from each other. It wasn’t that important if it wasn’t even a day of separation.

Probably some friendship stuff. Makes sense since they need it to do their job.

“But Ah didn’t get to introduce mahself and mah friends to you,” Applejack winked at Statice. The stallion turned his head away, blushing at the gesture. Winking was a sign of attraction between a mare and a stallion. He had read enough comic books to know of that detail. He just hoped that the wink was platonic.

Please be platonic...please be platonic...please be platonic...

“I’ve already met Twilight, and Rarity and I got to introduce each other when she made me my suit,” Statice answered as he took a look at his suit. “Rarity brought me to the castle. She was very nice.”

“You don’t say,” Applejack and Rainbow Dash shared knowing looks and laughed at each other. Even though he knew that his identity was not endangered, the stallion’s face was uneasy at the laughter of the two mares.

“Hi, Aster!” Pinkie Pie popped up between Applejack and Rainbow Dash and promptly placed a party hat on top of Statice’s head. “Are you enjoying your party? Are you? Are you? Are you?”

“Yes, yes, yes,” Statice answered in rapid fire to prevent Pinkie from speaking anymore. The less she opened her mouth the better it was for him. The pink mare grinned and gave him a hug, somehow making a squeaky toy sound.

“I am so glad that you like my party three times more than anypony else!” Pinkie bounced, happily ignoring the stallion’s confused reaction to her statement. “I have so many friends that I want to introduce to you.”

“Rarity brought me here, Twilight and Spike received me, Applejack and Rainbow Dash just met me, and now you just popped in,” Statice summarized so that the pink mare wouldn’t force anymore introductions to him.

“You forgot Fluttershy!” Pinkie Pie chimed in playfully. “You already met her before, but that was no proper introduction. Let me go get her! You're gonna love meeting her”

I don't think she'll love meeting me.

Pinkie Pie got out of Statice’s field of vision so that only her hind legs were sticking out in front of him. When she turned around, she was sitting on her haunches and was carrying a struggling Fluttershy in her forelegs. The yellow pegasus was kicking all four legs forward, whimpering as she was being held by her pink friend. Fluttershy’s symptoms worsened when Pinkie placed her on the ground in front of Statice. She reflexively hid her face under her hair while the rest of her friends watched the scene.

“Hi,” Statice greeted her awkwardly.

“Hi,” Fluttershy greeted him with the same awkwardness…along with a side order of fear. “My name is Fluttershy.”

At least this time she presented herself with a normal tone of voice. “Call me Aster, Fluttershy. It is a pleasure to meet you…again.”

“Thanks,” Fluttershy demurely turned her head away from him. “Are you enjoying Pinkie’s party? She worked really, really hard to make it special for you.”

“She must have,” Statice looked around, feeling honored at how much detail the pink mare put on this party. “You don’t mind if I tell anything about myself to get better acquainted, right?”

“Not at all,” Fluttershy shook her head. “I don’t mind hearing about you, if that’s okay with you.”

Statice smiled. He was already familiar with some of Fluttershy’s interests thanks to Discord’s memories. The best part was that he shared some interests with her so he was not technically lying to her. All he needed to do was show his interests while making it look like a coincidence.

“I like nature, plants, and animals,” Statice begun before he heard Fluttershy gasp. She went forward and looked at him with big enthusiastic eyes.

“You like animals?” Fluttershy asked excitingly, yet still shyly. “I love animals! I live in a cottage where I spend time with my animal friends. If you want, I can introduce you to one of them. I can even give you a pet if you don’t have one. You two could become best friends forever and ever…”

Once again, Statice was left uneasy. He had gotten Fluttershy to suppress her shyness just to get her excited and prevent him from talking. Fortunately, a new song played by a white unicorn DJ made it easier to escape her clutches…only to fall on Pinkie’s.

“Ooh, this is my favorite song!” Pinkie cheered as she took Statice’s hooves on her own and brought him with her to the dance floor.
Statice screamed as Pinkie Pie pushed him away and pulled him close to her. She grabbed him around the tail and spun him around before throwing him into the air and catching him before he hit the floor. As much as Statice found her annoying, he had to recognize that she was stronger than he expected. A second song from the DJ, made it clear that he was going into another dancing rave with Pinkie.

