• Published 10th Nov 2022
  • 2,506 Views, 149 Comments

Her Bitter Half - Casketbase77

Pinkamena hates being in control. It's a chore. But now Pinkie is gone from their shared head. Can a sourfaced split personality pass as her better half and solve the mystery of where Pinkie went? No to the first, yes to the second.

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Rise And Shun

Sourced from Cold Blooded Twi on Twitter

I noticed something was wrong. Mostly because it was me doing the noticing.

Laughing, living, taking in the surroundings... that was Pinkie Pie's hobby, not mine. I don't think I'm the half that is able to feel 'happy,' but I do feel less annoyed whenever I’m zoned out for months on end, numb and ignorant. My stints in charge only start when life gets bad, and every time they end I hope Pinkie will never need to hide behind me again. Its a pointless hope, I know. Pinkie is who she is, and I am too. Its my job to grit our teeth whenever she has a Crisis with a capital "C."

So what was it now? Why was it me who felt the bedsheets wrapped around us? Who heard rain coming down outside? Who grunted and scratched our butt and sat up to see Pinkie Pie’s bedroom empty of anyone except for us? Scratch that, empty except for me.

As my better half would say, this was supery-dupery wrong.

“P...Pinkie?” I rasped. There was no response. No psychic jostle or reflexive tail twitch to confirm that yep, she was safely turtled up right now and no, she wasn’t coming out until I’d suffered through the Crisis on her behalf. There was no Crisis that I could see. And no answer from Pinkie.

I'm not the nervous one. Neither is Pinkie, I guess. Whenever something really upsets her, she shunts me the wheel to growl and moan and act all defiant on her behalf. But my gusto wasn't here. It was as if Pinkie took it with her when she left. I wrapped our -my- forelegs around us and held tight. I was supposed to be stern, dammit. Way long ago, Pinkie gathered every scrap of sternness she had, stuffing it into a mental wastebasket like so much used up confetti. A few years later, I crawled out of that same wastebasket. Now though, sitting on her bed with our head all to myself, I wasn't stern confetti. I was a string missing its balloon. Was this how Pinkie felt before she made me? All alone, pitifully afraid, and (I winced and rubbed our aching tummy)... saddled with a painfully tight knot in her stomach?

Hold it. Was this tummy ache the current Crisis? This I could handle. This I could fix.

I looked through the open bedroom door, out across the hall, and settled our eyes on the distant bathroom. If I hoofed us in the gut, hard and quick, I could vomit up whatever was ailing us. Attack the problem, like I always do. Like I was thought up to do.

I swished off the blankets and trudged toward the bathroom. Every fourth step was a jab of pain to the kidneys, so this had to be it. This was why Pinkie tossed me the controls. If I fix things, if I made the ache go away, I get to go away too. Sounded like what Pinkie would call an okily-dokily plan.

I got to the bathroom and stood up on our hinds. One foreleg was on the wall for support and the other got ready for a punch when the tummy knot seized again. It was so bad I had to sit down. The only seat was the toilet, and as soon as our butt was on it, instinct took over.

A few minutes later, I exited the bathroom with my embarrassed head down. I flopped back onto Pinkie’s bed. The tummy ache was gone, flushed away with the entire contents of our bladder.

“Pinkie you lazy bum,” I cursed at the ceiling. “That was humiliating. I’m not your personal pee courier, you know. I remember when you'd only drag me out for something serious.”

Dead silence.

“Okay, okay. I’m sorry.” I rolled over, addressing the wall now. “Just don’t drink so much... whatever it was you drank before bed. It felt like a part of our guts were ruptured. Don’t do it again. One less problem you cause means one less I have to come out and solve. Win-win, am I right?”

Still nothing.

“Bucking answer me, dammit!” I thwapped the pillow like a bratty foal.

“Pinkie?” called Mr Cake’s voice from downstairs. “I heard the toilet flush. Are you up? You have work today, you know.”

I shut my pair of borrowed eyes and massaged our temples, trying to bury my rising panic.

“Okay Pinkie," I whispered, "you heard Landlord Lanky-Legs. You have a wonderful job to get to. Students to entertain, friends to frolic with. Doesn’t that sound great? I mean I personally think it sounds like the worst thing in Equestria, but you, you… you love that socially stimulating crap. C'mon.”

I slapped our face.

“Giddyup.” I slapped our face a tad harder.

