Canterlot Nights, and other tales.

by Phoenix Quill

First published

A collection of stories ranging from several different ponies in several situations and locations across Equestria.

In the south side of Canterlot, in the Broken Wing apartment building, follow the stairs up to the top floor. Mind the dark spot, there's wood rot in the floor boards, and if you were to go past the apartment that sounds like an industrial factory was hidden within, you would find the humble abode of Phoenix Quill.

Within this simple but messy studio apartment, you look around and find no sign of the stallion, but take a look around and you will find that he has a collection of stories for you to read. Some his, others not. Mostly true, and some pure fiction.

None of it's labeled beyond the name of the story, and it seems that it will be a while before he'll be home to chat with you, so why not curl up and enjoy a book. Who knows, there may be a gem or two within.

Story One: Canterlot Nights

This is where I will post my stories that I feel are just too short, random, or boring to stand up on their own, including some stories that were meant for Discord Writes a Ship Fic, and some small stories that help everyone to connect the lines between all my other works.

Here is a handy guide for you to understand how some of these will be put up.
If you see a title, then that's all it is or ever will be.
If it says "Disc" next to a title, it's something Discord wrote.
If the story has multiple parts, for some reason... It will be labeled as parts A-B-C etc.
If the story is not cannon at all with my other stories, it will be labeled as "Fic"

Canterlot Nights (Ran Com SoL) Part A

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Things seemed to really happen on the weekend in Canterlot, between the balls, charities and symphony halls, there was a lot of entertainment abound for the well-to-do. But let us not forget the common pony, night clubs, wild parties, even observatories and night school for those that really wanted to better themselves.

Yes, a weekend in Canterlot can certainly be known as the place to be. This however, was not a weekend in Canterlot, it was an evening on a Wednesday, quite possibly the most boring day of the week known to all ponies, and nopony was free from the tyrannical clutches of boredom.

Certainly there were still some things to do, the observatory was open seven nights a week, and depending on where you went, you could find some small shindig going on, or a concert or two. The park was open to the public still, and there was always a few shops that would have a night crew running it. But for the most part, nopony wished to go out and wreck havoc on their sleep schedule when they had work the next day. So almost nopony did.

In the throne room, Princess Luna was possibly the only pony in existence to manage finding enjoyment on a Wednesday night. Few ponies had come in to see her, which was typical in the middle of a week, but there was still much to do. Between her duty to monitor her subjects with troubled dreams, her new found pet Tibbles, an in palace theater, and several guards to chose from to accompany her for several activities, she had her night pretty much planned.

"Dark Blade," she said, addressing the guard to her right. "I need an eight letter word that means night."

The night guard beside her shrugged with his leathery wing before looking to the guard on the opposing side of the dais, only for him to shrug as well. "Your majesty, I don't really do crossword puzzles. Perhaps you should ask Eventide, she-"

"AH! Eventide, thank you Dark Blade, you truly are a marvel." Luna then wrote the word down on the puzzle before scratching her head with the pencil's eraser. "Now if I only knew a word for, less likely to betray..." She trailed off, expecting one of the guards to pick up the slack and tell her the word, just like they almost always inevitably did. After several moments of silence she shrugged and went on to the next clue.

As she tried to think of a five letter word for, 'sheds feathers', the door to the throne room creaked open. "Luna? Luna, are you busy?"

Luna raised an eyebrow and frowned slightly as she unceremoniously dropped her pencil and crossword puzzle. "Well I was, but I suppose that I have room in my busy schedule for my only sister." She took her reading glasses off and folded them in a case before straightening up in the throne and giving her sister a big smile. "Now, is everything alright? You seem troubled."

Celestia yawned wide as she stepped forward and magically tightened her night robe before speaking. "Sorry, I just can't seem to sleep. I thought that maybe you could help me out with that."

Luna groaned and rolled her eyes at the statement as she crossed her forelegs across her chest. "Sister, I'm not some kind of sleeping pill you can just use at your convenience, you know that! Did you try a warm bath?"

Celestia blushed slightly at the question as she noticed the faces of the guards suddenly glaze over, no doubt thinking of her in a bath tub. "Non lingua communis, ut verius loquar coram custodibus."

