• Published 16th May 2019
  • 156 Views, 2 Comments

Of Rangoons and Rapport - Wordy Notes



A small group of friends in Ponyville try a new restaurant and find the food strangely addicting.

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Chapter 3

The beeping sounded like a jackhammer at work as Gavin grumbled and slowly opened his heavy eyelids.

“Ugggh...I know, I know. Shut up,” he reached out, slapping against his nightstand before finally making contact with the alarm clock, shutting it off. He then stretched his forearms and legs while yawning heavily before proceeding to get out of bed, which creaked slightly from the bulk it had been forced to endure all night. Ever since he had eaten at the grill, Gavin's body had increased in size by a significant amount. Thanks to the layer of muscle he already had, he didn't look nearly as out of shape as some of the others in town but he still had all the familiar traits of being fat with his belly hanging low enough to just barely brush up against the floor while his once toned rear bulged and quivered heavily. Each of his limbs were as rounded as tree trunks while his neck was buried underneath a thick double-chin and plump cheeks. He stretched out and started to make his way to get ready for the day, heavy steps booming across the wood floor of his apartment.

Mmmm, I slept like a cub last night,” he smiled happily, reaching out and picking up a slice of pizza out of a box on top of a stack of similar containers, stuffing it into his mouth just as he entered his bathroom to brush his teeth and then grabbing two more once his business had concluded, consuming them in two quick gulps.

“Hm,” Gavin glanced back at the alarm clock to see what time it was, “Hey, I have time for a quick bite before work today,” he grinned happily, picking up his bag and lumbering toward the door. He stopped for a moment, though, as he felt his hips scrape against the entryway, forcing the griffon to grit his teeth and push a little harder to escape being stuck.

Stupid door frame. This place was so not built for griffons,” he thought while continuing on his way.

**

“Whew...holy crap...that was a walk,” Gavin wheezed while he leaned up against the wall of Stir Fry's noodle place, catching his breath, “When did this place...get so...freakin' far?” He gasped, getting all four of his legs on the ground before slowly walking in. Business was good considering the time of the day, though many of the ponies eating there seemed lucky that they could even get in through the front door given their girthy statures, some of them even pushing the weight limit of the re-enforced benches Stir had been forced to get after a few incidents. As he carefully maneuvered his way through a sea of plates and blubber, he finally made his way up to the front, finding Crash and Wordy.

“Gavin! Hi!” Stir slowly waddled over to the side of the bar, the same usual friendly greeting across his arguably much fleshier face. Of the four friends, he had grown the biggest, probably due to his proximity of being right next to food for a good majority of his day. The chef pony was pushing at least five-hundred pounds with not an inch of his body untouched by jiggling fat, his bloated head amassing a collection of multiple chins while his enormous abdomen actively hindered his ability to walk around, though Stir still struggled to tie the apron around his waist, the string sinking into his chunky sides and straining to stay around his enlarged hips, his wok and chopsticks cutie mark serving as an unintentionally effective means of advertising his restaurant as it was stretched across his ponderous flank. Given his size, he was probably at least a few gorging sessions away from immobility, though he didn't seem to care.

“There you are, Feathers. Took ya' long enough to get here,” Crash smirked at him. Given her already active nature and original physique, Crash was the opposite of Stir and could even still be considered fat instead of obese, though she was still a shred of what she had been before with a rounded face that had the smallest beginnings of a second chin while her rear had inflated into an ample, curved behind. Her legs had also begun to get more weight around them, though if somepony looked close they could at least still see definition in them. The only part of her that stood out and made her not just resemble a plus-size model with heavy curves was the shape of her dome-like belly that had the same consistency of bread dough.

“Hey. Ya' know,” Gavin shrugged as he sat down, his butt covering the stool top and making it creak under his weight, “Haven't been flying as much so I had to walk,” he turned to Wordy, who had only barely acknowledged his presence, instead too focused on eating the three plates of food in front of him, “Heya', bro. What's up?”

“Huh?” The stallion stopped for a moment with a mouthful of noodles and rangoons and a confused look. Wordy was somewhere in the middle, definitely heavier than Crash but not anywhere near the colossal state of Stir. In fact, he was probably closer in weight to Gavin but given the lack of muscle on his body, his fat was much more pronounced and noticeable. He had stopped wearing his signature red bandanna given how he essentially had no neck to tie it around and he had to suck in the parade balloon of his stomach to even take a few steps forward as well as having to be careful not to get his inflated rear stuck in doorways.

