• Published 24th Jan 2020
  • 10,330 Views, 498 Comments

Mind Over Matter - Boopy Doopy

I got one wish. So what did my drugged mind come up with? To be a pony in Equestria.

  • ...

Familiar Faces

As I waited for Doctor Spark and Lucky Day to appear, I thought about the last time I saw my human parents.

It was almost three years ago, the day they kicked me out. Or, actually, the day I chose to leave. I walked into the house late that afternoon to see the two of them standing in the living room, waiting for me. I remembered seeing the looks on their faces, my mother, in particular, seeming like she wanted to cry, and immediately thought of the word intervention.

“James,” my mother told me with a shaky voice as I entered, knowing that I didn’t like that name, “your father and I need you to sit down.”

“I’m not really sure I want to,” I responded cheekily, giving them a fake smile. “I think I’m just going to leave.”

“No you don’t!” my father called before I could turn around. “If you leave right now, you’re not coming back here.”

“Am I gonna have to go to rehab to stay here?” I asked them, raising an eyebrow.


"Then I think I'm just going to leave."

“Why are you so insistent on this?” he asked me. “Why are you insistent on being this way? You have so much to offer! Why are you so focused on throwing away your life?”

“Cause it's fun, and I don’t care,” I answered as I began to turn around again.

“James, stop!” my mother stopped me. “Don’t walk out that door!”

“You know, calling me that name doesn’t make me want to stay here any more than I already do,” I said as I put my hand on the door.

"Can we just talk?" she begged "Please?"

I debated that question internally for a second, then turned back to face them. "I'm listening," I told them.

"We're not asking you to do that much, Leo," my father told me. "We're buying you food, clothes, paying your bills…"

"We're not making you get a job or go back to school," my mother continued. "Just… it's for three weeks! It's just three weeks! After that, no more!"

"I really don't want to do that though," I said to them, continuing to smile.

"Then we can do something outpatient!" my father offered. "Like a group meeting, or something individual if you want! Anything! It's just that something has to happen!"


"Because you're spiraling, Leo!" he said, exasperated. "You're life is spiraling! At this rate, you'll be dead by the time you're thirty! What don't you understand about that?"

"I understand perfectly," I said almost gleefully, relishing in their anguish. "I just don't care." With that, I turned around once again and opened the door to head back out.

"Don't you go out that door!" my father demanded. "If you leave now, you're not coming back!"

"Bye!" I called, waving behind me as I left, hearing him curse loudly and my mother start to cry. I walked back down the street, loudly singing a song I knew they hated.

The way I treated them was awful, to say the least. Sometimes I liked to blame them for the way I was, but I knew that they did everything they could possibly do for me. And still, I screwed them over by making them watch as I screwed myself. But at least now they had a different son named Leo who likely wouldn't act the same way. They wouldn't have to deal with me being a stupid disappointment.

"How are you feeling?" Herbal Essence asked me as I put those thoughts out of my head. I was next to her in the living room while Thundertail was off somewhere else, apparently working on her shop's finances.

"I'm fine," I said, giving my usual response as I looked toward the door, adding, "I'm doing good."

"Are you nervous at all?" she asked, sounding a little worried.

I shook my head, answering, "Not really." It was the truth. I was strangely calm about seeing Lucky Day, although I was thinking that was because his other half wouldn't be there.

“If you’re scared, you can tell us. You don’t have to be brave all the time. It’s okay to be scared.”

“I know,” I asserted. “I’m not scared.” I truly wasn’t, and if I was, she’d probably be the first pony I told.

“Okay,” she said quietly, putting one of her hooves on top of mine.

It wasn't much longer before the two of them heard Ivory Spark knock on the door and saw her poke her head through.

"Hey, Leo," she called. “Hello, Herbal Essence. Is it okay if we come in for a little while?”

“Of course,” she said politely, getting up to open the door the whole way.

Ivory Spark quickly made her way in, the orange stallion behind her simply standing in the doorway uncomfortably. The colt wasn’t fearful like he was when he first saw his father coming up to him with his mother, but he was still uncomfortable, and glanced between him and the floor as the stallion stood silently doing the same thing.

