• Published 19th Nov 2018
  • 14,881 Views, 1,500 Comments

Bedbound (And Beyond) - Cackling Moron



Freshly-arrived human in a state of some disrepair is tended to by local deity.

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That is

Author's Note:

The more of this I churn out the more unbalanced 'John' seems to be getting. Which is fitting, really, especially given what he's been finding out.

It may just reflect that bits of my own brain falling off like a wet cake, but who knows?

Given that this whole thing was meant to just be about a man in a bed getting looked after and cuddled by Celestia I can just say I've wandered down something of a path. Meh.

Anyway anyway anyway Christmas break now so there you go.

The guest room felt a touch more cramped with so much company in it, and - sat on the bed with them facing me down - I had to admit to feeling a touch more nervous than I might have expected to. So many touches.

Three magical horse princesses, one random dickhead. Who would win?

Well, them obviously. Even if they didn’t have magic they had pointy bits and there were three of them. I had a stick but that only counted for so much. Good thing we weren’t throwing down.

“Is this when I’m told something to my disadvantage?” I asked, clinging to the stick for emotional support. Might as well get it all packed into one day, eh? All the bad news?

Why else would we need this private talk setup?

The three of them shuffled. Twilight just looked lost, which wasn’t a huge surprise, while Celestia and Luna looked to be silently arguing with one another about who should start the ball rolling.

Luna lost.

“No. We simply feel it is important to discuss what has been learned today and that it is best to do so as soon as possible. The party atmosphere might have made this difficult,” she said.

“Best rip that plaster off, eh? Makes sense.”

Oh God, they were all looking at me. God, I hated being the centre of attention. Specifically, I hated to think that people were fussing over me, taking time out of their days purely for my benefit. Surely they had better, more important things to be doing? I did my best not to squirm.

Why did their eyes have to be so big?!

Luna continued:

“We had been operating under the assumption that your presence here was temporary, as was whatever damage you had suffered as a result of your arrival. Now that this has been found not to be the case arrangements shall have to be made for your perma-”

“For your long-term staying here,” Celestia said, cutting across Luna and giving her A Look.

What words were chosen were important. Not that ‘long-term’ and ‘permanent’ gave me a particularly comfortable gap to snuggle into. Neither was the friendliest of terms.

“Yes. Long-term. Quite,” Luna said, doing very well to mask her irritation at being interrupted.

“You can stay with me as long as you like!” Twilight blurted. This time the blush reached her ears. “I mean he can stay here as long as he needs to. We have the room for him. Lots of rooms. He doesn’t even have to stay in this one.”

Well, she wasn’t wrong. Mine was the only room in the - frankly, excessive - guest wing presently occupied. Still felt like a sponge though. I wasn’t even doing anything. I was just taking up space.

“I’m not that fussy. Just roll me into a cosy ditch and I’ll be golden. Can’t just coast along abusing the hospitality of your guys like this,” I said.

Equestria probably had a higher quality of ditch than the kind I could picture from back home. Some of those ditches I’d pissed in, I was fairly sure. That at least they wouldn’t share with those ditches I’d find here.

Not yet, at anyrate.

“Nonsense. You arrived through no fault of your own - as you say - and from then on were a guest of the crown, and a guest of the crown you remain,” Luna said.

You know, for a lady who seemed keen on getting me out the palace you seemed very keen on me sticking around now! I can’t get a read on you, Luna, but whatever. Whatever works for you.

“Uh, the phrase ‘at her majesty’s pleasure’ isn’t going to show up here, is it?” I asked, and it came out more nervous-sounding than I’d meant it to. That was weird.

Not sure what I was getting worried about here but the whole setup of me sat there facing down a trio magical horse princesses was clearly starting to get under my skin more than I could put into words. My guts felt as though they had somewhere else to be.

Looking at Celestia made me feel a little better though. She was putting a brave face on things. Buoyed me.

“None of us know what that means,” she said, not unfairly.

“It’s - it’s a joke. Don’t worry about it.”

Of course it was a joke. Why would anything I say not be a joke?

There was an idea though.

Pearls are these things that form around little specks of dirt, right? The jokes are like a pearl. Little speck is the worry or the fact or the whatever it is you don’t want, and the jokes forms around it. So that’s fine. But the speck is still there, right? You following this?

This speck is telling you something, and you know what that is.

Long-term arrangements. Permanent arrangements.

