I Treasure Your Love

by Hawker Hurricane

First published

After going camping, Connor wakes to find himself in Equestria and sets out to make the most of his time there. But interesting discoveries are made along the way, along with the attention of fiery maned pegasus mare.

Connor is your average guy in his mid-twenties. He has a stable home life but can't help but feel his parents are hiding something from him. After going camping, he wakes to find himself in Equestria and sets out to make the most of his time there. But interesting discoveries are made along the way, along with the attention of fiery maned pegasus mare....

Note: There is some use of strong language in this story. Also MLP (sadly) doesn't exist in this story. The story starts around half way through the first season.

Note 2 (26/12/16): Sex tag added (during writing for Chapter 25) for obvious reasons. Nothing explicit or detailed but things implied and use of innuendo.

Note 3: This story finally got featured on 3/8/2017. YAY! (Or at least that's when I first noticed)

Chapter - 1 - A Journey Of A Thousand Miles Begins With A Single Step (Rewritten)

View Online

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing seems to go the way you want? Connor was having one of those days. Connor had failed to secure another job he applied for. He is long term unemployed and has been applying for any job he is capable of doing within reasonable travelling distance. He couldn't remember how many jobs he's applied for. The most common reason he gets for being turned down is due lack of experience, which Connor never understood. How was he supposed to get experience if he isn't given the opportunity in the first place. He usually applied for store work, warehouse assistant amongst others. It's not like he didn't try getting a job, he's lost count of the number of jobs he's applied for and interviews he's had. Still, at least he's making the effort to find work and his parents and family keep an ear out for any jobs they find that he could do.

What didn't help with being turned down for another job was the fact that his parents were arguing yet again. They fought over the most trivial things from who would clean the house the next week to what they were having for tea. It really was pathetic Connor thought. It seemed to get worse with each passing year. What didn't help was that Connor bore no resemblance to his father. He had asked his parents several times about it but was told it was better he didn't know.

This understandably made Connor angry. What were his parents hiding? If Connor's 'father' wasn't his father then who is? He had no idea, his birth certificate had his 'fathers' name but he was sure he was another mans' son. Still, at least he had family. His mother had no parents, siblings, cousins or anyone except her husband, Connor and her thee daughters. His mother was a very kind hearted woman who would always do the best she could for her children. But the lack of any family from her side mystified Connor. Another thing that puzzled him was her lack of knowledge on history and customs. She was also a little clumsy as well though but that could be due to a medical condition. She was also extremely reluctant to talk about her childhood. She told him that he wouldn't believe her and that even if she did, he may not like the answer. All she said on the matter was that it was very traumatic and that she couldn't return home no matter how much she wanted to. Connor's father also stayed silent, stating that he promised he would never go against the wishes of his wife.

Yep, they're definitely hiding something.

With nothing better to do he decided he'd go camping for the week end. Connor took a few things with him; spare clothes, his laptop and tablet, headphones, solar powered chargers and mobile phone. He went to some woods he spent many an hour in in is youth, camping with friends. His friends however moved to other parts of the country due to jobs or university and they eventually stopped communicating. Connor didn't want to go to University as he didn't want to be crippled with debt with a degree that may not be worth anything. Connor only went as far college, getting a BTEC National Diploma in Interactive Media.

Deciding to rest in the peace of the woods, he set up his tent and listened to music on his phone and made his tea, a small tin of vegetable soup. After watching a film on his laptop, he decided to get an early night and quickly fell into a restful sleep.


Connor woke rather groggily. He checked his phone and saw it was around 7am, also noticing he didn't have a signal on his phone despite having full bars the night before. It didn't matter, it's not like anyone would ring him up or he ring them.

Going outside his tent he almost immediately noticed he wasn't in the place he was before. These woods looked similar, but they were no doubt different. Looking around he noticed that everything looked....different somehow.

This doesn't feel like a dream.

Deciding to find out what was going on he began to pack up his tent. After doing that he picked a random direction and started walking, sticking to what seemed to be a dirt path. After walking for about two hours he was at the edge of the woods and what he saw took his breath away. Coming out into the clearing, a vast stretch if lush green hills and towering mountains in the distance adorned the landscape. Whilst it was several miles away, he could clearly see a castle on the mountainside.

"OK. That's not something you expect to see," he said aloud to himself.

As it was the only civilisation he could see he decided to head in the direction of the castle, fear beginning to grip him as the reality if the situation began to hit him. The weather however, looked good. There were a few clouds in the sky but no sign of rain yet, so he decided to waste no time and set forth on his short journey.

As different thoughts went through his mind on his current situation, he caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of his eye. Looking over to get a better view, he only caught a glimpse for all of a second before whatever it was disappeared behind some clouds.

Was that a Pegasus? Connor wondered, hypothesising he's seeing things. No. Can't be. They're only mythological.

The rest of the journey went by without any more sightings. As he approached the castle,it towering structure standing proud and high, he could see a drawbridge and portcullis where he supposed would be an entrance.

I'm definitely not in Kansas, Connor thought.

Looking around a but more he saw something else. Or rather somepony else.

I wasn't seeing things. They're real Pegasi, Connor thought as he looked around a bit more, And there are Unicorns as well.

Taking a deep breath, Connor walked towards the gates where he could see armour clad guards on sentry duty.

Just act natural, just pretend it's completely normal.

Connor walked over the drawbridge and was approaching the guard's' position. They turned their heads towards him and went wide eyed in amazement, but did not say anything; to him or each other. Connor carried on walking, not wanting to do something that would attract unwanted attention.

Walking through the streets of this strange place, he took in what was around him. The buildings, the environment......the populace. And they were looking at him too. As he continued to walk through the streets, ignoring the dirty looks and remarks he was getting from some of the ponies, in particular the well dressed ones, he saw a way to the castle and made his way there, assuming there would be someone in authority there that could help him.

As he approached the castle however, he heard someone shout.

"LOOK OUT!!!"

Connor turned towards the direction of the shout and barely had time to register a yellow furred, fiery maned Pegasus fly into him knocking him to the ground. The force of the impact was great enough that the back of his head hit the ground and knocked him out cold.

The Pegasus who unintentionally crashed into him stumbled off of Connor's unconscious body and looked towards him. freezing at what she saw. This was a creature that was unlike anything she had ever seen. She stood staring at the strange creature for a few seconds before calling for assistance from the castle guard who, upon seeing the creature, sent a request for Princess Celestia to attend immediately.

Within minutes she arrived and the ponies all bowed to the Princess.

"Rise my little ponies. I understand there was a request for my assistance and came to see what the issue was. What is the problem?" asked the Princess with her usual grace and kindness.

Spitfire was the one to answer.

"I lost control flying when I think I sprained a muscle in my wing. As I was plummeting to the ground I saw this....strange creature, shouted to the creature to look out. The creature turned towards me but it didn't move and I crashed into it," Spitfire paused for a moment before continuing, "I guess I must have knocked it out?"

Celestia looked towards where Spitfire was pointing. She saw a creature she had never seen before. A seemingly bi-pedal male that wore clothing of sorts. He also had a large bag and a metal suitcase with him. Despite not knowing what this creature was she did not want to see him suffer and decided it would be best to tend to his needs.

"Guards, take the creature to the castle infirmary at once, he is not to be harmed in anyway. I will look after his belongings," said Celestia with an air of authority.

"At once ma'am," responded the guards. The unicorn guards levitated the creature with their magic and took him promptly to the infirmary.

Celestia turned back to Spitfire, "Are you OK Group Captain? You are not too gravely injured are you?"

"No ma'am. Apart from the sprained muscle in my wing and a headache from crashing into him I'm OK," responded Spitfire, still a little woozy, "If anything, he may have unintentionally cushioned my fall. Had I hit the ground my injuries could have been worse."

"Nevertheless I think you should also visit the castle infirmary, just to be sure," said Celestia with worry in her voice.

"Of course ma'am. I'll go there now."

Spitfire headed towards the castle for medical treatment, whilst Celestia turned towards the crowd of ponies whom she could see looked fearful. Most likely from the appearance of the strange being.

"My little ponies, do not let the appearance of the creature worry you. Though he was unconscious I sensed nothing malevolent from him. You do not need to worry. I will be dealing with this situation myself."

The ponies looked a little more relaxed, no doubt due to the Princess reassuring them the creature is not dangerous.


After returning to the castle, Celestia walked into the infirmary to check on the condition of the creature.

"Doctor, how is our guest?"

"No serious damage, oh and he's male by the way. Minor bruising on his torso, probably from the impact with Group Captain Spitfire," responded the Doctor with professional clarity, "Of course, we are making our assumption based on minotaur physiology as that is his closest 'relative' we had information on."

"That is good to hear. Inform me at once when he awakens, I wish to speak to him," the Princess said with a gentleness unmatched by others, "Also how is Group Captain Spitfire?"

"Apart from a sprained wing she's fine. I told her to take a few days off to recover."

"That is good to hear. I will leave you to your work now Doctor."

"Thank you your highness."


A few hours later, Connor groggily woke up and started looking around the room and saw he was in what appeared to be a hospital ward, albeit with stone walls and large windows at the far end of the room. Despite the ten beds in the room, he was the only one occupying a bed. Feeling something heavy at the foot of the bed, he looked down to find a certain sleeping Pegasus.

Eyes widening in realisation that this is very real he asked aloud a very understandable question.

"Where the FUCK am I?"

Chapter - 2 - Guess Who's Coming For Dinner (Rewritten)

View Online

Connors sudden question roused Spitfire from her sleep. Getting onto her hooves and walking along the bed up to Connors face, she smiled at him.

"Hey there sleepy head. Feeling better?" asked Spitfire whilst pouring herself and Connor a glass of water.

"Much better," responded Connor, in total awe of what he was seeing, "What happened?"

"I crashed into you and knocked you out," Spitfire replied as she handed Connor the glass of water, "Accidently of course."

"How long was I out?"

"About six hours."

Connor remained silent for a few seconds before continuing, "Where am I?"

"Canterlot Castle Infirmary."

"Where?" Connor asked, completely confused.

Spitfire caught on immediately. "I'll let Princess Celestia explain. She may have more answers than I do."

"Princess Celestia?" Connor repeated aloud, "She sounds lovely."

"Why thank you my dear guest. It is so nice to be complimented by a stranger. And a handsome one at that," Celestia said as she walked into the room. Connor blushed as he saw the white alicorn enter the room. He radiant white fur and ethereal mane blowing taking Connor's breath away.

"My apologies ma'am I meant no disrespect, my name is Connor," he said with slight worry in his voice, he didn't want to insult a Princess. It may not bode well for him he thought.

"No apology necessary, I was not offended," replied Celestia with a serene smile, "How are you feeling?"

"Much better thank you," looking at motioning towards Spitfire he continued, "She said you'd be able to tell me where I am."

"Correct. You are in the Kingdom of Equestria. You are not of this world are you?" Celestia asked.

Spitfire and Connor both looked startled but for different reasons. Spitfire because she realised she was in the in the presence of an alien, and Connor because Celestia knew he was from somewhere else entirely.

"How did you know?" he asked looking more worried than ever.

"As an alicorn, I have a greater sense of magical awareness. What I sense from you is not of this world. I have never met any being like you in my life and I have been alive for over 2,000 years."

Connor was slightly startled by this,"OVER TWO THOUSAND YEARS, YOU'RE REALLY OLD!!"

Celestia and Spitfire both looked at Connor wide-eyed. Connor quickly realised his faux pas and responded quickly, "N-not that I ever would have guessed. It's just that you look so young and vibrant....it....it's like you're the living embodiment of the sun itself."

It was Celestia's turn to blush, "Thank you kindly sir. But yes I am quite old so I have seen many creatures in the course of my life.
But you are the first......?"

"Human," Connor responded.

"Human that I have encountered. Are there many like you where you come from?"

"The country I'm from, England, has a population of around 53 million but my entire worlds' population is just over seven billion."

Spitfire and Celestia both look stunned by this. Equestria only had a population of 50 million, their world Equis had a population of approximately 600 million. That includes other pony nations like Germaney, Saddle Arabia, Neighpon and Prance as well as the Gryphon Kingdom and Minotaur Lands.

"That is quite a number," said Celestia still startled by the revelation, "And out of all those you are the only one to appear in Equestria?"

"As far as I know. To answer your next question I don't know how I got to Equestria. I was camping in some woods in my world, went to sleep there and when I woke up this morning I found my self in a different set of woods," Connor stopped momentarily to drink some water from his bedside table, "Not sure where I was I walked in a random direction until I came to the edge of the woods where I saw this Castle in the distance. It took several hours to walk here."

Celestia nodded in understanding, "It sounds like you appeared in the Whitetail Woods. I will send a search team to cover the entire woods to see of they find anything that may explain your arrival," Celestia paused as she looked over to the window, "It's time I lowered the sun."

What? Did she just say lower the sun?

Connor watched in astonishment as the Solar Diarch lowered her Sun beneath the horizon. Moments later a full moon replaced the sun in the sky. Noticing Connor's astonishment the Princess giggled, "Have you not seen that before?"

"No. Where I'm from our world orbits the sun whilst rotating on its axis while the tidally locked moon orbits the Earth, Earth being the name of my world. Here I'm guessing things are a little different?"

"Indeed they are. Now, how about you and Group Captain Spitfire join me for tea in the dining hall. You must be hungry today after all that happened."

"I'd like that Princess, thank you," Connor paused momentarily. He's just realised the name of the Pegasus that has been silent during his conversation with the Princess, "Your name's Spitfire," Spitfire nodded, "That's a bloody brilliant name," Connor said not able to hide his excitement.

Spitfire looked stunned by this unexpected compliment, "Thanks buddy, probably the best compliment I've ever had."

------------------------------------------------------------

Celestia, Spitfire and Connor walked through the corridors whilst they told Connor some basic details about Equestria, things like magic, races, countries etc. To say Connor was fascinated is an understatement. The two ponies were equally fascinated when he told them some basic things about Earth, things like computers, cars, music and so on. Spitfire was particularly interested in these 'aeroplanes', Connor made a promise to Spitfire to go into more detail one day.

"That reminds me," said Celestia, "I have your belongings in my private room. I kept them safe for you whilst you received medical attention."

"I'd forgotten about them," Connor said, "Would I be able to have them back, I assure you there's nothing in them that will cause harm to you or your subjects?"

"Of course," responded Celestia, "I checked through them but purely as a security precaution, I could not risk the safety of my little ponies. I'll understand if you think less of me for going through your possessions...."

Connor interrupted, "You don't have to explain Princess I understand your concerns. I don't think less of you, on the contrary it's reassuring to see a you care so much for your subjects. Where I'm from politicians are worthless shit stains that care only for themselves."

The two ponies were quite shocked at his use of language but did not object to it. He's been through a lot to day so they both gave him some slack.

The three of them entered the dining hall and took their seats. Connor in awe of its grand size. Though he was starting to panic a little. Due to the fact that the ponies who tended to his medical needs saw his teeth. Noticing his trepidation, Celestia spoke up.

"Is something the matter Connor?"

"Humans are omnivores," Connor responded bluntly.

"No matter. We sometimes have Griffon and Minotaur guests who themselves are carnivores. We will not hold being an omnivore against you," Celestia responded with reassuring warmth.

Breathing a sigh of relief Connor responded, "Then could I have chicken please, so long as it's cooked properly. Raw meat can kill a human."

Celestia slightly stunned at this nodded her head, "I'll see to it at once," turning her head to Spitfire she asked, "What would you like Group Captain?"

"The usual please."

Celestia nodded once more and lit up her horn.

"Tea will not be long now," said Celestia.

"Was that magic you just did?" asked Connor in amazement.

"Yes. I'm guessing magic does not exist in your world?"

"No it doesn't. Only in myth and fairytales."

"Facsinating," replied Celestia, "I know somepony who would love to talk to you about you and your world. I will make arrangements for you to see her. She is very friendly and my own personal student."

"Thank you. When would this happen?"

"Not now. You will stay at the castle for a short while so you can familiarise yourself with our world, and allow my court mages to examine the Whitetail Woods to determine how you got here and how to send you back."

Pausing for a moment, Connor asked "What if I can't go back?"

Celestia noticing the worry in his face said, "Then we will do everything we can to help you settle into our society."

Connor nodded. Celestia could see he wanted to ask something else but was to afraid to do so.

"If you want to ask me anything, please do. I will answer the best I can."

Pausing for a moment, Connor eventually asked "What if I don't want to go back?"

This really got the attention of Spitfire and Celestia, "Why wouldn't you want to go back? What about your family? Friends? Don't you miss them?" asked Spitfire.

"I was just exploring possible permutations of my predicament. Apologies if I mislead you," Connor said trying to keep a stoical expression. The two mares though looked at each other knowingly. They weren't sure what was wrong with Connor, but both decided not to press the issue as to do so could have negative consequences.

Attempting to re-assure Connor, Celestia spoke up.

"We would not force you to go against your will. We have no intention to cause you harm."

Connor nodded in acknowledgement. The dining room doors opened and servant ponies brought in the food. They had noticed Connor but did not say anything. After all who were they to question who their Princess has round for tea.

The two mares spoke to each other on current events in Equestria whilst Connor ate in silence, mentally taking in all the recent events.

"Connor are you alright?" asked Celestia with concern.

"I'm just a little tired."

"Spitfire, could you escort our guest to the guest room near my own chambers after tea?"

"Of course."

------------------------------------------------------------

After they finished Spitfire lead Connor out of the dining hall and towards the assigned guest room. They walked in silence and were ascending stairs in the main foyer when the sound of one Prince Blueblood could be heard. Spitfire face hoofed.

"What is this disgusting monster?" he said in a snooty tone whilst pointing at Connor.

Connor caught off guard by this struggled to get a response out.

"Watch it Prince Blueblood," said Spitfire spreading her wings out, both to protect Connor and to attack Blueblood if necessary.

Blueblood looked at Spitfire and continued his verbal attack.

"You stupid mare. Your monster of a pet should be on a lead, or better yet locked in a cage and never let out," Blueblood said with an astonishing level of snobbishness, "In fact I'll put him in the dungeons myself." Suddenly Connor and Spitfire found themselves in a magical grasp. Panicking he lashed out and unintentionally hit Blueblood.

"YOU VILE MONSTER. I WILL SEE THAT YOU ARE FULLY RESTRAINED IN THE DEEPEST DARKEST DUNGEON IN EQUESTRIA! NO-PONY CAN ASSAULT ME! DON'T YOU KNOW WHO I AM!"

Blueblood then swung his right foreleg at Connor. His hoof striking Connor in the face, there was an audible crack as Connor screamed in pain. His left cheek bone has been cracked. Connor was in a lot of pain and in tears. He and Spitfire where still in telekinetic hold.

"You will both be going to the dungeons for a very long time," he said smirking. That is until Celestia popped in out of nowhere.

"RELEASE THEM THIS INSTANT!!!"

Celestia shouted in the Royal Canterlot Voice. Connor nearly shit himself it was so loud and unexpected.

Blueblood wisely complied and teleported away before Celestia could deal with him. Looking her two guests over, she saw Spitfire was angry but ok. Connor however was curled up in a ball on the floor in tears and badly bruised. Walking over to him she wrapped him in her wings and stroked the top of his head with her hoof.

"Ssshhhh. It's OK, he won't hurt you ever again. He will be dealt with I promise you."

Connor nodded in understanding as Celestia released Connor from her embrace.

"You feeling better Connor?" Spitfire asked resting a hoof on his shoulder.

"Yeah thanks. A good nights sleep will help."

"I agree," said Celestia, "I will take you to your room to ensure Blueblood does not return, but first let me get you some ice your cheek bone," Celestia lit up her horn and a bag of ice appeared which she then held against Connor's swollen cheek. Turning to Spitfire she informed her she was welcome to stay in the castle for the night and if she could tell her Doctor to meet her in her chambers in one hour. Spitfire nodded and thanked the Princess, bade goodnight to Connor and took off for a guest room in another area of the castle.

"Come Connor," Celestia said in a calm and soothing voice, "I wish to speak to you in private, and return your belongings. Will you join me for tea?"

"Having tea with a beautiful princess, how could I refuse."

Celestia felt flustered. Not for the first time today, this strange creature had complimented her.

The two of them made their way to Celestias' private chambers for another pot of tea.

Chapter - 3 - Tea For Two (Rewritten)

View Online

Sitting in her private chambers, Connor was anxiously waiting while Celestia poured herself and her guest cups of tea. Celestia's Doctor arrived a lot earlier than expected and easily mended Connor's cheek bone. The damage wasn't extensive but there was a hairline crack. Connor thanked the Doctor for his help too which the Doctor said it was no problem.

"Tell me more about yourself. Maybe tell me about your family, where you lived, your job and so on," said Celestia to the human whilst passing him his cup of tea in her magic. He'd asked her about this earlier and was quite impressed with it.

"I lived in country called England. I lived in a small town where not much of anything happens, you live there either because you can't afford to live or work elsewhere or because you're retired. If you're a young 20-something adult with their whole life ahead of them, the town will only hold you back. My family aren't perfect but they've always done their best to help. School was different, when I first started writing my writing wasn't the neatest. So the teachers decided shouting at me was the best course of action to help me improve. My school life was shit. The only good thing about was that it ended."

"I'm sorry to hear that. Surely things improved?" queried Celestia.

"Not really. I'm long term unemployed, have been for five years," said Connor with a hint of sadness.

"However," Connor continued, "I can't just give up. Because if I do then I'll never have a job and I'll never achieve anything in life. My parents, whilst they are good people, argued a lot. More often as time's gone by. I have reason to believe that my Dad isn't really my Dad and that my Mum is hiding something but I don't know what."

Connor took another sip of tea followed by a deep sigh, the frustration of not knowing getting to him once more, "But I'd rather not discuss it, there's just too many unanswered questions which they just won't answer. If my Dad isn't my Dad then who is? What is my mother hiding? Why am I here? Why can't I get anywhere in life?"

Sighing once more, he leans back on the cushions and looks into her face, one of sadness and sympathy. Standing up she walks over to the human and nuzzles his cheek. Her soft white fur caressing his skin doing wonders to help him relax. He can feel her warmth and kindness radiating off her.

"I'm sorry to hear about the troubles you have endured. I assure you I will do whatever I can to help you assimilate into our society."

A single tear rolls down his left cheek as he wraps his arms around Celestia's neck and hugs her with all his might. Celestia tightly wraps her wings around the human as he breaks down and sobs into her pristine white fur. She'll stay there as long as she needs to. Her new friend needs to release his emotions like this, she can feel that he's been holding them in too long. She isn't sure how many minutes pass but hearing the human stop sobbing, she looks at him with natural care in her eyes.

"How are you feeling?" she asked with concern.

"Better. I guess I needed that, sorry if I made your fur dirty," replied the human whilst drying his eyes.

"You do not need to apologise. I'm here for you whenever you need me. It is getting late, a good nights rest will help. I assure you that you will be treated well. And do not worry about Blueblood, he will be kept busy cleaning the guards latrines under the watchful eye of Captain Shining Armour. Royal or not I will not tolerate him assaulting another being in the manner he did."

"Thank you ma'am. It's not a painful as before, and your doctors did a good job before considering they've never encountered my kind before."

"I'll be sure to tell them that. Come my friend, I will show you to your room, your belongings are there waiting for you."

His room was a short distance away from Celestia's. She wanted to keep him close by as to be sure he's safe, particularly from certain unicorns. Celestia opened the door allowing the human to look around.

"This is a really nice room, and I've got a balcony to so I can more easily stargaze. The night certainly looks beautiful tonight."

Suddenly the human finds himself on the floor with a dark blue pony hugging him tightly, with all four legs.

"We are elated thee appreciates our night," the dark blue pony said in tears.

"Connor, allow me to introduce my little sister Princess Luna."

"Princess, it's a pleasure to meet you," said Connor, slowly turning purple from the lack of oxygen.

"Lulu, the human needs to breath."

Luna opened her eyes, still with tears in them. She lets go of Connor and composes herself.

"Our apologies Connor the Human. We thank thee truly for your comments regarding our night. It is not often we encounter anypony who truly enjoys our stars."

"No problem at all Princess."

"Lulu we should allow our guest to get some sleep," Celestia said as she nuzzled Luna. Turning back to Connor, Celestia asked him "Would you like a pot of tea sending up?"

"That sounds lovely. I appreciate it," responded Connor.

"We bid thee good night Connor the Human."

"Likewise Princess."

"Please call me Luna, Connor the Human," said Luna with a slight twinkle in her eyes.

"Then just call me Connor, Luna."

Luna and Connor hug each other once more before the two Princesses leave the room, allowing Connor to get his sleep. Luna couldn't be happier, she made a new friend who truly appreciates her night. Her face was beaming, something Celestia did not miss. The two Princesses discussed how to help their new friend.

She then remembered seeing the human with a swollen cheek, she didn't ask then as she didn't want appear rude. Curious she asked Celestia about his cheek. Celestia told her what Blueblood did.

"HE DID WHAT!!!"

In another part of the castle, a certain Unicorn suddenly has more mess to clean up.

Chapter - 4 - Baker Street

View Online

Connor woke to the soft glow and warmth of the sun, which is still relatively low in the sky so he hadn't slept in too late. Or at least he didn't think he did. Getting out of bed and heading to the adjoining bathroom he got showered and dressed into some clean clothes that he packed with him before.....that happened. Connor tried not to think too much about his family.

They are definitely hiding something but what? They wouldn't even tell my Uncle.

Connor's uncle. He always made time for Connor, as did the rest of his Uncle's family. He would visit quite often. His uncle did question Connor's parents as to why they kept information from him. The Uncle was told to 'mind his own business' in not so pleasant terms.

Then the day came when he was told his uncle, aunt and cousins had been killed in a car crash.

He had them taken away from him.

Oh life why art thou a heartless bitch?

Walking back into the bedroom he found Celestia stood at the balcony watching over her city.

"Princess?"

Turning around the Princess smiled at Connor, "Good morning Connor, did you sleep well?"

"Yeah I did thanks. First decent nights sleep I've had in a long while."

"I'm glad to hear it. Would you like to join me for breakfast?"

"I'd love to."

Celestia and Connor walked through the halls towards the dining room, Connor looking a little uneasy.

"Is something wrong Connor?" Celestia asked sounding worried.

"He's not going to turn up is he?"

Celestia knew immediately who Connor was referring to.

"Prince Blueblood will be joining us for breakfast, but not in the way you think."

Connor looked at Celestia in confusion, which made Celestia giggle. They approached the dining room and entered to see Shining Armour and Spitfire already there.

"Morning sleepy head," Spitfire said as flew up to Connor wrapping her forelegs around his neck and nuzzling his cheek bone, "Sleep well?"

"I had a very good nights sleep," Connor responded blushing slightly from Spitfire's affection.

"Come sit yourself down, I saved a seat for you," Spitfire took one of Connor's hands in her hooves and brought him over to the seat she saved. The table had over a dozen chairs and the one she saved was conveniently next to hers, there were only the four of them. Shining and Celestia shared a knowing look as Celestia went to her seat.

"The servants are on the way now with a smörgåsbord of food, I'm sure there'll be something you can enjoy."

"Smörgåsbord?" asked Connor, "How did a Swedish word make its way to Equestria?"

"That word exists in your world also?" asked Celestia in surprise.

"Yeah. Like I said it's a word that originated in Sweden that refers to a buffet with multiple hot and cold dishes," saying this something else only just dawned on Connor, "Also, how are we speaking the same language? I can understand languages being very similar but exactly the same?"

Everyone looked to Celestia, expecting her to have an answer, "I'm not sure. Whilst it does seem a bit convenient it does mean there are fewer communication difficulties. My guess is that our worlds are connected in some way and knowledge somehow crossed the divide."

"That might explain some of my worlds mythology, you see in my world Unicorns, Pegasi, Alicorns etc only exist in myth and fairytales," the three ponies nodded in understanding, "As I said yesterday, magic doesn't exist in my world either. What we lack in magic we make up for in technology."

"What kind of technology?" asked Spitfire.

Just as Connor was about to answer the servants walked in with a Smörgåsbord of the best looking food Connor had seen. His attention was disturbed by a commotion outside.

"YOU WILL GET YOURSELF IN THAT ROOM RIGHT NOW AND DO AS I SAY!!!" shouted the head waiter.

"I will not go into that room where that filthy ape is," said Blueblood, "You can't make me."

"Yes he can," Celestia said as she walked to where her nephew was, "You will go into that room and do as you are told. And I believe I made it clear that Master Chef did have the authority to give you orders for the duration of your punishment."

"Why am I being punished? It was that hideous beast that attacked me," responded Blueblood in a high pitched whiney tone.

"You know exactly what you did. Now are you going to do as you are told or do I have to get my sister to make you?" said Celestia in a stern and authoritive manner.

The thought of Luna being disturbed from her sleep to deal with him greatly scared Blueblood, it was bad enough last night.

------------------------------------------------------------

Flashback to the previous night

"Hey gorgeous, you missed a spot!" shouted one of the Royal Guards.

Blueblood had been sent down here to clean the barracks as punishment for attacking Connor and Spitfire, under the observation of Shining Armour.

"Be quiet, you can't speak to me like that you peasant guard!" Blueblood snapped back, clearly embarrassed at cleaning up the barracks of the guards who are supposed to obey him.

Shining Armour responded with a tone of voice that made it clear he was in charge, "Yes they can. For the duration of your punishment you have no authority in the castle. The guards here are your superiors and you will obey them and show them respect!"

"If you are trying to embarrass me you will not succeed."

"HE DID WHAT!!!

At that moment, Blueblood voided his bowels.

The guards have never laughed so much.

------------------------------------------------------------

Blueblood, walked up the human scowling, "Is there anything I can do for you this morning?"

Shining fake coughed glaring daggers at Blueblood, "Is there anything I can do for you this morning, SIR!"

Blueblood did not like the captain but decided against making him angrier, "Is there anything I can do for you this morning, SIR?"

Connor thought for a moment, "Run twenty laps around the castle grounds."

"I will not do such a thing."

"You will do as your are told Blueblood," said Shining Armour, "Or would you like to spend the day with the guards instead?"

Blueblood somehow scowled even more. After what happened in the barracks last night he did not believe the guards would ever take him seriously again.

"This is not over foul ape!"

"Make that thirty laps," Connor responded smugly.

"Why you little-" Blueblood started.

"Do you want me to make it forty?" asked Connor.

Blueblood knew he had been beaten this time. He snorted and made his way outside to do his thirty laps. Shining sent word to his men (Stallions?) to watch him to make sure he actually did them.

"I don't want to sound rude but can we eat now?" asked Spitfire, clearly eager to stuff herself with food.

"Of course," responded Celestia.

Connor, Celestia, Spitfire and Shining had their breakfast. Connor talking more about his world, in particular about the human technology and accomplishments. The ponies were amazed, again.

"My sister would very much love to hear about these moon landings."

"I'll be sure to tell her sometime."

At that moment a guard came into the room, "Your majesty, Captain Shining Armour, Twilight Sparkle has just arrived at the castle."

"Twily's here? Bring her here now, let's not keep her waiting."

The guard looked at Celestia who nodded, the guard made his way out of the room.

"Twily?" asked Connor.

"Just what I call my little sister."

"That's nice," said Connor flatly.

"Is something wrong?" asked Shining.

"It's nothing you've done."

Shining was about to ask when the doors burst open.

"BBBFF!"

"TWILY!"

The two siblings embraced each other, seeing this made Connor a little uneasy. This did not go unnoticed by Spitfire and Celestia.

"Are you the human Princess Celestia wrote to me about?" asked a very excited purple unicorn.

"I believe so. You must be Twilight Sparkle. Princess Celestia spoke highly of you."

Twilight blushed in embarrassment, "Well I am her number one student."

"You seem to have come prepared," Connor said noticing several books, blank scrolls, quills etc with Twilight.

"Well I do want to learn about you, you are the only one of your kind in Equestria. That makes you special and unique."

"I'm not that special."

"Don't be silly, everypony is special in their own way," said Twilight in an upbeat manner.

He might have only just met her, but Connor could tell he would get on well with Twilight.

"Are you joining us?" asked Connor.

"Don't mind if I do. I haven't had a Smörgåsbord in a long time."

Celestia, Shining and Spitfire watched in amazement as Connor and Twilight spoke to each other like they'd know each other for years. Twilight joined the rest and had breakfast with them, Connor telling Twilight some of the things he told the others. Twilight furiously writing everything down, which brought a chuckle from the rest of the group.

"Where is Spike?" asked Celestia.

"He's helping out Rarity on something," said Twilight while writing things down, "That reminds me Connor, I'd love to introduce you to my friends in Ponyville."

"You want to introduce me to your friends?"

Twilight nodded, "I've known them only a few months but I know they'd love to meet you. Would you like to meet them?"

Connor looked to Celestia, "You wouldn't mind if I did?"

"Not at all. In fact the reason I invited Twilight was so she could take you to Ponyville so you could live amongst our kind in a quiet, friendly environment whilst we work out how you got here."

"Well then, in that case when do I go?"

"Later today," responded Celestia, "I need to sort out some paperwork for you. It's nothing to worry about, it will simply state that you are under the protection of the crown and that you are to have the same rights and protection under the law as any of my subjects."

"You're too kind Princess," said Connor.

Walking over to Connor and resting a hoof on his shoulder she said, "I'm only doing what is right."

"Thank you anyway," Connor said as he wrapped his arms around her neck, hugging her.

Celestia returned his embrace, she doesn't believe she would ever tire of this affection. As much as she loves her little ponies, sometimes she wished they wouldn't tread on eggshells around her. She wouldn't punish them just for wanting a hug or for not bowing.

They finished their breakfast and the servants cleared everything away. Celestia had open court for the morning, Spitfire had some Pegasi guards to train and Shining had a snobbish unicorn to check up on. That left Connor and Twilight. The two decided to head to the library where they had a long discussion on their respective worlds.

------------------------------------------------------------

Evening came around and Twilight and Connor made their way to the castle foyer where Shining and Celestia were waiting.

"Twily"

"BBBFF"

"Good Evening Connor, how are you?" asked Celestia.

"I'm fine thanks. Me and Twilight have been in the library talking about stuff."

"STUFF?!" a shocked Twilight screams, "All the amazing things humans have achieved and created and you say it's just 'stuff'?"

Connor couldn't help but laugh, "You're an easy one to wind up Twily Sprinkles."

Twilight gave Connor an unamused expression, "Easy to wind up? Twily Sprinkles?"

Celestia and Shining couldn't help but laugh, not at Twilight but at the good banter between two new friends.

"I'm sure Connor's only being friendly Twily," Shining said, "I'm sure you could think of a way to get back at him though."

Looking at Connor with a serious grin, "You can be absolutely sure I will."

Connor laughed sheepishly rubbing the back of his neck, "I was only joking Sparkle Butt."

Twilights grin turned very mischievous, "It is on my human friend."

"I hate interrupt your friendly banter but we must get to business," Igniting her horn Celestia levitated several items in front on Connor, "Connor here are the official papers I mentioned earlier. Also included is a cheque to be paid into your Equestrian bank account, I had one set up on your behalf. I do not know how long you will be here but it is best to be prepared regardless."

Connor took the items, "Thank you Princess. I'll make this up to you. Has there been any update on how I got here?"

"You're welcome Connor. My investigation team are scanning the entire Whitetail Woods so it may be a few weeks yet before we get any answers but I promise to inform you at once should I know anything."

"Thank you again ma'am," Connor looked to Shining, "And thanks to you Captain, particularly for dealing with Blueblood."

"No problem Connor. I don't think he will mess with you again, but if he does just let me know. My troops said they'd very much like to see him again."

Connor laughed, "Anything good happen in the barracks?"

"I would tell you but what goes on in the barracks, stays in the barracks."

"Fair enough," turning to Twilight Connor continued, "Should we get going?"

"I'm ready when you are."

"Great, just let me get my things from my room first. I have some 'stuff' from my world with me."

"You're only making things worse for yourself."

"Ooooh I'm so scared," said Connor with sarcasm.

"You will be."

Shining and Celestia couldn't help but chuckle at their friendly digs at each other.

Chapter - 5 - On The Road Again.

View Online

Connor was packing up his few belongings, Twilight could barely contain herself. She was with a being from another world and she got to see alien technology firsthoof.

"I can't wait to see what all of these do," said Twilight looking rather excited.

"I'll show you when we get to Ponyville," said Connor as he packed away his clothes and electronics.

"I appreciate it."

"Twilight can I use some of your paper to write a letter?"

"Certainly," responded Twilight, "Who's it for?"

"Luna."

Twilight levitated paper over to Connor whilst he got out a pen.

"What is that?" asked Twilight.

"A ball point pen. It's like your quill but with the ink inside rather than a separate inkwell. It dispenses ink over a metal ball at its point. The ball which is held in place so it can't slip down the ink tube or fall out of the pen, it also prevents ink pouring out. The ink clings to the ball which spins when drawn across paper, leaving a layer of ink behind."

"That sounds more advanced than quill and ink. It would also allow for cleaner writing. Are they common in your world?"

"Millions are made and used every day. Here," said Connor as he passed Twilight some Biros, "I have plenty to spare. Don't know why I packed them really."

"Thank you Connor," said Twilight, "You know you could patent this and have them manufactured here in Equestria. It would provide you a means of income and provide Equestria and beyond with a simple but useful convenience."

"I'll keep that in mind."

Connor went over to the desk and started writing the letter to Luna while Twilight sat down on the bed and started reading a book.

Dear Luna

If you're reading this then I'll probably be in Ponyville with Twilight by now. You were asleep at the time of writing this and I didn't want to disturb you. I just wanted to thank you for the hospitality you, your sister, Shining Armour and Spitfire have shown to myself. I'm a complete unknown in this world, you could have just thrown me in the dungeons as Princess Blueberry Prince Blueblood tried to and left me there to rot; declaring me a threat to your subjects. Instead you treat me as one of your own and took action against those that caused me harm.

I enjoyed our encounter despite how brief it was. Your night really does look beautiful, I would really like to talk to you and tell you about the night in my world. Astronomy is a hobby of mine, and if what I saw last night is anything to go by I can see I will be able to enjoy my hobby even more here in Equestria.

Sorry if this letter is a little short and pointless, letter writing isn't my specialty.

Once again thank you for your assistance, I appreciate it.

Your friend

Connor

Connor rolled up the paper and collected his other belongings. He and Twilight made their way to the Luna's room. They found Luna's Thestral guards outside and left the letter with them. Both the day and night guard had been informed of Connor's being in the castle by Celestia so they knew he was no danger, plus it was due to Connor (sort of) that gave the guards one of the funniest moments they'd ever seen.

Connor and Twilight made their way to Canterlot Piccadilly Train Station for the service to Ponyville. It would take around 90 minutes to get there on the train. Connor noted that steam engines were used here, the one that would be pulling their train looked like a Fairburn 2-6-4T. Other locomotives bore a striking resemblance to steam engines form the Golden Age of Steam, some of which in the station looked like Gresley A3 and A4 Pacifics, a BR Standard Class 9F, Black Fives, Princess Coronations; for a steam railway enthusiast, Connor loved it.

Twilight informed Connor that Celestia had tickets paid for already. A private booth in First Class with complementary meal.

------------------------------------------------------------

Connor and Twilight had their meal. Twilight had a veggie dish, Connor had roast chicken. Celestia had Connor's meal prepared ready for his journey. If Twilight was uneasy about Connor eating meat she didn't say anything.

"What happens when we get to Ponyville?" asked Connor.

"I'll take you to my library first so can drop your belongings off, the I'll give you a tour of the town and introduce you to everypony."

"They're not going to scream and shout monster at me are they?"

"Some might but don't take it personally," responded Twilight, "Princess Celestia and Princess Luna like you so that will definitely work in your favour."

"What about your friends?"

"They'll be cautious at first but they'll warm up to you."

Connor gave a nod, though he was slightly uneasy at meeting a whole town of ponies. They may or may not chase him out of town pitchforks and torches.

Maybe.

Unlikely.

The train slowed and came to halt. There were a number of ponies already on the platform waiting to get on. They however turned their attention to Connor when he set foot on the platform. Some just stood and looked at him while some slowly shifted away. No-pony said anything though, maybe due to seeing him with Twilight.

Twilight and Connor made their way through Ponyville, garnering stares from everypony they past. Again nothing was said though. Connor was sure he saw a pink blur but wasn't entirely sure.

The two of them approached the library.

"This is Ponyville Library and my home," said Twilight.

"Looks nice," replied Connor, "Apart from the beehive."

"Don't be such a scaredypony."

"I'm not scared I just don't want to get stung."

"You won't get stung now come on let's get you inside."

The two went inside the library and Twilight lead Connor upstairs to the spare bedroom. Connor set his things down on the bed and turned to Twilight.

"So, are you giving me a tour of the town now or later?"

"We'll go now, some ponies have already seen you so you may as well introduce yourself."

Just then, a purple and green drake walked in.

"Twilight your back so soon? I'd have thought that......"

There was an awkward silence as Spike and Connor stared at each other. Twilight decided it was best if she introduced the two to each other.

"Spike this is Connor. Connor this is Spike, my number one assistant."

"Hey," said Connor.

"Hey," replied Spike.

There was another awkward silence until Connor spoke up.

"What exactly are you, you resemble a lizard but I get the impression that you aren't."

"You're right. In fact I'm a dragon," said Spike with a modicum of pride.

"A dragon ay," Connor stalled for a moment, "Ahnok Goraan Gein."

Spike looked stunned to say the least, "Genazend wah grind hi."

The two shook hands/claws. Twilight looked dumbfounded.

"Would one of you mind explaining what they hay you just said?"

"Relax Twilight he was only speaking the language of the dragons."

Twilight looked to Connor, "I thought you said that dragons didn't exist in your world?"

"They don't. Only in mythology and stories. The language I spoke is a fictional language specifically made for a computer game. I'll show you later."

This got Twilight's attention, "I look forward to it. Now let's go meet everypony. Spike you coming?"

"Yeah sure."

------------------------------------------------------------

Meanwhile, in the castle Luna awoke to find a scroll on her bedside table. She unfurled the scroll and read it. After reading the scroll she put it her bedside drawer and began writing a letter back to Connor.

Dear Connor

We thank thee truly for thous kind words and for not disturbing our slumber. Thou does not need to thank us for the hospitality given to thou, we only acted as we should. Thou does not need to fear Prince Blueblood (We like your name for him though), he will not harm thou again unless he wishes to incur the wrath of our sister.

We hope thou is settling into Ponyville well and making new friends. We look forward to seeing thou again.

We bid thee well Connor

Your friend Luna

PS: We hope thou enjoys the gift we have sent to thee.

Chapter - 6 - Meeting The Neighbours

View Online

The trio walked out of the library and immediately found a crowd of ponies outside, all looking rather quizzical.

The silence was deafening.

"Twilight," Connor whispered, "Say something before they freak out."

"OK," whispered Twilight back, "Let me think of something."

Twilight stepped forward towards the gathered ponies, "I'm sure you're all wondering about Ponyvilles' newest resident," there was a murmur of agreement.

"His name is Connor. He is a human from a different world. He has already met the princesses and he has their full support. He was sent to Ponyville with me to help him settle into our society. I think Princess Celestia would appreciate it if you all helped Connor feel welcome in our town."

The ponies all gave a cheer and shouted their voice of support. This came as a relief to Connor. He wouldn't have to worry about being chased with pitchforks and torches. Connor decided he should say something as well.

"Towns ponies," Connor started, "As Twilight said, I'm Connor. I'm a human from a different world. How I got here I don't know, why I'm here I don't know. But for whatever reason or for however long I'm here I only wish to be on friendly terms with you all."

The ponies gave another cheer and made way for Twilight, Connor and Spike. They made their way through the crowd when without any advance warning.....

"HII'MPINKIETHESUPERESTBESTESTPARTYPLANNERINPONYVILLEDOYOULIKEPARTIESDOYOUWANTAPARTYDOYOUWANTTOBEFRIENDSDOYOULIKECUPCAKES-"

"PINKIE!" Twilight said trying to get Pinkie's attention.

"It's alright Twilight," responded Connor, "To answer your questions Pinkie, no, no thank you, yeah ok, some are ok."

Twilight and Spike just looked at Connor, "You understood that?" asked Spike.

"Yes."

"You don't like parties and you don't want a party?" asked Pinkie in shock.

"That's right."

"Why don't you like parties?" asked Pinkie.

"They're dull, boring, plodding, pedantic and a complete waste of time."

There was an uncomfortable silence. Connor looked around and found Twilight, Spike and some of the ponies from before looking at Connor in shock. Some with looks of worry.

And with good reason. Pinkie's mane flattened.

"LISTEN TO ME MISTER. PARTIES ARE NOT DULL, BORING, PLODDING, PEDANTIC OR A WASTE OF TIME. YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A PARTY MISTER AND YOU ARE GOING TO ENJOY IT!!!! DO YOU HEAR ME MISTER?"

Connor felt very uneasy at this outburst. He genuinely does not like parties. The only parties he'd ever been to in the past either ended up with him sitting alone in a corner admiring a potted plant or being the centre of attention. Neither of which he liked. Connor got the impression he wasn't getting out if this so decided to go along with it.

"Ok, I'll have a party."

Pinkie's mane puffed up again, "Okie dokie lokie. It will be at 5pm today at Sugar Cube Corner, I'll invite the rest of my friends and other ponies for you to meet. Good bye."

Pinkie bounced away to prepare Connor's (unwanted) party. Turning to Twilight and Spike, Connor asked, "What just happened?"

"Pinkie happened," responded Twilight and Spike simultaneously.

"Do I really have to go to this party?"

"It's probably for the best. If you want we can do just the tour now and wait until tonight before you meet my other friends?" replied Twilight.

"Sure," sighed Connor.

The trio moved on with the tour while every other pony went about their business.

------------------------------------------------------------

The tour was uneventful, just Connor being shown the sights of Ponyville. The trio made their way back to the library to get ready for the party. Connor took this time to show Twilight and Spike his 'stuff' in the main library area.

"What is this?" asked Twilight pointing to a metal case.

"This is a metal case, Twilight," responded Connor with a hint of sarcasm.

Twilight gave a 'we are not amused' expression.

Connor laughed, "This is a laptop, a portable computer."

"A computer that small? Equestrian computers take up entire rooms. The largest and most powerful is at the Royal Canterlot University, it takes up a room at least ten times the size of this room."

"How powerful is it?" asked Connor.

"It has a 500KB processor, 1MB RAM and 20MB storage capacity. Judging the size of your laptop I reckon it has even smaller specifications. What are they?"

"BTW we use the same terminology. To answer your question, my laptop has an i7 3.5Ghz Quad Core Processor, 16GB RAM and 1TB Solid State Drive and a 2GB AMD Radeon R9 graphics card," Connor replied.

"HOW CAN SOMETHING THAT SMALL BE SO MUCH MORE POWERFUL?"

"I don't know but if it's any consolation humanity's first computers once took up entire rooms."

Connor switched the laptop on, Twilight with her eyes almost glued to the screen. He proceeded to show Twilight and Spike what his laptop could do. He showed them some games, videos, photos, art work......but not music. He'd show them later on his phone. If Twilight liked his laptop she'd definitely like his phone.

------------------------------------------------------------

"So Spike?" asked Connor, "what did you think of Skyrim?"

"It was awesome. A story about dragons, how could anyone not like it? And the Dragon language just made it better."

"I thought you'd like it."

Twilight came through into the main library area, "Ok boys we should get going to the party."

Connor groaned.

"Don't worry about it," said Twilight, "It will be fine."

"Will it?" asked Connor, "I've already made myself an enemy of Pinkie how could it be fine?"

"Pinkie doesn't consider you an enemy. Now come on, Princess Celestia sent you here to make friends and you're going to do just that."

------------------------------------------------------------

The trio made their way to Sugarcube Corner and proceeded to go inside. Only to be greeted with a sudden increase in the decibel level.

"SURPRISE!!"

Pinkie bounced up to the trio, "WEREYOUSURPRISEDDIDWESCAREYOUAREYOULOOKINGOFRWARDTOMEETINGMYFRIENDSDOYOULIKEPONYVILLEWHATISTHESQUAREROOTOFAHYPOTANUSE?"

Twilight and Spike just looked a Pinkie, Connor however answered each question, "No, No, Yes, it's ok, I don't know and I don't care."

Twilight turned to look at Connor, "How can you understand what she's saying?"

"I don't know, I just can," Connor turned to Pinkie, "So, shall we get this party started?"

Pinkie turned to the gathered ponies, "You heard the future pony, let's get partying."

The ponies all cheered and stomped their hooves and started to help themselves to food and playing games. Twilight, Spike and Connor seemed to be the only one's who heard a certain bit of information.

"Future pony?" queried Twilight.

"Just my pinkie sense."

Pinkie bounced away before Connor could enquire further.

"It's probably just Pinkie being Pinkie," said Twilight, "Don't look into it too much."

Connor nodded, "Shall we go to meet your friends?"

"Yes, don't worry I'm sure they'll be pleased to meet you."

The trio proceeded to make their way to the rest of the gang sat at the table near the back of the store. Probably to make it harder to sneak out Connor thought.

"Hi girls," said Twilight.

The rest of the gang all responded in unison. Then they looked to Connor.

"Who's this guy Twilight? Is he your coltfriend?" asked a certain rainbow maned Pegasus.

"No he is not my coltfriend Rainbow Dash."

"Whatever, just seeing you with a member of the opposite gender around your age is something I didn't think I'd ever see."

"Very funny Rainbow," responded Twilight through gritted teeth.

"Well aren't ya gonna introduce yerself?" said an orange furred pony.

The slightly harsh tone didn't make Connor feel much better but he didn't show it, "I'm Connor."

"And I'm Applejack. This here is Rarity, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash. You've met Pinkie already, she's one of us."

"You mean the Elements of Harmony?" asked Connor.

Rainbow Dash immediately bolted up and flew into Connor's face.

"HOW DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THAT, ARE YOU A SPY?!"

Rainbow was suddenly enveloped in a purple aura and placed back in her seat, "Rainbow Dash, I told Connor about us, and it's common knowledge we're the Elements of Harmony."

Rainbow gave a sheepish laugh and rubbed the back of her neck with her right hoof, "Yeah, I knew that. Sorry Connor."

"Don't worry about it, so you're all Twilights' friends?"

"Indeed we are darling," responded Rarity, "I'm Ponyville's resident fashion designer. If you ever need a new set of clothes just visit me and I'll make you something you will like and everypony will notice."

"I'll keep that in mind. I may need some new clothes," Connor turned to Applejack, "I'm guessing you have something to do with apples?"

"Indeed I do mister. I run Sweet Apple Acres where we grow the best apples in Equestria, as well as many apple based pastries and apple cider."

"Sounds good. I don't like apples myself but I'll take your word for it."

Applejack frowned at Connor, "You don't like apples?"

Connor shook his head.

Applejack's frown hardened a bit, "I suppose everypony has different tastes."

Rainbow Dash slightly amused at this responded, "Lighten up Applejack if he doesn't like apples he doesn't like apples."

"I know that, I wasn't complaining."

"Yeah sure you weren't," said Rainbow as she turned to Connor, "You've been told before but I want to tell you again, I'm Rainbow Dash, future Wonderbolt and fastest Pegasi in the sky."

"The Wonderbolts," said Connor, "They sound like and aerobatics display team."

"They are, they're the best. Lead by Group Captain Spitfire and Wing Commanders Soarin and Fleetfoot. They are so super amazing."

"Spitfire?" said Connor in surprise, "A yellow mare with fiery mane?"

"Yeah..." responded Rainbow.

"I've met her, she was-"

"YOU'VE MET A WONDERBOLT?!" half shouted Rainbow as she flew up to Connor, getting into his face and placing her hooves onto his chest.

"Yes, though I didn't know what she was until now."

"That is awesome!" said Rainbow as she scrunched her face up with her hooves, sitting back down.

Connor turned his head towards a yellow furred pink maned Pegasus. He could tell she was afraid of him so he spoke up first in a manner he hoped be seen as friendly,"You must be Fluttershy."

"Yes. Erm......it's nice to meet you," said Fluttershy as she tried to hide herself behind her mane.

"It's nice to meet you as well," replied Connor, taking note of her shyness, "What is it you do in Ponyville?"

"I take care of animals."

"That's nice. I like dogs myself, in my world dogs are considered mans' best friend."

"Really?" asked Fluttershy, "Humans must really love animals."

"Many do, though sadly some do mistreat them."

"Oh dear, that's awful."

"Don't worry too much. Those that are caught are prosecuted and punished. Some are even sent to prison. Animal cruelty is frowned upon in my world."

"That's reassuring to hear."

"So," said Rainbow Dash, "How did you get to Equestria?"

"I'm not sure, I went to sleep in a forest in my world and woke up in the Whitetail Woods."

"Why were you sleeping in a forest, it sounds so icky and uncouth," inquired Rarity.

"It's a long story, not something I want to talk about in a public place. I'll tell you but not just yet. I'm a little tired to be honest."

Twilight put a hoof on Connor's shoulder, "Just hang in there, you're doing fine."

"Thanks Twilight."

------------------------------------------------------------

The girls, Spike and Connor all chatted more. Well the girls did most of the talking the boys did most of the listening, after a while Connor left to go to the toilet. Pinkie was busy bouncing around making sure everypony was enjoying themselves. Everypony was enjoying themselves, everyhuman wasn't. Pinkie remembered Connor saying he didn't like parties so she decided to check up on him to see if he was ok. She looked around but couldn't find him. She approached her friends to see if they knew where he was.

"Hey girls have you seen Connor?"

The rest of the Mane 6 looked at each other. It was only then they realised Connor had not come back from going to the toilet.

"No," said Twilight, "He hasn't come back since he went to the toilet."

A look of realisation struck the Mane 6 and Spike at once.

"HE LEFT A PINKIE PARTY!!"

------------------------------------------------------------

Connor was laying on a hill not too far from Ponyville looking up to the night sky, gazing at the stars. Connor has had a fascination with astronomy for many years. Sadly where he lived there was too much light pollution and cloud cover to get a good view. Here though, he could see countless stars, some forming a band across the night sky. He didn't recognise the constellations though, not that it mattered too much. Stars are beautiful to look at wherever you are, or so Connor thought.

The peace and tranquillity of the night was disturbed by an irate pink pony.






"YOU LEFT A PINKIE PARTY!!"

Oh shit, Connor thought, I'm in for it now.

Chapter - 7 - One Does Not Leave A Pinkie Party

View Online

Connor, seeing a raging pink pony coming towards him, prepared himself for a Pinkie hairdryer.

"Pinkie I can explain," said Connor in a slightly raised voice.

Pinkie stopped a few feet short of Connor, followed by several dozen ponies including the rest if the Mane 6.

"You better Mister," said and irritated Pinkie, "I put that party on for you to meet everypony."

"Ah agree with Pinkie," said Applejack, "You ran away without talking to anypony, that's just bad mannered."

"I know it was but I don't like parties."

Pinkie still looking irritated asked, "Why don't you like parties, and don't give the same answer as before."

Connor sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose, "Whenever I had 'parties' in the past, the only people who would come would be family and friends of my parents. The parties almost always ended up with arguments about trivial matters. The same things said by the same people. It wasn't just me that got this, my sisters got it also," Connor let out a chuckle, "Parties were the only time that me and my sisters were on the same side. Parties that I've been to in the past have never been fun, only glorified shouting contests."

Pinkie's mane flattened at hearing this. To her parties where an occasion to have fun and enjoy yourself, not feel sad or angry. She slowly walked up to Connor, "I'm sorry you have bad experience with parties and I'm sorry I overreacted before and now. You don't have to go back to the party if you don't want to."

Connor knelt down and placed his hand on Pinkie's chin, slowly lifting her head to look at him, "Pinkie, you don't have to apologise. I'll go back to the party. I just needed to get some air. Plus, I couldn't resist stargazing on such a clear night."

Pinkie's mane puffed up again and she had a look of joy on her face, "You like astronomy?"

Connor nodded.

Pinkie bolted away at light speed.

"Let me guess," said Connor, "Pinkie is being Pinkie."

The gathered ponies murmured in agreement.

Applejack walked towards Connor, wanting to ask him a question that had been bugging her since she spoke to Connor.

"Connor," she asked, "Why don't you like apples?"

All the gathered ponies looked towards Connor.

"The last time I ate an apple I had a severe allergic reaction that nearly killed me," he said flatly.

All the ponies gasped in shock.

"Ok," said Applejack, "Ah can see why you don't like them."

"Yeah it's a good and legitimate reason. Come, let's get back to the party."

Twilight spoke up, "You're going back?"

"It's the polite thing to do," said Connor.

Connor and the ponies walked back to Sugarcube Corner. The lights were out but the group approached anyway.

"Pinkie," said Connor as he walked into the store.

"SURPRISE!!"

Pinkie seemed to bounce out of thin air. Connor stumbled back startled and looked around the room. It was redecorated with an astronomy theme. There was even astronomy themed cakes and pastries.

"How did you do this in just ten minutes?" asked Connor bewildered.

"Because I'm Pinkie Pie."

"That doesn't really answer the question."

"Yes it does silly."

The rest of the group all walked in, mouths open in astonishment. They knew Pinkie worked fast but this took the biscuit.
They decided to just enjoy the party rather than give themselves a headache trying to workout Pinkie.

This party went much smoother than before, Connor spoke to many ponies who seemed to like him. A mint green unicorn in particular took a keen interest in him.

Another couple of hours went by before the party ended. Everypony made their way home. Connor went back to the treehouse with Spike and Twilight. As they approached they noticed two of Luna's night guard, with a package of some sort.

"Evening sirs," said Twilight, "Can we help you?"

"No ma'am," replied one of the guards, "We were sent here by Princess Luna to deliver this package."

Twilight and Connor (Spike had fallen asleep) looked to the package, it was quite big.

"What is it?" asked Connor.

"We don't know sir, we were just told to deliver it to you."

"To me?"

"Yes sir. Is there anything else we can do for you?"

Connor thought for a moment, "Yes, would one of you deliver this letter to Group Captain Spitfire?"

"Of course sir," the guard took the scroll and the two night guards took off for Canterlot.

Twilight took the box in her telekinetic hold, "Let's get this inside and see what it is."

------------------------------------------------------------

Luna was sat in the throne room as night court had begun. She hoped that her new friend liked the gift she sent him. She sympathised with him, being in a world both alien and familiar at the same time. All she could do was be a good friend and be there for him if he needs her. She smiled to herself, she knew he would like the gift. Her smile ended however when a certain petitioner entered the throne room.

"Aunty Luna I demand that foul ape be locked up. It is a dangerous, filthy creature that should be left to rot in the dungeons."

Luna's eyebrows moved down into a frown.

What was heard next could be registered on the Richter Scale.

------------------------------------------------------------

Connor and Twilight just stood there mouths open. What was in the box was, according to Twilight, the best telescope ever made. It was a newly released telescope with crystal blue casing and silver frame and screws. According to Twilight it was the highest quality telescope on the market with the most powerful lens. Only 1000 were made (by hoof), one each for every year of Luna's banishment. Luna designed it herself and each telescope came with a numbered certificate signed by Luna herself. They were also quite expensive. 20,000 bits (10 bits = £1). Connor got telescope number 0001.

Included with the telescope was a scroll.

Dear Connor

We thank thee truly for thous kind words and for not disturbing our slumber. Thou does not need to thank thee for the hospitality given to thou, we only acted as we should. Thou does not need to fear Prince Blueblood (We like your name for him though), he will not harm thou again unless he wishes to incur the wrath of our sister.

We hope thou is settling into Ponyville well and making new friends. We look forward to seeing thou again.

We bid thee well Connor

Your friend Luna

PS: We hope thou enjoys the gift we have sent to thee.

"Well fuck me," said Connor, "That is one hell of gift."

------------------------------------------------------------

The following morning.

Entering her office on Canterlot Castle, Spitfire noticed a rolled up scroll on her desk. Unfurling it she began to read.

Dear Spitfire

First I just want to apologize for not saying goodbye when I left Canterlot, we left in a quite a hurry and I didn't want to disturb you while you were on duty. I'd like to meet you again sometime though, I enjoyed hanging out with you at the castle. Also, a Pegasus named Rainbow Dash seemed particularly enthusiastic when I mentioned I met you. Apparently she's a fan of yours. I'll have to watch you at one of your shows sometime as well. Maybe I can meet the other Wonderbolts if that's OK? I don't know how long I'll be here for so I want to enjoy myself while I can.

I look forward to seeing you again.

Oh and thanks for standing up for me when Blueblood showed up. I won't forget it.

Yours Connor

Spitfire put the scroll in her private drawer and got out some paper and started writing.

Connor

Thanks for writing to me. Don't worry about not saying goodbye I understand. Yeah I've heard about Rainbow Dash but I've never met her, she sounds like a cool mare, from what I've heard she would make a fine Wonderbolt. You are more than welcome to meet the rest if the team. In fact, I'd like you to come to the upcoming Young Fliers Competition in Cloudsdale. I'll send you a VIP Access All Areas Pass.

I look forward to meeting you again. I'd like to get to know you better.

Yours Spitfire.

Spitfire made her way to Celestia's throne room. On the way she thought about her short time with Connor. Thinking back she remembers being rather affectionate towards him, in particular nuzzling him and hugging him. Not to mention taking his hand and having him sit next to her in the Dining Room. She may be in heat but she knows she should have controlled herself better. Thankfully though, Connor didn't seem offended. When she looks back, she gets the feeling he enjoyed it. But that could be the heat talking.

Entering the throne room she approached Celestia and bowed.

"Raise my little pony. What can I do for you?" asked Celestia in her warm and welcoming voice.

"I was wondering if you could send this to Connor," Spitfire showed Celestia the scroll.

"Certainly," Celestia took the scroll in her magic, "I will send it immediately."

Spitfire watched as the scroll ignited and disappeared.

Celestia looked back to Spitfire, "You like him don't you?"

Spitfire's eyes widened. She was sure it was just a heat thing, but Celestia wasn't stupid.

"I don't know. I'm in heat right now so I don't know if it's me that likes him or the heat."

Celestia got down off her throne and put a reassuring hoof on Spitfire, "You know interspecies relationships are legal. I noticed how you acted around each other. You like him because you like him, not because you are in heat, I know I have been in heat.........many times. He likes you as well, I know it."

"But I'm not human and neither is he a pony, how could a relationship work when we're not the same species?"

"It can work. You both don't need to be humans or ponies to have a relationship."

"I don't want to hurt him," Spitfire said with a slight look of sadness.

"You won't. As I said, I've seen the two of you interact. I know the two of you will be suited for each other."

Spitfire looked up to Celestia and gave a small smile, "Thank you Princess. I'll consider what you said, but I'm not rushing into anything. I've invited him to the upcoming Young Fliers Competition with a VIP Access All Areas Pass, so I'll have a chance to see him again. And he'll be able to see me in my.........." Spitfire trailed off slightly blushing, Celestia giggled at this. Celestia knew what she was referring to.

"I'm sure he'd like to see you in your Wonderbolts outfit."

"I didn't mean that," Spitfire said trying to look innocent.

"Of course you didn't my little pony," Celestia said with a mischievous smirk.

Spitfire scowled at Celestia. She giggled in response.

Chapter - 8 - Spitfire

View Online

After her slightly unusual meeting with Celestia, Spitfire walked back to her office where a light blue white maned Pegasus was waiting for her.

"Hey Fleets," said Spitfire.

"Hey Spits," replied Fleetfoot, "Where you been?"

"Just to see the Princess to deliver a message to Connor?"

Fleetfoot raised an eyebrow in confusion, "Who?"

"Oh you won't know, he's a human from a different world that I met."

Fleetfoot stayed silent a few moments while she took this information in, "An alien from a different world?"

"Yes. He's rather nice actually. I introduced myself to him in a rather unorthodox manner."

"What do you mean?"

Spitfire proceeded to tell Fleetfoot about the events of the last few days, including her meeting with Celestia.

"So," said Fleetfoot.

"So.....what?" asked Spitfire, unsure what Fleetfoot was getting to.

"Are you going to let him see you in your-"

"Not you too. Look I acted inappropriately towards him. Yes I'm in heat but that's no excuse I should have controlled my self better."

"All you did was nuzzle him and hug him?"

"Yes. For Celestia's sake I know I acted in a manner not becoming a Wonderbolt."

"It sounds like you did control yourself if the stories I heard Soarin telling the other stallions are true," Fleetfoot said with a smirk, trying to hold back her laughter.

Spitfire's fur took on a slight shade of red, "I have no idea what you're talking about."

"No of course you don't," said Fleetfoot with a mischievous grin.

Spitfire breathed a sigh of annoyance and proceeded towards her desk where a rather large pile of paperwork awaited her. Spitfire loathed the paperwork. She understandably preferred action over quill-pushing jobs. Her wing was still healing so it gave her the ideal opportunity to catch up with the paperwork.

She couldn't help but think back to Connor. He was polite and friendly towards her, not to mention rather good looking. One thing that did bother her though was how he doesn't seem to bothered about being ripped form his home and family. He hasn't freaked out over being in, from his perspective, an alien world with no other humans in existence.

Well, she thought, there was that incident with Blueblood and he had that private meeting with Princess Celestia so he could have freaked out then.

She recalls the letter Connor sent to her. She remembers Connor wanting to see her again and the other Wonderbolts.

No problem, he may not be here long so we may as well let him while he has the chance

Spitfire felt sad all of a sudden.

He may not be here long......

Why did that upset her?

Fleetfoot noticed Spitfire's expression, "Spits, you OK?"

"I don't know," said Spitfire with a bit of sadness in her voice, "I.....I feel......"

"It's this Connor isn't it?" asked Fleetfoot with concern.

Spitfire could only nod in response.

"Take some time off and go see him. It might put your mind at ease. You're supposed to be resting anyway. Me and Soarin can handle things."

Spitfire looked at Fleetfoot for a few seconds and sighed, "OK Fleets. If you think it will help, I'll go now."

The yellow Pegasus made her way to the office door, "Just make sure the newbies don't slack off."

"They won't. Now go."

Spitfire waved her hoof at Fleetfoot and left the office and made her way to her private officers quarters in the castle to pack a few things for her trip.

------------------------------------------------------------

Celestia was making her way to the dining hall for lunch when she bumped into Spitfire who was out of uniform and had a saddle bag with her. Curious, she decided to ask her where she was going.

"Group Captain Spitfire, it's a pleasure to see you."

"Princess," Spitfire was a little startled by the Princess as she bowed to her.

"Rise my little pony, you do not need to bow to me in informal situations. How are you Group Captain?"

"Fine thank you Princess. I was just going to Ponyville to see Connor. Fleetfoot suggested I take a break."

Celestia smiled at this, "I am pleased to hear that, take all the time off you need."

"Thank you Princess."

"Before you go, regarding our conversation this morning. My joking aside I was serious when I said there may be something between you. Connor may not be showing it but he is hurting deep down. He needs all the friends and support he can get," Celestia said looking slightly sad.

"Is there something wrong Princess?" asked Spitfire.

"Maybe," replied Celestia, "I received a report from Arch Mage this morning. His teams preliminary scans are not promising. We still don't know how Connor arrived and it's looking like we will not be able to send him back to his world."

This saddened Celestia deeply. Her new friend has been ripped from everything and everyone he has ever known and loved and may not be able to return home. As long as she's there for him and does her best to help him he will be OK she thought.

"I can't imagine how terrible he must be feeling," said Spitfire.

"So long as he has the support if his friends he will be fine, I assure you," Celestia said with a warm smile, "Also could you deliver this to Connor."

Celestia magicked a necklace into view. It was identical to the one Celestia wore, only smaller to fit a human neck.

"It is enchanted. It will prevent excessive amounts of magic being used against Connor, I don't think I need to remind you about the incident with Prince Blueblood?"

Spitfire shook her head, "No ma'am, Connor looked absolutely terrified after that."

"That is why I am giving him this. It will act as a sort of shield against magic for him. It will also act as a location beacon and health monitor, so if his life should be in danger I can act immediately. It is magically linked to my own necklace so I will know immediately. It cannot be forcibly worn or removed from him with or without magic. It is entirely his decision whether he wears it or not. This scroll will explain what I have just said to you."

Celestia put the necklace into a white box with an image of her cutie mark on the top. Spitfire took the box and scrolls and put them into her saddlebag.

"I'll be sure he gets them. Good day to you Princess."

"Good day to you as well Group Captain."

Spitfire nodded and made her way out of the castle and towards Canterlot Piccadilly Train Station.

Celestia couldn't help but smile. Spitfire has had problems in the past with relationships and is very particular in who she trusts and who she considers a friend. Celestia is one of very few ponies who knows of Spitfire's problems, and Connor may just be the one to help her with them.

Chapter - 9 - Visiting Hours

View Online

Connor and Spike were sat in Sugarcube Corner having muffins and banana milkshakes. Earlier in the day Connor noticed that the books in the library were organized alphabetically. A not very efficient system. So Connor decided to inform Twilight of this. Suffice it to say Twilight used some strong words that did not compliment Connor's observation. After Twilight's little hissy fit Connor mentioned he knew of an even more organized system. The Dewey Decimal System. After explaining this to Twilight she almost immediately un-shelved every book and started to organize them in accordance with the Dewey Decimal System.

As she was doing so, giving everyone a running commentary on the way, Spike and Connor made a knowing look to each other and left the library and a distracted Twilight while they could.

"Do you think she'll be mad?" asked Connor.

"She'll be fine. If she does get mad just tell her more about your world."

Connor nodded in acknowledgement. He had also been to the bank earlier to cash the cheque Celestia gave him leaving him 50,000 bits (£5,000) richer. Apparently the money came out of Celestia's own account prompting him to make a mental note to repay her kindness one day.

"Hey Spike do you know when the Young Fliers Competition is?"

"In a couple of days. If you like we can try and find Rainbow Dash who'll no doubt be practicing new tricks."

"Sure. I got a letter from Spitfire and she said she was sending me a VIP Access All Areas Pass."

Spike went wide eyed in amazement.

"She must really like you to get you one of those. They're not cheap and have to be paid for even if you're family of a Wonderbolt. They can't be given out free to family and friends like the regular tickets."

Connor took in what Spike said. Did Spitfire really like him like that? He didn't know. Did he like like her? He wasn't sure. Maybe he could use the trip to the show as an excuse to talk to her and find a few things out.

"Were we headed to next goraan gein?"

Spike liked the fact that Connor could speak Dovahzul, "Why not head to Rarity's. You may need some new clothes and Rarity offered too do them for you."

"Sure. I'm quite surprised no-one's asked me about my clothes because I've noticed that everyone, or should that be everypony here is naked."

"I'm not sure. Ponies do sometimes wear clothes for social events but not all the time. Except maybe the Canterlot Nobles."

They both finished their muffins and milkshakes and made their way to Rarity's Boutique, a few ponies waving at the duo and some asking Connor questions. Most of them were if humans had certain things the ponies had, some were more interested in his hands.

They approached the Boutique were Rarity was outside hanging up some washing.

"Hi Rarity," said Spike.

"Spikey Wikey it's so good to see you. And to you as well Connor."

"Likewise Rarity," replied Connor.

Rarity gave Spike a hug and moved onto Connor. Connor wasn't really a touchy feely person but didn't want to hurt Rarity's feelings or irritate Spike, he could tell Spike like liked Rarity, by refusing her hug. So he gave her one. He is an English gentleman after all.

"My goodness Connor," said Rarity, "Do all humans hug as well as you?"

Connor blushed.

Rarity giggled, "Anyway darling, you came here for clothing did you not? Follow me deary and I'll see what I can do."

Connor and Spike followed Rarity into the boutique.

"Do make yourselves at home darlings I won't be a moment," said Rarity as she trotted into a different room to gather some materials.

Connor looked around the boutique and was impressed with what he saw. The dresses and suits were of the highest quality, both in the material used and the actual making of the clothes. It was clear to Connor that Rarity knew what she was doing. He felt somewhat more relaxed in knowing that, Rarity would make him clothes that would be the total opposite of a Christmas jumper.

Rarity came back into the room, "Connor darling, let me show you some designs I did earlier."

Connor and Spike walked over to the table with Rarity.

"After you mentioned you like astronomy I got the most fabulous ideas," Rarity stated as she showed Spike and Connor the drawings. Connor like what he saw. Rarity had gone for an astronomy theme. The trousers were different shades of blue with what Connor could only describe as 'glittering sparkles' to represent stars dotted around the trousers; they looked like Luna's mane but in clothes form. There was also a designs for t-shirts and dress shirts with the same look and features.

There were also designs for more plain clothes including pyjamas, coat, socks, underwear etc. Connor was at a loss as to how Rarity knew what Connor would need. He put it down to Rarity being brilliantly intelligent.

"Rarity," Connor said, "These are brilliant."

"Thank you darling I knew you would like them," Rarity replied, "I shall begin immediately."

"How much will this cost?" asked Connor.

"It will cost nothing my dear. This I will do free of charge."

Connor stood there in shock. It took him a few seconds to take in what Rarity said. A pony he barely knew was willing to make him a full set of clothes free of charge. He remembered Twilight telling him she was the Element of Generosity. Connor could see why. He looked up and realised Rarity and Spike were looking at him.

"Connor are you alright?" asked Rarity.

Connor nodded, "Yeah I'm fine. Just stunned that you're willing to do all that at no charge."

"Well I am the Element of Generosity darling, and considering the situation you are in a little bit of Generosity is what you need."

Connor felt overwhelmed. He had seldom experienced people, or ponies in this case, treating him in such a manner. What made this even more overwhelming for Connor was that the ones giving him the nice treatment were ponies of a different world who barely knew him. Connor felt he would need to start a record on who he owes a debt of gratitude to.

"Thank you Rarity," said Connor as he wrapped his arms around Rarity, giving her a firm hug.

"You're welcome Connor," replied Rarity blushing slightly from Connor's affection.

Connor and Spike said their goodbyes and let Rarity get to work. As they left the boutique Connor turned to Spike and said, "Don't worry Spike I'm not taking your girl."

Spike breathed a sigh of relief.


Spike and Connor sat in Fluttershy's cottage having tea with the timid Pegasus. Fluttershy was as you'd expect to be, shy. Still, they were able to have a conversation, Fluttershy was particularly interested in animals on Connors' world. She was quite surprised to hear that humans were the only sapient creatures (most of them anyway), and that Pegasi, Unicorns and dragons existed only in Fairy Tales and mythology. She wasn't disturbed by Connor being an omnivore, after all some of her animals were carnivores. She offered to acquire meat for Connor which Connor gladly accepted.

The only problem during their pleasant visit was a certain white bunny. Angel Bunny was his name. The white pest kept making movement with his paws moving them from his eyes and pointing at Connor, indicating that he was watching Connor.

There's nothing angelic about that bunny Connor thought.

"Don't mind Angel, he's really nice when you get to know him and I'm sure you'll like him to," said Fluttershy as she gave the evil rabbit a cuddle.

I'll like him alright, thought Connor, In brandy sauce.

The duo bade farewell to Fluttershy and decided to head back into Ponyville for some lunch. Sitting at a table outside a café they made their orders, a grilled cheese sandwich for Connor and Hay Fries with cheese for Spike. And a pot of tea for each.

After a few minutes the waiter brought out their order.

"So," said Spike as stuffed his face with fries, "what do you think of Ponyville?"

"It's a very nice place. Very peaceful and clean. And friendly locals. My only gripe would be there's no internet."

Connor had explained to Spike earlier what the internet was. Spike seemed impressed and could understand why not having access to something like that could be annoying.

"I can understand why, especially considering what you said it was capable of."

"How long until Twilight finishes reorganising the library?" asked Connor.

Spike sighed, "I don't think Twilight will ever finish organising the library."

"And just what is that supposed to mean Mister?"

Spike and Connor turned around the source of the voice. And found a very grumpy looking Twilight.

And Spitfire.

"Erm...Uh...well..." Spike spluttered.

"We'll discuss this later," Twilight turned to Connor, "Connor, as you can see you have a visitor."

Connor looked over to Spitfire, her golden-yellow fur looking as radiant as ever.

"Hi Spitfire. It's good to see you again," said Connor trying, but failing, to hide his elation at seeing the fiery Pegasus.

"It's good to see you as well Connor. You seem to be fitting into Ponyville nicely," replied Spitfire.

"Yeah it's a nice place, I can see why the ponies here like the place."

Spitfire smiled at hearing Connor was settling in well. She didn't want anymore incidents like there was with Blueblood. She trotted up to Connor and removed the box containing the necklace Celestia gave her to give to Connor.

"Connor, Princess Celestia asked me to give you this."

Connor took the box and opened it. Inside he saw a golden necklace with a purple gemstone, Amethyst he assumed, that looked like the regalia worn by Celestia. He also noted a scroll as well. Unfurling the scroll he read what was written, it was a letter from Celestia.

Dear Connor

I hope you are settling in well in Ponyville. As you may have noticed, the necklace in the box is a smaller version of the regalia I wear. The necklace in the box is enchanted so that if worn by you, I will know if your life is in danger. It also acts as a defensive shield against excessive use of magic. After the incident with Prince Blueblood I felt it necessary that you have at least some form of defence against magic. Magic can still be used on you such as levitation, but if it detects you are distressed it will attempt to counter the magic used against you.

It will also act as a location beacon and health monitor, so if your life should be in danger I can act immediately. It is magically linked to my own necklace so I will know immediately. It cannot be forcibly worn or removed from you with or without magic.

Once again it is entirely your decision whether you wear it or not.

Your friend

Celestia

Connor put the scroll back in the box and took out the necklace. Deciding to test to see if what Celestia said actually worked he put on the necklace and fastened it. As he did so the Amethyst gem started to glow purple.

"That looks good on you Connor," said Spitfire approvingly, "Are you going to test it to see if it works?"

"Yes, Twilight be a dear and try to remove this with your magic," Connor said to Twilight.

Twilight lit up her horn and tried to remove the necklace from Connor's neck, but the necklace stayed where it was. Spitfire motioned to Connor if she could attempt to remove the necklace with her hooves. Moving behind Connor she reached up to the necklace and tried to remove it. Again it didn't budge.

Spitfire moved back to the front of Connor, "It seems to work, why not try yourself and see what happens."

Connor reached to the back of the necklace and removed it without problem, the Amethyst gem stopped glowing.

"Celestia is talented I'll give her that," said Connor as he looked at the necklace in his hand.

"Indeed," said Twilight, "That has some advanced magic in it that only alicorns and highly skilled Unicorns could achieve."

Connor put the necklace back on and the gem lit up again. Looking to Spitfire he couldn't help but notice she looked a little preoccupied.

"You OK Spitfire, you look a little troubled."

Spitfire chuckled nervously, "Yeah I'm fine, just thought I'd take a break. I did sprain my wing so I need to rest it anyway, especially with the upcoming Young Fliers Competition. That reminds me, here's that VIP All Areas Pass I promised."

She handed over the pass to Connor who promptly thanked her.

"Where's Cloudsdale?" asked Connor.

"It's in the sky, a city made of clouds and where I'm from," responded Spitfire.

When he thought about it a floating city made of clouds did make sense for Pegasi.

Maybe Pegasi can walk on clouds here, it would make sense he thought.

"A floating sky city? It's not lead by religious fanatics or racist ultra-nationalists is it?"

Spike, Twilight and Spitfire all looked at Connor in confusion tilting their heads.

"Never mind," Connor said, "I was making reference to something from my world."

The other three just shrugged their shoulders.

"Do you want to join us?" asked Connor.

"YES!" shouted Spitfire.

Twilight, Spike and Connor looked to Spitfire who realised she said that louder, and more enthusiastically than she intended to.

"I mean yes, I'd like that."

Twilight and Spitfire sat them selves down and made their orders. Twilight got a Daisy and Dandelion sandwich, Spitfire got a Tuna Salad. Spike and Connor each ordered another of their previous meal.

"Spitfire, can I ask you something?" asked Connor.

Spitfire went slightly wide-eyed and tensed up, but was able to nod slightly.

"Why are you eating tuna? I thought ponies were herbivores."

Spitfire stayed silent for a moment. She thought he was going to ask something in regards to her...affectionate behaviour towards him. She felt a bit embarrassed at overacting like that, even if it was only in her head. She managed to compose herself and answer.

"We are herbivores but tuna in particular help keep our wings in top condition. I'll spare you the details but all Pegasi eat tuna occasionally."

Connor nodded. Then a thought occurred to him. The competition was in Cloudsdale. Though he had never tried it before, he was certain he couldn't walk on clouds.

"Twilight," started Connor, "Can ponies walk on clouds here?"

"Only Pegasi, unless you know a unicorn who knows cloud walking spells. Why do you ask?"

"I'm not a Pegasus. I don't think I can walk on clouds."

"DAMN IT!" yelled Spitfire, causing the other three and a group of ponies to look towards her.

"Spitfire," said Connor sounding concerned.

Spitfire went slightly red with embarrassment, "Sorry, I just remembered I left my Wonderbolts outfit at home. I'll need to go home later and take it to the stadium."

The other three looked at Spitfire who was trying to look innocent.

Spike spoke up slightly confused at what she said, "But don't you have them provided for you before shows. I don't think I've ever heard Wonderbolts of having to take their own flying gear with them."

Spitfire gave Spike a 'Will you shut up now before you land me in it deeper' kind of look.

Twilight, looking between the three and taking note of Spitfires' odd behaviour spoke up, "We can always run an experiment to find out. Why don't we find ourselves a cloud after lunch then we can see of Connor can walk on clouds.

The other three nodded in agreement and the four of them enjoyed the meals when they came.


After the quartet finished their lunch they found themselves a cloud which Spitfire brought to the ground. Connor rather hesitantly stepped onto the cloud. Or was it the ground after his feet going through the cloud? He couldn't tell.

After a nod from Connor, Spitfire slowly lifted the cloud.

And Connor went with it.

"THIS IS ABSOLUTLEY AMAZING!!" squealed Twilight, "I WOULDN'T HAVE THOUGHT A NON-MAGICAL BEING COULD DO THIS I MUST STUDY HOW THIS WORKS!!"

After raising the cloud a few feet in the air, Spitfire sat down on the cloud with Connor.

"Hey you OK?" she asked him.

"Yeah, I'm just not used to sitting on clouds."

"I'm guessing clouds are different where you're from?"

"Yeah, they're not solid and we can't control them. The weather happens on its own in my world."

Spitfire raised her eyebrows, "Well then I guess I'm glad that here we Pegasi control the weather. Many of us would be out of work if the weather happened on its own."

"That would be a shame," replied Connor looking at the fiery Pegasus, "Are you staying for long here?"

Spitfire looked to Connor, "Not too long. I'll be heading to the stadium the day before the show to make sure everything is ready but I'll be here tomorrow. Why'd you ask?"

Connor shrugged his shoulders, "Just wondering. We could have a look round Ponyville together if you wanted, buy you a milkshake for helping me with Blueblood," Connor suggested trying to avoid eye contact with Spitfire. Why was he feeling awkward around her? He didn't know.

Spitfire's pupils contracted slightly, Is he asking me out on a date? she wondered. Whatever the reason she wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to get to know more about Connor.

"Sure," she replied, "I'd love to, do you want to head back down?"

"No I'm OK. This cloud is so damn fluffy and comfy," he replied as he laid back in to the cloud making himself comfortable.

Spitfire decided to stay as well. She came to Ponyville to relax anyway. She set herself down beside Connor when she felt Connor wrap his arm around her, pulling her closer to her and hugging her.

"I just wanted to thank you again for helping me with Blueblood," he said as he released her from his embrace.

Spitfire blushed, "You're welcome Connor."

She set her self down again, this time resting across Connors lap. He didn't do anything to stop her. In fact he put his arm over and around her. They both fell rather quickly into a blissful slumber.

Meanwhile on the ground, Twilight and Spike were wondering what was taking the other two so long to come back down. Twilight lit up her horn and levitated the cloud back to the ground and stood open mouthed when she saw Connor and Spitfire sleeping. With Spitfire across his lap. She decided to levitate the cloud back to where it was and leave them be.

"Come along Spike," said Twilight as she levitated him onto her back, "We have a library to finish organizing."

"Awwww," came the unenthusiastic response from the young drake.


After a few hours Connor woke from his sleep and looked down to find Spitfire laid on his lap. Gently rousing her she woke up.

"You OK sleepy head?" he asked her.

"Mmmppphh.......very funny Connor," came the response from the still sleepy Pegasus.

"Come on sleepy, I need to pick some clothes up from Rarity she may have finished by now."

Spitfire grumbled a bit more but got her self up and after a few stretches to her limbs and wings, took hold of Connor around his upper chest and helped him to the ground.

"You're really strong to lift me without breaking a sweat," said Connor. Connor wasn't huge, but at 6'2 and 14 stone he wasn't small either.

"Pegasi need strong muscles considering what we need to be able to create and control storms, winds, rain etc."

"I suppose so. Come on, let's go over to Rarity's."

The duo made their way to the boutique and went inside and found Rarity in the main shop area.

"Hi Rarity," said Connor.

"Connor darling, it's good to see you again. If you're here for your clothes and shoes I finished them about half an hour ago. Do you want to try them on?"

"Sure, is there a changing room somewhere?"

"Just over there darling," said Rarity pointing with a hoof.

Connor walked over to the changing room and went inside. He decided to try on the clothes that resembled Luna's mane, with their differing shades of blue and 'glittering sparkles' and noticed that they seemed to have the same wavy motion of Luna's mane. They fit really well. Which surprised Connor as he didn't recall Rarity taking his measurements. After putting on the clothes he stepped out of the changing room and into the shop foyer. Rarity and Spitfire were chatting to each other when they turned to see Connor.

They went wide eyed and their jaws dropped.

"Connor," Rarity said, "You look truly magnificent."

"I'll second that," Spitfire added.

Connor had to admit he did look good in them. He walked over to a mirror that was nearby and admired himself. Rarity and Spitfire flanked him.

"So Connor," Rarity started, "What do you think?"

Connor was silent for a few moments, "I really like them. I might just wear this to the competition. You certainly are talented Rarity."

"Thank you darling, I'm pleased to hear it," Rarity replied.

Connor turned to Spitfire, "What do you think?"

Spitfire squinted her eyes and walked slowly around Connor, looking him over.

"Hmmm," she started, "You look good. Princess Luna would certainly like to see you like this."

"She certainly would," he replied, "Rarity can I ask you something?"

"Of course you can."

"How did you get my measurements? I don't recall you taking them."

"I sized you up the moment I saw you darling," she replied with a smirk.

Connor wasn't sure what to say to that so he remained silent. Rarity and Spitfire giggled.

After trying on the other clothes that fit and looked just as well, Spitfire and Connor left the store. But just before they left Rarity spoke to Spitfire, "I'll have that order do for you ASAP Spitfire. You needn't worry."

"Thanks Rarity, bye now."

"Goodbye," said Rarity waving a hoof, Connor and Spitfire waved back.

They left the store and made their way back to the library.

"What is it you're ordering?" asked Connor.

"Nothing much, just something for a friend," Spitfire replied with a smile.

"I'll show you some of my things from my world if you want when we get to the library, I have something I think you may like."

"Sure, sounds good."


Spitfire and Connor had made their way back to the library and were now sitting next to each other on the sofa, with Connor laptop on his lap. He was showing her some games, photos and videos he had on there. Spitfire was impressed. She particularly like the Top Gun film trailer, too which Connor promised to show her and the rest of the Wonderbolts the full film after the competition.

As he was showing her some photos of Second World War aircraft, which she understandably took great interest in, Connor stopped at one aircraft on particular. Connor had set up a new folder with copy and pasted pictures with different names, he didn't want to spoil the surprise for Spitfire.

"What do you think of this aircraft?" asked Connor.

"Isn't that the Hawker Hurricane?"

"No, it looks similar but this one's a different aircraft, this aircraft is the 'sister' of the Hurricane."

"I don't know. What is this aircrafts' name?" she asked looking at the screen.

Connor paused for a moment, "Supermarine Spitfire."

Spitfire froze.

Connor concerned at her silence, gently shook her, "Spitfire, are you OK?"

Spitfire nodded slowly and turned to Connor, "This aircraft is really called Spitfire?"

"Yes," Connor responded.

Spitfire smiled, "It would explain why you thought my name was 'bloody brilliant'."

"Yeah," Connor chuckled.

"Tell me more about the Spitfire," said Spitfire.

So Connor did. He told her about its development and early days, as well as its designer R.J. Mitchell. He also mentioned how the Spitfire, along with the Hawker Hurricane were instrumental in securing victory in the Battle of Britain. He also explained how the Spitfire was considered by many to be the aircraft of RAF Fighter Command and the icon of a nation, and the legacy the aircraft itself.

What this aircraft meant to Connor wasn't lost on Spitfire.

The duo heard Twilight from the kitchen, "Tea's ready. Come and get it while it's hot."

Connor and Spitfire made their way to the kitchen. Tea tonight was something simple, pasta and cheese. Twilight spoke up, "Connor if it's OK with you can I test casting a spell on you before you go to Cloudsdale, it's nothing dangerous and you won't be harmed."

Connor thought for a moment, "Sure, what kind of spell?"

"Oh it's nothing to worry about plus if it works.....well if I told you now it would spoil the surprise."

Connor raised an eyebrow in confusion, Spitfire and Twilight however gave each other a knowing look.

"You two aren't planning anything are you?" he asked suspiciously.

The two mares looked at each other grinning mischievously, "Only a surprise for a friend," Twilight said.

Connor wondered what that would be. Anyway he had a sort-of date with Spitfire tomorrow so he decided to get a shower and have an early night.


"You think he'll like the surprise?" asked Spitfire.

"I get the feeling he will," responded Twilight, "He certainly likes you though, that I am certain of."

Spitfire hummed in agreement, "Princess Celestia said the same thing, he asked me out earlier to go around Ponyville tomorrow."

Twilight smiled, "He seems to be happier when he's around you. Did you ask Rarity about the other half of the surprise?"

"Yes," replied Spitfire, "I asked her while Connor was trying on his new clothes."

"Do you think he'll like it?" asked Twilight.

"After what he showed me on his laptop, I certain he will."

Chapter - 10 - Surprises Part 1

View Online

Connor was half asleep in bed as the warmth and glow of Celestia's sun shone into the bedroom. The comfyness of the bed, the softness of the quilt and the warmth of the sun made Connor feel like a toasty Cinnamon bun. He could have stayed there for ages. He layed there for a few minutes more, awake but eyes closed, when he felt something poking him.

Connor grunted.

The unknown intruder poked him again.

Connor grunted louder, "Go away, sleeping."

The intruder poked even harder several more times, "Come on sleepy head get up."

Connor turned to face whoever was foolish enough to disturb his lay in.

"Good morning sleepy head," said a energetic Spitfire with a huge smile.

"What time is it?" asked a rather groggy Connor.

"7am."

Connor scowled at Spitfire, "Goodnight," he said and went back under the quilt.

Spitfire narrowed her eyes, "Come on get up. I'm not going on this date by myself," she poked him again.

Connor groaned again, "OK OK I'm getting up."

"Great. Now hurry up, breakfast is ready."

Spitfire walked out of the room as Connor got out of bed and followed.

The two made their way to the kitchen. As they did Connor couldn't help but watch Spitfire's tail swishing from one side to the other, it was almost hypnotic.

Stop looking at her tail you pervert, why are you looking at it anyway?

Connor was knocked out of his trance when he walked into the door jamb.

"SON OF A-"

"Connor!" shouted Spitfire, "Are you OK?"

Connor rubbed his forehead and groaned, "Yeah I'm fine. Come on let's get breakfast."

He and Spitfire walked into the kitchen and sat themselves down. Twilight had prepared a breakfast including toast, croissants, eggs, strawberry jam, peanut butter, bagels, tea, coffee, orange juice; Twilight really went out of her way to do this.

"This is quite a spread here Twilight," said Connor, "Fit for a King."

Spitfire and Twilight raised their eyebrows and looked at Connor quizzically.

Noticing their looks he spoke up, "It's an expression. The country I'm from has a monarchy and many centuries ago Kings would often have large feasts so that's probably where the saying comes from."

"Your nation has a monarchy?" asked Twilight.

"Yes. The current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II. She's been reigning just over 60 years."

"Is she a good ruler?" asked Twilight.

"Yes. Though she doesn't rule in the same way Princess Celestia does. My nation's monarchy is a Parliamentary Constituency Monarchy. She reigns but doesn't govern. Instead the populace elect who they want to represent them in the Houses of Parliament, the legislative assembly of the United Kingdom. The Houses of Parliament reside in the Palace of Westminster and are separated into the Lower and Upper Houses, the House of Commons and the House of Lords respectively. The Lords are unelected and when I left had around 800 seats though the number isn't set, whereas the House of Commons has a set 650 seats in which you have to be elected to represent a constituency."

Twilight and Spitfire listened with keen interest, Twilight unsurprisingly writing everything down.

"How are they elected?" asked Spitfire.

"During a General Election which is usually every five years, sometimes during a by-election. To win a General Election you need to win 326 seats to gain an overall majority so passing and repealing laws can be made easier. If you have fewer than 326 seats then the election results in hung parliament in which no one party has control of the Commons."

"What happens if that happens?" asked Twilight.

"If you had the highest number of seats you could form a minority government but to pass laws you would need to rely on support from other political parties. Another option is to do what happened during the last hung parliament that occurred five years ago. The winning party, the Conservatives, formed a coalition government with the third largest party, the Liberal Democrats which allowed them to form a majority government."

"That sounds reasonable. Did it work out?" asked Twilight.

"Well it lasted until the most recent General Election which happened a few weeks ago. The Conservatives won unfortunately."

"Are these Conservatives bad?"

Connor thought for a moment, "Imagine if instead if one Blueblood, you had hundreds of them."

Twilight and Spitfire both looked mortified, "Are they really that bad?" asked Twilight.

Connor nodded, "Those Plutarchs care only for the rich. They give the rich tax breaks and other incentives while increasing taxes on poorer families and generally making it harder for less well off families to make a living. One of them who overseas the Department of Work and Pensions, is absolutely despised by millions whose decisions have had a devastating effect on peoples lives. In some cases death."

Twilight and Spitfire both had tears in the eyes, "No wonder you don't want to go back," said Spitfire wiping the tears from her eyes.

Connor went up to Spitfire and put his arm around her consolingly, "Don't let those Tory bastards dim your view of humanity. Yes we've done horrible things in the past, but we've also done great things such as wiping out a horrendous disease called Smallpox over thirty years ago. Another thing we did was land a man on the moon a mere eight years after saying we'd do it."

"I remember you saying something about these moon landings," said Spitfire.

"I'll tell you about them when we're next with Luna."

"Are you going to tell me as well?" asked Twilight on the verge of tears, terrified Connor wouldn't tell her about the Apollo missions.

"Of course I will I wouldn't-"

Connor was cut off as a purple unicorn suddenly piledrived into Connor hugging him tightly, "Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou."

"I take it that pleases you?" asked Connor.

Twilight nodded vigorously and clapped her hooves together.

The trio finished their breakfast when Connor noticed an absentee, "Where's Spike?"

"He helping Rarity with something," replied Twilight.

Twilight and Spitfire looked to each other, something Connor didn't miss, "What's going on?"

"Nothing," said Spitfire, "Just friends helping each other out."

Connor decided it was still to early to decipher that cryptic response so he just finished his breakfast.