Luna raised an eyebrow at Celestia for using the ancient language, surprised that she remembered it at all, despite having gained a terrible accent over the years. "Tu est relatus iocum, tu es nudus cunctis diebus, alia quam calceamentis, et armilla, et coronam?"

Celestia blushed again before nodding. "I see your point," Celestia said with a frown. "Well, I did try one, but well... I grew drowsy and fell asleep, I woke up thinking I was drowning." Two of the guards by the benches where parliament sat in day court suddenly snickered, and Celestia snapped suddenly. "See! That's why I wanted to speak in the ancient language!"

"Yes, but I won't be having you butcher a language that went out of style a century before we were born just to save you from embarrassment," Luna said with a casual flick of a hoof. The two looked at each other in growing silence, both waiting for the other to speak before Luna spoke up again. "So, what else do you want?"

"Well if you're not going to put me to sleep, can we at least do something together?"

"Well, we could always do what those young ponies are doing these days." She then thought for a few moments before asking, "Is Parcheesi still all the rage?"

Celestia shook her head at the question. "I don't think that we have a copy of that here."

"What about Ur, or perhaps Senet? I haven't played those games in centuries!"

"And neither has most of the world Luna," Celestia said with a light chuckle. "I have some cards, and there's a copy of Monopony somewhere around here."

Luna looked up and stuck her tongue out slightly at the last suggestion. "Ugh, I despise that game."

"Is it because you aren't on any of the money?"

"No, it's because you're making a stupid face on the money, and your stupid face money always winds up in somepony else's hooves. Not to mention it only takes about half an eternity for somepony to win."

Celestia frowned and let her ears fall flat against her head. "Oh, well, alright. I guess I'll just go back to my room to stare at my ceiling, because I can't sleep." The princess of the sun turned to walk away at a slow pace, making the room echo with the slow clip clop of her shod hooves.

Luna looked up at the ceiling as if looking at an invisible being. "Mother help me for what your other daughter puts me through," she muttered aloud. "Sister?"

Celestia turned around slowly and Luna saw that her older sister's eyes were wet, and larger than usual as she stuck out her bottom lip in an exaggerated frown. "Yes Luna?"

Luna rolled her eyes at Celestia before sitting up in her most regal pose. "I'll be happy to play whatever game you wish. Just, don't expect any sort of-" she stopped short as Celestia swooped up and grabbed Luna to fly up to the ceiling while spinning.

"Oh thank you thank you thank you! You're the best Luna!"

Luna responded in the only way she could manage at the moment. "Can't... breathe... getting... sick... let... go!"

Celestia looked puzzled for a second before her face lit up. "OH! Right, sorry." She immediately let go to let Luna plummet for a few seconds before her wings caught flight for her. "So, what game shall we play?"

Luna thought about it for a few seconds as the two descended to the ground. "That's a very good question, one which I don't have an answer for at the moment."

Silence passed as the two thought about it for a few moments. Suddenly one of the servants of the castle came into the room with a tray of small sandwiches. "I did not know her highness Celestia would be joining you this evening," the pegasus said with a smile. "However, I did make plenty for your lunch just in case you were entertaining anypony at this hour."

Luna and Celestia looked at each other and shared a deviant smile suddenly. "Excuse me, Lemon Breeze, is that correct?"

The pegasus finished setting up the tray before bowing slightly. "Yes princess Luna, I, er, I mean, that is my name your highness."

Celestia gave a puzzled look at her sister as her smile grew wider. "Luna, what are you doing?"

Luna raised a wing in front of Celestia's face to shush her before stepping forward to go on. "Tell me, would you do anything that we commanded of you?"

The Lemon Breeze looked confused for a few moments as she thought it out. Under any normal rationalized decision, if somepony asked her this question she would have replied with a no. This however was princess Luna asking her, and not somepony off the street. "Of course I would your highness, I would do anything either of you asked of me."

The princess's smile grew ever wider, and it took all she could to prevent herself from slipping into the old habit of laughing maniacally, least her psychologist would hear and come to see if Nightmare Moon was making a comeback. "So, what if I told you that there was, oh let's say, an invasion of Parasprites, and I told you to handle it, how would you do it?"