They hadn’t needed to spell the original plan out to me. I was a big boy, I was a smart boy, I could figure it out. Get me fixed up as best as possible, work out what was up with my head and then sort that out, find out where I’d come from, find out how I’d got here, get me back. Simple, right? I could follow that.

Clearly that hadn’t worked out. A couple steps there had just fizzled so the whole thing was scuppered. Result? Me stuck here. So that was the issue now, I was stuck here.

And, being nice ladies and also ladies in charge, they couldn’t just chuck me out. No ditch for me, however much I might joke about it. I needed to be put somewhere, and then once I was put in that somewhere I would need looking after.

What’s that word I’m tip-toeing around here? Oh yes, that’s it. Burden. That’s the word. Burden. Millstone. Load. Deadweight. You getting all this?

Oh this isn’t good at all.

There was another word. Well, two words. What was it Luna had said the first time I’d seen her properly? What had she called me? An exotic pet, wasn’t it? That must have stuck with me more than I’d given it credit for.

What a disqueting thought. Why are you remembering that now?

I think you’ve graduated above being a pet by now, just, but being a curiosity they just keep around because he’s got nowhere else to go and nothing to do but take up room is not a prospect that thrills me.

In fact, the more I think about it the more it really makes my skin crawl.

Fuck never seeing home again. That place is an empty shell anyway. Just a bunch of dumb crap I can half-remember with no-one to go back to. Would I even want to go back if going back wasn’t likely to kill me? Probably not. What would be the point? So I could have chairs that were the right size and a whole planet of people who had no idea who I was? Including me?

Well, excluding anyone who might know me. But what was to say I’d find them? Long odds. And if I did what then? Still just strangers to me. What turmoil to inflict! For them to see this face that meant so much when to me they’d mean nothing?

Oh God, what a horrible thought, to be responsible for inflicting that. Better to stay here, not put them through that. If they existed. Which they might. Oh God, was that selfish?

I was here anyway. Here had people! Here had people who knew me! And I was just useless to them! Just matter! Gristle! This thing there that they had to worry about and deal with! Thing thing they had to waste their time on when they could probably be doing other, better things!

What a terrible thing to inflict! Oh God!

Ah shit I was having another moment.

“Steady on,” I said to myself, banging a palm against the top of my stick.

“Sorry?” Celestia asked, and I jolted when I remembered that I was still sat there with the three of them staring me down.

How long had all of that even taken? Had they just stood and watched me stew?

No, no more thinking. It’s not doing you any good.

“Just having a moment. I have those,” I said, trying to smile and maybe getting halfway.

“He does,” Twilight and Celestia said, so close together the effect was kind of jarring. Certainly, both of them looked surprised about it.

Kind of awkward.

I tried to stand at that point, if only to feel less like I was being told off and to get me on an a more equal level with those present.

Well, except Twilight. Sorry Twilight.

And it would have worked too had my fucking leg not chosen that precise moment to be a little shaky and fail me on, leading to me flopping back onto the bed. That kind summed it all up, really. Useless fucker.

“Can we - can we just - is this going somewhere? I’m not - can you - can one of you just tell me what I’m doing? Please? Sorry.”

What was happening? Could someone just tell me? And could they maybe tell me what I thought about it, too? That’d be great, thanks.

“We can’t tell you what to do, and we shouldn’t, really. That’s up to you,” Celestia said.

That didn’t help me! That didn’t tell me anything!

I’m like a loose lawnmower blade!

“But you’re - you’re keeping me, yeah?”

Oh, that slipped out. That’s not good. That’s got some subtext on it.

“We’re not going to keep you. You can do whatever you want to, but we’ll always be there to help you, if you need it. If you want it,” Celestia said. Warmly. So, so warmly. Had anyone else had said I would have laughed.

Her, though?

This was a bit much for me. Too real! Too nice. Why for me?

I was freaking out more at the prospect of being offered unlimited room and board - by people more than willing to provide it; eager to, in fact! - than I had at the whole ‘stuck here forever’ thing. I’m a weird guy. Maybe I’m cracking up.

Change the subject. Do something. Fucking do something!

Looking around my eyes fell on the book. Luna’s book.

Perfect! Yes!

“I liked your book, Luna,” I said, pointing.

This was so out of left field it immediately got all of their attentions. Especially Twilight, who looked with the other two only then to look back at me in utter perplexity.

“But you-” she started, but I wasn’t going to let her spoil this for me.

“My favourite part that I got to was probably, uh, page, ah, five hundred and eighty?”

This was me picking one at random and hoping it was saucy while also stopping Twilight from rumbling me.