------------------------------------------------------------

After the trio had finished their breakfast Twilight went into her laboratory and while Connor and Spitfire went out into Ponyville. Connor was wearing some of the clothes Rarity had made, blue jeans, dark red shirt and black shoes. He wasn't sure what the shoes were made from though, it didn't feel like leather but Connor wasn't a cobbler or fashionista.

"We're we headed to first?" asked Spitfire.

"Why not head over to Sweet Apple Acres, stretch our legs a little?" suggested Connor.

"Sounds good to me," replied Spitfire, "It's a shame you don't have wings or we could fly there."

Connor chuckled, "I'm sure if I did yourself and Rainbow Dash would be more than eager to teach me how to fly."

"Who better to learn from than the best."

Connor looked towards Spitfire who looked more radiant than usual today, or so he thought. He couldn't help but keep looking at her and take in the sight of her looks. Her golden-yellow fur, dark orange eyes and her mane and tail that looked like fire itself was emanating off of her. One thing he noticed on her and other ponies before but wasn't sure how to ask, or even if he should, was the mark on her flanks.

"Connor."

Connor didn't respond, still in his trance.

"CONNOR!"

Connor came back to his senses.

"You talking to me?" he asked.

"Who are you, the Coltfather? Yes I'm talking to you," Spitfire said with a hint of annoyance.

Was that a Robert De Niro reference or a Godfather reference thought Connor.

"Is something wrong?" Connor asked with concern.

Spitfire glared slightly at Connor, "You were staring at my flank."

Connor blushed in embarrassment, "Sorry I didn't realise I was staring."

Spitfire looked at him with narrowed eyes and mischievous smirk, "You didn't realise you were staring at my tail this morning either."

Connor went a darker shade of red while Spitfire burst into laughter, "You should see the look on you face."

"It's not that funny," Connor mumbled, "What is the mark on your flank anyway?"

Spitfire stopped laughing and gave Connor a deadpanned expression, "You're kidding right? You don't know what a Cutie Mark is?"

"A what?" Connor asked.

"Cutie Mark. They appear on our flanks when we discover our special talent. Don't humans get Cutie Marks?"

"No we do not get Butt Stamps."

Spitfire narrowed her eyes, "They're called Cutie Marks, not Butt Stamps."

"I am not calling them..........it's too girly a term and I refuse to use it," Connor stated defiantly folding his arms and stomping his foot.

Spitfire suddenly pounced at Connor and flew at him. She knocked him to the ground, rolled him over onto his front and pinned his arms behind his back. Connor tried squirming away but Spitfire's grip was strong. She had him and they both knew it.

"Would you like to reconsider your decision?" asked Spitfire.

"No. Did you know in my world the word Spitfire is used to describe people, particularly women, with a fiery temper."

Spitfire twisted his arm a bit more, "Are you trying to say I have a fiery temper?" she asked with a mischievous smirk.

Connor twisted his neck to look at Spitfire, "Well it's in your name."

Within a second Spitfire flipped Connor onto his back, landed on his front and got her muzzle close his face, "Yes it is, so are you going to start calling them Cutie Marks?"

Connor considered his options, "Only if you tell me how you got yours."

"Got my what?" asked Spitfire with a smirk.

She's got me now, may as well just admit defeat this day. I have lost this battle but not the war.

Connor took a deep breath, "Your Cutie Mark."

Spitfire hopped off Connor and helped him to his feet, "I'll be glad to tell you how I got my Cutie Mark."

The duo continued on their way to Sweet Apple Acres, walking slowly not in any rush to get there.

"It was twenty years ago, I was competing in the Cloudsdale Junior Grand Prix. A air circuit made of clouds around one and a half miles long. I was in second place most of the race, always behind the race leader Thunderbolt. I was so close to overtaking him many times but he always managed to hold the racing line and stay in front. I couldn't get past him so I decided to hold back and play for 2nd. Near the end of the circuit there's a series of corners called the 'corkscrew' where you have to perform corkscrews yourself to make the corner at speed and hit the apexes, no pony has ever pulled it off perfectly. If you can't corkscrew through the corkscrew you have to slow right down."

Connor nodded in understanding, "Sounds great, I'll have to see one of these races if they still have them."

"They still do, there's one coming up in a few weeks. Anyway approaching the corkscrew on the last lap, Thunderbolt was about three seconds ahead so unless he made a mistake I wouldn't have been able to beat him."

"He made a mistake didn't he?"

"Yes he did," replied Spitfire, "He approached the corner to narrow and he went wide and off the circuit, right then in that split second, my desire to win came back with an intensity I'd never felt before. I went through the corkscrew at high speed......while doing a corkscrew. I went faster than I ever have before, not fast enough to do a Sonic Rainboom, but fast enough that I left behind a trail of scorch marks on the clouds."

"A belated well done," said Connor cheerfully.

Spitfire smiled, "Thank you, after I won the race I was naturally very pleased. Thunderbolt finished second, I thought he would be mad with but he knows he messed up the corner. I went to see my parents, Stormy Flare my mother and Avro Lancaster my father-"

"YOUR DAD'S CALLED AVRO LANCASTER?!"

"Yes. He has the same name as the.....Avro Lancaster. I knew you'd like that, you'd get on well with him. Anyway, I was so busy telling my parents how excited I was with winning I didn't notice them pointing to my flank. My Cutie Mark is a lightning bolt of fire, if that makes sense, most likely resembling my fiery determination and ambition to win."

"That's quite a story. Your......Cutie Mark......may also represent your need for speed and warm hearted nature," suggested Connor.

Spitfire looked Connor with tears forming on her eyes, stopping in her tracks. Noticing Spitfire had stopped walking and on the verge of tears he walked over to her, "Spitfire are you OK? I've not said something to offend you have I?" he asked greatly concerned.

Spitfire looked up to Connor and stood on to her hind legs, bringing her eye level with Connor, and wrapped her forelegs around him hugging him tightly.

"Thank you," Spitfire said in tears, "That's probably the nicest thing anypony has said to me."

Connor returned the hug, "Anytime my fiery friend."

Chapter - 11 - Surprises Part 2

View Online

The duo embraced each other for several seconds, tears still rolling down Spitfire's cheeks. Connor set Spitfire back onto four hooves and dried her cheeks with his hands, Spitfire enjoying the soft touch and movements of his hands.

"You OK?" asked Connor.

"Yes, I'm fine now. You certainly know how to make a mare feel special."

Connor shrugged his shoulders, "I don't know about that, I've never been in a relationship before, or even on a date for that matter."

Spitfire looked a little hurt by this, "That's too bad. You're a good pony...I mean a good stallion...No I mean-" Spitfire started to blush a little while Connor chuckled.

"I know what you mean Spits. Don't worry about calling me a pony or stallion, I don't mind, they're far nicer than some of the things I've been called."

Spitfire relaxed a little.....then she realised what Connor called her, "You called me Spits."

Connor went wide eyed in realisation, "Sorry it just kind of came out. I-"

Spitfire interrupted, "Hey I don't mind, my friends call me Spits and since you're my friend as well you get to call me that too, Sleepy Head."

Connor laughed, "Is that your nick name for me?"

"Yes it is, and no-pony else is allowed to call you it," said with a modicum of authority. She wasn't sure why she didn't want anypony else calling him that, she just felt it was something only she could call him.

Connor grinned, an idea forming in his mind, "Then I get to call you something no one else can."

Spitfire nodded in agreement. Connor went deep in thought, what could he call her.

"I can't think of anything right now, but I'll come up with something."

"OK with me," replied Spitfire.

The duo continued on their way to Sweet Apple Acres not saying anything to each other, but rather enjoying each other's company and the views of the countryside surrounding Ponyville.

This place could easily pass for being in Yorkshire thought Connor, who took great pride in being a Yorkshireman. The greatest place in the world as far as he was concerned, despite where the town where he lived being less than ideal, Yorkshire is a truly great place and has the most beautiful countryside on Earth.

They approached the main farm house and knocked on the door which was answered a few seconds later by a Apple Bloom.

"Hi Connor."

"Hi Apple Bloom, you OK?"

"Yeah I'm good," It took a few moments for Apple Bloom to notice Spitfire, "OH MY CELESTIA IT'S SPITFIRE!! CAN AH GET YOUR AUTOGRAPH?! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!"

Connor and Spitfire both stifled the urge to laugh at the young fillies' excitement, "Sure," said Spitfire.

"I'll be right back just wait here," said as still excited Apple Bloom.

Apple Bloom ran off back into the house, Connor turned to Spitfire, "You're quite popular."

"Yeah, it's expected given that I'm a Wonderbolt."

"The Captain of the Wonderbolts. A Group Captain at such a young age, you're must be good to achieve that," Connor said. Deciding to risk serious injury he asked Spitfire a possibly dangerous question, "How old are you?"

Spitfire turned to Connor showing no signs of offense, "I'm 28. How old are you?"

"I'll be 25 in August. It does disturb me slightly that our calendars and measurement of time are precisely the same."

"Same here, but look at it this way, you don't need to get used to a different system."

"--isn't a Wonderbolt at the front door," said a orange furred purple maned filly.

"You sure about that young filly?" said Spitfire in warm and friendly tone.

Scootaloo froze.

"Scootaloo are you OK?" asked Connor.

Apple Bloom turned to Connor and Spitfire, "Yah can come in yah know, Granny Smith won't mind."

Spitfire and Connor went inside and closed the door, "Scootaloo say something," said Connor.

Scootaloo suddenly unfroze and bolted towards Spitfire at a speed that would have impressed Rainbow Dash, "I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!! I'M IN THE SAME ROOM AS SPITFIRE!! YOU'RE TOALLY AWESOME!! Well not as awesome as Rainbow Dash but you're still awesome."

Spitfire couldn't help but feel great. It was one of the highlights of her job, she loved it when fillies and colts would get excited about the Wonderbolts. It made her feel she was doing something right, "Do the three of you want my autograph, how about a picture as well?"

Apple Bloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle gasped loudly, "YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!!"

A few minutes later photos were taken, including some with Connor. The CMC insisted that they take one of Spitfire and Connor together as well.

"Thanks a lot Spitfire," said a very excited Scootaloo, "I can't wait to show Rainbow Dash. I'm gonna be a Wonderbolt one day too."

Spitfire smiled, she liked it when she hears young filly and colt Pegasi say they want to be a Wonderbolt. They always showed so much enthusiasm. She also felt a bit of sadness as well when Unicorn and Earth Pony colts and fillies would get upset knowing they wouldn't be able to fly with them.....for obvious reasons.

"That's great to hear Scootaloo," responded Spitfire as she ruffled Scootaloos' mane.

Connor spoke up, "Hey Apple Bloom is Applejack in?"

"She's out buckin' apples, did ya need tah see her?"

"No I'm just going out and about with Spitfire. I won't bother her if she's busy. Could you tell her I stopped by though?"

"Sure. We'll see yah later bye Connor."

Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle also bade farewell. Connor and Spitfire made there way out of Sweet Apple Acres and headed back towards Ponyville.

"Anywhere in particular you want to go?" asked Connor.

"Not really. I'm good with just looking around. What about you, anywhere you'd like to go?"

Connor thought for a few moments, he could use this time to get to know Spitfire a little better, "Why don't we go to Sugercube Corner?"

Spitfire smiled, "Sounds good to me. I hope they do Banana milkshakes there."

"They do. You like Banana milkshakes?" Connor asked.

Spitfire launched herself into the air with wings and hooves spread outwards, "Are you kidding, I love them!"

Connor couldn't help but laugh at what he is seeing, "Then you'll be pleased to know that it's my favourite cold drink."

Spitfire launched herself at Connor, went around to his back and wrapped her hooves around his torso, "THEN WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR?!"

Connor suddenly found himself lifted off the ground and moving towards Ponyville at a fair speed. As they flew over Ponyville they attracted the attention of the ponies below, who continued to watch as Spitfire and Connor landed on the ground; Connor looking a little pale from the flight. He didn't get chance to recover before his fiery friend took his hand in her hooves and started pulling him towards Sugercube Corner, he wings flapping furiously.

They burst into Sugercube Corner with a little bit too much enthusiasm, attracting wide eyed looks from the ponies in the store, including Mrs Cake. Spitfire pulled Connor over to a table and sat him down before taking a seat herself. It was only when she sat down that she noticed a rather pale looking Connor.

"Connor you OK?"

Connor nodded, "Yeah I'm fine. I just wasn't expecting a journey like that."

"Yeah, sorry about that. I just got excited about Banana milkshakes, surely you can understand?"

Connor nodded, he couldn't help but feel happy himself seeing Spitfire like this. He looked over to the counter and saw Mrs Cake walking over.

"Hello again Connor, do you want the usual?"

"Yes please Mrs Cake. And a Banana milkshake for Spitfire to," he motioned towards Spitfire.

Mrs Cake looked towards Spitfire, "Oh my Celestia, a Wonderbolt in our store."

Spitfire smiled, "Yep. I got the impression that this was a good place to eat, plus both me and Connor both love Banana milkshakes."

"Then let me bring you some over. Would you like some cake as well?"

Connor and Spitfire both gave Mrs Cake a raised eyebrow, "Of course you would, that was a silly question. They'll be with you shortly."

Mrs Cake walked away and left Spitfire and Connor to themselves. There was a few moments of awkward silence as the two sat looking at each other.

"So-" they both said in unison.

"When did-" they both said in unison again.

Connor held up a hand, "Ladies first, you ask your question."

Spitfire smiled at Connor's gentlemanly conduct, "Thank you, sooooo......"

There was an awkward silence again. Spitfire shifted around uncomfortably in her seat, pawing at it with her hoof. Seeing she was preoccupied and clearly nervous, Connor decided to help ease the tension. He gently placed a hand on her back which had the immediate response of Spitfire looking at him, blushing profusely.

"Spitfire are you OK, there's nothing troubling you is there?" he asked with concern.

It took a moment for Spitfire to respond, she was very aware of his hand on her back. It felt comforting and reassuring. Composing herself she finally answered, "No there's nothing wrong. I'm just thinking about the upcoming competition. Thanks for your concern though, I appreciate it."

Connor gently rubbed her back, "No problem......Milkshake."

"Milkshake huh, I like it," Spitfire replied. She then pointed a hoof at Connor and frowned, "Don't you dare tell anypony about that name, especially the Wonderbolts."

Connor laughed, "Don't worry, I won't tell anyone that the mighty larger than life ferocious Spitfire is actually just a little softy with a warm heart."

Spitfire tried not to laugh but failed to do so, she let out an infectious laughter that got the attention of the other ponies in the store. After several seconds her laughter died down and she composed herself, "Thank you Connor I haven't laughed like that in a while, oh it looks like our orders' here."

Connor looked over to see Pinkie approaching with two large Banana milkshakes and a half dozen iced cup cakes, "Hey you guys," she said excitedly as she placed their order on the table, "Having fun?"

"Certainly am," replied Connor, "Spitfire's a fun mare to be around."

Spitfire blushed slightly, Connor didn't notice but Pinkie did.

"And you're a great stallion to be around. I can't wait for tomorrow when you're coming to Cloudsdale," replied Spitfire feeling a little flustered.

Pinkie started twitching and jerking for several seconds gaining the attention of many, "That was a doozy, it means something you never expect to happen is gonna happen."

Spitfire and Connor looked to each other before looking to Pinkie, "Do you know what will happen?" asked Connor.

"All I know is that it's a doozy," Pinkie said before another Pinkie Sense took hold of her, "Floppy ear, twitchy tail, fluttery eye......" Pinkie gasped loudly in shock, "SOMEPONY HAS LOST THEIR CAKE!!!" Before anyone could ask she bolted away in what appeared to be the in the direction of Canterlot.

Everypony in the store just went about like nothing out if the ordinary occurred, including Connor. He remembers at his party the rest of the Main 6 plus some other ponies just telling him "Don't try to understand or question Pinkie, just go with it and you'll be better off". He looked to Spitfire to notice she had a look of utter confusion, which is understandable as Pinkie was involved.

"That's just Pinkie being Pinkie," said Connor.

"You say that like it's a matter of fact and not opinion," replied Spitfire.

"It is. Don't try to understand Pinkie, it's not possible."

Spitfire stayed silent for a moment, "I think I'll side with you on that one."

The duo had their snacks whilst they talked more about their worlds. Spitfire gave Connor a history on the Wonderbolts and why she joined. After getting her Cutie Mark, Spitfire entered more races and competitions (which she won most of) in which she attracted the attention of the Wonderbolts. They invited her to the Academy to become one of them. Spitfire being fiercely competitive, ambitious and driven accepted and graduated the Academy summa cum laude with the rank of Flying Officer. She didn't star in the big events to start with, instead she started with the smaller events and 'flew her way up' so to speak. When she wasn't performing she patrolled Equestria's borders, the Wonderbolts were a division of the Royal Equestrian Air Force after all.

She quickly rose through the ranks and earned many commendations and accolades for her services to Equestria and the Wonderbolts. It was only about one year ago when she was promoted to Group Captain and head of the Wonderbolts. Her family and her fellow Wonderbolts threw her a huge party. Her family included her parents Stormy Flare and Avro Lancaster, her younger sister Lightning Skies and her older brothers Gloster Gladiator and Hawker Hurricane.

Her mother sits on Equestria's Aviation Council, her father is a retired Air Commodore of the REAF (Royal Equestrian Air Force), her sister is the manager of the Lightning Division of the Weather Factory in Cloudsdale, Gloster Gladiator is a professional Air Hoofball player and Hawker Hurricane is a Group Captain in the REAF.

Also Hawker Hurricane is Spitfire's twin brother, older by five minutes.

"That's quite a family you have," said Connor as he finished a double chocolate cupcake.

"Yeah they sure are something. I take it you like their names?"

"Are you kidding, they're brilliant. You kept quiet about the names deliberately didn't you?"

Spitfire chuckled, "Sort of, I did get side tracked when you showed me a picture of the Spitfire. Heh, it sounds odd saying my name in third person."

Connor laughed. It was reassuring to hear that Spitfire had a good family behind her, though he couldn't help but feel something was amiss. The saying, If it's too good too be true it probably is came to mind. Still, her affairs weren't any of his business. Though he wondered if he could meet her family, there was only one way to find out.

"Hey Milkshake, do you think I could meet your family?"

Spitfire looked stunned, "You...You....want to meet my family?" she asked sounding worried.

Connor nodded, "Yeah if that's OK. They sound like decent folk."

Spitfire thought for a few moments, "I'm not sure, it's just there are some.....mitigating circumstances that might.....cause certain issues to arise."

Connor looked at Spitfire, he didn't know what she was referring to but it was clear that it is disturbing her so he dropped the matter.

"That's fine I understand."

"Thank you," Spitfire replied with a warm smile. She looked outside and noticed it was just after lunch, "Hey do you want to look around the rest of Ponyville?"

"Sure," replied Connor, the duo made their way out of Sugarcube Corner and towards the centre of town.

"Mind if I look in the records store?" asked Spitfire.

"No I don't mind," replied Connor.

The duo made their way to Vinyl's Music Emporium and went inside.

"Hey Connor, how's it hanging?" asked a familiar looking electric blue maned unicorn.

"Hi Vinyl, I'm fine. You OK?" he responded to Vinyl with a Hoof/Hand Bump.

"Never better. We'll have to make copies of your human music to spread all over Equestria, ponies will love it I know it."

"We certainly will. Just hope the original artists don't sue us or demand royalty payments," he said jokingly.

Vinyl laughed, "I promise not to say anything if you don't."

"My lips are sealed. Have you met Spitfire?"

"Yeah we've met, I've performed at some of their parties in the past. I'll be doing another gig at after the competition tomorrow."

Spitfire responded first, "We can't wait, we Wonderbolts love our parties as much as we love flying."

"DID SOMEPONY SAY PARTY?!"

Connor, Spitfire and Vinyl all jumped in fright as Pinkie popped in out of nowhere.

"PINKIE!," Connor started.

"Yes Connor," replied with a huge smile.

"Please don't do that, you startled us," he motioned with his hand to Spitfire and Vinyl who were just now catching their breath.

"Sorry but I heard 'party' and then I thought that-"

"Hey Pinkie," started Spitfire, "Would you like to organise our party for tomorrow after the competition?"

"Would I?! Just leave it to Pinkie Pie Captain Wonderbolt."

Almost has quickly as she arrived Pinkie left. Spitfire looked to Connor, "Pinkie being Pinkie?"

Connor nodded, "It would seem so."

"So," said Vinyl, "What can I do for you?"

Connor and Spitfire looked around for a while, Spitfire bought a few records whilst Connor just browsed. After leaving they next headed to the jewellers and looked in the window. There were a fine assortment of gems, earrings, necklaces and tiaras, all of which looked fantastic.

"Hey Connor," said Spitfire, "I'm headed back to the library, you coming?"

Connor was thrown off by this sudden question, "I'll catch up with you I'm going to look around a bit more."

"Sure, see you later."

Spitfire walked away towards the library, Connor watching her as she did. She's probably tired and wants a nap, I don't mind. She needs to rest for tomorrow considering she's......is that Rarity? Yes it is. They're talking and Rarity has something wrapped up in black in her magic. Connor thought what it could be, then he remembered his visit to Rarity's boutique, That's right, I remember Rarity saying she'd get that order ready for Spitfire ASAP.

But then Connor remembered some odd behaviour from Spitfire, Rarity and Twilight. Spitfire and Rarity were talking to each other when I was trying on those clothes, then suddenly stopped when I emerged. That order Rarity mentioned to Spitfire could have something to do with it. Twilight and Spitfire acted oddly saying they were only arranging a gift for a friend.

Connor's inner thoughts were giving him a headache Just sit tight and you'll find out what, if anything, is going on.

Connor continued to look in the window when he spotted a gold necklace with an Orange Sapphire encrusted in the centre, similar in design to the necklace Celestia gave him.
He looked to find a price......2,500 bits (£250). He had enough........

------------------------------------------------------------

Connor was approaching the library. As he could he could hear movement and noises inside.

"Sssshhhhh he's coming" he heard somepony say.

Yeah there's definitely something up. Captain I recommend we go to Yellow Alert.

Connor decided to go in normally as to not arouse suspicion. He went in to find the Twilight, Rarity and Spitfire in the main library room.

"Hey girls," Connor said trying to sound normal.

"Hey Connor," replied Spitfire who flew up and gave him a hug, to which Connor happily returned.

"What are you girls up to?"

Twilight was the one to speak up, "Well you see, we don't know how long you'll be here so we wanted to do something special for you."

Connor sat himself down next to the mares, "What sort of special something?"

"Well," Twilight continued, "I got the idea after we discovered you can walk on clouds. This particular surprise only adds to the other surprise."

"Other surprise?" asked Connor confused.

"Let me explain this one Twilight," said an excited Rarity, "While you were trying on your new ensemble I talked with Spitfire, and we agreed we wanted to do something special for you while you were with us."

"Would this have anything to do with that order Spitfire wanted ASAP?"

"Yes darling," Rarity said as she levitated the same black package from earlier into view, "Allow me to present to you........THIS!!"

Rarity removed the black cover to reveal a Wonderbolts flight suit, fit to human proportions, or more precisely Connor's proportions. It has the same blue and gold design but with minor additions. One of which is a gold coloured belt with the buckle in the form of the Wonderbolts emblem. Also added where gloves and boots with the same blue and gold design as the flight suits. The flight suit also lacked a head covering. Last there were a pair of flight goggles.

Connor was, not for the first time since his arrival, stunned into silence.

"So darling what do you think?" asked Rarity.

Connor stood up and walked over to Rarity and hugged her, "It looks brilliant, thank you."

Rarity blushed, "No problem at all darling but you must try it on."

Connor took the flight suit out of Rarity's magical hold and went upstairs to his room to get changed into it. It took a few minutes but he managed to do it. The flight suit fit like a glove, not too loose and not too tight. He went over to the mirror and looked at himself, I look good, not at all like a camp Power Ranger. All that's missing is some wings

Connor held his thoughts at that.........

No that won't happen

Connor went downstairs and into the main library area. Gasps of shock ringed throughout the library. Connor looked around and found there were books all over the place. And the rest of the Main 6 and Spike were there.

How did I not hear any of this happen?

There was silence as Connor stood there in his Wonderbolts flight suit while seven mares and a drake just looked at him open mouthed.

"So......" Connor started, "How do I look?"

Rainbow Dash was the first to answer, "YOU LOOK AWESOME!!"

"Connor you look splendid," Rarity replied.

"YOU LOOK SUPER FANTASTIC!!" Pinkie shouted.

The others all agreed. Spitfire came up to Connor, "You almost look like a Wonderbolt. All you need are some wings."

"I know," Connor replied, "But sadly humans can't just grow them......why are there slits in the back?"

Twilight was almost bursting with joy, "Because I've been practicing a spell that should let you grow wings."

Connor just blinked at her, "You're shitting me."

"Nope, I've been practicing this really hard please let me try it on you?" Twilight asked deliberately making her eyes look bigger.

Must resist those eyes.........."Sure go ahead."

Twilight lit up her horn and fired at Connor (he removed his necklace). As the magic beam hit Connor, red energy enveloped him and lifted him into the air for a few seconds. While Connor was in the air, he felt pain in his back. He felt two 'somethings' push their way out of his back and spread out. The magic slowly lowered Connor back to the floor and the magic dissipated. When it did everyone looked at Connor and saw he had two huge red feathered wings on his back, which were about 6ft long and had angular edges to them.

His large wings had huge Primary feathers, reasonably big secondaries and smaller tertiaries. The dark red wings shone brightly in the sunlight and radiated intensely, warming up the room.

Connor looked around the room to find a sea of open mouths, "So, how do I look?"

Chapter - 12 - Cloudsdale

View Online

THE NEXT MORNING

Connor woke up early just as the sun was rising. The night before Spitfire, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash gave Connor a few quick lessons on basic wing control. He was a little rusty at first but within a couple of hours he was able to move them in and out with relative ease. There were occasions where his wings would spring out much to the amusement of Rainbow Dash, in one instance his wings unintentionally hit Fluttershy in the face. Connor getting rather panicky started apologising profusely. Fluttershy wasn't hurt though and she didn't hold Connor at fault but accepted his apology nonetheless. He and the gang all talked about things in general for the rest of the night. Spitfire left for Cloudsdale to see to the last of the preparations for the competition.

Connor got out of bed and gave his limb and wings a stretch. He made his way over to his Wonderbolts flight suit and put it on. After struggling for a few moments getting his wings through the slits in the back he zipped the front up and put the goggles over his head, letting them rest just above his forehead. The boots and belt quickly followed, he took the gloves but left them off for now. He made his way downstairs to the kitchen where he could smell food.

Connor walked into the kitchen to find Twilight making breakfast, "Hey Twilight, did you sleep well?"

Twilight turned round to Connor, "Hi Connor, yeah I slept ok. Well there were grunts of annoyance coming from the guest bedroom which disturbed the peace but apart from that there was a peaceful tranquillity to the night."

Connor narrowed his eyes, "Very funny Sparkle Butt, just you wait until you get a pair of wings and you'll react the same."

Twilight laughed," Me becoming an alicorn? Don't be silly."

"You never know," said Connor, "It could happen."

"It's highly unlikely, I've never heard of a pony becoming an alicorn."

"It doesn't mean it can never happen though," Connor replied.

"True but let's discuss this another time. I'm hungry. Oh and I see you decided to wear your flight suit now, we don't leave for a few hours."

Connor nodded, "Yes. Well it's just that Rarity put a lot of effort into it the least I could do was get as much use out of it as I could."

Twilight smiled, "You don't have to explain yourself to me, besides you look good in it, it suits you. You could even pass for a genuine Wonderbolt."

Connor laughed at that, "Maybe. What does Rainbow Dash think of it? She hasn't really said anything which is quite surprising."

"She's excited but she didn't want to make you feel uneasy. She's also quite pleased you're dating Spitfire."

Connor's face went a bright shade of red, "We're not really dating besides I don't see her like that."

Connor was obviously lying and he knew it. And if the raised eyebrow on Twilight's face was anything to go by she knew it as well.

"Connor," said Twilight, "I may be what Rainbow calls an 'egghead' but I'm still a mare. I'm old enough to know when a stallion shows an interest in a mare."

Connor looked at Twilight and sighs, "Is it really that obvious?"

"Pretty much, yes," said Twilight as she walks over to Connor and rests a hoof on his lap, "But don't worry, we're here to help you."

Connor put his hand on Twilight's hoof, "Thanks Twilight. Should we have our breakfast now?"

Twilight nodded, "Absolutely, do you like bagels? Oh and here's a pot of tea."

The two of them had their breakfast in which Twilight talked about some of the books she had been reading, all of which went over Connor's head.

"Where's Spike?" asked Connor.

"He's having a lay in, he did stay up late after all, and he's still quite young so he needs his sleep. Besides were not going anywhere or doing anything until lunch time."

"Fair enough, I think I'll go over to Sugercube Corner later before we go. Is it OK if I can read some books in the meantime?"

"Of course you can, this is a library after all. I would give you a library card but you need to have been a resident of Equestria for six months to get one, sorry if that offends you."

"I'm not offended, a similar thing applies in my country."

Twilight smiled, "It's good that you're understanding."

"I might be understanding but I'm not perfect."

"I wouldn't expect you to be. Ponies aren't perfect either."

Connor smiled, "We are more alike than unalike."

"Indeed we are. Now you get yourself in the library while I wash up."

"I can help with the dishes."

"And risk getting your flight suit dirty, do you want to know what Rarity would do to you if that happened?"

"Point taken," replied Connor, "I take it this wasn't cheap to make?"

Twilight shook her head "No it wasn't. It uses the same material as the actual Wonderbolt's flight suits. The material itself is very expensive and has magical enhancement to aid the wearers' body to breath at altitude as well as keep the wearers body temperature at a comfortable level."

Connor nodded in understanding, "So this suit isn't a replica it's essentially the real deal."

"Yes. After everything you've been through I think you deserve a little luxury."

"Do they actually sell replica Wonderbolt flight suits? In my world replica merchandise is extremely popular......and financially lucrative."

"Yes they do. There's a huge range of Wonderbolt merchandise that you can get, replica flight suits are best sellers. They're made from a similar material to yours but without magical enhancements."

"Does Rainbow have one?"

"I think she did as a filly but as an adult no. She said she wanted to wait until she's become a Wonderbolt to wear one."

"Do you think she'll do it?"

"Absolutely."

------------------------------------------------------------

A FEW HOURS LATER

Connor woke up on the sofa just before lunch and woke up a scene of utter chaos. Books and scrolls were scattered all over and the Spike and the Mane 6 expect Rainbow Dash were in the library. He also noticed Rarity with interesting additions.

"Rarity?"

Rarity turned around, "Connor you look splendid. I dare say you could be mistaken for an actual Wonderbolt."

Connor blushed, "I wouldn't go that far. I'm just your average Joe, there's nothing special about me."

"You're much too hard on yourself darling. Everypony is special in their own unique way and each has a special talent that defines them. You are no different."

"I told him the same thing a few days ago," said Twilight.

Connor sighed, "I know it's just that it's difficult to be positive when you've lived with a lot of criticism."

"We know darling and we want to do everything we can to help you."

Connor smiled, "Thanks guys, it means a lot. Oh and nice wings by the way."

Connor's compliment brought out a huge smile form Rarity, "Thank you darling, they're made from gossamer and morning dew and they look absolutely smashing."

Connor looked around the library, "By any chance would Rainbow Dash have caused this mess? Where is she anyway?"

Twilight was the one to speak up, "She was practicing some tricks for the competition when she lost control. According to Rarity she was having stage fright so long story short we decided we'd all go to Cloudsdale to support her. Non-Pegasi can't walk on clouds so I used a spell to allow Rarity to grow wings. I used a modified version on you, I figured feathered wings were more your style."

Connor nodded in understanding, "Ok, what about Applejack and Pinkie?"

"There's a simpler spell I can use on them that allows them to walk on clouds."

"Are you entering the competition Rarity?" asked Connor.

"I may actually. She may feel much better with a friend competing with her."

"I'm sure she'll appreciate it. When do we leave?"

"We leave in about an hour in a hot air balloon."

"Do you want any help cleaning up?"

Twilight smiled in delight, "It would be appreciated, thank you Connor."

------------------------------------------------------------

One hour and a clean library later the girls and Connor set off in the hot air balloon towards Cloudsdale. Connor had brought with him his laptop and phone as he planned to show the Wonderbolts human technology, and to finally let the girls listen to human music. He had already decided what he would show to each girl.

Connor was leaning over the side of the balloon getting a good view of Equestria, he could see the sprawling Metropolis that was Canterlot. Canterlot is a lot bigger than you think, about the same size as York.

"Enjoying the view?" asked Twilight.

"Definitely, Equestria is certainly something to look at."

"That's great to hear. Are you looking forward to the competition?"

Connor's face lit up, "I'm definitely looking forward to seeing Spitfire again."

The girls all looked at each other trying not to giggle, Twilight spoke up again "I asked if you were looking forward to the competition?"

Connor's face went red, "I uh...well....what I meant was...uh...”

The girls’ ability to contain their giggles failed and soon the balloon was filled with the sound of laughter. Connor wasn't laughing however, he felt a bit embarrassed and like he'd been made a fool of. Something that did not sit well with him. He turned away from the girls and looked back out of the balloon with a blank expression to Canterlot on the distance. He said nothing as the girls continued to laugh. It lasted only for a few seconds before Pinkie spoke up.

"Connor are you OK?" she asked.

"I'm fine," he said in a neutral tone.

The girls looked at each other and by the looks on each other's face felt they may have crossed the line by laughing.

Twilight spoke up, "Connor are you sure you're OK?"

Connor suppressing his temper replied with the same neutral tone, "I said I'm fine."

The girls said nothing more and the rest of the journey went in silence, Connor not once moving away or turning around.

------------------------------------------------------------

After arriving in Cloudsdale much to the surprise of Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, who gave the girls got a tour of the cloud city, Connor went off on his own without saying a word to anyone.

Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, seeing their new friend walk off without saying anything to them asked the rest of the girls what was wrong. Twilight explained what happened and the six girls agreed that they should let Connor be by himself a bit as confronting him may do more harm than good.

Connor was walking along some clouds, still amazed he can do that, when he noticed a lot of ponies looking at him.

Must be the outfit or the fact that I'm a human, or both

He ignored their looks and continued walking when he turned onto what appeared to be a shopping street that sort of looked like Stonegate in York. There were a fair range of shops including a specialist fudge shop with dozens of different flavours, a chocolate shop, antiques, furniture, pubs, cafe's, tea shops, barbers, bakeries, fashion outlets and unsurprisingly a Wonderbolts merchandise store.

Connor walked along the street clearly showing his enthusiasm at what he was seeing. He spotted the fudge shop and made a beeline for the place. All the while getting inquisitive looks form the nearby ponies. He entered the shop and almost immediately gained the attention of those inside. He went to the deli style cabinet containing many of what the store sold and was quite surprised at all the different flavours there were available including orange and chocolate, vanilla, orange and pineapple, lemon and lime, coffee, toffee, hazelnut, strawberry, raspberry, cola and Connor's favourite, mint and chocolate.

One of the workers spoke up, quite amazed that, from her perspective, a Wonderbolt was in her store. She had never met this creature before but he was in a Wonderbolts get up that didn't look like a replica. Pegasi have a very keen eye for detail and can tell the real deal from the replicas. What she saw was the real deal. Steadying her breathing she spoke up.

"May I help you sir?" asked a light gold Pegasus mare with a chocolate brown mane and tail and brown eyes. The mane was tied up into a bun, most likely to keep the mane out of the fudge. Her Cutie Mark looked like Caramel swirling around fudge. Rather fitting considering her occupation.

Connor looked up to the mare, "Yes, could I have a pound of the mint and chocolate please and another two pounds made up of seven equal sizes of any other flavours please."

The imperial system. So good it's used in another reality. Take that metric system.

The mare took the requested choices and cut them to size accordingly before wrapping each individual piece in greaseproof paper.

"That's quite a choice sir," the mare said as she put the wrapped-up fudge into a paper bag, "Are some of them for friends?"

Connor nodded, "Yes. They've done a lot for me in the last few days so I thought I'd get a little thank you for it. I'm getting them other gifts as well mind you."

"That's very nice of you sir, that'll be 30 bits please," Connor handed the mare the appropriate amount, "Are you performing today?"

"Performing?" he asked confused as he took the paper bag from her.

"Well you are in a genuine Wonderbolts flight suit so I was wondering if you were performing today."

"No I'm not performing. I'm not a Wonderbolt anyway. How did you know this was genuine and not a replica?"

The mare looked at Connor surprised, "You're not a Wonderbolt?"

Connor shook his head.

"Then how did you get a genuine flight suit?"

"A friend made it. She herself got hold of the material and tailor made it for me. It came as a huge surprise to me."

"Well you certainly pass for a Wonderbolt. And your wings look truly impressive. You must take extremely good care of them for them to be as radiant as they are."

Connor chuckled, "Actually I wasn't born with wings. Another friend cast a spell so I would have a pair temporarily. It was also a surprise, my friends conspired together to make two related surprises and this is the result."

The mare looked stunned, "Well you have damn fine friends. And even though you're not a Wonderbolt, you certainly could pass as one. And that's not just because you have a genuine suit and wings, it's the way you carry yourself."

Connor smiled at the compliment, "Thank you. I'm Connor."

The mare smiled and held out her hoof which Connor shook, "And I'm Caramel Fudge, owner of Caramel Fudges' Caramel Fudge."

"Nice name. Is Caramel Fudge your signature fudge?"

"Indeed it is. Here", Caramel said as she cut some fudge, "Have some of my signature flavour fudge, a bit for now and a bit for later, on the house."

Connor took the two pieces of fudge, "Thank you," he said before trying the Caramel Fudge.

Connors' face lit up which brought a fit of giggles from Caramel, "I take it you like it then?"

Connor nodded vigorously, "This is brilliant, you may have just got yourself a new regular."

This brought a huge smile from Caramel who only just managed to refrain from hugging the air out of Connor.

"Thank you sir."

"Please call me Connor."

"Very well Connor, then call me Cara. I'll let you get to your business now. No doubt you will want to look around a bit more. Oh and to answer your question from earlier, I knew your suit was genuine as we Pegasi have a very keen eye for detail," she said as she winked at Connor.

Connor blushed which brought out more giggles from Cara, "Don't worry Connor, I'm only teasing you. I know you've got your eyes on another mare."

Connor looked surprised, "How did-"

"It's in your eyes. Besides, as I said we Pegasi have a very keen eye for detail plus I'm a mare so I know the look a stallion gives when he's got a mare on his mind."

Connor chuckled, "Yeah you're right. She's amazing, we're not officially dating but I'm thinking of asking her later. I hope it's not too soon."

"How long have you know her?" Cara asked.

"Less than a week. Long story short I was in Canterlot, she accidently flew into me which forced me on to the ground and knocked me out. I woke up in hospital with her there. I left for Ponyville, she took some leave to visit me and we started hanging out."

Cara nodded in understanding, "What does she do?"

Connor rubbed the back of his neck uneasily, "Errrrrm she's a Wonderbolt."

Cara's face lit up, "Very interesting. Which Wonderbolt, tell me tell me tell me."

Connor help his breath before answering, "Spitfire."

Cara went wide eyed, "SPITFIRE!!"

Connor nodded, "I'm not sure if I should ask as it's rather soon, I don't want to come off as too strong or desperate."

Cara took on a serious look and tone of voice, "Don't worry about that. If she took a leave of absence to spend time with you then she is very interested in you. She loves her job as Group Captain of the Wonderbolts and wouldn't take time off without good reason. Ask her when you see her later. Don't miss your opportunity with her because believe me you'll regret it."

Connor took in what Cara said and nodded, "I'll ask her later after the competition."

Cara went back to her bright and bubbly self again, "Excellent. Now shoo, the crowd outside is waiting."

Connor looked confused, "What crowd?"

Cara pointed with her hoof towards the window facing the street, "That crowd."

It was Connor's turn to go wide eyed, "Oh Shi-"

"Come on Honey Bun get your plot outside and meet your fans," said a rather amused Cara as she pushed Connor towards the door, much to his dismay.

"No, please don't send me out there."

------------------------------------------------------------

Connor stood there as about three or four dozen ponies just stood there looking at him. Cara was watching with glee from inside her store.

"So......" Connor started, "How is everypony?"

There was a chorus of 'OK's' and 'I'm good's.

A small colt in a replica Wonderbolt's outfit approached Connor looking a little nervous.

"Excuse me mister," he started, "Are you a Wonderbolt?"

Connor looked at the colt and then to the assembled ponies, all looking rather quizzical. He looked back to the colt and smiled, "No I'm not a Wonderbolt but I am a friend of one. This flight suit was a gift form a friend. And the wings were a result of a friends spell."

The gathered ponies all seems intrigued. The colts and fillies in particular.

"What are you Mister?" asked the colt.

"I'm a human. We don't have wings though, these are like I said a result of a friends spell. And I didn't know we could walk on clouds either."

"Ooohhhhh," said the colt, clearly in awe of Connor.

"Are you seeing the competition later?" asked Connor.

The colt became very excited, "Yeah, my mum and dad are taking me. It's my birthday today as well. They got me this Wonderbolt Flight Suit and a poster of Spitfire. I hope she can sign it later."

"What's your name?" Connor asked, already forming a plan in his mind.

"Swift Wind sir."

"I'm Connor," replied Connor, "Hoof bump."

Connor held out his fist and Swift Wind bumped his hoof with Connor's fist which brought out giggles from the young colt.

"You're funny," said Swift Wind before running back to his parents.

The ponies were all in good spirits after seeing this strange creature be so good with a young colt. Connor quickly found himself surrounded by many other colts and fillies, all of whom wanted to hoof-bump the 'freaky awesome monkey' as one young filly put it. Connor wasn't the slightest bit offended by that, not when it came from the innocence of a child. The fillies' and colts' parents all watched with amazement as Connor took time and spoke to each colt and filly.

"OK little ones, who likes fudge?" asked Cara, who had been watching Connor since she pushed him outside.

There was a sudden rush of jubilant foals as they excitedly made their way into the store including the birthday colt Swift Wind, none of the parents seemed to mind and decided to spend the time talking to each other. Some even struck up conversation with Connor and asked him questions about where he's from and what he does. They were quite surprised to find out he's from a different world and even more thrilled when he said he was friends with Princess Celestia. It was clear to Connor that many if not all ponies held Celestia in very high regard.

After spending a few minutes talking to the parents he made his way to the tea room he spotted and like before he attracted many eyes but no-pony bothered him. He relaxed with a pot of tea and read the newspaper that was at his table. It was your typical tabloid with your typical tabloid content. While reading he noticed an article reporting on the existence of a 'furless monkey'.

I can't imagine who that could be

Connor finished his pot of tea and left the tea room, but not without being enthusiastically thanked by the staff first. Connor made his way over to the bakery and spotted two cakes with one having Celestia's Cutie Mark and the other having Luna's. He got one of each, one for Luna and the other for Celestia. The mares who ran the shop offered him a 'Wonderbolt's discount' but Connor politely declined on grounds he wasn't a Wonderbolt. The mares were confused, they told him they knew he was wearing a genuine flight suit and not a replica so Connor explained how he came to be in a genuine Wonderbolt's flight suit.

Cara wasn't kidding, Pegasi really can tell the difference

The mares understood but insisted he still have the discount as 'a gesture of goodwill'. Connor relented and thanked them for their generosity. He looked at his watch and saw that it was less than an hour before the competition. Deciding not to risk running late he headed over to the stadium. It's not like he could miss it, it was rather large. The Coliseum was like the one in (Ancient) Rome but made of clouds instead. Pegasi culture and architecture seemed to be a blend of Ancient Greek and Ancient Rome, or so Connor thought.

Connor was able to walk the way to the stadium. He was reluctant to use his wings even though he could consciously move them, he obviously wasn't a natural flier and didn't want to embarrass himself by flapping his wings only to plummet to the ground. Besides if he damaged his flight suit he dared not think what Rarity would do to him.

As he got closer to the stadium the crowds of ponies got larger and larger meaning more and more eyes fixed on Connor. As he was just outside he was approached by what appeared to be Cloudsdale police officers.

"Excuse us sir, what are you doing here?" asked one of the four officers.

A confused Connor just looked at the officer, "Pardon?"

"Shouldn't you be with your team getting ready? Never mind we'll escort you there."

"Wait," Connor said quickly, "I'm not a Wonderbolt and I'm not performing but I do have a VIP pass."

Connor got out the VIP pass and showed the officers who looked very confused.

"Why do you have a VIP pass if you're a Wonderbolt?" asked one of the other officers.

"I'm not a Wonderbolt," repeated Connor, "I just want to go to the VIP section."

The officers looked even more confused, "If you're not a Wonderbolt then why are you in a genuine Wonderbolt flight suit?"

"It was a gift from a friend."

The officer scoffed at Connor's response, "A likely story, a how did you get your hooves on a VIP ticket?"

"That was a gift also, from Group Captain Spitfire."

The officers looked at each other and laughed, "Yeah right. More likely you stole the material to make a flight suit of your own and you stole a VIP ticket just so you could see celebrities and Princess Celestia."

Connor looked at the officers dumbfounded by their words, "I know Princess Celestia, she's my friend and the ticket and flight suit were gifts from other friends."

"Of course they were, ape. You're coming with us."

The officers removed Connor's belongings and two of the guards went behind Connor and very quickly tied his wrists together and secured his wings. Connor started to panic and tried to resist which only resulted the guards to tie the knots tighter.

"You can add resisting arrest to your list of charges. You'll be spending a long time in the Canterlot Dungeons ape."

Connor was staring to lose control of his anger, "ON WHAT CHARGES? I HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING WRONG!"

The officers all smirked at each other, "Impersonating a Wonderbolt, theft of a VIP pass, lying to a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, claiming friendship with Royalty, shouting in public and possession of suspicious items."

He was furious and struggled against the officers who had a firm hold of him, not to mention the ropes tying his wrists and wings were very tight and digging into him, "Those last three aren't even crimes."

"They are if I say they are," replied the lead officer, "Take him away."

The two officers holding Connor started to take him away leaving the two other officers gave each other smug looks. The whole incident attracted the attention of many ponies, many of whom had looks of confusion on their faces. They were unable to see what the strange creature did wrong and voiced their complaints loudly.

The lead officer wasn't having any of it, "SILENCE OR YOU WILL BE TAKEN AWAY WITH HIM!!"

The ponies very quickly became silent much to the amusement of the lead officer. As Connor was being taken away, a very familiar white alicorn appeared on the scene. The assembled ponies all bowed to Celestia, Connor did not.

"BOW BEFORE THE PRINCESS CRIMINAL SCUM!" shouted the lead officer. Connor was pushed to his knees and hit the ground harshly, good thing he's on clouds because had the ground been concrete his knees would have been shattered.

Celestia looked in the direction of the outburst and was very surprised to see Connor tied up by Cloudsdale police.

"What is going on here?" she asked as she walked over to Connor.

The lead officer spoke up, "This criminal is guilty of impersonating a Wonderbolt, theft of a VIP pass, lying to a law enforcement officer, claiming friendship with Royalty, resisting arrest, shouting in public and possession of suspicious items."

Connor was worried, if Celestia believed him he would see the inside of the dungeons for sure which would no doubt please Blueblood immensely. He continued to look at her while she looked at him. Her face completely neutral.

"Officer," Celestia said as Connor held breath, "release him immediately."

The officers all looked flabbergasted, "Princess you can't be serious. This hairless ape has committed several crimes and must be punished."

Celestia ignored the 'hairless ape' comment as these ponies are in enough trouble and narrowed her eyes, "He has committed no crimes you describe here. I know so as I have been watching him from my chariot. So I will tell you again, release him at once!"

The lead officer grit his teeth and nodded to his officers who promptly untied him.

Celestia walked over to Connor with concern, "Are you OK Connor, you are not harmed are you?"

"I'll be fine. A little rattled but nothing you need to be worried about."

"I'm pleased to hear that," relied Celestia as she gave Conner a wing hug, which Connor responded by wrapping his arms around her neck. The assembled ponies all looked on in amazement that this strange creature was friends with their princess. The police officers all looked at each other with worried expressions.

Celestia turned to her guards, "Take Connor to my chariot and take him to the VIP area of the stadium. Ensure no harm comes to him."

The guards wing saluted and followed her order.

"Don't worry Connor," said Celestia, "I'll join you shortly, there is a matter that needs to be dealt with."

Connor looked towards the police officers whose facial expressions were that of a child caught their hands in the cookie jar. Connor walked with the Royal Pegasi Guards to the chariot where they promptly took him to the VIP section. He looked over to the side of chariot to see Celestia having a few words with the officers.

Connor wasn't in the chariot for long before they reached their destination. He thanked the guards who responded with a wing salute. Connor walked towards the VIP lounge and no sooner than he entered were there dozens of eyes set upon him. Most of the ponies where Pegasi who seemed to take an interest in Connor.

"Hey buddy, come to join your friends before the show?" asked a large green Pegasus stallion.

"Friends?" asked Connor.

"Your fellow Wonderbolts, they're round the corner," replied the stallion who showed Connor the way.

The stallion pointed in the direction of the Wonderbolts and found them in a corner drinking and eating.

"Thank you," said Connor to the stallion.

"No problem," replied the stallion as he went back to his friends.

As Connor walked towards the Wonderbolts, they looked at him with wide eyes.

"Is he the one you were talking about?" asked a white maned blue furred mare.

Another mare turned around and her face lit up and she bolted towards Connor who barely had time to prepare himself.

"Connor it's great to see you again," Spitfire said as she gave Connor a firm hug.

"I'll take that as a yes," said the blue furred white maned Pegasus.

"Who's that?" asked Connor.

Spitfire turned around, "Connor let me introduce you to Fleetfoot. Fleetfoot this is Connor."

Connor waved at the Wonderbolts who waved back.

"Come on Connor let me introduce you to the rest of the team," said Spitfire.

The other Wonderbolts made room to allow Connor to sit down and each of them introduced themselves. There were about ten Wonderbolts there and each of them listened to the story of how Connor came into this world and what he's been up to since his arrival including the incident with the Cloudsdale police. They were all in agreement that Connor looked great in his flight suit and that he looked like one.

"You're not the first ponies to say that today," Connor said.

"Well it's true," said Spitfire, "Practice flying and you could become one for real."

Connor smiled, "I'll keep that in mind."

"Anyway," said Spitfire, "Me, Soarin and Misty Fly had better get going, we're the celebrity judges this year."

"Who decides who judge?" asked Connor.

"As Group Captain I always judge but the others we simply pull names out of a hat."

Connor nodded, "That seems fair enough. What are the rest of you who aren't judging or performing doing in the meantime?"

"Well just hang out here and drink cider and eat food," replied Fleetfoot.

"Sounds good," replied Connor, "Mind if I join you?"

"Course you can," Fleetfoot replied, "You don't need to ask, you're practically one of us."

Connor chuckled, "I wouldn't go that far, I can't even fly."

"You will when we've put you through some drills," replied Spitfire as she wrapped her hooves around his neck, "You have Wonderbolt written all over you."

"Still, I'd rather go through the academy I earn the right to be one rather than it be just given to me."

"That's great to hear, we'll look forward to having you," said Soarin, "It'll be nice to have another stallion in the team."

"AND JUST WHAT IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?" asked Misty Fly.

Soarin went wide eyed as he realised what he said could be interpreted differently than he meant it. While Soarin was trying to splutter out an excuse to the Wonderbolt mares who had surrounded him, except for Spitfire who sat next to Connor who had an arm/foreleg wrapped around each other. They were watching Soarin be verbally roasted when a Royal Pegasi Guard approached.

"Excuse me Sir, Princess Celestia has requested your presence in the Royal Box."

Connor turned back to Spitfire who spoke before he did, "You better get going Sleepy Head."

"Yes Ma'am," Connor said jokingly, throwing in a salute as well.

Spitfire laughed at Connor's antics and they gave each other one last hug, "I'll see you later then Milkshake."

------------------------------------------------------------

Connor followed the guard up to another section of the stadium. He looked at the signs overhead and noticed he was being led away from the Royal Box, not towards it.

"Aren't we going the wrong way?" he asked the guard.

"No sir," replied the guard, "I am to take you to the Princess first. Her Majesty said she would take you the Royal Box herself."

"OK, continue leading the way then."

"Aye sir," replied Connor, not as an order but more as conversation but the guard knew that.

Connor followed the guard into a room that looked like a hanger bay, which Connor confirmed when he saw Celestia's golden chariot. And the Princess herself. Running towards the Princess he called out to her.

"Princess!"

Celestia turned around just in time for Connor to wrap his arms around Celestia hugging her tightly. Celestia returned this affection with a wing hug and a huge smile, "My my, somepony is in a good mood. What is it that's got my little human in such a good mood?"

"You," replied Connor still hugging her.

"Oh," replied Celestia, "How so?"

"You showed up again just as I needed you. Not for the first time either. You seem to have a talent for showing up just when you're needed. How do you do it?"

"It's a Royal Secret."

Connor laughed and let go of Celestia, "Even for me?"

Celestia giggled, "I'm afraid so, and might I say you look splendid in your Wonderbolts Flight Suit, you look the part in it."

Connor smiled, "Thank you Princess, anyway your guard said you wanted me in the Royal Box?"

Celestia nodded, "Indeed, how would you like to enter with me?"

Connor's face lit up, "I'd love to."

Connor made his way to the chariot which brought out more giggles form the princess, "We're not going in the chariot my little human but you may leave your belongings in it. I assure you no-pony will dare take it."

Connor furrowed his brows in confusion, "Then how are we getting there?"

"Like this," Celestia replied and she used her magic and lifted Connor out of the chariot and onto her back, "Are you comfortable?"

Connor took a moment to compose himself, "Yeah I'm fine. I thought for a moment my amulet would cut the magic out."

"The amulet knows when to do so and when not to. I know I tried explaining it but it's difficult to explain. You could say that the amulet has a degree of self-awareness and 'just knows' when to act. You have nothing to fear from me Connor. I will never harm you."

Connor smiled and gently patted the back of Celestia's neck, "I know Princess, and you’ve done so much for me I'm not sure if I could ever repay you. And thank you for those bits. It's helped a lot."

"You're welcome Connor and just so you know you don't need to repay me. You being friends with my little ponies and you being happy are more than enough for me."

Connor stayed silent for a moment, "I'm going to ask Spitfire if she'll be my girl....marefriend."

Connor couldn't see it but Celestia had a huge smile on her face upon hearing this, "I am delighted to hear that. I hope it turns out well for you."

"Thank you, should we get going then?"

"Indeed. If you are comfortable then let’s get to it."

"Wow this fur is so soft and silky.

"Thank you my little human. You are such a gentlecolt," replied a cheery Celestia.

Connor went beet red, "You......heard that?"

"Indeed I did."

Connor felt like a teenager caught reading gentleman's literature by thier mother. His embarrassment though was short lived when he heard the stadium announcer.

"Fillies and gentlecolts please rise and join me in welcoming our beloved Princess Celestia and her special VIP guest Connor the Human!"

Celestia flapped her wings as she descended to the Royal Box flanked by two Pegasi Royal Guards, Connor was sat on her back and completely in awe of the sight. He dismounted Celestia and stood at her side and waved to the crowd and spread out his wings just as Celestia did.

"Please welcome our celebrity judges for The Best Young Flyer Competition, the Wwwwwonderboooooolts!"

Connor watched as they flew upwards into the sky and saw them do their stunts finishing with what he could only describe as a Starburst. He continued to watch as they took their seats in their own Box, keeping an eye on Spitfire in particular.

"See something you like?" asked Celestia.

"Not really, but somepony yes."

Celestia lit up her horn an out of nowhere appeared a tea set.

"You know me to well Princess."

Celestia laughed, "I wouldn't go that far but I do know you enjoy a cup of tea."

"That I do," said Connor as he sat himself down next to Celestia.

Celestia and Connor watched each competitor admiring the skill of each one when they eventually saw Rainbow Dash and Rarity enter the arena. The music started and it was obvious that they were sent out together and that Rarity had chosen the classical music. Rarity seemed to go for grace and elegance in her moves while Rainbow went for speed and aerobatics.

Rainbow seemed to difficulty, she hit a cloud pillar when slaloming and crashed into the arena wall. When she went higher up and started spinning clouds a part of the cloud came loose and hit her in the face, sending her rolling backwards. She regained her control but the cloud headed straight for Celestia and Connor, the cloud seemed to disintegrate when it hit Celestia's horn. Rainbow then moved on to her final piece, the Sonic Rainboom.

Rainbow was building speed until she heard screaming below. She looked back and saw that Rarity's wings had evaporated leaving Rarity in freefall. Rainbow immediately stopped and sped towards Rarity. Rainbow also saw three knocked out Wonderbolts. She knew if she didn't get to them in time that they would be seriously injured if not killed. She went faster and faster until she hit the sound barrier and the entire stadium was lit up in a flash of Rainbow colours and the resonating sound of a sonic boom could be heard for miles around.

Rainbow caught the four ponies just in time and safely brought them back to the stadium. Once there other Pegasi took care of the Wonderbolts and Rarity, the Wonderbolts were taken to the stadium medical wing while Rarity was OK if a little shaken up.

Connor meanwhile was held firmly against Celestia who had her forelegs wrapped tightly around his waist. When seeing Rarity fall he instinctively tried to go after her but no sooner had he moved did he feel himself being held firmly by Celestia. He assured her that he reacted on impulse but Celestia kept a firm hold of him just to be sure. Connor wasn't mad with Celestia, if anything she did him a favour as his jumping off after Rarity could have caused more problems than solve.

As soon as Rarity and the three Wonderbolts were safely back at the stadium Celestia released Connor and he made a beeline for the medical wing.

He hoped Spitfire was OK.

------------------------------------------------------------

Spitfire woke up about thirty minutes after being knocked out. She woke up to find Connor sat at the foot of her bed.

"Hey there Milkshake, feeling better?" he asked.

Spitfire slowly sat up and rubbed her eyes with her hooves, "Heh, I'm fine Connor."

Connor smiled, "That's good to hear, it would seem this time I'm the one to see you wake up after being knocked out."

Spitfire giggled, "Does that mean we're even then?"

"It would seem so," replied Connor, "Now, how about we get you out of bed, you have a winner to congratulate."

Spitfire nodded and with Connor's help she got out of bed and walked out with Connor. There were some other Wonderbolts waiting outside including Soarin.

"Hey Spitfire," said Soarin, "You feeling better?"

"Yeah I'm fine now, did you get knocked out as well?"

"I did, so did Misty Fly. She's fine though. Rainbow Dash saved us all including that Unicorn."

Spitfire's eyes widened in realisation, "Rainbow Dash, I've spent the last few days with her and her friends. I wonder how she'll feel if she's won."

Connor didn't need to wait to speak up, "She's a big fan of the Wonderbolts. So big I'm surprised she didn't bombard Spitfire with questions when you were with us. There's no way she didn't know who you are."

Spitfire nodded, "We'll have to ask her. Anyway, let's go and meet the winner."

Connor and the Wonderbolts made their way to the arena just in time to see Celestia crown Rainbow Dash the winner.

------------------------------------------------------------

ONE HOUR LATER

Back in the VIP Lounge Connor was with the Mane 6, Celestia and the Wonderbolts. Spike had also turned up. Apparently Celestia sent a chariot to bring him so he could join in the celebrations.

Connor sat alone a few feet away having a quiet rest. That is until Twilight approached him.

"Connor?"

Connor opened his eyes to see Twilight, "Yes?"

Twilight took a deep breath and sighed, "I just want to apologise for our actions earlier in the balloon, and we shouldn't have-"

Connor raised his hand motioning Twilight to stop, "There's nothing to apologise for, I should have known you meant nothing by it. I should be the one apologising for ignoring you and walking away."

Twilight shook her head, "Your reaction was understandable you don't need to apologise."

Connor smiled, "Then why don't we both admit to making a faux pas and move on?"

Twilight smiled, "I agree. Come on back to the group, you'll be able to show everypony your human technology."

Connor got up and followed Twilight back.

"Hey Connor sit here," said Spitfire pointing next to her.

Connor sat himself down next to Spitfire and gave her a hug which she happily returned.

"How is everypony?" asked Connor.

Celestia was the one to speak up, "We are fine thank you Connor."

"Anypony want to see some cool human stuff?"

There were are chorus of yesses so Connor got out his laptop and promptly showed the group several film trailers, pictures and some games. He got his phone and connected some ear-phones.

"What is that?" asked Twilight.

"A mobile phone. It allows communication with anyone anywhere on my world. It also plays film, takes and shows pictures, connects to the internet, plays music, it has a calendar that allows me to set reminders for appointments and key dates, it can play games, record sound and video and so on."

Connor looked around to see a sea of wide eyes until Rarity spoke up, "Surely you are bluffing?"

Applejack spoke up, "Nope, he's telling the truth."

Connor briefly explained to the best of his ability how it worked but he wasn't clued up on tech, fortunately the ponies understood that.

"Who wants to listen to some music?" asked Connor.

A sea of hooves shot up into the air.

"Ok, one at a time. Princess would you like to go first?"

"I would like that."

Connor walked over to Celestia. The ponies watched with fascination as Connor's nimble fingers delicately placed the ear-phones in her ears. Connor picked out one song he thought Celestia might like.

Super Trooper by Abba.

As the song was playing Connor explained the ear-phones allow the wearer to hear the music but not anyone else, unless it's really loud. The group watched as Celestia closed her eyes and gently swayed her head back and forth to the music. When the song finished she opened her eyes to find many pairs of eyes staring at her inquisitively.

"That was a truly fine song Connor."

"It was made by a group called Abba. They are one of the most successful bands ever selling hundreds of millions of albums."

The ponies were amazed at this and couldn't wait for their turn.

"Pick me pick me," shouted Pinkie.

Connor removed the ear-phones from Celestia and out them in Pinkie's ears. Connor picked out the song 'Barbie Girl' by Aqua.

Pinkie enjoyed it. How she knew the lyrics though mystified Connor.

Connor repeated the routine for each pony picking out a song for each one.

For Rarity he chose 'Uptown Girl' by Billy Joel.
For Rainbow Dash he chose 'Don't Stop Me Now' by Queen.
For Applejack he chose 'Oh What a Beautiful Morning' from Oklahoma.
For Fluttershy he chose 'Circle of Life' by Elton John.
For Twilight he chose 'Piano Man' by Billy Joel.

Each of the mane 6 seemed to really enjoy the song chosen for them. Connor had one song in particular for Spitfire. He carefully placed the ear-phone in her ears and cheekily scratched her ears as well. Which got him a playful punch in the arm.

He chose his favourite song, 'Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through' by Meat Loaf.

Spitfire listened intently to the lyrics. Seeming to really take them in. After the song finished she gently removed the ear-phones and handed the phone back to Connor. She looked a little pensive but when asked insisted she was fine.

The rest of the Wonderbolts listened to some music as well. After hearing one song each, Connor played some music from his laptop for everyone to hear. He played some Metallica, DragonForce, Meat Loaf, Elton John, Pink Floyd, Queen, Bon Jovi, Bach, Mozart and Beethoven plus a few others. Whilst everyone didn't particularly like each type of music they were still impressed nonetheless. Rarity took an interest in Metallica which surprised Connor. Celestia took an interest in Pink Floyd, Bach, Beethoven and Mozart. Pinkie seemed to like everything. Fluttershy liked Elton John and for some reason DragonForce. Rainbow liked all the 'cool' songs. Twilight liked Billy Joel and Bon Jovi. Applejack wasn't really fussed what she listened to. Spitfire liked Meat Loaf. The rest of the Wonderbolts also took interest in specific artists as well.

Connor then gathered everypony around and he told them he would show them a human film he was sure the Wonderbolts would enjoy.

The film in question is called 'Top Gun'.

------------------------------------------------------------

The Wonderbolts did enjoy the film.

A lot.

It was helped by the fact that Celestia cast a spell that projected what was on the screen onto a projection screen. That Pinkie pulled down out of nowhere. Connor was pleased he took the advice of his friends and not question Pinkie.

"What did you think of that?" asked Connor.

"IT WAS AWESOME!" shouted Rainbow.

"I'll second that," said Spitfire, "Human flying machines are truly impressive."

"Those aircraft are nothing compared to the Saturn V rocket or the Space Shuttle," replied Connor.

"The what?" asked Spitfire.

Cue more video footage. Connor showed the group launchings of the Space Shuttles.

"There's also a film called Apollo 13. It is based on true events on that took place before and during the Apollo 13 mission, the third planned mission to put man on the moon. It didn't go as planned. I'll show you it sometime but not before Luna gets to see it."

The ponies all just nodded at what Connor said. Celestia didn't say anything but she was delighted that Connor thought of Luna in such a friendly manner. She has been struggling to reintegrate back into Equestrian society and Connor may just be the one to help her.

"So," Connor continued, "what are we doing now?"

"WE'RE GOING TO PARTY!" shouted Pinkie.

Out of nowhere she got her party canon and blasted away. Within seconds the VIP Lounge was ready for a 'Yay for Rainbow Dash winning the Best Young Fliers Competition Party'. How Pinkie did this was beyond even Celestia's understanding.

Connor and the rest of the group decided to enjoy the party and again congratulate Rainbow on her performance earlier.

The party was going well and everypony made time to talk to each other. Vinyl Scratch had turned up and with the assistance of Pinkie pulling the correct lead out of her mane, connected Connor's laptop to Vinyl's DJ system. This allowed him to play music to liven up the party with awesome human music. Connor also took the chance to give the mane 6 the fudge he got them earlier. They were delighted with the gesture. Connor then gave Celestia the cake with Luna's cutie mark. Connor explained that he thought it would be more fun to give them each other’s Cutie Mark cake. Celestia agreed and then gave Connor a body crunching hug, squeezing the air out of him.

Celestia continued to very tightly hug him for several minutes before finally speaking, "Did anypony ever tell you I like cake?"

After finally being released from Celestia's Death Hug he was able to respond, "No, I was not informed of that."

"Well you do now. If you'll excuse me I'll be eating my cake. Thank you, my little human," Celestia said with a huge smile. She merrily trotted away and promptly began to stuff her face with cake, not giving a damn if anypony was watching. It was quite funny though watching the Princess of the Sun stuff her face in such an unprincessy manner. It was just as fun watching Twilight watch Celestia. Connor couldn't help but wonder what Twilight made of her mentor enjoying herself in such a way. Celestia teleported Luna's cake back to Canterlot. Celestia assured Connor that Luna would enjoy and appreciate the cake.

------------------------------------------------------------

CANTERLOT CASTLE

Luna was sat upon the throne dealing with very boring nobles wittering on about how bitterly unfair it is that they should pay higher taxes due to their higher earnings. Earlier in the day a noble was disappointed to be told he couldn't knock down an orphanage to build his fourth home. That's his fourth home in Canterlot, not Equestria. Another noble wanted free school meals scrapping and redirect those funds to increase travel expenses for the nobility when they travel around Equestria on government business.

Luna rejected that petition also on grounds that a foals' health was of far greater importance than further deepening the pockets of the rich. There hadn't been one single petition accepted all day. Luna felt as though her day had been wasted. She eagerly agreed to fill in for her sister but it seemed to be one of those days when nothing worthwhile happened.

After court had finished for the day Luna made her way out of the throne room when he horn lit up. A box materialised in front of her. Opening a box she found a letter and something wrapped up. Opening the letter she saw it was from Connor.

Dear Luna

I was shopping in Cloudsdale earlier today and saw something I thought you would enjoy.

PS: I thought you would enjoy this one more than your own.

Connor

Confused by what he meant Luna unwrapped the item.

He face lit up and was adorned with a huge grin.

"WE SHALL ENJOY DEVOURING THOU'S CUTIE MARK SISTER!!"

Rather than return to her own room, she went to Celestia's. Before she went in she turned to Celestia's day guard that were on duty outside the room.

"GUARD, WE SHALL REMAIN IN SISTER'S ROOM UNTIL HER RETURN, WE HAVE IMPERATIVE ROYAL BUSINESS WE MUST ATTEND TO!!"

She went inside Celestia's room and threw herself on the bed and promptly began devouring the cake in a very unprincessy way.

------------------------------------------------------------

Connor was sat at a table on his own reminiscing over the events of the past few days. So much had happened in so little time. He came into an alien world through unknown means. He accidently gets knocked out by a celebrity flier, meets royalty, makes friends with some very important figures in this worlds society, becomes friends with said figures, gets made into what is essentially an unofficial member of an elite flying team and to top it off he's falling love with a fiery maned Pegasus with the name of the most famous aircraft in history.

Falling in love.

With a pony.

Never saw that one coming.

His thoughts began to drift over to that of Spitfire. He began to think of how he felt about her, especially when he was with her. He remembered when she affectionately hugged and nuzzled him back in Canterlot. He remembered how she acted strangely pretending to have left her flight suit at home. He remembered when she cried when he saw her Cutie Mark could also represent her warm hearted nature. He remembered how she picked him up with ease and flew him to Sugercube Corner when he suggested getting Banana milkshakes.

He knew he had feelings for her not too long after he arrived in Ponyville. It wasn't until earlier today when he admitted that he did like her.

It wasn't until now when he realised he didn't just like her.

He loved her.

The words of Cara earlier flashed back in his mind.

"Don't miss your opportunity with her because believe me you'll regret it"

Connor had made his decision.

Spitfire was alone.

He walked slowly over to her and stopped just a couple of feet away.

"Spitfire."

She turned around to see Connor looking a little pensive, "Hi Connor, are you Ok?"

"Yeah I'm good," he replied whilst fidgeting around, "I was just wondering something."

Spitfire slowly walked up to Connor, "Wondering what?"

Connor tried to get words out but came up short each time.

"Connor what's wrong?" Spitfire asked deeply concerned.

"Errrrm......it's about us. I was wondering if you wanted to be my marefriend."

"I'm sorry I didn't hear that, could you repeat it please?"

Connor took a deep breath, "Spitfire, will you be my marefriend?"

Chapter - 13 - Have Your Cake And Eat It Too

View Online

Spitfire just stood there, frozen. Time seemed to stop as her brain processed just what she had been asked. A strange creature that had not been in her life for more than a week had just asked her if she would be his marefriend. She wouldn't deny that she enjoyed her time with Connor but wasn't it a little soon? She looked back over the events of the previous few days. Connor was respectful and courteous towards her, not to mention he seems to have a natural ability to walk on clouds. A strange ability for a seemingly non-magical being. He got on well with almost everypony he met, her fellow Wonderbolts considered him to be one of them.

But she wasn't sure if she should say yes. She has dated stallions before who it turned out were only interested in Spitfire the Wonderbolt, not Spitfire the Mare. They were only interested in 'dating' Spitfire for fame and attention. So much so that Spitfire would many times cry herself to sleep at night wondering if she would ever find anypony who wanted her for who she is, not what she is.

But Connor seemed different. She knew that he is interested in her, if his pet name for her, his staring at her tail and flank and the kind comments about her are anything to go by.

And she did take a leave of absence specifically to see Connor, and she paid for a VIP ticket for him and she arranged for Connor to have his own genuine Wonderbolts flight suit.

Damn he looks good in that, and those wings......

She looked at Connor, seeing nothing but sincerity in his eyes.

He is being serious about this. Not to mention he looks terrified. He wouldn't be that way if he's joking.

Spitfire made her decision.

"Connor," she said.

"Yes?" replied Connor with apprehension in his voice.

"Yes. I would like to be your marefriend."

Connor's brain went into meltdown. He had never felt to jubilant than he is now. Before he could do anything else he found himself being firmly embraced by Spitfire, who had tears rolling down her cheeks. The two continued hug each other, unaware that they were being watched the entire time.

The other party guests looked on as the duo continued to embrace each other. Whilst Celestia had her usual motherly smile on the outside, on the inside she was absolutely jubilant. She never expected Connor to become this close to one of her little ponies so quickly. She couldn't be happier.

The other Wonderbolts looked on with approval, Soarin giving Connor a salute.

The Mane Six all looked delighted. In particular Pinkie Pie had a huge toothy Cheshire Cat grin and Rainbow Dash looked had stars in her eyes, no doubt elated at seeing one of her idols date her 'awesome new flying buddy'.

Connor and Spitfire finished embracing each other to the sound of stomping hooves and cheers.

"Wait right here a moment, I need to get something," Connor said to Spitfire.

Spitfire nodded and watched as Connor went over to his bag and got out a box that had been wrapped up in dark orange wrapping paper. Walking back over to Spitfire he handed her the box.

"Here you are Milkshake, I got this for you the other day."

Spitfire took the present and unwrapped it which uncovered a varnished mahogany box. She opened the box to find a gold necklace with an orange sapphire embedded in the middle. It was similar to the one Connor saw at the jewellers in Ponyville, which had been gold plated. The one he got Spitfire was nine carat gold. It cost more, but she was worth it.

Spitfire went wide eyed when she saw the necklace.

"It's beautiful," said Spitfire shedding a tear.

"Just like you," replied Connor as he took the necklace and out it around her neck.

Spitfire smiled and kissed Connor on the cheek, "Thank you."

Connor's brain froze and he went beet red....again.

Spitfire giggled at Connor's embarrassed state before going over to her fellow Wonderbolts. He could hear their compliments and admiration of the necklace and of himself. As he stood up he saw Celestia walking over to him with that motherly smile of hers. Talking softly so that only he would hear her speak.

"I'm proud of you Connor. In less than one week in Equestria, you have made many friends and started a relationship."

Connor shrugged, "I didn't plan to, it just happened."

"You're too modest Connor. Come my little human, there is still some cake that needs eating."

Connor didn't need telling twice. As he approached the Mane 6 a cyan Pegasus suddenly hugged him tightly.

"MY NEW BUDDY'S DATING A WONDERBOLT!"

"Hi Dash," replied Connor.

Rainbow Dash looked up and it suddenly dawned on her what she was doing.......that is to say she was showing her soft side. She quickly unwrapped herself from Connor and flew back a few feet after apologising, still with a blush on her face.

"Connor."

Connor turned around to see Spitfire and the other Wonderbolts coming towards him.

"Hi Spits. You OK?"

"I feel fantastic. I was just talking with my team and we'd like to offer you a job with the Wonderbolts."

Connor's (and Rainbow Dash's) eyes lit up.

"What kind of job?"

"Events Manager," replied Spitfire.

Connor thought about it for a moment. He had no experience of it but on the other hand he was being offered a job with the most famous team in Equestria. He would need a job regardless anyway. He is being offered one now, he would be fool to turn this down.

"I accept, though I should warn you I've never done it before. And isn't becoming a manager straight away jumping ahead a little?"

"That's not a problem," said Soarin, "You can learn. And we wouldn't offer you the job if we thought you weren't suitable."

"You wouldn't need to move away from Ponyville either as we can set you up an office there. The other part of the job is when you're out and about attending shows and official functions," added in Fleetfoot.

"That sounds fantastic, when do I start?"

"Right now," answered Spitfire.

"Well......well fuck me, this is very different from my world."

"In what way?" asked Spitfire.

"Well in my world I was long term unemployed, five years to be exact, and I was being turned down from every job I applied for. The most common reason was for lack of experience."

"That's a lame excuse," said Rainbow, "How can you get experience if you aren't given a job in the first place?"

"That's what I couldn't work out. I didn't have to worry to much though about finances. My parents were rather well off. My dad was a Group Captain in the RAF when he was fortunate enough to take early retirement. He would give me an allowance each week if I made an effort to look for work. Not sure how they made their fortune but it's not any of my business so I didn't ask."

"Your father sounds like a generous man," added in Rarity.

"He is. If you make the effort he'll help you. If you sit on your arse and do nothing he won't."

"Well things work a little differently here," said Soarin, "It's a good paying job as well."

"How much does it pay?" asked Connor.

"400,000 bits a year basic salary. There's also an annual bonus that varies each year depending on ticket and merchandise sales. There's also free access to all Wonderbolt shows, discounts at many high street shops, generous pension and VIP Access at official functions."

Connor looked impressed, "400,000 bits a year. £40,000 pounds in my world. A very good salary to have. Would I be considered a civilian worker?"

"What do you mean?" asked Spitfire.

"The Wonderbolts are part of the Air Force are they not?"

"They were. After the return of Princess Luna the Wonderbolts became independent from the Air Force as a way of celebrating centuries of peace. We're entirely on our own now. Though there may be times when we may be called in for military matters. But to answer your question, yes you'd be a civilian worker just like us."

"Fine with me. Who would I report to?"

"Myself or if I'm unavailable then it would be Soarin, the Second-in-Command. Fleetfoot is Third-in-Command."

"I've no problem with that."

"You'd be in charge of your own department with your own team," said Spitfire.

"Do I get to order recruits around as well?" Connor asked with glee.

The Wonderbolts laughed at Connor's question before Soarin spoke up, "Only if it's related to the job you're doing, otherwise no. Unless you joined the Academy and graduate and become a senior officer."

Connor nodded, "Fair enough. Could I at least strut around and look intimidating to the recruits?"

"I see no problem with that," said Spitfire with a smile, "Oh and congratulations on your new status as a Wonderbolt."

Connor's brain froze.

"Wonderbolt? But I'm not part of the stunt team."

Spitfire nodded, "True but you are still part of the team, ergo you are a Wonderbolt."

Connor was breathless. He hadn't been in Equestria for a week and already he's become a member of the most revered team in the world. Whereas Rainbow Dash, and many others, have trained and practiced their whole lives and still wait their chance to be called one. Hesitantly he looks over to Rainbow Dash expecting her to be angry with him for becoming a Wonderbolt before she did.

As he looks towards her she has a look of neutrality, not showing any emotion.

Shit. No doubt she'll be angry with me. Can't say I blame her.

Connor's inner thoughts were cut off as a cyan blur pile-drived into him with hooves firmly wrapped around him.

"I'M BEST BUDDIES WITH A WONDERBOLT!"

Connor was startled by this, "You're not angry with me then?"

Rainbow let go of Connor and looked at him with confusion, "Why would I be angry with you?"

"I just thought that.....I don't know really. A lot has happened so quickly, it's a lot to take in."

"No problem Connor. Just be ready for flying lessons which start tomorrow."

Connor mock saluted, "Yes ma'am."

The party goers all went back to stuffing their faces with food and generally having a good time. Connor stayed with Spitfire and his new Wonderbolt team mates who gave him a history lesson in the Wonderbolts. Celestia and Pinkie were discussing the relationship between cake and happiness. The others just talked amongst themselves, Rainbow Dash clearly jubilant about being best buddies with a Wonderbolt.

Everyone was enjoying themselves when Connor noticed a familiar looking colt from earlier enter the opposite end of the room, along with his parents.

"Swift Wind?"

The young colt looked up to see a familiar looking creature.

"MR HUMAN!"

Swift Wind ran across the room towards Connor.

"Hi Swift Wind. Enjoying your birthday?"

"Yeah it's been loads of fun."

The young colt, still in his Wonderbolts outfit, had not yet noticed his idols who were all looking at him.

"I'm pleased to hear that. Would you like to meet my friends?" Connor asked gesturing to his fellow Wonderbolts.

Swift Wind looked to where Connor was gesturing. He went wide-eyed when he realised he was looking at his idols. The young colt just stood there, mouth open.

"Hey there Swift Wind," said Spitfire as she approached the young colt, "So, it's your birthday today?"

Swift Wind's mouth flopped up and down a few times before he managed to get words out, "Yes ma'am. I'm ten years old today."

Spitfire smiled, "Well you're practically a young stallion. Where you at the competition today?"

Swift Wind nodded, "Yes ma'am. I was really scared when you and those others started falling. But then that Rainbow one went after you and did that awesome Sonic Rainboom. It was awesome!"

"Did somepony say I'm awesome?" asked Rainbow Dash.

Swift Wind looked over to see Rainbow fly over along with the rest of the Elements, Spike and Princess Celestia.

"P-p-p-p-princess?" said the young colt, completely in awe of seeing the Princess.

"Hello there my little pony. I heard that you are ten years old today?"

"Yes princess. Though I wasn't able to have a party though," he said looking a little sad.

"WHAT! YOU HAVEN'T HAD A TENTH BIRTHDAY PARTY?!" asked a certain pink pony.

Swift Wind shook his head and started to cry. Fluttershy was quick to embrace the young colt.

"We did make arrangements but the organiser cancelled at the last minute," said Swift Wind's father.

Pinkie the suddenly got out her party canon.

"Well then let me give you a party no-pony will forget," Pinkie said as she fired away.

The tables were suddenly refilled with cakes and pastries of many different kinds.

Swift Winds' face lit up, he quickly turned around to his parents who answered before he asked.

"Go ahead deary. Have fun," said his mother.

Swift Wind made a beeline for the cakes, quickly followed by Celestia. Everypony refilled their plates and continued to enjoy themselves.

Swift Wind's parents approached Connor and the mother spoke up, "We just wanted to thank you for earlier. He's really taken a shine to you."

"I'm glad I could help. He's a fine young colt."

"Indeed he is."

They looked over to see Swift Wind with Princess Celestia, each of them enjoying themselves.

"So what is it you do then?" Swift Wind's father asked Connor.

"I've just become the Wonderbolts' Events Manager. Apparently that means I'm actually a Wonderbolt now."

The parents went wide eyed, "You're a Wonderbolt?"

Connor nodded.

"Well," said the mother, "I suppose congratulations are in order."

"Thank you."

The parents made their way over to their son who was still with the Princess. Connor made his way over to Spitfire who warmly embrace each other. Rainbow Dash had joined them as well this time. The party turned birthday party was going well. Everyone was enjoying themselves and Swift Wind almost burst with excitement when the Wonderbolts asked him if he wanted his photo taken with them. Spitfire even signed his poster he had of her. Needless to say that Swift Wind had a very good time. Not only did he get to meet the Elements of Harmony, he also got to meet a dragon, Princess Celestia, a cool alien and the Wonderbolts. It was the best party he'd ever had.

Sadly though, all good things must come to an end. After the festivities finished and Swift Wind got some signed Wonderbolts memorabilia, photos with the Wonderbolts (including Connor), Celestia, the Elements and Spike and the biggest birthday cake he'd ever seen, he left with his parents saying it was the 'awesomest day' of his life.

Swift Wind and his parents left and it wasn't long before Celestia too had to leave.

"I must say that while I have enjoyed myself today and the presence of your company, I must be getting back to Canterlot. I bid you farewell."

Everyone gave the Princess a wave goodbye as she left. The Wonderbolts too began to leave, they did have an Academy to run and recruits to keep in line after all. Spitfire and Connor gave each other a parting hug and promised to meet up again for another date. Spitfire again thanked Connor for the necklace.

After clearing everything away, which didn't take long thanks to Pinkie, Connor and the gang made their way to the hot air balloon for the return trip to Ponyville. The trip went smoothly with everyone talking on how the day went, along with congratulations for Rainbow for winning the competition and for Connor for dating Spitfire.

It was fairly late at night when the gang made it back to Ponyville. Spike had already fallen asleep and was being carried by Twilight's magic. Everyone made their way back to their respective homes to get some sleep. Rainbow Dash promising to give Connor flying lessons before the spell ended and his wings would disappear.

Back at the library, Twilight put Spike to bed before she made herself and Connor a late night cup of tea. It wasn't long before the two of them made their way to bed. Entering his room, Connor removed his flight suit, folded it up and placed it on the chester drawers. He changed into some night clothes Rarity had made and got into bed, looking forward to his flying lessons tomorrow. And also to what had transpired in the last few days. A week ago he was out of work, no friends, single, no real purpose in life. Now though, he had friends, a relationship and a job. Whilst that made him happy, he was still frustrated at not knowing more abut his parents. He was sure his father wasn't his biological father and his mother was definitely hiding something, but what?

Sighing in frustration Connor made himself comfortable in bed and got to sleep.

------------------------------------------------------------

It had been an interesting day today for Caramel Fudge. A strange biped dressed as a Wonderbolt came into her store, bought some fudge and revealed he had an interest in Spitfire. Cara didn't know yet if Connor had asked her but she was sure he would. She also had a great time entertaining the young colts and fillies who came in after he left.

It was a good day today.

But it was also a sad time as well.

Three days ago was the anniversary of the disappearance of somepony who meant a great deal to her. Cara had not seen this pony in a long time. There was no trace of their body and no-pony knows where the pony went. The authorities listed the pony as deceased and closed the case. Cara though, knew they were out there somewhere. Cara went over to a picture frame that was situated at her bedside table.

She looked at the picture with herself being cuddled by an older mare.

A few tear drops splashed on the glass cover.






"I miss you mum..."

Chapter - 14 - Flash Bang Oh What A Picture

View Online

The following afternoon Connor was on his way to the Spa after being semi-forced along with Rarity and Fluttershy. Connor, like many men (and possibly some women), wouldn't be seen dead in such a place but he felt like he owed them something after the way they welcomed him into their town and all that followed. It no doubt helped ease the emotional burden of being ripped away from everything and everyone he's ever known and loved.

During the flying lessons he had earlier, Rainbow Dash hinted that wing massages were rather.....enjoyable. So Connor decided to have one, mainly out of curiosity. The flying lessons went as you would expect. Connor got hurt a lot. Yes he had some degree of dexterity with his wings and could hover, but actually flying with them was another kettle of fish. Once when he was hovering, he attempted to fly forwards but instead flew into the ground. Which brought out a laughing fit from Rainbow Dash. The rest of the lesson involved more pain and wounded pride but after a few hours Connor could at least fly a few feet before falling on his arse.

As Rarity and Fluttershy were entering the spa they spotted Connors' reflection in the door window and saw he was several feet away. They both turned around and saw him trudging along slowly. They stood and watched as he slowly caught up with them. Connor's expression looked like he'd been told Pizza had been banned.

"Do I really have to go in a spa?" he groaned.

"Yes darling you must. You are all sweaty and dirty from your lessons and your wings need preening. Now come on darling," Rarity replied as she opened the Spa doors with her magic.

Connor sighed and started to slowly walk to his doom.

"If you hurry up I'll get you some more bacon."

Connor's head turned sharply to Fluttershy.

"You really mean that?"

Fluttershy nodded, "Cross my heart, hope to fly. Stick a cupcake in my eye."

Connor walked quickly into the spa towards the front desk where he turned around to notice Rarity was still at the door.

"Are you coming in Rarity?" he asked.

Rarity shook her head back into focus and she and Fluttershy went inside the Spa and approached the front desk.

"So," said Rarity, "A bribe of bacon is what it takes to get you to go the spa?"

Connor turned towards Rarity and looked into her eyes, "It would seem so."

At that moment a side door opened and the Spa Pony twins, Aloe and Lotus, walked out.

"Aloe, Lotus how are you darlings?"

"Miss Rarity, Miss Fluttershy so good to see you both again," replied Lotus.

"And is this gentlecolt the human we have heard so much about?" asked Aloe.

Connor nodded, "Indeed I am."

The next moment the two spa ponies started walking around Connor like a shark circling its prey. The two twins were talking to each other, listing off things that to Connor, would erode his manhood one step at a time. Amongst the things they listed off include a full body wash, wing preening and a new hairstyle.

Connor felt the colour drain from his face as he was lead into the spa treatment rooms.

------------------------------------------------------------

The treatments weren't as bad as Connor though they would be. They started with preening his wings, tidying them up and removing damaged feathers. After that he had a bath filled with a multitude of shampoos and was given bottles of mane conditioners for his hair. Connor wasn't sure if it would work but Rarity reassured him it should be OK. After this he was given a hair cut by Aloe and some highlights applied to give his hair a fiery look, similar to Spitfire's mane. Aloe also styled his hair and applied gel and gave Connor's hair a spiky look.

After the treatments had finished he was lead to some changing rooms where he found his Wonderbolts flight suit and goggles waiting for him. Approaching the suit he also noticed a scroll. He unfurled the scroll and read it, noting the very refined writing.

Dear Connor

Whilst you were practising with Rainbow Dash I took the liberty of cleaning your flight suit, you'll need to wear it later. Twilight informed me that Spitfire and the rest of the Wonderbolts were arriving in Canterlot later to do a photoshoot for official Wonderbolts business and a press conference informing the nation of the new Wonderbolts Events Manager. There will be plenty of photos taken and no doubt interviews and questions. I know this may be an overbearing and a daunting prospect but remember you have your friends, fellow Wonderbolts and your special somepony to help you through.

Also, Spitfire mentioned not to worry about your lack of experience in the role. She has arranged for an advisor to assist you and give advice and guidance.

And consider the spa treatment as my treat.

Your dear friend
Rarity

Connor put the scrolls down and got changed into the flight suit. After struggling for a few moments to get his wings through the slits he then zipped up the front of the suit, fastened the metal belt with Wonderbolt insignia buckle, put on the gloves and boots and finished with the goggles. He put them over his head and let them hang from his neck. He walked over to the mirror and took a look at himself.

Even though he wore the suit yesterday, he looked even better in it now. No doubt due to the spa treatment. His wings looked more vibrant and 'fuller', he felt fresher and his hair looked awesome. The flight suit showed off his physique rather well. Connor wasn't hugely muscular but he did have some muscles and was about average build, about the same as a professional footballer.

Satisfied that he looked awesome he left the changing room taking the scroll and his other clothes with him. He went to the main foyer to find the spa twins along with Rarity and Fluttershy. Walking up to the quartet he spoke up.

"Ladies, how are you?"

The four mares turned to see Connor walking towards them.

"Connor you look truly magnificent darling," said Rarity.

"Thanks. I feel good. Glad I did come here," he said before turning to the spa twins, "You did a good job ladies. I look and feel great and that massage was just epic. I never thought hooves could do that. And the wing massage.....I see what Dashie meant."

"We are pleased you are happy. We look forward to seeing you again," said Lotus.

The two twins walked away towards the treatment rooms to tend to other guests. Connor turned back towards Fluttershy and Rarity.

"So ladies were to next?"

"We're headed back to Twilights to meet the rest of the girls before we head over to Canterlot," replied Rarity.

"OK, thanks for the Spa treatment by the way," Connor replied.

"You're welcome Connor. Now come along dears, Twilight will be waiting for us."

The trio walked out of the Spa and made their way back to the library. Connor caught up with Fluttershy and bent down to speak to her, "Do I still get the extra bacon?"

"Of course you do. I Pinkie Promised."

Connor grinned and hugged Fluttershy, "Thanks Fluttershy, you're a good friend."

Fluttershy blushed slightly at Connor's affection, "You're welcome Connor."

The trio continued towards the library, Connor once again getting a lot of looks from the towns ponies.

Going to have to get used to being recognised now I'm a Wonderbolt in addition to being the only human.

Connor sighed internally.

How the bloody hell did all this happen so fast?

Connor was taken out of his inner thoughts when he heard Rainbow Dash shout out.

"There's my best buddy," she said as she flew towards Connor where the bumped hooves/fists.

"Are you coming to Canterlot later?" asked Connor.

"We sure are," replied Rainbow Dash, "I'm not going to miss another chance to meet the Wonderbolts."

"Don't blame you. I'm not looking forward to the press though."

"Don't worry about it Connor," said Rarity, "We'll be there to support you."

"Thanks girls," replied Connor.

The quartet walked into the library and found the rest of the gang inside. Twilight noticed them come inside and walked up to Connor.

"Hi Connor, did you enjoy your time at the spa?"

"As much as I hate to admit it, yes I did."

Rarity's face lit up at this revelation and immediately formed a plan in her mind.

"Then why not come with me and Fluttershy on our weekly visit. We won't mind, we rather enjoyed your company today."

Connor though for a moment. He was a bit of a manly man. But he did enjoy himself today. And now he is a Wonderbolt he would need to look his best whenever out in public.

"OK, I'll join you."

Rarity's face lit up, "Thank you darling, you've no idea how much this means to me."

"Glad I could help," he replied, "So Twilight, when do we head to Canterlot?"

"We're getting the next train which leaves in about twenty minutes, so we better get going."

Connor nodded, "OK, just let me get a few things from my room."

Connor made his way upstairs to his room. He picked up his laptop, mobile phone and New Nintendo 3DS XL. His 3DS had several games downloaded onto it including Pokémon X, Y, Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire, The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, A Link Between Worlds, Oracle of Ages, Oracle of Seasons, Link's Awakening DX, Majora's Mask, New Super Mario Bros 2, Star Fox 64, Rayman and Kid Icarus Uprising.

He went back downstairs and saw the girls and Spike waiting for him.

"I'm ready if you are," he said.

The group made their way out of the library and towards the train station. They weren't waiting long before the train arrived. They made their way inside and took their seats. There weren't too many other ponies on board so the group pretty much had the carriage to themselves. Connor spent the trip showing the girls and Spike his 3DS. Needless to say they were impressed with it.

The non-stop journey lasted about ninety minutes and was pretty uneventful. As the train pulled into the station they saw a contingent of Royal Guards on the platform including Shining Armour. The train doors opened and the group made their way out but not before a purple blur whizzed past into the direction of Shining Armour.

"BBBFF!"

"Twily!"

Everyone watched as the two siblings embraced each other.

"Hi Shining," said Connor.

"Hi Connor," replied Shining, "You look good in that."

Connor laughed, "Yeah I've been getting that a lot."

"The press event takes place later. First I'm to take you all to the castle. The Princess Celestia and the Wonderbolts are there waiting for us."

Connor nodded, "Then let us not keep them waiting."

The group made their way out of the train station and towards the castle under a Royal Guard Escort. Good thing as well as there were many ponies out trying to get close to the Elements of Harmony and Connor. He tried to tune them all out but was easier said than done. Connor wouldn't admit this to the girls but he was far from ok. He might give the impression he's fine but on the inside he breaking up emotionally. And he isn't sure how much longer he can hold it in. He's not sure how he's held it in this long. Yes he had that small breakdown with Celestia the night he arrived but that was nothing compared to what he's feeling now.

So much has happened to him in so little time he doesn't know how to handle the situation. And in a short amount of time he'll be having a photoshoot and interview with the biggest and most popular national newspaper in Equestria. He'd have to keep up his cool and calm exterior in a major public relations event.

He could always ask Celestia for help but she's done a lot for him already and she has a nation to run. He doesn't expect her to put all that aside to help one individual. Even if he is another-worldly visitor.

The group continued on their way to the castle which didn't take very long. They went into the castle and taken to the throne room were the Princess Celestia and the Wonderbolts were waiting for them.

As Connor and the gang approached, Spitfire flew up towards Connor and gave him a hug which Connor returned.

"Hey Milkshake."

"Hey to you as well Sleepyhead."

Spitfire landed back on the ground and everyone turned towards Celestia.

"Thank you all for coming on short notice. The press conference will take place soon in the Great Hall and after that you are all invited to tea. I have also prepared guest rooms for you all to stay the night. For now though we will go to the Ballroom where the photoshoot will take place."

The group made their way through the castle corridors to the Ballroom. It is pretty much a carbon copy of the Ballroom in Buckingham Palace and was used for the same reasons. As the group entered the Ballroom they saw sophisticated camera equipment being set up by a few ponies. One pony in particular seemed to be in charge. He had a light cerulean mane and tail and dark blue fur. He stopped talking when he noticed Celestia and the gang walk in.

"Ah, Princess Celestia I see your guests have arrived."

"My little ponies, dragon and human; allow me to introduce my personal photographer Lens Flare."

Lens Flare stepped forward towards the group, "Thank you Princess. And once again it's a great pleasure to do this for you."

