• Published 26th Oct 2017
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Adventures in The 6ix - Wiz Ahmad

After a malfunction with the Crystal Mirror during a demonstration, the Mane 6, Spike, Tempest, and Skystar get transported to another world - Toronto.

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Chapter 25: A Night at the Hofmann's



With both bikes fully built, Zack closed down the garage door and trotted up the steps to his bedroom. It was a rather large one, with a bed and a large L-shaped desk - full of sketches, drawing tools, a scanner, and a 3D printer, along with a computer and a music box.

Up on the wall was a painting – a rather memorable one of when Zack was just 6, painting a picture of a BMX bike mid-bunny hop. And beside the bed stood a wardrobe, tall and elegant, with flowery, decorative French-style patterns on it. Just as he was about to change into more beautiful clothes, the phone rang.


“Hi, sweetie.”

“Hey, Mom, how are ya?”

“I’m feeling a little worn out, but great! We’re coming home now. I bought a few things…”

Zack’s head sunk. Please Mom, please don’t tell me you bought fish for Skystar…

“Some clothes and helmets for tomorrow’s riding session,” Patricia said, instantly laying her son’s worries to rest. “And some groceries. Any silly stuff you have in store?”

Zack chuckled. “Not that I can think of at the moment. We’ll talk business later regarding my 3D printer and my other big ideas. Thanks for being so supportive. See you soon.”

“You too, son. Bye-bye.”

Zack figured he’d explain it all to his two new friends when they arrived, and slid into his chair to continue hard work. Besides BMX, he enjoyed creating miniature circuits and machinery with his 3D printer, as well as drawing mechanical structures and systems before turning them into 3D computer models, which he often sold over the Internet.

Logging in, Zack began some simple accounting, managing the expenses from the BMX shopping trip, as well as any payments customers online had made. He was just about to open up one 3D model file of an unfinished part when a key turned in the door downstairs. Leaping out of his chair, Zack ran down the stairs so fast his legs appeared to be floating in a blur. Within seconds he was at the door, hands out and ready to receive his mom’s shopping bags.

“How did it go?”

“There were so many amazing things there!” Pinkie exclaimed.

“We saw goldfish, pufferfish, and yes, those bubblefish you mentioned!” Skystar added excitedly. “How are the bikes? Did you finish them? Can I see them? Can I? Can I?!”

Zack had to laugh at the sight of an over-eager hippogriff practically bouncing up and down in front of him asking about bikes.

“Heh, calm now, Skye,” he said, putting a hand on her shoulder. “Both yours and Pinkie’s are done. I’ll show you them in the morning, before we go out. Now let’s get a nice dinner going. In spite of a short snack I ate earlier, I’m hungry and I’d bet both of you are.

Zack decided on some Indian food with seafood – reheated naan bread, fried cod, and roasted kelp with hot jasmine rice.

“So where do you work?” Pinkie inquired, tilting her head slightly like a puppy as she gazed at Patricia.

“Aw, you’re just so cute, Pinkie,” Patricia cooed. “I work as an engineering consultant, which is in rather high demand. It also means unfortunately I’m away from home most of the time. Thankfully I’ve raised Zack right and he hasn’t fallen into bad crowds. In fact BMX has kept him busy and rather productive.”

Skystar simply nodded, clearly too wrapped up in the power of the delicious flavor of the food she was eating. To Zack’s surprise, she didn’t seem fazed by the prospect of eating fish at all. She even loved the bread, devouring two whole rounds.

“Looks like our sweeties are really hungry today, aren’t they?” Patricia teased, smirking at her son.

Zack nodded with a grin. “Indeed.”

With dinner over, Zack offered to wash the dishes, but Patricia intervened.

“I know I’ve had a long day and you’re probably thinking I want to rest and stuff, but I also know you have a lot to show and discuss with your friends,” she said. “Go ahead, I’ll take care of this.”

Zack’s eyes widened. “You serious? Um, thanks! But at least let me clean the table.”