“Is that so? I must admit to finding myself unable to remember that part exactly, it has been some time. Do you mind?” She said, taking a step towards it.

“It’s your book, Luna, go nuts.”

This was working already. I already felt better. We were talking about something dumb, Luna was headed towards a jarring realisation, the look on Celestia’s face told me she knew what was about to happen and serious matters were off the table. This was much better.

Just breathe, son. You appear to be on thinner psychological ice than you’re willing to admit.

“Page five hundred and eighty, you said?” Luna asked, having picked the book up and now flicking through it, horn glowing.

“Yeah, totally.”

Oh the tension. Celestia knew. Twilight knew. I knew. Luna was about to find out.

It felt like it took her a long time. We were all watching her read.

And we were rewarded.

Luna’s eyes widened in alarm, growing wider the further down the page they went. Then one of them twitched and she turned sharply to Celestia, who was looking at the ceiling and whistling. Flawless. Anyone would be fooled, honest.

“Sister…” Luna said, the book closing and replacing itself where I’d left it.

Celestia continued playing dumb, scanning the ceiling, checking her hoof and only then noticing Luna glaring at her.

“Hmm? Oh, yes? Something on your mind?” She asked, sweetly.

“This is - was - a very old and valuable first edition, if I find you have damaged it beyond repair I will -”

She stopped, and her eyes got big again as a thought occurred.

“You will have done this to more of my books?”

“...maybe…” Celestia said, chewing on her lip.

“All of them?”

“I wouldn’t say all. Just the ones I thought you’d notice…”

“THAT BOOK WAS PRESENTED TO ME BY THE TRANSLATOR HIMSELF! A GIFT IN RECOGNITION OF MY PATRONAGE! I HAD MADE NOTES IN THE MARGINS!”

Holy shit what was that. Did the world just shake? Why am I on the floor?

“I know, I was there,” Celestia said, entirely unruffled by whatever force of nature had just come out of Luna’s mouth and picking me up without even looking at me to pop me back onto the bed.

“THIS SHALL NOT STAND! MY VENGEANCE SHALL COME ON SWIFT WINGS! YOU SHALL RUE THIS DAY, SISTER!”

For a slender lady Luna had some pipes on her, Jesus Christ. I’d have probably fallen off the bed again if Celestia hadn’t been holding me in place.

“MARK MY WORDS AND MARK THEM WELL: TODAY, SISTER, YOU HAVE GONE TOO FAR! TO ASSAIL A BOOK SO! NEVER DID I THINK I WOULD SEE YOU SINK SO LOW! FIE, SISTER, FIE!”

And with that Luna stormed out, dignified like, nose raised and not sparing a backwards glance, door slamming behind her.

She then stuck her head back through the door.

“I take it you are capable of concluding our business here?” She asked.

“I should manage.” Celestia said, levelly.

“Good. Goodbye, human,” Luna said, turning to me. I waved, because waving is my thing. What good are hands if not for waving at horses?

“Bye Luna. Big fan of your terrifying voice.”

I got Luna to blush! A hint, but it was there.

“I may have forgotten myself, but I stand by my vow: vengeance shall be swift.”

“And I shall rue the day, yes,” Celestia said.

I had the feeling that this wasn’t the first day that Luna had insisted Celestia would rue.

Twilight tugged on my trouser leg.

“You look a little rough,” she said.

Thanks, Twilight.

“Oh that’s normal, I always look like this. Surprised you hadn’t noticed,” I said.

“No, I mean you look, you know, tired.”

“Probably just low blood sugar or something. That’s a thing, right?” I said.

Nevermind the horse princess yelling with enough force for me to feel it more than hear it.

“I can get you something?” Twilight chirped, helpful little so-and-so that she is. I didn’t ruffle her hair that time because I think I was reaching my limit, but by God did I want to.

“Nah, nah, I can get it, it’s fine,” I said, making to try and get up again only to stop with Twilight put a hoof on my knee. This gave me pause, and I watched her eyes flick to Celestia a moment before coming back to me.

“I think Celestia wants to talk to you,” she said.

Damn. Still with that thing, huh?

“Oh yes, you’re right. So I’ll stay here, shall I?”

“Yes, stay here. I’ll be back,” she said, backing off towards the door.

Was she just bowing out on me? Was this her building her own escape hatch? Forget helpful little so-and-so - devious little so-and-so! She didn’t like this just as much as I didn’t, but she knew she could slip away!

