• Published 13th Sep 2018
  • 2,457 Views, 162 Comments

Alternate Beginnings: Year Six - Doug Graves

Herd Apple continues to grow, both out and up, as Doug meets a few more colorful characters.

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Epilogue: One Year Later

June 30th, 1000 DS

Doug looks over from his book, the sleeping forms of five fillies strewn out on the floor. His middle three had roundly insisted that yes, this year would be the one, that this time it was different, that they would at least make it to moonrise on this, the longest day of the year. He smiles to himself, the wry kind when you start forcing yourself to do something and then decide that you like doing it as he carefully picks each filly up, two nestled in his arm and one of the youngest in his hand. Two trips later and they are cuddling together, a small heap of browns, and tans, and yellows, their manes a similar mix with the apple red and green thrown in.

He'll probably get them up early in order to watch Celestia raise the sun; it is an extraordinary sight, after all. Doug has only watched it from the farmhouse when Celestia is in Canterlot, barely able to make out the shining glow around the castle. Maybe next year he'll use the telescope that Rarity got for the fillies. This year he won't need it, after all. Next year, however, is when the big celebration will be in Canterlot. It would certainly be a nice vacation for the herd, but prices would be exorbitant. The herd was already getting offers to rent their rooms out to ponies who wouldn't mind the few hours walk to Canterlot and had the foresight to plan ahead, or queries from the Oranges from Manehatten about staying with family.

But, that is a decision that can wait for tomorrow, or the day after. Doug smiles to himself, looking over the fillies, all tucked away in their room. He yawns, feeling only slightly tired, and heads to the kitchen. It has been years since he has needed to pull an actual all-nighter, not since college so far away and long ago. Not just staying up late, making sure he will meet the deadline for emergency corrections to a weather schedule after a missed rainfall. Or for some massive storm that got out of hoof, throwing everything nearby out of order. Or watching some spectacular that Celestia put on at midnight, the warm bodies of his herd cuddling around him. Like many, if not all, of the ponies Doug prefers to do little during the night, unless there is a specific event going on. Even if there is, a lot of them only watch for Celestia's sake, the alicorn trying to keep the memory of her sister a pleasant one. Or at least remind ponies that there are pleasant memories of Princess Luna, and not just her murderous descent into Nightmare Moon.

Doug looks outside, half expecting to see Applejack making the trip back to the farmhouse with a cart of sleeping fillies behind her, but the road is deserted. He smiles to himself; maybe the trio will make it through the night after all. He glances back towards the foals room; it is tempting to head back to the party Pinkie Pie is throwing, but unless he wants to cart the fillies back and forth himself again he'll have to contend with the contents of the kitchen. Not worth the potential mishaps they love to get into if they wake and find there is no adult supervision. And it is quite unfortunate; Pinkie's parties tend to the amazing side. This one, despite it being such a huge event to everypony else, is just another party for Pinkie Pie, just the color of decorations a little different: the mare always goes all out. Especially as the parties get later and all the fillies go to bed; the mare has developed a much better flair for those kinds of parties ever since she joined the herd. Not that she ever let on when young foals could be watching.

The kitchen is a bit of a mess, the remainder of Lemon's attempt to gather food for each of her siblings. Doug cleans up the spilled oats and hay before grabbing some cheese, eggs, and bread. He deliberates; something salty would be good, but Applejack doesn't like it when he brings any of the meat in the farmhouse, complaining that the pungent odor lingers no matter how quickly he eats it. She doesn't even like making out after he's had a meal of it. Well, no sense in giving them something to complain about, not on such an important night. He hovers over the stove, looking between the eggs and frying pan before shrugging. He picks up a glass, breaking the eggs into the glass, and throwing the shells in the trash. He grabs a carton of apple juice and makes his way to his office, getting a head start on the August weather schedule.

Hours later a heavy knock at the front door reverberates through the house. Doug wearily glances up, checking the time; it is almost four in the morning, so most likely an irate Applejack with a sleepy filly or three. He sighs, grabbing the empty plate, glass, and carton. More food will help him stay up the next hour before he needs to wake the fillies, minus whichever pony or ponies fell asleep, and make it to and back from Ponyville. Why she didn't open the door herself, though, he grumbles to himself as he makes his way to the front door.

He opens the wooden door, looking down at a pair of golden horseshoes attached to long white legs. His gaze raises as his sleepy mind processes that, yes, it is in fact Princess Celestia standing in the doorway, her wavy mane a rainbow of color behind her. He stands there for several seconds before slightly bowing his head, "Celestia! I was not expecting you. Would you like to come in?" He glances at the trash in his hand and the board games still open behind him, "Please, pardon the mess."

Celestia nods, a pleasant smile conveying the familiarity she yearns for, "I would like that very much, my little pony. You know, I think you are the only one I don't need to remind to not use my title. How has the night been treating you?"

Doug shrugs, moving towards the kitchen, "Oh, it's been going very well. I'm looking forward to you raising the sun tomo-" He cuts himself off, a brief grin at the correction, "I guess, later today." He glances back, peeking at the alicorn from the doorway, "Would you like anything to eat? I'm sure there is a cake or four back here."

Celestia nods, her smile creeping larger, "Yes, but then what will you have?" They chuckle as he heads into the kitchen; Doug finds a cake in the pantry and some crackers for himself. He grabs a unicorn fork and butter knife, bringing everything out into the dining room. He places the cake - a small, short cylinder decorated with orange and white icing, two vanilla layers sandwiching a sugary mess of confetti - and silverware in front of Celestia, taking his seat next to her. Doug eats a cracker before getting back up and returning to the kitchen, grabbing a carton of milk and pouring himself a glass. He returns the milk to the fridge before grabbing a new carton of apple juice and a glass. He briefly considers before grabbing more cheese and returns to the dining room. He pours Celestia a glass of apple juice, leaving the carton in easy reach, and takes his seat again.

