• Published 2nd Jan 2013
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Slipping Through A Sideways Door - hornethead



A man accidently follows his friend, who was believed to be dead, to a strange and colorful land mired in conflict.

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A Quick Trip

Chapter 11: A Quick Trip

Jackson and Mayfield sat strung out on the large couch that took up half the living room, bellies aching. The amount of sweets and pastries they had eaten was mind boggling to them. No matter how much of the delicious food they ate, more seemed to appear. In an open space near a large bay window, Flash danced with Pinkie to a catchy tune that played off a record player. It was strange to Jackson, up until now, he had thought that the pegasus was a humorless grouch. But then, he had known plenty of others that acted differently at work than they did at home. Or maybe he had gotten comfortable enough around the humans to unwind a little, he didn't know.

Whatever it was, it seemed to be contagious, as Jackson was feeling pretty good himself. He didn't know if it was the food or the place he was in, but at the moment he was the most relaxed he'd been in a long time. Next to him, Mayfield was on the verge of dozing off, he hadn't found any beer, it was just the way he got when he ate too much.

Suddenly, the music stopped and two sets of hooves could be heard walking away. Then one of them changed direction and detoured to the couch. Jackson looked up and saw it was Pinkie.

"Heya guys, didja have fun, didja like the food, wanna do it again sometime?" She shot off, rapid fire like before.

"Aw, yeah, thanks." Jackson replied, Mayfield was seemed to still be incapacitated, "The food was great!"

"Glad to hear it! Well, I'd love to stay up and chat, but I gotta go to work in the morning, see ya 'round!" She shouted cheerfully, and headed back towards the downstairs bedroom.

Flash followed her to the door, but then stopped and whispered something in her ear. She just smiled understandingly and continued on into the room without him. Flash shut the door and went back into the kitchen. A moment later, the clinking of glass bottles traveled into the livingroom, one of which sailed through the air before landing beside Mayfield.

Mayfield quickly sat up and grabbed it, "Oi! Where in the bloody hell did you pull this from?" It was beer.

"You didn't look hard enough." Flash said matter-of-factly.

"Well, good on ya." Mayfield said, raising the bottle in cheers and popping the lid off. Foam suddenly started gushing profusely from the mouth of the bottle, quickly soaking Mayfield's pants and part of the cushion he was sitting on. "Goddamnit, the fuck!?"

Both Flash and Jackson burst into laughter as the Englishman frantically tried to wipe the beverage off his legs before it set in. Of course, there was little he could do. He looked up at the laughter, zeroing in of the pegasus.

"Oi, you taking the piss or something?" He said almost angrily.

"What?" Flash said through his mirth.

"He thinks you're playing a joke on him!" Jackson clarified.

"Oh!" Flash only laughed harder, "No no no, buddy, that's more Pinkie's department, she's the one you gotta look out for! You just didn't wait for the carbonation to settle down before opening it!"

Mayfield stared down at his now half empty bottle and then back up to the man and stallion still laughing at him. "Fair enough." He shrugged before bringing the bottle to his lips and downing the remaining contents in one gulp. "Please get me another one then. And this time just put it on the table!"

==============================================================



"Sophie!"

Jackson sat up, his mind fuzzy. For a moment, he forgot where he was, but he knew the room he was in was unfamiliar. Then it all came back to him in one great rush. He reached up with a hand and rubbed his temples, he had just come out of a bad dream, but he could'nt remember exactly what it was about. All he knew is that it was one of the worst kinds, the kind that let you believe that everything in your life was the best it could possibly be, all happiness and good thoughts, until it suddenly thrust you back into the cruel reality when you woke up.

Then Jackson's stomach gurgled, interrupting his train of thought. Automatically, he reached over to the desk and swiped his watch off the surface and checked the time. It was just past seven in the morning. Bouncing to his feet, he grabbed his pants and a towel Flash had given him and ran down to the bathroom to take a shower.

The water was warm and inviting, just what he needed to start the day. He didn't linger, though, and toweled off quickly before getting dressed and heading out into the livingroom where he bumped into someone.

"Took ya long enough, mate."

"What? I was in there for like five minutes!" Jackson said, eyeing his roommate quizzically.

"Five minutes and fourteen seconds, to be exact!" Mayfield sniffed.

Jackson chuckled at the early morning humor and moved to the kitchen while Mayfield took his turn. His stomach growled again, impatient for a meal. Jackson went through the cupboards, wondering what Flash might've had in stock. Then he thought back to the mess hall back up in Canterlot, almost nothing but leafy greens and oats. At least he could make oatmeal.

Opening cupboard after cupboard, he found hard pucks of condensed hay, oats (of course), fruits, vegetables, bags of nuts and various other edible botanical items. Then he noticed the fridge in the corner and took a peek inside. His face lit up. There was a jug of fresh milk, eggs, and cheeses, all high in protein. He gathered what he wanted from the fridge and retrieved some vegetables from the cupboard, then got to work on his creation. He was gonna make omelets.

