• Published 11th Feb 2020
  • 1,371 Views, 37 Comments

Trixie's Beau - Scyphi

Trixie has been dating a stallion, but Starlight isn't convinced he is all that he seems to be...

  • ...


There was cheese everywhere.

On the ceiling, on the floor, all over the tables, all over the other restaurant patrons—everywhere.

Some had tried to shield themselves from the blast, such as Silverstream who had held her waiter’s platter in front of her face. But there still hadn’t been much point as everyone and everything had gotten hit and covered with cooling cheese soup in some fashion.

Starlight’s attempt to shield her friends from the blast hadn’t even worked out all that well, as her body wasn’t big enough to cover all of them, and her running leap at them had only knocked them over onto the floor, falling into more exploded cheese soup. And unlike Starlight who had her back to the blast, the others had been facing the blast, and so instead of a back completely caked with cheese soup like Starlight, they had molten cheese covering their fronts.

Probably the worst part of it all though wasn’t the cheese but rather the glare Trixie was now giving her, having pieced together a rough idea of who was responsible for all of this.

Starlight giggled nervously under that glare, hurriedly letting Trixie back up, before turning around to leave before the shouting began. But before she got more than a couple paces, Pharynx grabbed her and bodily turned her back around, shoving her back towards Trixie. Pinned, Starlight forced a grin at the other mare. “Trixie!” she declared with fake enthusiasm. “Heeeeey!”

Trixie just kept glaring at her, cheese dripping thickly off her mane.

“This…this…” Starlight began half-heartedly as she surveyed the damage, honestly not sure how to even begin to explain. “…so I didn’t mean for any of this to happen, first of all…”

I’m sure,” Trixie growled, but her attention was finally drawn off of Starlight as Theodore, still looking pretty ill, worked to right himself and was wiping cheese off of himself.

“Oof,” he grunted, swiping a large portion of it off of his face, “That was certainly—”

He was interrupted by a large series of gasps from many of the onlookers now that his face was visible again. Starlight’s pupils shrank to pinpricks. Pharynx facehoofed. Most telling of all, Trixie’s eyes bulged in shock. All eyes were locked on his face. Slowly, he reached up with one hoof to feel the side of his face he just uncovered and realized that, in the blast, part of his disguise had collapsed, revealing part of his real changeling face underneath.

“Oh,” Thorax murmured as his already pale face somehow went even paler, “Ohhhhh.”

Everybody was staring at him, but it was Trixie’s stunned expression of realization that caught his attention the most. “But…” she struggled to utter, trying to find voice to the flood of thoughts in her mind.

Pharynx then stomped up and slapped a cheesy hoof on Thorax’s shoulder. “Well, there you go then!” he snapped at his brother, who flinched away. “Your cover’s been blown for you! Are you happy now?

“Please…let’s not do this now…” Thorax tried to beg, turning to his elder brother.

“No!” Pharynx declared, who had gotten himself quite riled up. “Because you know what the worst part of it is? You could’ve avoided it! With Starlight running up to you screaming her head off, you had plenty of forewarning to try and react! You remember all that physical training I put you through to teach you how to dodge any and all threats that might come at you, right?”

“Yes…” Thorax replied wearily, appearing to wilt.

“So whydidn’tyouDOOOOOODGE?!” Pharynx bellowed, jabbing him in the barrel.

Thorax suddenly swatted the offending hoof away. “Give me a break, Pharynx, I’m not exactly feeling my greatest already! I don’t need you rubbing it in!”

Trixie’s gaze wandered to Pharynx, realizing the stallion he currently still appeared as was just an illusion too. “…Pharynx? But….”

“Besides, this is all only a problem because she tried to mess things up!” Thorax continued, jabbing a hoof at Starlight.

“Hey, no, you brought this down upon yourself!” Starlight snapped back, now joining the argument. “If you had just told the truth when I told you to, I wouldn’t have felt obligated to try and intervene!”

“You shouldn’t have tried to intervene at all!” Pharynx snapped back at her, getting between her and Thorax. “This wasn’t your business to—”

Will somepony explain what the HAY is going on here?!” Trixie suddenly exploded as the last of her frayed nerves finally snapped.

This silenced all three of them as they whipped around to look at her then sheepishly averted their gaze in shame, even Pharynx.

Well?” Trixie stressed when no one moved or spoke.

Thorax sighed. Meeting Trixie’s gaze at last, he silently released his disguise in full, fully revealing himself as he really was.

Trixie inhaled with a sharp hiss as she took it in. She couldn’t bring herself to look Thorax in the eye. “…the whole time?” she simply asked.

Thorax sadly nodded. “I’m sorry,” he murmured.

“It’s not totally his fault,” Pharynx suddenly butted in apologetically, also revealing his normal form. “I was the one who first gave him the idea.”

“I…should probably take some blame too,” Starlight also chimed in. “I made everything worse by trying to force him to reveal himself.”

Well, it worked,” Trixie snapped at Starlight before turning to face Thorax again, staring at him for a long moment. She picked up her drink from off of their table, miraculously not knocked over, and stopped to take a drink from it.

“I really am sorry for all of this, Trixie,” Thorax apologized again, mustering as much heartfelt emotion into it as he could.

Trixie replied by chucking the rest of her drink into his face before silently turning and pushing past all of them so to leave the restaurant.

“Trixie,” Thorax called after her in a bemoaning voice, starting to give chase. “Trixie, I—oh.” He abruptly halted, suddenly looking queasy. He tried to steady himself again, but it quickly proved to be a losing battle as he gagged a few times and finally, quickly righting an ice bucket that had fallen, proceeded to throw up.

“Ohhhhh,” Pharynx groaned, starting towards his ill brother. “See what you’ve done?” he snapped at Starlight as he passed her before turning to glare at all of the other onlookers. “What are all of YOU looking at?”

Everybody else suddenly had much more interesting things to look at as Pharynx aided his brother voiding his stomach into the bucket. Starlight, meanwhile, just sat herself down where she stood, staring down at her hooves in shame. Silverstream, just as covered with sticky cheese as everyone else, came over and placed a comforting paw on her shoulder.

Starlight managed to give her a small grin of thanks. “Made a real mess, haven’t we?” she asked.

