An Hour With Apathy

by Soul_Seeker

First published

Joel has an hour to kill with his best friend Pinkie Pies sister so she can finish work. Lots of laughter an- Yeah, who am I kidding this is Maud.

Joel, a Human who has lived in Equestria for some time now has finally gotten used to it and what it brings... Except for constantly calling the brightly coloured and adorable looking Equines cute at every turn that is. Maud Pie just so happens to see this side of him quite quickly.

Cover art by Badumsquish

The Hour

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"I don't get it." The grey mare told me in her usual dull voice. "If you want to feel happy you don't have to smile."

"Maud, I know. I wasn't saying after feeling happy, you HAVE to smile every time." I patted her head much to her dismay... Or joy, its hard to tell with this one. "But once would be nice to see." She gave me her classic look and just stared.

"I don't get it." She said again emptily.

Sighing deeply, I slouched in the booth. "Yeah I know." I told her with a slight frown. "I'll teach you one day, I can feel it!" I said with a clenched hand to the ceiling. Maud said nothing and raised an eyebrow.

"Whatever you say, Joel." She said, taking an agonizingly slow bite of one of pinkies cupcakes. It wasn't one of her usual sugar packed, stage three diabetes inducing treats, but from a batch Pinkie made specially for Maud; a sprinkle of sugar with mostly butter and flour... I still don't understand how she can make a perfectly bouncy, fluffy cupcake with just that but that's for the next human to find out because I already tried finding out what a 'Pinkie Sense' was... No. Just no.

Maud was visiting the pink ball of sunshine for a few weeks. Apparently Pinkie had sent Maud so much rock candy over the passed month that she couldn't even get the mail mares to carry all of it. Maud thought it fitting to reward her gifts by coming into town and telling her Pink sister that she received every single piece of the hard candy and only wanted to inform her to stop sending more... I thought a letter would have been enough but Maud genuinely wanted to come visit her family and meet the group of friends she had acquired. I took the initiative to keep her company while Pinkie finished off her shifts at Sugarcube Corner; I respect a mare who would rather keep the smiles on everyponies faces and keep the Cube running smoothly even when a family member came by. The girl has integrity, I'll give her that much. Although it wasn't like Maud minded all that much anyway, she had her pebble to inspect over and over... And over again.

"How do you know Pinkie, Joel?" She asked randomly and suddenly inquisitive.

This'll be good "I actually quite literally walked into her when I first got here." I said, ready to continue but she interrupted.

"Got here?" She asked flatly with her eyes half-closed in perpetual mundane...ness.

Oh right, most Equines have absolutely no idea I randomly showed up by taking a stroll through the fucking woods in the park and ended up meeting a galaxy bursting apart at the same time a wormhole decided to swallow Mercury, resulting in a cosmic disturbance that only effected the old-growth trees of Earth, changing the state around them to shift violently and transport my ass into the land of marshmallow ponies with the cutest children in history of history.

...Yes, Twilight literally figured all that out just by me describing the area I was in and the planets in orbit of our solar system at the time she liked to call, 'Point of impact'. Fucking hell, if I found smarts sexy, I'd implode just from her telling me about her damn day.

"Clearly you can see I'm not from around here. Alien life-form and all..." I said a tad dejectedly.

"You look normal to me." She said with a tip of her head to drink her mild tap water.

"Oh... Thanks, actually." I said with a surprised look.

"For what?" Maud asked with a few slow blinks following.

"For not calling weird, strange, disgusting; or my personal favorite, 'what the hell?' " I said with a small chuckle. She opened her mouth but closed it, staring into my very soul with those grey eyes as if I had gone off on a tang- fuck. "Anyways, I ran trhough the woods when Pinkie was doing... Pinkie things-"

"She does those a lot." Maud said in perfect monotone.

Did she just make a joke...? Because I'm pretty sure that Pinkie would piss herself and pass-out if she had heard it. "Yeah, she likes to alright." Taking a sip from my soda, I continued, "And when she saw me, she jumped into my arms and asked if I could carry her home because she was tired. Now, in my world; ponies can't talk and they happen to usually almost literally weigh a ton. I was so caught off-guard by a PINK pony that smelled like cotton candy and cupcakes jumping into my arms that I just said, 'okay' and walked where she said." Maud looked bored, she's probably bored. Or hungry; or whatever the fuck she is.

"Continue." She said in her normal apathetic tone. Guess not, damn.

"When I had got into town, the rest of the ponies were just smiling away at me like I was the most adorable puppy they had ever laid eyes on. Then Pinkie took it into her hooves to start flailing said hooves around and saying, 'Look how friendly he is! I want him to carry me all the time!' and I basically got a pass by all of Equestria because cotton candy mane over there made me her personal carry-human."

"Not all that surprising. You seem nice." She told me, finishing her cupcake and pushing the water away a few inches.

"Thanks, Maud." I said a little out of place; I never would have thought she'd have complimented me. Don't get me wrong! Maud seems like a stand up gal and all; it's just that I was told she rarely even used the word, 'nice'.

"Sure." She stated, taking her pebble out of her chest pocket, sniffing it and then dropping it into the almost empty water glass. "Pebble was thirsty." She told me as she could clearly see my, 'What in the fuck' face prominent on my features.

"Cool..." Looking to Pinkie running back and forth, she grinned and mouth 'one more hour' before doing Fluttershy's 'yey' face. God dammit these bastards are cute. I looked at Maud staring at the table and quickly asked, "So... What 'bout you? What are you planning on doing while in town?"

