• Member Since 6th Nov, 2011
  • offline last seen Yesterday

Pen Stroke

A fan-fiction author and game programmer that lives in Glendale, CA.


Sunset was expecting Princess Twilight Sparkle to be the one to come through the portal on a day when the holidays line up between the two worlds. Instead, her care package of Equestrian Hearth's Warming decorations is brought over by a student from the school of friendship, Gallus.

This unexpected encounter will lead to a holiday lesson that resonates with both of them.

Written for Jinglemas 2019 [Run by the Jinglemas Group]
Written for Wanderer D

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 43 )

Now that’s the sort of holiday get together I can get behind.

Wanderer D

Oh man, it was you! That took me by surprise! Thank you dude, this was a very enjoyable piece and a great present!

Nice. I enjoyed it, and who doesn't like The Grinch and Die Hard? Although...

“Where is she,” Sunset grumbled.

Missing a question mark.

“Uh, Hello…. I don’t suppose

Unneeded caps.

was always eager to learn, the quite felt strange.


Sunset opened a drew on her TV standing, flipping

drawer on her TV stand?

I’ll microwave some popcorn.”

“Though, I will give you one warning. This is basically a fairy tale. There is not a subset of humans called the Who’s. These are all just actors portraying a fictional story.”

Don't think you need the quotation mark after popcorn.

Equestrian cinema was all right, but


It's like she sets friendship traps," Gallus grumble.


It was at that moment data grumbling sound

that a grumbling?

sashimi for lunch come and we can watch

I feel like there's an extra word.

Not the best ingredients, but it still tastes pretty

tasted might be better.

They ate Sashimi, and in the end, found

You didn't caps sashimi before, but now you have.

Okay, okay, okay, I'll stop. Promise. I did like the story. It was cute slice of life with a pair that I never actually see hang out. Well done.

Ah, that classic holiday chestnut, Die Hard! Excellent choice!

Thanks for pointing out the errors. They should all be corrected.

Wonderfully festive!

Watching The Grinch and Die Hard on Christmas? What could be better?

Pen Stroke writing a fic with Best Birb in it? Oh, I'm so onboard with that! :raritystarry:

Since there's, like, three out there now, which version of The Grinch did they watch? I hope one of the animated versions--the live action one never quite did it for me. :applejackunsure:

Die Hard would be a bit more Gallus's speed. :rainbowlaugh:

Clearly in this instance we're assuming griffons go human going through the portal too, and for this story, it makes sense to do so. But I have wondered what all of the Young 6 would turn into going through the portal, since seeing dragons become dogs, that suggests changelings, hippogriffs, and yaks might turn into something different too...hmm...:trixieshiftright:

Did Gallus became a human when he crossed the portal?

Sunset only recognized Gallus as a griffon by his name, so I'm gonna say yes.

Gallus shrugged, “Eh, magic is overrated. Griffons are able to get around well enough without it.”

Wait, aren't flying and cloudwalking a type of magic inherent to both pegasi and griffons?

I mean... if Twi objected, Sunny could always say the alternative was Star Trek V....

Before reading, I have to ask: Is this pre- or post-s9 Equestria? :rainbowhuh:

This happened before the shows big time skip.

Excellent work as always, Sir Pen!

That was a good story. Great job finding a connection between Sunset and Gallus, with them feeling out of place during the holidays and with their shared love of fish. Their interactions were handled really well. It was also interesting seeing what Gallus thought of the human world.

Another enjoyable, light reading for the holiday season.

"Ugh, she's getting too good at doing this. It's like she sets friendship traps," Gallus grumbled.

That's one of an advance lesson in the intricate art of Friendship! :twilightsmile:
I must include friendship pranks in my class! :pinkiehappy:
. . . :ajbemused: :duck: :rainbowhuh:
She is getting better at being a chess master. I am proud of her. :trollestia:
I don't think that's a good friendship lesson. :moustache:


Yep. Too people bonding over their feeling of alienation despite being surrounded by loving friends.

I love the observations Gallus makes of the human world too.

Good to hear from you, looks like your doing well.

I loved what you did with this story. Great job.

I always kinda wondered though.. how did exactly Die Hard end up as a standard holiday movie?

Though, I will give you one warning. This is basically a fairy tale. There is not a subset of humans called the Who’s. These are all just actors portraying a fictional story.”

Shoulda gone with the animated version

And so it is said, on that special holiday They watched Die Hard, no matter what Twilight might say. They ate sashimi, and in the end, found That good holiday spirit is not to a single world bound. Both will find joy with familiar friends, but neither will forget the new friend they had made in the end.

Die Hard is the best Xmas movie and noone can convince me otherwise.
The entire movie takes place on Christmas Eve.

Truly, Die Hard is the most Christmas movie to ever have Christmas movied.

It's like she sets friendship traps.

Yep. Twilight... definately Twilight.

Yet, instead, she was seeing someone who’s skin, hair, and clothes were mostly


Sunset set her Hearth’s Warming doll on the bookcase, smiling it for a moment

at it

It was at that moment data grumbling sound filled the

that a

Wanderer D

10001664 It has all an X-mas movie needs:
-Takes place on Christmas Eve
-There's a celebration by the locals
-There's a villain, intending to take away the happiness
-There's a man that needs to rekindle love
-There's a woman who is waiting for him to do so
-Pen-pals (radio pals, really)
-A limo
-Walking around bare-footed
-Fireworks at the end
-Snow at the end

Thank you for the corrections!