Silverstream started to peel her paw off of Starlight’s cheese-covered back, saw the tendrils of cheese still sticking to it, and then thought better of it. “Maybe just a little,” she admitted simply but in understanding. She may have said more, but she became distracted when there was a sudden thump behind them and turned around to see a vaguely pony-shaped blob of cheese come lurching out of the kitchen. “AHHH! CHEESE SOUP ZOMBIE! EVERYBODY PANIC!” She and most of the other patrons in the restaurant then started to scream and run in circles while Starlight facehooved, up until the supposed “zombie” swiped a hoof over his face and revealed himself to simply be the irate head supervisor. “Oh!” Silverstream declared, realizing her error. “Never mind everybody! False alarm! It’s just my boss!”

As everyone went back to what they were doing then, the supervisor stomped his way towards Starlight. “You!” he declared threateningly while pointing an accusing hoof at her. Starlight, alarmed, wondered if she might be better off quickly teleporting out of there. “You are responsible for zhis! I do not yet know how, but you are! And I will make sure you are responsible for cleaning up zhis whole mess!”

Silverstream laughed unhelpfully. “Yeah, we sort of made a mess of everything, didn’t we?” she asked.

Her supervisor then whirled onto her. “We?” he repeated accusingly. “What do you mean, we? Are you zaying you were involved in zhis too?!”

“Mm-hmm!” Silverstream nodded happily, completely unfazed by his temper. “How else do you think a griffon and a dragon got in the kitchen unnoticed like they did?” She playfully bopped him on the shoulder. “Silly!”

The supervisor fumed and sputtered for a moment with such intensity that Starlight thought he might explode himself. Finally he jabbed a hoof at Silverstream and exclaimed “ZHEN YOU ARE FIRED!

Silverstream gazed at him blankly for a spilt second. “Okay!” she then brightly whipped out her camera, apparently having been carrying it on her unnoticed this whole time, wrapped one foreleg around her now former (and very furious) boss, pulling him close, and snapped a picture of themselves before the supervisor threw her off of him, fumed for another moment, then stalked off, muttering about going to get a mop. Silverstream waved at him as he left.

“Sorry about the job, Silverstream,” Starlight apologized once he was gone.

“Eh, it’s not a total loss,” Silverstream replied and pulled open one of the pockets on her vest with her thumb, revealing it was filled with bits of particularly large denominations. “I still learned that the customers here leave really good tips!”

Starlight stared at the unexpected amount of money then heaved a heavy sigh, feeling like she had enough excitement night for one day. “Let’s just regroup, get out of here, and call it a night,” she said, rubbing wearily at her temples.

“Okay!” Silverstream said and looked around. “Where did Gallus and Smolder get off to, anyway?”

Starlight suddenly straightened in alarm.

Gallus’s choice to seek shelter from the cheese explosion in the walk-in freezer had been a good one, as it successfully spared him and Smolder entirely from the blast. The only drawback was the blast of cheese had also plastered the freezer door, sealing it shut from the outside and making it impossible to open from the inside. So until someone came to rescue them, they were trapped there.

Fortunately, being from mountainous city of Griffonstone where the winters were harsh, Gallus was no stranger to cold environments and knew what the best ways to converse heat were. Also fortunately, Smolder was a dragon. Even though she hailed from a land that simply didn’t get cold weather and she hated having to be trapped here and suffer the cold, her internal body heat was also much higher than that of most other creatures, making her the warmest thing there. So to try and keep themselves from freezing, they snuggled together so to share that body heat between them. They, of course, ribbed each other a bit over this detail, but eventually they grew bored of that and were left sitting in the freezer trying to keep themselves entertained, awaiting someone to free them.

“How long do you think it’s going to take until they get us out of here?” Smolder asked, watching her breath condense in small clouds of fog in front of her snout.

“Dunno,” Gallus admitted. “I guess it depends on how bad the damage is outside and how long it’ll take for help to get to us. Hopefully not too long.”

“Well, at least we won’t starve in here,” Smolder remarked, surveying all the stored food the freezer contained.

Gallus snorted. “Easy for you to say—it’s all frozen.”

“Oh yeah,” Smolder said, chuckling at herself for forgetting this. “Hey, by the way, thanks for tackling that chef guy when he got the upper edge on me back then,”

Gallus shrugged. “Eh, you would’ve done the same. So thank you for having my back too.” He elbowed her. “Even though you’d still give me sass for it every step of the way.”

“What are friends for?” Smolder replied, and they both shared a chuckle over that.

Quiet fell for a moment in the freezer.

“You know, this is kind of nice,” Smolder remarked aloud as they sat there. “I mean, sure, it’s colder than Yona’s backyard in here, but it’s still quiet, nobody to bug us…” she nudged Gallus in the side with her elbow, “…and at least I have good company.”

“Oh, so I’m good company now,” Gallus quipped.

“Well, let’s just say that if I had to get locked into a walk-in freezer with anyone, I’d rather it be you.”

Gallus shrugged, taking the compliment, but also adding, “I don’t know…if you had gotten stuck in here with Yona, she would’ve already smashed the door down and gotten out of here.”

Smolder rolled her eyes and smirked. “Okay, yeah, I’ll give you that. But I think she’d rather get locked in here with Sandbar, if you know what I mean.”

Gallus snickered. “Yeah, they’ve been getting to be total lovebirds lately, haven’t they?” He shifted positions in an attempt to keep his butt from freezing to the floor. “Think those two can really make it work?”

“What, Sandbar and Yona?” Smolder shrugged. “Why not?”

“I dunno. I mean, I’m still happy for them and all, and I wanna support them, it’s just…he’s a pony, and she’s a yak…”

Smolder snorted. “We’ve seen stranger things. Trixie and King Thorax, apparently.”

“Yeah…except they’re part of the reason we got stuck in here at all.”

“Okay, bad example.” Smolder wiggled a little closer so to better exploit the griffon’s body heat. “Uh, how about Spike and Gabby then?”

Gallus shot her a look. “Spike and Gabby,” he repeated skeptically. “As in Spike the dragon and Gabby Griffon. Really.”

“Oh c’mon, you’ve had to have seen them hanging out and making cow-eyes at each other plenty of times by now.”

“I’ve seen them hanging out, but I thought they were just being friends.”

Smolder rolled her eyes knowingly. “Oh, I don’t even need to ask Ocellus to know those two like each other just a little more than as friends. Honestly, I’m not sure who’s more guilty of it—them or Yona and Sandbar.” She smirked, watching Gallus’s brow furrow as he mulled on this. “You really hadn’t noticed that?”