“Yeah, you’ll be back,” I said, giving her my best dirty look as he beat a retreat.

Turns out I couldn’t really muster that dirty of a look to throw after her. She was, after all, adorable. Difficult to be that mad.

And then it was just me and Celestia. I cleared my throat.

“I liked the trick with the book, if I’m being honest. I’d rather been hoping I might seen the reaction, so this was a stroke of luck. You didn’t, uh, ruin priceless books, did you?”

Celestia shook her head.

“She’ll be able to fix them, she’s just unhappy I caught her out and it took her this long to notice.”

“Well, who wouldn’t be?”

With only one of them in the room - and with that one of them being Celestia - I was feeling a thousand times more relaxed. If they’d wanted to tell me something in an official capacity this was probably what they should have done in the beginning. A little less like I was about to told I was due for execution.

The bed shifted as Celestia sat down, scooching up until she was right against me. I stayed put. There was something about her warmth that was quite distinctive. Could have just been my imagination, of course.

“Very good job changing the subject, too. Entirely derailed what we’d come to your room for,” Celestia said.

“Ah, noticed that did you?”

“It was subtle but I picked up on it, yes.”

I sighed.

“Yeah, sorry. The tone was just making me skittish. Was probably imagining things. I don’t know.”

She laid her head on my shoulder, which led to a horn waggling in front of my face. It kind of undercut the gesture a little, but I still liked it. How she had never even come close to taking my eye out was anyone’s guess. She had experience, I supposed.

“It’s not serious, it’s nothing bad. We just don’t want to pressure. We wanted you to know no matter what you do or how long you stay here we’ll be here to help you, but you don’t have to feel as though you’re obliged. You’re our guest, but this is your home, for now. The world, I mean. Anywhere you want to be in it.”

I got what she meant.

Also Jesus Christ that was it? I thought something awful had happened!

Wait, did they think the whole broken-brain-and-also-stuck-here thing was the awful thing that had happened? That would make sense. But still! That was it? Having to talk in private? With all three of them? I wasn’t expecting to leave the room again, at least not rolled up in a carpet!

“That was it? You could have told me that out there! Why pull me all the way here! All three of you? I was wishing Rarity had made me brown trousers!”

“Well, you are a guest of the crown so it seemed appropriate to have the ones wearing those crowns present, don’t you think?”

I could follow the logic of that. I guess. Of that part.

“Yeah well, in private was still a bit much…” I muttered. She giggled. My shoulders untensed a little.

“You weren’t intimidated, were you?” She asked.

“Me? No! Never. Just nervous. And intimidated.”

Another giggle and one of her wings unfurled, wrapping around me. I’d missed that feeling. Nice to not be cradling something little and cute. I mean, that’s great and all don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it’s nice to be the one getting enveloped in warmth.

“You’re wearing clothes,” she said, which caught me off-guard. I looked down. I was. Don’t know why I’d needed to look.

“Yeah, uh, they made some for me. Well, one pony did. Real nice girl, uh, Rarity? Said they were a gift.”

“I could have had clothes made for you, if you’d wanted,” Celestia said. Did she sound hurt?

“Oh hey it’s fine really, I didn’t mind. You had other things to worry about then. I was an invalid! Don’t worry about it. Weren’t going to do me much good in bed, were they?”

She didn’t seem convinced. I decided to try something else:

“I have a name now, too. Did you hear about that?”

“I did.”

“Right, right, course you did.”

“I think it’s good that you have a name.”

Generally, having a name is a pretty good thing. Or so I’m told.

“Yeah, yeah,” I said, nodding, licking my lips.

I was starting to get nervous again, though for different reasons this time, and ones that confused me in new and exciting ways. The butterflies were intriguing, too. Why did they fill my gut so?

“I mis- uh, T-Twilight’s a nice girl,” I said, jackknifing away from telling her that I’d missed her - which was true, but not likely something she’d be interested in hearing - to just a general fact. Something safer.

“I’m glad you think so. I’m very fond of Twilight. Like a daughter to me, in some ways, though I’d appreciate it if you didn’t tell her that. I think she’s rather fond of you, too.”

“Oh?”

“Yes. She writes me daily, has been telling me about what you’ve been getting up to. How I found out about your name,” she said.

That made sense.

Raising her head from my shoulder she gave me a nuzzle. I’d missed those, too. Even if the last one hadn’t been that long ago in the grand scheme of things. Minutes? Maybe a little under an hour. Still. Felt like a while to me.

