• Published 30th Jan 2020
  • 3,224 Views, 121 Comments

That's what Friends are For - The Blue EM2

A short 'what-if' story surrounding the events of 'What Lies Beneath'.

  • ...

...Now I'm a Believer

Sandbar lay in bed, looking up the ceiling, thinking to himself. All night it had been like this. Sandbar had no idea what the time was, as his clock had stopped working. He really needed to get some new batteries. He looked up, thinking to himself. He was somehow unable to sleep. He had spent the entire time thinking to himself about the events of the day, and how he had conducted himself.

Yes, he hadn't turned his back on his friends. He had stood up to peer pressure in the face of his own fears of disappointing his teachers. But the truth was he nearly hadn't. He'd nearly gone along with the pressure of pleasing his teachers, and left them behind.

That was what scared him the most.

Would he bow to it again, like had there? Before he went to the School of Friendship and met his friends, he'd often suffered from an eagerness to please, and this had led him astray. Would he do it again? Could his friends truly trust him to be there when the chips were down?

His mind turned to the others. They had overcome their fears, but at what cost? They had mostly hidden it, but it didn't take a Changeling to spot that the others had been shaken by their experiences. Gallus, Yona, they had faced what they feared the most directly, and prevailed.

Ocellus had been changed into her worst nightmare, and pulled through with his help. That reminded him. If his own fears came true again, would his love for her hold? Or would it simply be cast off like a broken toy, to be of no further use?

A knock at the door suddenly attracted his attention. Sandbar hopped out of bed and trotted over to the door, before undoing the bolt and opening the door with his mouth. Sliding the door open, he spoke to whomever was on the other side. "Hello?"

Ocellus' voice greeted him. "Hey, Sandbar." It sounded flat, and devoid of emotion. "Can I come in for a moment? I can't sleep."

"You're not the only one," Sandbar replied. "Come in; it's a bit cozy in here, but it'll do." He stepped back to let the Changeling through, and then closed the door behind him, locking it again.

Once it was quiet, and the pitter patter of the rain was the only audible sound, Ocellus spoke. "I guess I haven't really come to terms with today."

"Neither have I," Sandbar replied. "I guess-"

"I had a nightmare about it," Ocellus suddenly continued. "I gave in to my instincts and started to take over the school with hordes of Changelings! I was internally screaming at myself to stop, but my body wouldn't obey! I was trapped in there! And- Sandbar, it was horrible! If that's really inside of us, then- then-" at that moment, she couldn't contain it any longer, and broke down into sobs.

Sandbar went over to comfort her, taking her into a hug. "It's OK," he said gently. "Just let it out."

Ocellus continued to cry quietly, warm in Sandbar's embrace. "Most ponies see us as monsters! Your films say as much!"

Sandbar sadly nodded. He and Ocellus had once gone to a film society screening, only for them to be screening The Ling. That had been somewhat unfortunate. "Some ponies may see you as monsters," he said. "But I don't. I love you, and noth-"

"That's just it!" Ocellus said. "How can I be certain that's true? Were you just saying that to make me feel better about myself?"

Sandbar sighed. "You can detect love, right?" he said. "In which case, follow mine and tell me what you read."

Ocellus nodded, focusing her mind to read the energy she felt flowing off Sandbar. She hunted through it to try and find any trace of deceit or malice toward her.

She found absolutely none at all. All she sensed was true, pure, unconditional love. "I would never have believed it before now," she admitted. "But that is the purest love I've ever sensed. And I must admit... I love you too."

Sandbar nodded. "Why did you never say anything?"

"I genuinely thought you had feelings for Yona," Ocellus replied. "But I've had a crush on you for months. Somewhat ironic, isn't it? The creatures that used to feed off love now feel it for others."

"If you told me a few years ago I'd fall in love with a Changeling," Sandbar said, "I'd probably have called you crazy. But the crazy thing is, it's absolutely true!"

There was no reply from Ocellus, but instead she stepped forward. The implication was obvious, and the colt and the Changeling slipped into a passionate kiss. The moment seemed to last forever, and they each wrapped a foreleg around the other's shoulder as they simply enjoyed the moment, not caring a bit about the time.

After what seemed like an eternity, they stepped back from one another. "Do you mind if I stay in here tonight?" Ocellus asked. "I don't think I'll sleep well tonight on my own."

"Sure thing. You can use the bed; I'll sleep on the floor."

"I'd never want that!" Ocellus exclaimed. "Can't we share the bed?"

Sandbar nodded. "As you insist. But it will be a bit of a squash."

"I can cope with that."

Sandbar hopped onto the bed, and positioned himself alongside Ocellus, being careful not to get too close. With their forelegs around each other's shoulders, the pair drifted off into a peaceful and happy sleep.

The next morning, at sunrise, the pair awoke, suddenly surprised to see each other there. Sandbar fell off the bed and landed on the floor. "Ow! Man, that hurt."

Ocellus, in a state of panic, suddenly took off and buzzed toward the door. "They can't find us here! Who knows what anycreature would think?"

Before Sandbar could answer, she whizzed out of the door and back to her room.

Before long, it was breakfast, and the Young Six gathered to eat before taking their test. "So," Gallus asked, putting his rear claws up on the table. "How was everybody's nights?"

"I slept like a log on stairs!" Silverstream exclaimed. "Of course, it helped that the log was completely static..."

"How weird," Smoulder said. "I spent most of it thinking about this test. I hope we do well."

"Yona see Sandbar not happy!" Yona exclaimed. "What worry Sandbar so?"

Sandbar found the courage to speak up. "I need to tell you guys something. You see, me and Ocellus are in love."

There was sudden silence. Gallus looked over to Smoulder. "Smoulder, you owe me fifty bits."

"Aw man!" the orange dragon replied. "I thought he'd go with Yona!"

"Yona know nothing about this!" the yak replied, but went and squeezed Sandbar in her grip. "But Yona happy for friend!"

"Sandbar like to breath," Sandbar replied. The yak released him from the grip.

"To be honest, I've had feelings for him for a while," Ocellus said. "It was only yesterday we truly realised it."

"Well, I think I know exactly how to celebrate," Gallus continued, before putting six tickets down on the table.

Silverstream looked closely. "OOOH! Train tickets!" She then looked at Gallus. "Where's Fort William?"

Author's Note:

Well, here we have the 'discovery'; the pair discovering the depths of their feelings for each other.

Whilst many liken Changelings to Xenomorphs, they also are like the Thing from the film of the same name. So I thought The Ling would make a good pun.

Good luck with the competition, folks!