The pegasus looked puzzled for a few moments as she looked to her right with the tip of her wing under her chin. :"I suppose I would help by baiting them with a tasty treat?"

Luna continued to grin as Celestia tried not to look as puzzled as she really was. "Thank you that is all Miss Breeze," Luna said with a slight nod of her head. Lemon Breeze bowed to the two alicorns before leaving the throne room to handle the next job on her list. "Celestia," Luna remarked once the door to the throne was closed. "I believe I have your new game."

"Sister, I don't understand. What game? Do you mean we are just going to go around questioning ponies all night?"

"Nay my dear Celestia," Luna said as she wrapped her foreleg around Celestia in an overly tight hug as she stood on her hindlegs to motion with her other hoof. "These ponies would do anything we ask from them, so why not use that to our advantage?"

Celestia raised an eyebrow before delicately removing her sisters foreleg from around her. "Yeah, I don't think that's such a good-"

"Please, no talking while I'm interrupting," Luna said with a sniff. "Anyway, my challenge to you is a battle of wits. I recreate some problems from the past, and you do the same, and we use ourselves and some subjects to solve the problems!"

Celestia looked at Luna with a deep frown for several moments before raising a hoof to feel her forehead. "Are you feeling alright Luna? Maybe you've been working too hard, I can summon young Pinto to take over for tonight."

"Celestia, Pinto is over ninety years old, why do you insist on calling him young?"

"Everypony's younger than us," Celestia said with a smile and a wink. "Why I remember when he first started here for the night shift. He was so handsome, and creative, and smart. But what really impressed me about him was his big-"

"CELESTIA!" Luna quickly slammed a hoof down as she tried to hide a blush. "Thou art trying to embarrass me. I don't need to know about these things!"

"I was going to say resume," Celestia said with a grin. "Nice to know what part of the road your mind is on though, little sister."

Luna felt her face get warmer as Celestia teased her before slamming a hoof down and snorting with a regal pose. "That is quite enough. Find your resorces, ten problems you can recreate, no less than four trouble makers or villains you can throw into the ring to throw me off, no less than twenty friends, and some spells you can use as resources or events. You must include yourself as the leader, so no less than fifty six when you total everything."

Celestia groaned slightly as she rolled her eyes. "And where are we supposed to battle? And what's to stop me from starting off with my strongest player and spells?"

"Luck of the draw, place your assets on a scrap of paper. If you draw it, you may cast it. I'm off to collect mine, meet me at midnight!"

Celestia frowned at her sister as she left the room only to shake her head and laugh. If she wants to play this game, so be it. She looked around to make sure nopony was looking, grabbed one of the small sandwiches off the tray, then quietly made her way as quick as possible to the back of the throne.

She looked around quickly to make sure once again that nopony was looking before pushing on a secret panel with her hoof to reveal a hidden drawer. Let's see here, no not the fan, laser sword, the murder weapon I'm hiding for him, no... AH! She grinned wide as she pulled out a dusty yellow book.

She quickly blew the dust off and read the title to be sure. "The names, and addresses of everypony in Equestria and beyond, that you may or may not know but may need in a pinch some day, benevolent dictators edition. How convenient!" She opened the book up to a random page and randomly picked a name before writing it down on a piece of paper before laughing to herself maniacally.

Suddenly the door burst open to reveal the Royal Psychologist accompanied by several guards. "Alright I heard maniacal laughter, GUARDS! I need an almost-comfortable-but-not-quite-comfortable-enough couch, a very comfy chair, some quills, ink and paper, STAT! Princess Celestia, I will save you from a the fate of your sister's past, just relax."

Celestia looked at the approaching dark grey unicorn, the way she kept her purple hair wound in a tight bun with braided tails on either side so that not a hair was out of place. The way that her bright blue eyes flashed dangerously behind the fashionable glasses as her smirk grew wider. Yes, she feared this pony, the only one that could legally take her off the throne if she felt Celestia went off the deep end.

"Now now Black Shadows, take it easy, I'm perfectly fine, I just remembered a joke is all."

"A case of denial I see, it's a start but we'll break away those layers. Eventide!"

A night guard flew over with a cup full of quills. "Yes Momma B?"

"Get me, the comfy pillows!" Everypony in the room gasped suddenly as Eventide saluted and took off to find the pillows.