Basic Equine Physics

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God damn these bastards will be the end of me, I know it. I looked over at Maud staring dead at the table. "Uhm, so what about you? What are you up to while you're in Ponyville?"

"Rock collecting. Pinkie Pie, and meeting her friends." I was gonna say something but she added, "If they're as nice as you, I think I'll enjoy their company." She said with a hoof holding up her head on the table, as non-chalantly as possible for a brick wall.

Is Maud flirting with me?! No, no, no, that's clearly an overactive imagination.. She has pebble. "I'm glad I could keep you company. Being nice to you is apparently easier than it is with Celestia for Satan's sake."

She let her eyes grow a little at that. "Thank you, Joel."Maud said with her hoof slipping out from under her. "That was not supposed to happen..." I couldn't help but let out a small 'pfft' and was awarded a strange stare. "What?" She asked.

"You're just as cute as the others." I accidently let slip out, eyes going wider than a deaf man hearing Miriah Carey. "I-I-I DIDN'T MEAN IT LIKE THAT I SWEAR!" I quickly stammered. Her eyes were as big as mine, even had the tiniest little blush brightening those dim cheeks . Oh Christ she looks adorable.

"I... Don't have a response." She said as I threw my hands over my face

'Hello old friend'. I should watch my mouth more...

"Ugh... I always say that when you ponies do literally ANYTHING." I pleaded to her. "Okay, see. There's never been anything as adorable looking in my world as a multi-coloured talking miniature pony that has such soft looking features it looks like the karate kid buffed em out with a flat surface dremel." Her face grew even redder into a medium blush.

Oh sweet fuck I'm not helping myself

"It's hard to explaiiiiiiiiiiin..." I whined, face hitting the table. 'Hello new friend.' I kept my face on the table while I spoke. "You're all so cartoony looking and have this aura of 'look at me~ I'm basically a marshmall- OH! I know the perfect reference!" I ran outside quickly and yanked a foal from mid air as she jumped from a skipping rope and brought her inside with me.

I held her belly and pointed her directly at Maud. "Show her the face you use when Apple Jack says you can't hangout with Sweets or Scoots." I commanded of the all powerful AppleBloom.

Her eyes enlarged like that of an angel being accepted into the welcoming bosom of Dolly Parton for the first time- as they began to water lightly; the bottom lip of her muzzle quivered and shook as she held her hooves to her chest as if she was begging.. My heart was sitting apart just from seeing it again!

"Okay, I get it now." Maud gave in after a mere thirty seconds. Still longer than me, though. It took four fucking seconds for me to let them climb my entire body to reach 'the sky' after witnessing their true power first hand.

"Y'all know tha' deal, Joel." She said with a smirk as I put her down. I walked to the stands and grabbed a cupcake off the display, flicking a bit into the cash register as I walked back to her just as Pinkie opened the money-box (I have my moments) and knelt down.

"Here you go, you cute little filly." I said as I popped the icing covered goody into her happy mouth. What? Yes, I've used her like this before, property damage is expensive dammit!

"Ou' know 't" She said with a skip out the door while another customer walked in at the same moment. They have a sense for doors I swear..

I sat back down at the booth and chuckled at Maud's highly confused stare at the whole spectacle. "I use her and her friends to get out of a lot of things. Property damage mostly." Maud's head tilted more.

"I promise I didn't think that the fucking snow-fortress we built last year could actually self destruct! IT.WAS.SNOW. Water and cold- by the power of Grey Skull the button was A ROCK but it still blew half of Mayor Mare's hall into Cloudsdale... Not my brightest moment, but come on! The physics of this world don't even work." I finished, getting comfortable in the booth as I ended my Human-esc-logic-rant. "I could make better laws of the universe than THIS-" I pointed towards an earth pony gripping a small cup delicately.

"You intrigue my interest, Joel. " She said with a tiny, almost invisible smile. "You're not like Pinkie... That much is clear-" You fuckin wut? "-But at the exact same time, you are." She giggled- SHE GIGGLED?! then took pebble out from the cup and... The water's gone. How is the water gone?!

"It's empty..." I said, flabbergastedly clenching my fist.

"I told you he was thirsty." She said flatly again.

"How does that... What the hell kind of pebble is that?!" I asked in disbelief.

"A Western Arguaunt fragment that turned into the smooth and crisp form you see now over hundreds of years of additional icing and rain weathering." Maud morosely informed me.

"But... How... Owww, my miiind." I put my hands on my head and just stared at the small rock on the table incrediously. "I've decided to learn more Equestrian geology with everything I am... Immediatelly." I ended with a heavy sigh.

Once I looked at her I swear I could feel my heart begin to warm; her ears twitched, and nose wiggled a small bit, looking back at me with a far away stare. Okay, it's oficial, she's cuter than Fluttershy now. Her fuckin NOSE.. WIGGLES

"I... Haven't heard anypony say that since I was a child." Maud carefully placed Pebble back inside her pocket.

I noticed her small wavering voice and quipped, "Not too many rock-olo-gists around?"

She flatly, clearly amused but void of emotion looked off slightly. "Reminds me of being small." She stared at Pinkie, "Reminds me of when everypony was small."

I sat there tapping the table and mentally saying a long 'oooooof'. "Ya know I wouldn't have thought you the sentimental type, Maud."