“Ooh, this is my second favorite song!” Pinkie Pie laughed as she extended her forelegs at Statice to bring him close to her.

“I want to meet more friends!” Statice cried out before her hooves touched his. The pink mare stopped as she stared at him in curiosity and surprise. “I want to see if there are more ponies available that I can greet someday in the future. You don’t mind if I take a break to make some talk, Pinkie?”

Pinkie pouted her lower lip and hummed with a concentrated expression. It was as if she making a vow or something inside of her head. She came to a conclusion when she smiled and gave him a hug.

“Of course that you can go talk with more friends!” she giggled playfully. “That’s what this party is all about. You would not be welcome in Ponyville if the citizens don’t greet you.”

“You’re right about that,” Statice smiled awkwardly as he tried to break the hug. It was impossible for him to use his front hooves to push her away and he was not familiar with using his wings for something other than flying. He had to endure until she broke the hug.

“It was nice meeting you, Pinkie Pie!” Statice smiled as he hurried himself away from her. “But I got a bunch of new friends to make.”

As the pegasus left, Pinkie’s smile turned into a pensive frown that concerned her friends. Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy shared uneasy looks before Twilight and Rarity came in.

“Has anypony seen Aster?” Rarity asked, feeling a little distressed. “I was hoping to spend some time with him. I’ve been looking for him all night and I haven’t found him yet...”

“He was gettin’ better acquainted with us and now with everypony else in this party,” Applejack explained easily before Rarity had the chance of acting like a drama queen. “The way Ah see it, he is gonna be busy chattin’ around with everypony, probably the next day if he keeps goin’ like this.”

Rarity sighed in disappointment. “Well, I guess that I have no right to deny him the chance,” she lamented maturely. “At least I can try to get to know him better after the party. Speaking about knowing him better, how did you girls do?”

“Aster likes animals!” Fluttershy cheered. “At first I was scared of talking to him, but then I found out that he liked animals! Normally I’m too shy to talk with anypony…at least until I have something in common with them as I do with him now!”

“It’s so nice to hear that, Fluttershy!” Twilight gave her friend a congratulatory hug for her achievement. It was very rare of Fluttershy to be open with new ponies and this was a perfect example of how she matured as a pony over the years.

“Thanks, Twilight,” Fluttershy smiled, returning the hug.

“Can anypony tell me what is troubling Pinkie Pie?” Rarity asked as she noticed her pink friend still frowning. “It’s not like her to keep that face for so long.”

“Ah’m not sure,” Applejack shrugged her shoulders. “She was just bein’ Pinkie with Aster. Then she hugged him for a while until he said he wanted to meet some new ponies at the party. As soon as he was out of sight, she just started frownin’ all of a sudden.”

The girls shared uneasy glances before Twilight walked over to Pinkie Pie. “Is there something wrong, Pinkie? Did Aster say or do anything that made you…unhappy?”

“No,” Pinkie spoke with an eerily somber tone. “There was something familiar about Aster when I hugged him.”

“You hugged him before, Pinkie,” Applejack observed, still unnerved.

“I did, but it wasn’t a long one,” she countered. “This hug I gave him was super long and felt familiar. I feel as if I hugged Aster at some point in the past. I just can’t put my hoof on it.”

Before anypony could formulate a question, a new song was played. This snapped Pinkie back to her senses as she returned to her happy self. “Ooh, this is my third favorite song of all time!”

The pink pony reared on her hind legs and kicked out her forelegs in a circular movement before rushing to the dance floor. The remaining five ponies stood there in confusion.

“What just happened?” Twilight asked in disbelief.

“Maybe it’s just Pinkie bein’ Pinkie,” Applejack suggested uneasily. All of the mares just nodded their heads to avoid mulling about it. They had long since decided to stop understanding Pinkie Pie and just accept her for what she was a long time ago.

“My name is Time Turner,” a light brown earth pony with brown mane and light blue eyes spoke to Statice. “It is a pleasure to meet you. I work on fixing the clocks in Ponyville. If your clock is not giving you the time, then let me now and I’ll fix it for you.”

