• Published 12th Dec 2012
  • 1,813 Views, 149 Comments

Tom walks - Mr Stargazer



The stone on Raritys back was more than it seemed. Tom is an eternal.

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Steps

Tom increased his breathing rate quickly, bringing it up to waking levels. A simple command made his heart begin to beat faster. He woke exactly eight hours after going to bed. Even before becoming flesh he knew Rarity did not wake until ten. Tom decided to wake up early. Besides, he had much to do today. First, he must learn this law. Then he needed to help Rarity and learn social graces. He calmly got up and prepared for the day by pushing all of the dirt and stink off his body. Then he went to eat breakfast with Rarity.

*******************************

Sweetie Belle was making breakfast once again for her sister. Thankfully, she had learned to avoid burning the food since her first attempts. The little one truly loved her older sibling. She was so creative and liked by so many others…the kitchen, however, was still a mess. Tom walked in and considered it to be appropriate to introduce himself to her.

"Hello."

The young filly jumped up into the air. The pancake she had been cooking neatly flew through the air and landed on the stallion's face.

"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry! You startled me!"

Tom had done nothing to avoid the food product. He walked forward with the pancake still resting on his face and dumped it on a clean plate. Turning toward the young filly he replied, "that's quite alright. I am Tom and I will be staying here some time. You are...?"

Sweetie was grateful that the strange stallion had not become angry. It would of been hard to explain to Rarity. She was also in trouble from the frog indecent last week.

"My name’s Sweetie Belle. Why are you going to be staying here?"

Tom told the simple truth. "Because your sister is a good soul. Would you like some help cleaning before she awakes?"

Sweetie Belle smiled. "Yeah!"


*****************************************


Rarity woke around two hours later. The first thing she noticed was the smell of breakfast coming up from the kitchen. The mare calmly rolled out of bed and went to take a shower. While washing she thought about Tom.

I really don't know what to think about him. Not only does he seem to lack even the most basic understanding of etiquette, but he also has a very similar cutie mark to me. That had given her pause when Twilight had told her that yesterday. She had not really believed it until checking last night. While many ponies had similar cutie marks, hers was an extremely rare type. Not many had the ability to find precious stones. And then there was the tint to the gems. What did that mean? And why am I cold?

Rarity shivered and quickly finished showering. It was very odd because even with the extra pony in the house there still should have been plenty of hot water left. The heater must be broken. Toweling herself dry, Rarity looked at the mirror. Her mane was in complete disarray. Sitting down with a heavy sigh, she prepared to tame her mane for another day. With one swipe of her brush the hair simply fell into perfect place. Rarity's mouth dropped open at this. It would normally take at least five minutes of brushing to make her hair strait. Things were getting stranger and stranger.

She trotted down the steps. There was Tom at the front door talking to the gray mailmare.

"Hello. How may I help you," he inquired politely.

"Oh, uh…" The cross-eyed mare eyes would look in random directions all the time. She rarely focused for even the shortest amount of time. However when looking at Tom both of her eyes stared straight at him for five whole seconds before she started talking again. "H-Here is your package." Tom accepted it gracefully. The mare flew off as quickly as she could.

"Hello," Tom said as he turned to address Rarity. He seemed to look at her with a blank look on his face as he placed the box on a table.

"Good morning," intoned Rarity.

Tom’s face began to twitch. At first she thought that he was having a stroke but after a moment the lip pulled back into a strange smile. It looked like he was only moving one muscle at a time. Then it was gone.

"I need to work on that," was all he said before turning to sit at the table. Rarity sat down with Sweetie Belle and Tom to enjoy the breakfast they had made. It was only a moment before the young filly spoke up.

"Hey Rarity! Is this your new special somepony?"

Tom of course didn't react, but Rarity spat out the coffee she had been drinking.

"W-What!?! No we are…we are not like that Sweetie Belle." She quickly regained her composure even as the little filly laughed. Tom smiled. It was still awkward but better than his first one.

