Redux: The Harbinger's Oath

by Ringtael

First published

Twilight's been having odd dreams for months now. Snaps and flashes of a life she doesn't remember, places she';s never been, but thers's something consistent in the dreams. The stallion that isn't a pony she knows, but one she remembers.

They say that dreams are connected to your memories, whether they be past present or future. When Twilight Sparkle begins dreaming of events that she hasn't lived through, she wonders if they're some of Luna's nightly flights of fancy or if they're prophetic, but nothing ever seems to come of them... Other than a mess to clean up in the morning. Months of familiar dreams pass until they stop. For weeks, Twilight dreams of other things that don't involve the handsome pinkish stallion until one fateful summer day.

How do you escape your fate when you're not sure of what it is in the first place? How do you deal with emotions that don't feel like yours? How do you handle memories that don't belong to you?

A Time-Warp of A Thief's Tale: The Road To Redemption from the perspective of Twilight.

*Happens after Chapter Nineteen of A Thief's Tale: The Path To Penance*

Edited by AficionadoAvacado

Scattered Dreams

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Redux: A Scattered Dream


Dear Diary,

………….. I’ve never had to write anything that wasn’t a report or a typical diary entry. Well, typical for me, that is. The Princess said that I should try writing in vernacular for posterity’s sake, but I don’t really know how to adapt a story from events to… You know…A story. Maybe I should get rid of all those little dots… Well if I’m going to keep making more I might as well make them uniform… And there! All tidy and even!

Dear Celestia, how do I even do this? Maybe I should write Mom and ask… She’d definitely know how to get a story started! Ooh, or Aunt Fleur! She’s an avid reader! I bet she could definitely give me some pointers on what to do to start off! I don’t think I’m doing too badly as it is since I’ve gotsomethingwritten down, but I just don’t know where to pick it up from here. Oh well. I’ll add in a fancy page break and just have my publicist start after that.


Okay, so I’m never asking Auntie Fleur about anything book related. Some of the titles she let me borrow… Well… I might give them a peek, but it’s just out of pure intellectual curiosity! I just want to understand what Auntie Fleur sees in those kinds of books, though I’ll have to hide them from Spike. It’s not like he ever goes into my room anyway, but still.

Ugh… Sidetracked again… How did Kaid manage to fill an enchanted journal with every little detail and still make it read and flow like a natural story!? This is aggravating like nothing else! UGGGH!!!!!!!!!!


… I had to ask Rainbow. I’ve never been so scholastically humiliated in my entire life. Not even when I messed up that Apple-Peeling Spell and stripped my teacher… Oh well. The Princess always did say that pride was for the foalish, and I’d hate to act like a foal… at least I know how to start my story now, though I’m starting to get worried about all these page breaks…


Nothing was out of the ordinary. Summer was finally hitting Ponyville and the weather was abso-lutely perfect, and I do mean that in the best of ways. Spike and I opened up every window in the library to let in the breeze and I used the oil diffuser that Fluttershy had gotten me for my birthday to spread the scent of lavender and jasmine around my house, making it the perfect place to enjoy a cup of ice cold tea and some snacks. However,someponyate all my Mallobarsandmy shortbread cookies, so I had to go to the market and get more, but I’ve always been a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to chores, which is why Spike does most of them. Since Spike wasn’t home at the moment, I couldn’t make him go and replace what he’d sorudelyeaten, even after I told him that the Mallobars were definitely off limits. My day wasn’t exactly soured, but I was a little annoyed by my little brother’s thoughtlessness since he tends to be such a compassionate colt.

With my newfound mood, I decided to find something I hadn’t read four and a half times and settled on an odd navy blue book that I neither remembered ever seeing or buying, and that was particularly strange because I’ve never forgotten a book. Even a boring book sticks in my mind like it’s been stuck to the inside of my head with pine sap and superglue. When I pulled the book from the shelf, I saw that it was most certainly old, but there were so many preservation enchantments on it that I couldn’t accurately date it. The mystery book looked like it had been bound and made with modern paper, which made no sense because the modern style of making books had only been around for about twenty-two years. Before then, books were still coming out with uneven pages, and even now there are still a lot of less popular printers that use uneven pages for authenticity and tradition’s sake. However, there was no reason for the metal-bound, lacquered-wood covered collection of pages to smell like it was a thousand years old, nor was there a reason for the pages to be so yellowed that they could have blended in perfectly with Fluttershy coat.

The book already had me hooked since it was such an unusual find, especially in a library that I’d combed over a thousand times while looking for my next topic to research, but when I opened it and tried to read it, the scribbles didn’t make any sense, no matter what Translation Spell I cast on them, and I even tried a few that would account for penmanship, but there was nothing happening there. I sat around for a good while trying to diagnose the issue with the book since it was obviously highly magical in nature, but I had to give up after an hour of staring at scrawling penmanship that formed words that I doubted anypony knew. For the briefest of moments I wondered if I should get Princess Celestia involved in trying to crack the case, but I figured I’d give it a few days in the lab before I gave up and went to Problem Solver Number One herself.

Feeling a little down due to my inability to do my favourite thing, I thought of what all I had to do and what all I could do and decided that getting my gosh darn Mallobars was far more important than throwing some dirty bras into a silly old hamper. Besides, the more of them I left in obvious places, the faster Spike tended to get out of my room. I know, it’s evil, but Spike really is a bit of a lingerer when you’re not telling him to do something.

Wow… I get sidetracked easily. I shouldn’t have written that down. Or that. Or this. Darn it! Anyway, so I gave up on trying to decipher the book and ignored some pretty unimportant responsibilities to go shopping for snacks, but just as I was about to leave Golden Oaks, I nearly ran into somepony. “Oh!”

“Oh shite! Sorry about that, Love.” The oddly colored stallion said politely, his accent a bit strange. I thought it was either Briddish or Walesh for a moment.

I smiled at him as we both backed up. “We’re lucky I wasn’t a litt-” I saw her too late to move, but I could still say, “Rainbow!”

I tried to make my hooves move, but all I could do was shy away from the collision I knew was about to happen. Not even two seconds after I spotted her, Rainbow lived up to her old schoolyard nickname and crashed straight into the polite stallion who’d just showed up, thus making him crash into me. It wasn’t as fun as it sounds, even if it doesn’t sound fun at all. It got even less fun when I sat up and realized that Rainbow had made the stranger look straight up my skirt! I wassooo embarrassed!I flustered and tried to force my skirt between my legs, which meant that I didn’t realize Rainbow was hitting the new pony up until Applejack pulled her off of him.

“Rainbow! Get ahold of yourself, ya crazy mare! Assaultin’ a buckin’ stranger for no reason!” Applejack yelled, sounding rather upset. For the record, I was pretty upset too, but I’m not exactly a hothead.

“Look! That’s the guy I was telling you about! There’s grass stains on his coat and everything!” Rainbow shouted back, struggling Applejack’s arms.

Out of nowhere , the stallion leapt away from Rainbow and threw something at her faster than I could follow. “Fuck.Off!

“Argh! What the buck!?” Rainbow cried, grasping her arm.

“Leave me the fuck alone before I slit your goddamn throat!” He roared, a lot more upset than me. A lot.

Applejack pushed Rainbow behind her and stared at the stallion. “Did you really just draw blood over some punches!?

“All that pumped up,half-witted, absolute retardhas fucking done since we’ve met is be a Goddamn cunt!She crashes into methen has the fucking nerve to be mad about it! I was leaving a fucking forest with trees everywhere! What kind of shit-brained dumbarse flies at ridiculous speeds in a place where there are dense, hard, potentially lethal obstacles everywhere!? That’s not even mentioning that she followed me to town while trying to fight me! The cunt is fuck-ing psychotic!” He replied, getting his feelings out in the open a little harshly for my tastes, but then again, if Rainbow had been chasing me around trying to hit me all day, then I could see where he was coming from.

Applejack turned and looked at Rainbow. “You know I believe him, right?”

Rainbow flushed. “Hey! That jerk just threw a knife at me!” Only she didn’t say ‘jerk’.

“And you been tryin’ to pummel this guy all day, makin’ me look around town with you.” Applejack said, Big Sister Mode fully engaged. I thought it wise to hold my tongue for the next few minutes.“I ain’t sayin’ he was right to draw steel, but you started this. Ain’t no doubt about it.”

“A-Applejack! Where’s your loyalty!?” Rainbow cried, the look of betrayal on her face making my heart twinge.

Applejack’s basically had to raise Apple Bloom, so she wasn’t really affected. “This ain’t about loyalty. This is about you bein’ bullheaded and gettin’ yourself hurt by somepony scarier than you, so just get outta here and go to the hospital. I’ll catch up to give areal lecture. Trust me.” Applejack ended her sentence a little sternly, but when you’re dealing with Rainbow, you kinda have to be stern.

Rainbow thought she could stand up to Applejack. “You’re not my Mom, AJ. You-”


“Yes ma’am.” My poor little firebrand said quickly, zipping out of my house without so much as an apology.

“... Holy shite, d-did she just fly so fast she left a rainbow trail!?” The stallion said in utter disbelief.

Applejack turned her steely gaze to the stallion and I felt sorry for him since it didn’t really seem like his fault that he was in the situation in the first place. “I’m gonna ask ya once and only once: Why are you here?”

He pointed down at the floor. “I’m here specifically in this particular spot because I wanted to read up on general knowledge type stuff. I’m pretty sure I’m not from this planet.”

My interest shot clear through the roof, busted a few clouds, and tapped the Mare on the Moon’s nose, making me gasp. “You’re an honest-to-goodness extra-equuestrial!? A real live alien!?”

“Yeah. I’m either an extra-terrestrial or an extra-dimensional. I might just be
having oneHellof an acid trip slash fever dream though, so let’s not rule that one out.” He answered. I kind of thought he sounded a little stressed out, but if he was worried, he didn’t show it.

Applejack clicked her tongue. “The first thing ya do on a new planet is get in a fight with somepony half your size?”

The ‘stallion’ (He could have been a she and I could’ve just made the wrong assumption) gave her a look. “I tried letting that little shit wear herself out by just dodging around her, but she wouldn’t let enough be enough. I mean, like, is she that way all the time?

Applejack grimaced and nodded. “Pretty much. She ain’t always the easiest to be around, but ya won’t find a more loyal mare nowhere in Equestria.”

I sighed from the truth of the matter and watched the stallion look for something over near where Rainbow had been.“I’m sorry about Rainbow Dash, but why did you throw something sharp at her when Applejack pulled her off of you? It was effectively over.”

He gave me an odd look like I was the one throwing knives around. “It might be a cultural difference or something, but do you guy’s have hill-topping here?”

I tilted my head, confused by the relevance of architecture in a brawl.“It means building a garish house on a hill to flaunt wealth, right? Or something close to it.”

“Nah, I’ve never heard of that. In the streets of my country, hill-topping is effectively shoving someone off of their pedestal with a show of force. If you’re nice like me, you fuck up the person who messed with you. If you’re a proper fuckhole, you lay out their family and cripple them for life.”

I felt my jaw drop and now my hooves carried me away from the strange,dangerousstallion as he backed away into Applejack’s reach. She grabbed him a little roughly, but he didn’t seem to be offended by it. “You ain’t thinkin’ a’ goin’ after Rainbow’s family, are ya?”

“I just wanna read for a little bit and be left alone for the most part. If Rainbow lets it die here, then it’ll die here. I don’t like carrying on blood-grudges or feuds if I don’t have to.” He started eyeing Applejack’s hand. “Besides, I never wanted to deal with her in the first place, so avoiding her sounds better than getting my hands dirty over bullshit. Now; would you mind? I know you’re not trying to feel me up ‘cause I barely have muscles.” Applejack must have squeezed too hard because he grimaced and sucked air through his teeth. She let him go and he glowered at her like she’d just hit him for standing there. ”Fuck was that for?”

Applejack lifted her signature hat and scratched her head. “I really wasn’t tryin’ ta hurt ya or nothin’, Sugarcube. I didn’t squeeze hard enough ta do much more than bruise an apple.”

He took off his coat and pushed up the sleeve on his shirt. “Yeah, those are bruises, but I’m no apple.”

I took a closer look, and there were already darkened spots popping up where Applejack’s fingers had been. “Woah…”

“I know you’re tellin’ the truth, but this don’t make no sense. I ain’t that strong.”

I could have sworn that I’d heard Applejack say something like that before, in a situation just like this, with a stallion that looked just like the alien before it hit me; I’d had a dream about this exact moment a month and six days before I stood in front of Applejack and the alien. The gasp couldn't be stopped as I realized that I might have had a prophetic dream, meaning that something big was going to happen.

Sadly, before I could speak, the stallion interrupted my train of thought with, “Oi, what’s your name, Love? I don’t think I’ve had a chance to catch it yet.”

Gone were my thoughts. Hello awkwardness! “Oh… I’m Twilit Sparkle- Er, I meanTwilightSparkle.” I felt my face heat up from my slip up, which is around the same time that I realized that I was looking at the first stallion outside of my family to see my undies.

I wanted to run into my roomso bad.

Then he smiled at me and something made me start breathing again, though I hadn’t realized that I’d stopped. “Ah, just the gal I was looking for then, though I suppose I should’ve guessed that I’d find you in the library. I mean, you’re the librarian.”

And Twilight’s the smartest mare you’re ever gonna meet, so if ya wanna learn more about Equestria and the world overall, your best bet’s gonna be spendin’ time with Twi.” Applejack pointed at me and the stallion gave his attention back to me, which isnotwhat I wanted. I wasn’t really sure how to feel when Applejack winked at me, but my face felt even hotter than before.

“W-Well, I’m sure somepony’s smarter than me-”

“The Princesses don’t count,” My apple-bucking traitor of a friend countered, “and ya know the test scores don’t lie. Tartarus,Celestiamade the test and you beat out everypony’s scores in the last hundred years!”

“Applejack!” I said, glancing at the yet unnamed stallion.

He caught me looking at him, “Oi, there’s no shame in being proud of your accomplishments. If you’re as smart as you are short and adorable, I’m sure you absolutely brilliant.”

Applejack started making kissy faces at me over his shoulder and I reminded myself to put an Itchy-Scratchy spell on her hat. “I-I…” I was too busy trying to think of a way to get Applejack back for practically shoving a strange alien with a sketchy past at me.

“Tell ya what. I’m sure Twilight wants ta learn all about ya and your kin, so why don’t you two start tradin’ info and go from there?”

I couldn’t help but perk up at that. “That’s a great idea! It’d be mutually beneficial!”

The stallion gasped and covered his mouth. “You’re trying to what!? We just met!”

Applejack and I traded a look before looking back to the alien. “... What?” Applejack asked.

Mutually beneficial?” He said, putting heavy emphasis on the words. “I’m a man with morals, thank you very much.” He huffed.

“What’s a man?” I inquired.

“A male. A guy. Dude. Bro. Brothers, uncles, fathers. Men. Man. Manseses.” He answered casually.

Applejack must have got a joke somewhere in what he’d said because she started giggling her head off. “Oh, it’ll be plenty beneficial if ya know how ta treat her. Just don’t go too fast and she’ll be fine.”

I folded my arms and levelled a stern look at Applejack. “I can keep up just fine, thank you very much!”

The alien started coughing in a really weird way that sounded really familiar, and then another dream-memory surfaced in my head. I don’t usually dream with much clarity, but the coughing was the trigger for me to remember something so important that it almost scared me. In the distorted sounds of the dream, I heard myself ask something along the lines of ‘Can… not… is.’, and the alien handed me something that I’d just discovered for the first time.

The alien gave me the blue book.

I don’t know what Applejack and the alien were laughing at, but I suddenly cared a lot less about whether or not they were laughing at me and started giving two rat’s tails about the book. I raced back to the library proper where I’d left it sitting on a table and probably would have torn the book apart if it wasn’t ingrained into my bones to treat books like you would easily tarnished silver or a fine gold chain. With doubts and hypotheses running rampant through my gray matter, I opened the book again, but this time I could read it.

“Twi? You alright in there? We didn’t mean ya no harm.” Applejack said from behind me, putting a hand on my shoulder.

I whirled around, the book clutched to my chest. “I know him.” I whispered.

Applejack cast a furtive glance over her shoulder, but apparently the alien wasn’t in the room. “What do you mean you know him, Twi?” She asked softly.

I tried to find the best words I could possible string together to explain the oddness of the situation. “This morning I was looking around for something to read that I haven’t already gone over a dozen times and I found this,” I held the book out, but kept a firm grasp on it because I didn’t really want her to try and take it from me, “but I’ve never seen it before!

“Twi, you know this library top ta bottom like the back a’ your hand.” My most down-to-Equus friend replied quietly.

“That’s just the thing, Applejack. When I first tried to read the book, I couldn’t. There weren’t any decipherable words, but I’ve had[i ]dreams about him! He was the one who gave me this in the dream!”

“Sugarcube, what makes ya think it ain’t just a coinci-”

“I can read the book now, Applejack.” I said, cutting her off.

“... O-kay. Okay. O-ho-ho-kaaay.

“I know you’re as superstitious as Granny, so just say it.” I sighed.

“This ain’t good, Twi. Knife-throwin’ alien just shows up outta nowhere with some book that he wasn’t even here togive you, and- Wait, are you sure he’s the guy from your dreams?” She asked fiercely, her brows furrowing.

“Y-Yes?” I answered carefully, a little scared.

“Twilight Sparkle, didn’t you just say last week that you had thebest dreamabout gettin’ married an’... What comesafter the ceremony?”

… I’m not proud to say that I fainted, but at least Applejack caught me. When I woke up, she was sitting on one of the chairs in the library while I was on the couch with a blanket over my legs for whatever reason. The alien’s book was still tight in my grasp, and I doubted that I’d let it go before I started thinking about him doing…Stuff. Doing stuff.I shouldn’t have to say what stuff he was doing in the dream, but the more I tried to avoid thinking about it, the clearer the memory became and the more I felt myself being drawn into the moment all over again. The warm, trembling sound of his voice as he said ‘I do’, the look of anticipation and anxiety in his eyes as he waited for me to say my part. I remembered the firm, strong feeling of his lips against mine, the smoky cloud that filled my mind, the scent of charring cherrywood filling my nose as I metaphorically drank him in, made the moment last as long as I could before I snapped back to reality like gravity just came back into the equation. Oh! That rhymed! That was pretty good!

I was pretty thankful that the memory didn’t continue on into the later part of the night since I was already feeling a little… Sticky. I was a little sticky from the pancakes I had from breakfast, and I didn’t want to touch my face or anything because my hands were sticky. I could feel the stickiness as I sat up, garnering Applejack’s attention. “Figured you wouldn’t be out too long. Good dream?”

“Shut up, Applehead.” I huffed.

She smirked at me. “Remember anything else?”

“... No… I do remember the wedding, though…” My fingertips found my lips and I thought about his lips again, knowing them even better than I knew my own, but I didn’t understandhow.

“Was it a good one?”

“It was in a Castle I don’t remember seeing. I couldn't’ really look away from him in the dream-” I gasped and slapped my face with both hands.” Erk! Wait! Where’d he go!?” I looked around frantically.

“I told him to take a hike for a spell until ya came back around. He shouldn’t be too much longer now.” Applejack said, enjoying herself a little too much for my tastes.

“Applejack, just because I’ve had dreams about intimacy with this stallion does not mean that I’m going to throw myself at him or let him throw himself at me! Honestly, can’t you see that there’s a huge mystery behind this!? What if we get to be the ponies who crack interplanetary travel!? Or inter-dimensional!!!” I cheered. “Oh dear Celestia, this couldn’t be a bigger opportunity!!!”

My local friendly farmer gave me a look. “Don’t experiment on the guy, Twi.”

“I’ll ask for his consent.” I replied, offended.

“Not given.” She said flatly.

“Did you already ask?” I said, trying not too pout since it was a bad habit of mine.

“Twilight, nopony’s gonna let you stick a probe up there, male or female. Pony or alien.”

“You never know!”

“Oh, what’d I walk in on? Is Twilight still talking about mutual benefits like a dirty ‘filly’?” The alien chimed from across the library, leaning against the doorframe with a roguish smirk on his face.

“I bathe daily and I’m older than you.” I shot back before I could get flustered.

“I bathe people in my presence and absolve them of their sins, but you don’t see me being all uppity about it.” He snarked.

“What?” Applejack asked probably not understanding the occult implications of what he’d said.

“So you’re a Sin Solver?” I asked hesitantly. To explain, Sin Solvers are a group of ponies made up of a bunch of different races that all have one goal in mind: Hurt ponies that don’t abide by their code. There aren’t any Sin Solvers in Equestria, but they’re a bit notorious in Gryphonia, or so I’ve heard.

“A what?” He asked, crossing the room. “I’m a Human and that’s about it. Caucasian Human, to be kinda exact. Not actually exactly exact, but exactly exact enough to actualize an an exactualization.”

“Is that even a word?” Applejack asked, though she directed the question toward me instead of the pony who said the darn word in the first place.

“Do you want it to be?” The alien asked.

“Kaid, shut up.” I scoffed, not even thinking twice about it.

Applejack stared at me. “Kaid?”

I looked back at her in confusion. “What about Kaid?”

“What is Kaid?”

I blinked a few times. “... Did I say ‘Kaid’?”

“Yeah.” The alien said tonelessly. “How do you know that moniker?”

“It’s a moniker?” I asked.

“Kinda. I go by Max these days.”

“Oh, so you changed your- Maximus.” I stated blankly.

“Okay, you’re freakin’ me the fuck out. I’m out. Bye. Goo-bye-bye.” He did a quick two-fingered salute like the Colt Scouts andsprintedout of the library.

Applejack and I stared after him for a minute or two before I said, “I have to go find him.”


“That guy’s really important to my future.”

“Seems like it.”

“... Why do I feel like he’s going to run as soon as he sees me?”

“S’what I’d do, to be honest with ya.”

“Same here.” I sighed.

“Well… The guy’s an alien, right?” Applejack said slowly.

“We’ve established that Kaid slash Max isn’t from Equus.” I answered at the same pace.

“Then where’s he gonna sleep tonight?” She leaned in a bit.

“At an inn! Of c-”

“With what money, Twi?”


“We gotta find him before he tries to go camping in the Everfree or something.” She put her book down and I joined her in standing as fast as my hooves would let me. However, the Creator didn’t intend for me to move quickly, so I tripped up on the blanket Applejack had put on me and fell over, but I was okay, so it was perfectly fine. I wasn’t dying of embarrassment again, time aftertime aftertime. Nope. It wasn’t a bad day or anything.

I was a proud young mare who didn’t let her little missteps get in the way and proved to have some mettle after all! It wasn’t very tough mettle since my knee really hurt, but it’s mettle, gosh darn it! Anyway, after Applejack was done being a buttheaded ninny and offered me a hand up, I debated on what we should do since we had no idea where he’d go, and I didn’t know a Scrying Spell since Celestia had forbidden me from doing that until I learned how to scry in private places. There’s a long story behind that one that involves some royal mandates and a teenager named Shining Armor seeing a little more than Celestia probably wanted him to see…


So Applejack and I started asking around nearby, seeing if anypony had seen a strangely coloured pony with stubby ears and a grey jacket walking around anywhere. There was a group of stallions that gave Applejack directions to where they’d sent him earlier, and with that, we were hot on the trail of a Human! It actually wasn’t all that hard to find him since he’d asked for directions to the nearest bar, and the one closest to my house was the Mare’s Tail, though I doubted that he’d be interested in going there for very long. Still, Applejack and I thought it be a good place to start if Kaid/Max (Whatever he wanted to be called at the moment) was looking for a casual sip of something decent.

Getting to the Mare’s Tail was easy, but nopony had seen our alien, so we went to the other bar in town and had similar luck. I wasn’t exactly thrilled that I’d pushed away the first extra-equuestrial that had even been seen on Equus, but Applejack assured me that we’d find him eventually, so we kept on looking for him until Celestia set the Sun. Applejack needed to get home for dinner and to do whatever else it was that she does to finish up her day, and it’s not like I wasn’t pretty peckish myself, so we agreed to ask around tomorrow and check to see if he’d stayed in town for much longer. However, on my way home, it struck me that Max might not be much of a social drinker, so I stopped by the local booze shop because there wasn’t any other place to get alcoholic beverages in town that wasn’t either a gay bar or a pub. While I was there, I picked up a small bottle of wine that I thought looked nice as well as a bottle of Applejack’s namesake since it was a really good year for it. Applejack had finally figured out how to make her liquor as smooth as Big Mac’s and it really showed in the flavour and quality of what she made, but now I’m getting off topic again.

Berry Punch pointed me in the direction of the Bee and Barb since that’s where she’d pointed Max earlier, so I took my beverages along with me just a few blocks down the road and asked the innkeeper if I could speak with the oddly colored pony who may or may not have even had a room there. As luck would have it, Max did indeed get a room and it wasn’t even on the first floor! I was glad that I wasn’t going to have to take any stairs, but the reality of the situation was starting to hit me, and I was realizing that I was about to walk into the room of a stallion that didn’t trust me in the slightest, probably thought I’d been diving into his mind, and most likely wanted to never see me again, but… I had to know. I had to know what connection Max and I had, and as I stood in front of his door, I steeled myself for what was to come.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, holding the bag of booze in one hand and the book in the other. “Alright, Twilight. You can do this…”

“That’s right! You can do anything you put your mind to!”

I opened my eyes and clenched my fist in front of me, still holding the bag. “Yeah! I just have to go in and ask him what the book is about!”

“He’s not gonna know.”

“I don’t know that for sure!” I shot back.

“Yeah, but I do.” The voice said blandly.

I blinked a few times and turned around slowly. Max was standing behind me with an amused smile and I could feel my face heat up like he’d just fallen between my legs again. “... H-Hey there… N-N-Nice weather, i-isn’t it?”

He gave me a lopsided grin, his eyes full of warmth and mirth. I swallowed hard to try and dislodge the lump in my throat, but it wasn’t going anywhere. However, Max didn’t need me to say anything else. “It’s not been too bad. A little warm to be wearing my jacket around, but it is what it is.” He gestured toward the bag I was holding. “Did you bring me a present for being super freaky earlier?”

“Um... “ My face stayed hot and I didn’t know what to say. “... I-I-I brought you some a-a-applejack…”

“Oh? How thoughtful of you.” Max gave me a warm smile and my stomach started doing funny things that I really wasn’t okay with it doing.

“I-I-er… W-W-Well, I…”

“Come on, Love. You’ll share a glass with me, won’t you?”

“I-I don’t really d-drink m-much…” I confessed more bashfully than I wanted to. I didn’t know why I was acting like a filly who’d just been caught doing something she shouldn’t have, but my heart was pounding and my tummy was fluttering like there were dozens upon dozens of butterflies inside.

“So what? You’re trying to get me drunk already? What are your motives?” He questioned playfully.

“I-I don’t have any motives! I-It’s just the book and the you and the dreams and the deja vu all the time and the stuff but I don’t know what-” He put a finger on my lips.

“Okay. Here’s what we’re going to do: We’re going to pop into my room for a few minutes, then you’re going to try and calm down because I understood ‘book’ again, and that was about it. Is that fine by you?”

I nodded.

“Good.” He moved his finger from my lips and held up a bucket of ice that I didn't realize he’d been carrying. “There are glasses inside, so let’s get a move on, yeah?”

I nodded again, but Max just looked at me.

“I need you to move so I can open the door, Love.” He said kindly.

I scurried out of the way. “S-Sorry!”

He gave me a patient smile. “It’s all well and good. I had my doubts about you earlier, to be honest with you, but I’m think you’re more harmless than anything.”

I was pretty sure he’d just implied something, but I couldn’t tell what. “I-I don’t really try to hurt anypony…”

Max opened the door and walked into the room, leaving me to follow him. “Try not to hurt me, will you? I bruise easily, apparently.”

With a few worries on my heart and some doubts on my mind, I entered Max’s room and closed the door behind me, a little anxious about being alone with a stallion that I’d had… Sticky dreams about not even a month ago. “Right…”

“So what’s this about a book? There’s something weird going on, right?” He asked, looking around the minibar for some glasses before finding a pair and filling them with ice.

“W-Well, th-there’s this book that I had a dream about, a-and you were in the b-book- Er! I-I mean dream-”

“Twilight, Love, relax . It’s okay. We’ll figure it out, so just take a few deep breaths and figure out what you want to say.” Max said kindly.

I felt my face flush again. “Right.” I took a deep breath and started again. “It all started a few months ago when I started having these strange dreams about a stallion I’d never met. The dreams ranged from mundane everyday life to special events like a couple of weddings, a walk through the Everfree, arguments… O-Other stuff…” I shook my head to clear it.

He looked at me calmly. “I’m the stallion, aren’t I?”

I nodded a few times, looking at him through my bangs. “... Yeah.”

“And you think I gave you the book?” He asked.

I nodded again. “I saw it in one of my dreams. I think it was your journal…”

“There’s only one way to find out.” He said. “Pour us a couple drinks and lets crack her open.”

“I-Is there a wine glass?” I asked tentatively.

Max smirked. “What, can’t handle a little liquor?”

I suddenly felt a little less safe. “... Wh-Why does it matter?”

He raised a brow at me before retrieving a wine glass from the same place he’d gotten the other glasses from. “What makes you think it matters? I just assumed you only brought applejack.”

“N-No, I-I brought wine too. I-I really don’t drink that much.”

“Ever have brandy?”

I thought about it for a moment. “I don’t think so.”

Max held up a finger and walked over to one of the beds in the room. On top of said bed was a bag and a satchel, though the satchel appeared to be the only thing with anything in it. He reached inside and pulled out three bottles of different liquor and put two of them back once he read the label. Once he had his selection, he came back and handed the bottle to me. “I’m a fan of brandy myself. Makes for a nice casual drink when you’re not trying to get blackout drunk. It’s about twice as strong as wine, but I guarantee you’ll love it if you like spiced wine; especially if you mix it with a little lemon juice,” He made a squeezing motion,” and then hit it with a full orange, no pulp.” Max kissed his fingertips like a chef. “C’est magnifique!”

“... Do you want me to take this home?” I asked hesitantly, handing him the applejack since it seemed like a good time to trade.

“I’m not exactly expecting you to drink it here, and no offense, but I’d kind of like for you to sleep in your own bed because I’m still freakin’ the fuck out and I’ve been doing so since I got to this color-chucked rainbowscape. Knowing that you’ve been having psycho pre-me-getting-to-this-planet dreams makes me really want a drink, so let’s some get bottles opened, shall we?” Max gave me a smile, but for the first time, I looked into his beautiful forest green eyes, glittering like emeralds in the warm lights of the room.

In those ponds lie depths I felt like I could never know, and from those depths called out a voice full of distress and unease, of vulnerability and frailty. I might have been a little afraid of Max, but he was far more afraid of me than I was of him. He just hid it so well that I’d assumed that he’d just been dropped off on Equus and had been fine with it like he’d experienced something like it before and knew that he wasn’t staying long, but the look in his eyes… The look he had at that moment when he ever so casually opened his heart to me for that split second and showed me what was truly on his mind made my heart break for him.

“... You just got ripped away from your entire life.” I murmured.

Max gave me a tight smile. “Yeah, kinda suck- Gerk!”

I wrapped him up in a tight hug and buried my head into his chest, careful not to poke him with my horn. “All this time I’ve been afraid of you and here you are with more reasons to be panicking than I could ever have! I’m so sorry, Max! I didn’t mean to ignore what you’re going through!”

He hugged me back as I sniffled and tried not to let my sympathy make me cry for him and the situation he was in. “Twilight, it’s okay. I’ll be okay. I really truly will be, Love.”

I let him go and wiped my eyes to stop the tears from falling, looking up at Max with more than just a little admiration. I mean, if I’d been sent from Equus to some entirely new planet without any of my friends or family, forced to make my own way in the world… I doubted that I’d be taking it as well as he was. “I-I can’t believe I was worried about you t-trying to get me drunk so you could have your way with me when you just wanted to escape the day for a while…”

“Nah, I was totally trying to put my pee-pee in your mouth.” He answered, almost like he’d been waiting for me to say something like that. He filled both of the glasses with ice and poured two drinks, though I quickly realized that he didn’t intend to offer me one of them (Much to my pleasure since I’d already said that I didn’t want any) when he drained the first glass like it was just water and he was a very thirty stallion.

I felt my face heat up for the billionth time that day while I wondered how he wasn’t spluttering after a full glass of thirty-five proof alcohol. “... Really?”

Max gave me a look and I felt ashamed for even asking. “You should be ashamed for even having to ask, you silly cherry-headed ‘filly’.”

I blinked. “... Cherry-headed?”

“You’ve been bright red since I’ve met you. In fact, I think I might start calling you Cherry.” He said amusedly. Not even a second after that, I felt my heart throb, but it wasn’tpainfulor anything… it was just odd, and before I had time to figure it out, Max’s jaw dropped. “... Holy shit. Twilight Sparkle. Cherry. Plum.”

I swallowed and answered with the fragments I’d remembered. “Kaid Gadai. Amour. Smoky.”

“... Okay. O-fuckin’-kay, this? This is some weird shit. How the fuck do I know you?” he pointed at me, then at his remaining glass of applejack. “You! You’d better start talking before I drink you!” He paused. “Ah, wise guy, yeah? Well let’s see how you like this!” Max picked up the bottle of liquor and started chugging it like it wasn’t hay-harvesting liquor.

“... Are you okay?”

He stopped drinking and stoppered the bottle. “Well, I’m either going to forget that I remember having dreams about you back from before my mother died, or I’m going to get super drunk and remember that I know what your tongue tastes like. It’s wine, by the way.”

“Don’t say that kinda stuff! What if it’s true!?” I cried.

Max blinked slowly before rubbing his eyes. “Alright, Twilight. Here’s what we’re gonna do: I’m gonna get more drunker than I was when I saw you in the hallway, meaning that I’m about to be super fucked. I advise that you get incredibly drunk as well and write down whatever the fuck way you can understand this shit because I’m so lost that I don’t brain no more.”

“I kind of have a little brother at home… I’d really rather not have him see me in a terribly drunken state.”

Max reached out and tapped my horn, making me flinch. “I’d offer to let ya stay here, but I doubt you’d be interested, regardless of whatever promise I made to you. I’ll be by the library tomorrow to take a look at this book or whatever so we can get started on figuring shit out. For the time being, however, thank you for the applejack. It’s pretty damn good.”

I thought about my choices, and there were plenty of them. I could leave without a problem and Max would be by the next day so we could start figuring things out between what the two of us had dreamt about, or I could stay and have some wine with a stallion that I’d possibly married. Max waited patiently for me to say something as I continued to consider my options, time slipping away while I thought of what might happen while I was away from Max. If I left him alone, he could up and disappear or give himself alcohol poisoning since he didn’t seem to care about how much he was drinking or how fast he was drinking it. On the other hand, if I stayed with him, there was no guarantee that I was going to stay in my right mind and make good choices, which scared me, but I did have something that would ensure my safety.

“Well… I-I guess I could stay for a couple drinks if you Pinkie Promise not to try anything…” I replied softly.

Max extended his left hand and offered me his pinkie. “Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye that I’m not going to get creepy and try to do weird stuff or anything you’re not cool with.”

I nodded and hooked my pinkie with his and the promise was made. “I guess now’s a good time to mention that I don’t have a corkscrew… Heh. Heh heh…”

Max raised a brow and pulled out a little thingy that didn’t look terribly familiar. “I’ve got one unless you want bourbon, brandy, whiskey, or applejack.”

“Oh! My Dad drinks bourbon!” I said, latching onto a common interest by proxy in my desperation, though I didn’t quite understand why I was so pressed to find something to talk about.

He smirked at me. “I don’t know too many women who drink bourbon, so I’m not surprised that your Dad’s the one drinking it. It’d be a little more odd if you had a fondness for bourbon.”

I gave him a shy smile. “Well, I’ve never actually tried it, so I don’t know if I like it. I’m not exactly fond of liquor.”

“I’ve always been a liquor kind of fellow, but I drink pretty much anything if it’s good. Have you ever had cherry wine?”

“I don’t think I have. I usually stay with plum or grape, but there was this one strawberry wine that my friend Rarity bought that was simply fantastic.”

“I’ve gotta say that blackcurrant syrah is my favourite kind of wine other than a classic grape, but that’s because I really enjoy spiced wines myself. Who knows, maybe if our dreams turn out to be nothing we can still be wine buddies.”

“... What if our dreams turn out to be more than nothing?” I asked hesitantly.

For once, Max was the one blushing, and for some stupid reason, my stupid brain thought his blush was so cute it was stupid. “... Um… Then I guess we… Um… Go from there, I guess.”


“I need a drink.” We said simultaneously.

“I miss weed. Do you guys have weed here? Like, marijuana?”

I rubbed my cheeks. “I don’t know what that is, Max.”

“It’s a tree-like plant that has five leaves and grows these odd buds that smell really strong.” He explained.

“Oh, you mean Nightcap Tea Trees?” I asked, surprised that he even knew what they were. “I actually know where to find a few of them. Why do you ask?”

Max started pacing while wobbling like he didn’t have very much balance at all, though I suspected that he was just drunk. “... Oi, would you happen to have a smoking pipe of some kind?”

“Yes, actually. My Dad gave me one for some reason I’m not too sure of.”

“Have you ever smoked Nightcap?” He asked with a devious smile.

I gave him a worried look. “It doesn’t sound healthy.”

“It’s not, but it’s fu~un.” He sang.

“... Are you going to ask me to find some Nightcap?” I asked awkwardly.

“I kinda want to, but it is night outside, so let’s hold off on that for awhile, yeah?”

I breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank goodness. I really don’t like going into the woods at night when I don’t have to.”

He shrugged. “I don’t blame you.”

I nodded as he refilled his glass and started sipping it again. It took me a moment to realize that he hadn't actually opened my bottle of wine, but when I pulled it out, Max too it from me and used the odd looking multi-tool he’d had earlier to pop the cork. He poured my glass with a steadier hand than I ever could have after letting the wine breathe, which is always something I forget to do. I was also a little miffed that he’d been able to pour so well without spilling so much as a drop when he was clearly intoxicated, even so much so that he was slurring his words a little, but I might’ve just been envious. When he handed my glass to me, I took a sip and found that the wine was a little sweeter than I’d anticipated, but it was still good. Between sipping our drinks and digesting the goings on that were making life a little more complicated, we were essentially stuck for words.

“... So… How long have you lived in Ponyville?” Max asked, walking over to one of the beds and having a seat.

I went to the other one and climbed on it carefully so he wouldn’t get flashed for a second time that day. “Well, I’ve been here for about four years now, though I moved here from Canterlot, the capital of Equestria.”

“Hmm. What made you want to leave the capital?”

“Well, I didn’t really want to at first, but Princess Celestia personally requested that I help out with something called ‘The Summer Sun Celebration’. Ponyville was hosting it that year, so it was my job to make sure that everything was going to plan, but that’s not even half of the story.” I chuckled and sipped my wine.

Max gave me and amused look and pulled another bottle out of his satchel, placing it on the nightstand closest to him. “I’m sensing that the story gets better.”

“It most certainly does get more lively.” I sighed happily, remembering the day I’d met all five of my best friends.

“Fond memories?”

“Very. The Summer Sun Celebration is what introduced me to my best friends, and the return of Nightmare Moon is what cemented our friendship early on.”

“Nightmare Moon?”

“A great being of Dark Magic that once lived within Princess Luna.”

“... Yeah, I know Magic is real here, but are you seriously telling me that there was some dark overlord that you and some friends beat up to save the world or something?”

“... Well, when you put it like that, it makes it sound kinda silly.” I replied uneasily.

“That wasn’t the intent, Cherry,” My heart throbbed again for no real reason, “I just don’t quite understand how you went from supervising a festival of some kind to slaying-”

“Woah, no! Nopony slayed anypony!” I said frantically. “My friends and I used the Elements of Harmony to purge Nightmare Moon from Luna! We didn’t actually hurt her!

“I guess it’s Nerf or nothing.” Max said drily, mixing about a third of a glass of applejack with bourbon and taking a sip.

“... Maybe you should slow down on drinking? Just a little bit?” I suggested cautiously.

He gave me a look and drained the rest of that glass too. “Look, Twilight; I gotta lotta shit to forget about right now. Yesterday was the anniversary of my brother’s death, got fuckin raped and tortured for a few days, and now I’m on a different fuckin’ magical planet where shit makesnosense and everything’s the fuckin color of the day, except the color of the day changes every second and you blimey painted Pony people keep confusing me.” Max opened the bottle of bourbon and started to pour another drink before just sipping it straight from the bottle. “I don’t wanna remember today. Don’t wanna remember yesterday. I just wanna get to tomorrow in one piece.”

I looked at him carefully, taking in everything about him that I could. Only a foal would be so blind as to ignore the fact that he’d been telling the truth and that he was lost, scared, angry, and in pain. It didn’t take liquid courage for me to join Max on his bed and hold onto his hand. “Max…”

He squeezed my hand and gave me a reassuring smile. “Shouldn’t have complained so much. Sorry you had to hear that.”

I laid my head on his shoulder. “Max?”


“Will you let me be your friend?”

“... I’d like that.” He replied softly.

“That means letting me help you, you know.”

“Friends tend to help friends, yeah.” He yawned.

“Then cap the bottle and pack your stuff. I have a spare room at my house that you can use instead of spending whatever money you have on an inn.” I replied, trying to make it sound like I was the one in charge. It always worked with Spike, Rainbow, and Pinkie, so I hoped that it would work for Max too.

The look he gave me told me that I should have just asked him nicely. “I’m perfectly fine here, but thank you.”

“We can do this the easy way or the hard way.” I said firmly, actually finding a spine. I’m not that timid, but I don’t really like to boss ponies around. I can , it just makes me feel like a real N-word.

“You’ve been a real sweetheart since we met, but I’m not digging this ‘Do what I say’ thing you’re tryin’ to pull.” He said flatly.

“Would it help if I asked really nicely and said it was out of concern for your health and wellbeing?” I asked, blushing.

He sighed and screwed the cap back on the bottle. “I haven’t even been on this planet twenty-four hours and you’re already manipulating me with cuteness and compassion.”

I blushed a little brighter, not having anything to say to that. I mean, how could I really respond? I know I’m not, like, hideous, but the mare in the mirror is not somepony like Rarity or Fluttershy, or even Pinkie for that matter! Rarity’s obviously beautiful and everypony knows it, Fluttershy’s really beautiful, but she doesn’t like to acknowledge it, and Pinkie’s super cute as long as you see past all the crazy, but I don’t really have anything like that going for me. I’m the average height for a mare, probably a little heavier than I should be, I’m not exactly ‘pretty’, and I don’t think I’ve ever turned a head in my life, but hearing Max say that I was cute? Hearing one of the cutest stallions I’d ever seen, even if he was an alien, was a little flustering, though I was pretty sure that he was just being nice and didn’t actually find me attractive. I still held a little hope that maybe Max actually did think I was cute, but when I realized that I wasn’t ‘hoping’ so much as desperately wishing that he would be interested in me, I knew then and there that I was some kind of bucking bucked.

Max nudged me when he had his things put away. He’d gotten off of the bed while I was in a daze and shook me gently to get my attention. “Cherry? You okay?”

I looked at my crush with apprehension. “Uh… N-Never better! Let’s go, right? It’s a good time to go! I bet it’s great outside where it’s not in here and happens to be outside where it’s not an inn or anything. Ah-heh. Heh-heh. Heeeh.”

I didn’t doubt that Max saw right through my awkward smile and into my inner thoughts, but he didn’t comment on anything if he noticed that I was acting weird. “Alrighty then. I’m following you.”

I nodded and tried not to run out of the room, but when I got off of the bed, I fell for the third time that day, but thankfully my own charming rogue was there to catch me before I could land on my face. With my eyes tightly closed, I waited a moment for Max to drop me because Applejack and Rainbow did that sometimes, but instead of doing what they’d do, he kept ahold of me, his strong arms grasping me tightly while his seemingly delicate fingers maintained a firm though gentle grip on my arms. It took me a moment to realize that his arms was squishing my breasts while we weren’t moving, but I just calmly got my other hoof onto the floor and thanked Max for catching me.

He gave me another amused look, but he seemed to be getting pretty drunk, so I hurried him along and got us back to my house with no real problems. Getting Max settled in for the night didn’t take long since the guest room was already prepared for someone to stay over, but I really just wanted it to be good enough for him to sleep peacefully, and that just made me even more sure that I’d fallen for him. When Max bid me goodnight and I returned to my room to get dressed and changed for bed, I thought about the dreams, Max, and the book. The three were all connected, and so far the only answers I had were that Max’d had the dreams as well. He came from another world, and that I could only read the book when he was nearby. Due to the fact that I could only do the reading when he was close, I cracked the book open and started from the beginning.


The entire night was spent reading, and reading was… It was really scary. The more I read, the more scared I became, and that’s not even mentioning the first day recorded in the journal… Max already said in the book that he didn’t want to talk about it, so I kept reading to see if he ever actually did, but I finally had to stop when I got to the part about Max dating Celestia and then breaking up with her because she kept wiping pony’s minds, including mine. I didn’t know what to do with the information I had, and before I realized it, the Sun was on the rise and I had a Human to check up on. With the book in hand, I quietly made my way to my guest room and softly knocked on the door a couple of times, my knocks only being a little louder than my own hoofsteps. When I didn’t hear anything from inside, I cracked the door open a little and saw Max jolt up and glare at the door, making me squeak and hop back out of shock.

“Dear Celestia!” I cried, my voice strangled.

“Twilight? Max asked.

I caught my breath and let my heart stop hammering in my chest long enough to poke my head in through the door. “I-I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you…”

“It’s fine.” He said, waving it aside. “Just wondering if I was up?”


He glanced downward briefly and seemed to have trouble keeping his eyes on my face for some odd reason that confused me. “Well, now I am. Anything I can help you with?”

“N-No, you can go back to sleep if you want.”

He shook his head and started stretching. “Might as well make the most out of the day with an early start, yeah? Doesn’t have to make everything all complicated.”

I gave him an apologetic smile. “I’ll remember to sleep in tomorrow so I don’t wake you so early.”

He gave me a smug smirk and my heart did a funny little dance in my chest. “Save yourself the trouble and just hop in bed with me. I promise I’ll keep you warm and cozy.”

It actually sounded like a good idea at the moment, but then I realized that my tummy was feeling warm and that there was a breeze on my legs. One thing was bad because it meant that I was starting, and the other thing required me to look down for a moment do a double-take to see that I’d only worn a shirt to bed. “Eep!”

I teleported back to my room so I could get prepared for my day in the wake of Max’s evil little chuckles. I didn’t know why he hadn’t told me that I barely had my undies covered, but then I rationalized it to him not wanting to make me uncomfortable. I mean, most ponies tend to know what they’re wearing at pretty much any given time, so it was more my fault than his that he’d seen so much of my fur… Still, it didn’t mean that I had to be happy about it. In less than a full day, Max had seen more of me than any stallion outside of my family ever had in my entire life, and that made me feel a little queasy. He hadn’t said anything about whether or not he’d actually been paying attention to what I was wearing at either time, and for all I knew, he could have been homosexual and I would have never known. I highly doubted that he was, but still. It was a possibility that made me feel a little bit better.

As much as I despise pants in most forms, I figured that as long as I was going to be spending time around Max, I might as well wear something that would stop him from seeing anything I didn’t want him to see. Granted, it was supposed to be a warm day, so jeans were out, and I didn’t actually own any shorts because I don’t like them, but I did have some really cute capris and camisole-blouse with sheer sleeves that would keep me cool, so I brought my outfit to the bathroom, did my Morning Meandering and took a look in the mirror. I can’t say that I looked good, but I didn’t see anything peeking out that wasn’t supposed to, and my clothes were modest enough for me to be comfortable around Max for as long as I needed to be, but a part of me wanted to dress to impress him, and that was a truly odd feeling for me. I wanted to get Max’s attention and keep it, but I didn’t want him to think I was some sloozy whorse that wanted him for his body or something like that, so I was a little stuck.

Rarity would have known exactly what to do in my situation, but I’d never had a guy that I wanted to impress other than my Dad and brothers. Shining was always proud of my accomplishments and Spike loved learning about half as much as I did, which was saying a lot, so I was a little scared of… Well, being rejected by Max. As an example to explain why I was nervous, it would be like putting one of those creepy looking hairless cats next to a beautiful border collie with the floppiest widdle ears and the widdle puppy tongue and a cute widdle tail that just wags for no reason.

See where I’m coming from here? Max was hot, I was not, and looking in the mirror just solidified that fact. I considered my wardrobe and went back to my room to see if I could find something a little cuter that Max might like, but no matter how hard I thought about it, I couldn’t find anything that screamed ‘Wear me, wear me! We’ll help you get your stallion!’, but I wasn’t sure if that was because it was just a crush or if my wardrobe was just that pitiful. Most of it was geared more towards comfort and the occasional bout of cold weather, but I didn’t have anything that would both preserve my modesty and make me look cute enough to hopefully get Max’s attention. I dug through my closet one last time until I came across a dress I’d thought was a little too nice to be worn without a good reason, even if it was geared toward casual-wear more so than formal-wear. It was a lovely shade of sweet-violet that paired perfectly with a pair of sheer black stockings that I had, though there was a run high in the thigh. It would be fine since it wasn’t visible due to the length of the dress, though I did feel the need to gather my mane and put it back for some odd reason because of it. I think I was trying to distract myself from the minor fault in my attire by changing my mane up, but when I looked in the mirror, I just wanted to put my hair back down so it would hide a bit more of my chubby cheeks.

I finally gave up on trying to look any better than I usually do before I made myself look worse and headed downstairs, but by the time I got down for breakfast, Max and Spike were practically finished, though Spike was too enamoured by Max’s jokes and the good-natured charisma that was rolling off of him in waves to notice my arrival. My breath caught in my throat as I watched him interact and verbally confuse and circumnavigate Spike in a way that left both of them smiling and laughing. It was great that they were getting along so famously since my little brother honestly needed a male friend in his life, but I didn’t know if I was happy because Spike was finally getting to talk to an older stallion that wasn’t a part of his family or if it was due to the bonding between the two that could benefit me later on. Either way, I was pretty sure that it was a good thing, but apparently I’d been thinking too hard for too long because Max had to get my attention.

“Twilight? You okay, Love?” He asked tenderly.

Yet again my face lit up. “Y-Yeah! I-I’m fine, just spaced out for a bit is all.”

He gave me a lopsided grin and raised a brow. “Does it have anything to do with why you’re looking so fetching, or am I jumping to conclusions?”

“Yes! I-I mean no! Er, Maybe?

Spikie giggled at me and I glared at him until he shut up. “And now’s a good time to get these dishes done.” He said quickly, grabbing his and Max’s plate.

Max gave me an amused smile, his eyes warm and inviting, like he wanted me to laugh and smile along with him. “Don’t worry about some fire-breathing newt’s snickering-” Spike threw a spoon at him, but Max somehow ducked in time for it to miss his head and hit me in the breast. “Knew it was coming, salamander.”

“I’ve got a skillet, Max!” Spike warned.

“Spykoranuvellitar, we do not throw kitchenware in this household!” I said hotly.

“He called me a newt!”

“A fire-breathing newt. That makes you at least two hundred percent cooler than any other newt.” Max said blithely, like he was having too much fun to have a care in the world.

“I’m not a newt!”

“Of course you aren’t; you breathe fire.Do you know of any newts that breathe fire?” The strange alien inquired neutrally.

“Well, no, but-”

“If I’m calling you something you’re not and no one believes that you are what I’m calling you, then why does it matter, Spike? Words are harmless, Mate. It’s actions that matter.”

I made a face. “While I agree with you on some level, it’s still not very nice to go around calling ponies names.”

“I didn’t call any’pony’ anything. I called a Dragon a newt.” He countered.

“It’s the same thing!”

“Last time I checked, you had fur, he had scales. Do all the other races on this planet say ‘pony’, or do they talk like me?”

“Well, how am I supposed to know!? I’ve never been outside of Pony territory!” I shot back.

Max raised his hands. “It was a question, not an attack, Twilight.”

I folded my arms. “Either way, if you want to be a butt, you can be a butt in the library.”

“Would it help if I apologized?” He said, obviously not expecting it to work.


“Oh.” He looked back at Spike. “I’m sorry I called you a newt. You’re more like a badass gila monster.”

“I don’t know what that is.” Spike said slowly.

“It’s a super cool reptile that doesn’t breath fire, but they’re pretty tasty.” Max licked his lips and Spike and I both froze.

“... You eat living creatures?” I asked in disbelief.

“A-Are you gonna eat me?” Spike asked fearfully.

Max made a sudden move towards Spike and my little brother nearly wet himself before Max started giggling his head off. “Mate, I’m not going to fucking eat you. Like, why would you even think that?” He kept on giggling like it was the funniest thing in the world.

I marched over and took ahold of his ear, giving it a hearty pull. “Now listen here, Buster! The only one allowed to terrify Spike is his big sister!”

Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow stop stop stop-”

“Are we clear, Mister!?”

“Crystal; leggo!”

I loosened my grip and walked to the other side of the table so I could get some coffee, keeping an eye on him as he rubbed his ear, glaring at me. “You’re a Butthead.”

“I’ll get you back for that, you know that, right?” He asked, his tone icy.

That didn’t strike me as a good thing. “Wh-What are you going to-” Max suddenly stood and vaulted over the table like he’d done it a thousand times before, mere feet from me out of the wild blue yonder. “Oh Celestia!”

Now, Ponies are some fast creatures. We’re actually one of the fastest races on the face of Equus, but we kind of have a downfall that I’ve noticed a lot during extensive reading into adventure and action novels: we don’t turn well. Note that I was running from the kitchen into the foyer, but before I could even decide which was to go, Max’s leg threaded between mine and his right knee hit the back of my left, making me lose my balance and go into Panic Mode. However, instead of being hit like I was expecting, Max grabbed the underside of my thigh and one of my sides and started tickling me. I don’t know why he started tickling me, but I know he was too gosh darn good at it to be any kind of mad at him for much more than a few seconds. He brought me to the floor gently, making me squirm and yelp under the assault of his deft fingers. There were times where I thought that he was just using it as an excuse to feel me up, but whenever my dress would ride up, Max pushed it back down, and he gave me regular breaks from his torture that were long enough for me to get my breath back, but not my strength.

Maximus was a master tickler and was not to be trifled with.

Once he had me begging for a trip to the bathroom, Max finally asked, “Are you sure you’ve had enough? You can hold out a little longer, can’t you?”

“Puh-Puh-Puh-ple-hee-heease.” I giggled, out of breath again.

“Fine. I guess we can stop here for now.” Max let me up and offered me a hand, which I took after a couple of moments because it took a little bit of time to get the strength back.

“Whew.” I took a few deep breaths and worked some more chuckles out, but while I was trying to catch my breath, Max put his hands on my arms and gave me a grin that melted me on the inside in the gooiest of ways.

“I just like to tease and taunt a little too much, Twilight. It’s not meant with any ill intent. I just want everyone to have a laugh and take it easy, you know?”

I couldn’t help but smile back, my cheeks hurting from all the laughter Max had just put me through. “Yo-You’re st-still a Butt-Butthead.”

“No hard feelings though, right?”

I caught my breath and nodded, giving him a long-suffering smile, brushing a stray lock of my mane frome my face. “No, I-I guess not. Just don’t bully ponies, okay? Even if you don’t mean any offense, it can still hurt somepony’s feelings.”

