• Published 26th Aug 2019
  • 2,976 Views, 147 Comments

Criminally Stupendous - trustissues

Roman thought it was the end for him, but in a strange twist of fate the thief somehow lives. Sadly, dying wasn't enough for him to rethink his life of crime, and now he's back at it again.

  • ...

A Sour Taste

Rainbow Dash, the Element of Loyalty, was in trouble. In her hooves were two cards, a three of clubs and a joker, which was just a picture of Roman with the word "Joker" on the sides. There were also other ponies on it, but they weren't really worth noting.

And across her was the pony himself, Roman Torchwick, but he wasn't wearing his jacket. And he had only one card left in his hooves. Dash knew that this card was also a three since it was the last one, and to be specific, it was the three of hearts. And worse of all, it was his turn.

This was the most intense game of old maid Dash had ever played.

If he guessed it right, then this would be another win for Roman, and this would also be Dash's sixteenth loss in a row. She started to regret challenging Roman to this card game. By now, an ordinary pony would've accepted their defeat, but Dash is not just some pony. She's the bearer of Loyalty, and she will win this battle. Dash just needed to put her trust on the heart of the cards. Determined to defeat Roman and score a single win, Dash put on a serious face and dared Torchwick to make his move. She was confident that she could finally beat him in this card game.

Then her heart sank, right in front of her, just across the damnable table, sat a stallion who grinned sadistically at his opponent. And the strangest part was that the restaurant they were in was just allowing these two to play a card game, not one single patron had complained at all.

Roman just couldn't hide his bad side, this was going to be his sixteenth win in a row. And all that without even breaking a sweat. Dash's losing streak was all thanks to Applejack for inviting him for lunch with her friends. Currently, Applejack and two other mares that Roman was not acquainted with, or he simply forgot their names, were just watching the show. There was also another mare in the group that Roman nicknamed as "Vanilla", because it was the first thing that came to mind when he saw her.

Vanilla tried to correct him, saying that she preferred being called by her real name, but Roman didn't care. So Vanilla just accepted it after Applejack told her that it was how he is. As of right now, Vanilla was busy inspecting his jacket, to which he had allowed. At least he still wore his hat and "gloves" to feel less naked in front of other people.

Back with the card game, Roman slowly stretched out a hoof towards the cards in Dash's hooves. The pink one, Cotton, watched with eyes wide open. She couldn't help but bite the tip of her hooves as everything seemed to slow down while the rest, sans Rarity, were watching the two players and made not a single noise. Dash prepared herself, she made sure her face was unreadable as he was slowly inching towards the joker card. And the color on Dash's face drained, just as he was about to touch the joker, his hoof stole her only hope to win in one quick swipe.

Roman still grinned as he placed both cards down on the pile, and Dash could only stare at her opponent in silence.

"Are you okay Rainbow Dash?" The shortest one- or was she the tallest of the group? Roman couldn't really tell since she kept slouching. Anyways, the "yellow" one was concerned for Dash, especially when she was awfully quiet.

Pinkie gave Dash a light shove but received no reaction. "Hey Rainbow Dash, are you winning yet?"

"Hey Cotton, I really don't think she's winning." Roman had answered for Dash.

"How do you always win!?" Dash spoke with obvious frustration.

"Just that lucky, Skittles."

"I won't accept that! Let's go one more time, but I'll shuffle the cards!"

Roman chuckled lightly. "Oh Skittles, you're maybe faster than me, but I got tricks up my sleeves. So let's just move on."

"Fine! Let's play poker, right now!"

"Dash, Ah don't think it would be smart if you keep going. Ah believe it's better to just give up now." Applejack suggested to her friend.

"Don't listen to Blondie, Skittles, you might win this next round." Roman tempted his previous opponent.

And Dash was about to accept, but the waitress had just arrived with their food.

The waitress gave them each of their orders, the usual pony stuff that Roman refused to even try. That's why his order was just spaghetti and potato croquettes. And honestly, people growing flowers just to eat them seems alright since the ones back home in his world were just for decorations and other stuff that required flowers. It was as if you brought together all kinds of vegetables and made it into a food bouquet to eat for lunch, or making a perfume out of cucumber. Actually, that first one was a really good idea for business, Roman made sure to keep a note about it.

As he was enjoying his meal, a different pony had rushed over to their table. "Sorry I'm late!"

"Hey Twilight! I got you a salad, extra tomato!" Pinkie joyfully raised said salad for all to see.

Roman nearly choked, he had forgotten about the last member of their group and was not expecting her at all. And once their eyes had met, Roman couldn't help but feel a little irritated from seeing her.

"Hello Sparky." He greeted with his deceptive smile.

"Oh, Jack... I didn't expect you to be here..." Twilight slowed down as she reached the table.