“Erm...just saying hi,” Gavin cocked an eyebrow, “That's it.”

“Oh, alright,” Wordy said simply before going back to eating. Gavin sat awkwardly on the stool, nervously rubbing the back of his head before he asked another question.

“So, how's work been? I hear Cheerilee is just living at the schoolhouse now. What's that like?”

“Hm?” Wordy stopped again and looked up at Gavin, this time swallowing all the food he had in his mouth and staring at Gavin, even more bewildered “Did you say something?”

“Just trying to find out how your life is going. That's all,” Gavin replied. Wordy gave a small shrug before going back to his food.

“Guess talking's out of the question for now, huh, Crash?” Gavin turned in the stool, seeing her happily devouring noodles and rangoons.

“Mmmm! Stir, keep 'em comin'! These are delish!” She giggled happily.

“Coming right up,” Stir obliged her, setting more food in front of her before focusing on Gavin, “You want some too, Gav?” He asked. Gavin sighed and grumbled and scratched his itchy belly, talons immersing into soft flab as he did so.

“Sure. Why not?” He said, putting an elbow down on the table as his stomach growled in response.

“Okay!” Stir's eyes brightened up as he performed his now familiar routine, giving Gavin a heaping mass of food just before going back to his own meal, which seemed to be just as much as they were all eating. Gavin suddenly felt himself overcome with a feeling of sadness as he picked up a rangoon and stared at it with a fore-lorn expression before sighing and eating it, quickly cleaning the plate as he sat there in silence, the only other sounds were that of his 'friends' gorging themselves around him.

Today sucks.”

**

“Hurrrgh...nnngh...stupid clouds...MOVE!” Gavin roared as he angrily shoved a large group of clouds out of the way, fur bristling all over his body as sweat poured off him as well. Given the state of the town, the only pegasi who were able to still fly were the ones that hadn't eaten themselves into immobility or the ones who pulled double-duty as both delivery ponies and weather patrol (of which there weren't many left at this point) with Gavin and a small number of other ponies not fitting into either category. His outpouring of rage was answered as Sunshower floated up behind him, weighing about as much as Crash currently did, only sporting a much bottom-heavier frame.

“Um...Gavin? Are you okay?” She asked with a concerned look.

“No! I'm not!” He turned around, shooting a glare at Sunshower, then shook his head and composed himself, “Sorry, Sunny...I'm just, you know, a little stressed from everything that's been going on.”

“Have you tried eating something? You might be hungry,” Sunshower suggested with a smile as she munched on a burger while holding a clipboard in her other hoof. Gavin just stared at her for a while before he sighed and hung his head.

“Eating's the problem...” He floated past her, “I'm just gonna' go home early.”

“Gavin, wait! If you go now, you're going to miss the big dinner the weather team is going to have tonight. Eveyrpony's going to be there. We're meeting at Hotshot's!”

“I...Sunny,” he floated over to her and put a gentle talon on her shoulder, “I amazingly don't care. Have a nice day.” He glared at her before flying off, leaving a stunned Sunshower hovering in the air watching him go before she shook her head and turned back to her 'work', finishing her burger and going onto another.

Today really sucks.”

**

The night had come as Gavin slowly made his way back. Even though he was full of delicious food, he still felt bad, especially about how he had went off on Sunshower earlier. It wasn't her fault and she didn't deserve the verbal evisceration he had given her. He knew full well exactly what he was angry at, something that he had been suspecting for a while. He had brushed it off before, chalking it up as simply a new interest that everypony else was excited about and not ignoring him on purpose, but that had been weeks ago. Now his friends' behavior was unnoticeable and it had become quite clear at this point that the three ponies cared infinitely more about eating food than really, well, being his friends and their friendly

“Why are they acting like that? I mean, I know the food's really good but that's no reason to be such big jerks about it,” he said to himself, looking up at the night sky and then around the street. Except for the occasional pony walking around, the town was completely empty and quiet at this time of night. He put his view back forward as a horrible, sickly feeling emanated from the pit forming within his stomach, which still didn't go away even as he entered his home and into his bedroom. The griffon passed by the pizza box as he went in and instinctively reached for a slice, but started thinking again about how Wordy, Crash and Stir and instead immediately dropped into the box and rolled into bed, zoning off and staring at the ceiling, thoughts swimming through his head as he started to drift in and out of consciousness and occasionally making depressed exhaling sounds.

“Today's the worst ever,” he mumbled before slowly closing his eyes.