“I’ll try to tone it down a bit then, but it’s kinda like asking me not to eat cake with buttercream frosting. If it’s got buttercream, I’m going to want a slice.”

“What?” Spike asked from the doorway of the kitchen. I really hadn’t made it all that far, to be fair.

“I think he’s saying that if he sees an opportunity, he’s going to want to take it.” I clarified.

Max nodded. “Yup. That’s pretty much it. I don’t mind chilling out a little bit with the teasing, though.”

“I’ve never heard of a bully tickling anypony…” Spike said curiously.

I looked at Max and put my hands on my hips, not sure what to say, but then Max said, “That’s because bullies don’t like seeing people laugh. I just like it when everyone’s smiling and laughing along with me, which is probably why I like drinking with people, sometimes strangers, so much. It’s just a good way to get the good times rolling and you’re always gonna end up with a story to tell.”

I looked at Spike sternly. “I have a feeling that you shouldn’t be doing many of the things Max does.”

He nodded. “He was telling me a ‘censored’ version of a time he got caught by a gang of old mares that did weird stuff to him.”

I stared at Spike blankly for a moment before looking to Max so I could continue staring. “What? I censored it!”

“All he said was ‘weird stuff’.” Spike agreed, scratching his chin.

I looked back to Max and he just gave me this little smile that made me doubt that it had been a fun time for him, as pained as it was. “It’s a fucking hilarious story to be honest with you.”

“... Sure.” I said slowly, wondering just what could have happened with a bunch of grandmas that would have Max grimacing like that. “Maybe you could tell me the uncensored version sometime?”

“Maybe you could tellmewhy you’re wearing something I’ve never seen before.” Spike interrupted. “And why are you wearing your special shoes that you said you were eventually going to wear for a date? And why-”:

I silenced the treacherous, traitorous newt. “Look here you overgrown lizard! I’ll dress up when I want to dress up, okay!? It just seemed like a nice day for it is all!”

“You do look lovely. You should pull your hair back more often.” Max commented, kind of like how you would point out that a tree had interesting leaves as compared to the other trees around it with mildly less interesting leaves.

“Y-You mean my mane?” I asked, my face already hot from being called out by Spike.

“I guess that’s what you’d called it on a whorse or a Pony, so yeah. Hair equals mane, I think.” He said casually.

I went from incredibly flattered to confused. “... Did you just imply that I was a whorse?

Max gave me an odd look, like he didn’t understand why or what I was asking. “I thought you were a Pony?”

“I am a Pony, but that has nothing to do with that word.” I said, narrowing my eyes at him.

“You mean ‘whorse’? Like a big Pony?”

I stared at him in confusion. “What?”

“On Earth, there are animals called whorses and ponies. Whorses are the ancestors of ponies, and ponies look a lot like whorses, just with shorter legs and generally better temperament. A whorse can be taller than me and a team of them can pull a decently sized train while a pony is about yea high,” He held a hand to around his solar plexus, “and rarely get taller than that. Both are quadrupeds, both like carrots, and both mite bit your fingers off if you don’t feed them right.” He sighed. “I used to have six fingers on each hand, you know.”

Spike and I stared at his hand for a moment, but I decided that Max was just being silly for the last part. “Spell whorse for me, if you don’t mind.” I asked.

“H-o-r-s-e.” Max rattled off.

“No ‘W’?” I asked.

“Oh, you thought I was calling you a whore! No, no, you’re way too timid and innocent for all that naughty business. Sweet as sunshine, if I may say so myself.” Max chuckled and shook his head.

“I’m not that timid!” I argued, albeit meekly.

Max gave me a warm, kind smile that made my heartstrings thrum like he was playing them according to whatever tune he felt was optimal for my enjoyment. “It’s an endearing quality, Cherry.”

“I like it when you get all flustered.” Spike chimed in. “You usually manage to… Er, manage the chaos pretty well, so seeing you get all frazzled is kinda fun.”

“Don’t get grounded for the rest of the morning, Mister!” I warned.

Spike just gave me a smile and finished up with washing the dishes. “O’ Mighty Twilight! Mayhap I could possibly beg thy leniency for a walk to the Carousel Boutique?” He snarked.

“Sure, just be sure not to stare at Rarity’s tail the entire visit this time.” I said flatly.

Spike lit up bright red while Max broke into another coughing fit that I really had my suspicions about, especially since it seemed like Max was biting back a smile. “I’m sure he’s just jealous of Pony-tails. Speaking of, I’m digging your ponytail, though you should let me do it up for you real quick. I promise not to yank on your mane too hard.”

“Dude. Dude.” Spike said, giggling like he’d never heard anything funnier in his life.

I stared at Max. “... Please don’t do inappropriate things to me.” I pleaded in a small voice.

“I’m talking about your mane, Love. I want to let a couple of locks loose so they frame your face and make your cheekbones seem a little more pronounced. You already look pretty cute, but you could be pretty cuter.” He winked at me.

I woke up on the couch in the library again, but this time I heard Max and Spike joking around all over again, though they were talking about how to prank me. I bolted upright just Spike stuck a fake mustache to my lips. When I glared at him, he balked and said, “Blame Max!” and ran like the little butthole he was.

Max was chuckling nearby, so I glared at him too until he pushed my dress down, the hem having ridden up to about mid thigh from when I sat up. I was blushing for the… Wow, I probably need to start counting how many times Max made me blush… Oh well. After Max pushed my dress down, he took the mustache off of my lip. “Figured you didn’t want that to go up any higher. I swear, the universe wants me to look, but I’ve been trying to avoid it.”

I buried my face in my hands to hide my blush, not sure of what to do. I didn’t know how the day could have started any worse, and now I was hungry and embarrassed beyond belief. I felt Max sit down next to me, close enough to touch me with his leg without really having to do anything for the contact to be made. My heartbeat sounded like thunder in the distance and I was so sure that Max could hear it, but I didn’t know what to do. I was lost, and I only got more lost when Max put an arm around my shoulder and pulled me to him. When a mare like me has an unfamiliar pony’s hands on her, it’s supposed to be awkward. It always feels weird when somepony I don’t know touches me, but when I was there with Max, I felt like I was safe and sound, sitting around the hearth with him during the winter months while the blizzard we’d been warned about since fall blew itself out in the wilderness outside. I Could practically taste the cocoa we’d make; Max would spike his with bourbon and make it with coffee instead of just normal milk and I’d ask him to make mine a blondie.

I nuzzled Max, my heart settled for the time being. “... Thank you.”

“I don’t know what’s going on here, but I’ll have a shoulder to lean on for you, Twilight. Whether or not we’ll actually end up together remains to be seen, though we don’t know what the future holds, yeah? We’ll just take it one step at a time and we’ll connect the dots as we go along.” He assured me softly.

“You’re right. We don’t have to figure everything out right now.” I took a deep breath. “However, there is a mare who I know can help us. If you don’t mind, I need a moment to get a letter written out.”

Max let me go and gave me an understanding smile. “Guess I’m going to find something to read then.”

“Ooh! I suggest starting with Equestria: The Spirit of Unity. It’s a really good depiction of the early days of Equestria, and the same author wrote an updated book on some timeless Equestrian customs that should help you avoid nasty words or misunderstandings.”

He rolled his eyes. “Next thing you know, nag is going to be-”

“A bad word, and it’s the worst word Ponies have to call each other. What does it mean on your planet?” I asked.

“An old female horse.”

“Yeah, only broncos and foul-mouthed ponies use words like that, and I’d like to think that you’re above all of those hateful words.”

Max shrugged casually, which wasn’t the response that I wanted. “We’ll see what happens. After all, the future isn’t promised to be any kind of anything.”

“At least promise to try.” I asked reasonably, if I do say so myself.

He raised his chin and gave me a steely look. “If I can ask one thing of you, then sure.”

I couldn’t say that letting him stay in my house was much of a favor since I’d practically demanded that he do so, but I wanted him totryto be a nicer pony. “... What do you want?”

“Why did you dress up today?”

I looked at my lap and stuttered out, “N-N-No r-reason…”

“So you want me to promise you something for a lie?” He asked, all amusement from earlier gone from his tone.

I glanced at him and wrung my hands. “... It’s embarrassing…”

“What if I told you that I would be touched in the right ways if you said that you did it for me?” He asked lackadaisically, as if he already knew exactly why I’d taken so long to choose an outfit.

“... You know, don’t you.” I ‘asked’ softly, not looking at him.

I felt Max’s long, almost spidery fingers place themselves along three points around my chin and turn my head toward him, but I still couldn’t look him in the eye. The smell of his cologne was different than his natural smoky scent. It was something else entirely, and I didn’t know how to describe it other than perfectly representative of his particular brand of masculinity. It wasn’t terribly musky or overpowering, but it held a certain coolness, a mild sweetness that made my mouth water. Even as I tried to resist him, I knew that Max had me; hook, line, and sinker. I was head over heels for him, but I just didn’t want to admit it.

All that changed when he kissed me.

His face came closer and closer, but I didn't quite realize what was going on. I don't don't what I was actually expecting, but I wasn’t expecting him to press his lips against mine, wasn’t expecting for him to take my first romantic kiss, or rather, my first kiss with a stallion. I was stunned for what seemed like forever, the simple contact of his lips upon mine driving every single thought from my mind and sending my nerves into overdrive. His fingers grazed my chin and drifted to my jaw and cheek as Max kissed me with a new, different level of passion than he’d shown in the initial movements.

He broke the contact and kissed me again, his hand sliding from my cheek to the back of my head, the warmth of his touch surging through my main and into my head, filling my mind with the cherrywood smoke all over again, robbing me of the senses that weren’t attached to the kiss. I know I leaned into him and placed a hand on his chest, the heavy beating of his heart resonating through my hand, feeling almost as if it was jarring through my bones, endeavoring to make my heart beat on the same wavelength to bring us closer in the moment.

Max didn’t make any other moves than to kiss me and that irritated me on an instinctual level, my rational thought having defenestrated itself right out of my ear drum and my sense of modesty having taken the slide out of my nose. I pushed Max down and crawled on top of his sleek, toned form, appreciating the firmness of what he called ‘no muscles’. Even through his clothes I could feel that he was nearly smooth in a way that most races on Equus simply were not, even while completely furless. I also knew that I wanted as much of him as I could possibly get, but when I felt Max’s tongue part my lips and touch my own, I was in a pure state of euphoria.

Then, before I could find out whether or not I was actually going to sate the intense hunger for the stallion beneath me, I felt somepony pull me off of his and snap me out of the reverie I’d been in. “Twilight, get ahold of yourself! For Celestia’s sake, Darling, you’re going to smother the poor stallion!”

I rubbed my eyes and came back to Equus. “... Rarity? When did you get here?”

“A good five minutes ago, Darling. Honestly.” Rarity said in disbelief. “I could believe Rainbow Dash or Applejack during such a time, but you?”

I blushed brightly and looked down at Max to see him propping himself up, chuckling weakly. “Mutual attraction much, or am I just oblivious?”

Rarity shot him a glare. “Youshould be ashamed of yourself! I know you’re not congested!”

He looked at her like she’d lost her mind. “What would allergies have to do with a bloody fucking thing? Speaking of things that are actually your business, there’s a crown in a bag in Twilight’s guest room that Stephen Magnet asked me to give to a mare named Rarity who lives in Ponyville. Wouldn’t happen to be you, would it?”

Rarity glared at him and huffed. “If you’re going to play dumb, then I believe you should take your leave.”

“Play dumb to what?” He asked, scratching his head. “Twilight did something cute, I kissed her for it, things escalated a little from there. I don’t really see how it’s solely my fault on this.”

“Rarity, this is Max. Max is from a different planet.”: I explained, carefully getting off of him.

“Oh. So he would have no idea about the time of month?” She asked.

I nodded. Max made a noise of discomfort. “I know Human women have a time of the month, but it involves bleeding and anger.”

“... That sounds far worse than estrus.” I said numbly.

Rarity flapped her hands at me because she’s too proper sometimes. “Twilight!”

Max blinked. “Ah. Maybe I should go stay at the inn for a little while?”

“... You know what estrus is?” Rarity and I asked at the same time.

“Nope, never heard of it, though I did hear that the bird bird bird the bird is the word I said-a the ba-ba-ba-ba-bird-bird-bird the bird is the word, ya heard? Grand diggity, dog, can’t stop won’t stop kinda grind, ya know?” He blathered.

“... I beg your pardon?” Rarity asked.

Max blinked and raised his brows. “Hmm?”


“What what?”

“No, what did youmean?” Rarity tried.

“I meant what were you asking about.” Max answered diligently.

“No, when you were saying things like ‘Grand diggity’. What does that mean?” I asked.

He gave me a queer look. “What does that mean, anyway? What’s a diggity?”

“You would think that you would know better than we would.” Rarity said a little irritably. “After all, you’re the pony who said it.”

Max pointed at himself. “Me? A Pony? I’m not a pony at all, I’m a human, dontcha know?”

“I did not, but that does explain why your ears are in such a strange place. I’d thought that you were just a mutant of some kind.” My friend said like a real ninny.

“Rarity! That was just mean!” I chastised.

“Don’t you realize what he’s doing, Twilight? I mean, I’ve completely forgotten the topic of the conversation, haven’t you?”

I thought about it for a moment. “... Oh.”

“What, you think that just because I can’t keep a steady train of thought that I’m up to no good?” Max said darkly. “Thank you for the shred of faith. It’s not like someone started giving me the snogging of a lifetime out of nowhere or anything.”

“And you’ll explain what ‘snogging’ means, or are you going to lead us onto a verbal goose chase again?” Rarity asked.

“Snogging means kissing, and you’re really, truly less pleasant than Stephen said you were.” Max replied caustically, his tone making his words seem more hateful than they actually were.

Rarity glowered at him. “Whether you were aware of it or not, you were taking advantage of a mare in estrus, and that is simply unforgivable!”

“Rarity, that’s just silly. If I didn’t want Max to k-kiss me, I would have told him to leave.” I said a little bashfully.

She cut me an apologetic look and sighed. “Then I suppose I owe you an apology, Max.”

He nodded. “Trust me, I’ll only try to take advantage of Twilight if she’s wearing a French maid outfit and keeps giving me the bedroom eyes.”

Rarity and I both blushed, but Rarity was the one who said, “Do you ever have a thought that doesn’t border along salacity?”

“I’m lewd dude who likes to brood.” He replied cheesily.

I sighed. “You just wanted to rhyme, didn’t you?”

“It was time for a rhyme, and I know that you feel like you’re covered in slime or rime, but you can always relax ‘cause either way you’ll shine!” He smiled like an actual idiot.

Rarity looked at me. “And you were kissing this?


“He’s actually really charming, he’s just being weird right now for some reason.” I sighed again.

“It’s because I like you more than I like her.” Max said bluntly. “Rarity’s a meanie pants.”

“Perhaps if you acted like agentlecolt, I might be more inclined to be polite to you.” She sniffed.

“A lady’s worth is measured in her actions and in her words.” Max said neutrally. “So far you’ve been showing yourself to be worth less than you are.”

Rarity gave him a steely look that promised retribution for his words. “And just how, pray tell, have I been degrading myself?”

“Obstinate bias.” Max said flatly. “Taking your little shots at me because I don’t happen to fit your ideal of what a man should be, or rather a ‘gentlecolt’. You’re trying to impose your standards on me and that’s more than just a little incredibly fucking rude. And, not to be an arsehole, but you kinda mistook ignorance for malevolence when I’m obviously an alien”

My usually amiable friend blinked slowly and tilted her head. “... I do suppose that I have been expecting an alien to fit Equestrian customs and know Equestrian… Stuff.”

I was tempted to rat Max out since he apparently knew how to act like a decent stallion, but for all I knew, he could have been trying to be on his best behavior. “I don’t agree with how he said it, but Max is kinda right.” I added softly.

Rarity gave me a pained smile. “Can I speak to you in private for a moment?”

We looked to Max and he was already getting up. “I’ll be fucking off then. See you later, Cherry, Rarity. Don’t forget about the crown.”

“I will not. Thank you for bringing it here.” Rarity said neutrally.

Max nodded. “A favor for a favor.” He started walking off, leaving Rarity and I a little confused. However, we chose not to bother him about it since it didn’t seem important at the moment.

When we heard Max close the front door, Rarity asked, “Why do you like him?”

“He’s witty, and it’s not just cleverness. He’s actually intelligent, but he hides it by joking and acting dumb. He’s also the stallion from the dreams, Rarity.”

“... Seriously?” She asked flatly.

I nodded. “I don’t know if the dreams are about possibilities or eventualities, but it’s possible that I marry Max.”

Rarity sighed so hard it probably would have hurt Max’s feelings. “When he comes back, send him to my shop. He can stay with me while your week is passing, and if you still want him like you do after the fog has cleared, then… Then I’ll support you one hundred percent.” She gave me a small smile.

I returned her smile with a gratitude-filled one of my own. “Thank you, Rarity. You have no idea how much it means to me to have your support on this. Max and I have just been so confused between me having this crush on him and Max trying to adjust to being on a new planet full of new ponies, we’ve just been struggling to make sense of it all.”

“... I suppose Max would be having the hardest time out of anypony, wouldn’t he?” Rarity said thoughtfully.

“And yet he’s taking it a lot better than I am. He deserves a little faith, Rarity. He’s just making the best of a horrid situation.”

“Worlds away from all of your friends and family…” Rarity murmured before we both shivered.

“I know. I can’t imagine what Max must be feeling right now.” I replied worriedly.

“... Do you think that he’s being so receptive to your advances because it’s comforting?” She inquired.

“... I don’t know. M-Maybe we should ask him?”

“No, no, he wouldn’t want to hurt your feelings if it was true, depending on if he really is a decent stallion as you say. I believe we’re going to need more tact to suss out Max’s reasonings for being so receptive, other than the fact that he’s a stallion.” Rarity added bluntly.

“Rarity, a stallion as handsome as Max has probably had mares throwing themselves at him since he hit puberty. I doubt somepony like me is going to be much to him.” I said, pursing my lips off to the side.

“Oh posh, Twilight! You are simply an adorable mare, you just need to work on your confidence! Maybe a few curls in your mane to help bring out your cheekbones-”

“That’s why Max said I should pull my mane back!”

“Oh? So he definitely already thinks you’re cute!” Rarity gasped. “Oh, Twilight, that’s great news! I mean, I still don’t want you to spend too much time around Max for obvious reasons this week, but still. That’s a good sign if I’ve ever heard of one!”

I beamed at her. “It’s good to know that Max might be interested in me too, though I guess I should have figured that out from the kiss.” I touched my lips with my fingertips again and tried not to uncross my legs since I’d… Um… Spilled syrup on my lap earlier! Yeah, there was syrup on my dress and I didn't want it to stick to my thighs, so I made my legs stay still.

It took me awhile to realize that Rarity was just giving me a knowing smile, a certain twinkle in her eye. “Twilight Sparkle, don’t tell me that this is your first crush.”

I felt my face heat up at the accusation. “I-It’s not! I-It’s just the first one that might actually go somewhere…”

“Trust me when I say that I understand the feeling, Darling. Whenever you have any questions, feel free to come to your good friend Rarity for answers.” She gave me her patented smile and I couldn’t help but want to give her a hug.

“You’re the best, Rarity!” I said, getting up to do what I wanted to do because I’m a real tough mare who does what she wants!

Or I just wanted to give my friend a hug for being supportive. Either way, Rarity hugged me back and said, “Of course I am, otherwise I’d be striving for nothing.” She said haughtily.

I giggled at her false bravado. “I swear, sometimes you sound as bad as Rainbow in your own special way.”

Rarity made a face and tapped my horn with hers, a Unicorn gesture for ‘Shush, you!’. “Don’t compare me to that bull-headed miscreant, you ninny!”

I faked a gasp. “Rarity! Such language!”

She gave me a look. “Don’t make me beautify you again.”

I flinched at the terribly boring memory. “I’ll be good.”

My ‘friend’ giggled. “You really will have to let me do your makeup again sometime, Darling. I daresay that you’ve never been more striking, more enchanting!” Rarity fanned herself. “Oh, how the stallions would topple over and climb atop each other for a chance to kiss your hooves!”

I pinched her and she yelped. “Will you stop including me in your fantasies? I don’t want that kind of attention at any point in my life. Ever. Never.

She rubbed her arm. “Fine, but I’ll eventually pinch you back, you know this, right?”

“If you pinch my Funbuns in front of Max, I’ll actually teleport you to Canterlot naked.” I said flatly.

Rarity waved my warning aside. “I would never do something so crass in front of your crush, Darling. Do have more faith in dear young Rarity, will you?”

I gave her a look. “I have a feeling that half of Ponyville is going to know about me and Max if you have anything to say about it, so can you just stay quiet for awhile? Just about me and Max?”

“Phooey! And here I thought you were just going to hand over the juiciest piece of gossip this town’s had since Lyra got caught in the stallions restroom at the Mare’s Tail.” Rarity sighed.

“Again?” I asked.

“No, and that’s the sad part.” Rarity drawled.

I gave her the flattest look I could have. “I praise you for two seconds and then you prove to be a gossip hound like no other.”

Rarity gave me a sheepish smile. “I can’t help it! Don’t scientists often find and compare information for the sake of knowledge? How is gossiping any different?”

I looked at her until she looked down. “Okay, that was a little silly.”

“You should feel ashamed.” I said briskly.

“I feel a little embarrassed, but that’s the sum of it.” Rarity huffed.

“You should feel embarrassed. I mean, there was a stallion within speaking distance of you and he wasn’t hitting on you!” I teased.

Rarity rolled her eyes. “Anyways, I came to collect you for a picnic with the girls, though Pinkie said that there was somewhere she had to be. Rainbow went along with her, wherever that somewhere may have been, but they assured me that they would be back in time for us to not be terribly late, and that was coming from Pinkie herself.”

“So even with as long as we’ve been talking, we still have time to go and get ready for the picnic?”

“I believe you’re the only one who needs to prepare, unless you’re already prepared, in which case you should let a lock of your mane down to complete the look.” My ever fashion-minded friend suggested.

“Sounds like Max’s advice.” I said, letting my mane down and redoing the tie. “How’s this?”

Rarity smiled. “Perfect! Let’s get a move on, shall we?”

“Of course!”

With that, Rarity and I were off to the picnic where Spie was already chatting along with Applebloom and Sweetie Belle like neither of them were interested in him in a romantic way. All of the girls knew for sure that Sweetie Belle had a crush on Spike, but Apple Bloom had yet to admit anything of the sort to anypony, though Applejack had her suspicions. I had to admit that the thought of Spike starting a herd with my best friend’s little sisters really appealed to me since it meant that we’d have an even stronger bond binding us together, but a part of me was worried about my little Spikey-Wikey growing up faster than I’d anticipated. I took awhile to notice how he was responding to Sweetie Belle’s subtle little flirts, but the longer I watched, the more sure I was that he had no idea what was going on, making me feel a little bit better about the whole thing.

Rainbow and Pinkie eventually joined us after having met Max at the joke shop while he was buying ‘presents’ that made them giggle, but they didn’t say what he got. Rarity and Applejack both offered to handle Max if he started pranking me too much, but I let them know that I would handle it, and thus we got on with our picnic. We ate the usual picnic stuff like potato salad, watercress sandwiches, marigolds, and Spike had his fill of the useless gems that I’d bought specifically for a good day. It was turning out to be a lovely afternoon, but then Applejack brought Max up and asked about him in depth, like what I’d learned about him and whether or not I’d ‘Partaken of his “lollipop”’, which got Fluttershy and Rarity to gasp and search for Spike, but thankfully he was over with Rainbow and the Cutie Mark Crusaders playing a game of frisbee.

I had to clarify that I had no plans on 'snacking' with Max in the near future, even if I had really, really enjoyed that kiss. Applejack gave me a look that told me she knew that I wasn’t being completely honest with myself, Rarity gave me a look that said she was well aware of just how smitten I was, and Fluttershy just gave me this goofy smile that translated to ‘I wish I was in your shoes right now!’, but I didn’t like any of those looks. I just wanted somepony to tell me that I wasn’t head over heels for a stallion I’d just met, but Applejack liked Max. She liked that he’d been honest about Kaid being another name of his and he’d proven trustworthy so far while Rarity was a bit more on the fence. Fluttershy was just happy that I found somepony to hold my interest.

They giggled and tittered like school fillies at me and my Max problem, but for the most part, it seemed like they all wanted to help me get my stallion, though I wasn’t too sure about whether or not Max was even the right stallion for me. After all, I barely knew the guy and I just so happened to be infatuated with him, which shouldn’t have accounted for much. However, the heart’s always been known for its fickleness, and the more the girls and I theorized about possible scenarios that might pop up between Max and I, the more comfortable I was with the idea of possibly coming in for another kiss. I didn’t think I would mind a little more at that point in time, but then again, estrus is known for making mares make questionable decisions, so I figured I’d just keep my clothes on and pray that Max wasn’t going to try and ‘put the moves on me’ like Applejack said he might.

All I knew when I left the picnic with Spike was that I needed advice from somepony a little more experienced than the girls, even if their opinions were worth their weight in gold to me. No, I wrote Princess Celestia a letter asking if we could have a moment between the two of us and she responded immediately since the sun was passing the horizon. She asked if I’d prefer to keep our correspondence through paper or if I’d like to meet up in person and I replied that meeting up in person suited me best, so Celestia teleported into my kitchen and I prepared her favourite tea before we get down to business.

“So, Twilight. It’s a matter of the heart this time?” Celestia asked kindly, her smile making it clear that she knew exactly how to help me.

“It is. It’s the stallion from my dreams, Princess.” I replied worriedly.

Her brows raised in surprise. “You mean the one who saved you from Discord’s clutches in that nightmare?”

I nodded. “It’s him. His eyes are different colors in different dreams, but one of them is always green.”

“And you only recognize his eyes?”

“And his face. He’s more muscular in a lot of the dreams.” I answered.

“I see… Then they’re most likely visions of the future…” Celestia said, rubbing her chin.

“Princess… What do you think this means?”

“I think it means that Max is waiting for a good moment to interrupt us.” She answered casually.

“It’s better than eavesdropping.” Max said from the doorway to the foyer. Heh. Rhymes. Anyway, then he said, “In any case, it’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss…?”

“Max, this is Princess Celestia of Equestria, one of the Co-rulers of this fine nation.” I said proudly, presenting Celestia to him. “She’s also the mare who taught me most of what I know about Magic and happens to be one of the single greatest minds on the face of the planet.”

“A little hyperbole I assure you, though I was lucky enough to teach Twilight.” Celestia said kindly, giving me another warm smile before turning back to Max. “You must be the ever famous Max.”

He shrugged. “If a Princess has heard of me I must be doing something right. Or some one. Or I might be doing both, though I could be doing either horribly wrong.”

“... What?” I asked.

Celestia giggled. “A bit of a riddler, I see. Do you have any riddles that might stump an old lady?”

Max scratched his head. “Uh… What speaks, but never says a word; reaches far while staying near, and… Starts strong but fades fast?”

“Are you asking me or giving me hints?” Celestia asked amusedly.

He gave her a look. “What has two Suns, a pair of buns, and a rainbow on top?”

My teacher and personal favorite Princess blinked and stared at Max. “... If you’re talking about me, then I’m going to have a few questions for you.”

It took me a second to realize that Celestia’s Cutie Mark was of a Sun, which was a part of why I wasn’t allowed to do scrying spells anymore. When I did, I gasped and blushed. “Max!”

He gave me a roguish smile that lessened the outrage that had been boiling up. “What? I was just talking about Star-Eye the baker from the Rainbow-Hat tribe. I figured that fairy tale might have carried over since Hansel and Gretel evidently did.”

“Do you know what a Cutie Mark is?” Celestia asked casually.

Max raised a brow at her and snorted. “Sounds like a beauty mark, but for like, a little girl or something.”

“Max, would you mind your manners?” I hissed.

He blew me a kiss and winked at me, making me blush and look toward Celestia who seemed to be more than a little amused about what was going on. “Have a seat, Max, and explain your riddle.”

Max crossed the room and joined us by starting his tale. “You see, Star-Eye the baker was famous across the lands for being able to bake his bread with his eyes. With a single glance, he could bake a loaf to perfection, but the other people of his tribe feared his power because he could bake people too. Well one day, Star-Eye’s kith and kin gathered together, plotting against Star-Eye to make sure that he would only ever be able to use his power for baking-”

“You were talking about my breasts, weren’t you.” Celestia said flatly.

“Yeah.” Max replied, almost as if Celestia had just told him that there was a blade of grass outside.

My jawdropped.

“Well, at least you’re honest about it.” She replied chuckling.

He shrugged. “I wouldn’t have said anything if you would’ve answered the first riddle.”

“Your first riddle didn’t make any sense.”


“Oh. Darn it.” Celestia snapped her fingers.

I cleared my throat after giving Max a decent kick under the table, a little frustrated that Max had interrupted my time with Celestia. However, there were other questions that I could ask that had to do with the book. “So, Princess… I have a couple of questions for you, if you don’t mind.”

Princess Celestia smiled at me. “Of course you do. I’d be a little worried if Twilight Sparkle of all ponies ran out of questions.”

Max yawned. “She usually just blushes and- Erk!” He grimaced as I kicked him again.

“So, Princess. I have to ask something on a personal level, if that’s okay.”

I ignored Max’s glare and waited for the Princess to say, “Well then, it must be quite the question. Feel free to ask anything, present company withstanding, of course.”

I glanced at Max and he was still giving me a look, so I ignored him extra hard and asked, “Do you ever get tired of everypony you meet showing obedience to you?”

My teacher blinked. “I… I don’t know how to answer that, Twilight.”

“I do.” Max said bluntly. “You’ve been having fun, and more so when I don’t address you with the usual respect you’re supposed to be getting from me. The comment about your chest should have donesomethingtowards making you not like me, yet here I am, unarrested.”

Celestia blushed lightly and cleared her throat. “I suppose that I find your levity and lack of disrespect to be likeable traits.”

Max shrugged. “I find your mane and eyes to be likeable traits. So when are you gonna tell me the secret of the ever blowing wind?”

My teacher gave him an amused look. “It’s a secret that you have to be a Princess to know.”

“Hey, I can be a girl for a little bit. Just give me some glue and I’ll tuck it nice and proper.” He winked and I kicked him again, but this time, Max kicked back and my entire leg blossomed in pain

“Urk!” I grit my teeth and tried not to cry because it honestly hurta lot.

Celestia gave me an odd look, but then Max reached over and placed his hand on my arm, a concerned look on his face, though when I looked closer, I could see in his eyes that he’d meant to make me cry. “Twilight, are you okay? Did you remember something?”

I glared at him. “No, it’s nothing.” I said through grit teeth.

“Are you sure? You look like you just got a mouthful ofbad medicine.” Max said, leaning into the last two words with a vengeance.

“Max, did you kick Twilight under the table?” Celestia asked moments before Max yelped and bolted out of the chair.

“Fucking YEE-OW!” He hopped up and down on one leg, holding the other. “Bloody fucking christ, you pale technicolor-topped twat! Fuckin’ learn to fuckin’ dial it the fuck down like, three fuckin’ notches!”

“Well maybe if you weren’t kicking my poor student, who just so happens to be smaller than you, I wouldn’t have kicked you in defense of her honor.” Celestia replied neutrally.

Max lifted up his pant leg and a hideous purple welt that was darker than my coat seemed to be growing from his shin, the area that was discolored being incredibly swollen. “I’m pretty fuckin’ sure you just cracked my Goddamn shin, so shut your cocksucking vile spitter before I jam a bloody knife in it! I swear, Twilight kicks me three times and you don’t do a damned thing but when I give back what the bloody fuck I’m gettin’, I get fuckin’ what I gave tenfold! How the bloody fuck is that any kind of fucking reasonable!?”

Celestia stared at him before looking at me. “Did he really let you kick him three times before-”

“Oi! Who gives a fuck at this point!? Somebody point me in the direction of a bloody walking stick so I can hobble my arse to the hospital!”

My teacher rolled her eyes. “Alicorns may be a fair bit stronger than most ponies, but I do believe that you’re overreacting.”

Max ran his fingertips across his discoloured leg and turned his palm towards Celestia. His fingertips were red. “Bleeding through my Goddamn skin here.” He growled.

Celestia’s eyes flashed open and she immediately started an incantation for an intensive healing spell: “Oh flesh t’was rent and bone was bent, from the Aether may be peace be sent. Such a trial you have faced, let thy blood and marrow replace. Of burning fur and pounding heart, let the pain ease so healing may start. I chant this spell with wishes well, healing granted upon the bell.” Celestia finished the gestures with a casual flick of her wrist and split the Aether with a well-practiced ease that made me envious.

Max stared at Celestia, then at his leg, then back at Celestia. “... Holy dickfuck.”

Celestia gave him a worried look. “The spell worked, did it not? I couldn’t tell you the last time I actually follied while casting it, but accidents do happen.”

“... Magic isso cool.” Max said in awe.

Celestia gave him a worried look. “Have you never seen Magic before?”

“... I’ve never had that kinda shit happen, nah. I’d be mad at you, but you fixed the damage you caused, so don’t fuckin’ kick me. Bitch.”

“What does bitch mean to you?” Celestia asked.

Max looked at her calmly. “It means female dog, but it also means bitch, focking bitch, motherfocking bitch, and dumb bitch. It just depends on the context.”

She gave him a dull look. “If you called me dumb, then I’m undoing the spell.”

“I didn’t mean dumb. You weren’t paying attention to the context.” Max huffed. “You would think that a pretty Pony Princess would possibly ponder the purposeful placement of my problematic, pre-imagined, positively perfectly perplexing puzzle.”

My jaw dropped.“... Was that a thirteen word long alliteration chain?”

Celestia’s ears flicked. “It wasbeautiful.”

Max gave both of us an odd look. “I like alliteration sometimes. So what?”

How?” Celestia and I asked simultaneously.

“It’s actually super sinfully simple, so to speak. Some stuff susses itself out solidly, shining sincerely, searing away sounds and sights of shadows and suspicions. Sometimes it just shuts shit sideways and soliloquies set themselves up for success or sordid cicumstances.” Max said casually.

“Twenty-gosh-darn-four.”I breathed.

Celestia rubbed her temples. “Even the biggest businesses in Equestria have to hire entire marketing teams to come up with a sensible string of sixalliterative word chains…”

“Call it crazy or call it convenient.” Max said casually.

“Now you’re just showing off.” Celestia admonished mildly.

Max shrugged. “Well, between being abused and being praised, I’d rather just be nagged at.”

“Max!” I gasped.

Celestia gave him a stern look. “Such language is unbefitting of a stallion your age.”

Max rolled his eyes. “First off, how are you okay with ‘fuck’, but when nagging comes into the conversation it’s all bad? That’s like saying…” Max’s eyes grew glossy for a moment and we looked at each other.

“That’s like saying ‘corn’ is a bad word.” We said in perfect unison, the memory of Max, Celestia and I walking around Canterlot with what appeared to be a Changeling.

“... That was odd.” Celestia said slowly.

Max rapped his knuckles on the table. “Alright, so Magic exists here, right?”

“That’s fairly obvious. Did it not exist on your planet?” My teacher asked.

“Not at all, at least, not as far as I know. The thing about this world being Magic is that I don’t know how the fuck I got here, but Twilight has memories of me being here and I have memories of me being here. Anyone following me so far?”

I raised a hand and Max nodded toward me. “So you’re saying that you believe that the dreams are memories?”

“I’ve had a prophetic dream once and I’ll never forget it.” Max said grimly. “I also know what it’s like to have memories run rampant through your mind so viciously that it keeps you up for days on end, and I can tell the fucking difference. Besides, I haven't had a ‘dream’ since I was twelve. These are memories, and that tells me that we’re either stuck in some sort of time loop or you and me, as you me and you, Twilight, are the only ones who got sent back, which means that our memories were either tampered with or they were scattered while we were being shifted through the dimensions.”

Celestia nodded a few times, a pensive look on her face. “As relatively sensible as your hypothesis is, it is equally likely that there may be a higher power at play here.”

Max rolled his eyes. “If there is a God, he evidently doesn’t give a shit about me.”

The second Max finished speaking, I felt pure, unfiltered rage course through my veins like Max had just insulted and beaten up my entire family before taking all of their favorite things and selling them off as his own property. It wasn’t hatred per she that had me so upset, but the tears in my eyes told me that I was more hurt than anything else, which confused me because I wasn’t ‘God’, but hearing Max say that this ‘God’ didn’t care about him made me slap him before I could even think to stop myself. I don’t know how the table disintgrated, and I don't know how I got to my hooves because I don’t remember standing up, but I do know that not even a full heartbeat after I slapped Max, I had him by the lapels of his shirt and was glowering at him with fury unmatched.

“Take. It. Back.

Max blinked a few times and rubbed his face. “... Holy shite.I-I’m sorry.”

Celestia gripped my arm, having joined us quickly after getting over her shock. “Twilight, where did you learn a disintegration spell!?”

I could barely hear Celestia, but I do know that I sent her back to Canterlot with Magic that wasn’tmine. “That’s not what I said. I said take. It. Back. Notapologize.

Max took a shaky breath. “... I-I guess God loves me?”

I stared him down and his legs started failing him. “One. Last. Chance.

“I-I take it back! I technically said that!” Max said fearfully.

I let him go and he sank to his knees, shaking in front of me, not unlike how I tend to shake when an experiment is going horribly, horribly wrong. I bent down a little so I could look him in the eye and spoke without thinking, the words flowing from my mouth in a cadence that didn’t reflect me at all.“God loves all her creations, Maximus. She especially loves you, even if you aren’t one of hers. The sheer depth of Diliculum’s love and compassion for you rings through the Heavens and all throughout the Universal Collective above all else. The Cacophony of Youth is but a whisper to her love. The Aggrieved have a mighty voice born from pain, but her love for you abolished them. Six hundred and sixty-three Creators, beings who create universes and conceptualize realities as a pastime, struck out at Diliculum.”

Max just stared at me, speechless.

“Do you know why?”

“Her love for me?” He whispered numbly.

I gently grabbed his chin and made him nod once. “Diliculum, one woman, stood against her equal six hundred and sixty-threefold as a result of what she did for you. She sacrificed her best friend to gain power. She sacrificed her Aetera to become Fate. She sacrificed her Soul to take from you one last time. She sacrificed her Anima to Nonexistence, a fate worse than any other, to send you back in time. The only thing Diliculum kept was her heart. Because you were already inside, Kaid. The largest piece of yourself that you ever gave to her was your heart, and she traded you happily, only to find that she would lose all but that one beautiful thing.”

“... Are You Diliculum?” Max asked softly, afraid of the answer.

“I don’t know.” I replied. “However, it doesn’t matter. It well and truly doesn’t.”

He swallowed hard as I placed my hands on his cheeks, not saying a word.

I softened my tone and said, “This is your chance for peace, Max. It’s all you ever wanted. Take hold and never let go of it, because there’s no cheese in the Moon and no gold in the Sun.”

“... I’m gonna have to ask if my life is in danger right now.”

“It’s not.”

“Alright, good start. Second question: What do you mean by stating obvious stuff?”

I gazed at Max with the full, torrential force of ‘God’s’ love pouring through me, my words still not my own. “Simple people say that the Moon is made of cheese. It’s not worth the trouble to find out. Simple people lust for the gold in the Sun. Greed will take you and rend your morals from you.”

“... Still lost here.”

I kissed his forehead, letting my lips linger for just a moment longer than I probably should have before pulling away. “Rarity’s expecting you at her boutique. You’ll be staying with her for the rest of the week.”

“Can’t feel my legs, Twilight.”

“It happens sometimes.” I slid my hands from his cheeks to his shoulders, down his arms, then to his hands to I could grab them and get him to his feet.

“Right… So… I’m just gonna like, skedaddly-doo.” Max jerked a thumb behind him and carefully avoided sprinting away from me like I figured he probably wanted to.

Once he was out of Golden Oaks, I felt the foggy flush of power leave me, and I started to feel a little dizzy. My short-term memory at that point was shot pretty hard, so I had no idea why my kitchen table was a pile of dust, why Max hadn’t come back from his walk, or where in the heckity Spike was. A lot of things were leaving me as more things were hitting me, and when a logically minded, fluster-prone scientist such as myself has their brain scrambled, the best idea is for them to grab a glass of wine and sleep, which is exactly what I did. I probably drank the wine a little too fast or had a little too much because getting to my room was pretty blurry too.

… I don’t how to end this chapter. I feel like it’s plenty long already, but I’m not, like, an authoror anything, so I’ve never really had to finish something… I guess I could always go with Plan A.


In conclusion, from the day I met Max, life started getting oddly violent and more than a little snippy. I didn’t understand why I was falling for him so hard, but there was a certain charm to his devil-may-care attitude that attracted me initially, but what kept me interested had to be the compassion and tenderness he could show when he thought it was necessary. Time would tell what my friends thought of him, but Spike really liked him, Applejack was already leaning towards a positive view, Rarity had a little respect for him, Fluttershy was all for a stallion that treated me well and made me laugh, Rainbow thought he was alright but shady, and Pinkie just smiled whenever I asked her about what I thought of Max.

Max’s supposition, or rather, his hypothesis about the truth of the ‘dreams’ struck me as the most likely possibility once I was able to actually remember the conversation, but the most worrying thing was the sudden influx of raw Mana that made me nearly implode when it came to me. I don’t know what my connection to Diliculum might be as of yet, but there’s always time to search for answers, especially if Max is supposed to be living in peace for the time being. I thought that I would just have to stay close to him to avoid any trouble, although it seemed a little cowardly to do so. Many ponies would consider it the wise move.

At that point, I needed more data: plain and simple. I also needed to secure Max so some sloozy mare wouldn’t put a ring on his finger before I figured out if he really was the one for me. Also also, I needed to upgrade my wardrobe. It was actually kind of sad that I couldn’t find anything worthy of catching a single stallion’s eye, but then again, it’s not like I wanted to dress like Rarity did on occasion, but now I’m rambling and I just implied that one of my best friends advertises for more than just her business…

Okay, it’s time to stop… Why do I feel so filthy all of a sudden? It’s frankly disturbing, however, I kind of want to see if the detachable shower-head can help me get the syrup off of my clothes…

... Yeah, it should probably be a cold shower...

Clarity Comes In Time

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Redux: Clarity Comes In Time

Dear Diary,

My morning started off a little rough. I’d had another sticky dream and that was nice, but I honestly felt like somepony had made me exercise all day and hadn’t let me take any breaks at all. My muscles were all sore, and that really wasn’t pleasant, but hunger still made me get out of bed and go take a shower because I figured that it would probably help me get over my soreness sooner. Without Max in the house, I didn't have to worry about looking cute to impress him or anything, so I got myself together pretty quickly and finished my Morning Meandering in time to catch Spike as he stared at the big pile of dust on our kitchen floor. The pile had me stopping and standing next to him, wondering just how grounded he was about to be due to the fact that I had no idea how my poor table had been reduced to ashes.

“Care to explain yourself?” I asked drily.

Spike gave me the weirdest look I’d gotten from him in years and jerked a thumb at the pile of dust. “I don’t think I can do that, Twilight.”

I narrowed my eyes at him. “So my table just collapsed into dust on its own:?”

He shrugged and spread his hands. “What do you want me to say!? I came home like, five minutes ago and there just wasn’t a table anymore!”

I pursed my lips and rubbed my cheek since my Truth Spell hadn’t gone off. “If it wasn’t you and it wasn’t me, then who?”

“I dunno… Maybe we should ask Max?” Spi8ke suggested.

I furrowed my brow again. “Was he even here last night?”

“... Why are you asking me? I stayed the night at Applejack’s.”

A mild headache started building, so I started rubbing my temples.“I feel like Max was here last night, but I don’t remember seeing him…”

“Where is he, anyway?”

“Um… He should be over at Rarity’s,” Spike’s eyes shot open, “unless she threw him out already. I don’t think they’ll get along very well for the rest of the week.”

“Right.” Spike chuckled anxiously, probably worried about Max making a move on his crush. “I-I’m just gonna go check up on him and… Uh, see how he’s adjusting! Yeah!”

I gave him a dubious look. “Just don’t bother anypony too much, okay?”

“I won’t!” Spike promised.

“Mhmm.” I replied flatly. “If Rarity asks where you’re looking, what are you going to say?”

“Anywhere but her chest.” Max said, surprising both me and Spike. Neither of us had heard him come in or even close the door, so we just stared for a moment. “What? I’ve got something in my teeth, don’t I?”

“... How did you get in here?” I asked hesitantly.

Max gave me a dull look. “How do most people get in here, Twilight?”

I blushed and cleared my throat. “W-Well, th-there’s a chime on the door…”

“There’s also the pile of dust from where you disintegrated the fucking table. Would you care to explain what the fuck happened last night?”

“... I did that?” I asked dumbly.

He sighed. “Figures. You started talking like you had all the answers last night, but I knew I didn’t see you in your eyes.” Max shook his head.

“Ah-ha! I told you I didn’t fry the table! And to think you were probably gonna ground me over it!” Spike cheered triumphantly.

“Oh yeah, since Max is here, I guess you don’t need to go to Rarity’s.” I said evilly.

Spike’s face fell and his shoulders slumped. “... Yeah, I guess you’re right…”

That brought a smile to my face, but then Max said, “Actually, Rarity sent me over to grab Spike since I won’t help her with any of her seamstress shit. Just seems tedious to me.”

“Oh. then I guess you’re good to go, Spike.” I said, a little disappointed that raining on his parade turned from a downpour into a rainbow.

My little brother beamed and pumped his fist subtly. “Then I’d better get going! Thanks for the heads up, Max!”

Max gave him a lopsided grin and a nod. “Just don’t let Sweetie Belle know you’re there. I stole her diary and it’s filled with all sorts of borderline-creepy stuff.”

“... What?” Spike and I asked in unison.

“Yeah, girl’s weird, but then again, kids are weird in general. Go get into the Weird Pool, Spike.”

“... Sure.” He answered, not sure how to take that.

Spike walked out and Max watched him leave, making me hesitate to say something. Once I heard Spike close the door, I said, “So… I-”

“That was a bitchy thing to do.” Max said coldly.

“...” I stared at him as he turned to give me a frosty glare.

“Do you honestly have nothing to say for yourself? Spike’s your little brother, Twilight. Legitimately making him sad is some shit you would do if he knocked off one of your friends, not because he rubbed your nose in the fact that he was innocent in the first place. I can honestly say you just lost a lot of my respect.” He continued, his judgement brutal.

“I-I-I- Y-You don’t-”

“I saw the look on his face and I compared it to the one on yours and I saw a bully and a victim. Are you a bully, Twilight?” He asked harshly.

“N-N-No, I-I-I-”

“Then why would you act like one?”

I tried my hardest, but I still ended bawling my eyes out and teleporting to my room just to avoid the look of utter and complete disappointment in Max’s eyes. Guilt ate me up so fast I barely had time to breathe in between my sobs, and not being able to breathe made me panic, and I cry when I panic, so I ended up crying harder, which meant that it was even more difficult to breathe, resulting in me gasping for air hard enough for somepony to come and make me loosen up from the ball I’d curled myself into.

“Twilight. Twilight, Cherry.” Max said softly.

I couldn’t answer him, and I really didn’t want to look at him either. So I said, “Go ‘way!”

“Breathe, Twilight.” He replied calmly. “You’ll feel a little better if you get a good breath in.”
I tried but my breaths still came out as shaky, pathetic sobs that made me cover my face, but then Max hugged me, which made me so confused and embarrassed and ashamed, but at the same time I was so happy and comfy and warm that I kept crying because I couldn't get a grip on myself. “I’m sowwy!”

“I know, Twilight. I know.” Max said gently, stroking my mane. “I know you weren’t being mean to Spike for the sake of making him feel bad, but it was still cruel. I won’t take back what I said, but I will apologize for saying it so harshly.

I didn’t have an answer for that, but I did wrap my arms around Max and let his warmth surround me as I calmed down. By the time I was just hiccupping and sniffling. Max had sat down next to me and put an arm. A good twenty minutes had passed since Max had chastised me for being mean to Spike, so I thought another apology was in order, just not to Max. “... I’ll- Uhp! Apologize to Spi- Uhp! Spike when he gets home.” I said quietly.

“Are you saying that because you think I want you to, or because you feel like you should?” Max asked softly, like his voice was a scoop of my table in a strong breeze.

“Spike’s big sis- Uhp! Sister shouldn’t be the o- Uhp! One making him feel the worst…” I replied, guilt still gnawing at me with fervor.

“The sincerity in that sentence just earned you back some respect.” Max said proudly, the smile on his lips transferring over to his voice.

… Well, I imagined that he was smiling. He sounded happy.

At the moment, I was a little surprised by that. “R-R-Ruhp! Really?”

“It’s not in your heart to be a nag, Twilight, and yes, I know that’s really offensive, but it was accurate earlier.” I flinched and I felt him kiss one of my ears, making me flick it involuntarily. “However, if you would’ve answered wrong or lied to me, there wouldn’t have been anything between us, so thank you for staying true to yourself.”

“... I’m confu-Suhp! Confused…”

“Good. That’s how I like my women.”

I actually had to pull away and look at him for that one, my eyes puffy and scratchy from crying for so long. “What?”

“I wouldn’t worry about it yet. I would worry about your kitchen table though.”

“Awww, Darn it!” I groaned.

Max chuckled and gave me a longsuffering smile. “What am I gonna do with you, Twi?”

“Help me shop for a new table?” I asked sheepishly.

He rolled his eyes and made an amused noise. “Alright, sure. Let’s go furniture shopping.”

I gave him a bashful smile. “Y-You don’t have to-”

“Nah, I have nothing else to do today.” Max thought for a second. “Oh yeah, Spike should be home in like, ten-fifteen minutes.”

I tilted my head. “Oh. Does Rarity not have that much to do?”

“No, I lied to your face because I felt bad for Spike.” He said bluntly.

“... You lied to me?”

“The guy’s crush is super obvious. You probably would have ruined his day.” The complex stallion in front of me said.

“I… I can’t really be mad since you just did it to be nice to Spike, but… I-I guess I just thought you wouldn’t…” I said softly.

Max inhaled sharply and touched a hand to his forehead. “Ah, yep. Yup. See why you think that now.”

“Did you remember something?” I asked cautiously.

“Yeah. I promised to never lie to you. Then like, four years later I killed a guy and you said I lied to you.”

“... You- Nope. Not even talking about it.” I said, tapping my horn three times for good luck and good health. “We’re going table shopping.”

I could have sworn that I saw a glimmer or a twinkle of some sort in Max’s eye as he suddenly invaded my personal space, and I do mean suddenly. “What’s the rush, Cherry Pie?” He placed his hands on my hips and pulled me closer to him, biting his lip and giving me a half-lidded gaze. “I’m sure we can find something to do around here for a little while. Maybe we could read a book, or do some research.” He touched his forehead to my horn and I was pretty sure that breathing was easier when I was sobbing my face off. “Even better idea; let’s ex-peri-ment~

If Max actually wanted to do anything to me, I would’ve been rolled into a hay-bale and chucked to the cows, only to be found weeks later. Not literally of course, but Ma x could have easily had his way with my while I was unconscious, but yet again he proved his morals to be better than ‘shady’, even going so far as to tuck me into bed and draw the curtains in my room so that it wasn’t as bright when I woke up. I was fully clothed and a little sticky, but that was okay since I kept a box of tissues on my nightstand anyway for when allergy season rears its ugly head. When I was good to go, I walked downstairs and found Max reading on the couch in the library, looking a little more amused than anypony reading about Equestrian Morality and Philosophy should be.

I walked over slowly, trying not to disturb him, but then Max chuckled and closed the book, rubbing his brow with his thumb and forefinger. “Fucking ponies, Mate.”

“Wh-What about ponies?” I asked.

He looked up at me and gave me a roguish grin. “You lot are some skittish creatures, if your morals and philosophy are anything to go by. ‘Avoid Dragons at all costs’?” He rolled his eyes. “If I hadn’t spent half of my time walking around town, then I’d avoid Dragons. Nah, Equestrians are just racist.

I stared at him blankly.

“Ah, sorry. Generalizations are pretty ignorant, but I should say that a lot of Ponies are extremely xenophobic. At least, they are to me. Can’t help but think that those same Ponies wouldn’t hesitate to write a book about how scawwy the other races are.” He rolled his eyes and scoffed.

“... Uh…”

He raised a brow at me. “Am I scary, Twilight?”

I pursed my lips and looked away.

“... Well, I honestly wasn’t expecting that.” He said, sounding somewhat offended.

“Weeell… You kind of threw a knife at one of my friends when I first met you…” I answered nervously, steepling my fingers.

“Yeah, but it was the most hostile person out of your friends! And she attacked me first! And she started it!” He protested, vexed.

“I-I know…” I replied quietly.

“That’s what I’m saying, Twilight. It’s stuff like that that makes it obvious where the other races sit on the totem pole in Equestria. I can’t tell you how many of the bastards in the Town Circle tried to rip me off with jacked-up prices since I’ve been here, and it’s been like, what? Three, four days?”

“I-I’m sorry…”

He sighed. “It’s not your fault, Twilight. If it’s anyone’s fault, it’s Celestia’s.”

“Woah. Hold on, Buster.” I pointed at him. “I won’t kick you for disrespecting Celestia anymore, but that does not mean that I won’t beat you with a rolled up newspaper for treason!”

Max gave me a bored look. “Come at me. Shrimp.”

I balled my hands up. “Oooh! Don’t you test me!”

Testing, testing: One. Two.Three.” Max said, standing up.

I marched over to him and stood close enough to push him if I felt like it. “Do you really wanna go there, Buster?

Out of bucking nowhere, Max grabbed me by the shoulders and engulfed my entire horn in his mouth. I felt his lips touched the base of my horn as I stood in place; mortified by the occurring event, but then it got worse! Max started sucking on my horn! And the worst part? The absolutely horrifying part? He only had his mouth on my horn for a few seconds before… Um… He poured syrup on my shoes too! Yeah, he poured syrup all over my skirt and it got on my shoes and on the floor, so when I stopped moaning about the grossness of Max putting my horn in a place it had no business being, I shoved him back and covered my nether regions, my lips trembling and my eyes watering.

“You SUCK!!!” Teleporting to my room for the second time that day took but a second, but this time I locked the door.

While I cried (Again) about being embarrassed (This time), I wonder what possessed Max to do such a thing and why I’d had such a weird reaction to it. Having syrup poured on my skirt had felt really good, like my Cupcake Castle was pumping out icing for a massive cake, but that’s what was so bad! I felt like I could die of humiliation at any moment, and even as I cried I just wanted to get the syrup off of my legs so I’d stop feeling so darned dirty. I hated that Max of all stallions had made me feel so bad, but then I heard a soft knock on the door and I knew it had to be the one pony I wanted to see the least right now.

“Go. Away!” I shouted through the door.

“Twilight, I didn’t know, and I’m sorry-” Max tried.

Get out of my house!!!

He didn’t answer, so I waited a few minutes before letting loose and crying for the third gosh darn time. After like, two minutes of crying, I just sighed and sat on the floor for a little bit, feeling a little empty. I didn't’ want to keep teetering on a knife’s edge with my mood, but Max… Well, he seemed to be fond of strapping me into an emotional roller coaster whenever he saw me. For a few more minutes I wondered if he just wanted to toy with me, but even when I tried to convince myself that Max was no good, his actions from earlier kept bringing up the good qualities in him, like how he’d been willing to lie to make Spike happy and remind me of my duties as a big sister. He even comforted me when I was totally in the wrong and deserved to be a sobbing mess, but I just doubted that it was in Max to leave someone who was suffering if he thought he could help it.

