An Itch You Can't Scratch

by Bad_Seed_72

First published

Derpy get herpes. Or does she? Either way, Carrot Top's day is about to be turned upside-down.

After a tiring day at work, Carrot Top trudges home. As usual, her cross-eyed roommate, Derpy Hooves, has emptied the fridge. Nothing out of the ordinary.

However, when Derpy comes down with a case of incessant itching and what's colloquially known as "the herp walk," Carrot's day is about to become... not so ordinary.

Inspired by an episode of "2 Broke Girls". (Accordingly, Derpy is analogous to Caroline. Go figure.)

Thanks to Sage Runner, ValorlordV5, RoboRed, and MarineMarksman for editing.

Rated Teen for some language and raunchy humor. Sex tag is for sexual references in dialogue. Also, herpes.

The Herp Walk

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The Herp Walk

"It'll be ten bits for that bunch," Carrot Top said monotonously, not even bothering to look into the eyes of her latest customer.

Whoever chose to spend ten hard-earned bits on a thick bunch of carrots slammed their money down on the stand, grabbed the carrots, and trotted off without a word. Carrot Top sighed in relief, shaking herself out of her daze.

While today had been a mostly ordinary day at Ponyville town square, Carrot Top felt like she was trapped in some sort of boring nightmare. Sighing, the mare began packing up her stand, grateful that the sun was starting to set. The merchants around her were doing the same, indicating that this busy workday was finally over.

Opening a burlap sack and shoving the few unsold carrots inside, Carrot Top yawned and smacked her lips. Winter would be coming in less than a month—she could sense it in the crisp, autumn wind that teased her nostrils. Accordingly—and understandably so—ponies were stocking up their cellars and basement for the winter's frost, leaving Carrot Top and the other merchants with longer, busier days.

Grumbling to herself, Carrot Top whisked the sign reading "Carrots — 1 bit each, 10 bits a bunch" off the stand as she packed up the rest of her display. In less than ten minutes, she was ready to go, her vendor's stand folded back up. She slung the bag of carrots over her shoulder and looked around.

A slight smile spread across her muzzle as she saw that the Apple Family stand was still open for business. Trotting over, her thoughts turned to the pasta she was planning to cook once she returned home. Nothing like a good glass of cider to go with that pasta, she thought, trying not to salivate as she walked over.

"Well, howdy there, Carrot Top!" Applejack greeted as Carrot approached, flashing her a wide smile. Applejack leaned against her stand of crisp apples and fresh cider and chuckled. "Been a long day fer you, too?"

"Ugh, like you wouldn't believe, Applejack." Groaning as she set down the bag of carrots, Carrot Top stretched her aching hooves and sighed. "I only had three carrots left over from today! And I've practically picked all the good ones that were left in my gardens!"

Applejack chuckled again. "Ah know what ya mean, Carrot. This here's the last o' our cider an' apples fer the better part o' a few months. Winter's comin' fast."

"I know." Carrot shivered. "Anyway, I was wondering if I could get a few bottles of cider."

"Sure! Regular, cinnamon, or—" Applejack paused, winking before she finished, "hard?"

Stifling the urge to snort a laugh, Carrot Top said with a sly grin, "Hard."

"That's what Ah thought," Applejack said with a smirk.

Carrot Top reached into her purse and looked at the stand's sign. Fishing out seven bits, she passed them over to Applejack.

Applejack waved her off with a forehoof. "Tell ya what. How 'bout this one's on me fer today?" she said, offering a bottle of the Apple Family's finest brew.

"R-really?" Carrot asked, wide-eyed. A shameful trickle of drool escaped her lips and began to roll off her chin.

Applejack adjusted her Stetson and nodded again with a grin. "Sure! You've been workin' hard ta-day, right? Looks like ya need ta relax a bit. 'Sides," she added, looking away slightly as guilt crept across her muzzle, "this makes up fer Apple Bloom knockin' yer carrots inta that manure stand a few weeks back..."

Feeling her muscles tense at the mere mention of that incident, Carrot Top gritted her teeth for a moment. Upon noticing Applejack's sincere, apologetic expression, she sighed and forced a smile as she put the cider into the burlap sack along with the unsold carrots. "Don't worry about it, Applejack. Accidents happen."

"Heh, they sure do, don't they?" Applejack coughed and rubbed a forehoof against her chest. "Heh, Ah imagine ya've seen yer fair share o' accidents, wit' yer..." She paused to chuckle, her merry self returning once more. "Roommate, Ah bet."

"Yeah, well..." Carrot Top grunted as she lifted the heavier sack over her shoulder. "Derpy means well. She pays rent on time, and cleans up most of the messes she makes, so... I really can't say too much." Although, I really wish she would stay out of the fridge now and then...

"Could say the same 'bout Apple Bloom, minus the rent part." Applejack smiled. "Anyway, Ah hope ya enjoy the cider." As she began packing up her own unsold goods and displays, she added, "Let me know if it's good! Ah added a bit more kick inta this batch, if ya know what Ah mean."

The two shared a laugh before Carrot Top headed off, waving goodbye to Applejack before she began dragging her unsold wares and tired bones towards home. All the while, she licked her lips, imagining vegetables and buckwheat noodles simmering in a pot of tomato and garlic, accompanied by a strong swig of the finest cider in Equestria.



Derpy groaned and leaned back, resting her head against an emptied jar of whipped cream. On her bloated belly sat at least a dozen muffin wrappers, three corn shucks, an empty can of beans, five banana bread crusts, four banana peels, six cherry stems, seven apple cores, eight strawberry leaves, and ten thick droplets of molten chocolate. She yawned in pure bliss and sighed happily, stretching her hindhooves out against the cool linoleum. While the kitchen kept the lower half of her body cool, the fridge kept the rest at a cozy temperature, completing her Monday afternoon snack perfectly.

She burped again, loud enough to rival most Royal Guards and construction workers. Derpy patted her belly and smiled down at the remnants of her meal. "Mmm... I wish there were more of you, muffin..."

The sound of a key hitting the lock at the front door jolted her into a panic. As she started to sweat, the bloated pegasus scrambled to stuff herself inside the fridge, tucking her wings to her side and crawling on top of the bottom shelf. The cold refrigerator wrapped itself around her as she frantically tried to stuff herself inside it.


She heard Carrot Top step into the humble home and call out, her hooves tapping against the hardwood. Derpy threw a forehoof over her mouth to stifle a panicked gasp as she tried to mold her squat form to the contours of the traitorous refrigerator.

"Derpy? You here? I'm home." The sound of a large bag being dragged across the floor accompanied these words, along with a heavy sigh. "I hope your day went better than mine."

"Mmmf!" Derpy cried out behind her forehoof in pain as she bumped her head against one of the shelves. Tucking her tail against her body, she reached out with her other forehoof and tried to close the refrigerator door.

