• Published 6th May 2019
  • 300 Views, 25 Comments

Cafe Harmony - River Shy

A woman in Equestria, a small town, a mare-friend. They go to the famous Cafe Harmony where magic compels you to share your song.

  • ...

A mess, a fear, and bonding

The walk home was pleasant, the sun was shining brightly, wispy clouds hung in a bright blue sky the odd pegasus pony could be seen lazily gliding by. Strawberry was in an excellent mood she had just come from Ebony Breeze's house, the last of her stops, she had planned the dinner to be in four days. She hoped this would give her enough time to get the requisite materials, but also enough time for the little human take in and accept what was going to happen. Overall Strawberry was very pleased with herself, plan in place, the prospect of a nice dinner with friends and their families and a beautiful day, what more could a mare ask for?

The pony entered her house with a big relieving sigh, taking off her saddle bags placing them near the door she called out, "Katie I'm home! How was your afternoon?" affection flooded the mare she was beginning to enjoy coming home to the mischievous little filly, and at that moment she wanted nothing more than to give her a hug.

It took a few moments for Strawberry to become aware of the smell in the air, it smelt like something was on fire. She sniffed the air suspiciously, walking towards the source with a quickened pace,"Katie!" she called out again, no answer. Reaching the kitchen door it became obvious where the smoke and smell were wafting from. Opening the door she was met with absolute calamity. A large pot of half cooked pasta lay spilled on the floor, the oven was turned off, but smoke seemed to lazily curl from a pan, looking in it she could see hay. It almost seemed as if someone had tried to fry it, but expectedly it had burnt. Strawberry began to take in the entirety of what lay in front of her and a creeping worry began to climb up her withers. Was this Katie? What if she scalded herself? What if she is hurt? or ran off like she was going to do a few days ago? She dumped the pan in the sink ran some water, checked elements and the stove, opened a window.

"Katie!" she yelled to be heard through the whole house, fear creeping in, "Where are you?! if you’re in the house I need to talk to you!"

Still no answer. Strawberry trotted out of the kitchen towards the living room. Peeking in she called out to the girl again. Quickly the mare began a systematic search looking under everything and anywhere the little human could hide.

She had looked all over the house except her office. The room was where Strawberry worked on her correspondence. It was a room with a large desk and many books littered about. Strawberry opened the door slowly, quietly walking into the space. She could her muttering and whispering coming from under her desk.

“I’m in control...... I’m not a child.... I know....why did I do it?.”

“Why am I here? I’m real.... this is real....... I knew but couldn’t stop .... inappropriate, inconsiderate.... I’m useless....”

“Not a child, I remember.......I remember too much for it to be unreal..... I’m in control....”

“Katie?” Strawberry spoke softly into the room. Everything suddenly went silent, “Are you ok? You can come out, I’m not mad.” The human did not move from the space under the desk. She didn’t speak either.

It was a writers desk for earth ponies. It backed against the far wall, the front sloped downward towards the floor, this was needed so she could write with her mouth comfortably. It was a natural lean-to for the human to climb under.

Even with the support beams out of the way Strawberry was still much to large to fit under the desk where Katie sat. She considered just simply moving the desk but dismissed the idea, it seemed to aggressive. She hadn’t understood fully what the girl was saying, but there was an intensely fragile tone in the human’s words, she could hear that clear as day.

Strawberry cleared a space on one side of the desk, laying down she poked her head through the supports, it was all that could fit and it was very uncomfortable for the mare. She saw Katie sitting with a pad of paper in front of her crayons scattered about. She had the remains of the attempted dinner on her. Her hair was knotted and tangled, and frankly she smelled poorly. Up to this point Strawberry put a lot of trust in the girl to take care of her self. That needed to be readjusted, another hard conversation the pink pony sighed inwardly. Looking up slightly the mare noticed the underside of the desk was papered with drawings, ones she hadn’t seen before. They were obviously drawings of her home, this Strawberry knew intuitively.

“Hi sweet tart, you ok?” Strawberry asked.

The girl shook her head negatively.

“No” Strawberry replied.

The girl shook her head again.

“I see, well I need you to come out from there. Will you come out for me love?” Strawberry voice was soft and kind.