“Are you okay? I mean really? And be serious, I want to know. You can tell me. You can tell me anything.”

I knew that. And not in a rational ‘this is information I have been informed of and have taken on board’ sort of a way, but in a deep-down-in-the-bones sort of a way. As with her sincerity, that I knew she would willingly and happily listen to anything I might want to say was just something I could feel coming off her in waves.

“Me? Yeah, fine, totally. Just a little, uh, agitated. No real reason. Just a feeling,” I said.

“That’s understandable.”

“I suppose. You know, a lot of people would probably jump at the chance of a fresh start in a new place with zero baggage. Assuming I had problems - which seems likely, who doesn’t? - I’m about as far away from them here as I could ever hope to be. This is probably the best thing that ever happened to me! Probably.”

“You don’t have to keep making jokes, John.”

Oh, she used the name. Put a shiver up me, that did. Who knew you could say John in such an affecting way? Kind of hoped she’d say it again...

“I kind of do. If I don’t I’ll just be miserable. I mean, obviously, it’s a challenge to make light of the darkness but, um, it’s better than crying about it.”

“You’re allowed to be upset about what’s happened to you.”

Ugh. They weren’t letting this go, were they?

“I don’t think any amount of explaining is ever going to make any of you guys believe me, but honestly I’m doing okay. Not totally okay, obviously. I’ve got little blips here and there and sometimes it feels a little like there’s something bubbling up inside and I’m worried that it’s the shock finally coming, but so far it just never is. It passes. Won’t take long before it’s all passed. And then I’ll just be...here.”

Until you die. Don’t forget that part.

But so what? Everyone’s got to go sometime and someplace, and this seemed as good a place as any for me, given I was a slightly-scuffed but otherwise blank slate. Sure, it still kind of made my flesh twist to think about it like that, but that’d pass. Eventually it’d be like nothing bad had ever happened at all.

That did remind me, though.

“To execute another of my deft subject changes, I heard that you’re over a thousand years old.”

Blunt, yeah, but I’m an idiot I don’t know what people expected.

I felt Celestia tense and her smile - that smile! - flickered and I hated, hated, hated seeing that and knowing I’d done it, but this had to happen. She nodded.

“A fair bit over, yes.”

“How’s, uh, how’s that working out for you?”

“It’s just how I am, John, I don’t really know what to tell you,” she said.

Oh, she used the name again. Less of a shiver this time but still there.

“That’s fine. It was just a bit of a surprise for me to learn is all. You don’t get a lot of that at home, you see? Never hung around with anyone with quite so much, ah, life experience. And - forgive me if I’m wrong about this - it kind of implies you probably have another thousand in you at least. And I, uh, don’t.”

Just a guess on my part, but if someone was going to last a thousand years magically moving the sun and look absolutely unravaged by the passage of time it seemed a fair assumption that they’d just keep going indefinitely. Maybe I was wrong.

From the look on her face, I didn’t think I was.

“Does that bother you?” She asked.

“Bother isn’t really the right word. It just makes me feel a bit inadequate.”

Her smile was gone now, and so were my butterflies. I assume they’d cleared out of my gut because now it was just twisting.

“Inadequate?” Celestia asked me, somehow managing to roll a single word into the kind of offensive implement it’d take most other people an entire sentence to achieve.

“Uh, well, kind of? Guess what I’m trying to get at here is, uh, that I can’t really understand why someone with your breadth of, ah, experience would want to keep hanging around with someone like, who’s experienced nothing. Less than nothing, actually - I can’t even remember any of it!”

I was coming apart at the seams here. I should never have opened my mouth. Oh God this is all going to go wrong and it’s all going to be my fault! I’ll be on my own and it’ll be my fault!

I mean sure I’ll deserve it but that won’t make it suck less!

“You not being able to remember things hasn’t detracted much from you being nice to be with,” she said.

I swallowed, stared at the top of the stick I was holding. Holding with only one hand, though, I noticed. The other was on the end of the arm that had - at some point - snaked around Celestia’s middle.

When had I done that, exactly?

“I - I do like the hanging out. With you. Apart from the injuries and the magical brain damage being here has been pretty great, overall, but the time with you was, uh, well, the best. You know…”

What were you doing? Where were you going with this?”

Why was she smiling at me?

Man her hair was pretty to look at close up. What even was it?

“I’m not bothered about you being - and this is going to sound bad but hell - old. You can’t do anything about that. I’m bothered at the prospect of me just being...uninteresting to someone who’s seen and done as much as you, and I don’t want you hanging around with me if it’s stopping you from doing something that doesn’t - that isn’t boring.”