"Ugh, I know winter's good for business, but can't a mare get a break?" Carrot sighed in frustration as she trotted towards the kitchen. "Oh well. At least I have that pasta to look forward to..." She paused and withdrew the magical bottle of don't-give-a-buck from inside her bag. "And cider. Heh heh."

Closing her eyes as she shut the door, Derpy relaxed for a moment: finally, her overstuffed body was safely enshrined in the fridge. Now, she only needed to wait a few minutes for Carrot Top to go to the bathroom to freshen up—as she usually did after work—and then she would be home free! (That is, if she could manage to fly after ingesting an entire half-full fridge's worth of food, of course.)

The rhythm of hooves against the linoleum sent Derpy's heart rate on a fast track to cardiac arrest. At the same time, she felt a strange burning sensation begin to build between her flanks. Groaning in discomfort as quietly as she could, the pegasus flipped her tail between her hindhooves and pressed it against the slow-building fire. Itchy, itchy, itchy! Why is my muffin so itchy?!

Carrot Top threw the bag of carrots, pricing sheets, and display signs on the counter and carefully placed the cider near the oven. Scrambling around in cupboard for a few pots, she muttered to herself, "Looks like I'm cooking for one tonight... good... I'm not in a sharing mood, exactly."

The itching intensified down there, making Derpy squirm. Trying to control her little whimpers of discomfort, she braced her back against the refrigerator door and put her forehoof between her hindlegs, itching. Itch, itch, itch. Gah! Stop it, muffin! Itch, itch, itch. Why isn't this working?!

Laying out various ingredients for her dinner, Carrot Top scratched off her mental checklist as she placed each item beside the stove. "Orzo? Check. Garlic? Check. Onions? Check. Tomatoes? Check."

She paused and tapped her chin. "Hmm... think I need something a bit heartier for my pasta tonight. How about some... beans? Or maybe some corn?"

Derpy gasped and halted her itching. No, no, nonononono! You don't want those!! Just canned sauce and dried noodles! And a trip to the bathroom! Please, Carrot! Pleeeeeease!

Licking her lips as she leaned over to open the fridge, Carrot said, "Nothing better than some white beans in toma—AAAAAAH!


Derpy Hooves rolled ungracefully out of the fridge, landing on her stomach. Seeing stars, she weakly lifted her muzzle up from the floor and looked into the eyes of an enraged roommate. "Oh... heh... hey, Carrot. How's it—"

"Again?!" Carrot Top stepped back from Derpy for a moment, then opened the door wider, shoving her roommate aside. "Everything?! Really, Derpy? Again with this?!"

"S-sorry!" Derpy frowned and rubbed her bloated belly. She glanced up at Carrot, whimpering a little. "I—I was hungry!"

"Hungry enough to eat almost a week's worth of food?!"

Although Carrot Top knew this was a little more than a bad habit—everypony had their vices, and Derpy's was food (especially muffins)—any semblance of sympathy was tossed aside as she examined the bare fridge. "The bananas... AND the banana bread? The last can of beans and all the corn, too?"

Pulling herself off the floor with as much dignity as she could, Derpy glanced sideways at Carrot, her guilty eyes pointing to the ashamed above and the laughing below. "Sorry! I was hungry, Carrot. I'm sorry! You know that I'm trying..."

Carrot Top face-hoofed and closed the refrigerator door. "Yes, I know," she grumbled, shaking her head.

Derpy managed a smile as she rose to all four hooves, scratching a hindhoof up to that burning spot between her flanks. "Ahh—at least—ooh—I didn't—ngggh—empty the freezer, too!"

Ignoring her comment, Carrot Top opened the freezer. She sighed in relief when she saw bags of frozen corn, peas, and beans that had been spared from the Muffin Monster's hungry rampage. "Yeah, yeah," she said flatly, dismissing her with a wave of a forehoof as she selected a bag of frozen white beans. "Thanks for that, at least."

Derpy immediately brightened, her muzzle curling up into a faint smile. "You're welcome, Carrot."

"Uh-huh." After quickly opening the bag of beans and placing them into a pot of water on the stove, Carrot began to relax, knowing that her meal would only take thirty minutes at most to create. With another, lighter sigh, she glanced sideways at her roommate. "So, how was your day, Derpy?"

"Oh..." Derpy lifted one of her hindhooves again, curling it against her inner-flank region and scratching like a dog. "Just—ooh—you know. The—hnnng—usual stuff," she said, her eyes rolling towards the back of her skull as she began to itch intensely.

Carrot Top just stared at her, wide-eyed and jaw agape.

"Yeah," Derpy continued, closing her eyes, in utter paradise as the rough scratching of her hoof dug deep into her itchy skin, "just—ahhh—a normal day at work—you know. Lots of—ngggh—mail to—"

"What in Celestia's name are you doing?" Carrot Top asked, tilting her head as she continued to stare at her canine-like roommate.

Derpy's eyes shot open. "Huh?" She continued to itch.

Carrot stomped a hoof on the ground. "Stop that right now!"


Rushing over, Carrot Top grabbed Derpy's scratching hindleg and planted it on the floor. "You're gonna hurt yourself if you keep scratching like that, Derpy! You're rubbing yourself like a..." She turned away, her snout scrunching up in disgust. "Like a... dog or something!"

"But it itches!" Derpy whined, pouting. She sat down on her haunches and brought one of her forehooves down to scratch.

Pulling her offending forehoof up as it descended, Carrot snapped, "Don't you scratch yourself with that, either!"

"Then what am I supposed to scratch with?" Derpy whined further, mustering big, puppy-dog eyes at her roommate.

"Not a hoof! You're gonna hurt yourself, Derpy." Carrot glanced sideways at her. "I'm not sure why your flanks are itching, anyway. Here, let me go get some cream,” she said as she turned off the stovetop.

"But it's not my—"

She rushed off towards the bathroom before Derpy could finish.

"... Flanks."

Groaning, Derpy stood to all four hooves again, tensing her hindleg muscles in frustration. She started to trot a few steps, itching with every minute movement. Grimacing, Derpy couldn't help but brush her inner flanks against each other, the heat of a thousand celestial suns burning down there.

"Nnggg! Stupid! Itch!" Unable to wait for even a few minutes—even as she heard Carrot rummaging through the medicine cabinet in the bathroom—Derpy opened the freezer. Without hesitation, she selected a bag of peas and shoved it between her flanks, sitting down as the intense, cooling sensation spread through her. "Ahhhh..."

"Alright, I found the cream!" Carrot called out as she cantered in, holding up a large bottle of aloe vera. "That should fix whatever bi—GAAAAAH!"

The tube of cream fell to the floor, along with Carrot Top's jaw. Raising an eyebrow, Derpy looked over to her as she squeezed the bag of peas firmly between her flanks. "What? You said I couldn't itch, so I found something better!"