"You're welcome Lens Flare. I appreciate you doing this at such short notice."

"Anything for you Princess," he responded before he saw Connor, "And you must be Connor."

Connor reached out his hand and shook Lens Flare's hoof, "Pleased to meet you."

"Pleasure to meet you to," replied Lens Flare.

"So," Connor started, "What exactly is the photo shoot for?"

"The plan is to do a series of official photos for your introduction to the Wonderbolts. The photos that will be taken will include ones with your fellow Wonderbolts, on your own, one with Group Captain Spitfire and one with Princess Celestia."

"Sounds good, would I be able to have one with Princess Luna as well?"

Lens Flare's eyes seemed to light up in delight, "Sure, I see no problem with it. As long as Princess Celestia has no objections?"

Princess Celestia shook her head, "I have no objections, in fact I'm delighted you want to include her. Once the shoot begins I will go to her chambers and tell her."

"So," started Lens Flare, "Shall we begin?"

Lens Flare lead Connor and the Wonderbolts towards the camera set ups. He started with a group shot first which had Connor stood behind the Wonderbolts due to his superior height. After several photos were taken Lens Flare moved onto photos of Connor alone. The first ones had Connor standing in a dignified pose, the next had him in a more casual pose. The next photos had him sat down on a cloud, again with both dignified and casual poses. It did take some antics from Pinkie to get Connor to smile in front of the camera.

As the photos with Spitfire were coming to an end, Celestia and Luna walked in.

"Hi Luna. It's good to see you again," said Connor.

"Likewise Connor. And might we say thou looks magnificent. Thou will make a great Wonderbolt."

"Thanks Luna. Oh and while I remember I've brought some things to show you I think you may like."

Luna smiled widened, "We will look forward to it."

"So, which Princess is going first?" asked Lens Flare.

"I will let Luna go before me," replied Celestia.

"Thank you sister," said Luna as she made her way to the set up.

The same procedure followed as before, dignified and casual, standing and sitting. Celestia watched throughout and could see that Luna was thoroughly enjoying this even if she wasn't showing it. She could also see that something was bothering Connor. He might be able to hide it from her subjects, but she isn't fooled. She knows he's hiding his emotions away and that she'll have to gently coax him into telling her what's wrong.

"You're next Princess."

Celestia made her way over to the shooting area, passing Luna on the way whom she gave a wing hug. She continued on to towards Connor were once again the same style photos were taken. After this was done Celestia requested Connor have his picture taken with Spike and the girls which prompted Rainbow Dash to very quickly take the space next to Connor.

Once the photoshoot had finished about two hours had passed. Everyone thanked Lens Flare and his team for the shoot and followed Celestia to the press room. Just before they entered the room she asked Connor and the gang to wait outside.

In the press room there were dozens of ponies all with questions to ask. Celestia walked into the room and the ponies immediately bowed.

"My little ponies, thank you for attending this conference, and for your patience in meeting the human known as Connor. I know that the press has already reported his existence but hopefully this conference will answer some questions you and your readers will have. So, without further delay allow me to introduce Connor the Human."

Connor took that as his cue to enter the room. He approached the table that had been set up and sat down on a chair that had been provided. No sooner than he had sat down did the questions start firing away.

"What does it mean to be a Wonderbolt?"

"How did you come to Equestria?"

"Is it true you're dating Group Captain Spitfire?"

"How did you get your wings?"

Seeing Connor look tense Celestia spoke up and raised her hoof.

"Calm please. Let's allow Connor to introduce himself first and he can then explain how he came here and how he finds life in Equestria so far?"

She turned to Connor and nodded.

"Thank you Princess," he started, "As you already know my name is Connor. Connor Wakefield. I am a twenty four year old human, who a few days ago appeared in the Whitetail Woods. How I go there I have no idea. After walking for several hours I found myself here in Canterlot where I eventually met Princess Celestia. After a short stay in the castle I was sent to stay with Twilight Sparkle in Ponyville."

Connor saw a hoof raised.

"Yes, you have a question?" he asked.

"Yes. I'm Words Worth. Chief Wonderbolts Correspondent for the Equestrian Times. There is a rumour that you are dating Group Captain Spitfire. Is this true and if so how did you meet?"

"I met Group Captain Spitfire after I woke up in the Castle Infirmary. After I arrived in Canterlot I was walking around trying to find someone in authority. Seeing the castle and assuming they would be here I walked over. As I approached I hear someone shout out and when I turned around the next thing I felt was a pony slam into me, which knocked me to the ground where I hit my head which knocked me out. I found out that the pony in question was Spitfire."

All the press ponies were writing this down.

"And yes, I am dating Spitfire."

That seemed to please the press ponies as they excitedly wrote that down. Another pony raised their hoof, a Pegasus mare.

"Sky Light, Chief Sports Correspondent, The Cloudsdale Times. There are rumours that your wings are the result of a spell. Is this true?"

Connor nodded ,"Yes. Humans do not have wings. The wings are due to a modified spell cast by Twilight Sparkle. And to answer potential questions later, I can use them but I'm not very good at flying."

Connor moved his wings in and out in a small demonstration of his wing dexterity. The ponies scribbled more notes down and some camera flashes went off. Another stallion raised his hoof.

"Arc Light, Freelance. Is it true humans are non-magical beings?"

"Yes it's true. In my world magic only exists in stories and on a related matter, in my world humans can't walk on clouds. But here it seems I can. How I can I don't know as I understand only Pegasi and Alicorns can walk on clouds without magical assistance. I found out I could stand on clouds before I got my wings."

There was more scribbling of quills as the press wrote down notes.

There were many more questions which Connor was able to answer. Celestia answered a few also. This went on for about another thirty minutes before another Pegasus mare rose her hoof.

"Azure Blaze, Freelance. There are rumours that your appearance in the Whitetail Woods is connected to the disappearance and presumed death of a Pegasus mare who disappeared in the same region twenty five years ago. A mare by the name of Star Light. Do you know anything about this?"

Connor was stunned into silence. Unable to answer. Fortunately, Celestia was able to answer for him.

"I have heard of those rumours. I have a team of investigators examining the Whitetail Woods. We cannot confirm or deny anything at this point as we do not have sufficient information, but when we do have more information we will of course make an announcement."

The mare nodded in understanding. There were no more questions to be asked so Celestia wrapped up the conference. Celestia and Connor made their way out of the room back to where Twilight and the gang including the Wonderbolts and Luna were waiting.

"So," Twilight started, "How did the conference go?"

Celestia, seeing Connor was preoccupied spoke up, "It went as expected. Now why don't you all go to the dining room. Connor and I will meet you there."

The group nodded and headed off. As soon as they left Celestia approached Connor. Before she could speak Connor asked a question.

"Who was Star Light?"

Celestia answered as she and Connor walked towards a nearby bench.

"She was a Pegasus mare, who twenty five years ago disappeared when she was in the Whitetail Woods. We don't know what caused her disappearance but there were some unusual magic energy in the area. Very faint and very difficult to detect."

"Did the same unusual magic bring me here?"

"We believe so. We didn't detect it at first but Arch Mage, currently the lead investigator, remembered when he was first sent twenty five years ago as newly appointed junior court mage. On a hunch he used the same detection spells that found the unusual energy and very quickly found that it was present again."

"So you know what brought me here?"

"Yes."

Connor sighed. He now knew what brought him here he now wanted to know why. But another thing was bugging him.

"Princess, how old was Star Light when she disappeared?"

"I believe she was twenty seven, if she were still here she would have just celebrated her fifty-second birthday."

Connor went pale. Very pale.

"Connor what's wrong?" asked a very worried Celestia.

"A few days before I appeared in Equestria, my mum had her fifty-second birthday."

Celestia and Connor looked at each other in silence for several seconds before Connor spoke again.

"You don't suppose that......."

Connor was getting very agitated so Celestia pulled him close and wrapped he hooves around him, hold him tight, "I honestly do not know Connor. I wish I had answers to give you but I don't. All I can do is promise to look into the matter and tell you of any discovery that is made."

Connor nodded and returned Celestia embrace and almost immediately broke down into tears.

"I can't take this any longer. My parents have been keeping secrets from me, I've been ripped from my home for as of yet unknown reasons, I end up in a world of talking pastel ponies, I end up dating a talking pastel pony, I get a job I don't feel I'm qualified for, I end up a member of one of the most elite groups in Equestria without doing anything to earn it and I find out there may be a connection between my mother and Star Light. There's just too much happening too soon I don't know if I can cope."

Connor continued to let the tears flow. Celestia, who has cast a privacy dome around them preventing outsiders from seeing and hearing things inside, just let Connor unburden his emotional stress.

This went on for another couple of minutes. After Connor had finished, Celestia magicked a tissue in front of her and dried Connor's eyes.

"Thank you Princess."

"You're welcome Connor."

"Sorry if it seems I'm complaining, I'm just frustrated about my parents. And I'm worried I won't be able to do my new job."

"You don't need to apologize Connor and I understand your frustration. And in regards to your new job you needn't worry. As I understand it Spitfire has arranged for an advisor to help you. I am certain you will like your advisor. And on becoming a Wonderbolt, despite you feeling you haven't earned it? Then carry out your new role with enthusiasm and hard work to repay the faith and trust the Wonderbolts have placed in you."

Connor nodded and hugged the Princess, "Thanks Princess, You certainly know how to make someone feel good."

"Thank you Connor. Is there anything else you want to ask me?"

Connor shook his head.

"Then let's not keep our friends waiting."

Celestia and Connor made their way to the dining room for some well-earned food. As they entered the room they noticed that everyone had taken seats already. There were two spaces left. One for Celestia at the head of the table and another for Connor part way down in-between Spitfire and Rainbow Dash. Connor had some gammon steak and red wine. He chatted to Spitfire and Rainbow about the history of the Wonderbolts which he found very interesting. For desert he had a bowl of mint choc chip ice cream with chocolate sauce and a large glass of banana milkshake.

After the meal every one made their way to their rooms. The Wonderbolts had their own quarters and Connor was given the same room as before. According to Twilight his wings should disappear overnight due to the spell coming to an end. He wasn't to concerned, it was nice having them but he's managed just fine without them for almost twenty five years. The one thing that did nag him were how natural they felt, like he was supposed to have them. But growing up living at an air-force base could be responsible for thinking that.

He drifted off quickly and had a very restful sleep. It was Sunday tomorrow so he was going to spend the entire day relaxing and showing Luna his cool human things. It would be a good day.

------------------------------------------------------------

BACK ON EARTH

It had been several days since Connor disappeared. The police found no trace of him, only evidence that a tent had been pitched. Svetlana was sitting in her bedroom clutching a photo, lost in her own thoughts when her husband came in.

"Sveti," said Alexander.

Svetlana didn't respond.

Alexander walked over and sat on the bed next to her.

"Sveti listen to me, if he is where you think he is then from what you've told me he will be ok. We'll see him again I promise you."

"What about her?"

Alexander didn't need to ask to whom Sveti was referring.

"You'll see her to," Alex said as he embraced his upset wife.

He looked down to see the photo Sveti was holding. It showed an older pregnant female, and a very young female.

"I promise."

Chapter - 15 - A Day With Luna

View Online

It was early morning and the sun had yet to be raised. Connor was wide awake though not tired. He was sitting up in bed watching X-Men: Days of Future Past on his laptop. Earlier he reluctantly called for room service to see if the kitchen staff would bring up some cheese scones and a pot of tea. They did. They were so good Connor asked for more, which according to the maid that brought them put the chef in a very good mood.

After eating more scones and watching the rest of the film he decided to get up. The sun had been raised after all. He put on some clothes Rarity had made for him, a red shirt and black trousers. As Twilight had stated his wings had disappeared and his back bore no signs they were ever there. There were no feathers or anything on the bed either.

Just as he finished getting dressed there was a knock at the door.

"Come in," Connor replied.

Celestia walked in to the room.

"Hi Princess, you OK?"

"I'm fine thank you Connor. How are you?"

"I'm OK," he replied, "My wings have disappeared though."

"Yes, Twilight mentioned they would."

"I'm not too concerned, I'm very used to not having them anyway."

Celestia laughed, "What are your plans for today?"

"I was planning on spending some time with Luna later when she wakes up. She seemed to enjoy herself last night."

"She did. More than you may realise."

"Princess, can I ask you something?"

Celestia nodded, "Of course you can."

"Was Star Light pregnant when she disappeared?"

"I believe so. Why do you ask?"

Connor sighed, "It's just that she disappeared twenty five years ago. I'm almost twenty five. She disappeared and I appeared in the same area with the same kind of unusual energy. She's a Pegasus which means she can walk on clouds. I found out I could to before Twilight cast that wing spell. That and Star Light and my mother are the same age."

Celestia walked over to Connor and stood in front of him, "You suspect your mother is Star Light?"

Connor nodded hesitantly "The evidence would seem to suggest that."

Celestia put a hoof on Connor's shoulder, "Connor, I promise I will do what I can to help you find the answers to your questions."

"Thanks Princess."

"You're welcome Connor. Now, why don't you join me for breakfast?"

"Yeah OK, I've already eaten some scones but I could do with something else. I'm starving."

------------------------------------------------------------

After breakfast with Celestia, everyone else was still in bed, Connor made his way over to the Wonderbolts barracks. He made his way to the bed of a particular mare. And to his relief he saw she was still asleep. Fleetfoot and Misty Fly were awake though. As was Soarin who had followed Connor in. Connor walked over to Spitfire's bed and poked the sleeping mare.

"Mmmmph."

Connor poked her again.

"Mmmmph go away, sleepy."

Connor, loving every moment of this poked her several times, "Come on sleepy head it's time to get up."

Spitfire groggily opened her eyes and sat up. Her mane and tail were a mess.

"Good morning sunshine," he said with a huge grin, "How is my little milkshake?"

The Wonderbolts who were watching only just stifled their laughter. Spitfire narrowed her eyes.

"Waking up your boss on a Sunday morning is a bad career move," she said flatly.

Connor laughed and gave Spitfire a hug, "You're a funny mare Spits."

Spitfire laughed and returned the hug, "You're lucky you're my coltfriend or you'd be in the brig right now."

The duo let go of each other and Spitfire noticed Connor's wings had disappeared.

"I assume Twilight's spell ended?" she asked Connor.

Connor nodded.

"Too bad," she said, "They suited you."

"They did but I'm used to not having them. Anyway what have you got planned for today?"

"I'm going to meet my folks in Cloudsdale. I haven't seen my mother in a while."

"Are you going to tell them about us?"

Spitfire shook her head, "I don't think so. It's a little soon. I will tell them eventually though, I promise."

Connor spent a few more minutes with Spitfire before she had to leave. She promised she would visit Connor in Ponyville next week.
After Spitfire had left it was mid-morning so Connor took a walk around the castle gardens and took a nap beneath a large oak tree. It would be another couple of hours yet before Luna was awake so he had time.

------------------------------------------------------------

After his nap Connor made his way back into the castle towards the dining hall. He arrived to find Celestia, Luna, Spike and the girls already there. Making his way to the table and sat down in-between Luna and Rarity.

"Connor it is a pleasure to see thou again."

"Likewise Luna."

Luna looked at Connor and noticed his lack of wings, "Tis a pity thous wings were not permanent. Thou looked the part with them."

"Thanks Luna. Do you have anything planned later?"

"Nay. We have time to spare. Does thou have something they wish to do with us?"

Connor nodded, "Yeah I wanted to show you some of my human things if that's ok?"

"We would enjoy see what thou has to show."

"Can't wait. I know one thing you'll AGH!"

"CONNOR!" shouted Luna.

Connor took a few breaths before he spoke again, "Bloody hell that was painful."

"What was painful Connor?" asked a concerned Celestia.

"I got a sudden pain in my back. It's gone now."

"Will thou be OK" asked Luna.

Connor nodded, "Yeah I'll be fine, don't worry about me."

Celestia said no more but she was very concerned. She had a theory in her mind as to what may be happening but that theory was formed only on circumstantial evidence. She felt it wouldn't be fair to Connor to give him anything but facts. He had enough unanswered questions and theories already.

It wasn't long before dinner was served. Connor had a Traditional Sunday Roast, so did everyone else except without the meat. Connor also had a pint of smooth bitter, it tasted very similar to John Smiths; Connor's favourite. Everyone enjoyed their meals. For desert they had chocolate fudge cake with hot chocolate sauce.

"Oh Luna that reminds me, did you like the cake I got you?"

"We thoroughly enjoyed it, isn't that right sister?" Luna asked as she looked towards her sister.

Everyone looked to Celestia to see her look her with a forced smile.

"Yes sister. That is correct. Though why you couldn't eat it in your own room I don't understand."

Luna harrumphed, "We simply wanted to enjoy ourselves."

"You could do that in your own room," Celestia replied.

"We could but it wouldn't be as fun," replied Luna before sticking her tongue out.

The two sisters burst out into laughter garnering odd looks from everyone else.

After dinner, Luna and Connor made their way to Luna's chambers after Connor collected his things from his room. As they went in Connor could see that Luna's bedroom looked like the night sky itself was inside her room.

"Wow. This looks brilliant."

"We thank thee. Tis one room we can truly make our own. Would thou like a coffee?"

Connor wasn't really a coffee drinker but he could drink it, "Yes please. Cappuccino if possible."

Luna nodded before walking over to what looked like a top of the range coffee making machine, the kind you would see in Costa's or Nero's. Luna made two large Cappuccino's and brought them over and set them down on a coffee table.

"You have your own coffee machine?"

"Yes. Though our sister much prefers her tea as does thou, we much prefer coffee. The coffee machine was a small gift from sister upon our return. She knows how much we like our coffee. Tis a small but very much appreciated gift."

Connor took his coffee and tried some. Connor may not know much about Luna but he can tell you one thing, apart from her love of the night, she knows how to make coffee. She could get a job as a barista any day.

"Does thou like the coffee?" asked Luna looking a little worried.

Conner nodded, "Tastes great. I may start drinking more coffee if you make it this good."

Luna felt like a great weight had been lifted. She's desperately wanted for a long time to invite someone over to make them coffee. She's done the same with her sister and thestral guards but it's not the same. Everypony is to scared of her but Connor treats her like any ordinary mare, which is just what Luna wants.

Luna walked over to the sofa and sat down next to Connor, setting down her coffee on the table, and watched as Connor got out his laptop.

"Is this your human technology?"

"Yep. But first I want to show you my phone. It's a communications device that allows me to talk to anyone with a similar device. This phone also plays games, music, takes photos and many other things."

Luna watched with fascination as Connor tapped and swiped the phone's surface with his fingers. She then watched as Connor inserted ear-phones into the phone. Connor took the ear-phones and placed the ear-pieces into Luna's ears, Luna giggling a bit when she felt Connor's nimble fingers brush against the inside of her ears.

"I'm going to play a song I think you might like."

Connor started to play The Music of the Night from The Phantom of the Opera. The original version with Michael Crawford.

Luna listened intently as the song played. Connor got the sense that Luna felt a connection with this particular song if the tears forming in her eyes were anything to go by.

After the song finished Luna removed the ear-buds with her magic and Connor put the phone and ear-phones on the table. He turned back to Luna to see tears streaming down her face.

"Luna are you ok?"

Luna nodded gently and answered quietly, "Yes, we are fine. It's just that we have never heard a song filled with such emotion. Tis a great song. Is it popular in your world?"

"It is to those who like that kind of music," he said as he dried Luna eyes with some tissues.

"Thank you Connor."

"Anytime Luna. How would you like to see some other human things?"

Luna immediately perked up, "We would very much like that."

Connor proceeded to show Luna some videos, other music, some photos and some games. Luna particularly liked the games and very quickly picked up the controls. She said that Equestria desperately needed these computer games for the greater good, and that she would make it part of her official Princess duties to see it happen.

"There's some other things I would like to show you."

"More amazing human things?"

Connor smiled, "That's one way of putting it."

Connor proceeded to show Luna an image of a blue and white circle against a black background.

"What do you think?"

Luna looked confused, "We do not know. We only see a painting of a blue circle against a black background. What is special about this?"

Connor laughed, "My dear Luna, what you are seeing is no painting."

Luna looked even more confused, "Then what are we seeing?"

Connor paused for a moment, "A photo of my world."

Luna looked at the photo for several seconds then to Connor. She analyses his face intently, trying to look for signs of deception. She could not see any. She looked back to the screen. She was looking at a photo of his world. Another world other than her own.

"It's beautiful."

"I have plenty more to show if you'd like to see them. I can also show you photo's of the surface of Mars which is another planet in my Solar System, I can show you pictures of the other planets in my Solar System as well as pictures of galaxies, nebulas, comets, asteroids. I'll even show you photo's of what my world looks like on the surface."

"We would very much like that. But first let us make another coffee for us."

Luna went over to make another coffee for herself and Connor. She felt happier than ever before. Before Connor's arrival she felt lonely and upset. She only had her sister and thestral guards for company. But after Connor arrived she felt like she'd finally found a friend that she could open up to and be herself with.

Luna walked back over to Connor with the coffee's in her magic grip. She set them down and Connor began to show her the pictures he mentioned. The surface of Mars, the Andromeda and Sombrero Galaxies amongst others, the planets of the Solar System, the Horsehead Nebula and many others. Including Earth's moon, and Luna showed great delight when Connor told her what its Latin name is.

Luna's favourites included the Pillars of Creation, Saturn, Europa and of course, the moon.

Connor then moved onto photos of human cities including London, York, New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Leeds, Tokyo, Gold Coast, Miami, Vancouver, Chicago, Rome and Kingston-Upon-Hull.

Luna was impressed.

"Human cities are truly magnificent. Even your smaller cities would dwarf Canterlot and Manehatten. How did you come you come to have these images?"

"I have a boring interest in collecting photos of cityscapes. Sad I know."

"Don't be silly Connor, tis not sad. Had thou not collected these images then we would never have been able to see what thous world looks like."

"True. I have some more photos to show you."

Connor proceeded to show Luna photos of Earth taken from orbit. Some showed the Hubble Space Telescope and Skylab. Luna was truly impressed with the International Space Station. Connor briefly explained the history of them and what their function was/is.

Luna looked towards Connor and smiled, "Thou has a beautiful world Connor. Humans clearly posses an indestructible will power and determination to achieve the seemingly impossible. Our ponies could learn so much from humans. Do not misunderstand us, as much as we love our ponies they sometimes do not push themselves in the same manner humans seem to."

"We could learn from each other," replied Connor.

"That would be an interesting journey for both our worlds," Luna looked to the clock on the wall, "In the meantime, we should make our way to the dining hall. Tea will be ready shortly."

"What's on the menu tonight?"

"I believe the chef has prepared pasta tonight."

"That sounds good. I love pasta. My favourite is plain pasta with lots of grated cheese."

Luna looked at Connor with glee, "That is our favourite also."

"Then I'm in good company."

The two made their way out of Luna's bedroom and made their way to the dining hall. As they were walking, Connor felt the same pain in his back from before.

"ARGH!" Connor screamed as he fell to the floor.

"CONNOR!!"

Luna helped Connor to his feet who was still in some pain.

"Are thou alright Connor?" asked a very worried Luna.

Connor took a deep breath before releasing it, "Yeah I'm fine. It was the same pain I had earlier."

"We should inform our sister of this."

Connor nodded in understanding.

"Does thou need help walking?"

Connor shook his head, "No thanks, I can manage."

The two continued on the dining hall, Connor still feeling some pain in his back. About a minute later they entered the dining hall and found Celestia, Spike and the girls already there.

"Luna, Connor it's good of you to join us. You're just in time," said Celestia.

Luna walked up to her sister and the embraced each other.

"We had a marvellous time with Connor sister. He showed us many human things from his world. And even things out of his world."

Luna proceeded to tell the group what Connor had showed her before informing Celestia of Connor's sudden back pain again. Celestia insisted Connor have the doctor look at him but he was insistent he's OK, but he did agree to go if it happened again.

It wasn't long before tea was brought through. Both Connor and Luna helped themselves to plain pasta and lots of grated cheese, much to the bemusement of Celestia.

Faust help me if they decide to prank together she thought.

The meal went by without incident. Except for Connor drinking another Cappuccino, which appeared to cause Celestia great worry. She was going to lose her new friend to that putrid brown filth. Connor assured Celestia tea was still his favourite drink and that he enjoyed his cups of tea with her. This made Celestia cheery again and Connor swore the room got suddenly brighter.

After tea had finished the group made their way to the Ballroom which had a table and chairs set up.

"Princess Celestia what are we doing here?" asked a confused Twilight Sparkle.

"We are here to watch another human film."

"Which one?" asked Twilight.

"Apollo 13," replied Connor, "Pinkie if you wouldn't mind."

"Right away Connor," replied Pinkie and she pulled out a HD Projector out of her mane.

"How did you know what he wanted?" asked Rainbow.

"Because I'm Pinkie Pie."

Rainbow just rubbed her forehead, feeling a headache coming on.

"Luna," started Connor, "could you teleport my laptop here."

"Certainly Connor."

In a flash of blue light Connors' laptop appeared on the table.

"Thank you."

"Thou are welcome Connor."

Connor connected the projector to his laptop and waited for everyone to take their seats. Luna lowered the moon and the room was shrouded in darkness. Connor selected the film to be played and started the film.

------------------------------------------------------------

The film had finished and the lights in the room turned on.

"So, what did you all think?" asked Connor.

"That was truly amazing," replied Celestia.

"My favourite part of the film," said Connor as he disconnected the projector, "Is the launch sequence. The part that really makes that scene is the music. To me the music in the launch sequence reflects the monumental goal of the mission and the human achievement of putting people in space and successfully walking on the moon."

"We second this," replied Luna.

"Sadly there are people who deny the moon landings ever took place."

Luna suddenly looked very angry with a glare so cold even ice would freeze, "Then those humans better hope that they never meet us."

The rest of the group also complimented the film, even Rainbow Dash. Connor thought she might not like it for it being too 'egg-heady' but she liked the superfast Saturn V rocket.

It was starting to get late and everypony started to make their way back to their rooms to settle down for the night. Connor asked Celestia if a pot of tea and some cheese scones could be sent to his room, to which Celestia agreed.

Connor got himself into bed and put the tray with the tea and scones on the bedside drawers. He opened his laptop and put another film on. This time he decided to watch one of his favourite films, The Dam Busters.

It was late when the film ended. Connor had drunk his tea and eaten the scones. After a visit to the toilet he made himself comfortable in bed and got to sleep. There was a small amount of pain in his back but nothing too bad. He could cope with it for tonight and see the doctor tomorrow.

------------------------------------------------------------

It was about three in the morning when Connor woke up. As he did he felt a far more intense pain in his back and he also felt a liquid of some sort on the bed. Fearing he may have wet the bed he switched on the bed lamp and saw a sight that horrified him.

Blood.

His blood.

His blood had soaked the bed and from the intense pain in his back he put two and two together. He rushed to the bathroom to look in the mirror and what he saw caused him to panic.

He rushed out of the bathroom and out of the bedroom into the castle hallways. Knowing Luna would be awake he ran as fast as he could, ignoring the excruciating pain, to the throne room. He burst through the throne room doors and collapsed onto the ground.

"CONNOR!"

"LUNA! HELP ME!" he screamed in agony.

Luna ran over to Connor to see what the matter is while ordering her guards to fetch the castle doctor.

"Connor, what is wrong?"

"My back.....it really hurts."

Luna walked to the side to get a look at Connors' back and what she saw made her feel sick. Blood was seeping out of Connor's back and it wasn't stopping. Luna was starting to worry.

"Princess!"

Luna looked up to see the castle doctor running towards her along with the thestral guards.

"Doctor, thou must help."

"What happened?" asked the doctor.

"He burst into the throne room with blood seeping from his back. He collapsed to the floor immediately after entering. We assume he ran here from his bedroom."

"That would explain the trails of blood," said one of the thestral guards.

The doctor examined Connor, "We must get him to the infirmary now, Princess can you teleport us?"

"Yes we can."

In a flash of blue energy Connor, the doctor, the thestral guards and Luna appeared in the castle infirmary. Luna turned to her guards, "Inform my sister at once of what has happened."

The guards bowed and made their way to Celestia.

The nurses had placed Connor on a bed and started to clean up the blood. As they were doing that Celestia teleported into the room.

"Sister where is Connor?" asked a very distressed Celestia.

"He is over there Celestia. We do not yet know what is happening," Luna replied.

Celestia walked over to see Connor, still awake, and blood stained bed sheets. She took a look at his back to see what was causing him to bleed to profusely. As the nurses were cleaning his blood stained back, Connor let out a blood curdling cry of agony. Celestia watched in horror as the two slits in his back appeared. Blood poured out of the openings. Connor was crying in agony and started to thrash around before the nurses were able to sedate him. As Connor fell into a deep sleep, the nurses continued to clean his back.

After a few moments, everyone was able to see what was causing him so much pain.

What they saw, was the unmistakable sight of two red feathers starting to force their way out.

Chapter - 16 - Magic Gives You Wings

View Online

A few hours had passed since Connor was rushed into the infirmary and it wasn't without incident. Connor woke up during the early morning and needed to go to the toilet. Due to a mix of extreme pain and tiredness he went over on his foot, fell on the floor and unintentionally voided his bowels. In a lot of pain, tired and confused, Connor just sat in his mess for a few seconds until nurses came rushing in and cleaned him up and helped him back to bed. The nurses decided to put Connor in nappies as a precaution, fortunately they had some in to fit Connor.

The doctor had to make an incision to prevent Connor's flesh from being torn by his wings and causing more damage. The two slits in his back now showed red feathers at the base of what will be his wings. The doctor could feel new bone joints and formations where his wings connect to his back, the wings will protrude between his shoulder blades. The base of the wing joint starts level with the top of his shoulder blades and finishes half way down his back. The precise same place as his temporary wings.

The doctor informed Celestia that Connor may need more operations if his wings try to force their way out again. He also informed her of what he believed to be the problem. Connor had Pegasus genes in his DNA that had remained dormant until recently. They have activated and are causing havoc on his body. The Doctor has stated that Connor will grow a pair of wings and develop eye-sight equivalent to that of Pegasi. He doesn't believe Connor will turn into a pony. He also mentions that due to his bodies activation of his Pegasus genes he will suffer side-effects ranging from incontinence, nausea, headaches, tiredness, diarrhoea and feverishness. Celestia nodded in understanding and thanked him and the nurses for their actions. Celestia walked over to the sofa on which Luna was sitting. She had passed out earlier when she saw the incisions being made on Connor.

"How are you feeling Luna?" asked Celestia.

"We are fine Tia," replied Luna quietly, her eyes showing signs she'd been crying.

Celestia, seeing Luna was still very distressed walked over and draped a wing over her, "Connor is going to be OK. He is in good hooves."

Luna nodded. Her eyes still wet.

"Has thou informed Twilight?"

"No not yet. I will wait until they are awake. In the meantime you should get some sleep. I promise you Connor will be OK."

Luna simply nodded and hugged her sister before teleporting to her room. After Luna left Celestia walked over to the Doctor and asked him to inform her immediately if there was any change in Connor's condition.

Celestia needed to find out if there was a relation between Connor and the Pegasus Star Light. A good place to start would be the Census records. They should tell if she had any family. The Equestrian National Statistics office in Canterlot should have the necessary file in their hooves. She sent her personal assistant to the office with a Royal Order to bring the last three Census records pertaining to Star Light. Like the UK, the Census is taken every ten years in Equestria.

Within an hour the necessary files were brought to her throne room. In that time, Celestia had informed the others of Connor's condition. Needless to say they were vey upset. Twilight broke down into tears. She felt she was at fault due to casting the modified wing spell on Connor. It took a while but Celestia convinced Twilight she didn't do anything wrong. Twilight asked if she could use the castle library to see if there was anything she could do to help Connor. Celestia gave her permission so Twilight and the gang went to the castle library.

Celestia looked through the Census records and noticed that Star Light did indeed have a family. A Pegasus husband called Vulcan.

Vulcan, Celestia thought, As in thee Vulcan, one of the greatest blacksmiths in Equestrian history?

She carried on looking through the files and noticed that there was another family member called Caramel Fudge. According to the most recent Census she ran her own fudge shop in Cloudsdale.

Celestia summoned two Pegasi guards and assigned each of them to bring Vulcan and Caramel Fudge to the castle. She handed to guards scrolls containing Royal Summons. She didn't want her two subjects thinking they were in trouble. They weren't. But when they come Celestia hopes she will be able to answer some questions.

The two Pegasi guards left the throne room to carry out their orders. Celestia hadn't heard from the doctor so she assumed there was no change in Connor's condition. She could go to the infirmary but she would just be in the way. If there was a change she knew the doctor would tell her immediately.

Besides, Morning court was due to open in a few minutes anyway. Hopefully there wouldn't be too many petitioners today.

------------------------------------------------------------

Cara was prepping her shop for opening. As she was doing so she saw a Royal Pegasus Guard at her shop door. Wondering why a Royal Guard would be calling she walked over and opened the door.

"Can I help you?" asked Cara.

"Yes ma'am. I am here to tell you that Princess Celestia has issued a summons for you appear in Canterlot."

Cara went wide-eyed and started to panic, "Why? What have I done?"

"I am not at liberty to say. I have a scroll here containing the summons in writing."

The guard handed Cara the scroll who proceeded to read it. It had been written by Princess Celestia herself. It wasn't threatening in any way. It just simply requested her presence in Canterlot Castle.

"I'll be with you shortly, just let me put things away first."

The guard nodded while Cara went about closing the shop and collecting her messenger bag. She left a message in to door window explaining she had to leave for Canterlot at short notice.

After she locked the door she followed the guard and flew with him to Canterlot. She had no idea why Princess Celestia wanted to see her. She hoped she wasn't in trouble.

After a short flight she touched down on the castle courtyard and was immediately escorted to a private room where Celestia would meet them. Luna who was awake again, took control of the Day Court while Celestia handled the situation with Connor.

As Cara walked in she recognised the other stallion in the room.

"Dad!"

The stallion turned around, "Cara! What are you doing here?"

"I got a Royal Summons," replied Cara.

"Me too. I have no idea why though," Vulcan stated.

Just then Celestia walked into the room and the two ponies immediately bowed to the Princess.

"Raise my little ponies. I apologise for summoning you both but there is a situation I feel you may need to be aware of."

Cara and Vulcan looked at each other.

"What would that be Princess?" asked Vulcan.

"A few days ago a strange creature called a human appeared in the Whitetail Woods."

Cara's eyes widened in realisation, "You mean Connor?"

Celestia and Vulcan looked at Cara.

"Yes," Celestia replied, "How do you know Connor?"

"He came into my shop the other day and bought some fudge. I don't think I'll forget him. Dressed as a Wonderbolt and large red wings and walking on two legs, he certainly stood out. Had a soft spot for Spitfire."

Celestia smiled, "That is correct."

"How is Connor?" asked Cara.

Celestia's face soured somewhat, "You know the wings he had where the result of a friends spell, that the wings would eventually disappear?"

Cara nodded.

"Well," Celestia continued, "Yesterday morning when he woke up, his wings had indeed disappeared. His back bore no signs they were ever there. Throughout the day yesterday, Connor had periodic back pains causing him distress."

"I'm sorry to hear that Princess, but why are you telling us this?" asked Cara.

"At about three this morning, Connor woke up with excruciating pain in his back. I will skip the more distressing parts but I will tell you this. Connor is growing a pair of wings. For real this time."

There was silence for a few moments as Cara and Vulcan absorbed what they had just been told.

"Is he OK?" asked Cara.

"He is currently in the infirmary. He has been asleep for several hours. It was necessary to perform an incision to prevent his wings' protrusion from tearing his flesh."

Cara looked like she wanted to vomit.

"I called you both here because I wanted you to answer a question. One of a very sensitive nature."

Cara and Vulcan looked at each other before nodding.

Celestia took in a deep breath, "Do you know, or have you known a Pegasus mare by the name of Star Light?"

Upon hearing that name, both Cara and Vulcan went wide-eyed. Tears were beginning to form in Cara's eyes.

With a shaky voice, Vulcan answered, "She was my wife before she disappeared twenty five years ago."

"Our records show that she disappeared in the Whitetail Woods," said Celestia.

Vulcan nodded, "That is what we were told."

"Was she pregnant?" asked Celestia.

Cara immediately broke down into tears. The memory of losing her mother and unborn baby brother was too much to bear. She remembers vividly the day she was told her mother wasn't coming home. She was five years old at the time and was very excited at having a baby brother to play with. The day she was told of what happened she cried for weeks. The investigators found one of Star Light's feathers at the scene. Vulcan gave the feather to Cara who kept it with her everywhere she went, along with the last photo ever taken of her with her mother. It was the photo showing her with a heavily pregnant Star Light. The photo was taken by Vulcan just a day before she disappeared.

Vulcan snapped at the Princess, "WHY DO YOU TORMENT US LIKE THS PRINCESS? IT'S BAD ENOUGH I LOST MY WIFE BUT I ALSO LOST MY UNBORN SON!"

Celestia eyes widened at hearing this, "Your unborn son?"

"Yes Princess. Star Light was heavily pregnant when she disappeared. Were he here today he would turn twenty five in August, the month he was due. Why do you ask these questions?"

The same age as Connor she thought.

"If you would follow me to the infirmary, I will show you."

Vulcan and Cara nodded and followed Celestia to the infirmary. As they entered they saw Connor, still asleep, with nurses changing his nappy. Cara started to get upset. Just a few days ago the same creature was up and about buying fudge in her shop, to see the same person in this condition really got to her.

"As you can see," Celestia started, "Connor is in a great deal of pain."

"But what does he have to do with us?" asked Vulcan.

Celestia sighed, "I have reason to believe he may be your son."

Vulcan stopped breathing for a moment," Come again?"

"I believe Connor is your son. And that Star Light is still alive."

Vulcan and Cara looked at Celestia with very observing eyes. Neither of them got the sense that she was being deceitful.

"How can that be possible?" asked Vulcan.

"I am not sure. The only theory I have is that Star Light did not die, but instead appeared in another world. Though why Connor was born human I do not know."

Vulcan rubbed his forehead with his hoof, "I'd like to believe you Princess, but it's difficult to believe."

"I realise that, but know I would never knowingly lie to you."

Before anyone else could speak Cara spoke up, "I have an idea."

Celestia and Vulcan looked at Cara.

"I still have mum's feather from the day she disappeared. Would it be possible to do a DNA test?"

Celestia smiled, this would prove or not weather Connor is indeed the son of Star Light and Vulcan.

"Let us go find the doctor to find out."

A short amount of time later they discussed Cara's suggestion with the doctor. He said it should work but he'd have to wait to get consent from Connor to take a DNA sample. As frustrating as this was, Cara, Vulcan and Celestia understood. Not even Celestia could order a sample be taken. Celestia offered rooms in the castle for Vulcan and Cara who gladly accepted.

------------------------------------------------------------

It was approaching midday. In the castle infirmary one very unique patient was slowly waking up. As Connor slowly woke up and came to his senses, he sat up noticed a few things. One, he was in the infirmary. The last thing he remembered was collapsing in the throne room. Two, his right foot has been wrapped up tightly in a tubular bandage. Three, his torso and presumably his back were heavily wrapped in bandages. And four, he was wearing a nappy. Which was soaked.

Going beet red in embarrassment he laid back down and felt something on his back. He sat up again and was confused when he saw nothing on the bed or pillows that could dig into his back. It was then he remembered the back pains. He slowly moved his hands to his back to see if he could feel anything. He could feel small bumps underneath the bandages.

Connor quickly realised what was happening.

I'm growing a pair of wings. That doesn't explain the bandages on my foot or the nappy.

Connor felt ashamed at that. If Blueblood saw him now he'd never let him forget it. Connor buried his face in his hands, as he did a nurse walked in doing her usual rounds.

"You're awake."

Connor looked up to see a nurse at the door way.

"Just wait there, I'll let the doctor know."

Connor nodded in understanding.

Before she left however, she scrunched up her nose and sniffed the air.

Please no....don't say anything pleaded Connor silently.

The nurse looked to Connor and saw his face was beet red.

"I'll go and get the nurses first. The doctor will explain everything."

Connor nodded meekly.

A few minutes later Connor had been cleaned and changed into a fresh nappy. Connor insisted he didn't need them but the nurses pointed out he couldn't walk on his injured foot and that they had already changed him once earlier. Connor felt like he would die of embarrassment. The nurses though, were thoroughly professional and understanding.

After the nurses had left the doctor came in.

"Connor how are you feeling?"

"I've felt better," chuckled Connor.

The doctor laughed, "It's good to see you still have your sense of humour."

"I need it considering what I'm wearing."

"Yes," replied the doctor, "I do apologise for that but we felt it would be better for both ourselves and yourself if we did put you in them. During the night you woke up and attempted to go to the toilet. But you went over on your foot and fell to the floor. The nurses found you a few moments later sat on the floor in your own mess in a confused and disorientated state. They cleaned you up and put you back in bed."

"That would explain the bandaging in my foot then."

"Yes. We examined it and it looks like you've just sprained it. It should be ok within a couple of weeks."

"Ok, that sounds good. Now back to the matter of me wearing nappies."

"Yes. We did several scans of your body and there seems to be a massive increase in your thaumographical energy readings."

Connor just blinked, "My what?"

"Your bodies' intake of magic," The doctor continued, "Your body is trying to cope with the sudden increase in magical intake and unfortunately, there are side-effects. They may include incontinence, diarrhoea, nausea, headaches, tiredness and feverishness. Of course we can't say with on hundred percent certainty as this is a unique case. Your body can only cope with so much."

Connor sighed, "Fine. I don't like it but I'll keep wearing them. For now."

"Thank you for your understanding. We don't expect it to last too long. A week or two at the most. We will be keeping you here so we can monitor your progress."

"Fair enough. Could you tell Princess Celestia and the others I'm awake?"

"Certainly. Would you like something to eat?"

"Some vegetable soup, some bread and a glass of water please."

The doctor nodded, "I'll have them sent to you. In the meantime, get some rest. Oh and Princess Celestia said she would be able to explain a few things for you."

"Thanks for telling me. Hopefully it's good news."

"Hope so," replied the Doctor, "I'll see you soon."

"See ya," replied Connor.

The doctor left the room leaving Connor to his thoughts. He felt a little embarrassed regarding......that. But it's only temporary. He can live with wounded pride. Connor made himself comfortable in his bed and used the bed controls to move the bed into a more upright position. He was alone for a few more minutes when a nurse came in with his food and water, as well as some newspapers.

"Hello there. I've brought you your soup and water."

"It smells nice," Connor observed.

"Indeed it does. Enjoy. Remember if you need anything just ring the bell."

"Yes ma'am."

The nurse giggled and left Connor to his soup.

The soup did taste nice. Connor felt less groggy than before but he was still a little queasy. He finished his soup and started to read the papers. He made the front pages of several papers. The photo that was used in the front pages were himself and the other Wonderbolts. The Cloudsdale Times had a pull-out supplement with several of the photos from the shoot included. It was a decent quality supplement as well. A4 sized, about fifty pages and glossy covers.

Connor read some of the articles and most were supportive of him. One paper however, The Noble Times, had a very different view on him. The Noble Times article is full of so much waffle it made Connor wonder if it is supposed to be factual or comical.

After a short while the door to his private room opened and in walked Celestia and the Doctor.

"Hello Connor, you're looking much better than this morning," said Celestia.

"Thanks Princess. I still feel quite rough though."

"That's to be expected," the Doctor said, "You'll probably feel like this for two to three weeks we believe."

"Will I have to stay here during that time?"

The doctor nodded, "Yes. It'll be for the best. It will also allow us to monitor your condition more closely and deal with any problems that may arise."

Connor sighed. He didn't necessarily dislike hospitals he just didn't like being cooped up inside. He's more of an outdoorsy type of person.

"The doctor said you wanted to tell me something?"

"Yes," replied Celestia, "I have news regarding some your situation."

The doctor took this as his cue to leave. He told Connor to get some rest later and that he would be back at tea time to check up on him.

"What news do you have?" asked Connor.

Celestia walked over to Connors' bed and sat on her haunches, "Do you want a blunt answer?"

Connor thought for a moment before nodding.

"I have reason to believe the Pegasus Star Light is your mother. I believe that she somehow ended up in your world while she was heavily pregnant with you."

Connor was silent. Whilst he suspected there was more to his mother than she let on, this still shocked him a bit.

"But my mother is human."

"We don't understand what happened but our best guess is that she turned into a human shortly after she appeared in your world. As she would have been pregnant with you, you were transformed as well. Even though you were born human, we believe you still possessed Pegasi genes which would explain your cloud walking ability even before Twilight cast the spell on you."

Connor could only nod. What Celestia was saying made sense. But there were still unanswered questions.

"How did I start to actually grow wings?"

"I suspect that Twilight may have unintentionally activated your the rest of your previously dormant Pegasi genes and your body reacted accordingly."

Again, this made sense to Connor. Did it have to be so painful though?

"Will any other changes take place?"

Celestia, mind as sharp as an army bayonet, knew Connor was trying to ask something else.

"You will not become a pony if that's what you're asking. The only other changes we believe you will experience are improved eyesight, improved physical strength and a greater tolerance to cold weather and thinner air."

Connor felt relieved. As much as he like the ponies, he doesn't want to be one. Even though he would have been one had all that never happened. He liked being human. The wings he could live with. But hooves.....it would make playing the piano a little difficult.

"Is there anything else?" asked Connor.

"Yes. We have found the husband and daughter of Star Light and we were wondering if you could provide a DNA sample to confirm if you are related or not?"

"Sure," replied Connor, "Would a hair sample be ok?"

"That will be ok. Hold still now."

Connor winced slightly as Celestia plucked a strand of Connor's hair from his head. She placed it carefully in a test tube she magicked from elsewhere.

"I don't believe the tests will take long. I will let you know once we know."

"Who are the ponies in question?"

"They requested to remain anonymous until they know if you are related to them or not. If they are, then they will meet with you."

"That seems fair enough."

"I must go now. I have things to do. I shall see you later. Goodbye Connor."

"Bye Princess."

Celestia made her way out of the room when she sniffed the air.

"What is that smell?" she asked aloud.

She turned towards Connor who was trying to avoid eye contact.

Smiling, she walked up to Connor and levitated necessary supplies over to the bed, "I believe I would be failing my duties as Princess if I did not render assistance to those under my rule."

Connor went redder than ever.

Why me?

------------------------------------------------------------

A few hours later in the doctors office, the doctor had finally got the results of the DNA test. He now knew with one hundred percent certainty whether or not Connor is the son of Star Light and Vulcan, and the brother of Caramel Fudge. He made is way to Celestia, who is currently in the castle gardens, as fast as his hooves would move him.

He headed towards the castle gardens, "Princess I have the results!"

Celestia immediately stood up and looked at the test results. Deciding not to waste any time she immediately teleported herself and the doctor to the throne room and sent for Vulcan and Cara. A few minutes later the two Pegasi entered the throne room.

"Princess," started Vulcan, "You have the results?"

"Indeed I do my little ponies."

She levitated the test results to Cara and Vulcan.

After a few seconds Cara took the results papers and flew as fast as her wings would take her to her destination, tears streaming down her face.

Meanwhile, Vulcan was lost for words as tears streamed down his face. Celestia slowly walked over to him and wrapped her fetlock around him. She didn't need to say anything.

------------------------------------------------------------

It was early evening in Connors' private room. Connor was reading the rest of the newspapers when the door burst open, startling him. It took a moment for him to recognise the Pegasus.

"Cara? What are you doing here?"

Cara, crying her eyes out and unable to speak handed the test result papers to Connor.

Connor looked at the papers and he himself started to get misty eyed.

"D-d-d-does this mean we're....?" he started to ask.

Cara, taking a deep breath hugged Connor tightly.



















"It means you're my baby brother."

Chapter - 17 - A Heartfelt Reunion

View Online

Connor sat motionless in his bed as Cara continued to hug him tightly, her soft fur brushing against his face. He could see test result papers clearly showing a one hundred percent match. HIs vision blurred as he became misty-eyed and, overcome with elation Connor pulled Cara on and returned the hug.

The two siblings stayed like that for several minutes, neither saying a word and both unaware of the moon rising high in the sky and the cold breeze blowing through the window. Releasing each other from the hug, Cara sat on her haunches on Connor's bed and dried her eyes with her hooves. Connor reached over to the box of tissues next on the bedside table and offered Cara a tissue.

Taking the tissue Cara blew her runny nose and threw the dirty tissue in the bin, her accuracy spot on.

Cara tried to speak but a lump in her throat prevented her. There is so much she wants to say that she doesn't know what to say.

"So," Connor started, a few tears still running down his face, "You're my big sister?"

Cara nodded, trying to hold back more tears.

"Yes. Yes I'm your big sister," she replied before putting on a smile that could warm even the coldest of hearts, "And you're my baby brother."

Just then the room door opened and in walked Celestia and Vulcan. As they walked in he could see the tears in their eyes glistening from the moon's reflection. Celestia he recognised. He seriously doubts he'll ever forget her, especially after the hooves-on personal care she provided earlier changing his soaked nappy and giving him a sponge bath.

He shuddered at that memory. Maybe he could find some Whiskey to help him forget.

If I don't remember it then it didn't happen.

The stallion he hadn't seen before. He is a large Pegasus with charcoal coloured fur and a bright orange mane and tail. He noticed his mane was styled similar to that of Thunderlane. Vulcan is physically imposing. He's around the same size as Luna and has excellent muscle tone due to decades of blacksmithing. If molten lava could walk and talk then it would be Vulcan. Normally he possessed a piercing gaze that could melt lead.

Today though, his eyes showed joy and relief. The stallion spoke up.

"You are Connor?" he asked, an arm wrapped around Cara again who had snuggled up against him.

"Yes. Who are you?" Connor asked with trepidation.

Vulcan breathed in through his nostrils.

"My name's Vulcan," he said trying to not to break down into tears.

Vulcan paused momentarily to steady his quavering voice.

"I'm your father."

The silence was deafening. Connor felt his muscles tighten and his breathing stopping.

He stuttered a response, "M-m-my father?"

Vulcan slowly walked up to Connor, "Yes. It is good to see you....son."

Vulcan leaned forward and wrapped his forelegs around Connor who affectionately returned the embrace. Connor was now laying on his hospital bed with an arm around Cara and Vulcan. Overwhelmed with emotion he let the tears flow, he could feel Vulcan's soft fur as he nuzzled his cheek. The three of them remained like that for a few seconds, though it felt like hours. After releasing each other, except for Cara who remained snuggled up next to Connor, Celestia approached and spoke up.

"I am truly delighted at this turn of events. I will leave you now to give you some time to yourselves. And Connor, seeing as you are the offspring of native Equestrians and would have been born in Equestria had events turned out differently, I see no problem in granting you full Equestrian citizenship and all the rights that come with it. You may also keep your current citizenship."

Connor dried his eyes, "Thank you Princess. It means a lot."

"You're welcome Connor. Your friends are wishing to see you, as is your marefriend. She is on her way back to Canterlot now and she is deeply upset at what has transpired."

"I'd like to see my friends. And don't worry about Milkshake, she'll be fine."

Vulcan cocked an eyebrow while Celestia and Cara stifled a laugh.

"What?" asked a confused Connor.

"Milkshake?" inquired Cara, still trying not to laugh.

Connor went wide-eyed and face palmed. He just called Spitfire by his pet name for her.

"Err....yeah. It's.....my pet name for her," he said rubbing the back of his neck and avoiding eye contact with everyone.

"Awwwww, my little baby brother is in love," teased Cara as she hugged Connor.

Conner rolled his eyes in mock annoyance and returned the hug, he could see from her cheery smile that her antics would bring great amusement to him. The two siblings released each other from their embrace and focussed their attention back on Vulcan and Celestia.

"So what happens now?" asked Connor.

"What happens now is that you get your rest whilst I sort out the necessary paperwork," replied Celestia.

Connor tutted, "Do I have to stay in bed?"

"Yes you do my little human," replied Celestia with a smirk.

"Don't worry little brother, me and Dad will be back tomorrow after you get some rest," Cara added giving Connor one last firm hug.

Vulcan shook Connors' hand, "I'll talk to you tomorrow. We have a lot to catch up on."

"We certainly do."

Cara and Vulcan left the room leaving Connor with Celestia. The two looked at each other for a few seconds, Connor's face a little red in embarrassment. Celestia was about to speak before Connor beat her to it.

"I DON'T NEED CHANGING!"

He and Celestia went wide eyed as Connor realised he said that louder than he intended to. Connor went bright red which brought out a small giggle form Celestia.

"I was going to ask how are you feeling?"

Connor suddenly felt meek, "Oh."

Celestia walked to the side of the bed and fluffed up Connor's pillow with her magic.

"So how are you feeling Connor?"

Connor sighed, "I'm feeling a lot of things. Elation at finding out that I have family here and that my suspicions were correct in my parents hiding things from me. Anger at my parents for hiding it from me. In regards to Spitfire, Twilight and co and my new job I'm feeling several things from trepidation, excitement, eagerness, nervousness. So a fair smorgasbord of emotion."

Celestia looked a little sad at Connor. He's been through quite a bit on one week and the physical changes wrecking havoc with his body won't help matters, even though it will last only a couple of weeks.

"You don't have to struggle alone Connor. We are here to help you whenever you need it."

Connor gave out a long, tired sigh, "Thanks Princess."

"You're welcome Connor. Now get some rest."

"I will do. Would it be OK if I could have a cup of tea?"

"I'll go and ask one of the nurses. Goodnight Connor."

"'Night Princess."

Celestia left the room leaving Connor alone. The stale environment not doing much to brighten his mood, he drifted off into deep thoughts. He thought about the day he went camping. Had he decided to stay home that day, would he be here now? Would he have discovered the truth about his mother? What would his life have been like had his mother not travelled to Earth? How different would his life have been had he been born a pony?

Connor was so deep in thought he hadn't noticed he had company. He came back to his senses and saw a nurse prodding his arm.

"Your tea Connor."

"Thanks nurse."

"You're welcome."

The nurse walked out and left Connor to the greatest hot drink on in existence. As he finished stirring the tea, the door burst open showing a panting Spitfire. She was sweating and her mane was a mess. To say she looked distressed in an understatement.

"Spits!"

Spitfire looked at Connor and launched herself at him, somehow managing to avoid knocking over the tea. Spitfire tightly wrapped her hooves around his neck and buried her muzzle into his cheek, her tears running down her cheek.

After a few seconds of sobbing into Connor's cheek she finally spoke.

"I-I-I heard w-what h-happened. I-I flew back a-as fast as I c-c-could. I-I-I'm so sorry."

Connor pulled Spitfire closer and rested his chin in her head. Her frazzled mane gently brushing his face as he spoke softly and quietly to her.

"Hey come on, I'm OK now. The worst of it's over."

"B-b-but you were in so m-much pain and I wasn't there t-to help."

"But you're here now. It means a lot to me that your here. I was worried about you."

Spitfire let out a small laugh that lifted he gloomy mood.

"You were the one in pain yet you were worried about me?"

"Yep. Are you OK?"

"I am now."

A sigh of relief left Spitfire's lungs and she let herself relax into Connor's arms. Connor slowly layed back into his bed still with Spitfire in his arms. She had already fallen asleep and had a look of content on her face. Connor gently draped an arm around her whilst he poured himself some tea.

Today had been an interesting day. He finally found out the truth about who his biological father is, found out he has a big sister and is to be granted Equestrian Citizenship. He began to wonder if he could have a day in Equestria were nothing happened.

He would have liked to see Vulcan and Cara for a bit longer. The reunion was very short considering the circumstances, but there is plenty of time later. Hopefully it wouldn't be as wooden next time as Connor felt like he wasn't emotional enough at the reunion. But considering the state he's in and everything he's going through, his emotions are understandably all over the place.

For now though, he can rest. He'll be seeing Vulcan and Cara again tomorrow and the mare of his life is sleeping peacefully on his chest. Connor switched off the bedside lamp and made himself comfortable for the night before drifting off into a restful sleep.

------------------------------------------------------------

Cara couldn't sleep. Not because she was restless but because she was so overjoyed at being reunited with her brother. She was clutching the photo of herself and her heavily pregnant mother to her barrel.

She was restless as she had to wait several hours before she could visit her brother again.

Unless.....

Surely it would be OK given the circumstances .

She got out if bed and made her way to the infirmary. She didn't care if she would get in trouble, she wanted to catch up on all he time she lost out to with her brother.

It wasn't long before Cara arrived at the infirmary. She went inside and what she saw made her heart melt. There for all to see was the mighty, ferocious leader of the Wonderbolts snuggled up to her brother. Spitfire was on his left side leaving plenty of room on his right side. She walked around to the side of the bed and hopped up, being careful not to wake the sleeping pair. She carefully positioned herself and snuggled up to her brother, gently resting her head on his right shoulder.

This time, Cara very quickly went to sleep.

Unbeknownst to Cara, Luna was watching discretely from the shadows. She was understandably distraught earlier when she saw Connor in so much pain. Seeing him now however, with what will be two of the closest mare's he'll ever know snuggled up to him brought a sense of relief to her. She knew that her friend would recover and have coffee with her again. She decided that she would teach him how to make excellent coffee.

Luna walked quietly to the bed and telekinetically draped a spare blanket over the two mares. Luna stood there for a few moments when she heard hooves getting louder. Lune looked towards the door and noticed Celestia had paid a visit. Celestia walked in and noticed Luna which brought a smile to her face that brightened up the usually sterile room.

"Little Sister, it's nice to see you here."

"Likewise Big Sister."

Celestia quietly approached the bed and looked at the scene before her. She couldn't help but smile even more at the adorable scene before her. A feeling matched by Luna.

"He looks so peaceful," commented Luna.

Celestia affectionately nuzzled her sister, "Indeed he does. But come sister, we must let them rest. I came to see if you were OK."

"We are fine sister."

Luna followed Celestia out of the room and they made their way back into the main area of the castle. Celestia retired to her bedroom while Luna made her way to the Throne Room to begin Night Court. Luna hoped tonight wouldn't be as chaotic as before, she couldn't bare to see Connor, or anyone for that matter, suffer like that.

Back in her chambers, Celestia filled out the necessary paperwork that would grant Connor full Equestrian citizenship and all the rights it pertains. She decided she wouldn't just hoof it over in the hospital room. Instead she would grant it to him at a special ceremony at Canterlot Castle attended by the Elements of Harmony, the Wonderbolts plus a few others. She would have to invite the nobles but hopefully they would keep their snooty opinions to themselves.

After finishing the paperwork, she began in preparations for the ceremony. Normally foreign nationals would need to wait five years before applying for citizenship, but as Connor's birth parents are both ponies of Equestrian citizenship, Connor gains it through them.

She decided the ceremony would take place after he recovers and is given the all clear from the doctor. She would make sure there is plenty of cake available. Knowing her new friend really likes cake, that made her feel like a little filly all over again, she decided to commission a certain pink pony to bake a special cake for Connor.

Twilight and her friends were still in the castle. They would be seeing Connor tomorrow sometime. Celestia knew that Twilight had taken Connor's condition hard. Twilight felt that she was responsible for what happened, but according to the doctor his Pegasus genes would have eventually surfaced fully anyway. She just speeded things up a little.

Nevertheless, Connor will make a full recovery and settle down into Equestrian society. He will excel at his new job and be an excellent coltfriend to Spitfire. She wouldn't feel any shame in calling Connor her subject.

This was definitely one of the highpoints of her life.

Chapter - 18 - Visitors

View Online

Cara was sat at the side of Connor's hospital bed watching him sleep. His steady, rhythmic breathing a stark contrast to the havoc being wreaked inside his body.

"He looks so peaceful."

Cara looked up to see Spitfire was awake, "Oh hi Spitfire. I didn't know you were awake."

"Yeah, I got a good night's sleep all things considered. What are you doing here anyway Cara?"

Cara looked at Connor and gently placed her hoof on his hand, "He's my little brother."

Spitfire went wide eyed, "Connor is your little brother?"

Cara nodded, "I found out yesterday after a DNA test."

Spitfire looked even more confused, "He's an entirely different species, how can he be your brother?"

"We have the same parents. Just before he was born my mother disappeared and appeared in Connor's world, but for some reason he was born a human and not a pony."

"What about your mum?"

"As far as I can tell, she's still alive and she too is human."

Spitfire smiled and looked Connor, "He's quite big for a baby brother, and a little old."

Cara giggled, "He'll always be my baby brother. Speaking of which, by the smell of things he needs changing."

"Changing?" inquired Spitfire.

Cara pulled back the cover to show Spitfire Connor's wet nappy.

"Oh," said Spitfire flatly, "I see what you mean. Poor guy, this won't be permanent will it?"

"No, only temporary for about two to three weeks. Maybe a month according to the doctor. His body's going through a whole heap of changes and it's wreaking havoc with his body. Incontinence is just one of the side effects. The doctor said the condition is similar to Magical Flux Disease where his body's intake of magic fluctuates causing a magical imbalance in his central nervous system, affecting his body's functions."

"Magical Flux Disease? Doesn't that just affect unicorns?"

Cara shook her head, "Unicorns are more prone to it because they use magic far more often but there have been cases of Pegasi and Earth ponies suffering from the condition. My auntie had the condition for a while though she fully recovered."

Spitfire breathed a sigh of relief, she hated seeing anyone suffer regardless of their species.

"We should call for a nurse to change him," said Spitfire as she went off to find one.

Cara nodded, "I'll wait here."

Cara turned her attention back to Connor. Her vision became blurry as she thought of all the time they missed out together as foals, playing in the street, snowball fights, having sneaky midnight snacks when they should be asleep....all of the many things they've missed out on together. Carefully walking up to his head, she nuzzled him gently, unintentionally waking him up.

"Hi Cara," said Connor sleepily.

"Hey there baby brother," nuzzling him again, "Get a good nights sleep?"

"Yeah, I slept well. Besides, I had two mares to keep me warm."

Cara giggled, "Glad to help. Spitfire's just gone to get a nurse. She'll be back soon."

"Why's she gone to get a nurse?"

"You need changing," Cara replied flatly.

Connor looked down to his waist, "Oh, that."

He leant back into the bed a bit of a huff, "Stupid things. I'm going to stop wearing them, I don't need them anyway."

Cara grinned mischievously, "If you didn't need them then why is that one full of sh-"

"CARA!" yelled Connor.

"Yes baby brother?" asked Cara 'innocently'.

Before Connor could respond Spitfire walked back into the room along with two nurses and 'office supplies'. The nurses walked over to Connor to begin changing him.

"Legs up Connor," said one of the nurses.

Connor huffed, lifted his legs and reluctantly allowed the nurses to clean him.

"I can clean myself you know," he said frustrated.

"Not properly you can't," replied the other nurse firmly, "So keep your legs up and stay still."

The nurses finished cleaning Connor's derrière and placed a clean nappy beneath his buttocks. He lowered his legs when told to do so and allowed the nurses to tape the nappy firmly in place.

"Is it comfortable?" asked the nurse.

Connor just nodded, embarrassment yet again catching his tongue. The nurses walked out leaving Connor with Spitfire and Cara who saw him receive TLC from the nurses.

"Sorry you had to see that," he said blushing, "I don't enjoy it but there's not much I can do for now."

"There's no need to be embarrassed Connor," Cara said, "I saw you yesterday get cleaned and changed by the nurses. I'm not grossed out or offended, neither is Spitfire."

"Absolutely not," confirmed Spitfire, "In fact, if anypony does mock you for it, tell us and we'll deal with them. Besides, so what if you're wearing nappies. You're very ill and need caring for at the moment, there's nothing for you to be ashamed of."

"Thanks girls," Connor replied smiling, "On a related note the Doctor says I'll be in a fair amount of pain for a couple of weeks while my wings grow out."

Spitfire scrunched her eyebrows in confusion, "I thought your wings were only temporary because of a spell."

Cara shook her head, "That's what we all thought but it turns out he already had Pegasus genes. The spell Twilight used unintentionally activated his dormant genes and lead to this."

Spitfire looked at Connor, "So your growing a pair of wings?"

"Yep. Cara's my little big sister and both of my blood parents are ponies. So would I had things......happened differently. My dad....my human dad, is human," he said with a chuckle, "I hope I see him again, let him know that I'm fine and that I appreciate everything he's done for me and mum."

"How is mum?" asked Cara with tears in her eyes.

"She was doing OK before I left. Now that I think about it, you have her eyes."

Cara laughed, "Yeah, I get that a lot. She's an awesome mother isn't she?"

"Without a doubt," replied Connor proudly, "Really good at baking."

"Of course she is," replied Cara jubilantly, "Who do you think taught me how to make fudge?"

The trio shared a laugh before an idea popped into Connor's mind, "Cara?"

"Yes baby brother?"

"Since I'm your brother, does that mean I get a family discount at your fudge shop?"

Cara wore a face of mock indignance, "Discount? DISCOUNT? My dear little baby brother I run a business, not a charity."

"So that's a no?" he asked with a smirk, fully aware Cara wasn't being serious.

"Well I wouldn't say no but maybe we could work together. You know like a sort of advertising campaign, the Wonderbolts are regulars at my store anyway."

Connor looked over to Spitfire, "What do you think Milkshake, advertising and sponsorship could help in the long run."

Spitfire rubbed her chin with her hoof, a thoughtful expression on her face, "It's certainly worth looking in to, we'll discuss it with the other 'Bolts when you're feeling better."

The trio attention focussed on the door opening and the arrival of another nurse with Connor's breakfast. Connor started salivating at the smell and sight of the porridge, eager to fill himself with porridgey goodness. The nurse placed to porridge on the bed tray that had been placed over the bed along with a glass of orange juice. Connor thanked the nurse as she left to fulfil other duties.

"Would you like any help baby brother?" asked Cara excitedly.

Connor got what Cara implied, "I don't need spoon feeding thank you, I can manage on my own without making a mess."

Connor pulled the trolley closer to him and held the porridge dish in his one hand and the spoon in the other. He quickly finished the porridge and looked up to notice the two mares staring at him.

"What?" he asked.

"Did that even touch the sides before it went down?" asked Cara.

"Can't a guy like porridge?"

"They can but you just shovelled it down like it was going out of fashion," replied Spitfire.

"So, a lot of guys like food."

Spitfire gave a small laugh, "You'll definitely enjoy the nights out with the 'Bolt stallions."

"Do they often go out?"

"At least once a month they have a big night out, usually in Cloudsdale."

"Then I'll have to make sure to join them."

The nurse from before entered the room to take away the dirty dishes and informed Connor that Twilight and Co where waiting outside to see him. Hearing this relaxed made him more relaxed, he was looking forward to seeing the girls and Spike again. Hopefully Twilight wouldn't feel as down in the dumps as before.

The Main Six and Spike entered the hospital room and positioned themselves around the bed, greeting Connor as they did so.

"Hi Buddy," said Rainbow Dash.

"Howdy partner."

"Hi Connor," said Fluttershy quietly.

"Hello again darling."

"HI CONNOR!"

"Pinkie Pie, what did we say about yelling at Connor while he's unwell?" asked Rarity with a scowl.

Pinkie merrily bounced her way of the end of the bed and sat down on the floor.

"Hi Connor," said Spike, rolling his eyes at Pinkie's antics.

"Hi Spike, hi girls," he replied before looking to a glum looking Twilight.

He could see Twilight looked down in the dumps if the sad eyes and droopy tail were anything to go by. He didn't like seeing his friend like this, especially when she was not at fault for what happened.

"Hi Twilight."

Twilight looked up looking miserable, "Hi Connor."

The tone in her voice was tired and gloomy. Her eyes showed signs she'd been crying for hours on end and her messy mane and tail implied a lack of sleep.

"You OK Twilight?"

"Am I OK?" she asked confused, "Shouldn't I be asking you that?"

Connor smiled, "I'm fine thank you Twilight. You look shattered though."

"Yeah I haven't been sleeping well. I was really worried about you," she replied upsettingly.

"You don't need to worry about me Twily, I'll be OK. Yes I'll be a bit rough for the next month or so but I'll recover. You haven't done anything wrong."

"That's what Princess Celestia said."

"And you know the Princess would never lie to you. What's happening to me would've happened eventually anyway."

Twilight only nodded glumly, still crestfallen that her friend was in pain. She continued to stare at the floor when she felt something wrap around her. She looked up to notice an almost naked Connor hugging her.

"Connor what are you dong?"

"I'm giving my little pony friend a hug," he replied.

"Why?"

"You look like you need one."

Twilight returned the hug, the affectionate gesture lifting her spirits a little bit. Connor let go of Twilight who immediately perked up with a smile on her face.

"Thanks Connor, I guess I needed that."

"I said you needed one," he said standing up straight.

Twilight giggled before finally noting Connor's 'special underwear', "Connor, what are you wearing?"

Connor looked over his unclothed self and saw what she was referring to and face palmed, "Oh for crying out loud."

Confused and inquisitive, Twilight ventured onwards for answers, "Connor, why are you wearing a-"

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING OUT OF BED?!"

Connor and the ponies all jumped in fright and looked to the doorway and saw a sight that should terrify anyone with any measurable degree of sanity.

The Matron.

"Erm..uh," Connor babbled.

"You will get back into bed this instant and stay there!" the Matron said with commanding authority.

"Yes Matron."

Connor immediately got back into bed as fast as he could, eager to prevent the Matron from getting angrier. The Matron pulled the covers back over him with her magic, tucking him in tightly, and looked him straight in the eyes with a piercing glare that could freeze your very soul.

"You will stay in bed and not get out until further notice, is that clear?" she said in the same authoritive tone.

"Yes Matron," Connor replied nodding.

"You will not refuse to wear nappies during your stay and you will co-operate fully with the nurses, is that clear?"

"Yes Matron," he replied, again nodding.

"And after your friends leave, you will get some rest before your scheduled sponge bath this evening, is that clear?"

"Yes Matron," he replied, again nodding.

The Matron walked out of the room having asserted her authority as a pony not to be messed with.

A meek looking Connor looked at his friends feeling a little humiliated inside. He needed to reaffirm his status as Alpha Male if he were to get through this without mockery.

"We shall never discuss this incident," he said coldly.

The ponies all quickly agreed, albeit holding back snickers and giggles.

"Or what I'm wearing," he added.

"Why are you wearing nappies though?" asked Twilight, "I didn't know you did."

An exceptionally embarrassed Connor spluttered out a response, "I don't, I woke up yesterday in a soaking wet one. I don't want to wear them but I don't have much choice at the moment, what with my condition wreaking havoc with my insides. For the time being I'm incontinent."

"Well we're sorry to hear that," replied Fluttershy, "Will you suffer anything else?"

"According to the doctor I could vomit, feel nauseous, fatigued, have diarrhoea and feel feverish. Please don't tell anyone about the nappies though, it's embarrassing enough as it is," Connor pleaded.

"We Pinkie Promise we won't tell anyone," replied Fluttershy as she and everyone else recited the 'Pinkie Promise'.

"Thanks girls."

"You're welcome Connor," replied Fluttershy.

"So, what do you girls have planned?"

"Nothing really," replied Twilight, "We were more concerned about you."

"I appreciate the concern, it's nice to know your friends care about you."

"We'll always care about you silly," said Pinkie excitedly, "We're all besties now!"

The pink pony launched herself at Connor and hugged him tightly.

"Thanks Pinkie," he wheezed.

"You're welcome Connor," she replied jubilantly, "You're really warm and squishy."

"And you little ponies are cute and adorable."

The ponies all blushed at the compliment and thanked Connor for it. Except for Rainbow Dash who denied she was cute and adorable. Apparently being such things would ruin her awesomeness.

Blushing only makes you more adorable Dashie thought Connor.

"That's very nice of you Connor," replied a familiar voice.

Connor and the ponies looked to the doorway where Celestia and Luna stood.

"But you're still staying in bed."

"Awwww," he replied disappointedly.

Celestia giggled and walked over to Connor, "How are you Connor?"

"I'm OK. I'd feel better if I didn't have to stay in bed all day."

"I understand your frustration Connor but it's for the best. You are not well enough to be up and about."

Connor decided to change the subject. He saw that Luna had come as well. It was nice to see her again, he enjoyed spending time with her and would do so again when he leaves this most horrible of places.

"Hi Luna. You OK?"

"We are fine Connor," replied Luna, "We are pleased that thou is recovering."

"I'll be like this a few more weeks but hopefully it'll be sooner."

"We hope so. We would very much like to spend time thee again."

"So would I Luna, you're great company."

"We thank thee Connor."

"Anytime Luna," Connor replied with a smile, "What are you girls up to anyway?"

"We came to see how you are doing," replied Celestia, "We can see you are in much better condition than before."

"Yeah," he replied with a laugh, "I felt like shit. Still do a little bit."

Celestia didn't at all flinch at the language. Neither did anyone else, they knew Connor was going through a lot at the moment.

"I'm glad to hear it. Well we better be going. We only came for a short visit to see how you were doing."

"That's fine, I appreciate the visit. Will you visit again?"

"Certainly," replied a cheery Celestia, "And you better be in bed when I see you."

Connor rolled his yes, "Don't worry Princess I will be."

"I hope so because if I find you out of bed I may have to take further action."

Connor leaned forward inquisitively, "What kind of further action?"

"Let me catch you out of bed and you'll find out," replied Celestia. Her serene smile hiding a firm promise of something Connor wouldn't like.

"Nothing nasty is it?"

"No," she replied still smiling, "But it would guarantee you stay in bed."

Connor's eyes widened in realisation at what Celestia implied, "You wouldn't dare."

"Wouldn't I?" she replied raising an eyebrow, "Anyway, it has been delightful talking to you Connor. Rest well."

Celestia gave Connor a wing hug, as did Luna, and left the room leaving Connor with the gang again.

"So girls, what are we going to do now?"

"I thought we could play a game," replied Twilight enthusiastically, the smile on her face showing no signs of the sadness from before. She lit up her horn and materialised a box into the room. She lowered the box onto the trolley tray and Connor saw the game to be played.

Trivial Pursuit.

They divided themselves into five teams, Connor and Cara, Spitfire and Rainbow Dash, Applejack and Rarity, Pinkie and Fluttershy, Twilight and Spike.

Rainbow Dash and Spitfire won much to Dashie's delight. Connor and Cara finished third.

It was lunch time by the time the game ended. After setting the game away Twilight and the gang bade farewell to Connor and made their way out if the room, promising to visit again another day. Spitfire and Cara both gave a hug to Connor and promised to visit again, Cara also informed Connor that Vulcan would be visiting tonight.

"I'll look forward to it," he replied.

"Great, I'll see ya sometime. Bye baby brother."

"Bye Cara. See ya Milkshake."

"You to Sleepy Head."

Cara and Spitfire left the room and immediately afterwards two nurses walked in with Connor's lunch.

"What have you brought me today?"

The nurses set the tray down on the trolley over his bed and removed the cover.

Roast chicken and vegetables lay before him, steam billowing off the oh so lovely food. He proceeded to stuff his face while the food was hot, thoroughly enjoying every second of roasty goodness. He washed it down with a pot of tea sent by Celestia.

After he finished the nurses took the dirty pots away and was paid a visit from the Matron.

"I'm pleased to see you are in bed as you should be Mr Wakefield."

"Yes Matron."

"Now to business. Lay still and let me check you."

"Check me?" he asked confused.

"To see if you need changing," she replied firmly as she levitated the quilt back to check his nappy.

"Hmmm, you're dry."

"That's a relief," replied Connor happily.

"You'll be anything but dry by the time you wake up," she stated bluntly, "Take these immediately."

She levitated two tablets over to him and a glass of water.

"What are these for?"

"Sleeping pills to help you sleep. We'll be removing your bandages and may need to perform another incision so we felt it prudent to put you to sleep just in case, so we can act faster and have you wake up with the operation already completed."

"That's fair enough I suppose," he replied as he took the tablets.

The Matron took the empty glass from Connor in her magic and fluffed his pillows up. Connor laid back and felt the quilt being draped over him.

"Sleep well Mr Wakefield. We'll wake you around 6pm if all goes well."

"Thanks Matron."

The sleeping pills were powerful stuff and Connor felt himself drift off rather quickly, falling into a blissful slumber. The Matron walked towards the door and turned back to the sleeping human before she left the room. A look of pity on her face.

"Poor kid, he's going to be in a lot pain when his wings grow to full size."

"Matron?"

The Matron turned around to see one of her nurses looking at her.

"Nurse Softheart, I was just talking to myself."

"OK. How is Mr Wakefield?"

The Matron turned back to Connor, "His wings will soon grow rapidly."

"How rapidly?" asked Nurse Softheart.

"They will go through over twenty years of growth in a matter of weeks, maybe even days. It will cause him agony that no painkiller can alleviate."

"Is there nothing more we can do?"

"All we can do is provide the best care we possibly can. We have powerful sedatives that can put him under if the pain gets too much, but too many of those can have negative consequences."

Nurse Softheart looked at the human, "He'll be OK. We'll make sure of it."

"Yes we will Nurse Softheart. Now come along, we have other patients we need to check on."

"Of course Matron."

The two ponies walked down the corridor to check on their other patients, leaving Connor in his deep sleep.

A few hours later in another part of the castle, one snobby white unicorn was huffing his way down the corridor.

"That stupid maid standing on my tail, argh I'll have waste my time going to the infirmary and get a thorough check up when I could be dining with my fellow nobles."

The guards and maids who heard him gave him stern glares. Every day they had to put up with his crap and now he was insulting another of their own. The maid in question was in tears over the accident and was frightened of his threats of being thrown in the dungeons. Fortunately for her Luna showed up who also witnessed the incident. Blueblood strutted away in a strop while Luna comforted the maid, assuring her she wasn't at fault and that she wouldn't be punished.

Blueblood entered the infirmary and by chance he came across a private room containing a patient he was familiar with.

Connor was still asleep when Blueblood walked in, laid on his side and his bandages removed. His wings had grown a small bit more and more feathers were noticeable if you looked directly at his back.

Blueblood walked up to Connor and started spoke firmly.

"Wake up you filthy ape."

Connor mumbled but didn't wake so Blueblood started to shake him.

"WAKE UP FILTHY CREATURE!"

This time Connor slowly opened his eyes, his vision a little blurry.

"Matron?" he mumbled.

"I am not Matron you foul creature."

Even half asleep, Connor recognised that voice.

"Blueblood," he said venomously, "What do you want?"

"Do not speak to me like that ape."

"I suggest you get out of here before Matron finds you."

"I am not scared of Matron."

"Then you're a fool."

"I AM NOT A FOOL YOU DISGUSTING APE! I AM PRINCE BLUEBLOOD AND YOU WILL RESPECT ME!"

Connor sat up, leaned forward and got closer to Bluebloods' face, "Fuck off."

Blueblood took a swing at Connor, who fortunately was alert enough to react and dodged the attack. Unfortunately, he still had hold of the quilt and when he rolled over he took the quilt with him, exposing his dirty nappy.

Blueblood went from angry to elated in an instant and started to laugh hysterically at the sight before him.

"HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA, you're wear nappies! You pathetic weakling!"

Tears started to form in Connor's eyes as his worst fears came to light. Wearing nappies he could cope with given the medical circumstances, but being seen in them and being mocked by Blueblood was too much.

Blueblood, pouncing on Connor's weakness, started prodding him hard with a hoof.

"Does the little baby need his nappy changing?" he asked condescendingly.

"Leave me alone," Connor whimpered, weakly shoving Blueblood away.

"And you're crying as well, you're nothing more than a big baby. A pathetic big baby who likes wearing nappies!"

Blueblood continued to mock and deride Connor with baby noises and jabbing his sides.

Tears continued to fall down Connor's cheeks, making him more feel weak and pathetic than ever; completely helpless and vulnerable to the bully that was Blueblood. He didn't have the energy to fight back and even if he did, without the Amulet Celestia gave him he would have no defence against Blueblood.

Blueblood was still mercilessly mocking Connor and sunk to an even lower level when he levitated the quilt and threw it onto the floor, leaving Connor completely exposed and cold, soon followed by the pillows. Blueblood levitated them in the air and put them within arms reach of Connor. Connor went to grab them only for Blueblood to move them away at the last moment, smirking maliciously the entire time, playing with Connor like how an owner plays with his dog.

"Stop mocking me!" Connor cried angrily as he again tried to grab the pillows.

"Stop mocking me! Stop mocking me!" mimicked Blueblood.

Connor went to grab the pillow again but missed and went over the end of the bed and fell to the floor, the impact causing Connor's bladder to empty itself. Fortunately for Connor the nappy was absorbent enough and it didn't leak.

Unfortunately, Blueblood noticed Connor once again wet himself and promptly burst out laughing again.

Blueblood laughed at Connor who layed on the floor, tired and crying from the ordeal. Blueblood threw a pillow at Connor forcefully.

"There's the pillow you wanted so badly."

Connor held the pillow close to his chest with all his might and sobbed quietly.

Blueblood turned away with a smug grin; a grin that was wiped clean off his muzzle when he saw the most terrifying sight of any hospital ward.






An angry Matron.








"WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING TO MY PATIENT?!"

Chapter - 19 - The Law Bows To No-one

View Online

The furious Matron took Blueblood in her magic and stormed out of the room. Her hooves pounded the floor, the corridors amplifying the sound so much one could be mistaken for thinking a thunderstorm was inside the castle. She levitated him through the castle, with him screaming and yelling along the way, and burst into the throne room.......whilst court was still in session......with several high ranking nobles. Ignoring the nobles she marched, still seething, towards a shocked looking Princess Celestia slammed the still screaming Blueblood on the ground.

"BE SILENT!" the Matron yelled at him, her voice echoing throughout the throne room sounding very much like the RCV.

He immediately shut up and didn't move a muscle.

"Princess Celestia," started the Matron venomously, "I have just caught this pony treating one of my patients in an extremely humiliating and demeaning manner. He outright assaulted my patient and continued to abuse my patient even when my patient showed extreme distress!"

Celestia looked away from the seething Matron and towards Blueblood before turning back to Matron.

"Am I right to assume the patient in question to be my personal friend?"

"Yes Princess."

Celestia turned back to Blueblood, "Do you deny these accusations?"

"That filthy ape is good only for amusing nobles and Royalty like me. It should be put in a zoo where it belongs," Blueblood replied, quickly back to his arrogant self-absorbed self, "I fail to see what the problem is. Just lock that filthy creature in a cage and forget it even exists."

Celestia was apocalyptically furious, even some of the more snooty nobles like Jet Set and Upper Crust were appalled. The Matron was glaring daggers and flaring teeth at him, and Princess Celestia looking equally terrifying with wings flared and stood high above on the throne's pedestal.

Blueblood continued his snobbish stance as the Solar Diarch looked down upon him.

"I shall interpret your answer as confirmation you committed the acts stated."

"So what, you can't do anything to me. I'm Royalty."

"Oh yes I can do something," she replied coldly, "GUARDS!"

Several guards from inside the throne room ran over to the Princess and awaited their next command.

"Take Blueblood to the dungeons. He will remain there until his trial. He is to be treated in the same manner as any other prisoner and is not afforded any special treatment," she ordered as she placed a Horn Dampener on Blueblood, "Take him away."

The guards saluted and as Celestia expected, Blueblood put up a fight and fought back against the guards. He deliberately hit several of the guards before he felt himself in Luna's magical aura.

"THOU CAN ADD RESISTING ARREST AND ASSAULTING ROYAL GUARDSPONIES TO THINE LIST OF CHARGES!"

Blueblood scoffed, "What are you going to do about it, Nightmare Moon?"

This remark was enough to cause Luna to drop her magical grip on Blueblood. Her vision blurred as the tears started to flow. She ran out if the throne room crying her eyes out quickly followed by her Thestral Guards and a few Solar Guards.

Celestia called out to in vain her little sister before turning her attention back to Blueblood. The glare she gave him put a shiver down the spine of every pony in the room, even the Matron. Everypony except Blueblood that is.

"What? Too soon?" he asked condescendingly.

"BE SILENT!" bellowed a furious Celestia.

"I HAVE PUT UP WITH YOUR DEPLORABLE BEHAVIOUR FOR TOO LONG BLUEBLOOD! FOR TOO LONG YOU HAVE BELITTLED, MOCKED, DISRESREPECTED AND HUMILIATED MY GUARDS, MY STAFF AND MY SUBJECTS! BUT NO MORE!"

Everypony in the throne room was watching in a mix of fear and awe of the spectacle before them.

"EVERY GRIEVANCE OR COMPLAINT MADE AGAINST YOU WILL BE INVESTIGATED AND WHERE NECCESSARY CHARGES APPLIED AND YOU WILL ANSWER FOR EVERY CRIME YOU ARE CHARGED WITH! DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR!?"

"Whatever. I'll get off with everything made against me."

Celestia could feel the veins in her head on the brink of blowing. Fortunately for her, and by extension all of Equestria, she refrained from incinerating Blueblood to ashes where he stood.

She watched as the guards quickly shackled his hooves together and dragged him to the dungeons.

This day would live long in the memory for the guards. They would be able to tell their grandchildren of this day.

Celestia watched as Blueblood was dragged away before turning her attention to the nobles in the throne room.

"I am truly sorry you had too see that but such behaviour will not be accepted or tolerated. If there is no more business to discuss I will adjourn the session."

Celestia looked around the room and saw no hooves raised indicating no more issues to discuss. She smiled internally.

"In that case Court is adjourned and I shall see you next time."

The nobles all made their way out of the throne room and went about their business. Celestia walked slowly over to her throne and sat down, exhausted from the Parliamentary session and the incident with Blueblood. She would make sure to help herself to some extra cake tonight to help feel better. Cake always makes her feel better.

"Excuse me Princess."

Celestia looked up to see a friendly face.

"Yes, how can I help you Duke Fancy Pants?"

"I was just wandering if I could meet this Connor fellow, he sounds like a rather interesting chap."

Celestia smiled, Fancy Pants would indeed be a great friend to Connor and vice versa. Fancy could be instrumental in helping Connor associate with the nobility and making powerful connections that could assist Connor in his new job.

"I see no reason why not but I will have to ask him first."

"I understand Princess," replied Fancy, "I shall bid you farewell Princess."

"Likewise Lord Fancy Pants."

Fancy Pants bowed to Celestia and walked out of the throne room. Celestia sighed and made her way out of the throne room through a side door to make her way to her sisters room. She was livid with Blueblood for calling her that. Luna was very sensitive on the matter and was deeply regretful of her actions as that. Luna is one of the kindest ponies there is but most if not all of her subjects are afraid of her.

The arrival of Connor who treated her like any other pony, meant more to Luna than Connor will ever realise. Ever since her return she has desperately wanted a friend to socialise with. The only ponies who would bother with her where herself and the Thestral Guards. Whilst it helped somewhat, ponies where still afraid of her and wouldn't see her during Night Court making Luna feel inadequate and unwanted.

Before Celestia knew it she was outside Luna's bedroom, Thestral Guards stood outside trying to enter to comfort their Princess.

"Princess please let us in, we're worried about you," pleaded Captain Star Gazer.

"LEAVE US ALONE! NO-PONY LIKES US!" she cried.

"That's not true Princess," replied the Captain, "There are many ponies who like you."

"NO THERE ISN'T," she cried still, "NO-PONY WANTS TO BE OUR FRIEND!"

Captain Star Gazer and Princess Celestia looked at each other sympathetically. Star Gazer made way for Celestia who tried to open the door with her magic but any attempt proved fruitless.

"GO AWAY TIA!"

"I'm worried about you Lulu," she replied gently, "Let me in to talk to you."

"NO! GO AWAY!"

Her crying could still be heard through the doors, her crying causing her own Thestral Guards to become upset at hearing their Princess like this. Celestia wasn't sure what to do. She needed to comfort her sister but if she forced her way in she may only succeed in pushing Luna further away, so she decided on the best option open to her.

"OK Lulu, but if you need me I'll be there for you," she said gently.

"OK Tia," replied Luna, tears still in her eyes, "We are going to sleep now."

"Very well Lulu, rest well."

Celestia breathed a sigh of relief. Luna would be OK, she would make sure of it. Just as she would make sure Blueblood answers for his crimes. She would leave the matter to the Crown Prosecution Department. They would look into any charges and decide if the matters should proceed to court. In the incident with Connor earlier, if charged and prosecuted it would most likely take place at Canterlot Crown Court.

Celestia did a quick magical scan of the door before leaving and sensed the door was no longer magically locked which pleased her and the Thestral Guards. Before leaving Celestia asked the Captain to send her a message when Luna awakens to which the Captain said he would comply.

Celestia made her way out of the Night Wing and towards the castle hospital to check on her friend. What Blueblood did what inexcusable and he would answer for those crimes, but first things first she had to check on Connor and make sure he's OK.

She made her way to the hospital in no time and was relieved to see Connor was in bed and cleaned up. The Matron was at his bedside fluffing up his pillows and ensuring he was warm and comfortable. She walked into the room, her clip-clopping hooves attracting the attention on the Matron and Connor.

"Hi Princess," Connor said a little tired, "You OK?"

Celestia smiled, even though he's suffering he's more concerned with other's wellbeing. Blueblood could learn a lot from Connor.

"I am fine now that I see you are OK."

"Don't worry about me Princess, Matron and the nurses are doing an excellent job of taking care of me."

"That is wonderful to hear. I just came by to see how you were."

"Well, Matron said I need some more sleep so I'll be getting some soon for another few hours."

"Good, make sure you do get plenty of rest."

"I will do."

Celestia looked down on front of her and noticed one of the nurses cleaning the floor, her alicorn sense of smell noticing a particularly unpleasant odour. Looking at Connor she was about to ask before Connor spoke first.

"Before you ask no I am not responsible for that one, I'm covered in that department. Literally."

She looked at Connor quizzically, "Then who.......," she said before it hit her, "Blueblood?"

Connor grinned, "Yep. Matron scared him so much he decided to lay a chocolate egg."

"You mean....." inquired Celestia.

Connor started laughing, "Yep. Karma's a bitch ain't it."

The Matron gave Connor an unamused look, "No swearing in my hospital Mr Wakefield."

"Sorry Matron," he said as his laughter faded away, "Anyway is there something else you wanted Princess?"

Celestia nodded, "Yes, I came to inform you about Blueblood."

Connor's face shifted to one of disgust, "Oh, him. What about him?"

"Due to his actions I have had him locked in the dungeons. There will be investigations into any complaint made against him and if the Crown Prosecution Department see fit to do so, they will press charges. Blueblood will answer for what he's done. I cannot give a custodial sentence myself, it is for a jury to determine guilt and a judge to determine a sentence. What I can do is strip him of Royal status which is what I intend to do."

Connor grinned, "Good. Save me a seat at his trial."

"Certainly, though if he pleads not guilty you would have to stand as a witness and testify."

"I've no problem with that, anything else?"

Celestia's face turned grim, "Yes. When arresting Blueblood, he lashed out and assaulted the guards. Luna held him in her magic, told him he would be punished further and then....."

"Then.....I get the feeling I'm not going to like this."

"He called Luna, 'Nightmare Moon'."

Connor was opened mouth in shock. Twilight had given him a history lesson about Equestria and the subject of Luna and her past came up. Connor got the impression Luna was the sensitive type who desperately wanted to fit in. Calling Luna 'Nightmare Moon' he guessed would upset her.

"I'm guessing she was upset?" he asked expecting a sad answer.

"She was deeply upset. She ran out of the throne room in tears and locked herself in her room."

Connor was about to speak but Celestia raised a hoof, calming Connor's worried expression, "She is fine now. I checked on her and she is sleeping for now. She'll be OK."

Connor nodded in relief, "I'd like to see her if that's OK."

"I have no problem with it so long as Matron gives the OK."

Celestia and Connor looked at Matron expectantly, "I will allow him a short visit to Princess Luna AFTER his nap and ONLY if he is taken by yourself Princess."

"That is reasonable enough for me, what about you Connor?"

"I'm good with that."

"Excellent, I shall see you later then. In the meantime, pleasant dreams Connor."

"Thanks Princess, see you later."

Connor laid back into the bed and made himself comfortable for his forced nap. Celestia meanwhile headed for the palace kitchens for some cake to help cheer her up. Afterwards she would sort out the paperwork necessary to strip Blueblood of Royal status. He would become the very thing he hates.

A commoner.

------------------------------------------------------------

It was around 6pm in the hospital. Connor was laid back in bed reading the Wonderbolts pull-out from yesterdays paper. The only light coming from the bedside lamp providing a comfortable, and surprisingly cosy, atmosphere. He took another sip of his cup of tea as he read the pull-out, himself much calmer than before.

After the ordeal with Blueblood, the nurses helped clean Connor up and changed his bedsheets, gave him a wash and helped him back into bed. He was able to get back to sleep for another few hours when he woke up around 5pm for his tea, pasta and cheese.

Connor was resting peacefully as he waited for the arrival of Celestia, smiling at the news from earlier and the thought of Blueblood facing justice and the stripping of his Royal status.

He wasn't waiting too much longer when the Princess arrived.

"Hello Connor, did you rest well?"

"Hi Princess, yeah I got some good sleep. I needed it."

"Splendid. Are you ready to see Luna?"

"Yes, hopefully I can cheer her up a bit."

"That I have no doubt."

Celestia levitated Connor out of bed, wrapped him in a blanket and placed him into a wheelchair that had been prepared. Connor was dressed in comfortable nightwear that was very warm, comfortable and the inside was soft to his skin. Rarity had made it for him and had it delivered to the hospital, it even had slits in the back for where his wings would grow through.

"Comfortable?" asked Celestia.

"Very. Shall we get going then?"

"Indeed we shall."

Celestia used her magic to move the wheelchair forward out of the hospital and into the castle proper. The were very few ponies around, most had gone home for their tea, making the trip through the corridors quicker.

"Do you know exactly what happened in the hospital?" asked Connor abruptly.

Celestia grimaced. She had heard some of what happened but not all, what she knew came from what the Matron saw.

"I do no know anymore other than what the Matron told me. If you wish you can report the matter, I shall send a guard to take a statement."

"I think I will, Blueblood isn't getting away with it. How did you know about what happened exactly?"

"I visited the Matron while you were sleeping."

"Oh," he sighed, "Well let me tell you, I've never been more humiliated. When Blueblood started mocking me, the first thing that came to mind was my childhood."

"What happened in your childhood that would cause such distress?"

Connor sighed deeply, his cheeks reddening in embarrassment, "I had bedwetting problems as a young child and was put in nappies at night to prevent waking up to a soaked bed."

"I am guessing there is more to this."

"Yes," he sighed again, "The other children at school found out and I was mercilessly bullied for it. It happened for years until I went to a different school. In my teens when I was at yet another different school, I had an unfriendly reunion with the same bullies who wasted no time in spreading around the school the fact that I was a bed wetter as a child and was put in nappies."

"That is awful, didn't the teachers or your parents do anything to stop it?"

"They did what they could but it made the situation worse. It got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore."

"What happened?" asked an increasingly concerned Celestia.

"One day after a PE lesson, we were getting changed in the dressing room when one of the bullies asked condescendingly, "Where's your nappy little baby, did your mother forget to put you in one'. The other students all laughed at me."

"What happened after he said that?"

Connor paused for a moment, "I punched him in the face, hard. Broke his nose in the process."

"Whilst I can't condone violence I can understand why you did as you did."

"It didn't stop there."

"What do you mean?"