“You’re not boring,” she said.

“Well, yet.”

Celestia sighed. She seemed to be thinking. I let her do so. I’d spoken quite enough as it was!

A couple seconds laters he said:

“Time passes so quickly when none of it really means anything, and it isn’t often that something - or someone - comes along that can actually make me live in the moment. Sometimes I almost forget what it’s like, to be right now and not just waiting for the next big problem that I need to solve.”

I wouldn’t really know about that. But still, time to make a joke! Or something like a joke.

“I’m hardly a big problem, heh, or something worth being in the moment for. I’m just some guy.”

She was looking at me. Really, really looking at me. And I couldn’t look away.

Being the undivided centre of someone’s attention was fine when it was just shits and giggles. When it was stuff like this? Excruciating. But there wasn’t any getting away from it. And not just because her wing was keeping me pressed against her.

“You’re not just ‘some guy’. You’re a lot more than that. You may not believe it, but you are. At least to me.”

I couldn’t honestly believe that. We got on, yeah. We had fun, yeah. But that couldn’t be that hard to find, surely? Surely there had to be others who could do what I was doing? Better? Surely?

“Yeah, but, I’m not going to be here before too long, am I? And you still will be.”

My feelings on this issue were complex and difficult to put into words. It was like trying to find a key in a clogged toilet by touch alone. It was in there somewhere, but things were going to get very messy trying to find it and even then there were not guarantees!

Celestia was smiling again. Not a lot, but a little. And that was enough.

“Maybe, eventually. Not for a while though. And it would be nice to be there with you, I think. To spend that time with you. I would enjoy that. Would you enjoy that?”

I swallowed. Nodded. Couldn’t really spoke because my throat was all thick.

“I don’t want to be alone forever, and I don’t want forever to be the same. Just one long, unbroken line. And I don’t want the bits that let me stop and pay attention only ever be bad things. I’d like them to be nice, once in a while. To be fun. To mean something to me. Just me. And whoever it is who seems to get along with me.”

“Y-you - Luna though? Tw-Twilight? Like a daughter, you said?”

I was faltering, no idea why. Why was I arguing? What was I arguing about?

And why couldn’t I stop looking her in the eye?!

“That’s not really the same thing. You know it’s not.”

I did, I did!

By now she’s leaning in. I’ve leant in, too. She and me and have been close like this a couple of times, but not exactly like this. This is different, and without really consciously thinking about how it’s different I know how. This is leading somewhere very specific.

And I know exactly what it is.

No. I am not kissing a horse. I refuse.

Pros and cons, right?

Pros: Celestia. That’s a pretty big one.

I like her. I really fucking like her.

Forget the bit where she saved my life. That’s gravy but I wasn’t conscious for that so it hardly counts. What counts is the laughing. The wanting her to be there so she’s not not there. That rooms feel warmer to me when she’s in them, that the world doesn’t seem quite as confusing or as stacked against me.

It’s dumb, it makes no sense. But it happens. It’s all in my head but it’s there. It’s there.

Something is wrong with me. Maybe. I don’t know. But it’s there. I really like her.

The easier way of summing it up - without getting too deep into it - would be that she makes me happy. Which for me is something.

I’m a weird guy. I’m a big enough boy to admit that. Maybe I wasn’t before, but getting here has made me one and now I’ve got to deal with it. And I’m lots of things a lot of the time but honestly, properly, unworriedly happy is not one that I am that often. Usually I’m thinking of all the ways I’m about to fuck it up.

Celestia kind of makes that, well, quieter. It doesn’t go away - it never goes away! - but it seems like less of a deal when she’s there. When she’s there I just want to see her smile, and that seems to be something I can make her do without even trying. And that’s good.

Maybe I’m losing my mind.

Cons: Horse. That’s also kind of a big one. Isn’t it? I mean, we’re not really compatible, right? Right? There has to be a rule against that somewhere, surely. Right? She can talk and think and is a, you know, sapient being and all that but we’re not even the same shape, which has to mean something. Right?

Or was that just back home? They and dragons and shit here, right? I was just one weird creature now among however many others. But were the rules still the same? Or not?

I’m so confused. So conflicted!

Celestia did not appear to be having the same doubts as I was, as while I was there weighing things up she’d just kept on leaning in, closed her eyes and pressed her lips to mine.

Oh God a horse is kissing me.