“Um, hi,” Leo told them, feeling awkward and a little embarrassed. He was mostly directing this at Lucky Day, and looked at him as he said it. The stallion returned his greeting with a small smile of his own.

“How are you doing, Leo?” Ivory Spark continued. “Did you want to stay here, or go someplace else?”

“I don’t care,” he said. “Anywhere is okay.”

“Okay. I think I have someplace in mind. Did you want Herbal Essence to come with us?”

“Yes, please.”

Lucky Day’s smile dropped after hearing that. He didn’t like the idea that his son wasn’t okay with being alone around him, that he might have been afraid of him. Although, he was grateful that Ivory Spark hadn’t mentioned bringing Thundertail. He absolutely didn’t want him to go with them, especially not after his accusations.

The four of them left shortly afterward. It was a cloudier day, and cooler as well, although ponies were still out and about. There were quite a few of them Leo noticed, and many foals like him, playing and doing whatever they did every day. It was still weird for him to think that he was as young as these ponies, even weirder to think that he was older than them. It was almost conflicting, especially after yesterday, trying to keep his past and this life’s past sorted in his head, but not too bad. It helped that he was young, and didn't have more than a couple of years' worth of memories. Being older would have made things that much more difficult.

Leo walked with his father and Ivory Spark directly on either side of him, Herbal Essence next to the doctor. They were largely silent as they walked, but as they did, he noticed Lucky Day glancing at him, occasionally flashing a smile, but still looking sad, seeming like he wanted to say something to him. It wasn’t long before the foursome made it to someplace to eat.

“Do you remember this place?” Lucky Day asked his son as the group sat down.

“Not really…”

“We came here a few times before, and I remember you liking it. But that was when you were younger, when we went with... um…” He trailed off, realizing who he was about to bring up, noticing the colt was getting uncomfortable. "So Leo," he started again, trying to make small talk, "how have you been?"

The colt looked up at him, and saw him smiling, but could tell he was nervous and uneasy. Leo knew it couldn’t have been more than a few weeks since the other Leo first ran away, but he thought his father acted like it had been months. He was probably worried sick about him during the first few days he was in Equestria. It made the colt more uncomfortable, but he still responded. "I’m okay," he answered simply. “I’m good.”

The stallion didn’t believe that. He heard what his wife had been charged with and what Ivory Spark had told him, and connected some of the dots on his own. He knew he wasn’t really okay, and hated that he had to put on a brave face.

“I’m okay,” Leo said again, as though reading his thoughts. “I promise.”

He hated hearing that, and felt incredibly guilty about what happened to him. He felt responsible for what his wife did. It might have been indirect, but his being oblivious was what caused this. If he would’ve been more attentive, he would have easily realized what was happening. But he wasn’t, and now…

“Do you, um- do you like you’re…" The stallion winced, and asked again, "Do you like your new home?”

Leo noticed that the words he said came out painfully. He was still smiling, but the colt knew it was very forced, and felt a tad guilty himself for what the stallion was going through. He was effectively blameless, and yet had to pay the price for what somepony else did.

“Um, yeah,” he answered honestly, silently thinking, “It’s much better than living on the street.”

Lucky Day swallowed hearing that, and continued. “Are they treating you well?”

It was weird for Leo to go through this. He felt as though he had a genuine connection to the stallion in front of him and knew him all his life, and at the same time, felt like he was somepony he barely knew and was, for all intents and purposes, a stranger who he was just meeting and interacting with today.

“They’re good,” he told the orange stallion. “I like them.”

“That’s… that’s good to hear.”

The colt also felt like it was his father’s first time interacting with him as well. He was clearly hesitant, and seemed almost ashamed of himself. Leo didn’t know the stallion that well, but was fairly certain that he didn’t normally act like this. Actually, just thinking back to the time when he heard him yelling at Thundertail, he was confident that he didn’t normally act like this.

With that, there was a period of uncomfortable silence as the three adults had their attention on Leo, two of them also keeping their eye on the third as he continued to glance between the ground and his son. If there was one thing the two had to admit, it was that Lucky Day was his father. Ivory Spark hadn’t done an actual paternity test, but she hadn't needed to. Besides his coat color, he was nearly an exact copy of his father. Even as young as he was, he had the same kind of voice as him. Although, she couldn't tell right now with how little speaking there was thus far, and how quiet Leo was.