"Rarity, how long have you been in Ponyville?" In reality, Tom knew down to the millisecond when she had arrived, but considering the petty conversations that he heard yesterday and how uncomfortable ponies acted around him, he figured some small talk might do some good.

"Oh, many years...where all have you lived?"

Difficult question answering would require tact.

"I have been everywhere." Literally.

"Oh! So you are a traveler?" she asked while trying to think of things that would require somepony to have to travel so much.

"No."

"Then how is it you have been everywhere?"

"By being there. My…skills require me to be in a lot of places. Sometimes two at once." It was incredibly difficult to split himself but possible.

"Oh, really? What sort of things do you fix?" asked Rarity, thinking him a handypony.

"Everything."

"Such a wide range of skills! Does it pay well?"

"No," replied Tom. "It does not pay at all."

They continued to eat in silence for a time before Sweetie Belle spoke up.

"Hey! You have the same Cutie Mark as Rarity except for the color. Why is that?"

Another difficult one.

"Because of whom I am."

The filly's face scrunched up in confusion. "And Who are you?"

"I am tom." Rarity paused for a second. Then she smiled, supposing he was himself.

After cleaning up breakfast, Tom asked if there was any way he could help before leaving. Rarity smiled and answered, "When you get back we simply must give you etiquette lessons! You need to act like a gentlecolt."

"Very well."


*************************************


Tom left shortly after. He needed to acquire this law from Twilight. As he was walking through the town square, a careful observer would have noticed some strange occurrences. The blowing wind became constant. A pony was tossing four bits, all of which landed stacked perfectly on one another. There was a unicorn whose magic surged as he passed, causing her to crush an apple. Nopony, however, associated these strange events with the new pony. After all, he was just an earth pony.

Twilight was shelving books when he arrived.

"Hello," said Tom.

"Hi, Tom."

Tom stood there for a short moment.

"I came for the law."

Twilight smiled awkwardly.

"Well, ok…I have many books on the law. What kind do you want?"

"All of them."

"Really?"

"Yes."

There were twenty books involving law. Tom sat there for the next two hours, reading. Twilight asked Spike to bring Tom some water and food while he waited and she stepped out to get some more quills.

"Spike?"

"What do you want?" asked the little dragon.

"I am wondering why you hate me. In what way have I wronged you?"

Spike stood there, his mouth open for a moment before closing. The young dragon ground his teeth and clenched his claws.

"You come into town, knock down Rarity's door, and then abuse her generosity by staying at her home! You don't deserve her!"

"Deserve her?"

"Yes!"

Tom was greatly confused. How did Spike know he wanted to court her? How…

Then Tom thought about how he had grown angry at Spike when he saw that he was going to Rarity's place. What if this small dragon felt the same way as him?

"Do you love Rarity, Spike?"

The purple dragon blinked, growled, and then answered.

"Yes I do, and if you think you can take her from me you are wrong. You could not protect her like I could."

A scowl came across the earth pony's face. He briefly considered removing the dragon from existence…but that would be against the law.

"Listen to me, CHILD. I have seen and done things your puny consciousness could not even conceive of. I have defeated foes that could level this tiny town. Do not think to be competition for me, dragon. None can compare."

The hate in Spike’s eyes gave way to shock.

"You are delusional. You're just an earth pony! How could you guard her?"

"I can guard her better than any other. Leave, little one. I have no time for the weak."

Spike was going to respond, but decided to walk away instead. Tom was delusional. He was crazy. And Spike would protect her.


*********************************************


It was one in the afternoon when he finished. The law was quite complex. Tom calmly placed the books back in their appropriate places. Reading that many books would normally take several days, but he was tom.

"Are you done already?" asked Twilight, assuming he had given up.

"Yes, thank you. If it is not inappropriate what are you doing today?"

Twilight brightened at his question and detailed a long list of activities. Tom felt proud. He was socializing with one of Rarity's friends successfully. The only thing of interest to him was the last item.

"I will also be observing the new star in the Triton constellation."