"But—but—but!" Carrot Top stuttered and started to shake, waves of horror and nausea rolling through her. "You're—putting those peas on—your—"

"Muffin!" Derpy said cheerfully, beaming. "My muffin is all itchy, Carrot!"

Carrot Top wretched, feeling her afternoon snack knocking at the back of her throat. Holding a forehoof to her mouth, she looked away and gagged. I was going to use those peas for a pie tomorrow, but now she's got them... down... there! On her... mu... m-m-muffin!

Oh, Celestia, now I'm saying it!

Concerned by the awful noises her roommate was making, Derpy placed a forehoof on Carrot's shoulder. "Hey, Carrot, you okay? You don't look so good!"

Swallowing down a mouthful of pre-digested crackers and peanut butter, Carrot Top weakly looked at her. "Derpy, take those peas from out of there. Right now."

Derpy looked down at the peas. "But... but..."

"No buts!" Carrot coughed, resisting the urge to dry heave again. "Those... those are no good now. Throw them away!"

"Oh..." With a guilty frown on her muzzle, Derpy rose to all four hooves and picked up the plastic bag in her mouth. "Okay..."

As she walked over to the trash can in the corner of the kitchen, Carrot Top couldn't help but notice the odd way the mare was walking. With each step, she brushed her inner flanks together, as if to itch that place between. Her eyes couldn't help but follow the pegasus's path to the trash can, confused by the strange display.

A knock at the door tore Carrot Top from her thoughts. She blushed as she realized that she'd been staring at another mare that way—not out of lust, but disgust. She muttered, "I'll get it. Stay here."

Trotting over to the door, Carrot called out, "I'm coming! I'm coming!"

Reaching the door, Carrot Top pulled it open, revealing a very cheerful-looking Berry Punch. "Hey there, Carrot Top!"

"Oh." Plastering a smile across her face, Carrot said, "Hey there, Berry Punch. How's it going?"

"Good!" Berry held out a bottle of expensive-looking wine. "I just wanted to drop by and give this to you. You know... just a thank-you for helping me out when I was short on rent last month." Her smile weakened as she rubbed the back of her neck. "Heh, thanks again for that."

"No problem, Berry," Carrot said, accepting the bottle and placing it on a nearby coffee table. "Just remember to watch your, er, budget next time," she said sternly, giving the partying mare a sideways glance.

"Uh, thanks! I sure will... heh..." Berry Punch trailed off and peered inside Carrot's home, looking around.

"Something wrong?" Carrot asked.

"Nah. I was just wondering if Derpy was home. I was gonna ask her about an..." Berry paused. "Odd piece of mail I received today."

Carrot raised an eyebrow. "Odd?"

"Ever gotten a whoopee cushion stuffed with guacamole in your mailbox?"

Taking a step back, Carrot could only tilt her head farther to the side and utter, "No...? I, uh, I don't think so?"

"Yeah, well," Berry Punch said, accepting the unspoken invitation and stepping inside, "I didn't think so, either. Anyway, is Derpy home?"

At that moment, the pegasus mare emerged from the kitchen, switching her hindlegs against each other with each step. "Oh, hi, Berry Punch!" she greeted, waving a forehoof to her as she grimaced. "How—arghh—are—nngh—you?"

Berry blinked and glanced from Derpy to Carrot. “Um…” She paused, biting her lip. Looking back to the pegasus, she asked, “Um, you alright, Derpy?”

“What do you—nngh—mean—haah—Berry?” Derpy brushed her inner flanks together as she stood near the entrance to the kitchen. She stood up on her hindhooves and crossed them, flashing both a mortified Carrot and a confused Berry.

“Oh, Celestia, Derpy!” Carrot retched as she turned away, shielding her eyes. “Just put the stupid cream down there and—” She gagged, then finished, “Go take a hot bath!”

“Um…” With a blank expression on her muzzle and glazed horror in her eyes, Berry Punch turned to Carrot Top again. “Did you see that?”

Derpy blushed and sat down again, spreading her wings to cover herself. “Heh… sorry, guys! My muffin is just so itchy!”

Berry brought a forehoof to her chin. “Your… muffin is itchy?”

“Oh, don’t encourage her!” Carrot exclaimed, still shielding her eyes in mortified shame. “Derpy, you need to go take care of whatever bite that is!”

“Bite?” Derpy tilted her head to the side. “But we don’t have a dog, Carrot.”

Waving her off with a forehoof—hoping that she would get the hint and leave her and Berry to their mindless chatter—Carrot sputtered, “Spider! Flea! Mosquito! Gnat! Whatever! Something bit you! Go put that cream on and… and throw it away when you’re done!”

Hanging her head in shame, Derpy rose to her hooves, then trotted into the kitchen.

Turning back around only when she was sure her roommate was out of sight, Carrot sighed and brought a forehoof to her head as she looked at Berry Punch. “Berry, I am so, so sorry! I don’t know what’s wrong with her, but—”

“Er, Carrot…” Berry Punch looked around the room. “Um…”

“What?” Carrot Top’s eyes widened. “What is it?”

“That… that wasn’t any insect bite, Carrot,” Berry said firmly.

“Huh? What else could it be?” Carrot asked, taken aback.

Berry Punch turned her hooves towards the kitchen and trotted inside, calling, “Hey, Derpy!”

Sitting in the middle of the floor with the tube of aloe vera still in her forehoof, Derpy glanced over at the two mares. “Oh, hey, Berry Punch,” she said, her ears flattening. “Sorry again about showing you my—”

“That’s fine!” Berry Punch held up a forehoof, discomfort spreading across her muzzle. “Um, Derpy, there was something I wanted to ask you.”

Probably about that random guacamole in her mailbox, Carrot thought as she rolled her eyes. Celestia dammit, these two better get their little chit-chat over with—and Derpy and her... blargh… MUFFIN get out of my kitchen before my appetite is totally ruined!

“Yes, Berry?” Derpy replied, squirting some of the thick, goopy cream into her opposite forehoof.

“Um, you might not wanna put that… on yourself,” Berry said with a slight retch. “Um, Derpy, this is a bit of an awkward question, but…”

Berry Punch paused for breath, looking at both of the mares, who were simply staring at her. Hadn’t they figured it out? Couldn’t they… tell? Was there some lettuce in her teeth again?

“Yes, Berry?” Derpy said, looking up expectantly as she put the cream down on the floor and wiped the remaining goo on her coat.

Carrot Top suppressed the urge to gag again at the scent of the cream. C’mon, Berry! Just hurry up and ask her about the freakin’ avocado!