Mayfield finished up in the washroom, but didn't get completely dressed, he sat on the couch in his boxers instead. His pants were outside drying on a line after a quick wash last night.

"You making any for me?" He called into the kitchen.

"You want some?" Jackson called back, already cracking two more eggs open.

"Why yes please, that would be delightful. No cheese please!"

Jackson carried on cooking, humming an idle tune to himself. Not much later, the door to Flash's room opened and the pegasus emerged, mane a mess, but otherwise looking well rested.

"Heeey! Sleeping beauty's up!" Mayfield immediately started to tease. "Get in a good rough and tumble?"

"Huh?" The pegasus still wasn't used to the man's sayings.

"Don't answer that question, Flash!" Jackson warned from the kitchen, "He's just trying to mess with ya!"

"Whatever." Flash mumbled. Then he sniffed the air. "What are you cooking, is it eggs?"

"Omelets!" Mayfield said with some excitement. "Eh Jackie boy, why don't you whip up an order for our fearless leader?"

"You got it!" Jackson shouted back.

"Uh, thanks." Flash said gratefully before ambling into the washroom to start his own morning routine.

Jackson cooked up three plates with omelets, including some toast he had made with bread found in the cupboard and and a few glasses of milk. Once he was done, he put it all out on the counter, complete with flatware for himself and Mayfield that he found in one of the drawers. Flash had finished by then and came to the kitchen with Mayfield where they all sat down together and began eating.

"So what's the plan for today?" Jackson asked almost immediately.

Flash looked up, "Uh... Well, I gotta get more clothes for you guys, that's easy, I just have to take your measurements into town. I guess I could show you guys around town too, but first we need to get some pants on Topher."

"Hey, I look damn sexy without them!"

"Case in point." Flash sighed. "Other than that, whatever, I guess."

"Any chance I could come with you for the clothes?" Jackson asked the pegasus.

"Flash mulled it over in his mind for a minute before answering. "Ok, But Topher can't leave the house."

"Scouts' honor!" Mayfield replied almost sarcastically. "Although I really could do with some exercise..."

Flash narrowed his eyes at the man, but didn't say anything.

"So when do we leave?" Jackson inquired, eager to explore a little.

"As soon as you want."

Jackson quickly finished his meal, scarfing down the last few morsels and began to clean up, washing the pan and dishes in the sink. Once done, he went to his room and slid on his boots, then heading down to the front of the house where Flash was sitting on the porch, waiting for him with a saddle bag over his back.

"All set?"

Jackson nodded.

Together they walked out towards town. The journey didn't take long, only about fifteen minutes at their pace. As they neared, Jackson scanned the area, taking in the sights and goings-on of the town. In the streets ahead, various ponies milled about, doing chores or running errands. Up high in the sky, there were only pegasi, herding clouds, part of a weather control service if Jackson remembered what he'd been told. From the looks of their movements, he concluded it would be a nice sunny day with hardly any clouds.

The first thing they did was cut through the market to it's far side where an ornately decorated, three terraced building stood. It had a small sign tacked over the front door that read; "Carousel Boutique." It was here that Flash led him, opening the door with a hoof and stepping inside.

Jackson looked at the building with an odd expression, "We're getting our clothes here? No offence man, but this looks like it's for females only."

"Trust me, you want them from here." Flash replied, halfway into the building, "The mare that runs this place has more experience with your body shape than anypony else."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Jackson asked, now eyeing the pegasus suspiciously.

Flash tried to come up with something on the spot, "Uh... She makes clothes for diamond dogs?"

"I have no idea what those are."

"Oh, ok th—"

"And my sister would freak out if she heard you use anything that has to do with her and the word 'diamond dog' in the same sentence." Came a sweet tiny voice from beyond the open door.

Flash turned around and went deeper into the building, Jackson now following close behind. The human looked around and cringed at the massive amount of frilly lace and bright colored fabrics inside the shop. As an operative, to him any clothing that brightly colored screamed shoot here. He didn't spot the owner of the voice, however, until he looked down.

Standing near the center of the room was a small unicorn filly with a white coat and a curled pink and purple mane. She looked up at the two of them with big green eyes.

"Hi Sweetie Belle," Flash said, "Is your sister around at all?"

"Not right now," she replied, "Rarity went out to the market to buy more fabric. Who's your big friend?"

"This is Jackson, he's visiting from Canterlot. He's actually why I'm here." Flash replied, reaching back into his saddle bag and pulling out a slip of paper and a small bag of coins that jingled. "He needs some clothing, about six different sets." He glanced back at the human, who was still looking around the rest of the shop with distaste. "And please tell her they're for two humans, male, nothing fancy or brightly colored."