“Thanks,” Statice smiled politely, knowing that he could trust Time Turner when he saw his hourglass cutie mark. The stallion proved to be more polite, chatting with Statice for a couple of minutes before resuming with the party. As he left, two mares took his place to speak with him.

“Hi!” spoke a mint unicorn with streaked white and cyan mane and golden eyes. “My name is Lyra Heartstrings and this is my best friend Bonbon. I work as a musician and Bonbon is a confectioner.”

Statice raised an eyebrow at the Lyra, noticing how she was a unicorn version of Pinkie Pie, albeit more subdued. Her cutie mark was a lyre and that of her friend were three candies. He stared at the beige earth pony with blue and pink mane, and light blue eyes giving her friend an annoyed glance.

“Excuse Lyra,” Bonbon gave Statice an apologetic look as she shoved her hoof into Lyra’s mouth. “She usually gets overexcited when meeting new ponies. You can say that she is the second friendliest citizen in Ponyville after Pinkie Pie.”

You don't say.

As if on cue, Pinkie Pie was dancing erratically, grabbing ponies by the hooves and flinging them around as she changed partners one after the other. Seeing the pink pony dance, made Lyra feel excited again.

“Let’s dance, Bonbon!” she grabbed her friend by the hoof and dragged her to the dance floor. Bonbon didn’t get a chance to protest before she was taken away from Statice, her shrieks of help being ignored by the stallion once they turned into laughter.

“That’s an odd pair,” Statice remarked with a smile as he moved on to start another conversation. So far, he was doing well in the social practice, although that was mainly because the ponies were starting it since he was the honor guest. If he was to develop his social skills for a peaceful life, he had to have the capacity to start a conversation on his own.

His next target was a purple earth pony with a mane of two shades of rose and light green eyes. When he was close enough to her, he noticed that her cutie mark was that of three flowers. Statice stopped his communication attempt when he recognized the mare now. He had seen her enough time in Discord’s memories to know who she was.

“Hello!” Cheerilee smiled as she noticed Statice close to her. “I am Cheerilee. I work as a teacher in Ponyville Schoolhouse.”

“Hi,” Statice lifted his hoof to shaker hers. “Thanks you for welcoming me into your town. Your gesture is much appreciated.”

“You should thank Pinkie Pie,” she giggled playfully. “She always knows how to throw the best parties. This is the first welcome party that she is ever thrown into this castle. I bet that she must have planned it long before you came.”

Hearing those words disturbed Statice. He was aware of Pinkie’s unnatural ability to defy the laws of the world. As impossible as it was, the possibility of Pinkie Pie somehow knowing of his visit to Ponyville was disconcerting.

“I think that I am going to thank her,” Statice nodded his head and excused himself from the conversation. He didn’t feel comfortable talking with somepony closely affiliated with the Elements of Harmony. Right now, he needed somepony that wasn’t so close to any of those six mares and he already thought of one.

This time he went to talk to the DJ, who demonstrated some multitasking skill by talking with him while playing the next songs. She was a white unicorn with a blue mane and complementary red eyes. Her cutie mark was a black musical sign, which fitted well with her career.

“What’s my name, you say?” she asked as she switched her attention from her work to her new acquaintance. “I am DJ Pon-3!” she whooped triumphantly as she bobbed her head to the music. “You can call me Vinyl Scratch when I’m off the clock.”

“You mean when you’re not working, right?” Statice asked with a raised eyebrow. One of the disadvantages of bounty hunting was that most of his clients were wealthy so they often used perfect and professional grammar. As such, he was not used to hearing the idioms and phrases that the DJ threw at him.

“Yeah!” Vinyl smiled as she nodded her head before switching to a skeptical frown. “What’s the matter, party boy? You don’t get to hang outside very often.”

“I’m not much of a social guy,” Statice answered.

“You sound like Octavia,” she chuckled. “It’s a shame that she couldn’t be on this party. I hope that you get to meet her soon.”

“Me too,” Statice smiled. He had seen the earth pony perform with her cello a few times and he had to admit that meeting her was going to be interesting.

