• Published 16th Mar 2013
  • 3,376 Views, 57 Comments

The Strangest Thing - Xenonic

Fluttershy and Big Mac go for a picnic, but it seems Mac's got a secret to tell - one that, in turn, might just change everything.

  • ...

The Weirdest

Mac didn't know why he was stood in the middle of Carousel Boutique, being stared at at various sides by three mares who were muttering and dragging various measuring instruments around his body. It was nothing if not unnerving, but, judging from the serious tones they were using to mumble to each other in that sort of incoherent speak mares use from time to time, it didn't look like he was going anywhere any time soon.

The mares in question were his sister Applejack, his sister's friend Rarity, and the town's librarian Twilight Sparkle. While Applejack was doing little more than leaning against the wall and responding to various questions, Rarity was constantly back and forth between him and the suit before him with a tape measure. Twilight was sitting on the chaise lounge that was normally kept for dramatic moments, intensely studying a book. Apparently, Rarity had no time to make the adjustments needed to the suit, and so Twilight had been called to see if she could apply a spell she'd been recently studying to make the fabric fit. Applejack's purpose was to offer advice on measurements and such, since she had grown up with him. The only noise in the room was the occasional muttering, and save for that, a blanket of deathly silence covered them all.

An unfamiliar noise threatened the silence. "Well..." Twilight began quietly, "it looks like the spell should fit okay. I mean, I know it's really meant for re-adjusting and eradicating manufacturing errors in scientific equipment, but the principle is basically the same. Re-adjusting and deleting extra material where necessary, what could go wrong?" She spoke in Applejack and Rarity's direction, but not his. To them, it seemed as if they didn't really acknowledge his presence at all, and Big Mac wondered if the purple unicorn hadn't forgiven him for licking her face when he had been discorded.

Rarity moved the suit to the main stand in front of the mirrors, to give Twilight sufficient room to cast the spell. Wondering if he was allowed to move, AJ nodded at him and he took a few steps towards the stand, his legs numb and wobbly.

Igniting her horn, Twilight cast a wave of purple-pink magic over the suit and the layer of magic began to glow and fade with increasing strength and speed as the unicorn summoned more magic to complete the spell. When she had finished summoning the magic she needed for the spell, Twilight expelled it onto the suit and, in the blink of an eye, all of the adjustments were made and the spell ended.

"Oh." Twilight said quietly.
"Ah!" Rarity gasped, holding a hoof up to her mouth.
"Uh..." Applejack questioned, wondering what exactly was before her.
Mac said nothing, internally grinning.

Before them lay the remains of what was once the suit. It was smoldering slightly, and parts of the fabric had been warped out of shape and were larger than the rest of the suit. The seams were mostly torn, the thread spilling in all directions, and the lining looked as if it had been mauled by Opalescence. Altogether, it was ruined.

"W-wha? But..." Rarity stammered, turning towards Twilight. "I thought you said it would work!"

Twilight was ignoring Rarity's seething looks and was examining the ruined clothing. "Hm...it seems as though I've overpowered the spell...maybe I overestimated the magic I needed...maybe the spell was just un-adaptable in the first place? Yes, that would make sense, since it's used for fine-tuning and perfecting highly delicate mechanics and therefore would be unsuited to dealing with cloth, and..." She went on this way for some time, Rarity stumbling into the kitchen and pouring herself a large mug of black coffee.

"So, tell me again why Ah needed the suit?" Mac turned to AJ, having completely forgotten what occasion he was being dressed up for.

Applejack sighed. "Ya needed tha suit fer tonight, 'cus tonight's the fireworks festival an' y'all were gonna have a nice meal with Fluttershy 'fore watchin' th' fireworks with her. 'Cept now ya have nothin' ta wear because Twilight ruined the suit."

Oh yeah, he thought. The meal. He sighed, feeling embarrassed that he couldn't just take Fluttershy to watch the Fireworks Festival, minus a meal that was likely to be both over-priced and tiny, as they'd planned. A small smile graced his face as he thought of all the things that they'd planned to do - go bobbing for apples, buy sparklers, each the festival food and drink cider. It would have been just fine, if, for some reason, Rarity had insisted that he go for a fancy, expensive meal beforehoof. At least now he wouldn't be embarrassed anymore by wearing that suit.

Rarity returned from the kitchen, shakily holding a large mug of coffee with a mustache pattern on it. She sat down on the chaise lounge, and with a sigh, said "Well, Mac, it looks like you are going to have to do without the suit for now...you may go." She stared into the middle distance, and Applejack and her brother left before anything else happened.

Fluttershy wasn't sure why Rarity had picked the most expensive restaurant in town, or why she'd forced, nay, squeezed, the yellow pegasus back into her Gala dress, now two sizes too small for her, but from what she had gathered when Rarity had held an emergency spa session, for some reason she had arranged for Big Mac and Fluttershy to go for a "lovely meal", as she had put it, before going to watch the Fireworks Festival take place. She had the awful premonition that the evening would result in nothing but spectacular embarrassment on her behalf.

Opening the frosted glass door, she was greeted by the waiter who was waiting, as waiters do, at one of those fancy stands where they check your reservations. She didn't know what it was called - Fluttershy had gathered from spending all of one minute in the place that she wouldn't know what a lot of things would be called tonight. He looked at her with a tight-lipped look and began to speak.

"Good eeeevening, madam," He put such emphasis on evening with such seriousness that Fluttershy couldn't help but smile a little. "Have you got a reservaaaation?" The yellow pegasus knew that he probably didn't realize how silly he sounded, his face was so serious, that she bit the inside of her cheek to stop from laughing in his face.