Canterlot Nights Part B

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"Princess Luna couldn't help but openly laugh at this point. Several floors below the castle in a room that greatly resembled a cave more than a part of the castle, Princess Luna was safe from prying eyes in the privacy of her lair."

That's when she stopped talking out loud and looked up in contemplation. "Wow, I really do sound evil when I put it that way." She then shrugged a wing and went back to humming instead. She stared at the image in her book that recalled the spell needed to summon ponies to her cause, and found it simple enough. She then turned the page and found another spell that let her have multiple copies of anypony she wished for. Not sure if I'll need that one, unless I want an army of Twilights by my side.

"You are on the way to destruction."

Princess Celestia raised an eyebrow at Black Shadows, unsure how to respond. "What you say?"

Celestia cringed slightly when she realized that she had failed to properly structure her sentence, only for the psychologist to respond, "You have no chance to survive, make your time," before bursting out in three short and emotionless laughs. Celestia rolled her eyes as she tried to get comfortable on the couch she was currently strapped to. "Well, I'm glad to know that you're in a good mood."

Black Shadows' smile grew wider, like the canary that swallowed the cat. "Oh I must admit that I am." She got up from her small stool and began to pace the room, adjusting small things around the room with her magic to make sure they were still exactly as they should be. "You see, I've been dealing with Blueblood's butlers and maids for so long, it's easy to forget that I am the royal psychologist. Do you know how awful that nephew of yours is by the way?"

The princess couldn't help but groan at the question, but it didn't seam to matter to the unicorn what Celestia thought of the question as she continued to manipulate small objects in the room. "Now that you've finally cracked, I'm the only one that can save you of course. Such an opportunity is rare, naturally and a tough challenge. One a lesser pony couldn't handle." She then suddenly grabbed Celestia by her cheeks in a sort of squishing face hug. "BUT I'm not a lesser pony, fortunatly for you, you poor poor pony, I'm Black Shadows! I Graduated top of my class and everything!"

"Then surely you know that-"

"Ah-ah-ah," Black Shadows interrupted. "I know what you are going to say, and you're right to worry. I mean how many alicorns had ever seen a psychologist besides your sister, and student, and niece, and well, that makes every single one besides you?"

"No," Celestia said again as she cut the duct tape with her magic. "I need to say this, it's the middle of the night, I'm in the middle of planning a friendly game with my sister, and you've been spying on me... why?"

"Reasons," the unicorn responded just as she slyly spun around a picture of her dressed as she envisioned herself as the new alicorn princess of Equestria. "Just reasons, isn't that good enough? Now, tell me about your fillyhood."

Princess Luna wrote down a final summoning spell onto a flash card and grinned to herself. "At last, with my small army of friends I can surely best my sister! Heh. Mu-ha. MUHAHAHA!" She couldn't help but break into the peals of maniacal laughter, and continued to do so as lightning flashed outside the small window. She stopped after a moment and shrugged slightly at the electrical phenomenon. "I thought I had fixed that problem."

She then took the stack of cards and shuffled most of them, while leaving a select few out in the front of the stack. "Well now what? I don't really want to be carrying these around like this." She looked around for a few moments before spying an old lunchbox. "'Tis probably from some careless guard," she mused before grabbing it. Inside was a sandwich and some oats that she carelessly dumped onto the table before shoving her cards in the tin. "Perfect."

She began to merrily trot with a slight bobbing in her gait, halfway between dancing and walking as she exited the dingy chamber to enter the halls of the castle proper. It didn't take long before she started seeing guards walking towards her, and she gave them her best smile. "Good evening good stallions, how is thine eve?"

The two unicorns looked at each other with a bit of unease before one of them coughed into his hoof. "Begging your pardon princess, but we are under orders to escort you to the east wing of the castle."

Luna stared at the two as if they had suddenly sprouted an extra set of horns. "The east wing? But whatever for? The only part of that wing that's being used at this hour is the medical wards!"

The two ponies grew more nervous as they twitched slightly. "Well, the thing is," one started before the other finished. "The thing is, is that Black Shadows wants you in her office, now."

Luna blinked a few times before smiling slightly. "Very well, let me just get my coat."

