• Published 8th May 2013
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Total Eclipse of the Sun - Sarikano



Taking a vacation to visit a friend on his 25th birthday, Alex Mercier will find his life altered forever as his body start to change. Side story to Five Score Divided by Four

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4 : Change of mind

Total Eclipse of the Sun
Chapter 4 : Change of mind

May 2nd
The drive to John's apartment gave me the opportunity to think back about our meeting at the local Starbucks. To be honest, I'm still a little surprised with the ease that she accepted her changes. I only wished that she would stop trying to push me to do the same. My changes had reawaken some bad memories and I'll need time if I am to come to terms with my new colors.

It seemed that my mysterious voice decided to pick this time to add to my frustration. “Tell her the past.

Sure, good advice. I should definitely tell a stranger about one of my worst moment. One that would find the whole thing hilarious. It took me three years before I felt comfortable enough to even tell Michael and he is my closest friend. There is no way in Tartarus that I'm going to tell John that story.

Anyways, I'm more than able to contain my anger until we finish our little meeting. This did bring another problem to deal with though. How does she manage to rile me up so easily? After my little incident, the school thought it would be a good idea to have me consult for my 'anger issues'. As much as I hate to admit it, it helped me greatly to remain calm most of the time. But this John somehow managed to bypass all of my defenses and hit a sore point every time.

I was roused from my thoughts when the green Rover finally pulled over in front of an apartment block. The ride had only taken about ten minutes. I was slightly surprised that nothing happened while on the road considering how badly the rest of the day went by. Maybe things were finally starting to look up for me.

Once my car was properly parked, I snatched my laptop bag front the back seat before leaving the cubemobile properly locked. John had met up with me and we “walked” toward the doors on the front side of the building.

Everything was going well until Ms Blue decided to remove her hood, revealing her long cascade of light blue hair to the world. Didn't she use a hood to hide them from the public in the first place? The logical decision would have been to wait until we reach her apartment before she remove her hood.

Her action also acted as a reminder that I was using a hood too to hide my own PINK hair. This uncomfortable reminder made me look around hoping to see no one nearby before addressing a question to John.

"Isn't it a little counterproductive to remove the hood now? We could encounter somepony along the way."

"Eh, people mostly stay in their rooms here, and even if they do come out into the halls, they'll be too high or drunk to notice."

Drunk and stoned people, this place sound so great... This was worthy of an eyes roll. At least, even if someone does notice something, nobody would believe them. Still, back in Montreal, a place like this would be dangerous to live in. I hope the same don't apply over here.

"Great place to live..." When I noticed that John was looking at me, I realized that I must have spoken my thought aloud. Really? This whole situation must have gotten to me more than I thought.

Soon after my blunder, John arrived at the elevator with me not far behind. When the doors opened, a man stumbled past my fellow mare-to-be, and almost crashed into me. He stank of the characteristic odor of alcohol. Out of reflex, I pulled my laptop closer. Gamers laptop aren't just given to them freely you know. I'm certain that he also saw my hair...

Apparently, John knew that man as she called his name. The only answer she received was a simple grunt as the drunkard left the building. Somehow, my sis- companion thought that this little accident proved her point.

"See? Nothing to worry about. There's only really one other person next to my apartment who isn't ever drunk or high, but she's incredibly nice." You obviously never encountered a violent drunkard. Not that I was worried about that possibility. I'm more than able to defend myself, but I prefer to avoid fighting if I can. Knifes hurt more then I like to remember...

The closing elevator doors startled me, bring me back from the depth of my thoughts. Somehow, I managed to do another blunder only a few minutes after the last one.

"That's encouraging-I wonder who would want to stay here though..."

Twice in less than ten minutes... This will end badly for one of us. Probably me...

Somehow, John sudden smile made feel uncomfortable. Why do I have the feeling that I just avoided a reprimand? Because, I had more then earned it... Shoo, Alex. Stop thinking thinking this way. It was not doing me any good considering how down I was.

"Well, the rent is pretty cheap, and if you ignore all of the neighbors except for Fiona, then it's an ok place to stay."

Michael's sister's name was not something I was expecting to hear at this point. John was obviously talking about another Fiona. Still, thinking about her managed to slightly improve my morale.

"I wouldn't say the same about the Fiona I know," I quickly added, smiling at the thought of the ballerina, "She is quite the excitable filly."

Why was John smiling like this? I didn't say an- You have to be kidding me!

"Did I just say filly?"

Expressions like somepony aren't too bad and somehow funny. But employing words that I didn't know the meaning before hand was a little scary. Let see the good side of this, now I had the image of Fiona as a cute little pink pony in my head. I need to remember to tell Michael once I have explained him the situation. I'm sure this will amuse him as well.