Katie had expected yelling, anger, anything but the kind almost heart breaking sweetness of Strawberry’s words. She spontaneously reached out and gently stroked the mare on the muzzle examining it intensely. Katie had never felt something so soft, there was a strong pink colour at the base of the fur lightening as the hair got longer. Their eyes locked as the little human’s hands continued to explore Strawberry’s face. She cupped the side of the muzzle near the eyes and moved up towards the ear. Once there she began to run her fingers through the impossibly red mane grabbing an individual strand in her fingers, breaking eye contact she looked at it taking notice of its size and coarseness.

"So red, so very real." Katie whispered to herself.

Strawberry was frozen, she ached all over but didn't move something was happening here. She did not really understand exactly what or why but it seemed important to let the human explore her up close.

“You like my mane?” She asked.

Katie did not reply, she simply kept looking. After several seconds Strawberry could no longer hold her position on the floor anymore. “Well how about you come out of there and I’ll help you get cleaned up and dressed.” The mare pulled away from the desk standing up to her full height. To Strawberry’s relief the girl crawled out from the desk and meekly stood beside her. Ushering Katie forward with a hoof and lowering her head she gave the little human a nudge forward. She continued to prod the girl all the way to the bathroom.

Katie began to pull herself together during the walk. She was still shocked at what happened in the kitchen. She couldn’t cook back home, what made her think that she could do it here? She wanted to talk to Strawberry about the forces in the air that pushed her to do things, but at the same time she avoided it. Talking about it made it more real. She felt terrible about the kitchen, she just wanted to repay the mare with a kind gesture, and instead had created problems for her. With this world being as big as it was it made her feel small. Strawberry always treated her well, though sometimes like a child and other times like an adult. With the world around her so big and ponies referring to and seeing her as a foal most times she was in the midst of an identity crisis. Was she a child? or was she an adult? Do those distinctions matter? Could she be a child here if she wanted? Was that something she wanted? How would Strawberry react?

The girl fought with herself, all her life she was an adult, a parent, she had to be. Facing the dark cold world with a stalwart seriousness she swore off 'being a child' long ago. Any slip she made growing up, even the tiniest crack of emotional immaturity was met with mockery and derision, such things were the luxury of others. This situation created a difficult conflict for the little human, the world told her to be childlike and that was ok, but her mind fought it with a lifetime of emotional memories.

The two entered the washroom, Strawberry cleared her throat to ready herself for a tough conversation. “Katie would you look at me please? I want to ask you something personal” The girl turned around and looked up at her with a bit of fear in her eyes.

“Alright so I need to ask, when was the last time you had a shower?”

Katie flinched, “I used the hay river once when I got here. And the sink a couple of times.” Katie replied looking down at the tiled floor.”

“Why haven’t you used the shower in the house?”

Katie seemed to struggle with answering, “if I tell you, you promise not to laugh?”

“Oh love I would never laugh at you. You can tell me.”

“It’s too big, I’m worried about being trapped in it and drowning,” the girl went a brilliant shade of crimson.

Strawberry mulled over what the girl said. It was by no means an unreasonable fear. The water volume and height of the sides of the basin would make it difficult for her. Strawberry made up her mind just then, the girl was sending off signs of being more foal then mare.

“Okie Doike, time for a shower. Get your flank in the tub, I’ll help you.”

Katie shook her head “No.”

A small smirk grew on the mares face, “sorry sweet tart that wasn’t a request, and this isn’t a debatable topic. In the tub.”

Katie took two steps and then stopped, “ can’t Strawberry, I can’t, it’s to embarrassing.”

“What’s embarrassing about getting help if you need it?”

The girl pulled a face, one Strawberry had yet to see. It looked to be a mixture of thoughtful and having eaten something bitter. “It’s not the same.”

“Not going to hear it, just trust me you’ll be ok. Now last time, in.... the.... tub.....” Strawberry emphasized each word slowly walking toward the girl.

Katie’s mind was in such turmoil she felt as if others could hear it. In the seconds before Strawberry advanced on her she decided to trust the pony. Rationally speaking she had been naked in front of the mare lots of times, she helped her in and out of stuff all the time. This wasn’t to much, right? A shower would feel amazing.