“Well… uh…” Shifting her weight from one forehoof to the other, Berry Punch studied the intricate patterns of the linoleum. “You see, Derpy, I was wondering, if, if—”

“Oh, just spit it out!” Carrot barked, patience growing thin. She rounded on Derpy. “Derpy, what’s with the guacamole in the—”

Berry smacked Carrot hard on the shoulder. “This isn’t about that, Carrot!” she snapped, flattening her ears. She gestured to Derpy, who was struggling not to drag her itchy muffin across the floor. “This is about our dear friend Derpy here!”

Carrot shook her head rapidly, sure she was dreaming. “Did you just hit me?!”

Ignoring her, Berry turned back to Derpy and took a deep breath. “Derpy…” She closed her eyes and asked the dreaded question.

“Have you been tested before?”

Carrot Top’s jaw almost unhinged and hit the floor. “Wh-what?!”

Derpy titled her head from side to side as she squirmed against the cool linoleum. “Tested? Berry, I haven’t been in school since I was a filly!” She smiled. “And those tests to become a mailmare? My instructor said as long as I kept bringing him muffins, I was fine!”

Carrot Top’s stomach flipped at the word muffin. Coughing over her shoulder, she closed her eyes and began to shake her head again, hoping to undo the horrible mental imagery that just etched itself upon her poor, pasta-starved psyche.

Give him muffins?! Gah! MUFFIN!

This innocuous statement only seemed to confirm Berry Punch’s suspicions. A deep frown spread across her muzzle. “So you haven’t been tested for… you know?”

Derpy tapped her chin with a forehoof in deep thought. Staring intensely at a tomato-sauce stain on a nearby wall, she sat in silence for a few moments before turning back to Berry Punch with a shrug. “You know what? I’m confused, Berry. Are we playing charades?”

“Derpy…” Berry swallowed, all the terrible fancy mathematics adding up before her. “No, Derpy we aren’t playing charades.”

“Aww!” Derpy pouted, her eyes falling haphazardly to the floor.

Groaning as that last shred of disturbing mental imagery dissipated, Carrot Top looked up into Berry’s eyes. “What exactly are you getting at, Berry? Please, can we wrap this up before my appetite is completely ruined?”

Berry sighed and looked at her hooves one last time before speaking to Derpy. “Look, Derpy, what I’m asking you is if you’ve been tested for… you know, diseases. Certain diseases. You know, the kind you get from being with… you know, other ponies.

While further confusion spread itself across Derpy’s muzzle like a particularly softened pat of butter across an unsuspecting, innocent piece of bread, Carrot Top could only look from Berry to Derpy and back again in horror. “Wa-wait a minute! Berry, are you saying that you think Derpy has the—”

“She’s got the walk, Carrot,” Berry said from the corner of her muzzle, gesturing towards the itchy pegasus, who was now rocking back and forth on her haunches in discomfort.

“The w-walk?”

“The herp walk,” Berry said gravely, a little louder this time. She asked again, “Well, Derpy, have you been tested recently?”

Derpy looked from one concerned mare to the other, absolutely perplexed. Scratching her head, she said, exasperated, “I don’t know what you mean, Berry! You keep talking about being ‘tested,’ but I haven’t been tested for anything since that written exam to become a mailmare! Wait!” Her eyes slowly widened in horror. “Am I in trouble? Is this about the—”

“You aren’t in trouble, Derpy,” Berry said gently as she walked over to the mare and put a forehoof on her shoulder. “But I do think you should see a doctor about that, er…” She scrunched up her snout in discomfort before finishing, “Itch you can’t scratch.”

“Doctor?” Derpy’s wings began to unfold in slight panic. “Is th-there something wrong with my muffin?” Her wide, frightened eyes locked onto Carrot.

“Derpy…” Carrot sighed, concern for her pasta replaced with concern for her pegasus friend. “Have you, er… been with anypony recently?” she asked, blushing furiously as she did so. Berry Punch met her eyes and blushed as well.

“Well, of course!” Derpy said quickly, throwing her forehooves open. “What does that have to do with anything?”

“Derpy, I think you should really see a doctor,” Berry said, taking a step back from the pegasus. “That… rash needs to be looked at. It doesn’t look good.”

Derpy’s jaw fell open as her wings unfurled in her panic. Looking desperately from one mare to the other, she choked, “Am I gonna be okay?”

Placing a forehoof on Derpy’s shoulder, Carrot said boldly, “Yes, Derpy. You’re going to be just fine. Berry and I are gonna take you to the doctor right now, okay?”

Berry nodded. “Yes, we’re going to—wait, what?!” She rounded on Carrot, her brow furrowed. “We are taking Derpy to the doctor?”

“Oh thank you, thank you, thank you!” In one swift motion, Derpy shot to her hindhooves and threw her forehooves around both mares’ necks, hugging them tightly. Squeezing Carrot Top and Berry Punch, Derpy exclaimed, “Thank you so much! I don’t wanna go alone! Y-you t-two are the b-best!” Tears of gratitude and relief began to dot her eyes.

“Yes, we are taking her to the doctor,” Carrot hissed under her breath, glaring at Berry Punch, “just as we paid your rent last month. Got it?”

With a groan and a roll of her eyes, Berry whispered back, “Fine,” and continued hugging the distraught Derpy Hooves.

Ponyville Urgent Care

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Ponyville Urgent Care

“Good afternoon, sir.” A weary, tired receptionist greeted the latest patient in the waiting room of the Ponyville Urgent Care with a nasally twang in her voice and eyes glued to the latest copy of Hoof Beat. “What do you need to be seen for today?”

“Um…” The stallion chewed on his bottom lip and shuffled his hooves. “I, um… need to have the doctors, um… remove something from my… um…”

The receptionist looked up from her magazine and raised an eyebrow. “Remove something, sir?”

“Y-yeah.” Chuckling nervously, the stallion rubbed the back of his neck and swished his tail. “You see, um, er, my friend and I, we were, um, hanging out, and uh, well, I um, accidentally, uh, you know, sat on, a, um—”

“Fill out these forms and wait over there,” the receptionist said, handing him a clipboard with several sheets of parchment and a fresh quill. She pointed back towards the waiting area, then stared at her magazine again. The small, yellow stallion nodded and ran a forehoof nervously through his brown mane before trotting bow-legged back to his seat.

“Dumbass,” the receptionist muttered as she reached for a piece of gum. Just as she’d started on her freshest piece of Double Bubble, she heard hooves trot into the clinic and approach her desk. Looking up, she could only roll her eyes and sigh. “Good afternoon. How can I help you three?”

“Um, well…” Carrot nudged Derpy in the shoulder and pushed her forward. “Our friend here needs to see a doctor.”

“Uh-huh.” The receptionist set down her magazine and reached for a fresh stack of forms. “What for?”

“Well…” Berry Punch cleared her throat and gave Derpy a supportive pat on the back. “Why does the doctor need to see you today, Derpy?”