Pulling out a wet cloth, Zack wiped and scrubbed the table until it was completely clean and dry, before washing out the cloth and zipping upstairs into the bathroom… where he found Pinkie and Skystar brushing their teeth.

“Hey girls, um…” Zack was lost for words. Were they using his toothbrushes, or did they have their own? “Wait, Mom bought brushes for you two, right?”

“Um-hm,” Skystar mumbled through a frothy mouth.

“Oooo-kay.” Zack pulled out his toothbrush and spread some paste on it. As he began brushing, Pinkie noticed something.

“Why is your toothbrush pink?”

“Uh…” was all Zack could get out. “It’s a long story. Come with me.”

After the trio had brushed their teeth properly and rinsed their mouths well, Zack brought them to a door with a poster that read “BEAUTY IS WITHIN”.

“And that’s purple,” Skystar blatantly pointed out.

Ignoring her comment, Zack pushed the door open and ushered them in. “Welcome to my room. Make yourself comfortable on the bed, but don’t jump on it.”

“You seem to have a lot of, well… pretty stuff,” Pinkie said slowly. “Oops. Did I offend you?”

Zack sighed and shook his head. “Not at all, Pinkie. It’s just… hard.”

“Hard to what?” Skystar pressed.

“To show you… this.”

Zack yanked open the doors to his wardrobe to reveal a stunning sight. Lined up on one side were typical shirts and pants, but among them was a ballet outfit – leotard, skirt, and tights. On a small shelf on the other side lay lavender ballet shoes, hair accessories (including a big pink bow), and some jewelry – bracelets and a necklace.

“I am a guy, but a… different guy,” he confessed, while Pinkie and Skystar stood shell-shocked at what they were seeing.

“How did this…” Pinkie began, but Zack was losing the battle against his tears.

“It’s okay, we still love and support you, Zackie,” Skystar said, affectionately wrapping her wing around him. “Come, sit down. Tell me the story.”

“It began in fifth grade,” Zack sniffled, wiping his eyes. “Xavier – and the whole school for that matter – always knew me as the one who’d face up to challenges but also do funny and silly stuff to entertain and to amuse – friendly bets and whatnot. So there was this adorable little girl – I say ‘little’ because she was small for her age – who absolutely loved ballet – she’d perform before the teacher arrived and the bullies would laugh at her. I was initially afraid of them but when one of them actually got up, kicked her, and spat in her face, I lost it.”

“So you got into a fight with the meanie?” Pinkie asked, looking a little eager.

“Yep. I knocked him to the ground and bruised his face real bad. Detention was tough but I got through it. The bullying eventually stopped. Later, Lily – that was her name – had to attend a performance for our school. Unfortunately, the bullies found out and I overheard their plans to ruin the event by humiliating her. So, I played the audio recording to the principal. He didn’t ban them from attending, but asked for security so they couldn’t go backstage to sabotage anything. In the days leading up to the event, I found Lily to be unhappy and anxious. As you might’ve guessed she had stage fright and also fearful of those bullies.”

“So… what did you do?”

“Well, I ignored it at first, but when her parents were silly enough to talk loudly in public that they wouldn’t be able to attend their daughter’s own first performance, I heard it and decided to step up to the plate. Behind Mom’s back I bought a whole outfit and practiced as hard as I could in the remaining week, putting up with an almost-sprained ankle, lots of falls, and popped joints. It really was a lot of work, but for some reason I just couldn’t give up.”

“Finally the dance performance came. I was so busy practicing I almost arrived late. Kudos to my years of BMX experience to getting there in the nick of time. As expected, she got nervous and started crying, so I – yes, a rather well-built 12-year old boy – stepped out in this girly frilly costume and gave her a bit of counselling and comfort. Amazingly, she recognized me, and we completed the performance together, winning a big award. She sat on my lap holding the honorary ribbon while I joyfully fist-pumped the air, and a photo was taken together with the other dancers. It felt so awkward, but inside I felt not only satisfied of what I did for Lily, I felt happy the way I was dressed. Like, I didn’t feel disgusted or offended by it.”

