• Published 27th Jul 2021
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BuggyCYOA - Krivvy



It was just another routine trip deep within the Everfree Forest when you stumbled upon a most unlikely companion...

  • ...
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Saddlebag Training | Parts 178B - 185A

You open your eyes at some point in the morning, feeling well rested and very relaxed. Looking at the clock by your bed, you notice that you've slept in a little today; about forty minutes past sunrise.

Soon enough, you motivate yourself out of bed and go through the usual motions of getting dressed, using the bathroom, and making your way to the living room.
Once there, you are greeted with the sight of a happy looking Notaulix staring at you from the comfort of the sofa.

"Good morning, Anon!" Notaulix greets you.

"Good morning." You greet in response as you draw close to the sofa.

Looking over at the fireplace, you can see that Notaulix has once again taken the time to prepare a neat pile of tinder and kindling, ready for ignition.

"Did you sleep well last night?" You ask Notaulix upon arriving at one end of the sofa. "Thanks for taking care of that, by the way." You add while gesturing to the fireplace.

"Yes, I had a good sleep. Thank you for asking, Anon." Notaulix answers you.

"I'm glad to hear that. You can tell I was having some deep sleep; just look at how late I'm up today, huh?" You say to Notaulix, who simply continues to happily stare up at you.
"...Anyway." You continue after a short period of silence. "How about we get a start on breakfast after I get that fire going? I could use a helper." You suggest to Notaulix.

"Okay! Let's make breakfast, Anon!" Notaulix proclaims with great enthusiasm before leaving his blanket behind and hopping off of the sofa.

With your changeling helper following at your side, you proceed to ignite the prepared tinder in the fireplace, quickly building it up to its proper size.
Following that, you both move over to the kitchen area, where you spend a moment deciding on what you want to make.
Which unfortunately, considering your present lack of several useful ingredients, is a rather limited menu.
Despite that, you both quickly decide on some good old tried-and-true hot oatmeal. With a plan in mind, you immediately set yourselves to work.

Considering the simplicity of your meal, most of your time is spent waiting on the oatmeal to cook. You spend much of that time in relative silence, broken by an occasional short bit of conversation.
At one point, you take a look out the kitchen window, where you discover the days weather to be grey skies with a light sprinkling of rain coming down from above.

Not the best weather, but certainly better than yesterday, you think to yourself.

Once your oatmeal is ready and dished up into bowls, you both return to your usual seating positions near the warmth of the fire, where you then enjoy your breakfast.
You eat in silence, soon finishing your meal to satisfaction; an outcome easily attained with the addition of cinnamon and a little sugar, elevating what would otherwise be a very bland experience.

With breakfast concluded, Notaulix is the first to speak up. "Anon? After we wash our dishes, could we please try fitting my saddlebag to me with all the extra pieces?" He asks you.
"I even read the instructions last night!" He quickly adds, his wings spreading out slightly as he does so, betraying his excitement.

"Of course we can. After all, that's what we agreed on yesterday, right?" You answer Notaulix.

You and Notaulix then take the brief moment necessary to clean your breakfast dishes, avoiding the sticky, hard to clean mess that would result from letting the oatmeal residue dry.
After completing that task, you return to the main living area of the room, where Notaulix sits on the floor and watches as you begin to prepare things for getting his saddlebag fitted properly.
Beginning with the saddlebag itself, you lay it out neatly on the floor, followed by taking the extra associated pieces and arranging them next to the saddlebag.
However, after a moments though, you decide to exclude the Acrobatic Crupper and set it aside on one of the chairs. You can't imagine such a thing really being necessary.

"Are we ready, Anon?" Notaulix asks you. "Oh, here's the instructions if you still want them!" He quickly adds as he levitates the document in question over to you.

"Thanks." You say before grabbing hold of the saddlebag's instructions. "Yeah, let's get to this." You then answer Notaulix.

"Okay!" Notaulix says as he rises back onto all four hooves before approaching the saddlebag.