Statice continued meeting new ponies on the way. He was introduced to pegasi like Thunderlane, the twins Flitter and Cloudchaser, the adorable Derpy, and the muscular Bulk Biceps. He met Pinkie’s bosses, Mr. and Mrs. Cake, who gave him a cupcake.

He was also forced to reintroduce himself to the Cutie Mark Crusaders and had to endure Scootaloo talking about how awesome Rainbow Dash was for winning the Iron Pony Competition. He understood that at her age she was impressed by her idols...but couldn’t she say something that didn’t involve Rainbow Dash? It was as if her admiration for Rainbow Dash was her only personality trait besides being friends with Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle.

It didn’t take long for Apple Bloom to introduce him to her big brother, Big Macintosh, and her grandmother, Granny Smith. Big Macintosh was a huge red stallion with orange mane, white freckles, some oversized collar on his neck, a large green apple for a cutie mark, and green eyes. However, he was VERY silent in comparison with her younger sisters. Granny Smith was an old lime green mare with white mane and orange eyes. Her cutie mark was that of a baked pie. While she was just as talkative as her granddaughters, it was hard for Statice to understand her a little bit.

He retreated back to the table and met Spike. The purple dragon was wearing some sort of lamp cover as a hat. It was clear that he was having fun despite not being able to see well with his improvised party hat.

“Are you having fun, Aster?” Spike asked, still euphoric from the hard partying.

“Yes,” Statice admitted. “It’s been so long since I had so much fun. So, how does it feel to be the number one assistant of the Princess of Friendship?”

“It’s pretty cool actually,” Spike shrugged his shoulders as he removed his new lamp hat off himself. “Still, there are times when it can be frustrating.”

“What do you mean by that?” Statice asked, raising an eyebrow. He had seen Spike barely having his contributions acknowledged, but was not sure if he was feeling negative about it and hiding it or if he just accepted it and was troubled by something else.

“Twilight is my best friend and she functions as a mother and big sister to me ever since I became her assistant,” Spike began with confidence, and then feeling reluctant after the first sentence. “Still, sometimes I feel that I don’t do much in comparison with the girls, other than just write letters or do castle chores for Twilight. I am no Element of Harmony and I play no part in saving Equestria.”

“You did save the Crystal Empire,” Statice reminded him.

“Yeah, but Twilight could have done it better if she could have used her magic,” Spike added, remembering that he only got to save the Crystal Empire because she had been rendered incapable of helping due to some dark crystal traps.

“You have a throne for yourself,” Statice pointed his head at the seven thrones. “If you didn’t deserve it, then you wouldn’t have it in the first place. Besides, you have a good life ahead of you. Maybe you’re destined to do something.”

“You really think so?” Spike asked hopefully.

“I do,” Statice playfully punched him on the shoulder. He was surprised to receive a hug from the purple drake. He gasped in surprise at the contact before returning the gesture. The last time he had received a hug like that was from Meadow. He really missed that sensation. Although Spike was about the same size as his younger brother, he was a lot less soft… it was probably the scales.

“Oh, that’s so sweet!” Statice heard Rarity’s voice as he broke the hug with Spike. Both boys blushed and tried to act manly as they saw the white unicorn and her friends giggle at him.

“Nothing happened!” Statice and Spike shouted at the same time, eliciting more laughter from the six mares. The stallion rubbed his head with a hoof while Spike hid his face with the lamp screen.

“The last song is playing, Aster,” Rarity walked to Statice. “Can you give a lady the last dance?” she blinked, more normally than seductively this time around. Somehow, she looked more beautiful than when she was trying to hit on him.

What the heck? She earned this dance for the suit she made.

“Sure,” Statice answered. He walked side by side with her to the center of the dance floor. They stood on their hind legs with Rarity straddling her forelegs onto Statice’s withers while Statice’s front hooves held her waist.

“Do you know how to dance?” Rarity asked gently.

“No,” Statice answered. “I just know that the dancers stand in their hind legs and walk circles around each other. I think that we can do that for a few minutes.”

“I’ll show you how to dance then,” Rarity gave him a reassuring smile.