This caught her attention quite fast. "What makes you say such a thing like that, Joel?"

"Well okay... Pinkie? I can see the literal sentimentality oozing out of her daily." Pointing at the pink bundle of floof I continued, "She remembers every single pony and even the ants' names that carry away the old baked goods-" I had to pause. "-Don't get me going on the logistics of talking ants.. I just.. I don't know."

She seemed more curious about the ants than the question but oh well. "I'd inquire but I know the answer."

"Pinky?" I asked.

"Pinky." She instantly stated.

"Alright, so I can see it with her, but you? Not to be insulting Maud but... You don't seem like the type to be too mushy."

You just insulted a fucking talking pastel pony. You are now a monster

I tried to apologize but she was too fast. "You don't seem like the type to compliment a... Talking soft featured pony, as you put it; yet here you are."

Did... Did she just throw shade? Did Maud Pie, the Boulder of Equine life... just try to fuck with me?

Must inquire further

I was fairly taken aback but like hell i'm letting her own this conversation- I AM THE ONE THAT GOES ON TANGENTS AND QUIPS. "Its hard not to praise such a delicate piece of granite." I coyly exclaimed with as much false bravado as I could muster.

Her ears twitched again and I think I heard a small Fluttershy-esc 'eep' but that could have been my imagination..

"So Joel... how long have you worked at Sugarcube Corner?"

"Ugh..." She questionably scoffed. "Sorry... Not you. Not the idea of the Cube... Just been here so long I feel like Pinkie and I are attached at the hip these days."

"It'd be hard not to be."

Maud Pie is flirting with you. SHE FUCKIN IS

"Yeah, at times I think about how if she never leaped into my arms I'd be in the woods dying from disintary." Oops my morbid is showing. "She's special... Ya know? I can have the worst day and somehow she still-"

"She still makes you feel like you're at home." Maud let the faintest of smiles show for a split second.

I grinned and looked at Pinkie taking her apron off and ducking below the counter. "Exactly. She just has this-" I was cut off not by Maud but the rapid fucking force I felt from Pinkie materializing in the booth next to us, "HOLY SHIT." I screamed and jumped onto the table. "WE PROMISED NO MORE INTERDIMENSIONAL TRAVEL."

Pinkie cackled as usual and held her hooves to her mouth as she noticed her quiet greyer sister laughing along side her momentarily, holding a single hoof to her lips.

"OHHHHHHHH- MYGOSHHOLYHECKMAUDYOU'RELAUGHINGYOU'REACTUALLY... Laughing." Pinkie slowly turned sad and formed a river of tears "IT'S BEEN SO LONNNNG." She wailed in utter Rarity levels of melodrama.

Maud patted her head and pushed her away. "Its been 5 years, 63 days, and 9 hours, Pinkie. It has not been that long."

Five years!?! Ha! Suck it Pinkie... Oh wait they're mocking me.

"Your magic bullshit is still illogical and I disagree with its existence..."

Apathetic Composure

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"I TOLD YOU IT'S NOT MAGIC. Earth ponies like me can't do magic!". Pinkie unleashed her trumpet-like voice, "Watch I'll try right now. " She said while closing her eyes and flexing her entire body forcefully.

Can she go Super Sayain?

As her face was going bright red from the struggle, she let out a small puff of a toot and flushed with embarrassment, fleeing towards the bathroom to hide her shame. Oh Pinks... I'd be embarrassed to if her farts didn't smell like sprinkles and rainbows

I turned towards Maud and continued as if nothing happened, "Bullshit. Magic."

Maud blinked a few times and stared towards the restroom door while she spoke. "It isn't actually magic you know that, right?"

I narrowed my eyes and sipped my drink. "I'm aware that she isn't a unicorn-"

"Or a Pegasus." Maud interjected smugly.

"Yessss..." I hissed through my teeth as my eyes narrowed to basically blinding me in illogical rage. "She is also not a Pegasus... But there isn't a creature in this world that can explain why she has these powers."

"Are you aware of her genuine adoration of confectionery goo-" Maud must have seen my eye twitching becuase she paused herself this time.

These... God damn... Ponies

I couldn't help but realize I'm basically snapping so I guess I should tone down the factual feelings of utter resentment I have for their physics... "Alright. So can you tell me than, Maud?" I was genuinely curious if such a straightforward mare could give a base explanation.

She smiled- thats FOUR times for the people at home counting- and looked lost in thought for a minute. "Do you know how old I was when Pinkie became her usual party throwing sower of Chaos that she is today?"

I put my drink down and tapped the side a few times, "I think Pinks told me you were all little kids but she never really talked about it much."

You created an expositional change jesus man

Maud closed her eyes a moment and opened them with actual meaning behind them for the first time I'd seen that day. "Children who haven't had a party before don't really know what fun is... When we were small, Pinkie was just like us. Rock farmers and enthusiasts."

Oh shit am I gonna see Maud laugh AND cry in one day? Shit. Not good. My body can only take so much pastel beauty. "Pinkie... Changed one day and got her cutie mark. She was astonishing to be honest with you, Joel. I had never seen colours so vibrant than when she *popped* into her own." Maud was beginning to look downwards now.

"Did... Did she kinda overwhelm you?" I asked as caring as I could.

Her right ear twitched and she stared at me blankly once more. "I was pale in comparison." She ended with another one-hoof balance with her chin.