With another sigh, I hefted myself off of the floor and wiped up the sticky spot before grabbing some more clothes and going to my half-bath to look at myself for a moment. The mare in the mirror didn’t look happy to me. In fact, she looked ugly and miserable.
She looked like she wasn’t worth the syrup on her hooves, and that hurt. That hurt a lot, but then there was another knock, followed by one more. They’d come far enough apart that I felt like whoever was knocking was hesitating to do so, but I didn’t want anypony to look at the piece of trash I had to look at, so I didn’t bother to answer it.

“Twilight.” Max said from the doorway of my bathroom.

I jumped so hard I probably could have touched the ceiling with a little more effort. “Bucking buck buck!!! Max!” I gasped for breath, shaking like a leaf in the wind.

He held his hands up and took a step back. “Sorry, sorry, didn’t mean to surprise you.”

I got control of my breathing and swallowed hard. “... I told you to leave. And I locked that door.”

Max looked down, mumbling. “... the door.”
I gave him the same look I give Rarity whenever she tries to talk about math. “What?”

“I said… the door.” His ears were bright red and so were the parts of his face that I could see.

“... You forgot how to open the door?” I asked incredulously.

Max looked at me like I was the dumb one. “I’m tryin’ ta say that I couldn’t make it past the door, not that I couldn’t work the damn thing!”

I blinked. “Ah, that would certainly make more sense... “

He looked away again, working his jaw. “... I couldn’t just leave after… Screwing up like that.”

I laced my fingers together and twiddled my thumbs for a little bit. “... You wanted to make sure I was okay.”

“Don’t tell anyone I’m a softy like that, would you? Ruins the Tough-Guy, Dashing-Rogue thing I’m trying to work with.”

I couldn’t help but snicker a little bit at that. “Mr. Tough Guy gets his butt whooped by a half-pint mare?”

“What’s that smell?” Max asked innocently.

I slammed the door in his face. “Butthead!

“Twilight, I’m worried about your alcoholism! Seriously, how much wine have you had?” He asked through the door.

“I haven’t had any, you ass!!!” I yelled back.

“... Did you spill a bottle?”

“I don’t keep wine in my room!” I huffed.
“Wha- Oh. Oh! Oh my~” Max said, making an odd noise through the door.

I wondered what he’d come up with as to why he was smelling wine in my room of all places, but when I poked my head out, he wouldn’t look me in the eyes. “What?”

“Nothing. I’ll be downstairs if you want to talk in a little bit, or we can talk now. It’s up to you.”

“It’s not nothing. I heard you ‘Oh my~’ like you figured something out!” I objected.

He smiled and walked away, still not quite looking at me. “Gotta say, I love the smell of fine wine any time of day.”

“Are you okay?”

He opened his mouth before closing it. “I am of the goods. I am be fine.”

“... Are you sure you’re okay?” I asked worriedly.

“Unless you’re coming with me, then I’m sure I’m okay.”

My traitorous face flushed and my mind wandered, wondering if he meant to include the double entendre, but there was nothing on his face that was giving it away. I took a moment to answer, but I finally said, “... I-I’ll be down soon.”

Max nodded and offered me a gentle smile. “I really am sorry, Twilight. I didn’t mean to break my promise from before, I just didn’t think it was that big of a deal. Kinda thought it’d be like licking your face or something.”

That’s weird too!” I groaned.

“But it’s less weird.” Max pointed out.

I gave him a look that I couldn’t put my heart behind. “You’re weird.”

Max put his hand on the door knob and stepped into the hallway before saying, “And you smell like wine.” He then closed the door before I could register what he’d said.

I had to check if the syrup really did smell like wine, but it didn’t. At least not to me. To me it smelled like plain old syrup, but the longer I waited around trying to smell wine, the stickier I was actually getting since the syrup was drying, and it was getting really uncomfortable beneath my skirt. Instead of awkwardly walking through the hall, I figured that I’d just toss my undies in the hamper and go from there, and so I did. Nothing looked up my skirt, my shower made me feel better, and I wasn’t dying of discomfiture anymore, so the day was looking a little bit brighter, but I still had to go deal with my Park Attendant of a crush so I could get into the next coaster, and as little as I wanted to go talk to somepony who made me feel on edge all the time, I just… I wanted to be around Max more than I wanted to stay away from him, so I ate my misgivings and plodded downstairs with apprehension in my heart and worry on my mind.

I saw Max in the library again, but this time he was just sitting and waiting for me. When we locked eyes, he patted the spot next to him on the couch and said, “Hullo, hullo.”
I sighed inwardly and gave him a little smile in turn, crossing the room. “Hi.”

I sat next to him and Max offered me his hand, but I just looked at him. “Right. Twilight, I-”

“Max, you make me feel a lot of things.” I sighed.

“... Getting tired of feeling a lot of things?” He asked.

I laid my head on his shoulder. “Can I ask you something?”

“Go ahead.”

“Do you find me attractive?”

“Yeah, of cour-”

“No, Max. I don’t mean am I comforting, or if I make you feel better about being on a different planet. Do you think I am attractive?”

“Again, no shit.” He said flatly. “If I didn’t find you cute and cuddleable more often than not, then this whole ‘I know you, you know me, but we’re strangers’ thing would have sent my ass to the other side of the planet just so I wouldn’t have to put up with this shit.” He grumbled angrily, scoffing at the end. He took a few calming breaths and murmured, “Something just tells me that a chance with you is worth it… I mean, the best things in life are the things you have to work for, right?”

I took a deep breath. “Do you love me?”

“... It’s too early to tell.” He answered honestly, sounding a little rueful about having to say it.

I lifted my head from his shoulder for a moment so I could hug his arm and go back to the same position, only a little more comfortable this time. “That’s how I feel too… I just… I want you to like me, Max. I don’t want you to think I’m just some sloozy mare that throws herself at whatever stallion happens to smile at her-”

“I’d actually have to be retarded to think that.” Max scoffed. “For the love of God, woman, do you not think that I pay attention?” Max pulled away from me and gave me an exasperated look. “Maybe you just don’t know many observant people, but I’ve got a good read on you, Twilight. It doesn’t take long for me to suss someone out and correct me if I’m wrong, but if you say yes to the following sentence, I’ll be your first boyfriend, yeah?”

“Um… Y-You m-m-m-mean c-c-c-c-coltf-f-f-f-f-friend?” Blindsided wasn’t the word for it.

Max rolled his eyes. “Twilight, what I’m asking will you go out with me? Or rather, will you let me court you?”

“... Dear Celestia, my first coltfriend is a stud. He’s a stud muffin.” I said giddily.

“So I was righ-yikes!” Max yelped as I let go of his arm to squeeze all of him.

“Oh, I knew I didn’t have to wear fancy stuff or dress like a whorse to get a good stallion!” I cried, pure elation pumping through me like a well-fed aquifer.

Max chuckled weakly. “Can’t breathe.”

“Just a little longer!” I said shortly before letting him go, giving him the biggest smile I could.

Max smiled back and kissed my temple, avoiding my horn entirely. “You know, you’re probably the nicest gal I’ve asked out. Or dated. Or thought about sleeping with in general.” He said, adding the last part in like he was embarrassed about it.

“Was that a compliment?” I had to ask since I wasn’t sure.

“I said you were nice, and I mentioned that I fantasize about you, so I’d take it as a compliment, yeah.”

“Y-You fantasize about me?” I asked, more touched and honored than embarrassed for once.

“You’re cute! What, am I supposed to fantasize about Celestia and her shin-splitting arse?” He asked, his face a little rosy.

I thought about it for all of three seconds. “That wasn’t a serious question, right?”

“No, it was rhetorical, but my point stands. I’d rather dream of you.” He huffed.

“... Seriously?” I asked doubtfully.

“Seriously.” He said, giving me a look. “She’s got the-”

I must have made some kind of face he didn’t like because he jabbed me in the side with his thumb. “Eeyah! Why would you do that!?”

“What was that fucked up look you were giving me?” He asked.

My poor side ached a little and I still felt a little jumpy from the poke. It wasn’t fair, so I glared at him, the old bad habit starting up again. “You can’t honestly say that you’d rather have me over Celestia.”

“You make me want to kiss you, you know that? Just so you stop saying halfwit shit at the moment, but in general it’s a feeling that persists.”

“Did you just call me a halfwit?”

“No, I said you were saying halfwit shit. Not that you were one.”

I rolled my eyes and gave him a bored look. “Can we not start our relationship on lies? I know that a lot of stallions like to affirm their love through comparing their mare to Celestia, but it’s all hooey. I don’t need to have .”

Max looked at me like I had a mental handicap and had started speaking gibberish. “Why would I wanna fuck someone who broke my leg?”

I pursed my lips. “... You bring up a very valid point, but Celestia is still prettier-Mmm! Mmm~” I didn’t get to say much more than that because Max was kissing me again, and it was every bit as good as the first time, if not a little bit better because he was officially Twilight Sparkle’s Coltfriend!

Max pulled away too soon for me to be any kind of happy about it, but the look he gave me told me he wasn’t exactly happy. “Comparing yourself to other people is a great way to ruin your self-image. Don’t do that.”

Be still, my heart! “O-Okay…”

“Are you gonna do it anyways?” He asked flatly.

“N-Not on purpose!” I said a little louder than necessary, not wanting to lose Max’s favor so soon after becoming his fillyfriend.

He placed his hands on my shoulders and looked me in the eye. “You don’t think you’re pretty, do you?”

I blinked a few times and Max joined me. “... So we’ve had this problem before.”

“Seems like it.”

“... I can’t really help it, Max…”

“Then I’ll just have to tell you the truth every day until you decide to stop being blind.” He replied flippantly, shrugging.

I was a little upset by that, but then again, Max was literally saying that I was unmistakably wrong about what I saw in the mirror and… That made me a lot happier than being called blind made me mad. “Th-Thank you… H-Handsome.”My words came out every bit as awkward and fumbly as the mare saying them.

Max gave me a warm smile and kissed my temple again. “Come on. We still have to go find you a new kitchen table, don’t we?”

I returned his smile with one of my own. “Yeah. I’d like that.”

With that, we took our leave from Golden Oaks and started a lovely little stroll through the best of places for a casual walk: Ponyville. What a perfect day it was to go around town with my new coltfriend! I glanced at the puffy white clouds overhead and at the small crowds of ponies making their way to and from Town ‘Square’. Of course I snuck a peek at Max every once in awhile just to remind myself that he was there and he’d asked me out! Squee~! I was so happy and I remember being super-duper-extra-califragilisticexpialidocious when Max nudged me with his shoulder and offered his hand. It felt right, like Max’s slender, dextrous fingers were perfectly capable of playing my heartstrings, and that made my heart beat just a little harder. I held on for all that I was worth while trying not to squeeze Max to death, which got a middle-aged mare to stop us and ask us how long we’d been together. I was happy to announce that we’d just made it official and the nice mare gave us some cookies to celebrate.

As we were saying our goodbyes, Max snuck a cookie from our bundle and bit into it with his usual ‘Yeah, I did it. What are you gonna do about it?’, smuggy-smug grin before that glossy look came back to his eyes. The mare (I didn’t know her name yet) said, “Young stallion! Will you at least wait until we’ve finished to snack?” She chastised playfully.

“Sorry Mum- Ma’am.” He replied, grimacing when he’d said the wrong thing.

“Max? Did you remember something?” I asked hopefully.

“Oh? Is he an amnesiac?” The blue mare asked.

“You could say that.” Max replied uneasily. “Blue? Stick to chocolate chip. Please.”

She blinked. “Blue?”

“Short for Blueberry Tart, yeah?” He inquired, expecting her to say yes.

She took a half step back. “... What did you say your name was again?”

“Maximus. Kaid Gadai.” He replied.

‘Blueberry Tart’ inhaled sharply. “Did you know Cream Pie!?”

My coltfriend shook his head. “No. He was your son, wasn’t he?”

“He- He told me to wait for you… They were some of his last words.” She replied thickly, her voice wrought with pain.

Max took another bite of the cookie. “Would you like to have tea with Twilight and I sometime? Or coffee? Cocoa is also an option as long as it’s frozen chocolate.”

“... If you wouldn’t mind.” Blueberry said a little numbly. The look on her face said that she didn’t really know if she wanted to agree or to run from Max, and I couldn’t really blame her.

Still, after we set a date Max nodded. “Thank you for the biscuits. They’re terribly delicious.”

I looked at the cookies in my hands. “Max? Are you okay?”

“Ah, the Brids call them biscuits, Dear.” Blue explained.

“Oh. I just thought he was being weird again.” I stated blankly.

“I am weird. I’m from another country, planet, and possibly dimension. You could almost call me foreign.” Max teased.
The middle aged mare with a gray in her mane that I really wanted to point out giggled at me.“He’s got you there, Twilight.”

“And you’re going gray.” I mumbled, blushing.

Max pinched my arm-fat and I smacked his hand for it. “Now Twilight, it’s rude to mumble about old people under your breath in the presence of old people.”

We both looked at Blueberry and she wasn’t smiling. “I don’t know what a ‘people’ is, but I don’t believe I’m one of them, am I now?”

Max coughed. “Nonsense. I’m just mentally older than Twilight sometimes is all.”

“Then you both looked at me with those silly grins because…?”

My coltfriend tapped my shoulder twice and grabbed my hand and started ‘singing’. “Tele-por-tation, mo-les-tation, my brain’s on vacation, Twilight hurry up before she starts her vindi-cation. Rapping for no paycheck, drinkin’ hard n’ stay wrecked-”

I finally understood what he was saying and just teleported us to the furniture store. “You… You’re brilliant, Max!” I gave him a hug.

“Dis-tractions!” He chuckled, hugging me back. “Ah, that was some good shit right there, but I gotta ask what took you so long.”

“You try understanding why somepony started singing out of nowhere!” I said, flushing a little.

“I literally told you to hurry up.” Max answered flatly.

“That’s what made me realize you were telling me to avoid Blueberry tearing into our butts like we were a Hearth’s Warming Day marinated-cabbage. It’s the only food Ponies eat that really has salt in it, by the way, so a lot of Ponies look forward to Hearth’s Warming Day more than they should.” I answered, hoping my own distraction would work.

The look Max gave me told me that it wasn’t working because I was any kind of sly. “Right. So what kind of table are you looking- Paper?”

I snatched the note out of the air after the teleportation spell wink it into existence again so I could crack the seal and read it:

Dear Twilight,

My faithful student; are you okay? Is Max okay? Last night’s events were worrisome to say the least, but my Scrying Spells have told me that you are faring well enough. It would seem that something has sparked between yourself and Max, but all I feel I should do at the moment is to be careful with how much of your heart to give him. You may feel that Maximus is as trustworthy as they come, but we have yet to see his true nature. Clarity will come in time, but as for now, please respond as soon as is convenient and allay the fears in your poor Mentor’s heart.

With Sincerest Concern,

Her Royal Majesty, Princess Celestia of Equestria

“Ah… I need some paper.” I said uneasily. “Max, can you fill me in on the details of last night? … And can you write the note?” I asked sheepishly.

He gave me a look. “Lazy-ass.”

“I’m not that bad!”

“I’ve seen your room.”

“You have not!”

“Even if I didn’t, which I have, Spike has.” Max said grinningly.

“I despise you so much right now.” I pouted, the bad habit showing up again.

Max gave me a warm smile and spread his arms. “Bad handwriting?”

I looked down and shuffled my hooves. “... It just hasn’t gotten any better, no matter how hard I try.”

My lovely, caring coltfriend came to me instead. “Again, I’ll have to dial it back on the teasing. I wasn’t trying to upset you.”

“It’s okay.” I said, far less upset than I was before his arms were around me. “... Am I ever allowed to be mad for more than five minutes?”

“M-Ma-May-No. No you’re not.” Max answered.

I couldn’t help but pout at that, but it wasn’t like I was mad at the moment. “I’m allowed to be upset if I want to be!”

“Yeah, but if I can make you feel better, why would you want to feel bad?” He asked like it should’ve been obvious.

“Because it’s cathartic sometimes!” I huffed.
He tickled my sides and I giggled, hopping away from him and giving him the sternest smile I’d ever given a pony. “Just relax and give into Max, Cherry.”

The smile he was giving me was making my heart do that funny thing where it beats really hard erratically, and for a moment I thought I had an arrhythmia or was about to go into cardiac arrest. It was the sexiest, sauciest, most salacious look I think a mare’s ever gotten in public.

I gulped.

Max took a step toward me, close enough for me to smell his cologne, which is to say very close. He snaked his svelte digits through my mane effortlessly and kissed my temple, down to the corner of my eye, then to my cheekbones, two more kisses that fell on my actual cheek, another one placed just on the corner of my mouth and the final, best kiss was placed on my lips, even if it was brief. Then he licked my nose and chuckled.

“Now take off your knickers and hand ‘em to me.” He whispered, winking at me before giggling his head off.

I looked around, saw that no one was watching and barely even thought about it. I didn’t realize that I’d just taken my darn undies offin PUBLIC!!! Thankfully Max pushed my hand down before anypony saw them, but when I saw his cherry-tomato red, blank-like-a-clear-sky expression on his face, I fully cognized and processed the information of the past thirty seconds.

“Did-I-just-” I squealed.

“Shh, we’ll go to the restroom. Stuff them into the waist of your skirt.” Max said quietly, looking around.

The world beneath us was quaking, splitting in have to open a bottomless chasm of embarrassment that would swallow me if I let go of my life-line. Whorses did what I did did. Sloozy Draft-Whorses just up and take off their undies and public, not Twilight Sparkle! “I-I-I-”

“It’s okay, Cherry Berry.” He interrupted soothingly, twisting his arm a little so he could hold me. “No one’s in here so early and the clerk is talking to the manager. Neither of them can see behind this couch. You can put them back on here if you’re too nervous and I Pinkie Promise I won’t watch.”

I nodded against his arms, but I was shaking too hard to move, but then Max took my undies from me and started kneeling. “Oh-my-gosh-don’t-look-don’t-look-” I nearly sobbed, my voice strained, making me think that it was too soft to hear.

He made me let go of his arm and I gripped his shoulder. “I promise I’m not looking, Cherry. I don’t know what they look like, I only know what your face looks like, and it’s a nice face. I like your face. I’m thinking of your face right now, and that beautiful smile of yours.” He Held my undies out for me to step into and I could see that his eyes were tightly shut and that his head was turned. “Let’s hope I get to see you smile again today, yeah?”

There was little else to do other than nod and sniffle some more, so I stepped into my undies without a word. I looked over at the employees and they still weren’t looking at us, so I got Max to let go and pulled them up, whispering, “I-It’s o-okay n-n-now…”

Max rose and gave me a hug. “Why did you do it if you didn’t want to, Twilight? I wouldn’t ask you to do something you’re not okay with doing.” He said compassionately.

“I dunno.” I said into his chest.

“I don’t think any less of you for it, Twilight. You tackled a stressful situation and you overcame it without anyone seeing your butt, but that also means that I didn’t see your butt, and that makes me sad. You have a nice butt.”

I hit him lightly. “You’re terrible.”

“You’re the goofiest cuteball I’ve ever met.” He chuckled, rubbing my back.

Something… Something naughty in me made me ask in the tiniest, quietest of voices, “... Did you really want them?”

Max cleared his throat. “W-Well, yeah, but I was expecting you to blush, give me a look, or blush, hit me, then give me a look; in that order.”

I peeked at the clerk and the manager one more time. “... What are they worth to you?”

“Three favours, a massage, two errands and infinite kisses. Pick three.” He rattled off quietly like it was a salt deal and he had different types on him.

What? Everypony in Canterlot has done salt at least once. Hay, even Celestia did a full cube of Manganese Salt, and that’s some of the strongest stuff out there!

“... C-Can I have infinite kisses?” I asked, the deal being the best out of all of the choices.

“Wish granted. Two more.”

“... Errands?”

“Damn, but okay. Last one?”

“... The m-m-m-massage, p-p-please…” I asked bashfully.

“We’ll split it up into three since I doubt you want a full body massage.”

“Eep!” I covered my mouth.

Max chuckled. “Just let me know.” He kissed my temple.

I nodded, and with shaky hands, I started to take my undies off again, but I was afraid of being seen. Absolutely mortified in fact, but Max stopped me before I could do anything by standing behind me and grabbing my hands. “Would you like to renegotiate?”
“A-A little…” I murmured.

Max’s hands crossed over in front of me, rubbing my tummy for only a handful of seconds, but that was all it took for me to fall into his arms. “Ah~”

“W-Woah! Tw-Twilight! Ponies are more dense than Humans!” He said.

“I’ll give ‘em to you here and now for a tummy rub.” I answered, whipping around and licking my lips.

“Deal.” Max said, glancing over to our potential audience.

Mimicking him let me see that they were still talking, so I hurried up and gave my undies to Max without shaking this time and he put them in his pocket with a grin to beat all others. “My day is so made right now.” He said quietly. “Can I cash in one of your infinite kisses?”

I blinked and tilted my head. “They’re mine, though.”

“Guess I’ll just have to steal one.” He said, giving me the smoldering look from earlier that had made my mouth go dry.

Before I could deny him (Not that I would have. Kissing Max is great.), Max snuck a kiss and slipped me a little tongue during the extended affair, until we heard somepony clear their throat and tap their hoof. Embarrassed yet again, I hopped away from Max and covered my mouth. Max, on the other hand looked irritated. “Wotcher, Mate. We’re looking for a table.”

“Are you sure about that?” The salesmare asked suspiciously.

“Well, we were here for a table, but then I realized that I hadn’t kissed her,” He pointed at me, “like she was the most special, sweetest, goofiest little female of any sapient, sentient species I’d ever seen, so I gave her a proper snogging. Do you have a problem with that?” He asked, folding his arms.

“Are you here to buy something, Sir?” She asked.

“He just said that we were, but if you want to be a ninny, we can just go to Canterlot and get something with a Royal Discount.” I snapped, not liking how that utter sow was talking to my stallion.

She looked at me and inclined her head. “I’m terribly sorry, Ma’am-”
“Be ‘terribly sorry’ in Tartarus you nag.And I dare you to say something else. I dare you.You’ll be naked before you know it. After a few seconds of silence, I said, “Max, we’re taking our business elsewhere.”

“Sweet. Can I kiss you again after we get a table?” He asked, already leading us out by taking my hand and walking off from the stunned mare.

A little smile came to my lips, pushing the hostility to the back of my mind. “Why wait?”

“Where’s all this confidence come from? I gotta say that I am loving it.” Max answered with a thousand watt smile.

I bopped his nose casually with a finger. “Bop! I guess I just feel better after standing up for you. I really didn’t like that ninny speaking to you like that.”

“First; Boop. Second, I love you the mostest You’re the best, Twilight. Thank you for calling that racist out.”

I thought about that for a moment. “... Yeah, she didn’t give me any sass, I suppose.”

“Maybe we’ll just have to find another place to apply infinite kisses?” He teased.

I felt my cheeks heat up, but I wanted to smile along with him as well as get another kiss. “Well, we don’t need a table right now…”

“We should get one before it becomes a problem.” Max said, being the responsible one.

I sighed. “I really need to start making better choices.”

“Or I could dial back the teasing when we have stuff to-” I teleported us into my room ,then teleported him out of my room.

I realized that I wasn’t wearing undies and it was a little windy outside. It hit me all at once, so when Max knocked, I said, “Just a minute!”

“Alright! Just worried about ya.” He called back.

I heard Spike on the other side of the door and Max probably explained the situation to him, which made me hurry to find my sexiest pair of panties (A sheer purple pair that was lined in lace. I swore I’d only ever wear them for a real chance, and it was looking like a really real chance.) and open the door. Spike was scratching his scales and looked at me funny when I came out with a bright red face.

“Max said you thought your outfit wasn’t good enough for a date, so why didn’t you change?” My thick-headed younger brother asked.

“Like I said, she probably got halfway through getting dressed again before she realized that if I didn’t want her in the clothes she picked for herself, I probably wouldn’t want her for who she is. You don’t give your sister enough credit sometimes, Mate.” Max covered smoothly, a lie flowing through his lips like water over a riverbed.

Spike shrugged. “Adults are weird. Fillies are weirder.”

“Dragons are weird. You eat gems.” I said irritably.

“They’re tasty!”

“That’s weird.” Max agreed.

“You both suck. Silly non-scaled races.” He chuckled evilly. “Mwahaha! You’ll never know the pleasures of stepping on all the stuff you want without getting hurt!” Max kicked his leg. “Ow!”

“Sorry, what were you saying? All I could hear was sss sssss ssssss.” Max said, hissing like a snake.

I giggled and Spike huffed. “You guys suck.”

“It’s all in good fun, little man.” Max said cheerfully.

“Kicking people isn’t fun!” Spike said, trying to kick Max back and failing miserably due to his unfortunately short legs and Max’s agility.

“It is when you’re tall!” Max laughed, tapping Spike with his foot a few times while hopping on the other.

I teleported Max to the other side of the hall and held Spike from going after him. “Alright fellas, enough is enough. Let’s stop before someone goes too far or gets upset.”

Max sighed. “Ah, I love being an ass.”

“Accurate.” Spike grunted.

“Max, stop being a Butthead and try to clean up your language a little while we’re on the topic. Spike, stop being sensitive like me and act like a stallion. Mares get to be soft because we are soft, except for Applejack and Rainbow. Knock their heads together and you’ll cause an earthquake, but now I’m rambling and that’s because you two are stressing me out.” I got a cookie from the bundle Blueberry had given us and took a bite. “Mmm~ Stress cookie~”

“Can I have a cookie too?” Spike asked.

“Are you going to drop the thing with Max?”

He nodded, so I levitated one over to him. “Thanks!”

“I don’t want a biscuit, so can I have a kiss instead?”

My cheeks grew a little rosy and I bit my lip. “I don’t know… You stole one earlier.”

Max strolled over to me and Spike got out of his way, probably expecting me to move. When I found myself stuck in place, Max came over and laced his arms around me, locking his hands behind my back. “It’s my specialty, you know. Stealing kisses.”

“Ew, dude.” Spike said.

I gave him a look and he pointed to his room. “Comics, am I right?”

“Sure are.” I said critically.

With that, Spike got to the skedaddling he should’ve done as soon as Max started getting flirty while the stallion I was actually looking forward to hearing words from was busy kissing me again, but this time it was a slow, tender kiss that rarely involved more than our lips grazing. It was nice, I guess, but it wasn’t the passionate, intense loving that Max had given me in the store, though he did start getting more into it as the time progressed. He eventually pulled away, but I’d gotten my fill of him for once and I was glad that I could be satisfied after a kiss until I realized that I could feel something crawling down my leg, and it was not a spider.

I stared at Max as my face flushed brightly, the thing traveling down to just above my knee. “I-I-I need to go to the restroom!”

He got out of my way and I started toward the bathroom before I bucking slipped. Celestia bless him for flipping my skirt back down and helping me up before giving me a kiss to keep me calm. I still ran off to the bathroom once I got to my hooves, again, but I couldn’t help but wonder about what I’d slipped on. It occurred to me that I might have spilled syrup there by accident because I keep a bottle on hand at all times, so I may have let a little hit the floor before I felt it running down my leg. That or I’d just been particularly unlucky and Max had gotten a free view of my keister with my pretty undies on. A part of me was, surprise surprise, embarrassed, but another part was happy for my forethinking in my choice of undergarments and another part of me was worried that Max might have seen a syrup stain or two.
Either way, I cleaned myself up, dusted myself off, and had Max write the note to Celestia explaining the nights events as well as having him catch me up on them for the sake of knowing my own life. After that, it felt like a good time for Max to go back to Rarity’s for the day so I could focus and get something done for once since I’d met him. We parted with a kiss, but as I walked Max to the door, he said, “It’s always nice to spend time with you, Twilight. Here’s hoping the sailing’s a little smoother from here on out.”

I gave him a little smile and steepled my fingers, using my bangs to add a layer between myself and him. “Will you think of me when you’re away?”

Max opened the door and turned to face me, offering me one of his hands. When I took it he said, “I’ll think of you with every fourth or fifth breath when I remember that you’re not walking next to me anymore.” He replied cheesily.

I giggled and gave his hand a little squeeze. “Don’t let Rarity know you have the… Thing, okay?”

He gave me a silly grin. “What if I put them on her face before she wakes up?”

My jaw dropped. “If Rarity didn’t beat you, I would!”

Max laughed and pulled me to him for a kiss. “Ah, I guess I’ll have to skip that one then. Should I come back tomorrow, or should I find something to do that doesn’t involve messing with you?”

“... I’d like it if you came back.” I said softly.

Max kissed my temple. “Then I’ll see you in the morning to check out what your new table looks like.”

I gave him a kiss on his chin since I could reach it without standing on my tippy-hooves. “I’ll be waiting.”

He gave me one last kiss and left, and I watched him until he was about halfway down the street before closing the door with a smile. The roller coaster had definitely been worth it for the feeling of satisfaction and enjoyment that I’d gotten from my time with Max, and I’d even gotten to give him something, even if it was one of my favourite pairs of undies. I just liked that he had something that I’d once had and that he was going to treasure it, even if he hadn’t really meant for me to give the thing to him. Somepony might still be confused as of me penning this down concerning how Max managed to get me to drop my modesty entirely and do something that Pinkie might do for the right pony in the right place. I didn’t plan on mentioning the little event to the girls, but I did need a partner for furniture shopping, and Fluttershy just had the best eye for detail when it came to aesthetic, even going so far as to touch up on some of Rarity’s designs from time to time to add a little flair to them. Rarity always gave her a small amount of credit and paid her a commission for a consultance fee, though Fluttershy really just liked helping a friend out with something they both enjoyed, which is sweet.

After a relatively quick walk (Quick for me, anyway), I got to Fluttershy’s house and a few of her animals scurried around me, probably waiting for some of the treats I usually brought with me. “Sorry everypony, I didn’t bring any today, but I will next time!”

A lot of the little scamps squeaked and scattered, though there was always Lupa the dog who just seemed to like me. She was a little scary since she happened to be as big as a Timber Wolf and as jet black as the night sky, but her pretty blue eyes always let me know that she’d rather lick me to death that nibble on me. I think the only time I’ve actually seen Lupa bite anypony was when Spike and I came over to see if we could whip up a quick cure for Poison Joke, and even then she was just nipping at him because she couldn’t hurt him. Speaking of ponies Lupa wouldn’t hurt, Fluttershy was number one on that list, and when my shiest friend came out of her house to greet me, she pointed out how it was weird that Lupa wasn’t licking me to death like usual. Neither of us knew why, so we shrugged it off, and with that Fluttershy and I were on our way to Canterlot, though I just teleported us there since I knew I could. I’d teleported myself and all of the elements to Canterlot and back not too long ago, so it wasn’t even that taxing.

Anyway, the first place I went to in Canterlot was my parent’s place because I knew my Mom had the day off and that her advice with shopping would be perfect to match with Fluttershy’s, and when we got there, my Mom had just so happened to be finishing whipping up a batch of peanut butter cookies. We all ate a couple that were way too hot, but we got some giggles and had a good time, so it was worth it. However, the good times almost stopped there because Fluttershy kept dropping hints to me that I should let my Mom know that I had a coltfriend, which I’d actually planned on doing. However, having somepony pressure you to do something and having the ability to do it yourself are two different things.

Still, my Mom’s a smart mare. “Fluttershy, why don’t you let Sparkle tell me in her own time? I’m sure her news can wait as long as it needs to.”

“S-Sorry…” Fluttershy apologized meekly.

I gave her a friendly smile. “It’s okay Fluttershy, I’ll probably tell Mom about Max soon.”

“What a lovely name, Max is.” Mom commented airily.

In hindsight, I think she suckered me into saying, “It really is, and he’s a lovely guy too most of the time, though there was this one time where he nearly tickled me until I had an accident!” I huffed. “Max is a real Butthead at times, but he makes up for it by being a super sweet Sweetheart and being very understanding.”

“A crush if I’ve ever heard of one.” My evil mother said happily.

I glanced at Fluttershy and back to my Mom. “Well… I was gonna wait to share the news, but…”

Fluttershy gasped and her hands flew to her bosom. “Really!?”

“Hold on, what now?” Mom asked, looking between us.

“Max asked me out and I said yes!” I squeed excitedly.

Mom and Fluttershy both rushed me for a hug and my Mom just had to embarrass me by saying, “Your first coltfriend! I can’t believe it only took you twenty-three years!”

Fluttershy giggled way too hard at that, so I hit them both, my face coloring. “You’re both just deplorable for that! And here I was sharing a happy moment!”

Mom gave me another hug and giggled some more. “I’m just glad you finally found somepony that caught your attention long enough to get you away from studying, Sparkle! I really want to meet this Max guy before we tell your father, though.”

“Why don’t you come back to Ponyville with us and we’ll have a Mother-Daughter Day-Date or something tomorrow?” I asked, hoping she’d say yes.

“It does sound fun, and it is the weekend, so I suppose we could do something that sneaky.” She gave me a devious grin.

I looked at Fluttershy. “You need to meet Max too! Oh, wait…”

Fluttershy smiled at me. “I’m sure I’ll be okay. I’m better these days, right?”

I smiled back at her. “You’ve made real bounds, I’ll say! You don’t even flinch if a stranger looks at you anymore!”

“Right? I’m sure Max won’t tease me too much if you ask him not to.”

Mom nodded. “And if he doesn’t, Momma still has some scoldin’ left in her!”

Fluttershy looked at my Mom, funny. “Are you from the South, Ms. Velvet?”

Mom nodded. “Sure am, though the accent rarely comes out these days. Sparkle’s only heard a few times, if I’m not mistaken.”

“Yeah, it’s easy to forget that Dad’s the Canterlot native sometimes.” I said, rubbing one of my ears.

“That so interesting!” Fluttershy said before asking more about our family as we started walking again.

The walk to the shopping district wasn’t particularly long or arduous, but it did take a little time since it was near the center of town, away from the Residential District. We stopped and got ice cream because it was summer and thus it was a little hot, but I was wearing a skirt, Mom a dress, and Fluttershy a sundress, so it’s not like we were that hot. It was just warm enough outside to be a little unpleasant, so ice cream! I myself had to get Peanut Butter Turtledove, Mom got her old standby, which was Brownie Batter, and Fluttershy got some Birthday Cake ice cream that I tried a little of. It was alright, but my choice was far superior to my palette, and Fluttershy’s, judging by the fact that we basically ate half of each other’s ice cream. As we strolled through the streets of Canterlot, we talked about the random, unimportant things that we thought were interesting enough to be shared among friends, though when my Mom started talking about her days as a Field Scientist slash Explorer, Fluttershy had a thousand questions that had been asked by me, myself, and Twi a few times over the years, so I just soaked in the loveliness of the day, appreciating the fact that the mare who was probably my Best Friend and my Mom were both with me while I got to blow some bits on a table.

While we were walking, Celestia sent back another note that read as such:

Dear Twilight,

I’m glad to hear that you’ve found a partner in Max, though I once again ask that you heed my warning. There is darkness in that stallion that you have never witnessed before, a past that I would not want to dig into further than necessary. I do not know for sure, but Max is a stallion who has seen tragedies; this much is obvious to me. We cannot tell what horrors his heart might be annulled to or what hidden depths he may possess, so for the final time (I promise) I beg of you; Be wary of Maximus if he start showing odd traits. The Elements of Harmony would be invaluable in helping you learn of his character, so please consider formally introducing Max to your friends.

On a more personal note, I’m worried about this Diliculum mare, Twilight. What connection she has to you is extremely relevant to the situation, and I do believe it was her power that you were channeling when you banished me to Canterlot and erased your Anima Signature from my memory. When you can, I wish to run some diagnostic tests on you to see what all we are currently missing in our ongoing endeavor. For the time being, keep reading Max’s journals and see if you find more parallels. As of now, we’ll wait for the nightmares to come and see if Max truly does have them.

With Love and Concern,

Her Royal Majesty Princess Celestia of Equestria

I had Mom write the next note, and after we got it teleported back to Celestia, we hurried up with the table shopping so we could get over to Canterlot Castle and let the Princess run the tests she had in mind. My table ended up being a nice enough maple number that matched the rest of my kitchen pretty well, and after I teleported that home, we went to the castle. Upon realizing that I’d never cleaned up all the dust that was in the kitchen, I immediately bemoaned having to go home and clean it up since it just seemed really tedious. When I actually outwardly sighed about it, we were already waiting on Celestia in one of the many designated Pastime Parlours that she liked to use from time to time, but other than that, those rooms rarely ever got used by anyone other than employees who were doing things they weren’t supposed to be doing. I’d caught a couple ponies making out or doing salt while on break during my search for places to practice harmless spells, so I was a little more aware of how lucky we were to find a clear room than my companions.

When six o’clock came and went, Celestia arrived with a strained smile and greeted everypony formally. “Hello all, and welcome back to Canterlot Castle, Twilight Velvet, Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy. I wish we were meeting under better circumstances, but nevertheless.”

“The circumstances aren’t good?” Mom asked, looking at me.

Weeell…” I said awkwardly. “... Max… Maximus kinda-sorta isn’t a… Well, he’s not really a ‘Pony’ per se…” My chuckles came out awkward as I was in my teenage year. Dear Diary, if you think I’m bad now...

“Sparkle, there’s no worries about what your coltfriend is! Unless he’s a Changeling.” She added.

“I have confirmed for myself that Max is no Changeling, but he’s not from Equus either.” Celestia said, cutting straight to the point.

“... What do you mean he’s not from Equus?” Mom asked slowly, trying to clarify.

“W-Well, th-the funny thing about that is, like, you know…” Sweating arrows wasn’t the phrase for it.

“Maximus is an extra-equustrial.” My teacher said for me.

Mom’s brows furrowed before her jaw dropped and she blinked rapidly. “... Are you saying that my daughter has a crush on the first alien observed on Equus?”

“It’s a far more complicated bond than just a simple crush.” Celestia said heavily. “I can’t say that I know the full story, but it would appear that Twilight and Max have lived together at some point and have memories of an alternate timeline.”

Mom looked at me and I winced. “... Yeah… Max is kind of the stallion from the wedding dream…”

“... Oh. Oh. I suppose I’d rather like to meet him as soon as possible then.”

“Worry not, Velvet. These tests should show what bonds there are between Sparkle and Max as well as reveal anymore hidden memories.” The Princess said comfortingly. “While Max does seem like a wildcard to me, I can see that he is not too easily provoked as to be immediately dangerous. However, I would feel better if Sparkle were to have a Shield Charm, if you do agree.”

My mother nodded. “I’d like that if Max isn’t even an established race. There’s no telling what harm he could do!”

Defending my new coltfriend came as easily as breathing. “Mom, Princess, Max isn’t that dangerous! You actually have to attack him to make him retaliate, and the meanest he’s ever been was when I almost ruined Spike’s day, but even then it’s not like he called me anything other than a bully!”

“... Max called you a bully?” Mom asked confusedly.

“Please explain the context, Twilight.” The Princess requested, concern evident on her face.

A blush rose to my cheeks and pressed my index fingers together. “... Well… It started this morning when I came downstairs and saw that my table was a pile of dust, but I didn’t know how it happened. I asked Spike if he could explain himself since I figured that he’d accidentally caught it on fire again and hadn’t been able to put it out, but it turned out that I disintegrated the table…”

“Right… So you grounded Spike?” Mom asked.

I pursed my lips. “I was considering it until Max somehow got into Golden Oaks without making a noise and said that I was the one who turned the table into dust…”

“I see. So Spike obviously rubbed it in like a little brother would and you shut him down like a big sister would. I don’t see why Max called you a bully.” My ever loyal Mom said.

“I concur. Luna and I have had many spats that would be considered bullying each other, but it never felt that way to us.” Celestia said, backing up my mother’s words.

Fluttershy was looking at the floor, grinding her hoof slowly, probably remembering her Butthole of a brother Zephyr Breeze. “... Sometimes i-it’s not so simple…”

With a nod and a sigh, I said “Before Max came over, Spike asked to go over to Rarity’s since I’d mentioned that Max was staying the night with her-”

“Wait, why is your coltfriend staying with another mare, even if she’s one of your friends?” Mom inquired, her accent slipping in at the incongruity of the situation.

“I started a couple days ago, so Rarity and I thought it would be better to keep Max out of the house at night, just in case I forget to make the right decisions.” The logic behind my choice was sound to every mare present.

My mother nodded a few times. “Good. I don’t want you giving your first time away during estrus, do you hear me?”

“Yes Mom, I’ve never heard that one before.” If boredom had a tone, I would’ve nailed it perfectly.

Fluttershy giggled. “Don’t worry, Twilight. We’re in the same boat as far as that advice and the reality goes.”

Mom gasped like a true-blue jerk. “Twilight! You swore you would tell me when it happened!”

My face lit up like a Hearth’s Warming Day Tree. “Mom! I will when it does!

She blinked at me and looked at Fluttershy before looking back at me like she hadn’t just insinuated that Fluttershy was a sloozy. “Oh.”

Fluttershy wasn’t bright enough to understand the implications of what my Mom had said, but Celestia and I were. “I believe you owe Fluttershy an apology, Velvet.” The Princess said mindfully.

Mom blushed and chuckled awkwardly. “Fluttershy, I truly do apologize. It’s just that you’re such a beautiful mare that I thought you would have a stallion or two just a letter away.”

My poor, poor fluttery friend finally realized that my Mom had called her a whorse and was trying not to let it get to her. “I-It’s okay…”

I chose to move on before Fluttershy could cry because I knew it could happen at any moment if we didn’t keep things moving. “Why don’t we get started on those tests, Princess?”

She nodded. “Let’s. The sooner we finish them, the sooner I can go get a slice of cherry chiffon that’s been calling my name since lunch” Celestia groaned.

We all giggled at that and thus Celestia and I started drawing the appropriate Rune Circles on the floor to get through the various stages of testing that we were doing. I’m honestly torn between writing every little test down because I want to catalogue exactly what happened, but the results are far more interesting than a bunch of Rune Circles with complicated names and narrow, niche uses that could only be broadened to such a degree. The main tests were the Destined To Determine Test, the Lover’s Lace Lock Test, and the Forgot-Me-Not Circle. The Destined to Determine Test along with a dozen others that gave us similar information and lead us to a solid conclusion basically told us nothing. The Rune Circle is foal-proof. It literally spits out information about you that you should know and doesn’t. Fail. I mean, Starswirl-the-Freaking-Bearded made it!!! It should have told us something, but just like the Forgot-Me-Not Rune Circle, we got a whole lot of squat.

… We did learn something though. Celestia wanted to see why Max and I had formed a relationship so quickly after meeting, even under the odd circumstances, and the Lover’s Lace Lock Test confirmed something very unnerving: I was already in love with Max, and he at least reciprocated it a little. There was no fudging the Lover’s Lace Lock Circle because it was one of the easiest Rune Circles to do! I learned how to do it back in like, Elementary Magic School because every filly, Unicorn, Pegasus, or Earth-Pony, tried to shove colts into their circles to see if they were soulmates. I never actually shoved any colts into my Rune Circle, but I knew how to draw one and mine was always perfect since Sola-Phestus is rudimentary for a Rune Cypher, but I should probably get back on topic before I fill this whole book with observations about Magic and runes in particular.

In other words, we had no explanations as to why I couldn’t remember anything, we had no idea what would happen in the near future, and Max and I were bound by fate to be together one way or another. Between us was True Love, which was fantastic news to me…

My Mom? She was a little less happy. “Are you seriously telling me that I’m not going to get grandchildren?”

I stomped my hoof inside of the Lover’s Lace Lock. “Mom! You still have a son!”

“We both know that stallion’s as queer as a red ace of spades!” She scoffed.

“Wow.” Celestia said, unsure of how to properly respond to that. At least, I assumed that’s why she and I said the same thing at the same time. If we were feeling the same thing, it would make sense, and the awkward silence that followed was definitely loaded.

My non-judgemental mother sighed. “Look, I love the colt, he’s just gay on the inside. If you watched him grow up, you would’ve seen little signs.”

“... Wow.” Was repeated, but not because I couldn’t believe it this time. “That’s not right. You’re not wrong, but that’s not right.” I said, my head hurting enough to make the lights hurt my eyes. A migraine was coming on fast, but when I stopped fighting it, the pain only grew. “Ah! I think it’s a repressed memory!”

Celestia hurried to my side and laid her hands on my head, locking eyes with my Mom and most likely telepathically telling her to come and assist. Seeing as how my mother sprinted over and did the same thing Celestia did on the opposite side, I would say telepathy. They then began chanting: “Fading, fading, hide from light; let not this mind suffer from spite. Wax and wane and ease the pain, possess control of your thoughts again.” Their tones were low to keep the rhythm steady.

The ache flared up one last time before it started to go away. “Ah, there we go.” A sigh of relief escaped my lips.

“Okay, so maybe Shining isn’t gay per se.” Mom said uneasily. “That still doesn’t explain the rounded rod in his room.”

“Mom, stop talking please.” I groaned.

“Please?” Fluttershy requested.

The older, more butt-headed mares shared smiles, but Mom still acquiesced. “Fine, Dear, but you should talk to your brother about-”

Please no. “How he’s doing and how life is going? Yeah, I should!”

The Princess giggled because she might actually be evil. “Well, that was a pleasant distraction, but we’re still nearly bereft of answers.”

“Which means what exactly?” Mom asked. “We can’t just assume that Max is a good pony.”

“I believe True Love will keep Sparkle safe from Max, and if it has anything to say about his actions, then she could use said connection to make him safer to be around by disapproving of violent or hateful actions.” Celestia replied. “For the time being, there’s little we can do and there seems to be few to no ill omens, so I suppose we’ll see if Max is the stallion for Sparkle after all.”

“I-I think we should give M-Max some trust j-just like anypony else…” Fluttershy said softly, garnering attention from Celestia, Mom, and myself.

“... We’ve been treating Max differently because he’s different, but we already learned that lesson with Zecora…” I said softly.

“I saw Max put his mouth on your horn.” Celestia replied idly.

I turned slowly and stared at her, my face flushing faster than Max could say ‘Fuck’, but Mom just had to ask, “What would that do besides be a terribly atrocious social faux pas? Max wouldn’t know anything about the intimacy of a Unicorn’s horn or a Pegasus’ wings.”

“Sparkle?” The Princess said way too nicely for my tastes. She was being awfully cruel. “Would you care to explain?”

“N-No…” I whimpered.

I’m sure she would have rolled her eyes if it wouldn’t have been meaner than she was already being. “When Max put his mouth on Sparkle’s horn, it caused a reaction in Sparkle that she would rather not discuss in front of her mother and her teacher.”

“Oh.” Somepony with my mother’s voice said.. “I’ll have to keep that one in mind.”

Mom!” I cried, my world ending in a sea of embarrassment.

“Sorry, Dear, thinking out loud. Do I have to go pummel Max for molesting my baby?” Mom asked, toughening up her tone.

No! he didn’t even know that he wasn’t supposed to touch my horn, let alone suck on it!”

“That’s a pretty fair point. I assume he apologized?”

And then there was nodding. “I even told him to get out of my house, but he stayed for nearly an hour just to see if I was okay. I’m also pretty sure he knows how to pick locks.” My chin desired some attention, so I stroked it and thought, furrowing my brow, eyes unfocused.

“Wait, he accidentally molested you, of all ponies, and you didn’t beat him!?” Mom asked incredulously. “I mean after he somehow picked whatever lock fits into this equation. I’m assuming it was the one to your room.”

“Yes, but again, I didn’t hear him come in. Max doesn’t… Huh. I never noticed that the only time he ever really gets above a volume just adequate enough to hear everything he says is when he’s messing with somepony or when he’s upset. He’s an awfully quiet pony.”

My Mom seemed a little suspicious. “Which makes me wonder what his past has to do with that. I know ponies who lead quiet lives, blending into the background for the most part-”

“To the contrary, Velvet; Max is a a little on the ostentatious side for his volume level. He won’t hesitate to poke fun at you. Or sexually harass you if you annoy him.” My teacher added flatly.

“... Are you telling me that my daughter’s coltfriend had the treasonous moxie to sexually harass you?” Mom asked blankly.

“He made a cryptic comment about my breasts that took me a few moments to decipher.” Celestia actually smiled. “He’s quite the charmer, if I do say so myself. Witty too, if his riddle was anything to go by.”

“If he likes you, Max is a very positive influence and will do anything to make a pony smile. He was pretty adamant about his dislike of ponies who break his shins.” Take that!

I scored a point against Celestia by way of making her blush, but my mother just nodded. “A good enough punishment for a potty-mouthed colt. I salute you, Your Majesty!”

“Mom! Max is literally more frail than a Unicorn!” I said hotly. “He’s not really strong enough to hurt your average Pony for more than a few minutes.”

“Didn’t he make you cry?” Celestia asked.

I pointed at my friend. “I cried when Fluttershy hit me once. Fluttershy.

“I-I-I felt s-so b-b-bad!” Fluttershy sniffled.

Celestia stared at me. “That’s a little disappointing, Twilight.”

“You are your father’s child.” Mom sighed.

“... Night light is one of my toughest Drill Sergeants.” The Princess replied awkwardly.

“I once watched Dad bang his knee on the table and shed a tear.” A sneeze overtook me, jogging another memory. “Oh! I’m pretty sure he cried as much as I did when our goldfish died when I was six.”

Wow.” Her left ear flicked twice.

“Real softy, to be honest. At least I know that Sparkle could spank Max if he ever started messing with her.” Mom said happily.

The look I gave her was enough to make her blush. “You know I don’t have a mean bone in my body. I think the ponies here are probably the ones most well aware of that.”

“I know, I know, but it’s nice to have a little assurance.”

Princess Celestia nodded. “I’m sure I don’t need to ask, but you intend on meeting Max soon, correct?”

Mom nodded. “Yes, Your Majesty. I was actually going to meet him tomorrow.”

Celestia nodded again. “Good. Would you all like to stay for some tea? I believe it’s time for that cake I mentioned earlier~”

I looked at Mom and Fluttershy who were both smiling at me expectantly. “We’d be delighted, Princess!”

Celestia smiled and ordered for the cake to be sent to us rather than having us go to the Dining Hall to go get it. I’d been looking forward to seeing Luna again since I really liked to try and talk to her from time to time because she was actually incredibly intellectually inclined, it was just that she had literally forgotten more about Magic than I’ve learned and my questions about the things she did remember often came in bursts of a dozen or more, which apparently made her feel like she was being quizzed for subjects she’d studied thousands of years ago. I couldn’t really appreciate the feeling of it, but at this point I knew better than to ask for her presence if she didn't want to be bothered.

The cherry chiffon cake was fantabulistic as most of Celestia’s cakes were, and I know that’s not an actual, conventional word, but you can find it in in the extended Equestrian dictionary, so ha! Anyway, Celestia teleported Mom, Fluttershy, and I back to my house, but Fluttershy didn’t stay long. She flew off shortly after we got home and saw my new table sitting on top of my old table, probably to avoid making Mom and I feel the need to clean it up the old fashioned way. No, instead we just cast a few Dusting Spells to sweep the dirt outside, but Spike called us Buttheads for doing it the easy way when he would’ve had to do it the hard way. Mom put him in a headlock as a way of giving him a hug and I tickled my little brother because it was fun.

Spike, Mom, and I stayed up late talking and catching up on recent events that hadn’t been relayed in letters, and before long Spike went to bed, leaving Mom and I to drink wine by ourselves and giggle about the silly things that the colts in our lives used to do, like when Shining when through his Grimdark phase and wore all black, but still followed every rule to the letter. Mom mentioned something about finding a Playfilly magazine in Dad’s collection once and I choked on my wine after that one, but Mom made sure I was alright before we ended up calling it a night. There weren’t any obvious ill omens about how the next day was going to go, though it feels odd to say that since it was only a few days ago as of right now…

Oh well. It’s time for a nap.


The next day saw me waking up bright and early with a smile on my face and a bounce in my step. My Morning Meandering barely took any time at all, and I even felt rather cute in my second favorite outfit, which was a smock and some tights. Hope that Max would like it was freely flowing, but before I left my bathroom, I decided to put my mane up into a bun and leave a few locks to frame my face like Max had suggested. I was tempted to do a little trimming, but the prospect of ruining my mane was too terrifying to face, so I left it out of my activities and went downstairs to check on Spike and see if he wanted any help with making breakfast. He and Mom were already up and about, working in perfect tandem to get the hard stuff done when I came down, and Fluttershy wasn’t far behind in my arrival downstairs.

“You know, I never appreciate how early you get up to take care of your animals, Fluttershy. It must be tiring.” I complimented as we stayed out of Mom and Spike’s way.

“Oh, it’s not that bad once you get used to it. The hard part is remembering everypony’s birthdays.” She said, waving it aside.

“Oh, Sparkle, do you know when Max is supposed to come over?” Mom asked.

“Uh, we didn’t actually set a time, but-” I heard somepony knock on the door. “And I’m gonna guess that’s him… I wonder how early he gets up.”

Spike shrugged. “I dunno. He was up before Rarity and Sweetie Belle yesterday.”

I pursed my lips. “Well, I guess I’d better get the door.” I turned to walk out of the kitchen and saw Max enter the doorway. Somepony looks a little tired. “Nevermind.”

“Sorry, do I need to stop letting myself in?” He asked, giving me an apologetic smile.

“N-No, you’re okay. This is a public place after all, just don’t go upstairs alone.” My smile may have been bashful, but it was equally happy.

Mom let Spike take over with the cooking and came over with a hand outstretched. “Hello there, I’m Twilight Velvet, Sparkle’s mother. It’s such a pleasure to meet you.” She said pleasantly.

Max took her hand gently and gave her a doubtful look. “I could believe cousin or Aunt, but ‘mother’ is stretching it. If Twilight inherited the timelessness you seem to put off, then either I’ve lucked out, or I’m right to be skeptical.”

Mom gave him a look. “You don’t believe that I’m Sparkle’s mother?”

“I don’t mean any disrespect, but you just don’t look or really sound old enough. I could believe that you had a child Spike’s age, but not Twilight’s. Especially if she’s somehow older than me.” He made a face.
“Well, Mr. Max, I believe you lucked out.” She said smugly.

My Sweetheart looked over to me. “I’m falling for your mother.”

“Shush!” I huffed playfully.

He gave me that devious grin. “No, I’m being true! My heart is torn and I don’t know what to do!” Max let go of my Mom’s hand and gave her a wink. “What do you say? Leave your husband and run away with your daughter’s lover for years to come, living life on the edge!”

“Like Sparkle said; shush.” She tittered, giving him an amused smile “You really are quite the card.”

Max waved it aside. “I just like making people smile is all. It really is a pleasure to meet you though, Ma’am. You’re the first in-law potentiate I’ve ever met, and you fill me with hope for when Twilight’s in her thirties.”

“Now wait just a cotton-pickin’ second, Buster! How old do you think I was when I had Sparkle!?” Mom asked, scandalized. “Let alone her older brother!”

Max blinked. “... If you tell me you’re like, fifty or something, I’m gonna go buy Twilight a ring. No lie.”

Mom blushed and giggled at that, the expression on Max’s face being more than priceless. “Oh, you almost lost money on that one! I turn thirty for the twentieth time soon.”