"Jack?" Rarity raised a brow.

Twilight became puzzled when Rarity repeated Roman's fake name.

"Oh, just a nickname, Sparky here thought it was fair to give me one." He smiled towards Twilight, and then she was quick to understand that Pumpkin Jack was not his real name.

Now she just realized that even his own name was kept a secret from her, she finally understood that Roman would keep all the information to himself unless he gets something in return.

"Take a seat Sparky."

She then took a seat on the only vacant one on the table, right next to Roman. "Well, Jack, what are you doing here?"

"Well I was invited by Blondie, and I didn't really have anything better to do, so here I am." He gave her his best explanation.

"You've already met Twilight, Roman?" Pinkie asked him, and Roman knew she was a bit too curious.

Meanwhile, Twilight took note of his name, she was not sure if it was his real one.

"First time I'm hearin' it." Applejack eyed the thief suspiciously.

"Well, I was crushed by a statue yesterday, and Sparky here saved my life!" He had lied, but there was a bit of truth in his words.

"What?" The "hero" asked.

Roman leaned closer to Twilight just to whisper. "Listen, they don't need to know about us, to them I'm just some guy trying to go on with his life. So keep the alien stuff to yourself, and I'll tell you a few facts about my world later. Deal?"

This is what Roman had in mind of holding back information, they could be used as a tool to give people an upper hand. But in this case, to shut someone up.

Twilight thought about his offer, she would have been a fool to decline, so she had no other choice but to accept.

"Wait, so that was you?" Dash exclaimed. "You must have been so lucky that Twilight was close."

"Oh, dear... That would've been r-really bad if she wasn't there." The shy one finally spoke while making eye contact with Roman.

Roman nodded his head. "The idea of getting a hospital bill would be considered as bad."

This caused a series of laughter, everyone but Twilight and Fluttershy were laughing very loudly at Roman's humorous joke.

"Anyways Twilight," The unicorn looked over to Rarity. "Where on earth were you? Must have been really interesting to keep you busy. But that is nothing new I guess."

Twilight sighed. "I was just caught up with my research."

"Oh, right. The whole other world thing." Dash spoke, slightly interested in the subject. "How is it going actually?"

"Well Rainbow Dash, I just had a breakthrough!" Twilight held her head high. "Just need to do a few more things then I'd finally get some answers!"

Roman couldn't help but notice Twilight's gaze, and to be honest, he would have left there and then, but he had nothing better to do. But, he could still find refuge somewhere else.

"Welp! I'm gonna get busy for a minute, so watch my spaghetti please." He stood up and started heading towards the comfort room.

"Okay Roman!" Pinkie waved at the thief goodbye as he left the mares to themselves for now. And what's worth noting, his jacket was still with Rarity.

"So, what y'all think?" Applejack asked out of the blue.

"About Roman?" Fluttershy received a confirming nod from Applejack. "W-well... he seems friendly, a bit too f-friendly..."

"He is really annoying. I mean, how can he win so many times!?" Dash was still peeved off about her losing streak.

"He's... interesting." Twilight tried not to spill the beans.

"Well I think he is a charming fellow! Especially his taste in fashion, look at this jacket for example." She presented the piece. "Though he is a white pegasus, this jacket still compliments his style. The bowler hat is excellent for his orange mane, and those boots were just perfect for this jacket. But his cane, it really holds it all together! The main piece that makes it pop! One look at this stylish stallion, and you would have mistaken him for a mafia don!"

Rarity swooned at the thought of the dashing rogue sweeping Rarity off her hooves.

"Wouldn't it be romantic if he just takes me by the hoof and dragged me into an adventure full of love and danger?" Everyone only gave her a strange look, everyone but Applejack.

"Ah don't know Rarity, feels like a bad idea." Applejack huffed.

"Ha!" Dash laughed. "Sorry Rarity, but AJ already had eyes on him!"

"Really!?" Rarity exclaimed. The scenario that was in her head changed, she was no longer the main character of her own fantasy and was replaced by Applejack. "That is great!"

"Hey, I didn't get to say what I think about Roman!" Pinkie whined, but she was only ignored by the others as another subject had come up, a more interesting one at that.

Rarity reached across the table and held Applejack by the head and pulled her close. "Please tell me darling, what exactly do you see in him!? Give me the details!"

Applejack stuttered, she didn't know how to answer that, honestly. "Ah don't know what to tell ya' Rarity, but Ah just like him..."

"No, there must be something!"

Applejack pushed Rarity away and straightened herself on her seat. Her face was a little red as she thought about Roman. "Well... He's really nice, and very honest. Roman was really helpful at the farm this mornin', even gave me a few hints about farming, though I already knew about it, but it was nice to listen to him talk... And his hat is pretty... nice..."

Dash pretended to gag but was stopped by the fashionista with silent glare.