Though once there, Notaulix pauses for a moment as he stares down at the saddlebag, carefully studying it and its extra straps before looking back up at you.

"How do you want to do this, Anon? Where should we begin?" Notaulix asks you.

"Hmm... What do you think about just getting the saddlebag on you first, then fit things together one piece at a time and see how it feels?" You suggest to Notaulix.

"Yes, let's do that." Notaulix agrees.

"Alright then." You begin as you kneel down onto the wooden floor next to Notaulix. "Let me just check something real quick..." You continue while opening up the pages of the instructions.

While you read, Notaulix patiently stands in place while looking toward you, waiting further instruction.
A few minutes later, you set the instructions down on the floor with the page turned to the quick release strap.

"So, first things first; let me take a moment to get this quick release thing set up. I think it'll be easier to do without you wearing the saddlebag." You say to Notaulix as you grab hold of the set of straps in question.

Notaulix watches with interest while you spend the next several minutes getting the quick release integrated into the saddlebag, frequently pausing as you work to glance at the instructions.
With the quick release set up according to the instructions, you give the entire saddlebag a cursory examination before proceeding.
Satisfied with your work, you lift up the saddlebag and position it over Notaulix, who in turn scoots a little closer to make your job easier.

Once in position, you lower the saddlebag onto Notaulix's back and tighten up the main belly strap. "Does this still feel comfortable?" You then ask Notaulix.

Before answering, Notaulix walks forward and takes a few laps around the sofa before coming to a stop next to you. "Yes Anon, it still feels fine." Notaulix happily answers you.

"Cool. Now let's get the rest of these on." You say as you begin to work on the saddlebag's other extra pieces, starting with the forward belly band.

In no time at all, you have both the second band and the breastplate attached to the saddlebag and fitted comfortably to Notaulix's body. You then reach out and grab the final piece: The crupper.
Taking hold of the clasp on one end of the crupper, you snap it into place on a metal ring at the back of the saddlebag. You then take the other end and prepare to make a loop. However...
As your hands move close to Notaulix's hindquarters, a particular problem makes itself apparent, making you pause as the situation suddenly turns into an awkward one.

You didn't really think about it when reading the instructions, but to put this piece on for Notaulix requires you to get your hand under his tail. Beyond that, you can't imagine the dock being anything other than a bit of an intimate area.
Putting yourself in Notaulix's place, you know you wouldn't want someone sticking a hand, hoof or other appendage down your pants just to put something on you.

Noticing your lack of activity, Notaulix looks back at you to see what's going on. "Is something wrong, Anon?" Notaulix asks you.

"Well, it's just, uh..." You stumble over your words while vaguely gesturing at the changelings rump. "...you know." You continue.

"What do you mean, Anon? What do I know?" Notaulix asks you, clearly confused.

Feeling your face beginning to grow warm in embarrassment, you exhale loudly before responding. "You remember that this bit needs to go under your tail, right?" You ask Notaulix while holding up the other end of the crupper for him to see.

"Yes, of course I remember. Why do you ask, Anon?" Notaulix says in response.

"I mean... It's encroaching into some private space. It just doesn't feel right for me to reach under your tail without at least asking." You explain to Notaulix.
"Are you actually fine with that? Wouldn't you rather try and put this piece on yourself?" You ask the changeling.

"Ohhh... I understand now." Notaulix says before briefly pausing to think. "What would you rather have done, Anon?" He then asks you.

You furrow your brow in confusion as you stare at Notaulix before responding. "This shouldn't be about what I want. Look, why don't you just try manipulating this one piece with your magic?" You suggest.
"Just remember that it's going to be magically resistant." You quickly add.

"Okay Anon, I will try to do that. And yes, I understand." Notaulix says.

"Alright then, go ahead and give it a try!" You encourage Notaulix before letting go of the crupper strap, which then dangles against his flank.

