• Published 9th Apr 2020
  • 756 Views, 11 Comments

Butterfly - TheWingman

Vice-Principal Artemis is visited by a student with a problem that reminds him of his past.

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“Hmmm, a lot of good choices.”

Artemis scanned through the clothing section of the store, eyeing the many items put on sale. Apart from the need for groceries, he wanted new clothes as well. He always wanted to keep his wardrobe fresh and everchanging. But, with there was one piece of clothing that he coveted the most.

His eyes drifted to a brown leather jacket with stripes going down the sleeves. To his eyes, it was the must-have for his wardrobe. As he stroked his beard, admiring his prize, he saw the price tag and it made him sigh in defeat. As much as he wanted it, it was expensive enough for him to avert his eyes.

Just as he was about to leave the clothes area, his phone began to buzz. Reaching into his pocket, he saw the call was from his wife, Vanilla Bean. He cracked a smile and sighed as he answered it.

“Hello?” answered Artemis.

“Heya honey,” said Vanilla, “how’s the shopping coming along?”

“It’s going great, dear,” answered Artemis with a smile, “Got the makings for dinner tonight. Tia’s husband is gonna get a kick out of my pad thai recipe.”

“I bet,” mused Vanilla, “Orion has that adventurous palate going for him. Where are you now?”

“I’m currently looking through the clothing section,” answered Artemis, “Just window shopping.”

“Hmmm, looking at a leather jacket again?” asked Vanilla to her husband’s shocked amusement.

“Yeah,” Artemis smirked, “I’m looking at a nice one here but the price tag is putting me off from it.”

“Honey, I know that you like to be conservative with the money,” said Vanilla, “I get that you want to put me into consideration but you deserve a little something nice once in a while.”

“I know, dear. It’s just that-”

“Honey, it’s okay,” Vanilla interrupted, “Buy the jacket. You deserve it. You did get that pay raise last year. Just don’t worry about it.”

Artemis sighed and smiled at his wife’s words. She had a point and part of him wanted the jacket. In the end, he decided it was going to be his one luxury for the month. He grabbed the coat by the hanger and smiled.

“Okay, very well,” Artemis agreed, “I think you’ll love the look of this, dear.”

“Well, I can’t wait to see you in it when you get back,” Vanilla giggled, “Anyway, I’ll let you go, honey. Talk to you later. Love you.”

“Love you too, dear,” sighed Artemis, “Buh-bye.”

Artemis hanged up the call and pocketed his phone, sighing blissfully. Deftly, he threw it into the cart and nodded with satisfaction. He often put the consideration of his wife before his material desires. Though flattered, Vanilla wished for him to ease up and enjoy himself.

“Hey, Artemis!”

Just as he was about to leave the clothing aisle, Artemis’ ears twitched from hearing his name. The voice sounded masculine and distinct with a hint of familiarity. As he turned around, he caught the sight of two figures approaching him.

Both were young men in their early twenties. One had pale orange skin and silver hair in a buzzcut. He wore jeans and a denim jacket with a red t-shirt. The second one, navy-blue skin, and long orange hair looked familiar to him.

“Oh, uh... hello,” said Artemis as the pair got closer, “I do apologize if I come off as rude but do I remember you two?”

“Well, I do remember you,” said the orange-haired man, “You were our principal back in high school, five years ago.”

The gears in Artemis’ head started to turn. Almost immediately, he recalled who they both were. It was strange for him to see them grown up but he was thrilled to see two of his former students after so long.

“Nebula, Argento,” gasped Artemis as he reached forward for a round of hugs, “Oh my, it’s so good to see you both! How have you both been?”

“It’s been going good, Artemis,” answered Argento, “What are the odds we’d bump into one another here.”

“Well, Canterlot is a bit small for a city,” answered Artemis as he turned his attention to Nebula. The last time he saw him, he expressed his desire to transition and seeing that fulfilled told him that things turned out okay, “I see that things turned out well for you, Nebula. I’m very happy that they did.”

“Thank you, Artemis,” said Nebula with a smile, “But, my name’s no longer Nebula.”

“Really?” asked Artemis with a slight surprise, “What’s your new name?”

“Quasar Burst.” answered Quasar, “I just like the sound of it.”

“I do believe it’s fitting for you,” Artemis added, “So, how are things going for you two?”

“Other than we’re living together, things have been going well,” answered Argento, “I’ve been working as a vet at the city zoo. It’s honest work and I love helping animals.”

“I’ve been working at the local observatory since I graduated from college,” added Quasar, “One of my colleagues discovered a comet about a week ago. Now, we’re racing to find, I dunno, maybe a planet? It’s all exciting work.”

“I see. Looks like life has been good for you both so far and I’m glad,” Artemis smiled and nodded, “So Quasar, pardon me if it seems like I’m asking too many questions. But, how did you coming out go?”

“It’s not a big issue, Artemis. You’re good,” answered Quasar, “Long story short, I told Argento first and funnily enough, he told me he was Bi. I did not expect it but we both accepted one another. When I told my mom, she gave me a big hug that I can still feel to this day.”

“You have a supportive mother, Quasar. Never forget that.” Artemis noticed Quasar and Argento smiling brightly, more than he was familiar with. He knew something was on their minds, “So, you two seem very happy today. What’s the occasion?”

Quasar and Argento turned to one another and giggled with brighter smiles. With a brief kiss, they locked hands and turned back to their former vice-principal. When he glanced at Quasar’s hands, his eyes lit up brightly.