The two guards nodded as Luna began trotting along the same direction she started in, when suddenly it dawned on one of them. "Hey wait, princess Luna, you never wear a coat!"

By then it was too late, as she galloped away laughing. "You'll never catch us now! We are much too fast for thee!" She then began to laugh as she rounded the corner, right into a hastily set up unicorn spell blocking gate.

Celestia looked over at Luna in the couch next to her and frowned. "So, what are you in for?"

"Maniacal laughter with lightning, you?"

Celestia shrugged as well as she could with a sigh. "Same thing basically."

She was interrupted with a sudden tapping of a hoof as Black Shadows called for attention. "Excuse me, I didn't bring you here so you can talk, but so you can discuss your feelings. Now, Celestia can you tell me when you started to fear your sister?"

Luna snickered slightly as her older sister gave a look that laser beams should have come out of, but fortunately didn't. "And Luna, why don't you tell me, where did your resentment for Celestia come from? Now don't groan, the sooner we can talk, the sooner the healing can begin."

Pinkie Pie's Final Exam (Ran Com SoL)

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Frustrated with the lack of excitement in a book that involves both princesses, you decide to forgo reading any more, at least for now.

You get up and carefully scan the shelves for several moments before coming across a bright pink book. Curious, you decide to go on ahead and open it. The writing inside is surprisingly neat and clean, but you can tell by the way that the writer looped their y's, that the mouth writing is forged by a unicorn. This is clearly another one of Phoenix's pieces of rejected fan fiction.

With a shrug, you go ahead and have a seat, raise the fire in the oil lamp, and begin to read.

The Horrible Tale of Pinkie Pie's Final Exam
By Phoenix Quill.
Original idea, do not steal, if found please return to:
The Broken Wing Apartments,
87 Random Ln. Apartment 13.
City of Canterlot, Equestria.

"Ponyville University, Ponyville U. Good ol' P.U." Even with the small joke, Pinkie Pie looked up at the building before her with trepidation. Ponyville U seemed to stare back, but why shouldn't it? She had only been a student here for the last four years, and had learned it's many halls, rooms and students just as well as she knew every room, rock, and pony back at the rock farm.

Usually, Pinkie Pie was the life of the school, always either hosting, or showing up to a party. If anypony were asked, they would all say that Pinkie was the party pony of the campus.

What they didn't know, was that her partying was serious research. For the past four years she may have partied a lot, but it was for purpose. In fact, if you were to ask her teachers, they would all say something great. "Oh, she'll be a great social commentator," or, "She has the makings of a wonderful psychologist," and strangest, yet probably most accurate of all, "She's very ambitious, I would fear the day that she got a lot of power."

There was much to be said about the strange young mare from the middle of nowhere, how her life was changed by an urge to party, and how rock farming just wouldn't cut it for her. How she dreamed of becoming more than she was, and wished to become the premier party pony. But first, she needed to learn a few tricks.

"Okay Pinkie, you got this," she said with a confident smile. Her white lab coat and flat pink hair fluttered with the breeze as she stepped forward and placed her reading glasses on the end of her muzzle. "All I gotta do is go in there, and use everything I learned in the past four years to pass my final test. How hard can it be?"

A sudden crack of thunder rolled over head as a pegasus turned positions in her cloud nap, leaving Pinkie's smile slightly deflated. "Yes, I guess it could be better."

"DUN DA DUNNNNN, dramatic moment music..."

Pinkie quickly turned around and spotted the stallion hiding in the bushes behind her. "Hey! Quit following me!" The stallion gave a sheepish grin before dashing off, leaving Pinkie to contemplate her fate once again. "Yeah, I think I got this."

Pinkie entered the classroom to find that it was empty. No surprises so far, she thought to herself. Maybe this won't be so bad.

Suddenly a boisterous voice boomed across the class, catching the mare's attention. "Pinkamina! You're early! How can you stand to be early today?"

"Oh you know me Professor Sunshine," she said with a grin. "Coffee is a mare's best friend."

"Hmm maybe," he said with a smile. "But if you keep burning that candle of yours at both ends, you're gonna go out faster than you think."