"Y-yes, I, um, do." She told him she had a reservation under the name of Rarity, and at this the waiter raised an eyebrow and led her through the crowds of diners making polite conversation to a rather secluded little corner table at the back of the restaurant. It was decked with a plain, deep red tablecloth and a candle, and its seating was in the form of a tastefully upholstered seat that stretched around one corner of the table. She sat down and told the waiter that she would be expecting a companion for her meal, and waited. And waited. Waited some more, until it was almost half past six and, just as Fluttershy was wondering where in Equestria her friend was, she spotted him on the other side of the room.

Mac wasn't wearing anything particularly special - just a tie - but it was certainly something. It gave his normally rough, country stallion appearance a slightly more refined edge, and the dark, dull green of the fabric highlighted the crisp spring tones in his eyes. Fluttershy had never seen his mane look so neat or shiny. For a while, they held their gaze there, seemingly memorized by the other's presence. Then, the yellow pegasus looked away shyly, and the red stallion began to maneuver his way through the tables. Eventually, after a lot of apologies, he stumbled over the edge of the clump of diners and sat down at the table.

"Good evening, Mac."

He gave a deep bow. "Good evenin', Miss Fluttershy. May Ah say what a beautifully small and uncomfortable dress ya look like ya wearin' this evenin'." True, it didn't look too uncomfortable - in fact, the tight fit of the dress looked very good on her, he contemplated - but the way she held her wings out slightly, as if they couldn't be closed fully, told him that the dress was never designed to be so...snug. A shame, he thought, before mentally catching himself and sitting down.

She blushed and he returned to his seat, smirking slightly.

"Oh, stop. It can't be that obvious, can it? Rarity forced me into it. She knows it's too small for me - how I even got into the dress without it falling to pieces, I'll never know. At least she didn't try and do the same thing to you."

He gave a deep chuckle. "Actually, she kinda did. Ya see, she found this suit out for me, but..."

He explained how he'd spent the whole of last night under the scrutiny of three mares, how Twilight had ruined the suit and the look on Rarity's face afterwards.

"..oh, Shy, ya shoulda seen her face! If I could have taken a picture, Ah would've hung it up in the hall. She looked like she'd never seen anythin' so terrible in her life!" They shared a laugh, which was cut short slightly by the arrival of a waiter, come to take their orders.

"Oh." Fluttershy looked at her menu, trying to find something inexpensive and pronounceable. "Um...I think I'll have...the...dauphinoiuse potatoes with the hay salad. Please."

"Certainly, madam. Will you be sharing?"

They exchanged a glance. Mac nodded.

"Yes, please."

He walked off, head held high and hooves even higher. Fluttershy stifled a laugh.

"Mac, have you seen the way they talk here? It's ridiculous!" She giggled and bit the inside of her cheek.

"Ah know! When ah walked in, that waiter pony on tha door gave me tha filthiest look, like he'd never seen a working-class citizen before in his life, an' then - oh Celestia, his voice! 'Have you a reservaaation?'" Fluttershy gave a choked laugh, trying her very hardest not to collapse into a giggling heap on the tabletop. "Ah don't know what they think they sound like!"

They shared stories and small talk for a while, before they spotted the waiter returning with their meal held high on a platter and some glasses of wine. He placed it before them, lifted the shiny metal lid of the platter and wished that they enjoy their meal.

Both ponies leaned over the table, unsure of just what lay before them. It was artfully arranged, displayed in the small dip in the middle of the very large plate. There was heat rising from it and also the smell of potatoes. To one side of it, there was a tiny, artistically-glazed bowl with a little hay in it, sprinkled with a dressing of some sort. The bottom of the bowl was visible.



Mac spoke first.

"Is this meant to feed both of us?" He looked up, realizing for the first time his proximity to his...date? Heart racing a little, he moved away and pointed a hoof at the plate.

"Never mind that, I don't see how it could feed a single pony in the first place!" She giggled a bit, taking a delicate swig of wine, and then sighed. "We may as well eat it, though I doubt it'll take us very long." She picked up her fork and began to eat.

The two ponies tried their hardest to take time over the meal, spacing it out with light conversation and sips of wine, but in the end it really was no more than a snack, and a light one at that. Once the plate was empty and the bowl replenished of its hay, Fluttershy and Big Mac sat back in their seats, stomachs so grumbling. There was a period of awkward silence, until Fluttershy shuffled over to Mac's side of the table until their flanks were almost touching.

"Hey Mac," she said, looking at something on her left, "See that door there?" The yellow pegasus motioned her head towards a door at the back of the room, not too far away from them both. It was propped open with a bar stool, and seemed to lead into an alleyway.

"Uh, yeah?" Mac didn't know what she was planning, but he had the suspicion that it might involve leaving a little sooner than they had planned.

"Well...what say we, um, excuse ourselves and go to the Festival like we'd planned?" She tried a cautious smile.

Mac sat, thinking. He looked to Fluttershy, two big blue eyes in a butter-yellow face looking at him expectantly, and then to the door, and then back to Fluttershy. Damn, how could anypony resist a face like that? Drinking the last remains of his wine, he placed the glass down gently on the table and looked at his friend with a confident smirk. "Alright then."

They waited patiently for the perfect moment, and then finally when all of the waiters were occupied and no-one was looking, they got up and quickly trotted through the open door.

On they ran, into the fresh night air, running and laughing through the empty streets of Ponyville, their cheer echoing a harmonious melody. Finally, the two ponies stopped and collapsed into a laughing heap in a small alleyway, a mess of limbs and cloth. Fluttershy and Big Mac looked at each other.

His face was still a glowing red, even in the dark, his mane a mess and his eyes glittering.

Her face was a subdued yellow spread with pink blush from the cold, her eyes reflecting the moon like saucers.

They smiled widely at each other, recollected themselves and started to walk towards the sounds of the celebrations.