"New star?" Tom asked.

"Yes! There is a new star in the sky. It is being called Osiris. Isn't this exciting? This is the first time it has occurred in recorded history!"

Tom simply shook his head. It was abnormal for a star to form in such a way but not impossible.

"Oh and Tom?" Twilight suddenly asked, remembering something. "Can you come with me to the hospital really quick?"

Tom froze mid-stride. "Why?"

"You came out of the forest and the hospital has no history for you. The doctors said that they would need to do a physical."

Tom knew that the mare was obviously leaving something out. These ponies, however, could not hold him. Only make gaining Rarity that much harder.

"Very well."

Only an hour later, Tom was sitting in a white room talking to a doctor with a chart.

"Well, your health is normal and despite your apparent loss of childhood memory we can find nothing physically wrong with your brain. Your magi graph came back normal. However…" He sat down with his chart. "I think that your condition may be mental. There is a local psychiatrist and nurse named Redheart. Would you see her?"

Tom almost smiled.

"Of course."

The white-coated nurse, with a red plus sign as a cutie mark, had only a few questions about his memory and past. All of which allowed her to learn nothing.

Before he left, however, she took a blood sample. When her hoof made contact with him she suddenly grew very still. She seemed to run out as quickly as she could.


*****************************************


"...and you should knock and wait for an invitation to enter before entering a room with a closed door."

Rarity had been going at this for over an hour.

Tom was having no difficulty learning the niceties of society. It was really just a long list of rules and ‘what if’ scenarios.

"Well, I think that is enough for today. How about we get dinner started?"

Rarity and Tom moved into the kitchen and began to make dinner for three. Sweetie Belle would be arriving shortly, back from crusading. They cooked in silence. Tom was getting better at reading these flesh beings’ body language. She wanted to speak about something. Soon, she turned to him with a slightly confused but firm look on her face.

"Tom…do you feel comfortable here in Ponyville?"

Tom actually paused for a moment.

"No."

Rarity nodded her head.

"It can be quite hard to...trust again after being betrayed."

Tom simply waited, not understanding her words.

"Rainbow Dash told us about how you were forced into the woods. Did you feel betrayed? Was it done by somepony you know? Somepony you...cared for? Is that why you don't want to talk about it?"

Tom stood silent. Did he feel betrayed? Rarity had known him but for a short time. Then he had been moved and used to plug a hole leading to a magical pond. How could you feel betrayed if the ‘betrayer’ did not know they were abandoning somepony? Yet...

"Yes," he answered, surprised at the truth.

"To which question?"

"All of them. It hurts..." Tom put his hoof over his heart. "…here to talk about it. Even though they knew not what they did."

"It's ok. You can tell me about it."

Tom straightened. "There is nothing to tell. She did not even really see me and then left me in those woods. I forgive her anyways."

Rarity stepped forward and hugged him. He stood still for a moment before slowly returning the hug.

"Ha! I knew it!" The two adults turned to see Sweetie Belle at the door.

Both of them stepped back blushing slightly. The fily continued to smile and laugh.

"Now Sweetie Belle I was just giving our guest a comforting hug. He has been through a lot and I believe it was appropriate. " Explained Rarity her voice becoming more confident as she spoke " Besides it is time to eat."

The dinner was uneventful they talked on normal topics. What the weather would be tomorrow. How traveling to Las Pegasus would be fun. Tom contributed as he could and in many cases they were laughing.

Later Tom laid his head down to rest. This body…it was so weak. Like so many other things this made him remember and think on his state of being.

Who am I? I am Tom, but…I have been around for so long. So very long. Time used to have no meaning to me. Now I look to the future and wonder... can I truly go on forever? Yes, I could outlast this universe and the next, and the next, but eventually I will grow tired. I will weaken. In the end, will I care to go on? Here I am in the flesh and for the first time vulnerable. If I am weakened and can't escape, what would happen to me if the flesh died?

Tom knew the answer but it was something a true immortal like him could not comprehend: he would die.