• Published 28th Dec 2015
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Breakfast with Rose - Admiral Biscuit



After a dinner with Rose and a late night drunken trip to Sugarcube Corner, Sam wakes up from a nightmare with more questions than answers about life in Equestria.

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Breakfast

Breakfast with Rose
Chapter 2: Breakfast
Admiral Biscuit

Given how light the room was, it was clear that my strategy had worked. I was sprawled out on my back, and Rose was draped across my chest, her head pillowed on my right breast. I reached up with my right hand and ran it through her mane; then, just because I could, I traced her upper ear, giggling as it twitched. Then it swiveled around to face me.

"Good morning, Rose," I said softly. "How do you feel?"

She groaned.

"Yeah, me too." My head felt like it was being squeezed in a vice. The water last night hadn't helped as much as I’d hoped it would. Luckily, ponies had aspirin and thus—by extension—I had aspirin. Downstairs, which was unfortunate, but it was still better than not having any.

All the same, I wasn't sure getting out of bed to fetch it was worth the effort. I closed my eyes, which helped ease the throbbing pain a little. "Do you want to just lie here for a while?" I asked. I felt her nod against my chest.

"I haven't had that much to drink in a long time," Rose said softly. "Now I remember why."

"Last time I had that much to drink I wound up going to the bakery naked."

Rose snickered. "Was it worth it?"

"Ask again later," I said, channeling my inner magic eight ball.

I set my right hand against her neck, and closed my eyes. I must've drifted off again, because the next thing I remember, the bed was empty and I could smell breakfast. My head still ached; ponies probably had a better constitution.

I scooted out of bed and set my feet on the floor, dreading what was going to come next but knowing that there was no way around it, unless I decided to go downstairs on my hands and knees. As much as that would amuse Rose, I didn't think it would help. I idly wondered if it was easier to be drunk with four legs than with two. Maybe when I got downstairs I'd ask her.

I staggered over to my little vanity and cautiously looked at my reflection in the mirror. I had a severe case of bedhead, bloodshot eyes, and a bit of an unhealthy pallor which hopefully the breakfast I smelled would correct. The eyes, I couldn't do much about.

That left my hair to untangle. I noticed that my hairbrush had a few wine-red strands of hair clinging to it, and thought about picking them off, but decided it really wasn't worth the effort.

While it didn't make the headache go away, brushing my hair did have a bit of a calming effect.

I considered my robe, but only briefly. Then I cautiously made my way down the stairs, hand firmly wrapped around the banister.

Rose was in the kitchen, putting the finishing touches on breakfast. Scrambled eggs, pancakes, and toast. Some bacon would've been nice, but there wasn't much chance of getting any. Ever.

She'd also brewed coffee. My coffee supply was generally carefully rationed, but I could hardly be mad at her: a cup of coffee might be just the thing to dislodge the cobwebs in my brain after the aspirin worked its magic.

As much as I would've liked to start a conversation, she had a spatula in her mouth, and while I had discovered that ponies could talk surprisingly well with things in their mouths, it still felt rude to try and draw her into a conversation.

"Let me know if you need any help," I said as I walked to the cabinet and grabbed the precious bottle of little white pills. I dry-swallowed two of them, making a face at their bitter taste, and waited for them to have an effect.

I was still waiting when she served breakfast.

• • •

By the time breakfast was over, I was beginning to feel vaguely human again. The coffee I'd chased my scrambled eggs with wasn't exactly enough to make me want to run a marathon, but it did diminish my desire to crawl back in bed, pull the covers over my head, and tune out the world.

I finished eating before Rose—she'd kind of painted herself into a corner with her breakfast. Too much maple syrup on her pancakes and no hand to hold a fork were giving her serious problems, and while there was a certain satisfaction to be gained from watching her struggle, it was rude.

Instead, I took my plate into the kitchen, refilled my coffee cup, poured the hot water that she'd started into the sink, and began washing the dishes.

When she finally brought in her plate, there wasn't any syrup in the fur on her chin. I'd been too distracted to notice if she'd wiped it off, or if the small bites she'd been taking had been sufficient to avoid making a mess.

I took the dish from her mouth and dropped it in the sink. "Do you have to work today?"