“Pinkie, I’m begging you. Don’t make me do this. Remember the last time you gave me the reins and I moved us to Yakyakistan? I'm no good without you. By Faust, just a few minutes ago I didn’t even know what needing to pee felt like! Don’t have me go down there and talk to other ponies.”

“Pinkie Pie,” Mr Cake called again. “I’m putting two Ponish Muffins in the toaster for you. When they pop up, I’m coming to get you.”

“Okey-dokey-lokey!” I made my words as sing-song as possible, which wasn’t very much. “Just putting on my face!”

My volume dropped as my anger rose.

“Is this one of your stupid pranks? Huh? Have you gotten so bored so you’re just throwing me to the diamond dogs for a cheap laugh? Fine. Have it your way. I bet I’ll trash your life and reputation without even having to try.” I rolled off the bed and stood us up. “Unless, ya know, you want to stuff me back into my box. Stop me before it’s too late.”

She wasn’t biting.

“Fine! Be that way! I hope you’re watching good and close, because I am going to ruin you.”

I blew a stray hair out of our face as I marched towards the door, but when the same hair draped back down across our muzzle, I stopped. Already knowing what it would find, I ran a hoof through our mane.

Smooth and straight. Of course it was. A limp mane was my calling card, since when Pinkie retreated, so did her pomp. I couldn’t go downstairs looking like this. Looking like me.

Turning on our heels - actually they were my heels for now - I slumped over to the hair and makeup station in the bedroom corner. “Ooh, I bet you hate yourself now, Pinkie. Just had to ask Rarity for a gag gift last Hearthswarming.”

I pulled open a drawer and pulled out the punchline: a high-end curling iron, perfect for turning a flat lifeless mane into a styled mess. Pinkie and her friends had shared a good laugh about this thing. What a redundant tool, right? As if Pinkie’s mane would ever need to be made more chaotic than it already was.

I plugged the cord in. “Maybe your mane wouldn’t, but this is my mane now.” I bubbled out a dark chuckle, inching the iron’s searing plates closer to our head. “Here we go...”

Then, just like in the bathroom, I balked. I could feel the heat coming off the iron. I knew it was on. But I had no idea how to use it. Pinkie never bothered styling her mane, which meant I had no grooming knowledge or beauty skills to mooch from her memories. I stared cluelessly at my reflection. It stared cluelessly back. And the more I looked, the less Pinkie Pie I saw.

There was the flat hair. Obvious. But I also brought a harsher, uglier glint to our eyes. A tendon in our neck was stretched noticeably tight and no amount of flexing I tried seemed to make it relax. My posture was way worse than Pinkie’s, shoulders down like a deflated balloon animal and head slung forward like those vultures we use to see circling the old family rock farm. If Pinkie was a windup toy with a permanently twisted spring, I was the same toy after the turning key got busted and lost. And even if I could fix all of it, doll up my mane, roll back my shoulders, brighten my eyes... the pitiful disguise would fall apart as soon as I spoke with my own bitter nasty words instead of Pinkie's loving nice ones.

I set the curling iron on a makeup towel and leaned back. The pony in the mirror did the same, defeated before she’d even begun playing. Together, she and I listened to the rain outside.

“Pinkamena Diane Pie,” I drawled, trying and failing to find some sweetness in my own name. “You’re a silly little pony. Not silly like Pinkie, not in the way that makes the foals smile and old folks nod in approval. Nah, you’re silly because you actually believed for a minute you could make it out there. You’re not sick in the head Pinkamena; you are the sick in the head. A pony with a cold can walk around and hide the fact she has one, but a cold can’t walk around pretending to be a pony. It doesn’t work backwards like that. You don’t work backwards like that.”

“Pinkie," Mr Cake called, "your Ponish Muffins are up! And so will I in a minute if you don’t come down.”

“Hear that?” I asked the sourfaced mirror. “They’ll be coming for you soon. And after you get asked where the real Pinkie is, you’ll say you don’t know. But of course no one will believe you." I leaned in, leering over the reflected pony whose eyes were brimming with tears. "And then Twilight Sparkle will get called in to investigate what happened to her friend, and her guards’ll cuff you and beat you and force you to say you’re an impostor and then they’ll throw you in the dungeon-“

The cotton towel I’d laid the curling iron on burst into flames.