"That's wonderful!" Fluttershy whispered, but it was loud enough for them to hear.

"Darling, this is perfect! I promise, by my beautiful mane! That by the end of this day, that stallion shall be yours!" Said Rarity, her eyes filled with determination.

Applejack scratched the back of her head. "Aw, thanks Rarity! But, I'll be real honest with ya', Ah don't really know where to start." This may have been her own issue, but she had no idea where to start to be frank. She had no other choice on the table anyways.

But sadly, this love would never bloom, especially with what's to come in the near future.

As for Twilight, her thoughts on the subject are not about love, but about the fact that Roman was not even a pony. And there may be risks since he was still a mystery. Hopefully soon, he would shed some light to her about his origins. Speaking of which, Roman had just returned from doing his business. The table went completely silent as he returned to his seat.

Roman didn't notice the strange aura in the air, or maybe he simply did not care. He did see the weird glimmer in Rarity's eyes as she returned his jacket to him.

"So, anything interesting while I was gone?" Roman eyed everyone cautiously.

"Nothing that important darling! So... what exactly do you do Roman?" Rarity was quick to change the subject.

"I'm a street magician, it doesn't really pay much, but it helps me go by."

"Oh, just like Trixie!" Dash spoke, she was actually interested in his life.

"Trixie?" Twilight had asked.

"Yeah, she had saved Roman from a manticore! Do you believe that?"

The others who are just learning about Roman's story couldn't hold back a gasp, they were surprised to hear that Trixie had done something so noble and selfless.

"Did she really?" Fluttershy turned towards Roman.

Roman sighed, a smile now present on his face. "Yes. I was really knee deep in trouble, face to face with a manticore. But out of the blue, Trixie had come to my rescue and defeated the manticore by crushing it with her wagon! Really great to meet such a mare as her!"

The others may have thought that his story was both interesting and amazing, but Twilight was thinking about something else. And it was guilt, she felt that way because Roman's story implied that she brought him right in the manticore's maw. Maybe that is why Roman was indifferent towards Twilight. Or perhaps Trixie had been running her mouth about Twilight in a negative way.

Either way, Twilight felt as if it was her fault that Roman had to face off against a manticore.

"Excuse me!" All occupants of the table turned to face a young teenage pegasus mare standing a little too close to Roman. "A-are you R-Roman Torchw-wick!?"

Roman then knew who exactly this random mare was, and he felt a sense of dread as he screamed loudly inside his own head. Two of the few things he had prayed to the lord not to encounter is standing before him.

Quickly, Roman lowered his hat. "No idea who that is, kid, you should just move on."

"O.M.G!" She smiled widely as she was sure about who he was. "You're Roman Torchwick! O.M.G. O.M.G!"

Roman couldn't help but notice the stares that he was receiving, from the mares he was with and other patrons of this restaurant. This is just great! Oum damn it, if this ruins my chances of escape, I'm torching who ever started that fan club!

"M-mister Torchwick, could I h-have an autograph!? I'm a big fan of y-yours!" She stuttered a lot, clearly she was nervous around him, and Roman was also nervous with her around.

"If I give you an autograph, will please leave? I'm kinda having lunch with some friends."

"Oh, I'm so sorry mister Torchwick! I d-didn't notice!"

"Whatever kid, let's get on with it." The teen quickly gave him a notebook and a quill to write with. "What's your name?"

"I'm Albatross, sir!"

"Huh, named after a bird that's both a good and bad omen." He pointed out as he signed on the first page of her notebook. Then he flashed a smile towards the teen. "Hope you're here to give me a good sign."

The teen couldn't help but blush, she took back what was hers and bowed towards Roman, a bit too much if you asked him. "T-thank you mister Torchwick! I'll treasure this for the rest of my life!"

"Yeah yeah, now go on and show that to your buddies or something."

"Of course!" With that, she rushed out of the building as quick as she could, it was clear that she couldn't handle the pressure of being around him any longer.

"What was that about?" Dash of all people had asked.

Roman sighed deeply. "A girl from my fan club apparently. Jeez, I knew they would be annoying."

"Fan club, huh?"

"Yeah. And I should leave, I just remembered that I had something to do." Roman excused himself as he noticed the eyes of other ponies staring at him. This was one of the things he didn't need, and his true identity might be revealed. He didn't want that at all.

"Do you have to go so early dearie? We haven't really gotten to know each other yet." Rarity tried to keep him in his seat.

"Sorry Vanilla, but I really need to go." He then wasted no time and walked away from Twilight and her friends, he hurried towards the exit with his hat over his face.

"What do y'all think it was that made him go in a hurry?" Applejack asked her friends.

"Probably flying practice with Scootaloo, both are really close ever since they met a few days ago." Dash spoke as she returned to her meal.