**

The hammering sound of the alarm again shattered Gavin out from his dream. Unlike the day before, however, Gavin wasn't feeling as spry as he had before, moaning in discomfort as he ended up knocking the alarm off and unplugging it.

“Uggggh...why do I feel so awful?” He groaned, reaching a talon down to rub his stomach, “What the hay did I eat last ni-” He stopped as eyes widened, feeling something unfamiliar between his claw-tips, “What? What is going on?” He slowly peered downward, noticing the amount of chub he had a grip on, slowly letting it go and watchng his gut shake. Gavin blinked rapidly before letting out a loud squawk and quickly jumping up and out of bed.

What's going on?! Why am I fat? How did I get so fat?” He winced and held his talons on his head, rubbing his temple to relieve himself from standing up so quickly, “Everything's such a blur...the last thing I remember is going to Hotshot's Grill with Crash-” Gavin suddenly opened his eyes again, “Hotshot's...everypony in town is getting fat...oh no.” He moved as quick as he possibly could (which wasn't much at his weight) and rushed out the door. After a short time and a few stops to catch his breath, Gavin finally arrived at Wordy's house, knocking on the door repeatedly.

“Bro! Bro! Are you home? We seriously need to talk! Like right now!” He called out, shooting a look inside before he heard the doorknob turn and the door opened up.

“Gavin?” A mare's voice came from inside as he met eyes with a quite plump, cerulean pegasus with a bright red mane wearing glasses, “What are you doing here?”

“Oh...uh...Shutterbug. Hey,” he nervously waved to her, noticing that Wordy's girlfriend was no stranger to what had happened to the rest of the town, “Ya' mind if I come in? I'm trying to find Wordy.”

“Sure, no problem,” she stepped aside, “I was about to head out to the grill so I could take some pictures for Hotshot,” the pegasus smiled.

“Cool, thanks,” Gavin entered, “Wait...Hotshot's paying you to take pictures of him?” He looked over his shoulder at her.

“No, not of him. His food. I get paid to make his food look good,” Shutter grinned brightly, “And then I get to eat it afterwards!” She giggled, reaching into a box nearby and pulling out some pizza slices, “Pretty awesome, right?”

“Yeah. Awesome,” Gavin forced a laugh, “Erm...so about bro...”

“Oh! Yeah, he's not here right now,” she shook her head as she picked up the empty pizza box that had been on a pile of papers, “Ew! Some of the grease leaked on there!” Shutter winced, “Aggggh, I gotta' go get something to clean this up. Be right back.” She hopped up and walked off into the next room, complaining under under her breath the whole time, mostly about Wordy not picking up after himself and about why pizza must be so delicious and yet so greasy. Gavin stood uncomfortably in the living room, pacing around and wondering what he was supposed to do, at least until something caught his eye. One of the papers at the top of the pile appeared to be part of a large, tablet of paper with text that the griffon immediately recognized as Wordy's hoofscript. Even through the orange stain he could make out the words, seeing that the unicorn had been investigating Hotshot and his restaurant as well as the reason for why everypony had started to get fat. It appeared he had found a connection, possibly related with Hotshot's food. Gavin poured through the papers up and down, getting more frantic as he read the evidence.

No...Wordy was so close to this before he got addicted to the food too!” He thought, a shocked look crossing his face before it metamorphosed into building anger as he balled up one of his fists, “Hotshot is the reason that my friends and everypony else are the way they are right now...he's going to pay for this.” He stuck the papers into his satchel and stormed out.

“Gav?” A confused Shutter asked, wandering back into the living room.

**

Gavin seethed. Though it probably was an over-exaggeration, he felt as if he had never been angrier in his entire life. His friends were under the control of somepony who had rode into town and used his wiles and food to bring all of Ponyville under his control. Thoughts of what to do swam through his mind. His initial solution was to walk right into the grill and knock every tooth in Hotshot's venomous, lying mouth onto the floor, followed by giving him a good shock with his talons. Thankfully, reasonable thought took over and it made him aware that straight-up violence wasn't the answer right away, especially with how little he actually knew of how the teal stallion was actually using his food. No, he had to get help if he was going to take Hotshot down and he knew where to go first...as well as a Plan B in case the first one didn't go over.