“You don’t mind if I fly to eliminate the balancing on the hind legs issue, right?” he asked unsurely. "I don't want to make a fool out of myself out there, especially when the party is dedicated in my honor."

She hesitated. As much as Rarity wanted to dance with him, she preferred her hooves to be on the ground and not in the air. The reluctant look on his face convinced her to give him the chance. She gave him a nod of her head before the dance began.

They stood on their hind legs and walked in circles as they held closely to each other. Surprisingly enough, they held their own before Statice used his wings to fly a few inches from the ground. He dipped Rarity to let her see his eyes, scared but determined to try the dance. He put both of their hooves back on the ground where they alternated between dancing on the ground and back into the air. By the time the music stopped, both of them were standing on their hind legs and staring into each other’s eyes in surprise and shock. Wanting to get out of the situation, Statice lowered his front body to return himself and Rarity back to quadruped position. They were no longer touching each other...yet they were still close. The white unicorn was about to say something when they heard the stomping of hooves.

Both dancers turned their heads and found the party guests applauding them. Rarity gasped before posing elegantly for the crowd. Statice turned his head and rubbed the back of his mane. Unlike Rarity, he didn’t like to be the center of attention.

“Nice dancing, guys!” Pinkie Pie came in between Statice and Rarity, wrapping one foreleg across each of their necks. “Those were some nice moves.”

“You should try some pegasus moves next time,” Rainbow Dash advised him, although she had a supporting smile on her face.

“It was a beautiful dance,” Fluttershy spoke loudly. Somehow the dancing pair increased her confidence.

“You should try askin’ us to a dance next time, Aster,” Applejack winked at Statice, making him blush.

“Thank you,” Statice bowed his head.

“I gotta say that this was an excellent party,” Twilight smiled as she noticed the guests leaving.

“We all partied until we dropped,” Spike smiled at Twilight, his friends, Rarity, and surprisingly Statice. It stunned the stallion to see the dragon not being jealous after he saw him dance with the mare that he loved. For a kid, Spike was very mature and Statice respected that.

“I guess that we should leave now,” Statice smiled at the group.

“Eeyup,” Applejack tilted her head. “Mah big brother is waitin’ for me. We have to take Apple Bloom and Granny Smith back to Sweet Apple Acres. They’re already exhausted.”

“Eeyup,” Big Macintosh nodded as he held his youngest sister and his grandmother on his back. It was kind of reassuring for Statice to see such close family when he watched Applejack join her brother in the departure.

“I have to bring Scootaloo back to her house,” Rainbow Dash yawned before she flew and picked up the sleeping orange filly. “I’ll see you guys later.”

“My animals will get worried if I come in late,” Fluttershy spread her wings and flew away. “It’s been a lovely evening.”

“I have to sing lullabies to the Cake babies!” Pinkie Pie gasped as she ran from the castle. “Wait! I forgot to give you your goodnight hug! Come here, Aster!”

The pink mare gave Statice a mighty squeeze, knocking the air out of him. The hug was longer than expected, and he could have sworn that he heard Pinkie humming in concentration before making a dismissive shrug as she ended the embrace between the two of them. As the stallion gasped for air, Pinkie Pie bounced away.

“I’m going to take Spike to bed,” Twilight smiled at Statice and Rarity. “He usually gets sleepy at this hour.”

“I do not!” Spike protested before he started yawning. “Okay, maybe I’m just a little sleepy,” he smiled sheepishly.

“Aw,” Rarity nuzzled Spike. “Get yourself some rest, Spikey Wikey!” She gave the little dragon a kiss on the cheek, which knocked him unconscious.

“I guess you already gave him his rest,” Statice remarked dryly. In response to his comment, Twilight and Rarity laughed at him. The stallion got annoyed at their laughter. He didn’t understand what was so funny about it. He just pointed the obvious.

“I’ll take Sweetie Belle with me back home,” Rarity smiled at Twilight as she levitated her little sister onto her back. “You don’t mind joining me, Aster?”

“I don’t mind,” Statice shrugged his shoulders as they walked their way back to Carousel Boutique in the night.