Celestia says in between bites, "This cake must be a Pinkie Pie creation, it is very good. Would you like a piece?"

Doug takes a small nibble of a cracker with cheese; he slowly chews and swallows before saying, "Only if you are offering."

Celestia grabs her glass of apple juice; what starts as a polite sip while she thinks turns into chugging the entire glass. She puts a hoof up to her mouth, pantomiming considering her options. Finally making her decision, she slides her plate closer to her barrel, guarding it with her other hoof. "You make a wise choice, human," she threatens, taking a bite of the cake and hunching over it, furtive glances to each side.

Doug stares at her before a smile breaks out, laughing at the ruler's antics. Celestia grins as well, though when Doug glances down at the cake a fearful look comes over her mouth. She stammers, "Now, you... you wouldn't steal the cake from a Princess, would you?"

Doug opens his mouth before gasping, covering his ears as a deafening voice shouts, "NO, BUT WE WILL!!"

Author's Note:

If the comments look weird, there was a large edit that moves much of the ending to Year Seven.

Comments ( 25 )


You did not just do that!!!

Excuse me but Applejack and the rest of the heard would never forgive her if she actually did.

Jesus christ dude.

Yeah. Even if this was, I dunno, a nightmare, I don't see any forgiveness here. This is the kind of stuff that makes even the nicest people want to cut someone's throat. You do not hurt family and expect to get away with it if said family gets your ass in range.

You did not just do that doug how can you kill innocent foals so casually that's just harsh it brought tears to my eyes cause I have foals and I wouldn't allow anything happen to them so why are you being a sick twisted b*****d.

Edited the author's notes to include spoilers. I probably should have from the start, but it kinda kills the cliffhanger. Sorry for any undue concern.


Wow that was ... ... ... harsh...

However I can totally see NIGHTMARE Moon using her penchant for illusions in order to inflict pain like that. It's also a way to hurt Celestia for being so 'weak'.

This was a good way to get Doug out of the way for the elements of harmony quest though.

Also - I just had the worst thought! What if Nightmare Moon added even more pain by taking the fillies and foals with her?! And they show up after she's defeated hmm?

Dude, Saw vibes again, this felt like the ending of Saw 1 to a degree, the original Hello Zepp was just all too fitting as well SHUDDER

You got my hate for this one. Stop ✋

Well, I suppose that's what I was going for, so it did its job. Nightmare Moon is supposed to be villainous, after all.

What the buck did i just read?!

...Most interesting. :unsuresweetie:

Psshhh.... Fool! Now I have a public reason to re-read this! All along it was I Dio!

In all seriousness. This story series is pretty good and I look forward to reading again.

You may enjoy it too... Beware my warning of enjoying it.

I... quiver with fear...


So, she has a memory of her fifth birthday party, so we know she's older than that. Granted, she acts pretty childish for that party. As to whether or not each season of MLP corresponds to a year? I liked the interpretation that the first three are over one year. For this story, though? We'll have to see...

Crystal Empire - Yeah, without Celestia's knowledge of history they might not know. But they do have her!


It was a memory.....I was just about to watch season 4 again bc its been awhile since last time.....and I just remembered that there was a party scene bc I happened to briefly glimpse it on YouTube. I honestly couldn't remember much more. I think I still get too focused on the fact that Twi is an Alicorn lol. Don't know why I do bc it isn't like I haven't read tons of stories w her as a Princess

I actually went back to see if I missed anything in that epilogue and saw the spoiler bars Celestia's Mane you had me scared! I would have been so mad if those foals were actually dead

Now youve gone and made me curious

That’s not what “Ho” means. The derogatory term is spelt “hoe.”

This word is being used in the context of “to attract attention to something specified.”

Like when a crew member on a ship shouts “Land, Ho!”

It’s like that.

I know that's what you're going for, but it's a joke...because they're homophones.
Edit: Actually, both are acceptable spellings since it's a slang.

Not a fan of filly slaughter; implied, illusion, or otherwise. Grimdark is only acceptable in grimdark. :\

Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara are the same age, but that cute-ceañera was celebrating Diamond Tiara getting her cutie mark, not Silver Spoon (who has had hers for some amount of time).

Canonical, because it's more meaningful for a relationship to get soured if it was something pleasant to begin with.

To be honest, the only thing I've debated changing about this scene is to make Nightmare Moon show up and the chapter end. And then in Book Seven you get the grimdark followed immediately by the resolution, so you're not reading an entire book going 'what's going to happen!?'. Actually, I'm going to do that right now.

Edit: There's even a trope for this! And it's got a picture of MLP as the image!

Yep, that's a trope alright, and a real issue for villains in MLP. I mean, NMM, Discord Sombra, Chrysalis, if you removed the saccharine lens that is MLP, they'd all be scary. Like fetch me my brown pants terrifying. Now that being said, filly slaughter seriously takes this from a rated T, to a Rated M with a (grim)Dark tag for me - I prefer to operate by Fallout rules, children are out of bounds, unless it's grimdark. Hell, even in Mente Materia (which is tagged dark) it's a bit much.

Anyways, thanks for replying, and I'm glad to have been of service.

If memory serves she was SUPPOSED to be a secondary mentor for Twilight according to some interview years back, but things took a turn

love this one also now onto year 7

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