We soon reached a door that John unlocked while exclaiming, "Welcome, to my lair!"

Seriously, a generic evil mastermind quote?

Ouch. That facepalm hurt a lot. It has been long since the last time I actually hurt myself thank to the practice Michael give me. And why was the evil one smirking?

"So, where are the birds?"

In any case, I should probably remove my hood now that we are safe. Or at least, this was my plan if it wasn't already done. When did I lose it? Oh well, it was too late to change anything.

Wait a second, did she mention birds? What the hay was she talking about? "What birds?"

At first, my host was going to give an answer when she simply kept quiet. Wait, what was this all about? She must have meant to rile me up.

"Eh, forget about it." This just confirmed my suspicious...

Neither of us was doing anything for a while, until John decided to open a drawer full of games. Why was she looked through it? It wasn't the time to play, we had a lot to talk about. Ultimately, she grabbed a copy of Portal 2 to show to me before starting to talk to me. "You really probably should brush your hair."

After all that happened today, the mention of my hair from the woman who teased me about it all day long broke something in me. And I lost control of my temper.

++C++

The return to reality was brutal. My throat was burning, my face a little sore. Oh, let not forget that I was laying on an unknown floor. Next to a frying pan.

What happened to me?

Looking through my memories, the last that I could remember clearly was entering John's apartment then she made a comment about my hair that had been the last straw. Oh no! I hope I didn't do anything stupid.

I sat up and noticed my sister, her face was red. Wait, did I just consider John as my sister? Never mind, it isn't important at the moment. Why was her face so red? Looking back at the skillet, I noticed that it was slightly deformed. I felt a little guilty. I think that her face became acquainted with it with my help.

Continuing digging through my memories, the next thing I remembered was a poor attempt to calm me down. The effect was the opposite. I think I said something about pink hair. Somehow, I don't see anymore why it bothered me so much at the time. I think that my hate for the color might have diminished, probably thanks to the mental changes. I'm not sure if I should consider this a good or bad thing considering that I'll be stuck with them for a while.

I was walking toward the exit when a crushing noise snapped me out of my daze. I had stepped on a copy of Halo 2 that belonged to John. Her reaction when she noticed the state of the disc was heartbreaking. She had fallen on her knee and began to stroke the broken disc. She kind of reminded me of Gollum. I decided to put my hand on his shoulder as I felt bad about my wrong doing.

The next memories froze my blood.

John began to shake before releasing a bestial growl. I stepped back, initially surprised by the sound. When our eyes meet when she stood and I knew that I was in serious trouble. Whatever was in front of me was no longer human. It was a beast and it was clear from the way its looked at me that I was its prey.

For the first time in my life, I panicked.

There was the most terrifying roar I had ever heard. I tried to run away, but it threw me on the floor. Once I got back on my feet, I try to run away again, only to be thrown in the kitchen this time. What can I say, panic make ponies act stupidly.

I have to admit, John was much stronger than I had given her credit. Actually, I'm surprised that I managed to rise up from that one. I knew that I was resistant, but that greatly exceeded my normal threshold.

This time, I tried to defend myself, but it was like Garrus. It had the reach and it punched me in the face. The next thing I knew, it lifted me in the air and started to strangle me. It was hopeless, until I noticed a frying pan laying over the counter. It was my only hope. After a few tries, I managed grabbed it and hit the beast as hard as could. Once I was free, I wasted no time to get back up on my feet, only to notice that it was still conscious. I think it said something, but at that point there was only one thing that I wanted : To be safe. So I hit it again. As it finally felt on the ground, darkness came to claim me.

By the time I finished to review my memories, I was shaking. Suddenly, I only wanted to run away far from here. To go back home, or at very least to go back to Michael's house. I hadn't told her where I was staying, so I would be safe.

The level of fear I was experiencing was too high to be normal. Had the changes progressed far enough to override my instincts with those of a pony? I started to try to regulate my respiration, hoping that I would manage to calm down.

The fear eventually started to recede and another emotion made itself known. I was truly worried for Luna's mental health. Her outburst was anything but normal. There must be something that I can do for her. Following this new feeling seemed to be the right thing to do compared to just fleeing. Then, what should I do with John? Maybe I could tie her up on a chair so I could extract some answers on the subject later on. Oh, and it would be a sweet revenge at the same time.

We seemed to be in a kitchen, so a chair should be easy to find. I might as well place her on one right now. As I lifted her, I noticed that she was lighter than I would have thought. Those discrepancies in my physical abilities were starting to get weird. I wonder if it could have to do with the changes happening to us. In any cases, John was now placed properly. I only needed to find something to immobilize her.