“At Christmas last year, Argento gave me a ring,” answered Quasar, “But when I saw him get down on one knee, it made the present even better.”

“My gosh,” Artemis shook their hands, “Congratulations, you two!”

“Thank you, sir,” said Argento, “It just got to the point that we loved each other to the point that being merely boyfriend and boyfriend just wouldn’t be enough. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with this adorkable nerd.”

“Argento,” moaned Quasar in a playful tone, “You must have a long list of nicknames for me.”

“What can I say,” laughed Argento, “I love to tease my fiance.”

As he shared a laugh with his fiance and Artemis, Quasar was locked in thought. After many years, he saw the one who pulled him out of his deepest slump. There was much he wanted to say but he felt it was a personal matter.

“Hey, Argento,” said Quasar, “can you go finish shopping? I need to have a word with Artemis.”

“Okay, dear,” Argento pecked Quasar on the lips, “I’ll go hit the produce first. I’ll see you when you’re done.”

Quasar waved at Argento as he walked off toward the cart storage. Once he was out of sight, Quasar turned to Artemis with a thoughtful expression. He knew what he wanted to say but felt that his tongue was in a knot. Breathing deep, he gathered his thoughts.

“What’s on your mind, Quasar?” asked Artemis, “I remember that face. You must be thinking of something.”

“Artemis,” said Quasar, “it’s been years since I last saw you. Not a day goes by where I didn’t thank you for helping me that day.”

“I was your principal, Quasar,” Artemis smiled, “It was my job to help you.”

“I know,” Quasar nervously smiled, “But, you went through all that for me, willing to bring me in if things went wrong. To me, that wasn’t just you upholding your duties as the vice-principal.”

“Well, a lot of what you were going through reminded me of myself,” sighed Artemis, “I just knew how to help you. But, I wanted you to know that you shouldn’t feel ashamed for being who you are.”

“I know,” Quasar nodded, “Now, I feel prouder than ever. I have a job, a supporting mother, and I’m soon to be married. Most of all, I can be myself without fear. I don’t know how else to thank you but this.”

Reaching into his hoodie, Quasar pulled out two envelopes with Artemis and Celestia’s names on them. Artemis didn’t even need to guess what the envelopes contained. Surprised, he slowly smiled.

“Quasar,” said Artemis with a shudder, “I… why?”

“Because, after you helped me, I see you as a great friend,” answered Quasar, “I wanted to repay you and Celestia for what you both have done for me. I would be honored if you and your sister attended my wedding in a couple of months.”

“Quasar,” Artemis smiled, “I’m not sure if we’ll be able to but… I hope Tia and I can.”

With a tear rolling down his cheek, Quasar lunged forward and gave Artemis a warm hug. Nothing was said, not even a hint of a whisper, as they shared their emotions. At that moment, Quasar remembered the day at CHS from years ago.

“Artemis,” Quasar shuddered as they broke the hug, “thank you for so much.”

“I was glad to help you out,” Artemis returned to grab his cart, “So, where are you and Argento headed after this?”

“My dad’s grave,” said Quasar with a somber tone, “I wonder if he would accept me if he was still alive.”

“I can’t say for sure,” Artemis twiddled his beard, “But if I can guess, I’m sure he would.”

“I hope so,” said Quasar as he began to back up, “Anywho, I gotta go help my fiance. We’re still deciding on dinner. It’s been nice catching up with you, sir! Bye!”

“See you later, Quasar.”

With a smile, Artemis left the clothing aisle and to the checkout. All the while, thoughts from earlier still drifted in his head. To him, all he did that day was help a student in distress and would’ve gone to great lengths if need be. Though he did anticipate the gratitude from him, he didn’t expect it to the degree of being called a friend of his. He didn’t know how to feel about it.

With his stuff in tow, he walked back to his car and loaded his items, humming the sounds of his ringtone. Once he got in, Artemis felt the envelopes in his pocket. Pulling one out with his name on it, curiosity got the better him as he opened it. However, he didn’t expect what was written alongside the invitation.

Dear Artemis,

I can hardly believe it’s been years since high school and I hope you and your sister are well. I still fondly remember that day when I came to you for help. At first, I was scared to reveal I was struggling with my dysphoria. To hear you were trans as well helped pull me from the depths. You helped me tap into some of that personal pride that I needed and I can’t thank you enough. Because of you, I’ve been living life unfettered by strife. It is with my hope that you’ll attend my wedding in two months. You’ve earned this honor because to me, you are and shall always be, one of my greatest friends.

-Quasar Burst

Author's Note:

Thus concludes my trans centric story. TBH, I was afraid this story would've been harshly received but I'm glad for the positive reception. I hope this here epilogue works.

Much thanks to Ice Star, someone I consider a friend, for helping me out with improving my writing.

Also, if you're curious about Artemis' ringtone, here it is:

Comments ( 4 )

You're welcome for all the help! This was a really happy way to end things.

Fluff? Check. Trans? Check. Inexplicable shipping? Check.

Instant uphoof. Nice!

Thank you, Ice Star. I thought of the ending based on that Nebula would be thankful to Artemis for making her feel not so lonely in her struggle that she would hold such reverence toward him,

Thank you. I felt a bit nervous when I decided to tackle this subject matter. Though I'm not trans myself, working with a trans author on another project definitely offered me much insight.

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