"I proceeded to punch and kick him hard. I absolutely beat the crap out of him. He ended up in hospital with a broken nose, a dislocated jaw, bruising on his torso and arms and a black eye. Oh and I knocked one of his teeth out."

Celestia was shocked. She would never have expected such violence from Connor but after years of bullying, it was only a matter of time before he snapped.

"What happened to you afterwards?"

"I got suspended from school but no criminal charges were brought against me. Something about my dad having connections in high places. Surprisingly my parents didn't ground me, though they didn't condone what I did they understood I put up with the bullies' crap for years and something would have happened eventually. If I'm being honest I got the feeling my dad was secretly pleased I took no crap from a loud mouth."

"Well, at least the bullying stopped," she replied, "It did stop didn't it?"

"Oh yeah. After I went back to school the bullies never bothered me again. If anything they were terrified of me, I don't think they ever expected a nappy wearing bed wetter to beat the crap out of them."

"Indeed not. You haven't resorted to such measures again have you?"

"No, that was just a one off."

"That is good to hear. Let's hope it doesn't happen again."

"Agreed."

The duo approached the main staircase. Celestia lifted Connor (wheelchair included) up the stairs with her magic to Luna's bedroom. Captain Star Gazer was again stood outside awaiting the arrival of Celestia and Connor. Seeing the Princess and her friend approach he trotted down the corridor to meet them.

"Princess, I see you have brought your friend."

"Yes Captain. May I introduce Connor Wakefield. Connor this is Captain Star Gazer. Captain of the Thestral Guards."

"Captain, pleased to meet you," he said extending a hand.

"Likewise Mr Wakefield," replied Star Gazer extending a hoof, "But please, call me Star Gazer."

"Then in that case call me Connor," he replied shaking Star Gazer's hoof.

The trio stood outside the bedroom doors when Star Gazer turned to Connor, "I take it you're here to cheer up her majesty?"

Connor nodded, "I heard what Blueblood called her, and how Luna reacted so I thought I'd see if she's OK."

The Thestral Guards all smiled in delight. It was a rare sight for them to see anyone want to see their Princess, even more so because they want to see her. Connor might not realise it but anyone who is a friend of Luna is a friend of the Thestral Guard.

"That's great to hear," replied a beaming Star Gazer, "Her majesty is in her room. Go in when your ready."

Connor nodded and pushed the door handle down while Celestia pushed him with her magic. The room was very dark with only moonlight the only source for illumination.

"Luna?" Connor called out.

"Connor?" replied a weary Luna.

Celestia stopped pushing Connor and left him in the room with Luna, closing the door on the way out. Luna walked up to Connor, her eyes showing signs of distress and her mane looked a mess.

"Hi Luna."

"Connor, what is thou doing here? Thou should be in bed," she said firmly as she slowly illuminated the room, albeit dimly.

Connor laughed, "You sound like Celestia and the Matron."

"We shall take that as a compliment," she replied smiling.

"How are you Luna?"

Luna shifted uncomfortably avoiding eye contact with Connor, "We......are fine."

The raised eyebrow and folded arms form Connor implied he wasn't fooled.

"Luna," he said softly placing a hand on her withers, "Please be honest with me."

Luna looked her human friend in his eyes. She saw that even though small, they held a lot of emotion behind them. More so than ponies' eyes. She could see behind his small eyes he genuinely cared for her. She liked Connor, he was a good friend who treated her like any other pony and it would be unfair and disrespectful to lie to him.

"We were upset when he called us...N-n-n-n..."

"Nightmare Moon," Connor completed gently.

Luna looked up to Connor with tears once again streaming from her eyes. She sat on her haunches in front of Connor and sighed heavily.

Connor continued, "Twilight's told me about your return and I read some history books."

Luna looked to the floor in shame, "Then thou knows what we did."

Connor gently placed his hand on Luna's chin and gently moved her head up to look her in the eyes. Her teal eyes glistened in the moonlight, their inner beauty radiating through. He looked into her eyes, a few tears falling down her cheeks, and saw genuine remorse over her actions.

"Yes I know," he said gently, "But that doesn't mean I don't like you. You're my friend Luna and nothing will change that."

Luna looked at Connor, tears falling faster, "Does thou truly mean that?"

Connor nodded, "Absolutely. Now give me a hug you daft thing."

Luna gave out a small laugh and gently stood on her hind hooved and wrapped her forelegs around Connor, partially resting on his lap.

"Hehe, thou is squishy."

"You're not the first pony to say that."

"Then clearly there must be some truth to it."

Connor laughed, clearly amused at such a thing, "I don't know about that."

"No no," refuted Luna, "Thou is cuddly and squishy."

"Is that a fact?"

"Yes. It is."

A grin crossed Connor's face. This is what he liked about Luna. She was funny, spontaneous, a foodie and Connor got the impression she was the prankster type.

"Then who am I to argue with the Princess of the Night. Anyway, I should be getting back to the hospital, Matron won't like me being away too long. Sorry if it seems I'm cutting the visit short."

"Thou does not need to apologise, we understand. If thou is OK with it, could we take thee back to the hospital?"

"Sure you can."

A beaming smile adorned Luna's face she went behind Connor's wheelchair and pushed him along with her magic towards her bedroom door. She opened the door with her magic and saw her sister and Thestral guards waiting for them. Pushing Connor out into the hallway she walked over to her sister and the two siblings nuzzled each other affectionately.

"Luna are you OK?" asked Celestia with a hint of worry.

"Yes Tia, we are fine. Connor was able to cheer us up. We were going to return him to the hospital so that he can get his rest."

"Of course sister. I shall see you afterwards," Celestia said before turning her attention to Connor, "Vulcan will be visiting you later, Matron is aware so you needn't worry."

Connor simply nodded in understanding, though he felt a little apprehensive about it, "Just Vulcan?"

"Yes. Cara and Spitfire decided to have a girls night out to give the two of you space to talk and the Elements of Harmony will be arriving in a few days. With your permission I will inform them of earlier."

"Sure, I don't mind. I'd tell them eventually anyway. I can't imagine they'd be too pleased about it."

"No they won't. Should Blueblood go to trial, which I suspect it most likely will, then I will request the trial be postponed until you are discharged from hospital."

"Thanks. I have no intention of missing it. Anyway, I'll see you again Princess. Good night."

"Good night Connor."

Celestia trotted away leaving Connor with Luna and the Thestral Guards.

"So Connor, shall we return thou to bed?"

"Yeah we may as well," he groaned, "Matron will only yell at me if I'm not back."

Luna chuckled at Connor's 'grumpiness'.

"See you later guys," he said waving to the Thestrals.

The guards waved goodbye in return as Luna pushed Connor away with her magic. They slowly made their way through the castle corridors towards the hospital. Moonlight shone through the corridor windows that overlooked Canterlot, the moonlight alone providing a peaceful atmosphere to the scenery.

Neither Luna nor Connor spoke as they headed back to the hospital, both of them enjoying the tranquillity of the night.

Before long they arrived back at the hospital where, unsurprisingly, the Matron was waiting.

"Princess Luna, thank you for returning my patient."

"Tis no problem Matron, we were happy to return Connor."

Matron nodded before tuning her attention to Connor, "Mr Wakefield you have a visitor."

Connor turned to Luna, "I guess this is where we part ways."

"Indeed it is Connor. Make sure thou gets sleep. We WILL know if thou does not."

"I'll get some sleep don't worry. See ya later Luna."

"Goodnight Connor."

Luna left the hospital and made her way to her sister, she guessed Celestia would most likely be in the kitchens raiding the fridges for cakes. She usually does this time of night. Cakes are Celestia's guilty pleasure. Luna's guilty pleasure.......Jammie Dodgers. As a filly she would hoard them in her bedroom and get very grumpy if anypony else touched them or moved them.

She still does.

The Matron wheeled Connor back to his room and levitated him into bed and making sure he was tucked in.

"I'll bring your guest to you now."

The Matron walked away to fetch the guest which Connor assumed to be Vulcan. His biological father.

Despite being elated at finding out his true father, he missed his step dad, Alexander. He truly hoped to meet him again, and his mother and three younger sisters. Connor laughed when he thought of his sisters. They were all liked horses/ponies. If they turned up in Equestria you'd never get them to leave.

Connor looked up when he heard a cough.

It was Vulcan.

"Hi errr....Vulcan."

Vulcan felt a bit of pain in his heart at hearing his son call him Vulcan and not 'Dad', though he understood why. Connor was brought up in a different world by a man who raised him as his own so its understandable if Connor feels unable to call him Dad. Though if he did ever meet Connor's step dad, he would make sure to thank him for raising him and for doing a fine job at it.

"Good evening Connor," replied Vulcan slowly walking into the room, "Mind if I sit down?"

"Help yourself."

Vulcan moved a chair over to the side of the bed and sat down.

Both of them remained silent for a few seconds, neither sure of what to say.

"Would you like a drink Mr Vulcan?"

Vulcan turned around to find the Matron stood at the doorway.

"Black coffee please Matron."

"Very well. Mr Wakefield, tea I presume?"

"Yes please Matron."

The Matron nodded and went to fetch the drinks.

"So," started Vulcan, "I hear you recently started a job with the Wonderbolts."

Connor nodded and smiled, "Yeah, as Events Manager. Not too sure how to do it but I'm sure I'll learn."

"I'm sure you will," Vulcan responded with a warm smile.

"So what do you do?" asked Connor.

"I'm a retired blacksmith of the Royal Equestrian Air Force. I mostly made armour and weapons for Pegasi soldiers."

"Officer or soldier?"

"Officer. Retired with the rank of Group Captain."

Just like dad......this is going to be awkward.

"Connor," continued Vulcan, "I realise this is awkward for you, it is to me as well. Biologically we are father and son, but I feel wrong in calling you it by which I mean I wasn't in your life until very recently. And by the same token I wouldn't feel right if you called me dad, I didn't raise you and as such have no right to be called as such by you."

"I understand what you mean. Honestly I feel like if I called you dad that I would be disrespecting my.....step dad....," Connor ended prematurely with a sigh.

"Connor," Vulcan said intervening, "You don't have to refer to your stepdad as such, you can call him dad, I won't mind."

"Are you sure, you won't be offended?"

"I'm sure. It's clear he's done a good job raising you, your mother too no doubt," he paused for a moment as he remembered the last day with his wife.

"She's doing well, she's a brilliant mother and an excellent cook. No-one ever went hungry in my house."

Vulcan laughed heartily, "Yeah that sounds like Star Light alright. Such a cute little thing she was when I met her."

"Now that I know she was originally a pony it would explain her vegetarianism, she would try to convert me to it but I could never join the dark side. I like my bacon sandwiches too much."

"You eat meat?" asked Vulcan inquisitively.

"Yep. Spitfire told me Pegasi occasionally eat Tuna."

Vulcan nodded, "We do, in addition to other fish as well. We can consume other meat also but we tend not to, Earth ponies and Unicorns get real squeamish for some reason when they see us eating meat. They can consume meat but they choose not to."

"Oh well, more meat for us."

Vulcan grinned, "That's what I like to hear. Tell you what, when you've recovered why don't we go out to a restaurant in Cloudsdale. There's a real good fish restaurant I know, I go there regularly. If you go in your Wonderbolt's flight suit you may get a discount."

"Sure, sounds fun," Connor looked up to notice the Matron with the drinks, "Thanks Matron."

"You're welcome Mr Wakefield," the Matron replied as she placed the drinks down on the trolley over the bed, "Here you are Mr Vulcan."

"Thank you Matron."

"You're welcome Mr Vulcan."

The Matron left the room closing the door behind her. Pouring himself some tea from the pot, Connor looked to Vulcan, "How did you know I have a 'Bolts flight suit?"

"I saw your pictures in the papers."

"Oh yeah, that. Before I ended up in here."

"Don't worry, it won't be too long before you recover."

"Easy for you to say, you're not growing wings in a month that should take over twenty years."

"You'll be fine, don't worry about it. You've got the best possible care in Equestria."

"That I do," he replied as he added sugar and stirred.

The two continued to talk for another hour on matters ranging from sport, history, food, technology and Connor's birthplace. Vulcan was fascinated by all of it, particularly the bit about the Royal Air Force, Connor promised to show him some of his human technology once he recovers to which Vulcan showed keen interest.

Connor also told Vulcan what he told Celestia earlier about his childhood bed wetting problems and dealing with the bullies. Connor thought Vulcan wouldn't approve but the belly laugh indicated otherwise. Vulcan fully approved of Connor's actions and said he would have done the same.

Vulcan also promised to attend the inevitable trial of Blueblood providing moral support for Connor.

It was starting to get late and visiting hours were over. Vulcan promised to visit again on his way out, leaving Connor alone once again. Connor switched on the bedside radio and listened to some pony music and pony news. One of the artists, Sapphire Shores was popular with youngsters but not quite as popular as Countess Coloratura. The songs were OK but he preferred rock.

The news wasn't anywhere near as depressing as the news back home. Back home whenever you switch on the news there's always someone suffering and dying, in Equestria the worst Connor heard on the radio was about an argument between two ponies over who got the last pie in a bakery. According to eye-witnesses one of the ponies called the other a 'fluffball' much to the horror of everypony, apparently this caused the other pony to cry. Connor laughed when he heard that, he wondered how they'd react to the language used back home. Celestia dealt with the issue apparently, with the name caller 'deeply regretful' of his name calling. The two ponies hugged and all was forgiven.

Connor eventually drifted off to sleep with the radio still playing in the background, his wings had noticeably grown a little more but no blood had seeped out. He was going to be in for a rough time though but with Blueblood now out of the way he could rest peacefully and get an excellent nights sleep.

He better had.

Matron will be very unhappy if he doesn't.

And displeasing Matron is not a good thing to do.

------------------------------------------------------------

CANTERLOT DUNGEONS BENEATH CANTERLOT CASTLE

Blueblood was fuming from inside his dungeon cell. That disgusting filthy ape had caused him to be thrown into the dungeon. He shouldn't be the one in a dungeon, he should be the one putting dirty commoners in them. He was thinking all manner of unpleasantries he could subject Connor to and would use every resource he had left to ensure it happens. He still had contacts and allies on the outside, he would use them to achieve his goals.

That filthy creature will pay for what he's done to me. I will break free from wherever they put me in. Then I will take that tramp of a mare he so likes and hide her someplace he'll never find her, then I will get him and make him pay for the humiliation I have suffered.

I swear that HE! WILL! PAY!

Chapter - 20 - FREEDOM!

View Online

Connor stood bare chested in front of the full length mirror in his room, looking in awe at his outstretched wings. His Rosso Corsa coloured wings shone brightly in the sunlight bringing his wings to life. He stood admiring himself for a while longer, his mind going over the events of the past five weeks where he spent his time in hospital.

After his late night chat with Vulcan, things went downhill. The following day the pain in his back worsened and his wings grew more rapidly. More than once he was physically sick and the other end wasn't any better. There were times he was freezing cold despite the summer temperatures and radiators being switched on, and other times they couldn't keep his temperature down. His wings were growing that fast there were times Connor could swear he felt them growing. It was an extremely painful experience, and with feathers falling out and re-growing it only added to the pain.

Fortunately about a week before he was discharged his condition improved significantly and he was more or less recovered. He also had a nice collection of red quills and best of all he finally had control of his bowels back. Connor vowed never to take the toilet for granted again.

He continued to stand on front of the mirror moving his wings about when there was a knock at the door.

"Come in," he said aloud.

The door opened and in walked Celestia with a bright and cheery smile.

"Hi Princess, what brings you here?" he asked still flexing his wings.

"I just came to see how you were," she replied as she stood next to him, "You seem to be much better than the past few weeks."

Connor chuckled a little, "Yeah, I was in a right state. But thanks to the TLC I received I made a swift recovery."

Celestia smiled and took a look at his wings. They were more vibrant than before and looked stunning, when he stretched them out they were six feet in length each. They were rather large and more angular than Pegasus wings, no doubt to compensate for Connor's larger body size (and mass). They did need preening though, but preening was a rather.....private affair with Pegasi (and Alicorns). It was only done between close friends or partners, except young Pegasi who had it done usually by the mother.

Celestia decided against asking though. She knew Connor and Spitfire were in a relationship and didn't want Connor's first preening to be taken away from Spitfire. Lost in thought, she hadn't realised she was just stood staring into space.

"CELESTIA!"

The sudden shouting brought Celestia back to his senses and she realised Connor was stood next to her with a hand on her withers.

"Connor?" she blinked, "Is something wrong?"

"You zoned out for a minute, is something bothering you?"

Celestia shook her head, "No nothing is bothering me. I was just going to mention that your wings need preening."

Connor looked at the back of his wings in the mirror and saw some were a little tattered.

"Suppose so. How do I preen wings?"

Celestia smiled, "Why not ask your marefriend to show you?"

"Suppose I could, is that the done thing with wing preening? Asking your other half to do it?"

"Sometimes," she replied, "Other times it can be just between close friends."

Connor simply nodded in understanding, "So is there anything else Princess?"

Celestia smirked, "Back to calling me 'Princess' now?"

"Eh?"

"Just before you called me 'Celestia'."

Connor felt worried. He didn't mean to call her by her name without using her title first. Was it a crime for a commoner to call her by her name? Would he be thrown in the dungeons? Would he have his wings clipped? Would he be banished? Would he-

"CONNOR!"

The winged human came back to his senses and noticed Celestia in front of him shaking him gently with a hoof.

"Is something wrong Princess?"

"You zoned out on me."

"Oh," he replied sheepishly, "Sorry."

"No need to apologise and if you're worrying I'll punish you for calling me Celestia, I won't."

"You won't? But-"

Celestia held up a hoof, "Connor, for more years than I can remember I've had almost everypony call me 'Princess', 'Princess Celestia' or 'Your Divine Majesty'. Luna and my parents have been the only ponies to call me just 'Celestia'. I've even tried to get Twilight to call me 'Celestia' but so far I've been unable to."

Connor felt a little upset. It sounded like he'd been unintentionally causing more upset to the Princess by calling her by her title.

"Sorry."

Noting Connor look a little glum she walked over to him and wrapped him in a wing hug, "There's no need to apologise Connor. I'm not angry, but do you think that you could call me Celestia, you are my friend after all."

Connor looked at Celestia's magenta eyes and saw a deep longing for acceptance, a desire for someone to see her as Celestia and not a Princess.

"Sure, I've no problem with that.....Celestia."

Celestia beamed at that and the room brightened up, "Thank you Connor, are you joining me for lunch?"

"Sure."

Celestia merrily trotted to the doorway followed by Connor, clad in only jeans and socks made by Rarity. The two made their way through the corridors towards one of the smaller dining rooms that overlooked Canterlot, talking along the way.

"How's Blueblood doing in his new lodgings?"

During Connor's hospital stay Blueblood astonished everyone when he agreed to plead guilty in return for a lighter sentence, everypony expected him to drag the situation out and make a song and dance out of it. He got three years in total with eligibility for parole in eighteen months. Unfortunately most of the cases against him lacked evidence to prove beyond doubt so those charges were dropped. Only his actions against Connor (including their first encounter), the maid he threatened a few weeks ago and a couple of others.

Why he agreed to it when he gloated he would get away with it mystified most. Celestia and Luna guessed he had an ulterior motive and pleaded guilty knowing he would get a lighter sentence, and early release if he behaved himself. They made arrangements to keep Connor under close watch upon Blueblood's release, just in case.

"Surprisingly he's become the model prisoner. Honestly I expected him to verbally abuse the wardens but he has not done so."

"He's probably after early release, it's why he agreed to plead guilty because it reduced the risk of being found guilty and getting the full four years," he huffed frustrated, "Thanks for running that deal by me first, I doubt I would've coped in a trial."

"You're welcome Connor. But let us put all that behind us and look to the future."

The two entered the dining room and sat themselves down at the table, Celestia sitting at the head of the table. Connor sat down on the chair nearest to her left, giving him a full view of Equestria in the distance.

"What would you like Connor?" asked Celestia.

Connor turned to Celestia and saw a maid had come to take orders.

"Oh I'll have a grilled cheese sandwich and a glass of orange juice."

The maid wrote the order down and turned to Celestia.

"I'll have a cucumber sandwich and an orange juice also."

The maid wrote down the order and bowed to Celestia, "I'll inform the cooks at once Princess."

The maid left the room leaving Celestia and Connor alone.

"When will I be allowed to return to Ponyville?" asked Connor.

"Soon hopefully. I'll arrange for a chariot to take you there when the Doctor gives his approval."

"Thanks, not that I don't enjoy the pleasure of your company. I'm just eager to return."

"I know Connor, I don't want to keep you cooped up here any longer than is necessary."

"I'm looking forward to finally starting my new job though," Connor said with a grin, "I'm sure Luna and I will be a great team."

"I sure you will," replied Celestia with a little dread. She dared not think what would happen of the two of them decided to pull pranks on ponies.

"Will Luna be following me around or will I be with her here in the castle?"

"A bit of both, but you've nothing to worry about. Luna will be a great advisor and she's better at logistics than I am."

"I'll have to look into getting a house sometime. Are there any good estate agents around here?"

"A few, but considering the exceptional circumstances I could get you a house at no cost to you."

Connor looked down in though. Whilst it would mean a house of his own and no mortgage, he much preferred working and earning to pay for a house. Besides, so much had been done for him already, it was his time now to give something back to Equestria.

"Thanks but no thanks Celestia. I appreciate the offer but I'd like to get a house through hard work and earn it," he finished looking into her eyes.

Celestia was secretly pleased to hear this, whilst she wouldn't have been bothered if he'd accepted, she was pleased that Connor wanted to stand on his own feet and not free load off anypony.

"If that is what you wish Connor, I will respect it. I know of a few Estate Agencies with properties in Ponyville, Cloudsdale and here in Canterlot. If you wish why not venture into town after dinner and have a look."

"I think I will. I'll have to pay my bank manager a visit about arranging a mortgage."

"You can do that in Ponyville after you find a property you like. If you wish I can be your guarantor?"

"I can't ask you to do that Celestia, you've done too much for me already."

"Don't be silly Connor, I've said I'll help you and I will. All I ask is that I be guarantor just in case."

"OK. If it means that much to you."

Celestia smiled with joy, "Thank you Connor. Would I be able to see your new home?"

"Course you can you daft mare, after everything you've done for me do you think I'd leave you out?"

"No, you're far too kind to do something like that."

A couple more minutes past until the maid returned with the orders. She levitated them onto the table and left the room after a quick bow to Celestia. Connor immediately devoured the grilled cheese sandwich much to the amusement of Celestia, who delicately ate her sandwiches.

"Enjoying yourself?" asked a bemused Celestia.

Connor just nodded, too busy stuffing his face to give a verbal answer.

Celestia stifled a laugh. She really enjoyed spending time with Connor, she didn't have to be prim and proper all the time and maintain her 'Perfect Princess' image. With Connor she could enjoy being herself and being 'normal'. She made a mental note to invite Connor to the Grand Galloping Gala. She had already sent Twilight and her friends invites. She decided to do so because for many years now the GGG had become stale and boring in desperate need of livening up.

She had already made preparations for Connor's Citizenship Ceremony to be held in two days. She had yet to tell him about it. She would tell him after he gets back later. Twilight and Co, Spitfire, Cara and Vulcan all knew of the ceremony and all promised to keep it secret from him. Connor was unaware there was a ceremony planned or that Rarity had made a special Wonderbolt outfit for him (in addition to several more standard outfits now he would be wearing them more often). It was the same as the standard outfit except it was a bit more sparkly, silver patterns instead of golden yellow and a silver lightning bolt style belt. The boots were also sparkly silver all over, as were the gloves. Like his standard flight suits, there was the winged lightning bolt on each hip.

Celestia would unveil it to him before the ceremony but after a spa treatment.

Lunch didn't last much longer and once finished Connor put on some trainers and made his way into Canterlot to browse properties. He focussed primarily on Ponyville and Cloudsdale but decided on Canterlot as a contingency plan. Though he had yet to start work full time, he had been paid for the previous five weeks. Just under 40,000 bits (£4,000) tax free for the first month. He made that press appearance and photoshoot before going into hospital, and in the last week he got some lessons in the Wonderbolts from Rainbow and Spitfire.

Also, had he not been in hospital he would have been working anyway, so the 'Bolts felt it unfair to penalise Connor for something out of his control. Connor did arrange the Wonderbolt's first sponsor. Cara's fudge shop. She would provide fudge to be sold at venues and in return Cara's gets a huge increase in sales and public attention through association with the Wonderbolts.

Connor still didn't get family discount though.

------------------------------------------------------------

CANTERLOT CASTLE

APPROX 6.30PM

Connor was sat in one of the many lounges in the castle looking through the property brochures he picked up earlier. He found several that appealed to him including three properties in Ponyville, two in Cloudsdale and one in Canterlot. The Canterlot property was quite expensive but had excellent amenities. He mulled over whether to arrange a viewing whilst stuffing his face with a ham and cheese panini. Viewings for the Ponyville and Cloudsdale properties had been arranged to take place over two days after the ceremony, of which he was still unaware.

Whilst in town he took the opportunity to do a bit of shopping. Amongst the items he bought included a razor and shaving cream, wing balm, chocolate, banana milkshake, cookies and a deck of playing cards. Cara had been kind enough to bring him some fudge 'celebrating' his release from hospital. He was laid back on his wings which were surprisingly comfortable. Connor assumed his back would sweat buckets due to them trapping heat on his back but instead his wings where light and airy, and very soft to rest on acting like a pillow for his back.

The warm heat and glow from the fire provided a cosy atmosphere with candle light adding a pleasant experience. The door opened and in walked a pony that blended into the environment.

"Reading anything good?"

Connor looked around to see a familiar fiery mare, "Hey there Milkshake."

Connor put down his paninis and gave Spitfire a hug. During his stay in hospital she made a few more visits to see him, as did a few of the other Wonderbolts. She hopped up onto the sofa on which Connor was lying and rested on top of him, laying in her side and resting her head in his chest. Her soft fur gently caressing his bare skin.

"Comfortable?" asked an amused Connor.

"Mmmmmph."

"Is my little Milkshake tired?"

"Mmmmmph."

"Does my little Milkshake want to go to bed?"

"Mmmmmph."

"Does that mean my little Milkshake doesn't want food?"

Almost in an instant Spitfire bolted upright and was standing on Connor's chest with wings flared and eyes wide.

"Does this mean my little Milkshake does want food?"

Spitfire nodded.

Connor grinned, "Come on then, let's go to the kitchen."

Spitfire flapped her wings and took to the air. Connor stood up and stretched his limbs and wings, the cracking sounds causing Spitfire to wince.

"Doesn't that hurt?" asked Spitfire.

"No, its perfectly fine. I won't hurt myself doing it."

The two made their way out of the room with Spitfire riding piggyback on Connor. They made their way through the candle lit corridors towards the kitchen, passing a few maids along the way. They entered the kitchen which was staffed around the clock, ready at a moments notice to prepare meals for a castle that never sleeps.

Hard at work at his station was head chef, Master Chef. A dark green earth pony stallion who was a natural in the culinary arts with dishes to die for. When he attended the Royal Culinary Academy with the 299 other chefs, it was clear he was the best and Celestia herself requested his services. He stood out not just because of his culinary prowess, but because he was the only non-unicorn at the school.

"Connor, what brings you to my kitchen?"

"Just came for something to eat, as did Spitfire."

"Sure thing, anything in particular?"

"Haddock and chips for me," replied Connor.

"Same here," added Spitfire.

"Two fish and chips coming right up."

Master Chef bellowed out orders to his chefs whilst Connor and Spitfire sat themselves down at a nearby table.

"I heard you were looking up properties to buy."

"Yeah, I can't live with Twilight forever and having my own place would be nice. I'm looking at Ponyville and Cloudsdale mainly."

"Where abouts in Cloudsdale?"

"I'll show you the brochures I picked up earlier later."

"Cool, will you take me to look around the properties when you go?"

"Course I will, I'm not leaving my marefriend out of the loop."

Spitfire smiled warmly. It meant a great deal to her that Connor was involving her in her life. During his stay in hospital she opened up to him about her past relationships and about how stallions would only date her for the sole reason of dating a Wonderbolt. They showed no interest in getting to know Spitfire, only her body.

Connor was appalled at her treatment. When he asked her if that was why she was reluctant to show Connor to her family she affirmed it. Connor promised he would never treat Spitfire like that and again asked if he could meet her family. Seeing she couldn't exactly hide the fact she was dating him, it was the talk of Cloudsdale after all, she agreed. Though unknown to Connor he had already met Spitfire's father, Avro Lancaster. He was the large green Pegasus that directed him towards the Wonderbolts at the Coliseum when he attended the Young Flyer's Competition.

Spitfire later admitted she was dating him after Avro saw the newspaper article. He was understandably sceptical but decided to give him a chance. Though his encounter with Connor was brief, Avro heard the other Wonderbolts give complimentary remarks about him. Besides, it was clear from the photos he cared deeply for her. Unlike the all the other photos where Connor simply put an arm around the mares, Princesses included, with Spitfire if you looked closely you could see him pulling her closer to his body.

That and Spitfire has been happier than she's ever been since she met Connor. Whilst her sister and mother are pleased for Spitfire, her brothers are more cautious. Particularly her twin brother, Hawker Hurricane. He was quite protective of his younger-by-five-minutes twin sister and hated seeing anyone upset her.

But he would give Connor a chance. According to Spitfire he was the son of Group Captain of his nations air force, so he does at least have something interesting about him.

"I love it when you smile," Connor said warmly, "You can brighten even the dullest of days with it."

Spitfire blushed at the compliments, "Thank you Sleepyhead."

"You're welcome Milkshake."

A fake cough caught their attention and the two looked over to see Master Chef with a trolley carrying their fish and chips.

"Your meals are ready, are you eating here?"

The pair nodded.

"Very well," replied Master Chef as he placed the plates on the table.

The portions were generously sized, the battered haddock was huge and the chips were crisp and golden. Master Chef also placed some salt and vinegar on the table along with two extra large banana milkshakes.

"A little birdy told me you two like banana milkshakes. Is it true?"

"You could say that," Connor said nonchalantly, "Thanks for the meals, they look great."

Master Chef's smile widened visibly, "Thank you Connor, you're fast becoming one of my favourite customers."

"Celestia chose well with you," Connor added.

Master Chef was almost bursting with joy. Such high praise from a personal friend of the Princess was greatly appreciated.

"Thank you again Connor, I'll leave you two alone now. But remember if ever you need anything whenever you're at the castle, just come and find me and I'll gladly cook you something up. You too Captain."

"Thanks Master Chef," replied Spitfire as she stuffed her face with haddock.

Master Chef walked away leaving them alone. Connor looked over to Spitfire who was still eating and, deciding not to miss out started his own meal. He put some salt and vinegar on his fish and chips and started eating.

Connor's enhanced taste buds came to life as the battered haddock touched his touched his tongue. The haddock was simply brilliant, perfectly cooked and prepared.

"This is bloody brilliant," he said enthusiastically to Spitfire.

"I'll second that, this is the best fish I've ever had."

The two quickly and enthusiastically finished their meal and decided to help themselves to desert. Connor rummaged through one of the fridges and found what could only be described as a chocolate lovers dream. A huge chocolate cake with chocolate sponge, chocolate filling and chocolate icing was there crying out to be eaten. Someone had already stared it as it was only three-quarters of a full cake. He took the cake out and cut himself and Spitfire two large slices and put them into dishes.

He put the now half-cake back into the fridge and walked over to Spitfire with the two dishes in hand.

"Here you are love, enjoy."

Spitfire looked at the chocolatey goodness before her and started to salivate.

"If you don't want it I'll gladly eat it," Connor said.

Spitfire scowled and wrapped her hooves around the dish and pulled it closer to her, "NO! IT'S MY CHOCOLATE CAKE!"

Connor laughed at Spitfire antics, "I'm only joking Spits."

Spitfire's expression softened, "I know."

The two continued to eat their cake and had a little chat on Wonderbolts business. Connor suggested getting in several more sponsorships before the next Wonderbolt air show in a months time. Spitfire agreed and said she'd arrange a shortlist of potential sponsors for Connor to follow up.

They finished their cake and Connor placed the dirty pots in the sink with the other dirty pots, no need for them to clean them when their was a fully staffed kitchen of ponies whose duties included dish washing. They left the kitchen and went upstairs to Connor's bedroom, deciding to watch a film on Connor's laptop. Connor got changed into nightwear while Spitfire remained her naked self.

Before getting into bed though, Connor remembered what Celestia told him earlier.

"Spits, can I ask a favour?" he asked nervously, rubbing the back of his neck.

"Sure."

"Could you......preen my wings?"

Spitfire just stared at Connor. To be asked to do something so personal was no small thing. She looked at his wing and could see they hadn't been preened before, so she would be the first to do it. She felt a lump in her throat. She loved Connor and having the honour of being his first was a big thing. Tears started to fall down her cheek.

Fearing he may have upset her, Connor rushed over to Spitfire and placed his hands on her cheeks.

"Spits I'm sorry I didn't mean to upset you, I'll make it up to you I promise," he said, voice quavering.

Spitfire looked up at Connor, tears still falling.

"Upset me, what are you talking about?" she asked drying her eyes with a hoof, "Do you realise what you've just asked?"

"I asked you to preen my wings?" he asked unsure.

"It's not just that. To preen another's wings is an intimate act carried out between very close friends or......lovers."

"Oh yeah, I guess I forgot."

Spitfire smiled, "I'd love to preen your wings."

"Thanks Milkshake," Connor replied hugging Spitfire.

"Turn around Sleepyhead and sit down. Spread your wings out as well."

Connor did as she said and Spitfire went to work on his wings, starting with his primaries. She tidied up several of them and carefully pulled out ones that were too tattered to be of any use. There were a few feathers with blood inside but according to Spitfire those were still growing and shouldn't be removed if it can be helped.

After his primaries, she did the same treatment on his secondaries and tertiaries. After finishing, Connor went over the mirror and admired Spitfire's hoof work. She did a fine job and his wings looked more tidy than when he left hospital and the tiny bit of wing pain had gone. Spitfire promised to give Connor lessons in wing preening and proper wing maintenance.

Afterwards they snuggled up into bed and watched Guardians of the Galaxy. Connor assured Spitfire is was a really good film.

------------------------------------------------------------

APPOXIMATELY MIDNIGHT

Celestia walked into the castle kitchen to get herself a midnight snack. Specifically some of her chocolate cake. Master Chef had baked her a cake specifically for her. It had chocolate sponge with chocolate filling and chocolate icing.

Celestia licked her lips in excitement at having chocolate cake. A few nights ago she only ate a quarter of it, so that should leave three quarters for her now. She opened the fridge ready to eat the rest of the cake.


What she saw horrified her. Somepony had eaten a quarter of her chocolate cake.

Who would be so cruel as to eat her cake? Her bottom lip started to quiver as she lamented her loss. She would have to launch an investigation into finding the cake thief.

"Princess Celestia?"

Celestia turned around and saw Master Chef.

"Princess, what's wrong?" asked the concerned chef.

"Somepony ate my chocolate cake."

Master Chef walked over to the fridge and saw the cake in question. He looked over to the sink and saw the dirty pots still in the sink with the clear signs that chocolate cake had been on it. He also saw the plates that had Connor's and Spitfire's fish and chips.

His eyes widened in realisation.

"Princess, I think I may know who ate your cake?"

"WHO?!" bellowed the Princess.

Steeling himself, Master Chef replied, "I believe it was Connor and Spitfire."

Celestia was in complete and utter shock. Her dear human friend and special somepony had eaten her cake. She tried to formulate a reason as to why they would do such a thing. It wasn't like Connor to eat her cakes. She decided to ask Master Chef for further information.

"Why do you believe it was them?"

"They were here earlier at tea time, having fish and chips."

That did make sense to Celestia. Connor wasn't around at tea time but her guards informed her they saw the two of them together. She decided she would have to have a word with Connor. As much as she likes her new friend, the pesky little human needs to learn her cakes are not to be touched except by herself and the cooks that bake them.

"Thank you Master Chef. I will take the rest of the cake with me and speak to Connor tomorrow. Have a good night my little pony."

"Good night Princess."

Master Chef watched as Celestia walked away, feeling a pang of sympathy for Connor for what was a simple faux pas.

Connor, may Faust have mercy on your soul.

------------------------------------------------------------

CELESTIA'S QUATERS, CANTERLOT CASTLE

Celestia was eating the rest of her cake whilst crying and, from what Luna could tell, talking to her cake.

"Don't worry my precious, mummy loves you and mummy will never leave you again," she sobbed as she stuffed her face with cake.

Luna had to stifle a laugh. It was funny for her to see her sister like this. She decided to inform Connor about his faux pas in the morning, and the 'punishment' Celestia intended to administer.

Luna would make sure Connor would escape unpunished though, Celestia had to pay for helping herself to some of Luna's Jammie Dodgers.

Because NO PONY helps themselves to her Jammie Dodgers.

Chapter - 21 - Citizen Connor

View Online

Connor was walking through the castle corridors making his way to the throne room. Celestia had informed him of the ceremony which put him in a good mood. Then she told him he would have to have a deluxe spa treatment to prepare for it. He wasn't to thrilled with it but understood he needed to look his best. To be fair the treatment was excellent, as expected from Celestia's private spa. The tingling sensation in his wings disappeared and he felt fresher than before. Not to mention his hair looked awesome. The spa ponies dyed and styled his hair so that it looked like fire was flickering on his head.

He looked awesome and he knew it.

He particularly liked his new Wonderbolt flight suit made especially for the occasion. He put it on, slipped his wings through the slits and zipped up the front. The skin tight fabric hugging his body perfectly with not a crease in sight. Rarity was a truly brilliant tailor.

As he approached the stairs he looked over the bannister and saw Celestia below, focussing on reading a scroll. Luna was there also. He got a crazy idea on his head. There were no obstructions between him and Celestia so he climbed over the banister and lined himself up with Celestia. Luna and some guards noticed Connor and he noticed them noticing him. They put two and two together and knew what he was doing but remained silent, Luna was trying not to burst into laughter. This would be interesting to watch.

Connor had lined himself up and jumped off, hoping to land on her back.

Before he landed on her though, he felt himself enveloped in magic and slowly levitated in front of the Princess.

Oh shit, he thought.

Celestia looked at Connor with a cheery smile, "Enjoying yourself my little human?"

Connor felt himself tense a little and answered shakily, "Yes funnily enough. Thanks for asking."

"I'm glad to hear that," she replied, smiling.

There was a silence for a few more seconds before Connor spoke up, "Celestia could you put me down please?"

"Of course my little human," she replied merrily as he gently lowered him onto his feet. Connor quickly hugged Celestia, wrapping his arms her neck tightly.

"Thank you Princess, had you not caught me I could have been really hurt," he said, pretending that his life had really been saved. In reality his Human-Pegasus physiology gave him stronger bones and muscles so had he fallen to the floor he would have had bruised bones at the most.

"You're welcome my little human, but may I ask what you were doing jumping from a banister?"

"Jumping?" he asked with pretend confusion, "No no no I wasn't jumping, what happened was........I fell off. Yeah, I fell off."

Celestia raised a hoof to her face in pretend horror, "You fell off, my poor little human you must be more careful."

Putting her hoof gently on his shoulder she looked into his eyes, "I will see to it that this incident can never happen again. We wouldn't want you to 'fall' from any more banisters now would we?"

"No Celestia, that would be terrible," Connor replied in pretend worry.

"I agree. Now come along my little human, we have a ceremony to go to."

Celestia levitated Connor onto her back and started walking towards the Ball Room adjacent to the garden. Twilight and all the others where already waiting there.

"Celestia?"

"Yes Connor?"

"Why am I riding on your back? I can walk."

Celestia remained silent for a moment, "It feels nice. You don't mind do you?"

"No, it's no different from riding horses in my world...well on Earth I mean."

"I understand Connor, if it does make you uncomfortable just say so."

They approached the Ball Room door where a Solar Guard was waiting outside. Noticing his Princess approach, he bowed down to her.

"Princess, the ceremony is waiting. Are you and your guest ready to in?"

"Yes, lead the way Corporal."

The unicorn guard turned around and opened the door with his magic. Celestia walked in, Connor still on her back, and immediately everypony in the room bowed down to her.

"Rise my little ponies."

Everypony did. Having got the attention of everypony, Connor dismounted Celestia who gave him a quick hug before making his way over to Spitfire and sitting next to her. A pot of tea was placed in the table next to Celestia. She poured herself a cup with added milk and sugar, taking a sip before starting to speak.

"My little ponies, thank you for attending this party as we celebrate the return of one of Equestria's own. Connor, though born a human, has pony parents. His mother is the Pegasus Star Light who disappeared from Equestria many years ago, through unknown means she transformed into a human and gave birth to Connor. Connor lived his life as a human and until few days ago that is the only world he knew."

Celestia took a sip of tea before continuing.

"When Connor appeared in Equestria, he saw from his perspective a new life and a new civilization and boldly went where no human had gone before. Equestria. He very quickly made an impression on many of us and has already made many excellent friends. And a special somepony."

Connor blushed in embarrassment and pretended he wasn't hearing anything, Spitfire kissed him on the cheek causing his blush to go redder.

Connor ignored the 'awww' coming from the assembled ponies.

"But he also met two other ponies who understandably believed they would never meet their long lost relative. Caramel Fudge and Vulcan, the sister and father of Connor, have been reunited with him in what is without doubt one of the finest moments of my reign."

Celestia slowly walked over to Connor. Spitfire was still sat next to him holding his hand, Cara and Vulcan were sat next to him as well.

"Connor, as you are the offspring off Equestrian citizens and would have been yourself had things happened differently; I see no problem with granting you this."

She teleported into view official looking documents and continued to speak.

"Connor Wakefield, I Princess Celestia; Sol Invictus of the Sun and Diarch of the Day, do hereby grant you full Equestrian Citizenship and all the rights it pertains."

She levitated over a small booklet. Connor looked at it and it was an Equestrian Passport, with his mugshot in the back.

I guess that explains why the girls insisted on going in that photo booth earlier.

Connor took the passport and looked through it. It looked like the British Passport of old with blue covers. It had his D.O.B. according to the Equestrian calendar. The day and month were the same but instead of 1990 is was 975 ANM (After Nightmare Moon). He would be celebrating his 25th birthday in the same year as Luna's return, 1000ANM.

Connor felt a hoof gently pull his chin up and he saw a pony smiling. It was Celestia.

"Welcome home my friend."

He firmly hugged her. The feeling of acceptance and belonging overwhelmed him, he truly felt like he belonged here. He felt like he fit in and could achieve anything in Equestria. On Earth he knew he wouldn't get far with the world in the state it was in.

"Thank you Celestia."

"You're welcome Connor."

After a few seconds Connor let go of Celestia and went back to Spitfire who had a huge smile on her face and was wearing the necklace Connor gave her in Cloudsdale. The two hugged firmly, Spitfire whispered into Connor's ear, "Well done Sleepyhead."

"Thanks Milkshake," he whispered back.

"So, what are we going to do now?" asked Rainbow Dash.

"WE'RE GOING TO PARTY!" yelled Pinkie, blasting everyone's hearing away.

And party is what they did. Pinkie style.

The party guests played a few games including 'Pin the Tail on the Pony' and 'Pony Piñata', the latter of which Connor won. He was particularly pleased with the large bag of Rhubarb and Custard sweets that fell out, made by Bon Bon. On the subject of sweets, Connor was roped into occasionally helping Cara out at her fudge shop. He was reluctant but the not-bribe of free mint and chocolate fudge persuaded him otherwise.

Spitfire and the Wonderbolts liked Connor's Special Wonderbolt flight suit made especially for the occasion. They decided to discuss at a later date whether to have their own Special Flight Suits for special events, in addition to their dress uniforms. Celestia also unveiled the cake she commissioned Pinkie to bake. The cake was in the shape of the Wonderbolt's insignia, with different coloured icing making up the iconic Wonderbolt icon. The cake was unsurprisingly excellent.

As Connor mingled with his fellow 'Bolts, a familiar looking colt approached.

"Excuse me, Mr Human?"

Recognising the voice, Connor turned around and smiled at the young colt, "Swift Wind!"

The young colt ran up to Connor and jumped into his chest, knocking Connor back a foot in the process.

"Hiya Mr Human!" Swift Wind shouted, his muzzle right in front of Connor.

"Hi Swift Wind, I'm surprised to see you here."

"Princess Celestia invited us," he replied enthusiastically, his smile beaming across his face.

"That's kind of her, I see you're in your Wonderbolts outfit again."

Swift Wind nodded excitedly, "Yeah, it's awesome."

"It most certainly is," Connor replied, "Are you joining us?"

Swift Wind looked past Connor and saw the Wonderbolts. He somehow didn't notice them before despite them being in their bright flight suits. Several of the Wonderbolt's held out their hooves motioning him to go over. Squeeing in delight he ran over and started jumping up and down very excitedly, Pinkie Pie style.

"OH MY GOSH! OH MY GOSH! OH MY GOSH! OH MY GOSH! OH MY GOSH!"

"Hey there, Swift Wind wasn't it?" asked Soarin, stifling a laugh at the young colt's excitement.

"Yes sir Mr Soarin!"

"Just Soarin is OK, why not sit yourself down," Soarin replied motioning to an empty cushion.

"Can I sit next to Miss Spitfire, she's my favourite!"

"Sure you can," replied Spitfire, "Did you get any cakes from the buffet?"

"Not yet," he replied shaking his head, "Why don't we go and get some?"

"Why not?" replied Spitfire. The smile on her face not at all hiding her joy at engaging with Swift Wind. It was one of the best things she loved about being a Wonderbolt. Seeing so many young foals talk in awe and wonder about the Wonderbolts and how many young Pegasi dream of being one.

Connor, Spitfire and Swift Wind walked over to the buffet table and piled their plates high with cakes and pastries. Connor and Spitfire shared a very large banana milkshake complete with scoops of banana ice cream.

The party went on some more with Connor speaking to the others, including thanking Pinkie for organising the it at the request of Celestia. She was appreciative of the gratitude and Connor made sure to stop by the kitchen later and thank the culinary staff also, people too often forget the work that goes on behind the scenes.

Whilst standing around he heard Celestia call his name.

"Connor, how are you my friend?"

"I'm doing great thanks, really liking the ceremony. Thanks for putting one on."

"You're welcome Connor. I thought I would introduce you to some good friends of mine."

Connor looked to the side of Celestia and saw one stallion and a mare. The mare looked a little like Luna, albeit without the wings and different coloured fur and the stallion had a monocle and moustache.

Don't laugh don't laugh don't laugh Connor thought.

"Connor, this is Lady Fleur Dis Lee."

Fleur held out a hoof and Connor knelt down, gently held her hoof in his hand and kissed it, "Pleasure to meet you ma'am."

Fleur giggled and her cheeks reddened, "Oh my, he's such a gentlecolt. I can see why Group Captain Spitfire likes him."

"And the stallion is Duke Fancy Pants."

REALLY REALLY DON'T LAUGH CONNOR! he sternly told himself.

"Pleasure to meet you Master Wakefield," said Fancy holding out a hoof.

Connor took the hoof and shook it firmly, "Likewise your Royal Highness."

Fancy was surprised. It appeared that Connor knew about peerages and the place of Dukes in the Royal Family.

"I say such a polite fellow, but call me Fancy. Anypony who is a friend of the Princess is a friend of mine."

Connor felt pleased with himself, his parents had drilled into him from a young age the importance if using your P's and Q's. With calling Fancy' Your Royal Highness', he was only taking a line from the British Royal Family and its nobility. In the British Royal Family, Dukes are the highest ranking nobles with only the monarch above them.

"Then in that case it's a pleasure to meet you Fancy."

"I heard you have become the Wonderbolt's Events Manager."

"Yeah, I didn't plan on it but they made the offer and it sounded too good to pass up. I'm not sure if I'll be any good but Luna is going to be my consigliere."

"Consigliere?" asked Fancy, confused by the word.

"Yeah, it means counsellor. They give advice and guidance to their boss. It's a position of great respect and trust."

"It sounds fitting for Princess Luna. On the matter of your job, I was wondering if you'd be interested in discussing possible business ventures for the future. I have many contacts who I can put you in touch with and would be willing to sponsor the Wonderbolts, I hear you made your first sponsor already."

"Yeah, my sister's Fudge Shop."

"Yes, I read all about it in the papers. A most remarkable story indeed, why not visit my place one day and we can give our life stories. Bring your sister and marefriend as well, they can have a little girl time with Fleur here."

"Sure, I'd love to. I'll let the girls know."

"Excellent, I'll send an invoice to your office when I'm ready. In the meantime, enjoy the evening."

"I will do, it's been nice talking to you."

"Likewise my dear chap."

"Bye Fancy, you to Lady Dis Lee."

"Just call me Fleur my dear," she replied smiling, "Farewell handsome."

The two walked away to enjoy the party leaving a blushing Connor and amused Celestia together. They looked at each other silently, fully aware of what each other was thinking. Connor decided to break the silence.

"I'm really sorry about eating your cake," he said apologetically.

"Now now Connor, it's all in the past and forgotten about. Besides, I got even with you."

"How so?"

"Did you enjoy your spa treatment?" she asked smirking.

Now that he though about it, the spa treatment was a bit excessive. And the presence of guards at the spa doors now made sense.

"Well played Celestia, well played."

"Thank you my little human. I trust this means you will be more careful when choosing which cake to eat?"

"No, it means I'll have to be more careful to not get caught," he said with a smirk of his own before walking away.

He's just like Luna Celestia thought, secretly looking forward to any cake 'borrowing' he may try. She pondered whether she would need to increase security at the castle. Chuckling to herself she went over to the cakes and piled a plate high with sugary sweetness.

Connor made his way over to Vinyl Scratch at her DJ booth, gaining the mare's attention as he approached.

"Hey Vinyl," Connor said holding out his fist.

"Hey Connor," she replied bumping his fits with her hoof, "What brings over here?"

"Just wondering if you wanted to play some human music."

"Sure, any chance to listen to it I'll take it. Got anything good?"

"Lots of things," he replied, "I'll just need to fetch my laptop from my room."

Vinyl raised a hoof, "No need, I can magic it here."

Connor raised an eyebrow is surprise, "You can do that?"

"Sure I can, I do have above average magic capabilities."

Vinyl lit up her horn and on the table Connor's laptop appeared, "That's a pretty neat trick."

"Thanks, now come on Connor let's get wubba-dub dubbing."

Connor connected his laptop to Vinyl's sound system and brought up the music folders. He found a good song to start off with. 'Dancing Queen' by Abba. Connor started the song and almost immediately everypony in the room perked their ears up. After a minute several ponies made room for a makeshift dance floor and started dancing and singing to the song. How they knew the lyrics completely baffled Connor, but for the sake of his sanity he put it down to 'magic'.

Rarity, Cara, Misty Fly, Pinkie, Fleur, Lyra (who was also invited) and even Rainbow Dash were on the dancefloor singing and dancing along to 'Dancing Queen'.

Connor started to record on his phone. This was too good to pass up and would provide a good laugh in the future when reminiscing over old times. The ponies where all in perfect sync and more or less did the same moves as Frida and Agnetha in the music video.

After that song ended, more Abba sings where played and more ponies joined in the singing and dancing. The only ones who didn't join in where Fluttershy, Spitfire, Connor, Vulcan and the Princesses. Everyone was having a good times regardless, Soarin and Vulcan took a liking to Bon Jovi, Cara liked Aqua. Cara and Pinkie had a blast singing 'Barbie Girl'.

The ceremony went exceptionally well with Swift Wind enthusiastically showing the 'Bolts and Rainbow Dash his flying skills, promising to apply to join the Wonderbolts when he's old enough. He stuck close to Spitfire most of the time, she was his favourite Wonderbolt after all.

Swift Wind did hear about Connor's stay in hospital and though upset about it, was much happier now Connor had recovered. He really liked Connor's wings, saying they looked 'super awesome' and asked if he could see Connor again. Seeing no reason why not, Connor agreed and Swift Wind's parents said they'd make arrangements to have Connor over for tea one evening. Swift Wind almost burst with joy with the thought of Connor being in his home.

Sadly though, all good things must come to an end. It was getting late and Swift Wind, resting on his mothers back, had already fallen asleep.

"Thanks for being here tonight, I know Swift Wind enjoyed himself," Connor said to Swift Wind's mother.

"You're welcome deary, we're looking forward to having you round for tea."

"Any idea what you'll cook?"

"I'm not sure yet but I'll think of something."

"I'll look forward to it, anyway I won't keep you longer. Swift Wind needs to be in bed."

Looking back to the sleeping colt on her back, she smile, "Yeah the little dear's stayed up well past his bedtime. Goodnight Connor."

"Goodnight Blossom," Connor replied.

Blossom walked out with Swift Wind still asleep on her back, Connor and Thunder Flash (Swift Wind's father) exchanged farewells with mutual nods. Several of the other guests had left also including Lyra and the Wonderbolts except for Spitfire. Twilight and Co where wide awake though except for Spike who had fallen asleep.

Connor walked over to where Spitfire was sitting and sat down next to her, putting an arm around her and pulling her close. Spitfire muzzled his cheek before resting on his lap, shattered out from the partying.

"Hey Milkshake, you tired?"

A murmur from Spitfire confirmed it.

"How about we go to bed then?"

Spitfire smiled before answering softly and quietly, "I'd like that."

The two got up and started to leave the room. As they did Twilight and the gang approached.

"Hey girls, you OK?" asked Connor.

"We're fine thank you Connor," replied Twilight, "We had a great time tonight."

"So did we," replied Connor, "And thanks for the flight suit Rarity, it looks great."

"You're welcome darling, I thought you'd like it."

"Are there any rules on when you can wear the flight suit?" he asked turning to Spitfire.

"No, you can wear one whenever you want, I do. They're extremely comfortable to wear," she replied showing off her body.

Connor couldn't help but watch as Spitfire walked away, swishing her tail from left to right. As she did, Connor felt himself get warmer and turn a bright shade of red. Spitfire stopped and turned around, smirking at the sight of Connor.

"I take it you like what you see?" she asked smirking.

"Eh?"

Spitfire pointed to his wings. He looked and saw that they had spread out. He tried folding them back in but they were like ironing boards.

"Why are my wings stiff?" he asked confused.

Suddenly Rainbow Dash burst into laughter, "YOU GOT A WING BONER!"

"Rainbow Dash must you be so vulgar!" lambasted Rarity.

Rainbow was too busy laughing to answer and Spitfire looked like she wanted to join in as well. Connor slowly connected the dots.

"A wing boner? You mean I....."

"Liked what you saw?" finished Spitfire seductively.

A blushing Connor attempted to speak but could only manage incoherent utterances, embarrassment severely limiting his ability to function. After a few seconds he finally out together a coherent sentence, "I think I'll just go now before I embarrass myself further. Night girls."

"Bye Connor," replied the girls.

Connor waved goodbye and hastily made his way out of the room, his wings not as stiff as before.

Spitfire chuckled and shook her head, "I've got myself quite a stallion haven't I."

The girls all agreed. Connor was quite an odd one and he seemed perfectly suited to Spitfire. The other Wonderbolts had seen a noticeable difference in Spitfire's happiness since she started a relationship with Connor, she was much more energetic and lively but still terrifying enough to keep the cadets on line.

Spitfire and the girls all said goodnight to each other and left for their respective rooms. Spitfire headed for Connor's bedroom as she would be sleeping with him again. She liked sleeping with Connor for obvious reasons but also because he was warm and squishy, that and she knew Connor liked her soft fur against his skin.

She made her way through the castle corridors towards his room, thoroughly looking forward to what lay ahead with herself and Connor. She decided to suggest to Connor about going 50/50 on a house in Cloudsdale for them both to use, he could still get his own place in Ponyville if he so wished but it would be nice and convenient to have a place closer to the academy.

She walked into the room and noticed Connor was resting in a chair, still in his Wonderbolts flight suit.

"Hey Sleepyhead."

"Hey Milkshake, I was waiting for you."

"Oh," she replied in surprise, "What for?"

"I was wondering if you wanted to bathe together."

The open mouth of Spitfire indicated she wasn't expecting that. Whilst it was common for ponies to bath together, mostly to help in hard to reach places like their back, she assumed Connor being a human that he would have different customs.

"Bathe together?"

"Yeah, on Earth people in relationships sometimes bathe together. Is that not done here?"

"Ponies do but it's quite common. I'm guessing bathing together is more intimate than on Earth?"

"Yeah, you don't have to though I was just-"

Connor felt a hoof press against his lips, "I'd love to bathe with you."

"Thanks Spits."

The two walked into the adjacent bathroom and started to undress, both of them carefully removing their flight suits and putting them to the side. They're not cheap to make so each flight suit has to be treat with care. After about a minute or so the bath was filled and the two got in. The bath was huge and easily held both Connor and Spitfire.

Connor took a sponge a lathered it in with shampoo. He slowly washed Spitfire who stood still as Connor washed her down, slowly making clockwise motions as he moved across her body. Spitfire showed no signs of discomfort and seemed to be enjoying it.

"You OK Spits?"

"I feel great, you're doing good."

"Thanks," Connor replied, continuing to wash Spitfire.

After finishing her body including wings, he washed her mane and tail. Spitfire looked a different mare with her mane down, she didn't look half as terrifying.

"Your mane looks good when it's down like that. You don't look scary at all."

Spitfire looked straight at Connor and narrowed her eyes.

Connor laughed a little and booped her nose.

Spitfire narrowed her eyes more making the water seem to freeze over, "Did you just boop my nose?"

"Yes. I. Did," he replied, accentuating each word with a nose boop.

Spitfire kept her unamused expression for a few more seconds before bursting into laughter, "You can be really random at times."

"It's nice to see you laugh, I wouldn't let the cadets see you laugh though. They may think you've gone soft."

"There's no chance of that happening."

"Indeed not."

Connor finished washing Spitfire and turned around so that Spitfire could clean his wings. He leant over the corner of the bath and spread his wings out. Connor could feel Spitfire's hooves go to work on his wings, her hooves gently caressing his feathery appendages with feather conditioners and shampoo. She cleaned both of his wings including their undersides and cleaned his back also.

A short while later, Spitfire finished, "There, nice and clean."

"Thank you Milkshake, now how about we dry ourselves off and then snuggle up in bed."

Spitfire's eyes lit up, "I'd say yes to that, snuggles sound nice."

The two dried each other off and Connor out on some pyjama bottoms, made by Rarity, and got into bed. Spitfire also got in and snuggled up to Connor, enjoying his warm squishy body. Both quickly fell into a very restful sleep and started to share an exceptionally rare occurrence.

A shared dream.

When they happened it was usually between lovers. They were so rare Luna could recall each and every one, all thirty-two of them. Connor's and Spitfire's was the 33rd.

Luna watched a bit of the dream incognito before leaving. She didn't need to witness it all, primarily because it was exceptionally inconsiderate to intrude on such an intimate moment.

She would be on standby just in case and make sure nothing disturbed the shared dream.

Luna was also very excited at working with Connor as his consigliere. She liked the title. It sounded so much better than 'advisor' or 'assistant'. She had a few contacts herself and with her skills in logistics and finances she could help Connor make the Wonderbolts and exceptionally profitable outfit.

That and she could sneak Celestia's cakes out of the castle and give them to Connor.

Deciding she would do that she made her way to the throne room to begin Night Court. She began drawing up plans for Connor to consider. She wouldn't do his job for him nor would she decide things for him, but what she would do is guide him in the same way Celestia guides Twilight.

Connor would be like a student to her.

Luna felt elated at the thought of Connor being her student.

Surely it would be OK if we could make it official, we're sure Tia wouldn't mind, she though to herself.

She decided to discuss it Celestia in the morning. Regardless of what happens, Connor was one of her bestest friends and she would help him no matter what. If he was a really good student, she might even share her Jammie Dodgers.

Chapter - 22 - Cloudsdale II

View Online

Connor and Spitfire were up and about after a restful nights sleep. After a morning shower together they got changed into Wonderbolt flight suits. Connor also styled his hair into it's spiky look once again, giving his hair a far more awesome appearance. A further examination revealed that Connor now had naturally occurring red highlights that match the colour of his wings. Connor was rather pleased, mostly because he would save a lot of money on hair dye. Being a Yorkshireman he is naturally thrifty and has a dislike of high prices.

Connor was just finishing zipping up the front of his flight suit when he heard Spitfire speak up.

"By Celestia you look good in that."

Connor turned around to see Spitfire looking at him pleasingly.

"As do you," he replied smirking.

"Touché," she replied, "In that case I'll have to wear it more often. Since you like it so much."

Spitfire deliberately walked across the room to a pitcher of orange juice, swishing her tail from side to side. Connor could only watch, hypnotised by her moving plot and tail. Spitfire poured herself a glass of orange juice and turned around, smirking devilishly at the sight before her.

"You really do like looking at me when I'm wearing this."

"Huh?"

Spitfire pointed to his sides. He looked to his sides to notice his wings had become ironing boards again.

"OH FOR FUCKS SAKE!"

Spitfire started to laugh as she watched Connor try to de-stiffen his wings by forcibly trying to fold them with his hands.

"Go floppy again you stupid things!"

The comical scene made Spitfire laugh even harder prompting Connor to look at her. The Wonderbolt flight suit perfectly hugging her perfectly toned body did nothing to help his predicament.

Stupid sexy Spitfire.

After a minute of thinking unsexy things, which is extremely difficult considering Spitfire's in the room, his wings became not-stiff again. Connor fastened the accompanying belt around his flight suit and put the goggles over his head, letting them hand from his neck. He admired himself a little more in the mirror, flexing his muscles and wings.

"Would you like some time to yourself?"

Connor stopped admiring himself in the mirror and turned around to the source of the voice.

It was Celestia. Who was trying desperately not too laugh.

"Oh h-h-h-hi Celestia. I d-didn't know you were there," he said rubbing the back of his neck, his cheeks red a little red.

Celestia walked over to Connor stifling a giggle, "I was wondering if the two of you were joining us for breakfast?"

Connor looked to Spitfire, who also was stifling a laugh, and asked her if she was up for it.

"What about it Milkshake? Shall we?"

"Sure," she replied snorting out a laugh, "You'll be able to strut your stuff on the way."

Connor rolled his eyes, "I was stretching my muscles, nothing more."

"Of course you were," she replied teasingly, kissing his cheek.

The trio walked out of the room and made their way to the dining room. It was another bright, sunny day again with a warm temperature to finish it off. Ideal weather for the trip to Cloudsdale later where Connor would be viewing a property and pay Cara and Vulcan a visit.

"When do we leave for Cloudsdale?" asked Connor.

"Shortly after breakfast," replied Celestia, "I've arranged for Royal Chariots to take you there."

"Thanks Celestia," replied Connor, "Are you coming with us?"

Celestia shook her head, "I'm afraid I can't. I have Court to hold today."

"My condolences."

"It's not that bad Connor, besides one day you may be in my Court seeking my guidance and assistance."

"Maybe but not likely, in my country we don't go to the monarch for such things. We write too or see in person our MP, who can bring the matter up in the House of Commons if needs be."

"Yes, Twilight told me of your country's system of government."

"I thought she might. She certainly likes learning new things."

"You've no idea," replied Celestia.

"You OK Spits, you're being rather quiet."

"I'm fine, just enjoying being with my stallion," she replied as she wrapped her hooves around his neck, "And the Princess of course."

"And I enjoy you being here Spitfire," replied Celestia.

The trio, who were now outside the dining room, entered and saw Twilight and Co, Soarin, Misty Fly and Fleetfoot, Shining Armor and Luna. There was a chorus of voices greeting Connor and Spitfire as they entered and sat down next to the other Wonderbolts. Connor was between Spitfire and Rainbow Dash while Celestia took her place at the head of the table.

"Hi Connor, I haven't seen you in a while," said Shining, "But I heard you've been through quite an ordeal."

"That's one way of putting it," replied Connor leaning forward and resting his elbows on the table, "Not something I'd like to go through again."

"I can imagine. Sorry I couldn't be here, but I got posted to our military base in Zebrica for several weeks."

"I understand. You go where your posted and do as your told."

"That you do. Is it like that in militaries in your world?"

"Yep. Especially my nations' armed forces. Insubordination is a court martial offence and can result in a prison sentence and a dishonourable discharge."

"It's the same here."

"How about the rest of you, you all OK?" Connor asked.

"We're fine thank you darling," replied Rarity, "And I must say again that you look truly splendid in your flight suit."

"Well I am awesome," he replied with a cheeky smile.

"Not as awesome as me though," interjected Rainbow, "Eight out of ten I'd give you."

"I'm guessing you're a ten out of ten?"

"Of course I am. I'm Rainbow Dash," she replied grinning.

"So you're 20% more awesome than me?"

"You said it," she replied hoof bumping Connor.

A cough could be heard from the head of the table. It was Celestia getting the attention of everyone as a maid had entered the room to take orders. The maid went around the table getting everyone's orders. Some ordered pancakes with syrup, some ordered porridge. The maid then came to Connor.

"What would you like sir?"

"I'd like a bacon sandwich please."

The maid was accustomed to serving Griffons and Minotaurs so she wasn't phased by the order of meat.

"Would that be all sir?" she asked as she finished writing the order.

"Could I have extra bacon with my bacon sandwich?"

"Certainly sir, anything else?"

"A side order of bacon with extra bacon please."

The maid dead-panned at Connor, clearly unamused at his joke. Connor held up his hand and apologised.

"Sorry, couldn't resist. Just a pot of tea please."

"OK. Thank you sir. The orders shouldn't take too long," the maid said before turning to the Princesses, "If you'll excuse me your majesties."

Celestia nodded, "You're excused my little pony."

The maid left the room and headed towards the kitchen. Connor leant back in his chair to make himself more comfortable and looked around the room. He noticed everyone was staring at him. Some, like Misty Fly and Fleetfoot, looked like they were doing their best not to laugh.

"Errrr.... is something wrong?" asked Connor.

"No nothings wrong," replied Misty Fly.

Connor couldn't help but feel he was missing something but decided to let it slide for now. His bacon sandwich was due to arrive any minute. He told them he likes his bacon done in the microwave and to his surprise they were able to do it like that in Equestria also. What he does is place three or four sheets of kitchen roll on a plate followed by some rashes of bacon (with the fat cut off), followed by some more kitchen roll. The kitchen roll absorbs all the fat and grease of the bacon leaving a much nicer taste, in Connor's opinion.

"Before we go to Cloudsdale I'll go back to my room and collect my laptop and other things. Thanks for the new bags by the way Rarity. They're great."

"You're welcome darling," replied Rarity as she was applying eye shadow.

Rarity had made new bags for Connor to carry his laptop and other gadgets. The messenger bag he had before went over his shoulders and the strap would press against his wings, preventing or severely restricting movement. So Rarity made a bag that would fasten around his waist allowing him to carry his stuff without impeding his wing movements or flight ability. The bag itself rested just above his backside so it was essentially like what he had before only with the strap around his waist and not over the shoulder.

Connor liked it and it was made with magically reinforced materials and in the same colour scheme as the Wonderbolts so that it matched his flight suit. On a related note, the necklace Celestia gave to Connor that prevented excessive magic being used against him now had that enchantment removed. As it was felt Connor wasn't in any real danger anymore Connor and Celestia agreed it was the right thing to do as Connor didn't want to waste such a nice gift, after all what was the point in wearing a magical enchantment if you have no need for it.

He was wearing the now un-enchanted necklace and Spitfire was wearing the one Connor bought her. In fact, they only enchantments they had was one to prevent them slipping off from around their necks. Very useful for when one is flying around.

After breakfast which was a excellent as ever, the Wonderbolts, Spitfire, Connor, Twilight and Co made their way outside towards the chariots that had been prepared. The Wonderbolts and Rainbow decided to fly whereas Connor and Spitfire went in the chariots. It would take around an hour to get to Cloudsdale so it gave plenty of time for Connor to play some Football Manager on his laptop.

Connor was a ruthless manager. One player complained about being left out of the first team so Connor demoted the player into the reserves, placed him on the transfer list and successfully sold him in the next transfer window.

Spitfire watched with fascination as Connor played and respected his no nonsense approach to management.

An hour later the chariots and the Wonderbolts touched down in Cloudsdale. Twilight again had cast a spell that allowed the non-Pegasi to walk on the clouds. Connor and Spitfire had an appointment to view a property in the outer suburbs of Cloudsdale. Connor would also be visiting Cara and Vulcan afterwards. First Cara's, then to Vulcans' for a meal out at his favourite fish restaurant.

"So, where we headed to first?" asked Connor as he put on his pair of Oakley Radarlock Path sunglasses. They had black lenses and a red frame.

"We'll go into the Market District if you like, have a look around," suggested Spitfire.

"Sure, I'm cool with that," replied Connor as he fastened his new laptop bag around his waist. As the group made their way over to the Market District, they unsurprisingly attracted a lot of stares. A lot of them where directed at the Wonderbolts and the Elements but a fair few were looking at Connor and Spitfire. They had become the talk of Cloudsdale after all, the Wonderbolt Captain dating winged-human who actually has pony parents wasn't likely to go by unnoticed.

Spitfire was flying at Connor's side with her hoof held in his hand. She liked it when he held her hoof, granted it was better when it was with his bare hands but it was still nice.

"So Milkshake, anywhere in particular you want to visit?"

Spitfire thought for a moment, holding her other hoof to her chin, "There's a candle shop I've been wanting to visit for a while down on Cirrus Street."

"We'll go there first if you like?"

"Sure, is anypony else joining us?"

The others quickly talked amongst themselves and decided to go off in their own groups. Fluttershy, Misty Fly, Surprise, Fleetfoot and Rarity went together, Twilight, Applejack, Rainbow Dash and Spike went off together, Soarin, Blaze, Rapidfire, Lightning Streak and Fire Streak went off together also.

Before going their separate ways they agreed to meet again for lunch at the same Tea Room Connor visited on his last visit to Cloudsdale. That would give them a couple of hours to have a look around at wherever it was they wanted to go.

Spitfire and Connor were walking through the streets of Cloudsdale towards the candle shop on Cirrus Street, their bright and colourful flight suits attracting attention. Even if they weren't wearing them, they were both famous enough to be recognised without them. They were stopped on the way a few times for autographs and photographs. The colts and fillies particularly liked Connor.

They eventually approached the candle shop and went inside, the abundance of aromas filling their noses as soon as they entered. The candle shop had candles of all different shapes and sizes. They slowly made their way around the reasonably sized store, discussing whether to get some candles for their new home. When they eventually get one that is.

"What about these ones?" asked Spitfire.

Connor looked at the candles she was pointing a hoof at. They were the large Jar Candles with dozens of different fragrances.

"They look good," he replied picking up a jar of Amber Moon, "Smell good as well."

"Shall we get some?" asked Spitfire as she smelled a jar of Honey Clementine.

"Sure, I'll go an get a basket."

Connor returned moments later with a basket and the duo made their way around the store filling the basket with candles. Large Jar candles, Décor Pillar candles and Tea Light candles with varying fragrances.

They spent about 2000 bits (£200) on candles and candle holders. Connor wasn't really a candle person but Spitfire, like many mares, loved them. 2000 bits wasn't much for the duo really, especially Spitfire considering her income. An income that would soon increase when sponsorship and Air-Show Day revenue start rolling in.

Rather than lug heavy bags around they arranged for the candles to be delivered to Wonderbolts HQ, at no extra cost due to spending so much on candles.

The duo left the store and started to walk down the street again.

"Anywhere you'd like to go?" Spitfire asked.

"Hmmm.....I think I saw a model shop when I was last here. Can't remember where though, Galleon's Models it was called."

"I know the place, come on we'll go there now."

The pair made their way through the streets again, and once again were stopped for photos and autographs which they gladly provided. The ponies showed no fear in approaching Connor, as far as Cloudsdalians were concerned he was one of them.

They arrived at the store fairly quickly and went inside. The model shop was fairly modern looking by Earth standards with glass cabinet displays showing what was available. There were many models of old sailing ships like the HMS Victory and a few more of more advanced steamships like the SS Great Britain. Ponies were close to finishing a steamship that looked strikingly like an Olympic class ocean liner that was due to be launched in about two years.

There were also models of steam engines and rolling stock, scenery, track, signals and so on. Connor had an interest in model railways and had a small but enjoyable layout at his old home. It was about 12ft long and 8ft wide but in an L-shape that fit into the corner of the room. It was set in the early 1960's when the transition from steam to diesel was taking place.

"Seen something you like sir?"

Connor looked to the source of the voice and saw what he presumed to be the store owner.

"Possibly, a lot of these steam locomotives look strikingly similar to steam locos from my country many decades ago."

"How similar?" asked the stallion.

"If it weren't for the dark blue colours they could have run on the lines without anyone realising they didn't belong to British Rail. Back then the entire British Railway Network was nationalised you see."

"Yes our Railway has been nationalised for many years now. Would you be interested in purchasing any models today?"

"Maybe, what's the scale of these models?"

"We have three different scales, P Gauge is the middle with a scale of 1:76.2 and models running on 18.83 mm gauge track with 4mm to one hoof, Double P Gauge is precisely double that hence the name and Half P Gauge is.....well, half P Gauge."

"Which is the most popular?"

"P Gauge. Half P Gauge is second most popular and costs pretty much the same. Double P Gauge is for those with deep pockets and plenty of room."

Connor thought about buying a load of things but first it would be prudent to view the property first, and the one in Ponyville. It's no good getting a load of models of there's no room for them.

"Seen anything you like?" asked Spitfire.

"A few things. It's better to wait though and see what the property is like before I buy anything. I'll definitely be back here again though, can't let these fine models go without a good home."

The stallion's eyes lit up with pride. Many ponies including some family and friends said that opening a model shop was a waste of time and that no-pony would be interested in buying models, let alone look at some.

"Thank you sir," he replied gleefully, "Oh I must apologise, I never introduced myself. I'm Golden Galleon, or if you prefer GG or Galleon."

Galleon extended a hoof which Connor respectfully shook, "I'm Connor Wakefield."

"Yes, all of Cloudsdale knows who you and Spitfire are."

Connor had the thought that Galleon could be another sponsor, that candle shop also if they're interested. He made a mental note to arrange a meeting to discuss the matter.

"Yeah it's going to take some getting used to," replied Connor with a smile, "I was never one for the limelight."

"Same here. I much preferred staying inside building models but it was my sister who pretty much dragged me outside and forced me to socialise. I owe her a lot, in fact it was her who gave me the funds I needed to set up shop. I tried getting a bank loan but that's difficult to do when you're sceptical father is the bank manager. I could have gone to another bank but with the connections he has, I would have been wasting my time."

"What does your dad think now?"

Galleon sighed, "Despite running this shop successfully for eighteen years, always having a comfy profit margin and even never having to lay off workers he still thinks I'm wasting my time."

"What about your mother?"

"She seems okay about it now but she's still worried the business will go under."

Connor laughed a little, "Well, if I move into a suitably sized property there'll be less chance of that seeing as I'll be coming here more often."

A beaming smile made its way onto Galleon's face, "And I look forward to receiving your custom. Are there any other models you'd be interested in aside from railways?"

"Yes I think I saw what looked like a steam ship," he said walking over to where he saw it, "Ah yes. This one. It looks like the Olympic class ocean liners that travelled across the North Atlantic Ocean in my world a century ago."

"Ah yes, this is the Sol Class steamship RMS Equestria. She was, at the time the largest passenger ship in the world and by far the fastest with speeds of up to 20 knots. For a vessel with a gross tonnage of 45,000 tonnes that's quite impressive."

Connor looked at the model. It was 1:350 scale, making the model around 2 1/2 feet long, and highly detailed. Though it did need putting together first. Connor looked at the price and saw it was 800 bits.

Sod it, Connor thought, I'll just get it.

"I'll take one."

Galleon was pleased about it if the speed at which he went to retrieve a model from the backroom is anything to go by.

"Here you are sir, is there anything else you'd like?"

"Is there a catalogue for the model trains available?"

"Yes, we have catalogues for each of the gauges and companies that make them and there is also a company that specialises in making track. Would you like one?"

"One of each please."

Galleon got one of each catalogue, seven on total, and placed them on a bag. He went to the till and totted up the sums.

"That'll be 1130 bits please."

Connor handed over several bit notes and received his change. Taking the bag and his model he thanked Galleon and promised to visit again. Galleon showed Connor and Spitfire to the door and thanked them for visiting and said he'd look forward to them visiting again.

"Where to now?" asked Connor as they stepped into the street.

"Let's just have a browse. We've got plenty of time."

Connor and Spitfire did just that. Amongst the stores they visited included a book store, a sweet shop (it turns out Spitfire loves liquorice), a home-ware store and a toy store. They then came across a store that sold soft toys/plushies.

Included in it's range were the Wonderbolts themselves in their flight suits. That was expected, after all Spitfire and Co gave their consent.

What surprised them was the plushie of a winged Connor, complete in his flight suit. It was rather well detailed and high in quality. According to Spitfire the store hoof made every one at a factory then shipped them to the store where customers could stuff the plushies in store.

Connor decided to go inside to enquire about the plushie of himself. As he did so there were a sea of open mouths as the customers and staff saw he and Spitfire enter. The fillies and colts were almost bursting with joy at seeing their Wonderbolt heroes. One of the store workers approached the pair.

"Can I help either of you?" she asked.

"Yes, I was wondering about the plushie you had in the window. The one....of me."

"Ah yes, I can see how you'd be interested in it," the mare replied smiling before looking fearful, "Is there a problem?"

"No no I was just wandering if it was the only one?"

The mare's fearfulness evaporated at Connor's answer, "At the moment yes, we would like to make more but there's all sorts of legal stuff that stop us from doing it. We're pushing it as it is with even the one?"

"Legal stuff like image rights?" asked Connor.

"Yeah and other legal mumbo jumbo that's above my pay grade."

"Well if you want to make more plushies of me go ahead, I don't mind. Considering the popularity I seemed to have acquired it wouldn't surprise me if it sold like hot cakes."

"DID SOMPEONY SAY CAKES?!"

"AGHHHH!"

Connor jumped out of his skin as a familiar looking pink pony bounced into view.

"PINKIE! PLEASE DON'T DO THAT!" Connor yelled clutching his chest.

"Don't be such a scaredypony," she replied as she bounced away, "I'll see you later alligator!"

Pinkie bounced out of the store leaving a store of bewildered ponies, except Connor and Spitfire who had become used to Pinkie be Pinkie.

"Don't let her worry you ponies, she's just being her usual random self."

The ponies in the store just nodded and went back to their shopping. Connor turned his attention back to the sales assistant, "Where were we?"

"You were just giving your consent to allow us to make plushies of yourself."

"Yes, well I have no objections but we'll probably have to arrange a meeting to make a formal agreement."

"Sure thing, I'll let my manager know, she should be back in tomorrow."

"Thanks, I'll look forward to it."

Connor and Spitfire left the store and checked the time. They had about fifteen minutes left so they started to make their way over to the Tea Room to meet up with the rest of the gang. As they did Spitfire mentioned there are also action figures with their likeness, and the company that make them will no doubt want to make action figures of Connor.

There were also cakes with the Wonderbolts' likeness, stationary, school bags, posters, books and so on. It was similar to the merchandise of a football club.

Spitfire and Connor arrived at the tea room and went inside, the rest of the gang were already there and had sat themselves in one of the corners and put two tables together.

The pair waved to their friends and walked over, a pair of seats on the bench had been saved for them.

"How are you guys?" asked Rainbow.

"We're fine thanks Dash. How about you lot?"

They each sounded off as OK. From the number of bags with them it was clear that some of them had been doing their own shopping. After ordering drinks and food, a pot of tea and tune sandwich for Connor, they each told the others what they had bought. Fluttershy bought some things for her animals, Spike had bought some comics, Fire Streak and Lightning Streak had bought a bottles of whiskey each, Misty Fly and Rarity bought some mane products and Twilight unsurprisingly bought some books. Large, heavy books filled with the wordiest words wordily available.

I wonder what Twilight would make of Aristotle or Plato Connor thought.

Their food and drinks arrived much to the delight of Connor, Spike, Soarin and Dash how each wasted no time in devouring their respective food, garnering a mix of rolled eyes and amused looks from the others.

"Who coming with me to Cara's?" asked Connor.

"I'll definitely be there," replied Spitfire.

"Us too," replied Applejack referring to the Elements of Harmony.

"We'll go," replied Soarin, "And try some of your sisters fudge"

"I'm sure she'll appreciate it," replied Connor as ate more of his Tuna sandwich, "I'll be off out with her and Vulcan later on for a meal, Spitfire's coming also."

"Where're you going?" asked Rainbow.

"It's a fish restaurant somewhere in Cloudsdale....Catch of the Day I think the place is called."

There were a few wide eyes as Connor mentioned to place.

"Catch of the Day," repeated Rainbow, "That's one of the best fish restaurants in Cloudsdale, maybe even Equestria. I'd recommend the outdoor viewing area. You get fantastic views of Equestria and in the evening when the sun is setting and there's a cool summer breeze, a nice cool beer and the best fish money can buy; it can be a really nice evening out."

Everyone just looked at Rainbow. Her opinion was devoid of her usual brashness and came as a pleasant surprise to everyone.

"Dashie you make it sound so romantic," Said Rarity.

"Well my dad took me there many times when I was a filly, we still go occasionally."

"What's your dad's name?" asked Connor.

"Rainbow Blitz."

"Did he have a rainbow mane and tail by any chance?"

"He did, how ever did you know that?" Rainbow asked in pretend shock.

"Just a hunch."

Connor finished his tuna sandwich but was still hungry and ordered two toasted teacakes much to the amusement of Rainbow and the guys. The girls were all bewildered as to how Connor could eat so much but he pointed out he was twice their size so he would need more.

Besides, toasted teacakes were really nice. Warm, buttery toasted tea cakes.

Connor devoured the teacakes in little time followed by his pot of tea. Sat with an arm around Spitfire he was waiting for the gang to finish so that they could visit Cara. And get some fudge. Lots of fudge.

Cara would have a good business day today if she hadn't had one already. Connor couldn't help but feel that her business would boom now she was officially in a partnership with the Wonderbolts, and the sister of the colt friend of the Captain. Not that she would need it, she was perfectly capable of attaining such heights without affiliation with the Wonderbolts. Her fudge was just too good to go unnoticed.

The rest of the group had finished their drinks and made their way over to Cara's fudge shop, about a ten minute walk from the tea room. The group again unsurprisingly attracted the attention of Cloudsdale residents and tourists, a few of them asked for photos and autographs again much to the delight of Rainbow Dash.

Before long they were outside Cara's fudge shop and noticed a few changes. One was the posters in the windows stating her official affiliation with the Wonderbolts. The other noticeable difference was the store was now even bigger. It appeared that the store to the right had been incorporated into the fudge shop. Connor made a mental note to ask Cara.

Connor, being the big little brother of Cara was the first to walk in.

*BING-BONG*

Connor suddenly got an idea into his head.

No Connor, don't do it!

Connor stepped backwards.

*BING-BONG*

He stepped forward.

*BING-BONG*

He turned around, crouched down and rapidly waved his hand through the sensor.

*BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG*

Out of nowhere he got hit over the head with a broom stick.

"Stop bing-bonging my bing-bong! Every bing-bong costs you two bits!"

Connor turned around to see an unamused Cara.

"Hi Cara, my little big sis, how are you?"

Cara’s eyes narrowed, "I'm having a problem with an annoying two legged creature."

"Spike, what have you done to annoy Cara?" he asked him.

Spike looked confused, "What the hay did I do?"

"I was referring to you, little brother."

"Oh," he replied trying not to laugh, "Sorry sis, couldn't resist. It wasn't there before."

"It was there it just wasn't working. I kinda wish it was still broke now."

"Spoilsport," he responded.

Cara just stuck her tongue out.

"Anyway, we looking for some fudge. You wouldn't happen to know anypony who sells it would you?" asked Connor.

"I may know somepony, why don't you have a look around while I find out?"

"Sure," he replied before turning around to the group, "Have a look round guys."

The group made their way inside.

*BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG*
*BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG*
*BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG*
*BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG*

Cara's eye twitched.


Connor looked around the store and the differences were impossible not to see. According to Cara the owner of the store next door sold all of their wares and took early retirement. Deciding to take a risk in the hope that her official partnership with the Wonderbolts would take off, she bought the building next door to expand her business. She hoped to open a café upstairs with the extra space and expand her product range. Before she only had the room to display a small amount of pre-packed fudge, but now she could stack several shelves of it and even new products. Connor suggested gift boxes containing drinking fudge, appropriately coloured and flavoured marshmallows and porcelain mugs complete as a gift box; or sold separately. He also suggested fudge selection boxes and a pick and mix where customers could fill a tub with pre-cut pieces of fudge of their choice, with the price depending on the size of the boxes/tubs.

Cara liked Connor's ideas and asked him where he got them from. He simply said they were things from his world. He did like the idea of a café and asked how long it would take before she could bring the plan to fruition. Cara couldn't give an exact estimate but it wouldn't be in the near future, for now she wanted to focus on her new expansion before going any further.

Cara let Connor have a look around the store so he could fill his basket. Which he did, he filled his basket with many different types of fudge including: mint/chocolate, orange/chocolate, cream/chocolate, blueberry, vanilla, clotted cream, chocolate/banana, cappuccino, caramel, white chocolate and peanut butter.

As he was looking around he noticed some fudge shaped in the form of the Wonderbolt's logo. Intrigued he called Cara over.

"You called baby brother," she said smiling.

"What's this?" he asked pointing to the display.

"That baby brother, is fudge."

Connor raised his eyebrows.

Cara giggled, "Sorry baby brother, couldn't resist. This is my new Wonderbolt inspired fudge. It is blueberry and banana flavoured shaped to match the Wonderbolt emblem. Some others are shaped as a lightning bolt which is available in many different flavours, the same goes for cloud shaped fudge. I was thinking of doing some fudge shaped as silhouettes of the Wonderbolts heads, yours included if that's OK?"

"I like the sound of that. I don't mind but you'd have to ask the others for their opinion. What flavours would they be in?"

"Probably one that matched their fur colour. Misty Fly would probably be clotted cream, Soarin could be Blueberry, you could be.....vanilla?"

"Sounds fine to me."

"I would make them available in other flavours of course," Cara looked over to the till and noticed the others in the group waiting to pay, "If you'll excuse me, you're friends are waiting. Are you paying now as well?"

"Yeah I should have enough here to last until next time."

Cara rolled her eyes at Connor's joke.

The siblings walked over to the tills and Connor went to the back of the queue. Eventually it was his turn to be served and he placed all the fudge on the counter. Cara punched in keys on the till and told Connor the amount.

"That'll be 200 bits please."

"Eh? I thought it was more than that?"

"It includes a 20% Wonderbolts' discount."

"Oh, well thanks."

"Wonderbolts, military, nurses, doctors, veteran discounts I don't mind. The members of those respective services chose to go into those professions and in some cases give so much so I feel a little discount is my way of giving them something back. Family discount is something I personally don't like. I just feel that getting a discount just because you're related to the owners is a little unfair to those that aren't."

"Has Vulcan tried to get a family discount?"

"He's jokingly tried a few times but in reality he respects my stance on the matter."

"Like me?"

Cara nodded, "Yes, like you. Anyway, I'd better let you get off. You'll want to get ready for later no doubt?"

"Well I'll only need to drop my things off, I'll stay in my flight suit."

"I thought you would," Cara chuckled, "You seem to like wearing it."

"Well I do look awesome in one."

Cara rolled her eyes, "You're beginning to sound like Rainbow Dash."

Almost on cue, she appeared, "Did somepony say my name?"

"Just me and Cara talking about how awesome we are."

"We certainly are awesome! Put one there buddy!"

Rainbow and Connor hoof/fist bumped, Cara rolled her eyes again.

Connor took the bag that contained his fudge and turned back to face Cara who was giving the counter a clean.

"I'll see you later Cara."

"See you later baby brother," she replied.

Connor walked out of the door.

*BING-BONG*

Connor smirked. He quickly turned around and waved his hand over the sensor.

*BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG*

Connor narrowly moved his head out of the way in time to avoid getting hit with a broomstick. He ran away down the street laughing cheekily.

Cara shook her head and sighed, "Make sure he behaves himself."

"He will do, I'll make sure," Spitfire replied, trying not to laugh, "Well, we better catch up to him, see you later Cara. Come on guys!"

All remaining ponies and one drake exited the store in rapid succession.

*BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG*
*BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG*
*BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG*
*BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG* *BING-BONG*

This time, both of her eyes twitched.


Connor and his motley group walked through the street of Cloudsdale again. Spitfire and Connor had an appointment to see a property so Twilight offered to look after Connor's shopping and keep it safe in the library. Connor and Spitfire left the group and headed for the property in question. It was a route that required flying. Whilst Connor could fly he was still a little apprehensive about flying thousands of feet in the air.

"OK OK, I can do this," he said quietly to himself.

"Connor, you OK?"

"Yeah yeah, just composing myself for actually flying."

Seeing Connor clearly nervous, Spitfire gently raised a hoof to his cheek and looked him in the eyes, "Connor, you'll be fine. If anything does go wrong then remember that I'm here, OK?"

Connor nodded and took her hoof in his hands, "Yeah, thanks Milkshake."

"You're welcome Sleepyhead."

The duo hugged each other and stood at the edge of the cloud. Connor steadied his breath and started to flap his wings. He slowly took off and was now hovering a few feet above the clouds, Spitfire joined him immediately.

"You're doing great Connor, keep it up," she said encouragingly.

Connor tilted his wings and body accordingly to move forwards. It was slow at first but he quickly gained momentum and was now flying at a steady pace, Spitfire kept up easily and continued to give encouragement.

"Great flying Connor, keep doing what you're doing."

"Thanks Spits."

In a few minutes they arrived at the property in question and saw the Estate Agent already outside. Connor and Spitfire landed gently on the cloud pavement and walked over to the Agent.

"Group Captain Spitfire, Mr Wakefield I'm glad you could make it, I'm Sky Drive. Shall we get straight to business?"

"Please," replied Spitfire.

Connor and Spitfire followed Sky Drive into the property up the front garden path. It had lush green lawns, blooming flowers in all colours of the rainbow and was very neat and tidy.

So far, so good, thought Connor.

They went inside into the large front hallway which itself lead off to several other rooms. The first room he took them to was the living room. It was very spacious with high ceilings, no doubt to give Pegasi room to fly, with marble arch windows. There were marble arch doorways throughout it seems. There was marble flooring and a stone staircase that lead upwards to the next floor.

Before they went upstairs, Sky Drive showed them the kitchen. The kitchen was fairly big with a two ovens, five zone hob, grill, integrated fridge and freezer and integrated dishwasher. There was also an adjoining dining room big enough for a table and ten chairs. The kitchen had the same marble flooring as the living room.

The other downstairs rooms included a back garden, another reception room and a utility room. Upstairs there were three spacious bedrooms with the master bedroom having a balcony overlooking the back garden and giving fantastic views of Cloudsdale and Equestria.

Upstairs too had marble flooring and arched doorways and windows. Connor felt the house had an Ancient Greek feel to it just like the rest of Cloudsdale.

The property had been well maintained, had excellent amenities and was a twenty minute flight from the Wonderbolts HQ. The area was relatively quiet and the neighbours were friendly and the house was fairly priced at 1.5 million bits, around £150,000. In England depending on where you lived, a three bedroom detached property with excellent amenities like would cost a lot more than £150,000.

Sky Drive gave his details to Connor and Spitfire and asked them to contact him when they decided whether or not to make an offer. At the time of viewing no offer had yet been made. The current owner was apparently a unicorn property developer in Manehatten who was selling a few of his properties to prepare for his retirement.

It was now around three in the afternoon and there were several hours yet until he Connor was due to meet Vulcan. To pass the time Spitfire invited Connor to Wonderbolts HQ and give him a quick tour, he would be visiting regularly anyway so it made sense to use he time while they had it.

The pair flew off for Wonderbolts HQ which took around thirty minutes. Spitfire could do it in half the time, quicker even if she was in a rush, but considering Connor was new to having wings he was doing well.

The tour went well. There were a few cadets and Wonderbolts around training and exercising. Spitfire informed them she was giving Connor a tour of HQ and that she would be leaving again afterwards.

Connor was impressed with the academy. They had extensive facilities at their disposal including specialised training courses to which the cadets and Wonderbolts alike would hone their skills to be the best flier possible. He made a point to test the courses himself to vastly improve his own flying and fitness. He didn't expect to have anywhere near the skill of Spitfire or the Wonderbolts but, if he could pull of a few stunts he would be pleased as it would show are marked increase in his flying ability.


APPROX 5.30 PM, CARA'S FUDGE SHOP

Cara was locking up her fudge shop after an excellent days business. If she had more days like this she would be able to open her fudge shop café in no time. She locked the door and bang on time Connor and Spitfire flew down and landed on the ground.

"Hi Spitfire, hi Connor."

"Hi Cara."

"So, shall we get going? No need to wait around, we can talk on the way."

The trio took off into the air with the Connor flying just above and behind, following the mares as they flew to Catch of the Day.

"Is Vulcan meeting us there?" asked Connor.

"Yeah, he went ahead to get us a table in the Observation Area."

"Can't wait to see it," replied Connor.

As he flew, he could feel that cool summer breeze Rainbow Dash mentioned, it gently blew against him keeping him cool yet somehow it wasn't affecting his flight stability. He could hear the girls talking about girl stuff, of which none interested him in the slightest, as he saw what he thought the be Catch of the Day in the distance.

Connor saw the girls move to flank him, "Hey girls, what's up?"

"Nothing," replied Spitfire, "We just wanted to see if you're OK, you we're looking a little lonely flying on your own."

"I'm fine, I just heard you talking about girl stuff so I thought it'd be better if I stayed out of it."

"You could still have joined in," Cara replied, "We wouldn't have minded."

"I could have but I know more about Quantum Thermodynamics than I do about make-up tips."

Cara and Spitfire looked at Connor with blank expressions.

"Quantum what now?" asked Cara.

Connor sighed, "Never mind, I'll tell you some other time. It's quite complicated."

"If you say so."

The trio continued on for another few minutes talking about the day they had. They continued talking until they reached the restaurant and touched down onto the ground. As soon as they did a lot of eyes where on them, or more specifically Connor and Spitfire. Their bright flight suits always cause eyes to turn when wearing them in a public place. The trio walked into a restaurant and were approached by the door pony.

"Ah yes, you must be Group Captain Vulcan's guests, if you'd follow me please."

Connor was going to question how he knew who they were but it occurred to him that there can't be many creatures with two legs and a pair of wings about. That and Spitfire is rather well known in Cloudsdale and beyond.

The trio followed the waiter to the Observation Area and soon caught sight of Vulcan. He was sat at a four seater table outside near the edge pf the cloud they were on. They had a clear and unobstructed view of Equestria and Canterhorn Mountain, on which they could see Canterlot.

"Cara, Spitfire, Connor it's great to see you," Vulcan said as he got up from the table to greet the trio.

"The trio replied with greetings of their own and sat down with Vulcan. Spitfire and Connor sat together opposite Vulcan and Cara. They ordered some drinks, Cara and Spitfire got some wine while Connor and Vulcan got some smooth bitter.

"So, how are you all?" asked Vulcan.

"Great, Connor and Spitfire came by my shop earlier. Connor bought lots of fudge."

Connor shrugged, "What can I say, it's good fudge. I liked the door chime as well."