Well…” Gallus sputtered, then waved a set of talons about dismissively, “Does it matter if I did or not? If they’re into each other, that’s their business, I guess.” He thought on it a second longer then snickered again. “Though if it does go that way, then I don’t think Gabby realizes what she’s getting herself into, dating a dragon.”

Smolder snorted again, this time offended. “And just what is that supposed to mean?”

“Well, no offense, Smolder, but you dragons are all so rough and tumble, and Gabby’s so…bright and cheery to a very annoying fault.” Gallus kept snickering. “It’s just…amusing to think of two creatures like that trying to date, y’know?”

Smolder rolled over so to face him, holding up a claw. “Okay, first of all, Spike’s not your typical dragon,” she reminded firmly. She then jabbed that claw into Gallus’s beak. “Second, like you’d really know what it’s like to date any dragon! When was the last time you did that, hmm?

Gallus rolled his eyes and pushed the offending claw away. “Sheesh, sorry!” he groused. “I didn’t think you’d get so worked up about it! What makes you the expert, anyway?”

“I know dragons! Rocks, I am a dragon!” She jabbed her claw into Gallus’s chest now, leaning close so to glare into his eyes. “Personally, I think that if there’s going to be any problems, it’s going to be with the griffon!”

“Hey, no, you can’t say that,” Gallus retorted. “You don’t have any more experience than I would. You’d have to date a griffon first before you can go saying stuff like that.”

“Well, right back ‘atcha then, feather-butt! But I betcha you’d totally blow it on the first try!”

“Oh, you’re that confident then, huh?”

“I dare you to prove me wrong.”

“Fine, then! You, me, tomorrow night at seven, down at that pizza place. Then we’ll settle this.”

“You’re so on.”



A long beat of silence passed before reality sank in and their smug looks slowly faded.

“Did we just--?”

“Yeah…yeah, we did.”

Another beat of silence passed before Smolder shrugged her shoulders in acceptance. “Eh, we could do worse,” she said.

Gallus returned it with a chuckle. “Yeah, we certainly could.”

They were able to keep looking into each other’s eyes for another few moments before being interrupted by the freezer door letting out a creak and then popping open, swinging aside to reveal Silverstream and Starlight Glimmer, the latter using her magic to tug the stuck door free.

“Aww!” Silverstream cooed the moment she laid eye on Gallus and Smolder snuggled up to each other, whose expressions immediately turned into ones akin to deer caught in headlights. “Just look at you two! How adorable!

Gallus and Smolder immediately sprang apart, scampering to other sides of the freezer. “This isn’t what it looks like!” they shouted together.

It was lost on Silverstream, who immediately started snapping away with her camera, snagging pictures of the embarrassed pair while Starlight stood behind her, wearily rubbing at her temples and past ready to just call it a night.

The mess in Café Hay was such that the restaurant had to stay closed for all of the following day so to finish cleaning and conducting minor repairs. As it was a popular and iconic spot, this of course was noticed by pretty much everybody in town, and its head supervisor was all too happy to vent about who was responsible. But even without that, the other patrons who’d witnessed the night’s events quickly told their friends, who told their friends, and so on, making word of the incident spread like wildfire. Naturally, by the time classes began the next morning, Starlight found that everybody in the school already knew about it, as well that she had been directly involved. And of course, her students just loved gossiping about how their new headmare had managed to cause so much trouble.

But the trouble she had put herself in was one thing—she was more worried about how much trouble this would put her cohorts Silverstream, Gallus, and Smolder in. That, however, was left up to their respective guardians. To that end, Grandpa Gruff couldn’t care less what Gallus had done, and Dragon Lord Ember only thought Smolder’s role was hilarious and praiseworthy, as per the dragon way. Silverstream was a little less lucky, as Queen Novo herself personally came to the school so to “discuss” the matter with the young hippogriff. But once Silverstream had explained her side of the story, Novo agreed to let her off with a very stern warning, on the strong understanding that such an incident would not be allowed to happen again.

The queen was a little less forgiving with Starlight, the two speaking briefly during her quick visit, but Novo also left Starlight largely alone, though only on the grounds that she knew Twilight would be handling that herself. And Twilight definitely made good on it, as she was not too pleased with Starlight either and spent over an hour verbally reprimanding the unicorn that succeeded her as headmare for her actions. Starlight didn’t fight it, feeling it more than deserved at this point. Which might have been why Twilight also agreed to let Starlight off easy, arranged to cover the damages to Café Hay herself, and let Starlight stay as headmare, especially as she could tell that at least everyone seemed to have learned their lesson from the incident.

Nevertheless, Starlight was still to receive a temporary dock in pay as punishment, and Twilight took steps to increase the oversight of the School of Friendship and its staff, so to ensure things like this didn’t become commonplace. She also entrusted that Starlight would play an active role making sure there would be no repeats and no one else trying such a stunt so long as she worked at the school. Otherwise, Twilight promised she wouldn’t be so forgiving next time. Starlight couldn’t argue to any of this under the circumstances, thinking it all fair in light of what happened, and thankful it overall hadn’t been much worse for all involved.

Though this still left the damage she brought between Thorax and Trixie, and that was much harder to know how to address, if it could be addressed. Physically speaking, Thorax at least recovered fine after a good night’s sleep. Emotionally though, Starlight found him quite down in the dumps when she paid him a visit at his wagon, still where it had been yesterday, only now everyone knew who was really staying there. Pharynx was also there keeping watch, and had been turning away visitors, not wanting any oglers. But even though he was still miffed with Starlight over what happened, he and Thorax made an exception for her so to talk. Pharynx never said it outright, but Starlight suspected the changeling hoped the visit might do something to cheer up his depressed little brother.

But Thorax was too busy blaming himself for that. He openly admitted now that pretending to be something he wasn’t just so to date a mare he fancied had been a “stupid idea” he should’ve never have run with like he had. And now he feared he had not only ruined his credibility as king with the public, pony or changeling, he also had ruined any chances of him and Trixie working out, friend or otherwise.

“But I don’t have anyone to blame but me,” the changeling lamented as he lay draped over his bed like a wilted plant, looking melancholy. “I made this problem…now I have to live with it, I guess.”

Starlight wiggled uncomfortably from where she sat beside the bed. “Well, give credit where credit’s due, Thorax,” she said. “Me trying to meddle certainly didn’t help. I see that now, and I’m sorry.” She averted her gaze. “Too late to really do anything about it, but…”

Thorax sighed sadly. “But you wouldn’t have done any of that if I had just listened to you in the first place…or better still, been smarter and not even tried this dumb stunt in the first place.” He looked over at her. “Have you spoken with Trixie?”