Mauds got a boyfriend~ Mauds got a... Shit I'm mocking myself

I started snickering and held a hand to my mouth while I held my head on the table. "You were saving that one from earlier weren't you?" I asked.

She let a miniscule smirk appear on her muzzle before watching Pinkie slinking around the store; table by table as she hid behind customers chairs. "Pinkie has a power I'm not sure any other ponies have, or even know about."

Psycho-tele-kinetic abities- VALIDATE MY THEORY

She angled her hoof as to motion to come closer so others wouldn't hear. "When we were younger, even before her cutie mark, my sister was able to help us feel... Less twisted." She sniffed around and looked directly behind me, seeing Pinkie's large ball of a mane protruding out from the chair.

"If you say she's a mutant I promise you I will believe it. We could even get a campaign together to prov-" Just as I said she was a mutant I felt the hinges on my seat unscrew as I began to spin in a billion 360s like a swivel chair on PCP.

That mischievous fuckin brick wall

"I AM THE ALL POWERFUL." Pinkie started monologing, my helpless brain matter clinging to my skull. "I... AM-"

Don't say Dragonborn...

"THE DRAGONBORNNNN!" She stopped me suddenly and screwed the chair back together in a second flat then sat directly next to me as if she didn't just liquefy my thoughts.

I told her about Skyrim ONCE

Maud, as the happy uninjured bystander and prevailing COOPERATING PARTY sat there stoic and nearly unimpressed. "Magic... Bullshit." I said slamming my head into the table leaving a small dent.

"Appologies Joel, but I've no clue how Pinkimena is able to appear as she does." She explained as I picked myself up off the table and patted Pinkies bubbly mane. (Its so springy I love it) "The Pie family isn't exactly a large export of unnatural abilities."

I sighed defeated and stared at Pinkie. "You anger me greatly."

Pinkie smiled joyfully and nodded multiple times, to which I picked her up and put her in my lap to pet her hair. "One day I'll get tired of you, I swear."

She giggled and hopped off of me to hug her sister tightly, "And then you'll destroy the very fabric of our reality, right Joel?"

Maud raised an eyebrow at this but accepted her sisters hug.

I sighed once more and tossed my soda can in the recycling, only to watch it bounce and jiggle with the other cans as it popped back out of the box. "I really miss gravity."

Grey is the New Pink

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Staring into the abyss that is the holy receptacle of plastic and cans, I felt my very essence leaving my bod-

"Is Joel alright, Pinkie?" Maud asked as slowly as possible."

She giggled and poked my cheeks a few times. "Oh he's fine, Joel just likes to pretend his entire reality is being torn from him at evvvvvvery moment."

"It is and you will never understand." I said, being ripped from my lamenting.

"You said that when Applejack picked up a pinecone, silly Billy." Pinkie told me as Maud happily... Or just incidentally sat there.

I felt myself shaking before Maud quipped, "Would he fall apart if I grabbed Pebble again, or will he continue to bask in his vast depression?"

A small smile grew on my face as I flashed Maud the classic finger guns. "You and I are going to have many problems."

Pinkie all but leaped through the ceiling and slammed back into the booth. "YOU TWO ARE GONNA BE BEST FRIENDS IN NO TIME. MAUDYOURFIRSTBFFFFF!!" She squealed and gripped Maud's arm while her tail gripped mine, "TIME FOR THE TOUR!!"

Oh sweet merciful christ no not again

Maud and I went crashing through the doorways, collective arms and bodies wiggling in the breeze as Pinkies unrelenting speed sprinted us to our first stop...

"This is why I usually wear a helmet." I told the mass of grey and a straight line I can only imagine being her mouth flopping around along side me.

"Mine has a spike on top for the debris her speed creates." Maud strapped her helmet on and went back to being limp.


We arrived at Sweet Apple Acres as I finally felt myself throwing up and quickly was launched into a tree.

"Heeeeere we are Maud!" Pinkie explained with her stoic sister in tow. "Sweet Apple Acres~! Home of one of my all time bestest of the best friends; APPLEJACK!" Pinkies voice nearly blew a hole through the atmosphere.

Maud continued her usual blinking and told her, "I enjoy apples." And walked through the entrance with her vibrant sister.

Leaving me in the tree to finish puking my soda and cupcakes up. "Don't wait for me or anything... Just puked on a birds nest is all."

I caught up to them both and we made it to the farmhouse and knocked on their door. "I can't WAIT for you to meet Apple Jack. She's such a great pony!" Pinkie enthusiastically deafened Maud.

"Are we really gonna go through with this?" I said with my arms crossed.

Maud raised an eyebrow while we heard hoof steps on the other side.

"Joel, you're overreacting again silly billy. Just becuase last time you had to listen to a 3 hour lesson in Apple farming doesn't mean it happens every time."

I sighed and stared at the ground. "It isn't
just the apples... Prepare yourself Maud." I patted her head and felt her whole body tense up entirely.

Note to self: Maud is 98% muscle and could kill you

The door swung open and the second most stoic creature I've ever met greeted us. Big Mac. The Big M. The giant motherfucker that could crush your skull by bumping into your ankle.

He stared at us and chewed his nearly infinite piece of straw, "Hey."

"Is Apple Jack around, Big Mac?" Pinkie questioned the red mountain. "My sister Maud is in town and I was hoping to find her FAST." She motioned to Maud as small fireworks went off around her.