"I can do that." The little filly said jovially, accepting the measurements and payment from the pegasus. "Oh, and can I ask you something?"

"Sure."

"Is the sleep over still on at yours and Pinkie's place?"

"Sleep over? What sleep over?" Flash asked her, confused.

"Oh, she didn't tell you?"

"No, she didn't, must've forgot." He said flatly.

"Well we asked her if we could have a sleep over at your place because it's close to the woods. We wanted to go camping on our own, but mine and Applebloom's sister won't let us. Pinkie said it would be ok if we stayed there instead."

Flash thought for a second, "Well, we have guests over right now," Sweetie Belle's expression sunk a little, "But if you guys camp out in the backyard, I don't see a problem with it."

Her face instantly brightened up again, "Aw yes!" She shouted, "I'm gonna go tell the girls!" With that, she haphazardly threw the bag of coins and the paper onto a nearby table and raced out of the shop.

"Nice kid." Jackson commented, heading for the door.

They exited, Flash closing and locking the door shut behind him, he didn't want the little filly to get in trouble for leaving it open. "Yeah, she is. But watch what happens when she and her friends get together. Trouble."

They then left the shop, heading back to the market. There they picked up some groceries and a few other things for the house. Jackson noticed a sort of entertainment district that had a few bars. He'd have to check it out before he left town. Other than that, they just stopped at the bank to set up Jackson's account and then went on back home. When they arrived, they found Mayfield suspended from a rafter in the porch roof by his legs, doing crunches.

"'ello!" He waved, "You get my knickers?"

"Not yet." Jackson said.

"They'll be ready either tonight or tomorrow." Flash told him.

Mayfield pulled himself up again, but gripped the rafter with his hands and swung down to the porch deck, "Ah, well. At least my uniform pants are dry by now. You two wanna pint?"

"It's barely noon..."

"Hey, none of us are driving." Mayfield shrugged as he opened the door and went into the house.

Flash looked at Jackson, but he just mimicked Mayfield's move and went inside as well, placing the bags he carried on the kitchen counter. He didn't usually drink this early, but as far as he knew now, he was on vacation. He and Mayfield made a quick sandwich of cheese and left over egg from breakfast and moved back out onto the porch with a couple bottles, including one for their host. Flash eyed them for a second, but took the bottle any way, though with a sour look.

"What's the matter my friend? You're on leave, relax a little!" Mayfield said to the pegasus.

"You know, I gotta agree with Topher here." Jackson said, "I know that when I got off work for a while, I would party every day. Your girlfriend would definitely be into it."

Flash swirled the amber liquid in his bottle a little bit before taking a swig, "You know, I was the same way not too long ago. I would stay up all night, drink a ton and generally act crazy when I got the chance. But now... I don't know, I'm just tired."

"Aw yeah? Well maybe I can remedy that." Jackson said assuredly.

Flash and Mayfield watched as the large man went back into the house and began rummaging through drawers and checking cabinets. Finally, after a few minutes a searching, Jackson let out a triumphant Aha! returned outside where he dragged a small table over to a few chairs in the corner. He sat down on one of them and smacked a deck of cards onto the table. Mayfield bounced over and sat down next to him.

"Ooh! What're we playing?"

Flash soon walked over and joined them.

"A little game a friend of mine taught me. It's called 'Big Two,' we'll play it as a drinking game." Jackson said.

"'Big Two,' huh?" Flash queried.

"Yeah, you heard of it?"

"Not really..."

"Well, it's real easy, here." Jackson began dealing out the cards and explaining the rules.

They played a few practice hands with Flash losing pretty much all of them. Mayfield got eager to play with the drinking involved and Flash agreed, which sent up a flagin Jackson's mind, but he didn't really pay it any heed. Flash went into the house and got a large bottle of rum, Jackson noticed it was the same kind he'd found in his new room.

They began slow, with Flash once again losing and taking the first few shots because of it. But then he started to win. Only here and there at first, but then with more and more regularity. Before even an hour had passed, the whole of the bottle had been spent between the two humans with Flash taking on only two more shots for himself.

"You know, this one's a sneaky little bugger," Mayfield slurred, "been leadin' us on the whole time."

"Yeah," Jackson agreed, "how'd you learn this game so good?" Slowly, because of the alcohol, the answer surfaced in his mind, "Wait, I know! You learned it from him!"

"What! Who? Learned it from what?" Mayfield asked.

The dark pegasus just sat there with a smirk on his face, "Yeah, he taught me how." He said slyly, "and he taught me how to play harder then you two pansies." As if to punctuate his statement, he picked up yet another bottle of rum from where he had hid it under his chair and slammed it onto the table.

Mayfield chuckled slightly, "Oh, you're so goin' down!"

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