I just hope Plan B hasn't decided to dine anywhere in town recently,” he thought as he entered Stir's Shop. Because it was early, there weren't many ponies inside, though the ones he sought were right in the same spots, up at the front and gorging themselves while chatting with the ever-expanding chef serving them the instruments of their fatness. Gavin stared at Wordy, Crash, and Stir, steeling himself and taking a deep, confident breath as he approached them. Crash was the first one to notice his presence. Gavin, in turn noticed Stir set down a large platter of rangoons, making the griffon's eye twitch as he tensed up.

“Feathers! Right on time, we were just about to chow-” Crash's happy invitation was interrupted as Gavin put both talons underneath the platter and pulled up, flipping it over the counter as it landed with a clatter on the floor of Stir's kitchen, making the two stallions jump from the sudden action as Crash just stared at him, her vision moving to the fallen meal, “-down.”

“Gavin! I'm surprised at you! What in Equestria was that about?” Stir asked, a hurting tone in his voice.

“Yeah, what's up with you?” Wordy was as surprised as Stir did, looking at Gavin with annoyance.

“I know exactly what's up with me!” He pointed at each of the ponies before he reached into his bag and slapped the tablet down onto the counter, “And I know what's up with all of you too!” He slid it over to Wordy, who stared at it for a short time before turning to Stir.

“Hey, that reminds me, did you want to go out with us for pizza tonight?” He asked.

“Bro! Focus!” Gavin moved Wordy's head down toward the papers again, “You knew something was wrong with Ponyville and that Hotshot was the cause of it! Try to think about it, bro! I know you can remember!” Wordy read it for a long time before he shook his head.

“Yeah, I thought there was but it was just delicious food. That's it. Really, Gav,” he looked up at Gavin, “There's nothing to worry about.”

“Yes! Yes there is!” Gavin peered over the counter at the rangoons, “I've got it! I think you three just need to stop eating this food,” he snapped his talons.

“What?!” Crash and Wordy shouted at the same time.

“Yup!” Gavin nodded and paced around the tables, “If you stop eating the food, then maybe Hotshot's hold on you might get broken and then you'll be able to listen to reason!” He grinned, “It's the perfect plan!” He stopped and turned around to face Crash and Wordy. He wondered for a moment where Stir had gotten off to before he heard a clicking sound behind him. He slowly craned his neck over his fat-swaddled shoulders, noticing the corpulent earth pony had shut the door of the restaurant and locked it, staring at Gavin with narrowed eyes.

Uh oh...” Gavin thought.

“So, heh, is that a maybe?” Gavin smiled nervously. Before he knew it, he heard the flapping of wings from the counter and whipped his head over only to make brief eye contact with Crash as the mare slammed into him, the force of her bulk and the surprise of the strike knocking him off his feet and sending him sprawling to the ground. Before Gavin could react, the pegasus put her weight on top of him, grabbing one of his back paws and restraining him while holding him down on the ground as he grit his teeth and attempted to break her grip.

“I am NOT getting cut off from food because you start trying to shut Hotshot down, Gavin!” She snarled at him, struggling to keep the heavier griffon on the ground, “Penpone, Noodles! Give me a hoof here, will ya'? I'm sure you want to keep eating that food too, right?”

“Already on it!” Stir called, trundling across the restaurant and getting back into the kitchen, bringing another plate out and hoofing it over to Wordy, who took it with his magic field and slowly made his way over to the pony/griffon pile. To his horror, Gavin noticed that it was filled to the brim with rangoons. The sight of them also made his blood boil even further, especially knowing those probably weren't even Stir's to begin with.

“I'm sorry, Gavin,” Wordy said as three of the fried goods floated off the plate and made their approach to Gavin, who closed his eyes and hung his head, both from sadness at what was happening and also not tempting himself to reach out and eat them...which he sorely wanted to at this point despite the situation.

“Yeah...” He replied before suddenly moving one of his front legs up and gripping it as best he could around one Crash's own hind-legs, “I am too!” He shouted, sending a surge of lightning right into her. Crash shrieked in pain as she was involuntarily forced to release Gavin, allowing him to roll over onto his back and aim his claws at Wordy, firing a blast that both knocked the plate out of his field and forced the unicorn to run and take cover behind a table, Stir doing the same. Before any of them could make another move, Gavin struggled up to his feet again, not even having managed to re-acquire his balance before he started charging at the door. He used the momentum from his rush to throw himself against it, snapping it off the hinges as it fell onto the ground outside.

“Gavin! Get back here!” Crash snarled from inside, making him quickly check behind him before jumping up to his feet, gaining as much speed as he could before he clumsily vaulted up into the air with a huff and slowly started to ascend, finally getting his heading as he flew toward the entrance to the Everfree Forest.