I wasn't really feeling the summary, but it staying on the Featured list, and it being you, made me take a look.

It's good!

Yeah, when Gallus explained his situation, and Sunset apparently being by herself, the lesson was obvious, but nice to see them getting a good holiday out of it, which is the more important part!


Since there's, like, three out there now, which version of The Grinch did they watch?

I can eat a bag of microwave popcorn in under a half hour, and since the two of them polished off a bowl "by the time the end credits began to roll," I hope that means it was the classic version.

Eh, depends on how focused you are on the popcorn. I know I myself can eat a whole bowl of popcorn in about the same speed as you mention...if I'm focused on the popcorn. When I'm at the movie theater and am a bit more focused on the movie I'm there to watch than the popcorn that I'm just sporadically snaking on, it takes a little longer.

Still, as fair an assessment as any, I guess. *shrugs*

"Ugh, she's getting too good at doing this. It's like she sets friendship traps," Gallus grumbled.

She learned from the best!

Die Hard is a Christmas movie and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. You too Twi, step to me! :rainbowwild:


The young six are the bakura of mlp. Except people actually like the young six

...Fun fact, I read that horses would totally eat fish if they could get it. There was a story of a horse that ate a hamburger. But they're made for plant matter, so they probably shouldn't eat too much meat...
...Which leads into a thought I had for my character's backstory. He's (or, at least, his parents were) from an Equestrian version of ancient Japan (probably called "Neighpon", of course), which was taken over by gryphons several hundred years ago. Neighponese sushi had a far greater ratio of rice and plant matter fillings to fish, but fishy sushi was far from unheard of. Griffish sushi, however... More fish than rice, even made for (and occasionally by) Equestrians. Safe to eat sparingly, but doesn't appeal to most. It's his favorite food, though. And then Fluttershy tries some... Just a thought.

I see your Friendship lesson Princess Twilight, and I approve. And I see Sunset's fantastic choice of christmas movies, and I approve. Great story :)

It's not the holiday season without watching die hard

“She said it was because of something that came up in Canterlot, though I believe that about as far as I can throw Yona… and Yona is a yak,” he said before extending a hand. “Guess I should do the friendly thing and introduce myself. I’m Gallus, I'm a student at Twilight's School of Friendship.”

That explains why. :rainbowhuh:

They rode the bus in mostly awkward silence. From Sunset’s perspective, Gallus seemed to be taking in the world. She was waiting for him to ask questions, like what a bus was or how it moved. They passed so many things that were unique to the human world on their way to her apartment, and it did look like Gallus was curious. His eyes would lock on something for a moment, his head turning as he watched it pass in the bus window. But he never asked the question or even made a comment.

Sure is odd he isn't a bit frightened over his new body and surrounding, not to mention hasn't asked many questions on the place like sunset thought he would. :applejackunsure:

“Sounds like a pretty great group of friends,” Sunset said as she stood and began to look around the apartment. She didn’t really have a mantel, the blessing of central HVAC. Maybe her Hearth’s Warming doll could go on top of the microwave? No, the bookshelf above her computer. That was a great place for it. “I think Princess Twilight’s talked about some of you when we write to one another. She and I are kind of cross-dimensional pen pals.”


“Twilight gave me a crash course before I left,” he said as he tugged at his jacket. It was subtle, but Sunset imagined he was getting uncomfortable standing indoors in heavy winter gear.

That explains things and how he seemed prepared ish.

Sunset grabbed her remote, pressing a button to turn on the TV. She then put the remote down, crouched down, and turned on her gaming console. As all that hardware booted up, she glanced at Gallus and took a gauge of him for a moment. “I think… you’d like How The Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Oh ho ho ho, that's a good one to start with teaching Gallus about Christmas is you ask me. :ajsmug:

“And you really don’t have a family of your own to visit,” Sunset said, finishing Gallus’s thought. For a few moments after, silence just floated around the apartment. In the warmth of the holidays, they were two souls feeling a nip and chill… and not because they had been excluded by others. No, they had excluded themselves, out of… fear? Out of anxiety? It was hard to put a name to it, but… Sunset knew exactly how Gallus was feeling. She had felt it herself when her friends had tried to include her.

Sure is a tough one if you ask me. :fluttershysad:

Ngl, I wasn't sure I was gonna enjoy this story but I did and I'm glad since Christmas always makes me happy but this year it isn't the same with the recent passing of my grandfather and how most of this Christmas I won't be in the most positive mood. But this story still brought a smile to my face nonetheless. :twilightsmile:

Wonder if the fish tastes different in a mouth than a beak? (Or as an omnivore.)

HVAC stands for Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning, and is often used as a shorthand for climate control systems generally.

Though, I will give you one warning. This is basically a fairy tale. There is not a subset of humans called the Who’s. These are all just actors portraying a fictional story.”

In a cartoon world, other cartoons are real. LOL

"This is such an obvious friendship lesson, it’s almost painful.”

"Nothing you’ll need to remember.”
“Unless Twilight gives me a test.”

I love Gallus and Sunset here. He is a student in a school of Friendship and really likes it there, but can still be a little snarky sometimes. And both of them know Twilight good enough to have a friendly laugh about this. You definitely succeed at capturing Gallus's character here. Very good story :).

Hello! Have a review. As I said there, a pleasant and comfortable read. Have an upvote too. :twilightsmile:

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