"Like where the fuck do you even keep those?" I wondered to no one.

The grey mare smirked and declared, "Her mane, Joel. Her mane."

Okay fair

"But she set them up immedia-"

Big M-ac interjected. "Apple Jack's out back in the pastures. Apparently the girl's knocked a couple trees down and they're putting them back up." He closed the door and left us on the stoop.

"Putting them..."

"Well I guess we're on a search PARTY now!!" Pinkie screamed out.

"Back up." I finished. We started strolling towards the orchards, "Putting the fucking trees... BACK up." I curved my spine and stared down at my hands. "Why am I even here still."

"Your company is most appreciated." Maud told me as I slunk behind them. "You're compliance is not needed."

You wut

I felt a hoof grab me by the collar and start dragging me along with them, leaving a small trail digging into the earth.

"Ya know, this isn't the first time a Pie sister has dragged me places I don't want to go."

Maud's fuzzy cheeks glinted a small smile at me, "I doubt it shall be the last." She told me as I accepted my fate.

"This is indeed a FACT."

Maud kept pulling me along until I got bored of being a stick in the mud and stood up to walk. We graced a few delicious ass apples as we ventured to the... 'Fallen trees being put back up.'

"I see Apple Jack!" Pinkie screeched as she zoomed away in a puff of pink missile clouds.

"What in th-" I heard a small scream followed by incoherent laughter and a loud thud.

Maud and I strolled over and saw Pinkie in a small crater as AJ dusted herself off. I went over to grab Pinkie by the mane and shook her out like a towel covered in sand.

"You hugged her too tight again, huh?" I asked as Pinkie sobbed for a quick moment and my Adora-meter hit critical so I gave her a hug and a piggyback ride back over to AJ and Maud staring each other down.

Maud saw Pinkie happy again as she rode on my shoulders and looked upset. "I too would enjoy that." She said morosely.

I smiled and placed Pinkie down. "Try being cuter?" I joked.

She had her eye twitching for a millisecond before she scuffed the ground with a small cheek bite as she kicked the dirt.

Oh my sweet baby satan she's gonna make this a competition... I must... squish... her CHEEK

I crouched down, rolling my eyes and motioned for her to climb on. She tamely obliged and placed her front legs on my head. "This is most agreeable." She affirmed and grinned through my hair, patting my head as I did her earlier.

AJ just stood there confused. "So... Does Joel have a marefriend now or?"

I picked Maud up and stuck my arms out as she fell in perfect leg to ground symmetry. "He does not."

Maud blinked and looked at Pinkie for confirmation. "This is the Apple, correct?"


Aj smiled kindly and gripped Maud's hoof tightly, "A SISTER? Well I'll be, always wondered what Pinkies own family was like." She said before commencing the patented 'A-Jackhammer' fucking handshake.

Maud plainly took the motoring like a champ and actually...

Is Maud bouncing off the ground like a boulder?

Her body was entirely still, safe for the motion of AJ's handshake and she was... Leaving fractures in the ground.

"Not an export of abnormal abilities my ass." I said aloud, seeing Maud stop suddenly, almost putting a struggle between her and AJ's 'handshake.

She looked back at me and agonizingly slowly blinked. "When one Hunts for rocks. One must become the rock." And picked up Aj with one hoof and placed her next to Pinkie.

I stared in awe and couldn't help but notice Maud giggling to herself as she looked at the other two mares, starting a small giggling match between the three pastel adorable fucks.

Pinkie grinned and huggged the absolute SHIT out of me. "The..FuCk pInKs..." I squeezed out.

She smiled as brightly as possible, giving my heart a full on erection.

She gripped tighter before almost fully letting go and staring up at me with those damned shining pools of blue. "You've made Maud happier than I ever could."

I pushed her away and patted her glorious poofy mane. "If by that you mean being a depressing asshole, yes. Yes I have."

She crossed her legs and stared me down, "Maud never reacts to my jokes! But she likes you for what you are so THERE." She kicked some dirt at me and hopped into her sisters arms.

Yeah... Well fuck you to 'Pinkamena'

I yawned and broke their extraordinary yet lovely giggles, Maud's nose wiggling at the interruption. "Alright so where the hell are the others? I know for a fact if I turn my back they'll be launching at me."

AppleJack chuckled and pointed behind me, a small ball of white, yellow, and orange plummeting towards me at Pinkie esque speeds.

"Jesus. Fucking. Christ." I said, ashamed of letting my guard down around them, staring at the dirt with hopeful eyes, awaiting the blunderbuss of children currently about to snap my spine.

"IT'S JOEEEEEL" They screeched in unison.

Maud's eyes went wide and she stiffled a giggle.

Oh great. Now she can watch me be depressed horizontally

An Indifferent Forest

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So this is what a perfect mix of Heaven and Hell is like? Danté was wrong.

I laid there helplessly being taken advantage of by the mass of utter perfect visual cuteness, climbing over my body and snuggling into me as the so called ADULTS watched me stand up.

"We'll reach the top in a matter of days, gals!" AppleBloom yelled as the children wiggled and kept using my back as a rock climbing wall.

"Last time I tried to fight them off, they somehow won?" I told the emotionless mare gazing at the mound of kids about to place the flag on top of 'Mt Hooman'

"Sweetie Bellllle!" Scoots screamed in pure fear and sadness. "I'm not... Gonna make it... GO ON WITHOUT ME". She let go of her friends hoof holding her two feet from the ground, falling in slow motion as I swear I could hear 'What a Wonderful World' playing in the background.