His jaw hit the floor and he stared at her. “Dayum!” Max turned to me and beamed. “Wine-purple, wine-like! We’ll be the cutest couple at the retirement home!”

I lightly whacked his arm and giggled into my hand. “Oh, hush! You’re just trying to butter my Mom up so she likes you.”

“I think I’m trying to butter her up because she looks like you, or rather, you look like her. Can I have a hug, Ms. Velvet?” He asked innocently.

“Well, I don’t see why not.” Mom replied warmly.

They met for a hug and Max pulled away with a smaller smile and a look in his eyes that I thought was more wistful than upset. “Thank you. Twilight gives good hugs, but no one beats a Mum, right?”

“That’s not counting Grandmas and Nanas, though.” Mom replied, wagging a finger.

“Nah, Nanas have bony fingers.” He answered, frowning before doing a doubletake and catching Fluttershy’s eye. “Ah shite, I’m so sorry! I totally ignored you Love, and that’s my fault, but meeting your girlfriend’s parents is pretty important, yeah? Anyway, my name’s Max, of course; what’s yours?” Max gave her a warm smiled.

My poor socially-awkward friend looked at the floor. “M-M-My n-name’s…”

“Fluttershy!” I stage-whispered.

More than anything, my coltfriend seemed to be endeared by Fluttershy’s timidity. “Ah, it’s nice to meet you, Fluttershy. Twilight said you were an animal caretaker, yeah?”

She nodded. “Y-Yes…”

“It must be quite the endeavor to take care of all sorts of fauna, but I don’t suppose you would happen to have a garden as well, would you?”

“I-I used to! B-But then m-my animals kept eating everything before harvest time…”

“I bet you if you told them that the next critter who ate your crop was going to be made into chowder, they’d stop. Ooh, rhymes and alliteration.” Max smiled at her.

He got a few stares because predator. “... Y-You w-w-w-want me to e-eat one of my animals?”

My coltfriend looked at her like she’d started speaking to one of her animals like they were a pony. Again. “Well, I’d rather have you dip them in chowder and have them go around smelling like soup all day, but if you’re hungry, you’re hungry, I guess. I’d suggest eating an animal that isn’t under your care though. That would just send the wrong kind of message and then you’d have to deal with the attorneys and the Court Officials before getting bogged down in all that bureaucracy to the point where you’re barely slogging along, nearly making no progress in actually getting to eat said critter. It’s better just to dip ‘em in some lukewarm soup.”

“... Max, shut up.” I said quietly.

“Aww.” He groaned.

Mom and Spike started giggling their heads off, and soon after Fluttershy joined them, though I was just confused about what was even going on. “Anypony want to explain why we’re laughing?”

“Max just told Fluttershy to scare her animals, not eat them!” Mom guffawed. “I can’t believe we were scared about Max being a meat eater!”

“I do eat meat. Why would that be scary?” Max asked, scratching his head.

Silence fell hard and I coughed. “Max is a different species. Let’s all keep that in mind.”

“Right.” Mom shook her head. “Tell me, Max. Does killing something make you feel tough?”

“Uh… Couldn’’t… Really… Y’know, answer that since… Y’know… Kinda gotta kill somethin’ to know.” He said awkwardly.

“So you don’t even kill the creatures you eat!?” She asked in horror.

“No, no, I don’t do it personally, and on Earth it’s not like we beat livestock to death or anything. They usually live free-range without a care in the world for a few years before it all ends quick and painlessly. Besides, Humans kinda-sorta need some form of meat to survive unless we can get vitamin supplements to keep us healthy.”

“Can you eat fish?” I asked.

“If I fry it.” He said, making a face.
I hesitated to ask, but I had to know. “What other kinds of meat do you think would be less… Inponane, to eat?”

“Probably poultry. Anything really, but chickens and most birds tend to be pretty unintelligent creatures.”

“Please don’t eat my owl.” I requested anxiously.

“Ew dude.” He grimaced. “I don’t think I even could. That’d be like eating a hawk or something.”

Interesting… “... Can you not eat raptors?”

“Not to my knowledge, no. I think there’s a specific chemical in their meat or rather, a breed of Avian Flu that might kill me. What, do you guys honestly think I just go hunt like, rabbits down and tear into them like some kind of rabid animal?” Max asked, clearly taking offense to the implications.

“Yes.” Mom said simply. “That’s exactly what was going through each and every one of our heads from the moment you said you eat meat.”

“Fucking. Racist.” He groaned. You’re not wrong on that...

“I would argue against that, but it barely takes two seconds to see that you’re right.” She sighed. “I do apologize, Maximus. I’m sure that your methods are ponane and necessary for your survival, I just wish they weren’t necessary.” She sighed.

“I wish Ponies didn’t have tails, but you don’t see me trying to yank anyone off.” Max huffed.

Mom blushed for some reason, but I don’t think anypony else knew what he was talking about, so I posed a question. “Why would you go around yanking tails?”

“I don’t know, but I’d rather go around spanking tails.” He shot back smoothly, making me blush and cover my butt.

“Please no.”

“You’d like it if you tried it.” Max huffed casually, looking to my Mom. “ Tell her, Ma’am.”

Mom copied me and gave him a stern look. “Now don’t you go implying that I engage in sexual deviancy, and don’t you go dragging my daughter down a dirty path along with you!”

“Yeah!” I chimed in.

Max gave me an eager grin. “So quick to forget our night of passion, Lover?

Wishes that Ponies could control blushes danced through my head. “We’ve never done that kind of stuff you fibber!”

“Oh how my heart pounds at the memory! It leaps and bounds, thrums and pounds as I recall the sleekness of your fur, the softness of your lips, the sodden heat of your-” I pressed my hands over his mouth.

Shush! Shushity-shush-hush!” I cried. “That didn’t happen! Nothing happened!”

Spike looked incredibly uncomfortable, Mom looked far too amused for me to not put a Harpy Hex on her blouses for a day, and Fluttershy was blushing as brightly as I was. Max slipped away and wrapped his arms around me from behind faster than I could turn and said, “All I was going to say was the sodden heat of your sweet breath drifting across my cheek. I’m describing a kiss, unless you’re being a naughty ‘filly’.”

I tried to be mad enough to hit him, and I managed to hit him, but it wasn’t that hard. “Stop being such a Butthead!”

He chuckled and kissed my cheek. “I torture you because I like you~”

If my face wasn’t already warm it would’ve been. “... Just be quiet and come eat breakfast, okay?”

“Ah, I actually ate at Rarity’s, so I’ll skip out on breakfast for the time being. If you’ve got coffee, I’ll have a cuppa if you don’t mind.” He bargained.

Ooh! Definitely doable! “The library’s morning specialty is coffee!”

Mom chuckled and started walking toward the pot. “Let me get you a mug, Dear.”

“Thanks, Future-Mum-in-Law-” Max started.

Hold on a second. “Wait, didn’t you call Blueberry Tart ‘Mum’ yesterday by ‘accident’?”

“Yup. Accident.” He said, letting go of me and walking over to my Mom.

Truth Spell, do your thing. “... Are you sure about that?”

He raised a brow at me. “She was my surrogate mother. The one I always wanted but never really had.”

Everypony stared at him for a moment before my mother asked, “What was your mother like, Dear?”

“She wasn’t much of a mother, and we can leave it at that for the time being.” Max answered, sounding uncomfortable. “How’s the morning fairing for everyone so far?”

There were a few murmured versions of ‘Good’ that all amounted to ‘Good’, but the mood was a little ruined before Max chose my Mom as his next victim and started asking about the possibilities of grays in her mane. I would have told him off, but my Mom literally has white streaks in her mane, so it didn’t really matter if she had grays. Mom still whacked him with my wooden Whacking-Spoon a few times for calling her old, but everypony knew that Max was still a little staggered that my Mom looked more like my big sister than my Mom at times. With the mood boosted and everypony laughing and smiling again, Max sipped his coffee and kept the good times rolling, making Mom laugh more than anypony else, though I definitely noticed that Fluttershy’s eyes rarely left Max for whatever reason.

It took me awhile to notice, but I saw the beginnings of dark rings around Max’s eyes, though they were already pretty pronounced from how pale he was. His irises also seemed duller, like he was being haunted by something, or like he had something on his mind. The longer I looked at him while he told silly story after silly story, the more I became that Max was hurting on the inside and that he was doing what Pinkie would do; make everypony around him smile so he could smile too, it… It was just that Max’s smile wasn’t real. I’d seen the real, honest ones he gave when he was really happy or proud, and I’d felt the energy in his actions whenever he moved, but at the moment? At the moment he felt like he was hiding behind a mask and was going through the motions, which worried me more than it probably should have, but in all fairness, I was starting to think that Max was either lying about something or that he wasn’t sleeping at Rarity’s.

I waited for breakfast to be over before I asked if I could have a word with him in private, and after he topped off his coffee, we went down into the basement for a little chat that I started off with, “Max… Are-Are you really staying at Rarity’s?”

He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “As little as I like it, yeah. Why do you ask?”

My Truth Spell should’ve kept him honest, but I myself felt kind of like saying that I wanted to bring him over to my house. Instead, the earnest explanation seemed like the tailor-made choice for the situation. “You don’t look like you’ve been sleeping very well…”

“Well…” He said awkwardly.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, taking one of his hands in mine.

Max gave me a reassuring smile. “It’s nothing, Cherry. Just a few bad dreams and a couple headaches is all.”

I’m sure he saw the worry on my face. “I think those headaches might be caused by repressed memories, Max. I had one yesterday and it was awful!

“I’m fine, Twilight. When I stop being fine, I’ll come to you, okay? For the time being, let’s just go and mess with your Mum some more, yeah?”

“... What are your dreams about?” I asked.

“Bad stuff. You know, I-”

“Max, please don’t try to distract me. I want us to be able to talk about anything, okay? An open floor where we can share our feelings without judgement, where we can express ourselves and get our worries out of our minds.” I said, looking at him imploringly.

He looked down and grabbed my other hand. “... If I tell you what my dreams are about, they’ll ruin your day.”

“That’s a chance-”

“It’s not a chance.” Max said softly.

“... What are your dreams about, Amour?” I murmured soothingly, drawing him closer to me.

He didn't say anything and just breathed slowly for a little while, his eyes closed as he tried to find his words. I noticed that his grip on my hands kept getting harder and harder as his breathing picked up before I finally whimpered at the pressure he was exerting, making Max let go and start shaking his own hands, pacing in a circle. “I don’t wanna talk about it, Twilight. I just don’t. Just leave it alone.”

I flexed my hands to get some feeling back into my fingers and said, “Amour, come here.”

Max glanced at me and took a deep, shaky breath, stopping in place to calm down for a moment before doing as I’d asked. “What, Twilight?”

Hugs, do your thing! “If you don’t get any sleep tonight, then I want you to come over here, okay?”

“Okay.” He replied quietly.

“If you need to, just let yourself in and come wake me up. We can get an early start on the day, or maybe we can try letting you sleep in my room and see if having somepony nearby helps at all.” I offered, hoping that he would skip to sleeping in my room so I could see him in the morning.

“If I can’t sleep, then I’ll be by in the morning.” He compromised. “We’ll sort it out from there, but if you’re not comfortable with having me in your house-”

“No, no! I want you here, Max, it’s just that I’m going to be putting a lot of trust in you… I just don’t want you to get one too many whiffs of my… Scent, and go into a frenzy like some stallions.”

“Yeah, I’m not a Pony though.” He answered simply.

“Oh yeah.” I said blankly.

He gave me a quick smooch. “You’re adorable. Forgetful and adorable.” He rested his chin on my head and held me to his chest.

“You’re warm.” Appreciating his warmth in the coolness of the basement slash lab was nice, even if Max himself seemed to be struggling with something he didn’t want any help with. Standing by while seeing somepony you care about, even if you didn't’ know them last week, is a hard thing to do, Dear Diary.

Max squeezed a little bit before holding on a more loosely. “So is there anything else you wanted to talk about?”

“Your Mom… Well, your parents.

His tone was level as he spoke, but… “Mum was a junkie whore,” what. “and Dad was a better man than I turned out to be before she killed him.” What. “Let’s go get another cuppa, shall we?” He said frankly, like he hadn’t just called his own mother a whorse (Or the Human equivalent, I guess) as well as a junkie.

... What!?“... Your Mom killed your Dad?” Breathless, my heart broke for him in so few seconds, fracturing and scattering painfully.

“June sixth, twenty-oh-seven. She carved the date into my back so I’d never forget.” He said darkly. “Cuppa?”

“... Please tell me that you somehow found a way to beat a Truth Spell.” My voice cracked horribly, betraying my discomfort.

“This is why I didn’t say anything about my nightmares. They’re worse than reality.” Max replied, shaking his head. “Let’s just- Gurk!”

“Amour, I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry that horrid mare ruined your life like that! I just want you to know that nopony in Equestria is going to want to hurt you other than the reallyk, really stupid ones!” I sobbed into his chest.

“Twilight’s it’s in the past.” He said struggling to breathe. “It’s okay now. The wounds have healed by now.”

I eased up on him and wiped the sympathetic tears from my eyes as hoofsteps beat their way down the steps. “Sparkle? Are you okay?” Mom asked.

“Max’s Mom-” He clamped a hand over my mouth.

“Was an especially terrible person and that’s all that needs to be said.” Max finished for me.

Mom reached the bottom of the stairs and Max let me talk again, but I was too concerned with hugging him to be worried about what Mom was doing. “He didn’t hit you, did he?”

“No! Max is an orphan!” I wailed.

“Oh no!” Mom gasped. “How long has it been, Dear?”

Max sighed. “It’s been eight years since I lost my Dad, seven since I lost my Egg-Donor, and three years since I lost my non-blood brother.”

“... Do you have any relatives left?” She asked hesitantly.

“None that I know of.” He answered plainly. “It’s a big part of the reason I’m not freaking out about being on a different planet, worlds away from anything I’ve ever known; there was nothing there for me anyway…” Max held me a little tighter when he said that.

Mom was quiet for a little while, prompting him to start saying something before she stomped her hoof, cutting him off. “Gosh darn it! I will not stand by and let a stallion as sweet and annoying as you keep going without a family! Nopony should have to go it alone, and from here on out, you’ve officially got the weight of the Twilight Arcana Family behind you!”

“Lol what?” He said dumbly.

“It means we’re sponsoring you!” Looking up at him with a smile earned me a befuddled one in turn. “Oh, you’re gonna love it! Now I don’t have to worry about Dad finding me anymore boring or lecherous suitors that just want a piece of the Noble pie!”

Max blinked. “Whaaa?

“... You’re not excited.” Mom and I said at the same time.

My coltfriend seemed pretty uncomfortable at the moment. “Well, I just so happen to despise the aristocracy. Kinda been hammered into my bones.”

“Do you despise me?” I asked nervously.

He gave me a look, licked my nose, then gave me another look. “Your face is too tasty to despise.”

I rubbed his slobber off of my nose and licked his entire throat, making him gag and gasp simultaneously, resulting in him coughing like I’d hit him in the throat rather than licking it. “Oh, are you okay!?”

“Why is your tongue so long!?” He cried, panicked.

“I’m a Pony! We have tongues!”

“But why is it so long!? That things gotta be the length of my bloody sausage!”

“Your what?”

Mom whistled. “Too much information, but are you sure about that?”

“It gets the job done and then some.” Max said proudly, wiping my own slobber off of his neck.

“What are you two even talking about?” I asked.

“Nothing.” They said in tandem.

My horn tingled and my ear twitched. “Fibbers.”

“He was talking about his spear.” Mom inspected her fingertips for stray follicles..

“My polearm, yes.” Max nodded.

“... You have a spear?”

My coltfriend coughed awkwardly a few times and it seemed a little familiar. “I do.”

“You’re making a joke, aren’t you.” I wasn’t really asking.

“Maybe~” He sang.

“Don’t worry, Sparkle. It might be scary, but it’ll probably be nicer than anything.” Mom said unhelpfully.

“Seriously, what are you two talking about?” I asked, rubbing my ear.

“Don’t worry about it.” Max said.

“I wouldn’t.” Mom seconded.

With a roll of my eyes, I said, “Whatever. Let’s just get back upstairs and out of this chilly basement.”

“I think it feels lovely down here.” Max huffed haughtily.

“You’re free to think whatever you want when it’s not freezing.” My mother replied, probably feeling the same draft I was. “Come along, Maxxi.”

“Maxxi?” He asked. “Are you trying to call me a feminine hygiene product?”

“No, I’m trying to call my new ward something cutesy, Maxxi. Let’s go!” She started marching right back up the stairs.

I went to follow her and Max held me back. “Thank you.”

“For what?” I inquired, curious as to what he meant.

He just gave me a soft smile. “Being you.” Then he kissed the base of my horn for just a second, and it felt a lot better than a normal little peck should have, but it wasn’t like I was going to start losing my grip on my bottle of syrup or anything. It just made me feel good inside, and kissing his chin in turn made him smile, so I considered that a plus too.

We joined Mom upstairs after a few more smooches back and forth, but when we got upstairs, Mom was looking at us with a knowing smile that made me feel awkward. “What?”

“Couldn’t pass up on a chance, could you?” Mom teased.

“Your daughter has a lovely mind and some very soft lips. The two combined make for interesting conversation and good kisses.” Max said casually.

I pinched him and he jammed his thumb into my side again, making me jolt and let him go. “Hey!”

“Stop pinching people and you won’t get poked.” He stated plainly, like he was listing off drinks on a menu.

Mom wrapped her arms around Max and took him down with no problems. “Now looky-here, Mister! This mare has back-up and you don’t, so where do you think this is going?”

His jaw dropped and he gasped. “I’ve read about this so many times, but I never dreamed it would come true! Will you both lick it at the same time!?” He asked excitedly.

She actually slapped him for that one, though I missed the joke and the slap wasn’t hard. “Mind your manners, you lewd pervert!”

Max grinned up at her. “I can see your knickers from here.”

Mom looked down at her pants. “No you can’t.”

My devious coltfriend used the opportunity to unbalance my Mom and pin her arms above her head. “Gotcha. Guess you can teach a dumb dog a few tricks, huh?”

“That’s not even how the saying goes.” Mom said flatly.

“Well, I’d hate to bring up age to someone who has so much of it.” He said grinningly.


“Well, it’d be like bringing up weight when- Woah!” Max said as Mom sat up and nearly flung him off of her.

Mom caught him before he could go too far and got on top of him all over again, sitting on him now. “What was that about weight?”

“Mom, you might want to-” Max started tapping her leg rapidly. “Get off!”

She did as I asked and Max gasped for breath, his lungs making an unhealthy rattling noise. When he sat up, his back made some pretty ugly noises that made me kneel down and wrap my arms around him while he leaned into me and caught my breath. “Max, I’m so sorry! I didn’t think I was that heavy!”

“Human… Frail… Light… Ponies… Heavy.” Max gasped.

“Oh, I see! There should be a spell or two that can help with that down at the University if you want to go, or you could always ask the Institute for their opinion. Either one should be able to help you do what you want.” Mom said helpfully.

“We’ll go on Starday,” I said, the current day being Lumoday, “and we’ll come see you at the Institute if my ban is up.”

Mom made a face. “You’ll have to wear a Magic-Cancellation Ring.”

“That’s not too-”

“On your horn.”

“Oh come on!”

“You teleported an entire department into the ocean.” Mom said flatly.

“I was twelve!”

“That’s terrifying.” Max said, sounding creeped out.

“I-It’s not as bad as it sounds!” I protested.

“Twenty-two ponies. All gone in the blink of an eye.” Mom whispered conspicuously to Max.

Mo-om!!! How do you expect me to keep a stallion if you’re embarrassing me to no end in front of the first one!?”

Mom just winked at Max. “We’ll have to have tea sometime.”

Max squeezed my arms. “Twilight, your Mum’s trying to put the moves on me.”

It was a snort worthy comment. “She is not, you incorrigible dirigible!”

“Oh, that was a good one.” Max complimented.

“Thank you, but shush.”

“Aww.” He sighed.

“Don’t make your stallion feel like he can’t talk to you, Sparkle! For shame!”

Mom earned herself a look. “Hey Max, would you like to hear about the time my Mom ate a dozen wine corks on a da-”

“Missy, I will ground you from Canterlot!” Mom interrupted, her face beet red.

“Hey ladies, would you both like to hear about the time I got caught by the Golden Girl Gang?” Max asked.

“It sounds better than the story Twilight was going to tell.” Mom shivered.

Max chuckled. “Right. So I was about fourteen or fifteen at the time of the story, so keep in mind that bad things were going down at that point in my life. My parents were out of the picture, I had no relatives, no real friends, and nowhere to go, so I spent most of my times sleeping where I could, right?” He said like he hadn’t just bucking said that he’d been a homeless child. “So one night while I was stalking and prowling for a bite to eat, thinking about going dumpster diving and catching another trespassing charge that probably wouldn’t have amounted to much anyway, I saw this old lady standing alone at a bus stop, which is like a place you could get a rickshaw or something since you guys don’t really have buses here, I think. Anyway, so old ladies usually had food for me if I was willing to do the slightest bit of work for them, so I approached the old broad and asked her if she could spare some food that I could pay back through labor or information. One way or another, y’know? Anyway, the Grandma-lady was actually really pretty for being over sixty, and that was a bit distracting for a young guy, so I wasn’t paying attention to the fact that I was soon surrounded by a bunch of women who couldn’t have been younger than sixty. Before I knew it, I was tied up and on my way to Nowhere, Great Britain, and after that scary little trip, I found myself strapped to a vertical table with the Grannies all around me.”

Max bit his knuckle for a moment and choked on some chuckles, smiling as he carried on. “So the whole situation is some kinda fucked, right? Because now these old ladies are all stripping, and I mean everything, and I saw so many wrinkles, I could’ve sworn it they were made of crumpled up paper with coffee stains and liver spots! Anyway, once all the old broads are nice and naked, they cut my chest here,” Max tapped two spaces on either side of his chest, “and there deep enough to keep the blood flowing and then they started licking it off of me! I was so lost at that point that I didn’t even care that I only had my boxers on, but as the night progressed, so did where they touched and licked me. Eventually the crazy old lady started drawing on me with the little bits of blood that was still flowing, but by that time, all eighteen of ‘em had gotten their lips red and I was still high on whatever they used to get me there in the first place. After that, however, they started taking turns sucking on my nipples like that would do something and there were a few more graphic things mixed in that polite company doesn’t need to hear about, but that’s basically the story of how I creampied thirteen old women in one night.”

Mom waited until he was done to start crying and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be terribly far behind her until Max threw an arm around my shoulders. “What are you crying for? I made it through, didn’t I?”

Mom couldn’t get her face straight as she asked, “Did they just get away with it!?”

“No, they all got arrested on kidnapping, malice, assault, rape, molestation, statutory rape, and a few other charges a couple weeks later. I got paid to testify against them, and they all got life sentences because they were on the serial side of the rapist spectrum. There were a lot of aggravating factors, and they were tied to one or two accidental deaths as well, so they were boned the second I met a woman by the name of Sketchy Sammy. Ah, I miss that old shitty cunt.” He sighed dreamily. “Tongue like a barbed whip and a face like the business end of a bull, but not the pointy bit.”

Mom just wiped her eyes before sweeping Max up in a hug that he looked like he didn’t really want. “Still, you poor thing! The Ritual of Manhood is barbaric! It’s- It’s-”

“In the past.” Max squeaked.

My ever precious mother held his arms for a moment and let go of him, allowing him to breathe. “... It’s the look in your eye, Max. You look like somepony I love and care so deeply for used to right now that it breaks my heart that you won’t let the healing start! You’re trying to ignore the fact that it happened!”

“I’m trying to make light of something that was honestly terrifying. It feels better to laugh at it than to mope and bitch.” Max said, grimacing. “Maybe we shouldn’t talk about my morbid history and let’s focus on Twilight’s. Have you guys always lived in Canterlot, or did you decide to-”

“Maximus!” Mom cried. “Can you not deal with your emotions!?”

“...” Max thought about it, tapping his lips with a finger. “... I’m gonna go to the restroom real quick. I need to make a face in the mirror and see if it’s blase enough to wear when I tell you that I don’t deal with my emotions because I would have fucking killed myself by now if I actually had to.” He nodded. “Nevermind, I got it right now.” He shook his head pretty hard for a moment before giving my Mom the most lifeless look I’d seen a pony wear since… Since a really bad dream that I’d had and didn’t want to think about. Same stallion, same face.

“Max…” I said softly.

“Mhmm?” He answered.

“... We really need to work on your pony skills. You’re very depressing.” I replied a little more quietly.

“Ah, I just don’t see things the same way Ponies do, Twilights. I’m actually not doing all that bad as far as Humans go. Most would say that I could be considered well adjusted if not a regular functioning adult. Hell, I was saving up to go to college instead of finding somewhere warmer than an abandoned building to live so I could have a better life that way instead of the sucky way doing odd jobs and making chunks of change at a time.” Max waved the rest of his daily doings aside. “Anyway, I think you’re getting stuck on the differences between a Pony mind and a Human mind. I’m pretty sure Human minds are a little more resilient to emotional trauma in most cases.”

“Chief Graham.” I replied shyly.

Max licked his lips. “We’re not talking about it.”


He bolted. Faster than Mom could react and I could snatch his arm, Max was out of the hall, and subsequently out of my house. “... I’m going to guess that it’s a touchy subject.” Mom said obviously.

Touchy isn’t the right word for it…” I bit my lip and tried to focus on where the first place Max would go would be.

“Maybe we should leave him be for a bit and wait for him to come back?”

I was about to answer her when Spike stuck his head around the corner and asked, “So… Who ticked Max off?”

“He’s not mad.” I assured him.

“The poor colt’s probably just panicking since two reasonable mares seem to think that being in touch with your emotions is better than swallowing them.” Mom sighed.

“Ah. Right.” Spike nodded like he was an adult who understood what working through complex emotion was like.

“Right.” I replied. “Is Fluttershy still here?”

“Nope, went right after Max when he nearly ran her over. She said he looked like he was running from something scary, but guys like that don’t scare like, ever!” My little brother said, his admiration of Max’s Devil-May-Care attitude more than apparent.

“That’s because stallions like Max don’t know what they’re feeling half the time, call it angry, happy, or sad, and drink. That’s about it.” Mom said derisively.

“Max isn’t that bad Mom. He’s just, again, different.”

“He acts normal for the most part other than a few oddities, Sparkle. I’m willing to say that his planet and ours are pretty similar as far as societal standards go.”

“That’s… Mom, similar is not the same. Are you honestly telling me that accuracy and precision are but roses with seperate names?”

“... Dear lord, I’ve become your father and your brother!” Mom gasped. “I bet Max just didn’t want to talk about his feelings because he can’t handle them!”

I gave her a look. “Please stop.”
“Watch that tone, Missy.” She wagged a finger at me.

“Do you want to get teleported into the toilet again?”

“That you would even say that makes me worry about what this stallion is turning you into, Twilight.” Mom replied, concern written across her face.

“That you can’t see that Max is an adapter above all else boggles my mind! The stallion is on a new planet, with Magic: The driving force of all life on Equus. Can you imagine a life without Magic, Mom?” I asked, slamming the Debate Gauntlet onto the table hard enough to leave a dent.

You don’t normally mess with my Mom’s furniture, but I was getting tired of ponies constantly sniping at Max for just being different. I’d thought that the mare who raised me, the pony who taught me what it was to be a good, decent pony would understand best not to judge a book by its cover. Since that pony just so happened to be a little blinded, I was going to help her see, and I was going to do that by taking her down the only way that the Twilights knew how:

Intellectual discourse.

“Twilight, life couldn’t possibly exist without Magic. Neither of us need to be taught this lesson twice.” Mom said. “However, I-”

“That wasn’t the point at all, but I see your eagerness to derail the line of questioning. Afraid, perhaps?”

Mom raised her chin at me, her tail swishing violently to the left. “Make your case.”

“My case is made in points. This point is that Max comes from a world completely devoid of Magic.

Mom rolled her eyes. “A cute hypothesis.”

“And you’re now saying that in the Infinite Cosmos there are no possibilities that life exists without Conventional food or water? Warmth or wood? light or Magic?” I countered savagely.

“Fair point. Counterpoint: What makes you so certain that Max is from a world that subsists without Magic?”

“What makes me so certain that there is a world that thrives without Magic is because I’m not a Dummy-Dummy-Big-Fat-Tummy; Just-Bright-Enough-To-Be-Like-Bunnies.” I answered coldly.

Mom’s face went blank for a moment. “So you think I’ve become a Mush-Melon.”

“With the way you’ve been so vehemently against believing anything out of Max’s mouth that isn’t tragic, I’d say that’s correct.” I said.

“... The next time you call me a DDBFT; JBETBLB, I’m spanking you in front of the whole family and Max with your tail up. Am I understood?” Mom said, her tone telling me that disagreeing would be the worst, stupidest thing I could do.

“... It’s True Love. Max wouldn’t judge me for it, but he’d be mad at you. Is a name-”

“That’s it.” She snapped. “You’ll be at home by eight o’clock sharp, and if you don’t want Max to see-”

I teleported away because I was sure that Max could probably weasel his way into my
Mom’s good graces and tried to think of a good place to hide that Spike didn’t know of. I wasn’t too sure if he knew where Applejack’s distillery was, but nopony other than Big Mac, Applejack, and Granny Smith herself were allowed to go in there. I figured it was a special enough occasion that I could hazard a hidey-hoo in there for a little while until nightfall, which would be when I went to Rarity’s since Max had to sleep sometime. It was around eleven or so after I picked the lock to the distillery with Magic and locked myself in, the thought that skipping the eight o’clock deadline on Mom’s promise would be better than getting there and having to tell her that she wasn’t going to get to make Max watch me get spanked like a naughty filly seemed better and better. Either way, if I failed or if I succeeded in the end, I had a good, long time to sit in the relative darkness of the big, machine filled room and think since there wasn’t much else to do.

Aww maaaare. Why does love make you do such stupid things, Twilight?’

“I don’t know…” I whispered.

‘Just go back and apologize to Mom! She’s a reasonable mare.’

“I don’t want to take the risk, to be honest… Mom only gets mad every once in awhile and she’s never been that mad at me.


“Oh hush, you’re trying to get me spanked.” I huffed softly.

“Wait, did you hear that?” Applejack asked from near where I was hiding.

“Oh buck me.” I hissed even softer, barely even audible to myself.

Somepony’s forgetting that they know an Observer Obscurer Spell.’

‘I knew that!” I thought back, casting the spell without a verbal incantation since Earth Ponies aren’t usually that good at seeing through Glamours.

I looked around for a good place to hide anyway and settled on one of the rafters above, as dusty and smelly as they were. Everything reeked of alcohol in the tall, well ventilated building, but at least I could teleport to a safe place where nopony would think to look and hide even better. Applejack unlocked the door and light spilled into the room, the strong afternoon Sun illuminating a good portion of the room. My farmer friend started looking around the distillery, but I wasn’t making a peep, nor was I going to move since I didn’t want to be seen.

And then my Mom teleported directly beneath me, the soft pop of her teleportation sending icy blood through my veins.

“Now wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute!” Applejack yelled, running toward my Mom.

“Applejack? What is this place?” Mom asked confusedly.

“The real question is how did you get in here!? And why are you in here!? Did you not see the big sign with the big red letters and the really interestin’ explosion picture near the bottom!? It took me six hours ta make that sign and what, you’re just gonna up and-”

Mom put a finger on her lips. “Sh. Shh. Shhhhh. Okay? Okay. Now where the buck is my daughter?” She growled.

“... Um… Dunno?” Applejack answered weakly.

Find her.”:

“Y-Yes Ma’am!” She whimpered.

Mom nodded and started looking around. “Twilight~ I know you’re here~! Why don’t you come have a cookie with Mommy and we can talk this out over tea?”

‘Holy crap, she’s going to turn your flank black, you poor, poor, silly filly.’

I wanted to ignore the voice and just teleport down and go hug my Mom and babble out apologies like the faucet was broken, but it had initially told me to just go and get it over with to begin with. Now I felt like it was telling me to hide on the Moon, which would probably be just about the only place to really get away from my Mom if I really wanted to avoid her. I started fantasizing about my own little farm on the Moon, harvesting space rocks to sell to passing aliens that all looked a lot like Max with different colored eyes, and it was a nice fantasy. I got food, water, and the occasional luxury item by trading the minerals and ores I harvested during the Full Moon and I got to read all day forat least two nights due to the New Moon, which would require me building a house of some kind. I considered what a house on the Moon would need to withstand a meteor strike or two and decided that a bunker would be the best thing for me, but then while I was on the topic of a bunker, I wondered why I didn’t just start a mine for all of my materials. I’d be able to sell the byproducts of whatever I obtained my ore from and I’d probably be able to make a pretty comfortable living by just selling off fine Moon Dust since it’s said to have magical properties.


Twi~light!” Twilight Velvet sang. “Why don’t you get down here you sil~ly fil~ly?

I may have peed a little, clamping my eyes shut tight.

“H-Heya, T-T-T-Twilight.” Applejack said from below. “A-Are ya up there?”

“Mommy, I’m sorry-” I tried, peeking over the rafter.

Oh Mommy believes Twily!!” Mom crooned sweetly.

Bucking. Teleport. You. Nag.

And just like that I was hiding under Fluttershy’s bed.

Not even a minute later, my mother said, “The longer Twily makes Mommy look for her, the sadder Mommy gets…” My Mom said softly. “If Twily gives Mommy a hug it’ll all be okay~

She’s going to break your tailbone and pierce your hymen.’

“What do I do?” I asked myself, stessing for an answer.

Suddenly, I heard the door to Fluttershy’s room open and with that came the Harbinger of the End Times. “... So hi Velvet. Is there a reason- Woah.

I scrambled out from underneath the bed to possibly save Max only to find that nothing was happening. Mom was just looking at Max and Max was just staring at her. I thought it wise not to say anything since nopony seemed to notice my sudden departure from my hiding spot until Mom turned her head and gave me a warm, caring, loving smile. “Twily!

Max glanced at me and back to my Mom and I realized that I really cared about Max seeing me get spanked. I really really cared about being able to look my coltfriend in the eye, so I begged. “Mommy, Twily didn’t mean-”

Or at least, I tried to.

Oh no, Twily, the time for apologies is over. Now come he-” Mom said sweetly.

Max is the only pony… I mean... “Grrr.” He purred like a cat, taking a handful of my Mom’s bottom and squeezing hard enough to make his strain visible. “That is some arse!

Mom froze and stopped smiling, her head slowly turning to look at my grinning boyfriend. “Colt, if you don’t unhand my flank, I’ll break your itty-bitty weenie.”

Max let her go and cocked his his head to the side, swaggering a single step backwards. “Oh really? Issat ‘ow ya feel, ya sweet little tart?” He gave her a cocky, flatout arrogant smirk.

Mom narrowed her eyes at him. “I beg your pardon?”

“Do ya wanna check the Ol’ Chap? Ya wanna see the ‘itty-bitty weenie’ that’ll have you on your knees in seconds, begging for cock, just like your son?

I knew he was gay!” Mom cried.


“When!? When did he finally accept it!?”

“Not too long ago. Said he’ll be coming out soon since he’s walking a little funny and he doubts I’m going to let him shake it off any time soon. I’ll give your boy a break though, Velvet, so don’t worry.” He winked at her.

Mom beamed like Max had just told her that she’d never have to worry about ever being sad or mad again before blinking rapidly. “Wait, you’re dating my daughter.”

“I am.”

And having coitus with my son?” Mom asked slowly.

“I’m trying to get your husband to let me be his sub, but I think he thinks I want it too much.” My coltfriend replied sighing. “I just want that fat cock in my little hole, you know? I just want to get the whole family together for some quality time.” He said salaciously, touching himself inappropriately and biting his lips, giving my Mom a hot, steamy look. “You could say that I’m a bit of a family man.”

Mom fainted and I probably would have if I knew what to do. Max let her hit the floor and turned to me, scratching his head. “I’m not having sex with your brother, you know that, right?”

I nodded.

“And I’m not gay.”

I nodded.

“I grabbed your Mum’s bum to distract her. I wasn’t trying to make a move or make you jealous, I was just trying to send her into outer space for a moment, yeah?”

I nodded.

“... You okay, Twilight?”

“I am so confused right now.” I choked out before I fell to my knees, my brain sending weird signals to my limbs.

Fluttershy poked her head in the door. “... Th-There are a lot of ponies in here…”

Max looked to her and gave her a thumbs up. “Drag the old Twilight and I’ll see if I can get the new one working again.”

Fluttershy nodded slowly before looking at me. “... A-Are you okay T-Twilight?”

“I dunno.” Squeaking wasn’t the plan, but it was honestly adequate.

My coltfriend came over to me and laid my head on his shoulder. “Well, how about we go figure out how you feel at the Treebrary?”

“The tree-library?” I asked, scatterbrained like never before.

Snack him and shack it up, filly!’

“Yeah. Let’s have some tea and brainwash ourselves into forgetting that today ever happened.” Max said blankly.

I pushed him away and smacked him, making Max recoil and inhale deeply. “This. This, Max, is what’s wrong. When will you ever find time to deal with your problems? When are you ever-”

Max smacked me back, but it didn’t actually hurt. He just pushed my face kinda roughly. “First off; I just did you a fucking favor. Second off; quit putting your fucking hands on me. Third; If you want to go back in time and tally up the shitstorm of dicks that have been crammed in my ass or the amount fuckin’ reekin’ cunt I’ve had to fuck, if you really wanna fuckin’ understand why I don’t deal with this shit, then do it. Don’t tell me how to handle my Goddamn problems because I don’t need some fucking nag naggingmy arse all fucking livelong Goddamn day.”

“Max, we talked about this.” Fluttershy said softly, standing over Max.

He got up and gave her a look. “You talked.”

Fluttershy put a hand on his arm. “Then let me listen.”

His eyes took a hard glint. “The past is the. Past. We live. We grow. We learn. Most importantly? Most importantly we get the fuck over it.” Max shook his head. “I did.”

He started to leave, Fluttershy stepping to the side since she wasn’t exactly ‘Mrs. Confrontation’ or anything. I, however, had a bone to pick. “Maximus.”

“OHmyfuckingGod, strike me Bruv. Come at me down at Tesco ya cheeky cunt.” Max growled at the ceiling. After a full minute of awkward silence full of Max staring at the ceiling like a raving madstallion, he inhaled deeply looked down, pointed his fingers and me and said, “You crazy. I like ya, but me crazy, my strolls paid me, so I used that dough to allure ladies to with whom dome dope never know that my mind’s shady, kinda like some pure Hades, bystanders steady standin’ by couldn't endure to save me, thus a Brit doth blaze tree and wake up early just to drink at three; pre-dawn doubledown Six-Shot Quickdraw playin’ by myself and the loser has to drink ‘em all, wobble around till ‘e stumbles ‘n falls, for Daddy he calls, can’t chase the thoughts away so broke shit just bawls.He inhaled. “Like, FUCK! Can a ladget a break?

“When you actually open your heart, you won’t be tormented anymore.” Fluttershy said, wrapping her arms around him from behind.

I stepped close enough to hug him if anything I said didn’t screw up the perfect shot
Fluttershy had lined up for me. “I swear, Max. I’ll never laugh at your true pain, or smile because of your sadness. I promise that, within reason, I’ll never betray you or your secrets.”

Max looked at me blankly and I knew it. I just knew it. I knew that I had Max’s heart and that if I kept my promise as I fully intended to, I would have him by my side for as long as I cared to keep him.

Then Fluttershy said, “And I promise to be there for you when you need a shoulder to lean on, not just when you want one. I swear that, i-if I can help it, I won’t hurt you for my own gain or betray your trust.”

And just like that I had to share him with my best friend.

There were honestly worse things that could have happened.

“... It means a lot to you two, doesn’t it? Prying into my privacy.”

“Helping you is worth having you upset with us.” I said softly, hugging him.

“We want you to be happy, Max. Without having to choke down your pain.” Fluttershy let go of Max to envelop me in her hug too with her stupid long arms.

“Can you two let me go before I either start sweating or start getting the wrong idea? The second head doesn’t do too much thinking, after all.” Max tried pitifully.

“Hug better!” I spouted, hoping that Fluttershy’s nuzzle-snuggle skills were still up to par.

We started nuzzling Max and before I knew it, Max was chuckling his head off. “Alright, dear Lord! Just let me go and get a drink. I’m dying of thirst.”

Fluttershy and I let him go and my friend joined me in standing in front of him. We traded a smile and Max just gave us a vexed look. “I have tea here if you’d like to start talking.” Fluttershy offered.

“Sounds lovely. I’ll be right back, alright?”

I gave him a tender smile. “Please don’t run away.”

“I’d cross my fingers and tell you that I wasn’t going to, but that’s dishonest. I’m just going to the bathroom and never coming out.” He winked at me. “Slip me grains of rice and pour liquor on the floor. I’ll slurp it up.”

I rolled my eyes and smiled again. “We’ll be waiting downstairs.”

“Right.” He nodded, walking out of the room.

I looked at Fluttershy. “Get started on the tea, I’ll catch up.”

She nodded too and I teleported outside, leaving my Mom in Fluttershy’s room, hoping that waking up in a strange place would make her forget the last couple of hours like it had the last time. When I stood looked up to make sure that somepony wasn’t going to try escaping again, I saw Max look out of the bathroom window before opening it and vomiting violently.

I decided to go home. Mostly because I was standing under the window, and I wasn’t exactly far enough away to not get hit. Of course, I teleported back after emptying my stomach and changing my clothes, but by then Fluttershy and Max were talking about where I’d gone and why I’d suddenly become so disinterested. It was hard to look at Max when he’d just tossed his cookies on me, but it was easier than telling him that I wanted to shove my hoof up his butt. As it was, Max apparently found a way to smoke some of Fluttershy’s tea and he did that for a few minutes by having me light the tea while he smoke it from a hollowed out cucumber that Fluttershy didn’t like looking at for some reason. Max mentioned that it smelled like cake, but I don’t know of any cucumbers that smell like cake.

Once Max’s eyes were red, he started telling us… A lot. He told us a lot that we weren’t prepared to hear… Max didn’t seem to be all that bothered by what he said, all the horrible, horrible things that happened to him when he was young, during the time in his life where he should have been making friends and finding himself. He… He was obviously not the type to let his pain show. He wasn’t a stoic stallion per se, but he was… I don’t know. You could call it stubborn or you could call it numb. You could call it repressive or you could call it adaptive. You could call it anything but weak, and I respected Max for shouldering his burdens because I understood him a little better after he shared bits and pieces of his past with us. Sure, Max really didn’t feel like talking about his past, but that wasn’t because it was heartbreaking for him. It was just hard to talk about with Ponies, and not just Fluttershy and I. Things like rape and murder? I’ve never actually heard of it making the news in Equestria because it only happened in the places that the news didn't cover. Thieving? It was against Equestria’s base values of honesty, generosity, and kindness. Things like that made up an awful lot of Max’s life, but there was so much good in him that he tried to show as much as he could…

I thought I understood Max. I thought I had a grasp on what made him tick, but I was wrong. There was something in Max that was stronger than anypony his age had the right to have, and I loved that the little ball of pure bronze was too dense to be dented. For a moment, I wondered if that was what Fluttershy saw in him too, and then I wondered if Fluttershy even wanted Max in the first place, nearly facepalming over my own silliness. Still, throughout Max’s soliloquy I paid attention to the bland, detached way he recounted the events of the past and saw a broken stallion who really was dealing with his problems in the best way he’d ever been taught how. The problem was that I couldn’t figure out a way to help Max process the emotions he’d buried for so long since it was so hard for him to talk about his past in the first place.

Max ended up taking a nap on Fluttershy’s couch for awhile before Lupa and Bearett dragged him off of it. Bearett let himself be made into a giant pillow and Lupa made for the perfect snuggle buddy while Max got a little rest, and Fluttershy and I waited. We waited as patiently as we could for Max to fall asleep once more, the sounds of his breathing leveling out and his shoulders relaxing a little giving it away. The two of us, as quietly as we could, moved to sneak upstairs to check on my Mom, but when we came to the staircase, she was just standing there with her eyes closed.

“... Mom?”

“... I had a Truth Spell on while he was talking.” She said softly.

“... So did I.” I replied weakly.

“I didn’t need one.” Fluttershy muttered just loudly enough for me to hear.

The three of us stood in silence for a few minutes before I spoke again, “We need to help him somehow.”

“I think Max would do best around somepony who likes to laugh and joke around.” Fluttershy suggested.

My mother nodded. “From what I remember, he seemed to be the fun-loving type. Maybe you could find him a job that he could do with his hands?”

I started nodding along, but Fluttershy was the one who said, “W-Well, Blossom’s and Bloom’s is looking for a sous chef and the O-Onyx Lock at the Lock Pad is looking for a partner.”

“Then we’ll ask him if he’d like to have something to keep his mind off of his past and fill his days.” The plan was already coming together in my head. “Between that and the schedule I can draw up for him, Max’s days can be adjusted and re-adjusted to suit what makes him happiest!”

Mom gave me an amused little smile. “After I slap him for groping me, of course.”

My smile faded. “Right…

She rolled her eyes. “I’m sorry, Sparkle. I was truly upset over nothing, and hunting you down was something that a bad mother would do. Can you forgive me for nearly making a mistake?”

I gave her another smile. “Of course, Mom. I love you.”

“I love you too, Dear. Now Momma’s going home so she can explain to her husband that her son-in-law is weird, but nice. I’m leaving out the part where he grabbed my flank to stop me from spanking you, but I’m going to say that he licked my face, and we’re going to go with that. Understood?”

“Yes Ma’am.” I said dutifully.

Mom nodded. “Alright. Thank you for introducing me to your complicated problem, Dear. If you ever need advice, you know where I live and how to write a letter. Please don’t feel like just because I’m leaving right now that-”

“Mom, it’s okay.” I replied patiently. “We’ve both got our own lives to live, and right now my heart is telling me to live it with Max.”

Mom nodded one more time and came down the stair for a hug. “I love you baby, and don’t be afraid to knock some sense into Max every once in awhile.”

“I don’t think that’s what he needs as much as hugs and comfort, but maybe. You never know.” I gave her a squeeze and she let me go before teleporting, most likely back to Golden Oaks to get her stuff and get ready for the train back to Canterlot.

Fluttershy and I went up to her room and laid down on her bed after kicking off our shoes. We held each other for a little while and talked about happy memories and the times where we’d laughed and laughed until our tails would have fallen off from exhaustion to purge the dark thoughts that Max had instilled into the back of our minds. It was hard to think that one pony had suffered so much, and as I write this, I still worry about Max, but that’s for the conclusion. Fluttershy and I ended up talking until we fell asleep, so I’m actually writing this two days after the events of this entry. Talk about procrastination… Anyway, I feel like now’s an important time to mention that Max had only managed to save my butt by sheer luck according to Fluttershy, with him having gone upstairs to use her restroom. Probably to escape.

Anyway, I think it’s time for the conclusion on this days since it’s been such a long entry.


In conclusion, I thought it was nice that Max wasn’t afraid to call me out when I was acting like less of a mare than I am, but I can’t help but feel like his acidic words are meant to pierce the fur and go into the bone. It’s like being on the receiving end of Fluttershy’s Stare when Max looks at you like he’s never been so disappointed… I was glad that we got to reconcile after all and that nothing too terrible happened other than the near miss of the spanking of a lifetime.

On the same vein, Spike accepted my apology with no kerfuffle since he really is a sweet colt, but I couldn’t help but feel like he was planning on getting me back in some way. Time will tell when Spike actually makes a move, I just hope that it isn’t anything too embarrassing. He tends to keep it tame, but I don’t put it beneath him to go to Max for help. Celestia save us all if Max’s lack of respect for boundaries makes it into a prank.

I wish things had gone smoother with Mom meeting Max, but it’s not as though she didn’t like him or anything. He just posed a very vexing prospect and she didn’t seem to quite know how to handle him yet. Still, when we weren’t talking about his past, Mom was absolutely charmed and had seemed to approve of him pretty well. I was grateful for Max’s intervention, though why he had to say he was attracted to my Dad and older brother (I’m hoping), I’ll never quite understand.

As for the following day and all that ensued… Well, Diary? We’ll just have to schedule another appointment ♡

Alright, that was pretty decent for a summary, though I left out a few of the embarrassing bits… I don’t think anypony needs a reminder of those little things, right? In any case, it was lovely writing to you, Diary. Have a wonderful day!

Let Me In...

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Redux: Let me in…


Dear Diary,

Fluttershy and I had fallen asleep by the time Max left, though we didn’t know if he’d snuck out for something or if he’d just gotten bored and needed to go stir up somepony else’s life. Either way, we were without our Human and said Human might be more than just a little sad that the two friends he just confessed some of the worst things the worst things I’d ever heard of happening to a pony that didn’t end with them underground. My Truth Spell wavered occasionally, but that… That only made it worse… Knowing that Max was lying about how much what he’d gone through had hurt at the time was hard for obvious reasons. Wishing that he wouldn’t downplay his suffering still doesn’t do me any good, but I can’t say that I don’t understand why he does it. It’s a kind lie that I didn’t want him to tell on a moral level, but the alternative was probably a result that he didn’t want in the first place.

I didn’t know what to do about Max since he’d just… Appeared. I mean, I felt like I’d known him for years, but I’d only known him for days and I already knew that I wanted him in the rest of my life as well…Feeling lost wasn’t something I was getting used to at all, but I was happy to have Fluttershy with me to help me get through the rough morning. It was good to have a close friend nearby when things seemed like they just kept getting worse, and it was even better that Fluttershy was the friend I had around. I mean, I love all of my friends, but some try my patience more than others.

Anyway, Fluttershy and I decided that Max would show up when he needed us, so I went home and took care of a few things that I didn’t like procrastinating on, such as personal hygiene and the vague feeling that I should try experimenting with Poison Joke and Flergulic again, as droll as ‘Flergulic’ sounds. There was a breakthrough on the horizon; all I had to do was sail towards it. The problem was that I needed to focus and my mind kept drifting off to Max even while I was getting the experiment together to the point where it was too dangerous for me to follow through with what i wanted to do since Poison Joke isn’t something to be trifled with, especially since it’s treemen could potentially make me do something weird.

With my experiment out the window, Spike out of the house, and nothing else to do other than read, I went into the kitchen, made some tea, and started writing a little story instead of reading because I didn’t want to read at the moment. I wanted to experience something new and comforting, something sound and peaceful, so I began the tale of Cloud Forest and his long lost lover, Ion Dine and how they were reunited. Unlike how I started writing in my diary, Betwixt was a phenomenally simple thing to write, and to get it written so quickly! It wasn’t exactly legible per se, but it definitely read well and didn’t seem to have many grammatical issues. Granted, it wasn’t a long story by any means, but that just meant that I could add onto it, and thus began the series Ignition in the Arboreal Mountains, which would be based around the simple living of a few towns that lived high up in the mountains Southwest of Ponyville. The Appletian Mountains were famous for their folk tales, so I figured that one more from a descendent of someone born there wouldn’t be out of place.

I spent the entire day writing and focusing on my story to the point where I didn’t even realize that Spike had come home until he said, “You know that nopony’s gonna be able to read that, right?”

“Dear Celestia!” I yelped, jolting in my seat. “Spike! You could’ve made me ruin a page you butthead!”

He raised a scaly brow. “Right. So where’s Max?”

“... He’s taking some time to himself. I’m sure he’ll show up some time or another.”

“You didn’t drive him away, did you?”

… That question weighed on my mind from the point Spike said it until earlier this morning when Max finally showed back up after being missing for nearly six days… It was a good thing… Kind of. I know I haven’t been writing very long, but I could use a cup of tea.


It was four o’clock in the morning when there was a heavy pounding at my door. A little sleepy and a lot annoyed, I got up to answer it at my leisure since it was four in the morning. Even if it was urgent, somepony could’ve waited to blow up the town or crash the Moon onto Equus after brunch. Understandably perturbed, I made myway downstairs, flung my door open and glared at the police officer for five seconds until I realized that I was glaring at a police officer.

“Ma’am, do you know this stallion?” He barked, roughly pushing Max forward.

Max… He’d seen better days. It broke my heart to see the violently black eye he was sporting as well as the busted lip that looked like it could start bleeding again at any moment. “Wh-What happened?”

“Some Sadelle officers caught him in a bar brawl over a tab. He says that the bartender was charing him double what she was charging Ponies, but nopony had any proof-”

“So one guy racked up forty bits worth of liquor in an hour and didn’t have to spend a night in the drunk tank, and that don’t strike you as-” Max spat hatefully before he was interrupted.

“Shut your lying mouth before I take you back in. Ma’am, what is this stallion’s name?”

“... Max. Max, we’ll make this right, I promise.” I said firmly, turning my gaze to the officer. “Now if you’d kindly get those cuffs off of an innocent stallion, then I think your integrity would benefit from it.” Ice would have frozen over and cracked again at my tone.

The officer tried jamming a finger in my face. “You look-”

“Your job is mine, Buster. Do you know who the buck I am?”

“Alright, you’re coming with me.” The officer snarled.

“No, you’re coming with me. As a ranking member of the Twilight Arcana Family, Honorary Guard Lieutenant, and personal student of Princess Celestia, I place you under arrest for wrongful seizure of an innocent pony.”

He rolled his eyes and snatched my arm before I knocked him out with a simple spell. Max snorted and his hands somehow came around from behind him as he rubbed his wrists. Then he grabbed his thumb made a strange gesture with it and grunted before getting the hand that was still cuffed free by using the key.“Wanna cuff this guy?”

I examined the chafe marks on Max’s skin and the bruising on his thumb. “... Are you bleeding?”

“Yeah. They refused to loosen the cuffs or even take them off. Said I was too dangerous.” He said bitterly.

I sighed. “... Why did you disappear, Max?”

“... I don’t know.”

I believe that. “I understand, Amour. Just… I missed you.”

“... I’m sorry.” And I believe that too. Darn me and my soft heart!

“It’s okay. Just… Come inside while I get ready to go to Canterlot. Do you have any spare clothes?”

Max’s lip curled. “Got robbed by the rozzers. They said everything I had on me was stolen.”

… I hate ponies sometimes. “We’ll get that cleared up too, Amour. Are you tired?”

“No, I-”

“Max, the bags under the eye that isn’t black are black. When’s the last time you slept?”

“... I don’t remember.”

“When’s the last time you ate?”

He closed his eyes. “... I don’t remember.”

“... Maximus…”

“Twilight, I don’t need any pity. I’m okay.”

“You’re spiraling hard… I… We don’t have to talk this time.” I said shakily, the tears already falling as I tried to wipe them away. “Just let me hold you, okay? I… I just wanna know you’re okay.” My lips trembled as I looked at him imploringly, begging him with my eyes as I hoped that he’d give into my simple request.

Max spread his arms and enveloped me in a hug on my doorstep, his breathing uneven, his heart hammering his in chest like a smith in a forge. “Twilight… I-I’m scared. Everything hates me for what I am, no one looks like me, no one sounds like me, the food doesn’t taste like my food, the air smells wrong the roads are wrong the buildings are wrong the people wrong the world is wrong I can’t take it ANYMORE!” He sobbed, weeping his pain out like he should’ve done in the first place.