"Why don't we go up and order something now, Leo, hmm?" Ivory Spark offered. Leo looked at her skeptically as she stood up. "Come on," she said again. "It's just going to be a couple of minutes."

He reluctantly got up and went with her, leaving Lucky Day and Herbal Essence sitting at the table alone. The two sat at the table uneasily, Herbal Essence putting on a smile but staying silent, and Lucky Day wearing a weird expression. Although the stallion barely knew the mare, sitting there, he almost felt as though they’d divorced and were meeting again for the first time. He almost wished Thundertail were there. Almost.

“So…” the stallion started after an awfully long period of silence, “how has Leo been?”

“He’s been good," Herbal Essence answered, seeming embarrassed. "He's been good," she said again, "and he seems happy."

"What's he been doing?"

"Well, he went out for ice cream yesterday. Ah, he's going to school, and said he enjoys it. He did really well on his entrance test with his teacher, and she said he's really smart. Um... he’s also working on learning magic.”

Lucky Day hated hearing those things as much as he liked to hear them, and his expression changed for a second to one of pain. He should've forced Blue Mist to put Leo into public school in the first place instead of being "homeschooled". He should've hired a private tutor to help him with using magic. But instead, he left those things up to his wife. He couldn’t believe how clueless he was, and hated himself for it. Sure, he worked long hours, and his schedule was erratic, but he wouldn’t convince himself that that was an excuse.

He quickly tried to put a smile back on after she said this, but the mare had already caught his expression. She knew he was thinking about what he was told had happened, and her own smile immediately dropped. She felt awful for him and how he was likely feeling. He was likely blaming himself for what happened, for what Leo went through. And then she couldn’t bear to think about what the colt himself went through.

“I’m so sorry,” Herbal Essence sniffed, her eyes starting to get wet. "I just... I'm sorry."

“Are you okay?” Doctor Spark asked as we walked up to the counter to order something.

“Yes, I’m fine,” I told her simply.

“Are you sure? You know you can tell me if you’re not okay.”

I stopped walking and looked at her, confused. “Yes…” I told her slowly. “Why?”

“Well, it’s just that you looked upset, Leo. And it’s okay if you are, and can talk to me about it if you want. We can also leave if you don’t want to be here.”

I didn’t feel upset, so I was surprised to learn that I looked it. I turned around to see Herbal Essence and Lucky Day still sitting there, both of them looking at me sadly, the former seeming like she was about to cry. Because of me.

“Leo…” she started as I frowned, reading my mind. “It’s not your fault they’re sad.”

I closed my eyes and took a breath, keeping myself from getting upset and making them feel worse. A second later, I reopened them, and said, “I’m fine. I promise.”

“So son,” Lucky Day started again as the colt and the doctor sat back down, he and Ivory Spark bringing desserts with them, “Miss Essence told me that you’re getting better at magic.”

“I am,” he said automatically, trying to ease the tension he knew he built. “Doctor Spark is helping. But I’m still not good.”

“You’re getting better though,” he told him, “and that’s what counts. And if you keep practicing, you’ll be as good as… Princess Twilight Sparkle.” He was going to finish the sentence with ‘your mother’, but caught himself before he did.

“No I won’t. I’m really bad.”

“With that attitude, you won’t,” his father said, putting on a genuine smile. “You just have to keep at it. I know you can do it if you keep practicing.”

Leo couldn’t help but smile at that. Although, it was quickly dropped when he realized that it sounded like he said that to him before, probably when the other Leo was living with him and Blue Mist. His father saw this, and before his son could say anything, he started speaking.

“I’m sorry Leo,” he told him, his voice cracking a little. “I want you to know how sorry I am. I- I feel so bad about what happened.” He swallowed, and continued, “I wish I would have noticed what she was doing, and… I’m sorry I didn’t. And I- I hope you can forgive me for not noticing.”

“It’s okay,” Leo answered quietly. “I forgive you.” However, as his father reached out, he quickly said, “Please don’t hug me.”

Lucky Day winced, a painful expression on his face.