“Aaagh!” I let out a very un-Pinkie-like yelp and fell backwards from the fiery flare.

“Oh buck. Oh buck… oh shit!"

The flareup had caught the edge of a photo taped to the makeup mirror and was beginning to spread. I scrambled up to standing position and searched frantically for something to put out the fire. Snatching a vase of petunias off the dresser, I whipped around and sloshed in the direction of the makeup station. The vase soaked everything from my forelegs to my face with flower petals and fruity-smelling water.

After irritably rubbing the splashback out of my eyes I saw that, despite the mess, I’d put the fire out. At least I wouldn’t be charged with arson when the guards hauled me away. Yay. Blow the party favors.

Hoofsteps were coming up the stairs. Guess this was it for me. Pinkamena’s daring impersonation adventure was going to end before it could begin. Disgusted, I reached up to unplug the curling iron from the wall.

The world went stark white as my wet foreleg took Faust knows how many bolts of electric shock. Enough bolts to hurt. To hurt a lot. I could feel frothiness forming in my mouth as my saliva boiled. Using all the strength I still had, I wrenched the curling iron’s cord from the wall socket, toppling over for the second time. Balled up on the floor, still twitching, I heard hoofsteps in the hall now, nearly at the door.

I was too nauseous to check, but a thought occurred that maybe electrocuting myself like that had made my mane frizzy and wild. I cackled, knowing I was probably just delirious. But it was funny to imagine that in the most warped and roundabout way, the curling iron had done its job and made me passable as Pinkie.

I was still grinning like a madmare when the bedroom creaked open and Mr Cake poked his head in.

“Pinkie, would you like jam or honey on-“

He took in the sight of me on the carpet, wet and posed like a freshly squeezed out fetus with the curling iron's cord wrapped on one hoof and an empty flower vase clutched in the other.

Ball was in my court.

“I uh…” Eccentric airhead, I reminded myself. Pour it on thicker than strawberry syrup. "I tripped over my own four hooves. Never too early for some morning clowning, am I right?”

“Uh huh,” Mr Cake replied. “Here, let me help you clean up.” He got closer. Enough to pick up the makeup towel and stare dumbfounded at the burn hole in its center.

“Do you really wanna know?” I challenged. Then I winced, conscious that snipe hadn’t been very Pinkie-ish.

Thankfully, Mr Cake just chuckled and set the towel back down. “No worries, Pinkie. Sorry for barging in before you got yourself together for the day.”

“Me? Not together? Pssh-shaw!” I peeled myself off the carpet with all the fake enthusiasm I had, staggering on hooves that were still numb. I ended up on the other side of the room, near a shuttered window.

Bubbly. Bubbly and extroverted. C’mon, you clumsy sadsack.

“W-Why be a party pooper when you can be a party trooper, am I right?” I fumbled with the shutter’s latch, forgetting what was out there. “It’s a new day, friends! Let in the sun!”

The window covers blew open and I fought through a torrent of pouring rain until I closed them again.

“Um…” I was stunned and wetter than ever, still feeling Mr Cake's puzzled concern on my back. “Um…,” I repeated, “I can weather the weather too. Isn’t sunshiney-ness more of a state of mind anyway?” I turned back around and bared a mouthful of teeth. My equivalent of a smile.

Gods above and below, somepony get the hook and haul the sad clown offstage already.

Mr Cake did not haul me offstage. Instead he smiled back, shaking his head at my yammering.

“I’ll leave you to it, Pinkie. I got a pastry delivery to move through the rain, but your food’ll be on the table before I’m gone. I promise.” He bowed out and the door closed.

My attention went back to that far off makeup mirror. My 'smile' was the least convincing rictus grin in history. Also, my mane still wasn't frizzy. It was just as lifeless as when I’d woken up.

And yet... at least one pony had bought it. That was a start.

A clap of thunder accompanied my kicking the door to Pinkie’s room open again. I shook myself dry while trotting towards the stairs. Also towards Mr Cake’s promise of freshly toasted Ponish Muffins. Whatever the Current Crisis was, whatever Pinkie had called me up for and hid away from, I wasn’t going to conquer it while hungry.

“You might be the one with the sweet tooth, Pinkie, but I haven’t eaten in months." I licked my incisors and picked up my pace. "What a wonderfully rotten day to be me.”

Author's Note:

Next Week:

Breakfast, babies, and a new friend makes her entrance.