Alright, I should've expected that,” he sighed, “I guess time for Plan B now.”

**

After a short flight and struggling through all sorts of shrubbery, Gavin finally found himself at his destination, a large hut built into a gnarled tree and decorated with odd masks of various colors. While anypony else would normally be creeped out by the display, he instead found comfort in it, at least for now.

Please, please, please,” he thought, slowly approaching the entrance, cracking the door open as he walked in silently. Inside, he found Zecora, a zebra that lived out in the forest and would occasionally travel to Ponyville to get supplies for her alchemy and potion work. What he actually focused on, and brought hope to his eyes, was that she was the same size as she always had been.

“Ah, I was not expecting you, Gavin,” she said with a friendly tone, turning to see him, “Please come-” She was cut off as the hefty griffon pounced forward, picking her up in a bear hug and spinning around with her, “-in?” A surprised expression also crossed her face from both the sudden motion as well as there being much more of Gavin than she had seen before.

“Z! You're fine! You're not fat and eating and stuck in your hut!” He cheered and laughed, the odd, out-of-context statement making the zebra look even more confused.

“Yes, Gavin, I am not at all corpulent,” she said as he let her go, setting her down on the floor, “Now, what has you so turbulent?”

“Well, it started with this restaurant that opened in...town...” He trailed off as he noticed a steaming apple pie sitting on a table nearby, “Z! NO!” Gavin rushed past the zebra as he snatched up the pie and shot-put the baked treat, tin and all, into the floor before following up with repeatedly pounding his fist into the remains and turning into cinders with several close-range lightning blasts, “There! You're safe now!” He said, taking deep, panicked breaths. Zecora blinked slowly, in complete shock at the train of events that had just transpired before walking over to him.

“Gavin, please, I must ask why,” she calmly said, “Why did you do that to my pie?”

“It's evil! It's made from evil hooves that want to turn you into a food-addicted blob that's only useful as a resource for their own profit and you'll stop caring about your friends and then try and turn everypony around you into food slaves and, and...” He stopped as he looked at her, then turned his attention back to the block spot on the ground where the pie used to be, “Uh...where did you get that, by the way?”

“It was of my own making, I have recently been dabbling in baking, “ she replied, dryly.

“Oh...OH!” Gavin's eyes widened at the realization of what he had just done, “I am SO sorry, Z. Seriously. I had no idea. It's just that, well, some stuff happened and you're my last hope right now and I was really worried that I'd lose you to-” He stopped when Zecora held a hoof up to his beak before he could start off another tangent.

“Gavin, I can see that you are upset,” she lowered her hoof, “Take a deep breath, and start at the outset.” The alchemist proceeded to lead him over to her bed, having him sit down on it.

“Okay, okay,” Gavin nodded, fidgeting with his talons as he closed his eyes, doing as she asked, and then looking at her, “So, it's like this.” He proceeded to tell her everything that had happened thus far: about Hotshot, the food, Wordy's investigation, what had been happening to the rest of Ponyville, and the confrontation between him and his friends at Stir's shop earlier. As she patiently listened to him talk, Zecora fixed some tea for the two of them, Gavin gladly taking it and happy to have something not tainted.

“Hm...,” Zecora pondered, “The symptoms that you have described thus far, sound incredibly bizarre.”

“I know, right?” Gavin asked, “But what can we do?” Instead of giving a reply, Zecora walked over to a small bookshelf and removed one with a green cover, hoofing through a few pages as Gavin anxiously watched her. Finally, her gaze lingered on a page as she nodded and walked back over to a table.

“Take a look within this book,” she set the book down and tapped her hoof on the page, “Within its boundary is the solution to your quandary.” Gavin stepped forward, scanning the tome. It was about different types of plants and herbs, most of them magical in nature with the particular page in question being about something called the blubbercup, or the Ranunculus pinguedinem as its scientific name, that grew primarily near Griffonstone. What Gavin found more interesting was how a food addiction potion could be created from its essence being extracted from it, matching what he had witnessed as well as Wordy's notes almost exactly.

“So, this Ramunc...wait...ranuncu...penguin...,” he shook his head, finally giving up, “Blubbercup thing might be what Hotshot is using to get everypony to eat his food and why they react the way they do when they don't get it?” Gavin turned to Zecora.

“Yes, if I had to hazard a guess,” she nodded, “And if he has this much of the blubbercup at the ready, it will not be cured so easily.”