Starlight shook her head. “I think she’s avoiding me. I assume you haven’t spoken with her since last night either.”

Thorax shook his head before letting it flop onto his bed. “But can you blame her? She probably wants nothing to do with me anymore, not after I lied to her.” He squeezed his eyes shut. “All she ever knew was a pony I made up, who had never been real…oh, why did I ever think this was a good idea?” he bemoaned.

Starlight heard Pharynx suppress a groan behind her and glanced back at him. “He’s been going on like this for hours,” he explained pointedly.

“Well, sorry!” Thorax snapped, throwing a pillow at his brother who dodged it easily, “I’m kinda going through something here!” He rolled over, turning his back to both of them, before sadly mumbling, “It’s not like you’d understand anyway.”

Pharynx simply tsked aloud and didn’t comment. Starlight, however, looked thoughtful. “He just might, though,” she remarked, glancing back at Pharynx who glanced back, annoyed.

Thorax was quiet for a moment then rolled back over with a puzzled look. “He does?”

“I do?” Pharynx also asked skeptically.

“Well…in the right ballpark, at least,” Starlight clarified as she considered this sudden thought in her mind.

Thorax grunted and buried his face into the remaining pillow on his bed. “Well, it’s not like it’s going to make much of a difference. Trixie is never going to want to do anything with me ever again.”

But then he felt a hoof gently rest on his shoulder and he looked up to see Starlight giving him a hopeful smile. “I don’t know, Thorax,” she said, optimism beginning to shine in her eyes. “I wouldn’t give up hope on her just yet.”

Thorax sat up partly, brow furrowed but allowing himself a small amount of intrigue. “…what do you mean?” he asked.

Starlight just continued to smile hopefully for a moment. “Well, first I have something I need to go do,” she said, turning to go. She looked to Pharynx as she walked for the door and pointed a hoof at him. “But in the meantime, you tell him what you told me last night.”

Pharynx raised a skeptical brow at her. “You really think it’ll help?” Starlight only replied with a knowing look which led Pharynx into sighing. “All right, I suppose we can try it. I just hope you know what you’re doing, pony, because it sure didn’t end well last time.”

“Don’t worry you two,” Starlight said as she exited the wagon, “I think I’ve got a good feeling about this.”

She found Trixie in her office at the school, sitting at her desk and looking about as glum as Thorax, half-heartedly making aimless doodles on a piece of scratch paper. Starlight had been afraid that she would turn her away, still in no mood to talk to her, but beyond telling her to come in when she knocked, Trixie had barely reacted to her entrance. Starlight watched her sadly as she strolled up to her friend’s desk, feeling her heart clench in sympathy. Though she still felt mostly confident this would only help, she still knew it was going to be rough for them both getting through it.

“Hey,” she greeted her friend, “How are you doing?”

“Meh,” Trixie grunted, non-committal. “All things considered, it was a routine day today. Helped a student here, filled out a form there, that sort of thing.”

Starlight studied her for a moment. “I wasn’t really asking about your workday, though.”

“I know you weren’t.” Trixie sighed, ceasing to doodle and just letting her head thump miserably on the table. “But it was still the highlight of today, all the same.”

Starlight shifted uneasily, feeling guilty again. “Look, Trixie,” she began, deciding to just delve right into it, “About last night…I’m sorry. It wasn’t my business to get involved in and ultimately I didn’t help anyone anyway.” Her gaze turned concerned. “I fear I only ended up hurting you more.”

Trixie sighed again, but slowly shook her head, finally meeting Starlight’s gaze. She didn’t look angry, just…dejected. “No,” she mumbled, “it wasn’t your fault, not really. If anyone should be sorry, it was me. You…you were just trying to be a good friend by telling me the truth, but…I refused to believe it, tried to push you away, and…it made you resort to other tactics. Really, I set myself up for this by choosing not to believe what was already staring me in the face.”

Starlight gazed at her sympathetically. “Did you suspect, then?”

Trixie hesitated. “Maybe deep down,” she admitted. “Looking back, it…did all seem like something was amiss. But I guess I was too lost in the moment to admit it…so I buried it instead. I liked the illusion too much, and lashed out at anything that would shatter it.” She looked apologetically to Starlight. “And in so doing, I said some things to you…I probably shouldn’t have. So I’m sorry, Starlight. I was…being unreasonable, treating your attempts to warn me like I did.”

Starlight averted her gaze, ashamed. “The thing is though…you were still right.” Seeing Trixie perk up in surprise, she sighed and pressed on. “I…hate admitting it, but…you were right. I was jealous. Jealous that you had found a special somepony when I still hadn’t, and I guess…it just made me feel like I was getting left behind…left out. I…didn’t want to face that, so I wanted to see something in Theodore Startup that I could use to…prevent that. And when I actually did end up finding something, I felt vindicated and…it just spurred me on. I got so caught up in trying to bring down the stallion that reminded me of my own failures…I forgot to consider what it might do to you…or Thorax, for that matter.” She shook her head. “Even if my intentions were good…I still shouldn’t have tried to get between you two, not like I did at least. It only got us all in trouble in the end.”

Trixie sighed for a third time, but when she lifted her gaze again afterwards, her spirits had brightened enough that she managed a small smile. “I guess, in the end, we all messed up, huh?”

Starlight mirrored the smile. “Little bit, yeah.” She paused for a second, surveying her friend. “I spoke to Thorax.”

Trixie’s only reaction was her ears perking up a little. “He’s still in town?”

“Yeah. He…he feels pretty bad about what happened and regrets what he did, if it helps any. He hadn’t meant to hurt you.”

“That’s what’s so awful about all of this though,” Trixie said. “I know he never really meant to hurt me, or anyone. It’s Thorax for crying out loud!” She leaned back in her seat, groaning. “He’s just a dunderhead that doesn’t think things through, is all. So…there’s a part of me that feels bad for being so mad at him over this.” She ran her hooves over her face. “But…he still lied to me, didn’t he? Pretended to be someone he wasn’t.”

“Did he, though?” Starlight suddenly challenged. When Trixie gave her a questioning look, she explained. “Pharynx and I talked at length last night just before everything…” she trailed off, looking for the right word.