"Or maybe! He had to go and talk to more of his fans!" Pinkie gave them her own theory.

"That reminds me. Why would Roman have a fan club anyways? I've never seen him doing anything cool." Dash had finally asked the question, and the others couldn't help but ask the same thing.

"Maybe Roman and Trixie made it big in Manehattan? Roman did say he's a magician as well, so that girl earlier must have been a fan from the city." Said Applejack.

"Oh! Now I really, really, really! Want to see him pull a rabbit out of his hat!" Pinkie smiled at the thought of the amazing magic trick that Roman could perform.

Twilight could only wonder, of whatever was going on in Roman's head.

"Anyways!" Pinkie started to speak. "What I think about Roman, is that-"

Roman was fuming, he had a very close call when that random fan had popped out of nowhere. And what's worse, was the attention he was getting right now. Roman had thought that he made sure that no one would ever know about his crime in Manehattan. But now that some random teenager who might have a crush on him just said his name in front of a lot of people, Roman believed without a doubt that one of them, maybe more, had recognized him.

He could only hope that he was wrong and he's just a bit paranoid. But he can't just deny that it was practically his mistake that he's tensed right now, if Roman had declined Applejack's offer and just hid in the farm, then this wouldn't have happened.

But Roman had a plan for this, everything was ready and he just needed an excuse to pull the trigger. And Roman was really tempted to just go out with a bang before anyone could even comprehend it.

"Excuse me?"

Roman groaned loudly, frustration grew bigger in his mind as he turned around to see who it was that called for his attention. It was Albatross again, but this time, she had a few other mares with her, and he could only guess that they were also his fans. Roman just wished that he was wrong.

"It's me again!" She chuckled awkwardly. "I-I see that you're not busy, and m-my friends wanted an autograph as well! So if you could..."

Roman tried to put on his best smile, as much as he disliked them being around him, he still had an image to keep. "Sure! Anything for my adoring fans!"

A series of excited giggles painfully pierced Roman's ears as they gathered around him, notebook in their hooves as they waited for their turn. As much as Roman hated this attention, it helped keep his mind off the fact that he's practically toast once a guard knows who he is. And maybe, he could spend the rest of the day free of negativity.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you!" The nameless pony violently shook his hoof after she received an autograph. "This is the best thing ever!"

"Mister Torchwick sir, I have a question! Are you single?"

Roman mentally frowned. Some people were just too nosey these days, especially the youths who have nothing better to do but to pry into some famous person's life. "No. And I'm not looking for someone right now." He answered.

But this was a big mistake, as the teen who had asked him the question stood a little too close for comfort.

"Really?" She then leaned forward, and Roman had to recoil away from her. It was clear that she didn't hear his whole answer.

"Listen, I know what you're trying to do, and I'm flattered. But you're just too young for me." And she is also a horse, I may have been with a few faunus mutts, but this was still new for me and I am not prepared to cross the line just yet.

The teen looked dejected after he had declined her advances. The rest were also feeling the same and Roman took their heartbreak as a chance to slip away.

He ran as quick as he could and made sure that he was not followed by his fans. Once he was sure that it was just him, he took a seat on a bench which was strangely familiar.

As he rested his haunches on the wooden bench, Roman took out a cigar and quickly lit it alight. He breathed the harmful smoke into his lungs and released them after a short second. Finally, he had managed to get some time to himself, enough to relax even just for a minute.

Now he had no distraction, his mind has returned to the idea of being caught by the authorities in this small town. But that would never happen, he still had so many things to steal and Roman would be damned if he would just get thrown in prison so easily. He escaped Atlas, he escaped Vale. And you'll bet your mother that he'll definitely escape the law in this world.

"Could things get any worse?" He asked himself as he recounted his previous experiences today.

And just then, something had loomed over him and blocked out the sun. He sighed heavily as he feels a vein about pop. "Guess it was bound to happen- what...?"

Standing over him was one of the few things he had rather forgotten, yet it was there to remind him that his past will always catch up wherever he was. Because right in front of Roman was something he had not expected at all.

Roman couldn't help but show a very angry grin towards his newest source of headaches. A fearsome manticore stands before him, and it wasn't an ordinary one, no, it was Grimm. Bones stuck out of its head to resemble a lion's mane, two horns pointed right at Roman as its glowing red eyes glared at him. A scorpion tale hovered above his head intimidatingly as its wings extended to the sides. It was pretty small, Roman had seen bigger ones back at his world.

"Shadow Beast!" Once a pony had pointed out the monster, everyone began to panic.

As for Roman, all he could say was, "You've gotta be kidding me."


Author's Note:

This has been going on my mind for a while now, my writing skills are not the best, sure. But I have been curious what everyone thinks of the story. And what can you all say about the first one when compared to this fic?

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