Vulcan tried but failed to not laugh, "Did you give it a test run?"

"Yep. I take it you know of the door chime."

Vulcan nodded, "I gave it a test myself, enjoyed myself thoroughly doing it as well."

"So did I, until I got smacked with a broomstick."

"You got it also, that broomstick will rue the day it met me."

"Hear hear," replied Connor.

"Don't speak of my broomstick in such a manner," Cara said sipping some wine, "You both got what was coming to you."

Just then a waiter brought some menu's for the four of them. Connor looked through his and saw there was a fairly good choice if fish dishes available. Also available was roast chicken. Connor made a mental note about the roast chicken. The restaurant in fact reminded him of a fish restaurant in Whitby, not too far from the seafront.

Whitby, thought Connor, they make the best fish and chips in the entire world.

"Seen anything you like?" asked Cara.

"The smoked haddock sounds nice. I might have that."

"I'll have the cod," added Cara.

"Same here," added Spitfire.

"Dad, what about you?" asked Cara.

"I'll have theeeee......roast chicken."

Neither Cara nor Spitfire winced at his choice. Unlike Earth ponies and unicorns, Pegasi were perfectly fine eating meat. Right on cue the waiter from before reappeared.

"Are you ready to order?"

"Yes," replied Vulcan, "We'll have two cod, the smoked haddock and the roast chicken."

"Thank you, your order will be with you shortly," he replied as he jotted the order down on his notepad.

"How did the property viewing go?" asked Cara.

"It went great. I liked the place and I think Spits did as well."

"Sure did, we'll have to have a serious talk later over weather or not to put in an offer."

"Sure thing. I'm heading back to the castle tonight, where will you be going?"

"I'll join you back at the castle. Are you headed back to Ponyville tomorrow?"

"Yeah, it'll be nice to go back. I haven't been since before.....well, that happened."

"Well that's all over now and you're better again," Cara said reassuringly, "Besides, it's all worked out for the best hasn't it?"

"I suppose so," Connor mused.

Connor and Spitfire talked a little more about the property they viewed, explaining to Cara and Vulcan what the property was like. They suggested to go for it as it was an excellent deal but conceded it was up to Connor and Spitfire to decide. Cara also seemed to be delighted when Connor told her about the plushie of him. She said she may consider commissioning a life size plushie of him, just 'for amusement'.

It wasn't too long before their meals arrived. They were all generously sized and each came with chips and salad garnish. The chips were perfect, crisp and golden just as they should be. The haddock was cooked to perfection also. The seasoning was just right and complemented the haddock rather than overwhelm it.

The others enjoyed their meals also. Vulcans' roast chicken looked absolutely brilliant. Roast chicken was one of Connor's favourite foods and decided to definitely get that the next time he was here.

The meal continued on good spirits and as they ate it slowly became darker until the restaurant owners switched the outside lights on. They weren't bright lights but had more of a soft glow giving a cosy atmosphere inside and outside the restaurant.

The group had finished their meals and deciding not to end the night early, decided to get desserts. Cara got herself a Banana Split, Connor got some mint choc chip ice cream with chocolate sauce, Spitfire got a Knickerbocker Glory and Vulcan got a Rocky Road.

"So Connor, have you got any further with any more sponsors?" asked Vulcan.

"Not quite, I'm going to try and make some arrangements to get sort some sponsors out. Speaking of which I've been invited, Cara and Spits also, too Duke Fancy Pants house to discuss sponsorship possibilities. He has many contacts and a good word from him may be hugely beneficial for all involved."

"Let's hope it goes well. Duke Fancy Pants is hugely influential and has a lot of allies amongst the nobility. He may even be able to sway a few reluctant nobles your way."

"I'll bear that in mind but I don't want to come across as though I'm using him for personal gain."

"Don't be daft Connor, you're not the type to do that sort of thing."

"He's right Connor," added Spitfire, "Granted we've only known you a short amount of time but at no point have you shown yourself to use others for your own gain. Fancy Pants knows that otherwise he wouldn't have approached you."

"I suppose so."

Moments later the waiter brought the desserts and set them down on the table. They looked as satisfying as they sounded.

Again, all four enjoyed the desserts.

But, all good things must come to an end. It was starting to get darker and a look at the clock showed it to be about 8 PM. The group decided to head home for the night. After paying, which Vulcan paid for, Cara and Vulcan bade goodbye to Connor and Spitfire and went to their respective homes. After a goodbye hug from Cara of course.

Connor and Spitfire decided to catch a taxi to take them back to Canterlot Castle. After waiting about twenty minutes for a taxi they hopped on board and warmed themselves up with the complementary blanket. They didn't say much for the journey back, they simply enjoyed each others company.

The journey took about half an hour and like when he flied before, he could feel the cool breeze against his face. Despite the cool breeze the blanket kept him and Spitfire warm, and being cuddled together only made things warmer.

The taxi touched down at a Pegasi Taxi port in Canterlot, about a fifteen minute walk from the castle. After paying the taxi driver and giving him a generous tip they made their way to the castle. Hopefully Celestia would still be up and about, if not Luna would most definitely be up.

After a slow, pleasant walk to the castle via the park they finally reached the castle gates.

The on duty Solar Guards, recognising Connor and Spitfire, opened the massive doors and allowed them to enter, "If you wish to meet Princess Celestia she was last in the Throne Room holding court."

"Thanks guys."

Connor and Spitfire walked inside the castle and the doors behind them closed, keeping out the chilly night air. They immediately made their way to the Throne Room to see Celestia. As they approached the Throne Room door, the on duty guards spoke up.

"Princess Celestia is currently seeing a petitioner, please wait here."

"Sure," replied Connor.

Connor turned around to see Spitfire had plonked herself down on a nearby bench just outside the Throne Room. he walked over a sat down beside her, wrapping an arm around her.

"You OK Milkshake?"

"I'm feel great," she replied a little sleepily, "I had a great time tonight."

She leant against his shoulder and the two sat in silence as they waited for Celestia to see them. Fortunately they weren't waiting long and after about two or three minutes the Throne Room doors opened. A pony Connor didn't recognise walked out looking deeply upset, even a comforting hug and nuzzle from Celestia didn't seem to lift his spirits.

The pony walked slowly away, past Connor and Spitfire, with his tail drooping between his legs.

Connor watched as he trudged slowly away. He wondered what was wrong but came to the view that it would be a confidential matter between the pony and Celestia.

"Connor?"

Connor turned around to notice Celestia standing just a couple of feet away.

"Hi Celestia, didn't see you there. You OK?"

Celestia chuckled a little, "I'm fine thank you. How are you?"

"I feel great. Had a great day out finished off with a nice meal at Catch of the Day in Cloudsdale with Vulcan, Cara and Spitfire."

"I've heard of that place, a fish restaurant if I'm not mistaken."

"Yeah, and a really good one as well."

Celestia smiled, she was pleased to hear Connor was settling in nicely to Equestrian society and enjoying himself, "I'm pleased to hear that. What is it that brings you here though?"

"I was wandering if I could stop the night again and go back to Ponyville tomorrow?"

"Of course you can, Connor you'll always be welcome here. Don't ever forget that."

"Thanks Celestia. Would you be able to send a letter to Twilight if I write it, let her know what I've just told you?"

"Certainly, but I can write the letter if you wish. You're marefriend looks like she needs to be in bed."

Connor looked to Spitfire and saw her fast asleep, curled up into a ball.

"I can carry her upstairs, taking her flight suit off though might be difficult. She might have to sleep in it."

"That's no problem Connor, remember I can remove her flight suit."

"How?"

Celestia looked at Connor like he'd gone daft and simply pointed a hoof at her horn.

"Oh," Connor replied feeling a little stupid.

Celestia giggled a little, "Don't worry Connor, I won't tell anyone you forgot I can do magic."

With a flash of her horn she removed Spitfire's flight suit leaving her fur exposed. He could feel her steady breathing as she slept and very carefully wrapped his arms under her barrel and lifted her up. She wasn't as heavy as he thought she would be. He thought ponies were heavier but considering Pegasi fly being heavy would be detrimental to that ability.

He carefully lifted her so that her head rested over one of his shoulders and her plot resting in one one of his arms. His other arm he placed on her back to stop her falling backwards out of his grip. Her tail hanged loosely with the tip touching the ground.

"Thanks Celestia, I'll take her up now and get her in bed. I'll join her after I get a bath, where did you teleport her flight suit to anyway?"

"It will be in your bedroom, would you like a pot of tea sending up in about half an hour?"

"Yes please."

"Very well, if I don't see you again tonight then......goodnight Connor."

"Goodnight Celestia."

Connor walked away carrying Spitfire in his arms. Celestia stifled a small giggle at such a sweet sight of chivalry. Celestia watched as Connor went up the grand staircase towards his castle bedroom. She continued to watch until he was out of sight before she headed off to the kitchens to get herself some cake.


In Connor's castle bedroom, Connor laid the sleeping Spitfire on the bed and draped the quilt over her before gently kissing her on the forehead. He switched on the bedside lamps and walked over to the bathroom, catching a glimpse of Spitfire's flight suit on a chair on the way, and went inside. He decided to have a shower instead of a bath, it's quicker and he's tired so he wanted to get getting cleaned over and done with. He removed his flight suit and stepped into the shower, turning the knobs to become drenched in warm water. He cleaned his wings the best he could, it was definitely easier with another person....or pony to clean them but he managed nonetheless. After washing his hair also he got out of the shower and dried himself off, putting on his Rarity-made pyjamas again.

He went back into the bedroom and got into bed himself, laying back into the unbelievably comfy mattress and draping himself with the equally soft quilt. The warmth of the bed a stark contrast to the rain lashing against the windows. He laid in silence for several minutes before a small knock at the door was heard. The door opened and in came Celestia with the pot of tea for Connor. She laid it on the bedside table next to Connor and quietly wished him goodnight once more, a gesture Connor returned.

After Celestia left the room and closed the door, Connor poured himself a cup of tea and added milk and sugar to just how he likes it. Reasonably strong with one teaspoon of sugar.

He quietly drank his tea, being careful not to wake Spitfire, going over the events of the day. The teasing of Cara with her door chime, viewing that property with Spitfire, the meal out just now. He really enjoyed himself today, especially the times he was alone with Spitfire. Just being with her makes him feel complete. He was truly glad he met Spitfire, maybe not in the manner he was introduced to her, but he felt that if he didn't meet her then his being in Equestria would have been much more difficult.

She filled a hole he didn't realise he had.

He couldn't imagine being without her.

Looking to his marefriend, who was still asleep, he leaned towards her and kissed her forehead again.

"I love you Milkshake," he whispered.

Small tears fell from her eyes as she slowly opened them slightly.











"I love you too Sleepyhead," she replied as she kissed his cheek.

Chapter - 23 - Meeting The Parents

View Online

It was around 8 AM in the morning and the sun was shining through the kitchen window, gently lighting the room. Spitfire was busy cooking breakfast whilst Connor was reading the paper. As he was waiting, there was a knock at the door.

"I'll get it," he told Spitfire.

"Okay."

Connor made his way to the front door and opened the it to find a messenger pony. A familiar one as well.

"Hi Derpy, what brings you here?" he asked with a smile.

"Hi Connor, I've got a special delivery for you today. One of them has the Royal Seal."

"The Royal Seal? Don't they usually contain a summons to appear before the Princesses?" he asked as he looked at the cream coloured envelope, sealed with red wax and stamped with the symbol of the crown.

"Sometimes, why? You've not been eating Princess Celestia's cakes again have you?" she asked smirking.

Connor rolled his eyes, "You eat her cakes one time and you're never allowed to forget it."

Derpy giggled, "Don't worry Connor, I was only teasing. I'll need you to sign for the letter though, given what kind it is."

Derpy handed Connor the letters before filling out a form sheet specifically for letters bearing the Royal Seal. Each letter had a serial number and a designated courier and the letter had to be delivered to the addressee only. The addressee then had to sign to confirm they received the letter and the courier had to sign to say they delivered it. A designated courier would be assigned so that if the letter went missing or was failed to be delivered then there would always be a starting point for an investigation. Theft of letters bearing the Royal Seal is a serious crime, more serious than theft of 'standard' mail. As the Equestrian Postal Service operates under a Royal Warrant, couriers are considered to be servants of the Crown and actions committed by others that impede the delivery of mail is dealt with severely.

"Was there any other mail?" Connor asked as he signed the form.

Derpy shook her head, "No just these two letters. Anyway, I must be going. Lots of deliveries to make, bye Connor."

"Bye Derpy."

Derpy flew away as Connor went back inside, closing the door behind him. He walked back into the kitchen looking at the letters as he did so. The non-Royal Sealed letter was also fancy looking. The non-Royal Seal Letter was addressed to him and Spitfire. Tearing it open as he sat down he began to read.

It was a letter from Fancy Pants. Apparently he was having a Garden Party soon and Connor and Spitfire were invited.

"Anything interesting?"

Connor looked up to see Spitfire place a plate of bacon, sausages, baked beans, fried eggs and fried bread on the table in front of him, along with his usual cup of tea.

"We've been invited to a Garden Party by Fancy Pants. It's in a few days time at his mansion in Canterlot. We'll have to make sure we're dressed in our best then."

"We'll just go in our flight suits, we go to other special occasions in them," she said as she poured herself and Connor some coffee, "Besides, we'd be expected to wear them anyway."

"Will other 'Bolts be there?" asked Connor.

"Maybe, we'll have to ask them. And while we're talking about special occasions you haven't forgotten about later on have you?"

"No, I haven''t forgotten," he replied as shovelled bacon into his mouth, "Doesn't mean I'm not nervous about it."

Spitfire looked at Connor and could clearly see he was feeling tense. Later on they'd be 'Meeting The Parents', and Connor was a nervous wreck over it. He kept assuming the worst case scenario in every situation just like in the film.

"What should I wear?" he asked, wondering what kind if attire would be most appropriate.

Spitfire rubbed her chin with her hoof, deep in thought, "Why not wear that new shirt Rarity made, you know the dark red one."

"Suppose I could, along with trousers and shoes. It's no good turning up like an unmade bed."

Spitfire laughed, "No it wouldn't, my family wouldn't think much of you if you didn't take care of your personal appearance."

"What time are we going again?"

"We're going for around 4pm and we'll be staying the night. Oh and don't worry about tea, I've told my mother you can't eat hay or flowers. Or apples."

"Thanks. Any idea what we are having tonight?"

"Roast beef, roast potatoes and vegetables. And gravy if you want it."

"Sounds mouth wateringly fantastic, what about Yorkshire puddings?"

Spitfire blinked in confusion, "What's a Yorkshire pudding?"

A small part of Connor died. He went numb as the very question sank in.

"What's a Yorkshire Pudding?" he repeated in disbelief.

Spitfire nodded meekly, confirming the question she asked.

Connor simply looked a Spitfire before placing a hand in her shoulder, "Oh my dear Spitfire. How have I failed you so?"

He sighed before resting his head in his hands. Spitfire looked at him in bewilderment, completely at a loss as to what he was going on about. Spitfire needed answers before her brain became more of a mess.

"What are you talking about, would you mind explaining a few things?"

Connor looked up, "Don't worry Spits, I'm not really mad. Yorkshire pudding is food made from batter consisting of eggs, flour, and milk or water. It's usually served with roast beef as part of the traditional Sunday Roast."

"What does a Sunday Roast include?"

"It's what we're having tonight."

Spitfire let out a small laugh, "You'll be looking forward to it then?"

"Yep. I'll tell your mum how to make them properly if you like?"

"Sure, I take it when you say 'make them properly' that there is a way not to make them?"

"Oh yes, there are good Yorkshires and there are bad ones and I'll make sure your mum makes good ones."

"I'm sure you will. What was that other letter about, I saw it had a Royal Seal."

"I don't know," Connor replied picking the letter up, "I've not opened it yet."

"I wouldn't put it off too long, it could be important."

Connor nodded in acknowledgement, "I'll open it once I've had my breakfast."

Fifteen minutes later Connor had finished his breakfast and was now sat on the sofa in the living room, Spitfire joined him to see what the letter was about. Connor carefully broke the seal and opened the envelope. Inside was a letter and a golden ticket.


My little human
Dear Connor

I heard you and Spitfire have successfully moved into your new home in Cloudsdale and are settling in nicely. I am writing this letter as I wish to invite you to the upcoming Grand Galloping Gala. Whilst the Wonderbolts attend as the norm, I wish to invite you as a personal friend (though you can still wear your Wonderbolt flight suit if you wish, I know how much you like to show off in it wear it). I have enclosed a ticket for you and the castle guards are aware you will be my personal guest and will treat you accordingly. I do hope you attend as I have a few more surprises for you.

Your friend

Celestia

"So you like showing off in your flight suit huh?" Spitfire asked gently elbowing him in his sides, "Is that why you wear one often?"

"I don't have to answer that," he replied neither confirming or denying the question.

"I know you can't get enough of seeing me in mine," she said as she stood up and slowly walked across Connor's lap, "You know how the tight fit shows of my body you like so much, how sexy you know it makes me look."

"Stop getting me hot and bothered or my wings will go stiff again!"

"So."

She could see him consciously trying not go stiff winged as she turned around.

Play with him a little more, he's nearly lost it.

Spitfire sat on his lap directly facing him, her muzzle almost touching his nose.

"You'll go stiff winged again will you?"

"Yes," he replied trying to remain calm.

She started to caress his cheeks with her hoof and brush her tail against his legs. She then put her forelegs around his neck and kissed him on the cheek, deliberately making sure her soft fur brushed his bare chest.

She then booped his nose.

*POOMF*

Spitfire smirked.


Connor and Spitfire were walking into Cloudsdale town centre to do a little shopping before going to Spitfire's parents house later. Spitfire was still snickering about earlier. One thing she loved doing with Connor is getting him hot and bothered to see how long it takes before his wings stiffen. He'd gotten better at controlling it but Spitfire just seemed to know what to do to make them spring to life.

"Come on Spits it's not that funny."

"It is when you try to forcibly fold them again. And when you have to walk through doors sideways."

"Yeah yeah, I'll find a way to get back at you, mark my words."

"Of course you will......Stiff Wings."

Connor scowled at that name. It was given to him by the other Wonderbolts when his wings became ironing boards mid-flight, ultimately causing Connor to crash into a tree. Much to the amusement of the Wonderbolt's. He didn't mind the nick name, he's been called far worse in the past.

"Oh I most certainly will......Sugar Sprinkles."

Spitfire returned a scowl. On her first day she had the misfortune of falling into a vat of sugar. How she managed it is anyone's guess. After flying out she was in such a rush to get back to HQ to avoid being late she didn't check to make sure no sugar was still on her. As she flew over HQ, the other 'Bolts noticed bits of sugar falling from Spitfire. The flapping of her wings caused her to 'sprinkle sugar' on her squad mates.

Spitfire turned to look at Connor who himself was grinning mischievously, "Watch yourself Stiff Wings, you're on thin ice."

"No I'm not, I'm on a cloud," he replied with a cheeky grin.

Spitfire, unamused, pushed him off the cloud.


A couple of hours later the duo were outside Cara's Fudge Shop and Cafe. They went in and straight away Connor noticed something different. He looked back to the door, looked down and noticed something missing.

"I removed the bing-bong."

Connor turned around to the source of the voice and smiled, "Cara, it's good to see you again."

Connor went over to Cara and wrapped her in a hug which she returned.

"Likewise little brother, hi Spitfire."

"Hi Cara."

Connor and Cara let go of each other and Connor's expression turned serious, "Why is the bing-bong gone?"

Cara narrowed her eyes and looked intently at Connor, "Because an annoying two legged creature kept abusing its existence."

"I told Spike not to mess with it," Connor said trying to defend himself.

"Stop pretending Spike is to blame, or do I have to get my broomstick out again."

Connor felt a chill go up his spine. He hated that broomstick and made a mental note to later formulate a plan to expedite its departure from the world.

"No no, I'll be good."

Cara immediately put on a bubbly smile, "Excellent. Now, how can I help you today?"

"Table for two please."

"Right this way."

Connor and Spitfire followed Cara to a table next to the window where they ordered two Espresso's and Chocolate Fudge Cake. She managed to find a company who were able to renovate the previously mostly empty space into a cafe. She used some of her personal savings to fund the renovation. She had already taken out a loan to buy the building from the previous owner, and didn't want to take out another loan if it could be helped.

There were a few other ponies in the cafe, including a few colts and fillies. Almost immediately they made their way over to the dating duo and asked for their autographs. Connor and Spitfire happily obliged.

After they fillies and colts had their autographs Cara arrived with the orders.

"So, what are you two little love birds doing today?" she asked as she placed the drinks down on the table.

"I'm meeting the parents," Connor said glumly, sighing, "I'd rather be in the tending loving care of the matron again. It's less intimidating."

"You'll be fine Connor," Spitfire said taking a sip of coffee, "You've no reason to be worried."

"Spitfire's right," Cara replied as she handed Connor his coffee, "Just be yourself and you'll give a good impression."

"Are we stopping the night there?"

"Only if we're invited," Spitfire replied.

"Will we be sleeping together if we do stay?"

"I can't see why'd they'd disallow it, but if they do just go with it."

"Sure, it's their house after all."

Cara placed the rest if the order down, "OK, I'll leave you two lovey-dovey's in peace. Do get something from the shop before you go, you wouldn't want to turn up tonight empty hoofed, or empty handed in Connor's case."


Connor walked up the garden path towards the front door. He may as well have been walking the green mile to the electric chair. The front door of Spitfire's parents house got closer and closer with each step with dread building up in Connor every second.

"This is going to go bad I know it."

"It won't be bad so stop moping or I'll refuse to let you cuddle me for a whole month."

Connor didn't like the sound of that at all.

"Alright," he said sighing, "I'll be good."

"Good to hear," she said as she rang the doorbell.

The duo could hear the clopping of hooves approach. The door slowly opened and Connor saw a mare that looked like and older version of Spitfire. She had the same fur and mane colour and was wearing what looked like pearl earrings and a purple cardigan.

"Spitfire sweetie it's good to see you."

"It's good to see you too mum," Spitfire replied hugging her.

They let go of each other and Spitfire held up a hoof, "Mum, this is Connor, Connor this is my mother Stormy Flare."

Stormy Flare looked at Connor. He was dressed tidily enough and clearly took care of himself, smelled nice and had his hands on her daugthers' withers.

She scowled at that.

"Please take your hands off my daughter," she said coldly.

Connor felt a lump in his throat and slowly and reluctantly removed his hand. Spitfire had a look of awkwardness like she wasn't expecting such a response from her mother.

"Thank you," Stormy Flare continued, "You will do well to remember she is my daughter and not your pet to do with as you please."

"MOTHER!"

Stormy Flare said nothing and simply stood the side and allowed the dating duo to enter the house, Stormy Flare eyeing Connor the entire time. Spitfire and Connor entered the front room where several ponies where sat down. They were her family. Avro Lancaster whome Connor had already met during his first visit to the Cloud Coliseum, her younger sister Lightning Skies and her older brothers Gloucester Gladiator and Hawker Hurricane.

"You must be Connor," said Avro.

"Yes, I believe we've met before."

"Indeed we have. You were dressed differently then."

"Yeah, and my wings weren't permanent then either."

"Yes, Spitfire told us about your......situation."

"I thought she might."

"Well sit yourselves down, make it look like your staying."

Spitfire and Connor sat down next to each other on the sofa. On Connor's other side sat a red stallion with a red and lave-like orange mane. The stallion looked at Connor and scowled.

"Connor," said Spitfire," This here is Hawker Hurricane, my slightly older twin brother."

Connor extended his hand, "Pleasure to meet you, Spitfire's told me about you."

Hawker looked at Connor's hand, extended his hoof and said with no amount of enthusiasm, "Pleasure."

Connor awkwardly shook his hoof before letting go. Spitfire next introduced the rest of her siblings. Gloucester looked at Connor the same way Hawker and Stormy Flare did. He did little more than grunt when Connor extended his hand. He shook it but on a half-arsed way, slightly offending Connor.

Lightning Skies was different. Her cream coloured fur and ice blue spiky mane, similar to Cloud Chaser's, certainly attracted attention. She confidently held out her hoof, "Pleasure to meet you Connor. As Spitfire's probably told you, I'm Lightning Skies. Pleasure to meet you."

"Pleasure to meet you to," Connor replied shaking her hoof, relieved at least someone here was trying to be nice.

Stormy Flare came into the front room and went to sit on the other sofa next to Avro. There was an awkward silence until Avro spoke up.

"So Connor, tell us about yourself."

"Well," Connor started, "It's complicated."

"In what way?" asked Avro.

"Though I was born and grew up in a different world, both of my parents are ponies."

"Yes I've been reading about it in the paper," he looked at Connor, "I've been reading a lot about you in the paper."

Connor got the feeling the night was only going to get worse. And it had only just begun.

"You've certainly been making a name for yourself," Avro continued, "Events Manager for the Wonderbolts, personal friends of the Princesses, hugely popular with the foals of Cloudsdale, the son of Vulcan and dating my daughter who just happens to be Captain of the Wonderbolts."

Connor wrapped an arm around Spitfire, "I would still date your daughter even if she wasn't. I love her for who she is, not for what she is."

Lightning Skies 'awwe'd while Gloucester and Hawker both scoffed.

"That's what the others said and they turned out to be arsewipes who were only interested in using my sister for their own needs," Hawker said scowling at Connor, "Why should we believe you?"

"Because I mean what I say. Spitfire means a lot to me and I have no intention of using her for personal gain."

"The others said that as well."

To say Spitfire felt awkward would be an understatement. She knew her family would be suspicious at first given her coltfriends in the past but it was like they were going out of their way to cause problems. Fortunately, Spitfire had the idea of showing Connor her old bedroom.

It was unsurprisingly Wonderbolt themed. Wonderbolt posters, bedding, curtains, wallpaper, and furniture decorated the room. On a bookshelf were several of Spitfire's awards from when she was a filly. Many were for best flier or 1st Place from various races. Connor looked at a few photos of Spitfire as a young filly. He got a punch in the arm when he said she looked adorable. One of the photos showed her as a young filly at around eight years old drinking a banana milkshake almost as big as her. There was a double photo-frame and the left frame showed the day she first became a Wonderbolt trainee and the right showed the day she became a full fledged Wonderbolt, wearing the legendary iconic flight suit.

The pleasant aroma from downstairs indicated tea was ready.


All but Stormy Flare and Connor was sat around the dining room table. Spitfire persuaded her mother to let Connor show her how to make Yorkshire puddings. They had made enough so that everyone could have at least three each if they wanted. Because they didn't take long to make they were ready at the same time as everything else. Tea included Connor's Yorkshires, roast potatoes, vegetables and the main part of the meal, Roast Beef.

The food was steaming hot and smelt absolutely wonderful. Everyone filled their plates with food and finished off by pouring gravy on top. A glass of red wine was poured for everyone also.

As everyone was done filling their plates, Stormy Flare spoke up.

"Connor, Spitfire mentioned the two of you had recently bought a house together."

Avro, Hawker and Gloucester looked at Connor with raised eyebrows. Lightning looked like she wanted to squee.

"Yes. A very nice place as well. Come round some time, we'll show you around."

"Yes," Stormy Flare replied coldly, "We'll have to arrange something."

Tea was an awkwardly quiet affair. Very little was said and to Connor time seemed to be slowing to a halt. The whole evening was like having a root canal on his teeth again. The only questions related to his job with the Wonderbolts and what he did. They seemed satisfied enough when he told them he'd already managed to secure a few sponsorships. Lightning Skies was particularly pleased when Connor mentioned he was Cara's brother. Lightning buys from her fudge shop regularly.

Everyone had finished their tea and Connor offered to help clear away and wash up but Stormy Flare refused, but thanked him nonetheless for the offer.

Everyone was sat down in the front room when the questions started again.

"So Connor," Avro started, "How was tea?"

"It was great thank you, your wife's a really good cook."

Avro chuckled, "Yeah she is."

"Hey Dad," Spitfire said, "Did you know Connor's human father served in the Air Force?"

The eyes of Avro and Hawker lit up.

"He did?" asked Avro, ""How can he fly if human's don't have wings?"

"In my world we have flying machines called aeroplanes. My dad was a qualified pilot of the RAF and upon retiring held the rank of Group Captain. He was qualified to fly the Panavia Tornado. A family of twin-engine, variable-sweep wing multirole combat aircraft. He saw action during the Gulf War too."

"Sounds impressive," Avro said with genuine interest, "How fast can it fly? What's it's service ceiling? What's it's rate of climb?"

"It has a maximum speed of Mach 2.2, a service ceiling of 50,000ft and a rate of climb of 15,100 ft a minute. They're almost 55ft long and a 45.6 or 28.2 ft wing span depending on wing sweep angle."

Connor felt a little pride at recounting the details of jet aircraft. He hoped this common ground might get Spitfire's family to warm up to him.

"Wow! Equestria doesn't have anything that even comes close to that," Hawker commented, "And your human dad flew them?"

"Yes. He later flew the Eurofighter Typhoon as well, an even more advanced aircraft," Connor said before letting out a small chuckle, "He likes the new F-35 Lightning II as well. The F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighters. They're in the final stages of development and cost a small fortune."

"How much?"

"In Equestrian monetary terms, between 850 million and 1.1 billion bits depending on the variant."

Everypony in the room sat in shock.

"That's quite an eye watering sum," Avro said, "It must be a good aircraft for that price. Why the variants?"

"For different purposes. For example the F-35A is a conventional take-off and landing or CTOL, the F-35B is the STOVL or short take-off and vertical landing variant. The F-35C is the carrier variant and features larger wings with foldable wingtip sections, larger wing and tail control surfaces for improved low-speed control, stronger landing gear for the stresses of carrier arrested landings, a twin-wheel nose gear, and a stronger tailhook for use with carrier arrestor cables."

"That's not even the best," Spitfire said, "Wait until he tells you about aircraft from decades ago."

Stormy Flare walked back into the front room and sat down next to Avro where the two nuzzled each other.

"Honey, Connor was just telling us about flying machines from his world."

"I heard darling," she said as she turned to Connor, "You seem quite knowledgeable on the matter."

"Well my dad was a pilot so it's only natural I would take an interest in aircraft."

"Why don't you go and get your laptop and show them what you showed me?" Spitfire suggested.

Connor got up and went to get his laptop. He was back a few seconds later.

"What's that?" asked Hawker.

"My laptop, it's a portable computer."

"Like that monstrosity in Canterlot?" asked Gloucester.

"Like it but this is much more advanced."

Connor booted up the laptop and brought up the video and picture files. The first picture he brought up was a WWII fighter.

"Hawker, I think you'll like this one."

Hawker looked at the screen, amazed at the technology he was seeing and wondering how it worked, and saw a what was clearly a flying machine.

"What's the name of this aircraft?"

"This one, is called the Supermarine Spitfire."

Hawker looked between Connor and the screen in shock, an aircraft had the same name (almost) as his sister.

"She looks good."

"Thank you," Spitfire replied.

"I wasn't talking about you."

Spitfire just stuck her tongue out, Hawker rolled his eyes.

"Moving on," Connor continued, "Have a guess what this aircraft is called."

Hawker looked at the screen. It showed a similar aircraft to the one before.

"I don't know. What is it called?"

"The Hawker Hurricane."

Hawker looked at Connor slack jawed, "You're kidding me."

Connor shook his head, "Nope. The aircraft in the picture is definitely the Hawker Hurricane."

A big grin adorned the face of Hawker, "Any more aircraft have the same name as us?"

"Yep. This four engined bomber," Connor said as he brought up the relevant picture and turned the laptop around, "Is called the Avro Lancaster."

The large green stallion soon went from content smile to a huge grin that Pinkie would be proud of.

"Avro Lancaster?" he repeated almost squeeing in delight.

"Oh and the next one the called the Gloucester Gladiator," he said as he brought up the picture of the aircraft, "And this one......let me find it.....is the English Electric Lightning."

The two other siblings' faces lit up with glee.

The next half hour was spent with Connor talking about the history of aviation in the RAF. They were fascinated by it all. They had definitely warmed up to Connor, Stormy Flare included, and eagerly sat around the laptop when Connor suggested watching am aviation film. One of the best films ever made.

The Dam Busters.


They liked the film. Spitfire liked it better than Top Gun. Spitfire's family had plenty of questions about 617 Squadron and the Dam Busters raid. Connor gladly answered them, delighted to share the tales of brave men who risked their lives for freedom and democracy and to take down one of the most vile and rancid regimes in history. The very least those men deserve is to be remembered.

During the film though Spitfire cuddled up to Connor, resting her head on his chest. This didn't escape the attention of Avro or Stormy Flare but neither said anything. They both could see how happy Spitfire was, her fur seemed to have an extra radiance to it. She was happier than they'd ever seen her since she started dating Connor and whenever she visited her parents before there wasn't a time when she didn't talk about him.

It was late and Connor and Spitfire had a busy day ahead of them tomorrow. The were scheduled to appear at the Hug-A-Pony stuffed toy store. The unique plushie of Connor, in his Wonderbolts flight suit, was being released to the masses and it was expected to be a best seller. It was quite a big plushie as well, two feet high. There were also plans to release a larger four foot high variant as well depending on demand. A very small number of life size plushies of him were made. Those ones though were for store display purposes.

The plushies though were excellently made with close attention to detail. His Oakley sunglasses were replicated, miniaturised, removable and available in several colours. Magical enchantments allowed his wings to be extended and retracted. The plushies would cost 200 bits, but as a first day special they would be available for 150 bits. And any lucky colt of filly that goes to the store will be able to have a signed photo of Connor to take home.

They would be at the toy store at midday and be their until closing time. A large crowd was expected along with the Press, the other Wonderbolts and Connor's friends from Ponyville. Hopefully it will act as a springboard for more sponsorship deals and official partnership.

Before going up to bed, Connor remembered the fudge he and Spitfire bought and went to get it. He came back a few seconds later with a large paper bag in his hands. He opened the bag and started to hand out the fudge.

"Spitfire and I bought some fudge for you all from my sisters' fudge shop."

Everypony took the fudge that was handed to them and thanks to Spitfire's inside knowledge she knew the flavour each of them liked most. Her family were appreciative of the fudge and thanked Connor and Spitfire for it.

Connor felt relieved. When he first came here he could almost feel the icy cold glares of her family, except for Lightning Skies, but now they'd warmed up to him. Stormy Flare wasn't even commenting on Connor wrapping an arm around Spitfire.

Hopefully things would continue to go smoothly tomorrow as well.

Connor shut down the laptop and headed upstairs with Spitfire to her bedroom. The bed was big enough for Connor to fit in, just. Her parents said nothing when they went up together. Connor got changed into nightwear again, though this time leaving his upper body uncovered, and snuggled into bed with Spitfire. It wasn't long before there was a knock at the door.

"Come in," Spitfire said aloud.

The door opened and in flew Stormy Flare holding two drinks.

"I brought these for the two of you," Stormy said as she hoofed over two banana milkshakes.

"Thanks mum," Spitfire replied taking a milkshake.

Connor took the other, thanking her also.

"Connor, I'd just like to apologize for earlier at the front door. I shouldn't of spoken to you like that."

"Don't worry about it, you're concerned for Spitfire's well being. What good mother wouldn't be concerned about their daughter."

Stormy Flare smiled, "Thank you Connor, now I'll leave you two alone. You'll be up early no doubt to get ready."

"Yep, such is the life of a Wonderbolt," Spitfire said before sucking milkshake through the straw.

Stormy Flare left the room and closed the door, leaving Connor and Spitfire alone to get some sleep. The love bugs snuggled up to each other and drank their milkshakes, and ate some white chocolate covered pretzels they bought earlier. They chatted for a little bit, mostly about the following day. It would be Connor's first official engagement as a Wonderbolt.

What could possibly go wrong?


The morning sun shone through the room. A sleepy human and a sleepy pony slowly and reluctantly got up. Both of them trudged to the bathroom to get showered before breakfast. On the way they met Avro.

"Morning dad."

"Morning Spitfire, getting a shower with Connor?"

Spitfire nodded, "Yeah, it's we usually bathe together. Cleaning wings on your own can be difficult."

"Tell me about it, anyway I'll let you get washed ans see you both at breakfast."

30 MINUTES LATER

Connor and Spitfire, now both in their Wonderbolt flight suits, headed downstairs for breakfast. As they entered the kitchen their noses immediately picked up the smell of toast.

"You're just in time," Stormy Flare said picking up the toast, "Would you like some Connor?"

"Yeah please, I'm starving."

"Would you like anything on it, jam, marmalade, peanut butter?"

"Peanut butter please."

A few moments later Stormy Flare hoofed Connor two slices of peanut butter on toast.

"Thanks Stormy Flare."

"You're welcome Connor."

Connor sat down at the table and poured himself and Spitfire some tea. The sound of hooves thundering down the stairs indicated the arrival of the rest of the family. Hawker, Avro, Gloucester and Lightning walked into the kitchen and sat down at the table, each of them taking note of Connor.

Avro had already seen him dressed as he is, but the others hadn't. Needless to say they were impressed.

"Looking good Connor," Lightning said, "Spitty wasn't kidding when she said you look good in that."

"Don't encourage him Lightning."

"Well it's true," Lightning replied, "He does look good in it."

"Thank you Lightning," Connor said before turning to Spitfire, "Your sister's nice."

Spitfire narrowed her eyes and looked at Connor, "Somepony will be sleeping on the sofa tonight if they don't behave themselves."

"Alright I'll be good."

"Yes you will."

Connor finished his toast and was offered some more breakfast by Stormy Flare, this time she offered Equestria's own Shredded Wheat. Connor had the traditional three with plenty of milk and sugar.

"When are you headed into Cloudsdale?" asked Hawker.

"For around half eleven," replied Connor, "Arrive early and get ready before the masses descend upon us."

"How does it feel to have a plushie of you made?"

"Odd, but if foals get enjoyment out of having plushies of me then so be it."

Hawker smirked, "I think I may get one."

Everyone else at the table raised an eyebrow.

"Why?" asked Spitfire.

"Just to annoy you," he replied grinning.

Connor sighed, "When you say that I get the feeling my sister will get one as well."

Spitfire laughed, "Yeah she definitely will. She'll display it in her shop for the whole of Equestria to see."

"Are you close to your sister?" asked Stormy Flare.

Connor sighed, "Not as much as I'd like to be. Even though we get on great since our reunion, I still feel as though we've missed out on twenty five years of growing up together."

Everyone felt a lump in their throat. Hawker sympathised with Connor, he was very close to his twin sister and he couldn't imagine what growing up without her was like.

Connor continued speaking, "I can't help but wonder what my life would have been like had my mother not appeared in my human world. Would I be dating Spitfire? Would I be friends with the Princesses and the Elements of Harmony? would I be part of the Wonderbolts?"

"I wish I had the answers for you Connor," Avro said sympathetically, "All I can say is not to dwell on it. What happened happened. You've got yourself a good job, great friends and best of all, a special somepony."

Just then Connor felt Spitfire's hoof on his hand. He turned his heads to her and she gave him a kiss on the cheek.

"Yeah, I do."


Spitfire, her family and Connor touched down outside the Hug-A-Pony toy store. There was a long queue of colts and fillies with their parents, with a few Earth Ponies and Unicorns among them. The eyes of the foals lit up as soon as they saw their heroes and they immediately began cheering and waving. Connor and Spitfire returned with a wave of their own as they made their way towards the store entrance.

The workers opened the store and let the two in along with Spitfire's family. As they went in they saw rows upon rows of two feet high Connor plushies just waiting for a new home. As he was looking around taking everything in, he heard the voice of a familiar mare.

"Hi Connor."

"Hi Cara. Come to get a plushie of me?"

"Of course, how could I resist having a plushie of my baby brother?"

Connor laughed, "I heard you've made a business deal with this place."

Cara nodded, "Yes and it's a good deal for all involved. I get permission to sell Wonderbolt related Hug-A-Pony plushies in my fudge store and in return this place gets to sell my Wonderbolt related fudge. It's an even deal."

"Sounds good. I hope it goes well. Speaking of plushies, I bet you'll get the four foot plushie of me should they be made."

Cara grinned like a Cheshire cat and nodded her head vigorously.

The store ponies spent a few more minutes setting up getting ready in time for the later than usual opening, making sure as many Connor plushies as possible were on display. Connor went over to were a table had been set up where he would sign Wonderbolt memorabilia and meet his fans. Every foal who bought a Connor plushie, or more likely their parents, got a signed photo of Connor in his Wonderbolt flight-suit.

His wings were twitching slightly due to nerves but he was on the whole looking forward to the event.

The time had come and the staff opened the doors. Colts and fillies flooded in and every single one that came in went for the Connor plushies with a few picking up other plushies also, most notably ones of Spitfire.

It wan't long before foals rushed over to Connor's table with plushies of him in hoof, all of them looking very excited.

"Hiya Mr Connor," said one particularly exited colt, "I'm really excited to meet you."

Connor couldn't help but smile. Who wouldn't feel all gooey inside at the sight of excited children clearly in awe of their idols.

"I'm excited to see you as well. Are you enjoying yourself?"

"Yeah a real lot. I've been waiting since forever to meet you," The colt replied with a beaming smile.

"How do you like the plushie?"

"It's awesome, it looks so much like you."

Connor laughed as he signed the photo of him and handed it to the colt, "Here you are, enjoy your plushie."

"I will do Mr Connor, it's been super awesome meeting you."

Connor extended his fist, "It's been nice meeting you too. Hoofbump?"

Connor extended his fist and bumped it against the colt's hoof. The colt giggled and ran back to his parents, clearly in jovial spirits as he hugged his Connor plushie. Connor turned his attention back to the queue in front of him. Next in line was a small filly who almost bounced up to the table in excitement.

She, like the many that followed were all over the moon at meeting Connor. After a couple of hours of meeting and greeting foals Connor was just about to break for dinner when a familiar looking colt turned up.

"Connor!"

"Swift Wind!"

"Hiya Connor," Swift Wind said excitedly holding a Connor plushie, "My parents brought me today to get the plushie of you."

"I thought you'd be getting one."

"It looks so super awesome," he squeed hugging it tightly.

Connor signed the photo of him and handed it to Swift Wind.

"Thank you Connor."

"You're welcome."

Just then Swift Winds' parents came up to the table, having been looking elsewhere in the store.

"Hi Blossom, hi Thunder."

"Hi Connor," Thunder replied, "I see Swift is excited to see you again."

"He usually is."

Swift Wind's eyes lit up like he'd remembered something, "Mum, Dad you have to ask him."

Connor was confused. Ask what? He looked at the small family and saw they were quietly talking amongst themselves. Swift Wind looked nervous about something. Blossom, however, walked up to the table.

"Connor, Swift Wind was wondering if you would like to come round for tea one evening. He would ask himself but, as you can see. He's a little nervous," she said whispering the last part.

Connor laughed a little, "I know that feeling. Swift Wind."

Swift Wind slowly walked up to Connor, "Yes?"

"I'd love to come round for tea one evening," he said with a smile.

Swift Wind grin lit up the room, "OH MY GOSH THAT IS SO SUPER AWESOME!"

"Can Spitfire come to?" asked Connor.

Swift Wind gasped in excitement and nodded his head vigorously. He then practically dragged his mother over to the till to pay for the plushie, leaving Connor with Thunder.

"He looks up to you," Thunder said, "You mean a lot to him."

"I'm not sure why though, I haven't really done anything to earn his adoration."

"Don't be daft Connor. You saved his birthday and he got to meet his heroes, and believe me he was truly devastated when he found out you were in hospital."

"I suppose so. I'm just not used to having this kind of attention. Back on Earth, outside of my own family I was pretty much ignored."

"I understand, but Swift Wind and many other foals have taken a shine to you. Even before you officially joined the Wonderbolts they liked you, remember outside your sister's fudge shop?"

"Yeah, that was a good day. Swift Wind's 10th birthday as well."

"He enjoyed himself that day. He talked about you for days afterwards. Anyway, it seems they're ready so I'll have to go. We'll send a message to your HQ to let you know when the best time to have you round is."

"I look forward to it."

"Likewise. See you later Connor," Thunder said extending a hoof.

"See you later," Connor replied shaking his hoof.


It was late afternoon and Connor and Spitfire were leaving the store after a long day of entertaining foals. Hug-A-Pony had an excellent sales day. They estimate they had around a thousand sales making them a tidy profit. The duo met with Spitfire's family again. They told Connor they'd like to see him again and they were pleased that he made Spitfire happy, and that they didn't have to worry about her now she was with him. They parted on good terms and headed back to their respective homes, Spitfire;s siblings each having their own place.

Connor enjoyed himself, not as much as the colts and fillies though he guessed. Foals weren't the only ones to buy a Connor plushie. Apart from Cara, there were quite a few adult ponies who bought Connor plushies. And a few, slightly embarrassed, stallions who bought plushies of the Princesses. One stallion who bought a Celestia plushie caught the eye of a cute mare he'd had his eye on, but was too shy to ask out. The mare in question saw the stallion and saw right through the lie that the plushie wasn't for him. Long story short, the stallion now has a date to look forward to. And a new Celestia plushie. Win win for him.

"So Milkshake, we're we headed to now?" Connor asked stretching his arm and wings.

"We need to pick up a few things from Pricecutters then we'll head home if you like."

"Sure. What do we need from the shop?"

"Milk, sugar, tea, butter, chocolate digestives, fig rolls, shortbread, bread, ham plus a few other things."

"We could have a look and see what wines they have if you like?" he suggested as he placed his messenger bag around his waist.

"Why not, a bottle of wine tonight sounds nice. Are we watching another film tonight?"

"Yep. There's another one I want to show you. It's called Zulu and it's based on true events that occurred in my nations' past."

"Can't wait," she replied giving Connor a small kiss on the cheek.


LATER THAT EVENING

A freshly showered Connor sat down on the sofa getting the film ready. They had both had their tea, beef noodle soup, and here now making themselves comfortable. Spitfire was pouring the two of them a glass of dry white wine each. The living room curtains were closed and the room was illuminated by the wall lights giving the room a soft, warm glow.

"It was a good day today," Connor commented, "The first of many public relations events I presume?"

"Oh yes. There'll be plenty more days like this to come," she replied hoofing Connor a glass of wine, "Many many more."

"I look forward to them."

"Same here. They'll certainly be more interesting days with you around."

"Thank you very much my little Sugar Sprinkles."

A mischievous smirk adorned her face, "You're welcome Stiff Wings."


BACK IN EARTH

Alexander walked back to his bedroom after having yet another late night meeting with authorities. Since Connor's disappearance there had been........developments. The three daughters he had with Star Light, or Svetlana as she was called as a human, where now living with him again. Only this time they were under 24/7 protection.

A few weeks ago the three girls experienced excruciating pains in their backs and long story short, had grown a pair of wings each.

Just like Connor, though they obviously didn't know that.

After the hospitals they were staying at were 'persuaded' to remain silent, they were transferred to a secure facility on the RAF base Alexander previously worked at. They then moved back in with Alexander, their father. They were quite surprised when they saw their mother.

Now back in pony form.

It certainly made the reason of their growing of wings more believable, and make a lot more sense.

None of the family were in trouble and they weren't being held prisoner. The protection was simply to prevent unauthorised personnel from discovering Sveti/Star Light and the girls and exposing them to danger.

The house they were staying at was specially built not long after Star Lights arrival. It was in the countryside away from prying eyes but close enough to the air base to allow for a quick response should one be needed. Naturally, the sisters all demanded an explanation in response Star Light retold them the events of twenty five years ago.

After being found in his back yard, Alexander, then a 30 year old Squadron Leader, alerted his superiors. It was clear she was terrified out of her wits and when Alexander and his superiors approached her she was crying and begging the, from her perspective, 'scary apes' to 'not hurt my baby'. After an investigation and questioning of the still-in-pony-form mare, conclude she is no threat, Alexander is tasked with her well-being. A medical examination confirmed her and her baby were healthy which helped her relax a lot.

An investigation revealed nothing into how she arrived, meaning they had no idea to get her back home. She was distraught over not being able to go home and losing her wings. Being a pilot, Alexander understands how she felt. After a few more years in the RAF Alexander later took early retirement with the rank of Group Captain. He also received a generous amount of financial support from the government to help with her upkeep and well-being.

Shortly after arriving on Earth, she transformed through unknown means into a 27-year old woman. After she became human, she was given all necessary documentation and what not and took the name Svetlana. A name of Slavic origin meaning 'Light'. Alexander ultimately fell in love with Star Light married her. It was difficult for Star Light to move on from Vulcan and Cara but she finally accepted what had happened and decided to move on. They had three daughters together and decided to raise Connor, born human, without telling him of his true nature.

They didn't like hiding it from him, but they felt it was necessary. Besides, would he have believed them had they told him the truth?

Maybe they'll never know.

Alexander looked at his bed to find Sveti laying on the bed having her mane and tail brushed by two of her daughters. The third daughter was looking through photos of Star Light's first days on Earth. Star Light wasn't bothered either way if people called her Sveti or Star Light.

"Sveti darling, how are you?"

"All over the place. Considering what's happened to us I can only assume the same has happened to Connor."

"He'll be fine Sveti, he can take care of himself. Remember when he dealt with those bullies?"

Sveti giggled, "Yeah. I can imagine Vulcan would approve if he found out."

"We'll see them again Sveti, maybe these transformations are a sign that you'll return to Equestria."

"I hope so," she replied before realising how that could be interpreted, "Not that I don't like it here. I do, Earth is an amazing place. But Equestria is my home, and I still have family there."

She looked down at the photo underneath her hoof, "Cara, who had to grow up without a mother."

Star Light started to cry. She was immediately hugged by her daughters, "Don't cry mum, dad's right. Everything that's happened could very well be signs that we'll go to Equestria."

"We?" Star Light repeated, "You would want to go to Equestria?"

"Why not? It's not like we can have a normal life here anymore. Besides.....I think we'd all like to see Connor again."

There was a short agreeable silence as the thought of seeing their son/brother again crossed their minds. They all missed him, especially his colourful and blunt opinions on football referees.

"I wonder what he's doing now?" said Star Light.


BACK IN EQUESTRIA

"Connor," Spitfire said, "That was amazing."

"I know."

A few seconds later, the two fell asleep.

Chapter - 24 - The Garden Party

View Online

Connor was once again stood in front of a full size mirror, zipping up the front if his flight suit. It had been a week since he met Spitfire's parents and, after a rocky start left on good terms. He was preparing for the Garden Party he and Spitfire had been invited to by Fancypants. Though this wasn't an official engagement he was still feeling a little tense. Fancypants was an influential noble and making a bad impression at his mansion would be detrimental to his own public standing, and by extension the Wonderbolts as well.

"Looking good Sleepy head."

Connor turned around, "As do you Milkshake."

Spitfire, also in her flight suit, walked into the room.

"Are you nearly ready, we don't want to be late."

"Yeah I'm ready. I'll just get my goggles."

Connor walked over to his bedside table, took his goggles fastened them around his head; resting on top of his head.

"Ready now?"

"Ready."

The two of them walked out of the house and took to the air in direction of Canterlot. Connor had improved his flying significantly and was flying faster and more steadily than he was a few weeks ago. His wings did still stiffen mid flight occasionally much to the amusement of Spitfire.

They weren't flying too long before they reached Canterlot. They touched down in the Central Plaza and walked the rest of the way, attracting a few stares in the process. Spitfire got distracted looking at some jewellery in a store window leaving Connor to look around as he waited for her to finish. As he did he noticed a small filly with a Connor plushie. As she walked along with her parents she looked up and saw him.

She stopped still right in the middle of the street, looking rapidly between her Connor plushie and the real Connor as if to confirm what she is seeing. Connor, smiling at the display walked over to the filly unicorn who had now attracted the attention of her parents. And Spitfire.

"Hey there," Connor said as he crouched down, making himself less physically imposing on the little filly, "I see you have a particularly interesting plushie."

The filly's mouth flopped up and down a few times as her brain tried to process meeting Connor, "Y-y-y-y-yeah, my parents bought it for me yesterday. I was going to get one on the first day but I fell ill. I really wanted to meet you and get a signed picture of you but I was sick so I couldn't."

The little filly's bottom lip started trembling and her eyes teared up. Connor felt a lump in his throat. Like anyone with a heart he didn't enjoy seeing children upset. Fortunately for the filly, Connor was prepared. He reached into his bag and pulled out a photo of himself and a pen.

"What's your name?"

The filly looked up and saw the photo and pen. She gasped in surprise and in an instant went from upset to jubilant.

"Twinkle Star!"

Connor wrote on the picture and handed it to Twinkle Star. She took it in her magic and read out what Connor wrote.

"To Twinkle Star, sorry you were ill. I'm glad you're better now. From Connor the Wonderbolt."

"Like it?"

Twinkle Star had a massive cheery smile on her face as she jumped up and down on the spot, "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"

She jumped forward and hugged Connor as tight as she could around his neck while her parents looked on happily. After a few excited seconds she let go and went over to her parents and showed them what Connor had given her.

"Thank you for that," her father said, "She was distraught when she was unable to go but I'm pretty sure this will more than make up for it."

"No problem, glad I could help."

Twinkle Star waved goodbye to Connor and Spitfire and went off with her parents much happier than earlier. Connor turned back to Spitfire.

"So Milkshake, shall we continue?"

"Yeah, we best not keep Fancy waiting."

They duo arrived a few minutes later without delay and came to a large mansion reminiscent of the stately homes owned by the English aristocracy. When Connor got a better view of the mansion he couldn't help but notice it looked quite similar to Burton Agnes Hall. They approached the main gates and showed the guard their invitations. The guard nodded and waved them through.

Connor and Spitfire entered the mansion grounds and walked up the gravel path to the main entrance, where Fancy was welcoming his guests.

"Nervous?" asked Spitfire.

"No."

"Liar."

"Shush you, or there'll be no ear scratches or belly rubs for a month."

Spitfire gasped, "You wouldn't dare."

"Try me Sugar Sprinkles."

Spitfire pouted for a couple of seconds before bursting into laughter and playfully punching Connor in the arm.

"I'll get you one day Stiff Wings."

The two walked a little further until they were at the front door.

"Connor, Spitfire a pleasure you could come," Fancy said shaking Connor's hand and Spitfire's hoof.

"It was nice of you to invite us," Connor replied.

"Think nothing of it dear boy."

"Are there any more ponies to come?" asked Connor.

"Only a few. Everypony else is in the main reception room. Do go in and enjoy yourselves."

"Thank you."

Connor and Spitfire went in an followed one of the butlers to the reception room. There was around a dozen ponies in the room. All of whom had their eyes on him and Spitfire.

Connor nervously walked towards them with a not-nervous Spitfire at his side.

There was an uncomfortable silence until a familiar voice sounded out.

"Connor, Spitfire so glad you could make it."

A unicorn mare walked into view wearing a silver ball gown.

"Fleur, it's nice to see you again. You look lovely"

"As charming as ever I see. Spitfire I may just have to take him form you."

Spitfire and Fleur shared a laugh at Connor's expense.

"Forgive us Connor, we're only teasing you."

"You're fine don't worry. I can take a little rib bashing."

"Would either of you like a drink?"

"Please."

"Then allow me to show you the drinks table."

The other guests wee back to mingling amongst themselves whilst Fleur lead Spitfire and Connor to the drinks table. There was a wide range to choose from including whiskeys, gins, vodkas etc. But just as interestingly, Connor eyed something else. Something that looked very similar to something from Earth.

"Seen something you like?" asked Fleur.

"What are they?" he asked pointing at gold foil wrapped balls.

Fleur looked at where he was pointing and smiled, "Those are chocolates called 'Chocolat de roche'."

"Rock chocolate," Connor replied.

"Yes," Fleur replied, her eyes lighting up, "Do you have these where you come from?"

"We have something called Ferrero Rocher. They consist of a whole roasted hazelnut encased in a thin wafer shell filled with hazelnut chocolate and covered in milk chocolate and chopped hazelnuts. They were named after the man who invented them, Michele Fererro. Rocher is French for rock, or boulder. Given what the chocolates look like is aptly named."

"That's what these are. I assume you like them?"

Connor rubbed the back of his neck, "Yyyyyeah, you could say that."

"You built pyramids out of them didn't you?"

Connor nodded, "Guilty as charged."

"Well feel free to help yourself, but try to leave some for other guests."

"I'll try to."

Fleur left Connor and Spitfire to help themselves.

"Want anything in particular?" Connor asked Spitfire.

"I'll have a brandy."

"Sure."

Connor poured himself and Spitfire a brandy each as Spitfire helped herself to some of the 'Chocolat de roche'. Connor watched her as she expertly unwrapped the foil.

"Something wrong?" she asked.

"How do you unwrap something like that with hooves?"

Spitfire went quiet for a moment as she contemplated the question.

"I.....don't know. I just do it. I've never really thought about it."

"Since I came to Equestria I've always been puzzled how you all grab things with hooves when you don't have the 'hoof appendages' necessary to grab things with."

"Yeah, I can see why you think that."

Conner handed Spitfire her brandy and helped himself to some Chocolat de roche. He unwrapped the foil and it looked almost the same as Ferrero Rocher. He placed it in his mouth and began to eat it.

As soon as he did he experienced a flash back as the world around him evaporated. He remembered coming home one day after falling off his bike an grazing his knee. It hurt him a lot and after bandaging his knee his mother gave him a Ferrero Rocher to try.

He immediately fell in love with them.

The heavenly hazlenut filling, crunchy wafer shell and silky milk chocolate made him feel all gooey on the inside.

After that day he always made sure he had some in his bedroom for quick access should the need arise. Every Christmas and Birthday he got a 24 piece gift box from his parents. Some other relatives got him smaller boxes also.

"Connor."

He was truly grateful he wasn't allergic to nuts.

"Connor."

He had to find out where to buy these Chocolat de roche from.

"Connor!"

Connor nearly jumped in fright at the sudden noise. He could feel a hoof touching him.

It was Spitfire's.

"Something wrong?" he asked.

"You zoned out after eating the chocolate."

"Oh.....well it reminded me of a time long ago."

"Getting all misty eyed over chocolate eh? You big lovable romantic. How did I ever manage without you?"

Connor smiled, "I could ask you the same thing."

The two kissed each other on the lips and gazed longingly into each others' eyes.

"Would you two like to be alone?"

The two of them broke the kiss and looked to the source of the voice and saw Fleur standing a few feet away looking bemused at the sight. The two love birds blushed, fortunately for Spitfire her flight suit covered it.

"Sorry," said Connor.

Fleur giggled, "Don't be. It's so nice to see young love blossoming into something truly wonderful."

Spitfire gave a loving nuzzle to Connor, who in return gave her a small ear scratch.

"I just wanted to tell you dinner will be starting shortly as all the guests are here."

"OK, what are we having?"

"Starters it's Vegetable Soup with home made Prench baguette, the main course is Pan Fried Chicken Breast Stuffed with Mozzarella and wrapped in Smoked Cured Bacon. For desert we're having Rich Chocolate Pot with Chantilly Cream and Raspberry Sauce."

"Sounds great, but I thought ponies we're vegetarian?"

"Some are, but we enjoy meat every now and again."

"That's a relief. Regarding the dessert, would it be possible to leave out the raspberry sauce for me please?"

"That's fine. I'll inform the chef, he won't be offended and neither will I or Fancy. In fact, one of the other guests has requested the same."

Connor breathed a sigh of relief, "Thank you, it's just that I don't particularly like it. I don't want to seem ungrateful but-"

"Connor it's fine, honestly, don't worry."

"Thanks."

"You're welcome, now why don't you both come through to the dining room."

Connor and Spitfire followed Fleur through into the adjoining room. Inside was a large table where all the other guests were sitting themselves down. Connor and Spitfire sat themselves down midway down the table to Fancy's left hand side. He was sat at the head of the table with Fleur sat at the opposite end.

"My fellow Lords and Ladies, allow me to introduce you all to Connor Wakefield and I'm sure you're all familiar with Group Captain Spitfire."

"Lords, Ladies, a pleasure to meet you," Connor replied.

"A pleasure Mr Wakefield," replied one if the noble mares.

"Tell us about your job as Wonderbolts General Manager," said another noble.

The Wonderbolts made the decision to make adjustments to Connor's job and changed his job title to General Manager under the guidance of Luna.

"Well, as you can guess by the title I'm responsible for the planning, delegating, coordinating, staffing, organizing, and decision making to attain desirable profit making results for the Wonderbolts. I don't decide on new flyers though, that's solely for Spitfire and her senior officers."

The nobles murmured amongst themselves in approval which Fancy added to.

"Connor is also the personal student of Princess Luna."

The nobles went wide eyed.

"You are the personal student of a Princess?"

Connor nodded.

"I must say I'm impressed, what is it you are a student of?"

"Business Management. She's giving me lessons on economics, accounting, finance, marketing, law and pony resource management amongst others. I'm studying in tandem with my job and hopefully I'll earn a Bachelors degree in Business Management from the University of Canterlot."

"Impressive. How long will it take for you to earn your degree?"

"Three to four years depending on how quickly I complete each course unit."

"Is the Princess your only tutor?"

"Yes. The Princess has a Doctorate in the subject as well as another Doctorate in astrophysics and a Master's in Advanced Mathematics."

The assembled ponies went wide eyed. They knew the Princess was intelligent but didn't know she had two Phd's and a Masters Degree. Their stunned silence continued for a few more moments until the side doors opened revealing butlers bringing the starters.

The Vegetable Soup and Prench baguette was placed in front of him.

It smelled fantastic.

Connor waited until everyone else had their soup placed in front of them and Fancy had begun eating his before starting his own. He made sure to be extra careful and not slurp or spill some soup on himself.

It would be awkward in the extreme if he were to make such a blunder.

Starters went by fairly quickly with everyone finishing their soup and bread. There was around a five minute wait before the main course arrived.

The Pan Fried Chicken Breast Stuffed with Mozzarella and wrapped in Smoked Cured Bacon.

Connor nearly salivated at the mere thought of such food.

The doors opened once more and immediately Connor could smell the heavenly food. His meal was placed in front of him and like before, waited until everyone else got theirs before starting. As soon as he cut the chicken, the column of steam billowed out, Connor's face feeling the heat of the chicken. He was so engrossed he didn't realise the massive grin he had on his face.

Nor did he realise Fleur had noticed, who gave a smirk and a wink to Fancy.

There was a bit of chatter during the main course. Mainly about current events in and around Canterlot.

The meal was absolutely divine, cooked to perfection and could probably tempt a vegetarian to try it. The portion was generously sized as well. More so than the other ponies. Fancy must have been switched on because he seemed to answer before Connor asked about it. Apparently Fancy had a larger portion arranged for Connor due to his larger size compared to ponies. Connor thought this might be seen as insulting to the other but they assured him it was standard practice to adjust portion in accordance to each species needs. A Minotaur for instance would get an even larger portion than Connor due to their huge size.

Eventually it was time for desert. As requested, Connor and another noble had their desserts without the raspberry sauce. Like the previous courses, the dessert was also excellently well made and prepared. The chefs clearly know their stuff and Fancy knows where to find them.

Dessert was soon finished but the evening was not. Now was the time to retire to the lounge for after dinner drinks.

Unsurprisingly Connor was interested in it. Especially the drinking part.

The butlers had cleared the dining table away and the guests and hosts made their way to the lounge for drinks.

And Chocolat de roche if Connor had anything to do with it.

He sat down on a very comfortable sofa with Spitfire next to him. His wings acted like a cushion as he leant back making himself comfortable. Everyone soon got talking and Connor was a few times asked for his opinions on some matters. In one instance regarding railways he suggested replacing semaphore signals with multi-coloured aspect lights. He explained they'd be easier to see in the dark and the differences between the different type of signals e.g. two, three and four aspect signalling.

The nobles requested Connor write out a detailed proposal to the National Railway Board to look into the possibility of implementing his suggestions, as they were impressed with what they heard. One of the nobles has a seat on the NRB and could persuade the other board members to make the changes but they would need strong evidence and a lot of convincing.

As the evening wore on the topic of music came up.

Spitfire casually mentioned that Connor could play the piano.

Though Connor put on a smile, he did his best to convey a 'dirty' look to Spitfire as if to say 'no more snuggles for a month'.

"Would you be able to play us something from your world?" asked Fancy pointing his hoof towards the Lounge Grand Piano.

Connor sighed internally. Whilst he could play the piano he wasn't really great at performing in front of others. Or more accurately he didn't like to. But he did't want to appear as rude to Fancy. He had invited Connor over in good faith and it would be impolite to offend Fancy. Especially in his own home.

"Yeah OK. Let me just think of something to play," he said as he sat down on the stool.

He picked the tune to play. One of his favourites.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trNolL4i6hw

Spitfire and the nobles watched on in awe as Connor's fingers effortlessly danced across the keys.

As soon as he ended there was a stomping of hooves applauding his performance. Spitfire gave him a congratulatory kiss on the cheek.

"Bravo dear boy, that was simply marvellous."

"Indeed Mr Wakefield, have you been playing long?"

"Since I was around five I think. Had to practice a lot though."

"Well it seems to have paid off nicely considering how well you played," Fancy replied.

The other nobles murmured in agreement. So much so, Fancy got an idea.

"I say dear boy, would you be interested in ever playing at the occasional social events I hold?"

"Sure, so long as it doesn't disrupt my studies I can't see a problem."

"Don't worry Connor, I wouldn't dare ask you sacrifice your education for my or anypony else. I'll be sure to give you plenty of notice so you could prepare for the occasion."

"Well, in that case yeah. I'll do it."

"Splendid. We can go over the fine details another time at your convenience."

The evening went on a while longer with Connor playing a few more tunes. The nobles also approached Connor in regards to sponsorship deals. Many had significant shares or were outright owners of many different companies and were very interested in sponsoring the Wonderbolts. Connor agreed to arrange proper meetings to it could be discussed in more detail, under the guidance of Luna.

The hour was late and it was time to leave. The guests slowly made their way out, making sure to thank Fancy and Fleur for a wonderful evening, not forgetting to give their compliments to Connor as well. Before leaving however, Fleur grabbed Connor's attention.

"Connor dear did you enjoy yourself this evening?"

"Very much so, thanks a lot for inviting me."

"Think nothing of it dear," replied Fleur, "Oh and I have a little something for you."

Fleur lit up her horn and in front of Connor appeared a small box. Connor held the box and opened it. Inside it was filled with Chocolat de roche. They were stacked neatly inside eight by six by five giving a total of 240 chocolates.

Connor was speechless.

"A little pony told me you like them," Fleur said giggling.

Connor's mouth flopped up and down a few moments before managing to form proper words, "Thanks, Fleur. I really appreciate it."

"You're welcome dear," she replied giving him a kiss in the cheek.

Connor's brain froze and he went as red as a beetroot.

"I think you broke him dear," Fancy said.

Fancy giggled again, "Spitfire you really do have quite a stallion."

"Indeed I do," she replied turning to Connor, "Come on lover boy it's time we were going."

Connor nodded meekly, "Thanks again for having us here Fancy, Fleur."

"You're welcome dear boy. I'd be glad to have you over again."

"I'll second that," added Fleur.

Fancy and Fleur waved goodbye to Connor and Spitfire as they left the mansion and made their way up the garden path. It was getting late and neither Connor or Spitfire could be bothered to fly back to Cloudsdale, so Connor thought of asking a friend who lives nearby if they could stop at theirs for the night.

"Come on Milkshake, let's go to the castle. See if Celestia will let us stop the night."

"Sure, I can't see her refusing but she might be in bed now. Luna will be up though."

Connor and Spitfire walked towards the castle, the streets empty of all but a few ponies. Connor and Spitfire approached the guards on duty at the main entrance.

"Here to see Celestia or Luna, which ever one's available," Connor said to them.

"Princess Celestia has retired to her bedroom for the night but Princess Luna has begun Night Court. She should be in the throne room."

"Thanks, we'll see her if that's OK."

Connor and Spitfire walked in and made their way to the throne room. The Thestral guards on duty outside saw Connor approaching.

"Hey Connor, here to see the Princess?"

"Yep, is she free?"

"Yes, just go on in."

The Thestrals opened the doors, allowing Connor and Spitfire to enter.

"Thanks guys."

"You're welcome."

Hearing the doors open, Luna looked up and saw a familiar biped that looked remarkably like her private student.

"Connor, Spitfire, it is a delight to see you both here tonight."

"Likewise Professor Luna," Connor replied with a cheeky smile.

Luna looked unamused, "Connor we have discussed this. If you keep calling me Professor I will have you chained to the dungeon walls and deprive you of Jammie Dodgers for ever and ever."

Connor gasped, "You big meanie, you wouldn't dare."

"Try me my little human," Luna replied scowling.

After a couple of seconds they both started laughing.

"You're a funny mare Luna."

"Likewise, you are a funny stallion Connor."

Spitfire looked confused, "Am I missing something?"

"Oh it's just a little teacher/student thing between us. Even though Luna is technically a Professor, she doesn't like being called that. Especially by me."

"Indeed. You are my friend Connor. It does not feel right being addressed in such a formal manner by you."

"You've gotten better with your language," observed Connor.

Luna smiled, "We have thou to thank for that."

They both started laughing again, Spitfire looked at them both like they both have gone mad.

"It is good to share a joke with you Connor. But to the matter at hoof, what can I do for you?"

"We were just wondering if we could stop here for the night. We're both too tired to fly back to Cloudsdale."

"Certainly, the room you both used in the past is free to use. I will have a guard escort you there."

"Thanks Luna."

"It is no problem Connor."

"Night Luna."

"Goodnight Connor, goodnight Spitfire."

"Goodnight Luna."


Connor and Spitfire were now on the guest bedroom. It was only now Connor realised he overlooked something.

"Connor are you coming to bed?"

"Yeah I'm coming."

Connor started getting in to bed.

"Aren't you going to take your flight suit off?"

"What flight suit?"

"The bright blue and yellow, skin tight flight suit you're wearing that perfectly shows off your body?"

"Oh that flight suit, no I think I'll keep it on."

"Connor, as fantastic as you look in it you can't sleep in it. Especially when you've been wearing it outside."

"Well I've got nothing to sleep in."

"Then sleep naked."

"I can't do that."

"Why not? I do."

"Yeah but you're a pony."

"So are you.....sort of."

Connor was still reluctant.

"OK I'll make you a deal. You sleep naked and I'll make sure you don't get cold."

Within a minute Connor was out of his flight suit and in bed with Spitfire.

"So, how do you plan on keeping me from getting cold?"

"These might help."

Connor looked to see what she was holding.

He promptly went wide eyed at what she was holding in each fore hoof.

"Are they...." he started nervously.

"Hoof cuffs?" she finished for him, grinning mischievously.

Connor gulped. Spitfire pounced.

Chapter - 25 - Kinky Antics

View Online

The warm summer sun rose of the green and pleasant land of Equestria. Birds were singing, ponies were getting up and getting ready for the day and postponies were delivering the post. All was calm in the world.

In one of the guest bedrooms of the castle however, all was not calm.

"WHERE IS IT? WHERE IS IT?"

Spitfire was frantically searching the room for a small, but very critical component.

"Didn't you think to put them some place safe before you handcuffed me to the bed?" he asked accusingly.

"Don't start Connor!"

"I'm not starting, I'm just saying. You're not the one handcuffed to the bed."

"Connor! Zip it!"

Connor flinched. Connor and Spitfire had had a couple of arguments before but never had she told him to be quiet in such a harsh manner. Spitfire though, realised her mistake straight away. Turning around she looked to the bed and saw Connor avoiding eye contact and clearly upset at her outburst.

She flew over to the bed and wrapped her hooves around his neck, hugging him.

"I'm sorry Connor. I didn't mean to snap like that."

Connor, still feeling a lump in his throat, quietly answered, "Don't worry about it. I shouldn't have spoken like I did."

Spitfire placed a hoof on his lips, "Shush you. I reacted inappropriately."

"But-"

"No buts Mister. Or I'll forget about finding the keys."

"Yes ma'am."

The two kissed each other for a few seconds. Their kiss was interrupted by a knock at the door.

The two kinky love birds looked at each other in horror.

"Oh shit!" exclaimed Connor harshly but quietly.

"What do we do?" asked Spitfire.

Connor thought quickly and spread his wings out, hiding the handcuffs chaining him to the bed. A quick look and nod to Spitfire confirmed he was ready. There was another knock at the door.

"Connor, it's Celestia. Can I come in?"

All colour drained from his face. Of all the ponies who could come knocking it had to be the one pony who owned the place, and as such could come and go whenever she so pleased.

"Yeah, Spitfire's opening the door now."

Spitfire opened the door and Celestia walked in. Connor and Spitfire shared a very nervous look as she closed the door.

"Good morning Connor, Spitfire. How are you both this morning?"

"We're good!" Connor blurted out quickly.

"Yeah, really good. Never felt better," Spitfire added just as quickly as she bolted next to Connor.

Celestia looked at her two guests and observed their behaviour and she couldn't ignore Connor's outstretched wings.

"Connor why are your wings stretched out?"

"My wings? Oh I'm just stretching them. Don't ponies do that?"

"They do but usually after they get out of bed. Are you getting out of bed?"

"I will do, but I thought I'd have a lie in."

"A lie in? On such a lovely day? Oh come now Connor, get out of bed and join me for breakfast," Celestia insisted with a bright and cheery smile that made it difficult to refuse. Under normal circumstances.

"I'd love to but....erm...well...you see, the thing is...."

"Yes, my little human?" she asked with the same smile.

"The thing is I was going to...."

"Get a bath with me!" Spitfire shouted out unconvincingly.

"Yeah that. I was going to get a bath with Spitfire."

Celestia was enjoying this. It was clear to her they were both up to something, or had been if the smell is anything to go by.

"Well in that case I shall wait until you finish your bathing. Do not keep me waiting too long though, I have morning court to attend at nine o'clock so we we'll have to start breakfast at no later than eight thirty."

"Will do Celestia. We'll see you at eight thirty, at the latest."

"I shall see you then my little human."

Celestia turned around and began to walk out of the room when she abruptly stopped and turned back around facing Connor.

"Oh yes, I forgot. I found these in the hallway, do you know what they are for?"

Celestia levitated two small items in front of Connor and Spitfire, two keys that were clearly the keys to the handcuffs. Connor instinctively reached forward to reach them but immediately felt the handcuffs keeps them in place. There was a quiet but still noticeable clink as the metal handcuffs rattled against the metal bedposts.

"Do you know who they belong to Connor?"

Connor shook his head, "I haven't a clue whose they are? Spitfire, do you know?"

Spitfire, noting Connor's facial expressions, nervously shook her head.

"Sorry, I have no idea."

Celestia sighed, "That is a pity, I had hoped to find their owner but if I cannot find them then I must leave this in the Lost Property Office at the local constabulary."

Connor and Spitfire looked at each other with great worry. Getting the keys back from the Police would require stating the keys' purpose and proving they belong to them by showing them the hoofcuffs. The papers would have a field day if they got wind of Connor and Spitfires' kinky antics. They had to think quickly to get the keys. Fortunately, Connor's brain was firing on all cylinders.

"I could look after them Celestia. I'd make sure they were returned to their owner."

"I'm not sure Connor, it is not that I do not trust you but there are procedures and protocol to follow in regards to lost property."

"True, but surely myself and Spitfire could find the owner without involving the police. They are busy enough as it is and besides, as Wonderbolts surely we carry some degree of honesty and trustworthiness."

Celestia smiled and nodded, "Very well. In that case, do you Connor Wakefield give your word as a Wonderbolt to find the owner of these keys and return them at the earliest convenience?"

"I give my word as a Wonderbolt."

"Very well, I entrust these keys to you for safekeeping. Good luck in your search."

"Thank you Celestia."

"You're welcome Connor."

There was a few seconds of silence and no movement.

"Connor are you going to take the keys?"

"Errrrrrr Spitfire be a good mare and take the keys."

"Sure thing."

Spitfire reached out nervously and took the keys out of Celestia magical grip.

"Did you not want to take the keys Connor?"

"I thought letting Spitfire take them would be fair. We're in an equal relationship after all, we share our responsibilities."

"A very mature way of doing things. I shall leave you now."

Celestia turned around and walked to the door, "Why not join me for lunch instead of breakfast, I wouldn't want to ruin your morning bath."

"Thanks Celestia, we'll see you then."

"I shall see you both at lunch then."

Celestia left the room and closed the door. Spitfire immediately bolted over and locked the door. Safe again she flew back the the still handcuffed Connor and layed on his belly.

"So, I suppose I should unlock the cuffs?"

"Please."

Spitfire moved over to unlock one of the cuffs and noticed something unnerving.

"Something wrong Spits"?

Spitfire motioned with her head at an item that was left in full view whilst Celestia was in the room. Connor, looking at where Spitfire motioned, also felt unnerved.

"That was in full view wasn't it?" he asked.

"Yes. Yes it was."

"Do you think she saw it?"

MEANWHILE IN THE CASTLE CORRIDORS

It took all of her regal control for Celestia to not burst into laugher. She did not expect things to turn out like they did. She genuinely did not know what they keys were and did intend to hand them to local police, as protocol requires, but as soon as she entered the room and saw Connor; she connected the dots quickly. She only went in to invite them to breakfast.

Well it seems my guests enjoyed themselves last night. I wonder how long poor Connor has been hoofcuffed to the bed, it must have been all night if they couldn't find the key. That or Spitfire fell asleep before freeing Connor and they only realised this morning.

It was a valiant attempt by Connor though, to hide the fact he was hoofcuffed to the bed. Even if he wasn't, that rather large ball gag was an indication to what they'd been doing.

Celestia chuckled to herself as she went to get her breakfast. Lunch would be an interesting occasion with them wondering if she knows about their kinky activities.

BACK IN THE BEDROOM

"Considering it's Celestia, we should assume she did," Spitfire replied laying back on Connor's belly.

"Spitfire, would you mind?" Connor asked jingling the handcuffs.

Spitfire blinked before realising what he was asking, "Oh sure. Sorry."

Before she unlocked the handcuffs, she looked at the ball gag again.

"Connor, I don't think I properly apologised for snapping at you earlier."

"Don't be daft, I said don't worry about it. Now come on, unlock the cuffs."

Spitfire didn't move.

"Spits, please unlock them."

She looked at the ball gag again before picking it up in her hooves, and putting down the handcuff keys.

"Spits?"

"Like I said, I don't think I apologised properly."

"Milkshake?"

Spitfire looked at Connor. She saw his wings twitching and him starting to get hot and bothered again. Her mischievous smirk sent a chill down Connor's spine.

"Are you sure you want to get up?" she asked as she pressed her muzzle on his nose.

"Yes I am absolutely-"

In a swift move Spitfire shoved the gag into his mouth and fastened it tightly behind his head.

Connor's wings sprang out and became stiffer than ever.

"Get up or kinky sex?"

"Mmphy mhp," he mumbled through the gag.

"Kinky sex?"

Connor nodded meekly.

"As you wish. Now lay back, and let me apologise to you properly."


MANY HOURS LATER

Connor was now out of bed and after a refreshing shower was now back in his Wonderbolt flight-suit from the night before. Spitfire decided to stay naked. After finishing their morning workout routine Spitfire made sure that each of the 'exercise equipment' was safely in her Wonderbolt bag that she accidentally left during her last stay in the room. The hoofcuffs used were expensive top of the range products. They were immune to magic to prevent unicorns from 'escaping', could only be unlocked with keys due to not having a safety latch and were made from titanium. So sawing though them would be useless, let alone it would still leave the problem of having a cuff still locked around the wrist.

"How are you feeling Connor?"

Connor grinned, "I feel great. Thank you again for your 'apology'."

"You're welcome Connor."

The two kissed again before leaving the room. They didn't envy whoever had to go in and change the bedsheets though. They made their way through the castle corridors towards the dining room for lunch with Celestia. Hopefully it would go by without any awkward moments.

Hopefully.

The kinky duo walked into the room where Celestia and Luna were already sitting. Walking towards them, Connor could see the two Princesses with shit eating grins.

Oh bugger.

"Celestia, Luna it's good to see you again," Connor said as he gave them both a hug.

"Likewise Connor," Luna replied trying not to laugh, "Did you sleep well last night?"

Straight in for the kill, bloody hell. I better be sure I don't say anything stupid.

"I slept great."

"Excellent. I am pleased to hear that. Your human mind is mostly immune to my dreamwalking so I would not be able to help you if you were to have a nightmare."

"I'll be fine Luna, don't worry about me. If anything were to happen there's always Spitfire as well."

The two sisters shared a quick look, "Yes, it is always nice to have a special somepony make you feel special."

There was an awkward silence for a few seconds. The silence was broken when a waiter appeared.

"What would you like to eat Connor?"

"Chicken burger and chips please."

"Certainly, and you Spitfire?"

"Tuna baguette and salad please."

"Of course," Celestia replied before turning to the waiter, "Just the usual for myself and Luna."

"Yes ma'am," replied the waiter.

The waiter walked off back to the kitchens with the order in hoof while a maid brought forward a trolley with a large pot of tea and several cups and saucers.

"Would you like a cup of tea Connor?"

"Yes please."

"What about you Spitfire?" Celestia asked.

"Yes please."

Celestia poured out the tea and hoofed over milk and sugar to allow Connor and Spitfire add them at their own discretion.

"Princess, do you have any alcoholic drinks I could have during lunch?"

"Certainly, what would you like?"

"Do you have any brandy? I love the stuff."

"I heard you enjoy stiff drinks," Luna commented offhandedly.

At that moment everyone heard what sounded like liquid being spat out followed by choking. The assembled ponies looked at the only one with a drink in his hands.

"Connor are you OK?" asked Celestia.

A beet red Connor nodded, "Yeah yeah I'm fine, I think the tea just went down the wrong way."

Connor regained his breath and began clearing up the mess with some napkins, trying to avoid eye contact with the sisters. Spitfire's cheeks too went a shade of red. There was an awkward silence as Connor cleaned the mess up. When he finished and poured himself some more tea, Luna broke the silence.

"Apologies Connor, I did not mean to cause that."

"It's alright Luna, no harm done."

There was another awkward silence for a few seconds until Luna again broke it.

"Just for the record I was referring to Spitfire enjoying strong alcoholic beverages when I said she enjoys stiff drinks."

The following silence got even more awkward and Connor and Spitfire's cheeks went redder.

The silence was agonising.

"How was court this morning?" asked Connor trying to break the silence.

"As boring and predictable as ever," replied Celestia sipping her tea.

"Anything in particular you can talk about?"

Celestia rubbed a hoof on her chin in thought, "Ah yes. One petitioner, a noble, wanted a railway line and station built specifically so it would stop outside of his house in the country. Paid for by the taxpayers."

"I'm guessing you declined their request?"

"Indeed. I am not spending five billion bits of tax payers money so he didn't have to walk one mile to the nearest station."

"Haven't you ever been tempted to just smack them for the way they act?"

"Oh my dear little human, you've no idea."

"How do you manage not to after so many years?"

"Lots of tea and cake my little human."

"Sounds good. I may have to do that myself."

Celestia smiled and nodded, "You must, I insist. Though I do recommend not eating my cakes."

"I won't do that Celestia, I learned my lesson last time."

"I should hope so. If you eat my cakes again, next time not only will I pamper you to the most luxurious spa treatment I can think of, I shall also commission Rarity to make you a lovely dress for you to wear, complete with the most sparkly tiara I can find."

Connor felt a chill go up his spine and through his wings, "You're joking."

"Am I?"

Celestia lit up her horn and out of thin air appeared a......sparkly tiara. Connor looked at the ruby encrusted golden tiara and laughed nervously.

"OK.....OK I believe you. Lovely tiara by the way. Pity I'll never wear it....being male you know. Guys don't wear tiaras, they're not our thing."

Connor suddenly felt something grip around his head. He reached up and felt the tiara was resting there.

"I must say, you look lovely in your tiara; Princess Connor," Celestia said giggling.

"Yeah yeah real funny," he replied trying to remove it.

It wouldn't budge even in the slightest.

"You haven't glued this in place have you?"

"No, I just magically enhanced it so it couldn't be removed by the wearer."

"Why do that?"

"Celestia likes playing jokes," Luna said, answering before Celestia could.

Celestia pouted at Luna before turning back to Connor, watching as he tried in vain to remove the tiara. She could see he was getting a little frustrated and agitated and wasn't particularly enjoying himself. She lit up her horn and removed the tiara, placing it on the table.

"My apologies Connor. I did not mean to upset you."

"I'm not upset, I just......"

Celestia got up and wrapped a foreleg around Connor, "You just don't like being humiliated."

Connor nodded.

"I apologise again Connor. I may play jokes and tease you but I would never deliberately humiliate you."

"I know that."

At that moment the doors opened and in walked the waiters with the food. Celestia requested a brandy for Spitfire which was quickly brought to them by one of the maids.

Lunch was excellently made and tasted great as usual. But, like all good food it's finished all too soon. Celestia had afternoon court to attend and Luna had a maths class to teach at Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns.

"Connor, Spitfire, before you both go please take this."

Celestia levitated the tiara from earlier into view.

"I've removed the enhancement preventing the wearer from removing it. Please consider it an apology for making you feel humiliated earlier."

"Thanks Celestia," Connor replied as he took the tiara and placed it on Spitfire's head.

"Suits you perfectly, Princess Spitfire."

Spitfire blushed.

"Well Milkshake we should be going, fancy a visit to Ponyville?"

"Sure, why not."

"Until next time Celestia."

"Until next time Connor."

After hugging each other goodbye and turning around to leave but before they left, Celestia called out to them.

"Connor, Spitfire before you go."

The duo walked over to Celestia, "Yes."

"If you both ever want to stop the night again, just let me know and I'll prepare a few 'treats' for you both. Give you both something to 'play' with should you get bored."

Connor and Spitfire stood stock still.

"You know what really happened this morning don't you?"

Celestia nodded.

"What gave it away?"

"Well there was the smell of sex, the sound of clinking metal coming from your hoofcuffs against the bedposts, your outstretched wings covering your hoofcuffed hands......the particularly large ball gag."

Connor and Spitfire shared an embarrassed look. Celestia continued.

"The lost hoofcuff keys, your insistence on having the keys to return to their 'owner'."

"I technically did that."

"Of course you did, you gave your word as a Wonderbolt."

Connor and Spitfire were both beet red. They had both been caught, in a way, having kinky sex in Celestia's castle. Celestia, and most likely Luna, now knew of their 'interests' and would make it awkward should they ever stay at the castle again.

"Don't feel embarrassed, either of you. Luna has told me of many dreams in which myself and her are the centre of many stallions and mares fantasies. What the two of you did last night shows you clearly trust each other, to put one in a position of total control over another."

"So you're not angry with us?" asked Connor.

"Not in the slightest my little human."

"He's not exactly little."

Celestia looked at Spitfire whilst Connor looked straight ahead pretending not to have heard. Celestia stifled a giggle.

"Well, it has been a joy having you both here again. Until next time."

"Bye Celestia."


40 MINUTES LATER ON THE TRAIN TO PONYVILLE

Connor and Spitfire found an empty booth and took up a bench each, making themselves comfortable for the ninety minutes journey.

"You OK Milkshake?"

"I feel fantastic."

"Glad to hear it."

"You want anything from the buffet car?" asked Spitfire, reaching into her bag for some bits.

"A coffee and cinnamon roll if they have any please."

"Sure thing. I won't be long."

The train started pulling out of the station as Spitfire left. Connor sat up and sat next to the window and watched the scenery go by as it changed from the built up urban environment of Canterlot to the green hills of the countryside.

He reflected on his time in Equestria. From his first days to where he is now. He doesn't need anyone to tell him he's become more confident and outgoing. His flight-suit for instance, before he wouldn't be seen dead in a skin tight spandex or whatever-it's-made-out-of flight suit but now he loved wearing one. Or to be more accurate he loved wearing a Wonderbolt flight-suit due to the colour scheme and design making it, and by extension him, look awesome.

Before he wasn't confident about furthering his education but Luna, being the brilliant teacher she is, made learning enjoyable and easy to learn.

On Earth he had zero confidence when it came to relationships and now he had a thriving relationship with a mare whom he loves deeply and would do anything for.

And he lost his virginity.

And had kinky bondage sex.

With a smoking hot mare.

Connor was shaken out of his thoughts when he heard the booth door slide open. Spitfire returned with two coffees and cinnamon buns. She placed them on the seat next to her before sitting down opposite Connor. She hoofed over a coffee and bun to Connor, who took them promptly.

"Thanks Milkshake," he replied kissing her on the forehead, "I love you."

Spitfire smile sweetly and kissed his forehead in return, "I love you to Sleepy Head."

Something was still bugging Connor though. And it would interfere with each of his days until he knew.

"Spitfire, I was just wondering.....where did you get the hoofcuffs from and how did you lose the keys?"

"Where I got the hoofcuffs from is a mares secret and I honestly don't know how I lost them. Oh and just in case you were wondering Fleur gave me this saddle bag."

"Did Fleur give you the hoofcuffs?"

Spitfire tapped her muzzle with a hoof, "Mare's secret."

"So I'll have to never know."

"Yep, and no amount of belly rubs or ear scratches will ever convince me to tell you."


After finishing their snacks, Spitfire sat next to Connor and quickly fell asleep on his lap. Connor had his feet up on the bench opposite and he soon, fell asleep.

During the journey, Spitfire mumbled in her sleep as a single tear rolled down her face.

"Please don't ever leave me, I love you too much, please don't leave."

Spitfire felt herself being squeezed gently.

"I promise I never will."

Chapter - 26 - Visiting Hours II

View Online

The jolt of the train carriage woke the duo up as they came to a full stop. Spitfire slowly got to her hooves on the seat and rubbed the sleep out of her eyes whilst Connor looked out of the window.

"We're at Ponyville, come on sleepy we don't want to get left on board."

"Right behind you," replied Spitfire as she grabbed her saddle bag and draped it over her back.

Connor slid open the compartment door and walked out into the corridor, followed by Spitfire. They briskly walked to the nearest carriage door and exited the train, avoiding bumping into ponies getting on and getting off and station porters loading and unloading luggage. There was quite a hive of activity for a small station, but Ponyville also had a small goods yard that could hold more than it looks like it can.

Connor and Spitfire walked off the platform and through the booking hall to the exit. They had decided to visit the library first as it highly likely Twilight would be there. Connor and Spitfire walked quickly as rain started to lightly fall. Connor looked up and saw Pegasi still moving rain clouds into place.

"They've planned a large storm today and tomorrow," Spitfire commented.

"Might be best to stay here a couple of days 'till it's over."

Spitfire nodded, "You don't want to fly through a thundercloud, believe me..........I did.......once."

"What was it like?"

"Electrifying."

Connor grinned, "I guess that explains why your mane is like it is."

Spitfire punched Connor in the arm and got out a small wooden box, "Quiet Stiff Wings, or these Chocolat de roche will 'disappear'."

"No please, anything but them," Connor mockingly pleaded.

The two started laughing as they approached the library. Connor opened the door and walked in with Spitfire immediately following into an empty library area. She set down her saddle bag on a nearby stool whilst Connor called out to see if anyone was home.

"Spike! Twilight!"

The sound of clopping hooves could be heard on the floor boards above. Connors head followed the sound of hooves as they moved across the floor above him when they reached the stairs. A moment later a friendly face appeared.

"Connor!"

Before he could react he felt his purple unicorn friend piledrive into him. Knocking him off his feet and onto his back. Fortunately his wings cushioned his fall.

"Connor it's great to see you again!"

"Hey Twilight, good to see you to."

Twilight got up off of Connor and back onto her hooves. Connor too got back on his feet.

"So Connor, what can I do for you?"

"Spitfire and I thought we'd pop to Ponyville for a visit as we've not been in a while, we stayed at Canterlot Castle last night you see."

"Yes, Princess Celestia said you stopped the night."

Connor and Spitfire shared a quick glance.

"Did.....did she say anything about it?"

"Not particularly, she did say she enjoyed your visit. Though not as much as you two did apparently."

Connor and Spitfire went a light shade of red.

"I'm not sure what she meant by that though," Twilight continued, "Anyway, were you staying long?"

"We were going to make it a quick visit but with the storm we might stay the next couple of days. I was going to ask if we could stop here if that's alright?"

Twilight responded immediately, "Of course you can, use the guest bedroom you used when you first came here."

"Thanks Twily."

"You're welcome Connor. Would either of you like a drink? I was going to make a pot of tea."

"Tea sounds great, what about you Spits?"

"Sure."

"Very well. One pot of tea coming up."

Connor went over to Spitfire and picked her up underneath her barrel, "Come on Milkshake, let's sit down and make ourselves comfortable."

He walked over to the sofa and plonked himself down, placing a scowling Spitfire on the seat next to him.

"Something wrong?"

"You just picked me up and carried me across the room," she replied inching closer to his face.

"You picked me up and flew me across town if I remember correctly."

Spitfire raised a hoof to retort but came up short.

"Touche," she replied lowering her hoof.

Just then the library door opened and in walked a rain soaked Spike and Rarity. Spike quickly closed the door after Rarity walked in and his eyes lit up in delight when he saw familiar looking faces.

"Connor! Spitfire!"

"Hi Spike, hi Rarity."

"Connor darling it's delightful to see you again."

"Likewise, so what brings you here?"

"Oh Spike was helping me with a few commissions and I came to the library to return a book. Speaking of which were is Twilight?"

"In the kitchen making a pot of tea."

"I do hope it's a large pot, a cup of tea would be wonderful right about now."

As if on cue, a roll of thunder boomed in the distance causing Spike to jump in fright and hold onto Rarity's foreleg.

"Oh sorry Rarity. I didn't mean to....you know."

"Don't worry about it Spike," she replied as she gently wrapped a foreleg around him.

"Tea's ready!"

Everyone looked to the opening kitchen door and saw Twilight carrying a large tray of tea and cakes in her magical grip. She set the tray down on the coffee table and put the cups and saucers in place.

"Twilight," Connor said.

"Yes?"

Connor motioned with his head to Spike and Rarity.

"Oh my gosh I'm sorry I didn't see you there!"

"Don't worry darling, we just arrived."

"Is there anything you need?"

Rarity took a book out of her saddle bag, "I came to return this."

"Oh great, just put it on my desk. I'll sort it out later. Are you stopping for tea?"

"Thank you darling I'd love to."

"Then take a seat while I get some more cups."

Rarity sat down in an armchair while Spike sat next to Connor.

"You OK Spike?" asked Connor.

"I'm fine thanks. Los hi pruzah?" (Are you well?)

"Zu'u los pruzah, nox hi." (I am fine, thank you)

"Pruzah wah hon." (Good to hear)

Spitfire and Rarity looked at each other cluelessly as Connor and Spike talked to each other in Dovahzul. Neither had a clue as to what they were saying. Connor noticed this and turned to Spike.

"Zu'u ofaal pruvos nust dreh ni mindoraan mii." (I get the feeling they do not understand us)

Spike looked at the two mares, each with a raised eyebrow.

"Nid, zu'u dreh ni lorot nust dreh." (No, I do not think they do)

Twilight returned with two more teacups and set them down. She noticed the confused expressions of Spitfire and Rarity and the smirks of Connor and Spitfire.

"OK boys what have you been doing?"

Connor folded his arms indignantly, "Mu los faazrot. Wah lorfonaar mu drey atruk folaas dahik mu los punmak." (We are insulted. To presume we did something wrong because we are male.)