Fortunately, Trixie had it. “…went cheesy?”

Starlight smiled, suppressing a snicker at the wordplay. “…yeah. Anyway, Pharynx pointed out why my attempts to tell you the truth hadn’t worked.” Starlight looked her right in the eye. “He said it was because you already knew that, no matter what he looked like on the outside, on the inside, Thorax was a good guy. And that was what was more important.”

Trixie’s gaze turned distant as she silently considered that.

“Think about it, Trixie,” Starlight pressed on. “He may have been wearing a false face and going under a false name, but otherwise…was Theodore Startup really any different from Thorax, king of the changelings?”

Trixie took another second or two to consider it before replying. “Do you think I should forgive him, then?” she asked. She sounded hopeful, like she was already willing, but needed to be given permission first.

But Starlight hesitated. “That’s up to you,” she conceded. “I think you should go talk to him about it though, try and at least smooth out what happened, get his side of the story in full, let him hear yours, whatever you need to. Even if this whole relationship you two had still ends here…I don’t think there’s any reason why your friendship has to too. Besides,” Starlight trotted around the desk separating them and put a comforting hoof on Trixie’s shoulder, “right now he thinks you’re going to hate him forever for what happened. He could use the reassurance that won’t actually be the case…unless that’s what you want from him.”

But Trixie immediately shook her head. “No,” she said. “I don’t. I’m…I’m not that upset with him, I guess.” She winced to herself. “Still not that terribly happy with him either because he still messed up, short and simple, but…you’re probably right.” She sighed. “I…we…we need to talk this out more, at least now that we’ve both had the time to…cool our heads.”

Starlight patted her on the back and turned to go. “Then I’ll leave you to it.”

“Starlight,” Trixie called as she left. She grinned at her friend. “Thanks. Maybe you helped get us all into this mess…but I do appreciate you trying to help us get back out of it.” She blushed a little sheepishly. “Honestly…I’m not sure I want it to end like this either. I just…needed to be reminded of that.”

Starlight grinned back. “Just trying to be a better friend than I was before,” she replied, starting to open the door.

“Then…can I have your honest opinion on something else?” Trixie asked. She seemed almost embarrassed to do so though as she shifted awkwardly, tapping her hooves together. “A pony and a changeling…do you really think that could work?”

Starlight considered it for a second while standing in the doorway. “I don’t know,” she finally admitted. She gave Trixie a wink. “Might be your chance to find out.”

Meanwhile, Pharynx and Thorax had finished their own conversation, the former having fully recapped his rather flattering comments about the latter to Starlight the previous night, and now the two sat awkwardly in the wagon, not sure what else to say. Pharynx, as usual, sat there looking grumpy and annoyed at having to discuss the touchy-feely topic. Thorax, however, just sat there on the bed, gazing at him almost a little blankly.

It was starting to annoy Pharynx. “Stop staring at me like that.”

“Sorry,” Thorax apologized. “It’s just…you almost never compliment me like that.”

Pharynx’s snout wrinkled in his annoyance. “Well…you’re such an idiot most of the time that you don’t give me much cause to,” he said, and to cap off the point, teasingly stuck his tongue out at his younger brother.

Thorax grinned a little, amused by Pharynx’s awkward handling of this. “Did you mean it?” he asked, curious.

Pharynx, to his credit, almost looked offended. “Don’t I usually mean what I say?” he challenged.

“So you meant it all? How you think I always manage to do good in the end, and been a good king despite my…being an idiot?”

Pharynx rolled his eyes. “Thorax, if I didn’t think you could handle being king, I probably would’ve overthrown you within the first week of your rule,” he summed up bluntly. “Informis Una forbid, we all know it’d be stupidly easy for me to do.”

Thorax’s grin grew and he pulled his grump of an old brother into a hug. Pharynx squirmed in protest, but Thorax just squeezed harder until he finally relented, grumpily staring heavenwards as he waited out the show of affection.

He was finally rescued when there was a timid knock on the wagon door. “All right, all right, that’s enough of that nonsense,” he said, trying to squirm out of Thorax’s grip again. “There’s somebody at the door. Lemme go turn them away so you can get back to sulking in peace.”

“Eh, maybe sulking’s getting overrated,” Thorax said as he sat back down on the bed. “Let ‘em come on in. I think I need a bit of socializing right now anyway.”

Pharynx opened the door a crack to see who it was and immediately raised an eyebrow. He looked back at Thorax. “All right, but it’s your funeral.” He then pulled the door back to reveal it was Trixie sheepishly standing at the door.

Thorax’s face fell. “…Oh.” Unable to look the mare in the eye, he awkwardly rubbed the back of his head. “Hi.”

“Yeah,” Trixie said with a nod, also unable to look him in the eye. “Hi.” She then drew in a deep breath and stepped inside. “Look…can we talk for a bit?”

Thorax sighed. “Yeah, I suppose we ought to,” he agreed and motioned for her to come closer. “Did Starlight put you up to this?”

“…Sort of,” Trixie admitted. “She…at least made me realize that things might not be as bad as they seemed, but…” she trailed off, glancing uncomfortably at Pharynx.

Thorax understood. “Hey, can you give us a few minutes alone please?” he asked of his brother.

Pharynx made a mock salute. “I’ll do you one better and make sure nobody interrupts you,” he promised as he turned to step outside. “I’m leaving if the wagon starts rocking, though.” He cackled as Thorax’s pillow hit him the back of his head, closing the door behind him and leaving the two alone.

Thorax glared after him for a second before turning to Trixie. “I’m sorry about him,” he apologized for his brother. “But he’s still good at what he does, so…what can you do?”

Trixie, to her credit, giggled a little. “It’s okay, I can’t say I blame him much.”

Thorax grinned, but it was short lived. “Look…I’m sorry for deceiving you, Trixie,” he said, getting right to the point. “That was wrong of me.”

Trixie sighed, stepping closer. “And I’m sorry I ran out last night without letting you explain,” she added. “I was just…”

“…mad,” Thorax finished. He nodded his head. “I understand. I don’t blame you for that. I’m…sure it was all a shock.”

“Yeah, but…that’s not what I came here for.” Trixie looked him in the eye. “Look, I’ve been thinking it over…and I think it’s safe to say we all helped mess up that relationship we had up until last night. And…with that hanging over our heads, I’m not sure we’re ever going to sort it out and turn it back into what it was before, so much so I think it’d just make things worse trying.”

