• Published 26th Dec 2018
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The Human Pet - RushyFiction

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Chapter 25

In a surprising detour, Shaggy turns left from the arena and instead flies you over to a fiercely guarded hole in the clouds. Like the ponies around you and on the posters, the guards also wear goggles and spandex with a similar bolt design, but theirs is leaf green. Color codes. You think. This isn't just a sports team, it's a whole organisation.
Flamethrower and co salute to the guards, who respond and make no effort to prevent the group from passing. Inside the hole, you discover a large mountain with a flat plateau on top. The plateau is very obviously a training area of some sorts, containing flags, hoops and even a strip of asphalt; the first time you've seen any since your arrival. It's surrounded by an isolated little town of cloud buildings cut off from the rest of the city.

Shaggy lands on the plateau and you jump off of him. "Oh, sweet mother earth!" You exclaim and kiss the ground. "I am never ever leaving you again!"

A shadow appears over you and you turn around to see the bright orange face of Flamethrower, raising an eyebrow at your antics. "Sorry." You say sheepishly and stand up again. The pony snorts and pats you on the back.

The other two sports ponies fly off and leave you, her and Shaggy waiting in the middle of the plateau. Flamethrower takes advantage of the training area and performs some mid-air acrobatics. You're not really in the mood to watch, however, so you turn away, lie down on the grass and strategically place your tuxedo suit over your eyes so you can take a pleasant nap under the warm rays of the sun. Great minds think alike, so the bat pony soon joins you, using your stomach as a pillow for his furry head.

Enjoying the small gusts of wind made by all of Flamethrower's flying, you absentmindedly scratch Shaggy's scalp through his fluffy fur and feel yourself dozing off a little. Not enough to really fall asleep per se, but to drift into that between-the-worlds state, where you're just a happy floating little butterfly.

In the distance, you hear loud whinnying. At first, you forget where you are and picture a herd of wild horses in a field. But why am I napping in a field? Your mind ponders for a second, and the confusion is enough to force your eyes open, your body momentarily tensing up as it can't up with a good answer. Next to you, you see Shaggy, who paws at your cheek to wake you up properly and then you finally remember. The bat pony points over to the row of cloud houses next to the training plateau, where your eclectic group of friends have finally arrived. Your heart leaps as you see Sweetheart - the only one who can actually fly onto the plateau - heading towards you, reinstating your sense of security.

Despite her usually gentle demeanour, your caretaker is filled with energy as she gallops to you, circling around you so fast that you actually have to catch her in your arms. "Hey there!" you say with a grin, your palms flattening the adorable pony's ears back as you hold her head. "Missed ya. I guess you missed me too?" Sweetheart coos and wraps her wings around you protectively before nuzzling into your neck. As you cuddle, Lavender Lady's magic enables the rest of the group to teleport to the plateau as well, all of them relieved and amused at the sight.

Cutie Pie bounces over to the two of you for a group hug, kissing the top of your head with a loud smacking sound("MWUAH!") before resting her jaw on it. The Goddess, concerned over her work as ever, picks up the tux suit you left on the grass and sighs audibly with a head shake. When you finally manage to pop your head out of the pony pile, you notice that there's an absentee. The blue pegasus is not around, and it bothers you. You pull out your notepad, only to remember you destroyed your pen. Frustrated, you instead rip off a page and tear at it until you get a paper cut-out of a lightning bolt, which you present to Lavender.

Immediately understanding your question, the purple unicorn bites her lip and looks away with a slightly guilty expression before whispering something into Sweetheart's ear. The yellow pegasus immediately nods, releases you from the hold of her wings and holds up one of her hooves in a "wait here" gesture before flying away from the plateau.

As you wait, you notice a few of the ponies cheering on Flamethrower. So, she is a celebrity after all. Whose apartment I just happened to fall into. Where the one bat pony I know just happened to find me. Something doesn't add up here. Your luck was never this good. The only pony who doesn't go off to get autographs is Lavender, who sits next to you and sticks her snout in one of her saddle bags to pull out your smartphone of all things, though now encased in a metal apparatus with blinking lights of various colors, which in turn is attached to folded metal appendages that the unicorn stuck her hooves into, allowing her to hold up and operate the phone. Eager to show off her invention, she trots ahead of you and takes a photograph of you sitting on the ground, waving at the camera.