Hugging him back was all I knew to do, the act the only thing I knew to do to soothe the sympathetic ache that was building up in my own chest. I wanted Max to know that I loved him with my whole heart then and there, so I pushed him away for the briefest of moments before cupping his face in my hands and kissing him with as much of my love as I could muster, garnering a vigorous response in turn from Max. Our lips clash and on occasion our teeth bumped, but neither of us cared; we just wanted it to hurt a little less, to breathe without our chests feeling like they might explode if the wrong pony touched us.

When we parted, we were both panting hard and it barely took me two seconds to teleport the misguided officer to the Court Hall and it took us even less time to saunter up to my bedroom. I clambered onto my bed, but Max hesitated. “... It’s been a couple days since I’ve been able to take a shower. Would you mind…?”

I gave him a warm, loving smile. “I’ll look for something you can wear. I know I have a few pairs of extra baggy sweatpants you could probably squeeze into if you don’t take too long.”

He nodded and leaned forward, clearly meaning to give me another kiss, which was no problem, even if it did taste a bit like smoke and metal. He left and took his shower shortly after and I found a pair of shorts that I never wore because they were like, huge and a pair of sweatpants that had a really long drawstring, but I couldn't’ find a shirt big enough to fit Max. I knew Spike would have a couple that wouldn’t be too short, but I didn’t want to wake him up so early in the morning, and I doubted that Max would mind very much since he was a stallion. It wasn’t because I got anything out of it, Diary, and don’t you dare exist at me like that!

Getting back on track, I teleported Max’s clothes into the bathroom and told him where they were through the door, but instead of leaving to go do something else, I decided to sit beside the door and wait for him to come out. When the soft sobbing came through the door, I opened it softly and knock. “Amour?”

“Yeah?” He answered, his voice cracking.

“Do you smell like a rose yet?” I tried, hoping that I could make him laugh.

Success! “Yeah. Lemma dry off and I’ll be right with you.”

“My breath is already baited.” I sighed dramatically.

That got another laugh out of him and I closed the door so he could have some privacy, and before long he came out, smelling like me, but more like a stallion. I lead him to my room and we cuddled together in my bed, Max’s arms wrapped around me while I nuzzled his neck and took in the pleasant musk that still pervaded from him, even as it was covered by my sweet body wash. I could hear his heart beat heavily whenever I shifted against him, and if I moved away from him, a little bubble of warmth and scent would rise through the covers and hit me in the nose, lulling me into a more peaceful state.

We dozed off and on until sunrise, but even then we just held hands under the blankets and looked at each other, worlds apart even when we were touching. It was a feeling that drained the joy out of the moment in its own way, but I knew that we would grow closer still if we both decided to stay faithful to the other. All too soon, there was a gentle knocking at my door and I got up to answer it, leaving Max to get the first bit of real sleep he’d probably gotten in some time. When I saw that Celestia was the one asking for my attention, I stepped out and we went downstairs to talk.

We sat at my new kitchen table and had a cup of tea while I explained what I knew of the situation to her and Celestia said that what her Memory Scan of the officer’s mind told her correlated pretty closely. She said that she would handle anything that came of the incident as it would and I thanked her for being the most dependable mare on the planet. With that out of the way, we had another topic to discuss.

“So, Twilight, where is Max at the moment?” The Princess asked.

“He’s getting some sleep. He said that he didn’t know when the last time he’d actually slept was.”

“Hmm… He wouldn’t happen to be in your bed, would he?”

I felt my face flush as I looked at the marvelous grain of the table. “... We didn’t do anything. We’ve just been holding each other.”

“... Really? An emotionally distressed stallion has a breakdown and he doesn’t try to get you to have pity sex with him?”

Princess! Max isn’t that kind of stallion! He just wanted some comfort from the only pony he remembers is all…”

“Then I doubt that I should be keeping you from him much longer. Let me know should you need anything else, Twilight.”

I nodded. “Thank you, Princess, but about the stipend-”

“Give what you don’t spend on necessities to Max as remuneration and compensation for his troubles. It would be the result of the trial anyway.”

“Again, thank you.” At least he won’t be penniless again.

Celestia gave me a smile and a nod before we came together for yet another hug to add on to the thousands we’d shared over the years. She kissed my temple and teleported back to Canterlot, so I got downstairs, wrote a note for Spike, and crept back into my room, but I almost choked on the sight. Max’s arm was strewn across my spot and there was a longing look on his face, an occasional twitch to his eyelids and lips that assured me that he was having a bad dream. Ponies aren’t known for their sneaking ability and I’m not known for being stealthy at all, so my second hoofstep woke Max.

“Sorry…” I whispered.

“I knew you’d be back.” He murmured, obviously not as awake as I’d thought.

The smile on my face was as honest as one good get, but Max’s hands… The way they were gripping the sheets when I came in worried me, and the relief I felt when he visibly eased was almost enough to convince me to teleport over and hold him all day long. As it was, we still had a few hours to sleep and slumber, so I tried to walk as softly as I could back to bed and cuddled up to Max, nuzzling his chest. Those slender fingers of his grazed their way from my lower back and up between my shoulderblades, sending chills down my spine like you wouldn’t believe. At the same time, his soft, retarded heartbeat thumped just loudly enough for me to hear, distracting me as his hand traced the back of my neck, settling on my head as if he wanted to hold me even closer. Not even a minute later, he took the first deep breath you would actually expect somepony who was sleeping to take, but his heart still sounded weak to me as he held on just a little less tightly.

Even as right as the moment felt, I was worried that Max might be malnourished or otherwise sick and might not have noticed due to his drinking habits. I tried not to be obvious while I let my hand drift across his side. It was still enough to make him stir, but that was the least of my worries. His ribs were somewhat pronounced; even more so than a pony with his slim, wiry build should be. Temptation pulled me toward touching his thigh to see if it was solid or if there was any excess fat there, but I decided that waking him might be more important than being subtle.

Through some sort of miracle, as light a sleeper as Max had been in the past, he didn’t do much more than keep his hand on my side when I looked at his face. My little boost of happiness didn’t last long. I was looking at the side of Max’s face that was sporting a massive bruise, but now I could see a deep split in his lip that looked like a very sketchy doctor had sewn it back up. It didn't seem infected, but he wasn’t sleeping much longer if I had anything to say about it… Or rather… He wouldn’t have, but I just… I couldn’t wake him up when he was sleeping so peacefully, but I needed him awake so we could get his injuries taken care of. My mind warred between letting him sleep for a little longer or getting him the help he probably needed, but I couldn’t decide which would be for the best. For all I knew, his kind could have had a decent Healing Factor, meaning that just letting him sleep it off would be better. However, I already knew that he was frail in comparison to the average Pony, so I was extra worried about whether or not his shallow breathing and meager heartbeat were indicative of further damage.

And then somepony kissed him a couple of times and wrapped his arms around her, letting him nuzzle her for once.

… Starswirl’’s Swift Spells; I am a selfish pony…

It was worth it!!!

Max’s warmth was like nothing I’d ever felt before, and I just knew that we’d been doing it wrong from the moment I’d slid the covers over me the second time. Max’s embrace, even incapacitated as he was, made me feel safe and comforted, like nothing was wrong and that everything would be okay as long as he held me… My heart thrummed in my chest with every expansion of his diaphram, his breath heating the nape of my neck every time his soft exhalation drifted through my fur. The sensation was slightly… Well, I’m not afraid to say that it was arousing since anypony in that situation would have a hard time avoiding it, but it’s still embarrassing. I decided not to focus on it and instead leaned into Max, holding his arm and cuddling for all I was worth to get the most out of the moment. My own consciousness faded in and out as I lay in bliss with my stallion and his homecoming to look forward to, even as I struggled and… Um… ‘Smuggled’ my joy out of my what time I had left with him.

This is so cute!” I heard during one of my bouts of consciousness. I barely remember opening my eyes, but I do remember getting blinded by a camera flash when I did.

“Do you think they did it?” Rainbow asked brashly, rousing me fully.

When I was actually looking at things instead of being dozy, I saw Applejack and Rainbow looking back at me with smiles on their faces. My reasonable friend was holding the camera, but the smile on her face told me that she wasn’t taking a picture for the sake of making fun of me. Rainbow, however, looked all too amused to find Max in my bed. I had to get my arm free of Max’s to shoo them away, but Applejack just shook her head and Rainbow rolled her eyes. I know for a fact that I only can only glare at Spike, Shining, and Fluttershy and expect it to do anything, so I just held my finger to my lips and carefully extricated myself from Max’s grasp.

Don’t go.” He murmured softly.

My heart broke into a thousand pieces for my poor little ‘man’ and Applejack said, “Aww…”

I gave Max a tender look that I’m not sure if he saw, but still. As I held his hand, he squeezed back gently. “Don’t worry, Amour; I’ll be back soon.”

“Mhmm.” He replied softly.

It took him a few seconds to let go of my hand, but I think it was more because I kissed his temple rather than because he wanted to actually let me leave. As my friends and I left the room, I couldn’t help but notice that Applejack was looking at me with a little concern in her eyes, but it was tempered by a certain light in her eyes that I couldn’t help but appreciate. She knew that Max and I were keeping things innocent, but something was worrying her, and I couldn’t help but think that it was Max’s reappearance. Once we got out of my room, my hypothesis was confirmed.

“Twilight, when the hay did Max get back?” Applejack asked calmly, scratching her head.

“... This morning.” I said hesitantly. “Now’s kind of a bad time…”

Applejack nodded. “I’ll say. That shiner a’ his looks awful nasty.”

“He probably earned it.” Rainbow snorted.


“He did not! It’s just that ponies in Sadelle aren’t as accepting of the other races and especially not somepony new like Max!” Why does everypony just think he’s such a butthead?

Applejack sighed. “The guy looks pretty gaunt, Twi.”

I nodded slowly. “... Yeah.”

“You think he might be hooked on something?”

“I doubt it. I don’t think there are any drugs that would affect Max here since they’re almost all race specific. He says that Humans can eat salt like Ponies eat some mildly poisonous flowers, chocolate like normal, and Humans can’t tolerate venom, just like ponies, so it’s reasonable to say that the drugs here wouldn’t affect him in most cases.”

She nodded a couple of time in turn, taking her hat off to run her fingers through her mane. “Alright, here’s what we’re gonna do. I’m gonna make some breakfast for y’all and you’re gonna get him up and moving so he can get some food on that belly since Spike said y’all been up here all morning.”

“... What time is it?”

“Little past noon.” Rainbow said helpfully.

I raised my brows, my jaw hanging open. “What!? We wasted half the day napping!?”

Applejack frowned. “From the looks of him, I’d say Max’ll probably wanna go back to napping as soon as he’s done eating.”

“I wouldn’t blame him. Just try not to cram too much food down his throat or something like you do to everypony else.” Rainbow jibed.

AJ touched her knuckles to Rainbow’s shoulder. “I’ll tone it down. Why don’t you go and tell the girls that Twi’s just been dozin’ off with her Love-Dove?”

I gave Applejack a look for that, but it was true. “Anyways, why did you two need my attention?”

“Somepony forgot about the picnic, but I guess that having Lover-Colt come over was a pretty good distraction.” Rainbow snickered.

My more down-to-Equus friend rolled her eyes. “You forgot too, Dash. You just wanted to hang out because it’s a bad day for flyin’. Why don’t we get Max situated and we’ll figured out a late lunch or somethin’?”

I gave her a smile. “I’ll get him up here in a second- Why are you laughing?”

“Nothing.” They both said suspiciously.

There was little that could be done other than a slight narrowing of my eyes, but I went to make good on getting Max to come to the waking world for some breakfast downstairs. As luck would have it, when I opened the door, he was already sitting up, blearily looking around the room until he laid eyes on me, putting a dreamy smile on his face and a warm feeling in the core of my being. Mornings were meant to be lazy forever, just so I could spend them all with Max in my eyes, but I still wanted him to go and eat something. I crossed the room as I had earlier, just as softly and knelt on the bed, giving him a patient, caring smile. He tenderly touched his face, wincing as he did so, prompting me to brush his hands away so I could let my lips graze the hot, darkened skin beneath his eye.

“Good afternoon.” I said quietly.

He blinked a few times, looking at my hand before placing his over mine. “No nightmares.”


“No nightmares.” Max repeated sleepily. “First time in a long time. What’s going on?”

“Applejack is making us breakfast right now, so do you want to go downstairs and eat?” Please say yes.

“... Yeah. I should eat.”

I wanted to ask if he wanted to talk about whatever was obviously on his mind, but I doubted that he’d be able to put it into words at the moment since he looked ready to fall back asleep at any moment. Instead of grilling him or hesitating too long, I shuttled Max out of bed and made sure that he wouldn’t fall down the stairs as we made our way to the kitchen, but even as I tried to make my concern the only thing in my mind, I couldn’t help but be a little hesitant to touch Max without a shirt on, even if he was stumbling from time to time. I kept a Levitation Spell ready so I wouldn’t have to deal with the rush of holding Max while he was visibly half-naked, even if I was sure that I could hold him. Through the rose-tinted glasses of the ‘Oh my’, I saw that Max wasn’t healthy, and that he had an awful lot of bruises that made scars look twice as ugly.

How he was up and walking like a normal pony, I couldn’t tell you, but Max seemed to start limbering up as we moved along, gaining steam and swallowing frequently. His stomach grumbled loudly and I couldn’t help be be a little sad that I couldn’t actually cook worth a lizard’s lick, but I could be happy that my near-sister Applejack was a Magician in the kitchen and could probably put ten pounds on Max in a couple days. The smell of apple fritters and hashbrowns wafted around my house, but for once, I wasn’t actually hungry so far into the day, despite not having eaten for myself. I was just excited to see Max get a good meal and soon enough, when we saw it, I couldn’t help but gush a little.

“Oh, doesn’t that look good, Max?” I asked, pointing at the plates Applejack was holding, giving him a smile. “Applejack’s like, one of the best chefs I know, and that’s crazy because she doesn’t usually have to cook!”

“I help Granny in the kitchen and pick up stuff, Twi. It’s not a secret.” The mare in question chuckled.

“It’s not like you do it everyday though. Sometimes you’re catching up on work-”

“You can’t cook, can you?” Max asked.

“... Maybe.” How did he know!?

Applejack blinked a couple times. “Good guess on that one, Sugarcube, but now the food’s gettin’ cold. Why don’t you have a seat so you and Twi can eat?”

Max gave me a one armed hug and casually tossed Applejack a mild smile; one that was warm and friendly, but still full of gratitude touched with shame. “I’d pay you for it if I could, but-”

“Nuh-uh, Buster. Apple Family Rule Number Five: If ya can see their ribs, ya stuff ‘em, so sit down and prepare to get stuffed.”

He gave her a worried look, but something about it just told me that he wasn’t being serious, like he was kind of trying to look like he was anxious, but wasn’t putting any effort behind it. “A-Are you going to feed me and fill me full of cotton? You’re a taxidermist, aren’t you!?”

“... What?”

“He’s either delirious, drunk, or being goofy.” I answered.

Applejack nodded while Max suddenly started leading me to the table, apparently being ready to eat after confusing my friend. Fluttershy, having been herself and not wanting to interrupt before anything needed to be said, was already sitting at the table while Applejack laid both plates in front of Max, telling him that they should be cool enough to tuck into as is. Rainbow had evidently left in favor of going back to tell the others that we weren’t going to be joining them. That being said, the hashbrowns lasted all of two minutes under Max’s voracious appetite and the apple fritters, Applejack’s comfort food specialty, was savored bite by bite, oddly enough. Applejack made me food too, but I was mostly just eating for the sake of her not whining at me for wasting food. I ended up eating both of our entire saladd since Max couldn’t eat any of the flowers that they were made of, but he happily ate my sausage, filling his mouth with it and probably letting the juices swirl around his tongue. It’s what I usually do whenever Applejack makes sausage, but I was happy to let Max have it for the sake of him being able to have a full stomach.

Once our plates were cleared, Max and I washed the dishes since he’s a nice guy and he evidently likes to volunteer me to do things too. He washed while I dried, and after a little while, nopony had to ask for him to say, “I left because I don’t like pity. I don’t like opening up, I don’t like telling people things, and I don’t like admitting when I’m scared or feel like I can’t do anything.”

There was silence for a little while. The only sounds that were made came from the sink as Max continued to wash dishes until I finally found my courage. “... Max?”

“Yes?” He asked softly.

“Please don’t leave because you feel vulnerable again.” I murmured. “I’ll protect you, so don’t feel like you’re alone, okay? I might not be my brother, but I can cast a reeeally good bubble shield.” Reaching up, I placed a mostly dry hand on his shoulder.

Max turned his head and gave me a half smile, his eye still partially closed from the bruising. “... If this is my second chance, then let it be known that I’m taking it.” He leaned over and kissed my temple, sending a wave of warmth across my head that cleared any possible implications of infidelity from my mind.

“Amour, I understand. I read your entire journal. The entire book that says everything that was supposed to happen after Rainbow chased you into my house.” I chuckled.

“... What’s that supposed to mean?” He asked quietly, turning to give me his full attention.

“It means that it’s your journal, Max. It’s filled with some of your deepest thoughts and why you are the way you are, and reading it only made me want to love you even more.” Clearing a tear from my eye, I looked up at him and filled my eyes with as much compassion as I could. “You said and implied in your journals that I was the best thing that ever happened more times than you might be comfortable with me knowing, but that only made me want to be even better for you.”

Max blinked slowly. “... I need to read that book.”

“... Did nothing else I said leave any kind of impression?”

“I’m lost, to be honest. I really don’t like that you evidently know the deepest corners of my mind, so I’m just going to wash dish.” He continued to wash the dishes.

“... Are you okay?” I asked tentatively.

“I will be.” He sighed. “I will be. I just have to let go and adapt some more.”

There was little I could do to comfort him since I felt like I was the reason he needed to be comforted in the first place, but Fluttershy had me covered. She approached Max from behind and gave him a hug that was probably nice and warm because Fluttershy’s hugs are pretty much the best. “You and Twilight are both right, Max. It’ll all be okay because you love each other, and I think the rest of the girls and I will come to love you too, just as friends.”

He chuckled softly and sighed. “Right. Thanks Flutters.”

Applejack snorted. “This is gettin’ awfully mushy for noon. I say we crack some cider and start tellin’ tales.”

“Sounds good to me. Let’s get these dishes washed and we can start the cider-ation.” Max chuckled.

He sped up to get the dishes washed a little faster, but I stopped him after a bit and just cleaned them with Magic, which got me scolded by Max for not just doing that in the first place before he lauded me for almost not being lazy, throwing me through a loop before he gave me a hug. When my boyfriend was done sending me more mixed signals than a Hydro-Aetheric Disco-Bombulator, Applejack lead the way to her house and Max seemed to be perking up as we went along, though his steps were still labored and his eyes still looked a little dim. It was worrisome to say the least, but I had faith that he would get better in time, even if he was still looking rough as it was.

I feel like I should mention that Max found a shirt in one of Spike’s closets, which was a nice fit on him, even if it was meant to be huge on my little brother. With that little aside out of the way, we went over to Sweet Apple Acres to keep feeding Max alcohol since he apparently liked it, even if I wasn’t sure that he should have been drinking at the moment. It wasn’t until we were four mugs deep that I decided that I’d had enough, and Fluttershy wasn’t far behind me. Applejack and Max were both at ten by the time I was at four, and the more they drank, the more they talked and laughed, playing off each other’s chemistry in a way that made me kind of… Well… Jealous. Max was apparently having a better time with Applejack over a few drinks than he’d ever had with me, so I threw caution to the wind and started to carry on with my drinking to see if I could join them.

When I woke up in my bathtub the next day in a bathrobe and my underwear, I found out that I’d made a mistake. Sitting up was a monumental effort, but I managed to do it and realized that I was wet from the waist down. Panic hit me for a moment before I remembered that I always slept in the bathtub when I drank too much because the thing happens when I get really, really drunk… It’s not fun, and what’s even less fun is waking up to find that Max was sleeping on the bathroom floor with a pillow in a blanket, or should I say that he was just laying there? He definitely looked up at me when I tossed my cookies on him, but at least I returned the favor in the end from back when he did the same to me.

Luckily none of it got on his face, but Max still stared at me with a very unamused expression. “Well thanks, I guess.”

“... Sorry.” I mewled, my voice weak and my head pounding.

He started stripping the ruined shirt off of himself and hooked his thumbs in the waist of the sweatpants I’d let him borrow before he evidently realized that he wasn’t wearing anything underneath. “It’s fine, Cherry, but can you do me a favor in the future?”

“Um… What is it?”

“Don’t try to drink like Applejack and I. You’re going to end up hurting yourself.” Max replied a little sternly.

I gripped the rim of the tub and whimpered. “Haven’t I suffered enough?”

“No, but you will until we get you rehydrated. I’m going to go get you some juice and some clothes, so clean up in here while I take care of business, okay?”


Wincing, I watched as Max mopped up my sick with the dirty shirt and tossed it into the wastebin before he washed his hands. Afterwards, he gave me a kiss on the temple and told me to sit tight while he went off to complete his tasks, bidding me to get washed up myself. When he left the room I stripped down and showered the aches away. I probably shouldn’t have been drinking water from the shower, but I’m pretty sure everypony’s done it at some point for some reason or the other, right? Not thinking much of it, I let the warm water soothe my stomach and turned the shower slightly chilly to numb the pains. It felt so good that I barely heard Max enter the bathroom, but even them it was too good for me to worry about whether or not the shower curtain was really all that translucent, and I do mean translucent. I might just be a little more modest than your average mare, but I’d still like there to be some mystery involved if Max and I do go to that phase.

I tried to make out his form behind the curtain, but much to my pleasure, he was just a pale blurry mass to me, and that was pretty nice up until I realized that I’d probably blown ten or fifteen minutes just standing under the water and not actually washing myself. When that cold, hard fact hit me in the everywhere, I reminded myself that I needed some good old fashioned soap for the simplest task since turning a page. While the shower itself took forever (Along with washing my mane), I tried to keep it as quick and painless as I could, but I doubted that it’d be all that quick in the first place. Of course, me being me, I was right, but that didn’t mean much since I didn’t have anything to do anyway… Other than brush my teeth and rinse really well.

Once I got the shower out of the way and the rest of my delayed Morning Meandering, I actually had to look at the outfit Max picked out for me and scratch an ear for a little bit at it. He’d picked out a blouse that Dad had bought for me specifically because it matched one of Shining’s blue shirts that matched one of his that matched one of Mom’s dresses perfectly. Oddly enough, he picked out a black knife-pleated skirt to go along with it that I rarely wore since I’m not a huge fan of black. I was a little… Freaked out, shall we say, when I saw that my undies matched my apparel perfectly, top to top and bottom to bottom. Max even pulled out a pair of stockings with lacy butterflies on the thighs that I liked to wear when it was a little gusty out, and I couldn’t help but wonder if he was interested in stallions too. I’d never thought to combine those particular odds and ends into such a cute little outfit, but my coltfriend is super awesome sometimes when he’s actually around.

After I donned my clothes and pulled my mane up away from my shoulders, I couldn’t help but think that the blouse was a little smothering around the chest area and that getting the stray pieces of my mane into the tie was going to be impossible, so I decided to make my mane even on both sides and to undo a button on my blouse. My mane sorted itself out easily enough, but the problem with the blouse was that there weren’t a whole lot of buttons, and I don’t really like showing cleavage if I can help it. It’s not like a sane mare wouldn’t just wear the blouse long enough to go put a cami or something on under it, and I like to think that I’m pre-tty sane, so I just redid the button and quickly made my way to my room so I could do what I just said I’d do because I said I’d do it, which is why I said I’d do it in the first place. Follow that, Diary!

Anyway, I had to check my adjustment out in the mirror, and with the black cami matching my skirt perfectly along with my black Marvelous Manehattan Marquis Shoes, I actually felt like a perfectly darned picture of me. The mare in the mirror was somepony to look at twice for once, and as I overcame my hangover, I thought of applying some makeup because why not? I literally got as far as sparkly lip gloss that tasted a little like the new cola drinks that were coming out in specialty shops around Canterlot, and I kept licking that off before I could get out of my room, but I kept trying anyway, eventually getting my tongue to stop betraying me.

Max and Spike were downstairs chatting in the kitchen when I came in; Max speaking in low tones and Spike not caring about my headache at all. I silenced him with a look before nodding and giving him a smile. “The first pony to get this mare a cup of coffee gets a free hug and no chores.”

“Aww!” Spike groaned. “That’s so not fair!”

Max chuckled and jerked a thumb toward my usual seat where a plate full of pancakes and eggs awaited me alongside a steaming cup of coffee that I hadn’t noticed. The juice was interesting too, but I actually wanted the coffee. “Figured you might want a cuppa. You’re all set up if you’re hungry.”

I gave Max the biggest smile I could, which really wasn’t all that big to be honest. “Thank you, Amour. I’m guessing you guys cooked breakfast?”

“Max did everything today.” Spike sighed. “The one time I don’t cook and it bites me in the tail!”

Aww… Maybe I could…? “I’ll pick up your chores for the day if you promise to spend an entire hour studying. That means no breaks, Mister!” I bargained, sitting down to start with my coffee.

“Really!? That’d be-” Spike started giggling at the face I made at whatever the hay was in my cup. Dumping teaspoon after teaspoon of sugar into it only made me glare at Spike. “Don’t look at me! Max made the coffee!”

“What? Too dark?” The stallion in question asked innocently, sipping his own cup casually.

I narrowed my eyes at him and sipped my cup again, still finding it too dark. “Let me try yours, Mr. Prankster.”

“You don’t wanna do that, Sugar Plum.” Max chuckled.

I scooted my cup over to him and held my hand out, which just made him shake his head. He still gave me his cup, but when I took a sip, it was awful!!! In all my years of drinking coffee made by a young Dragon, a middle-aged Drill Sergeant, and a Princess, I have never had something so unbelievably bitter, and the worst part was that I’m pretty sure half of it was bourbon! Spitting it out was an option that I couldn’t handle, but it was so bad! I scooted Max’s cup back over to him and tried to swallow the poison as best I could, but once I got it down, I had to rinse my mouth with the healing powers of orange juice.

“Dear Celestia’s Sun, Max! Why is your coffee so gross!?” I cried.

He and Spike just kept chuckling. “I always get the first cup out of the pot as it brews, and I like to add bourbon sometimes. What, can’t handle my Morning Special?”

After getting another drink of juice, I took a bite of some real food to calm my stomach. “You’re the most lovable butthole I’ve ever met, you know that?”

My coltfriend chuckled some more and gave me a charming smile. “You just like doing things I warn you not to do is all. Just like I warned you against that fifth shot, sixth cider, and fourth piece of apple pie…” His brows furrowed for a moment. “Dammit. I could have had ‘four five six’ lined up and I missed my shot. Damn.”

“... Yeah, I probably shouldn’t have drank that much…” I admitted ashamedly.

Max just rolled his eyes and gave me an amused smile. “I have to say that you’re a fun drunk. First you make me lay down on your lap so you can play with my hair, then you sing me a lullaby.” He rapped his knuckles on the table. “Absolutely adorable, but I’d rather have you remember it, you know?”

I stared at him. “When did I end up in the bathtub?”

He winked at me and kept his face straight. “You said I was too hot to sleep with. Temperature-wise, not figuratively.”

Spike scoffed. “You’re probably just saying that to make Twilight feel better. She always gets weird and sleeps in the bathtub when she drinks too much.”

My face got hotter and hotter while I glanced at Max from time to time, trying not to let my gaze linger too long. However, apparently there was nopony better than my dear Amour at derailing a conversation. “It’s probably because it’s the coldest place in the house. If I get drunk, I sleep next to a fan.” He shrugged. “It’s not that weird if you think about it, but then again, you’ve never been drunk, right?”

My little brother nodded. “Twilight Velvet let me have some wine a long time ago and it was pretty gross, so it’s not like I want to drink more.”

“And Dragons don’t really feel the effects of alcohol anyways, so it’d be pointless for Spike to drink later on in life either.” I said realistically.

“At least you guys get to eat shiny rocks.” Max commented.

My little brother gave him a look. “I’ll blow smoke at you.”

“Will you blow smoke up my arse?”

“What’s an arse?”

“What’s smoke?

Spike gave him a weird look that probably matched the one I was giving both of them in turns. “You don’t know what smoke is?”

“I don’t know what smoke is?” Max asked.


“Mate: Do I know what smoke is? Do I know what smoke is? Bruv, you’ve never seen smoke until you’ve seen me smoke.” Max scoffed.

“What?” We siblings chorused.



Max’s lower lip started trembling and he sniffled. “I said nevermind!”

Spike and I looked at each other at a complete loss for words.

Tears started rolling down Max’s face before he jumped out of his seat and ran out of the room, but in the very same second I started to go after him, he came strolling back in and sat back down with the biggest, most genuine smile on his face as he looked back and forth between Spike and I. Max sipped his coffee and licked his lips before setting both of his hands on the table and looking at me.

“Wotcher, Cherry.”

“... What.”

He winked at me. “Let’s take a walk after you do your chores. I’ll tell you all about last night and how… Frisky, you can be.”

Spike cracked up as my jaw metaphorically dropped through the center of Equus and landed somewhere on the Moon. “Max!

“Kidding, of course, but you really are a treat, you know that? I like that you’re warming up to me.” Max’s little lopsided grin…

Darn Butthead had me wrapped around his little finger and he didn’t even know the half of it.

“You’re trying to distract me.” I huffed, gulping down way too much sugary coffee all at once. My mouth was so effectively assaulted by the bitterness that I drained the rest of my juice and made it halfway through my eggs before I realized that Max was just watching me, his head perched up on his hand.

Our eyes met and I froze. My violet amethysts met his sparkling emeralds, and even though his face was still battered and bruised, I couldn’t help but see the natural pulchritude therein. If anything, the split in his lip might make him a little more roguish, or the cut in his right brow. As little as I liked seeing him hurt, it was impossible for me to deny my feelings and admit that I liked not knowing what Max was going to do next. I like how he’s an anomaly that changes variables wherever he goes, but it just worries me that trouble seems to follow my poor Amour like those horrid little joke rats that are magnetically attracted to most brands of shoes.

The deeper I looked into his eyes, the more I saw that he was taking pleasure in observing my every move, taking in every detail of what I was doing. We blinked simultaneously and he chuckled. “Shit, got caught staring.”

“Yeah, while you guys do the lovey-dovey googly-eyes thing, I’m gonna go-”

“The chicken doesn’t need you to choke it, Spike.” Max drawled.

I choked on my food and Spike probably choked on his Ignital gland. “Dude!”


My devious coltfriend gave me a look. “What?”

“... Stop talking until I’m done eating, okay?” I requested softly, poking my eggs with my fork.

“Killing your appetite?” He asked.

“... Yeah.”

“Sorry, Cherry. Spike, feel free to-”

“Shush!” I took a bite of my eggs and chewed before I realized that I was staring. The rest of the eggs didn’t last long, and the only thing that stopped me from making a mess of the pancakes was the fact that I was going to have to clean up after myself for once.

While I ate, Max went to go take a shower and change into some of the old, old clothes that Big Mac had apparently let him borrow while I was drunk. Chewing and thinking was the order of the hour, or rather, a good ten or so minutes as I didn’t really give to much thought as to what I was putting in my mouth. Terrible habit, that. Anyway, my mind was Spike and Max’s relationship, and I found it odd that they seemed to bond over torturing me. Well… Spike digs up the past and Max invents new things in the present, but still! That’s even worse! My little brother won’t let me forget anything and my ‘partner’ keeps giving me new things I want to forget!

The rest of my pancakes were still delicious, but I was a little upset when Max came down from the shower, smelling like me again. Butthead.

Max washed the dishes and I dried again, but this time instead of having somepony else to drive the conversation, it was just the two of us. I was a little more nervous since I’m still a little weirded out by being alone alone with a stallion that’s not family, but then Max asked, “So what do you think of your outfit? I thought it would match your fur rather nicely.”

“Um… It’s really cute, actually. I never would have thought to put this stuff together.” I confessed, glancing at him while I put a freshly dried glass away.

Max was giving me some side eye and a little grin. “What can I say? There’s a queer eye in this straight guy. That, or I just thought you’d look cute in the outfit. What can I say, honestly?”

I couldn’t help but chuckle at that. “Whichever it may be, thank you Max. It was a very touching gesture, but I could have just worn a towel to my room and changed in there.”

He scoffed. “It was just so I could go through your knickers to see what I could work my willy into first.”

I gave him a look. “Stop saying nonsensical things like they’re normal words.”

“I was digging through your underwear so I could find something to masturbate with.”

Did he really just say that? “Are you being serious?”

He rolled his eyes and gave me a look in turn. “Of course not. However, I like the blue ones the best. You know, the striped ones with the little bow?”

I nearly dropped the plate he handed me out of pure shock. “Please tell me you’re kidding!

“Well, blue is my favorite color. How about you?”

My face lit up bright red as I realized at that exact moment that Max knew every intimate detail of what I was wearing. “... Ihavetagopotty-” I teleported to the bathroom and lost about half of my breakfast, but I was okay by the time Max got up the stairs to check up on me.

After he made sure I was okay, Max suggested we hurry with my chores so we could go take that walk, but I wasn’t in any hurry to leave the house. I was feeling down and a bit out of it, and the only reason I felt like smiling was because it’s impossible for me to not want to smile around Max. Well, when he’s in a good mood, at least. Otherwise it’s just in bad taste, but now I’m getting sidetracked. In any case, our afternoon was shaping up to be more of one for cleaning and reading rather than any outdoor activity. As I’d hoped, talking Max into staying inside so we could read side by side wasn’t terribly difficult, but as the Moon rose to its zenith during our little reading session, I ended up telling Max various stories about my family and our history, Starswirl the Bearded, Celestia herself, and some of the things I used to do with one of my biggest role-models from fillyhood; Cadance. He listened patiently and attentively like I was weaving a long, interconnected tale full of twists and turns where the beat of a bird’s wings cause a storm across the globe, asking questions to keep me talking while doing strange things with my hand.

As I told my tales, Max made me move my fingers in a few gestures I was pretty sure would get me in trouble with someone who actually knew what they were, though I knew that he was making me give him the Hurtie Birdie, so I pinched his nose for that, but he responded by flicking my fingers until I let him go, progressively using those switch-like fingers to great effect on my knuckles. The sharp look I gave him was received with little concern and was returned by Max sticking his tongue out at me, which was super cute. As we fooled around and just did… Couple stuff, I suppose, we loosened up and let our bodies take over; the memories that had settled so deep in our bones from our past lives guiding our hands, breaths of the moments we’d spent in each other’s embrace filling our lungs, and the warmth of the love that had once been a raging fire. We put our hands in places we shouldn’t have, kissed longer than we should have, and almost let it go further than it need to go.

Max was the one to stop my trembling hands from undoing his belt, and he was the one to initiate the last kiss of the night. “Cherry…”


“How long did it take us to get married in the book?”

“... Two and a half years.” I answered thickly.

“How long did it take us to-”

“I can turn you into a girl!” I blurted.

“... You what, Love?

It’s not that time of the month! I know I want this! “I can turn you into a girl for the night!”

He hesitated to answer, so I said, “Look, Max-”

“Twilight.” He said softly.

My face fell, as did my shoulders. I felt like the energy was just being drained out of me as he held onto my arms. “I-It’s okay-” I stuttered.

Max wrapped me up in a hug and I felt something really pokey poke me. “I want to, and I know you think you want to, but now’s not the time… It’s just… Doesn’t something about this feel wrong to-”

No!” I groaned. “Max, there is no other stallion that I would rather sleep with than you-”

“Then why don’t we try just sleeping for a few nights?” He bargained, his expression desperate.

Why…? I thought… I was honestly lost as to what to do. As I nodded, I never took my eyes off of Max’s, taking in the scenes that passed through the lenses to his inner thoughts as if he were showing them to me on a pop-up book. Standing as we were, I’d had my arms laced around his neck, but then I’d let go and found his hands without looking. Anguish showed in his gaze, as well as regret and frustration, but there was a teensy-weensy little bitty-bit of relief there, and all of that together just gave me a cup full of confusion that didn’t really taste like anything. As nondescript as the flavour was, I wanted more of it, so I broke the awkward silence.

“... What is it, Max? Why did you really want to wait then and why do you really want to wait now?”

“... I don’t know.” He murmured.

I placed my hands on his chest, feeling his heart thud through his sternum. “... Aren’t I good-”

Max tickled me for all of five or six seconds, making me cry in less than three. “No room for self-doubt in Maxland, Cherry. Get it in your head that I like you, I just don’t think we need to go and complicate things with sex right now. It’s not a big deal, right? I mean, it’s really not all it’s cracked up to be, you know?”

I went to hit him before I caught myself and just squeezed his arm. “So… You still like me?”

He looked down, causing me to look down, which made me look back up to see his smug face give me a wink. “I think so.”

I clapped a hand over my eyes and said, “I swear we need to get you some real pants.”

“They’d help hide the bulgie uwu what’s dis?” Max said, making me look at him like he’d lost his mind.

“... Yeah, let’s just go to bed.”

… We went to bed and I started writing this part of the entry out… I guess it’s time for the conclusion, but this feels really short… Maybe it’s because I just had more to write about before, but it’s not like Max and I really did much anyway. Huh. My life is kinda boring when Max isn’t around or the town isn’t under attack by some inane thing I just got done researching like, the day before, which is a really odd coincidence. Meh, what could possibly be wrong with that? At least I have good luck!

Thank you for listen- reading, Diary. I think I’ll save the conclusion for when we’re a little more ‘data-rich’, okay?♡


Dear Diary,

Hmm… How to start this one? Let’s just go with where we left off to begin, no? Okay, let’s go!

After Max convinced me to save myself for a little longer, we’d taken ourselves to bed and done little else other than snuggle a bit and sleep. I… Well, to be honest, I liked ‘spooning’ with Max when he was… You know, Diary! Don’t make me write it! That’s right! I don’t have to write what I don’t want to right because I have that rite! Wait…

Grr… I’ll have to scratch that out. Deep breath, little sigh.

Take two!


So when Max is in a certain state, snuggle time is great! It was a little awkward at first, but I just kinda got used to it whenever I started dozing off and rolling into him. It was warm and firm, but he didn’t let me touch it with my hands while we were in bed, even after I’d gotten used to the idea of touching a stallion’s… Um… Mating rod? Whatever. What is important is that Max still wanted me, and I got to tease him back just by rubbing against him! It was a really fun way to end the day, but I was still more than just a little disappointed that we didn’t end up going all the way.

That being said, waking up to find Max’s stiffness parting my tail, lodged between my thighs in a very compromising position? I don’t mean it was stuck in his pants and he was poking me: No Max’s thing was seriously just out for some reason! It’s heat was enticing and I couldn’t help myself any longer; I needed to feel it. My fingertips barely brushed the top of his thing, but it was still enough to make him stir gently, murmuring something unintelligible into my ear. His words were little more than a whisper, but I could have sworn I heard him say ‘Mummy’ or ‘Munny’; both of which were confusing to say the least. Still, I was a little curious about a stallion’s thing; especially if that stallion was an alien.

It was too dark to see anything, so I used a Night-Vision Spell to help me make out the mushroom-like quality of Max. It was enough to make me giggle a little since it was actually kinda cute, but the quakes from my giggling apparently stimulated Max because I felt it throb. Having swiftly been reminded that a stallions reproductive organ was currently within my grasp, I slid my hand down my thigh slowly and let my fingers graze it once more, but this time Max didn't move. Emboldened, I took the whole of Max’s wiener and held it in my hand, it’s heat making me feel a little hot under the collar. My Handy-Dandy bottle of syrup was teetering on the brink, and having Max in the palm of my hand, leaking something sticky, was definitely not helping.

“Mmm…” Max grunted, making me freeze.

I did what I should have done in the first place and lifted my leg slightly to free him, but life isn’t meant to be simple. When Max went to scoot away from me, his thing slid into the leg of the shorts I’d worn to bed, which was both bad and great. One the plus side, Max’s peppermint stick was fanta-stick. On the bad side, there was a single layer of cotton between Max and I, and that cotton was rapidly getting sticky because of… Max! Yeah, it was all his fault! My coltfriend was getting his tangy, slightly tart syrup on me, so I snuck a finger down to the mouth of his bottle and collected some more of his syrup, just because I wanted to see if I’d tasted it right. It definitely wasn’t because I liked the way it tasted or anything, so don’t you look at me like that!

To be fair, any other mare in my situation probably would have been as hot and bothered as I was, but I doubt as many would have shown my level of restraint. Instead of using Max to have some early morning fun, I tried to wake him up by nudging him, but he was sound asleep, so I carefully got him to let go of me and freed myself from his grasp long enough to get out of bed. He muttered something pitiful and weary like ‘Come back soon’ and I tried to figure out what I should do. I didn’t want to go to the guest room since the bed in there kind of sucked, but I also wanted to stay with Max, which were both things that convinced me to stay in my room rather than leave, but the obstacle in my path was Max’s obelisk.

Instead of cowering from my daunting task, I decided to take the easy way out and just go snuggle up to Max from behind and hug him real tight to get the love to transfer through magical osmosis. Sleeping was a lot easier when I didn’t have to worry about Max’s thing, but then I woke up to, “Twilight, stop stroking me.”


Max put his hand over mine and lifted it off of his wienerschnitzel. “It might be yours, but that doesn’t mean you can play with it all the time.”

I sat up and rubbed my eyes, staring at him blearily. “What’s goin’ on again?”

“You were touching my pee-pee very tenderly.”

Nodding, I yawned. “It’s a fun lil’ thingydohoohickey.”



“... Lick it and I’ll go get it for you.” Max snickered.


“Nah,” He casually shoved me back down onto the bed. “Catch a nap, I’ll be back up with breakfast in a bit.

I think I held up a thumb, but I know that the next thing I remember was Max bringing me a plate of spinach, marigolds, what appeared to be daisies, and some adorable little mini pancakes that didn’t last long. At all. In fact, I forgot any kind of manners since I was eating in bed and ended up forgoing silverware all together, which was probably a mistake. However, at the end of my horrorshow was Max with a raised brow, a bemused and amused expression on his face. A cup of coffee was in his hands. I wanted that coffee, so I levitated that cup of coffee to me and found that there was a little bit of milk in it that wasn’t super annoying, and that it was just a little sweet so that it was actually drinkable. The cup in my hands was far superior to what Max had tried to make me drink the day before, and so I savored every sip until it was gone.

“Ah~” I sighed contentedly.

“Is now a good time to say ‘Good morning’?”

“Perfect. Good morning, Amour.” I gave him a warm smile, smoothing my mane down.

He plucked a piece of spinach from the corner of my mouth and ate it. “Sure is. Spike says I’m starting to smell weird, so we need to go clothes and cologne shopping for the day if you’re interested.”

Yes! That sounds like a perfect bonding experience! “Fashion really isn’t my strong suit, but I know what would be cute on you!”

Max gave me a flat look that didn’t seem to be genuine. “I don’t do cute. I’m a man. Men do handsome. I’m handsome.”

“My handsome little Human.” I giggled, flashes of those very same words dancing around my mind from the years I’d said them to my love.

The sensation was obviously mutual as my coltfriend replied with; “My pretty little Pony. I’ve already showered for the day, so I’ll meet you downstairs, okay?”

“Wait!” I cried as he turned to leave. As he paused, I asked, “W-Would you mind helping me pick out another outfit?” I won’t blame you if you say no, but-

Max grinned devilishly. “Spike told me that it was supposed to be hot today, so I prepared something yesterday while you were still in the loo. It’s folded on the bottom of your wardrobe and Spike already ironed it.”

“... What is it?”

“Something that’ll make you look super cute. I say we both do a little shopping for the colder months while we’re out, yeah?”

“Sure! That sounds like a great idea!” I gushed. Levitating my breakfast out of the way, I grabbed the napkin from the tray and wiped my mouth before hopping over to Max to give him a kiss on the cheek.”

“Noted. I’ll be downstairs.” He leaned down to give me a real kiss and I met his lips eagerly, though the embrace was far too brief for both of our tastes. We met for another and it was far sweeter than the first, so we got our fill of each other before parting; enough to last us until we were going to be together again, at least.

I hurried along with my Morning Meandering, finding little notes written by Max tied around or tucked under just about everything I used on a daily basis. Most of them were questions referring to memories he knew of that sprung into my head as I read them, such as the time we’d fought a giant goo monster that I’d accidentally helped create and that Max had double-accidentally infused with the soul of somepony evil named Sombra. Apparently there were a lot of ponies that we knew that were involved in the battle that we needed to figure out where they came from, and that’s why I mentioned the battle first. I remembered the whole thing from about thirty minutes before to twenty minutes after, and I remember reading about it, but it’s odd. I keep forgetting about things I read in Max’s book, and the memories only really stick if Max and I both have something related to them. Well, if it involves both of us, that is, but Max and I were together from almost the beginning of his journal and a lot of his interactions were with me.After coming to the conclusion that Max needed to read his own journal, I tried to teleport it to myself as I stood in my room post-shower, but I couldn’t do it. I also couldn’t remember where I’d left it, which pointed to bad, bad thing.

With a heavy sigh that blew the panic out of my body, it was obvious that the book was magical and was probably only meant to be read once. However, the thing that Max constantly mentioned in his notes was that he wanted to meet Cadance, Princess Luna, and have a private conversation with Princess Celestia. I knew that I could make one of those things happen, but Princess Luna doesn’t really like me for some reason and I haven’t seen Cadance in like, a decade. As it was, I resolved to take Max to Canterlot later in the day so he could have his conversation with Celestia after we got him some decent casual clothes and a suit from Rarity. With any luck, Celestia would let us dine with her and allow us an audience with Her Moodiness, Princess Luna.

With a plan for the day set in my mind and soon set to paper, I went to my wardrobe to see just what exactly Max expected me to wear for the day that would put such a sinister(?) look on his face. When I saw that it was one of the sundresses that Rarity had made me for the summer, I couldn’t help but wonder where he’d found it. I’d immediately hidden the thing in the depths of my closet because… Well… It was more Rarity than it was Twilight… You understand, right? Rarity’s used to getting lusty looks from stallions, but I personally thought that the dress was a little too revealing to be honest. It was also totally my color, but I haven't worn anything with cleavage since my first practice date and that was with Shining!

Still, if Max thought I’d look cute in it… It hardly seemed like a big deal since I doubted that anypony would be looking at me anyway. As long as Max stayed nearby, all eyes would be on him anyway; not the frumpy mare with the flat mane and the average build. Bolstered by my assurances, I mustered up the courage to wear the dress and wore my least noticeable bra to go with it, but I still had to align the straps perfectly to cover them. I knew there was a camisole built into the dress anyway, but I didn’t want any accidents to leave me less covered than I already was, so I also included a knit cardigan that was nice and breezy to complete the outfit. Instead of just letting my mane stay pulled back, I put it into a but for the day and let a single lock dangle down the left side of my face since Max seemed to like it when I let the strays lay where they may.

When I went downstairs, Max and Spike were sitting together on the couch and Max had a triumphant look on his face. My little brother was scowling and slapped something into my coltfriend’s open hand before saying, “This means nothing!”

“Best two out of three?” Max held his newly earned bit up.

Spike sighed. “Nah, you won fair and square. I gotta go talk to Sweetie Belle about the thing now, I guess…”

“You sure do, ya little charmer.” Max nudged Spike with his fist. “Go get your filly, fool!”

My little brother and I both lit up red, but I was the first to say anything. “Max! Spike isn’t old enough to be dating yet!”

“Dude’s like, fourteen. I had my first girlfriend when I was sixteen, but that’s because I was lame as shit when I was fourteen. Spike’s kinda almost a little cool.”


I giggled a little, but only a little. “Be that as it may, I still don’t want Spike dating.”

“Just ask your friends when they started dating, Cherry. You’ll see it’s about time that Spike got some platonic ‘Getting to know you’ time with girls his age.” Max said easily, giving me a pleasant little grin.

He earned himself a look. “You can sleep on the floor tonight if you want.”

“That’s just mean.”

“Then shush.”

“I made you breakfast in bed!”

“... Fair point, but that doesn’t mean I want you to play matchmaker for Spike.”

“I’m not playing matchmaker, I’m just fanning a spark that’s already there.” Max huffed.

“Please, Twilight? I know it took you awhile to be interested in the opposite gender, but I already really like Sweetie Belle, and Max says that I’m better off trying a relationship with her than Rarity- Oops.” Spike covered his mouth.

Aww… I couldn’t help but give my dear, sweet little brother the most tender smile I could. “I know about that, Spike, but Rarity doesn’t. You should tell her how you feel instead of settling for Sweetie Belle.”

“... Max says that she hasn’t noticed because she doesn’t see me as an option…” He said softly.

My smile turned sad and I glanced at Max. “That’s… That’s probably not far from the truth, my little Spikey.”

Spike sighed pretty hard and flickers of flame came out of his nose. “Yeah, I figured.”

“Got time for a letter?” I asked, hoping that the old standby would perk him up.

Max gave me an odd look and Spike’s brows shot up. “Who to?”

“I know you were really young when she was around, but it’s to my old foalsitter Cadance. I think it’s about time I caught up with her.”

Spike beamed. “A long lost friend? That’s pretty neat!”

“Right?” I teleported a scroll, some ink, and a quill into my hands and levitated them to him. “I’m ready when you are.”

Spike dipped the quill, readied the scroll, and gave me his usual look of determination. “Three.”



Dear Cadance,

You… You may not remember me since it’s been such a long time, but my name is Twilight Sparkle, and I was one of the fillies you used to foalsit back in Canterlot. A lot’s happened in nearly twenty years, but you’ve left your mark in my heart indefinitely, and I can’t help but want to reconnect with you after some recent events. You see… I recently met a stallion who has made my life extremely complicated,” Max gave me a look and I gave him one in turn, both of us knowing that life was just Lu-lu-looney, “and as a result of that, I learned that you’re going to be a key part of my future. I also know that you’re dating my GOSH DARN BROTHER!!! Why nopony decided to tell the pony that would be happiest to know about that, I’ll never know, but do know that I want a formal and an informal invitation to the wedding!!!

Gosh… There’s really been a lot that’s happened just in the past couple of years alone, but… I just miss you now that I remember that you’re no longer in my life.’The years pass and the ache fades, but then the good times come back around and the memories come to fruition.’, as Starswirl would say. Please let me know when it would be most convenient for you to meet up with me if it’s in your interest. I’d really love to see you again, Caddy.

Sunshine Sunshine, Ladybugs Awake...

Twilight Sparkle

“So… Shining has a fillyfriend?” Spike asked uneasily.

I nodded sharply. “He sure does.” Spike and I met in the middle of the room and he held my hand so he could send the message to the right Pony. “Alright, Max. let’s go and get you some proper clothes!”

Max stoom up from the couch and stretched, wearing another one of Spike’s large shirts that were tight on my coltfriend. “Sure thing, Cherry. Let’s get a move on, shall we?”

With that, we shook our tails and got to steppin’, like Applejack always says. I didn’t think Max would want to make Rarity’s boutique his first stop, so I took him to the better of the three other clothing shops in Ponyville. Honestly, Blue’s Clues was better than Odd Vestments, the thrift store, and Hefty Hulk’s shop was meant for rounder ponies. However, I didn’t think of the fact that the mare who was supposed to be Max’s mother from our past life was the owner of the store, so when they locked eyes, I hoped that something good was about to happen. Max held my hand and started leading me toward Blueberry Tart and the mare herself headed toward the front of her shop to flip her sign to closed for a little while, meeting Max and near a rack of alright blouses.

“Twilight, Max… I thought you were going to keep avoiding me.” Blue said softly.

Max pointed at me. “I was avoiding her for a little while and that made me pretty miserable, so I came back to Ponyville. I would’ve been here yesterday, but someone can’t handle their liquor. Or their cider. Or their pie.”

I whacked him. “Somepony doesn’t know when to stop somepony!”

“You’re stwonger than me!” He whined.

Blue pinched him. “Act like a stallion.”

Max watched as Blue’s fingers found no purchase on his wiry arms. “Yes, mother.”

“I’ll hit you.” She deadpanned.

“I already get hit by her.” Max pointed at me.

“I wonder why.” Oooh, that was Super Sarcasm.

“I wonder why your bum is so big, but I’m nicer than you.” Max shot back.

Blue stared at him. “Are you cruisin’ for a bruisin’, young colt?

“Maybe I am, maybe I’ll shut up for a cookie.” Max smirked.

Blue started to narrow her eyes at him before her lips started to tremble and she broke out into a barely restrained bout of giggles before giving Max a hug. “You’re a decent colt, you know that?”

“You give great hugs.” He let her go and gave her a rueful smile. “I’m sorry I missed our little appointment, but I was panicking pretty hard and my life is a mess.”

Blue just gave him another hug and patted his back. “It’s okay, Sweetie, but that little comment about my flank means you’re not getting any of the cookies I baked this morning.”


“Ah-Ah, watch that language, young stallion!” She scolded.

I couldn’t help but giggle a little at that. “Maybe I should try to get you to stop swearing so much too?”

“You swear all night long, so don’t you say anything.” He said blithely, checking his little thin claws for dirt.

“But I don’t swear at all.” I said, confused.

Max gave me a sultry smile and a wink, which got him hit by Blue for some reason. “Don’t go implying that kind of business in public! Stop trying to embarrass the poor mare and let’s get you something to wear that doesn’t look like it’s strangling you.”

“Sounds good to me.” Max nodded.

I did the same. “Don’t you think he’d look great in a nice, rich green?”

Blue checked his eyes out. “Not to be a coat-coordinator, but blue would definitely work well with those beautiful eyes of his, and his mane would work well with some pastels-”

“Dark colors only unless they’re shades of blue. I don’t dress like a twink.” Max said flatly.

“Are you one of those Grimdarks?” Blue asked nonjudgmentally.

“He’s not, he just likes dark colors apparently.” I said, hoping that he wasn’t myself.

“Nope. I just like being able to sneak up on people and touch their bums.” He winked at me as Blue lead us over to the stallion’s section of the store and started picking things out for Max to try on.

“Baby, why don’t you go to the changing room for a little bit and Twilight and I will bring you stuff to try on until we find your size?” Blue suggested.

He shrugged. “Point me in the right direction.”

Blue pointed him in the right direction and he left, leaving me with a woman that I really wanted to get to know as Max got to know her. “So, Blue...”

She looked at me and winked. “You caught yourself a cute one, even if it looks like he’s been put through the wringer.”

I breathed a contented sigh. “I sure did. I never thought that mare like me would have a hope of landing a stallion like that, but here I am, even if Max is a lot of trouble sometimes.”

“Tch, what stallion isn’t? Onyx Lock, the one I’m seeing, is with Mayor Mare too right now and she’s a silver fox, if you know what I mean. I barely get to see him between his visits to Mary and that damn work ethic of his.”

“Why does love have to be so complicated?” I asked, picking out a nice navy blue button-up that would look nice on Max. There was a Soul-Fire Phoenix monogrammed into the breast pocket, which I thought he’d appreciate.

“Because, Twilight, the brain is complicated. Ponies change their minds like a mare changes clothes during the rainy seasons “ Blue chuckled.

“Fair’s fair, I guess, but still. It’s only nice half the time.”

“But when it’s nice, it’s really nice, isn’t it?” She said softly.

“... Yeah, it really is. Max made me breakfast in bed today.” I replied, reminiscing on what had happened just a few hours ago.

She grabbed a dark red shirt that had roll-up sleeves and held it up. “What do you think? With his coat?”

“Bit Vampony-esque, don't you think?”