Thorax’s ears drooped sadly at this.

“So maybe we should just forget that and instead…take it back to the beginning and start over from scratch.”

Thorax’s ears then perked up hopefully again. “Really?”

Trixie shrugged. “I mean, at the end of the day, the whole issue with this was just that I was dating a changeling without knowing it, right?” she reasoned. “So…might as well try it, right?”

Thorax thought it over for a moment, then, with an optimistic shrug, stuck out his hoof, offering it to Trixie. “Hello, I am Thorax.”

Trixie regarded the extended chitinous hoof for a second then, grinning, took it in her own azure hoof and shook it. “Hello, Thorax” she greeted, playing along. “I…am the Great and Powerful Trixie! I’m a formally-traveling stage magician, illusionist, and now student counselor.”

“And I’m a changeling,” Thorax offered back in response.

Trixie giggled and nodded her head. “Yes, I can see that.”

They both laughed before proceeding to catch up with one another, resuming the friendly relations they had first started out with as if nothing had happened and anything had gotten between them. Most certainly not the fact that one of them was really a changeling.

By the following day, things had largely gone back to normal. Creatures awoke and went about their day, and at the School of Friendship classes went routinely and without issue. After the events of the past couple of days, Starlight was personally thankful for the return to normality—made it easier to set aside what had happened, clear one’s mind, and move on to focus on new things. She was rather ready for that now, figuring Trixie and the others were to.

She found Silverstream as an excellent example of this when she came across the hippogriff standing to one side of the school cafeteria with her camera, not long after classes had ended for the day. “Hey Silverstream,” Starlight greeted as she approached, watching Silverstream watch something through the camera’s sights. She turned her head to try and see what she was looking at but saw only Gallus and Smolder sitting alone at a table on the other side of the room, conversing over homework. “Whatcha doing?”

“Documenting budding romance!” Silverstream replied, snapping a picture abruptly.

Starlight’s brow furrowed and again glanced in the direction Silverstream was looking. Again, she only saw Gallus and Smolder doing nothing out of the ordinary. “…all right,” she mumbled uncertain then changed the subject. “Hey, while I’ve got you here, you wouldn’t have happened to seen Trixie recently, have you? She’s not in her office at the moment.”

“Nuh-uh,” Silverstream replied, examining her latest photo. “Haven’t really seen her at all today. Why, do you need her for something?”

“Oh, nothing too important really,” Starlight admitted. “I just had next week’s schedule all worked out and I figured I might as well get her up to date while I had the chance. Why?”

“Does that mean you’re free for the rest of the day?” Silverstream then asked as she slipped the new photo into her album before continuing to gaze at whatever it was that had caught her attention.

“Well, I still have some paperwork I could be doing, but I guess it can wait,” Starlight replied, again trying but failing to see what had the hippogriff’s attention. “Okay, Silverstream, seriously, just what is it that you’re looking at? You said something romantic, but I don’t see anything like that.”

“It’s right there, silly!” Silverstream said, and pointed right at where Gallus and Smolder were sitting. “It’s a new romance among my friends!”

Starlight frowned slightly as she surveyed the pair, not sure she understood—let alone saw—what Silverstream was suggesting. But then she saw Smolder hurriedly peek around the room to see if anyone was watching and then, apparently believing no one was, leaned over and stole a quick peck on Gallus’s cheek.

Starlight’s eyebrows went up, suddenly understanding. “Well, I’ll be darned,” she remarked, as Gallus responded by playfully bopping Smolder on the shoulder.

“Aren’t they adorable?” Silverstream cooed while Smolder bopped Gallus back with a bit more force.

Starlight watched as the two proceeded to bop each other back and forth, harder and harder, until finally Gallus tackled Smolder and their squabbling dropped behind the table and out of view. “Well, as adorable as those two can ever be,” she quipped with a smirk. She glanced back at Silverstream with a knowing look. “Yet another unexpected outcome from the past couple of days, I assume?”

“Yup! Ooh, hey, speaking of,” Silverstream turned to look at her. “Is King Thorax still in town? Ocellus was saying she wanted to update him on her school studies in person while he was here but I wasn’t sure if he still was. Hadn’t seen him much since…you know…the incident.”

“I think so,” Starlight replied. “But I haven’t met with him or Pharynx today, so I can’t say for certain.” As Gallus and Smolder emerged from their brief wrestling spat, a little roughed up but looking no worse for wear, she nudged the hippogriff into moving away. “Anyway, let’s stop spying on Gallus and Smolder now and go do other things, howabout?”

“Aw, okay,” Silverstream said, glancing over at the clock on the wall. She then tugged on Starlight’s mane. “Hey, actually, headmare, can I borrow you for a bit? There’s something I want you to come see.”

“Well, I suppose, so long as it doesn’t take too long,” Starlight replied as they headed out of the cafeteria. “Where is it at?”

“The train station.”

Starlight looked at her in surprise. “The train station? What’s at the train station?”

“You’ll see!” Silverstream replied in a sing-song voice. “Oh, but we have to hurry! We’ll need to be there before three-thirty!”

“Okay…but why?” Starlight asked, skeptical.

“You’ll see!” Silverstream only replied again. “But I promise it’ll be worth your while!”

Starlight weighed her options as they stepped into the school’s entry hall, but decided that whatever it was, it couldn’t possibly hurt, and besides, she probably owed Silverstream a little favoring considering how she’d assisted her the past few days. “Oh, all right then, so long as it doesn’t take too long,” she relented.

“Yay!” Silverstream cheered, prancing in place for a moment before starting for the exit. “Let’s get going!”

“Just a second,” Starlight said, heading for the nearby coat closet. “I’d heard that the weather team is bringing a cool breeze in for this afternoon and it might be a bit nippy. Lemme get a jacket first so I don’t catch a chill.”

She pulled open the closet door so to do so, but immediately halted at the sight of Thorax and Trixie already inside, in the middle of a makeout session and a rather intense one by the look of it, enough that Trixie’s magicians hat had somehow gone from her head to on top of Thorax’s. Oblivious to the fact that they’d been caught, they kept right at it while Starlight just stood there and stared, brain slow to catch up to the scene she had just stumbled into.

Silverstream didn’t have this problem though. “Oh hey!” she declared loudly, leaning in so to see too, “You found Counselor Trixie!” Unsurprisingly, she snapped a picture.