Giggling, she shows you the photo and then removes her hooves from the apparatus and gives the device to you before running ahead again. Although the phone is bulkier and very heavy now, you still manage to use the screen fine enough and capture Lavender in a lovely pose against the backdrop of the sports' ponies training area.

The unicorn immediately runs back to you to see her picture over your shoulder. You decide to fool with her a little and add a dog nose-and-ears filter to the image before she climbs up your back and sees it. Looking down, Lavender's eyes bulge and she recoils from the phone, screaming loudly and getting the attention of everyone else.

Oops.

After the hyperventilating pony is calmed down, you show her exactly how you pulled off the trick, making additional pictures of the Goddess with a golden crown, Cutie Pie with Groucho Marx glasses and Applebutt with a cactus on her head. Manipulating the phone with her apparatus, Lavender makes it immediately spit the pictures out and you're left gaping. "You turned my phone into a freakin' Polaroid?"

Eventually, Sweetheart returns to the plateau with Daredevil in tow. But she isn't exactly the same pony you've come to know and... well, avoid out of the same sort of primal fear one has towards extreme rollercoasters. The cocky attitude and confident grin are replaced with a downbeat shyness, hell, even her ears are drooping and despite not being her biggest fan, you feel terrible because you know she didn't drop you intentionally. As you approach her, the mare takes a few steps backwards, and it's only thanks to Sweetheart's coaxing that she's able to stay put and mumble something towards your shoes.

Wanting to show her you don't hold her responsible, you pull Daredevil into a tight hug before she can turn off. The pegasus freezes up as you stroke her soft blue back and then aggressively wiggles out of your grasp. With tears pouring down her face, she speeds off so fast you can see a brief rainbow trail behind her. "Damn it."

The rest of you, Shaggy included, are given VIP seats at a private box in the arena, which is thankfully built out of stone and holds you fine. It's not really clear to you what kind of sport the pegasi are playing, if any at all, as they seem to dash and whirl all over the place incredibly fast, in eloquent formations. It is some kind of display of acrobatics, and a very impressive one at that. You find yourself gasping and exclaiming "wow" over and over again as the pegasi drop from the sky, or use their speed to form clouds into elaborate shapes through air pressure, or join up to make pony pyramids, swirling hexagons, even an amusing version of Labyrinth with one of the ponies rolling around on the others as the marble, forcing the rest to quickly shift their locations to make sure the pony wouldn’t drop off.

It's all incredible, but you can't bring yourself to fully enjoy the show, knowing that Daredevil was not. And you had no doubt in your mind that she wanted to be here more than anybody. Neither can your friends, and so the day ends on a somewhat sour note. With Shaggy as your designated driver tonight, you and the other girls sans Daredevil make it back to your carriage and return home, all of you worn out by the worries and in your case, multiple near-death experiences. You glare towards the distant cloud city from your window. "Never going there again anytime soon, that's for sure."

Bzzt!

You look at the ponies, none of whom seem to have reacted to the strange, yet... familiar buzzing noise coming from within the compartment.

Bzzt!

Lavender's reading a book, Cutie Pie's napping, Applebutt has her muzzle pressed against the opposite window... you tune your ears to catch the source of the strange noise.

Bzzt!

To your surprise, it's emanating from Lavender's bag. You gently pull it out of the pile, getting her attention in the process, and pull out your modified smartphone. "What the hell? Is it low on battery?" You mumble and glance at the screen.

UNKNOWN NUMBER
ACCEPT CALL?

You grip the phone, staring at the screen for several seconds in total disbelief before your mind catches up with you and you slide the green button to the side. With two hands, you hold up the heavy phone to your ear. "... hello?"

Author's Note:
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