"Zu'u ziist tol," (I second that) replied Spike, he too folding his arms indignantly.

"Are you two speaking....what was it called again?" asked Twilight.

"Dovahzul," replied Connor, "Dragon language."

"How did you become fluent in it?"

"I have no idea. I could only remember a few phrases before I came here but when I first met Spike it was like something came to life inside."

"It doesn't make any sense though."

Connor shrugged his shoulders, "What fun is there in making sense?"

A grinding noise could be heard. Looking at the source of the noise Spike saw Twilight with her teeth clenched and a strand of mane pop out.

"Suvulaan dreh ni med nii fod rek nis kroson atruk tir vothni gahziin." (Twilight does not like it when she cannot work something out without logic)

Connor looked to Twilight to see another strand of mane pop out.

"Zu'u lorot hi los viilut. Aalkos mu fend vuth fah nu leh rek geblaan saan nii." (I think you are right. Maybe we should stop for now lest she completely lose it.)

"Nii fund kos fah pruzaan, korah zey." (It would be for best, believe me)

Connor tool the tea Twilight had poured and took a sip, revelling in its taste. Learning how to make tea properly is one of the many things Twilight is good at. No doubt she learnt how from Celestia.

Connor loves his tea.

"Connor darling, how is life in Cloudsdale?" asked Rarity.

"It's going great. My studies are going well as well. Luna is impressed so far with my work," he replied taking a bite into a butterfly bun.

Twilight started giggling and clapping her hooves together, squealing in delight, "I can't believe we're both personal students of the Princesses."

"Yeah it's pretty great. Luna's a good teacher."

"We could be study buddies!"

"Study buddies?"asked Connor stifling a laugh from seeing a jubilant Twilight.

"Yes! We could study together on assignments, make lists together, run through checklists, run through a checklist checklisting checkists oh it will be SO MUCH FUN!"

"But we're not studying the same thing."

"So? We can still help each other."

"OK. I'll think about it anyway."

Twilight had a beaming smile as she launched herself at Connor and hugged him tightly.

"Steady Twilight, remember you have a horn that could impale me."

Twilight let go of Connor and sat back in her seat.

"That wouldn't happen. A ponies natural magic would automatically deflect the horn."

"A magical fail safe?"

"In a sense. And since you are technically a pony you have natural magic as well."

"So I can look forward to more hugs from you in the future?"

"Oh yes. I will hug you many more times Connor and you will enjoy each and every one of them."

"Sounds like I don't have a choice."

"You don't. Pony hugs are impossible to not to like."

The quartet drank the pot of tea dry prompting Twilight to make another. When she returned Rarity spoke up.

"Twilight dear, Spitfire was just telling us that Connor has been invited to the Grand Galloping Gala as Princess Celestia's personal guest."

"That's great, I had a feeling she would send an invite. What are you planning to wear?"

"I was going to go in a flight-suit but I think I might ask Rarity if she can make something for me."

"Connor I would be delighted to. Why not come round after tea and we'll come up with something?"

"Sure."


Connor and Rarity were walking to her boutique to design a suit for him to wear at the Grand Galloping Gala. Connor had an idea of what he wanted but Rarity had an artistic eye and would feel compelled to follow her advice if she suggested something in regards to fashion. He also had with him Spitfire's new tiara which he intended to show to Rarity for a commission he had in mind.

The pair entered the boutique, getting out of the rain, and immediately Rarity went for her sketch pad.

"So Connor, what did you have in mind?"

"I was thinking something with warm colours. Reds, oranges, something that would match my wings. Maybe a suit with a cloak? I'm not really sure."

"Hmmmm......I think I know what I could do. Leave it with me, I guarantee you'll love it," she relied sketching something out.

Connor tried to sneak a peak but Rarity pulled the pad back.

"Ah ah ah Connor, it has to be a surprise."

A groan escaped Connor's lips, "Really?"

"Yes. Now, is there anything else?"

"Yes, I was wondering if you could make Spitfire a dress for the Gala?"

Rarity's eyes lit up like a Christmas tree, "Oh absolutely I will."

"Could you make something to go with this?" he asked as he pulled out the tiara.

Rarity's jaw dropped as she looked at the tiara. The solid gold and flawless ruby's shone magnificently in stark contrast to the gloomy weather.

"Connor, it's beautiful. Where did you get it?"

"Long story short it's from Celestia."

"You must tell me sometime. But, I must press on. I have a suit and a dress to make, the Gala is a month away so there's no time to lose."

Rarity began pushing Connor out with surprising strength. Before he was pushed out he had one more question to ask.

"Rarity, would it be possible to keep this quiet from Spitfire? I'd like it to be a surprise."

"Of course Connor, and I have her measurements so don't worry about that."

"Thanks Rarity. How much is all this going to set me back?"

Rarity waved a hoof dismissively, "There'll be no payment Connor. This is a gift for friends."

"Are you sure? I don't mind paying."

"I'm sure Connor."

"Well......OK. But at least allow me to treat you to a Spa treatment in return. Fluttershy too if she wants, or any of the girls."

"Very well Connor. I accept and I'm sure Fluttershy would love to join us."

"Us?" asked Connor.

"Yes. Surely you don't intend to miss out on a Spa treatment with your closest friends Connor?"

Connor felt a bead of sweat on his forehead.

"Nnnno.....no I don't intend to miss out."

"So you'll be with us for a luxurious Spa treatment?" she asked with sparkly eyes and a bright, cheery grin.

"Yes."

Rarity hugged him. Tightly.


Connor returned to the library having stopped off at Sugar Cube Corner for dome takeaway banana milkshakes and chocolate chip shortbread biscuits for himself, Spitfire, Twilight and Spike.

As he entered the library and put the stuff down, he saw another familiar face.

"Hey Rainbow."

She turned around and immediately had a Cheshire cat grin. She flew forward to her flying buddy excitedly.

"There's my flying buddy," she jubilantly squealed, "Put one there Connor!"

She held out her hoof for Connor to bump with his fist, "Hey there Skittles. You seem happy."

"Of course I am," she replied doing a loop de loop, "I'm seeing my flying buddy who I haven't seen in ages."

"It's only been a month, besides I've been busy."

"Only a month. ONLY A MONTH! Do you have any idea how long that is?"

"Errrr...a month?"

"Exactly. That's too long dude," she said scowling and pointing at Connor with a hoof.

Connor held his hands up, "OK, my bad. I promise to see you more often."

"Good. Because I'd really like to visit your place again."

"Is this to play with my trains?"

Rainbow rubbed a foreleg with a hoof, looking away sheepishly, "Maybe."

"Why not come at the weekend when I'll be free. Spits will be away with the 'Bolts so I'll have the place to myself."

"Really?" she asked flying close to Connor again.

"Sure. She won't mind."

"Awesome! Bye Connor!" Rainbow jubilantly replied as flew out of the library and out of sight.

"See you later Lokluvfahin Nelru!"

"What did you just call her?"

"GORDON FUCKING BENNETT!"

Connor jumped in fright and clutched his chest. He looked around to find Twilight, who herself had jumped in fright at Connor's outburst.

"Oh Suvulaan Viim, it's only you," he replied getting up and closing the door.

"What?" she asked, watching him as he walked across the room to sit down on the sofa.

"Your name in Dovahzul is Suvulaan Viim. Rainbow Dash is Lokluvfahin Nelru, Applejack is Hild Ahvosiik, Fluttershy is Raan Lokaliin, Rarity is Sogaal Nahkiviik and Pinkie Pie is Sufolbrot Naariv."

"What about Spike?" she asked taking the seat next to him.

"Zeik. I'm Doklokaliin Viskfrod, which roughly translates to Dog lover festival field."

"Why does your name translate to that?

"Connor is an Irish and Scottish male given name, anglicised from the Celtic word Conchobhar, meaning lover of hounds. Wakefield is a city in England that probably evolved from the Old English word wacu, meaning a watch or wak; and feld, an open field in which a wake or festival was held. Oh and Spitfire's is Shikyol."

Twilight was furiously writing everything down, ever eager to learn more and more. Connor started to wonder if her brain had enough room to store all the knowledge she would possess.

"Do you think you could teach me a few things?"

"Sure. You might only learn a few phrases and I'm no teacher."

"That's fine, I'd just like to surprise Spike one time."

"Where is Spike?"

"He's with the Cutie Mark Crusaders."

"Ah, those three. They're quite the handful."

"They're always getting into mischief, trying to find ways to get their cutie marks."

Twilight heard laughing from next to her.

"Something funny Connor?"

"I was just wondering what I'd be like with a......cutie mark. Could you imagine me with butt stamps on my butt cheeks?"

"What did I say about calling them butt stamps?"

Connor and Twilight jumped in fright though they both quickly recovered.

"Oh hi Milkshake."

She flew in front of Connor, stood on her hind legs and leant forwards towards Connor; resting her hooves on his shoulders.

"What did I say about calling cutie marks butt stamps?" she asked grumpily.

"You said not to do it," he groaned.

"It looks like you'll be washing the dishes for the next week."

Connor groaned even louder, "Why don't we just use the dishwasher?"

"We are using the dishwasher. It's called Connor."

Connor pouted and folded his arms, "Very funny Milkshake. Maybe you should take a second job as a stand up comedian."

"I think I just might."


It was now late afternoon and Connor and Spitfire were in the kitchen with Twilight and Spike preparing tea. Roast chicken breast, Yorkshire puddings (to be made by Connor) and vegetables. Spitfire was currently cutting carrots into slices whilst Connor was peeling and cutting the potatoes ready to be roasted. Spike was assisiting Twilight with the cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and the rest of the veg.

"When are the girls arriving?" asked Connor.

"Around five," replied Twilight, placing the cauliflower into a pan.

"I got some wine earlier to have during tea," added Spitfire.

"Red or white?" asked Connor.

"Both."

"Good girl."

"I thought you'd approve."

Five o'clock rolled around and tight on cue the library door opened and in walked the other five girls, all shivering from the cold biting wind and rain. They quickly entered and closed the library door keeping the cold weather out and the warm, toasty temperature of the library in.

They each took off waterproof raincoats they were wearing and hung them up on nearby hooks.

"Hi girls," Twilight aid as she walked over to her friends.

"HI TWILIGHT!" yelled Pinkie, "HI CONNOR!"

"Hi Pink-"

Connor was cut of as the crazy ink pony launched herself at Connor and gave him a very tight bear hug, slowly squeezing him tighter and tighter. Connor couldn't return the hug due to his arms being imprisoned inside Pinkie's death hug.

"Pinkie," Connor wheezed out, "Can't breath."

"Oh sorry Connor," she said as she let go of him and dropped to the floor, "I keep forgetting you're squishier than a pony."

Pinkie bounced away into the kitchen before Connor could respond. He shook his head in amusement, "That mare gets crazier and crazier."

"Indeed darling."

"Hi Rares. Brought something with you?" he asked noticing her bags.

"Yes, something for you and Spitfire."

Rarity levitated out the bags' contents and revealed two items.

"I made these raincoats for you and Spitfire. I was planning on giving you both them another time but since you are here now I thought I may as well give you them while you're here."

Connor and Spitfire each took their respective coats. Connors was red raincoat with dark yellow and orange highlights, mimicking fire, and popper buttons. The coat went down to his mid-thighs and the colour scheme matched his hair. There were also holes in the back to allow his wings through.

Spitfire was also red with 'fire' highlights, popper buttons and tie-belt. The coat covered her body including barrel and covered her forelegs but 'skirt like' when covering her hind legs. Like Connor's coat there were holes for her wings as well as another hole for her tail.

Each coat had a hood as well, Spitfires' with what looked like pony ears but where in fact spaces on the inside for her ears; so that they wouldn't get squashed when the hood was up.

"Rarity they look great, thanks."

"No problem darling. I made one each for the girls and Spike. We shouldn't let rain stop us from going out and about and it's no good getting all wet and cold doing so, hence why I made these."

"Well we appreciate it Rarity," he replied hanging the coat up, "How are you Fluttershy?"

"I'm OK," she replied quietly, "It's nice to see you again."

"It's nice to see you to."

Before they could start a conversation, Spike's voice boomed out of the kitchen.

"TEA'S READY!"

Everyone quickly made their way to the kitchen and sat themselves down. Twilight and Connor went over to the oven and hob to bring everything over to the table. Steam billowed from the food the moment Twilight removed the pan lids.

"Twilight it smells splendid," Rarity complimented.

"It wasn't all me. Spike, Spitfire and Connor helped out. Connor made the Yorkshire puddings."

"Best thing in a roast are the Yorkshires."

Everyone helped themselves to food, filling up their plates. Fluttershy unsurprisingly didn't have any of the chicken. Twilight poured everyone except Spike a glass of wine each with all but Spitfire and Rarity having white wine. Spike instead had some Sweet Apple Acres Apple Juice.

"So Connor, what are you doing tomorrow since you'll be staying here a couple of days?" asked Rainbow.

"I'm not sure, probably just have a look round. Meet a few ponies and see how they're getting on."

"You could help me a Sugarcube Corner, I'm sure the cakes won't mind," Pinkie suggested as she filled her plate with steaming vegetables.

"I could but I don't really know how to bake."

"That doesn't matter, I'll show you how."

"Aren't there rules and regs regarding working in a kitchen?"

"Only with health and safety."

"So I could help you then without any legal issues?"

"Yep."

"Great."

"Don't forget about our Spa outing. Fluttershy is looking forward to it," Rarity said.

"She is?" he asked before looking at Fluttershy, "You are?"

Fluttershy nodded, "I haven't spent much time with you lately. It will be so nice to be pampered with you."

Connor could hear snickering from Rainbow, Spitfire and Applejack.

"Why don't any of the others join us?" he asked, not wanting to suffer alone.

"No can do partner, ah have a lot o' trees that need buckin'."

Connor looked to Rainbow, "I'm on weather duty."

He looked to his marefriend, "Sorry Sleepy Head, Cherilee asked me earlier to give a lesson on Wonderbolt history at the school."

He then looked to Twilight who giggled, "I'm sorry too Connor, but I have a report to write to Princess Celestia."

He looked to Pinkie in one last hopeful attempt at enlisting support, "Sorry Connor, but I'm baking cakes all day tomorrow."

Connor felt deflated. He could feel his wings droop and he slumped forwards slightly, poking his food.

"Don't worry Connor," Rarity said cheerily, "It's not that bad. Besides, I thought you enjoyed going to the Spa?"

Connor didn't immediately answer.

"I like my wings getting preened and fluffed up. And maybe my hair styled."

The girls all looked at each other with raised eyebrows before looking at Connor.

"What?" he asked seeing them look at him.

"So you admit you like going to the Spa?" asked Rarity.

"I like getting my wings preened and fluffed up and getting my hair styled," he repeated.

"But you don't deny you like going?" asked Rainbow.

Connor cut up his chicken breast and began eating it, "I like getting my wings preened and fluffed up and getting my hair styled."

"Admit it, you like the Spa."

Connor let out a prolonged groan, "Fine I admit I like it. I like getting pampered and........getting pampered."

"Awwww, there there Connor," replied Fluttershy sweetly as she gently rubbed his back, "We can go to Spa tomorrow to make you feel better."

"Can we get the full treatment?"

"Of course. We'll get a mud bath, hooficure, wing preening, mane styling, massages....the whole works."

"Shall we go in the afternoon?"

Fluttershy and Rarity looked at each other and nodded, "Yes. We'll go in the afternoon. We'll come and get you from Sugarcube Corner at let's say......one o'clock?"

"That's fine with me, Rarity?"

"Perfectly fine with me darlings."

"Then it's settled," Fluttershy continued, "We'll pick you up at one o'clock and treat you to a luxurious pampering at the Spa."

"Thanks girls."

Though Connor would never admit it, he liked going to the Spa far more than he let on.

As a matter of fact.

He loved it.


Connor and Spitfire woke up groggily as heavy rain pounded against the window. Rarity's new coats would come in helpful today. He slowly got out of bed and slipped on a new flight-suit he left behind the last time he was at Twilights', 'just in case'. He clipped the metallic belt firmly in place followed by Wonderbolt boots, though these ones had the opposite colour scheme than the others i.e. they were yellow with a blue bolt around the top. The gloves he put on also had the same colour scheme.

Pinkie had spoken to the Cakes the night before and they agreed to let Connor help out under Pinkie's supervision. Pinkie excitedly informed Connor the night before by stuffing a chocolate bun in his mouth.

Mostly.

Her first attempt missed his mouth however and smeared one of his cheeks.

Spitfire helped clean him up though.

By licking his cheek clean.

Much to the amusement of Twilight.

After a quick breakfast of strawberry jam on toast and a strong coffee, he headed off to Sugarcube Corner.

Connor made his way towards Sugarcube Corner, passing a few ponies along the way who were setting up shop for the day. He entered Sugarcube Corner and where greeted by Pinkie Mrs Cake.

"Hello there Connor," said Mrs Cake with a cheerful smile, "Thank you for coming over."

"No problem Mrs Cake."

"Come on Connor, let's get baking!" yelled Pinkie excitedly.

Connor suddenly felt himself being dragged into the kitchen. He washed his hands as Pinkie go out all the necessary ingredients, pots and utensils that would be needed.

"Turn around Connor."

Connor did so and realised Pinkie was putting an apron on him.

"Do I have to wear one?"

"Yep. It's workplace rules."

"It's bright pink and frilly! And suspiciously proportioned for my physical form."

"Rarity made it for you."

"That's nice and all but did it have to be so pink and frilly?"

"Is there something wrong with the colour pink?"

"No," he said quickly.

"Is there something wrong with frills?"

"No," he replied, deciding to giving a safe answer.

"So there's nothing wrong with this pink, frilly apron Rarity made for you?"

"No. No, definitely not."

Pinkie beamed with joy, "That's great, Rarity will be pleased. Now stay still and let me tie it for you."

After a few seconds Pinkie had finished.

"It's a little tight," he moaned.

"And double knotted. Now come on Connor, there's lots of ponies who need cake and we're going to bake them cake."

Connor and Pinkie set to baking cakes and pastries that were required and soon found a working rhythm together. As soon as one batch went into the oven, they started on the next. Just as the second batch was about to go into the oven it was time for opening. Several ponies walked in ready for a quick morning snack before work or whatever it is they're going to do. Connor and Pinkie brought through the freshly baked cakes and pastries and placed behind the glass counters and some in the store window.

Several ponies took notice of Connor, who was placing several full cakes in the display window. None of them said anything about the apron though. He finished putting the cakes in the display window and went back into the kitchen where he saw Pinkie walk over to a side table where he saw some lunch had been prepared for him and Pinkie. A couple of glazed cinnamon rolls and a large white chocolate mocha.

"This looks like a nice set up Pinkie," commented Connor smiling.

"Thanks Connor. I made you a white chocolate mocha," replied a beaming Pinkie. Her expression changed and wad replaced with worry, "You do like that drink don't you?"

"I've never tried it. But, there's a first time for everything."

Connor lifted the mocha to his lips and took a sip.

"Bloody hell that's good, who made it?"

A beaming smile once again adorned Pinkie's face, "Thanks Connor!"

She bounced forward to give Connor another bone crushing hug, accidentally knocking her drink over Connor in the process.

"Whoops! Sorry Connor. Good thing you still had your apron on otherwise your super-duper flight-suit would've been ruined."

"Don't worry about it Pinkie, it was an accident."

Pinkie got a damp cloth and wiped it clean within seconds.

"There you are Connor."

"Thanks Pinkie."

The two heard the door chime go off.

Pinkie bounced away to see who it was.

Connor heard Pinkie voice from the kitchen.

"Oh hi Rarity! Hi Fluttershy!"

He started to panic. He quickly tried to remove his apron but had no success in undoing the strings.

Damn it! Pinkie's tied them too well!

Every tug and pull seemed to make the knots tighter.

"Come on! Come on! Untie you stupid thing!" he 'shouted' quietly to himself.

"Something wrong Connor?"

Connor froze and slowly turned around to the source of the voice.

All colour drained from his face when he saw Pinkie, Rarity and Fluttershy.

Pinkie still had the same beaming smile as always, Fluttershy was smiling sweetly and Rarity was almost bursting with joy.

"Connor darling you look wonderful!"

Connor went beat red. Again.

"Yeah....I'm sure I do," he said quietly.

Rarity though, noticed his embarrassment and as to why and acted quickly, "Don't worry Connor. There's nothing to be embarrassed about."

Connor sighed, "No, I suppose not. I can't untie it, could one of you do it? I think Pinkie tied it too well."

"Of course we can. Turn around," Rarity instructed.

Connor did so and quickly felt the apron being untied and removed.

"Thanks. I felt a bit silly wearing it."

"Why so?"

"It's pink and frilly. Neither of which are particularly my thing."

"Maybe not, but no-pony will poke fun at you. Equestria isn't like that."

"I suppose so. It probably comes from growing up on Earth. People there can be very judgemental. But, let's not go into all that. We have a Spa date do we not?"

"Indeed we do darling, so let's not waste another moment and put our best hoof forward."

After thanking Pinkie for the lunch, Connor went with Fluttershy and Rarity to the Spa. The trio walked in and were greeted by the Spa sisters.

"Mr Wakefield, it's such a pleasure to have you here again," Lotus said as she walked up to him, "Are you here for treatment?"

"Yes, the full deluxe treatment."

Aloe's and Lotus's eyes lit up in delight.

"That's magnificent Connor!" Aloe replied, "Miss Rarity and Miss Fluttershy will be joining you I presume?"

"Absolutely. The Deluxe treatment for the three of us."

"Then come right this way."


A few hours later and a pampered Connor walked out of the Spa feeling newly refreshed. The Spa ponies took the liberty of cleaning his flight suit for him during his mud bath, meaning he could wear a fresh and clean suit for a fresh and clean body.

He was just fastening his new raincoat when Rarity spoke to him.

"Connor darling, did you enjoy yourself?"

"As much as I don't want to admit it, yeah. I enjoyed myself," he replied as he put his hood up.

"Splendid, though it is a pity we can't do it together more often."

"We could make it a monthly thing if you like?"

Rarity squealed in delight, "That's a splendid idea darling, what about you Fluttershy?"

"I'd love to have Connor join us regularly."

"Then it's settled. Connor will join us once a month, at least, for a pampering at the Spa. Shall we say a month on Saturday?"

"That's fine with me," replied Connor.

It was still mid-afternoon when they left the Spa and the weather was still miserable. Rainy and cold. There were few ponies about due to the rain, most decided to stay at home and all the market stalls were closed due to the weather. The trio were making their way to a local restaurant for something to eat and to get out of the cold weather.

They entered the establishment and hung their coats up on hooks provided when the maître d' approached them.

"Good afternoon Monsieur and Mademoiselles, welcome to L'ail et l'oignon."

Connor managed to stifle a snicker.

L'ail et l'oignon, ha, brilliant. It would be like calling a German cafe Die Wurst und Bier.

"Mademoiselle Rarity, Mademoiselle Fluttershy,, I see you have brought a friend with you. A gorgeous one at that."

He seems rather friendly for a Prenchman.

"Yes he is, but he's taken," Rarity politely said.

"Too bad. But, I wouldn't dare steal such a gorgeous stallion from somepony."

Rarity and Fluttershy giggled.

"Would you like three seats?"

"Yes please."

The maître d' lead them to a table and pulled out the chairs for the girls. Connor sat himself down, causing the maître d' to pout a little. They each took a menu the maître d' hoofed to them and browsed what was available.

The maître d' left them to decide for a few minutes whilst he tended to other guests. There wasn't a huge variety but still a reasonable amount of options that will will leave few disappointed.

"Found anything you like Connor?" asked Rarity.

"I think I'll have the.........Roasted chestnut & herb pesto pasta with mushrooms. And for a drink I'll just have a pot of tea."

"Very well darling. What about you Fluttershy?"

"The same as Connor."

"Well then I guess I'll have it too."

The maître d' returned to take the orders.

"Are you ready to order my dears?"

"Absolutely darling, we'll have three roasted chestnut & herb pesto pasta with mushrooms and a pot of tea each."

"Of course my dear. I shall bring your tea immediately and your meals should be ready in around twenty to thirty minutes."

He trotted off the fetch the tea and was back within a couple of minutes. Rather than three small pots he brought one large pot that could hold 8-10 cups. He placed a cup and saucer down in front of each of them, getting close to them as he did so. Connor included.

"Here you are sweetums, enjoy."

Connor felt the maître d' was genuinely a little upset over himself being taken, but even if he wasn't; Connor is straight and wouldn't be able to return those kind of feelings anyway.

"Don't worry about him Connor," Rarity said, seemingly guessing what he was thinking, "He'll get over it."

"Is he like this with all stallions?"

"Only the one's he likes. But don't worry, he won't try anything. He may flirt a little but nothing more than that."


Twenty minutes later their meals arrived, and the maître d' was as flirty as Rarity predicted.

"Here you are Honey Bunny, enjoy."

He walked away and 'accidentally' brushed Connor with his tail.

Rarity and Fluttershy had a hoof to their mouths, stifling giggles.

Connor shook his head at their silliness and started his meal.

"So girls, what have you both been doing lately?"

"Most of the usual. Designing and making dresses and suits."

"I've been looking after the animals mostly. I did another bunny census recently."

"Any increase in the population?"

"Only a little increase."

"What about Ponyville, anything interesting been happening?" he asked taking a sip of tea.

"It's Ponyville darling. Interesting things seems to happen frequently in this town."

"No doubt causing your insurance premiums to go up."

"You've no idea darling, they're starting to become so frequent there's now a special policy specifically for Ponyville residents."

"That'll be handy, or hoofy. Heh heh, hoofy."

Fluttershy and Rarity rolled their eyes at his poor joked, "Very funny darling. Though I recommend not quitting your day job."

"Ouch," Connor replied, "Not a fan of my jokes then."

"Not really darling," replied Rarity, "But keep practising and I'm sure one day I may take a, slight interest."

"Has anyone ever told you how cold you can be Rarity?" he asked jokingly.

Rarity giggled, "Oh Connor, I can be much colder than that."

"How cold?"

"Keep telling horrible jokes and you'll find out."

The three of them shared a laugh, revelling in each other's good humour. They continued with their meals whilst chatting amongst themselves, Connor telling some funny stories about Luna and how she hides Jammie Dodgers around Canterlot Castle for 'emergencies'. Celestia does the same thing with cakes.

Before long they had cleaned their plates and the maître d' cleared the plates away, again 'accidentally' brushing Connor with his tail.

Connor took the playful behaviour with good humour. The maître d' was just being friendly in his own unique way and getting angry about it would be a bit of an overreaction. Not to mention he'd probably scare him for a good long while if he did yell at him, and possibly ruin his confidence in approaching stallions in the future.

The maître d' brought the bill over as requested and Connor, insisted he pay for it. All 390 bits of it. The meals were 100 bits each and three teas at 30 bits each made up the sum. Connor threw in a generous tab for the maître d'. 510 bits to be precise, prompting the maître d' to call Connor 'Honey Bunny' once more.

Connor got the feeling it would be a name that stuck.

"Goodbye François," Rarity said to the maître d'.

"Au revoir Mademoiselle Rarity, Au revoir Mademoiselle Fluttershy," he said as he kissed their hooves.

He then turned to Connor, "Au Revoir Honey Bunny. Merci for the generous tip, I will put it towards some lovely cologne I'm sure you'll love."

"Vous êtes les bienvenus, au revoir François," Connor replied shaking his hoof.

François's eyes lit up like the Eiffel Tower on a night, "Il parle Prançais! Il parle Prançais!"

François said it again and again as he walked back into the restaurant.

"Well he seems to be in fine mood," Connor commented as he fastened his raincoat hood.

"Indeed he does, Honey Bunny," Rarity replied.

"Yeah yeah, keep it up Marshmallow."

Rarity gasped,"How did you know about that?"

"I have my ways."

"You must tell me!"

Connor shook his head.

Rarity harrumphed, "I'll get you back for this Connor mark my words."

"Oooooooh."

Rarity gave Connor a chilling smirk, "Just so you know, I'm aware of Princess Celestia's intention to commission me to make you a dress should she catch you eating her cakes."

The chill going up his spine froze him to his core, "You are?"

"Yes. And let's just say that if circumstances result in me being commissioned, I will make sure you have the most feminine dress I can make."

"I wouldn't look good in a dress," he replied trying to dissuade her, "It would be a waste of your time, resources and talent."

Rarity laughed, "I can make you look good in a dress Connor, believe me."

Connor laughed nervously, "No you can't. You're joking."

Rarity turned to Connor and looked him square in the eyes, "Try me......Honey Bunny."


Rarity and Fluttershy went back to their homes after thanking Connor once again for spending time with them. Connor was happy to oblige them and was genuinely looking forward to going to the Spa with them next time.

He was walking back to the library when he was joined by a familiar face.

"Hey there."

Connor turned around, "Oh hi Milkshake. Going back to the library?"

"Yep, did you enjoy yourself at the Spa?"

"Yeah it was great. We went to L'ail et l'oignon afterwards."

"I heard François took a liking to you."

Connor snapped his head to Spitfire, "How did you hear about that?"

"A mare has her ways......Honey Bunny."

Connor rolled his eyes, "Yeah yeah very funny. How do you even know about that nickname?"

Spitfire was about to answer before Connor continued, "A mare has her ways, yeah I know."

Spitfire giggled. Connor was easy to wind up but in a joking, friendly way.

"What have you got with you?" Connor asked noting a large paper bag on her hooves.

"Just a little something for us later. Banana milkshakes and chocolate chip shortbread biscuits."

"We'll have them tonight of you like?"

"Sure. The milkshakes are in enchanted cups that keep everything fresh."

"Good good. Off milk is absolutely disgusting."

The pair entered the warmth of the library and hung their coats up. Spitfire took a good look at Connor's hair and wings. They both definitely looked better than in the morning and she noted there were some more highlights in his hair.

"Connor, I see your hair has more colour in it."

"Yeah I had some yellow's and oranges added, make it look a bit like yours, though if I wanted it to stand on end like yours I'd have to fly through a thundercloud."

Spitfire punched him on the arm.

"Or I could just put some gel in it, that would be much better."

"Yes it would."

"Oh hi you two."

Spitfire and Connor turned around to see Twilight walk down the stairs.

"Hi Twilight, what've you been up to?"

"Just writing my report to the Princess. How about you? Did you enjoy yourself with Fluttershy and Rarity?"

"Yeah we had a great time. We're going again next month."

Twilight's eyes lit up in joy, "Great! Maybe we should all go sometime."

Connor raised an eyebrow sceptically, "Can you really see Applejack or Rainbow entering a Spa, let alone get a treatment there?"

"I'm sure we could think of a way."

"Are you sure about that, this is Applejack and Rainbow we're talking about."

"It will be difficult yes but not impossible."

Spitfire and Connor followed Twilight into the lounge area and sat themselves down. Twilight lit some candles as the grey clouds and rain made the library interior look like the middle of the night. She paced glass covers over the candles which were enchanted to amplify the candle light.

"There, much cosier now."


Instead of Twilight cooking tea, she suggested going to a local pub where tonight, it was music night. Connor was almost beside himself in excitement. He loved going to the pub whenever he got the chance. By amazing coincidence, Ponyville's local pub was called the Rose and Crown. A common pub name in England. It was approaching even o'clock and as usual, it was packed. As is usual at this time.

The booze is just as good as the stuff in Yorkshire, much to Connor's delight. Good, proper ale. Not the flouncy, weak, rancid rat piss that the Soft Southern Fairies of England pass off as beer. Those weak simpletons would get legless over half a shot-glass of shandy, unlike up north where the locals could make it to double figures of Carlsberg Special Brew before feeling even remotely tipsy.

"Hey Connor, here for the music night ?" asked John Smith (definitely a pony and definitely his birth name), the bar stallion and owner of the Rose and Crown. He had dark brown fur and a white mane and tail.

"Absolutely my good pony. Pint of smooth ale please."

"Certainly my good man."

John pulled a pint of Equestria's finest bitter and handed to Luke.

"Could you put it on a tab and I'll pay at the end of the evening?"

"Sure thing," replied John, "You'll like the food on offer tonight. An all you can eat carvery."

Every weekly music night there was free food provided you bought drinks. It was different each week. Some nights it was curry and other times it was pizza.

But a carvery was Connor's favourite.

"Hey Connor, good to see you tonight."

Connor turned around to see Vinyl Scratch with Octavia, Lyra and Bon Bon.

"Hey Vinyl. Hey girls, great to see you here tonight."

"Great to see you again Connor," replied Lyra, "Are you going to get shit faced?"

"You know me Lyra, I'm a Yorkshireman. I were born pissed," he said as he took a sip of his pint, "Champion."

The girls laughed and went over to the bar to get their round of drinks. A pint of smooth each and several packs of pork scratchings and dry roasted peanuts. Connor decided to wait until the carvery was ready to stuff his face. The band would start at around 8pm and finish around midnight.

Connor had been to countless nights like these before. Quiz night, music night, karaoke night, meat bingo and so on. Both before and after he came to Equestria. Going to the pub was what he probably missed the most about Yorkshire. Going every Tuesday and Friday night and meeting like minded pissheads alcohol enthusiasts.

The carvery came around and Connor piled his plate high with meat and vegetables finished off with generous amount of gravy. He had just ordered his third pint as the music night began to get under way. This night they were a band from a small town not too far from Ponyville.

It didn't matter that they weren't world famous or ludicrously wealthy. They were a good band that toured the pubs of towns, villages and cities for the sole purpose of playing music and enjoying themselves.

The band started to set up their equipment when some very familiar faces appeared.

"Hey hey everypony!"

"PINKIE!" yelled the entire pub crowd.

Pinkie bounced into the pub followed by the other girls, except for Twilight (because she came with Connor and Spitfire).

"Hi girls," Twilight said as she trotted over to them," Here for music night?"

"They are," Rainbow said, "I'm here for booze and food."

"A truly brilliant reason Rainbow," Connor said standing up and walking over.

"Hey Connor....or should that be Honey Bunny?" she asked, snickering.

"Not you as well."

"Don't worry Honey Bunny- I mean Connor, I'm just messing with you."

Connor just rolled his eyes, "Of course you are Dashiekins."

Rainbow pouted at that name.

"Anyway, the carvery's just been put out if you're hungry. If you want a drink just tell John to put it in my tab. My treat for you all"

Rainbow's beaming smile could brighten even the darkest of days, "Oh sweet! Thanks Connor!"

She flew off to the bar and ordered some dry cider. The other girls added their thanks and ordered their own drinks. Rarity a white wine, Applejack a cider, Fluttershy a Gin and Tonic, Twilight an ale, Pinkie a Pear Cider and Spitfire got a brandy.

After the carvery ended at around 8pm, it was time for the band to start. They had quite a good few tunes as far as Connor was concerned. One sounded similar to 'Whiskey In The Jar'.

The night was going well and the band announced it was time for the audience to have their go at performing.

Connor felt a lump in his throat.

He had that horrible feeling he would be forcibly coerced into getting up on stage.

"Hey Connor why don't you have a go?!" Pinkie yelled loud enough for everyone in the pub to hear.

Damn.

"No thanks. I can't sing."

Everypony looked at him like he'd gone daft.

"What do you mean you can't sing? Everypony can sing," Lyra said trotting over to Connor.

"Everypony maybe, but I can't."

"Have you ever sang before?" Lyra asked.

"Yes, at school but only because we were forced to."

"So why can't you do it now?"

"My balls dropped," he answered bluntly. Before anypony could continue to coerce him he continued speaking, "Look I get what you're all trying to do but please respect my choice not to take part."

"Don't worry Connor, "Spitfire said wrapping a reassuring foreleg around him, "No-pony will force you. We're just little shocked at what you said. I guess we're so used to what's normal for us ponies we forget things may be different for other races. Yes you're technically a pony, but you grew up as a human in a human world and as such have a different culture than us."

Connor felt like a great weight had been lifted. Having Spitfire come to his aid and support him meant a great deal to him. Had she joined the other ponies and 'encouraged' him to have a sing-song he probably would have just paid his tab and walked out.

He wouldn't have broken up with her, but he would have been hurt by her actions.

"Thanks Spits," he replied giving her a kiss on the forehead.

Spitfire blushed lightly.

The pub ponies 'awwwww'ed in unison.

"I'll go up," Lyra said, "I don't mind performing."

Lyra walked up onto the small stage and started singing a song Connor was unfamiliar with. It was a decent enough tune and Lyra was a good singer. Far better than Connor. He was much better playing tunes, specifically the piano and organ.

There was a stomping of hooves as Lyra finished and got down from the stage. Another pony got up and another song started. Connor didn't recognise him though.

After a few more ponies had a go at singing and Connor paid a visit to the men's room, he came back into the pub to find many sets if large pony eyes looking at him. He was unsure why though, he had definitely zipped up his flight suit.

"Is something wrong?" he asked.

"No," Lyra replied, "But we've found out you can play the piano."

"So."

So.....play us something."

"Why?"

"We'd all like to hear some human piano music."

Connor sighed. These ponies would just not let up.

"I'm not good at performing in front of others, I get anxiety and feel uncomfortable."

"Don't worry about that," Lyra said, "There's nothing to be nervous about. Many of the ponies who performed tonight were feeling nervous."

Connor sighed internally.

I suppose I could try. I did it at Fancy's, and Spitfire will be here to support me.

"Fine, I'll play something. Just let me think of something."

There was cheering and stomping of hooves as Connor went over to the piano. Connor felt something hug him.

It was Spitfire.

"You'll do fine Sleepy Head, don't worry."

"Thanks Milkshake," he replied giving her a kiss on the lips.

Connor sat himself down at the piano and thought of a brilliant, if difficult, piece to play.

Beethoven's Moonlight Soanata.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skFugVOqBM4

Everypony sat in stunned silence for several seconds.

"Who wrote that?" asked Lyra.

"A German composer called Ludwig van Beethoven. Considered one of the best composers in history."

"One of the best?" asked Octavia, "He writes something like that and he's considered only one of the best?"

"Indeed."

"Who's considered the greatest?" asked Twilight.

"Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. Or as he's more commonly known, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart."

"Where did the name Amadeus come from?" asked Twilight.

"It's Latin, meaning 'One From God'."

"Can you play something by Mozart?"

"Mostly. His music is.......well, it's best to hear it for yourselves. I'll play something by Mozart next."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElCb0Ar1ee4

Again, everypony sat in stunned silence.

"Do you have any more music like this with you?"

"I have some, but not all. I'll bring them next time I come to Ponyville," he said as he stood up and went back to his seat from before, "Does Canterlot Castle have an organ?"

"Yes, a rather large one in fact," Twilight responded, "Why? Did you want to play us something on it?"

"Yes, specifically the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, arguably the greatest organist ever. He was slightly earlier than Mozart and Beethoven though. Bach was a composer during the Baroque period, Beethoven and Mozart were classical composers."

Connor didn't need to look to know that the furious scratching of a quill was coming from Twilight.

"Well, it's only ten thirty and this place doesn't close until midnight. You guys have more songs to perform don't you?"

The band nodded and got back on stage.

They started playing again after everypony ordered more booze. Connor in particular ordered another smooth ale and some pork scratchings. The band were playings songs that sounded a bit like the '60's band The Seekers, his dad having a few of their records.

He and Spitfire had an arm/foreleg wrapped around each other, enjoying the occasion. They'd be returning to Cloudsdale in the morning. Spitfire had to prepare for a trip with the 'Bolts and Connor had some coursework to complete. Luna had given him a magical lighter that, when lit would magically send his work to her similar to Spike's dragon fire.

Something which prompted him to nickname Spike, Frinbiirn. Hotmail, in Dovahzul.

Spike saw the funny side thankfully.

Not thankfully though, all good things must come to an end and it was time to wrap things up. It was now midnight which meant closing time.

Which meant lock in.

Technically illegal but never prosecuted, mainly due to the argument being it becomes a private party rather than a pub. Connor when paying his tab, 'accidentally' gave John too much money to pay for any drinks during lock in but insisted John keep the extra as a tip.

Most ponies had left, but a few remained. The one's remaining being Connor, Rainbow Dash, Thunderlane, Pinkie, Big Mac, Time Turner and a few others.

The other girls and Spitfire left to get some much needed sleep.

"So girls, did you enjoy yourself tonight?" Connor asked as he started his 11th pint of the night.

"Sure did," replied Rainbow, "Best music night yet."

"Is there a quiz night as well sometime?"

"Yeah, every Monday night."

"I'll have to come to one sometime. Next week maybe."


Two hours later, Connor, Pinkie and Rainbow stumbled out of the pub. Connor finally legless after 16 pints.

"Pity, I didn't have my laptop because I thought of a really funny prank," he slightly slurred out.

"Oh you need your laptop, here."

Pinkie reached into her mane and pulled out his laptop along with a couple of other things.

"How did you........never mind," Connor said. His brain in no state to work out Pinkie.

He took his laptop and accompanying miniature speakers, how Pinkie knew he needed them he didn't know,

"Come on guys, let's prank Twilight."

Rainbow and Pinkie began giggling.

"What are you going to do?" asked Rainbow.

Connor leaned in close to them and whispered his plans.

They both loved the idea and set to work immediately.

They snuck into the library and carefully into Twilight's room. Connor, carefully placed the speakers in concealed places in her bedroom and other places in the library. Using magic stuff he didn't understand, they were connected to his laptop in a manner similar to wifi.

The pranking trio left the library and hid themselves in a nearby bush.

Connor opened the music folders and selected the perfect song to play at 2.30am.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhiSgXz_l20

Because the speakers volume were turned up, Twilight got quite the wake up call.

Twilight woke up in a fright, her ears bombarded with the ferocious noise blasting from speakers.......

.....which she couldn't find.

"WHAT IN BLAZES IS THAT NOISE!"

Despite the loud music, Spitfire's voice could be heard above it all.

"I DON'T KNOW! I CAN'T FIND THE SPEAKERS!" Twilight yelled back.

Spike was still hard fast asleep.

Spitfire and Twilight searched frantically for the speakers. They pretty much turned the whole room upside down looking for them but had no success. As they were searching, Spitfire saw something out of the corner of her eye.

She motioned Twilight over.

They both had unamused hard stares at what they saw.

Outside, Connor, Pinkie and Rainbow Dash were splitting their sides laughing. Rainbow Dash in particular thought it was one of the best pranks ever. Their laughter soon faded when they saw the very grumpy frowns of Twilight and Spitfire.

"Oh shit, I think we're in trouble," Connor said to Rainbow and Pinkie.

"Yes you most certainly are," Twilight said.

Connor decided to stop the music now.

After he stopped it, Twilight stomped forward.

"Would you like to explain what you three were doing?"

"We were playing a prank, that's all?" Rainbow replied.

"Playing a prank! You've woken all of Ponyville up with your prank!"

"Have we?"

Twilight pointed her hoof in the direction of Ponyville to point out all the houses with lights on but found they were as dark and quiet as any other night.

"Fine. You may not have woken anypony in town up, but you still woke me and Spitfire up."

Connor sighed, "Sorry, I thought it would be funny."

"Well it wasn't."

"Sorry."

As much as Twilight wanted to be angry she couldn't bring herself to. The three pranksters meant no harm and targeted only her it seems, that and Twilight got the feeling that Connor seemed a little upset about something.

But what she didn't know.

"I know, but we'll talk about this in the morning. Come on you three, let's get you inside where it's warm."

Connor managed to stagger to his feet but his partners in pranking where fast asleep. Twilight picked them up in her magic and levitated them back to the library. Inside, she set them down on the sofa and draped a blanket over each of them.

Connor went with Spitfire to the guest bedroom and removed his flight-suit, with Spitfire's help, and slunk into bed.

He fell asleep immediately.

Spitfire, though not pleased at his little prank, could at least see the funny side of it.

"Never mind doing dishes for the next week, you can do them for the next month now. Goodnight Sleepy Head, oh and we'll enjoy our milkshakes and shortbread tomorrow."

She kissed him on the forehead and snuggled down nest to him under the bedsheets, cosying up to his warm body.

Chapter - 27 - The Morning After The Night Before

View Online

Look Simba, everything the light touches, is Yorkshire.

What about that dark place over there?

That is Lancashire Simba, you must never go there.

Connor suddenly felt hard prodding on his gut. He groaned in displeasure at the prodding and lazily waved away whatever was poking him and hid himself under the quilt. Twilight prodded and poked him several times with her hoof but to no avail. More drastic action was needed.

Twilight left the room for a moment and returned with a chalk board with her and began to scrape her hoof along the surface.

"ARRRRGH! STOP THAT AWFUL NOISE, MY HEAD HURTS!"

Twilight stopped scarping her hoof on the chalkboard and walked over to Connor, still under the quilt.

"Well it serves you right for that little prank you pulled."

"I said sorry," Connor mumbled from under the quilt. He felt like a herd of elephants had done the Riverdance on his brain.

"Get up Connor," Twilight said firmly.

Connor didn't move.

Twilight sighed and lit up her horn, using her magic to throw the quilt across the room.

"COLD! COLD!" he said juddering at the sudden temperature drop, "NAKED!"

"I gave you the chance Connor. Now," she said as she threw his Wonderbolt flightsuit at him, "Get dressed and come downstairs."

"You've seen me naked!"

"You've seen me naked, I'm even naked right now."

Connor thought for a moment, "Touche."

Twilight rolled her eyes and left the room, leaving Connor to get changed. He put on some underwear followed by the flightsuit and belt. He didn't intend to wear one every day but he would do as often as he could.

Why not? Might as well while I'm young and in great shape.

After slipping the suits boots on he went downstairs where he could smell breakfast being made. He walked into the kitchen to see Spitfire, Twilight, Spike, Rainbow and Pinkie.

"Hey Spits."

"Hey Sleepy Head, decided to get up did you?"

"Yeah. I decided it was better than listening to Twilight scrape a hoof on a chalkboard."

Spitfire laughed, "Well, we did try and wake you up but you were out like a light. We had to get more drastic."

"What time did you wake up?"

"About an hour before you."

"Surely it didn't take you an hour to wake me up?"

"It didn't, it took a few minutes."

"Then why the delay?"

"You were cuddling me."

Rainbow, Pinkie and Spike started snickering, prompting a scowl from Connor.

"Yeah he was," Spitfire continued, "He held me tight against his chest and cuddled me all night like teddy bear."

"No I didn't," he replied quickly, blushing.

"Yes you did," Spitfire said before turning to the others, "This morning every time I tried to get free he tightened his arms around me."

"Awwwww," the girls chorused.

"Well.........you shouldn't have such soft fur then. At least you didn't ruin my dream."

"What were yo dreaming about?" asked Spitfire.

"Mufasa was telling Simba the greatest piece of advice he could ever give him."

The assembled guests looked at Connor like he'd gone daft.

"What?" asked Rainbow.

"Mufasa told SImba never to go to Lancashire."

Everypony's faces was contorted in confusion. Even Pinkie. They looked amongst themselves and shrugged their shoulders, having no idea what Connor was on about.

"Here's your tea Connor," said Twilight placing a cup and saucer in front if him.

"Thanks Twilight."

Connor took a sip of tea and smiled in content.

"Good tea Twilight. Not as good as Yorkshire Tea but still good none the less."

"Err thanks?" Twilight responded, "Is this Yorkshire Tea good?"

Connor's eye twitched, "Is Celestia a good teacher?"

"YORKSHIRE TEA IS THAT GOOD?!"

"Yes it is. Just like the Yorkshire accent. For example, we say words in a certain way and can make for a very awkward situations. A brilliant example would be the use of the oh so innocent word ‘couldn't'. Try saying it in a Yorkshire accent, i.e. contract it again, and you'll see why the Yorkshire accent is truly brilliant."

Twilight squinted in concentration and did as Connor said in her mind. Her eyes widened and she was about to speak when she was cut off by uproarious laughter from Rainbow Dash and Pinkie.

"That's really hilarious!"

Connor was trying not to laugh himself.

"Very funny Connor," Twilight said unamused, "Any more 'funny' things about your accent you'd like to share?"

Connor tapped his chin in thought.

"Tin Tin Tin."

"What?" Twilight asked completely perplexed.

"Tin Tin Tin. What was I saying?"

"Tin Tin Tin," Twilight replied.

"That's what I said but not what I said."

Twilight's face once more contorted in confusion.

"Connor I think you had a little too much to drink last night," Spitfire said, just as confused as Twilight.

"Oh believe me I could have drunk more but Smith had to close to get his beauty sleep."

"Once more, what is it I have to work out?"

"What I mean when I say 'Tin Tin Tin'."

Twilight scribbled everything down on some parchment and smiled confidently.

"How long do I have?"

"Shall we say a couple of weeks?"

"Sure thing Connor. I guarantee I will find the answer."

Connor chuckled, "No you won't."

"Yes I will."

"No you won't."

"Yes I will."

"No you won't."

Spitfire, Rainbow, Pinkie and Spike heads moved back and forth as they watched the verbal tennis match between Conner and Twilight.

"Yes I will."

"No. You. Won't!"

"Yes. I. Will," Twilight said clenching her teeth.

Connor smirked, "No you won't."

Twilight frowned and rubbed her chin with her hoof in deep thought.

"Connor, would you like to make a bet?"

"Sure."

"Loser, has to do whatever the winner says."

"Deal," said a grinning Connor.

"Do you both Pinkie promise?" asked Pinkie with a slightly intimidating look.

Twilight and Connor looked at each other and nodded, and promptly recited the Pinkie Promise.

"Cross my heart hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye," both said unison.

Pinkie bounced up and down jubilantly, "Yay! And remember, nopony or no human or human-with-pegasus-wings-and-pony-parents, ever breaks a Pinkie Promise. Understood?"

Connor and Twilight nodded sheepishly.

"So," Rainbow started, "What will you have each other do?"

"If I win," replied Connor, "Twilight has to........go through a whole week without writing a check list."

Twilight gasped and reeled back in shock, "You evil monster!"

"Yes I am an evil, check list depriving monster!"

The group shared a laugh at Connor's 'evil' requirement.

"So Twily Sprinkles, what will you have me do?"

"Hmmmmm, if I work it out you have to........."

"Yes?" Connor replied with intrigue.

"Wear a dress made by Rarity."

Connor scoffed, "What is it with you ponies and wanting to see me in a dress?"

"You could always forfeit the challenge and forget about beating me," Twilight suggested 'innocently' as she wrote on some parchment.

"Absolutely not!" Connor replied with conviction, "There is no point in conceding defeat in a bet I know I will win."

"Are you sure about that?" asked Twilight.

"What do you mean?"

Twilight smiled sweetly and innocently, "I've already worked it out."

Connor blinked, "Bullshit."

Twilight held up a piece of parchment with 'Tin Tin Tin' written and underneath, what she thought it meant. Connor took the parchment and looked at it for several seconds. He slowly put the parchment down on the table and slowly stood up.

"Connor, are you OK?" asked Spitfire.

Connor walked into the library foyer, took in an almighty deep breath and let out his response.

"FUUU-"

MEANWHILE IN CANTERLOT

Luna was raising up from the throne, ready to hand it over to her sister for Day Court when an almighty sound that could give the Royal Canterlot Voice and run for its money. They looked in the direction of the profanity and found themselves looking in the direction of Ponyville.

"Dear Faust," said Celestia in shock, "That was the loudest profanity I've ever heard."

BACK IN PONYVILLE

Connor marched back into the kitchen, the ponies and Spike still in a little shock at Connor's reaction. He took one, hard long look at Twilight.

"How the bloody hell did you work it out?"

Twilight smiled and shook her head, "Swearing in my library Connor, tut tut, for that you can add a lovely new tiara to your lovely new dress."

Connor scowled, "Stupid bet. I'm not wearing a silly dress."

"You have to, you made a bet," Twilight responded.

"AND YOU PINKIE PROMISED!"

"What would your fellow Yorkshiremen think if you went back on your word?" Twilight asked in a reverse psychology ploy.

Connor sighed in defeat. Twilight was on the ball though. A Yorkshireman who breaks his word is no Yorkshireman at all.

"Is there nothing I can do to get out of it?"

Twilight hummed thoughtfully to herself as she rubbed her chin with a hoof, "No, sorry. Consider it payback for that little prank you pulled last night."

"But Pinkie and Rainbow were involved, why don't they have to wear dresses?"

"They didn't make a bet with me."

Rainbow and Pinkie snickered and Connor became desperate to salvage the situation.

"Your friends love wearing dresses!"

"I DO NOT LOVE WEARING DRESSES!"

Everyone looked at Rainbow, now looking like a rabbit in headlights, who had her teeth glared and wings spread. She slowly slunk back down to her seat and quietly ate her porridge, eliciting inquisitive stares from the others. She deliberately avoided eye contact as she ate, her cheeks burning red with embarrassment.

"I didn't say you specifically did," replied Connor cautiously, "I just said Twi's friends do."

"Rainbow? Is there something you want to tell us?" asked Spitfire.

"Absolutely not!"

There was another few seconds of awkward silence.

"So," Twilight continued, looking away from Rainbow, "After breakfast you can go over to Rarity and tell her the wonderful news."

"And if I don't?"

Twilight looked to Spitfire in an attempt to elicit sisterhood support.

"If you don't," Spitfire said, "I'll-"

She scooted over to Connor and began whispering in his ear. The unremitting look of horror on his face let everyone know the consequences would be disastrous.

"So, are you going to be a good girl--I mean good boy and let Rarity make you a lovely dress, and then wear it?"

Connor nodded meekly.

Damn these adorable ponies. They're making me soft.

Twilight squeed and clapped her hooves, "Rarity will be so happy! Spike, would you personally let Rarity know that Connor will be joining her today?"

"Will I?"

He bolted off faster than Rainbow Dash, whilst Connor quietly ate his breakfast awaited his doom.


Connor was sat in the boutique whilst Rarity, Rainbow, Spitfire and Twilight were making preparations. Rarity was ecstatic about making a dress for Connor. Connor tried in vain to persuade her not to, explaining in his world that men don't wear dresses. Rarity refuted this stating they weren't in his world any more so that cultural norm wouldn't apply in Equestria. She also stated Ponies were very tolerant and accepting and said he could say it's normal where he's from and ponies would accept it.

The girls were sorting through the materials whilst Spike kept an eye on Connor.

"You OK dude?"

"I will be if you let me go."

"Sorry dude, ain't happening."

"What's not happening Spikey Wikey?" asked Rarity as she trotted over.

"Connor wants me to let him go."

Rarity looked at the tied up Connor, "Sorry darling. But after your escape attempt you can't be trusted."

Connor fidgeted on the chair, the tightly tied ropes providing almost no movement.

"Did Applejack really have to use so much rope? I mean tying my limbs together then tying me to the chair?"

Rope was bound tightly around his ankles, knees and wrists; with more rope wrapped tightly around his waist securing his arms behind his back. More rope was wrapped around his thighs, waist and chest and the corresponding parts of the chair, tying him tightly in place. His wings were also bound and his bound ankles secured to the rung of the chair. All done, a little too enthusiastically, by Applejack who then went on to give Spitfire lessons in making knots.

"Well if you didn't try to escape we wouldn't have to have tied you up would we?" Rarity giggled, "Now, behave yourself or I'll make you a very bright, very frilly pink dress complete with matching bonnet and parasol."

Rarity trotted away merrily leaving and terrified Connor with Spike.

"Dude...........she means it."

Connor believed him.

An hour later and a now only-just-untied Connor, who decided to not escape under threat of a frilly pink dress, was now out of his flight suit and being fitted for the dress. It was just him and Rarity in the boutique, Rarity insisting in confidentiality, even though the others had already helped pick things out.

"You know it's still not too late to back out, you don't have to go through with this," Connor said hopefully.

"Yes we do, you Pinkie Promised" Rarity said as she tugged at the hem, "Now stop fidgeting, I want this dress to be perfect. Believe me Connor, I can make anypony look fabulous, even human males in a dress."

"I don't even have the right body shape."

"Stop looking for excuses Connor. It's just us now, there no need to be shy about this."

Connor sighed as Rarity continued tugging at the dress.

"Bloody hell this is embarrassing."


Half an hour later Rarity had finished making final touches. It did scare him slight at how quickly she made it. He was going to ask how she did it but the answer scared him so greatly he decided not to. He could live with the mystery.

"There, all done."

Rarity finished with the dress. The red, strapless and sleeveless dress hugged Connor's figure tightly, but did not make his masculine figure obvious. Connor had lost a little weight since coming to Equestria, so a slimmer figure unfortunately for him made the dress look better. The dress itself was similar to that worn by Katniss in The Hunger Games, except the 'skirt' part of the dress started at his waist. Rarity had even cast a hair lengthening spell, with Connor's permission, and tied his hair into a bun. She tied it in pace with a fiery looking broach that nicely complemented his hair. For some reason when he went through his transformation several weeks ago he also lost (almost) all his body hair. No chest hair, no facial hair, no arm-pit hair........at least he never had to shave again. Though he would have preferred to know that before he bought his razor.

She did want to add make up but Connor implored her not to. Rarity agreed on condition he would wear gold bracelets and necklace. Seeing as that wasn't at all a problem he agreed. The bracelets and necklace were both 9 carat gold and polished to Rarity's high standards.

Connor was stood in front of a full length mirror, looking at his slightly effeminate self.

"So darling, what do you think?" asked Rarity, who was stood just beside the mirror.

Connor placed his hands on his hips, "Does this dress make me look fat?"

*SMACK*

"ARGH!"

Connor's cheek started stinging from Rarity's firm hoof.

"I will not have such an uncouth question in my boutique," she said with a scowl.

"Damn Rarity, that hurt," Connor replied massaging his cheek.

Rarity rolled her eyes, "I thought you Yorkshiremen were 'natural born hard-arses', as you so....eloquently put it."

"We are, it's Equestria that's turning me soft."

"Of course it is darling," replied Rarity unconvinced, "Now why don't you walk up and down, let me get a look to see if there's any adjustments I need to make."

Connor did so. Using common sense he kicked the front of the dress to avoid stepping on it as he walked. The dress felt annoyingly comfortable and fit annoyingly well.

"Well, Connor darling?"

"Well what?" asked a clueless Connor.

Rarity rolled her eyes, "How does it feel? And be honest lest you wish to try the alternative."

Connor gulped. He knew what the alternative was and had no intention of suffering it.

"It feels.....nice. Comfy," he replied, cheeks red with embarrassment, "....errr, yeah.....nice and comfy."

"Don't be embarrassed Connor, you do actually look quite good in it."

A groan escaped Connor lips, "Great, I look good in a dress. As a man I couldn't be happier."


A few more minutes passed while Rarity went to fetch her friends. Connor waited anxiously in the boutique, sitting on a chair behind a screen. He wasn't tied up this time though. There was little need as he had no attention of going outside dressed as he was. Double face palming he sighed tiredly.

"What did I do to deserve this?"

"Play loud music in the middle of the night."

Connor took his hands from his face and saw Rarity standing there, smiling cheerily.

"You wouldn't be in this situation now if you'd behaved yourself last night. Really Connor, getting drunk and playing loud music through hidden speakers."

Connor looked down, trying to avoid looking at Rarity.

"It was still funny," he mumbled to himself.

"Now, come on darling. Our friends are waiting in the front."

Connor stood up slowly and followed Rarity, dread building with each and every step he took.

"Just wait here," Rarity said.

Connor did as he was told. The less time he spent in front of the others in a dress, the better. His heart though, began pounding harder and harder as the trepidation grew and grew.

If my sisters saw me now.......

He shuddered at the thought. As much as he loved his sisters, he couldn't bear the thought of them seeing him like this and taking advantage of it. He was brought back to his senses by Rarity calling for him.

"You can come in now Connor."

Connor took in a deep breath before exhaling, attempting to calm himself.

He walked slowly forward, being careful not to step on the inside of the dress, and slowly opened the door. He went through and came from around the changing screen. Twilight, her friends, Spike and Spitfire were all waiting. They all watched as Connor came into view. Everyone held a hoof, or claw in Spike's case, to their mouths in an attempt to not laugh.

"Looking good Stiff Wings," Spitfire snickered, "May I have the first dance?"

Rainbow completely lost it and clutched her belly, guffawing heartily, "Y-y-you l-look really pretty, P-princess Connor!"

Tears of laughter fell down her face and she was soon joined by the others, though they didn't laugh as heartily as Rainbow.

"Yeah yeah, go ahead and laugh," Connor groaned, folding his arms, "Get it all out of your system."

They continued to laugh, much to Connor's growing annoyance. He started clenching his jaw in agitation, seething inside at the humiliation.

I only played a prank, I didn't go out of my way to humiliate anyone.

He began to walk towards the back room again but felt magic envelope his body. He only just prevented himself from shouting out.

"Connor darling, where are you going? We've only just started."

He was levitated back onto the chair he occupied earlier.

"You don't want us to tie you up again do you?"

Connor faked a smile, "No. I'll stay."

"Excellent darling," Rarity replied joyfully, "Don't go anywhere dears, I'll just go and make some tea."

Rarity trotted off into the kitchen, leaving Connor with the others. Though the laughter had died down, there was still some snickering going on. Connor deliberately avoided eye contact with all of them, angry that they had taken this too far. He didn't mind pranks, but being humiliated and being made a fool of did not sit well with him.

"Connor, what's with the mark on your cheek?" asked Twilight, "It looks like a hoof mark."

"Rarity smacked me for asking a question."

The ponies looked sceptical.

"That doesn't sound like Rarity," Twilight replied, "What did you ask?"

"Does this dress make me look fat?"

Rainbow burst into laughter, Twilight rolled her eyes.

"I don't think she meant it harshly, I'm sure she was just playing around."

Folding his arms in annoyance at what Twilight said, he fumed inside but kept a positive face as to not let the ponies know how he was really feeling. The others had a look around Rarity's boutique, trying on several hats an so on, leaving Connor alone. Not that he minded. Another minute or so later Rarity returned with a large tray filled with tea cups and saucers, two large pots of tea and some cake.

"Here you are darlings, tea's ready."

Everyone went over to the coffee table where Rarity set the tray down and magically began pouring everyone some tea.

"No tea for me Rarity, I'm not thirsty," Connor said as politely as he could. He wasn't not thirsty, but he didn't want a drink given the situation he was in.

Rarity was a little taken back by what he said.

"Oh....well OK."

The others looked amongst themselves and shrugged their shoulders.

Connor sat in silence whilst the others talked amongst themselves about mundane things.

This is going to be a long day he thought.


Four agonising hours later it was finally time to leave. Connor was being helped out of the dress by Rarity who had also returned his hair to its natural state and original length. She had his flightsuit cleaned and dried which Connor was now putting back on behind a privacy screen. He was just fastening the belt as Rarity hung the dress up.

"I'll be sure to get this cleaned and returned to you as soon as I can."

"No need Rarity, I don't have anywhere to put it," he replied hoping to be rid of the thing.

"Oh, I thought you had a large walk-in wardrobe?"

Damn. Almost was rid of it.

"Yeah, I do."

"Then you can put it there. No need to let a lovely dress go to waste."

"Well if my sisters ever visit they'll be able to get plenty of use out if it. My second oldest sister is pretty much the same height as me so it should fit her, with a few minor adjustments."

Take the hint. Take. The. Hint.

That hope was dashed when he heard her laughing.

"Oh darling, this is YOUR dress. If your sisters ever wanted one, or many, I'd gladly make them."

Connor once again faked a smile. As much as he was angry about the humiliation he was put through, he valued his friendships with the ponies and didn't want to jeopardise it. He had already decided on how to get back at them.

"Well, I don't know if the opportunity to wear it again will come up......your efforts might have been for next to nothing."

Rarity waved a hoof dismissively, "Oh darling what reason do you need to wear it. Wear it just because."

Why do I get the feeling she may try to enforce that. Note to self, arrange an 'accident' that results in the dress being destroyed.

"I'll consider it."

No I won't.

"Splendid darling. Will you be returning to Cloudsdale now?"

"Yeah, go back and get tea ready."

"Having anything in particular?"

"Smoked haddock."

"Sounds delightful. Enjoy yourself deary. Bye now."

"Bye Rarity."

Connor walked out of the room and onto the main shop floor where the others were waiting. Spitfire got up and gave her coltfriend a hug and nuzzle.

"You looked good in that dress, pity you don't dress like that more often," she teased.

"Never going to happen. Just once was bad enough," he replied with a little venom.

Nopony replied to that, instead they just looked amongst themselves a little nervously.

"Well," Connor continued, "There's been enough fun for one day, I'm heading back. I'll see you guys later sometime."

He didn't give them any chance to reply as he put his bag around his waist and headed out of the boutique, quickly leaving a note in front of a ledger. Stepping outside, he discovered it was raining rather heavily.

"Perfect. Just. Fucking. Perfect."

He huffed and immediately took to the air, heading directly for Cloudsdale as fast as he could.


BACK IN THE BOUTIQUE

"Girls, did Connor seem.....agitated to you?" asked Twilight.

"Now that you ask, he did seem a little so," replied Spitfire.

They all looked at each other, each of them slowly coming to the same conclusion.

"Do you think we went too far?" asked Rainbow.

"Well you all did force him to come here, then tie him up after he tried to escape, then force him to wear a dress for several hours even though male humans don't wear dresses nor did he want to; so yeah, I think we went too far," replied Pinkie.

Everyone looked at Pinkie, her pointing each thing out making it clear why Connor seemed to be like he was.

"Then we all laughed at him," she added, "That must have really hurt."

"I wonder what he left," Twilight said aloud, trotting over to the ledger.

She levitated the note over to herself and saw it was a sealed scroll and addressed to Rarity.

"It's for you Rarity," Twilight replied as she levitated it over to her.

Rarity took the scroll out of Twilight's magic with magic of her own, opened the scroll and read it.

Her face became downcast as she read the note, something everyone else in the room noticed.

"Rarity, is something wrong?" asked Twilight.

Rarity looked up, trying her best not to cry. Putting on a brave face for her friends, she replied as happily as she could.

"No darlings, nothing's wrong but I do need to close early to work on an important project."

The others all looked at each other and nodded.

"We understand," replied Twilight, "We'll leave you to your work. Everypony else can come to the library if they wish. Bye Rarity."

"Bye Rarity," the others chorused.

"Bye darlings."

Rarity watched as they left. She walked over to the boutique door and locked it. Sighing sadly she walked into the backroom and put the note on her desk before walking over to the dress that Connor wore.

She took the dress in her magic, and promptly began to destroy it. With angry tears, she ripped the dress six ways from Sunday. Tearing away strip after strip, in a matter of seconds what was once a fine dress was now a pile of useless rags.

Tears streamed down her face as she looked at her creation.

She ran to her bedroom and threw herself on her bed, burying her head into her pillow and crying her eyes out.


MEANWHILE IN CLOUDSDALE

A seething Connor almost bust the door he opened it with such force. Pissing wet through from the rain, he closed the door and went upstairs and immediately started packing a bag containing some clean clothes and some toiletries.

It took no longer than a minute or so before he went back outside and took to the air again.


Dear Rarity (and her friends if they read this)

Thank you all so kindly for your treatment of me today. I thoroughly enjoyed being humiliated and demeaned by you all. Tying me up? Forcing me to wear a dress? And then laughing at me? I had a swell time with it all. No reason whatsoever to feel angry about it.

Rarity, that order I made the other day? Cancel it. If it's made I will either destroy it or deliberately not wear it.

If you make it, it will be your loss as I shall not pay for it.

I have never felt so humiliated. Even Bluebloods' actions in the hospital pale in comparison. He was being the arsewipe that he is, you are all supposed to be my friends (and marefriend in Spitfire's case) yet none of you came to my defence. You used me losing the bet as an excuse to back me into a corner and use my principle of keeping my word to get revenge for a harmless prank.

My prank harmed no-one and humiliated no-one.

You lot went out of your way to do both to me without considering how I felt about it. For ponies who preach love and tolerance you can be very insensitive little jerks. And 'playing around' Twilight? Have you ever had a hoof smack you around a bare cheek bone?

IT REALLY FUCKING HURTS!!

Anyway I'm going away for a few days. Don't bother coming after me, I'm not interested in hearing from ANY of you.

Your so-called friend Connor.

Twilight put the letter down after reading it to everyone. They all had downcast faces and Spitfire looked the saddest of them all.

"We really did go too far," Rainbow said, "Did he say where he was going?"

"No," replied Twilight sadly, "Even if he did, I don't think going after him is the best thing to do right now."

"Agreed," Applejack said, "We should wait until he comes back to us."

"Do you think he'll forgive us?" asked Fluttershy

Twilight looked pessimistically out of the window.

"I don't know Fluttershy.........I really don't know."

Chapter - 28 - Viva Las Pegasus

View Online

Connor flew furiously through the air, heavy rain pounding his face as he flew against the howling wind, making his way to Las Pegasus, the 'Las Vegas of the Skies' as he called it. His flight-suit was fortunately waterproof but wasn't brilliant at keeping warm. The cold weather was beginning to work its way to his bones making Connor feel like hypothermia was taking place, though still fuming inside over the way he was treated.

He decided to go along with it as he thought it would be a brief laugh amongst friends, but when they laughed at him, it felt exactly like that. Laughing AT him, not 'with' him. Had they ended it right after that he would have forgotten all about it, but the succeeding four hours of frequent snarky comments, Rarity almost constantly getting him to sit up straight 'like a lady' and getting him to sit with his legs together......it took a long, and awkward, explanation as to why human males sit with their legs apart.

It wasn't so much wearing the dress that bothered him, it was being laughed at.

He did feel a tang of regret at the letter, feeling it was a bit too harsh....but what's done is done.

He would have to face them eventually though.

He could only hope they could still be friends.

Especially Spitfire.

Despite what had happened, he still loved her.


In the castle conservatory, Celestia put down the scroll. She had just finished reading a letter from Twilight explaining the situation with Connor. The letter explained the little bet she had with Connor, and what each other had to do if they lost. The letter then went on the explain the main issue and Connor's subsequent reaction.

Celestia felt several things. Disappointment that her ponies would take a joke too far and ignore what their friend was feeling, concern of Connor's whereabouts and his condition, also concern for Twilight and her friends. Though what they did wasn't intentional, it was clear from reading the letter that they were deeply upset at their faux pas.

Celestia knew that her ponies were very emotional and tended to take things hard. She was mulling over several possible solutions to the problem when Luna walked in.

"Sister, 'tis a pity about the weather; is it not?"

Celestia looked up to Luna, then looked out of the window, "Indeed. Though I suppose it is fitting."

"Sister?" Luna asked, confused.

Celestia levitated the scroll over to Luna who took it in her own magic and read it.

"I see," Luna said, putting the scroll back on the table, "What do you intend to do?"

"I will attempt to talk to Connor myself, though I do not know where he is or where he's going, only that when he left Ponyville he was headed for Cloudsdale."

"Maybe we should ask ponies there, they may have seen him."

Celestia nodded, "Agreed, I shall write to the Mayor immediately."

Celestia got up and began walking out of the conservatory, accompanied by Luna.

"Will you talk to Connor yourself?" asked Luna.

"Perhaps, though I doubt he'll wish to speak to me."

"What makes you say that?"

"As soon as he sees me, or you for that matter, he'll know whey we'd be there and he doesn't seem to be in a talkative mood."

"Then perhaps you should go as Sunny Skies."

Celestia smiled, "Yes, I think I may. I haven't been Sunny Skies for a while."


Connor touched down in Las Pegasus, the pouring rain forcing every pony inside. He quickly made his way to the Aerarium Stabulum. A five star hotel and restaurant. Walking inside where it was far warmer, he walked over to the reception desk which was occupied by a cream coloured Pegasus mare with an electric blue mane and tail.

"Excuse me," Connor said, trying to get her attention.

The mare looked up and did a double take.

"A-are y-you Connor Wakefield, th-that monkey thing from another world?"

Connor refrained from face palming.

Humans are not evolved from monkeys, I thought I made that perfectly clear in almost every interview I've had since I came here.

"I am Connor Wakefield but I'm not a monkey. I'm a Human-Pegasus hybrid."

"Oh I'm sorry, it was unprofessional of me. I was just surprised to see you here."

"Surprised?"

"Well you are one of the most famous ponies in Equestria. Well, maybe not pony but-"

Connor held up a hand.

"I know what you mean," he said gently, "But to business, are there any rooms available?"

The mare got out a heavy looking book and placed it one the desk in front of her and flipped through the pages, "Bare with me a moment while I have a look."

After a few seconds she planted her hoof gently down onto the book, "Yes, we have some rooms available. Do you have any preferences?"

"Single room with double bed."

"Yes we have several available. Also included for the price of the room is 24 hour room service, free tea and coffee, in-room safe, kitchenette including fridge and microwave in the room, washing and dry cleaning and free access to the spa."

"How much is it per night?"

"2,100 bits per night. Will you be staying with us?"

Connor mulled over whether to or not. The price wasn't bad for a five star hotel and all it included. He could easily afford a stay given his wages and financial settlements he received from Blueblood; and another financial settlement from a red-top national tabloid newspaper that publishes outrageous and libellous 'news' devoid of even an iota of truth. The newspaper in question published a story about Connor with claims he made up the story about how he had pony parents so as to be accepted more easily into pony society, that Cara and Vulcan where' actors' paid to make the story more believable, and that Connor used the disappearance of Star Light to attract attention and sympathy to his case.

They were lost for words when it was pointed out to them that Cara and Vulcan were actually the husband and daughter of Star Light.

The paper in question was forced to pay a 2 million bit settlement for damages and libel. Connor donated three quarters of the money equally between Equestria's orphanages and kept that remainder for himself and Spitfire to be used on a rainy day.

"Sure, sounds good."

"Excellent," the mare replied, smiling in delight, "Which floor would you like to be on? Actually, I think the Wonderbolt Penthouse is available on the top floor for 2,600 bits per night, due to yourself being a Wonderbolt. Would you like that room instead?"

Connor's wings fluttered in delight, "Yeah, go for it."

"Certainly sir. Please wait a moment while I get the necessary paperwork."

Connor waited patiently as the mare got what she needed. Thoughts about earlier where still lingering in his mind and whether he should just go back now and work things out. He dismissed the notion though, he was here now and needed some time to himself. And hopefully win a few bits at the casino.

"Here we are sir, sorry for the wait. Now, how long will you be staying? The penthouse is available for a maximum of eight nights before it has to be vacated for pre-booked guests."

"Then I'll leave then or before, do I need to pay a deposit first?"

"Yes, you need to pay whatever one night costs. In your case it's 2,600 bits and a damage deposit of 500 bits. The damage deposit is refunded when you leave if no item is replaced. Do you want to pay by cash or cheque?"

"Cash," he replied, taking out his wallet.

Connor took out the necessary notes and handed them to the receptionist, six 500 bit notes and a hundred bit note. The notes, similar to the UK pound sterling, bore the images of Luna and Celestia on the front and had distinguished individuals on the reverse, with each denomination in different colours.

"Thank you," the receptionist replied, putting the notes in the till, "You'll just need to sign this form."

She hoofed over the form which Connor began to read. It was your standard T&C's such as behaving yourself in the hotel, leaving your room in a tidy fashion, treating hotel staff with respect and so on. Seeing no problem with the form, he signed it and handed it back to the receptionist.

"Thank you and here's your key. Would you like any help with your bags?"

"No thanks, I can manage."

"Very well sir, enjoy your stay."

"Thank you."

"You're welcome sir."

Connor picked up his bag and made his way to his room, eager to get a shower and put on some clean clothes. Walking towards the lift he took in the interior of the hotel. It was mostly a neutral cream colour with slightly darker carpets, and the lamps on the walls helped lighten up the lobby and corridors; giving them a light and airy atmosphere.

Eventually finding his room, he unlocked the door and went in.

He mood was instantly lifted at the sight.

His wings twitching in excitement he started looking around. The lounge had quite a modern appearance by Earth standards. The was a large , light blue corner sofa in the middle of the room along with two accompanying reclining arm chairs. There were numerous Wonderbolt insignia throughout, notably on the entrance door itself.

He walked into the bedroom next, and like the sofa, was stuffed with clouds to give impossibly comfortable relaxation. The bedroom was white and blue in colour with a few bits of yellow here and there, mimicking the Wonderbolt logo. The bathroom contained a large bath big enough for at least four ponies and included an assortment of complimentary bath oils, lotions and so forth.

Putting his bag on the bed, he began stripping off his flightsuit and made his way to the bathroom and began running himself a bath, pouring in generous amounts of oils. Whilst that was running, he helped himself some of the complimentary chocolates that were on the coffee table.

Once again though, his mid drifted back to earlier in the day.

He slightly regretted reacting in the over the top manner like he did, but he didn't regret fighting back and standing up for himself.

He decided to deal with it another day when he's calmed down a little more, and find some way to make it up to the girls for the brutally savage letter he left them.

He made his way back to the bathroom to check on the bath, putting his hand in to check the temperature.

Deciding it was OK, he got in. Almost instantly, he felt the tension in his muscles and wings ease away. Grabbing a sponge, he began washing himself. After a few minutes of washing his body, he began on his wings.


"Oh for crying out loud!"

Connor became agitated once more as his right wing sprang out again, but this time all the bath lotion bottles were sent flying; some falling onto the bath.

"It's easier when Spitfire does it," he mumbled to himself.

When he bathed, he usually did so with Spitfire. Mostly to help clean each other's wings and sometimes Connor help clean Spitfire's flanks. After a few minutes he finally cleaned his wings and dried himself off. Going to his bag he got out some clothes, specifically a pair of socks, some skinny red leggings and a pair of knee high brown boots.

All made by Rarity.

Sighing deeply, he sat on the bed and rested his head on his hands.

"I was far too harsh on her," he spoke quietly.

He sighed once more before putting the clothes on.

"I'll make it up to her. Somehow."


Connor was now back on the ground floor making his way outside onto the strip. Now it was night time, the strip was lit up just like Las Vegas; bathing the area in a forest of neon lights of all different colours. Ponies, griffons and minotaurs walked up and down the strip, the vast majority going into the casinos. Heading for a casino himself, he looked for one that on the outside at least, would peak his interest.

It didn't take one before one did. The casino was called The Four Hooves. Making his way across, he ventured inside and made his way over to the slot machines.
Finding a vacant machine he sat down and entered a bit into the machine and pulled the handle.

He didn't win anything, so he put in another bit.

After twelve attempts he finally won a few bits, 25 of them.

Pleased he decided to try his hand at Roulette. Heading over to the one with fewer ponies, the Pegasus dealer welcomed him to the table.

"Welcome to the table, will you be playing tonight?"

"Sure," Connor replied, handing the dealer 10,000 bits in monetary notes, "Change please."

"Certainly sir, do you want a mix of hundreds and fifties?"

"Yes please."

The dealer took the notes and counted them out, his eyes almost popping out of their sockets at the amount of money. He nonetheless gave Connor the correct amount of chips.

"Here you are sir."

"Thanks."

"You're welcome sir. Place your bets everypony."

Connor took a five of the hundred bits and placed them on Black 26. The other ponies playing placed their bets also, but on different numbers. The dealer set the wheel going, everyone watching as the ball bounced around before landing on Red 27.

"Bugger," Connor said.

"Hard luck sir," replied the dealer, swiping the chips towards him with a wooden rake, "Place your bets."

Connor this time placed five more chips on 1st 12, increasing his chances of winning.

His tactic paid off as the ball landed on Black 8.

Connor was now 500 bits richer than when he first started the game. Understandably pleased, he continued placing bet after bet with differing levels of success.


A couple of hours later, a very happy Connor left the casino cage richer than when he entered the casino. About three quarters of the way through his roulette game, his gut feeling told him to place a 5,000 bits on Black 17.

That won him 175,000 bits. £17,500 in the Queens English.

He played for a bit longer afterwards but kept his bets much lower as to not spoil what was a good night.

Putting the money on his wallet, he went back out onto the strip to find a takeaway joint. He hadn't eaten anything that could be considered a meal since the morning and was starving. After asking a few ponies he was eventually directed to a pizza restaurant. Wasting no time he went inside and was greeted by one of the waiters.

"Good evening sir, will you be dining alone tonight?"

"Yes," Connor replied, already starting to miss Spitfire.

"We have a table available, if you'd like to follow me."

Connor followed the waiter to a small table with two seats by the window, giving a good view of the strip lit up on all its glory.

"Here you are sir, there's menus on the table. Would you like a drink in the meantime?"

"Yeah, can do. What cold drinks do you have?"

"We have a selection of beers and lagers available."

"Do you have Allborg?"

"Yes, we had a delivery just yesterday actually."

"Can I have one of them then?"

"Certainly, I'll go and get one for you."

The waiter left Connor who began looking through the menu. There was a wide range of pizza's available with a selection of different types of crusts. It didn't take long for Connor to decide though, and made his decision just as the waiter returned with his drink.

"Here you are sir," the waiter said, placing the bottle and a glass down on the table, "Have you decided on your meal?"

"Yes, I'll have a large meat feast with the deep pan crust."

The waiter wrote the order down on his pad, "OK sir, anything else?"

"No, just that for now please."

"That's OK, I'll take your order to the kitchen and there'll be a wait of around 15-20 minutes."

The waiter left Connor once more who began pouring the drink into the glass. Taking a sip, it tasted to him very much like Carlsberg. After about five minutes of looking out of the window watching ponies, he noticed a reflection in the window. Turning around he saw a white pegasus with pink mane and tail, and a 'sun' cutie mark, looking at him.

"Hey there," she said.

"Hey, what brings you here?" Connor replied.

"Oh, just having a night out and then I thought I'd come in here for something to eat."

"Fair enough, but why were you looking at me?"

"I've never seen a creature like you before, well I've seen pictures of you. Oh and my name's Sunny Skies."

"Well Sunny Skies you've seen me now," he replied, a little irritated that ponies still gawked at him like he was an animal in a zoo, "Is there something you wanted?"

"Are you OK? You sound angry. I haven't done anything wrong have I?"

"I'm fine. I'm not angry and no, you haven't done anything wrong."

"That's a relief."

"But some of your subjects have."

"Excuse me?" 'Sunny Skies' asked, clearly hiding shock.

Connor leaned down closer to Sunny Skies and whispered to into her ear, "I'm not stupid Celestia."

"I don't know what you mean. My name is Su-"

"Celestia, Sol Invictus of the Sun," he replied before sitting back up again, "Why are you here? Did Twilight or one of the others send you?" he asked, his eyes boring into Celestia.

'Sunny Skies' sighed and looked down from his piercing gaze, "They're worried about you, but I came of my own accord after Twilight wrote a letter to me."

"There's nothing to discuss, so leave me alone."

"Connor," Celestia said as she hopped up to the other chair, "Please let me help you. I know you're angry over what happened but I assure you they didn't intend to hurt your feelings."

"I didn't intend to end up in here in Candyland but it still happened."

Celesta ignored the swipe at Equestria and focussed on the main issue, "Connor, I know what's upset you-"

"No you don't. And about earlier, I'm assuming Twilight divulged information?"

"Yes."

"Right there is an issue I have with this world. Ponies poke their noses in too much, they're completely incapable of minding their own business and staying out of matters that don't concern them."

"But this does involve them, and ponies are very sociable and seldom keep things to themselves."

"I might technically be a pony, but my mind is human and humans do not like it when their privacy is violated."

Celestia, still disguised as Sunny Skies, sighed and poked the table with a hoof, "Connor, why are you so upset over the incident. You said just now that I don't know why you're like you are, so please tell me. I am your friend after all."

Connor mulled over the decision. He preferred to deal with problems himself rather than ask for help, but having Celestia on board could help smooth things out.

"Fine, I'll tell you. But at least order something first."

Celestia grabbed a menu with her hooves, remembering not to use magic when disguised as a non-unicorn, and flicked through the menu.

"I'll think I'll get a Tuna and Sweetcorn with deep crust."

"I'll go and let the waiter know," replied Connor, "Do you want a drink?"

"Just a lemonade please."

"Sure. I'll be back soon."

Whilst Connor was gone, Celestia racked her mind wondering how to help Connor and restore his friendships with her subjects. She did wonder what had caused him to be so emotional over the incident though, to her knowledge nothing bad had happened to him recently that would warrant such a response. Connor wasn't long before he returned.

"The order's been made, it'll be about 15 minutes."

"Excellent. It has been quite a while since I last went out for a meal."

"How long?"

"About a hundred years."

"That's longer than the average human life span and you say it like it's perfectly normal."

"It is for me. Now, what is it that go you so upset."

Connor sighed and reluctantly told her, "Today.........is my littlest sister's birthday."

Celestia immediately fell crestfallen for Connor. She had been in his shoes almost 1,000 times due to her banishing her sister to the moon. She knew far too well the feeling of missing out on siblings' birthday's. Like Connor, it was a younger sister.

"You have my sympathies," she said gently, "I know how you feel in the matter."

"Luna."

Celestia nodded, "Every year I would have a private party, hoping she would just walk through the door and so we could celebrate together."

"I take it it never got easier."

"Never once. It was't until her first birthday after her banishment, that it truly dawned on me what I had done."

"Why was she banished to the moon? When Twilight and her friends used them on Nightmare Moon it reverted her back to Luna. Why didn't that happen he first time?"

"It's.....complicated, but Nightmare Moon wasn't anywhere near as powerful then as she was 1,000 years ago. I truly wished I could have had my dear sister back the same night all those years ago, but it was not to be."

"At least you've been able to see your sister again," Connor replied a little too venomously.

Celestia recoiled slightly at the tone of voice, feeling as though Connor was blaming her for his predicament. Deciding a gentle approach was the best course of action, she spoke softly back.

"Connor, I do sympathise with your situation and I want to help."

"Then what are you going to do, or what do you suggest I do?

"I can arrange a get-together at the castle, and if necessary; act as mediator."

"I'm OK with that, but I want to spend some time here in Las Pegasus first."

"Fair enough."

The two chatted a little more, mostly Celestia telling Connor the history of Las Pegasus and its rise as a gambling city and a tourist hotspot it is now. Eventually, their pizzas finally arrived, and both Connor and a still disguised Celestia ordered another round of drinks.

"These look good," Connor said, grabbing a slice and taking a bite, "Tastes good as well. Pity my sense of smell isn't as good as yours."

Celestia giggled, "Don't worry Connor. I think your fingers more than make up for it, they're much more nimble and precise than hooves."

"Yeah, I suppose so."

The waiter from before brought their drinks to the table and set them down.

"One lemonade for the mare, and another Allborg for the stallion. Enjoy."

"Thank you," Celestia replied.

The waiter left the pair to their pizzas, who continued their conversation.

"Do you have anything like this on Earth?"

"We have Pizza's definitely, hugely popular. So much so there's no end of pizza takeaways and franchises. Two of the most popular are Pizza Hut and Domino's Pizza. They're good, if a bit pricey."

"What's your favourite pizza?"

"Meat Feast, and the pizza I hate most.....any that have pineapple of them."

Celestia's face soured into a grimace, "Why would anypony put pineapple on a pizza?"

"I have no idea, it's like ruining cake with fruit, just.....why?"

"I hate fruit cakes."

Connor looked up to Celestia, shocked at the stunning revelation. Celestia not liking cake is like Jeremy Clarkson not not liking a Toyota Prius.

"There is cake you don't like?"

"Regrettably so."

"So if I made fruit cakes just so you couldn't eat them-"

Celestia put on a sweet but scary smile, "Then my little human I will find a way to force you to sit through a court session for an entire day."

Connor swallowed hard, fear creeping up his spine at Celestia's chilling threat, "You wouldn't dare subject me to such torture."

Celestia merely raised an eyebrow as she looked at Connor.

A worried Connor wisely backed down, "You know I don't like fruit cakes either so I think I'll only make sponge cakes from now on."

Celestia smiled sweetly, "I'm delighted to hear that."

"How's Luna?"

"She's OK, but she's concerned about you."

"About what? My grades are exemplary."

"Indeed they are, I've even read some of your coursework; but she was concerned about what happened earlier today."

Connor couldn't help but roll his eyes, "Is there anyone who doesn't know what happened?"

"Please don't be like that Connor, my sister is genuinely concerned. You are one of a few friends after all."

Connor sighed tiredly, kicking himself inside for over-reacting again, "I know, I'm, just......I'll talk to her, OK?"

Celestia smiled, "I'll let her know, she enjoys your company."

"Indeed," he replied before smirking mischievously, "She even shares with me her Jammie Dodgers."

Celestia stopped eating her pizza and looked at Connor is disbelief. Pain and anguish coursed through Celestia as Connor's words sunk in. Her own sister, had never, not even once, shared her Jammie Dodgers.

Celestia's lower lip trembled as she started pouting.

"She never gives me any," she sulked.

"You could just buy your own."

Celestia felt completely and utterly silly. Never in her entire life, did she ever consider actually buying, or even making, her own Jammie Dodgers. Connor noticed Celestia's expressions and decided to pile on the misery.

"Are you saying, that you, as intelligent as you are; never thought you could just go out and buy some?"

Celestia looked up and narrowed her eyes disapprovingly at Connor's amused grin, "I am now looking forward to the Grand Galloping Gala, more than ever. Especially now, as I have decided what your gift will be."

Connor laughed nervously, "Something nice?"

"It most certainly is," she replied, before looking him squarely in the eyes, "My little human."

Connor gulped.


An hour or so later, Connor and a still disguised Celestia left the pizza joint. It was late night and the bright neon lights lit up the strip far more than earlier, making the strip more vibrant than ever. The strip was buzzing with life as ponies made their way in and out of casino's, theatre's, restaurants, hotels and so on. Connor and Celestia walked down the strip, taking in the sights.

"This city never used to be here, it used to be just a random group of clouds but many decades ago a group of entrepreneurial Pegasi got together and built the city. It rapidly became a tourist hotspot and continuously draws in large numbers of visitors every day."

"We have a similar city called Las Vegas. It's really only at night when the city comes to life. The bright neon lights can be seen for miles around, I have a few pictures if you ever want to see them."

"I'd love to. Have you ever been?"

"Yes. On a family holiday a few years ago. In the same holiday we also visited Los Angeles and San Francisco. Warm weather, good food, plenty of great memories."

"It sounds like you had an excellent time."

"I did. One of my favourite memories was watching the Blue Angels, the aerobatics display team of the United States Navy. They fly F/A-18 Hornets in the same blue and yellow colour scheme of the Wonderbolts."

"They sound impressive, but I thought they were called the Red Arrows."

"No, the Red Arrows are the aerobatics display team of the Royal Air Force, my country's air force...and the best. Anyway, the Red Arrows fly the BAE Hawk; a subsonic fighter jet painted in red, hence the name. The Red Arrows have performed over 4,700 displays in 56 countries throughout the world, and are iconic in British pop culture. They're instantly recognisable even if you don't have an interest in aviation."

"They sound truly fascinating. Are there any other-"

Celestia abruptly stopped walking and talking. Connor noticed quickly and turned around, curious as to what what up.

"You OK?"

"I'm confused. You said the 'Blue Angels' were the display team of the United States Navy."

"Yes.

"I thought Navies had ships."

"Ah," Connor said, realising her confusion, "Many navies in my world have their own aircraft. Navies have massive ships called aircraft carriers, and as such, their own aircraft whilst still having a separate Air Force branch of the Armed Forces. The British Army has its own Air Corps as well."

"I see, it makes sense now. We don't have these 'aircraft carriers', only ships such as frigates and battleships, though that was many many years ago when there was less peace in this world. The Battleship was considered to be the most important part of a fleet."

"It used to be that way on Earth as well until the aircraft carrier came about. Aircraft carriers allow for a larger range of attack, aircraft can take off from the carriers, reach their targets and return to the carrier faster than any ship. Navies quickly saw the carrier as the most important asset to a naval fleet."

Celestia giggled, "You're a walking encyclopaedia Connor."

"I suppose I know a few things," he said modestly.

"You really must write a book on your world and all it's fascinating technology, ponies all over Equestria would be eager to read it."

"Maybe, but I've got a job and studies to focus on."

"Well I know of one pony who'd be more than eager to help you write it."

"Twilight."

"Yes, despite what happened Connor, they're all good ponies. They simply made a mistake."

"I know. Anyway it's getting late I could do with some sleep."

"Then I shall not keep you, until I see you again Connor."

"Yeah, tell Luna I said hi."

"I will do, bye Connor."

"Bye Celestia."

Celestia took to the air and flew off back to Canterlot, Connor watching her until she was out of sight. Noticing a slight chill in the air he decided to head back to his hotel room. It didn't take too long before he was back in the hotel, in the lift taking him up to the penthouse. He was again going over what happened earlier in the day. Most of his anger was gone, his talk with Celestia having helped. All he felt now was mild annoyance more than anything.

The lift came to a stop and the doors opened. Stepping out into the corridor he walked the very short distance to his penthouse door and went to unlock it. His brow furrowed in confusion when it became clear the door was already unlocked.

I definitely locked it when I left, unless the hotel staff have been in and forgot to lock it again.

He cautiously opened the door, half-expecting Pinkie to burst out of nowhere and scare him half to death. When that didn't happen, he slowly walked in, quietly closing the door behind him, bit leaving it unlocked just in case he needed to make a quick escape. He walked silently in the dark corridor and into the lounge area. Dark and empty, he looked around and noticed light seeping through from the bedroom door.

Walking quietly once again, he creeped in the shadow of darkness right up to the door and slowly and quietly opened the door.

As he slowly poked his head through, he soon recognised a familiar looking Pegasus laid on the bed on her belly looking distraught.

"Spitfire."

Spitfire looked up and as soon as Connor walked in she pounced and launched herself at Connor. Connor had no time to react as his marefriend wrapped him in a tight hug and began crying into his bare chest.

"I'm sorry! I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to hurt your feelings!"

Connor returned the hug and went to sit down on the edge of the bed, still holding Spitfire in his arms. They continued to hug for several seconds as Spitfire cried, Connor feeling more sympathy than anger. He hated seeing her like this.

He gently stroked the beck of her head, "It's OK Milkshake, I forgive you. I'm not angry any more."

Spitfire pulled her head back and looked at Connor, tears still running down her cheeks, "You're not?"

Connor shook his head, "No. I was at first, but I realised I overreacted."

"But we still took things too far."

"Maybe, but that letter I wrote was just savage and brutal. Especially to Rarity."

Spitfire winced, "Yeah."

Connor, noting her facial expressions, felt something was wrong.

"What happened after I left?"

"Well, you didn't hear it from me, but apparently Rarity destroyed that dress. Absolutely tore it to pieces and cried to herself in her bedroom for several hours."

Connor felt like he'd been kicked in the guts.

"Me and my big mouth," he muttered.

"Come on Connor, Rarity's not mad at you. She's mad at herself, she thinks she's ruined her friendship with you."

"She hasn't, and neither have the others. Celestia's going to try and arrange a little get together to talk things out in a few days."

"Sounds like that might work."

"How did you find me anyway?" asked Connor.

"Some ponies in Cloudsdale said they saw you flying in the direction of Las Pegasus so I came here. I asked around the hotels and casinos until I arrived here, and they said you were up here in the penthouse. They assumed we were together so they let me in."

"How long have you been here?"

"A few hours. I may have taken advantage of room service."

"Taken advantage?" he asked, worried of the impact on the bill.

"Ordered a load of food and drink."

"Not too much I hope?"

"Don't worry Sleepy Head, I'll pay my bits towards the bill."

Connor breathed a sigh of relief, "That's good. So, what were you planning to do now?"

"I thought I should make things up to you," she replied, rummaging through her bag.

"How?"

"With these."