“Gives him an air of mystery! An enigmatic quality in a simple shirt!”

I giggled at that. “You sound just like Rarity! I guess you have to love fashion if you want to sell quality clothes, right?”

Blue smiled back, blushing lightly. “Of course! You can’t keep a stock of the hottest fashions at a reasonable price if you don’t know the curves and trends!”

We collected a few more things and sent them off to Max, though he came out in a new outfit and said that he was picking his own undergarments. They were all either black, gray, or blue, so I made him get a pair of purple undies just because it made me giggle. His ash gray button up paired well with his dark blue jeans, and his weird boots made the whole outfit… Well, they needed to be replaced, but they looked alright for the time being. Blue let us have a discount on Max’s new wardrobe and we sent his clothes to my house to be sorted later. After a pleasant cup of tea and a lovely cookie that only I was allowed to enjoy, Max and I bid Blue goodbye and promised to visit sooner next time before we headed to Rarity’s so we could get Max something worthy of wearing to Court.

When we walked through Rarity’s door, the bell chimed and she waltzed through the door to the back of her shop, singing, “Welcome to the Carousel Boutique, where everything is chic, unique, and magnifique!”

“Ha, gay.” Max snorted.

Rarity cut him a glare. “Shush. Hello, Twilight!”

“Hi, Rarity! How are you?”

“Doing well, as per the usual, but I couldn’t help but notice that Spike and Sweetie Belle seem to be growing closer, if you understand.” she winked and grinned just as deviously as MAx had earlier.

Max chuckled. “From the way Spike talks about Sweetie Belle, they’ll be the cutest couple in town for a good while.”

That made Rarity narrow her eyes at him. “... You encouraged Spike to spend more time with Sweetie Belle?”

“I encouraged him to pay attention to the girl’s crush. Something you could learn.”

“Why, whatever do you mean, Max? And when did you even return to Ponyville?”

“I mean that Spike’s had a crush on you for years and I’ve been back in town for a few days, but Sadelle is a shithole and Ponyville is too colorful for mortal eyes, so I’m kinda stuck just trying to stay close to Twilight.”

Rarity looked at me. “Tell me that you need a dress or something made. My head hurts.”

“Would you have a suit that would fit Max?” I asked sheepishly.

She gave him a single look and said, “Several of differing colors.”

“Black or navy.”

“Navy it is, Emerald Eyes.” Rarity nodded. “I’ll be back momentarily with the suit, but we’ll need to make some minor adjustments.”

“Take your time, Opal.” Max said casually.

“That’s my cat.” Rarity huffed. “Opalescence.”

“You named your pussy Opal?” Max asked innocently, tilting his head.

Rarity lit up and her jaw. “Y-You deviant!”

“... We’re talking about animals, yeah?” He inquired slowly, raising his hands in a
defensive gesture.

“You’re well aware of your innuendo, you barbarian!”

Max looked at me and started sidling to stand behind me. “Sorry?”

Rarity fanned herself. “I suppose you weren’t fully aware of what you said, so it’s
Permissible. Let me go and fetch that suit for you.”

Max and I traded a look as Rarity went off to go get the thing, but we didn’t say anything about her or her weirdness behind her back because that would have been both mean and rude. However, when Rarity came back with the suit, I wasn't sure if I could afford it without dipping into my allowance for the month. I mean, I was already pretty close to my monthly budget for my Royal Stipend, but my family allowance was my bread and butter as far as my luxury goods went. I’m just frugal, okay? Don’t judge me! The wealthy stay wealthy because they’re smart with their money, or at least that’s what Uncle Fancy says. I was worried about the price until Rarity said that I could pay her off in installments, so I just paid her seventy bits up front and owed her two hundred more for the rest of it since the materials were a little on the pricey side. I didn’t discuss the price with Max at all, especially since he kept pestering me about it.

Even as we took the train to Canterlot, he wouldn’t drop the issue about the price of his clothes and the suit he was wearing, despite me telling him that it was all fine as long as he was happy with what he was wearing. He assured me that he was, but he wanted to pay me me back for what I did for him, so I told him to pay me back in kisses, to which he replied by giving me the first of many little smooches that were all equally enjoyable as we rode along to Canterlot. When the city came into view, Max let out a low whistle and commented on the size of Castle Canterlot, saying that it was a little excessive for the sake of being a protectable place. I, in turn, told him a bit about the history and the utility of Castle Canterlot and its structure, which made him pretend to fall asleep and rest his cheek on my head, which was nice, but still rude.

Our first steps in Canterlot were full of questions from Max, like where the other races were since the capital city of Equestria should have had a little more diversity in his eyes. I told him that Equestria welcomed all races, it was just that most races didn’t like Ponies for some reason. Max gave me a look for that one and I remembered that he’d experienced some racism first-hand in one of the friendliest places in the country, so I could understand why he evidently doubted my words. Walking along the crowded streets of my hometown with Max was fun, and hearing him rave about how much better ice cream was on Equus was than on Earth was both cute and funny. With every little smile and comment he made, I felt like the day just couldn’t get any better until we came to the Castle Gates. I was allowed entry on sight, but Max was barred, despite the fact that I was literally holding his hand as we were entering the Palace Grounds.

“Um… Excuse me?” I asked.

“Unidentified ponies are to enter through the west entrance.” The leftmost guard said stoutly.

“I’m Twilight Sparkle,” I said slowly, “student of Princess Celestia.”

He’s the unidentified pony, Miss Twilight.” The rightmost guard said.

“But Princess Celestia knows Max personally! She even admitted to finding his weirdness refreshing!”

The guards looked at each other and slowly raised their spears. The left one said, “Fine, but if he causes any trouble, then it’s double sentencing-”

“Yeah, no. I don’t want to go to jail or get stabbed, so I’m good. Real good.” Max came to stand beside me, but one of the guards grabbed his arm.

“I don’t know what you are, but you don’t belong here. Remember that.” He snarled.

Max gave him a smile and a wink. “What’s your name, friend?”

The guard snorted. “Like I’d tell you.”

Coward.” Max snorted, wrencing his arm out of the guard’s grasp. “Teaspoon of power makes you think your clit’s a full inch long, doesn’t it?”

“You think you can just trash talk a guard and get away with it?” The aggressor of the situation started.

“Bone, it’s not worth it.” His partner whispered harshly.

The other guard snorted. “Hmph. Tread carefully, Sow-Son. You just made an enemy of the entire Canterlot Guard.”

“Bone, eh?” Max’s smile was pure evil. “I’ll remember that, Mate.

They glared at each other for another couple of seconds before the sane ponies in the situation dragged them each away from each other. Once we were well away from Dummy-Dumb-Butt and Kinda-Alright-Guy, I asked, “Does that happen often?”


“... I’m sorry…”

“We can tell on him to Celestia or I can take care of it my way. Your choice.”

“We should tell the Princess that her own Guard is corrupted by racists.” I said worriedly. “She should know.”

Max didn’t say anything to that, so I just took us to the Court hall. Thankfully Court was ending within the hour, so we only had to walk to the Dining Hall and wait for a few minutes to see my teacher. When she arrived, I got a hug and Max got a choice between a hug and a handshake, to which he also chose a hug. He tactfully avoided burying his face in Celestia’s ample cleavage. Probably to avoid being slapped, but he’d already said that he didn’t find Celestia attractive, so I doubted that I had much to worry about. He and Celestia took their leave from me to go have their private conversation before dinner, meaning that Luna got to walk in on me making a hedgehog out of a baked potato, some baby carrots, peas, and a sprig of broccoli.

“Thou art a foal in a filly’s body.” Luna said flatly.

“... Hi.” I replied quietly, my feelings rather hurt.

She rolled her eyes and sat down in her seat. “Where beith Our sister?”

“Um… She and my coltfriend are having a talk about something…”

Luna raised a brow. “Thou have a coltfriend?”

“Well… Yes?”

She scoffed. “We pity the foal.”

I shrank down further in my seat and didn’t say anything.

“Twilight Sparkle, did they sayeth whence they wouldst return?” Luna demanded.

“... No…”

“Then leave until they return.”

“P-Princess Celestia said-”

“Well We say leave.” She snapped.

Leaving seemed like a really excellent option, so I did and stood outside of the door, trying not to cry. I knew that Luna wasn’t my biggest fan, but I just didn’t understand what made her hate me so much. It wasn’t as if I’d ever actually done anything to her, and if anything, she owed me for bringing her back to Celestia! I’m not one to call somepony out on a debt, but Luna could stand to remember who it was that purged Nightmare Moon from her body and ended the possible end of Equus as a whole. Or, you know, she could just be a bucking nag forever.

I didn’t even know I had company until I felt somepony’s hand on my shoulder, blinking and trying to rub the tears out of my eyes as I was. The stallion who’d gotten my attention had an orange coat and a oddly ornate armor for somepony his age, signifying that he was at least a Lieutenant. “Miss Twilight? Are you okay?”

Blinking a few more tears out of my eyes, I looked at him and nodded. “I’m fine. Just a little frustrated is all.”

“Princess Luna?” He asked knowingly.

“She really doesn’t like me.” I sighed.

“Everypony around the castle knows that.” The guard chuckled amusedly. “You should hear her when you do something noteworthy.”

My frown made him give me a conciliatory look. “I don’t know why she doesn’t like me…”

“Maybe it’s because you’re cuter than her?” He said, smiling.

I didn’t know how to respond to that, my face flushing and my voice sticking in my throat. “Um…”

“Flash. Flash Sentry. Maybe I’ll see you around, Twilight?” He gave me a charming smile and a wink before walking off down the hall, leaving me to watch him go.

While I was stunned by the appearance of a second stallion who apparently found me attractive, the first one tapped my shoulder and raised a brow. “What happened to waiting in the Dining Hall?”

“Yes, why art thou out here?” Luna asked from behind him alongside Celestia.

Her teal eyes met my violet ones and they promised retribution if I squealed on her, so I stammered out. “N-N-No r-r-reason…”

Max squinted at me then turned to Luna. “The only people in there would have been you two.”

Luna’s lip curled. “Do not presume to speak to me, curr.”

“Choke and die, cunt.” Max snapped back. “Don’t fuck with my woman.”

Before either of them could move, Celestia had them in bubbles and was frowning heavily. “Luna, this is why ponies don’t like you. Don’t respect you. Max? I was nice enough to heal you. She won’t be. Stand down.” The bubbles dropped and they both just glowered at each other as hard as they could with Celestia standing between them. “Both of you; cease your foalishness and get over it. We have more important matters to discuss.”

“Let her keep her shit up and we’ll see how many favours I do her.” Max growled.

“What? What service couldst a lowly plebeian offer a Princess that she could not have another perform?” Luna snarled.

“Yeah, my people slaughtered rulers like you.” Max said icily. “Actually, that was most civilizations on the planet~”

Luna started toward him, but Celestia raised a hand. “Sister, he can rid you of Nightmare Moon.”

Princess Butthole rolled her eyes. “We were ridded of that blight by the purple one.”

“You sure don’t act like it…” I muttered.

“Silence, adults are speaking. We’ve no room-”

“Bitch, you can rot and this whole country can fall to ruin for all the shits I give. You wanna know something, Dolly? You really wanna know?” Max asked, leaning forward. “You’re fucked without me. I’m the only living thing on this side of the planet that can hold half of Nightmare Moon’s power safely. Give it to Celestia and she destroys everything. Give it to Cadance; second verse same as the first, so shut the fuck up before I find a way to put you in a hearse.”

I stared at Max along with Celestia and Luna. Luna just tilted her head and stared at him blankly, I was observing everypony, Celestia was about to speak, and Max was furious. “Maximus, would you-”

“Twilight and I would be long dead before that shit popped off.” He snorted, smirking. “Why is it actually my problem? This is charity, Baby.” He swaggered, acting like an utter ass.

“Um… Max?”

“Yes, Cherry?”

“... Tone it down a bit?”

“The blue twat disrespected the fuck outta you. And me. Why should I help this cunt if we don’t get anything out of it?”

“Unholy flames of Tartarus, she’s still there…” Luna breathed, despair creeping into her voice. “She’s still there…”

Celestia covered her mouth for a moment, closing her eyes for all of a second before she glowered at Max. “What are your demands?”

“Max, we-” I tried.

He waved my words away and I felt my heart ache like he’d just slapped me. “I don’t have ‘demands’, I have highly mutually-satisfactory requests, yeah?” And just like that I knew that he was plotting something conniving and morally sketchy.

“A blade by any other name still cuts.” My teacher replied.

“Not if it’s a dull one, Dumb-Dumb.” He rolled his fricking eyes! “Anyway, so the first thing I want is an apartment here in Canterlot. One of the brownstones around Brownie Blitz Bakery.”

Celestia blinked. “... I believe the area is extra-Pony friendly. How did you know of them?”

“Memory. The next thing I want is is for you to teach me how to meditate.”

“... Close your eyes and breathe slowly.”

“I mean Inverse Projection.” He clarified.

“And you know that I’m capable of this how?”

“If Twilight could do it before the thing we talked about, then she learned it from either you or Luna. Seeing her current relationship with the Princess of the Pricks- Shit, wait, no, that gives her sovereignty over my. Princess of the Ponies. We’re going with that one. Seeing her current relations with the woman who just kicked her out of the Dining Hall, I’d say she learned it from you.”

My teacher gave him an impressed look after she passed Luna a harsh glare that left no discernible impression. “You’re an attentive stallion, I’ll give you that much. Perhaps teaching you won’t be such a pain. Your third ‘request’?”

“There is no third, but there is a fourth.” He said gravely. “The fourth is that you pump me full of Unicorn Magic and drop me in the Everfree.”

“... But why?”

“Discord is coming back and nothing is going the way it should be. This might be a chance for us to get a head start; to top the lamb-chop before he steps out of his shop, if you catch my drift. Once we weaken Nightmare Cunt further, we’ll have a strong ally. We find a stallion named Stygian and put it out there that we’re looking to give him full amnesty-”

Dost thou even knowest what he did!?” Luna boomed.

Max cleaned out an ear. “Nah, but I heard that you’re a loud-mouth. Dial it down, Love.”

Celestia hit him hard enough to make him stumble and give her a look. “Stop committing treason before I actually arrest you.”

“She talk shit: why me no talk shit too?” Max asked, hunching shoulders and going wide-eyed. “Besides, we need to find a way to contact either Diliculum or Iry-Hor because apparently I’m supposed to be powerful as shit, and in case anyone’s noticed, I’m the weakest geek in the fleet.”

“There are ways to make you tougher, but they-” Celestia started.

“Will be taken care of by Us personally if thou truly can rid of Us this plague once and for all.” Luna interrupted sharply. “A King’s ransom, land, mares- Even stallions if thou play for that team: They shalt be for thine disposal should thou wipe the stain that is Nightmare Moon from Equus.” She oathed.

Max nodded. “For the record, I wasn’t about to let that evil shit stay in you, even if you’re a bitch.”

“We believe thou misunderstand the true definition of that word, but We accept thy overall point. Now how do We extract Nightmare Moon from Ourselves?”

“Last time it happened, I was dead and you brought me back to life with Dark Magic, meaning that she kinda just slipped in-”

My world shattered in twelve ways as Luna made Max go from facing her to facing me. He blinked two times and his mouth fell open as my jaw dropped. Numb legs carried me backward as he fell towards me, faceplanting chest-up. I wanted to be ill as my strength failed me, a weak cry leaving my lips. “... M-Max?”

“Oh, be silent. He shall live momentarily.” Luna scoffed, teleporting a piece of Tartaric Quarschz crystal into her hand, kneeling down.

Celestia thumped Luna hard enough to make her sister hiss in pain. “You- Luna, you- You’re well aware of the fact that this isn’t fury, correct.”

“Insolent worm deserved it anyway.” The Princess of the Night drawled, rubbing her arm and carving a Blood Rune into Max’s body. The transfer of pure Black Magic into his body happened kind of like it was a casual Uniday and everypony was wearing jeans to the office.

“We’ll talk about this later.” The Princess of the Day snapped.

Luna sighed. “Dost thou do anything other than rule and nag, sister?”

“”I’m going to get a spray bottle here shortly.”


Luna finished the Rune Circle in record time and just like that, Max’s head started making super gross noises and I teleported to the Castle Gardens because Groooss!!! When Celestia came to collect me, Max was bedded in my old chambers that were still dedicated to me since apparently Celestia thought I’d like to nap with my previously dead coltfriend. She was horribly, horribly wrong, of course, but I couldn’t help but stay near him the entire night, not sleeping myself. I hadn’t eaten at all after breakfast, and by the time morning came, I still wasn’t hungry. Max was breathing, but he still wasn’t awake. It wasn’t dissimilar to how my stomach would growl from time to time, but I felt no need to go get anything to eat. I did, however, have a plan to make Luna suffer for casually breaking my poor Amour’s neck like a twig and just cutting into him like a cheap head of cabbage.

Nag bucked with your stallion, Twi. Are you going to let her get away with it?

She didn’t just ‘buck’ with your stallion. She killed him.

Exactly! How are we going to make our message clear?

‘... I have a few ideas. I’ll wait until she’s in Night Court.’

Atta filly

No mercy, Little One. She has made it clear that you are an enemy. She is yours in turn.

‘Sounds like somepony needs to be taught the true value of Friendship.’ I thought, my eyes unfocusing from Max’s face. The dawn light was breaking just over the horizon, signalling the beginning of another episode that I don’t remember I do, however, recall ‘waking up’ with Max stroking my mane, giving me a pained smile.

“Fuckin’ right n’ proper cunt, isn’t she?” He snorted.

“Luna?” I asked blearily.


“Sure is. I guess. Dunno what that means.”



He popped his neck and tried to get out of bed, but he was having a lot of trouble. “Not happening quite yet, I’m afraid.”

My eyes shot open. “Ohmygosh, I’m so sorry! I totally forgot, Amour, I’ll go get the coffee-”

“Relax, Cherry. It’s fine.” He said soothingly, sitting back and closing his eyes. “I’d feel better if you hopped into bed with me though.”

I didn’t waste any time in getting under the covers with him, snuggling up close and nuzzling him. “This isn’t a dream, right?”

“Not as far as I’m aware. Too handsome to be a dream construct, right?”

Giggling, I kissed his chin before nuzzling him. “Yeah! What happened before was the bad dream! This is real.” I sighed.

“It sure is.” He murmured, holding me tight.

Apparently we both dozed off at some point because I woke up and Max was asleep in front of me, so I gently shook him awake. “Max? Amour? I think we have stuff to do.”

“Bloody Hell, someone get a man a bottle of whiskey and some hydros.” Max shut his eyes tight and sat up stiffly. “Fuck.

“I know a Muscle-Relaxing Spell if you think that will help.” I offered.

He popped his neck and rolled it around a few times, swinging his legs off of the bed. “I’m fine, Cherry. I’ve shaken off worse aches.”

“You broke your neck!”

“I’ve broken a lot of things and Magic wasn’t always there to help fix it.” He said, doing some more casual stretches. “So I talked to Noir.”


“Yeah, real delight, she is. Top heavy, but she carries it well.”

Something told me that he wasn’t talking about her weight. “If you’re referring to her breasts, I’m whacking you.”

“The woman’s build like an ice cream-cone with a cherry on top for a head! How’s that my fault!?” Max laughed.

“... That was a mean thing to say about someone close to you, Max.”

“She called me a fool, so I think we’re even.” He snorted, standing up straight and holding his palm out in front of him. “Now let’s see if I can still do this…”

Max’s hand started turning darker and darker until it was nearly black, a strange mist pouring from his palm and fingers down to the floor. When he narrowed his eyes in concentration (Or maybe he had to poot. He’s a wildcard.) the mist formed into a small ball that slowly grew until he apparently thought it was throwing size. It’d been about the size of a Pony’s head, so when it hit the wall and the mist started filling the room, I wasn’t all that surprised. With a snap of his fingers, Max collected the mist back into a ball and started taking deep, steady breaths, condensing the Magic as if he’d been practicing it for some time already. I mean, I probably could have done it faster since it seemed like a variation of the Cloud Creation Spell, but that would be showing off.

“Alright, so I know the Fog of Fear.” He murmured. “Let’s try the fire.” After a few seconds, his ball of ‘Fog’ burst into black and blue flames that seemed to radiate cold rather than heat. He closed his hand and the fire shrank further until Max just ate it. “Mmm. Not horrible.”

“So what does Dark Magic taste like?” I asked awkwardly.

“Sea-salt caramel, actually.” He said amusedly. “Not terrible, but it feels like eating my own semen.”

“Ew.” Don’t-call-my-bluff-don’t-call-my-bluff-

“I’m sure you’d find it more appetizing than I would, but then again I wouldn’t want another guys stuff in my mouth anyway.”

Whew. “I wouldn’t want some other guy’s stuff in my mouth-”

“Would you be fine if it was mine?”

I lit up and stammered for a second before he just laughed. “Come on, we’ve got to get ready for the day at some point.”

After a moment to breathe and give him the mildest of looks that I could manage, “I-I think Celestia teleported us some spare clothes here, but I don’t know what day it is.” I admitted, my stomach growling loudly as I finished my sentence.

Max gave me a funny look. “When’s the last time you ate?”

“The last time you cooked for me.” I answered truthfully.

“That was probably way too long ago at this point.” He sighed. “Come on, Cherry.”

Sadly, I had to get out of bed, but it was worth it to get a kiss from Max and a shower to get the oil out of my fur. I didn’t realize how long it’d been since I’d properly bathed, but I didn’t want to take too long since Max was waiting for me in the room. At least, I thought he would wait for me to get out. Halfway through washing my mane, I heard the bathroom door open over the pitter-patter of the shower’s falling rain and saw through the frosted glass of the large door that Max had entered.

“Um, Max?” I stuck my head out of the door, soap still in my mane.

He stripped his shirt off just as I looked at him. “Yeah?”

“... What are you doing?”

“What? You don’t want me to wash your back?” He asked, giving me a sad look that probably would have worked better if he was younger, shorter, or didn’t have a thing.

Giving him a look, I said, “Don’t turn into a pervert on me now.”

He chuckled. “Nah, one of Celestia’s staff just stopped by to tell you that you’re being summoned. It’s steamy in here.”

“Aww, just tell them that I’m busy!”

“I told them that I’d make you hurry.”

Pouting at him did nothing, so I just shut the shower door. “Butthead!”

“I love you~!” He sang, making my heart pound for minutes after he left.

Not wanting to give credence to any claims that I take forever in the bathroom, I hurried through my Morning Meandering and sped it up with Magic as I do when I’m in a particularly big-time rush. Max complimented me on not passing the thirty minute mark, but he only took ten to complete his daily ritual, and that was complete and utter malarkey! I asked what all he did and he told me that he’d used the restroom, washed his hair, and bathed normally like he usually did, but it didn’t make sense to me. Completely bewildered, I asked him if he would mind letting me observe him sometime and he invited me to observe him in the present, so I did.

As we followed our guide to Celestia’s Training Chambers, Max would occasionally used different ‘Spells’ to mess with ponies as we passed along. There was one pony that had a Fog of Fear following them for as long as they were in Max’s line of sight, somepony had a vase spout Dark Fire as they were cleaning it, and somehow Max learned how to cast minor glamours so that all the paintings on the walls would look directly at you whenever you looked at them, creeping everypony out. His barely restrained giggles made me want to laugh too, but knowing that he was scaring ponies for the sake of his own pleasure was taking the mirth out of the mood for me, which made me ask him to stop.

We arrived in Celestia’s chambers before she did, which was odd because she’d summoned us in the first place. However, I was prepared to wait a good while since there were snacks provided, and Max was more than willing to make sure that I had a good meal on my mini plate before I started eating. I made him eat too, but I feel like it’s more important to mention that he’d literally had his neck broken all the way around and he was still trying to look out for me over himself. Talk about true love, am I right, Diary?

Anyway, Celestia came in as we were eating out fill and Luna wasn’t far behind her, only coming through the door a few seconds after her sister. “So? Is Nightmare Moon contained?”

Max burped. “Don’t let your Dark Magic grow any stronger and you’ll be fine until I learn how to sap some Magic from whatever weakened Nightmare Moon in the first place.”

“Um…” What?

“You… You want to drain the Magic from the Elements of Harmony?” Celestia asked.

“I wanna take a pinch and mix it with some Aetherial Magic so I can purge the Black Magic out of Nightmare Moon’s Dark Magic, thus making her a little less loco and a lot more sane. Also I need to figure out how to transform the Alicorn Amulet into a person. Back into a person, I should say.”

“If thou canst even find it.” Luna scoffed. “The Amulet is lost.”

“But it’ll turn up.” Max chuckled. “And when it does, we might just have two Alicorns older than the country. All in favor of calling me a badass, say ‘aye’!”

“Aye!” I cheered.

“And these Alicorns will not turn on us the moment they are freed?” Luna asked severely.

“Noir’s already sworn by the Lifestream to protect and advise me, so don’t piss me off and you won’t piss her off.” He answered. “So far, Celestia has my loyalty.”

“Then that is satisfactory.” She nodded.

Celestia gave her a look that she missed, but it was there nonetheless. “In any case, what about this Noir do you know, Maximus?”

“I know that she’s a capable mentor and could probably be a very valuable General or Trainer. The woman moves like liquid lightning and strike twice as hard.” He rubbed his chest.

Luna shook her head and the first chunk of her mane floated away up to the ceiling. “We do that.”

“If you sparred, you’d lose.” Max said softly. “There’s no beating something you can’t see.”

“A Psychic Avatar and the True Form are two different things.” Luna scoffed.

He shrugged. “Find out next time on Dragon Ball Zed, I guess. Anywho, can I get another one of those chocolate covered pineapples?”

“A peasant with good taste? Ludicrous.” Luna scoffed.

Eww!” I said, making a face.

Celestia’s expression mirrored mine. “Sister, chocolate covered pineapples fell out of favour hundreds of years ago. Like escargot.”

“Mmm, salted snails…” Luna licked her lips.

My teacher clapped a hand to her face, but Max just nodded along. “Not something I’d eat more than once or twice a month, but I like them well enough. What about durian? Have you-”

“Thou have taken part of the putrid fruit as well!?” Luna gasped.

“Disgusting.” Celestia said plainly.

“Yeah…” I said slowly.

Max nodded. “I like it, the thing just smells horrible. It’s kinda black licorice, you know?”

“We love licorice! No one else has taste-buds refined enough to appreciate the complexity of the flavor!”

Max blinked. “Did you just say ‘no one’?”

“How do you feel about cacao?”

“Love it, but you just said ‘no one’, right?”

“I did.”

He looked to Celestia. “You made your people racist.”

Her jaw dropped, my jaw dropped, and Luna chuckled. “Caught like a thief in the night!”

“I deny your accusation, Maximus-” My teacher started.

“That’s right! Celestia wouldn’t inspire hatred in her ponies!” I continued

“No, Maximus is correct.” Luna said, still chuckling. “Fear and propaganda made Equestria the shining beacon of ‘unity’ that it is today. We are quite surprised to see that you are wise enough to see the world as it is.” Another couple of chunks floated away.

Celestia was busy glaring at Max, glancing at me from time to time. “That’s not true, Twilight. It’s not the whole story.”

“Celestia, you lead the world’s largest unified country. You’ve got a dirty track record. Twilight of all people should be privy to that knowledge.” Max replied flippantly.

“Be silent before you get smacked.” She deadpanned, her voice flatter than an anvil’s face.


She gave me a sad smile. “I’ll explain later, Twilight. For now, I think you should go back to Ponyville.”

“What about me?” Max asked, seemingly entertained.

Princess Celestia turned her gaze to him. “You owe me a favor, and I know just how you’re going to repay me.”

He raised a brow. “I just saved your sister and your country from the second coming of one of history’s greatest Demons and you’re saying I owe you?

My teacher walked up to him and bent down, looking him dead in the eyes and turning on Princess Mode. “You live in my country, on my land, in a house under my name, eating food that I pay for. Tell me no.”

“My people killed rulers like you too.” Max answered drolly.

She murmured something in his ear that made him stand up straighter and ball his fists up. “Are we clear?”

Sure thing.” My coltfriend replied coldly.

“Good. Be sure to see Twilight off appropriately. It’ll be a few weeks before you see each other again.” Celestia said, giving Max a look of disapproval.

I didn’t know what to make of the situation, but Max stormed away from Celestia with a steely mask on his face, coming to collect me as he decided that royalty was too frustrating to deal with. The second we left the room, however, I was in his ear giving him him the lecture of a lifetime, but I knew he wasn’t paying that much attention to me. It just helped to get my frustrations out into the open, and I knew that Max wasn’t about to lie and say that he regretted anything he’d said to Celestia, but still. He shouldn’t have talked to her that way, and now that whole thing about institutionalized racism keeps dancing around in my head with cleats on and its tearing my perception of my favourite pony in the whole wide world apart.

Max apparently remembered the way out of the castle, but before he actually walked me to the gates, he said, “Twilight, I need you to do something for me.”

I shook myself out of the shock of what had just occurred over the past couple of days, trying to cope with the reality that was being crammed down my throat at light speeds. “You really died…”

“And came back to life. I need you to-”

“Celestia could arrest you for treason at any point.”

“She can’t. Anyway, I-”

“You’re going away for weeks!

“Not if I can help it. Twilight, are you listening yet?” He asked, patting my cheeks.

I swatted his hands away and glared at him. “Why!? Why do you have to go and rock the boat wherever you go!? We had like, two days to actually enjoy being together and now you’re going away because now you apparently owe Celestia a favor because you couldn’t keep your big disrespectful mouth shut! Can’t you just sit down, shut up, and smell some roses or something!?

“Well ye- No. The favor is a mission and I vaguely remember it from the past life, so It’ll be a cakewalk and a half, my sweet Cherry Chiffon. If I even get hurt, I’ll be rather unpleasantly surprised, and I’m a very pessimistic person mosty of the time. It’s hard for Murphy’s law to sneak one in on me, and the best part is that I know exactly how to avoid dipping my toes into soiling my soul, so I’m gonna do that. Don’t be worried until I’m worried, okay?”

“I feel like you don’t worry enough.” I said softly.

“It’s how I get by.” He replied, kissing the base of my horn, sending a chill down my spine.

I pushed him away and looked up at him. “... Another stallion called me cute today…”

His eyes lost any sign of the false bravado he’d been putting up. “Did you tell him you were taken?”

“I didn’t say anything.” I replied.

“Then what did you do?” He asked.


“... I trust you Twilight, but making me jealous isn’t cute.”

I sent a tear-filled look his way. “Well maybe you should have thought about that before you went and got yourself stuck in a stupid situation.” And without another word, I teleported back into my room and threw myself onto my bed, but I didn’t cry. I wanted to, but I didn’t.

… It’s time for the conclusion. My heart hurts.


In conclusion, my Special Somepony is a jackass with a good heart and bad habits, but I really think he’ll get his bucking head out of his flank soon enough to not make me want to teleport him into the middle of the ocean along with the rest of that Research and Development team. As for the six days that Max was gone, I was sad. When he came back, I was happy. Getting drunk was a horrible mistake, but it’s nice to know that Max is willing to nurse me back to health if I need it. I still feel bad about tossing my cookies all over him, but in my defense, he threw up on me too!

Max’s relationships with ponies that aren’t uptight… It’s astounding to see how fast somepony can turn on the charm and worm their way into your heart. I think he might need some time to iron out the details in his social life, but the stallion definitely has the foundations laid for him just based on his charisma alone. Celestia told me that Max was a natural born leader, but she warned me that leader come in all shapes and sizes with different moral alignments. I found that kind of odd coming from the mare who justified racism by saying that she needed to keep her country together after her sister was banished… Tch. She took the quickest, easiest, sleaziest route in the book to get a decent result, but like Max was saying, if
Celestia’s done something that bad before, what’s stopping her from doing it again, or rather, what other kinds of evil has she committed to make Equestria what it is today...? I can’t remember what was in the book either, but Max seems to think that Celestia is some kind of tyrant...

… It’s past midnight and I can’t sleep. I can’t keep wondering what Max is doing, or what Celestia is plotting. I can’t keep worrying about whether or not Discord is even a threat right now because it’s all just going to drive me bonkers! Max is all too happy to throw himself into the middle of the madness like it’s nothing, but me? I’m just a scholar with a penchant for comprehensive reading! I’m not meant for this kind of life!

Ugh… My boyfriend makes life so complicated- Boyfriend? What does boy mean? Whatever. Anyway, Max turns my days into cookie crumbles in minutes and I don’t know if I can keep dealing with that… When he get back, we’re going to have to talk. I… I need to ask the girls how to actually assert myself against him, though. Maybe talk to Mom and see what-

No. I know just the mare to ask, and I know for a fact that she’s available right now! Auntie Fleur always saves Solday night for reading and dry white wine! Hold on, Diary, here I go!


Dear Diary,

… Asking Auntie Fleur might have been a mistake, but I think her advice and insight were worth seeking. When I teleported back to Canterlot and requested an audience with her, I was told to come back in the morning unless it was an emergency, to which I told the maid, “Auntie Fleur will understand! Stallion troubles are like, her main thing!

“Oh stars above.” The mare sighed. “Please tell me you’re not pregnant.”

“Wha- No! What kind of mare do you think I am!?” I asked, clutching my hands to my hammering heart, my face flushing.

“Just lost your-” I put the maid in a bubble and rolled her away from the door.

When I found a good place to put her, I pointed a judicious, sternly stern finger at her. “Now you sit and you get your mind out of the gutter! My stallion is just a clever troublemaker and that’s it. Okay? Okay. Now shut it.” I snapped harshly, not liking the uppity attitude of the mare. She probably got it from spending so much time around my Aunt, in all honesty.

Or she’s just a bronco. Ponies like her are just rude.

With my anxious mood turned to one of irritation and determination, I marched up Auntie Fleur’s stairs and tracked her down with a handy-dandy Clairvoyance Spell, which is different than a Scrying Spell, so don’t make me go into the nitty gritty details. Oh yeah? So be it!

{A Scrying Spell1 can be conjured while in a solitary, non-moving position only and requires much focus and many months of training for proficient Unicorns to master. Not only is the art considered invasive, it is also most commonly associated with espionage due to the nature of the higher tiers of the spell. However, a Clairvoyance Spell2 would not, as the name would imply, allow the user to become truly ‘Clairvoyant’ as the art has been lost to time. However, the Clairvoyance Spell2 is technically an advanced version of a standard Tracking Spell3, differing by the nature of the initialization the spell.
The lower-rank Tracking Spell3 requires little Mana since it can be cast verbally, which is where the Clairvoyance Spell2 seems to fall somewhat short due to its status as a MIO (Mental Incantation Only) spell. The deciding factor in the superiority of the spells, thusly, is based on RoE (Range of Effect) and the materials required to initiate the spell’s effects. With the Tracking3 Spell, the caster must be within two hundred meters of their target, and must posses a proportionally invested piece of their property to expand the range of their spell. Items such as toothbrushes and hairbrushes are often used to expand the search range up to three hundred and fifty meters, but even its widest range recorded (Five hundred and three meters See Fox Cloud’s Hypothesis Test #253-Aerial) pales in comparison to the Clairvoyance Spell2 at its lowest range of five hundred and fifty meters. Combined with its necessary materials being only a mental image of one’s target and it’s nearly negligible BMR (Base Mana Requirement), Clairvoyance is the clearly superior spell in both functionality and efficiency!}

To get back on track, Auntie Fleur was sitting out on her balcony, ready by the light of a beautiful candelabra that my Mom had brought back for her during an expedition to Baakistan when I came upon her. After ceasing the flow of Mana, I knocked on the glass door to the outside and nearly caused her to drop her book. Giving her a moment to catch her breath and let her heart rest ;.90seemed like the best (And kindest) course of action, so I waited until she was gazing at me with plenty of annoyance and a little confusion.

“Agua Vita, for the last time! When will it sink in that I’m not to be bothered during my story time!?” My dear, sweet Aunt huffed.

I poked my head out and pursed my lips. “I remember specifically being told that your story time could be put on hold for Twilight Sparkle’s nonexistent colt conundrums.”

She blinked a few times rapidly. “Twily?”

“Hi, Auntie Fleur. I know that was a decade ago, but…” I tried to smile, though we both knew that my heart wasn’t behind it.

“Oh, Sweetheart! I didn’t mean-” She closed her eyes, jammed a bookmark in her book, and shut it with a little ‘clap’. Her eyes snapped open and closed a few times before she asked, “Did you say ‘colt conundrums’?”

Yes! Stepping out onto the balcony, I gave her a sheepish smile and she returned it with a warmer, more assured one of her own. “I know, right? Seems like a dream somedays and a nightmare on others…”

“Honey…” Fleur said softly. “What’s going on,Sparkle? Have a seat; sit, sit! Can I get you something to drink? A bite to eat? You do look absolutely fetching in that dress by the way. One of your friend Rarity’s creations, I presume?”

I shielded my ocular devices and uncovered them for the sake of utility, performing the action called a ‘blink’ to moisten my eyes and try to process all of Fleurs questions. I sat next to her on her lounge chair and said, “If you’ve got any plum wine that would be fantastic, ice cream and chocolate sounds like Canterlot Creme de la Creme right now, Rarity would be ecstatic to hear you say that, so I’ll carry the message, and my boyfriend is a jackass.”

“Mare food first; talking later.” She answered, her wisdom shining through.

Chocolate cake and Rocky Route #4 (Double marshmellow, triple brownie, add three blondies.) made up our ‘meal’ and I started opening up with, “So has Mom told you or hinted about Max at all?”

“So his name is Max.” Auntie said, rolling her eyes.

“So we’re starting with the ‘Extra-equuestrial’ bit. Lovely.” I sighed.

“Twilight-Twily-Sparkle, do not tell me that your first stallion isn’t even a stallion.”

“He has a thingy…” I murmured past some ice cream.

She started giggling her head off like a madmare. “You still can’t say penis? That’s adorable, Sparkly!”

My face heated up even more. “Shush and let me tell the story, okay?”

“So you’re dating an alien.” My evil Aunt said amusedly.

“I’m not lying, Auntie! Seriously; Max comes from a planet called Earth where the dominant species is Human and there are no other sentient races, no Magic, no immortals! And that’s not even the weird part!”

That’s supposed to be believable? Twilight, Honey, let me level with you mare to mare for a moment; if Max really is an alien, then it’s no wonder he’s a jackass. Aliens are supposed to be alien.”

I had to clap a hand over my eyes for a few seconds and breathe. “Auntie, Fleur, what does ‘cunt’ mean?”

“... It’s a Briddish and Shepherd Islander word for a mare’s nether regions that also happens to be an insult.”

“He called both of the Princesses that and mentioned that his people killed their rulers. Directly. Individually. To their faces.”

“... Holy. Shit.


“... Is he insane!?” Auntie Fleur cried.

Yes, but I love him! It’s the damned- Darned- dingle-hopping True Love! I can’t help but find his feisty, take-no-crap, Tirek-May-Care, cross-my-path-I’ll-kick-you-ass kind of attitude!!! I wanted a nice, calm, gentle, scholarly stallion with an equally nice mane and equally nice eyes, but nooo, I just had to get the insanely hot crazy guy who’d probably would have started throwing punches at Princess Luna if Celestia didn’t intervene!”

“Twilight, get away from him.” She said breathlessly. “If that stallion has the madness to commit treason directly to the Princesses’ freaking faces then he’s probably gonna get himself killed. I hate to tell you that, but the guy sounds suicidal.”

“He’s going nuts because he’s on a different planet with a dozen new races, a million new animals, Magic in general, the prospect of immortality, the fact that your average Pony could kill him in a punch, memories from what is apparently an alternate timeline where we got freaking married, had foals, and ruled. Equestria. Life is bonkers, Baby!” I got a big mouthful of cake and drowned my misery in chocolate which was pretty gosh-darn effective.

“... So you married that nutjob?”

I sighed. “After he had a couple years to get his head out of his flank, yes.”

“You poor, poor mare.” She sighed. “Are you sure it’s True Love?”

“Every filly knows the Lovelace Rune.”

“Oooh, that’s bad… Maybe I could talk to him for you?”

“I think I need to do this myself, Auntie, but I don’t know how to tell him to make the testosterone quiet down!”

“... You know I hate to ask, but-”

“I tried but he turned me down!”


He was so stiff!”

“Repeating for clarification: What.

“I know! You told me that stallions loved a mare who wasn’t afraid to get in bed!”

“They do! All red-blooded stallions can’t help three things.” She held up a finger for each item. “First and foremost; stallions can’t resist breasts. Pad ‘em, Princess. Second; if your stallion looks at your chest and doesn’t think it’s the best, turn around and let the tail do the rest! You’ve got some bust, but your flank is perfect for a mare with your physique! Last and maybe most important; if your stallion can look you in the eye and tell you that he doesn’t want to sleep with you, then he’s cheating.”

“... Max looked me in the eye and told me that there was nothing he wanted more…” I replied, the Rocky Route cooling the fire in my belly. “I felt him between my legs, pressing in that place while he was asleep…” Poking my ice cream, I thought more about him. “He always holds me so tight and never wants to let go. I know he loves me back, and I don’t doubt that he’s been faithful, but it’s a struggle to be with him some days and others there just isn’t anything that feels more natural…”

Auntie Fleur sighed out a half-laugh. “Would you like to know something funny, Twilight?”

“If you don’t mind.”

“Your Uncle’s as queer as a red skunk.”

Shut up.” I gasped.

She nodded, smiling ruefully. “We love each other, he just doesn’t want me like that. Hence why you may have heard some rumors about possible promiscuity being levelled my way.”

“... You don’t think…”

“My Gay-Detector works perfectly. All I need to do is ask him three questions.”

I nodded and added the rest of my cake to my ice cream with Fleur following suit soon after. “... I don’t think a gay stallion would get… Stiff, from just kissing a mare.”

“I don’t think a straight stallion would turn down a virgin if he loves her.” Auntie Fleur countered.

After a moment, Auntie Fleur gave me a worried look and my head grew heavy, my bones thrumming. “Twily? Honey?”

“... He’s safe.” Auntie Fleur had to tell me what I said, so assume that from this point on that the same thing that happened with the Diliculum thing happened again.

“Twily? Who’s safe?”

I looked at her, my eyes glowing with a deep, cosmic purple that seemed to draw in the darkness and turn it into light. “My husband, of course. That’s why I sent him here.”

“... Twily?”

“Fleur. Protect him, or I’ll take everything from you. He’s headed toward Hildegarten. Suit up.”

“Twily, you’re scaring me.”

I leaned forward and the world warped around me, bringing Fleur closer to me. “You’ve never known the fear I can bring to you; the despair. Protect my husband from shedding blood or you’ll pay with your limbs. Protect his life or you’ll pay with your own. Protect his mind opr I will destroy yours piece by piece.”

“... Understood.”

And just like that, I was asleep on Auntie Fleur’s sofa, and moments later she was shaking me awake. “Twilight? Twilight!?”

“Stop, my tummy’s full!” I complained, shaking her off. “When did I fall asleep?”

“Um… So I don’t have to go to Hildegarten?”


She explained everything that had happened, and it honestly seemed like a good idea to have Auntie Fleur looking out for Max while he was out of the country anyway. She let me teleport her to Otterwa since I’d been there once after she packed some weird stuff into a duffel bag and changed into odd clothes that I’d never known she’d actually own, let alone wear. I don’t think there needs to be a conclusion this time, but I will say that I am worried about this Diliculum mare and her propensity for possessing me. At least it doesn’t hurt, I guess…

Why does life have to be so darn stupid? And weird… Weird and stupid just makes everything so confusing...

Mr. Lonely

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Mr. Lonely


Dear Diary,

So I went home shortly after seeking Auntie Fleur’s advice, but it’s not like there was anyway I could have slept. Not without knowing whether or not Max was safe. Most ponies would have sworn that I was going to wear a rut into the floors of the basement and the kitchen while I tried to work off some of the anxiety that came with not knowing if the love of my life was even alive. Bitterness started eating away at my heart. Anger. Frustration. I wanted my Max back in my arms because that’s where he belonged, and I was pretty darn mad at Celestia for wresting my love from my grasp. My irritation with Max had cooled off considerably over the course of the night, but I was just as ready to punch Celestia in the flank as I had been when she’d tried to sit me down and explain the fact that she was the reason everypony in town seemed to think of Max as less than a pony. Luna honestly had more of my respect at the moment since she’d been honest about the whole thing, but I knew that Celestia was lying when she said that she didn’t see any other way to make Equestria stick together when times were tough, and that made my heart hurt.

I didn’t do as much crying as I thought I’d do, and when Spike came downstairs to make breakfast, he just left me alone and left breakfast for me in the kitchen before getting his chores done. I know he watched me whenever I paced in the same room as him until he eventually got up and made me stop by hugging me tight like he always used to when I needed it. “Twilight, how long have you been up?”

“Not that long.”

“... Are you okay?” He asked carefully.

I hugged him back, holding him tight. “Celestia… Celestia isn’t the mare I thought she was, Spike. She… She’s the reason ponies were afraid of Zecora, why ponies don’t like Max. She made Equestrians racist, Spike… Who knows what else she’s done and covered up with smiles…?”

“Uh… That’s… That’s pretty heavy.” My precious, naive little brother replied.

“I know, Spike. It’s just… How do I look at her like I used to, knowing that she’s done something so unforgivable?”

“... Um, everypony deserves a second chance?” He tried. “I mean, it’s not like Celestia’s evil or anything, right? Like, she’s kinda the Princess that lead Equestria into being one of the greatest peaceful nations of recorded history, so…”

“And who’s been in control of that history since they took over? There might be other nations more peaceful than Equestria that we don’t even know about because Celestia doesn’t want us to! Spike, this is about more than just one little mistake: This is a whole conspiracy!” I whispered hysterically, shaking like a leaf. “Spike… Who knows what Celestia’s capable of?”

“Um... “

Letting him go, I held my little brothers arms and looked into his eyes, searching for any inkling of understanding, any sign of comprehension. “... This isn’t sinking in, is it?”

He shook his head slowly, his eyes glossy and dull. “... Not at all.”

I hugged him again and sighed heavily, trying not to cry and panic at the same time. “Spike, I-I… I’m going to go sleep for a little bit.”

“Please do that. You’re kinda scaring me, Twilight.”

“I’m sorry, Spike…”

“It’s okay. You know I love you, right? No matter what’s going on, I still love you.” He gave me his warmest little smile.

Just like always, it melted my heart to see him try to make me feel better, making me smile in turn. “I love you too, Spike. Good morning.”

He chuckled. “Good night.”

For once, he didn’t flinch or make a face when I kissed his brow before heading off to bed, which was a little mood booster in and of itself. After a shower so I wouldn’t have to take one later, I climbed in bed and tried my best not to think of Max. I did say that I tried, implying that there was a definite, nearly infinite amount of failure on the path ahead of me. Everytime my eyelids closed, another image of Max would surface; another smile, another morning together, and another night in each other’s arms. I missed my Smokey Bear, and hugging my pillows just didn’t feel the same. I missed the way Max’s thin, delicate fingers snaked through my mane and held my head to his chest. I missed his natural cherry-like scent that just seemed so right for him. I missed his heartbeat and the way it always sped up a little when I let my ear tickle his chin.

There were a lot of things on my mind while I was in bed, but after a couple hours of just lying there, staring blankly at the ceiling, I started to appreciate the peace and quiet, honestly. Maybe I’m just a bit of a loner, but there was a certain serenity in a single moment that just felt so… Right, I suppose. Like Max was supposed to be somewhere else at the moment and that we would be reunited soon enough. I just had to stay strong long enough to see him again and not be mad that he stuck his foot where his tail probably should have gone. In fact, just having that feeling that Max was going to come back safe and sound lulled me to sleep in just a few minutes, making me dream of eating with him in a meadow in the Whitetail Woods.

The dream… The dream felt so real… I couldn’t tell if it was a memory or just a really good dream, but it all started so innocently. I spotted Max sitting around under a tall tree that seemed to hold some kind of globe, snacking on peanuts as he watched me approach. The smile on my face would have beat even the cleverest of devils’, and the grin Max wore made my heart pound in my chest. The violet button-up he was wearing hugged his lean, muscular frame so well that it could have been tailored just for him, and though I’d never known Max to wear shorts, I had to say that he had… Good… They were good to look at. His legs, I mean.

“Cherry?” Dream Max asked. “Aren’t you coming to the picnic?”

His voice was… Dear Stars above, his voice was like one of the bamboo fabric dresses Rarity made last year. It was softer than silk and lighter than cotton, though it still carried a calm, cool, assured tone that bounced around between my ears. Caring about whether or not the scenario was real was beneath me at the moment. “Of course, Amour. Did you pack the good stuff?”

With a questioning brow, Max produced an odd cylindrical thing that I remembered, but couldn’t place. “Always, but I also got your favorite salad and sandwiches from Blossoms and Blooms.”

After that I wasted no time in lightly running over to him and tackling him onto the giant, plush blanket beneath us. “Aww, I knew you were gonna make it a good surprise! I know it hasn’t been that long, but I already feel like it’s been forever…” I propped my head up on his chest and gave him a pouty look…

… Until I saw that the picnic basket had flipped over onto Max’s face, and he was now wearing either the potato salad or macaroni salad. “... Pfft… Oops- Pffft!

My boyfriend reached up and moved the basket and wiped the macaroni salad off of his eyes. “Think this is funny?”

“A little~” I sang before kissing the middle of his chest and sitting up on him.

“Tch. Women.” Max grunted, grabbing a corner of the blanket to wipe his face off.

“Hey, that’s sexist!”

Max gave me a look and stuck his tongue out. “That’s what you get for ruining the macaroni salad.”

I stopped him from wiping most of the stuff off and just let my tongue do the work since we Ponies are good at licking. Ice cream never lasts long with fillies and colts, and Stars forbid you try to make Pinkie settle for anything less than three scoops. “I cleaned up my mess. Happy now?”

“My face smells like wine.” Max grunted.

… What happened next was a little out of character for me, and I didn’t know if it was because it was a dream or what, but for the oddest of reasons, I rolled my eyes and shoved Max’s face into my bosom to dry my saliva rather than hearing him complain about it. “Is this any bett-” Max grabbed my shoulders and pulled me down, twisting so that he ended up on top. “Woah! A little warning, Amour?”

In all honesty, I stopped caring when Max started kissing my neck, his stubby, pointy little tongue dancing along as he place his lips against my fur. “Sorry, I. Couldn’t hear you. Over the sound of. The perfect picnic.”

“Mmm~” I held his his head in place for a moment as he left his lips just under my jaw, making it hard to swallow. “We’re not doing much picnicking.”

“Are you hungry?” He asked shortly before giving me a really, really good, Prench kiss that tasted like sweet, tart wild cherries. After what had to be at least five minutes of nothing but a battle of Max’s lips against mine, he pulled away. I couldn’t help but feel more disappointed than relieved. He cleared the transparent line of saliva that connect us without making it hit me in the face, which was nice.

I licked my lips. “Why’d you stop?”

He raised a cocky brow. “So you’re not hungry.”

With a roll of my eyes, I grabbed the lapels of his shirt and pulled him back down to me so I could taste his sweet, succulent lips once more. As our lips wrestled against each other in a bout to prove who was more keen on proving their love, our tongues were dancing slowly, accepting and exchanging our unique flavors while bringing us just a little bit closer. Time seemed to slow down while we settled into a smooth, relaxed rhythm that didn’t need to be sped up or slowed down. Max already knew me and I already knew him, and we were both certain of how to make the best of our time together.

(Ctrl+f Scene is Over to Skip)

I had a funny feeling that Max wasn’t going to be the one to make things take a turn since he wasn’t doing anything other than kissing me, but soon enough his hand slid from my cheek down to my neck, and then even further down to my chest. I hadn’t been thinking that we would go further than just kissing, but a part of me had already known exactly what was going to happen before we’d even started. His slender fingers felt blunted by my undergarments, but the light pressure he exerted on my breast was still perfect; not too hard and not too soft. For some odd reason, Max knew exactly where the tip of my mammary was without it even being slightly erect, and he even managed to make me a little excited just by massaging my breast and continuing our kiss for a few minutes more.

… There isn’t much of this that I feel like I should write down, but… You’ll keep it quiet, right, Diary? Max should be the only other pony that can read this, so maybe it’ll be nice just to reminisce for a little while longer…

Soon enough, Max undid the top four buttons of my blouse with an ease so strange and alien, he must have practiced it a thousand times before. In seconds my brazier was exposed, but I didn’t care. Max was the only thing in my mind, and his thing was standing out pretty prominently in my thoughts. My mind kept wandering to it, even as he slid his hand underneath my lacy undergarment, so I decided to take a risk and reach for what I wanted. Since I didn’t want to just grab him, I let my hand trail down Max’s chest, past his stomach, and let it rest on his belt, hooking my finger inside to let him know that I was a little more than just ‘interested’.

By way of answering, Max gave my right breast one last squeeze before he grabbed my other hand and lead it to join her sister. Taking the hint because Dream Twilight was evidently experienced with this kind of thing, I unbuckled his belt and Max quickly discarded his pants, showing off a frankly scary thingy that seemed just a little too big to fit anywhere I could put it. Even in my hand… I was regretting the fact that Max stopped kissing me long enough for me to see it, but when he went back to what he was doing, it was so hard to care. His lips missed mine, but they found their mark on my jaw and neck again, but this time, Max was careful to kiss a path up my throat and let his tongue make me shiver as he made his way. Electricity ran through my veins when his hand stroked my knee, starting a small pattern that only reached about midway up my thigh.

The skirt I’d been wearing was already leaving me to be seen by anypony that would have passed by, but I doubted that the dream/memory was going to be ruined by something as trivial as that, so I just let Max pull me to an upright position so we could take my blouse and bra off. I knew that he’d already seen my figure in all its ‘glory’ already, but that didn’t stop me from being shy as I covered myself. Even as my loving, compassionate, sexy coltfriend tried to get me to come out of my shell, I just felt a little too nervous to do anything until Max pulled the best card I’d ever felt out of his sleeve:

He rubbed my tummy.

It started with him sitting behind me, nibbling on my ears and generally teasing me to death, but when he started rubbing my tummy? Bliss is an understatement. If the feeling of having Max rub my tummy is what salt feels like, then I’d be an addict in a day, no questions asked. In mere moments I practically melted into him, my jaw going slack, my eyelids growing heavy, and my Cupcake Castle converted into an Icing Factory during the fifth circle. With every little pass of his hand, Max wound me tighter and tighter around his little finger and I leaked more and more icing until my syrup bottle was emptied and replaced with even more icing. Once I started panting, my lover’s hand started dipping down below my navel, but I was powerless to stop him. Not that I would have at that point, but still. There wasn’t a fraction of me that could have put up a fight at the moment, and Max knew it, which is why he was taking things slow, making sure that I wasn’t getting scared or panicking along the way. The way he hesitated to let his hand slip below the waist of my skirt was both endearing and infuriating since all I wanted was a more satisfying org- rel- Um… Ah buck it, I was trying to have a better clim… You know what I’m trying to say, darn it! Max was giving it to me good, but I knew he had greatness in him. All I had to do was convince him to let it out, or rather, to slip one in.

“May I?” He whispered into my ear, his words like a breath on the breeze.

“Of course~” I crooned, reaching up to snake my fingers through his thick, wavy hair.