“My… my muffin itches,” Derpy said quietly.

The receptionist raised an eyebrow.

“It’s… it’s an itch I…” Derpy looked up to her friends before finishing, “Can’t scratch.”

The receptionist raised both eyebrows.

“Ahem! Well, uh…” Berry Punch rubbed the back of her neck and offered the receptionist an uneasy smile. “Yeah, so. She needs to see a doctor. For that itch.”

“Her.. mu…” The receptionist gasped, reading between the unwritten lines. “Oh, my sweet Luna. Alright, alright.” Fumbling with the paperwork, she quickly passed a few forms and a quill over to the ashamed pegasus. “Fill these out, will you, honey? And don’t you worry,” she said, forcing a smile across her muzzle. “We’ll have somepony see you right away.”

“Thank you,” Carrot said with a smile as she and Berry Punch began to lead Derpy to a seat in the waiting area.

“You’re welcome!” the receptionist said, mustering an even bigger smile.

Once the three mares had taken a seat, the receptionist shuddered as she looked down at her magazine. “Dear, sweet Celestia, I’d better find out who buttered that mare’s muffin before I get the herp myself…”


“It’s gonna be alright, Derpy,” Carrot Top said as she patted her friend on the shoulder.

“But… but… I don’t get it!” Derpy exclaimed, looking nervously between Berry and Carrot. “What’s wrong?”

“The doctor will explain everything, once they find out what exactly is causing that… rash,” Berry Punch said, patting Derpy’s other shoulder. “It’s gonna be okay. Just try and relax.”

“Okay…” Derpy sighed and took a deep breath, fighting the urge to reach down and scratch herself or rub her flanks together. Both Berry and Carrot had forced her to trot normally on their way there, stating that it was doing her far more harm than good. All she could do was dream of that bag of frozen peas balanced between her flanks.

Time in a waiting room never passes by justly. Berry Punch and Carrot Top refrained from exchanging hushed whispers regarding their friend’s condition, passing the time with nervous glances towards each other and repeated assurances to Derpy Hooves.

Celestia, this is going to be a long day! Carrot sighed inwardly. But hey, you’re doing something good for a friend. Just think about that. Yeah… good deeds. Yeah.

As her stomach growled in protest, Carrot audibly sighed and thought with a shake of her head, A mare can’t subsist on good deeds alone… ohhh, geez, I can practically hear that pasta calling my name…

“Derpy Hooves?”

The three looked up to see a nurse-mare standing near the front of the clinic, clipboard in hoof. Carrot Top immediately recognized her as Nurse Redheart, who had taken care of Berry, Derpy, and herself during the notorious “baked bads” incident.

A slight smile spread across both Carrot’s and Berry’s muzzles as they approached her. Derpy, however, found a goofy grin growing on her face. “Nurse Redheart!” she said as she trotted up to her. “It’s good to see you again!”

“Good to see you too, Derpy!” Redheart said with a smile. “Although…” Looking down at the clipboard, a worried frown replaced her pleasant demeanor. “I wish it wasn’t under these circumstances…”

“Oh… yeah…” Derpy forced a laugh and struggled not to itch as she walked behind Nurse Redheart, with Carrot Top and Berry Punch in tow.

As she led the three through a hallway within the clinic, Nurse Redheart turned and offered both Berry and Carrot a kind smile. “It sure was nice of you two to bring your friend here!”

“No problem,” Berry said. “Always…” She shot a glare at Carrot Top. “Nice to help a friend.”

“It sure is,” Carrot added with a smirk.

“You are lucky to have such good friends, Derpy,” Redheart said as she opened a door to an exam room and ushered them inside.

Inside the exam room was a steel table protected with a strip of clean, white paper. Across from the table were two chairs, which Berry and Carrot promptly occupied. Beside the table were a set of counters with labeled cabinets underneath them. Carrot Top squinted to read the tiny writing on each labeled cabinet.

Tongue depressors… cotton balls… gauze… okay, okay… Catheter tubes. Forceps, and... "A. scopes"? What are "A. scopes"?

“Now, Derpy, could you please sit on the table for me?” Redheart asked.

“Sure!” Derpy replied in a cheerful tone of voice. She hopped up on the table and sat on her haunches, letting her hindhooves dangle over the side.

“Good.” Nurse Redheart glanced at the clipboard again. “Okay, so… it says you began having an intense itching sensation in your… privates… today, around five P.M. Is that correct?”

“Yes,” Derpy said, looking around the room. “Haha!” She pointed at one of the posters on the wall. “Look at that kitten! It’s about to fall from that tree branch, and it’s saying, ‘Hang in there, baby!’”

Berry Punch stifled a laugh with a forehoof, while Carrot Top just face-hoofed. Thank Celestia she’s got a short attention span… I think I just figured out what “A. scopes” are… Gaaaaaaaah! Her stomach gurgled again, but not out of hunger.

Redheart kept a stern expression on her muzzle. “Mmhmm. Yes. And you said scratching didn’t help?”

Derpy shook her head. “No, ma’am… Hey, what are all those E’s on the wall for?”

“That’s a vision chart,” Redheart said flatly, still going over the patient’s paperwork with a keen eye. “And you didn’t try using any cream, right?”

“That’s right,” Berry chimed in, raising a forehoof. Nurse Redheart glanced over her way. “Derpy, um, accidentally, er, showed us the rash, and I told her it was best not to use the cream.”

“Well, you are probably right,” Redheart said as she put the clipboard down on the countertop. “Though, until we complete an examination and get some bloodwork done, we won’t know for sure. Now…”

The nurse cleared her throat. “While it was very nice of you two to bring your friend here, the examination for this particular…” She glanced at Derpy, who was currently enthralled with a simple painting of a stream and bridge near the edge of Ponvyille. “Condition is something most ponies would like to undergo privately.”

“Oh, I see,” Carrot said, blushing at the nurse’s implications. “C’mon, Berry,” she said as she rose to her hooves, “let’s wait for Derpy outside.”

Berry Punch held back a giggle as she stood up to her hooves and nodded. Carrot Top’s forehoof had just brushed against the doorknob when Derpy cried, “Wait!”

“Yes, Derpy?” Berry Punch asked, looking over her shoulder.

“Wh-where are you two going?” Derpy asked, her voice shaking.

Carrot placed her forehoof firmly on the doorknob. “We’ll be in the waiting room, Derpy. The nurse needs to examine you now and do some tests.”

“But… but…”

Nurse Redheart walked up to the side of the table and offered Derpy a reassuring smile. “Now, Derpy, this won’t hurt a bit. I’ll just have to examine the… affected area and then take a small blood draw. It won’t hurt at all, I promise.”

“But…” Derpy looked nervously between her friends and the nurse, all of whom were glancing sideways at her. “But… but… but you two said you’d be there to take me to the doctor!”