Connor's heart rate increased and his wings began stretching out uncontrollably, "Just.....try not to lose the keys this time."

"I won't......at least not accidentally."


MEANWHILE BACK ON EARTH

Connor's littlest sister, Elizabeth, sat with her elbow the table; resting her head on her hand.

"I wish Connor was here," she said sadly as she looked at her birthday cake, the lit candles flickering away.

"We'll see him again, don't worry," Star Light said, "I'm sure of it."

It was Elizabeth's 18th birthday, and due to their situation, only her parents and sisters were with her. She had gotten a few presents from her family including perfume, clothes etc. But nothing from her one and only brother. Growing up she and Connor would play each other on the Xbox and go to the cinema together, getting very close as siblings.

"I hope so, it's not the same without him around."

Chapter - 29 - What Happens In Las Pegasus....

View Online

The hard knocks of the library door felt like a pile-driver boring its way into Twilight's skull. She had had little sleep since the incident with Connor several days ago and the early morning wake up call and lack of morning coffee didn't help matters. She groggily made here way down stairs as the knocking continued.

"I'm coming!" she yelled harshly, becoming increasingly irritated by the disturbance.

The knocking thankfully stopped by the time she reached the door. Opening it she was instantly shocked out of her drowsy state by who it was stood before her.

"Princess Luna!"

"Greetings Twilight Sparkle, apologies if I woke you at this early hour."

Twilight rubbed her eyes with her hooves, "It's OK, I was awake already. Do you want to come inside?"

"Thank you, but no," Luna smiled "I came here only to personally deliver a message from Connor."

The mention of his name immediately got her attention.

"You have?! How is he? Where is he?"

"All is explained in this letter young Twilight," Luna replied, levitating a scroll into view.

Twilight took the scroll in her magic and began to unfurl it hesitantly, fearful of what may be written.

"I shall leave you now Twilight, I have matters to discuss with my sister."

"Of course Princess, bye now."

"Goodbye Twilight."

Luna took to the sky and flew away before disappearing in a flash of light, leaving Twilight alone. She closed the door to the library and sat herself down on a large cushion and began reading the scroll.

Hi Twilight,

First I'd just like to apologise for my behaviour the other day. It was way over the top and unfair (particularly to Rarity) considering you were only trying to have a little fun. I'm writing to you because I want to make up to you all, but I'll need your help to do it (and Rarity needs to be kept out of it). I'm currently in Las Pegasus with Spitfire. Could you come through and we'll talk about what I'm planning?

You can get Hotmail Spike to send your reply with his dragon fire to the portable messenger lighter Luna gave me. (In case you're wondering why Luna delivered it's because she came to see me in Las Pegasus and offered to deliver it).

Hopefully still your friend,

Connor

Twilight put down the scroll, slightly befuddled at Connor's words. They were ones to take things too far yet he felt he was at fault and needed to make amends, though she had no idea what he was planning.

Humans make no sense.

She got up and trotted over to her desk, taking out some parchment and a quill in the process. Sitting down she began writing a response, hoping that their friendship with Connor could be repaired.

Dear Connor,

I got your message. I'd love to come and see you (and Spitfire). Let me know where and when and I'll be there, I'll bring Spike also.

Always your friend,
Twilight

She rolled up the scroll and trotted over to Spike.

"Hey Spike, can you send this to Connor?"

Spike took the scroll, "Sure."

He breathed green fire over the scroll and watched as the flames flicker away out of the window before turning worriedly back to Twilight.

"How is Connor?"

Twilight sighed and looked down dejectedly, "I'm not too sure Spike, he seems OK. He's currently in Las Pegasus."

"Las Pegasus?"

"Yes, Spitfire's with him."

"Are you going to see him?"

"Yes and I'll bring you with me. I said I would in the letter."

This brought a smile to Spike's face. Connor is one of the few guy friends he has not to mention the only other being he's met that can speak Dovazhul. Something which brings himself and Connor great delight in tormenting Twilight.

"Should we tell Rarity?"

Twilight pondered the idea but wasn't entirely sure, "I don't know Spike. I have no idea how Connor will react when he sees her."

"Well, I think we should tell her, and bring her with us."

"But what if he gets angry again at just the sight of her?"

"He won't."

"But-"

"Twilight, he won't get angry."

"How can you be sure?"

"I just have a feeling."

Twilight said nothing for a few seconds as she worried over the possible angry reaction of Connor, but also realised that Connor and Rarity would eventually see each other again regardless. So why delay the inevitable?

"OK Spike. I'll prepare our bags, you go and tell Rarity. We'll leave for Las Pegasus tonight if she comes."

Spike bolted away faster than Rainbow Dash to inform Rarity of the trip, prompting Twilight to giggle.


Rarity was slumped over the arm rest of her sofa when she heard knocking at the door. She grabbed a pillow and put it over her ears in an attempt to drown out the awful noise. Since Connor's outburst she hadn't left the boutique or even worked on any projects or commissions, and the remains of Connor's dress still remained in a tattered pile on the floor of her workshop. Her usually immaculate mane and tail were unkempt and her pristine white fur had lost it's radiance.

The knocking grew louder and louder.

"Rarity!"

Spike's voice caught her attention.

But she wasn't interested in any visits from anyone.

Unless they were bring large tubs of ice cream.

"Rarity! I need to see you, it's about Connor!"

That caught her attention. At the mention of Connor's name her ears perked up. Though she would rather have been left alone, she decided just to get this over with and see what news Spike had on Connor. She tiredly got up and made her way to the door, unlocking it and opening to see Spike stood alone. His eyes went wide at the sight of Rarity.

"Hello Spike," she said wearily.

"Hey Rarity......are....you OK?"

Rarity smiled sweetly, "I'm fine Spike, I...look worse than I feel."

It was clear she was lying but Spike decided now wasn't the time for calling her out on it.

"We got a letter from Connor earlier."

"Oh....how is he?"

"He's OK. He's currently in Las Pegasus with Spitfire."

"That sounds nice, they made up did they?" she asked tiredly.

"Yeah. He also sent his apologies to you."

Rarity blinked several times in shock, "Oh....but why would he apologise to me? I'm the one who....took things to far."

"As far as he's concerned, he overreacted and wants to make things up to you."

"Make things up to me? But I was the one who upset him."

"I'm not sure but-"

Spike was abruptly cut off by a belch of green fire, signalling the arrival of another letter. Spike took the scroll and opened it.

Hey Spike,

Would you do me a favour and deliver a scroll I'll send after you read this to Rarity?

Looking forward to seeing you in Las Pegasus. I'll even take you out to a night club (just don't tell Twilight.)

Connor.

A second after reading he belched again. Looking at the scroll he could see it was addressed to Rarity and handed it to her.

"Here, it's from Connor."

Rarity nervously took the scroll in her magic and began reading.

Dear Rarity,

First I'd like to apologise for how I acted, it was completely over the top and unnecessary; I certainly didn't intend to upset you. I'm also sorry to hear about what you did to the dress. You work hard on all your projects and hearing that I caused you to destroy an expensive piece made me feel like crap. I actually didn't mind wearing it for a bit of fun (because I'm weird), it was more how everyone reacted when they saw me.

Also, I'd like to un-cancel my cancellation of the order I cancelled, Spitfire needs a dress for the GGG and you are the only pony that can make it.

Come to Las Pegasus and I'll make things up to you.

Your friend,
Connor.

For the first time since the incident a smile formed on Rarity's lips.

"Thank you Spike, do you think you could write back to Connor for me? I have a few things to sort out."

"Sure thing. We're leaving for Las Pegasus tonight."

"That will be enough time for me, I'll see you then Spike."

"See you later Rarity."

Spike ran off back to the library to write a response to Connor on Rarity's behalf, while Rarity herself went back inside her boutique. She went upstairs to her work room and went over to the pile of rags that was Connor's dress and sighed tiredly.

"At least he's no longer angry," she said, before turning away to begin on another project.


"So Milkshake, anywhere you want to visit?" Connor asked Spitfire, while looking at tourist leaflets.

Spitfire looked at the leaflets, quickly finding one that peaked her interest.

"How about this one?" she asked, handing the leaflet over to Connor.

"Bourneville World?"

"Yeah, Bourneville are huge chocolate manufacturer that have been around for almost two centuries. Their chocolate is a huge favourite of Equestria."

"How did I not hear of them until now?"

"Too busy chasing my tail."

"What?"

"What?" Spitfire repeated innocently.

"So, Bourneville World?"

"Yeah, it's on ground level just outside Las Pegasus; interested?"

"Definitely. It's yet another thing we have in common."

"In what way?"

"I my world, specifically my country, there is a company called Cadbury; a chocolate manufacturer. They were founded by John Cadbury in 1824, originally selling tea, coffee and drinking chocolate. They eventually moved onto different varieties of cocoa and later on began making chocolate confectioneries. In 1905, they introduced the Dairy Milk chocolate bar, which contained a higher proportion of milk within the recipe than compared to rival products."

"Sounds awesome. What's the company like now?"

"A shadow of it's former self. In 2010, Cadbury was bought out by a company called Kraft in a deal worth £11.5 billion, or 115 billion bits."

Spitfire's eyes boggled out of their sockets, "HOW MUCH?!"

"115 billion bits, in early 2010 they bought enough shares to be able to de-list them from the stock market."

"What happened the Cadbury after that?"

"The day after Kraft secured enough shares to ensure a takeover, Cadbury's Chairman, Chief Executive, and Chief Financial Officer all resigned. After the takeover was complete, Kraft then said they were closing the Sommerdale factory with the loss of 400 jobs."

"Why would they do that?"

"Because they wanted more money. That's the only reason Kraft took over Cadbury, they wanted more money. Then over the years they went and ruined the chocolate itself by changing the recipes, changing the shape of Dairy Milk from its original square shape to a dreadful curve shape. Kraft then brought out new Cadbury products by combining them with their other brands such as cheese crackers and cheese spread. I mean come on, chocolate and cheese spread!"

"I take it you don't like Kraft then?"

"Not at all, and it's not the first time they fucked up a British company. Another chocolate company called 'The Chocolate Works' eventually came under Kraft ownership and a few years before their takeover of Cadbury, shut the factory in York and moved production to their other sites in mainland Europe, causing the loss of more than 300 jobs."

"Kraft sound like a truly horrible company."

"They are. They're a prime example of corporate greed. Fucking bastards, the lot of them. They took a much loved and iconic British brand and absolutely destroyed it, all just to make a few extra bucks."

"Bucks?"

"American slang term for dollars, their currency. But I'm probably getting too emotional again and since Cadbury is a British company, it's only natural I'd have a biased view."

Spitfire chuckled, "Don't worry Sleepy Head, I understand why you love chocolate so much."

"So, shall we go to Bourneville World, my cheery little milkshake?"

Spitfire blushed and smiled happily, "Yeah, let's."


After a twenty minute flight the duo reached Bourneville World. A reasonably sized plot that encompassed a small factory and the visitor centre itself, recognisable by its iconic red colour. Landing just in front of the main entrance they ventured inside and went up to the main counter, the foyer surprisingly sparse of ponies.

The mare on duty spotted Connor and Spitfire approach and had to do a double take.

"Hey there," said Spitfire, "Just the two of us for the tour."

"Sure thing," the mare replied, "There's a tour due to start in fifteen minutes, there's already a group of ponies waiting."

"That's fine."

"Very well, for the two of you it will cost 300 bits."

Spitfire paid the mare the correct change and the pair were handed their golden tickets.

Spitfire thanked the mare and she and Connor went over to where they were directed to wait for the tour to start. As they approached, like many times before, attracted the attention from ponies; particularly foals.

"It's the flying monkey!" shouted one of the fillies.

Flying monkey? Connor thought.

Almost immediately all the fillies and colts ran over, swarming at the feet and hooves of Connor and Spitfire, both of which put on brave faces.

"Hey there," Connor said.

"Hiya Mr Monkey!" yelled the same filly as before.

"He's not a monkey he's a hoo...hooo-" started another colt.

"Human," Connor said, "I'm a human."

"Ohhhh," chorused the foals.

"Sorry for calling you a monkey Mr Human," the filly said, her lower lip trembling.

"That's OK, I wasn't offended," replied Connor gently, ruffling the filly's mane.

The filly cheered up a little, a smile beaming on her face, and asked questions again.

"Are you and Miss Spitfire here for the tour?"

"We sure are. I take it you're all looking forward to it."

A cacophony of cheers erupted from the foals, unsurprising really; what foal wouldn't look forward to a trip around a chocolate factory?

After signing a few autographs and taking a few pictures with the foals, the tour was ready to start. Connor and Spitfire followed the foals and their parents into the first part of the tour.


Several hours later the tour had finished, which consisted of a history of Bourneville, the chocolate making process, a lecture on the different types of chocolate and their different uses. Connor and Spitfire had just finished browsing the shop and buying several bars and boxes of chocolate, one of which Connor bought was a 1KG slab of Milk Chocolate. The pair had also bought a few gifts for their friends and family, as well as the Princesses. For the Princesses Connor had bought large chocolate figurines in their shapes, which Connor decided to give each Princess their sisters' figurine.

Carrying reasonably heavy bags full of chocolate, Connor and Spitfire headed outside to make their way back to Las Pegasus.

"So Milkshake, ready to head back to the hotel?"

"Ready. You said Twilight was meeting us didn't you?"

"Yeah, in the hotel lobby at around 5pm along with Rarity and Spike."

"Will the others be there?"

"No idea."

"We should head back now anyway, give us plenty of time to get ready."

"Any place in particular you know of we could go for the night, food wise."

Spitfire stroked her chin in thought, "Hmmmm....there's a restaurant that specialises in oriental cuisine on the strip."

"What's it called?"

"The Oriental Cook House."

Connor looked at Spitfire with a raised eyebrow, "Seriously?"

Spitfire nodded, "Really, not imaginative I know."

"Still, is it any good?"

"Apparently, rated four stars by the Equestria Tourist Board."

"We'll go there then, if the others who come don't mind."


It was nearing 5pm and Connor and Spitfire were making their way to the hotel lobby. Spitfire had her mane down and wasn't wearing any clothes, whereas Connor had on black trousers, black shoes and no shirt; his bare chest once again visible to all. After getting back to the hotel and putting there chocolate haul in a safe space, they got another bath together and preened each others' wings; tidying them up for the night out.

As they approached the lobby, the duo saw Twilight, Spike and the rest of the gang. All of them looked nervous, especially Rarity; who was carrying a large suitcase with her. She had tidied up her mane and tail and freshened up her fur, though it was still obvious it lacked its usual radiance.

"Hey guys," said Connor nervously, "Er, how are you?"

They fidgeted around uncomfortably on their hooves, or feet in Spike's case.

"We're good," Rainbow replied, "Did a little cloud clearing after the storm."

Connor nodded nervously, "That's cool."

There was a few seconds more of awkward silence, everyone trying to avoid eye contact; particularly Rarity. Deciding to break the awkward situation, Connor approached Rarity and knelt down to her level. He gently placed a hand underneath her chin, causing her to look up slowly.

"Hey Rarity."

"Hello Connor," she said glumly, her face drooping.

"I'm pleased to see you here, all of you in fact."

"We're pleased to see you're OK too," she replied just as gloomily.

Realising words weren't going to do much, Connor instead tried a physical gesture. One he knew ponies loved. He gently wrapped his arms around her and pulled her in for a hug. Though surprised by the sudden gesture, Rarity didn't attempt to resist or block the move; instead she spoke.

"Why are you hugging me Connor?"

"You look like you desperately needed one."

"But why hug me, especially after what I did?"

"Because I over-reacted to what happened. There was little of no excuse for my over-the-top reaction."

"But you were right though, we took things too far.....I even hit you."

Connor didn't need reminding of that. For a seemingly delicate mare, Rarity can hit hard, just being reminded of that caused him to wince.

"It's all in the past, and we're still friends; I've forgiven you all so stop worrying."

"Really?" Rarity asked, pulling away form the hug and looking Connor square in the face.

"Really really," Connor replied.

Rarity smiled happily and launched herself at Connor, tears falling down her cheeks, "Thank you darling, it means so much to me that you forgive us."

Before Connor could reply, Pinkie launched herself into the air, "Group hug!"

No sooner had Pinkie joined in did the the others also. Somewhere beneath a pile of colourful and cuddly ponies, was Connor; identifiable only by his legs sticking out from the bottom of the pile. Ponies passing by seemed oblivious to the scene, as though nothing was happening. Spitfire watched on as her coltfriend was hugged to a slow cuddly death, stifling giggles with her hoof.

Mumbling could be heard from within the mountain of colourful ponies.

"Hey, I think Connor was trying to say something," Rainbow said, letting go and hovering in the air.

The other slowly got off revealing Pinkie's tail wrapped around Connor's face.

"Sorry Connor," she said and she unwrapped herself and her tail from around him.

"No problem. So, who's up for some oriental?"

The girls eye's lit up. Pinkie was excitedly trotting up and down on the spot, "Oooooooooooh! Sounds exciting!"

"That's if you're all OK with it."

The girls were all in agreement so the group began making their way out of the hotel lobby. Before they reached the doors however, Rarity called to Connor.

"Connor darling, I have a little something for you," she said, levitating a suitcase over to him.

Connor took the suitcase but before he could open it, Rarity called out to him.

"Why not open it in your room, we'll all wait down here for you."

Guessing what was in the suitcase was more clothes she wanted him try on and wear for the night, he nodded and headed off for his room.

"I won't be long," he said as he walked away.

A few minutes later he was in his room. He placed the suitcase on the bed and opened it up, becoming pleasantly surprised at the contents. Another flightsuit was inside, identical to his usual Wonderbolt flightsuit except the blue was replaced with red. Also included were a pair of golden yellow gloves and matching pair of shin-high boots.

He removed his trousers and shoes and took out the flightsuit, carefully putting it on so as to avoid damaging it. Like his Wonderbolt flightsuits, it fit perfectly and left little to the imagination. After putting on the gloves and zipping up the boots, he walked over to the full length mirror and admired himself once again.

"I kinda look like Super Ted," he said, remembering the TV show from his childhood.

After confirming he did indeed look awesome he headed back for the lobby, not wanting to keep his friends waiting any longer. With a spring in his step, he quickly left his room and went to the lobby, deciding at the last moment to take a short-cut.


"I wonder where Connor's got to, he usually doesn't take this long to get into a flightsuit," Spitfire commented, "Unless....he's admiring himself in a mirror again."

"Well who can blame him," Rainbow said, "I always admire myself in a mirror."

The girls just rolled her eyes, unamused at Dash's boasting.

"Do you think he'll be long?" asked Fluttershy.

Before any of the could answer, a strangely familiar winged-biped landed unceremoniously into a heap on the floor in front of them.

"Twatting gravity," he grumbled.

He stood up and dusted himself off, turning to the girls, "Hey, I didn't keep you long did I?"

No answer immediately came, instead just the sound of silence and open mouths.

"You lot will catch flies looking like that."

The girls quickly came back to their senses, Spitfire in particular was blushing.

"Looking good Sleepy Head, pity you landed like a rookie. It seems like you'll need further training on that procedure."

"It was deliberate," he replied, convincing no-one.

"Yeah, sure it was," Rainbow replied sarcastically, "Next you'll tell us you don't like wearing Wonderbolt flightsuits."

"I have no idea what you're talking about. Anyway, thanks Rarity, it's great," he replied, bending down to her and giving her another hug.

"No problem darling," Rarity replied, returning the hug with a warm smile.

"So," Spitfire said, "Shall we get going?"

"Yeah, I'm starving," replied Connor.

"Imagine my shock."

The ponies laughed and began making their way out of the hotel, before they did though, Connor called over to Twilight.

"Yes?"

Connor knelt down to and began whispering in her ear.

"I want to make things up to Rarity but I need your help."

"What with?" she whispered back.

"If possible, I'd like you to repair the dress I wore, I heard Rarity destroyed it."

Twilight winced in discomfort,"Yeah, we heard her do it, though she doesn't know that. Why do you want me repair it though? I thought you didn't like it."

"It was being made to feel humiliated I didn't like, actually wearing it didn't bother me."

"What are you getting at Connor?"

"I'd like to invite Rarity to a private dinner in the penthouse......with me wearing the dress, as well as having my hair done up again and what not."

Twilight said nothing for a few seconds, instead letting Connor's words sink in. She looked at his face intently and even though his face was hard to read at times, she sensed he was being genuine and sincere.

"I'll help you Connor, but tell me what you want me to do."

"Tomorrow, preferably, would you be able to go to Rarity's boutique and repair the dress and return it here. It's so that I can put it in and get myself ready in time for Rarity's surprise dinner."

"Why the dress though? You could just have the dinner."

"Because she put a lot of effort into making it and I just blew up essentially over nothing about it. When she walks into the penthouse and sees a small table set up ready for dinner on the balcony, I'll walk into view and when she sees me in the dress she made, happy to put that incident behind us-"

Twilight raised a hoof, motioning for Connor to stop talking, "I hear you Connor, and I will help you; but what if she's thrown away the rags or I can't repair it?"

"You're a clever mare Twilight, I'm sure you'll think of something."

The two hugged before walking off to catch up with their friends.

"So," Twilight started, "You actually like wearing dresses?"

A beet red Connor nodded meekly, "It was surprisingly enjoyable."

"I'm sure if you asked Rarity she'd make you an entire wardrobe of dresses."

"I was going to."

"Huh?" Twilight said, looking at Connor completely perplexed.

"I even thought about wearing a dress to the Grand Galloping Gala."

"Seriously?"

Connor nodded.

"When did you think of this?"

"Last night. In my world I never would do it, but here in Equestria where everyone is more tolerant, I thought I can just wear them and not feel ashamed about it."

"Why would you feel ashamed about it?"

"Where I'm from, guys don't usually wear dresses. Lots of reasons. Also while I remember, are you any good with hairstyling?"

"Why?"

"The other day Rarity used a mane lengthening spell and tied my hair up into a bun and fastened it into place using a broach."

"You also wore a necklace and bracelets, do you want them as well?"

Connor nodded, "I'm sure Rarity won't mind if we borrow them without permission."

"What about a tiara?"

"No, a tiara's going too far."

"Going too far? Connor you'll be wearing a dress, have your mane long and tied into a bun, wearing a gold necklace and bracelets......how is wearing a tiara going to make things any different?"

"Point made...........this is possibly the most unusual conversation I've ever had."

"So you'll wear a tiara?"

Connor sighed in defeat, "Fine, in for a penny. I'll see if I can use the one Celestia gave me that I gave to Spitfire."

"No need, I'll arrange something."

"But-"

"Connor," Twilight interrupted holding up a hoof, "I'll see to it you have a tiara, no need to borrow Spitfire's."

Connor stroked his chin in thought for a few seconds, "How about a laurel wreath made from gold?"

Twilight's eyes lit up, "Connor that's a great idea! If you like I can go to the jewellers in Ponyville and have him create one."

"Sure, tell him to put it on credit and I'll pay it off when I get back."

"Sure thing Connor."

They soon caught up with the others, Spitfire flying into the air and piggybacking on Connor. Her hind legs rested on his shoulders and her forelegs wrapped around his forehead, with her barrel on his head.

"Comfortable?" asked Connor.

"Yes I am thank you."

The group made their way to The Curry House, attracting the attention of several ponies on the way. They finally arrived at The Oriental Cook House, a simple red brick building with red mahogany window frames and doors. The group went inside and waited at the inner doorway to be seen to.

They weren't waiting long before they were at the front of the line.

The waiter almost had to do a double take when he saw the Elements of Harmony, Spike, Spitfire and Connor in front of him.

"Hello," he managed to vocalise with professionalism, "Welcome to The Oriental Cook House, how many of you will be eating here tonight?"

"There's nine of us," replied Connor.

"You're in luck, there's a table available. If you'd like to follow me."

The group followed the waiter to a large table with a leather backed bench along the wall, and five chairs opposite. Everyone sat themselves down, Connor sat down on the bench, flanked by Twilight and Spitfire.

"Would you like to order drinks now?" asked the waiter.

Everyone ordered a drink, all but Spike having an alcoholic beverage. While the waiter went to get the drinks, everyone looked at the menu. Connor noted a lot were every similar to Chinese style dishes, a lot of duck, chicken, king prawns and seafood options. Looking through the options, Connor decided on Honey Rust Duck, and Spitfire decided on a Stir Fried King Prawn with Mixed Vegetables, both of them choosing a side dish of prawn crackers.

The other girls and Spike chose from vegetable and seafood dishes.

The group gave the waiter their orders once he returned with the drinks.

While they were waiting, they began discussing the upcoming Grand Galloping Gala, Equestria's largest and grandest social event and only a month away.

"It's going to be so awesome!" Rainbow exclaimed excitedly.

"It's going to be the best night ever!" Pinkie added, even more excitedly.

"Indeed darling, socialising with Equestria's most famous and well-connected nobles could do wonders for my boutique."

"We'll be performing as usual," added Spitfire, "We start practising the routine next week."

"I bet it'll be really dreary and boring."

"Boring!" Twilight screeched, "You think the Grand Galloping Gala will be boring?!"

Connor nodded, "I've been to social events like it. I'm telling you they're extremely boring."

"What kind of events?" asked Spitfire.

"Usually military ones where I had to go with my dad. With him being a senior officer in the RAF there were many times he was required to attend events, along with his family."

"When was the last one you went to?"

"It would have been when I was around 23. Even though I didn't have to, I owed my dad a favour after he helped me out picking me up from the airport."

"Airport?" asked Spitfire, "You were on holiday?"

"I went on an 8 night cruise in the Mediterranean. I flew out to Barcelona, boarded the liner there. The itinerary included visits to Marseilles, Nice, Florence, Rome and Naples, before finishing the cruise back in Barcelona. Due to a delay with my flight back I didn't get back to England until 11pm, so just before I boarded my delayed flight I phoned my dad and asked if he could pick me up."

"So you went to his RAF event to return a favour?" asked Spitfire.

"Yeah."

"Seems reasonable enough."

"What was the cruise like?" asked Rarity.

"It was really good, the ship I went on was called the Oasis of the Seas. An Oasis class cruise liner owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International, they're the biggest cruise ships sailing at around 1200ft long. Do you want to see a picture?"

The girls all nodded eagerly.

"Pinkie, could you get my phone for me please?"

"Sure thing," she replied.

She reached up into her mane with a hoof and within a couple of seconds pulled out Connor's phone, an iPhone 6SPlus in gold.

"Here you are Connor," she said as she hoofed over it to him.

"Thanks Pinkie."

Connor swiped through the screens until he came to the relevant photos. He turned the phone around and showed everypony, all of the going slack jawed at the sight.

"You weren't kidding," Twilight said, "That's huge!"

"It's not even the biggest ship there is."

"There's bigger?!"

Connor nodded, "Royal Caribbean are building more Oasis class ships, the Allure of the Seas and the Harmony of the Seas. A fourth called Symphony of the Seas is due to have its keel laid down in October 2015, a few months from now."

"I wonder how much they cost?" Rainbow wondered aloud.

"An Oasis class vessel costs around 14 billion bits."

All of the girls went a lighter shade of their respective fur colours, Spike's scales made it impossible to determine if he felt the same way.

"And that's just the Oasis class, Royal Caribbean have around 25 ships in their fleet with about another six on order, around 200 billion bits in assets."

The girl's fur went an even lighter shade.

"Anyway," Connor continued, "We were talking about the GGG."

"Yes," Twilight replied, her fur back to its usual lavender shade, "The Grand Galloping Gala celebrates the foundation of Canterlot, it's the one event everypony dreams of going to, and to be able to go is considered a great privilege and honour."

"Don't misunderstand Twilight, I'll go; it's just that I don't think I'll enjoy it."

"Don't worry Sleepy Head, there'll be something for you to do."

"Indeed there will," Twilight said, "Especially as Princess Celestia invited you as her personal guest."

"How did you know?"

"She told me in a letter, along with telling me how much she's looking forward to giving you your gift."

"How did you know about that? She only told me about this gift yesterday?"

"I sent her a letter this morning and got one back."

"Oh, well I guess I'll be with her then."

"Don't worry Connor, you'll have a great time," Twilight said sympathetically, patting his lap with a hoof.

Connor felt a foreboding sense of dread course through him.


MEANWHILE IN CANTERLOT CASTLE

Celestia danced up and down on the spot, giddiness overpowering her as she looked at the sketches. She couldn't wait until the night of the Grand Galloping Gala when she could finally reveal her gift to him.

"Connor is going to love this!" she said cheerfully before dancing out of the room, "But for now, there is cake in this castle that needs my divine attention."


Connor shuddered.

"Something wrong Connor?" asked Spitfire.

"Just a feeling karma's going to get me."

All the girls and Spike looked at each other confused, no idea what he was talking about.

"Anyway," he continued, "Our food shouldn't be too much longer now."

After a few more minutes, their food did indeed arrive. Their mostly empty table was now full with steaming hot food, Connor's Honey Roasted Duck being the largest of them all. Side orders of prawn crackers littered the table, dotted in between everyone's main dishes.

Connor roasted duck was reasonably sized and could easily satisfy the appetite of a Minotaur, never mind a human. His honey roast duck was accompanied by a helping of stir fried oriental greens and a side dish of white rice, and a pint of smooth ale finished things off nicely.

"This is simply divine," Rarity joyfully announced. Her meal being Zhajiangmian.

"What can I expect at the GGG?" asked Connor.

"Well," replied Spitfire, "Mostly it's just socialising with the rich and famous of Equestria, but there's also a buffet, a VIP section, the Palace Gardens, an orchestra and of course......us Wonderbolts will be performing. Whilst we're talking about the gala, have you decided what you'll be wearing? You can wear a Wonderbolt flight suit if you want."

"He's going to-"

Twilight was cut off by a nudge from Connor, "What Twilight was going to say was I was going to talk to Rarity about a suit."

Twilight looked confused as she went over the conversation from earlier with Connor, but noting the look of his face and connecting the dots; she realised what he was doing.

"You wish for me to make you a suit?" asked Rarity.

"If that's OK, but there's no rush. We can talk about it at a later date."

"Of course darling, for now let's just enjoy our dinner."


About twenty minutes later, everyone had finished their meals and were making their way out of the restaurant, having paid the bill. Connor footed the bill, all 1200 bits of it, much to the appreciation and gratitude of the girls and Spike.

Back outside again, the sun had set and the Las Pegasus was lit up in all its neon glory.

"Looks good on a night," commented Connor.

"Night time in Las Pegasus is when the adults come out to play."

"Rainbow Dash!" Rarity scolded, "I will not have such lewd jokes spoken in front of Spike!"

Rainbow continued snickering prompting Rarity to huff indignantly.

"Well, what are we doing now?" asked Connor.

"Well it's getting late and I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm tired," Twilight replied, "I'm going to see if there's a hotel with rooms available."

"There should be some where we're staying," Connor replied, "Why not start there?"

"Sure, it's as good as place as any."

A short while later, they arrived back at the hotel. After a short discussion with the hotel receptionists, Twilight had secured three rooms for the herself, Spike and the others, albeit spread on different floors. Twilight and Spike had a room on the 39th floor, Rarity, Applejack and Pinkie had a room on the 28th floor whilst Rainbow and Fluttershy had a room on the 56th floor. Connor and Spitfire's penthouse was on the 69th floor.

Again, all of it paid for by Connor. Spike and the girls would only be staying a couple of nights though.

After bidding each other a good night, everyone made their ways to their respective rooms to settle in for the night.

Entering their penthouse, Spitfire and Connor immediately locked the door and made their way to the bedroom. Removing his flightsuit and placing it on the chest of drawers, he turned back to the bed; Spitfire already making herself comfortable.

"Jump in Sleepy Head."

Connor didn't need telling again. He walked up to the bed and got under the covers, immediately snuggling up to Spitfire.

"We had a good time tonight," Spitfire said.

"Yeah, glad we could put everything behind us."

The was a few moments of silence before Spitfire spoke again.

"I really am sorry for how I acted Connor, I shouldn't have laughed at you like that."

"I know you are, and I accept your apology. And I'm sorry for how I reacted, that letter was savage."

"But understandable."

"Maybe, but let's not go down that avenue again, let's just enjoy the moment."

Spitfire smiled warmly, "Yeah, let's."

Chapter - 30 - ....Stays In Las Pegasus

View Online

Connor and the gang, sans Twilight and Spike, were strolling down the Las Pegasus strip, taking in the sights once more. Their destination was the arcades in the 'family friendly' area of the city, which to Connor, were more like seaside amusements such as in Bridlington and Scarborough. Not that he minded, seaside amusements were a source of great fun in his childhood and many good memories.

Though these amusements just didn't feel the same not being on a seafront.

Maybe it was the lack of seagulls?

They went into an arcade called Cumulonimbus. A multi-level cloud building containing games for all ages such as air hockey, bit pushers, slot machines, claw machines and a simulator like machine that allowed unicorns and earth ponies to experience what it would be like to be a pegasus. The simulator had a 'pre-programmed' course that the player had to complete in the fastest time possible.

The venture into the arcade though, was more a diversionary tactic to allow time for Twilight to go back to Ponyville and make the necessary arrangements for Connor. She would first go to Rarity's boutique to attempt to repair Connor's dress, then to the jewellers to have a golden laurel wreath made (if possible). Connor was planning the dinner for tonight but was prepared to postpone it if necessary. Twilight was able to use the excuse of being on an assignment from Celestia to avoid suspicion of where she went, at least as far as Rarity was concerned.

For the time being though the others were starting to enjoy themselves, Connor and Rainbow making a beeline for an air hockey table. The table was programmed to ten games per set, with the best of five sets being the winner.

"I'm gonna whoop your butt Connor!" Rainbow boasted confidently.

"Not before I kick your flank!"

MEANWHILE IN PONYVILLE

Twilight and Spike had just entered Rarity's boutique, having landed just moments ago in a hot air balloon along with Spike. They ventured upstairs and into Rarity's work room and began looking for the destroyed dress.

"Any idea where she could have put it?" asked Spike.

"My guess is somewhere where nopony would see it."

Twilight began looking through cupboards without much success, only finding bolts of untouched fabric and already made clothing. She moved on to the wardrobes and had just a s much success, before coming across a closet. Seeing no harm in looking, she opened the door and felt both pleasure and discomfort at the sight.

Twilight and the others heard Rarity tear it to pieces but seeing it first hoof really hit home how badly things went. She nonetheless picked the pieces up and brought them to the centre of the room, placing them back on the floor.

"Is that it?" asked Spike.

"It is, we're going to have our work cut out for us trying to repair this."

"Can't you just cast a spell and do it that way?"

"Maybe, but it will be a delicate process to do it correctly, otherwise there may be blemishes and other imperfections visible."

"Is there anything I can do to help?"

"If you could go to the jewellers and see of they have any gold laurel wreaths, and if not, see if Aurum Karat will produce one today," Twilight said to him, "I'll write out a letter explaining what I need. Do you have any scrolls and ink with you?"

"Right here," Spike replied, pulling said items out of hammerspace.

"Thanks Spike."

Twilight write the letter and levitated the scroll over to Spike, "Here you are. I've also included a sketch Connor made showing how he'd like it to look."

"Thanks Twilight, I'll go now and let you get to work."

"Thanks Spike, the sooner we sort this out, the less likely we'll be rushing around later."

Spike dashed off out of the library and headed towards the jewellers, running as fast as his short legs allowed. Reaching the jewellers, he went inside and was greeted by Karat Aurum himself, known to everyone as just 'Aurum'. An unsurprisingly gold unicorn with white mane and tail, and a cutie mark that simply showed a pyramid of six gold bars.

"Spike, wonderful to see you again, what brings you here? Not after eating my gems are you?"

Spike laughed nervously, "No, not today. But I am here on important business."

"Oh, what kind of important business?"

Spike held up the scroll and allowed Aurum to take it in his magic. Unfurling and reading it, Aurum's brow furrowed and he hummed uncertainly.

"I don't have in stock what Twilight and Connor ask for, and I'm uncertain if I could make it in time, even though I have enough gold in to make one."

"Would you be able to do it though?" Spike asked hopefully.

"I'll certainly give it a try," Aurum replied, "My apprentice can keep an eye on the shop floor."

"Great! How much do you think it will cost?"

"Well, for 24 karat gold, labour costs, VAT.....you're looking at around 12,000 bits."

Spike very nearly almost fainted.

"12,000 bits?"

Aurum nodded, "For what's described and the amount of gold I'd need to use, yes. I may be able to lower the price, but I would expect a favour in return from Connor, such as him endorsing my wares."

"I could ask him now if you like? I can write to him and use my dragon breath to send the letter."

"Of course, do you need any scrolls or ink?"

"No thanks, got some right here," Spike replied, pulling them out of hammerspace again.

Spike quickly wrote a letter and sent it away. He was only waiting a few seconds before he got a reply.

Hi Spike,

I'm fine with that, we can discuss details another day. My bank has a branch in Las Pegasus, so if he sends an invoice I can transfer the funds to his business account.

Connor.

NB: Can you keep me updated on yours and Twilight's progress? And if you can, can you try to find a gold brooch that would suit me?

Spike showed Aurum the scroll.

"Very well," he said, returning the scrolls to Spike, "I shall begin at once. Return to me at around 5pm and it should be ready. If you're friend is after a golden brooch there are some over on the far corner."

Spike looked to where Aurum was pointing, "There are a great many to choose from, if you need any assistance, just ask my apprentice."

"Great! I'll see you then."

Aurum went into his workshop at the back of the store, telling his apprentice to take the shop floor.

Spike walked over to the glass cabinet and looked the the many different brooches. Some small, some large ones; some bland and others extravagant.

What would Connor like? Spike thought.

He continued looking until he came across one that looked particularly cool. Or at least Spike thought it did. The brooch was also 24 karat gold, and featured star shaped rubies encrusted into it, two large stars on each side, each 'orbited' by four smaller stars. The brooch would keep Connor's hair tied tightly in place, and would require his hair intertwined with it.

"May I help you sir?"

Spike turned around to see who he assumed to be Aurum's apprentice.

"Maybe. My friend is after a brooch and I think they may be interested in this one," Spike replied, pointing to the respective jewellery.

"Would you like a close look?"

"Yes please."

The apprentice unlocked the cabinet with his magic and removed the brooch, locking the cabinet door again. Looking closer at the brooch, he saw more easily the very high craftsmanship that went into making it. Spike had no idea of Connor would like it, but Connor wouldn't have asked him if he didn't trust his judgement.

"I'll take it!"

"Excellent, come with me to the counter and we'll sort things out."

Spike followed the stallion to the counter, who began wrapping the brooch in protective packaging and then placing it in a decorative mahogany box.

"Would you like to add it to your other item and have your friend transfer the funds?"

"Yeah please."

"Very well, the brooch will add 3,000 bits to the bill."

Spike almost fainted.

Maybe I should have asked for the price first.......I hope Connor won't be mad.

"I'll leave this behind the counter with a note for my master."

"Great, I'll be here later to collect it. See you then."

"See you then sir."

Spike left the store and ran back to tell Twilight of the situation. Upon returning and going upstairs, he saw Twilight had managed to 'fuse' some rags back together, but tell-tale signs of damage were still visible.

"Hey Twilight."

"Hey Spike, how did things go at Aurum's?"

Great, the wreath should be ready by 5pm."

"Wonderful, did he say how much it would cost?"

Spike began to feel uneasy again, the high cost making him feel light headed and nervous to tell Twilight.

"It errr......it will cost......t-twelve thousand bits, and that's just the wreath. The brooch I picked out cost another 3,000 bits."

"Seems reasonable," Twilight replied calmly.

That wasn't the response Spike was expecting, "Twilight?"

"Something wrong Spike?"

"The laurel wreath will cost 12,000 bits and the brooch 3,000......and you're not shocked by it?"

"No, not when you consider the weight and the cost of gold, and the labour costs and VAT. 15,000 bits seems a pretty reasonable deal."

"Can Connor even afford it?"

"Certainly, remember he got damages from those newspapers who made libellous stories about him? And then there's income from his job, sponsorship payments and royalties from merchandise featuring his likeness. And I doubt he would have asked you to pick out a broach if he didn't trust your judgement."

Spike felt a swell of pride in hearing Twilight mention Connor's trust in him. Connor was one of the few guy friends he had and valued it greatly.

"How much do you think Connor is worth?"

"I'm not sure, you'd have to ask him."

"Is there anything else?"

"Not now, though if you like you can go to the library and get a head start on re-organising."

"Sure thing Twi."


5pm was approaching and Spike was running his legs off trying to get to the shop before Aurum locked up for the day. Almost everypony in town had gone home after another days work, leaving Spike as one of the few outside. Fortunately, the weather was still calm and warm, with a soft orange glow gently lighting up the town.

He reached the shop with two minutes to spare and went inside. Already on the counter were two boxes, the small one Spike had already seen as it continued what would be Connor's new brooch. A larger, also a mahogany box, rested by its side.

"Come on in Spike," Aurum said, "I'll show you the wreath. I finished it only half an hour ago."

Aurum went behind the counter and unlocked the box. He opened the box with his magic and levitated the wreath into the air.

Spike stood opened mouthed at the piece. The spotless gold shone brightly and the gold leaves consisted of three leaves side by side, the middle pointing ahead, and the left and right leaves pointing left and right respectively. This set up continued from the back of the wreath all the way to the front, large to small respectively.

"That looks great! I'm sure Connor will love it!"

"I'm gratified to hear that," Aurum said putting the wreath back into the box.

He then levitated some papers into Spike's view, "These papers include the invoice, receipts and the account the funds need to be paid to."

Spike took the papers and kept a good hold of them, eager not to lose them.

"I'm closing up shop now, are you returning to Twilight?"

"Yeah, I haven't seen her since this morning; she had an important project at Rarity's to do so I left her to it."

"Want me to walk you there, I can carry these boxes for you?"

"That'll be great, thanks!"

A few minutes later, Aurum and Spike arrived at Rarity's boutique. Opening the door, the pair entered and went upstairs. They entered Rarity's work room and were both surprised to find Twilight asleep on a sofa in the most unladylike fashion.

"I'll leave you to your friend," Aurum said, placing the boxes down on the floor, "Goodbye Spike."

"Bye Aurum."

Spike watched Aurum leave and waited until he heard the door close before walking over to Twilight.

"Twilight?"

No response.

"Twilight!"

"Wuh What!" Twilight exclaimed as she bolted upright in shock. Calming herself down and looking around she saw her number one assistant.

"Oh Spike, it's only you."

"Yeah, errrrr....I got the wreath and broach from Aurum," Spike said, pointing towards the boxes.

"Oh great," Twilight replied, smiling in delight, "Well take them to Connor at once."

Twilight picked up the boxes in her magic and ran towards the door.

"WAIT!"

Twilight stopped in her tracks and turned around, "What's the matter Spike? Why are you yelling?"

"Aren't you forgetting something?" he asked, fearful she fell asleep before finishing repairs.

"Forgetting something?"

"Connor's dress?"

"Oh yeah," Twilight replied joyfully, "Over here."

Spike followed Twilight who walked over to a changing screen. She used her magic to levitate the screen out of the way and revealed the fully repaired dress Rarity had destroyed. Every piece of fabric had been fused back together and all pieces back to their original place with no signs of damage at all, it was as if the dress was never destroyed in the first place.

"Wow! Nicely done Twilight, how did you do it?"

"Thanks Spike. As for how I did it, I just used a combination of different spells; too complicated to explain."

"I'll take your word for it, so, shall we get going?"

"Absolutely, we don't want to keep Connor waiting."

"What do you think he's doing now?"

"I'm not sure, but we should send him a letter and let him know we're on our way."


Connor was sat in his hotel room having read the letter from Spike and Twilight. According to the letter, Twilight had managed to repair the dress and Spike had managed to get the brooch and laurel wreath. He was deeply sceptical Twilight would have been able to repair the dress but it seemed he had been proved wrong.

Twilight and Spike were on their way back to Las Pegasus, a journey that would give Connor enough time to get changed and get his hair sorted out. Fortunately, the hotel had an on-site mane stylist who agreed to style Connor's hair, he too knowing a hair lengthening spell; but not wanting to work on Connor's hair until he saw the dress and brooch.

Whilst he was waiting in his room; the other girls sans Spitfire, were getting pampered in the hotel spa, Rainbow included. All part of a plot to keep Rarity distracted while Connor made the dinner arrangements.

One of the services the hotel provided was setting up private dinners in guest's rooms, at no extra charge. The dinner would be for Connor and Rarity only, the other girls agreeing to assist Connor in apologising to Rarity for the over-the-top letter he wrote.

But for now, he decided in getting a bath with Spitfire's assistance, followed by a wing preening.

"Ready Stiff Wings?"

"Sure am Sugar Sprinkles," he replied, picking up Spitfire and carrying her like a foal into the bathroom.

"Whaaahh!" Spitfire screamed as Connor cradled her in his arms close to his chest, "Put me down Stiff Wings! That's an order!"

"Oh shush yourself my little pony."

Entering the bathroom he put her back on the floor, only to notice her scowl.

"What's wrong Milkshake?"

"There will be consequences for that little stunt."

"Why? Don't want anyone knowing that you're really just a little cutie?" he asked teasingly.

"I'm not a little cutie," Spitfire pouted.

Connor stifled a laugh, "Keep telling yourself that Milkshake."

He gave her a gentle pat on the head and turned back towards the bath. He removed his flightsuit and boots and handed them to Spitfire, who took them back into the penthouse lounge. She returned to find Connor had already started running a bath, and he was sat on the floor with his back against the bathtub.

"Does even running a bath tire you out?"

"Yeah, it's an extraneous activity that takes its toll on my energy."

Spitfire flew over a plopped herself down on Connor's lap, her hind legs straddling his waist and forelegs wrapped around his neck.

"Too tired for a quick one?" she asked sultry.

Connor, his cheeks beet red, only mumbled incoherent utterances. Spitfire giggled, "Damn you're cute when you get all flustered."

Spitfire moved in to kiss Connor on his lips, an act Connor caught on and responded on kind, putting his hands gently around the back of her head and pulling himself closer to her.


"Stop fidgeting!"

"I'm not fidgeting," Connor replied.

Spitfire was busy trying to tidy up Connor's wings in an effort to make them look presentable for his dinner with Rarity later, a task made all the more difficult by Connor's twitchy wings.

"Connor, if you don't keep your wing still I'll end up pulling out a primary."

"I'm trying to keep them still!"

"Look, I know you apprehensive about your dinner with Rarity but you need to calm down," Spitfire replied, "It's no good turning up with missing feathers."

"I know, and I'm trying to keep calm but-"

Connor was cut off when he felt Spitfire's hoof massaging the base of his wings. The slow kneading movements were successful in calming Connor's jitteriness. Spitfire did this for several seconds all around the base of his wings.

"Better?" asked Spitfire.

"Yeah, thanks."

"No problem, now hold on while I finish preening you."

A few minutes later, a calmer Connor finished having his wings preened. Twilight and Spike arrived during his preening, Connor pleasantly surprised that Twilight had managed to actually repair the dress. Though not as pleasantly surprised when he saw the combined cost of the wreath and broach. He nonetheless thanked Spike for picking out a good choice and promised to take him out one night as a thank you.

Wearing just a pair of trousers and shoes, he began heading down to ground level to the hotel hairdresser, Spitfire going on ahead to make sure they didn't run into Rarity. They didn't and managed to make it to the hairdresser's without incident, Twilight bringing the dress along too; Spike dutifully carrying the boxes containing the necklace, wrist bannds, wreath and broach.

Upon entering the hairdresser, a pink-furred, white maned unicorn immediately approached; he had extravagant mane style and attire that would attract the attention of anypony around along with a white scarf wrapped around his neck.

"Hey there handsome," the stylist said warmly, hugging Connor.

"Hey, you must be the stylist," Connor replied, blushing slightly from the affection.

"Indeed I am sweetums, the name's Bobby Dazzler, now; what can I do to that mop of yours?"

"Well-"

"Do you want to see the dress he'll be wearing first?" asked Spitfire.

"I'd love to!"

Connor scowled at a mischievously grinning Spitfire while Twilight removed the dust cover off the dress. Bobby Dazzler's eyes lit up like the stars when he saw the dress, captivated by its radiance and beauty.

"Oh my gosh, it's beautiful!" he squeed, "I must ask who made it!"

"A friend of mine, Rarity," Connor replied, "She has a boutique in Ponyville if your ever interested."

"I might just pay a visit, and drag my coltfriend with me."

"Coltfriend?"

"Yeah, he's colt-cuddler; I swing both ways."

"Cool. I assume colt-cuddler is a term for homosexual here?"

"Yes," Bobby replied, before his face turning sour, "That....doesn't bother you does it?"

"Not at all, I hope your happy together."

Bobby's cheery demeanour returned, a bright smile on his face again, "That's great, it means a lot to hear that! Now come on, your mane won't style itself."


Sometime later, Bobby had finished.

"Magnifico!" he exclaimed, jubilantly dancing up and down on the spot, "You look splendid darling!"

Connor looked at himself in the mirror. Bobby had lengthened his hair using a spell, interweaving between and through the broach's clasps and tying his hair tightly into a bun; but leaving a few strands to fall loosely to the right hand side. The golden laurel wreath too had been set in place, strands of his hair being put through holes in the headband and pulled upwards as part of the bun.

"I suppose I do," Connor conceded, still surprised that he was able to pull off such a look despite being male.

"Now why don't we get you into that lovely dress of yours," Bobby added.

Despite wanting to do this, Connor still felt a little nervous about it. Whereas before he was at least in the privacy if Rarity's boutique, here he would be seen in public, and run the risk of seeing his picture in the paper. Nonetheless, he stood up and walked over to where Twilight was keeping the dress. Twilight, Spitfire and Spike were all waiting with it, having watched Connor's hairstyle take form.

"Looking good Connor," Spitfire said, "The wreath suits you well, as does the broach."

"I suppose it does," he replied before turning to Spike, "You made a good choice goraan gein."

Spike swelled with pride and smiled brightly, "Glad I could help zuwuth gein."

"Come on Connor," Twilight said, "Less talking Dovahzul, more getting dressed."

"Yes ma'am."

Within minutes, Connor was indeed dressed and was putting on the thick gold wrist bands and necklace, clasping them firmly in place. His footwear was specially designed to both suit the dress and not look 'wrong' on Connor; his shoes being reminiscent of the Oxford style.

Looking at himself in a mirror, he placed his hands on his hips and shook his head in disbelief.

"Is something wrong, Connor?" asked Bobby.

"No nothing's wrong, I'm just surprised at how well I pull this look off."

"Why wouldn't you be able to pull it off?"

"Well where I'm from, most guys don't look good in dresses, at all."

Connor twisted his hips from left to right and back again, repeating the motion over and over, causing the dress beneath his waist to swish around in the same motion.

"Enjoying yourself?"

Connor turned to his snickering marefriend, "Very much so, Milkshake."

"So, shall we get going? It won't be long now before Rarity arrives," Twilight asked.

"Sure."

Connor, Spitfire, Twilight and Spike walked out of the salon and into the foyer, Connor attracting a few looks. Their whispering amongst themselves began to make him feel self-conscious that they were saying less-than-nice things about him, causing him to unconsciously begin clasping and squeezing his hands.

"Connor," Spitfire said, steadying his hands with her hooves, "Connor calm down, everything's going to be fine."

"Yeah.......yeah, it will; just a little jittery from...."

Connor didn't need to finish the sentence for Spitfire to know what he was referring to.

"You'll be fine Connor," Spitfire said, giving him a reassuring nuzzle on his cheek, "Rarity will truly appreciate what you're doing."

I hope so, Connor though, doubtfully.


SEVERAL MINUTES LATER

Just outside the penthouse door, an excited Rarity knocked on the door. Like Connor, she too had dressed up for the night. She was wearing a bright blue dress that glittered and sparkled like the stars, complete with matching hoof shoes and a silver tiara encrusted with sapphires.

The door opened, revealing Spitfire.

"Hey Rarity, Connor's waiting for you," she said as she walked out, "Go on in."

"Thank you Spitfire."

Spitfire walked away, leaving Rarity to enter the penthouse. She closed the door behind her and walked forward into the lounge area. The room's lamps were lit giving a cosy feel, but Connor was nowhere to be seen; she couldn't even see him over in the dining area. Looking around further, she noticed the sliding door onto the balcony was open. She walked over to the balcony and gasped in shock at the scene.

Set up on the balcony was a table and two chairs, fully set up for dinner for two, complete with a wine bucket and ice. She walked slowly over to examine the set up more closely when she heard someone behind her.

"Hey Rarity."

Rarity jumped in fright at the sudden voice but quickly composed herself and turned around.

Her jaw hit the floor at what she saw.

There was Connor in the dress she made. The same dress she destroyed.

"What do you think Rarity?" Connor asked, spreading his arms out, "Twilight did a good job repairing it."

Rarity's mouth flopped up and down for a few seconds as her brain tried to process what she was seeing.

"C-C-C-Connor?"

"Yes Rarity?"

"W-hat are y-you wearing?"

"The dress you made."

"B-but I thought you hated it?"

"No, it was just how everyone reacted that I didn't like."

Rarity winced in discomfort, "Oh, y-yes...that, we were a bit-"

"Rarity," Connor interrupted, walking over to her, "It's in the past. I wanted to have this private dinner with you as an apology for how I reacted. That letter was too over the top, you didn't deserve to be spoken to like that, even in writing."

Connor knelt down closer to Rarity's eye level and extended his hand, "So allow me to make it up to you by treating you to a private dinner."

Rarity smiled softly and extended her hoof. Connor gently took her hoof and kissed the top of it, prompting Rarity to giggle.

"Do you accept my offer, my lady?"

"I do darling."

Connor stood back up to his full height and extended his arm in the direction of the dinner table, "Shall we?"

He lead her over to the table and pulled out the chair for her.

"Thank you darling, you're such a gentlecolt," she said as she say down.

Connor pushed the chair in before going to sit himself down opposite Rarity, being careful to not tear the dress when doing so.

"I must say Connor, after what happened I wouldn't have thought you'd be dressed like you are."

"Neither did I, but after hearing you destroyed the dress...I felt bad, especially after the work you put into making it."

"How did Twilight fix it? I can't see a single blemish on it!"

"I did ask, something I regret."

"How so?"

"She gave a very wordy answer that made everything even more complicated to understand."

Rarity giggled, "That does sound like Twilight."

Connor grabbed the menu that was already in place in front of him and began looking through, Rarity doing the same. Neither took long to decide their starters, both picking Prawn salads; and for a drink they settled on a sixty year old bottle of red wine from valleys outside Las Pagasus.

Connor, pressing took a small bell on the table and shook it gently; the bell being enchanted so that waiters would arrive momentarily.

"So Connor, what do you think of Las Pegasus?"

"It's a very interesting place, reminds me a lot about Las Vegas; a very similar city on Earth also complete with a lot of neon lights, hotels and casinos."

"Is it popular also?"

"Very, especially so at night when you have the added bonus of children being banned from entering the strip."

"Do you not like children?" Rarity asked, slightly shocked.

"It's not that, it's just there are times when it's nice to enjoy a night out without screaming children running around."

"I suppose so.....like now for instance?"

"Exactly, just a peaceful, relaxing dinner with a good friend."

Just then they both heard a knock at the door. Connor got up and began to walk over, "I won't be long, it'll probably be the waiter."

"Take your time darling."

Rarity watched on as Connor walked away, still a little shocked at the dress he was wearing was repaired so well; but considering Twilight was behind it, it did at least make sense. Though she was also in a little shock he was actually wearing the dress, she expected him to be wearing a suit of sorts, she couldn't have been more delighted that Connor considered the incident to be in the past.

She wasn't waiting long before Connor returned.

"Starter's have been ordered, they'll only be a few minutes," he said as he sat down.

"Splendid darling," she replied, before taking note of his golden laurel wreath, "I must say Connor, I love the wreath."

"I had a feeling you would, I had it made today actually."

"I assume Twilight and Spike had something to do with it?"

"Spike, he went to Karat Aurum and commissioned him to make it. Spike also picked out the broach I'm wearing too."

Connor moved his head to the side allowing Rarity a better view of the broach.

"It looks magnificent!"

"I take it you like it then?" he asked.

"I love it, it suits you perfectly! I love what you've done with your mane as well."

"I got it done just before dinner in the hotel, a stallion stylist by the name of Bobby Dazzler."

"Well he's done a splendid job of it, I may pay him a visit myself."

"He used the same hair lengthening spell you used to be able to tie my hair up like it is, then threaded my hair through small holes in the wreath headband to keep it in place."

"It looks like he did something similar with the broach."

"He did, mostly to keep my hair in place."

Rarity and Connor both looked out towards the the city, the balcony giving a fantastic view of the strip; lit up in all it's neon glory.

"We've got a good view up here," Connor stated.

"Indeed. Views like these make me slightly jealous of Pegasi at times, having the freedom to take to the skies whenever you so please."

"You could levitate yourself, couldn't you?"

"It wouldn't be the same."

"No I suppose not."

The pair spent a few more minutes just looking out at the view, enjoying the peace and quiet. A peace and quiet that was interrupted by a knock at the door. Connor got up once more and went to answer it, a unicorn waiter with a trolley waited outside.

"Your starter meals sir," the waiter said.

"Thanks, could you bring them over the table on the balcony?"

"Certainly sir."

The waiter followed Connor onto the balcony, pushing the trolley along with his magic. Connor sat himself down as the waiter put their prawn salads in front of them, reasonably sized portions, even by human sizes. The waiter then opened a small door and took out the bottle of wine Connor and Rarity ordered. He placed two wine glasses on the table and uncorked the bottle, a resounding 'pop' emanating from the bottle neck when doing so.

"Would you like me to pour each of you a glass?"

Rarity and Connor looked to one another and nodded.

"Yes please," Connor replied.

The waiter poured each of them a glass before placing the bottle on the table.

"When you are ready to order your main courses, please don't hesitate to buzz."

"Will do, thank you," Connor said.

The waiter bowed his head to both Connor and Rarity before leaving.

"Well, shall we start?" Connor asked, "It'd be a shame if we let this go to waste."

"If this is anything like the breakfast this morning then we're in for a good dinner."


The starter was indeed good and the pair quickly moved on to ordering their main courses. Rarity having Prawn and Chorizo linguine, and Connor having a roast beef joint with roast potatoes and vegetables. The pair chatted a little more while they waited for their meal, mostly about Rarity's time in Ponyville before Twilight arrived.

"Connor darling, have you thought about what you'll be wearing for the Grand Galloping Gala?"

"I thought I'd just turn up in my Wonderbolt flightsuit."

"Are you sure? I mean, I know it's normal for Wonderbolts to do so but you could always turn up in something more.....fancy."

"You mean like the dress I'm wearing?"

"Maybe, or I could still make you that suit you requested."

"Sure, so long as look something like I'm not too fussed."

The pair heard the door open along with rattling of a trolley. Coming into view was the same waiter from before; he walked up to the table and, opening the doors to the trolley's compartments, took out their respective meals and placed them in front of Rarity and Connor.

"Here you are sir, ma'am."

"Thank you, it smells and looks great," Connor replied.

"You're welcome sir, enjoy your meals."

The stallion left, taking the trolley with him.

"Have you ever been to the Gala before?"

"No, this will be a first time. Have you ever been to something like it on Earth?"

"I've been to some of my dad's military do's in the past."

"What were they like?"

"Boring in the extreme. Every time I had to put up with military types all asking me when I'm going to join, and why I didn't want to when I said I wasn't interested."

"Er, why....didn't you want to join?"

"A life in the armed forces just wasn't something I could see myself doing."

"What did you do for a job then?"

"I looked and applied in many places, but was always rejected."

"Why? Surely some places would have given you the chance?"

Connor shook his head, "I couldn't even get a job flipping burgers in McDonalds."

"Is that bad?"

"Well, put it this way; the prospect of working in McDonalds is usually used as a threat to those who don't concentrate at school. In other words, those without much of a future."

"But you have a future ahead of you. You're very smart and got good grades at school; so why couldn't you get a job?"

Connor didn't immediately answer, his reluctance though was picked up by Rarity.

"Connor, are you OK? We don't have to talk about this if you don't want to."

Connor shook his head, "Don't worry, I'm fine. It's probably just my wild imagination."

"What do you mean?"

"When I look back on things, and knowing what I know now; I can't help but feel as though something was put in place to stop me from getting a job."

Rarity raised her eyebrows sceptically, "Connor, I'm not accusing you of lying but don't you think that's a little.....far-fetched?"

"Maybe, but rejected from every place I applied for, my dad giving me money each week so I wouldn't have to sign on, and him seemingly OK with it? It all just seems a little suspicious."

"What about your sisters?"

"All had jobs in supermarkets, but me? If I didn't end up in Equestria I'd still be wasting away, never to start a career."

"Do you think your dad had something to do with it?"

Connor reluctantly nodded.

"Have you ever confronted him about it?"

"No. I only have suspicions, no evidence. Besides, he usually brushes people away when he's confronted by those he considers subordinate to him. There's times when I felt he saw me as nothing more than an erk."

"An erk?"

"RAF slang for Aircraftman, the lowest rank in the Royal Air Force."

"Did you not get along with your father?"

"We weren't close, but we didn't not get along. But let's not get bogged down with what my dad may or may not have done, let's just enjoy our meals.....before they go cold."


Connor and Rarity had finished their dinner, having each finished of with dessert and another bottle of wine. Though both thoroughly enjoyed the evening, Rarity became concerned after Connor's revelations about his suspicions regarding his father. She began to wonder if that contributed to his angry outburst the other day. She knew that if her father, or anyone for that matter, actively tried to prevent her from starting a career or just get a job for that matter; she would be livid with them. She could certainly understand his frustration and anger about it.

Connor was now escorting Rarity back to her room on the 28th floor, taking the lift down.

The lift door opened and the pair stepped out into the corridor, making a right turn towards Rarity's room.

"So, did you enjoy the evening?" asked Connor.

"I most certainly did, thank you Connor."

The two didn't have to walk far until they reached Rarity's room.

"So this is where we say goodnight," Connor said as they came to a stop.

"Indeed, it's been a lovely evening Connor; thank you."

"You're welcome Rarity."

Rarity opened the door, "Goodnight Connor."

"Night Rarity."

She went inside and closed the door behind her, leaving Connor alone in the corridor. Feeling a tired, he yawned and stretched his arms out; relieving a bit if tension. He headed back to the lift and went inside, his destination being one of the hotel bars where Spitfire awaited him. He soon reached the ground floor and made his way over, attracting a few stares over his attire.

He went inside and immediately began looking for his fiery maned marefriend. It didn't take too long and he soon found her sat at a table next to a window along with Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. He walked over and was greeted with a hug from Spitfire.

"Hey Milkshake, miss me?"

"Yeah, loads. I was completely lost without you."

"Yeah I love you too," he replied, giving her a kiss on the cheek.

She sat back down and was joined by Connor, sitting beside her.

"Hey girls."

"Hey Connor," Fluttershy and Rainbow answered in unison.

"So, what have you girls been up to?"

"Oh we've just been hanging around here," Rainbow replied, "Drinking and eating."

"Sounds good, have anything good?"

"Just the most awesome smoked haddock ever!"

"The beef steak I had was brilliant. What did you two have?"

"I just had vegetable soup," Fluttershy replied.

"I had chicken curry."

"Sound like we all had a good time tonight," Connor said, "Any of you still thirsty? I feel like another drink."

The girls all eagerly agreed and after looking through the wine menu, the four quickly decided on a bottle of dry white. Connor was volunteered by the others to be the one to go and get it, and after a few minutes returned with a large bottle and four glasses on a golden tray. Connor set the tray down and put the glasses in front of everyone, followed by the wine bottle being put in the centre of the table.

"Thank you waitress," Spitfire said.

"You're welcome."

Connor went off to return the tray, returning quickly and sitting down. Spitfire had already made a start in uncorking the bottle and soon poured everyone a glass.

"So," Connor started, "What does everyone think of Las Pegasus?"

"It's awesome!" Rainbow replied, "All the booze, all the gambling, what's not to like?"

"I like all the bright lights," Fluttershy added, "It makes the city so pretty on a night."

"What about you Milkshake?"

"Looks almost as pretty as you."

Spitfire and the others couldn't help but start snickering. Connor though, this time took it in good humour.

"Well if you like it so much I'll wear it more often."

"Excellent! I'll commission Rarity to make you an entire wardrobe of dresses."

Connor started going a faint shade of white, "I was just joking."

Spitfire looked square into Connor's eyes with a dead serious expression, "I wasn't."

Connor took a rather large gulp of wine, sincerely hoping that Spitfire was indeed....just joking.


An hour later the four of them walked out of the bar and back into the hotel foyer.

"Well it's getting late, we're going to head back," Rainbow said.

"Sure thing, see you both tomorrow," Connor replied.

Rainbow flew off while Fluttershy gave Connor and Spitfire a quick hug, before she too flew off. When they were out of sight, Connor turned to Spitfire.

"So, shall we head back up then?"

"Yeah, I'm starting to get tired."

As the pair started to head back, Connor's Pegasus level hearing allowed him to overhear the conversation at the front desk.

"I'm sorry sir but your card has been declined," the receptionist said.

"How can that be? I'm nowhere near my limit on it."

Interested, he turned over to look.

His eyes went wide at the sight.

"Something wrong Connor?"

"The chocolate brown pegasus stallion over there," he said, pointing to him, "I've seen him before."

"When?"

"The other day before we met your parents, just after we got back from having dinner with Vulcan and Cara. He was exiting the throne room looking deeply upset if his drooping tail and ears were anything to go by."

"I don't remember."

"You were asleep.....I carried you up to bed."

Spitfire blushed, "Well......what did he want?"

"I don't know, but there is one way to find out."

Before Spitfire could ask how, Connor began walking over to the front desk; the conversation between the stallion and receptionist becoming louder and louder.

"But I'm telling you the card IS valid!"

"I'm sorry sir but it's been rejected by the system."

The stallion sighed heavily, "Damn that bitch!"

"Excuse me," Connor said, "Is there a problem?"

The stallion turned to Connor, "Nothing you need to concern yourself with, so why don't you.......wait a minute, I saw you the other day in the castle."

"I remember, you didn't look so good."

The stallion's face turned into a snarl, "Well of course I didn't! My bitch of a now ex-wife took everything I had in the divorce! Her rich parents saw to it that I was left with nothing!"

The stallion began stomping up to Connor, "Everything I worked hard to acquire was taken from me! MY house! MY business! MY savings! She took everything I had and left me with nothing!"

Connor, not unnerved by the stallion's outburst, continued, "Is that why you went to Celestia? To see if you could get anything back?"

The stallion calmed himself a little, breathing in through his nose and exhaling through the mouth, "Yes, but the matter was out of her hooves. Legally she couldn't do anything."

"Where have you been staying?"

"I used what little change I had on me to stay in a hostel. I've just tried to use my credit card but as it....or was a joint account my ex has probably cut off my access. I would have stayed at the hostel but they only accepted coins, but given what's just happened I'd still be out on the street."

"Do you not have any friends you can stay with?"

"If I did do you think I'd be here?" the stallion snarled.

Connor flinched sightly at the outburst; the stallion though, was quick to apologise.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to snap at you. But to answer your question, no. I have no friends, not really."

Connor walked over to the front desk, "Can you put him up in a room for the night, put it on my account."

The stallion's eyes nearly popped out of their sockets, "WHAT?!"

"I'm paying to put you up for the night, then we'll see what we can do to help you."

The stallion's mouth flopped up and down in disbelief. Surely this couldn't be happening. He continued to watch as Connor signed a form and was handed a key. Connor walked over to the stallion and handed him it, completely lost for words.

"I, I don't know how to ever thank you."

"Don't worry about it, what's your name by the way?"

"Theo Cacao, chocolatier," he said, extending a hoof.

"Connor Wakefield, General Manager of the Wonderbolts and student of Princess Luna."

"I know, I've read all about you in the papers. You seem to have done well for yourself."

"It seems that way, but I don't feel as though I deserve all of it. I'd rather earn what I get, it's why I agreed to become Luna's student so I could gain the necessary skills and qualifications to do my job."

"I can respect that, but everything I worked so hard to achieve has been taken from me. In the divorce, my bitch of an ex-wife was given full ownership of the business I started!"

"How did she get it?"

"She claimed that she was the one who ran the books and managed everypony. It's all lies. She contributed nothing to the business, she only took from it; but because her parents are rich they were able to afford more barristers to plead her case. I stood no chance, I had limited funds and was only able to acquire the services of a barrister who'd only just been called to the bar. He did the best he could, I don't blame him for what happened."

"What's become of your business now your ex-wife owns it?"

"It's not even been a month and already she's ran it into the ground. My chocolate suppliers refused to continue supplying cocoa beans to her, and the few staff I employed all left in protest over her takeover. The replacement staff she employed had no passion for chocolate and had no knowledge on how to make it, sculpt it, sell it....."

Theo paused for a moment to catch his breath and calm his emotions, "Sorry if it sounds like I'm rambling on, it's just that I studied and worked hard to make that store into what it was, then my ex-wife runs it into the ground less than a month after taking over."

"Surely some good came out of it?" Connor suggested.

"Well, I was allowed to keep the chocolate production tools I used to start with. But without any money to start up again, they're effectively useless. I can't even afford to produce a single bar of chocolate now, never mind open a new store."

Cogs and gears were already spinning and turning in Connor's mind.

Theo is single and a chocolatier.

Cara is single and a fudge maker.

A recipe for success?

Clapping his hands together in delight, he gestured towards the lift to the hotel rooms.

"Come, my new friend; let's talk things chocolate."

Theo's bottom lip started trembling, "Friend? You consider me a friend?"

"Sure, you seem like a nice guy; and you could do with a friend right now."

As Connor had gotten used to during his time in Equestria, a pony's touchy feely nature came through again. Theo flew gently into the air and gave Connor a hug, "Thank you, you've no idea how much this means to me."

Connor returned the hug, "You're welcome."

The pair let go of each other and started to walk towards the lifts, Spitfire following along having watched on quietly the entire time.

"Do you want to go on ahead a minute, I just want to talk to my marefriend; We're staying in the penthouse."

"Sure, I'll wait for you outside."

Theo went on ahead, leaving Connor with Spitfire. Once he was out of earshot, Connor bent down to Spitfire's level.

"Are you up for some fast, night time flying?"

"Why?" she queried.

"Could you go and get Cara and bring her here?"

"Sure, I'm assuming you're thinking of trying to get her to help him out?"

"If I can."

"Well Cara's reasonable and looking to expand her business, this could be an ideal opportunity. Her and Theo combining their skills, any idea where she'll be right now?"

"She might be in her apartment above the shop, if not she might be at Vulcan's."

"I'll head over there now, but if she gets angry for the late night call I'm putting the blame on to you."

Connor laughed, "Well it sort of is my fault. Anyway, see you later."

"See you later."

Spitfire flew off towards Cloudsdale while Connor made his way back to the penthouse. Within a couple of minutes he was back and, as he said hewould be, Theo was waiting outside.

"Hey there," Connor said, "Waiting for someone?"

"Only a strange biped that looks disturbingly good in a dress."

"Jealous?"

Theo scoffed, "As if! But hey, I don't really care. If you want to wear a dress go ahead, it's not harming anypony."

Connor walked over to the door and unlocked it, "Come on in, I've some beer in the fridge; want one?"

"Absolutely, a nice refreshing can of cold beer sounds so good right now."

Theo followed Connor inside and closed the door behind him. He walked into the penthouse lounge, gawking in awe at the Wonderbolt style décor and nearly walking into a table.

"Nice room. I dare not think how much it costs."

"It's not cheap but thanks to a payout from a libellous 'news story', I've been able to treat myself and my marefriend."

"Still your marefriend? Have you ever thought of popping the question?"

Connor began to play with his fingers and rub the back if his neck, "It's not really crossed my mind."

Theo scoffed, "Of course it hasn't, that's why you're blushing."

Connor's blush got redder, "I'm going to get the beer now."


SOME TIME LATER, APPROX 12AM.

Spitfire and Cara were in the lift on their way up to the penthouse, both eager to rest from their exhausting late night flight. Cara was surprised by the visit from Spitfire, and even more so when Spitfire explained the reason. Or what Spitfire thought was Connor's reason.

She was more than eager to listen to possible business ventures, but for now she was too tired and only wanted to retire to her bed. Or a bed.

"Do you know if Connor will be awake?" asked Cara.

"Possibly, usually goes to sleep around 1AM."

Spitfire opened the door and stood aside to let Cara in.

"Thanks," she said as she walked past.

"You're welcome."

Spitfire went in and locked the door behind her. She headed for the lounge area and was drawn to the bewildered look on Cara's face. She followed where her vision was directed and Spitfire too, was slightly taken back in surprise.

Connor was sat on the end seat of the sofa, albeit asleep, still in his dress and jewellery. He was slumped slightly to his right hand side with his right arm hanging down the side.

Cara suffered a brain freeze as she tried to process what she was seeing.

"No need to adjust your vision Cara," Spitfire giggled, "You really are seeing Connor in a dress."

Cara turned her head slowly to Spitfire, "Why is my big little baby brother wearing a dress?"

"It's a long story," Spitfire said with a small amount of sadness.

"Did....did something happen?"

Spitfire nodded, "Yeah, but can we talk about it in the morning? I'm a little tired."

"Sure," Cara replied, before turning to her brother, "Is there a blanket or anything to cover him, keep him warm?"

"I'll find one, there's sure to be one in here."

Spitfire went off to find a blanket while Cara went back focussing her attention on her brother. Looking at his attire she couldn't help but quietly giggle at thinking all the fun and mischief they could have had together.....had things turned out differently.

Spitfire quickly returned and draped a blanket over Connor.

"There's another bedroom across from ours, come on I'll show you."

Cara nodded and after one more quick look at Connor, followed Spitfire to the other bedroom.

"Breakfast is going to be a most interesting experience," Cara said as she pulled the bed covers back, "Do you think you could not mention me to him? It's just that I want to see the look on his face when he sees me see him."

A mischievous grin formed on Spitfire's face.


MEANWHILE ON EARTH

Alexander stood frozen in the driveway, absolutely and completely stunned into silence.

One of his cars, a Range Rover L405 in midnight blue, had disappeared from his driveway. Theft was out of the question considering that Alexander, his wife and daughters were under 24/7 protection. Neither his wife or daughters had left, as they were unable to, and no-one from the air base had taken it. How it disappeared completely eluded him.

Absolutely no trace of foul play.











Just like Connor's disappearance.

Chapter - 31 - The Best Night Ever!

View Online

This was the big night.

The night Connor had been dreading for weeks. The Grand Galloping Gala, Equestria's biggest night of the year, was just a couple of hours away. The event was supposed to celebrate the construction of Canterlot, but overtime just became nothing more than a stale, one-upmanship contest between the nobles. Commoners rarely got a look in and those that did were usually sneered at by the more snooty nobles. The Wonderbolts were an ever present sight at the event, usually performing a few tricks to officially start the night off.

He wasn't at all looking forward to it. For most of the day he'd been grumbling and moaning how much he didn't want to go, but was effectively forced to due to him a: being a Wonderbolt and b: a personal student of Princess Luna.

His attire did nothing to improve his mood.

"Connor, will you keep still!" Rarity scolded, "How can I make last minute adjustments if you won't stop fidgeting?"

"Do I really have to wear this?" he asked, motioning to a particular piece of clothing.

"Yes. What will ponies think if you don't?"

Connor sighed, knowing that fighting Rarity would be futile when it comes to fashion.

After a few more seconds, Rarity finally finished; much to Connor's relief.

"There we are darling, finished."

"Thanks Rarity."

"You're welcome darling. I know you don't like dressing up but when ponies see you like this you'll be the talk of the Gala."

"I'd rather just sit at the sides and not be noticed.....or not even bother turning up at all."

Rarity gasped in fright, "Not turn up! But it's the Grand Galloping Gala!"

"And I'm telling you it will be really boring and not at all what you're expecting."

Rarity sighed tiredly, "Well we'll see tonight, won't we?"

Outside, the girls were also readying themselves. Pinkie doing so by excitedly bouncing up and down on a trampoline much to the annoyance of others.

"Ahh! I...can't...believe...the Grand...Galloping...Gala...is...tonight!"

"Pinkie! Please stop shouting, I'm trying to concentrate," Twilight said as, unsurprisingly, she had her muzzle in a book.

Rarity and Connor, seeing and hearing the commotion went outside. Rarity, upon seeing Pinkie's behaviour, trotted over to admonish her.

"Pinkie Pie! Stop that right now. It's time to prepare for the Gala and I refuse to let you put on your new dress when you're all sweaty."

Pinkie stopped bouncing, landing on the trampoline without bouncing back up and jumped off.

"What's Twilight doing?" Pinkie asked, trotting over.

"She's got an awesome magic spell she's been working on for the Gala," Spike replied.

"Where are the others? It's getting late," Rarity asked.

"Hold your horses, girl. We're here," Applejack said as she approached along with Rainbow and Fluttershy.

"Perfect! I'm ready," Twilight said happily as she closed her book and set it down on the ground.

"For what?" Rainbow asked.

"All right, Spike," Twilight said.

Spike stepped forward and placed a red apple on the ground.

"An apple! Are we having pie?" Pinkie asked excitedly.

"It's a wonderful day for pie," Connor mumbled to himself.

"Sssh! Watch," Spike said.

Everyone watched as Twilight fired some magic at the apple. Upon contact, the apple grew to several times its size into a carriage complete with doors, windows and steps. Twilight's friends cheered in joy at the impressive display.

"Thanks. But that's just the start. Fluttershy, did you bring your friends?"

Fluttershy stepped forward and lowered her head to the ground. Four mice popped out of her mane and ran out and onto the ground.

"Yes. Will they be safe, Twilight?"

"You have my word," Twilight replied before firing another magical bolt. This time at the mice.

The mice turned into horses, albeit with mouse like faces still.

"Ta da!" Twilight exclaimed, holding a hoof out in a showman like manner.

Her friends didn't look to convinced at the not-quite horses.

"Neat huh?" Twilight continued, "And don't worry. They'll be mice again at midnight."

A few seconds later, Opalescence walked out from behind a bush and upon spotting the mice-turned-horses, immediately ran towards them; jumping into the air and onto their flanks, digging her claws into them. The not-quite-horses screeched in pain and ran away with Twilight running after.

"Wait! Come back!"

Immediately giving up the chase, she returned to Connor and the girls, "Those horses were supposed to pull our carriage. How will we get to the Gala?"

"Whatever shall we do?" Rarity asked in an overly dramatic fashion, dead-panning at Twilight at the end.

She looked around and quickly spotted two strong looking stallions, apparently not doing very much. With a flick of her mane, she walked over and with all her charm and beauty on show.

"Uh... ahem, excuse me."

The two stallions looked at her.

"Uh, would you boys mind pulling our carriage to the Gala?" she asked with all her grace and ladylike charm.


LATER THAT EVENING, JUST OUTSIDE THE CASTLE

Twilight, Spike and the girls were all stood outside Canterlot Castle, gazing up in awe at the buildings magnificence and majesty. Connor, travelled to Canterlot by train whilst the girls got changed. He didn't see any point in waiting around while the girls got changed and there wouldn't have been room in the carriage anyway.

The girls meanwhile, began walking towards the castle.

"I can't believe we're finally here!" Twilight exclaimed excitedly, "With all that we've imagined, the reality of this night is sure to make this...the Best Night Ever!"

At the Gala

At the Gala

At the Gala
In the garden
I'm going to see them all
All the creatures
I'll befriend them at the Gala

At the Gala

All the birdies
And the critters
They will love me big and small
We'll become good friends forever
Right here at the Gala!

All our dreams will come true
Right here at the Gala
At the Gala

At the Gala (It's amazing)
I will sell them (Better hurry)
All my appletastic treats (Yummy yummy)
Hungry ponies (They'll be snacking)
They will buy them (Bring your money)
Caramel apples, apple sweets (Gimme some)
And I'll earn a lot of money
for the Apple family!

All our dreams and our hopes from now until hereafter
All that we've been wishing for will happen at the Gala
At the Gala

At the Gala
All the royals
They will meet fair Rarity
They will see I'm just as regal at the Gala

At the Gala

I will find him
My Prince Charming
And how gallant he will be
He will treat me like a lady
Tonight at the Gala!

This is what we've waited for to have the best night ever
Each of us will live our dreams
Tonight at the Gala
At the Gala

Been dreamin'
I've been waitin'
To fly with those great ponies
The Wonderbolts, their daring tricks
Spinning 'round and having kicks
Perform for crowds of thousands
They'll shower us with diamonds
The Wonderbolts will see me right here at the Gala!

All we've longed for
All we've dreamed
Our happy ever after
Finally will all come true
Right here at the Grand Gala
At the Gala

I am here at the Grand Gala
For it is the best party
But the one thing it was missing was a pony named Pinkie
For I am the best at parties, all the ponies will agree
Ponies playing
Ponies dancing
With me at the Grand Gala!

Happiness and laughter at the Gala
At the Gala

At the Gala (At the Gala)
With the Princess (With the Princess)
Is where I'm going to be (She will be)
We will talk all about magic and what I've learned and seen (She will see)
It is going to be so special
As she takes time just for me (This will be the best night ever!)

Into the Gala we must go
We're ready now, we're all aglow
Into the Gala, let's go in and have the best night ever
Into the Gala, now's the time
We're ready and we look divine!

Into the Gala

Meet new friends

Into the Gala

Sell some apples

Into the Gala

Find my Prince

Prove I'm great

As a Wonderbolt is

To meet!

To sell!

To find!

To prove!

To whoop!

To talk!

Into the Gala
Into the Gala
And we'll have the best night ever!

At the Gala!

.....

....

....

....

....

"What the fuck fucking hell did I just see?"

Connor really didn't understand ponies at times.


The Ball Room was thriving with activity, ponies were coming and going, ponies were congregating in groups and blocking room to move; Connor had a hard time keeping balance as he attempting to make his way through without tripping up over them and falling on his backside, or a pony for that matter. Eventually though, he made his way through and walked towards his friend.

"Hi Luna."

"Good evening Connor, are you enjoying yourself tonight?"

Connor dead-panned, "I can barely contain my excitement."

Luna giggled a little, "Cheer up Connor. I feel as though tonight's Gala will be anything but dull."

"What makes you say that?"

"Just a feeling," she replied with a shrug of her shoulders, "On another matter, are you looking for your marefriend?"

"She's getting changed at the moment. She and the others put on a good show though."

"Indeed. I was very impressed with the manoeuvres they pulled off tonight."

"While you're here, have you found out what Celestia's gift to me will be?"

Luna sighed and looked down to the floor, "I have tried indefatigably to find out but alas, I have not been able to. I have no more an idea than what she has planned than anypony else. Only my sister knows what she has planned."

Not what Connor wanted to hear, but he knew he could count on Luna for support if he needed it when all was revealed.

"Little brother!"

Connor turned around and saw his sister approaching, along with her new business partner.

"Hey Cara, hey Theo."

"Hey Connor."

After meeting in Las Pegasus, and a very extensive laughing fit from Cara after she saw him see her see him in a dress, Connor introduced Cara to Theo and explained the situation to her. After a very lengthy explanation and life story form Theo, he and Cara began discussing business. Cara agreed to take Theo on and asked him to produce his signature chocolate pieces as a sort of trial to see how things went. The first few days were extremely successful and soon there was more demand for more of Theo's chocolate, especially when his loyal customers from before spread the word of his comeback.

What made things all the more sweeter, was the fact that Theo and Cara had a first date arranged a few days after the Gala.

"So," Connor started, "How are things?"

"Things are great," Cara replied, "Theo's got his confidence and drive for making chocolate back, and I've just bought my first store outside Cloudsdale!"

"That's great!" Connor replied happily, "Where's the new store going to be?"

"Vanhoover. It's a fairly small property in the Downtown district."

"Downtown Vanhoover?" Connor replied slightly concerned, "That's quite expensive."

"It is, but it's a hugely popular area. I'm certain the venture will be more than worth it."

"Well let me know when it's ready, I'd like to see it."

"I will do. "

"Great, now if you'll excuse me; I'm off to find my marefriend."

"Have fun!" Cara replied, giving Connor a hug.

"I will do. See you later Theo, Luna."

"See you later/Until later Connor," Theo and Luna replied in unison.


A few minutes later, Connor was inside Canterlot Castle's Wonderbolt barracks, looking for Spitfire. The only ponies he found however, were her squad mates; all of them still in their flightsuits.

How Connor envied them.

"Hey Soarin," Connor said.

"Hey Connor, are you looking for Spitfire?"

"Yeah, is she here?"

"No, she just left."

"Any idea where exactly?"

"I think she said she was off to look in the garden."

"OK, I'll head over there now. Great show by the way."

"Thanks. Speaking of the show, haven't you ever considered being part of the stunt team?"

Connor laughed and shook his head, "No, I wouldn't be any good. I'm not a natural flyer and whenever I try to pull any stunt off I usually start falling out of the sky and fall flat on my arse."

"You're not that bad Connor," Soarin replied.

"Of course he isn't," Fleetfoot added, "He just gets too distracted thinking of the Captain."

Connor blushed while the Wonderbolts laughed amongst themselves.

"I am not distracted by Spitfire when I fly, I'm just not built for flying."

"Says a guy with wings," Misty Fly replied.

"I'm going to look for Spitfire," Connor said, not wanting to embarrass himself further, "See you all later."

"Bye Connor," Misty Fly yelled, "Have fun with your little Milkshake!"

Connor quickly reached the garden and began looking for his marefriend. As he stood head and shoulder above everypony it made it easier to see where she was and soon enough he found her; sitting on a cushion beneath a large oak tree. She was sat with her back to him but even from that angle Connor was beginning to feel a little hot under the collar.

Spitfire was wearing the dress that Connor had commissioned Rarity to make. It was dark orange with lighter orange and yellow highlights; and the dress flared at the edges and bottom mimicking a flickering flame. Her mane was let down and hung loosely at the sides and behind, and the tiara Connor gave to her from weeks ago, laid upon her head. Finishing things off were dark orange sapphire shoes with 'straps' that went half way up her legs that perfectly complemented the dress, and Spitfire's fiery body and personality.

Connor approached slowly from behind, his heart pounding in excitement as he got closer. He had seen the dress after Rarity had made it, but this was the first time he'd seen Spitfire wearing it.

"Spitfire."

She turned around.

Connor immediately felt butterflies in his stomach at seeing Spitfire in the dress, in all her radiant glory.

"Hey," she replied.

"You look beautiful, Rarity's truly outdone herself again."

Spitfire blushed at the compliment, "Thank you, the suit you're wearing really.....suits you."

Connor snorted, "In that case, you seem to dress to impress."

Spitfire started laughing, "Oh my, that was awful!"

"What's wrong with my terrible jokes?"

"They're worse than your cooking."

Connor scoffed, "My cooking's not THAT bad."

"Face it Stiff Wings, if it wasn't for ME doing the cooking, you'd starve to death," she said, jabbing him in the chest with a hoof.

"Oh like I can't just get myself a bowl of Rice Krispies."

"You barely can. Just the other day, you opened a new box and they exploded all over the kitchen."

"That was an explosive decompression! It wasn't my fault."

"No, but you should have seen the look on your face though," Spitfire replied, snickering in delight.

"I certainly saw yours. I still don't see what's funny about getting Rice Krispies blasted in my face."

Spitfire giggled a little more, standing on her hind legs and giving Connor a nuzzle, "It just is."

Connor returned the gesture and the pair began walking back through the garden towards the Ball Room.

"I saw the other 'Bolts earlier, they seemed in fine spirits."

"They usually are after a good performance."

"Where did you say your next performance was?"

"Fillydelphia in a couple of weeks."

"Cool. I might come myself if I can, depends on how much coursework Luna gives me."

"From what I hear you're quite the model student, a goody four hooves."

"Goody four hooves? On Earth it's goody two shoes, but yeah; I'm not too bad I suppose. I'm no genius and I won't get a First Class degree, but I do do the best I can."

"No pony can ask for more."


A few minutes later, they entered the ballroom. The room was far more crowded than before, most likely due to Celestia being on the room. Connor and Spitfire walked over, Celestia's guards keeping everypony at bay, and immediately struck up conversation. Being a friend of the Princess had its advantages.

"Hey Celestia."

"Good evening Connor, Spitfire; how are you both this evening?"

"Absolutely fantastic," Connor replied ironically, "The Gala's really exciting, I can't imagine anything more enjoyable."

"Connor!" Spitfire scolded.

She looked to Celestia, expecting a telling off for such disrespectful behaviour; but was surprised to see Celestia laughing.

"Oh my little human, you're the first being in many centuries to say the gala is boring."

"I'm sure some of your subjects agree but are under the impression that you'd banish them if they said so."

"Unfortunately, I believe you are correct. But, if you'll excuse me; I have to make an announcement."

Celestia walked away towards a raised platform, next to her were some items draped in a cloth.

Probably the gifts Celestia has for me, Connor thought.

Celestia tapped a teaspoon against a glass, the sound echoing throughout the room immediately getting everyone's attention.

"Mares and Gentlecolts, welcome to the Grand Galloping Gala. My sister and I are delighted you could attend this evening, were we once again celebrate the founding of this great city."

There was a smattering of hooves being tapped against the floor, the pony equivalent of a clap.

"Now, before we go much further; I would first like to invite Connor Wakefield up here."

Oh hell no! Connor thought.

Realising everypony looking at him, and Celestia waiting, he knew he had no choice but to go up. Walking up towards the platform, he could feel the eyes of everypony boring into him. There were still many nobles who couldn't stand the sight of him and resented he was n excellent favour with their Princess.

Connor went up the steps and stood next to Celestia, and waited for her to continue.

"Connor, as many ponies know, you were taken from Equestria before you were even born. A victim of a mystery we have still yet to solve. Though you were born in another world and grew up an entirely different species, you have adapted extremely well to a world vastly different from the one you knew. You have gained so much since your arrival, and have become very popular amongst the foals......in one instance, a young colt's tenth birthday party was saved from being cancelled."

Celestia turned around and walked over to the table with the covered gifts.

"As such, I wish to convey my personal thank you for what you have achieved on your short time in Equestria, and for helping my sister adapt to modern Equestrian society."

Celestia removed the covers with her magic, revealing the gifts. She levitated out what looked like a wicker basket full of food.

"Connor, your first gift I present is this hamper. This one contains jams, cheeses, biscuits amongst other things, including a cake."

"What kind of cake?" asked Connor.

"A fruit cake."

Connor looked at Celestia, her creepily sweet smile told him this was most likely a prank on her part. Or revenge for when he said she only needed to buy her own Jammie Dodgers. Either way, it was cruel.

"Thank you," he replied diplomatically.

"You're welcome Connor, now; onto the next gift."

She levitated away another cover, this time revealing luxury toiletries; shampoos, lotions, creams and so on. So luxurious in fact that only the elite of the elite can afford them.

The next gift was a hamper containing a half-dozen bottles of 500 year old wine from the Las Pegasus vineyards.

She then came to the last gift. This one noticeably larger than the rest.

"Last but by no means least, I present to you, your final gift from me."

Celestia levitated away the covers, revealing the gift.

Everypony stood open mouthed at the gift.

Even Luna.

"I had it commissioned myself. It was my hope you would wear it, should you wish to attend to the opening night performance of Swan Lake by the Royal Canterlot Ballet, with myself in a few weeks time at the Royal Opera House."

Connor hated ballet.

Loathed it.

But to refuse Celestia, here and now, would be considered an insult by the nobles and many ponies. It could even have the knock-on effects of jeopardising current and future sponsorship deals for the Wonderbolts.

He had to accept.

Celestia had played the game well.

Then, with her age and experience it came as little surprise to Connor that she was the better chess player.

"Do you accept my invitation, Connor?"

"I-I a-accept."

As soon as Connor said it, he saw a very brief sparkle in Celestia's eyes.

She's pranking me. Just you wait Celestia, I will employ the services of Luna and get you back for this.

"Wonderful!" Celestia beamed before turning to her guards, "Please take Connor's gifts to his quarters here in the castle."

The guards nodded and took the gifts away. Connor watching on nervously.

"Now," Celestia continued, "Let's all enjoy the Gala everypony!"

Everypony went back to their business whilst Connor remained standing in front of Celestia, not looking at all amused.

"Celestia?"

"Yes, my little human?"

"Where did you get my measurements from?"

"That's for me to know, and you never to find out," She replied, raising a hoof to Connor's nose, "Boop!"

She giggled and trotted away, leaving Connor with Spitfire. He watched on as she trotted away, bemused as a child like antics. If he didn't already know her age and someone told him how old she was, he wouldn't believe them. Celestia was just too silly at times.

"What the hell just happened?" asked Connor.

Spitfire shrugged her shoulders, "You got yourself a date with a princess."

"Technically it will be an official engagement with the crown."

"Semantics. Now, why don't we enjoy the evening?"

"Sure. You go on ahead though, I just need to go and get something."

"OK, I'll wait for you in the garden. Don't be too long."

"I won't."

A short while later, Connor was in his quarters collecting the item in question, a polished onyx box with gold fittings. His heart pounding fiercely and with shaking hands, he took a deep breath and picked it up.

This is going to be the best night ever.....or the worst.

Realising it was now or never, he walked out of the room, eyeing the outfit Celestia had made for him.

"Pity it didn't come with the wrist blades."


Walking into the garden, with the onyx box held behind him, he walked around, keeping a look out for a familiar fiery mane. Walking past the rose garden, he saw a balcony overlooking Equestria; if you looked close enough, you could just make out the lights of Cloudsdale in the distance.

Walking steadily, but nervously, towards Spitfire; he once again felt butterflies in his stomach as he saw her. In the dress she was wearing, the setting she was in and the way her mane was loose made him feel like he was falling in love with her all over again.

He carried on walking and stopped just behind her, a gentle breeze blowing through the air.

"Milkshake?"

Spitfire turned around, a beaming smile forming on her face at seeing Connor, "Hello again Sleepy Head. Beautiful night huh?"

"Sure is, not a beautiful as you though," Connor replied, kissing her on the forehead.

"Shush you," Spitfire playfully chided, jabbing him with a hoof, "Flattery won't get you out of washing the dishes."

"It was worth a try," Connor replied, kneeling down to her eye level.

The pair stared longingly into each others eyes for several seconds, Connor's heart beating harder the entire time. Never in his life had he ever felt so nervous about anything. If things didn't go as Connor hoped, things would become very awkward and this place and time would always linger on his mind, forever shaming him.

Or so he felt.

"What's behind your back?" asked Spitfire, noting one of Connor's arms was behind him.

"Spitfire, ever since I woke up in that hospital bed and saw you at the foot of it; I took a liking to you. Over the following days and weeks you helped me feel at home in Equestria, even making me a Wonderbolt and getting me a job."

Connor, on one knee, took Spitfire's left foreleg; holding it gently.

"Spitfire, over the months I've been here, you've made me feel special in a way no-one else ever has. You're clever, funny, witty, talented....and a better cook than me. When we began dating, I felt happier than I ever had previously, not a day goes past where I'm not overjoyed we're together."

He moved his arm in front of him, revealing the onyx box.

"I love you Spitfire. And what I'd like to know is...."

He opened to box, and looked straight into Spitfire's sparkling eyes.


















"Will you marry me?"