"Noo~ooo~oo!" Sweetie screamed out to her friend as she looked away, crushed... Yet determined.

I watched Scootaloo 'oof' herself to the ground and internally screamed at the top of my lungs.

I need to pick her up and hold her like the most precious object in this universe while feeding her a piece of cake. SHE DESERVES IT

Sweetie and Appleblooms determination steadfast, they managed to reach the top of my head, tying off their flag with Bloom's bright red ribbon and high-hoofing.

"Ya done?" I asked with a shallow voice, face entirely shining from the absolute little marshmallows bunching up my hair.

"Done!" Sweetie explained with a bright smile and hopped onto my shoulder with Applebloom snuggling on the other.

I took a deep breath and sighed. "Good." I quickly snatched up Scoots from the ground and started tickling her sides and watched her twist around while the other fillies giggled away. "No pony is safe!" I tossed Scoots a good hundred feet in the air and grabbed Sweetie and AppleBloom, tickling them and flicking their tiny little ears before I put them down and readied myself for the scootaloo bomb incoming.

"Oh stop it already, Joel. They ain't supposed to be slackin'." Aj reminded me.

I pursed my lips and caught Scootaloo with a frown as Scoots looked at Aj the same way. "The hell did you lot even get into?" I asked her, setting her orange hooves on the ground.

"I believe they knocked over those trees." Maud tapped her hoof against a tree laying on its side.

Pinkie began bouncing on the tree, making a few apples roll out of it. "Sideways trees... HUUUUUAH!" She gasped, "Is it less work this way?!"

"Dangit Pinkie!" Aj said as she trotted over to the tree. "It ain't easier, and you ain't helpin' by popping those apples off before they're ready!" She seemed a bit agitated.

"The shit do you mean ready? The tree is-"

"We saiiiiiid we were sorrrrry." Applebloom smugly butted in. "We didn't think the trebuchet was THIS powerful." She apologized.

Wait, trebuchet?

"You were listening when I was dru-" Aj glared at me. "-drrrripping with stupidity explaining about war machines?"

They all nodded with a teeth barring smile.

The army will soon lead the revolt

"They looked like a great way to launch yourself into the trees instead of bucking them..."

"There ain't NO easier way to farm apples and there shouldn't ever be." Aj sneered in my direction.

"They used a war machine from the Human world to pick apples?" Maud asked to anypony listening.

Pinkie and I nodded with a shrug.

Maud blinked in the crusaders direction, "I like them." She stated, walking face to face into Aj. "I enjoy your immediate vicinity to me as well, Mrs. Applejack."

Pinkie basically exploded in a nuclear-powered confetti mushroom cloud. "I KNEWWWW YOU TWO WOULD BE GREAT FRIENDS."

I stood there, ducking down to play the kids heads like little bongos, patting their manes and being rewarded with small squeaks.

The only good use for this worlds Physics is manes and the amount of SQUISH ponies cheeks have when you poke them

"Er... Uh." Aj rubbed the back of her neck slightly and smirked at the grey pony. "I mean I like ya too, Maud. Ya seem like a great fit around here." She tried to boost the simple looking mares esteem. "I'm sure you'll get used to the place in no time."

"I appreciate your honesty, Apple." Maud told her, taking Pebble out of her pocket for a moment. "We both would rather stay for a while than leave the town."

"I... Thats good?" The Apple-plated mare was concerned at this point.

"Pebble's a Western Argonot ya know?" I told Aj. "Rare little rock boi." She face hooved and gave Maud a run for her money with a fantastic 'I don't care' look as I gave her a thumbs up.

"Well thats... Interesting?" She was clearly getting nervous and anxious. Oh what fun, my time to truly intrude.

"So why isn't the Big M out here popping these things up in a second?" I asked her, nearly giving myself a hernia trying to lift the tree.

Aj stomped her hoof and glared, "BECAUSE FILLIES NEED TO LEARN RESPECT." And picked Applebloom up with her mouth, dropping her and giving her a rope that was tied to the tree. "Now MUSH." She cracked a small whip

"Jesus christ you are old school, Aj." I patted Sweeties head and felt her coo into my hand

You could take her. You could take her and no one would find you

"You should probably help her out, ya puff balls." I told her and Scoots, as we all watched Applebloom gritting her teeth into the rope with bloodshot eyes. "She uh.. She's gonna need all your perseverance and illogical mayhem to lend a hoof."

The two grounded themselves like they were about to sprint the hundred meter and screamed, "For Applebloooooom!!" Before grabbing the rope in their hooves/mouths.

"Quite inspirational, Joel." Maud said to me as we watched the first tree slowly making its way back to vertical nirvana.

"Kids will literally do anything I tell them as long its for their friend." I smiled and patted Maud's head this time to a lack of tensing. "Being a kid is basically the only times we all stay a good person."

Pinkie sprung in front of my face rapidly. "But youuuuu said Diamond Tiara and Silver-" I cut her off way bouncing her like a basket ball.

"Dimaond Tiara is a misunderstood little shit." I picked her up and placed her on my shoulders once more, "Silver Spoon is a Saint and I will hear nothing about her." We started walking out of the Acres towards the next stop.

Her glasses wobbled and almost fell off one time as I spoke to her and that was basically all I needed to have happen for a quick break down of complete 'squeeing' in the streets.