“Well, I don't care how much of it he has. I ain't standing by why he plays my friends like puppets,” he clenched one of his fists, “I won't let that happen!” He slammed it down on the table, teeth bared and fur standing up on end.

“Your desire to protect your friends is quite tenacious, but your task will be quite dangerous,” Zecora said, “I am also quite curious of one circumstance, how were you able to resist the blubbercup's trance?”

“Resist? Uh...I dunno,” Gavin shrugged, anger fading, “I just got kinda' sad when I started thinking about how they were acting and just stopped eating,” he suddenly had a thought, “Hey...do you think it might be because it comes from a griffon city that I might have some form of resistance to it?” He asked.

“That is a theory to be weighed...erm, sorry about the accidental pun I have just made,” Zecora scrunched her nose up at her poorly-timed joke.

“Trust me, Z, I've heard worse,” Gavin chuckled, “But down to brass tacks: is there a way you can brew up something to cure this?”

Zecora nodded, “Though the blubbercup's essence I am not well-versed, so I do not know exactly how its effects can be reversed,” she trotted up next to the large, black pot in the middle of room, “Though there is a potion I may be able to glean, if you could just procure some of Hotshot's cuisine.”

“Right, so grab some food, bring it back here, and test it out. Sounds good...and dangerous especially since every restaurant in town has my number at this point,” Gavin turned his attention toward the door, then back to Zecora, “Z, do you have anything here that might be able to give me an advantage if I have to fight anypony else?” He glanced to his left as he stared at the floor.

“I may have something to give, I suppose, but what is it you are worried you must oppose?” She walked over to him.

“Bro, Crash, and Stir. I mean, Stir I'm not worried about since he's already bigger than all three of us, but Wordy's got magic and Crash might not be as strong, but she's a way better fighter than I am, plus she's got glass feather syndrome...” Gavin solemnly looked back up at her, “I don't want to hurt her...I don't want to hurt any of them,” he said, softly. He twinged slightly from feeling something touch his chubby foreleg as he noticed Zecora gently holding his talon with a warm expression.

“You needn't worry too much about your hurdles and how to solve them without going in circles,” she said, “The determination you feel to help those you hold close, will help you no matter what may transpose,” she leaned in and gave him a hug as the surprised griffon quickly grinned and returned the gesture to the zebra.

“Thanks, Z. I think I needed the reminder that I'm a stubborn jerk that doesn't give up,” he chuckled as they stepped away from one another.

“It is okay to show your feelings of unrest, it shows you are willing to make the best,” Zecora said, “Now, onto the bottle that will aid you in your battle.” She trotted over to a massive shelf consisting of various potions of various sizes, colors, and container, Zecora moving her hoof along each of them as she scanned for one in particular.

“How do you know what all of these can do?” Gavin marveled at all the bottles.

“Careful organization of each and every potion,” she smiled, finally settling on a cylinder-shaped bottle filled with a lime-green colored one that oddly seemed to glow in the light of the hut, “If having to fight your friends is something you deem impossible, then this potion will render you temporarily invincible,” the striped brew mistress picked it off the shelf and handed it to Gavin, who took it cautiously into his own hands, “But you must be alert, for the effects may not be overt. You are a griffon, and there may be complications I cannot envision.”

Gavin examined the strange liquid he had just been given and stuck it into his satchel, “It might be a good backup in case I need it. Thanks, Z.” As he had been looking at it, though, Zecora had left the room momentarily and now stood near him clad in a brown, hooded cloth cloak.

“And in this instance, I shall provide you with assistance,” she said determinedly.

“As much as I'd appreciate that, Z, I'm gonna' have to ask you stay in the forest's edge,” Gavin replied, shaking his head, “If something happens and I end up falling off the wagon again, you'll be the only one left in Ponyville not affected by the blubbercup. If I'm not back in at least an hour or so, do whatever you can to get to Canterlot and bring the cavalry here,” he then groaned slightly, “Y'know, assuming Hotshot didn't already send Princess Celestia a cake with his secret ingredient baked in.”

Zecora eyed him for a time before she gave a slow nod, “As you desire, I will flee for help if matters get too dire.”

“Hey, I wouldn't mind getting an escort back to Ponyville, though,” Gavin held out his claw to Zecora, “Ready to roll partner?”

Zecora smirked and stepped forward, “Let us depart from my dwelling,” she took his claw in her hoof with a firm, strong shake that even surprised Gavin, “You have friends that need saving.”

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