Chapter - 32 - The Answer

View Online

Spitfire just stood there, frozen. Time seemed to stop as her brain processed just what she had been asked. A strange creature that had not been in her life for more than a few months had just asked her if she would be his wife. The question took Spitfire completely off guard, a rare occurrence for a pony such as herself. Feelings soon began building up inside of her, soon overwhelming her completely.

A few agonising seconds ticked by as Spitfire stood transfixed on the hoof ring, and 18 karat gold ring with a trio of encrusted diamonds lined up along the band. The diamonds glistened beautifully in the moonlight, perfectly matching the crystal clear night sky itself.

Realising she hadn't yet answered, her brain rebooted and she looked up to Connor and saw the fear of rejection in his eyes; and due to the stillness of the garden at night, she could hear this heart thumping furiously out of sheer nerves and fear.

"Yes."

"I'm sorry?" Connor trembled fearfully, "I couldn't hear you."

What Connor could only describe as the most beautiful smile formed on the most beautiful of mares.

"Yes. Yes I will marry you!"

All the fear and nerves that had been building in Connor evaporated in an instant. A smile, equalling that of Spitfire's, form on his face also. He took the band out of the box and placed it around Spitfire's left foreleg. Once Spitfire's hoof was back on the ground, the pair stared longingly at each other, getting lost in each others eyes and the spirit of the moment.

"I love you Spitfire."

"I love you too Connor."

The pair moved in close for a kiss.

A deeply passionate kiss that reflected the equally deep love they had for each other.

The kiss lasted for several seconds, neither of them in any rush to end it.

But alas, all good things end eventually and the pair soon let go of each other.

"So," Connor started, "Shall we go and tell the others of the good news?"

"I'd love to," Spitfire replied softly, giving Connor another hug.

The pair walked back to the castle, eager to tell the other; both of them elated over the turn of events. Spitfire was already going through her mind what sort of dress she wanted, what the cake would look like, who would attend, where it would be held and so on.

Connor was too happy to be thinking of those things, he'd already gotten what he wanted.

The pair entered the Ball Room and stood open mouthed at the chaos before them. Pillars had fallen down, confetti and food littered the floor, , Rarity was crying over her torn dress, Applejack was trying to force her apple related food down Noble ponies' throats....total carnage.

Looking around he saw Twilight and Celestia. The former looking terrified at what her mentor would say, and the latter leaning down and whispering something into Twilight's ear. Connor didn't have time to wonder what she could have said as Twilight whistled, attracting the attention of her friends. Looking up towards her, her friends all bolted towards her and the group of six quickly left the room.

Spitfire and Connor looked to each other and shrugged their shoulders, neither of them knowing what to make of what they just saw.

They weren't waiting long before Celestia totted up to them, looking surprisingly happy despite the bedlam in the Ball Room.

"Connor, Spitfire; how are you both?"

"Great," Connor replied, "I can't say the same for everyone in there though."

Celestia giggled, "No, so long as you're happy though."

Spitfire and Connor looked to one another once more. Without words spoken, Spitfire nodded her head, prompting Connor to tell Celestia the good news.

"There's something we'd like to tell you."

"What would that be, my little human?"

Connor pointed down to Spitfire, who had her foreleg stretched out, who had her engagement ring shining in all its glory.

Celestia went wide eyed and gasped in shock, "Is that...."

"An engagement ring?" finished Spitfire, "Yes. Just a few moments ago, Connor popped the question."

Celestia's wings flapped with excitement as a bright, cheery smile crossed her face, "Congratulations."

"Thanks," Connor replied, "Now we just have to plan it."

"Well, if you wish, the castle will be available to use."

"Really?"

Celestia nodded, "Of course. In fact, it is where you first met; is it not?"

"I remember," replied Connor, "Spitfire flew into me."

Spitfire spluttered indignantly, "It was an accident! I sprained my wing!"

"Which sent me flying backwards, hitting my head on the ground, knocking me out and leaving me to wake up in the hospital; where you were laid asleep at the foot of the bed, curled up into a ball."

Spitfire blushed slightly, "I remember too. I also remember you calling Princess Celestia 'really old'."

Panic immediately set in in Connor. He remembered vividly his faux pas in his comments regarding Celestia's age, not exactly a good start to meeting a head of state, and Royalty as well. Looking to Celestia, expecting a gentle scolding, he got the same reaction as before.

Celestia giggling.

"I remember. I also recall you calling me 'young and vibrant' and looking like a 'living embodiment of the sun'."

Connor blushed and sheepishly rubbed the back of his neck, "Yeah....not the best of introductions."

"On the contrary my little human, it was far more enjoyable than most first meetings I've had. For starters there was no bowing or kissing my hooves."

"That must get boring after I while I presume."

"You've no idea, anyway; I believe you will want to tell Twilight and the others?"

"Yes, any idea where they went?"

"I think I know where, follow me and I will show you."

"What about the gala?"

"Luna will deal with everything. Now, let's not waste time," Celestia said, lowering herself to the ground, "Climb on my back Connor."

Connor did so and made himself as comfortable as he could.

"Ready?" asked Celestia.

"Ready, what about you Milkshake?"

"Ready as ever."

Celestia took to the air with Spitfire flying alongside, the cool night air blowing coolly by as pandemonium erupted in the Ball Room below.

"Will they be alright in there?" asked Connor.

"They'll be fine. Luna will feel like Hearth's Warming Eve has come early."

"Does she like this sort of thing?"

"More like she relishes in seeing the nobles run around in panic."

"Who doesn't," Connor replied, "Honestly Celestia, why are the majority of your nobles stuck up little pricks?"

"I honestly wished I had an answer for you Connor."

"Can't you just strip them of their lands and titles?"

"I could, but the repercussions would be....dire."

"What would they do? Whine and complain even more than they do?"

"For starters."

Connor took the opportunity to look down at Canterlot below, illuminated in all its glory, maybe not quite as impressive as the sprawling metropolises on Earth that he saw illuminated from aeroplanes, but still good nonetheless.

The flight was very short though, barely two minutes, no thanks to Celestia knowing the location of where she assumed Twilight and the others would be.

Celestia touched down on the ground outside Pony Joe's, a doughnut fast food shop a bit like Krispy Kreme, but nowhere near as expensive.

"Smells good," Connor stated.

"Pony Joe is the best doughnut maker in Equestria," Celestia replied, "I have frequented this establishment many times, as did Twilight when she lived at the castle."

Approaching the entrance, Celestia, Spitfire and Connor could all hear the girls opinions on how the night went; all of them believing the night was a disaster, but with their own personal take on why.

"That sounds like the worst night ever," Spike said.

"It was!" the girls chorused in reply, bursting into laughter.

"I just hope Princess Celestia isn't upset with us for ruining the Gala."

"That was the best night ever!" Celestia exclaimed going in, surprising everyone including Connor and Spitfire.

The group gasped in shock and turned to Celestia, surprised to see her, " Princess Celestia!"

"Pardon me, Princess," Twilight replied, confused, "But tonight was just awful."

"Oh, Twilight. The Grand Galloping Gala is always awful."

"It is?"

Celestia nodded, "That is why I was thrilled you were all attending. I was hoping you could liven things up a bit. And while the evening may not have gone as you planned, I'm sure you'll agree that in the end it didn't turn out so bad for this group of friends."

"You're right, Princess. Friends have a way of making even the worst of times into something pretty great."

"Yeah! Hanging out with friends!" Rainbow yelled excitedly.

"Talking," added Fluttershy.

"Laughing!" Pinkie added.

"You mean doing exactly what I wanted to do the whole time?" asked Spike.

"Yes, Spike. You were right," replied Twilight.

"As horrible as our night was..." Applejack started.

" ...being together here has made it all better," finished Rarity.

"In fact, it's made it..." Pinkie started, inviting her friends to join in.

"The best night ever!" they all said unison, except for Celestia, Spitfire and Connor.

After a few seconds of hugging and cheering, the girls eventually returned to their seats, and Connor and Spitfire went to join their friends.

"Mind if we join you?" asked Connor.

"Not at all" Twilight replied, "You don't have to ask to join us, we are your friends after all."

"Great, do you lot want anything? I'm starving."

"Imagine my shock," Spitfire playfully chided.

"Why not get the Deluxe Box?" Twilight suggested, "It has several varieties of doughnuts, there's bound to be something we all like."

"Sure thing."

Connor got up and went to the counter, the girls and Spike still oblivious to the large ring on Spitfire's hoof; despite her deliberately putting it in show for all to see. The girls were too bust chatting amongst themselves while Celestia was reading one of the newspapers.

Spitfire just decided to just sit quietly and see how long it would take for them to notice.

A minute later, Connor returned and sat down next to his fiancée.

"Joe's going to bring everything over in a couple of minutes. I also got us all some milkshakes."

"Banana?" queried Spitfire.

"What other flavour would I get you? Strawberry?"

Spitfire grimaced, "Connor if you ever get me a strawberry milkshake I will wake you up at 6am every morning by blowing my whistle for the next ten years."

"Harsh," Connor replied, handing over her drink, "Here, drink up....Milkshake."

"What's wrong with strawberry milkshake?" asked Pinkie.

"They just taste gross," replied Spitfire.

Connor handed a strawberry milkshake over to Pinkie, "Here you go."

"Thanks Connor! You really are a bestest bestie!"

Connor handed milkshakes to the others as well. A blueberry for Rainbow, vanilla for Fluttershy and Rarity, chocolate for Applejack and chocolate fudge brownie for Celestia and Twilight.

"How did you know what milkshake I like?" asked Celestia.

Connor tapped the side of his nose.

"Oh I see, it's like that is it?" Celestia replied mirthfully, "Well no matter. I know of a few things you like, so it makes us even."

"What do you know I like?"

Celestia leaned in to Connor's ear and began whispering.

Connor's eyes bulged in shock and horror, "How do you know that?"

Celestia tapped the side of her muzzle with her hoof.

"Oh I see," Connor replied, "It's going to be like that is it?"

Celestia nodded, "Yes, my little human. Now, I do believe Joe is bringing over our beverages."

Joe walked over, with the drinks and doughnuts on a trolley, and began placing them on the table.

"Ten milkshakes and one deluxe box, plus a few more doughnuts. I'll be closing soon and they'd only get thrown out."

"Thanks Pony Joe," Twilight replied happily.

"Anything for one of my most loyal customers.........wait a minute....is that...." Joe said, squinting in the direction of Spitfire's hoof. In a second, his eyes widened and his face lit up with glee, "It is! It most certainly is!"

"What is?" queried Twilight.

Joe pointed at Spitfire's hoof. The groups eyes followed to where Joe was pointing.

Their eyes slowly widened and their jaws slowly dropped.

"I-is that...." Rarity started.

"....an engagement ring?" asked Twilight.

Spitfire nodded and smiled happily, "Yes. Connor proposed earlier tonight. And I said yes."

Connor wrapped his arm around Spitfire and the pair gave each other a kiss, much to the delight of everyone watching. The group was understandably excited for the news and were quick to offer their congratulations.

"That's awesome! Way to go!"

"Congratulations darlings."

"Well done, I'm pleased fer yer both."

"So, when is the big day going to be?" asked Twilight.

"We haven't decided yet," replied Connor.

"But we're considering having it at the castle, as that's where we first met," added Spitfire.

"So romantic," Rarity said, day-dreaming of a fairytale wedding akin to what she'd read many times in romance novels.

"There's still a way to go though," Connor added, "A lot of planning to do."

"Speaking of which," Spitfire said, "Rarity, do you think you could make my dress?"

Rarity gasped in shock. In all her years as a seamstress, she had never been asked to make a wedding dress. This would be her biggest challenge to date and pressure would be immense, not to mention who she would be making the dress for. Not just the marefriend of her friend, but also the commanding officer of the Wonderbolts.

"I'd....I'd love to. Oh it will be fantastic! You must come to my boutique so we can begin preparations."

"You bet," replied Spitfire, "What about you Connor, do you want to come along and be measured for a suit?"

"Nah, I'll just wear a pair of jeans and a t-shirt."

Rarity gasped in horror, "You most certainly will not!"

"Why not make him a bridal gown as well?" Rainbow suggested, snickering behind her hooves.

Connor went wide eyed, mortified at the thought, "On second thought a suit will do nicely."

"Are you sure?" queried Rarity with a wry smile, "Would you not prefer a lovely bridal gown instead for your big day?"

"No thanks, a suit will be ideal for a MAN like me."

Rarity sighed reluctantly in defeat, "Very well. A suit it is."

"Thanks Rarity."

"You're welcome darling. BUT, if I hear any more talk of you turning up in jeans and t-shirt......well, I think you can guess what the outcome will be. Can't you?"

Connor nervously nodded. Never again did he intend to go down that path.

"So what kind of wedding theme were you thinking of having?" asked Rainbow.

"We're not sure, but we'll be discussing it in detail soon," Spitfire replied.

The group ate their doughnuts and chatted a little more about the gala, Twilight however, was becoming increasingly excited and fidgeting around in her seat; straining to prevent a gleeful smile from crossing her face. Her odd behaviour caught the attention of everyone else.

"Are you OK Twilight?" asked Connor.

"Can I-"

"Help organise the wedding?"

Twilight nodded excitedly, her grin never leaving her face.

Connor and Spitfire looked to one another and then back to Twilight, "Sure."

Twilight's adorkable grin somehow got wider and before anyone knew it she was bouncing around the cafe, truly ecstatic.

"Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes!"

Connor and the others watched on, bemused.

"I think she's pleased," Connor stated.


An hour or so had past and the motley group were leaving Pony Joe's and heading back to the castle where they would be stopping for the night. Except Celestia, who had headed back earlier to see how Luna was doing in wrapping up the gala.

Spitfire, rather than flying, decided to piggy-back on Connor's back, not that he minded.

"Comfortable Milkshake."

"Yep. Your wings make a good cushion."

"So does your belly."

"I heard that!" Spitfire replied.

"So little Milkshake," Connor said grinning, eliciting a pouty frown from Spitfire, "How about we go to bed, and tomorrow we can tell your parents the good news?"

"Sure thing. Let's not blurt it out straight away, and we'll take them out for lunch first."

"Sure. Anywhere you had in mind?"

"The same place we went to with Vulcan and Cara."

"Sure. What time do you want to go?"

"After breakfast if you like."

"Suits me."

A few minutes later, they were all back at the castle. Spitfire and Connor immediately making their way to their bedroom, and the girls to theirs. Entering the bedroom, with Spitfire still piggybacking on Connor, he switched on the lights and locked the door, before walking over to the bed and turning around.

"Come on Milkshake, off you get."

"Awwww," Spitfire pouted, "I wanna piggyback more."

"You can piggyback another time."

Spitfire let go and landed on the bed, "You wanna get a bath together before going to bed?"

"In the morning, I'm a little sleepy right now. Want any help getting the dress off?"

"Please."

Connor assisted in removing Spitfire's dress, placing it on the ponyequin as carefully as he could, which was soon followed by her orange sapphire shoes and her tiara.

"Time to remove your clothes Stiff Wings," Spitfire said, unbuttoning Connor's shirt.

Within a minute his clothes were on the floor, the lights were off, and the newly engaged couple were climbing into bed; quickly snuggling up close together.


MEANWHILE, IN THE WHITE TAIL FOREST

Ponies stood around gawking at the strange object before them, it's huge size and fearsome look sending a shiver of fear down their spines. One of the ponies was Arch Mage, the lead investigator sent by Celestia to try to find more information on Star Lights's disappearance and Connor's appearance. Spells set up before hand indicated that the object appeared a few days ago, but due to the size of the forest and lack of a precise location, it took longer than Arch Mage hoped to find.

Writing down his summarised report, he sealed it with wax and stamped it with an official seal.

"Send this to Princess Celestia at once," he said, levitating it over to one of the pegasus guards.

The guard nodded, put the letter in his saddle bag and took to the air towards Canterlot.

Arch Mage turned back to the object and sighed deeply, "Why do I get the feeling this isn't going to be the last thing to appear here."


MEANWHILE, ON EARTH

"Is he still out there?" asked Star Light.

Elizabeth looked out of the window, "Yeah, he still going through the motions."

Since his Land Rover disappeared, Alexander had been reconstructing his actions leading up to the disappearance, and was currently miming getting out of his Land Rover, locking it and going to the house; his face one of utter bafflement.

"Mum?" Angela, Connor's 2nd youngest sister, said, "Is Dad OK?"

"He's OK sweetie."

"Maybe the car went to Equestria," Bellatrix, Connor's oldest sister, suggested, "And if it did, maybe we will too."

Star Light looked out of the window, green hills reminiscent of Equestria in the distance bringing back old memories, "Perhaps."

Chapter - 33 - Telling The Family

View Online

The sun shone through the bedroom window baking the room in a warm morning glow. Connor was busy putting on the yellow boots to his alternate red Wonderbolt flightsuit, whilst Spitfire was admiring her engagement ring.

"Take a picture," Connor said, "It'll last longer."

Spitfire turned to Connor and smirked, "I could say the same thing to you when you stare at my flanks."

"Touche. Anyway, what time are we going to your parents?" asked Connor.

A couple of days had passed since Connor popped the question, and the pair would be later informing Spitfire's parents, and also Vulcan and Cara. Spitfire had arranged for her family to be together when they told them, so as to not have to say several times over. Though it wouldn't take long before it became public knowledge, and ponies the length and breadth of Equestria would be interested. Fortunately, Celestia had managed to put an embargo in place to prevent the press form reporting it until Connor and Spitfire could reveal the news themselves.

"Around eleven, then we can head out for lunch together and tell them then if you like?"

"Cool, wanna head down for breakfast?"

"Sure, do you want me to cook you bacon and poached eggs again?"

"And fried bread" added Connor.

"And fried bread," Spitfire repeated playfully rolling her eyes, "Honestly Stiff Wings, it's a good thing you have me around to cook."

"I thought you liked cooking."

"I do," replied Spitfire.

"Even more than yelling at newbies and blowing your whistle?"

Spitfire looked up to Connor with a smirk, "Never."


A few hours later, Connor and Spitfire landed gently on the garden path leading up to the front door of Spitfire's parent's house, in another affluent suburb of Cloudsdale. Knocking on the door, they waited excitedly as they heard hoof steps quickly approach.

"Battlestations," Connor muttered.

"Oh shush, or there'll be no more back rubs for a week," Spitfire whispered back.

"I'll be good," he replied back just as the door opened.

"Mum!"

"Spitfire, dear," Stormy Flare replied, giving her daughter a hug, "It's great to see you again."

"You too Mum," Spitfire replied, "Are the others here?"

"Of course, just as you asked. Why was it important for them to be here though?"

Before Spitfire could answer, Stormy Flare spoke up, "But you can tell us inside, it's not very civilised keeping you standing on the doorstep."

Stormy stood aside and let them in, extending a welcoming hoof.

"It's nice to see you again Connor," Stormy said.

"You too Stormy," Connor replied, giving her a quick hug.

"Go on in the front room, I'll make us all some tea," Stormy said, returning the hug before closing the front door.

Connor and Spitfire walked into the front room where, as stated, Spitfire's family were waiting. Her father Avro Lancaster, her younger sister Lightning Skies and her older brothers Gloucester Gladiator and Hawker Hurricane. Hawker was the first one to speak, "Hi little twin sister. I suppose you're going to tell us what's so important that I had to take time off, and miss out on another day of yelling at newbies for having specks of dust in their wardrobes?"

Spitfire rolled her eyes, "I'm sure you can miss a day of that."

"Could you?"

"He's got you there Spits," Connor said.

Spitfire elbowed Connor in the ribs.

"Hey Hawker, how's things in the Air Force?" Connor asked, rubbing his side.

"Good. Just training new recruits, most of them thinking they have what it takes to be in the Air Force."

"I'm guessing you're going to show them how wrong they are?"

Hawker nodded, "They're nowhere near ready. They have months of training left before they will become commissioned officers; well, the ones that make it through the entire programme anyway."

"Hi Connor," Lightning Skies said excitedly, flying into Connor and giving him a hug, "Remember me?"

"Lightning Skies. Spitfire's little sister."

"Yep," Lightning smiled happily, "And you're Cara's big little brother."

"That I am."

"How is she?"

"She's doing well, she'll be opening a store in Vanhoover soon."

"Great! I'll have to stop by her store soon, I haven't been in ages."

Connor and Spitfire walked further in and sat themselves down on one of the sofa's, with Spitfire resting her front half on Connor's lap.

"Comfortable?" asked Connor.

"I always am when I use you as a cushion.....or pillow."

"So come on sis," Gloucester said slightly impatiently and looking even more grumpy, "Why have you had us come here together?"

"I'll wait until Mum gets back before telling you all."

"No need to wait dear," Stormy said, walking into the room, "The kettle's boiling now."

"OK then," Spitfire replied, sitting up onto her haunches.

With a look to Connor and getting a nod in reply, she simply lifted her foreleg with the hoof ring, and showed it to her family.

"So.....you called us all together to show us a ring?" Hawker asked, unamused at his time seemingly being wasted over nothing.

"No you dolt," Spitfire replied.

Elbowing Connor gently, she motioned for him to show his fingers. He removed his left glove and revealed a gold signet ring on his ring finger. He held his hand next to Spitfire's hoof, showing the rings side by side.

Hawker sighed heavily, "So you brought us all together to show us some new bling you both got."

Spitfire scoffed, "Do I have to spell it out for you, they're en-"

"THEY'RE ENGAGEMENT RINGS!" Lightning Skies blurted out happily.

Everyone in the room looked to Spitfire and Connor, all but Lightning overcome with shock.

Lightning excitedly bounced up to her big sister, "Does this mean I get to be a bridesmaid?"

Spitfire nodded.

She barely had time to react before Lightning hugged the stuffings out of her, cheering happily the entire time. After a few seconds she let go and bounced away to another part of the house, cheering loudly the entire time. Spitfire and Connor meanwhile turned their attention back to the rest of the family.

"So," Connor said, laughing nervously, "Spitfire and I are getting married."

There was a very awkward and eery silence, if you didn't count the faint but happy cheering of Lightning Skies upstairs, until it was finally broken by Stormy Flare getting up from next to Avro and walking over to Spitfire. Stormy looked up to her daughter and Connor, and suddenly pulled her daughter in for a hug.

"Congratulations my dear," she said joyfully, tears beginning to form in her eyes, "I'm so proud of you."

"Thanks Mum," Spitfire replied, returning the hug.

Avro meanwhile, walked over to Connor, looking rather serious, "May I speak with you in the other room?"

"Sure," Connor replied, becoming slightly concerned with Avro's tone of voice.

Looking at Hawker and Gloucester as he got up, Connor noticed they had slightly stern looks on their faces. Gulping subtlety, he followed Avro out of the room and was surprised to notice Hawker and Gloucester follow suit.

In the other room, a secondary lounge to be precise, Hawker shut the door after he, his brother, father and Connor walked in.

Connor began to feel his wings tense up as the trio positioned themselves around him. Avro stood at the window overlooking the garden, seemingly contemplating something, but only making the silence even more nerve racking for Connor.

A few more nervy seconds of tense silence passed before Avro finally spoke, still looking out of the window and not moving a muscle.

"So, you have asked my daughter's hoof in marriage?"

"Yes."

Another round of nervy seconds passed. Looking nervously at Gloucester and Hawker, who were sat on opposite sofa's with Connor in between, he noted they still had stern expressions. Connor's heart thumped ferociously as the silence lingered on. As much as he wanted to say something, he felt it wouldn't be appropriate to do so given where he is and the way they're behaving.

The silence was once more broken by Avro, this time though, he turned around looking even more stern that his two sons.

"Why did you not ask my permission first?"

The question caught Connor off guard, "W-what?"

"Did you not hear me?" Avro spat, "I said, why did you not ask my permission before you asked for my daughter's hoof in marriage?"

"Because I didn't need your permission, nor do I still."

Connor's blunt answer angered Avro, and his two sons, all of whom clenched their teeth and slowly closed the gap on Connor.

"What did you say?" Avro harshly replied.

"I said I didn't need your permission. It's Spitfire's decision as to weather she marries me or not, not yours. Now if you'll excuse me..."

Connor began to walk away, an act that further angered Avro and his two sons.

"Do not walk away from me!" Avro bellowed.

"I'm going back to my fiancée," Connor replied calmly, opening the door.

"You will do no such thing!" Avro angrily replied, "You will leave my house this instant!"

Connor silently observed Avro for a few moments, hiding his disappointment in him, and answered calmly but with a thin veneer of disdain, "With pleasure."

Connor opened the door and quickly returned to the lounge. Upon entering he quickly noticed the surprisingly unsurprised looks on the faces of Spitfire, Stormy and Lightning; the latter of whom had rejoined her sister and mother. Connor opened his mouth to begin to speak, but is soon cut off by Stormy Flare.

"I take it things went as I expected?"

"Well....Avro got angry that I didn't ask his for his permission to marry Spitfire before asking Spits herself."

Spitfire scoffed and rolled her eyes, "What year is this? Pre-Unification?"

"Then he asked me- no, ordered me to leave the house at once," Connor continued.

Both Spitfire and Stormy Flare facehoofed, but Spitfire's expression quickly turned to one of concern. Concern over weather her father would actively try to stop her marrying and what, if anything, her father might try to do to Connor. Noting the look on her daughter's face, Stormy rested a comforting hoof on her shoulder.

"Don't worry dear," Stormy replied, "I'll go and speak to him, he can just be stubborn at times."

She got up and made her way to the lounge, passing Connor on he way, "Don't you worry either Connor, you have my full support. I'll deal with Avro."

"Thanks, but what about Gloucester and Hawker? They didn't look all too pleased either."

"Don't worry about them. Now, why not pour yourself some tea, whilst I speak to my husband?"

"Sure. Thanks again Stormy."

"You're welcome dear."

Stormy carried on to the other lounge, while Connor went to sit between his wife-to-be and his sister-in-law-to-be.

"Hey girls, miss me?" he asked cheekily.

"You wish?" Spitfire replied, "Besides, we were just talking about you."

"Oh? Anything good?"

Spitfire and Lightning looked at each other with a smirk.

"What?" asked a worried Connor.

Lightning looked to Connor, "I saw your picture in the paper the other day."

Connor shrugged his shoulders, "Many ponies see me in the papers."

"Maybe, but the picture I saw was.....interesting."

"Interesting? How so?"

"Well, let's just say that you were.....dressed to impress."

Connor's face went beet red while Spitfire and Lightning burst into giggles. He could only sigh deeply and lean back into the sofa, pretending that he, and the newspaper, didn't exist.


MEANWHILE

Avro Lancaster, former Air Commodore of the Equestrian Air Force and larger than average stallion, quivered in fear at the sight of his angry wife. His two sons had the sense to quickly leave the room when they saw the look on their mother's face.

But Avro, was about to receive a dressing down from his smaller wife.

"What do you think you're playing at Avro?!" she harshly demanded.

"Looking out for Spitfire."

"By treating her as though you own her? Asking permission from the father ceased to happen after unification, and since when does Spitfire, or Connor for that matter, need your permission to do anything? They're both grown adults, they do not need our consent!"

"But-"

"But nothing Avro! And you're being quite a hypocrite in this matter."

"How so?"

"Please remind me of how you asked my father for permission to marry me."

"But I didn't-"

Avro stopped speaking and went wide eyed in realisation.

"You didn't ask him did you?" Stormy asked, "You proposed and afterwards we together broke the news to my parents. I recall my father being ecstatic. His daughter marrying an up and coming Air Force officer and telling everypony about it."

Avro's anger from a minute ago was now a distant memory. Instead he was now looking down to the floor in shame, "I recall your mother, and my mother, taking you dress shopping almost straight away."

"They did, and my father took you drinking with your father.....good thing you were out of uniform and on leave."

Avro chuckled, "Yeah, I wouldn't have been able to drink otherwise."

"So why are you being hard on Connor? He thinks the world of Spitfire, and she thinks the world of him."

"I suppose I was too hard."

Stormy gave Avro a nuzzle on his cheek, "She's not your little filly any more, she a grown mare."

"Aye she is," Avro replied, sighing tiredly, "They grow up so fast."

"That they do, now though....I think you owe somepony an apology."

Avro sighed deeply again, "Yeah I do. Could you send him through?"

"Of course, and just so you know....we're all going out for dinner to celebrate."

"Where too?"

"Catch of the Day."

Avro's eyes lit up, "That's a damn fine place, I've not been for a while though."

"Well today's the day you finally get to go again."

Stormy gave Avro a kiss on the cheek and began leaving the room, "Wait here, I'll send Connor in."

"Sure."

Stormy left the room and returned to the lounge, where Hawker and Gloucester had joined their sisters. Both of whom looking like they'd just been given a roasting from Spitfire.

"Connor, Avro wishes to speak to you."

"Are you sure it's safe for me to go in there alone?"

"I'm sure; he wants to apologise."

"Well in that case," Connor replied, walking over to the doorway and leaving the room.

Whilst Connor left, Stormy turned to her two sons. Being their mother and knowing what they did, she was about to tell them off also, but Spitfire got a word in first.

"Don't worry Mum, I've already told them."

Stormy looked over to her two sons; both of them looked up to their mother and nodded quickly, fear evident in their eyes. The both looked over to a fierce and scary looking Spitfire nodded rapidly, not wanting to incur their sister's wrath again.

"Very well. Then I'm sure that Spitfire AND Connor have your FULL support in this marriage?"

They both nodded rapidly again.

Stormy then turned her attention to her other daughter, "I suppose I don't have to ask you how you feel about Spitfire's engagement?"

Lightning shook here head, smiled and gave her sister a bone crushing hug.


Connor stood in front of Avro, his nerves once again making themselves known. Avro, despite being shorter than him, was still quite an imposing figure. An awkward silence lingered once more as the two stood looking at one another, like they were waiting for the other to make the first move.

Finally, the silence was broken by Avro.

"My wife tells me you and Spitfire plan to take us all out to dinner to celebrate your.....engagement."

"Yes," Connor replied, nervously gulping a little, "We're going to Catch of the Day."

"I've not been in a while. Is it still a good place?"

Connor nodded, "I went with Spitfire, Cara and Vulcan a few weeks ago. The place was packed."

"Sounds about right, it was the last time I went."

"When did you last go?"

"A few years ago when I retired. I think I had the smoked haddock," Avro replied, smiling at the memory.

Suddenly though, his face turned down and he looked up to Connor, "But I think I delayed long enough. I want to apologise for how I reacted earlier. I was out of line."

"You're concerned for Spitfire's well being."

"True, but I shouldn't have over-reacted like I did. You don't need to ask my permission to ask my daughter's hoof in marriage. That practice was dropped not long after unification."

"Was it just a pegasi practice?"

"Mostly. Unicorns had one too, but that was mostly restricted to the wealthy and the nobility......a practice some unicorn nobles still use today, despite their denials that they do it."

"Those sort of nobles love their money more than anything else."

"You've become acquainted with a noble, have you not?"

Connor nodded, "Duke Fancy Pants and his wife in particular."

"Two of the few decent nobles in Canterlot, and having Duke Fancy Pants on your side will help wonders."

"Indeed."

"Well, I think that's enough chatting, we have a dinner to go to; do we not?"


Half an hour later, Connor, Spitfire and her family landed outside Catch of the Day. The restaurant was half full but unlike before, the outside balcony area was full, forcing them to find a table inside. Walking inside, they were approached by the Maître d'. A silvery grey pegasus stallion with white mane and tail.

"Welcome to Catch of the Day, are you all dining together?"

"Yes," replied Avro, "Table for seven please."

"Certainly sir, there's a corner booth available if that is satisfactory?"

"Of course, lead the way."

The Maître d' led them all to the table in question where they all took their seats, Connor and Spitfire sitting together. After they all sat down, the Maître d' hoofed them all menu's.

"I shall return soon to take your orders," the Maître d' said.

The Maître d' left, leaving the family to look through the menu and find what they want.

As Catch of the Day was a primarily a fish restaurant, it came as no surprise that most of the dishes were fish based, but there was a few non-fish dishes available such as roast chicken and vegetarian options. Connor decided fairly quickly on what he wanted.

"I'll have the battered cod and chips."

"I'll have the smoked un-battered haddock and chips," added Avro.

"I'll get the steamed salmon with rice," Stormy said.

"Same here," added Lightning.

"What about you Spitfire?" asked Connor, "What are you getting?"

"Hmmmmm, I'll get the........Squid Stir Fry. What about you Gloucester?"

"I'll have the Firecracker prawns with stir-fried greens. Hawker?"

"The same as Spits."

"What are we doing for drinks?" asked Spitfire.

"A pint of Allborg will do for me," Connor replied.

The others soon added their choices as well, just in time for the Maître d' to return. Giving him their order, the Maître d' left to inform the kitchen, leaving the family alone once more.

"So," Avro started, "While we wait why don't we discuss the wedding some more?"

"Sure," Connor replied, "Anything in particular?"

"Where is the wedding going to take place?"

"Canterlot Castle. It's where we first met and Celestia offered use of the place."

"Will the Princess be officiating?"

"We haven't asked her yet, but we both want her to."

"Who'll be designing and making Spitfire's and the bridesmaid's dresses?" asked Stormy.

"Rarity, a mutual friend. She'll be designing and making my suit also," replied Connor.

"A suit?" Hawker asked with a sly grin, "I'd have thought you'd be wanting to wear a d-"

An elbow in his ribs from Spitfire stopped him finishing that sentence, much to Connor's relief. Hawker though, could only rub his ribs with a hoof and scowl at his twin sister, the latter of whom stuck her tongue out at her brother.

"Yes," Avro continued, looking awkwardly between Connor, Spitfire and Hawker, not quite knowing what they were referring to, "Anyway, who's going to be invited?"

"All of you of course," Spitfire replied, "Connor if he behaves himself."

A few laughs went around the table, Connor only rolled his eyes.

"Very funny Spits. But to further answer your question, the Wonderbolts will also attend, as will a few other friends."

"What about food?" asked Lightning.

"Pinkie Pie will deal with that," Spitfire replied, "Or at least she'll see to the sweet stuff. Thankfully we have also found a wedding organiser in Twilight Sparkle."

"She'll organise it with military precision," Connor added.

"Who's going to be Best Stallion?" Avro asked, looking at Connor.

"I haven't decided who to ask yet."

"Well," Spitfire said, intervening, "I know who I'd like as Head Bridesmaid."

It took a moment for Stormy Flare to realise her daughter was looking at her.

"Me? You want me to be Head Bridesmaid?"

Spitfire nodded, "I can't think of anypony I'd rather have."

Stormy Flare's vision began to blur as tears filled her eyes, she wiped them away and wrapped her daughter in a hug, "Thank you dear, this means so much to me."

The two embraced a little longer before letting go, Stormy once again wiping tears away.

"When is the wedding going to take place?" asked Hawker.

"In a few weeks....we think," Connor replied, "We haven't decided on an exact date yet."

"Well there's plenty of time yet," Stormy replied, "There's no need to rush decisions, especially when it comes to something as special as a wedding."

"Where will you be going for your honeymoon?" asked Lightning.

"We haven't discussed it yet," Spitfire replied, "But the Marehamas is a place I've been wanting to go to since I was a filly."

"Well we'll look into it," Connor replied, taking the hint, "Just as long we don't go to Prance."

"What's wrong with Prance?" asked Avro.

"It sounds too much like France, a country in my world just south of England, and was for many centuries England's arch enemy."

Spitfire and her family looked around at each other, slightly taken back at Connor's words.

"Do you not like these.....French?" asked Spitfire.

Connor shook his head, "They're a bunch of snobby, wine drinking, cheese eating surrender monkeys that smell of onions and garlic."

........

"So.....no Prench ponies at the wedding?" Spitfire asked, half jokingly.

"No, definitely not."

"Who would you like to invite though, apart from the Princesses, your Element friends?"

"Vulcan, Cara and Theo."

"Theo? The chocolatier she's started dating?" Lightning asked, butting in with genuine curiousness.

Connor nodded, "Yep. They seem a decent couple."

"You think they'll get married too?" Spitfire asked, "I could always 'accidentally', throw my bouquet in her direction.

"Probably, it's too early to say though."

The family chatted a little more while waiting for their orders, mostly about Connor and his studies with Luna and some of his public engagements ranging from meeting school foals to opening a new ward in a hospital.

And helping out Cara in the fudge shop.

Unpaid.

Soon enough their meals arrived and were placed in front of them, along with their drinks.

"Looks good," Connor commented, "Though I wonder if this place's fish and chips are better than Whitby's."

"Whitby?" queried Avro, "What's that?"

"A seaside town in North Yorkshire, known for having the best fish and chips.....in the world."

"How often did you have fish and chips in....Whitby?"

"Every time I went, which was usually at least once a month, then visit Scarborough on the way back. Another seaside town just inside North Yorkshire."

"You should write a book on your world," Lightning suggested, "I bet loads of ponies would read it."

"I could, but with my studies and job I wouldn't get much time."

"You could still do bits here and there, they'll soon add up."

"I suppose so."

Everyone began eating their respective meals, quickly complementing their excellence. But no sooner had they started, had the conversation started again.

"So Spitfire, Connor," Avro began, "How soon can we expect grandfoals?"

Connor and Spitfire simultaneously began choking on their food.

Chapter - 34 - Developments

View Online

The sun shone brightly in the cloudless sky as Connor flew gently through the air, making his way to Canterlot. He had received a message from Celestia earlier in the morning requesting his presence in Canterlot. The letter gave no details, only that he was urgently needed. After finishing his breakfast and kissing his fiancée goodbye, he made his way over.

Landing in front of the main castle entrance, he walked up the steps and greeted the guards on duty.

"Hey guys," he said, repositioning his goggles to around his forehead.

"Hey Connor, go on in," one of the guards replied, "The Princess is waiting in the throne room."

"Thanks."

The doors opened and Connor walked in. Within a minute he was at the throne room doors which were already open. Walking straight in, he saw Celestia sat upon her throne, talking to her Private Secretary, Black Rod. Hearing Connor's footsteps, Celestia looked up and smiled delightfully at the sight of her friend.

"Connor, I'm delighted you could make it," she said as she embraced him in a hug.

"Same here, but I am curious as to what is so urgent."

"Yes, I'm sure you are; so let's not waste time and go down to the laboratories."

"Why?"

"You'll find out when we get there my little human."

Celestia stood up from her throne and made her way to the throne room doors, turning back to Black Rod on the way, "You may take the rest of the day off."

"Thank you ma'am," he replied, "Good day to you ma'am."

"Good day to you too Black Rod," Celestia replied.

Black Rod left Connor and the Princess by walking out through a side entrance reserved for Palace staff and the Princesses. Turning back to Connor, Celestia's cheery smile lit up the room once more, "You're looking resplendent as usual in your flightsuit Connor."

"Thanks, I wasn't going to wear one today but they're a lot easier to fly in."

"How are things at home?"

"Great. Spitfire's still as ecstatic as ever over the wedding."

"I understand you have informed her parents."

"Yeah, it's already been a week since then."

"How did they take it?"

"Pleased......mostly."

"Mostly?"

"Spitfire's father and brothers were understandably irked, but Stormy Flare assured them there was nothing to worry about."

"That's good to hear."

"Are we still good to have the ceremony here at the castle?"

"Of course you are, I won't revoke the offer Connor."

"It's just that Spitfire and I first met at the castle, it feels like the most appropriate place."

"I understand Connor. Is Luna still your choice to officiate the wedding?"

"Yes, you're not offended are you?" Connor asked nervously. He and Spitfire did plan to ask Celestia, but given that Celestia has officiated over weddings in the past, and Luna is still struggling to gain ponies' trust, Luna seemed the ideal choice; that and Connor is her student and one of her first real friends.

"Not at all, I fully support your choice and I guarantee that Luna will be as happy as the bride."

"I'll ask her when she wakes up, then she can talk to Rarity about a dress for the occasion, if she's interested."

"She will be Connor, I guarantee it. How is you wedding attire coming along?"

"I'm definitely wearing a suit of sorts. I was thinking something with reds and oranges with a draping cloak, something resembling fire."

"Sounds interesting. What does Rarity think?"

"She says she'll see what she can do."

"What about Spitfire?"

"I've no idea what her dress will be like, and Rarity won't tell me. Apparently I have to wait until the wedding day itself BUT before anyone asks, no I will NOT wear a dress. Just because the ancient Roman men did doesn't mean I will....again."

"Ancient Roman men wore dresses?"

"Well not quite, skirts would be more accurate. They saw trouser wearing as a sign of barbarism. Anyway, I WILL be wearing a suit."

"If you insist Connor, but speaking of outfits, I assume you will be wearing the 'Assassin' outfit for tonight?"

"Tonight?" Connor asked confused.

"Have you forgotten my little human? Tonight is the opening night of Swan Lake. I believe you promised you would attend."

Connor went wide eyed on fear and his breathing stopped. How could he have forgotten? The very thought of attending a ballet made him shudder. The formality of the occasion, the dreary venue, boring attire, the snobby attendees....he could think of many things he'd rather do than attend any ballet. He'd even rather try on a whole wardrobe of dresses made by Rarity than attend a ballet performance.

His head sinking low, he sighed; deflated and defeated, "Yeah, I did. How long will the torture last?"

"Oh don't be like that Connor," Celestia replied gently, "Just give it a chance. Have you even been to a ballet before?"

"Yes, once, and it's an experience I hoped I'd never go through again."

"Well maybe this time you will enjoy it."

"I doubt it."

Nothing more was said as they continued walking to the labs, a journey that took them into the more secure areas of the castle. Walking down a set of stone steps down a narrow corridor, Celestia opened a reinforced wooden door and walked in, followed by Connor.

Upon entering, Connor saw a typical laboratory with various tables with experiments set up on each of them. Bottles with all manners of liquids were stacked on shelves along with complicated set ups involving test tubes, Bunsen burners, graphite rods, beakers, flasks, filter funnels and so on. Various ponies were working on several experiments, but what exactly elided Connor.

"What is it you were wanting to show me?"

"It's in another room," Celestia replied, "If you'd follow me."

Connor did so and they came to another door. Opening the door and walking down another narrow corridor they came to an open doorway revealing another lab, but this time the lab seemed to pertain to Physics rather than Chemistry. Looking around the room, it didn't take long for Connor to notice a large object obscured by a blanket.

"What's under there?"

"This is what I wanted you to see," Celestia replied, a glint of glee in her eyes.

Lighting up her horn, she quickly pulled the covers away, revealing the object. Seeing the object before him caused Connor to freeze with shock and take his breath away. He tried to form a response but his words came out as little more than utterances. Noting his shock, Celestia walked over and gently placed a hoof on his shoulder, "What the matter Connor? You look like you've seen a ghost."

"You could say that," Connor replied quietly.

"What do you mean? Do you know what this is?"

Connor nodded his head, "Yeah, yeah I do."

There was a few moments of silence as Connor tried to process what he was seeing and the possible outcomes it presented. Curious at Connor's reaction, Celestia enquired further.

"Connor, what is it?"

"It's something from my world. It's a type of vehicle called a car, specifically a 4x4. This particular one is a Range Rover L405, or more specifically.......it's my dad's."

Celestia's eyes went as wide as dinner plates, "Your father's?!"

Connor nodded, "Yes......how long has it been here?"

"It appeared in the Whitetail Woods during your second night in Las Pegasus I believe. Arch Mage didn't want to risk bringing it here sooner until he could thoroughly examine the magical field in the area. As soon as he deemed it safe, he had it brought here under extreme secrecy."

"So secret it was deemed I wasn't to be informed sooner?" Connor asked, a trace of venom in his voice.

Wincing from the verbal venom, Celestia gently placed a hoof on Connor's shoulder, "I'm afraid I am to blame for that. I didn't want to risk the press finding out and having the Whitetail Woods swarmed with over eager press ponies getting in the way of the investigation team. That, and I didn't want to distract from you from your engagement."

"So why tell me about this now?"

"Because the investigators are sensing another build up of magic. And this time, they believe it will be much bigger than before."

"How much bigger?"

"Several times the size of your dad's car."

"You think something else might be coming over from my world?"

"That is our hypothesis."

Sighing deeply and rubbing his face with his hands, the prospect of what Celestia was saying quickly dawned on him. Something from his world would most likely be coming to Equestria. Maybe his family would be coming next time. That very thought gave him a glimmer of hope that he may get to see them again.

But before he could get bogged down with wishful hopefulness, he moved to the present situation.

"Speaking of teleporting, I'm assuming Arch Mage teleported the car in?"

"Yes, but we are having difficulty trying to get inside the car itself."

"You'd need the keys to unlock the doors, which I don't have."

"Yes, the scientists were quite.....startled, when they attempted to force the door."

"The alarm went off didn't it?" Connor asked, barely holding back snickering.

Celestia nodded, frowning unamused, "It gave them quite a fright."

"So....what now?"

"As you are unable to gain access yourself, there is little more than we can do, but this....vehicle....will remain here for the time being, where it is more secure, but I will allow you access whenever you so wish to come here."

"Fair enough, but there is one thing I'd like to ask?"

"Yes?"

Connor was going to leave it, but changed his mind as the question would only gnaw at him in the coming weeks, disturbing his sleep and studies.

"If my dad's car is here, what are the chances of my family arriving also? Except for my mother they would be taken from everything they've ever known. As much as I want to see them again, I'm not so selfish that I want them taken from everything and everyone they know. But, if my sisters have grown wings like me, Equestria might be a more suitable place for them."

"I honestly do not know Connor. There is still a lot we do not know about magic, they might come, they might not."

"So we'll just have to wait and see?"

"I'm afraid so, but let's not worry about it. Come my little human, let's go to the garden and have a nice cup of tea."

"OK, but you will let me know if anything comes up, right?"

"Of course. Just one thing Celestia?"

"Yes?"

"You can't unlock the doors on the car?"

"That is correct."

"Sooooooo.....why not just teleport inside?"

Around the room, the assembled ponies began looking at one another; embarrassed at overlooking such a simple solution. Many went back to their experiments, pretending they hadn't heard. Celestia meanwhile, after looking at her embarrassed ponies, looked back to Connor looking and feeling a little silly herself.

"We may have overlooked that option," she said, scuffing the floor with her hoof.


MEANWHILE ON EARTH

Bellatrix, Connor's oldest sister, walked into the front room; concern etched all over her face.

"Mum, have you seen Elizabeth anywhere? I can't find her."

Star Light was laid on her belly reading the day's newspapers, and without looking up she answered her daughter, "I've not seen her since breakfast. Is she not down at the rabbit hutches? You know how much she loves them."

Bellatrix shook her head, "She's not there, nor is she in her room or the conservatory."

Star Light looked up, "Well she can't have gotten far. We are under close protection, remember?"

Bellartrix rolled her eyes, "Yes, 'protection'; it's not at all like we're prisoners being held here against our will."

"Don't be like that Bella, you know why we have to remain here."

"For how much longer though? Because I am NOT spending the rest of my life cooped up in this house!"

"We won't Bella."

"How would you know?"

"Bella please," Star Light pleaded, "Please don't start arguing, I'm worried enough as it is about Connor."

Sighing and walking over to her mother, Bella sat down and gave her a hug, "Sorry mum, we're all worried; but the thought I might never have a 'normal' life again......."

"I know how you fell darling, when I first came to this world and before I turned into a human, I wondered the same thing. I thought that I might never see daylight ever again."

"You thought you'd be kept inside a science lab all the time?"

Star Light nodded.

"That wouldn't have happened, Dad wouldn't have allowed it."

"He would have had he been ordered to."

"Are you sure about that?" Bella asked, sceptically raising an eyebrow.

"Point taken. Alexander does seem to disregard rules when they inconvenience him. Something one of his daughters seems to have inherited," Star Light said, looking knowingly at Bella.

"What? Are you suggesting I take after dad when it comes to obeying the rules?" Bella asked, aghast that her mother would dare imply such a thing.

"I'm not suggesting, I'm making an observation."

"Name one time when I ignored the rules because they 'inconvenienced' me."

"You have six points on your driving licence for multiple speeding violations."

"Apart from that," Bella replied, rolling her eyes at hearing that for the umpteenth time.

"You got a ban from the park for refusing to keep off the grass."

"Well that's a stupid rule, if you put a sign up saying 'keep off the grass' then people are going to walk on the grass just because they don't like being told what to do. POWER TO THE PEOPLE!"

"Then there was the time you was suspended from school calling that teacher a 'fat cow'."

"She tried to confiscate my Mars bar. There was no rule against having them, she just wanted to have it for herself. And I didn't call her a fat cow."

"'Yeah I bet you want me to hand this over, wouldn't you fatty, shove it down that massive hole in your face. Are all cows as fat as you?', that is what you said, is it not?"

"Like I said, I didn't call her a fat cow."

"Not directly, no."

"Anyway, I seem to recall you were slightly amused at what I said; you never liked her anyway."

"True, what happened to her anyway?"

"She was made redundant a few years later, and I missed out on her going away party. Connor would know more, he was there for it; he couldn't stand her either."

"Well, when we see him again I'll ask him."

"You think we will see him again?"

"Yes, I've always believed I will, and see Equestria again for that matter. Now, would you like your wings preening? They're looking a little tattered."

"There's a question I doubt I'll ever get used to being asked," Bella replied, turning around so her right side was facing Star Light, and opened the cyan blue right wing out slightly, allowing Star Light to properly preen them.

Star Light giggled, "I felt a similar way when Alex asked if I wanted foot massages. Speaking of your father, where is he?"

"He's in the garage."

"He's still doing impressions of George Banks?"

"Yep. Good thing there isn't a fireplace in the garage."

Star Light rolled her eyes, "Why am I not surprised? Anyway, what about Angela? Where is she?"

"In the kitchen still, making a mess. Apparently we're all in need of some cakes."

"We are indeed a strange family," Star Light sighed.


BACK IN EQUESTRIA

Spitfire was drinking tea with Rarity inside the fashionista's boutique, having completed the final sketch of Spitfire's wedding dress. The floor length sleeveless dress which would be in traditional white, had a train about three feet long which wrapped around at the waist before forming into a three tiers skirt. The dress's neckline went over both shoulders to form a v-neck style neckline, leaving room for a necklace to be on full view. A floral headband consisting of white roses made up the headpiece, complete with shoes which fastened using straps that went up the legs to the knees/elbows.

"How long will it take to make?" asked Spitfire, looking over the sketches.

"It will be done in time for the wedding, don't worry."

"How much?"

"I would do this for free, but I get the feeling that I may have to concede defeat to Connor this time."

"We just feel we should pay you for the time and effort you put into it, you can't make a living by doing things for free all the time."

"I suppose not, but could I at least offer a discount?"

"Go ahead."

"Thank you darling, I estimate that including discount the dress will cost roughly 18,000 bits. That includes labour and cost of materials."

"18,000 bits?" Spitfire repeated, slightly shocked.

"Yes, but remember the dress is made from a very exquisite silk-like material, I could make the dress with a different material to reduce the price but-"

"No, the material will be fine. I'll be back in a few days anyway with my mother, sister and the Wonderbolt mares."

"Bridesmaid dresses?" Rarity guessed.

"Yep, that should be enough to keep you busy for a few days. And leave you laughing all the way to the bank."

"All those spa days I'll be able to have," Rarity said dreaming, excited of all the pamperings she'd be able to indulge in after the massive pay day, "Anyway, a few weeks is more likely, now, come darling, I feel like a spa treatment and I'm taking you with me."

"Sure, I guess my wings could do with a massage."

"You need a hooficure more than anything."

Spitfire lifted a hoof to examine it, and noted the rough and cracked surface, "Yeah I guess so, it'll be from all the rough landings."

"Haven't you thought about having your own masseuse?"

"We would, but it's finding one that can work at our high standards, walk on clouds and not get carried away working with the Wonderbolts. That and there's the pressure in making sure we're all able to perform at peak efficiency as often as possible."

"Who oversees your physical health at the moment?"

"We have a team doctor, but he's not a licensed masseuse."

"Well, we can ask Aloe and Vera, they may be able to recommend somepony."

Rarity placed the sketches into a lock box and placed a powerful protective spell over it to deter would-be thieves or nosy husbands-to-be. Spitfire followed Rarity out of the boutique and headed towards the Spa, the sunlight gently warming Spitfire's fur and illuminating it in all its radiant glory.

"You seem to enjoy being out in the sun," Rarity commented, "I can't say I blame you, your fur looks beautiful in weather like this."

"Thanks. I do try to take care of it the best I can. Connor helps occasionally, particularly when it comes to my flanks."

Rarity groaned and rolled her eyes, "A stallion who likes getting his hooves, or hands on Connor's case, on a mare's flanks...imagine my shock."

Spitfire shared a small laugh, "Yeah, but he's not a jerk about it; he's careful to do it properly. And his hands are better than hooves when to comes to my wings. Those nimble fingers of his, especially when he scratches right behind the ears......"

Spitfire went a little wide eyed in embarrassment and looked to Rarity, the latter of whom was biting her hoof trying to refrain from laughing.

"What?!" Spitfire spluttered, her cheeks bright red, "Do you have any idea what it feels like to have fingers scratch you right behind your ears?"

"I take it is simply divine?"

"Divine? I feel like putty in his hands!"

"You two truly are in love. Where is he by the way?"

"He was summoned to the castle by the Princess, but why I don't know."

"We'll have to ask him later, in the meantime.....the spa awaits."


MEANWHILE IN VANHOOVER

Cara and Theo stood side by side as work ponies installed display cabinets, tables and chairs in their new Downtown Vanhoover store. Originally it was going to be Cara's first fudge shop outside of Cloudsdale, but after meeting Theo and getting well acquainted, they decided to have a joint venture and have a fudge AND chocolate shop.

"I can't wait to see it when it's finished," Cara said, watching on.

"Same here. I never thought that I'd be back on my hooves so quickly, especially after how much I lost."

Cara smiled sweetly and nuzzled Theo's cheeks, "And the funny thing is you stand to gain more than you had before."

Theo laughed a little, "It's a funny world we live in. And to think, I may not have been in this position had your brother not been in Las Pegasus, who was there himself for other reasons that could have been avoided."

"A blessing in disguise."

The pair continued to watch as work ponies continued to put up display cabinets, both optimistic for the future.

As they continued to watch however, Theo felt something repeatedly hitting his flank. Looking over to what it was, he saw the brown tail of Cara swishing about excitedly. Seeing out of the corner of her eye what he was looking at, she looked behind her and saw her tail acting like it had a mind of her own. Eyes widening in shock and going red in the cheeks, she shot a hoof back and grabbed hold of her tail.

"Sorry," she said, blushing profusely.

"No problem," Theo replied, blushing a little himself.

Several seconds of awkward silence passed as the pair tried to ignore what just happened.

"Would you-" they both said simultaneously.

"I'd like-" they said simultaneously again.

"You first," Cara said, pointing at Theo with a hoof.

Theo's blush reddened as he summoned up the courage to ask, "I-I w-was w-wondering, i-if that's OK, if y-you'd like t-to go for a c-coffee?"

Cara smiled sweetly and gave Theo a quick peck on the cheeks, "I'd love to."

Cara walked out of the store, leaving a stunned Theo standing for a few seconds. A huge grin slowly formed and he soon turned around and began happily chasing after Cara, leaving the work ponies to carry on furnishing the store.


MEANWHILE IN THE WHITETAIL WOODS

A solitary figure with light blue, feathery wings slowly woke up and examined her surroundings, slowly realising she wasn't where she was before.

"Where am I?"

Chapter - 35 - Siblings

View Online

Princess Celestia walked alongside Arch Mage as he led her to their base camp in the Whitetail Woods, eager to meet the new arrival. From what Arch Mage described in the letter, the creature seemed to have a very similar appearance to Connor; a human with wings.

"Have you discovered more about this new human?" Celestia asked.

"No. All we know is that this human is female, courtesy of descriptions given by Connor, has an insatiable appetite for food and seems to enjoy hugging ponies."

"Hugging ponies?" Celestia repeated, slightly confused.

"Errr, you'll see what I mean when we get there ma'am. But she seems friendly enough."

Celestia was thankful for that at least, though she was still worried she'd much rather the new human cuddle her little ponies than hurt them. She decided to wait until she saw the new human herself before informing Connor, if only so she could get some details first; and confirm that it's the real deal and not an elaborate prank by dark forces.

After a few more minutes, Celestia and Arch Mage arrived at base camp and soon Celestia saw what had been reported to her.

A human with wings. Specifically blue wings slighter darker than those of Rainbow Dash. She was wearing sky blue jeans, white thigh high leather boots and a white top with flower patterns emblazoned in gold on the front. Her shoulder length blonde hair fell loosely and a silver necklace with a heart shaped locket hung from her neck.

She was also still hugging the research pony with great enthusiasm and showing no sigh of letting go.

"You're sooooooo cuuuuute!" she said giving him an enthusiastic nuzzle.

Celestia looked at the poor colt who was trapped in the human's hug; the colt, who looked to be no more than eighteen years old, couldn't blush more even if he tried.

"As I said," Arch Mage continued, pointing to them, "She likes hugging ponies. That poor colt has been stuck there for the last forty minutes."

"You've not tried to free him?"

"No. She wasn't being aggressive or violent and the colt stated he was OK, so we left them be."

Seeing Celestia and Arch Mage approach, the human stood up and walked over, taking the colt with her in her bear hug.

"Greetings human, I am Princess-"

"Princess Celestia."

Celestia and Arch Mage went wide eyed in shock. According to Arch Mage, he had not informed the human of Celestia's name, so her knowing it and her title was surprising.

"How did you know?" Celestia asked.

"My mum told me all about you. Big white horse with wings and pointy stick on her head and sun shaped butt stamp. Well she didn't say those words exactly, that would be my sister's way of describing you, but you look like the big pony she described."

"And who exactly is your mother?" Celestia asked, slightly amused at the crude, if accurate description given of her. The ponies around her seemed close to fainting however, the manner in which others describing their Princess being too much for their fragile minds to handle.

"A pegasus named Star Light."

Connor's mother.

"Do you have any other family members with you?"

"No. At least I don't think so."

"How many are there in your family?"

"There's my mother, my human father and my two sisters and big brother."

Upon mentioning her brother, her face turned sour and tears began to fall, "My brother......he disappeared a few months ago. We haven't seen or heard from him...........is he here too? Please tell me that he is! I can't bare missing him much longer!"

Celestia felt her heart soften, even more than usual as her overly motherly nature overwhelmed her once again. She slowly approached the human, who was looking pleadingly at her and hugging the colt even more tightly.

"What is your name?"

"Elizabeth. Elizabeth Wakefield."

"Such a lovely name, welcome to Equestria Elizabeth. Now, if you come with me, I shall take you back to my castle and along the way tell you of recent events in Equestria."

Elizabeth looked unsure at Celestia, not entirely certain if she should trust her. Celestia, sensing this, offered reassurance.

"I promise you you will not be harmed. You shall be a personal guest and will have your own private room."

"I'll be a guest of royalty and get to stay in a castle?" Elizabeth asked, an eyebrow raised with intrigue.

"Yes."

"OK I'll go with you, but on one condition."

"What condition is that?" Celestia asked, slightly surprised at the gall to make such a request.

Are all humans this bold?

"I'll tell you on the way. It's a bit......embarrassing really."

"Very well, it shall give us something else to discuss. Now, if you'll follow me, I shall lead you to my chariot. But I must ask you to leave the young colt behind."

"But he's sooooooo cuuuute," Elizabeth whined.


SEVERAL MINUTES LATER ON CELESTIA'S CHARIOT

"There," Celestia said, watching on as the green flame blew away, "Miss Rarity will come as fast as she can. She will not miss another opportunity to accept a commission from royalty."

"Thank you for agreeing, it's been a bit of a fantasy of mine since I was little and I finally have a chance to fulfil it properly...and without being judged for it."

"That's quite alright Elizabeth. My little ponies are very open minded and accepting, they will not question your choice of attire."

As reassuring that was, Elizabeth was more concerned about the terms and conditions of where she would be staying.

"How long will I have to remain in the castle for though? I won't effectively be a prisoner there will I?"

Celestia's eyes went to pinpricks, shocked that she would do such a thing.

"Absolutely not!" Celestia reassured firmly, wrapping a wing consolingly around her, "I assure you Elizabeth, you are not and will not be a prisoner in my castle! Whilst I will not stop you from leaving the castle, I would recommend you do not until I can make the necessary arrangements and prevent the press from reporting it before I am ready."

Elizabeth visibly relaxed. Knowing you won't be held prisoner by a magical pony princess in her own castle full of her own guards sworn to obey only her can be quite a relief.

"Can't you just order the press not to say anything?"

"I could, but I don't want to resort to that if I can help it. To do so could be seen as myself trying to control the press or cover something up."

"Fair enough."

"I must say Elizabeth, you seem to be taking this quite well."

"You mean I'm not freaking out? Well I did have time to get used to these wings and my mother being a pegasus. That and she told us loads of stories after she transformed back into a pony and my sisters and I grew wings."

"You mean you didn't always have them?"

Of course Celestia knew this, having being told as such by Connor; but for the time being she had to play the part.

"No, we grew them a few months ago, not too long after Connor disappeared actually."

"Connor?" Celestia repeated, noting the first use of his name by Elizabeth.

"My brother. If my sisters and I grew wings then I'm assuming he as too."

"How was it? Growing wings I mean."

"It was by far the most excruciating pain I've ever and will ever experience. My sisters feel the same way."

"Did you suffer any side affects?"

"Vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea, feverishness....things like that. It lasted a couple of weeks and rendered me, and my sisters, bed ridden for its duration."

"My apologies you all suffered so much," Celestia said, wrapping a wing around Elizabeth.

"It's OK, we recovered quickly though after it wore off. I felt a lot fitter afterwards though, like I could run several miles without tiring, and became more tolerant to cold weather too."

"That sounds about right given you have inherited your mother's pegasus genes."

"I never knew she was a pony until the transformation. Makes what Connor said a lot more sense."

"In what way?"

"He told me and my sisters many times that he felt mum and dad were hiding something, specifically from him."

"Did you doubt him before?"

"Kinda, he only ever had suspicions and nothing to prove them. Turns out he was right," she added, looking downcast and once again tears beginning to fall, "I hope I see him again."

Noting Elizabeth's tears, Celestia pulled her into her barrel with her wing, "You will do, I promise."

Elizabeth's head shot up immediately and she looked desperately into Celestia's eyes, "Does that mean....."

Celestia smiled sweetly and nodded her head, "Connor has been in Equestria the entire time. I will send for him after you have settled in and Rarity has seen to your request."

Celestia was nearly knocked out of the chariot when Elizabeth threw herself at her, hugging her tightly, "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You've no idea how much my big brother means to me!"

Celestia returned the hug, gently wrapping a foreleg around her, "I can see it though."


THE FOLLOWING DAY

The sun shined brightly into the office and a cool gentle breeze in through the open window. The gentle breeze rustled Connor's feathers creating a relaxing, soothing experience to what was a boring, mind numbingly dull task.

Finances.

Connor had been busy all morning in Spitfire's office sorting out wages and expenses, making sure that National Insurance was paid and the appropriate income tax deducted before processing the payments to Wonderbolt employees; including the actual stunt team, trainees and supporting personnel.

Connor himself earned 630,000 bits per year as General Manager. Spitfire earned 915,000 bits per year as Wonderbolt Group Captain. Wing Commanders Soarin and Fleetfoot 780,000 and 700,000 bits per year respectively in accordance to their time at their rank. Like Spitfire, it increased with each year so veteran Wing Commanders earned more than newly promoted ones, like with all ranks.

Then there was the expenses.

Flightsuits, like what Connor and the stunt team wore, cost 10,000 bits (£1,000) each and there was an order for a dozen, including two for Connor. Trainee flightsuits cost a slightly cheaper 6,000 bits but there was still an order for two dozen of them, to replace the existing ones due to wear and tear.

The goggles cost an extra 1,000 bits.

"Who thought running a stunt team could be so expensive?" he muttered to himself, "Seriously, 500,000 bits to rent the False Creek Stadium in Vanhoover for one afternoon? 25,000 bits for pies alone? Thanks for that Soarin."

I really should get some accountants to help with this.

Connor continued going through the finances, despite feeling as though this wasn't exactly his job; but Luna insisted stating an understanding of business finances would help immeasurably in his studies.

Looking up at the clock, he saw it had just passed 12pm.

Finishing the last little bit he was doing, he stood up and stretched his muscles and wings, cracking joints in process and relieving some tension, "Bloody hell that feels good."

Picking up his flight goggles off the desk and resting them around the top of his head, he walked out of the office and towards the mess hall, passing a few newbies on the way. Entering the busy mess hall, he joined the queue for food and was soon joined by Misty Fly.

"Hey Connor."

"Hey Misty, you OK?"

"Feel great, I'll feel even better next week when it's pay day."

"I know what you mean, I've been doing wages and expenses all morning."

"My condolences. Has Soarin been putting pies on expenses again?"

"Yep."

"How much?"

"You don't want to know."

"I believe you, though in Soarin's defence he does share the pies with foals."

"True. Still, half a million bits to rent a stadium for one afternoon is expensive enough as it is with out his pie addiction adding to it."

Misty whistled in shock, "Half a million bits?"

"I know. It would have been under 400,000 had it been a week day but then we wouldn't have been able to have families with foals attend."

"True, we still made a profit though, right?"

"Yes. Tickets, merchandise, sponsorship and what not all made for a reasonably healthy profit. Anyway, what are you getting for lunch?"

"Tuna salad. You?"

"Fish and chips."

"Cool. I'll try not to eat too much here, don't want to add to your expenses do we?"

Connor let out a laugh, "No. They're high enough as it is, still, at least we don't have to pay for meals directly ourselves."

"I wouldn't have much money left if we did, Soarin would go broke for sure."

"And the pie industry would suffer as a result."

Five minutes later, Connor and Misty Fly had their meals and drinks and were making their way over to the stunt team table. Though Connor wasn't in the stunt team, being the boss's fiancée had its advantages.

Today though, Spitfire was with her mother, sister and Cara on a girl's day out in Fillydelphia, leaving Soarin in charge of training and the academy for the day.

"How's Soarin doing?" asked Connor.

"OK, he has a different approach than Spitfire but he's just as good," replied Misty, "He should be joining us soon, so should Fleets."

"How are the newbies?"

"As overconfident as ever. They learn very quickly just how wrong they are."

"Where you the same?"

"I wouldn't be where I am today if I wasn't."

A couple of minutes passed before they were joined by Soarin and Fleetfoot.

"Pie again Clipper?" asked Misty Fly.

"What else would I have?"

"Something that isn't pie?" suggested Misty.

"Yeah sure," Soarin scoffed, "Like that will happen; anyway, Connor? I hear you were doing expenses this morning?"

"I was, I've still a few more to do."

"OK," Soarin replied, nervously taking a bite of his apple pie, "Have fun."

"I will do, but while you're here?"

"Yes?"

"Were so many pies really necessary?"

"I don't know what you're talking about," Soarin replied dismissively.

"Wait, what are you talking about?" Fleetfoot enquired, "Connor?"

"Soarin-"

"They don't need to know!"

"Know what?" asked Misty Fly.

Misty Fly and Fleetfoot looked between a serious looking Connor and a nervous looking Soarin, before setting their eyes on Connor.

"Connor?" prompted Fleetfoot.

"Soarin here, spent 25,000 bits on pies at the False Creek performance and billed the 'Bolts for it."

Misty and Fleetfoot turned their heads to Soarin with dropped jaws, "25,000 bits!"

"We had to provide catering for the fans!"

"You spent a quarter of the catering budget on pies!" Connor retorted.

"The fans enjoyed them," Soarin replied, "Don't worry so much Connor, Spitfire signed off on the order anyway."

"You got her to sign them off when she was distracted choosing a wedding dress."

Soarin groaned and rolled his eyes, "So I chose a time she wouldn't be able to fully realise what she was signing for, big deal. Besides it was just pies."

"She found out what you did and she's decided to introduce a pie consumption limit for Wonderbolts."

"You're making that up!" Soarin replied, pointing a hoof at Connor, "Tell me you're making that up!"

Connor gently shook his head, "Nope."

"But.....she can't stop me having pie," Soarin whimpered.

"Oh yes she can. She's the captain."


Lunch was over and while Soarin was thinking of ways to get Spitfire to change her mind, Connor was back in Spitfire's office going over the rest of the finances. This time, budgeting for an upcoming show in Hoofton with a one million bit budget.

The Wonderbolts both hired venues and paid for them at their expense, and other times they would be 'hired' to perform at the expense of whoever invited them. Though the cost of a display was expensive at approximately 80,000 bits, and that's just for the stunt team.

Connor's job now was to work out how to spend the one million bit budget and get everything the Wonderbolts would require for the show.

Not easy when you're still a novice at the task. Fortunately, Luna was on hoof to provide any assistance and advice he needed. Rather than tell him what needed doing, she instead pointed him in the right direction.

As he began going through the forms, the dragon-fire lighter in his flightsuit belt began vibrating. Taking it off his belt and holding it in front of him, he pushed the button to cause a small flame to erupt, which in turn caused a scroll to appear.

Putting the lighter on the desk and taking the scroll, he read it.

Dear Connor,

There has been further developments in the White Tail Woods. I would like for you to come to Canterlot Castle this evening for dinner where I can tell you more.

Your friend

Celestia

PS: The show in Vanhoover was fantastic. Though there did seem to be a lot of pies in the food courts.

Connor grabbed some paper and a pen from the desk and began writing a reply.

Dear Celestia,

I would like to come for dinner. I'm busy with paperwork at the moment, but hopefully I should be finished by sunset.

Your friend Connor.

Connor rolled the scroll into a roll and using the dragon-fire lighter, sent the scroll to Celestia.

As expected, he received a quick reply.

Dear Connor,

Thank you for deciding to come. I do enjoy your company.

Celestia.

PS: These new pens you brought from your world really are better than quills!

It had taken longer than expected, but Connor had finally managed to find a manufacturer of his ball point and fountain pens, very quickly becoming best sellers. In particular the themed pens with designed based on the Wonderbolts, Princesses and Elements. Celestia herself used very high quality fountain pens, the manufacturer having received a Royal Warrant.

In fact, the manufacturer was in talks to create luxury themed gift boxes inspired by the Princesses.

Connor put that scroll down to and turned his attention back to the paperwork, but before that, he pressed the buzzer on the desk. Within a few seconds, one of the newbie trainee's came in.

"Yes sir?" she inquired.

"Hey there. Could you go to the mess hall and bring me some East Riding Gold Tea please? With milk, sugar and what not?"

"Aye sir. Anything else sir?"

"Some Parkin if there is any."

"Aye sir, I won't be long sir."

The young mare left and Connor leant back into the chair, sighing.

The mare hadn't done anything wrong as such, but he didn't feel right being addressed as 'sir' by the trainees. It didn't sit well with him as he wasn't her instructor but Spitfire had insisted on it, arguing the newbies need to learn their place.

A bit ironic to Connor, he thought, given he was also a newbie....sort of.

But then again, I'm not in the stunt team; I'm more back room staff.

Still, respect works both ways. If you want respect, you have to give it too.

He began his work once more and wasn't waiting too long before the mare from before returned, pushing in a trolley with Connor's tea and parkin. The mare placed the items on the desk before leaving, allowing Connor to pour his own tea. Spitfire thankfully has her own kettle in her office.

Five minutes later he finally had his cup of tea.

"Ahhhh," he said as he drank his first sip, "Maybe not quite Yorkshire Gold."


Sunset had finally arrived. Looking out of the office window, Connor could see the sun setting slowly on the horizon, basking the countryside in a warm, orange glow. Turning around to leave the office, satisfied he got the paperwork out of the way, he fastened his bag tightly around his waist and left the room.

He walked briskly down the empty hallways outside to towards the runway. Most, if not all the trainees had gone into town for the night leaving the academy strangely quiet. Lowering his goggles over his eyes, Connor unfurled his wings and took to the air, basking in the sheer ecstasy of the cool summer air in his face and breeze blowing gently through his feathers.

As he was in no rush, he flew at a steady pace; the warm glow and gentle heat of the sun and the light breeze making for a relaxing and peaceful journey.

The towering structures of Canterlot soon came into view as Connor approached, the multiple platforms on which the city is built never ceasing to amaze him. Descending into the city, he landed in an open area in front of the castle's throne room balcony, surrounded by columns and overlooking the Equestrian countryside.

Folding his wings back in place, he made his way to the entrance.

Upon entering the castle lobby, he headed straight for the throne room where Celestia was waiting for him, becoming even more interested in what developments Celestia wished to tell him about.

He entered the throne room and approached his friend who unsurprisingly has her snout buried in some scrolls.

"Greetings Connor," she said without moving.

"Hi Celestia, how did you know it was me?"

"There is only one creature I know who drinks East Riding Gold, and I can smell it in his bag."

Connor grinned and clapped his hands together, "Fancy a cuppa Celestia?"

Celestia sent the scroll away to fuck knows where and got to her hooves. Walking down to Connor, she extended her wings and embraced Connor in a hug, one he returned.

"You know me too well my little human."

"So," Connor said, letting go of Celestia, "What is it you wanted to tell me?"

"Why don't we discuss it over that nice cup of tea you offered?"


A short while later, Connor and Celestia were sitting in Celestia's private lounge; the dusk sky slowly turning to inky blackness as night drew near. Connor poured himself and Celestia some tea while she sorted out some more paperwork.

"Apologies for this mess Connor, I do try to keep on top of things but lately I've been getting behind."

"Don't worry about it, I know the feeling. I've been doing paperwork all day."

"Involving what?"

"Finances. I've been sorting out wages, expenses, bookings and what not."

"Luna tells me you are doing well."

Connor shrugged his shoulder, "If she says so, personally I think I'm just getting by."

"Don't be too hard on yourself Connor. Luna wouldn't overstate your abilities."

"True. Speaking of Luna, is she still pleased about officiating the wedding?"

"You could say that, if talking endlessly about it is anything to go by. Have you decided on where to go for your honeymoon yet?"

"We're looking at Neighpon and Germaney. One package to Neighpon lasts for two weeks and costs 100,000 bits all inclusive, and it includes stays at five star hotels and rail passes for the Shinkhansen."

"I think I've heard of them. Aren't they those really fast steam trains that travel over 100mph?"

"Yep, the Shinkansen trains also exist in my world although they're electric powered and travel a lot faster. And they're run so precisely to schedule you can set your watch by them."

"Sounds impressive."

"It is, though I admit I'm actually slightly jealous of how good the Japanese railways are."

"Japanese? Your worlds Neighponese I take it?"

"Yep. And Germany and Germaney."

"What holidays are available in Germaney?"

"Similar to Neighpon. Stays in top hotels, tours of local breweries....personally I'd prefer to go to Germaney."

"For the local ale?"

"NO!" Connor quickly replied, "What ever makes you think that would be the reason?"

"Oh nothing," Celestia chuckled, "But wherever you decide to go, I hope you enjoy yourselves."

"Thanks Celestia. We'll send you a postcard."

"I look forward to it."

The pair continued to chat for a little longer, mostly about day court and Wonderbolt business, before it was time to head to the dining hall for dinner.

"Come Connor, we can order our meals in the dining room."

"Sure. Anything new on the menu?"

"Salmon and leek risotto."

"Sounds great, I'll have that."

Celestia giggled, "That makes three of us."

"Three?" Connor repeated, "Is Luna here? I thought she was in Baltimare."

"She is, but someone else is joining us for dinner."

"Who?"

"You'll see soon enough."


Connor sat impatiently in his seat, fidgeting around uncomfortably, "Come on Celestia, when is this mysterious guest of yours going to come?"

"Patience Connor, she's here now."

"How do you know?"

"She's right behind you."

"Huh?"

Before he could turn around, he felt something cover his eyes and straight away felt there was far more to Celestia's invite than she let on. A couple of seconds passed before Connor realised something about whatever was covering his eyes.

Hang on a minute, whatever they are are too soft to be hooves......

Then in dawned on him.

.....fuck me.....

they're hands!

"It can't be," he whispered.

"Guess who!"

Connor knew that voice too.

The hands covering his eyes let go and he immediately turned around, almost falling out of the chair in shock. Stood before him was his youngest sister, Elizabeth. He said and did nothing except just sit and stare at his littlest sibling, in particular what she was wearing.

She was wearing a strapless, sleeveless floor length double layered dress in dark blue, and behind her were a pair of blue feathery wings. Resting on top of her head, was a silver tiara with small blue sapphires encrusted in the points of the crown along with matching earrings while her shoulder length blonde hair hung loosely; and from her neck hung a silver necklace with a heart shaped locket.

"Elizabeth?" Connor muttered standing up and moving himself in front of his sister, "Is it really you?"

"It's really me big brother," she replied, tears starting to fall, "I've missed you so much!"

Without warning, Elizabeth threw herself forward and hugged her big brother tightly, a flurry of emotions overwhelming her. Connor, still in shock, managed to return the hug and pulled his sister in closely; her smaller frame allowing her to rest her head on his chest.....and her tiara to unintentionally poke him on his throat and knocking it slightly out of place.

"Sorry," she said, putting it back in place, "Forgot I was wearing it."

"Fair enough. You look great by the way."

"Thanks," she replied, blushing a little.

"Why are you dressed like this though? Not that I should be surprised."

"Well it's a long short story. Why don't I tell you about it during dinner?"

"Sure, I have quite a few stories to tell you myself. It's been quite an adventure since I came here."

"I know," she answered with a smirk, "I've seen your pictures from newspapers and glossy magazines."

"My....pictures?" Connor queried nervously, dread once again creeping up his spine.

"Yep."

An awkward silence permeated the room. If a pin dropped, you'd be able to hear it.

"You know Connor," Elizabeth continued with a predatory grin Connor knew all to well, "Considering we're dining with a Princess I'd have thought you would have dressed in more appropriate attire."

"I've dined here in my flightsuit many times," Connor replied, knowing exactly what Elizabeth was referring to.

"Yeah but this is a special occasion, a family reunion. Surely you could have had a look through your wardrobe and found something more formal....and eye catching."

"I don't have anything suitable."

"The pictures I saw say otherwise," Elizabeth replied with a glint in her eye.

"Let's just have dinner, shall we?" he replied, blushing beet red and wings twitching.

He sat back down making sure to hide his embarrassment from Celestia and Elizabeth, both of whom merely looked at one another with stifled giggles.


"So let me see if I understood correctly," Connor said, rubbing his temples with his hands, "You chased a pony around the observation site in an attempt to hug him and in the process fell down a ditch and got your clothes all muddy and ripped; and while your injuries were being treated, you hugged the same pony who was helping to treat you."

Elizabeth nodded excitedly, "Yep. But how could I not? That pony was soooooooooo cute and cuddly!"

"But hugging him for forty minutes?"

"So? I bet you've hugged your fiancée for longer."

"This isn't about me," he replied evasively.

"Not yet. But speaking of forgetting, don't you think I'll forget about wanting to hear how you got in touch with your feminine side."

Connor sighed heavily and leant back in his chair, "I dread to think what will happen when Bella finds out."

"Laugh her arse off followed by lots of teasing, and that's just for starters," Elizabeth said with an amusing smile.

"Undoubtedly," Connor groaned, "Anyway, where were we?"

"Hugging cute ponies."

"Right. So after you met Celestia you agreed to come to the castle on condition you could pretend to be a princess and not chase ponies around in an attempt to hug them?"

"More or less."

"Why?"

"You mean miss out on many a little girl's dreams? Not a chance," she replied with a shake of the head, "Besides, I didn't think it would be appropriate to walk around in dirty and ripped clothing in a royal residence. Princess Celestia agreed and your friend Rarity arrived and made me this gorgeous dress, free of charge!"

"And the tiara?"

"Kindly loaned to me by the Princess."

"It's a very old one I have not worn in many years," Celestia added, "I was more than happy to lend it to your sister."

"And the whole 'Princess' thing?" asked Connor.

"You should know me by now Connor," Celestia replied with a mischievous smile, "I like to have a little fun now and again, besides, it's harmless and your sister was correct in that it would not be appropriate to walk around in dirty and ripped clothing. So after she requested a dress, I summoned Rarity to make one."

"And I was only too happy to make it darling," Rarity happily added, before turning to Elizabeth, "I hope the first of many more for you Elizabeth."

"Definitely, I love dressing up," Elizabeth replied, pouring herself some wine, "Anyway, how long 'till dinner's ready? I'm starving."

"Not much longer," Celestia replied, noting how much Elizabeth reminded her of Connor, "Within the next five minutes I think."

The meals did indeed arrive within the following five minutes. Salmon and leek risottos for Celestia, Connor and Elizabeth, shrimp fried rice for Rarity and plenty of bottles of wine for all.

"So Elizabeth, what do you think of the castle?" asked Connor.

"I love it! It's like a fairytale come to life."

"Then you'll have to see my house in Cloudsdale sometime."

"Where's that?"

"In the sky."

Elizabeth nearly choked on her food, "You have a house in the SKY?! Mum never mentioned that houses are up there!"

Connor nodded, "Cloudsdale is a city made mostly from clouds, and I live in one of the more affluent neighbourhoods with Spitfire."

"Spitfire? Your fiancée?"

"Yep, I'll have to introduce you. Speaking of which, are you coming to the wedding?"

"I wouldn't miss it for anything."

"Excellent, you'll have to see Rarity about a bridesmaid dress though, but I doubt you'll have a problem with that. Bella might though."

"She might but I certainly won't, but are you sure Spitfire won't mind me being a bridesmaid?"

"We discussed it before. We agreed that if any of you turned up before the wedding then you'd automatically be invited with mum, yourself, Bella and Angie as bridesmaids. Speaking of bridesmaids-"

"Connor," Rarity interrupted, "There'll be no prying for information on what the bridesmaid's or bride's dresses will look like. It's a secret and you'll have to wait until the big day before you find out."

"But not knowing is really bugging me," he whined, "Couldn't you just give a clue, even a teensy little one?"

Rarity shook her head, "I'm sorry Connor, I'm afraid you'll have to wait until the big day before you find out."

Connor slumped down in his seat a little and his wings sagged. He just wanted the big day to be perfect and not knowing certain details worried him a little.

Celestia placed a comforting hoof on his shoulder, "Worry not Connor, there is not much longer to wait."

"The closer the day gets, the longer it seems to take to get there."

"Everything will be fine Connor," Celestia said reassuringly, "Do not worry so much."

"I'll try."


Dinner had finished and while Rarity had decided to return to Ponyville and Celestia to her office, Connor and Elizabeth took a slow walk in the expertly manicured and maintained gardens. The reflected light of the moon glistened off of the tricking water of the water fountains and a gentle, cool breeze blew through, rustling the leaves of the trees. The cloudless night sky was scattered with stars, the most impressive being a milky-way like band reaching from beneath the horizon to the clouds high above.

"It's a quiet night," Elizabeth said, "I can see why you like it here."

"It's a nice place. The nights here offer fantastic views."

Elizabeth looked up, "I can't disagree with you there. Though you would enjoy it more being into astronomy."

"Yeah. Not long after I got here, Luna gave me a telescope as a gift. A very finely crafted telescope that's brought me many enjoyable nights."

The pair walked along a little more, until they reached a stone bench.

"Can we sit down a minute?" Elizabeth asked, "My heels are killing me."

"Sure."

The pair sat down on a nearby stone bench with Elizabeth sitting noticeably close to Connor. She wrapped her arms around his right arm and rested her head on his shoulder, feeling a little tired.

"I missed you," she said quietly.

"I missed you too."

"My birthday wasn't as much fun with you not there."

"I know, and I'm sorry I couldn't be there."

"You don't need to apologise Connor, it wasn't your fault."

"I suppose not. Anyway, what did you get for your birthday?"

"Some perfume, clothes and some money."

"Sounds OK. Buy anything nice with the money?"

Elizabeth sat back up, letting go of Connor, and moved her hands up to her necklace. Unfastening it, she held it in her hands and opened the locket. Inside, was a photo which she showed Connor.

"It's the two of us on my 4th birthday, you know when you agreed to...."

"Ah yes. That. And not for the last time it turned out."

Elizabeth giggled and hugged her brother, "Thank you again for doing that, though you've never said how you were convinced to do it."

"I was made an offer I couldn't refuse."

"Oh? Are you finally going to tell your little sister then?"

"I suppose I could. Dad said he'd buy me Pokemon Gold if I went through with it."

Elizabeth put her hands on her hips and huffed indignantly, "So you agreed to do it for a game and not to make your little sister happy on her birthday?"

"Well when you put it like that it makes me sound heartless and uncaring."

Her stance softened and her frown turned into a smile, "Nah, you're not like that; you're far too nice. Besides, I don't blame you for getting something out of it before you agreed. Did he get you a copy then?"

"Oh yes. I still have it, sort of. It's in my bedroom at the house."

"It'll still be there then. But speaking of things that are there, I'll tell you what isn't."

"Dad's car?"

"Yeah, how did you know?"

"It appeared a few days before you did. It's in the castle labs being examined by Celestia's scientists. Don't worry, I can go there whenever I like and I'm sure Celestia will let you go in as well."

"Maybe we could look tomorrow?"

"That should be fine. Anyway, it's starting to get chilly, wanna go back inside?"

"Sure."

The pair stood up and made a slow walk back to the castle.

"Connor?"

"Yes?"

"You know you missed my birthday?"

"Yes?"

"I was wondering if maybe we could....you know....have a small party together? Just the two of us, to make up for it?"

"That sounds great, how about tomorrow night?"

"I can't wait. If we're having a private party though, I was wondering if you could do something for me?"

"What would that be?" Connor asked, looking at his sister.

Elizabeth said nothing, but her fondling her locket and knowing smile told Connor exactly what she had in mind.

"We'll see," he said.


Back inside the castle, inside Elizabeth's quarters, Connor and Elizabeth were sat on the sofa enjoying a mug of hot chocolate, like many times before; and not too soon either.

"The rain's coming on heavy now," Connor said, watching as the rain pounded hard against the window, "Got back inside just in time."

"Yeah, I still find it hard to believe that ponies control the weather. I honestly thought mum was pulling my leg."

"It still weirds me out, and one of my friends is a weather pony; and she finds our weather doing its own thing to be weird."

"Mum told us a few things about this place, you know, after our wings appeared."

"What sort of things?"

"The Princess, the places in Equestria, her childhood, her first husband."

"Her first husband? You mean Vulcan."

"Yeah, you know him?"

"He's my father. My blood father."

Silence permeated the surrounding air as Elizabeth fidgeted around uncomfortably, slowly realising what it meant for Connor and what he technically is, "So you're actually a pony?"

"Technically I am, but when mum was still pregnant with me she transformed into a human, and I was subsequently born as one. Shortly after I arrived here, Twilight, another friend, cast a spell to give me temporary wings and in the process accelerated the transformation sequence."

"You mean you would have grown them anyway?"

"Yes. It made my ability to walk on clouds a lot more sense."

"Mum mentioned that pegasi could do that. I'll have to try it sometime. Is it fun?"

"Sort of. They're very comfy though. Like being on a memory foam mattress."

"You said you were transformed into a human before you were born, why did you not transform fully back into a pony after you got here? If you would have been one had things happened differently."

"I've no idea, and neither do Celestia or Twilight. Mum and Dad could have said something though, what would I have done if I sprouted wings in the middle of school, or on the high street? I'd have been snookered."

"Fortunately I was at home tending to my rabbits when it happened to me. Angie was a work and Bella was at the gym. It happened to us all within hours of each other."

"I take it after Dad gave you an explanation for what happened?" Connor asked, with trace amounts of venom of which Elizabeth picked up on.

"Dad, Alexander that is, really does regret not telling you Connor," she said placing a comforting arm around his shoulder, "Mum wanted to tell you but dad felt you might feel like an outcast or a freak if you knew, it's one of the reasons they argued a lot."

"They did seem to argue a lot, increasingly over the littlest of things."

"Yeah, there were times I was afraid they'd divorce, or at least split up."

"I always said they were hiding something."

"I know," Elizabeth said, looking down in shame, "And we never believed you, we thought you were just paranoid or making things up for attention because you were the only boy."

"It really frustrated me knowing something was amiss and not being able to prove it."

Elizabeth felt a lump in her throat as guilt took her over; guilt of all those years of dismissing Connor's claims of something not being right. Budging up closer to Connor, she wrapped her arms around her brother, "I'm sorry Connor, for all those times I thought you were just whining for attention."

"Don't worry about it; after all, things didn't turn out so bad," he replied, returning the hug.

"That's not the point Connor, we effectively called you a liar!"

"Maybe, but I didn't exactly have any proof; did I?"

"No, but still; calling you delusional and paranoid was cruel, I certainly should have listened more. All those times you babysat me and endured all those Disney films.......and me singing along to them; you deserved more."

"I didn't mind after a while, you always behaved yourself. And you weren't too bad at singing."

Elizabeth covered her face with her hands as she laughed, "I remember almost driving you insane with 'Let It Go'."

"It's an infuriatingly annoying song."

"Admit it Connor, you like it as well."

"No I don't."

"Liar," Elizabeth giggled, "Don't think I didn't find your blu-ray copy of the film hidden in your padlocked box."

"I don't know what you're talking about, and how do you get in it? Or even know about it?"

"I was trying to find my Xbox controller and I thought I left it in your room, so I went in to look for it and that's when I found the box with a key still in the padlock. Honestly Connor, leaving a key in the padlock, it was just inviting me to look inside."

"There was nothing shameful in there."

"Of course there wasn't. I hardly call Disney films 'shameful'."

Connor huffed, "It's your fault I'm into Disney."

Elizabeth grinned cheekily and tapped Connor on his arm, "Do you remember my 17th birthday party?"

"Yeah, 'Frozen' themed with you dressed up as Elsa," Connor groaned.

"Yeah. I grew my hair for months so I could have it styled properly. Pity you didn't dress up as a character from the film."

"I grew out of that years ago."

"It was a lot of fun when you did though. I honestly think my girly-girl ways rubbed off on you."

Connor shook his head dismissively, "No they didn't, I was always and will always be a manly man."

Elizabeth scoffed and laughed, "Yeah, sure you are girly-boy."

"But I am," he replied with dead seriousness.

Elizabeth lost control of herself again and burst into side splitting laughter, "Oh Connor, I missed you so much."


After another hour or so of catching up and reminiscing over their childhoods, Connor and Elizabeth bade each other goodnight and the former began to return to his house in Cloudsdale, while Elizabeth got herself to bed.

Stepping outside the castle, he shuddered as the cold wind blew through his wings. He looked up into the sky to be greeted with ominous grey clouds as far as the eye could see. Just an hour ago the skies where clear.

At least it's stopped raining.

Deciding not to wait around getting cold he unfurled his wings and with a powerful flap, took to the air. He quickly picked up speed, eager to get out of the cold as soon as possible.

Without warning, the surrounding area he was in lit up in sheet lightning, fortunately his flight goggles filtered out most of the light. But of course, when there's lightning there's usually-

*BOOM*

Just great, thought Connor, It couldn't have waited until after I got home,

*BOOM*

Shit, sounds like it's getting closer.

Another flash of sheet lightning, even brighter than before lit up the area, even Connor's goggles didn't fully protect his eyes this time prompting Connor to shield them with his arm.

*BOOOOM*

Bloody hell, that was a big one!

Connor flew in for another minute as the storm raged on, gaining in power and strength. The lightning and thunder grew more violent the closer got to Cloudsdale and he wasn't even half way home yet. But the rain and thunder were the least of his problems as a bolt of fork lightning clapped away mere feet from him.

This is bloody dangerous!

Naturally, his heart rate began to increase and his adrenaline began to pump around his body as the the thunder boomed and the bolts of lightning increased. Connor began to gain altitude to reach Cloudsdale flapping his wings harder and faster to combat the wind and heavy rain. Even with Connor's increased stamina and endurance, it was proving to be a strenuous task.

More bolts of lightning and claps of thunder appeared and sounded around him.

Almost home. Then it'll be a hot bath and glass of-

Connor's thoughts were cut short when a bolt of lightning struck him just above his hip on his right side. The enormous electrical current surged through his body causing his hair to shoot up into spikes, and his wings stiffen before suddenly flopping to his sides, all of this happening in a split second before Connor lost consciousness.

He began to spiral out of control and plummet like a stone towards the ground at terminal velocity, every second coming closer to a grisly death.

In the distance, another thundering boom could be heard.

Chapter - 36 - Visitors II

View Online

"How is he Doctor?"

"Minor burns on his abdomen from the lightning bolt, multiple charred feathers including primaries and burning on his wing. There's also these strange markings left in his skin by the strike that look like lightning marks themselves."

Luna looked to where the doctor was pointing and grimaced. It was indeed similar looking to a lightning bolt and they covered most of his upper left arm and chest.

"Shouldn't his natural magic have redirected the bolt?" she asked.

"In ponies, it would. But Connor is unique. What we're seeing is likely normal for humans who are struck by lightning. He may be able to tell us more when he wakes up."

"How long do you think that will be?"

"Several hours at least."

"Inform me at once when he does."

"Yes ma'am."

"What of Rainbow Dash?" Luna asked, before looking over to the sleeping mare in the room opposite.

"She's fine, just exhausted from trying to contain the storm and from carrying Connor."

"Very well. I shall leave you to your work now Doctor. Good night."

"Good night Princess."

Before she left the infirmary however, she passed the burnt and ripped Wonderbolt flightsuit that Connor had been wearing. Where the lightning had struck there was now a large hole and electrical treeing had scorched up along the torso and down the left thigh. Sadly, the flightsuit was beyond repair.

Beside it where the charred feathers that had to be pulled out of Connor's wings, no fewer than a dozen of them. It would be weeks before Connor would be able to fly again, let alone them fully growing back.

Luna left the doctor with Connor and began to make her way back to the castle where Elizabeth was being consoled by Celestia. She did not know why Connor decided to fly home to Cloudsdale given that the storm as scheduled, perhaps Connor forgot, but that still doesn't explain the ferocity of the storm. An investigation would be launched to find out why the storm grew out of control and so quickly, and should it be discovered it was deliberate then the one(s) responsible would be punished severely.

An innocent being almost lost his life and was only saved by the fast flying of his friend, who wasn't even scheduled to be working tonight. She was called in in an emergency measure to help bring the storm back under control.

It wasn't long before she reached the castle and her sister's bedroom. Instead of going in through the front doors, she flew straight to the balcony where she walked straight in and saw a crying Elizabeth being consoled by Celestia. Elizabeth was crying into Celestia's chest as Celestia draped a wing around her. It was then she saw Luna had entered.

"Luna, how is Connor?"

Elizabeth looked up at the mention of her brother's name.

"He is sleeping. The doctor says he has minor burns on his abdomen, charred feathers that had to be removed and second degree burns on his wings. The doctor will inform us at once when Connor wakes up."

"What of Rainbow Dash?"

"She's OK, just exhausted and currently sleeping."

"Can I see him when he wakes up?" Elizabeth cried.

"Of course you can," Celestia replied softly, before turning back to Luna, "Has Spitfire been informed?"

"I have sent one of my guards to inform her immediately."

"Good. Please let me know when she arrives."

"Of course."


MEANWHILE IN FILLYDELPHIA

Spitfire, Stormy Flare, Cara and Lightning Skies were resting in their hotel room high above the streets of Fillydelphia, exhausted from a busy day shopping and maxing the limits on their credit cards. Spitfire in particular was on her bed resting on her back with her wings spread out; the bed itself was surrounded by shopping bags filled with the latest in fashion, some new gadgets and some gifts for Connor.

"That w