As there was nothing I could use for that purpose in the kitchen, I decided to search the living room. My eyes settled quickly on an object that made me smile, a duct tape. You didn't know the power of the tape until you had seen a gift wrapped by my father. You can't unwrap them, you actually need a pair of scissor to cut it open. I quickly picked up the tape and returned to the kitchen to proceed with my evil plan. This should be a suitable vengeance for now.

Now that John was properly neutralized, I finally decided to look at time on my phone. Surprisingly, despite our rather one sided fight in the favor of John, my cell was still intact. It was now 7:07. It had been a good idea to tell Michael that I would be out as I had no idea how long I'll need to stay with John. Actually, it might be a better idea to stay for the night. I did hit her head rather hard, twice. She could have a concussion for all I know and I don't think that either of us would want to spend the night at the hospital considering our changes.

Well, I guess the only thing I could do now was to wait for John to wake up. Great... At least, I'm not the one who will be waking up with the headache of the century, tied down on a chair in my own kitchen. Actually, that sounded a little cliched when I think of it..

Speaking of headaches, I should think about my 'sibling' problem while I have no other distractions. Ever since I returned to consciousness from our fight, I have been thinking of John as my sister... It felt weird to be caring so much about her state considering how wary I was when we first arrived at the apartment. I felt responsible for her safety, and it wasn't because I used a fry pan of John dazing +3. I wouldn't be surprised if I would be tempted to question her if she had any coltfriend at this point. Or girlfriend, you never know which way she is bending. Somehow, I found those new feelings comforting even if I knew that that they were false. Deep down I always wanted to have a sibling even since the birth of Michael's younger sisters. Unfortunately, my parents thought that one child was more than enough trouble.

On the other hand, this new feeling could be a problem if John hadn't been affected by the same changes. If only I knew how she was feeling about me, especially considering my little tantrum from earlier... If I was the only one feeling this way about our possible sisterhood, the situation will become rather awkward between us and fast...

Eh... When did I start consider John to be female? Other than her long hair, there was nothing feminine about her! Scratching my head, I thought back on our encounter at the Starbucks. I considered her to be male at the beginning of our discussion. The same couldn't be said toward the end... This seemed to be much more than a simple mental change like the others we both suffered so far. It was almost like- You have to be kidding me! I could no longer distinguish John from Luna! Somehow the two identities had simply melded together in my brain... Well, strangely Luna's gender had taken precedence. It might be safer for me not to tell her that part. I wouldn't be surprised if it was also the reason why I felt so sisterly about John. Oh well, it wasn't like I could do anything about it at the moment. I just wished I wouldn't have been so distracted that I didn't notice such a major change before now.

It was now 7:11 and John was still unconscious. I might as well visit the bathroom. I did my business quickly and, once my hands were clean once more, I noticed the golden grail; a hair brush. I should be able to finally remove those tangles. It was sadly ironic that I was doing exactly what Luna suggested when I made the first move that started our little fight. You know what? Should was actually the key word... After a few minutes of brushing, I somehow managed to worsen the state of my hair. I should probably wait for the expert to wake up.

It was 7:22 and there was still no signs that John was going to wake soon. Did I hit her too hard?

Calm down Tia, there is no need to worry yet. You have been awake for less than half an hour and you weren't that hurt. The changes must be taking a lot of energy out of us. I'll wait until eight o'clock. If she still haven't waken up then I'll call Michael. I have no idea how the medical system works in the States...

In any case, maybe I should move her. The kitchen wasn't the most comfortable place in the apartment. Remembering that my laptop was still in the living room, I decided to move the future pony there so I could keep an eye on her from the couch.

With the move done, I thought that a little game of Solitaire could help me to wind down, so I recovered my computer from where I deposited it when we arrived in the apartment. I opened the bag and removed the content of the bag. I had brought my laptop, a headset, a mouse and a support for the mouse. I never liked to use the integrated mouse of portable computers. Just as I was about to boot my computer, I heard a noise from the kitchen that I decided to investigate it. I didn't need any other surprises today.

I quickly arrived in kitchen, but a thorough inspection revealed nothing of interest. Still, this room made me nervous. It probably had nothing to do with the fact I had almost been strangled there. On the return trip to the living room, I noticed movement from the chair where I left John. Thank his Noodlyness, she was finally awake. I leaned on the nearby door, planning my next course of action. I wasn't overjoyed with what I was going to do, but I needed some answers. As John head turned to face me, I decided start the show with the heavy guns.

"You know, the tantrum you had back there made the Hulk look like a spoiled brat."

"Alright, fine, I did deserve that insult, but could you let go now?" She sounded like she was in a hurry to change the subject. Unfortunately for my sister, I did not take lightly assassination attempts.

"Actually, I think you owe me an explanation, after all, you only tried to kill me."

"I know this'll sound crazy, but I think a much more, primal, version of me took over when you broke my Halo 2. That game has always been precious to me as it was the one that sucked me into the world of gaming."