This finally alerted Trixie and Thorax and they broke apart a split second too late to avoid being caught forever on film, turning to look at the intruders. Thorax was clearly embarrassed to be caught like this, blushing so hard that he looked more red than his usual lime green. Trixie, however, was much less apologetic about it.

“Hey!” she snapped, lighting her horn, “Privacy!

She then used her magic to rip the door out of Starlight’s grip and slam it shut again.

Starlight stood there numbly for a second longer before finally about-facing without a second thought. “Actually, it’s not going to be that cold out there,” she covered quickly, suddenly eager to be anywhere but there now, “I can manage without, I’m sure.”

Silverstream looked from her to the closet. “But what about Trixie and Thorax?”

“If they want that closet so badly, they can keep it forever and ever at this point,” Starlight stressed while opening the school’s front door to leave.

Silverstream followed, unperturbed. “Won’t we all still need the coat closest after they’re done with it, though?”

“Honestly, Silverstream? It might be better to just call it a lost cause and build a new one.”

“So are you still feeling jealous about Counselor Trixie hooking up with King Thorax?” Silverstream asked as they walked towards the Ponyville train station.

“Oh, we’re still going on about that, are we?” Starlight groused. At Silverstream’s responding look though, she relented. “Yes, I was feeling jealous about that before.” When Silverstream’s look intensified, she added, “Okay, fine, I’m still kinda feeling jealous about it.” She sighed. “It’s just…it’d be nice if I found a special somepony too, y’know? And with Trixie and Thorax finding theirs…it sort of reminded me just how much I’d like to have that.”

“Hmm,” Silverstream hummed, nodding her head to herself.

They kept walking for a moment. “Why do you ask?” Starlight then felt compelled to inquire.

“Oh, no special reason,” Silverstream replied a little quickly.

Starlight raised a questioning brow at her for that, but didn’t press further. Soon they arrived at the currently empty train station, standing on the platform and looking around. “All right then, we’re here now,” Starlight remarked, surveying the area and not immediately seeing the significance. “What’s here that you wanted me to see?”

“Well, we still gotta wait just a teensy bit,” Silverstream explained, glancing at the clock set on the station wall. “It’s not quite three-thirty yet.”

“Okay,” Starlight said, still not understanding, “but what happens at three-thirty?”

“You’ll see!” Silverstream sang again, but then heard the distant call of a train whistle. They hurried to the platform edge to peer down the tracks and see a train approaching from the north. “Ooh, then again, looks like its early!”

“Wait, the train?” Starlight asked, confused, as the train pulled up to the station. She looked it up and down, but it was just a normal passenger train that always passed through the town once or twice a day. “Silverstream, what’s special about the train?”

“It’s not the train, it’s what’s on the train, silly!” Silverstream replied as ponies started off-loading from it onto the platform.

On the train?” Starlight repeated, surveying the small crowd of ponies now spilling around them. “But…then what’s on the—?”

“Starlight?” she heard a familiar voice call out from within the crowd, and she turned to see her assistant headpony urgently moving through the crowd towards them.

Sunburst?” Starlight declared, surprised, as she moved to meet the stallion. “What’s going on, what are you doing here? I thought you were still going to be in Vanhoover for another day or two!”

“I was, but then I got your letter saying there was an emergency and you needed me back here ASAP!” Sunburst explained anxiously, panting and wiping his brow. “So I got on the first train back to Ponyville as soon as I could!”

Emergency?” Starlight repeated, only further baffled. “What emergency? And what letter? I never sent you any—” But then she cut herself short and turned to shoot Silverstream a look, having figured out what had happened.

Silverstream just grinned cheekily. “I regret nothing!” she assured, in a manner Starlight suspected she’d picked up from the likes of Gallus or Smolder. “And with everybody else pairing up, I figured a friendly nudge to get you to at least ask him wouldn’t hurt! Besides, what are you waiting for, anyway? You did say he was the one you most wanted to ba—” Mortified, Starlight quickly stuffed a hoof into her beak, silencing her before she could finish that last sentence.

“Most wanted to what?” Sunburst asked, obliviously curious.

Nothing!” Starlight quickly assured before shooting Silverstream a look. “Just a reminder that we all should know better than to meddle in another creature’s affairs by now.”

Silverstream just grinned happily, still totally unrepentant, so Starlight shooed her away. Sunburst looked on with puzzlement. “So…what was the emergency?” he asked, confused.

“Nothing, I’m afraid,” Starlight explained apologetically, turning to face him, “At least, nothing that we weren’t able to sort out ourselves. Sorry about that.”

“Oh,” Sunburst said, blinking to himself for a moment. He looked embarrassed. “I…guess I didn’t need to rush on over here after all.”

“Afraid not,” Starlight apologized. “I hope we haven’t messed up our plans for getting a new supplier for school supplies, then.”

“Oh no, we’re all good there,” Sunburst quickly assured. “Actually, I finished ahead of schedule with that and cut a deal with Fly Leaf just yesterday, who’s totally on board with what we want to do.” He shrugged. “I was just going to use the remaining days to see some of the Vanhoover sights until I got your letter. But it’s probably for the better that I came back now anyway. Seeing sights is great and all, but you can only enjoy it so much when you’re doing it alone.”

There was a flash of a camera off to one side and Starlight shot a glare at Silverstream. She had retreated only as far as the other end of the train platform before proceeding to snap pictures of the two. Starlight again tried to wave her off, but Silverstream misinterpreted it and happily waved back. Starlight groaned and rolled her eyes, deciding instead to try ignoring the hippogriff.

Sunburst looked on at all of this with curious bemusement and some confusion. “So…I take it I missed something while I was gone?” he surmised.

“You could say that,” Starlight admitted, rubbing at her temples.

Sunburst watched her do so sympathetically. “Do you…want to talk about it?”

Starlight initial thought was to say that she really didn’t…but then thought maybe it was better if Sunburst heard the events of the past few days from her first. “Trixie and King Thorax started dating, for starters,” she summed up in brief.

Sunburst’s eyebrows went up in surprise. “Really?” he asked. “How did that happen?”

“You know, it’s all really a bit of a funny story,” Starlight said with a slightly embarrassed chuckle. “You’ll laugh, honestly.”

“Then TELL HIM it already!” Silverstream shouted from across the platform, trying to egg her on. “Quit stalling!”