"No one can ever know..." I whispered to myself.

Twilight Tackles Apathy, Depression, and Joy

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"So you spend the entire time mining?" Maud asked, her eyes bright with enthusiasm... And the thought of rocks.

"Yep. Most people build houses or like... Palaces." I told her, explaining the concepts of Minecraft while we made our way down to Twilights library.

"And you just... Get to dig and dig? For hours on end? Exploring the vast types of ores?" She was directly next to me as we walked, her interest far more than peaked a few minutes ago.

I couldn't help but chuckle as I saw the Library up ahead. "Yeah. Just gotta watch out for lava."

"Thats why I carry buckets of water in my saddlebags." Maud informed me, steps from the library doorway.

Did she just-

"WELCOMMMME." Pinkie began, somehow appearing on the balcony of Twilights house. "TO THE SMARTORIUM!!" She exclaimed.

We heard some rustling inside the doors as Twilight came out of the balcony, shoving Pinkie beside her.

"I told you to stop calling it that." The purple unicorn deadpanned. She slunk passed Pinkie and stared down at Maud and I. "Does Joel have a marefriend now, orr?"

I took an exaggerated large step beside us and sighed. "He does not." I motioned my hands out like I was showing off a mound of gold. "This is the ONE the ONLY... MAUD PIE." Then slunk back into my naturally unnatural slouch as Pinkies fireworks went off again.

"Pie?" Twilight quizzically bobbed her head. She gazed at the glory that was the emotionless mare and trotted down her steps, opening the door while Pinkie slid down the tree trunk. "I didn't know your family was in town, Pinkie?"

Pinks grinned her toothy maw and bubbly explained, "Maud came down for a visit!!" Before hugging them both together, obviously too close. "Now she's here to be YOUR BESTEST FRIEND EVER." She gasped and looked hurt. "ARE YOU NOT MY BESTEST FRIEND ANYMORE?! MAUD YOU THEIF!"

Maud casually blinked and extended a hoof as they were let go. "It is agreeable to make your acquaintance."

Twilight calmly smiled and shook her hoof. "Its nice to meet you, Maud. My name's Twilight Sparkle. I hope you're enjoying your time in Ponyville."

"As much as you can enjoy a world of rubber dirt and fuckin part way walkable clouds." I said with my hands jammed in my pockets.

Twi glared at me as she always does. "It isn't RUBBER. You just never understood the complexities of our universal laws..."

I zoned her out as she began my intro to Equine Physics again.

Fuck your complexities

"All I'm saying is when I do THIS-" I angled Maud on her side slightly, only two legs balancing at an odd angle as she went along with my act. "-She should FALL. OVER."

Maud flat faced Twilight as she slowly tipped back onto all fours.

Twi grumbled and magically poofed a book in my face. "I LITERALLY wrote a book about the differences of our worlds and you haven't even read it."

I slammed the book onto the ground and held a finger towards her, "I READ the damned thing and it says GRAVITY IS STILL SUPPOSED TO WORK."

"IT DOES WORK-" She was silenced as my face began twitching .


She tilted her head with a few mane hairs out of place. "You... You fell out of a cloud?"

Maud smirked for a moment, "I too am curious."

Defeated and ashamed I told them the grand tale of 'Don't tell Rainbow Dash sonic rainbooms can't actually exist without her skin falling off 2; electric boogalo- SHE WILL DROP YOU THROUGH A CLOUD.'

"Ohhhhh." The three mares said together.

"Well you should definitely be dead, than." Twilight surmised and ignored my not deadness.

Gonna be awake with that one tonight

"So what have you seen so far Maud?" Twi asked the stone loving mound.

She stared towards Sugarcube Corner then pointed towards the acres, motioning her head at me. "The towns Confectionery and the Apples." She tamely told her. "Joel has in fact participated in my tour."

Twilight grinned and chuckled at my misfortune. "He usually only does that becuase if he's alone with his thoughts long enough.."

"HE TRIES TO DRINK HIMSELF TO DEATH!" Pinkie hilariously said for her.

They both giggled at the concept as I laid face down in the dirt, motionless.

Maud seemed downtrodden and questioned, "is that a joke?"

The pink and purple bastards realized they'd gotten used to my depressive episodes and laughed again.

"Well... In usual circumstances it wouldn't be, but due to Joel being a Human Being, he has a larger and faster metabolism." The unicorn let her know, "His body is also used to drinking higher percentiles of alcohol, which ours pales in comparison to. Our cider can't kill him, no matter how much he has to... Empty himself."

I blew the dirt away from my face and flopped onto my back. "I pissed myself ONE TIME, ya giant penis. "

Maud raised an eyebrow and stood over my face, "You cannot express joy through alcohol?"

"Correct. "

"Not for lack of trying." Twi joyfully informed. "Joel, will you kindly leave your existential despair and join us again?"

They're lucky they're giant marshmallows

I groaned and pushed myself upwards, gently poking Maud away by her wonderfully fuzzy cheeks. "You never let me enjoy the little things." I said to Purplesmarts.

"Such as laying in the dirt, thinking of why a Pegasus' weight to wing span shouldn't make sense?"

"Yes. The little things."

"Then read the bucking book."

Maud had been staring at me since I was laying on the ground and had yet to take her eyes off me. "Do you have any books on the ponyville geological topography?" She abruptly asked.