“And we did, Derpy,” Berry said, a hint of exasperation in her voice. “We brought you to the doctor—nurse, actually. Sorry,” she said, bowing her head a little to Redheart.

“That’s quite alright,” Redheart said, shrugging it off.

“Thanks. Anyway, Derpy, you’re here, and Nurse Redheart is gonna do what she needs to do to take care of your little problem,” Berry explained. “Carrot and I will just be down the hall and in the waiting room. Okay?”

Derpy bit her lip in a pout. “But… but—”

“Derpy, you’re a grown mare, for Celestia’s sake!” Carrot blurted, furrowing her brow and flattening her ears. “The nurse is just gonna look at your…” She gagged. “Muffin and take a blood sample! It won’t even take five minutes!”

“But… but, guys, I’m scared!” Derpy said, shivers running up and down her spine. She began to tremble in her hooves. “What if… what if something’s wrong with me?” She whimpered, waves of fear rushing through her.

“Now, now,” Redheart said gently, placing a forehoof on Derpy’s shoulder, “they make medications that can control that, dear.”

“That can control what?” Derpy shot back, turning around to face Redheart. “What’s wrong with me? Do I have cancer?”

Both Carrot and Berry face-hoofed.

“No, sweetie,” Redheart said in firm yet gentle tone. “A rash down on your nethers doesn’t signify cancer.”

“But—but! What if you take my blood and then it turns out I have cancer in my blood?”

“Derpy,” Carrot said, pointing a forehoof at the mare, “that’s ridiculous, and you know it!”

“It could happen!” Derpy protested, throwing up her forehooves in a nervous shrug. “It happened to this mare in Fillydelphia once!”

“Mare in Fillydelphia?” Berry asked, tilting her head. “What was her name?”

“Does it matter?” Derpy said as she wrapped her hooves around herself. “Guys, I could be dying right now and you just wanna walk out on me!”

Nurse Redheart face-hoofed out of Derpy’s sight.

“Look, Derpy, we’re not gonna sit here and watch the nurse spread your flanks, okay?” Carrot stomped a hoof on the floor. “We brought you here and we helped you check in. This’ll only take a few minutes. You’re a grown mare. Now, we’re going,” she deadpanned as she turned the doorknob.

Carrot Top hadn’t taken more than two steps out of the exam room before she felt a great tugging at her hindhooves. Lying on the floor, her wings spread, tears rolling from her eyes, Derpy cried as she clung to Carrot’s hindhooves, “Pleeeeeease, Carrot! Pleeeeeeeease! Pleeeeeeease don’t leave me, you guys!!”

“Miss Hooves, that’s enough,” Nurse Redheart said sternly, nipping at the end of Derpy’s tail. “This is a simple examination and blood draw! You’re going to be just fine!”

“I’m dyiiiiiiiiing!” Derpy wailed as she threw her head back, whining and whimpering in between cries. “My muffin is dyiiiiiiiiiiiiiing!”

Carrot yanked her hooves out of Derpy’s grasp. “For crying out loud, Derpy!”

“Derpy,” Berry said, turning to face her, “knock it off. You’re not dying, you don’t have cancer, and you’re gonna be fine. Nurse Redheart is just going to ask you some questions, look at your rash, take some blood, and that’s it!”

“Questions?” Derpy sniffled and rubbed at one of her eyes, flinching slightly as Nurse Redheart began dragging her by the tail towards the examination table. “What kind of questions?”

“Like… urgh…” Nurse Redheart grunted and paused, exhaling from the exertion of moving the distraught pegasus. “How many stallions have you been with?” she asked coldly, her furrowed brow preventing her from any semblance of sympathy.

“How many stallions have I been with?!” Derpy said incredulously. “I—I’ve been with tons of stallions!”

Carrot Top and Berry Punch shared, in one glance, a look of confusion, disgust, and envy. “Wh-what?!” Carrot exclaimed, closing the door and whirling around. “T-tons? What do you mean by tons, Derpy?”

“All the time!” Derpy said as she rose to her hooves, shaking with fear. “Tons of them! Every day and every night!”

Silence befell the room.

“... Different ones?” Berry Punch asked, her eyes wide.

Derpy nodded. “Of course! I don’t wanna be with the same stallion all the time!” she said, rolling her eyes a bit at their oblivion.

Nurse Redheart bit her lip. “O… kay… what about… mares?”

Derpy nodded again. “Mares too! I’m with mares all the time!”

Carrot and Berry shared that same look again, jaws agape and eyes wide. “S-say, Derpy,” Berry began, digging at imaginary earwax in her perked ears, “since when did you become the town bicycle?”

“Bicycle?” Derpy asked, tilting her head from side to side. “What’s a bicycle?”


Nurse Redheart had grabbed her clipboard in one forehoof and held a sharp quill in the other. “Young mare,” she said between her teeth, staring straight at Derpy Hooves, “you are going to tell me each and every stallion and mare you’ve been with. Right now.”

Her previous hypochondria (and subsequent hysteria) apparently forgotten, Derpy immediately perked up with a smile and a chuckle. “Oh! Sure! Umm… where should I start?”

“What stallion were you with most recently?” Berry Punch asked, her eyes still glazed over with dripping fascination. Carrot, too, looked at her roommate in complete bewilderment. How the hay can she be keeping all those beds warm at night when I can’t even find somepony to share a plate of pasta with?!

Derpy tapped her chin. “Let’s see… hmmm…”

“You… you don’t remember?” Berry’s eyes nearly popped out of her skull. “How can you not remember, Derpy?”

“Well, like I said, I’m with a lot of ponies all the time!” Derpy said with a shrug. “Hmm… It was that one traveling stallion…”

Berry shook her head and muttered under her breath, low enough so that only Carrot could hear, “A drifter? Really, Derpy?”

“I think it was… what’s his name…”

“You don’t even know his name?” Carrot asked, scoffing a little in her disbelief. Okay, she wasn’t exactly beaten with the ugly stick, but still… Celestia, Derpy!

“Never mind! I remember now,” Derpy declared with pride. “His name is Ti—”

The Nurse, The Doctor, And Carrot's Lover

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The Nurse, The Doctor, And Carrot's Lover

“Time turner! Get your time turners here!” the stallion called out from his stand, gesturing with a forehoof to his myriad of time-keeping devices. Hourglasses—or “time turners,” as he was fond of referring to them—were his signature product, but clocks, pocket watches, and even hoof-band watches were proudly arranged alongside his most prominent item.

Though nearly every other merchant had packed up for the evening, Time Turner was still hard at work, a slave to the midnight oil. Although he traveled from town to town to sell his wares, the stallion nevertheless was proud to call Ponyville home, and even rented a small room in a friend’s house most of the year.