“That’s because your driving force was the will to keep Lily happy,” Pinkie explained.

“I wouldn’t doubt it,” Zack said with a smile. “At first I actually was like ‘okay, I did it, that’s it, now the bullies will shut up and Lily will feel better’ but no. I found myself enjoying wearing that frilly thing, and we actually started dancing together. I donated my old ballet outfit after I outgrew it. Ballet proved to be beneficial, as I incorporated some of the techniques and moves into my BMX riding. High school started and my love for BMX grew even more. Then Lily’s family moved away. However, a big internal battle then begun to rage. BMX for boys, ballet and cute clothes for girls. At one point I actually went out and bought the same ballerina outfit again in my now grown size, danced for a couple months, then suddenly stopped. I didn’t know what to do, so I just kept it up and out for a long time. Drawing and mechanical engineering were two other hobbies that I picked up from my mom, so I was even more two-faced.”

“How about your mom?” Skystar inquired.

“She doesn’t really mind what I wear, so long as it’s decent. I hardly wear stuff other than my usual BMX getup because I ride so often.”

“Do you actually like dancing?” Pinkie asked, looking at Zack directly, a serious tone in her eyes.

Zack gulped and nodded. “Yes, I do. And I can’t dance in pants. It just doesn’t feel right. I have to be wearing a skirt or a dress to do it right. The jewelry is just something I made one day when I was bored.”

“You got a lot going on,” Skystar admitted. “I think your best approach should be to stick to just BMX and dancing. Wear the decent clothing for each respective hobby, and dance as much as you want. Be happy and be free by being fearless yet wise. If you don’t feel like wearing stuff, then give it away – but be firm on your choices.”

Zack gave a slight nod. “You’re right. Thanks for the advice. How about a dance at the skatepark tomorrow? Integrated into our BMX routine. A short one, just to see if I still like it. We’ll go early to avoid excessive attention.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Skystar said excitedly. “And um, can I sleep with you, Zackie?”


“Oh, it-it-it’s okay. I just – ”

“I was just surprised because that’s not normally what someone would ask me. But I know it.”

“Know what?” Pinkie suddenly asked, whipping her head around.

“You’re in awe of me,” Zack stated, his face giving a slight tease. He turned to Skystar. “And you’re totally smitten.”

“Well, um, I…” Skystar desperately fought to find the right words while her cheeks grew as red as a strawberry.

Zack shook his head. “Just admit it. You’re – ”

“Yes, yes, I am in love with you, Zackie! You’re so nice and cute, and kind, and…”

Before she could find herself in another stuttering spat, Zack leaned and planted a tiny kiss on her tiny hippogriff beak, gently rubbing his hand through the fur and feathers on her neck. “Well I love you too. And of course, you can sleep with me. I haven’t ever slept with a hippogriff before.”

As night fell, Patricia got out an old mattress for Pinkie to rest on next to the desk. She’d wanted Pinkie to sleep in with Zack, but Pinkie insisted on sleeping separately, albeit in the same room.

With a yawn, Zack shimmied under his warm blue duvet, tired from the long day he’d had shopping and assembling his friends’ bikes. Moments later, Skystar eagerly jumped onto the bed, jolting him out of a droopy trance.

“Well, now the opportunity has come for you to experience what it’s like sleeping with a hippogriff,” she whispered with a silent giggle, wrapping her arm around his torso and affectionately rubbing her fluffy chest on his broad, muscular one.

Feeling a little irritated, Zack turned on his other side so he faced away from her. Big mistake. Skystar zoomed right in for the kill, heaving her entire top half onto him, resting her head on his cheek and her right leg on top of his, and stretching her arm under his.

In the far corner of the desk, the music box slowly tinkled a little lullaby. Zack let out a low sigh. This was going to be the perfect night.

Author's Note:

Zack opens up about his feminine side... and Skystar gets cozy...


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