You watch as Notaulix looks behind at the flank in question before his horn begins to glow, giving off its usual bright green light.
Moments later, the green aura of Notaulix's telekinesis magic surrounds the crupper strap. However, as soon as it begins to be lifted upward, it drops back down as the magical aura suddenly disappears, much to Notaulix's surprise.
Notaulix repeats this process several times to no avail. Every time progress begins to be made in lifting the small trap, his control over the object quickly fades away.

"It's slippery..." Notaulix comments while narrowing his eyes, adopting a look of utmost concentration as the magical aura surrounding his horn increases in size, glowing more intensely than before.

"Slippery?" You repeat while Notaulix continues to struggle. This time, he manages to lift the crupper all the way up to where it should be, until his magical grasp disappears once more, making him wince in the process.
"Hey, hold on now. Please don't push yourself too hard. We don't have to do this." You say to Notaulix.

"But I want to do this, Anon!" Notaulix reassures you. "There's something... I'm almost..." He trails off before levitating the crupper once more.

With great effort, Notaulix slowly brings the crupper up, followed by raising his tail and passing the strap underneath it. Once past that point, you notice it begin to shake slightly as the magic appears to waver.

"T-Take it, please." Notaulix requests, which you quickly respond to by grabbing hold of that end.

As soon as you do so, Notaulix's horn stops glowing as he releases his magic, his head hanging low as he catches his breath.
You can't help but stare at the changeling out of concern. After resting for about a minute, Notaulix turns to look at you once more with a happy expression.

"I... I did it, Anon! I moved it under my tail!" Notaulix joyfully proclaims.

"Yes. Yes you did." You agree with him, giving a nod of the head in the process. While you want to tell Notaulix that you think it was a bad idea to put that much strain on his magic, you don't want to rain of his parade either.
"Let's clip this in and get it adjusted." You say, moving forward from the incident. After snapping the other clasp into place, you adjust the crupper so that it just comes into contact with Notaulix's dock.

Having all the extra pieces of gear in place, you reach out and try moving the saddlebag around on Notaulix's back. Unsurprisingly, the saddlebag has very little play in it now that it's so well attached to its wearers body.

"Pretty sure, huh? Try taking a couple laps around the living room." You say to Notaulix.

You watch as Notaulix does just so. As you watch him walk around, you can't help but think that he looks like he means business with all that gear strapped to his body.
You also notice, especially upon viewing him from the front, that he's looking rather stylish, especially with the shiny new breastplate fashioned after the emblem of the Night Guard.
In the back of your mind, you feel slightly proud of yourself for stumbling upon such a good deal during your last trip to Canterlot.

Eventually, Notaulix comes to a stop once more in front of you. "What do you think? Does it feel alright?" You ask him.

"Yes Anon, it's surprisingly comfortable!" Notaulix answers you in a pleased tone of voice. "This piece feels a little strange, though..." He comments as he looks back at his rump, flicking his tail a couple times for emphasis.

"I bet it does. Thankfully, we really shouldn't need to have to use all this stuff. It's just good to know that it all works for you if the need ever arises, right?" You say to Notaulix.

"I agree, Anon. I think it's good to know these things as soon as possible." Notaulix says as he returns his attention to you.

"Right. Anyway, do you feel like doing more of this?" You ask Notaulix.

"Of course! What do you want to do next, Anon?" Notaulix asks you.

"We should check and see if all of this stuff will fit when you're transformed as a griffon. But before we do that, why don't you give that new quick release a try?" You suggest to Notaulix.

"Okay!" Notaulix excitedly agrees before craning his head over to the strap in question, which is conveniently located by his right foreleg.

You watch as Notaulix opens his mouth and bites down on the strap, followed by giving it a firm pull. At first, nothing appears to happen, so he pulls it again while wiggling his body.
Despite his best efforts, Notaulix cannot seem to get his quick release to work, leading to him looking at you with disappointment clearly written on his face.

"it's not working, Anon! Something must be wrong!" Notaulix says to you, his ears drooping in the process.

From your perspective, you can't help but grin in amusement, as you see exactly what the problem is. The quick release worked just as it should, for the main strap. You failed to consider all the other pieces that you added after the fact.