"No," Rose said. "I told Daisy and Lily that I was coming over here and didn't know when I would be back. But I’m supposed to cook dinner for us tonight, so I shouldn’t stay here too late."

My face turned bright red—I could feel my ears burning. To distract myself while I thought of a response, I started scrubbing her plate. Just what did she mean by that?

"We sort of rotate leisure time except when it's really busy." She walked out to the kitchen and back to the table to collect her coffee cup. "I worked extra so I'd be free today." She grabbed the cup in her mouth and brought it back into the kitchen. "In case you wanted to do anything."

What did I want to do? Lazing around the house was one option. I normally had stuff to do, but I'd cleaned before Rose came over, and I could hardly ask her to help me do laundry or come to the market with me just in case some pony had a deal on produce today.

The fact was, during the rare times when I was completely caught up on work there wasn't a whole lot I'd found to do. Back home, I might have watched a couple of movies or clicked random links on YouTube, but neither of those were options here. Truth be told, I wasn't really sure what ponies did for fun, short of spontaneous parties.

I couldn't just tell her that I didn't have any plans, though. What kind of hostess doesn't have a plan? "What do you normally do on your days off?"

She shrugged. "Whatever. Weed some of the flowerbeds in the park, or go to the spa if anypony wants to go with me. Watch a movie if they have anything funny or romantic playing. Read a book inside if it's a rainy day. Sit out in the sun. Go around town and gossip." She got a faint blush on her cheek at the last one.

"I wanted to go to the schoolhouse after school's out," I told her. "To look at that drawing."

She nodded. "Do you still have that Daring Do book?"

"The one you were reading last time you were here?"

She nodded eagerly. "I went to the library and tried to borrow it, but Twilight didn't have a copy. She said they were all checked out. I don't know why she can't have more than one of each. Lots of ponies like reading Daring Do."

I hadn't exactly planned to spend a day off reading, but why not? If it was something that made Rose happy, I wasn't going to object. Best of all, it was free. "Yeah, I've still got it. Your page is still bookmarked, too. Let me go get it."

It didn't take too long to find it—not owning much really helped to keep the clutter down. Fact was, I wouldn't have even had the books, except that I'd been gifted the whole collection by Tinsel Hat after spending a day cleaning brush off the spillway of the dam. She'd apparently gotten bored of the adventures of the plucky pegasus and moved on to some other literature, and I'd been looking for something to help pass the time on days when I couldn't find work.

I hadn't realized at the time that books weren't exactly common in Ponyville. Sure, they weren't unknown, but most ponies didn't actually own very many. In that regard, Twilight was one of the major exceptions; besides the library books, her own collection was quite respectable.

Before I came downstairs, I took my clean clothes off my dresser. They’d be handy to have in case some pony stopped by. While it didn’t happen very often, there had been a few occasions where I’d been startled by a knock on the door.

Rose was still in the kitchen when I returned. She’d spent the time drying the breakfast dishes and putting them away. Next time I’d have to remember to tell her not to do that; even though I hadn’t asked, it still felt like I was putting my guest to work.

"Can we read in the backyard like last time? It’s too nice a day to be inside."

"Sure." I set the book on the counter—along with the one I'd chosen for myself—so I could get dressed. I was just pulling my panties over my hips when I happened to glance back at Rose. "I’m not—"

"You were—"

"Last night didn't count." I crouched down to be at her level. "I was drunk. It doesn't count when you're drunk."

She got a kind of distant look in her eyes. "No, I guess not."

I reached out and ran my hand through her forelock. "Let me put on my shorts, and then I'll be ready." I stood back up, only to feel her hoof against my thigh.

"You could," she began, and then paused, collecting her thoughts. “You said that in your world, you always wore clothes. You said that nopony went without ever.”

I nodded. I'd said as much.

“And when we were at the spa, you said that you wore your panties to cover yourself, even if they didn't keep you dry.”

“Yes.”

“So what about just wearing them?” I could hear a note of uncertainty in her voice.

It was a perfectly logical suggestion, though, especially from her point of view. And while a dozen excuses all jammed together in my mind, I couldn't really find one which felt right. I glanced down to make sure, but this pair was pretty opaque. They'd be a little bit iffy if we were going swimming, but in the backyard I wouldn't be flashing anyone.