I'll admit that it was a good reason to be furious at me. But the intensity of her anger had been disproportionate, like my 'accident' all those years ago...

"Is that it? That isn't a normal reaction really, for anyone," I lowered my voice before instinctively adding, “or anypony...” I could tell that she wanted to end this conversation now, but it is my role as her sister to watch over her. Did I just consider myself to be female too? I'll blame all the pink for that one. "Is this the first time this has happened to you?"

"Yes. I have come close to that point before, but I have always been able to stop myself before I got to that point."

It hurt me that she didn't trust me enough to talk about this. I mentally facepalmed briefly afterward. Luna had some good reasons not to trust me, I was mostly only a stranger to her. I sighed. I wouldn't be able to help her until I managed to either to gain her trust or that she suffered from the same mental changes as me. At least, it answered one of my questions...

Considering that I would get no further information from her at the moment, I might as well as free her.

"Fine, I'll let you go, but you'll have to help me with something first." I was hesitant toward the end. I wasn't sure how John would react when I'll ask her to help me with my hair. It does sound strangely girly...

I should probably make the first step in trying to mend our relationship and I knew how to proceed. It will also allow me to answer another of my questions at the same time. This made me smile, it was perfect! "Besides, I kind of have to trust you since you were able to lead that one little girl home."

"Hey, how do you know about that little girl? Wait, was it because of the News?"

"Yeah, it was in the News. I wasn't sure at first that it was true, but you just confirmed it. By the way, where do you keep your scissors?" The confirmation that John had saved the little girl filled me with pride. And those constants reflections about my almost sister were starting to be irritating... Did Michael constantly go through the same thing about Fiona and Sam? To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised it was the case...

"Well, that confirms my suspicions that that wasn't actually a dream. Oh, uuuum, they're in the third cupboard from the right in the kitchen."

The kitchen, just the place I wanted to go back to... I quickly moved out of the living room, there was no need for Luna to see that I was scared of that room. Once I finally returned to place of horror, the sight of the frying pan still laying on the floor reminded me of what occurred there. It also brought back unwanted memories from my past. Did the boy I fought see me in the same way that I did for John while my fury lasted? I had been lucky to have help when I needed it. Unless we manage to find a pony psychologist, I am the only one who will be able to help her...

Then I noticed that I had been standing thinking for a few minutes. Good going Alex, John was certainly starting to get impatient waiting for my return with the scissors. Thankfully, they were exactly where she mentioned. With the loot in my possession, I hurried back to the living room to finally free the blue haired woman. I tried to look apologetic for the time my little excursion took.

John wasted no time to stand and properly stretch when I cut through the tapes. She was immobilized for a while after all. Once done with her stretching, my almost sister turned to face me before thanking me. "Why thank you, kind sir."

It was strangely polite. I guess I should be grateful she hadn't called me madam. I know I would have in her place... Maybe I was more easily affected by the mental changes than Luna. If it is the case, I'm not looking forward to start acting like a princess... I certainly don't need a prince charming to protect myself.

John was about to go to his computer when he suddenly turned toward me. "Hey, what was it you needed help with earlier?" Oh, only a girly hairy problem. Nothing to be embarrassed about, after all my hair color is already girly enough.

"Eh, it's actually about my hair..."

"Ah ha! That's what's different about you! You tried to comb them out earlier! Is that the other reason you asked about the scissors?"

My answer was accompanied by frantic shaking of my head. "What? Oh, no no no. If I had wanted to cut them, I would have done it before leaving for our Starbucks meeting." My reaction might have been little excessive. My new hair had grown on me. Pun intended. Still, my earlier reaction made me feel uneasy so I decided to look at the floor. “If only a manual was included on how to take care of it.” Okay, I had to admit that my earlier failure was more humiliating that I wanted to make myself believe.

"Hold on, I'll be right back." I look back at John as she enter the bathroom I visited earlier. Well, she did drink a coffee before we felt unconscious.

Considering that I was alone for the moment, I decided to send a message reading “Need to talk to you. Be on Steam soon.” to Michael with my phone. While I would have prefer to tell him that I would probably be absent for his birthday face to face, it is for the best that I don't get out for the moment.

Before sitting on the couch, I grabbed my laptop and finally boot it up. As I sit, I feel a rather painful sting where my coccyx, commonly known as tailbone, is made me stand up. Great, sitting down will be literal a pain in the flank. Oh, let's not forget the shout I heard, "What the heck?!" as my ears swiveled towards the bathroom.

Wait! Since when does ears move?

I didn't need long to receive an answer as Luna bolted out of the bathroom. She had two cute pony ears covered with fur of a darker blue than her hair. Considering my luck so far with the fidelity of the pony I am turning into, the ears must be pink as well...