Max lightly bit my neck and sucked hard enough to let me know that it was supposed to hurt a little bit, but it wasn’t all bad. I was actually a little fond of it since he wasn’t biting too harshly, but I was sure that he did it to distract me from the moment his fingers slipped under my first layer of privacy. “Mmm~ You’re pretty warm down here, Twi.”

“It’s your fault.” I whimpered anxiously. “How’s a mare-” He grabbed my right breast again, though I think it was because he was left handed. Speaking of, his left hand dipped down a little further and pressed between the petals of my flower. “Mmm~ That’s not fair!”

“If you’re not loving it, close your legs.” He teased evilly.

I pulled his face into my neck and he bit me again, making me gasp. “Oh~ Less backtalk, more of that.”

He let out a puff of air from his nose that tickled my chest a little, but between his attention to my breasts and marehood, I was lost in the moment and desperate for release. Just as Max was gently tugging on one of my teats, his other hand slid down the length of my flower, pressing between my lips with the intent to thrill. His little stunt made me let out a moan that I had no idea I had in me, but he didn’t stop there with his teasing.

“Oh my~ I should’ve known I was good, but I didn’t think I was this good~” He chuckled, pulling his hand away from the place I wanted that darn thing to be so he could pinch his fingers together and see a little line form between them. “This is kinda fun.”

I felt my face heat up, so I did the first thing that came to my mind and jammed his fingers in my mouth so he’d stop playing with my syrup and start playing with me. After I’d made sure his fingers were completely clean with my tongue, I removed them from my word maker and turned enough to glare at him. “Stop teasing and start pleasing, please.”

Max chuckled one more time and leaned around me so I wouldn’t have to crane my neck to kiss him back. It’s the little things that let you know somepony really cares, and Max’s immediate return to my syrup-soaked undies was probably more of a big thing, but I really cared about it at the moment. When he let his middle and index fingers squeeze my lips together, it pinched my pink pearl enough to get the syrup flowing all over again. My willpower sank through the floor and my hand slid down Max’s arm, pressing his fingers against me more firmly before I mustered up the courage to make him take his exploring to the Cupcake Castle itself.

“Oooh yesh~” I groaned as the length of Max’s middle finger slid along my exposed pearl.

He ground his finger against me a few more times before he used his index and ring fingers to spread my petals so he could tease my entrance too. “If this gets any better, it’s going to be a wet dream.”

“It’sh not already~?” I mumbled, biting my lip while my coltfriend tested my patience.

“Do you think this is a dream?” He asked, finally giving me what I wanted by way of slipping a finger inside of me.

To be honest, between the radiant heat that was emanating from my breasts and the ecstasy in my softest place, I couldn’t tell if I was just having the stickiest of dreams or if Max and I had somehow met up in the real world and had gone further than before. “Who cares?

“Point Twilight.” He murmured into my fur, stroking my petals and dipping his fingers into the shallows of my entrance.

I could feel one of his knuckles every time it rolled across my love button, but that wasn’t the best part. No, that honor belonged to the fact that Max was still prepared to give me the real deal, and I could feel it pressing against my lower back while he kneeled behind me. Nothing was more enticing at the moment than reaching out for his ‘little’ friend, so I grabbed for it blindly and eventually found it, feeling the heat just boiling inside. I swallowed hard and my mouth filled with saliva all over again, making the cycle continue as I thought about Max piercing me with his spear for the first time. All it took was for me to shrug Max off and my thoughts wandered even further, giving me a great, mutually beneficial idea.

Making Max stop what he was doing was on the bottom of my priority list thirty seconds before it suddenly hit the top, but when I turned around, guilt hit me in the boob at super sonic speeds. Max looked hurt and confused before I pushed him onto his back and put his hot thing near my hot place, licking my lips and gulping one more time. “We can both have fun this way, right?”

He smiled up at me before looking down at where we were touching, a mischievous smile coming to his lips. “Do I have to keep my hands to myself?”

I licked his nose for asking a silly question. “It’s option-” His hands slid up my thighs and squeezed my flank. “Mmm~ optional~”

“I know which one I prefer.”

“Me too.” I leaned down to kiss him, not sure of how to make my hips move to get the most of of being on top. Max helped out a little by thrusting from below, but just grinding against his erect, burning length wasn’t good enough.

In my most daring move yet, I took Max’s member in my hand and slid it beneath my panties, making him part my lips as my nectar slickened his rod. We both moaned in euphoria as we truly met, but the best was yet to come. I figured out how to make his engorged tip press more deeply against my folds, and before long, both of us were panting, though I was far closer than Max appeared to be. Just before I reached the final point, however, I rose and pressed Max against my entrance, the feeling of being stretched on the inside being both a little painful and pretty darn great. It was a delicate dance between fantastic and amazing, but I was careful not to let Max penetrate me just yet. Instead, I rolled his tip around my petals and rode out a little burst of pleasure that still left me wanting more.

Max must have gotten tired of me having all the fun because he suddenly sat up, which spooked me and made me fall further onto his rod. Having him enter me was… Well, I’m sure it would have been a lot better if it had happened slower, but the sudden advent of Max’s unnecessarily large tip into my itty bitty Cupcake Castle was pretty buckin’ painful, and the worst part? He didn’t even get past the gate! I stopped myself before I could drop all the way down on Max, but that was mostly because I was terrified of being split in half. Auntie Fleur always told me that my first time should be slow and that I should control the pacing, but I could really do much other than try and get off of Max while biting his shoulder.

He rolled us onto our sides , but he didn’t pull himself out, which wasn’t exactly a bad thing since I’m sure it would have hurt coming out too. Still, I was very uncomfortable, although Max was doing a good job of distracting me from the pain by sucking on my horn! I remembered the last time he’d done the same darn thing and it had been far less creamy than this time. With Max inside of me and my horn in his mouth, I arrived at the point everypony loves to reach just as Max rammed the rest of his length inside of me.

My eyes shot wide open and my jaw dropped, my breath robbed from my lungs. For a moment, my entire body went numb before it exploded with complete and utter satisfaction, making me writhe and ‘groan’, though my moans were more like hoarse squeaks. I could barely even feel the pain from the tearing of my hymen, so I assumed that Max had been waiting for me to reach the pinnacle of my pleasure to join us completely. Once inside, Max held me against his chest and sucked on my horn extra hard just to be nice. Or mean. Either way, I was full, and the Cupcake Castle was pumping out more icecream than ever before.

(Ctrl+f Scene is Over to Skip)

And then I woke up; my undies and my pajama pants soaked with syrup. After a moment to collect myself, I rolled over to look at my clock and saw that it was five fourteen, meaning that I’d slept for about six hours. It was sufficient, though not really satisfactory. Guess who wasn’t complaining about the dream though? Let me save you some time, because it sure wasn’t me. I wondered if being with Max in real life would feel just as good, and that occupied my mind during the entirety of my morning meandering, meaning that I made a second and third trip to the bathroom to take care of a sticky situation. Unfortunately, leaking meant that I was going to have to wear a longer skirt for the day, but it’s not like it was the end of the world.

Max not coming home would be the end of the world, but he was definitely coming back. He’d said so and he’d meant it, so I kicked myself out of the house for the night and went over to Rarity’s since she usually has good advice about guys, despite taking her own wisdom for granted. The walk there wasn’t too bad, but I knew that I caught a look or two for my pheromones, and that’s just embarrassing. It wasn’t even that time of the month; I just couldn’t get Max out of my mind and the memory of Mini-Max out of my Cupcake Castle. Both were equally distracting, and by the time I got to Rarity’s, it was a little uncomfortable to walk.

I let myself in since who was gonna tell me no? Honestly, the gals have never understood the concept of personal space other than sometimes Fluttershy, but everypony else? They don’t mind just walking on in, and Rarity’s condo doubles as a business open to the public, so it was well within my right to stroll in like I was gonna buy the place. I wasn’t, but I could’ve if I asked Daddy weewy nicewy. Ah, reminds me of the time I used the Sad Eyes to make him buy me a First Edition Copy of one of Starswirl’s greatest works. I still got it, right? I’ll have to try with Max.

After a quick pitstop to Rarity’s client restroom, I found her in the back of her shop, doodling away at yet another marvelous design that I was sure would delight the lucky mare who was going to get to wear it. I’d always admired Rarity’s ability to make her thoughts come to life in the same way that many ponies admire talented Unicorns for being able to control their Magic so well. I just stood and watched her add and remove things from time to time while she perfected her latest masterpiece, and when she put her pencil down, I let out a little whistle that made her jolt a little.

“Twilight! Dear Celestia, you just about spooked the bejeebers out of me!” Rarity tittered.

I gave her a warm smile for not being mad. “It’s nice to see you too, Rarity. I see your latest design is looking pretty interesting and your bejeebers seem to be in place.”

She rolled her eyes and blushed brightly. “Oh, it’s nothing quite yet, but I was wondering…”

“Hmm? You were wondering what?” I asked, more than a little interested.

Well, I was just wondering if you’d like to be my model for the dress.” Rarity teased.

I rolled my eyes and gave her words a dismissive wave. “Right. Did you poke Fluttershy one too many times?”

“Why, nothing of the sort! I just have a vision for a dress that doesn’t involve a mare with a bust fit to break her back, and you just so happen to have the perfect petite physique-”

“Pinkie.” I interrupted flatly.

Yes, but you never model for me, Twilight! Why, I’m sure you’d look fantastic in this, if only you’d give it a chance!”

The odd look I gave her was well deserved. I couldn’t really understand why she’d want me in particular since she’d only asked a couple times before. “Why now of all times? It’s a bit late in the season for any new fashions, isn’t it?”

Rarity gave me a frustrated look. “Twilight, don’t make me say something unnecessary. I just want to make this one for you, don’t you see?”

“I really don’t, but far be it from me to deny a friend a simple request.” She earned herself a longsuffering smile and she gave me one in turn, which confused me.

“Thank you Twilight, but perhaps we could go shopping in Canterlot sometime soon?”
She asked a little hesitantly.

I gave her a suspicious look. “Don’t you usually handle any special orders that come up around Ponyville?”

“Well, yes, but one mare can’t make an entire wardrobe, Twilight…” Rarity bit her lip and looked at me, her implications clear.

“... Wow.”

“Twilight, Darling, I-”

“I mean, is my fashion sense that bad?” I asked, sounding more hurt than I really wanted to let on. It’s not everyday that your most fashionable friend calls you out on your choice in attire, after all.

“No, Darling! Of course it’s not bad, per se, but you just have so much more potential
than you think you do! Honestly, Twilight, you’re easily as pretty as Fluttershy or Applejack and just as cute as Pinkie, but you refuse to see it! There had to be something about your appearance that caught Max’s eye, my dear friend, and I know that it was the beauty you try so hard to downplay! Let me help you release your beauty!” Rarity pleaded, sounding desperate and a little maniacal to be straightforward about it.

To be nicer, I went with, “Um… Wow... It sounds like you’re… Um… Really passionate, I guess, about this. Um… We could do that I guess?”

I barely had time to flinch before Rarity did her best to squeeze the life out of me, indicative of her elation. “Oh, I just know that you’re not going to regret this, Twilight! The first thing we need to do is close up shop!”

“W-Wait, y-you don’t mean we’re going right now, do you!?”

She gave me a flat look before snatching my pinkie with hers. “Last time I suggested something like this you put it off for an entire week. We’re going today.”

I wrestled my finger away from her and gave her my most sternest poutiest pout ever. “Tricky tricks aren’t fair!”

“Too bad! Sally forth, my dear mare! We’re off to the Crowned Capital!” Rarity cheered. After a moment, she raised a finger. “Once I write Sweetie Belle a note, of course.”

With a roll of my eyes, I waited for Rarity to finish up with her last little bits of preparation and did some more pondering about why she cared so much about what I was wearing. I mean, Applejack got away with wearing the same clothes since we’ve met her, and Pinkie’s entire wardrobe doesn’t match itself. Fluttershy can’t count since she gives Rarity ideas, Rarity herself is a hay-baling fashion designer, and Rainbow a stallion on the inside, so her wardrobe is workout clothes and practical Pegasus winter gear. Me? I wear things that are cute and comfortable. Other than that, there weren’t many requirements for what went into my closets and dressers, which is when I remembered the panic that had come over me when I couldn’t find anything cute enough to wear for Max in any of my clothing receptacles.

It was a very sobering moment.

When Rarity came back to the front of the shop where she left me, her gorgeous smile faded as soon as she saw my expression. “... Twilight? Darling? Tell me what’s wrong.” She furrowed her brow and set her hands on my shoulders.

“... How do I change my style without changing me…?” I asked softly, looking to Rarity for an answer.

While I was marooned somewhere in the middle of the Great Wet Desert, Rarity happened to surfacing in a submarine with sub sandwiches and my old substitute teacher Mr. Hot Trot, which is to say that she snorted and nickered at me. “Twilight. Darling. Would being blue make you any less you?”

“... No?”

She gave me a stern look. “Is that a question or an answer?”

“... An answer?”

“... Sometimes being a Unicorn has it’s disadvantages.” Rarity droned, using the old addage for ‘I wish I could headbutt you and not do real harm’.

“It’s an answer, okay!?” I huffed, now stressed by my friend setting me up for a complete makeover, rather than Max’s favor to Celestia.

“That was technically a question too.”

“And just like that-”

“Oh posh, Darling, don’t be like that! I’ll stop with the teasing, okay?”

I didn’t really believe her and my face mirrored the feeling. “Sure. If you actually keep it light, I’ll be surprised.”

Rarity grabbed one of my hands and gave me a frustrated look. “Twilight, do you even know why I want to do this for you?”

… To be honest, I’d avoided thinking about the obvious, and it’s not because it was shocking or anything. I just thought that Rarity didn’t like to be seen in public with someone without their own unique style, and I have to say that I don’t really have one. Previous to her practically begging to take me shopping, I wouldn’t have thought to go get nicer, newer clothes since Max apparently liked what I wore already and had a different eye for finding stuff. If he chose my outfits and I just stuck to the cute things I knew when he wasn’t around, then I had a pretty solid base to choose from, which is what I tried to explain to Rarity. Well, not just that, but all of it.

When I finally stopped stammering my way through the explanation of my corner cutting, Rarity tilted my chin so that I was looking at her and she leaned down to lock horns with me. “... Are you telling me that you just let Maximus dress you?”

“... Yes?”

“And you weren’t…” She took a deep breath. “Twilight, I understand that there are things that you missed out on in the early stages of your life, but there are some things you should already know. If a stallion starts picking your clothes out for you before you’re married, he either cares to much or thinks he knows better than you. Do you understand what I’m saying here?”

“... If you’re trying to say that Max doesn’t think I have taste, then I think we should put off our trip to Canterlot until we ask him!” I huffed irritably.

“For crying out loud, Twilight. You’re coming.”

“No, I’m not.”

She glared at me. “You are.”

“Am not.”

You are.”

I turned my nose up at her and ignored her.

It was a mistake.

Rarity threw me over her shoulder like a particularly heavy bolt of purple cloth. “Hey!!! Put me down!” I demanded demandingly.

Like a butthead, Rarity flipped my skirt and spanked me. “Stop acting like a petulant filly! We’re going whether I have to carry you, drag you, or track you down!”

I teleported off of her shoulder and into my living room because S Rank Unicorn. I would have dusted myself off with a spell too, but I thought that it sounded just a smidge smug and more than a little uppity considering that most Unicorns couldn’t have managed the Teleportation Spell, let alone anything else for the rest of the day. With that in mind, I knew I had plenty of time to get into my laboratory/basement and lock the door so I could properly hide, so I grabbed a snack before flipping on the lights and heading down the stairs. My cookies were great, and I was expecting to find a way to make them greater (Somehow) in the time I had before Rarity tried to break down my door, but before I could even set my snacks down and step away, I saw Pinkie’s hand dip into my bag of cookies.

My doubletake was a little sluggish, but Pinkie was definitely there. “Um…”

She bit the cookie. “Hi.” She sprayed crumbs on me. She was standing that close.

The Fear of All That Is Pink grasped my Anima. “H-Hi, P-Pinkie…”

Pinkamena chewed slowly before swallowing carefully. “Hi.”

“I-I-I haven’t broken a-”

“If you don’t go back to Rarity’s, you will.” She rumbled, her emotionless eyes making my mind up for me.

“D-Don’t you w-want to come to make sure I g-g-g-go?”

Pinkie beamed and chomped the rest of her cookie. “Ooh, Ooh, why don’t we get all the gals together and go!?”

I breathed a hearty sigh of relief because I was totally just going to hide in a changing room whenever the rest of my friends were leaving a store. “That sounds much better than only half of us going.”

“It sure does! I just can’t imagine how sad I’d be if we didn’t all come back together though…” Her shoulders drooped and Pinkie gave me some lethal Kitten Eyes.

Not even fair at this point. Not even close. “Ha ha ha… Right… Sure would be a shame…”

She gave me a big, sickeningly sweet smile that just made me want to eat her up. “I’m glad to hear you say that, Twilight! Why, for a second there I thought you were going to find someplace to hide so you could come back home and not surprise Max when he comes back with a super cute, maybe super sexy…?” Pinkie wiggled her brows at me and I stared at her. “No? Well, I’m sure he’d love to see you in short skhirt with some tall boots. Stallions like knee-highs.”

“... Pinkie?”


“... How did you know Max was gone?”

Pinkie smiled.

“Please stop knowing things you’re not supposed to know.” I pleaded, discomforted and disquieted, which basically amount to the same thing, but both apply in their own right. Pinkie makes both my head hurt and my fur stand on end sometimes.

“Eh, maybe later.” She replied noncommittally. “What do you say we get a move on? Rarity should be on her way, so we should be ready when she gets here!”

“Sounds good!” I said awkwardly with an awkward smile. Pinkie didn’t seem to notice or particularly care, but that’s because Pinkie’s crazier than Mr. Foxy whenever the early days of Spring Heat start rolling around.

Instead of trying to escape from Pinkie because I’d already learned my lesson on that topic, I sat her down in my Library where there were fewer possibly-explosive things, though I was worried about the sheer content of flammable things, which is why I made her stick her hot-sauce in the basement in one of my special containment units, made her hand over some odd flint-and-steel device that was tough to use, but still made a flame with oil somehow, and a book of matches because I knew how she felt about the Little Match Mare Fairytale. Other than that, I couldn’t feel anything in her pockets, and I’d found the matches in her bra, so I was sure that we were in the clear until she burped up smoke.

She ate a reigniting birthday candle to hide it from me. This mare is my age. She’s actually seven weeks older.

Once I got Pinkie to cough up the candle, we put it out with a spell and I made sure we spent the rest of our time waiting for Rarity going over the finer points of why what Pinkie had done was foalish, silly, and unnecessary. Unfortunately, Rarity didn’t feel like letting me finish my lecture. “Twilight Starbright Sparkle!”

I paused in the middle of my sentence, turned toward Rarity and gave her the most ‘What the hay did you just say to me?’ look I could muster. “Excuse you, Miss Opalneria Belle?

Rarity’s hand reached her the center of her bosom and she raised her brows. “Excuse me? Why, I don’t believe I’m the mare who intends on reneging on a Pinkie Promise! In the presence of Pinkie herself, no less!”

My cheeks colored as I shot her a glare. “Actually, I was intending on making you think that I broke the Pinkie Promise so I could invoke the Rule of Pinkie Number One dash Three: They who flee from Pinkie’s Promise shall be found by Pinkie, thus making her come to my house so I didn’t have to find her. After all, Pinkie’s already invited the rest of the gals to go shopping with us in Canterlot, haven’t you Pinkie?”

“I sure have!” Pinkie cheered.

I would’ve broken my skinny purple neck if I’d turned any faster. Pinkie either happened to be backing up a bold-faced lie I said for the sake of saving face, didn’t pay attention to what I’d actually said, or actually had done the thing. “Um… Good work, Pinkie.”

She nodded and we both looked back to Rarity who seemed a little miffed. “W-Well, I was imagining it as more of a bonding experience for the two of us, but I don’t mind having the company.”

“It’s better than having Twilight ditch you cold, right?” Pinkie asked blissfully.

You. Traitor.

Rarity raised a brow and I chuckled nervously. “Y-Yeah, it’s a good thing I didn’t do that…”

Right.” My pale, domineering friend said with the steel of a mare twice her age with half her grace.

“S-So… Who wants c-cookies?” I tried.

Rarity narrowed her eyes at me while Pinkie destroyed my favorite snacks. “You weren’t honestly thinking of breaking your promise, were you? And I don’t recommend relying on Pinkie of all ponies to corroborate your story.”

“W-Well, th-that’s not fair! Pinkie’s the only other pony who was here!”

“Hey, I’m reliable!” Pinkie objected through a mouthful of white chocolate, Macaronia-nut cookie. “I’m just bad at lying!”

Rarity started to turn toward me, but I was already gone.

I teleported to a little nest in the top of my tree that I’d made while escaping from Spike one day while he was being really needy about something or other. I forget what it was, but my nest was still perfectly fine and had even grown some fresh moss from the last time I’d been up there. I hopped in and cast three spells, layering them together to create the perfect hiding place. The first spell was an advanced Illusion Spell, which was necessary since I’d tricked Pinkie into confirming that she could see through standard Glamours by inviting her over so that we were alone. She never commented on the fact that I was wearing a ‘Vinyl Sux’ shirt in the Glamour, and Vinyl is her favorite music maker. She couldn’t, however, see through a really good Illusion, which is just a higher tier of a Glamour.

The second spell I cast was a concave shield that gave me enough room to move underneath it, but would prevent anypony from stepping on me if they decided to try the nest out for themselves. After a few tweaks to the texture of the shield, the Illusion took to it just fine and I was clear to cast my third spell. It wasn’t anything super interesting or scholastically intriguing, but tweaking the Winds so that a breeze flowed through the branches of my rather warm nest was much, much better than sweating it out. Sadly, I only got about ten minutes of peace before I heard something bonechilling coming from beneath me.




Rosssesss ssso sssweet~

All from the sssame bush~




Rosssesss ssso sssweet~

The voice… I’ll never forget that voice. It was dark. Insidious. It crept into my mind, into my very bones. My mind told me to bucking run, but my heart was bursting with a feeling that was like being mad but… It… I just.. It felt like my blood was boiling, like I just wanted to hit somepony over and over and over again until they were hurting on the inside as bad as I was. Then, just as fast as the feelings came along, they vanished and I was left wondering what in Tartarus just happened.

I reached up and touched my shield to see if it was in place before shifting around in my nest to try and see beneath me, but there was no possible way that anypony could have seen through the thick tangle of branches, moss, and then foliage from the tree itself. Fear gripped me before somepony gripped me, and it wasn’t by the shoulder. Turning slowly, I saw Pinkie squinting at me with her hand on my bottom, so I slowly sank back down into the nest. She squeezed my flank far harder than anypony her size should have been able to and almost made me squeal, but then she let go and I exhaled as quietly as I could.

And then Rarity brought her hand down on my poor, poor bottom.

Ow!!!” I hissed, hopping out of my hidey-hole.

“Told you.” Pinkie deadpanned.

I glared at them with tears in my eyes. “I didn’t even agree to the Pinkie Proimise!”

“What a shame.” They chorused mercilessly.

Just to be extra difficult, I went to Canterlot without them since they’d just taken their press-ganging and schoolyard bullying too far. Vindictive was my name and my game at the moment, so I went to the Fashion District without Rarity, despite actually having promised to make my next trip there with her. With my feelings and tail both still hurting, I skulked around, looking into shops from time to time but never really seeing anything I thought looked like me. If I’d been in Ponyville, I’m sure somepony would have stopped me and asked if they could ease the worries on my heart, but in a big, cold city like Canterlot, there weren’t many faces friendly enough to perform that particular kindness.

As I drifted from shop to shop, I eventually found one that looked like it had some interesting wares inside, but the reflection in the shop’s window caught my attention more than the clothes behind the glass. Flash Sentry smiled at me as I turned around and said, “Never thought I’d see you outside of the Castle. What’s brings you to this seasonal snobfest?”

My heart pounded for a moment. “Uh-Um… Just updating my wardrobe…”

He looked at my empty hands. “Taking a bit more effort than you were expecting?”

“Uh… Heh heh heh…” I smiled sheepishly. “M-My friends were supposed to come with me, but…”

Without his armor, Flash looked a lot less imposing and even more handsome. His smile was comforting and calm, like he knew just what was on my mind. “Say no more. Why don’t I join you for a while, see what we find?”

I didn’t see a reason to say no, but the guilty feeling in my stomach that was coming on was warning me against agreeing. “I-I’m sorry, but maybe I-”

He gave me a tender smile, his good looks worming their way into my defenses as he placed a hand on my arm. “C’mon, Twi. I’m a guard. I might not have the best fashion sense, but I’ll at least be good company.”

I started to pull my arm away from him but he held on softly. “I-I don’t think m-my coltfriend would be happy with me…”

Flash took two steps and started pulling me along with him. “C’mon, what’s the worst that’ll happen? Besides, I don’t see Mister Sparkle anywhere. If I had a mare as cute as you, I wouldn’t take my eyes off of her.”

The buck? “Excuse you?” I snapped.

Flash grinned. “Ah, did I touch a nerve?”

“You don’t know Max so act like you know him. If he wasn’t doing a favor for Celestia, I wouldn’t even be in this crummy stuck-up city.” I huffed.

He rolled his eyes and reached into his pocket. “Take a deep breath, okay?”



Panicked, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, thinking of the place I felt safest. At first it was back home in bed, but when I opened my eyes, I was stumbling through Celestia’s private chambers and I could barely think straight, let alone walk. After falling on the floor, barely recognizing where I was, I fell asleep until Celestia cast an Awakening Spell on me that lifted the veil of slumber. The sleep had been dreamless and my body kind of hurt. My arms and breasts felt bruised and abused, but other than a distinct tenderness, nothing was really registering. Celestia’s voice echoed in my ears even as I came to consciousness, making her words come out unintelligible. However, the more I woke up, the more I was able to actually see. My blouse was open for all to see; every button having been ripped off. My bra was barely on and I was missing some fur, but by the grace of the Heavens above, I was able to get away before my undies got taken off.

I could barely fit the pieces of the puzzle together, my mind foggy and faltering on the the details slightly, but… I remembered enough to be scared. I remembered enough to stop caring about how evil Celestia might have been and just cried. Rape wasn’t something that happened in Equestria, and certainly not by one of my brother’s own Lieutenants! In the bucking Capital! Between being furious and afraid, I didn’t feel Celestia let me go, but I knew whose arms wrapped around me from the moment I felt their warmth.


“Flash Sentry…” I murmured, barely more than breathing.

He squeezed me tighter for a moment before coming around to face me. Max cleared my tears and gave me what I needed the most at the moment: Just a little kiss. Not a long one. Just a little one. One that let me know that he still wanted me. The smile he gave me was devoid of any happiness whatsoever, but it was apt. It was one I’d seen him wear a trillion times before when he was putting on his Big Boy Business suit.

Twilight Sparkle’s heart dropped as she realized that her soulmate was about to go kill somepony.

And then I felt it. The divide.

Diliculum’s essence was neutral. It’s hard to care when you’re technically dead, after all, but Kauku? Kauku’s heart soared when Max’s eye took on that flinty look. The real me just wanted Max to let Celestia and Luna handle it, but Kauku wanted revenge against Flash Sentry for betraying the trust of the Equestrian citizens he was sworn to protect. Nopony stopped Max when he left the room, but Celestia did kneel down to try and console me some more, but now I was wondering why in Tartarus’ hot, rocky depths I was feeling emotions from a God, whatever that’s supposed to be. Still a little shaken, but a little more clear minded than I had been, I explained the day’s events to Celestia as they’d happened so far, and she didn’t say anything to what I’d said. Of course I’d withheld my doubts about her and what she stood for, but I didn’t doubt that Celestia knew that I wasn’t as blinded by her brilliance as I was before.

After a little while of just letting Celestia hold me, I pulled away from her and looked up at the mare who’d taught me almost everything I know. “... Celestia… What if-”

“We don’t think like that, Twilight. You got away, and I’m assuming that there’s a good reason you sent Max to Luna rather than having him here to comfort you.”

I looked away from the Princess, but I didn’t say anything.

“... Twilight, did you tell Max who attacked you?”

My silence held.

“... Dear Heavens above, Twilight, what are you going to do if Max gets himself hurt!? He’s still not as physically capable as a Pony!”

I finally turned back to her and bit my lip. “... That didn’t factor in when you sent him off…”

“Twilight, you can’t tell me that all of this started because I gave Max a punishment for treason! The stallion slandered my name-”

“He spoke the truth and Luna confirmed it. Max was frank, but not rude.” I said softly.

Celestia blinked. “... So you’re firmly against me on this.”

“Princess, can you look me in the eye and tell me that you haven’t cried over some of the things you’ve had to do to make Equestria see another day?” My question came out soft, and my conclusion was already set in stone from the moment I’d decided on what I was going to ask.

She looked at me sadly, her eyes glistening with tears. “Nopony understands…”

“Max understands better than anypony other than you.” I replied urgently. “Just ask him the next time you see him; ask him what struggles he thinks you’ve been through and I just know he’ll know a lot of them!”

The Princess shook her head and sighed. “... So Max really does have experience with rulers like me.”

I reached out and touched her arm, giving her a warm smile. “He just lashed out because he felt threatened and unappreciated, is all. I’m sure things will be better now that you two have had some time to cool off.”

Celestia returned it with one of her own, but it just seemed a little… Off, I guess. “I don’t think Max is going to warm up to me after I track him down before he does something he regrets.”

“You never know. Maybe Max just wants to talk to Flash Sentry?”

She blinked again. “... It was Flash Sentry?” I nodded and Celestia’s face grew stony. “I’ll send Max back to you here momentarily. Your Mentor is going to be taking care of this one, Twilight.”

I nodded slowly and she teleported away, but before two full minutes passed, I was sitting on one of her sofas, trying to get my shirt to stay closed when Max suddenly teleported into the room, shouting, “-cking throat out! Wait, what?” He looked around.

“... Max?” Luckily I was across the room, otherwise I might have been a little more spooked.

He whirled around and held a finger up. “Ah. Not gettin’ a choice on this one. See how it is.”

“... Amour?”

He crossed the room quickly enough, saying, “Hullo, Cherry. I’ve gotta say, it’s been a stressful day.”

I looked at him.

“Yeah, you’re definitely the Queen of Tough Days right now, but now you have the King of Cuddles to hold onto you and stab the fuck out of anything else that tries to touch you.” He sat down next to me and wrapped his arms around me.


Max’s chest expanded further than I thought it would have before he exhaled heavily. “... This won’t happen twice.”

“How do you know?”

“If I don’t let you out of my sight, who’s going to hurt you?”

I held onto him and buried my head into his chest. “... What if-”

“I don’t like what if’s. Life literally has an ‘if’ in it, and I don’t like that either. Variables, anomalies. This event is a nonrecurring anomaly. I’ll make sure of it.” He said darkly, his voice colder and harder than I remembered hearing.

“... Thank you.”

“Don’t thank me. If I hadn’t opened my dumb fucking mouth, you never would have been in that situation. I’m sorry, Cherry. I’m sorry for not being able to protect you.”

The current of years upon years of memories guided my lips to Max’s jaw. “It’s not your fault, Amour, and it never will be. I trusted the wrong pony for the wrong reasons and it almost ended in catastrophe…”

“I’m gonna punch him.”

“... Do it twice.”

“If Celestia lets me.” He promised.

For a while, Max and I just sat in silence and I soaked in the comfort of his safe, loving presence while he talked to me and told me a bit about how he had just gotten to the outskirts of Gryphonia when Celestia had told him that he was release from his duties pertaining to her favour. Although he was happy to come back early, he mentioned that he still wanted to go and get the Diadem of Sovereignty because it was important long, long after anyone would have thought that it would be. Eventually Celestia came back, but I’d fallen asleep in Max’s arms after the excitement of the day had worn off and didn’t know that they’d been gone until I woke up in Celestia’s bed with Celestia and Max talking a little ways away.

They spoke softly, but I could still hear them. “... I know, Princess, but… It’s…”

“He swore loyalty to me and betrayed me by laying a hand on my daughter. He deserves no mercy.”

“Can’t you just use Magic to make him super sensitive to everything all the time and let that just drive him insane?”

“That’s a fantastic idea that I’ll save for later... Tell me, Maximus; what is it about the Warbling Blade that attracts you so?”

“It was a knife that never left my side. Other than that, it’s shrouded in mystery.”


“That it is… So… What’s up with the sudden niceness? Don't get me wrong, it’s mucho appreciado, but-”

“If you’d been by Twilight’s side, she never would have been preyed on for being a single mare in a large city.” Celestia answered frostily. “While neither of us were faultless, it was my insistence to keep my lie from Twilight that resulted in your presence in Gryphonia. I do apologize for my stubborness, Maximus.”

I sat up in bed and saw Max nod in Celestia’s direction. “If I’d known of your attachment to Twilight, or rather, if I’d known that I was potentially ruining your relationship with her, I probably would have kept my mouth shut for fear of being killed to death.”

“You didn’t exactly die.” She answered amusedly.

Max scoffed. “We both know that was the point of the mission.”

“I’ll deny that until the day I die, Maximus, and there’s nothing you can do to prove it.”

I stared at Celestia as she smiled at Max, daring him to challenge her further until she met my gaze and dropped her look, altering her smile to fit a different situation. “Twilight?”

Max whipped around in his chair and gave me a much more genuine smile, already getting up as he was saying, “If it isn’t my sweet little Cherry. Did you get some decent sleep?”

Nodding slowly, I waited for Max to cross the room to get out of bed, which is when I realized that I was wearing one of the nightgowns that I’d left at my room in the Castle since I just didn’t see any reason in bringing them to Ponyville at the time. I’d forgotten all about them, despite a lot of them being some of the most alluring things I could have worn for Max. As it was, I was wearing a shimmery pink gown that went far enough down for Max to only glimpse at my thighs before correcting his gaze. I made sure I wasn’t flashing him when he came and gave me a hug and a kiss, but I mostly just wanted to go home and go back to sleep with him.

“How are you feeling?” He asked tenderly.

“... Can we go home?” There was a pain in his eyes that made me regret my choice of words, but then there was a certain acceptance that made me say, “I-I didn’t mean-”

Max placed two fingers over my lips before he kissed me with a soft, carefulness that made my heart pound slowly, like time was slowing down and my mind was trying to calculate the difference. When he parted our lips, he gave me a sad smile. “I lost my home when I was twelve. My home is wherever you are now, Twilight, and I can never apologize enough for being away from home at the wrong time.”

I gave him a teary smile and reached for his hands, getting what I wanted before I could even fully realize what I was doing. “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Max pulled me to my hooves and wrapped me up in his embrace and I finally relaxed for the first time since Flash Sentry had blown the powder in my face. “... Home is where you hang your hat, right?” I asked.

Max pulled away slightly to give me an odd look. “... Yeah?”

I gave him a bigger, sillier smile than I wanted to wear, but it was one that Max just brought out in me. “I’ll wear your hat whenever you want me to.”

His face scrunched up for a moment before he burst out into merry chuckles and hugged me again, rocking us back in forth in a little two-step that had me stepping all over his weird paws. “Ow-Ow-Ow but that’s so cute, I’m gonna die!”

“Oh no, don’t die,. Max! I need my huggles and snuggles!” I whimpered pathetically.

I heard Celestia giggle at that and my face warmed up, but the smile on Max’s face, the love in his eyes, and the lack of pain in his expression just made the moment so worth it. I get embarrassed all the time, after all. What’s one more moment between a mare who loves me like her own foal and a stallion who loves me more than anypony else on the planet? After I thought about it for a second, I just couldn’t stop giggling at my own silliness and wondered why I cared so much about the little embarrassing moments in my life in the first place. Looking into Max’s eyes, I knew that there would always be one pony who would never judge me, no matter what, for anything I ever did or said and that made my heart just… I don’t know. I felt like I was overflowing with gratitude and love; relief and love. There wasn’t a part of me that didn’t want to share it, so I let Max go and dragged him over to Celestia so I could give her a hug too.

We didn’t talk long, but Celestia did request that I send her a letter as soon as I got home and settled in, and she made Max a promise to get the knife that he’d wanted as long as he stayed by my side. However, Max only agreed to stay by my side until I had to go to the bathroom. Celestia and I giggledde at his reason, which was because he didn’t want to figure out if ‘girls’ or rather, mare, really did go Number Two after all. Celestia and I assured him that mare’s just grew longer tails instead of doing that, which made Max ask if he could brush my tail for some odd reason. Understandably, I was a little stricken by his request and Celestia did some more giggling since she knew that Max probably had no idea that he’d basically asked to bathe me. I wasn’t and still don’t happen to be ready for that level of intimacy, so I shyly told him no, which in turn made him ask if my mane and tail felt the same. They do because duh, so he asked if he could brush my mane. That was fine and sounded like a nice bonding experience, so we decided to do it when we got home since it was already five in the morning.

I was pretty well rested when we teleported home, but apparently Max hadn’t slept in about three days, and he himself admitted that he was mostly running a heavy dose of protective love combined with smaller doses of fear, fury, and happiness. He denied any and all of my arguments that he needed to get a little bit of sleep by saying that there was nothing he’d rather be doing than spending his time with me, so we just sat on my bed and Max brushed my mane until the Sun rose. It was already lustrous and straight thirty minutes into the little event, but Max mentioned that he hadn't felt anything like my mane before and I was tempted to tell him that he hadn’t seen anything like my Cupcake Castle either, but I held my tongue and just giggled about it for a little bit because the thought of Max blushing and sputtering like me was just so cute.

When the Sun rose and Max decided to do something I’d thought was shelved for the time being, ‘thrilled’ wasn’t quite the word for it. My coltfriends advances probably started a while before I started picking up on them, but when Max swept my mane away from my neck so he could kiss, nibble, and lick his way to my heart, I was somewhere between elated and stuck. I froze while he nibbled on my ear, but when his hand met my tummy and didn’t start rubbing it, I cautiously started making his hands to little circles, which was definitely what I wanted. I made a noise I remembered vaguely from the dream I’d had about Max that I told you about, Diary, which was still odd to hear coming from me. It was a moan from a mare that was a lot more enticing than I was, but I didn’t particularly care. I just wanted Max to keep going, and when his hands started dipping down to stroke my thighs, I knew I was in for a good time.

Max still didn’t take us all the way, but he did give me a favor that I wanted to figure out how to return sometime, but at the moment, I was just glad that he knew how to use his mouth and fingers to clean up syrup more effectively that I probably could have myself. However, after Max found a way to make his face seem even more appetizing than usual, it was time for us to put some food in our mouths, but we still needed to get washed up. Max now had clothes to change into, but I still wasn’t ready for a co-shower, so I went and got in first, despite insisting that Max get the first shower for once. Even though I tried to make it quick, I still had to take extra time in the bathroom because I was having trouble washing my legs, but other than that, it was a pleasant morning for some meandering.

My coltfriend, however, took even longer in the bathroom than I did, which made me worried enough to knock and ask, “Max? Are you okay in there?”

I heard something, or rather, somepony fall and start swearing in the shower. “Fucking son of a whore bitch cunt dick- Yeah, I’m good!” Max shouted back.

I opened the door after a minute to see Max getting out of the shower, rubbing his head with a grimace while his Mini-Max was pointing directly at me, bobbing up and down occasionally. I stood and stared until Max grabbed a towel and draped it in front of his waist, prompting me to look up. “Oh. Um... “ I pursed my lips and sighed. “He was staring at me, okay?”

Max raised a brow and dropped the towel before crossing his arms. It was a struggle to look at his face. “Judging by your blush, I’m going to take it that you want a better look.”

I stepped into the bathroom and closed the door behind me, gulping hard. “I-I wouldn’t mind.”

Max grinned and strode over to me, stopping just far enough away that his tip was brushing against my tummy. “Moist people say that you can just see what your eyes, but there’s nothing like feeling, right?”

My face was red hot as I nodded, the moment of truth within my grasp. My hand shakily extended, reaching out to fondle Max’s most private appendage. “... It’s hot.”

He placed his hand over mine and made me caress him, the odd smoothness of his member capturing my attention. “I’m sure you already know, but when a guy gets an erection, it’s caused by an increase in the blood-flow due to arousal or whatever. Might be a toaster sometimes, but it’s usually arousal.”

I gulped. “... S-So y-you were a-aroused?”

Max took my chin in his hand and directed my gaze to the potty where I’d left a bra draped over the back and the undies I’d been wearing earlier on the sink. They still had syrup on them. “I can smell you in here. I was a little busy when you knocked.”

It took me a moment to realize just how one could be busy in a bathroom before it clicked. “O-Oh…” I licked my lips and gave Max what I hoped was a sexy look .”W-Well… Maybe I could help you stay busy.”

“I’m open to suggestions.”

My suggestion was that I treat Max like my own personal popsicle, and I have to say that it was actually kind of fun until Max made me stop with a pained expression. I made him tell me what I was doing wrong, and when he told me that he was just afraid of my teeth, I tried again, but this time I was a lot more careful to leaveft my teeth out of the equation. It was a little less fun and a little more challenging after that, but I don’t really want to describe it right now, so I’ll just say that Max gave me some tasty cherry sauce that was super sweet and a little odd to the taste-buds. It was actually more pleasant because of the extra hint of whatever it was, so I tried to get every last drop, but Max didn’t have enough to quite satisfy me, so I just swished it around in my mouth for a little while to commit the taste to memory.

Breakfast was good, but I could still feel Max’s tip in the back of my throat, rubbing against the inside of my cheek and that made me smile like a goofball as much as I could in between eating and drinking, which got Spike to ask me where I’d been yesterday and why I was so happy all of a sudden. I explained that Max just made me feel better, which earned me a kiss on the cheek and the promise of a date later in the day, but I wanted to go back to Canterlot with Rarity and the girls to go shopping. Max was willing to go shopping with me, but he wasn’t willing to go if I took all of the girls with us, so we agreed that he would rest on his own for the day and that I would stay close to Applejack if we ended up going.

Before Max took himself to bed, he walked me over to Sweet Apple Acres to get Applejack to watch over me while he was sleeping. When we got to the farmhouse, Applejack was actually inside for once, helping Granny darn and repair pretty much whatever cloth-based things they had in the house. She was happy to see us, but she immediately took me to her room so we could have a mare-to-mare, heart-to-heart.

“Look, Twi, I heard about what happened yesterday with Pinkie and Rares and I just gotta let ya know I’m on your side a’ hundred percent. Rarity didn’t have no right ta try an’ force ya ta go ta Canterlot in the first place, and Pinkie probably knew she forced the Pinkie Promise on ya too. Both of ‘em are good an’ ready to apologize whenever you’re up ta seein’ ‘em, but I just wantcha ta know that Rarity’s got a lot a’ explainin’ ta do, and that’s the only reason she ain’t got a knot on her head.” Applejack set a hand on my shoulder and gave me an encouraging smile. “Nopony meant ta hurt your feelin’s, Twi. If they ever start pickin’ on ya like that again, remind ‘em a’ good Ol’ Applejack and her policy on bullies, will ya?”

A flash of what happened yesterday passed through my head and I numbly gave Applejack a hug. “I… I forgot all about that, to be honest.”

She hugged me back after a moment. “... Then why’d ya leave town?”

“... Well…” I took a deep breath. “I went shopping in Canterlot to spite Rarity and Pinkie for trying to make me go, but I couldn’t find anything… I was looking at something that actually caught my eye when a Guard Lieutenant I met a couple days ago came up behind me and started talking to me and the- the next thing I knew…” Hugging her a little tighter, I continued before she could say anything. “I got away from him before anything bad happened, but… Well, that’s why Max came over here with me. He’s smart enough to see that you’re the Big Sister of the gals and we just thought…”

Applejack kissed my temple and gave me a worried look. “Anythin’, Twi. You name it: you got it.”

I gave her a shaky, twitchy smile. “C-Can I stick with you for today? Max is working on his fourth day without sleep, and-”

“Twi, he was sleepin’ seconds after he sat down next ta Granny.” Applejack deadpanned. “Y’all can just stay here for a bit with Mac an’ I’ll even go get Spike so he ain’t alone all day.”

I squeezed her again because she was awesome! “Oh, you’re the best, Applejack!”

She chuckled and hugged me back. “What else are friends for?”

We both knew ‘friends’ meant ‘sisters’ at this point. All the gals knew it. Max would come to see it too, in time, but for now, my handsome little Human needed his rest and I needed to spend time in feminine companionship. Well, as feminine as Applejack could get. She really was a tomcolt at heart, but she had a soft side that few enough ponies knew about, and I rather adored it, even if she wasn’t as fond.

While Applejack left to go get Spike since Max and I were evidently staying, I got to talk to Granny and that was as fun as it always was. I just wished that Applejack would have been able to teleport Spike over to her house so that he could take notes as Granny Smith talked so we could compile the data we collected. In fairness, Granny tended to ramble and get sidetracked a lot, but everypony does that from time to time, and it gets worse as time passes. It’s sad, but Granny’s still a joy to be around, and she’s even more fun when she brings out the cider, though I had to decline her offer to start day-drinking.

Big Mac and his ever-quiet self came in while Applejack was gone, saying hi shortly before going off to his room, probably to help Mrs. Cheerilee cook up a new test or several. The stallion’s as smart as they come, but the only time you can ever get him talking is when he’s upset or whenever you mention Mr… Smartypants… That Butthead! I’ll be right back, Diary!


Max said I was probably right! Oooooh!!!!!!!!


… Well, I learned what Big Mac sounds like when he cries through a door, and I learned that Max can be very objective when he wants to be. To take this quick aside, I confronted McIntosh about his larceny and Max came along with me. Big Mac kept a straight face the entire time he dug Mr. Smartypants out of the hiding place he’d put him in, but when we closed the door and started to walk away, I heard the first of many thick sobs that were to follow and my heart just shattered for that poor, poor stallion. Max suggested that we do one of four things: Either go back in and give him the doll, or give him a lecture about crying over a doll. Then he offered up leaving the doll with Granny to give back to him or just leaving with it all together, and I took the kindest route because I try to be the second kindest pony around. There’s no point in trying to be first since Fluttershy’s got that trophy Magi-Welded and riveted to her mantle, but being a close second would be saying a lot.

Aside over.


Alright, same entry, same place. I managed to get Max to wake up just long enough to make him take his boots off and get him to lay his head on my lap for his nap on Applejack’s couch before he passed right back out, but he was just so adorable while he slept that I couldn’t really follow the conversation I was having with Granny some of the time. I still learned a few interesting things about proto-Ponyville and life before the conveniences of Magic were widespread, but I also know that I missed some things about a beast with a spherical body that walked on jointed legs that was basically a maw and nothing else because who wants to hear about that?

Applejack came back with Spike, and he was still munching on a bag of hay fries from Hay Guys!, and of course he’d bought the picnic size, which I’d told him to stop doing a dozen times, if not more. At least he was sharing with Applejack, so I couldn’t be that upset since I knew that the mare could put down at least two pies in a single sitting by herself, thus making her a viable threat to Spike’s ‘snack’... Stars above, it wasn’t even two hours after breakfast. I was tempted to give him a lecture about overeating in general, but I had to settle for giving him a dirty, dirty look so Max could sleep in peace. I continued to give him said dirty look until he gave his fries to Applejack, which got me to stop and allowed him to breathe easy. For the time being.

I’m kidding. Spike’s a good colt with a couple bad habits, but he’s a real sweetheart. When Apple Bloom came home with the Cutie Mark Crusaders, he offered to show them how to repair books since Granny Smith had the supplies and the necessary test subjects that wouldn’t be missed too terribly. I oversaw the experiment with Max still resting on me, and it was a quiet activity in the first place, so Spike was able to keep the Crusaders at a reasonable volume the entire time they were in the house. It was a shame that the fillies didn’t see the obvious, but we can’t all be observant all the time when it comes to our own talents.

Applejack and I talked for a little while before Max woke up to go to the bathroom, giving me a chance to get up and stretch. I was pretty stiff and a little sore, but when Max came back, I was still willing times two and a half to let him nap on me. However, he just sat next to me and looped an arm around my shoulders to hold me close, despite him having only slept for about six or seven hours. His reasoning was that he still wanted to be able to go to bed with me whenever we went home, which was super sweet, and definitely earned him another favor.

Since there was still time in the day and Max was awake enough to get moving, Applejack suggested that I go see Rarity and have Max wait somewhere while the she and I had a private conversation about her abuse of Pinkie’s ritual and my posterior. It sounded like a good idea to me, which is probably because Applejack is wise beyond her years. Max didn’t mind taking a detour, though he did have to ask what the whole deal was about and I explained the abridged version to him until he grilled me about Rarity hitting me. Applejack stepped in and promised to get her back on my behalf for him since she didn’t want him to ruin the tenuous bond he and Rarity already shared, but I didn't want any pony hitting anypony in the first place, and Applejack probably knew that, so I felt safe enough leaving it there.

When we left Applejack’s house, Spike and Sweetie Belle left shortly after we did and passed us on the way to the park for something or other. Max waved them off and told them that first base was the only one they should be able to see at their age and I had no clue what he was talking about, but Spike gave him a thumbs up and promised to ‘keep it kosher’, whatever that meant. However, I was a little beyond caring as I took in the slightly shiny, growing apples that hung from the trees all around Applejack’s farm. The air was rich and sweet with the scent of apples and wheat from the fields, though Max just grumbled about the smell of animals on the air, which was odd because I couldn’t smell any of the farm’s inhabitants at all, and to my knowledge, nopony had ever brought it up.

The walk was wonderful and crossing paths with so many friendly ponies that were mostly female made me feel at ease and far more comfortable than when I’d been in Canterlot. There was a slight spring to my step that Max commented on by saying, “Walk any faster and you might give me a run for my money, Honey.”

I giggled at that, bumping him lightly with my shoulder. “I’m just happy I get to spend another day with you. It’s nice to stay in and relax, but I like coming out and walking around. I get to show you off~” I stuck my tongue out at him and he rolled his eyes, breaking eye contact, which set off a small alarm in my head.

“Tch. You just like me for my good looks.” Max said jokingly. At least, most ponies would have thought it was a joke.

I gripped Max’s hand to get his attention and gave him a disapproving look. “I like that you’re cute, but that’s not why I love you, Amour.”

He returned my look of reproach with one of annoyance. “Men aren’t cute, we’re handsome. Haven’t we been over this?”

I stopped us and I could see a muscle in his jaw twitch like he was biting back a sigh. “Maximus, I’m not laughing here. Do you really believe that I think of you as some kind of trophy?”

“If you don’t, then why are you showing me off?”

I groaned. “Can’t I just be happy that I’ve got one of the greatest stallions ever and leave it at that?”

“That doesn’t answer the question in the slightest.” He answered, his voice flat and soft. It was telling me something along the lines of, ‘I don’t believe you, and that used to be my fault. It’s now your fault.’.

Max’s face was placid and calm; calculating and decisive while I’m sure my expression showed my frustration and disquietude in spades. I’d always been easy to read since I wear my heart on my sleeve like most Ponies, but Max seemed to be a master at shielding his thoughts and feelings from ponies, and that just didn’t sit right with me. “So you’re saying that I can’t be proud to have a stallion that loves me and cares for me? One that’s sweet and courteous and-”

He shut me up with a kiss that I was so tempted to hit him for since he misunderstood my adoration for some kind of obsession, but then he looked me in the eye and said, “I don’t doubt that you love me; I don’t like being put on a pedestal. I’m just Max. Trust me, Twilight, I struggle to be a half decent guy and even then moments like this pop up because I’m confrontational. Ye’, I look pretty decent, but I jus’ don’ see what you see, and it makes me fuckin’ skin crawl when yeh’ parade me around, an’ I’m really not diggin’ the looks we’re gettin’ so can we am-scray?”

I put a hand on his chest and teleported us into Rarity’s shop. “Now lookee here, Mister: I’m going to make this as plain and simple as I can because you’re smart, but you’re being silly. I love you, and I want everypony to see that I love you because you’re special, Max! Is it really that bad that I want ponies to see the proof of the best thing that’s ever happened to me? I mean, I just…” I shook my head, unable to explain it any other way.

He closed his eyes, pinched his nose, and inhaled deeper than I thought he could, letting the air out slowly. “Twilight, what you said as that I’m special and what I heard is that I’m an exotic pet.”

“Dear Heavens, I’m talking to an emerald-eyed wall. I’m actually talking to a wall.

“Look, maybe I’m reading too deep-”

“You think?” I deadpanned. “It’s really not that complicated.”

“Or maybe you’re- Nevermind, that’s an argument waiting to happen.” He ended in a murmur.

It was my turn to close my eyes and take a calming breath. “Maybe we should talk about this later?”

“Maybe we should kiss again and hug thereafter?” He counter-offered.

I gave him a little smile and stood on my tip-hooves, resting my hands against his chest to help me balance during our make-up kiss. It was nice, and Max’s aura was as soothing as always, so I can’t even say that the anger in my heart stayed around for more than a few seconds after the initial contact. During the hugging portion of our bargain, Rarity cleared her throat while Sweetie giggled and Spike stared at the ceiling.

“I see you two are finished with your first fight already?” Rarity said warmly.

Max snorted. “It wouldn’t have been a big deal if I hadn’t made a mountain out of a molehill.” He kissed the base of my horn, making me blush and grin a little. “I’m sorry for-”

With a gentle whack to the neck with my horn, my silly coltfriend shushed. “Don’t apologize for the way you feel, Max. Thank you for opening up to me, even if I didn’t like your tone.”

“I’ll try to be a little more pleasant if there’s a next time.” He leaned down for another kiss

Rarity squeed, her alto definitely shining through. “Oh, you two are so precious! If you get any sweeter, I’m going to need a trip to Colgate’s office!”

Sweetie smiled brightly at Spike. “Aren’t they super cute, Spike? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Special Somepony you could talk things out with?”

Spike gave her a look. “Well, yeah, I guess? Don’t we talk a lot?”

Rarity’s ‘innocent’ little whorse of a sister made lovey-dovey eyes at my widdle Spikey-Wikey. “We do, don’t we? We also go on a lot of walks, right? Kinda like dates…”

“Beg pardon?” I asked blankly.

Max broke out into maniacal laughter for no reason. “I AM BLEEMYARNOK THE COOKIE KILLAH CORRUPTION KING! ALL HAIL BELGIAN BELUGA BAGUETTES! MWAHYAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA-” So on and so forth for a solid six minutes.

When he finally stopped laughing, he started panting. “Ho-ly shit, I’m never going that hard for another distraction again.”

“... What?” Rarity and I chorused.

Mr. Butthead smiled and snickered as he tried to catch his breath, wincing as he laughed. “Heh-ow. Heh-ow. God, it hurts to laugh.”

“Max, what are you talking about.” I demanded.

“Where’s Spike?

I looked over to where he’d been standing, and all I saw was Rarity with a dropped jaw. “You ASS!!!

He gave me a weak, barely remorseful smile. “Sorry, Cherry, but a big brother’s gotta look out for his little brother.”

I glared at him with everything I had. “You’re in so much trouble right now. So much.”

Max blew me a kiss and said, “I’ll rub your hooves.”

“You’re sleeping in the guest room.”

“Beaver house.” He grunted.

And you just got Spike grounded for a month.”

“... For what?” Rarity asked.

I turned my gaze to her and she winced. “For running away!”

“Yes, but he ran away because you appeared upset for a reason that I’ve yet to discern, Darling. I know we’re at odds at the moment, but I can’t help but want to know your side.”