The walk was awkward for Statice as he kept watch on his surroundings. Danger was at its most present at night. Granted, Ponyville was among the most peaceful locations he visited. It didn’t change the fact that it was prone to disasters. He wasn’t going to take chances when Rarity and Sweetie Belle were by his side.

Maybe Princess Luna should send her guards to do some patrolling over here. It would certainly help with her public image. I rarely hear anything about her in comparison with the other princesses.

The trio returned to Carousel Boutique in a few minutes. “Wait here,” Rarity instructed him as she climbed upstairs with Sweetie Belle on her magical grasp. The stallion stood there, uncomfortably watching his surroundings. He was safe, only for him to easily grow bored and agitated as a result of inactivity. The only living soul with him at the moment was Rarity’s cat, Opal.

The white cat stared at him with bored green eyes while he kept his distance. He had seen Opal’s antisocial behavior before. He was not going to get that close if it meant getting scratched. The white cat stood up and walked to him. Statice froze. If he got scratched, he may lose control and attack Opal. If he ran away, he was going to look like a fool. To his surprise, Opal purred and rubbed herself against him. The pegasus gasped as he brought a hoof and stroked her fur. The volume of Opal’s purrs increased, informing Statice that he was doing a good job.

“Oh my,” Rarity spoke as she looked impressed. “It’s been so long since I’ve seen that side of Opal. She rarely acts like this with me…unless she is with Fluttershy.” She spoke the last part with annoyance, although it was more out of irritation at the cat rather than malice at her friend.

“Is Sweetie Belle okay?” Statice asked.

“She is nicely tucked in bed,” Rarity smirked in satisfaction.

“Excellent,” Statice nodded his head and went up to walk out of the boutique. “Thank you for the suit, Rarity.”

Before he could get out, Rarity crossed the distance between them and gave him a kiss on the cheek, surprising him. “Thanks you for the date, Aster.”

“Date…?” Statice asked. Did he really go on a date with Rarity?

“Not a romantic date,” Rarity tittered, clarifying his doubt before he had the chance of asking it. “But I did have a nice time with you. If you ever want to visit a romantic place, you know where to find me.”

“Thank you, Rarity,” Statice smiled gratefully.

Once again, Rarity kissed him on the cheek, except that she closed the door on him this time around. The pegasus smiled before frowning in sadness, placing a hoof on the cheek that had been kissed twice. He spread his wings and flew away back to the Everfree Forest and into his lair.

“I’m home, Discord,” Statice muttered to nopony. He spoke to nopony until Discord blinked into existence at the sound of his name.

“Did you call, Statice?” Discord asked, looking quite satisfied but exhausted. “How did you do?”

“I got into a competition with Rainbow Dash over a cloud, Pinkie Pie made me a party, and Rarity tailored me a suit,” Statice summarized his day dejectedly.

“That sounds like a nice day if I do say so myself,” Discord touched the suit with his eagle talon, analyzing the fabric. “So why do you have the long face?”

“Pass me a storm cloud,” Statice asked him tiredly.

The draconequus frowned even as he still did as he was asked. A black cloud materialized in front of Statice. The stallion grabbed the cloud with his hooves and devoured it, much to Discord’s surprise.

“Did you just eat a thunder cloud?” Discord asked incredulously, not knowing if he should laugh or be worried.

Instead of answering, Statice grunted as he folded his wings to the sides. His new appendages fused into his barrel, disappearing from sight. Statice grunted more before a small green lightning bolt was shot from his forehead, taking a pointy appearance. His horn was back in place.

“That’s a good way to get back in touch with your unicorn self,” Discord smirked as he poked Statice’s horn.

The unicorn ignored him as he used his magic to recover his regular colors and return his voice to its original pitch. He looked downcast once he was back to his normal self.

“Is there something wrong, Statice?” Discord asked with concern. “Did something bad happen to you at Ponyville?”

“It was perfect,” Statice answered. “Nopony recognized me. I was thrown a welcome party. Everypony treated me nicely. Hay, even Rainbow Dash treated me nicely despite her first meeting with me as Aster. Rarity took me out on a date, a platonic one, and even gave me the option to date her in the true romantic sense if I so desire.”