“Time turners! Get your time turners here! Clocks, too! Pocket watches and hoof-watches and—”

He paused as he saw two potential customers approaching through the dusk. Both were very beautiful mares. One he recognized from the local tavern, while the other he swore he’d bought a few carrots from earlier that day. “Why, hello, fillies!” he greeted flirtatiously, running a forehoof through his mane as he leaned against his stand.

“Are… you… Time Turner?” Berry Punch asked between breaths.

He’d better be, or we just ran our flanks all over town for nothing! Carrot struggled to catch her breath, shaking her head and cursing Derpy as she stood beside Berry with aching hooves.

“But of course!” Turner said with a wink. “Now, what can I get for you two lovely fillies? An hourglass, perhaps? How about a hoof-watch to compliment that lovely shade of coat and mane?”

“Cut with the crap, Casanova,” Carrot snapped, rising up to meet him. She threw her forehooves on the stand and glared at the stallion.

“Something wrong?” he asked, backing away slightly. “Did your clock stop working? Sand run out of your hourglass?”

“No!” Berry Punch leaned up on the stand next to Carrot. “But you did give our friend the gift that keeps on giving, didn’t you?”

“I’m… I’m not sure what you mean,” Turner replied, shifting his gaze from one angered mare to another. “I assure you, ladies, if I sold you a faulty timepiece, all sales come with a lifetime warr—”

“Derpy! We’re talking about Derpy!” Carrot growled, cutting him off with a wave of her forehoof. “You gave Derpy the…” She fought back the urge to gag. “The… the.. the—”

“Herpes!” Berry shouted, lurching forward and pointing a forehoof at him. “You gave Derpy the herpes, you mother—”

“I did no such thing!” Time Turner protested, throwing up both forehooves in surrender as he backed away from the mares. “I didn’t even…” He opened and closed his mouth as his eyes widened. “Sleep with her!” he spat, the words rolling filthy off his tongue.

“Horseapples!” Carrot shot back. “She said you were the last stallion she’s been with!”

Berry nodded. “And this just happened, so it’s probably you who gave it to her!”

“I assure you, I did no such thing!”

“Oh yeah?” Carrot challenged, “Then come down to the Urgent Care clinic and get your blood drawn!”

Time Turner scoffed and approached his stand, grabbing a burlap sack as he did so. “I will do no such thing! I’m sorry, but while I do consider Derpy to be a very good friend… albeit a bit strange sometimes,” he said, muttering a bit from the corner of his muzzle, “I can never see us being more than friends. Not that it is any of your business, but I am clean, anyway.”

“Yeah, right,” Berry said with a snicker, rolling her eyes.

“Well, since you and I will not be sleeping together anytime soon, it doesn’t matter whether or not you believe me,” he replied with a roll of his own eyes, shooting a glare at Berry Punch.

“And what’s that supposed to mean?” Berry scoffed. “Too good for me, are you?”

“Berry! This isn’t helping!” Carrot snapped, glaring at her.

“Oh.” Berry gave her mane, tail, and coat a self-conscious once-over. “Right,” she said distractedly.

“Look,” Carrot said, turning to the stallion, “this is for your benefit as much as hers. If something happened between you and Derpy—”

Nothing did!” He continued packing away his wares, shooting daggers at both of them as he worked. “Now, if you two don’t want to buy something, run along!”

“Well, fine, then!” Carrot said with a snarl as she hopped down from the stand. “Go on! Keep spreading your disease to unsuspecting mares!”

As he shoved a box of pocket watches into his bag, Turner said firmly, “I have no disease to spread!”

“Oh yeah?” Berry said as she started to turn away, “Well, unless you put your blood where your mouth is, as far as we’re concerned, you might have!” She looked over her shoulder at him. “And we wouldn’t want that getting around at the bar, now, would it?”

Turner froze, nearly dropping the sack out of his mouth. “You—you wouldn’t!”

“Like I hay I wouldn’t!” Berry called out as she and Carrot Top began walking away. “Certainly won’t help your chances with that Twilight Sparkle, now, will it?”

A blush spreading across his cheeks, Time Turner stomped both hooves on the ground and shook his muzzle angrily. “Fine! Fine!” he yelled as he clenched his eyes shut. “Fine! I’ll go get your little blood test, alright?!”

Berry Punch and Carrot Top stopped in their tracks. Before they looked back to Time Turner, they shared a knowing smirk and triumphant chuckle.

Got him, Berry. Right by the short, purple hairs.


“Good after—oh, it’s just you two.” The receptionist plastered her eyes once more to her magazine, not even noticing the grumbling stallion Berry Punch and Carrot Top dragged in through the doors.

“I’m telling you—you’re wasting your time!” Turner protested, grinding his teeth as the two mares pulled him by his forehooves through the clinic’s waiting room and down the hallway.

“It’ll just be a little prick,” Berry said with a smirk and a mocking tone. “Just like—”

“Berry!” Carrot started to retch. “C’mon!” At this rate, even when I do get to go home, I won’t even want to THINK about eating!

“How uncouth,” Turner mumbled, shaking his head.

“What was that?” Berry glanced at him with an unamused expression.

“Nothing, dearest,” he replied with a scowl.

The three stopped in front of the same examination room, where Nurse Redheart could be heard from beyond the door. Hoping that Derpy was decent and hadn’t resorted to more crying fits—or, worse, was flashing her bits—Carrot knocked on the door. “Derpy? Nurse Redheart?”

After a brief pause, the door opened slightly, a very annoyed-looking Nurse Redheart standing in the doorway. “Ah, yes. Carrot Top. Berry Punch,” she said, acknowledging them each with a glance. She moved back at the sight of the stallion. “And you are?”

“Time Turner. I was blackmailed into getting an STD test,” he said coldly, flaring his nostrils and glaring at each of his captors.

Nurse Redheart rolled her eyes and scowled. “Well, that won’t be necessary, actually.”

“What?!” Carrot Top and Berry Punch blurted in unison.

“See? I told you two I was clean!” Turner said with a victorious grin as he wrestled out of their grasp and crossed his forehooves over his chest.

“Actually,” Redheart said as she opened the door wider, revealing a sheepish Derpy Hooves sitting on the examination table, “it looks like one of us was a bit confused about the screening questions.”

“Screening questions?” Carrot repeated.

And,” Redheart continued, offering Derpy a momentary, sympathetic frown, “one of us wasn’t told exactly what the others thought was going on.”

Berry and Carrot looked to each other, then to Derpy, then to Nurse Redheart in confusion. “What… what are you saying, Nurse Redheart?” Berry asked.

“What I’m saying,” Redheart explained as she gestured for the three to come in, “is that nopony told Derpy what they suspected she had. While she thought she had a simple rash…” She sighed and brought a forehoof to her face as she muttered, “Or cancer…” Redheart looked up to face the three again. “Everypony else thought she had… herpes.”