Pinkie just smiled slightly as Sunshine laughed in his usual loud manner. After a few moments though, as he was still wheezing to a halt, her smile had already dropped. "So, when should the exam begin?"

"Hm?" The professor looked up at the clock as he wiped a tear from his eye. "Well, we should probably wait for the other students to come in first, but have a seat for now."

Pinkie nodded and sat down in one of the seats that rose up in a semi circle around the desk in front. She looked up at the clock, and noted that the time for the test should have begun already, but the paper has yet to be passed out. "Professor," she said with a wave of her hoof. "Isn't it time to begin?"

"Oh? Is it really?" He smiled a bit as he looked up at the clock. "I don't seem to think so."

Pinkie looked at the clock, and sure enough it had moved back almost a half hour. "Oh, I just thought that,"

"Thought what? That you were alone for this test?" He smiled once again. "You can't forget about your classmates, they deserve a chance to pass as well."

"Uh, right, sir." She then looked down at the small writing desk beside her with a bored stare. She wasn't sure why, but it had become habitual for her lately to do this. It probably had something to do with all the little notes left on it's wooden surface over the years.

She looked out the window to her left, and noticed that the sun was setting. At first, she payed it no mind, until she realized that she had yet to take the test. "Sir! It's getting late, surely I could take my test now!"

"Could you really?" Sunshine said with a frown before pointing at the clock. "It hasn't even been five minutes, can't you be more patient?"

Sure enough, hardly any time had moved on the clock at all, and the sun was still hanging brightly in the sky, and heading further west by the second. For a moment, she wondered where the sun would go, and why it was doing this. Then it dawned on her.

The sun came to a halt, and marched eastward once again. Professor Sunshine looked up and saw Pinkie was still at her desk with a bored look on her face, and grinned. He turned around to grab something from a drawer, when Pinkie popped out of it. "Hi!"

Surprised, he jumped back and placed a hoof on his chest. A small whinny escaped from his throat before laughter followed. "AH! Now that's the spirit girl!"

Pinkie just laughed before grabbing him and pulling him into the drawers. They tumbled for a while in a void before falling out in the library. She then lead the way to a book case and pulled out a book called, World of the Yahoos and opened it up. Within an instant of opening the pages a rather tall and fat Yahoo came out of the pages and blinked with some stupidity before spotting the two ponies and saying, "Oh my god I'm in Equestria!"

"Hi I'm Pinkie, that there's Professor Sunshine!"

The professor waved politely and gave a short hello to the Yahoo. The Yahoo scratched itself on it's torso and continued to stare at the two of them. "Uh, so... Uh, you guys like food or anything? I think I've got some sugar cubes on me."

"Eh, no thanks," Pinkie said with a shake of her head. "You're just here for my test, but now you gotta go back home!"

"Wha, NO WAIT!" But it was too late, as the book slammed shut over the Yahoo, and he went back to where he belonged. The professor clopped his hooves in approval as Pinkie galloped around a corner, and Sunshine followed. When they rounded the bin, they were suddenly in the quad, and it was late in the evening.

Pinkie used the angles around her to sneak past everypony that was milling around, unseen the entire way. Finally, she reached the center of it all, and pulled a cooler out of nowhere and a megaphone from another place in nowhere, and shouted into it, "Free drinks!"

There was, of course a stampede of frat stallions and sorority mares. Ever thirsty for as much hard cider as there stomachs can hold.

But she wouldn't stay for long, as she dodged around a tree, the two of them were suddenly back in the classroom. Pinkie was back at her seat, and Professor sunshine was in front of the class. The two of them looked up at the clock, it had only been five seconds.

"Well done," Sunshine said with a grin. "But why five seconds after we left?"

Pinkie looked at the clock and shrugged. "I don't know, I didn't want to run into ourselves."

"Well you didn't have to worry about that silly," Pinkie said with a pat on her back.

"Yeah," Pinkie said with a smile. "We usually do it all the time!"

There was a mild chorus of agreement from the small bundle of Pinkie Pie's before they all went off to when they belong, leaving Sunshine in a fit of giggles.

Finally, the air cleared of his laughter, and he wiped the tears from his eyes and cleared his throat. "Pinkamina Diane Pie, that will be all."