"There's nothing wrong; we just weren't thinking about this." You reassure Notaulix as you scoot yourself closer and loosen the forward belly band for him.
"How about that? Can you get yourself out of all that now without needing to use magic?" You ask Notaulix while standing back up to stretch your legs.

Over the course of the next few minutes, you watch an amusing scene unfold of Notaulix attempting to free himself from the confines of the saddlebag and its attachments.
Despite the struggle, he does manage to accomplish this task, and is clearly proud for doing so.

"I did it, Anon!" Notaulix triumphantly says as he takes a few steps away from the pile of bags and straps on the wooden floor. "It was very difficult, though..." He adds.

"Yeah, I could see that. Don't worry though, I'm not going to make you do that every time. It's just good to know that it can be done." You say to Notaulix.
"Anyway, how about you head in to the bathroom real quick and transform? I'll get this stuff ready to fit to your griffon body." You then suggest.

"Yes, I will go do that now. I'll be right back, Anon." Notaulix says before walking away, soon disappearing around the corner into the hallway.

While you wait for Notaulix to return, you take a moment to put a piece of wood on the fire, then get to work loosening the adjustments for the various pieces of the saddlebag.
Notaulix soon returns in his griffon form, making you pause for a moment to stare at him. You find it hard to wrap your brain around the fact that your changeling friend can just disappear around the corner, then return as another race.
You wonder how long it will take you to get used to such things, if ever.

In the end, you find that the fully equipped saddlebag has no trouble fitting onto a griffon's body.
After figuring that out, you remove all the extra pieces, and instruct Notaulix to simply practice using the quick release, first in his griffon form, and then in his natural state.
Several minutes later, you lift the saddlebag from Notaulix and place it on the back of a chair, concluding your little practice session.

Thanks to the quick release strap, you found it to be quite easy for Notaulix to remove the saddlebag by himself, regardless of his current form.
Turning to look at Notaulix, you are about to say something when the unexpected happens...
While walking towards the sofa, Notaulix appears to stumble over his hooves, quickly sending him tumbling forward, where he hits his head against the sofa before falling onto his side with a loud thump.
Regaining your focus after staring in a stunned silence, you quickly close the distance to check on Notaulix, though by the time you do so, he is already lying upright again.

"What happened? Are you hurt?" You ask Notaulix while kneeling down next to him, your voice full of concern.

"Owww..." Notaulix groans as he rubs at the new sore spot on one side of his head with a forehoof.

When Notaulix turns his head to look up at you, his ears quickly droop to the side before looking away from you out of embarrassment.

"I-I'm fine... I'm sorry for worrying you, Anon." Notaulix quietly says.

"There's nothing to be sorry for." You reassure Notaulix. "Are you really fine? What happened there?" You repeat your question.

You anxiously wait for Notaulix's answer, which drags out over several long seconds while the changeling simply lays on the floor in silence.

"I got dizzy, Anon. I... I think I used too much magic too quicky. I'm not used to freely using so much magic." Notaulix eventually answers.

Notaulix's words hit you like a sack of bricks as you suddenly feel guilty. You feel responsible for this happening.
Even though Notaulix seemed to be doing much better, you realize that it was still only just a few days ago that your new companion was practically on death's doorstep, starving both physically and magically.
Before you can say anything else, you watch as Notaulix rises back onto his hooves. Upon taking a step forward, his balance becomes unsteady once more, prompting him to widen out his stance as you reach towards him out of reflex.

"I'm f-fine, Anon, really!" Notaulix says, making you stop your hands right before they touch his body. "Need to..." He mumbles before climbing up onto the sofa in one smooth motion.

Once there, Notaulix scoots over to his favorite spot and lays down, closing his eyes as he does so, leaving you kneeling on the floor as you think about what just happened.
Eventually, you decide to rise back to your feet. Feeling guilty over Notaulix falling down, you struggle to decide on what to do next, until you settle on simply sitting next to Notaulix on the sofa.
Notaulix pays you no attention as you sit down, choosing instead to keep his eyes closed and rest. As for yourself, you choose to look ahead towards the fireplace, staring at the flames dancing within.
Left to your own thoughts, the minutes tick on by until Notaulix begins to shuffle himself towards you, catching your attention.