“They're pretty, and they look good on you,” she told me.

They were nice. Not as good as some I'd owned before, but not too bad, either. They were white satin—I'd paid a little extra for that, but justified it in my mind with the money I was saving on shirts and bras.

You're being stupid, I told myself. You'd go out in the backyard in a bikini without a second thought, and these cover more than your favorite bottoms did.

It still didn't feel quite right, but rather than answer her, I grabbed the books off the counter and pulled open the back door.

• • •

This time I didn't hesitate too much. I was covered, for some values of covered; besides, Rose hadn't dallied on her way to a prime sunshiny spot in the yard.

As I watched her stretch out on the grass, I thought about maybe going back inside and getting a towel to lie on, but then decided that I might as well live dangerously. I handed her the Daring Do book, opening it to the bookmarked page, then stretched out beside her.

My position wasn't all that comfortable—while she'd stretched out her forelegs and folded her hind legs under herself, my body didn't work that way. Lying on my stomach like I was, I had to bend my neck uncomfortably in order to read, although it would be tolerable for a bit.

If I'd really gotten into the book, I probably would have been able to ignore my discomfort, but I just couldn't focus. Whether it was the vague nagging unease at being outside in my panties or the lingering aftereffects of the hangover, I wasn't sure; perhaps a combination of both. I'd read a page or two and then my attention would wander.

Rose, though, was completely engrossed. Whenever my attention wandered her way, she had her snout pointed right at the page, both ears locked forwards. If it weren't for the occasional flicks of her tail, she could have been a statue.

Well, if she's happy, I'm happy. I wasn't sure if that was entirely true—but I guess it was close enough. I still had the vague nagging feeling that I was failing as a hostess: who reads books with a guest?

I'd made it through three chapters when I decided to try a different position. My neck was getting stiff, and my back was getting a bit warm. I wasn't worried about getting a sunburn: by now I was plenty tan. A bit lighter on my thighs and butt, admittedly, but not as much as it could have been. The clothes Rarity had made apparently didn't block all the UV rays.

I set down the book and rolled over, then spent a few moment brushing loose grass and lawn detritus off my chest and legs. There wasn't a lot—my lawn was mowed every week by a small flock of sheep. There were a couple of roving flocks that went around town, keeping lawns and streets trimmed. I'd been skeptical at first, but they did a good job and didn't poop all over the place. Also the lamb who had asked for permission had been absurdly cute, and I'd just been too shocked by a lamb asking if her flock could crop my lawn to refuse.

My new position was only marginally better than the old one. If it had been up to me, I'd have been on the couch, my head on the armrest and the book against my chest. I probably could have gone inside for a pillow or two to prop myself up with, but I just didn't feel like putting that much effort into it, so I finally set the book down, folded my arms behind my head, and looked up at the sky.

Some of the magic I'd felt when I'd caught my first view of pegasi in flight was gone, but it was still an amazing sight. Most days, they'd be soaring around without a care in the world, a few of them even gliding on thermals; other days, they industriously moved clouds to and fro. I didn't entirely understand how they did it, since the number of pegasi working on any one storm didn't seem sufficient to actually accomplish anything, but they managed.

The ponies had quite the system going on. The pegasi handled the weather, and the earth ponies took care of food. I wasn't really sure where the unicorns fit in the mix . . . there were times when I wondered if they actually needed the unicorns. The other two types could do pretty much anything without their help. Maybe unicorns had some other role that would be more apparent in a larger city. They did seem to be the most educated of the different types—Rarity was super-cultured, Twilight ran the library, and the head doctor at the hospital was a unicorn. I thought it was likely that some other important functions were probably handled by unicorns, too, but I didn't know what those were, especially since the mayor was an earth pony.

I vaguely remembered reading that one of the most important developments in human history was the invention of agriculture, which gave ancient humans the leisure time to invent the arts and language and things like that. Perhaps that was the role of the unicorns as well: they were the ones with the free time, so they were the ones that made sure that society kept advancing beyond a simple hunt-and-gather—or in the ponies' case, grazing—society.

I could've asked Rose, but she was still engrossed in her book, so I just closed my eyes.