A month later it was graduation day for good ol' P.U. and Pinkie Pie was next. "And now, it is with an extreme honor, that I am able to present this diploma, to Miss Pinkamina Pie, for being the only pony in our history, to receive this Masters in Science in Advanced Physics Manipulation Magic.

Pinkie walked tall as she took the scroll of paper from the headmaster, and looked out to the crowd with hope.

Her mother was not there, nor was her father. The only one that did show up, was Maude. And though it was hard to see, Pinkie was sure she was smiling, and that was all that really mattered to her.

Phoenix came home to find You there... Pt 1

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You closed the book before mumbling something about, "useless fluff," and discarding the book. Silence then rang in the apartment for several moments before a grand sigh comes out of You, and You got up to stretch. That's when You noticed something strange.

Not truly strange mind you, but rather unusual for that room in particular. For across the hall and down a little ways, you had noted earlier that there was a constant flow of industrial work going on, as if somepony had left some machinery on. Now everything was silent.

Voices mumble to each other before a door slams shut, and You heard the sound of trotting as it came closer to the front door of the apartment. You stood up and brushed off slightly, and noticed that the book You just discarded is still laying open on the couch. The door was starting to unlock, that's when You quickly grabbed the book and jammed it into the bookshelf where it belonged.

The door clacked as the tumblers fell into place around the key, and in steps the owner of the space. A blue unicorn, with a red and gold mane. Strangely enough, he was riding atop of a quite animated end table. "Alright buddy, back to the office with you. Discord's probably not too keen on the idea of having you run around the streets of Canterlot for too long."

The table reared up and took off back down the hall in a fury of gallops. He laughed slightly before looking into the studio apartment, and seeing that You had been standing there. "Who the hexagon are you?"

You stood there with a grin before speaking up, giving Phoenix a few moments to try to put pieces together. Finally, after a few moments, You answered, "I am You."

Phoenix stood there quite flabbergasted as he looked You over, before finally responding with a simply brilliant, "You don't look anything like me."

The gryphon remained unamused. "No, I'm not you, my name is You."

"Why is your name-"

"My parent's have a stupid sense of humor okay?!" The gryphon huffed before snapping his talons knuckles against the wooden floor. "Besides that it's quite common where I come from."

"I haven't met very many gryphons named You before," Phoenix said with a frown. "Are you from some sort of hippie community?"

You adjusted his tie slightly as he rolled his eyes. "Please, what about me could possibly make you think such a thing about me?" He then snapped his talons and was quickly wrapped in a ring of green flames. At first, Phoenix was shocked about the fire, only to be replaced with a substantial amount of shock to find a changeling in his living room. "As I said, it's quite a common name where I come from."

"You, you're a changeling? One of those... those bugs!"

You gave off a sigh as he puffed on an unlit pipe. "Clearly I am a changeling, but I don't recall being some sort of bug, I do only have four legs after all." The changeling quickly lit the herbs in his pipe and began to puff as a rancid smell began to fill the room. "Now then, I am a representative from the Canterlot Airship yards."

If Phoenix was afraid of the changeling before, he had been fairly restrained. Now however, at the mention of his previous job, he seemed to have become quite livid with fear as his eyes bulged out and he began to back away to the door. "No, you stay back... You!"

You stepped forward as he levitated a set of papers and pair of spectacles from a bag. "Come come now, there's no need to be that way. I've only been sent here to check up on you. It's been over a year since you took your little vacation you know."

"Vacation?" Phoenix stood in puzzlement as he tried to think over the events of last year, before his memories were wiped clean by Discord after he was released from his stone prison. Before he was even in the stone prison.

Phoenix walked up to the managers office with a rather large smile and a newspaper. "Hey there Mister Loft, can I go on vacation for a while? I'm trying to get my story published."

Arial Loft smiled brightly as he passed Phoenix his paycheck for the week. "Sure sure, I don't see why not! Just don't be gone too long now, the holiday rush is going to be coming fast in a couple weeks."

Phoenix smiled as he placed his paycheck into his satchel and nodded. "No problem, I just gotta work something out with Equestria Daily in a couple days, so I thought that I would take a few days to prepare myself before I meet with the owner."