Though she’d already heard the word a few times before in the previous minutes, Derpy still gasped at its mentioning.

“But—but she had the herp walk and everything!” Berry Punch objected, pointing at the pegasus. “She walked like she was trying to hold something down there!”

Well, it looks like I won’t be eating tonight, after all. Both Carrot Top and Time Turner turned a previously undiscovered shade of green at that rationalization.

Redheart rolled her eyes. “That’s the way anypony walks when they have an itch down there! Even with a regular rash caused by an allergy. Which is exactly what this was.”

“Alright, that’s good to hear,” Carrot said, relieved that this ordeal was finally over (although the idea of pasta waiting for her at the end of it only made her stomach weep even more). “But how can you be so sure?”

“Well, for one, when I asked Derpy how many ponies she’d been with—”

“I thought she was asking who’d I been hanging out with!” Derpy finished, looking up meekly at her two friends and confused acquaintance. “I didn’t think she meant…” She blushed and struggled to keep her wings tucked in at her sides. “Private stuff!

Berry blinked and brought a forehoof to her chin as she slumped forward in her seat. “Wait, so does that mean you’re—”

“Let’s just say, no STD test was needed,” Nurse Redheart said curtly. “Instead, we did a few quick tests for possible allergens, as well as examined Miss Hooves’s eating habits. It appears that she is fond of binge-eating, especially on refined carbohydrates and sugar.”

Carrot Top blew a raspberry. “I could’ve told you that!” Geez, where did you get your nursing degree? Clown college?

However,” Nurse Redheart continued as she held up a forehoof, “Miss Hooves was unaware that she has a slight wheat allergy, which manifests itself in an itchy rash and clusters of hives that become painful and blistered when itched.”


“... Ohhhh… okaaaaaaay…” Berry Punch tapped her chin before looking up at the nurse once more. “But, er… why is she getting that rash… you know, there?

Nurse Redheart looked over at Derpy Hooves, meeting her gaze.

She turned back to Carrot Top, Berry Punch, and Time Turner.

“Let’s not go there.”


“I’m sooooo sorry you got dragged into this, Turner!”

The stallion gave her a kind smile. “That’s alright, Derpy. No harm, no foul. As for you two,” he said, looking over his shoulder to scowl at Carrot Top and Berry Punch, “you’d better not show your muzzles around my stand again, unless you’re buying something!”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah…” Berry Punch scoffed and rolled her eyes. “Whatever, timey-wimey.”

“What’s that?” Turner narrowed his eyes.

Derpy Hooves placed a hoof on his shoulder and forced him to face forward as they walked. “Forget about it. Berry’s just mad she gets the…” She sniggered. “Town bicycle award now.”

“Hey!” Berry called out as she and Carrot followed closely behind them. “I heard that!”

Carrot Top rolled her eyes and ignored the little tirade that was soon to follow. She sighed as they walked from Ponyville Hospital back into the heart of town, passing by rows and rows of sleepy homes and lone streetlights. What a day… that was ridiculous. And to think it all could’ve been prevented if Derpy didn’t empty the damn fridge…

Turning back to her friend, roommate, and disgruntled acquaintance, Carrot couldn’t help but smile. Ah, well, now that she’s gotten a good medical scolding and a reason to lay off the sweets, maybe I can actually keep… certain baked goods in the house again, she thought, not ready to use the term “muffin” right now (if ever).

Once they reached Berry Punch’s house, Carrot Top gave her a quick hug and a word of thanks before departing again. While Derpy lead her totally-just-a-friend-and-not-a-potential-coltfriend Time Turner back to his place, Carrot Top made her way back to her own home.

As soon as key met lock, Carrot Top relaxed for the first time in several hours, letting her shoulders sag and her eyelids droop. Locking the door behind her, Carrot clicked the lights on and breathed a sigh of relief.

“What a day… horseapples…” Trotting over to the couch, Carrot let herself fall backwards and sink into the cushions, no longer caring about pasta or cider or just about anything. One hay of a long day, and it’ll be another big day tomorrow. Gotta harvest the very last of the carrots and sell ‘em all. Then I’ll probably get some temp work helping Daisy, Lily, and Rose with their gardens and stands…

At least winter is coming…

Before she knew it, Carrot Top had fallen asleep. She awoke about fifteen minutes later to the slamming of a door and the giggling of a mare.

Creaking her eyes open, Carrot groaned. “Derpy, can’t you see I’m napping here?”

“Oh! S-sorry, Carrot.” Derpy walked up to the side of the couch and folded her wings to her sides. “Didn’t mean to wake you,” she whispered.

“That’s fine,” Carrot said, closing her eyes again. “I’m glad you’re fine, too. It’s just been a long day, is all.”

“Oh. I understand,” Derpy whispered.

Carrot nodded. “Uh-huh.”

“Thanks again for taking me to the clinic, Carrot Top,” Derpy whispered, a smile on her muzzle.

“You’re welcome. And you don’t have to whisper,” Carrot muttered, letting the warmth of the couch cushions begin to lull her back into a blissful nap.

Derpy giggled. “Oh, okay.”


In her mind’s eye, it was another day—a day much like this one. Except that, when she walked through the door, there was no Derpy Hooves hiding in the fridge. There was no bizarre medical emergency or a snarky Berry Punch. There was no distraught Time Turner or aggravated Nurse Redheart, or receptionist reading a porno mag in the waiting room like it was a normal thing for ponies to do.

There was just Carrot Top and her pasta… a love that stood the test of time… and, to spice things up, a third lover in the room: a perfect bottle of Apple Family cider…

“Hey, Carrot?”

Carrot Top opened one eye and sleepily answered, “Yes?”

“Um…” Derpy bit her lip and fidgeted with her forehooves. “You know… you know all those noodles in the cupboard? And the rolls, too?”

“... Yes?”

“Um… you… you probably shouldn’t eat those, either.”

Carrot Top opened both eyes. “... All of the pasta?”

Derpy looked at the floor. “Carrot, I’m so sorry…”

“... All of the bread?”

“I’m so, so sorry.”

Carrot Top felt a single tear roll down her cheek.

Derpy looked up. “Are you okay, Carrot?”

“Go away, Derpy Hooves,” she said coldly, closing her eyes and sniffling.

Derpy took a step forward. “Are you—”

“Just go away! I need to be alone!” Carrot cried, burying her muzzle in her forehooves.

Distraught, Derpy slinked away into her room, keeping her head low.

Damn you, Derpy, Carrot Top thought, visions of a perfect Neightalian meal disappearing before her eyes. She’d have to wait for a few days when the little Neightalian market down the road opened up and her bit-coffers were full.

She’d have to wait.

Damn you, Derpy.

Damn you and your herpes.