Starlight squeezed her eyes shut at the shout, frustrated, knowing perfectly well what she was trying to get her to do. But then she decided she might as well jump in and give it a shot regardless. “Tell you what, how about I tell you the whole story from the start,” she said, before adding sheepishly, “…maybe over dinner?” A pause, then, deciding to go all in, added, “…for two? Alone?”

Sunburst calmly blinked at her for a second, taking that in. “Okay.”

Starlight pulled back slightly, surprised. “Wait, just like that?” she asked, not expecting it to be that easy.

“Well, yeah,” Sunburst replied with a shrug. “All you had to do was ask.”

Now Starlight blinked at him for a second. “Huh,” she hummed.

“I told you!”

“Shush, Silverstream!” Starlight then grabbed Sunburst’s hoof and started leading him away in the direction opposite the hippogriff was in. “You know what, let’s go continue this somewhere private, how about?”

Sunburst chuckled. “Good idea,” he agreed.

Meanwhile, Silverstream snapped another picture of them walking off into the distance. “And one last budding romance for the day!” she declared happily as she slipped the latest picture into her album.

Author's Note:

*later, after showing her brother her finished photo album at Mount Aris*
Terramar: "I'm not so sure this whole tale you've told me is really all that logical, Sil."
Silverstream: "Eh, maybe, but hey! At least it'll still make all the shippers among us happy, amirite?"

And all is well that ends well. :twilightsmile:

The Thorxie ship specifically pursued in this fic for all of those readers of "Grief is the Price We Pay." They will already know why. :raritywink:

Some Smollus also thrown in too just because I'm pro for that ship (and incidentally was already in the story way before I had even conceived of "Somnambulism", or else I likely would've tied the two together).

And finally ending off on some Starburst, because I felt like Starlight needed to walk away from all of this a winner too. :pinkiehappy:

One final fun fact: the concept and premise of this story is actually very old, dating all the way back to somewhere around season two or three, and was about how Rarity had begun dating a stallion and Spike, feeling jealous, goes about trying to dig up dirt on said stallion to try and get them to break up, only to accidentally discover that the stallion was in reality a mystical kitsune disguising him as a pony because he was lonely and longed for companionship, before transitioning into Spike, Twilight, and Pinkie working together to try and reveal the kitsune during a dinner date with him and Rarity...to hilarious results. I never got around to writing it though, so when I got to looking into doing some fic featuring Thorxie and realized I could use that same premise here, I quickly jumped on the idea.

Anyway, hope everybody enjoyed! :raritystarry:

Comments ( 15 )

Lots of damages & apologies aplenty in this final chapter, glad it did have a satisfying conclusion though not to mention a few ships as well (Thorxie, Smollus, Starburst), although I think Silverstream had the most fun out of everyone involved! :raritywink::rainbowlaugh:

It was a fun, hilarious & heartfelt ride all in one, thanks for sharing Scyphi! :twilightsmile:

PS : Here's hoping you make another Smollus story again soon, they do playoff well together.


PS : Here's hoping you make another Smollus story again soon, they do playoff well together.

Shh, I'm working on one as we speak. :raritywink:

As Silverstream would say : OOOOOooooooooooh!!! :pinkiehappy:

This was an amazing read from start to finish omg:rainbowlaugh:
So Thorax x Trixie, huh? An odd pair but I love odd pairings between characters I love so this pair gets a big yes from me:raritystarry:
Also, the Gallus x Smolder in here was just perfect, thanks for your service once again sir:heart:
And aside from the couples, Silverstream here was another incredible enjoyable thing, I loved her already but she (and her camera) was so much fun in this I think I love her even more now:twilightsmile:

An interesting and hilarious tale, you did an amazing job with this one, looking forward to more of your work:pinkiehappy:

Pharynx made a mock salute. “I’ll do you one better and make sure nobody interrupts you,” he promised as he turned to step outside. “I’m leaving if the wagon starts rocking, though.” He cackled as Thorax’s pillow hit him the back of his head, closing the door behind him and leaving the two alone.

Now that is a brother moment. Kinda sad the show didn't play with the dynamic between these two more, because the amount of jokes and embarrassing stories that could have been told are monumental.

Yeah, 'twas alright. I love it!

Okay, I'm absolutely loving these callbacks to "Grief is the Price We Pay." Thorax meeting Trixie at a show; all the easter eggs in his wagon (audio dramas, the Thornton cheese, the Vergilius airship); Pharynx saying "balani deveveo"... even that passing mention of Fly Leaf's shop. As somebody who really enjoyed that fic, this is making me nostalgic. And it's genuinely sad to see how well things could have turned out between those two if... certain elements in that story... happened differently.

That's a large part of the reason why I wrote this--readers of "Grief" were really curious as to how those two might have ultimately panned out. This was my attempt at answering that. :twilightsmile:

Oh wow That was an awesome story and a lot of twist and shipping's all around and Silverstream oh my goodness she is the ultimate shippers Anyway the story was really good there's a lot of mysteries to go in the Beginning well Paste as well And I like the reference you put in there And i like the Interaction with gallus and smolder How much they care for each other and seeing derpy Having her own vent of dealing stress and i really like trixie and Thorax They are so cute together and yeah it start of pretty rocky because they don't know what's the truth behind it but in the end they do care for each other and Pharynx Despite hes all tough he really does have a soft spot for his brother so with this story I really like this awesome job on the characters

Sorry that was the wrong one I didn't watch the whole thing I was trying to reference at found the original video so that was my bad lol 😅

Silverstream didn’t have this problem though. “Oh hey!” she declared loudly, leaning in so to see too, “You found Counselor Trixie!” Unsurprisingly, she snapped a picture.

Oh my silverstream 😳

Terramar: "I'm not so sure this whole tale you've told me is really all that logical, Sil."
Silverstream: "Eh, maybe, but hey! At least it'll still make all the shippers among us happy, amirite?"

True that silverstream true that 😊

Long time since the last comments, but I have to say that up until Starlight learned the truth... Shewas the best friend Trixie could have possibly had right then. All the red flags were there for things going in a totally diff disastrous way, which would have ended much less pleasantly. The inconsistent backstory, complicated-but-not-too-complicated business, the extreme amount of attention and affection he was dropping, the unwillingness to talk about his past... All really bad signs most of the time, and Trixie is just the sort of person who'd fall for that sort of abuser hook, line, and sinker.o

Glad it was a better ending, but every time someone accused Star of being jealous, I was thinking "lady, there are people who'd have killed for a friend like you before some jagoff made off with their retirement fund."

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