"Anon?" Notaulix says while looking up at you.

"Yeah? What is it?" You ask Notaulix.

"If you don't mind... Can I be closer to you, Anon? Please?" Notaulix asks in response.

"Closer?" You furrow your brow slightly in confusion. "What do you mean by that?" You ask him.

"It's just..." Notaulix begins, pausing briefly to consider how to answer you. "...the closer you are to someone, the easier it is to consume the love they release, and I... I would like that right now." Notaulix explains.

"Oh, so... Closer as in, distance? Are you saying that you want a hug or something?" You ask Notaulix, seeking clarification on what he's asking of you.

"Yes, a hug would be very nice right now. A long hug." Notaulix says while nodding his head in agreement.

"A long hug?" You repeat, finding yourself feeling slightly uneasy as you do so. "Well..." You trail off.

In your mind, you debate whether or not you really want to do this, and if so, how you would go about doing it.
Though in the end, the combination of your guilt and Notaulix staring up at you hopefully, the answer is obvious.

"...okay. It's the least I can do for you, right? How should we do this?" You ask Notaulix.

Immediately, Notaulix perks up with a happy smile before responding. "Can we be close like when we read a book together, Anon?" Notaulix asks in response.

"That's what you would like? Sure, come here." You say while giving the top of your right leg a few firm pats. You feel a slight sense of relief over doing something that you're already used to.

Your relief is short lived though, as you watch Notaulix move up and over both of your legs. Lowering himself, Notaulix rests his body on top of your lap, before stretching his fore and hind legs out.
The unexpected position is both physically uncomfortable and more than a little awkward for you. While you briefly considered objecting, you stopped when you found yourself looking into Notaulix's eyes.
Mere inches from your face, your changeling companion looks up at you with his big blue eyes; eyes full of trust and appreciation.

And when those eyes look to your side is when you notice that you were holding your right arm up, hovering it over Notaulix's body.
After Notaulix exchanges a few glances back and forth between you and your arm, you get the point and bring it to rest across his back, just like when you read a book together.

"Thank you, Anon." Notaulix says, giving you a warm smile before snuggling in closer to you.

"You're welcome." You say to Notaulix, a faint smile of your own creeping onto your face.

You then watch as Notaulix's horn begins to lightly glow. Confused, you are about to say something when you find the blanket that Notaulix uses being gently wrapped around the two of you.
Finally, Notaulix closes his eyes, and surprises you by resting his head up against your chest, making you wrap your left arm around him out of reflex.

And just like that, there you find yourself: Snuggled up on your couch, holding a changeling in your lap, with a blanket wrapped around the two of you.
A week ago, you would never have guessed that this is how you would be spending a morning.
You feel your cheeks grow hot in embarrassment as the reality of the situation settles on you. And yet... Why are you so bothered by this? You think to yourself.
Is it the close, intimate contact? The love feeding? The fact that Notaulix is a male? Or that he's a changeling? Such questions flow through your mind.
Though, you know you won't find any answers immediately. You need time to think and meditate on such things. Thankfully, that kind of time appears to be in no short supply right now.

Resigning yourself to the fact that you're doing this for Notaulix's sake, you settle in for the long haul by shifting your position to make yourself comfortable, being careful to not jostle Notaulix around in the process.
Soon, all that you're left with are your thoughts; thoughts that mix with the gentle sounds of your snuggle buddy's steady breathing, and the occasional crackle and pop of the fireplace.
At some point, you would guess that Notaulix has fallen asleep, if the occasional involuntary twitch of his ears that tickle your chin are any indicator to go by.
Breathing in deeply, you exhale and release some of your tension. In the back of your mind, you think to yourself...

Maybe this isn't so bad.