"Oh! Uhm. Yes, yes I do." Twilight beamed at the concept of somepony wanting to read her collection of rare tomes. "Right this way," She led Maud inside to grab the knowledge papers as Pinkie began hopping in circles around me.

Violence is never the answer.. Violence is NEVER the ANSWER.

"You thinkin' of how some ponies wear clothes and some don't?" Pinkie giggled around me.


A Geological Rarity

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"Let me get this right, Maud... You want the entire geological topography of the entirety of ponyville including any old mines shut down due to Dimond dog sub-mining?" Twilight asked incrediously.

"That is correct." Maud tamely said.

With a smile ready to break her jaw, the unicorn beamed, "Please visit more often, Maud."

"I will remember this, Twilight." Maud told her as she grabbed the bundle of scrolls and placed them in her saddle bags.

"Anytime Maud, that's what friends are for!" She exclaimed happily.

The grey mare let her features soften for a moment while her eyes stayed half-lidded in perpetual boredom. "I've heard friends can be open.." She began, almost caught up on her own thoughts. "What do you think of Joel?"

Twilight tilted her head and responded, "Of Joel?"

Maud nodded her head a few times. "The one currently being taunted by my sister as he questions existence."

Twilight questioned what she could mean before telling her, "Well he's a good person? I mean, he's the only person but he's a nice guy; he genuinely cares about the townsponies."

"He seems to care for everypony but simultaneously hates them." Maud informed her.

Twilight giggled to herself. "Joel is one of the only creatures I've met that can hate himself more and more each day but loves everything he sees." She smirked. "I once saw him pick a pony up and toss them into a cart for running too fast passed Sweetie Belle, he's like an impromptu caretaker of anything he finds cute... Which so happens to be everything."

"I understand the great deal of property damage currently avoided now."

Twilight snorted, "He held one of them in front you while they begged, didn't he?"

Maud curled her mouth into a small smile as she looked down. "I've never met somepony who understands Pinkie so well but... Can also understand me."

Twilight finally realized Maud had never seen somepony that so vaguely hated things, was apathetic about joyful experiences but could still be happy... in the same ways as herself.

"Personally, I think Joel is happier than most ponies can ever be." She beamed towards Maud. "Just because he seems sad or uninterested, doesn't mean he's actually sad or bored; just expressing it in his own way."

Maud raised her head and nodded to the purple mare. "I have enjoyed this conversation, Sparkle."

"That's what friends are for, Maud. You're welcome in my library any time!" She grabbed Maud for a small embrace.

With the huggle ended, Maud turned to leave with Twilights words taken to heart. "Joel is indeed lucky to have you all." She said as she exited the doorway.

What greeted her on the other side was something ripped from the nightmares of small 4chan lurkers in the dead of night.

"I WILL END YOU." I screamed at the top of my lungs, arms twisted around my body as I chewed on Pinkies forelegs holding me back like a feral animal.

"Joel YOU PROMISED NOT TO GET MAD." Pinkie pleaded as I lurched my body around and gripped her torso with my legs, holding her in the air.

"You promised TO STOP effecting the causation of the very universe YET HERE YOU ARE BEING HELD LIKE A BEACH BALL." I screamed in complete torment.

Maud tilted her head sideways entirely and blinked evenly as she spoke up, "Isn't it you who is currently corroborating the illogical sense of our physics through beach balling Pinkamena, dear Joel?"

That's it... They finally broke me.

I lurched to a direct stop, still holding Pinkie in the air, acting like a PC being blue-screened by an outdated software update gone wrong.

The two colourful sisters exchanged a worried look, Pinks in turn slowly and carefully climbing down my frozen arms and tapping on my head a few times.

"Uhm.. Joel?" She asked hesitantly. "Is there anypony hoooooooommme~?"

Maud waved a hoof in front of my eyes as she wondered aloud, "What do you suppose is going on inside his head..?"

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

I shook myself out of carl sagans glorious words and my own delusional thought process of my logical detriment to this worlds physics; looking up and down my body.

"Do you often leave this plane?" Maud asked smugly yet sweetly, laying on the ground upside down staring at me. "You looked quite peaceful for a minute, you know."

Seems I've been out of commission for a while now... Body coated in various streamers and what smells like.. gunpowder? Check. Cup of lukewarm water by Mauds head with Twilights cutie mark embossed? check. Burning smell of flesh and clothes-

Jesus christ they used me for target practice didn't they?!

Pinkie grinned sheepishly from the side of me, kicking her party cannon into a nearby rabbit hole, stuffing it down with the force of a thousand elephants stampeding through a safari resort.

Looking back down, I couldn't help but honestly feel my chest loosen for the first time in years and smile warmly at the grey mare staring at me with such a calm muzzle. Her eyes glinted as she turned slightly and a stray mane hair went off her damn fuzzy little face.

"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." I said to Maud, Pinkie, and the entirety of Equestria.

"What does that mean, Joel?" Maud asked quizzically as she steadied herself and rose to all four legs.

I chuckled and patted her head, a small stroke across her mane as she looked up with such a pure look of emotion, even if it seemed such a basic look to everypony else.

"It means let's continue the TOUR!" I screamed and snapped my back into place with a large howl.

Pinkie all but screeched in agreement. "I thought we'd never get back on track!!"

As she gripped mine and Mauds arms tightly, we both saluted each other with a small stiffled giggle and went zooming towards ol' gem butts' abode.