Discord was confused. The way Statice described his day was quite the opposite of anypony else that may have gone through the same ordeal. Technically speaking, Statice had a great deal, so why was he so depressed about it?

“It was a great day,” Statice continued. “But it wasn’t a great day for me. It was a great day for Aster.”

“But you’re Aster,” Discord responded in a frustrated mood.

“I had a great day because I was Aster,” Statice replied bitterly. “If I had been Statice then it would have been a horrible day. I have to live knowing that the every good thing that was given to me on this day is a lie.”

“It is not a lie, Statice,” Discord placed his hands on his hips. “Believe me, I am an expert in lies. And what the ponies showed you was no lie. That hospitality was genuine. It's the classic Ponyville welcome they give the new guys like you. You have nothing to worry about.”

“It would turn into a lie if they knew who I really was,” Statice replied, this time in a defeated tone. “And the worst part is that I lied to them in spite of that kindness.”

“You’ve lied to others before, Statice,” Discord pointed at him awkwardly, remembering how many times the pony had lied across his career. “Besides, all of those times that you lied were to protect yourself. I don’t see what the difference is when revealing yourself gets you arrested.”

“I’m not sure,” Statice took a deep breath. “Back then, I was surrounded by jerks that wanted to hurt me so it was natural for me to lie to them. But this town is full of honest ponies that I never…I never expected to lie.”

Discord winced at his friend’s guilt. “I’m sorry, Statice,” he apologized, not sure what he was doing.

“Nothing has changed,” Statice covered his eyes with his hooves. “I retired…and yet I’m still a criminal that has to lie to remain free.”

“You still have me, Statice,” Discord consoled him, placing his lion paw on top of the unicorn’s head.

“Better than nothing,” Statice looked at Discord, feeling slightly better...only slightly. “I need to take a letter.”

Discord grinned as he snapped his fingers. He was holding a sheet of paper on his lion paw and a quill on his eagle talons. “Tell me what you want me to write.”

Statice gave him an impatient look. “Do I look like Twilight and her friends? I am not too lazy to write my own letters. Besides, something tells me that you may misspell my words,” he said as he levitated the quill and paper out of Discord’s hands.

“I would never do that!” Discord shouted in outrage.

“You’re the Spirit of Disharmony,” Statice gave him a blank look. “Do you think that I am going to trust your writing, your spelling, or your grammar?”

Discord opened his mouth to answer but stopped. The green unicorn did make a good point. Discord always had trouble writing, something that Fluttershy could attest with the letters she received from him. The draconequus was very eloquent, except that his chaotic nature kept him from writing without making orthographical mistakes. This is what made communication with Celestia so frustrating that the princess decided to resort to addressing him through summoning spells rather than writing letters.

“There,” Statice gave Discord the sheet of paper.

For a second, he was tempted to read the message, only for his friendship with Fluttershy to remind him about respecting the privacy of his friend. He snapped his fingers to summon an envelope that he somehow held with his tail. He folded the message neatly with his hands before placing it inside the envelope.

“I am going to need the directions for Hobuck, Statice,” Discord snapped his fingers to disguise himself as a mailman.

Statice didn’t say anything as he wrote all the information that he needed to reach his former home. He levitated the envelope to Discord, who saluted and then disappeared with yet another one of his finger snaps.

Statice took a deep breath, used his Hammerspace Spell to store the suit that Rarity made for him, and then he went to sleep. He had the best day of his life and yet…it wasn’t meant for him.

Author's Note:

Sorry for taking yet another month to make another update. Gettign close to finishing the semester. College clases are getting harder as I am close to my final tests, projects, and presentations. I promise to make more updates soon.

Anyway, looks like Statice had a successful first day in Ponyville as Aster. He had the traditional Welcome Pinkie Party and has already made a good impression on the Mane Six and Ponyville. However, it appears that Statice has a lot of inner issues since his successful infiltration pretty much left him feeling more defeated than victorious in spite of making a good impression with the citizens. What will this fugitive's next move is gonna be? And what kind of background does he have regarding his family back when he was talking with Rarity? More shall be discovered in future chapters of the story.