Phoenix was jerked back into reality after the memory played back in his mind, and he saw the changeling had put his pipe out, and was now helping himself to some of the bourbon. It's age was questionable to begin with when he'd bought it a year ago, but now that it's been sitting in the cupboard for a year, he was quite sure that it was undrinkable. "Um, hey You, I wouldn't drink that if I were you."

The changeling ignored Phoenix as he downed the shot in one go before adjusting his red tie. "Hmm, sorry what was that?"

"Nevermind," the unicorn mumbled back before grabbing his hat and placing it on the coat rack. "Look, I don't know how you didn't get the memo, but I'd been locked up for the past year in Celestia's garden."

"Ah yes, what statue were you? Tenacity if I recall properly. Had a bunch of books around you."

"Actually I was Determination, but that's beside the point. Why are you here now?"

The changeling looked at the papers he'd pulled out and flipped through a few pages before he found what he was looking for. "Ah well according to this here, you had requested and was granted vacation time from work with pay. Unfortunately, you've been missing from work for over a year, and are due for termination without pay."

Phoenix stuttered for a few moments at the news, and started grasping at straws. "But, but... I was in prison! I just spent a week with Discord being a glorified paper pusher without my memory, how is this my fault?"

"Well, the way the company sees it, it's your fault for not informing us of your imprisonment. Therefore, you have one of two options. One, you can do one last dangerous job to get all your back pay."

"I'll do no such thing," Phoenix said with a huff.

"Or you lose over a hundred thousand bits and will face a class action lawsuit."

"So when do we get started?"

Phoenix hated his job, or rather he hated the one he had before he started working for Discord. The pay was alright, and he loved airships, and working at the airship yards gave him lots of opportunities to look at them. What he hated was that he was a courier for the company. What he was supposed to do, was deliver letters between offices and ships that were docked, and help load mail onto the ships that had to travel long distances. It doesn't sound bad, and it's not. At least, not until you find yourself suddenly helping out the ponies with scrubbing the tops of the zeppelins, or you have a crate of packages fall out of the ships cargo hold.

Yeah, there were days where he could really hate his job. Especially for the fact that he couldn't ever afford to travel on one of those great ships, it felt like torture to him to be around them all day after a while. But despite all that, he stuck to the job for years, and probably would have gone back to it, if not for Discord. But now, he wanted nothing than to be as far away as possible from the place. Not because of the ships, or the changeling that brought him there. No, it was all because of the gryphon sitting across from him.

"Well well well, if it isn't mister holiday himself," Timely Manner said with a smile that could only be described as mean. "How nice to see you again."

Phoenix sat on the floor as his boss looked down at him from behind the desk. "Uh, hi. Look, I'm sorry about this misunderstanding, but I'd been encased in stone and-"

"Don't talk back to me Mister Quill, in this business, you only speak when I permit you! Is that clear?" Phoenix, unsure if he should or shouldn't speak up, said nothing and only nodded. "I'm sorry, I asked you a question, I asked if I was clear. Well say something blast you!"

"Uh, yes sir, Mister Manner, uh, sir..." Phoenix sweated slightly and looked down at the floor like a foal that was caught steeling cookies from the jar. He's got me over a barrel and he knows it, curse him. I hate that stallion, I hope he falls off the mountain tomorrow. I don't even want the bits, but no, he's gotta threaten to sue me if I don't come in. I bet he enjoys this, sick freak, I hope you rot in tartarus.

"That's what I like about you Phoenix, you always bow down to your betters." Timely Manner slid open a drawer to his right and pulled out an envelope. "Your assignment is simple, take these papers with you to the Airship Regale. You there, you shall be placed in charge of your delivery. Help the crew in any way you can, whenever you are told to, and once you arrive, make sure that the paperwork is signed for the cargo."

Phoenix couldn't help but ask one question, and winced as if he'd shot himself in the hoof for doing so. "Is that all?"

"Yes that's all you freeloader! The Airship Regale is also going to be conducting a few weather experiments enroute to Eaglend, and you will be in charge of the equipment, so be on special alert."

Phoenix looked at the grey pegasus with a very pitiful look, hoping to pursuade him from sending him on this task, but he knew he was doomed to go on that ship. "Can't I just, let you keep the bits and you don't sue me?"

"Get out of my office."