The lip of the tub it was just below the height of Strawberry's barrel and bit taller than Katie standing at full height. Katie reached up and grabbed the edge, she began to haul herself up but finding little purchase she struggled, suddenly a force pushed into her backside lifting her up. She squeaked in surprise, turned and saw Strawberry giving her a boost with her muzzle. Once over the edge the girl slid down to the bottom. Sitting alone at the bottom of the tub naked she shivered, it was cold and all around her were walls of porcelain that curved at the bottom, there was no way she could get out on her own, and she couldn't see Strawberry anywhere.

"Strawberry?" Katie called out, her nervous voice bounced off the hard surfaces.

"I'm still here sweet tart, you're ok, I haven't gone anywhere I'm just grabbing some things," the mare replied reassuringly.

After a few silent moments Katie saw the massive mare step over the edge into the tub as if it meant nothing to her, "Scoot back a bit love," Strawberry said, while positioning herself to mess with the faucet and knobs, which were like everything else, out of the girls reach. Looking up all Katie could see was the neck, head, and barrel of the pink mare, shadows covered all the white surfaces.

The water came down in a torrent, hot and wonderful drenching the human to the bone in an instant. There was so much water she had trouble breathing, Katie began to panic fearing being drowned suddenly.

"Strawberry! too much water!" Katie cried out.

"It's ok love, I've got you," Strawberry replied, looking down at the girl. She carefully positioned her body to block most of the flow so the little human was getting the deflected water off her body not the full force of the shower head. "There we go, much better " Strawberry said, quite pleased with herself, she loved showering.

Katie began to relax a bit, Strawberry's body blocked most of the torrent and her breathing calmed down. Closing her eyes she lifted her head and let the deflected water cascade over her naked form.

Strawberry began the process of cleaning herself. She kept a close eye on the girl who still stood stiffly underneath her. She reflected on how fragile and tiny Katie seemed, limbs like little sticks, no fur, it made the mare think of a fledgling bird.

Strawberry finished her task the girl had soap and shampoo on her in places. The pony shut the shower off plugged the bottom and began to run a bath for the girl.

Katie looked up, “Aren’t we done?” she asked over the roar of water.

“I am, you’re not,” Strawberry stated simply. The water filled until it reached just under the girl’s bust, and Strawberry shut off the tap.

Katie still held herself stiff like a board, Strawberry watched as she stood in the water looking around. The mare sat herself down with a splash that soaked the human again. Katie turned, there was unreadable look on her face.

Strawberry smiled tilted her head. Suddenly Katie reacted bashfully tensing up more and turning away from the mare.

At that moment Strawberry wasn’t sure why she did it, she leaned in behind the girl and whispered, “relax.” Her tongue shot out and she gave the girl a lick right between her shoulders. It was something done with very young foals to calm them down. Strawberry leaned back suddenly afraid she’d done something inappropriate. Katie shivered and turned around very fast.

Katie looked up at the pink pony, she seemed to be blushing. “Sorry, that was instinct, I shouldn’t have done that.” Strawberry said looking everywhere else but the human in front of her.

“It’s ok,” Katie replied quickly.

The little human’s reaction was more surprise than anything else. What Strawberry did had an almost soporific effect on her. She instantly wanted her to do it again. Instead of speaking more the girl dove under the water and swam to the end of the tub. The human had so much built up energy, due to being indoors for so long.

Strawberry laughed and cracked a huge smile, “Well look at you, you’re like a little fish.”

Katie smiled back at her, “Humans can be good swimmers,” she answered. Diving under again she swam to the mare popping out of the water with a splash. She did this for about five minutes swimming back and forth well Strawberry watched. Expending as much nervous energy as possible.

“Ok that’s enough play, come here,” Strawberry said gently after the girl popped up again from under the water.

The mare let the girl do most of her own bathing. Once all that was finished Katie look much happier and a lot cleaner. Strawberry pulled the plug on the tub, “hold on to my hoof please,” The mare stated. Katie hugged the mare’s foreleg while the water emptied. The current was strong but not so much so that it caused problems.

Strawberry lowered her head and Katie climbed into her neck shifting onto her back, holding on to her damp mane. The mare stood up and stepped out of the tub with the girl on her back.

Author's Note:

This chapter kept growing and I could find no natural end point. Even stopping where I did felt oddly rushed. This gave me ideas and further understandings of trust, I might write another blog about it later, who knows I might link it in the next chapter.

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