“Spike knows he’s too young to be dating!” I huffed angrily. “Even Shining didn’t start dating until he was seventeen!”

“Okay, but who is that?”

“Not important right now! What is important is that baby Dragons have no business dating until they’re an adult!”

Rarity looked at her like she was crazy. “... I had my first coltfriend at twelve. Are you trying to imply something here, Twilight?”

My face betrayed me and Max did too when I looked at him, his raised brow indicative of his stance on the matter. I turned back to Rarity and said, “Wh-Wh- That’s not important either! Dragons are different from Ponies!”

“And yet you have him on a Pony diet and he’s never actually met another Dragon.” Max droned.

“Do Dragons not eat the same foods as Ponies?” Rarity asked.

“From the people I asked near the border of Gryphonia, Dragons are predominantly carnivores and only eat gems for curative effects in most cases.” Max answered blithely.

“And you’re just going to trust knowledge from a stranger over your fillyfriend!?” I asked in utter disbelief.

He nodded. “When their knowledge correlate with what I already know, then it’s just confirmation.”

Bias. It’s confirmation bias.” I snapped.

“Um…” Rarity said softly.

I glowered at her too, but apparently Max didn’t like her enough to save her. “Yes?”

“... Perhaps you should ask Princess Celestia?”

I nodded sharply. “We’ll write a letter when we get home!”

“Right.” She responded awkwardly. “So… About us?

I let out a little puff. “Keep your hands to yourself and let me make my own choices.”

“Of course, Darling. I’ll remember where the line is in the future and be quite mindful to avoid crossing it again. I am truly sorry, Twilight.”

There wasn’t any point in holding anything against her, so I gave Rarity a smile and walked over to her to give her a hug. “You’re forgiven, Rarity. Now I just need to talk to Pinkie and figure out why she grabbed my poor booty so hard.”

“It’s probably because it’s perky and cute.” Rarity gave me a conspicuous wink, though she’d spoken softly. “I’m sure Max is a little more gentle, hmm?”

She got herself a little whack for being a lecher, but it was all in good fun. “Gosh, Rarity, it’s almost as if you want me to do stuff with Max just so you can hear about it.”

“If the ring fits…” She giggled.

I joined her after a moment, glancing back at my coltfriend. “Well, maybe I’ll do a little story-telling when we have our next slumber party…”

“Oh, I’ll host one tonight if you’ll leave your beau at home.” Rarity said, grinning.

“Ah, tonight is no good. Max up for a few days and only got a few hours of sleep so he’d be able to sleep with me tonight…”

“Oh posh, what’s one little night away from home?”

“Rarity, he did something specifically for me. I know it’s an obligation, but I love that Max is willing to push himself just to spend a little more time with me…”

“Then we’ll bring the party to you and do the talking when he falls asleep!”

“Gossip is rude.” Max called from across the room.

“Eavesdropping is even more so.” Rarity replied blandly.

“Isn’t the hostess supposed to be polite to her guests?”

I pursed my lips and Rarity colored. “Only when her guests are polite in turn!”

“You didn’t say a word to me until just now and I’ve been here for like, ten minutes.” Max deadpanned.

Rarity sputtered, her blush spreading. “I-I wanted to clear the air between Twilight and I first-”

“So much so that you decided to forgo basic courtesy. Right.” If Max’s tone was any more condescending, He’d have been looking down on Rarity from the Moon with a telescope.

A lesser mare would have stood by while Rarity struggled to find a defense against Max’s caustic observations, but Twilight Sparkle always stands up for her friends! “I really don’t appreciate you talking to Rarity like that, Max.”

“She’s literally plotting to talk about me while I’m asleep. How am I not supposed to be offended by that?”

“Two wrongs don’t make a right, Amour.” I chided.

He gave me a look. “Are you still going to talk about me behind my back?”

“Well, you can’t be around for all of my conversations, Max. You have to be realistic here.”

The eye roll definitely ticked me off something special, but he had a valid point when he said, “You’re probably going to be talking about our bedroom life, yeah? Saying shit I’d rather not be said, regardless of whether or not it’s flattering?”

I couldn’t really say anything to that.

“You can’t honestly expect a mare to keep the details of her life away from her friends-”

“So if a ‘mare’ found out her ‘stallion’ was talking about their sex life to his friends, she wouldn’t be at all uncomfortable around them?” Max asked lethally, his tone making the answer painfully obvious.

Rarity and I looked at each other before looking back to Max, neither of us knowing what to say. “... I’m sorry.” I said softly.

My coltfriend nodded. “I can’t hold a grudge against you, but try and be more aware of things like that, Twilight. Your friends also happen to be the only friends I have.”

“... Oh.”

Rarity’s hand went to her chest and she gasped. “Oh, Max! I never considered how little time you’ve had to make friends around Ponyville! Why, I simply saw you as Twilight’s coltfriend!”

He nodded. “Thanks.”

“... For what.”

Without another word, Max turned and left, but when I went to go after him, I couldn’t really find a reason for him to be mad. Rarity hadn’t said anything mean or called him a name, but a sharp lance of pain still struck my heart just as I saw Max’s facade harden. Something had made him upset, or rather, had hurt him, and it was my duty to make sure he was alright. I made a quick plan with Rarity to go out with the gals for a wine tasting before heading out to go find Max, but I only just managed to catch sight of him before he slipped down an alley and broke the line of sight. I didn’t have any of his things on me, so I used a Clairvoyance Spell to lead me to him.

After fifteen minutes of walking, my spell lead me to a tree in the middle of Ponyville Park for no apparent reason. There was no sign of Max anywhere around the tree and nopony could have reached the lower branches unless they could already fly. “Amour? Are you here?”

The empty air didn’t answer me, but the sound of something heavy dropping out of the tree did. I whirled around to see Max rising from a crouch, regarding me coolly. “If I wanted to be bothered, I wouldn’t have left.”

I at least waited until he was done talking to give him a hug, but I was still frustrated with him for not letting me kiss his boo-boo the second he got it. “Just tell me what’s wrong, Max. You know I’m here for you if you need me.”

He hugged me back after a moment. “I know, Twilight, and I appreciate that.”

I looked up at him, but the facade was still there and now there was also a dull ache in my chest, and I just knew that it was a sympathetic pain rather than it being my own pain. “... You’re hurting, Max. Please… We can talk about this, can’t we?”

Sighing, he asked, “Can’t we wait until later, then? I’d rather just be left alone for a little bit.”

I gave him an odd look. “... Why would you want your heart to keep hurting if we could could talk through it?”

Max looked me dead in the eye and said, “Because looking at you is just another reminder that I’m the only thing of my kind on this planet. At least if I’m alone I can pretend otherwise.”

“... Oh.”

He nodded and walked off again.

I didn’t follow him that time, but I did walk back to Rarity’s and wait for her to finish up with whatever she was doing to walk into the back of her shop. She was hanging a freshly hemmed dress as I walked in and turned to see me, giving me a small, cautious smile. “I’m taking it that it didn’t go well?”

“... Not really, no. Max is feel- Er… Well, I don’t know if I should say…”

“Well, one would think that your hypothesis about how he’s feeling and how he performs in the bedroom would be two completely different matters.” My fashion-focused friend reasoned.

“In that case, I think he’s feeling lonely because he doesn’t think he has any friends on Equus and it kind of just hammers home that he’s the only Human around…”

“Oh my… That poor stallion.” Rarity murmured, her face painted in the perfect picture of grace and concern. “And here I not only made him feel like less than a pony, I reminded him that he was the only one in his particular predicament…”

I sighed. “I can go find him, but it’s really best to just leave him alone for the time being. Seeing another Pony probably isn’t going to help in this case.”

“You’re most likely correct, as per the usual.” She sighed. “However, Max does like to drink, no?”

“... I’m worried about that, actually. Nothing good ever comes of Max drinking in public.”

“Oh dear, he’s not one of the rowdy types, is he?”

“No, but he’s better left alone when he’s in a bad mood in the first place and Ponyville isn’t really the place to be left alone.” I lifted my thumb to my lip and nibbled on the grippy fur near the tip. “... I don’t like not being able to help him, Rarity. Max and I do better when we’re together than when we’re apart…”

“Um… Perhaps we could have Fluttershy help?” She reasoned.

I gave her a frustrated look. “Fluttershy doesn’t exactly look like a Human either, Rarity.”

“What if we don’t need somepony, but rather some… Um… Well, it would still be somepony, I suppose, but one of Fluttershy’s creatures is what I’m getting at. Does she not lend out some of her patients as therapy pets to Ponyville Hospital sometimes? And even more as therapeutic pets in the Tri-Hamlet area?”

“Well, yes, but-”

“Could one of her creatures not track Max down and lend him a small shoulder to cry on?”

“... Yes, but I’m pretty sure that it can’t be a bird. Max hates birds that can’t talk.”

“... What?”

“... I don’t even know.” I admitted. “Something about Hizketan Baia or something of the sort. And snakes. Something about snakes.”

Right. Freaky memory thing. I remember now.”

“Freaky indeed. Shall we go to Fluttershy’s, or are we going to-”

You’re going to teleport the letter I write to her instead of using Spike for once and then you’re going to try on this marvelous dress I’ve made for you!” Rarity ran off as soon as she finished speaking and I lazily followed until I almost ran into her when she came around a corner. I stood back and she held out her newest creation. “So? What do you think? I know you’re more fond of dark colors when it comes to the more elegant creations; especially when we’re all trying to appear as if we’re already taken, you know? An I thought navy would just be superb with our coat, and was I right or what!?” She gushed. “Oh, and I can’t wait so see the way the sheer lace sleeves mingle with your coat~! Blending coats and colors is all the rage these days, and there are even gloves and a complete set of livery to match-”

“Wait, what.”

Rarity gave me an innocent smile. “Yes, darling?”

“... Nevermind. Thank you, Rarity, sincerely!” I gave her a bright smile.

She saw straight through it. “I’ll make you go to Canterlot with this dress and go on a proper dater with Max, Twilight Sta- Er, I mean, won’t you please consider wearing my creation on a date with Max:? You know know it would mean the world to me.” Rarity batted her lashes at me.

Blushing and smiling were none negotiable, my stress levels appreciating her sudden change in tone. “Thank you, Rarity, and I’ll definitely try it on for both you and Max at the very least.”

“I can’t get you to Pinkie Promise on a date?” Rarity asked, grimacing.

I offered her both my pinkie and another smile. “When Max comes back, I’ll ask him if there’s anywhere fancy he wants to go.”

Rarity hooked my pinkie with hers and used it to pull me into a hug, careful to be cautious of the dress she’d made for me. “Oh, Twilight! To think that you’ll be the first of our friends to wear one of my creations on a real date with a decentish stallion!”

I pinched her side and made her ‘Yeep!’. “Don’t say backhanded things about my Amour. He’s just dealing with a complicated situation at the moment.”

“It’s so easy to forget that he’s not just a strange looking Pony.” Rarity admitted. “I mean, he’s obviously different, but he almost feels like… Well, like he’s been your coltfriend forever already.”

It was a feeling I shared, but then again, I remembered having foals with him. “I know the feeling, Rarity. Trust me.”

She sighed and gave me a patient look. “Maybe we could write that letter now?”


And so we wrote the letter to Fluttershy, teleported my dress back to my house, and then gathered the rest of the gals for a Huggle, which is like a Huddle for the Hoofball thing, but for mares. Anyway, Rarity, Fluttershy, and I all spent our time at my house going over the things we wanted to talk about in the Huggle since we were the most experienced with Max, but when Pinkie came over, she wanted to have a word with me in private that ended with me apologizing for breaking a Pinkie Promise because there’s no such thing as winning with Pinkie unless you can guilt trip her hard enough. I had a feeling that Max could have easily done it, but that wasn’t important. What was important was that Applejack and Rainbow arrived together about twenty minutes after Pinkie, so we were able to get the Huggle started in a decent amount of time, given that snacks and beverages were distributed.

“Alright girls: I’ve got a problem.” I announced once we were all settled in the library.

“Ears up, gals.” Applejack vouched, beating Rarity and Fluttershy to the punch, oddly enough.

“Ears up.” Rarity nodded, making sure her support was evident.

As you might know, Diary, you only need one supporting vote on any Equestrian Council of less than ten members to get the floor, but I was surprised when Pinkie threw her assent into the circle too. It was rare, even amongst a circle as close as ours, for half of the council to lay down their rights to interject during the statement of the case. With that, the only pony I had to actually worry about interrupting was Rainbow since Fluttershy never interjected.

We were all a little surprised, but we kept things moving. “Alright. The Motion is to be determined. The Ordeal is Maximus,” I almost paused because somepony normally would have interjected, but I had the floor almost entirely, “and the cause to date is technical extinction as well as friendlessness.”

“Damn.” Rainbow muttered since she was allowed to.

I nodded. “The current Action is pet therapy, but there needs to be a Motion so we can move forward. Rarity, Fluttershy and I did some brainstorming already, although I’ll happily take suggestions.” Pinkie’s hand was in the air before I finished ‘although’. “Diane has the floor.”

“Thank you, Starbright. My Motion is that we have a Human Day for Maximus!” Pinkie exclaimed. Rainbow’s hand went up alone. “Wonder has the floor.”

Rainbow Dash nodded. “Thanks, Diane. As nice as that sounds, how would we do it? Starbright has the Magic to turn a couple of us into Gryphons, but we don’t know if we could all do it. We should take volunteers.”

There were nods of assent from a few of us, and after ten or so seconds, Applejack’s hand went up. It was my Huggle, so it was my responsibility to announce, “Applejack Faith Apple moves to take the floor. Are there any objections?” There were none. “Faith has the floor.”

She nodded. “Thank you, Starbright. Now, I hate ta be the mare ta say this, but how are we supposed to bring this up ta Max? I mean, we show him some Human faces for a day and turn back tomorrow, then…? What exactly? I been thinkin’ about what I’d do if I was in that poor guy’s shoes since I met ‘im, and this exact thing came up. I’d be crushed ta see fake Ponies for just one day in a world full a’ aliens.” Everypony other than Applejack had a hand go up, but she pointed at me. “Starbright has the floor.”

I nodded stiffly, a little incensed by Applejack’s casual dismissal of a good idea. “Thank you, Faith. Do you have a Counter-Proposal?” Hands went down except for Fluttershy’s. “Oh? Um... “ I looked at Applejack and she nodded. “Okay. Fleur de Tulipe has the floor.”

Fluttershy nodded. “Th-thank you, Starbright. M-My C-Counter-Proposal i-is that w-we… Um… Well…” It took her a moment to get a breath and say, “Why don’t we treat Max as a friend? W-We invite him to our next slumber party, b-but we a-ask if he would m-m-mind being a-a-a… W-Well…” Hands shot up and she flinched, looking around. Her go to, Rarity, kept her hand down this time since Fluttershy had said something silly. Her next choice was, surprisingly enough, Applejack. “F-Faith has the floor.”

“Thank you, Fleur de Tulipe. I support your Motion.” Applejack declared. Rarity’s hand went up and everypony else’s hands went down. “Opalneria has the floor.”

She nodded. “Thank you, Faith, Fleur de Tulipe.” Uh oh. “I veto the motion.” My hand went up. “Starbright has the floor.”

“Thank you, Opalneria. I too, veto the motion. Changing Max’s gender while his psyche is already strained could cause a fragmentation as has been documented in numerous cases.” I said frostily.

There were no hands in the air for another ten seconds, so I raised my hand. “Are there any further motions other than Human Day?” There were none. “Alright. All in favor?” Rarity’s, Pinkie’s, and my own hands went up. “All opposed?” Fluttershy and Applejack put their hands up. “All abstaining?” Rainbow’s hand was the last to rise. “Primary Motion carries. Human Day begins tomorrow at eleven O’clock sharp at Golden Oaks. Everypony who wants to volunteer is welcome to stop by!”

There were a few assurances and a couple of sighs, but all in all, the Huggle turned out for the better, though Fluttershy and Applejack were doing an awful lot of private chatting during the time after the Motion was set in stone. I didn’t doubt that they were planning on helping Max in their own way, which was fine. I just hoped that they didn’t try to interfere with our plans since we all just wanted to help Max. I mean, it got a little awkward when Max made his presence known in the library by clearing his throat around thirty minutes after we’d agreed on the plan of action, but it’s not like he should have been able to hear anything terribly vital, so I wasn’t super worried or anything.

Well… Up until he gave me the flattest, least amused look I’d ever seen on him, I wasn’t all that worried. “M-Max, it’s not what you think! I-I just wanted to know how I could help you!” I cried desperately, not wanting him to think I’d betrayed his trust after he’d made his standpoint clear.

His gaze softened and he nodded a few times. “Sorry, I should’ve trusted you more... I’m going to bed.”

“Did you eat while you were out?” I asked, just to make sure.

“I’ll eat a big breakfast.” He answered.

“Max, please eat something.” I requested softly.

He sighed and scratched his head. “Alright. Hey everyone.” After a casual wave, he walked away and I watched him leave, still concerned about his well-being.

“That guy needs to get laid.” Rainbow said bluntly.

“Rainbow, that’s not going to fix anything!” I said irritably.

“It might. You never know.”

Applejack sighed. “If the guy wanted some, I’m sure he woulda asked by now. The best bet is to just try an’ be there for him as best ya can. If ya were a drinkin’ mare, I’d suggest ya get a couple glasses a’ cider in ‘im and go from there.”

I sighed. “Yeah, he warned me against trying to drink at his pace…”

“Then don’t. Keep a glass of water and some wine an’ ya oughta be fine.” Applejack assured me.

I nodded. “Okay. I’ll see if I can get Max to open up some more about his feelings over a drink.”

“Or maybe I could do that?” Applejack suggested apprehensively. “I mean, ya mentioned that he doesn’t feel as welcome as he could be feelin’, right? What better than a night of Apple Family hospitality to-”

Pinkie gasped loud enough to make my ears hurt, thus causing me and the rest of the girls to close our eyes and cover our eyes for a few seconds while Pinkie did as Pinkie does. However, when we opened our eyes, my frigging library was full of frigging-fragging ponies! Just- Just- They were- I mean… Pinkie doesn’t make any sense on a good day, but how she managed to decorate and fill my house with ponies in the time it took her to gasp left me speechless. And confused. And tired. Very, very, very tired. I meandered through the sudden crowd of ponies who were all asking each other how they got there when I finally managed to spot Pinkie slurping down a jello-shot just before munching on some watermelon that I was sure was spiked. Applejack was calmly sipping from a wax paper cup, looking rather resigned to her fate and Rarity was looking around, blinking rapidly.

“Pinkamena Diane Pie! What did I tell you about throwing reality breaking parties in my library!?” I shouted furiously.

“To only do it when Max needs a pick me up? And besides, Twilight! He never got a Welcome to Ponyville Party!”

I gave her a stern look, but she just gave me an adorable smile. “I’ll let it slide this one time, Pinkie. One. Time.”

“Oh come on-”

“You know how I feel about parties.”


Especially surprise parties.”


“And the ones that break the laws of physics are the worst!

Pinkie sighed and gave me a fed up look. “Are you done yet?”

Applejack pulled her mane and made Pinkie’s head jerk to the side. “Knock it off, Pinks. Twi’s right; you threw a party in her house without her permission. It’s pretty messed up.”

Our mutual, miniature friend gave both of us stern looks in turn. “If either of you are trying to say that Max didn’t deserve a party right here, right now, then say it!”

My mouth dried up and I looked at Applejack. She licked her lips and looked away, sipping her drink. “Um…”

hat’s what I thought.” She said levelly. Her smile came right back and she gave me a conspicuous wink. “Why don’t you go and get Max since he can’t hear anything from the kitchen?”

She’s scary…

Do the thing.

‘I’m gonna do the thing.’ “Sure Pinkie. I’ll be right back.”

Pinkie waved me off, so I skedaddled to the kitchen where Max was frying some potatoes with a stony expression, looking like he’d rather be doing anything else at the moment. I approached cautiously, speaking softly. “There are plenty of herbs and flowers in the fridge…”

“I can’t eat them.” He replied neutrally.

“Oh… Um… P-Potatoes just sounded best, I guess?” I giggled awkwardly.

“I need to go shopping with you next time we go. There isn’t much I can eat in the house.”

I blinked a few times. “... I… I kind of forgot that you can’t really eat many Pony foods…”

“I need to go fishing. Or see if Applejack doesn’t mind one of her chickens coming to an early end.” He sighed.

Dear Star, I keep forgetting that you eat meat… “... Well, if you’d like to have some sweeter food, apparently Pinkie decided to throw a party in my house without my permission in the last five minutes.”

“I knew I felt more people in the house…” He murmured. Sighing, he said, “The food’s almost done. I’ll be right with you.”

“You… You wouldn’t mind if I stayed a little while, would you?” I asked tentatively.

Max snorted lightly, giving me a small smirk. “I’m living in your house and you’re asking me if you can stay?”

I put my hands on my hips and gave him a look, completely forgetting that I was trying to be sensitive. “Now you look here, Mister! If I want to give you a little space, I’ll give you a little space!”

“What if I want you to come give me a hug?” He asked half-heartedly, like he didn’t really want one at the moment.

“That would make me feel better, but would it help you at all?” I asked, trying not to sound too high-strung.

“We won’t know ‘til we try, right?” He chuckled, moving his potatoes from the burner to an unlit aisle before turning the stove off.

I came over and gave him a hug, enjoying the odd feeling of Max smelling my mane. “So Pinkie threw me a party?”

“Nopony understands how they got here.” I sighed.

“... What?”

“Pinkie’s Pinkie.”

“That explains nothing.”

“It’ll tell you everything you need to know soon enough.” I pulled away and looked up at him, hoping to see something in his eyes that would make me feel a little better.

There it was. A slight hint of warmth, the admiration and love for me that Max always carried with him. I didn’t see it long since he closed his eyes and bent down for a kiss, but I know that I felt slightly better about Human Day and how it was going to cheer Max up. After our little smooch, he gave me another weary smile and asked, “Is there booze?”


“Then why are we still talking?”

“Because maybe I want another kiss?”

He gave me a little smooch and asked, “Satisfied now?”

“Hmm… One for the ro-” Max rolled his eyes and gave me what he calls a ‘proper snogging, robbing me of my breath and train of thought for a solid three minutes. “Mmm~ That’s good. That was a good one.”

Max chortled and lead me out of the kitchen by the hand, leaving his food behind in favor of throwing himself into the party. It wasn’t hard to tell that Max didn’t want anything to do with the party in general before we ran into Pinke. She shoved a big glass thing of some tind that stood about a foot tall and a big bag of a green substance that made Max face light up. The next thing I know, we have a circle of ponies all waiting on Max to show us how to use the odd device. Apparently you were supposed to put the herb in some kind of bowl with a hole that had a stem that lead down into a reservoir of water and light it on fire so you could inhale the smoke, which made no sense to me until Max made me ‘rip the bomb’, or whatever it was he said. After that?

After that, life got real pretty and we just cuddled on the couch and talked to whoever wanted to come say hi to Max for the rest of the party. I felt really good and super relaxed, despite having a ton of ponies in the library at once, but I blame the ‘Magic Herb’ as my coltfriend called it. It was a real mood booster, and before I knew it, the party was over and it was time to clean up the mild mess that had been left behind, which Max made a little more fun by sneaking up on me and giving me a peck here and there or by coming around a corner to spook me with a surprise hug. It was cute and my hazy mind didn’t think twice of Max’s mild advances, but the gals definitely noticed that I often seemed even more distracted than I did when I was just being ‘high’ whenever Max was around.

Fluttershy and Rarity took me aside with smiles on their faces after the majority of the mess was picked up and Rarity asked, “So…?”

I gave her a silly smile. “So what?”

“Do you think it’ll happen tonight? Make up sex is supposed to be the best there is~” Rarity gave me a big wink

Fluttershy giggled. “Doesn’t it sound nice, Twilight?”

I tittered and giggled like a madmare for a little bit. “You two are so lewd! We don’t plan that sort of thing, gals! It’d be weird if we did.”

“Oh posh, Darling! You can’t tell me that the mood hasn't’ been setting itself for a nice night~ You do look quite fetching, after all, and I’ve noticed that a certain somepony-” Max came out of nowhere and pecked my cheek. “Speak of the demon! We were just mentioning how much fun you seemed to be having!” Rarity cheered, smiling brightly.

He moved to wrap his arms around me so he could set his chin on my shoulder. “It’s pretty fun when weed’s involved. Next time we have to have moire weed and less people.”

“What is people anyway?” She asked, giving him an amused smile and setting her hands on her hips.

“What do you mean? That’s like asking ‘What is ponies?’.” Max replied, sounding rather confused.

“Oh, so Humans use people instead of pony or ponies! I always wondered, but I didn’t want to make it seem like I didn’t understand you.”

He chuckled. “It’s fine. Thanks for taking the time to clarify.”

“Oh, it’s no problem, Darling. Say, would you be interested in doing some work for me, perhaps?” Rarity batted her eyelashes at Max and he gave me a little squeeze.

“Depends on what it is.” He answered hesitantly.

“Oh, it’s just a little bit of modeling~” She crooned. “It’ll hardly take any effort at all on your part, and whenever you don’t have bruises, I daresay that you’ll be a hit on the Canterlot scene should you choose to make an appearance~”

“Is this a favor or a job?”


“Actually, I don’t really like the idea of my face being everywhere if I do get any kind of famous from it. I’ll be your mannequin if you need one, but I’m a real private kind of fellow. I’m sure you understand.”

She gave him a pout that probably would’ve worked if he was single. “Oh, you won’t even consider it?”

He chuckled pleasantly. “I did consider it, Rarity, and I decided that I prefer my anonymity, as relative as it is, to remain intact.”

My pale friend gave him a disappointed smile. “Well, I suppose I’ll have to take what I can get.”

Fluttershy smiled bashfully at Max. “W-Well, m-maybe I-I could i-i-interest you in a p-p-pet…?”

Max rocked us from side to side. “Maybe. I like canines.”

“I-I have a fox!”

“Mr. Foxy is smelly.” I objected.

“Lupa isn’t-”

“Lupa’s perfect!” Max exclaimed in my poor ear.

“Hey!” I complained.

“Sorry, Cherry, but yeah, I’d love to meet Lupa!” He said happily.

“Then I’ll bring her over tomorrow bright and early!” Fluttershy beamed.

“Glad to hear it!” I replied excitedly. “I can’t wait to meet whoever Lupa is.”

“Oh, you’ll really like her! She’s a very well behaved wolf!” She assured me.

All I needed was Fluttershy’s approval to accept it as it came, and after that, Rarity, Flutters, Max, and I just chatted until the rest of the gals came over to join the conversation. He seemed to have an easier time talking to Fluttershy and Applejack than anypony other than me, which was odd to say the least. The way they conversed seemed like Max knew exactly what to say to get Fluttershy out of her shell and to remind Applejack of the fact that he was a real sweetheart instead of being a little sketchy. Rainbow loved his weird jokes and kept breaking out into raucous laughter with Applejack and Pinkie while Rarity and Fluttershy were fond of his story about the time his Dad took him to ‘Wacky Warehouse’. It was a pretty fun time, but once the rest of the party was cleaned up, however, it was bedtime and nopony wanted to walk home, so Pinkie and Rainbow took the couch, Applejack got my favorite chair, and Fluttershy and Rarity agreed to share the guest bed because I honestly think that they kiss each other for fun.

When Max and I settled down for bed, he cuddled up close to me, but then I remembered that I had to get all this written out since I haven’t actually touched my diary in a little while. Celestia’s actually raising the sun as we speak, but I can stay up for at least fifteen more hours before I need a nap. I’m looking forward to Human Day and all it’ll entail, but I’m a little nervous.

Meh, it’s probably nothing. Anyway, it’s time for the conclusion!


In conclusion, it was a blessing that Max didn’t have to fulfil Celestia’s favor, but now I can’t help but wonder what exactly the favor was… I’ll have to ask. I missed Max during the short time he was gone, but I think that the troubles we’ve been facing recently as far as how he thinks I view him are worrisome to say the least. I don’t know if Max thinks I believe that he’s some kind of trophy or something. Either way, I don’t know what his problem is, and I don’t want it to get out of hand, so I’m going to keep trying to talk to him.

As far as Max feeling more lonely than I thought… Spending more time with the gals and our pals will help him feel more at home here in Ponyville and in Equestria as a whole, I just know it! There were a lot of townsponies that really seemed to like Max for his jokes and general joviality that he exuded, but I can’t help but worry about the ponies that never seemed to want to get near him. I don’t know if it was just my imagination, but Max still seems like a bit of a pariah, even though the party was supposed to show that he’s a Ponyvillian like everypony else now… Well, hopefully things change…

Here’s hoping Human Day goes well and that Max appreciates some of the testing I’ll have to do to get it right. Ah, a labor of love~♡ Until next time, Diary!

Words Aren't Enough

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Words Aren’t Enough


Dear Diary,

Today I learned a very valuable lesson, and it’s one that I’ve already learned before, but got ‘gobsmacked’ with all over again, as Max put it. Learning that you should always consider what your friends have to say was hard to get through again, but at least Max wasn’t terribly furious... For most of the day... It really couldn’t have been much worse... Oh! I’ve gotten ahead of myself now. I really should start with the part where I messed up, but… Well, I already apologized to Max, so I guess it’s not as bad to just write it down… I don’t know, it just feels so much sillier when I know it’s going to be on paper…

Ah, well here goes nothing…

The morning started out a little rough since Max woke up before I did, which was not a part of the plan. He was supposed to be dozing off until I came back to get him around eleven fifteen when the girls and I were supposed to be prepared, but nooo. Mr. Cutie Pants just had to be giving me the coziest, lovingest little look he could wear when I opened my eyes. The smile that split my lips was natural, and it would’ve been a lie to say that the one on Max’s face was out of place. We met for a brief kiss, but settled on having a better one after coffee since we were both eager to go get our morning mugs.

I finally managed to convince Max to take the first shower, but I didn’t tell him that I was only being so vehement about it so I could practice the Transmogrification Spell before Human Day was slated to begin in earnest. After a few tries and a lot of little tweeks, I managed to make my fur disappear, turn my mane the same shade as Max’s hair, make my ears pop out of the side of my head like a weirdo, and turn myself off-whitish. I really didn’t like the look of dark brown clashing against my eyes, so I turned my hair back to normal and examined myself in the mirror again. I mean, I didn’t look bad, but I kind of just looked like… The Human version of myself. Yup. Yeah. Yep.

I’m dumb, but it’s okay to be dumb sometimes. The reason I got caught looking like a Human in the first place was because I took too long looking at myself in the mirror, not paying attention to when Max walked into our room. When his towel dropped, so did my gaze, along with his voice. “... Twilight?”

It just dangled.

Max snatched his towel off of the floor and covered himself, his face flushing. “Twilight, is that you? ‘Cause I’m really not finding it funny.”

I blinked. “Um… Wait, funny?

“... No, you’re not that kind of woman.” He sighed, closing the door behind him as he secured the towel around my prec- his lower half. “Look, Cherry… Can you just turn back? Please?”

It wasn’t hard to revert back to normal, but when I approached Max, he shied away from me, not saying anything. There was a hurt look in his eyes that told me that Applejack had been right: Human Day was a mistake, and it had been hit in the wings before it could fully take off. I just wanted to make Max feel better, so I said, “Amour, I’m so sorry, I-I… I just thought seeing another Human might-” He placed a single finger on the tip of my horn.

“Humans don’t have horns. Or hooves.”

“... Oh.”

The kiss he placed on my temple was little more than a brushing of his lips, the warmth of his breath making my fur stand on end in a good way. “Thank you for trying, but I’m gonna take a walk. I love you, Cherry.”

“... I love you too, Amour. Where are you going to go?”

“Not far. I’ll stay in town.” I held his arm, but he shrugged me off, shaking his head. “I’m sorry, Twi, just… My heart hurts.”

“I can kiss that away...” I murmured.

“Don’t kiss open wounds; it’s unhygienic and bad for your health.”

That got a little smile out of me until I saw just how hollow Max’s eyes were. “... Amour?”


“... You’re not okay.” I felt my hands start to shake uncontrollably, worry gripping my heart as I cast a truth spell. “What’s wrong, Amour?”

Max gave me an odd look and a disarming smile. “Twi, I’m okay, I’m… It’s hard to put into words.”

My spell went off hard. “Please don’t lie to me.” I requested quietly.

“Twilight, I’m not lying-”

“Yes, you are! Please stop!”

“How do I prove I’m not lying?” He asked, his face falling as flat as his tone.

“By not doing it!” I urged.

“Great, I’ll just go back to doing the thing I was doing so you can say that I was not doing it.”

I set my jaw and stomped a hoof. “Max, just let me help! We can get through this-” Max leaned in and glared me down. “... Together.”

“Twilight Sparkle: Leave me alone. Not even for the full day. Just let me have some fuckin’ space, yeah?” He muttered in a low, even tone, brokering no arguments.

“... Promise you’ll be sa-” He jerked away from me and I flinched. When I looked back at him, another hurt look was on his face. “... Max?”

“... Did you think I was about to hit you?” Max asked softly.

“... Yes?”

Never. Not until the day you make me put my hands on you, Twilight, will I ever willingly cause you harm. That’s not what my love is about. That’s not what this is about.” He came to me with open arms and a slipping towel, but for once my mind veered away from the gutter so I could get a hug from my stallion. “I just want to get out and be alone for a little bit, okay? It just helps.”

I hugged him back softly, just holding him in place. “... You’re lying again.”

How!?” He groaned. “Fuh-king-”

“It hurts when I see you in pain and you won’t let me in.”

“... Oh…”

“I might be naive and foalish sometimes, but you can’t lie to me when you’re hurting Max. You want help.”


“If you’re going to say what I think you’re going to say, then I’m going to use a Truth Spell. I don’t need one, but I will use one.”

He pulled away and looked at me angrily. “The truth is the truth from whatever angle you look at it, Twilight. Stop searching for straws to grasp at so you can turn this around on me.”

I gaped before glowering at him. “You think I’d stoop that low!?”

“Well, I didn’t think you’d try and turn into a Human and we saw that step!”

“Don’t raise your voice at me!”

You did it first.”

“Two wrongs don’t make a right!”

“One wrong is a wrong any-fuckin’-way.”

“I was trying to help!

“You tried, you failed; let’s drop it and get over it already.”

Avoiding your problems doesn’t solve them.

“Dear God, someone fuckin’ shoot me.” Max mumbled under his breath.

I gave him my sternest look, which earned me a look in turn. “Maximus Kinkaid-”

“Call me fuckin’ Kinkaid again, woman. Try my fuckin’ patience.”

“And…? What exactly? You’ll do what?

Max glared at me before he went off to get dressed. I decided to leave him alone instead of niggling him further since nothing good would come of it. My anger kept me from ogling him, thankfully, because I’m sure that would have turned into yet another thing to squabble over. I didn’t understand why Max was so resistant to just take a helping hand before I realized that Applejack was practically the same way, and had proven it many times over by just being as stubborn as Max. Neither of them would be able to see reason without a like-minded pony to set them straight, so when I put together the ‘plan’, I stood next to the door and waited for Max to get done being dressed so I could talk to him.

Then he climbed down from the balcony because he didn’t want to talk to me…

I ran over and watched him walk away from me without even going downstairs for breakfast and that was pretty unfortunate. Seeing Max upset again over something I did was more than enough to make me sad, but I just got through my Morning Meandering as usual and answered Spike’s questions to the best of my abilities. While I didn’t like that Max just turned his back on me, I slowly understood why he did it more and more. I honestly doubted that he even knew that there was something wrong in his heart, so I decided to ask Spike if he ever knew what he was really feeling when he was down and didn’t want to talk since guys are weird. Spike is also weird, and he wasn’t really able to articulate enough to elaborate on any of what he told me, such as, ‘I just feel like I wanna be alone and throw stuff at ponies that don’t leave me alone.’, which was all well and good since I knew to stand away from Max now. I still had a problem, but I also knew to try and catch whatever he was going to throw since it shouldn’t be something too big.

Without being able to cajole or needle Max until he just spilled out whatever he could put into words, there wasn’t really a way I knew of to make a stallion talk. There was no point in asking Rarity since she was going to tell me to either assert myself, which I didn’t think would solve anything, or give him… Snacks, shall we say. She would want me to fill him up with snacks, and I don’t think having a full tummy and empty nutshells scattered around would do him much good, so I thought some more about who to ask. Then I realized that dumb can strike twice in one day, if not thrice, and picked the kindest Pony I knew that could crack any emotional barrier! I mean, Fluttershy had already helped me get through to Max once, and if her idea about changing Max into a girl so he could come be included in the group as a friend rather than just as my coltfriend, then why wouldn’t he be a lot happier?

I had Spike send a note ahead of me so I wouldn’t spook Fluttershy or any of her animals when I came over, but I actually caught her on the way to my house with Lupa by her side and Angel riding on her head. “Fluttershy! I was just coming to look for you!”

She waved from aways down the road and I just teleported over instead of running because Unicorns don’t run. It’s still kind of funny to my Mom and I that the stallions in our family have been military stallions for generations, but they’ve all been Unicorns. It’s not unheard of for Unicorns to join the Guard; it’s just that we have to train a lot harder to get anywhere unless we get fast-tracked to an officer position. It makes a lot of the other Races and the other Pony Clans kinda mad because we get the good jobs, but the test scores don’t really lie…

Anyway, I met up with Fluttershy and told her that Human Day had gone down in fire and flames when Max had surprised me while I was trying to get my Human appearance put together, and she comforted me like a good friend. I didn’t know that I needed to cry, but when Fluttershy sat me down and put my cup of tea on the table instead of handing it to me, the little faux pas was enough to poke a hope in the tape I had covering the leaks in my heart, making me spill everything in just a few short minutes.

Everything from how disappointed I was to see that Max didn’t initially smile at the lengths I’d go for him to be comfortable to the pain in my heart that echoed in from the ache in his eyes was included in my soliloquy. I told her about the argument and paraphrased for a lot of it, but I got the gist of what Max and I wanted to say out onto the table and Fluttershy let me cry away today’s frustration because she’s a real sweetheart, and if there’s a sweeter heart out there than hers, then I’ll be indubitably shocked.

Once I was just sniffling and had blown my nose once or twice, Fluttershy asked, “Twilight, do you understand why Max was upset?”

No, and that’s the problem! He won’t talk to me!”

“... Maybe he already told us what the problem was and we just didn’t listen…” She replied cryptically.

“It’s not like I don’t practically tune out the world when he opens his mouth, Fluttershy! It’s embarrassing how many things I miss because Max is talking!”

“... So you don’t remember the way he struggled to open up to us about all the horrible things that happened to him on Earth?”

He still got through it!

Fluttershy gave me a sad look. “He was probably hoping that he wouldn’t have to do it again.”

“Then what do I do to help him, Fluttershy?” I groaned.

“... You take a step back,” she whispered.

“... What?”

“If you love somepony, sometimes you have to let them go and get hurt or heal on their own. It’s hard to stand by when a friend is hurting, but… We already tried getting Max to talk about his feelings. We succeeded. Here we are.”

“... So I’m just supposed to… Step back?

Possibly my favorite Pegasus of all time nodded slowly. “Max is different. If he was a mare, I’d tell you to bring him his favourite food and admit that you were wrong to call him a liar when he wasn’t aware that he wasn’t telling the truth, and if he was a stallion… Well, we know Rarity and Applejack have more experience with them, but I don’t think Rarity would know what to do with a stallion like Max.”

I made a noise of displease and whinnied weakly. “... I’ll go ask my Auntie Fleur about what she would would do. She’s the smartest mare I know when it comes to stallions.”

“Fleur?” Fluttershy asked interestedly.

I nodded. “Yes, Fleur de Lis.”

Th-The By-Chance Model!?” Fluttershy gasped. “C-Can I come with you!? I’m such a huge fan!”

There wasn’t really a reason to say no. “I’m sure Auntie Fleur would like to meet another Fleur.”

She smiled and gave me a nice hug. “Oh, I’m so excited! I didn’t know you were related to my extended family!”

I hugged her back and giggled, a little, my heart lightening as we changed the topic. “Well, Fleur’s just a really good friend of my Mom’s, and Uncle Fancy was one of Dad’s old guard buddies.”

“Still, it’s such a small world, isn’t it?”

I gave her a smile as we let each other go. “It really is. Do you want to see if the otherwise Pony in our circle is busy, or do you want to head to Canterlot now?”

“Oh, let me leave Lupa, Bearett, and Angel in charge so I don’t have to hurry back! And I’ve got to grab my limited edition, mint condition Fleur de Lis carrier case!”

Right.” I said amusedly.

While Fluttershy rushed around to get her stuff done before we got going, I looked around and spotted a new vase that Fluttershy had probably had to buy because of her darn rabble-rousers. As much as I like animals, I prefer the ones that don’t run around your house and knock everything over, thank you very much. Owlowiscious had always been pet enough for me, though I was doubting that Max would like a pet in general. It’s not that he didn’t seem the type to me, it’s just that I was a little afraid of giving him something that he might eat.

Once my bestest friend had her little makeup kit, we walked to the Train Station and chatted about how nice it was to get out of Ponyville with just the two of us. Rarity generally monopolizes a lot of Fluttershy’s time, so I don’t really get one-on-one moments like those with her, so I was glad to get the chance to spend a little bit of my day with her. Don't get me wrong: I like spending time with all of my friends, but there aren’t many things that Rainbow and I can talk about, Pinkie and I should avoid baking together at all costs, and there’s little I can do with Rarity other than gossip about what little I cared to know of around Ponyville. Applejack, however, always has a story to tell about something or other and could weave a tall tale like nopony else, even if she couldn't sell the facts for a spare bean curd. She’s actually quite the intellectual if you talk about a subject she knows something about or wanted to learn more of at some point. We’d actually gone and had quite a few long conversations over the benefits of using fish over manure as plant food since fish don’t have any feelings. They’re like plants; sometimes they’re just something in the way, and the sea monsters in the oceans proved that fish got worse the bigger they got.

Quick Aside/History Lesson!

{Ponies don’t like fish and nopony really knows why.1 We love most living creatures, but when it comes to those little scaly, slimy little monsters, nopony minds if a few hundred end up floating down the river. As long as they aren’t stinking up Ponyville, that is. The myth behind it is that there was once a long lost race of Ponies that were banished into the sea by something or other (Nopony can ever get a straight answer), and thus the Kelpies were born. Apparently the Kelpies loved living underwater so much they started trying to convince normal Ponies to join them, promising that they’d love it too.2 As it would turn out in the myth, living underwater is hard if you’re not a Kelpie. Really hard. When ponies started showing up less alive than they were when they went in the water, everypony stopped swimming in the ocean to avoid getting drowned by the malevolently pleasant Kelpies.3

1There are a lot of reasons to dislike fish, and Ponies don’t usually find them pretty enough to even keep as pets. They really are pretty useless outside of the food-chain.

2Legend says that the Kelpies loved to seduce ponies, especially stallions. It was usually their means of getting somepony into the water.

3Kelpie hospitality was said to be even better than Earth Pony hospitality, which is hard to believe. An Earth Pony stallion will give you the shirt off of his back, even if he’s a thousand miles from home, but Kelpies were said to fulfill every little whim you could come up with to get you into the water.}

Aside/Lesson over!

To carry on with my stupid, stupid day, I was actually having a bit of fun with Fluttershy on the train. We talked about how cute Spike was whenever he got caught staring off into space, or how jumpy Rarity was, even when you knocked on both the front door and the door to the back of her shop before making your presence known. We weren’t bad-mouthing either of them: just sharing a few funny observations that we might or might not share with they themselves later on. It’s not hard to be nice, after all.

Soon enough the train ride was over and Fluttershy managed to convince me to go shopping right after we were done with Auntie Fleur, although my meek arguments against the idea were barely even arguments at all. I didn’t mind blowing a few bits to upgrade my wardrobe like I’d already planned on doing before, and Fluttershy was my preferred shopping partner anyway since she had an eye for fashion like Rarity’s, but one that was far more modest and leaned more toward cute and comely rather than saucy and sexy. By lean, I mean bent at a ninety degree angle and held itself parallel to the ground because Fluttershy doesn’t show off, and there have been times where I’ve been a little embarrassed to be seen out with Rarity in public with her amounts of cleavage. The sad thing was that Fluttershy couldn’t hide her chest, even if she tried any harder while Rarity wears push-up bras with a D-Cup. Flutterbutter won’t tell anypony her cup-size other than Rarity and the other mare she sometimes goes to whenever Rarity’s swamped, but I know that her usual stuff extends down to her sternum and looks pretty uncomfortable, even if it does provide some much needed support.

However, Fluttershy always gets discounts from stallions, so…

Mild envy notwithstanding (Extremely mild, mind you.), It was a lovely day for a stroll with a good friend, even if the morning had been, as Max would say, ‘Shitty like a sewage spout sprung several serious streams, spraying and spurting from seams, slips, spots, and severs.’, which he once used to describe tofu steak according to an errant memory. I found some solace in spending time with a mare who seemed to know just what to do at the moment, even if we were going to another mare who would likely say something along the same lines. It wasn’t until we got to Auntie Fleur’s house that I learned that she’d yet to return from Gryphonia, so I reminded myself to send a letter to tell her that Max was home and that nothing had hurt him, so Diliculum wasn’t going to be a problem.

Without an Aunt to talk to at the moment, I settled for an Uncle who’d always been rumored to know more than he should. Fluttershy and I talked it over with the butler who’d answered the door, and he was actually very helpful and offered to give us another stallion’s perspective on the matter, so I gave him the basics and he told me that Max was just being sensitive and that he’d probably appreciate a ‘special favor’ to help him calm down a little. Everypony knew what he was talking about, but it’s not like he was crude about it, so it wasn’t as awkward to hear. It’s different when it’s coming from a mare, but stallions can be kinda creepy when it comes to sex. It’d be like Pinkie Pie talking about having babies from personal experience: some things just don’t sound right.

I hoped that Uncle Fancy would have a better idea than a favor or snacktime, but it was either one of those or do nothing so far, so I waged my bets and follow Groove Chicken to Fancy’s balcony where he was balancing some ledgers while occasionally puffing a pipe. “Sir Fancy Pants, Madam Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy are here to await your attention.”

“Did you say Twilight, dear friend?” Fancy asked, turning his head and catching a glimpse of me. “Well, I’ll be! If it isn’t my no-good, dirty cheater of a niece!”

I rolled my eyes. “I learned from Dad and he beats you all the time. I beat him sometimes. You’re good, but you’re not Arcana good.”

Fancy had a hearty little laugh and gave me a warm smile, the combination always making that stupid old crush rear its ugly head in the back of my mind. “Are we going to banter all morning, or is my favorite Twilight going to come give her Uncle a hug?”

Giggling, I practically ran over to him while he rose, just like always. “It’s good to see you again, Uncle Fancy! You never come visit me in Ponyville!”

“And you rarely come to see me, and you even know where my house is.” He swept me up in a big, warm hug that smelled like his awesome musky cologne that he’d been wearing for years.

After our hug, I gave him a look. “You act like there’s going to be more than one Library slash tree in a small town.”

“Fair point.” He conceded. “However, I’m sure that this isn’t solely a social visit.” Fancy glanced toward Fluttershy, making me remember that she was there.

“Oh! I’m sorry! Uncle Fancy, this is Fluttershy, one of my best friends. She and I came to talk to Auntie Fleur about some stallion troubles I’ve been having, but we thought a stallion’s advice might be good too.”

“Forgot that horrid Diliculum mare sent her off?” Fancy asked amusedly.

I blushed and cleared my throat. “W-Well… Maybe just a little.”

“Lighten up, my dear little filly. We’ll not hold something like that against you, though I do have to ask out of concern for you as to what stallion troubles you’ve been having.” Fancy said, waiting for me to get everything out in the open and asking a few questions here or there to clarify some things that apparently weren’t making sense. After I was finished, Fancy said, “Twilight… Does… Hmm… How should I ask this…? Has Max told you anything of his past?” I told him what I knew and Fluttershy helped me get through some of the parts that were too bad to talk about without going into detail, but still getting the point across. “... Well, Sparkle. I have good news for you and bad news for you, and you’re not going to be happy about the balance.”

I gave him a worried look. “What do you mean, Uncle Fancy?”

He took off his monocle and picked up his pipe, eyeing it for a few long moments that seemed to stretch on forever. “... Have you teleported Max before?”

“Um… I think so? Do you want me to bring him here? Because I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“It may save his life, dear niece. It truly might.” Fancy answered gravely.

Max was on the balcony with us within two shakes of a lambs tail, nearly walking into a chair as he jolted and whirled around looking at his surroundings. “What the- The fuck?”

“Max, it’s okay.” Fluttershy said softly.

He spun around again and laid eyes on Fluttershy, Fancy, and myself. “... You gotta be fuckin’ kiddin’ me, Cherry. Seriously?

I looked down, but then Uncle Fancy cleared his throat. “I believe I’d appreciate your presence in my home a little more if you softened your tone.”

“Trust me, ‘Stachio, I don’t wanna fuckin’ be here. Show a guy the door and he’ll be on his way.”

Instead of showing Max the door, Fancy gently took Fluttershy and I by the shoulders and showed us to his study, which was the room connected to that particular balcony. I think there were two others on the house, though one could technically be called a deck. Either way, when Fancy made me leave instead of Max, I was ready to tear his tail in half and give him another one, but those darn baby-blue eyes of his shut me up and made me wait with Fluttershy, the glass door and floor-to-ceiling windows being the only thing separating me from the source of the detached ache I was feeling near my heart. I knew that the pain had to be Max’s because it was tempered by anger, and I don’t anger easily most of the time.

Although Fancy told me to stay put, that didn’t mean that I was obligated to just standby and do nothing. I’d been tempted to cast an Eavesdropping Spell so I could hear what they were saying, but but when Fancy started talking, Max nearly interrupted him until Fancy raised a hand, stopped talking, and said a few words before stopping. The look of confusion on Max’s face was soon replaced by a look of pure defiance and resentment; ice cold and harder than stone. He said four words that I couldn’t make out, but when Fancy replied, ice turned to fire and Max glared at me through the glass, which was pretty awful because I didn’t know why he was even madder.

Max didn't take his eyes off me until Fancy stepped in front of him, which was a move I was really thankful for. I wasn’t nearly as thankful for Max trying to leave, being stopped, and then throwing a punch at a former Guard Captain. My poor, confused, hurting coltfriend didn’t stand a chance as Fancy took him down effortlessly like he’d done with a thousand stallions that’d had one too many and made him stay down. Max put up a struggle, but he just wasn’t a match for a trained guard, let alone a former Captain, and that wasn’t even mentioning the height and weight advantage Fancy had. Or the fact that we’d still yet to go and get him toughened up, now that I think about it. Wow, Max makes bad decisions...

Fluttershy and I rushed outside in time to hear Max shouting his head off. “-ucking cock-swallowing blue-balled faggot-fucking dick-fucking shitstained-” Fancy pinned his arms above his head and shut his mouth for him, which was probably for the best.

“Twilight, Fluttershy: go back inside.” Uncle Fancy said calmly.


I looked at Max then back at Fancy. “Wh-What’s going on!?”

“Max is facing a hard truth and denial is easier than acceptance. Go back inside, fillies.”

Fluttershy started pulling me back in and gave me a wink as she did so, making sure that I went in first so she could follow me and close the door. Kinda. As little as one might suspect it, Fluttershy has a really sneaky side to her that usually leads to tasty gossip, so after she closed the door, she pushed it just a little to open it up again, and thus we were officially in the know, and I couldn’t be blamed for using dirty, sleuthy Magic because Fluttershy is cleverer than me.

“Max, I’ll ask you this one more time, and we both know that a Truth Spell isn’t something that can be easily defeated. Are you suicidal?” Fancy lifted his hand from Max’s mouth and got spit in his eye for his trouble.

Fuck. Off.” Max spat hatefully.

Fancy wiped the saliva off of his face with a handkerchief. “My wife resisted too, at first. She didn’t want help; didn’t think she needed it. Fleur thought that as long as she did her job and kept her mission in mind, she’d be fine. She nearly died before I sealed the lacerations she gave herself, my lad. Would you put Twilight through that pain?”

“What part of fuck off is so unintelligible to you mutant fuckin’ animals!? Leave. Me. ALONE!

Slowly, Fancy tugged the loose sleeves of Max’s shirt up and snorted. “I see you’re handling your troubles well. Turning the internal into the external to fight a battle you can see, no?”

Ya don’ fuckin’ know me, yeh don’ own me, and I an’t none a’ ya business, so bugger. OFF!!!

Fancy slapped him hard enough to rock Max’s world, and Fluttershy had to stop me from going out there and making good on my desire to tear his darn tail in half. Nopony hits my gosh darn Max and gets away with it, but apparently Fancy’s tactic worked because Max calmed visibly, though that might have just been the mild head trauma he’d probably just received. After a few minutes for Max to get his bearing, Fancy let him up and offered him a hand. “Max, the only way that you can get over this is by confronting it. Suicide is a chasm that you cannot walk around. It is one of the single most back-breaking burdens a stallion can carry because he carries it alone, and there’s no way for anyone else to help with what you feel inside. These wounds you give yourself only leave ugly scars; marks of pain that you don’t have to bear. You seek your own blood, but you refuse to crack your heart open completely and have your moment, and I’m sure that you’re certain that your heart is beyond saving. You are wrong. You are foalish. You are an idiot. I see within you a stallion worth my time; one that my words can reach. Within you I see a warrior not unlike myself, but there are a thousand differences in the battles we’ve fought. However, be that as it may, a wise word from an older stallion isn’t something a stallion such as yourself would ignore, so I bid you to hear me now, Max: Killing yourself is not the answer. Self-harm is not the answer. Isolation is not the answer. Surrounding yourself with ponies who care about you is a piece. Letting others help bear your burden is another. Finally, making your own peace with the tragedies of your life, letting go of the past, will bring you more happiness than you could ever know.”

Max stared at him before making a rude gesture. “I stood. I listened. Kill yourself. I’m out.” And with that, he stormed off of the balcony, but he paused when he went to open the door and it closed. His eyes went from the handle to my tear-streaked face, then to Fancy.

He let himself into the house, but when I went to say something, no words came out. Nothing I could say was going to fix Max wanting to die… For the second time that day, Max glared at me, but this time there was contempt in his eyes. Misplaced though it was, it was there and it slapped Fluttershy when she was hit with his gaze as well. “Neither of you say a fuckin’. Word.” He snarled. When Fluttershy and I didn’t say anything, he walked out of the room and slammed the door behind him hard enough to rattle decorations, paintings, and skew a particularly nice portrait that I really didn’t care about at the moment. When Max left, I didn’t start wailing and bawling or anything. I just… I felt empty. I felt like I’d failed Max when he’d needed me most by slapping him in the face with Human Day and then betraying his trust.

“... Twilight…” Fluttershy whispered.

I cleared my eyes. “I’m going after him.”

“That’s a bad idea…”

I looked at her, my resolve as strong as my love. “If I give up on Max, then who the buck does he have left?”

Fluttershy dropped her gaze after a few seconds and I turned on one hoof to leave, but Uncle Fancy caught me in his foyer before I could get out of the house. “Sparkle! Twily! Wait!”

I paused long enough for him to catch up and started as soon as he stopped. “Max is in pain and angry. Now’s not the time for talking, Uncle.”

“Then we’ll walk and talk. I assume you have a Clairvoyance Spell already going?”

I nodded. “We’ll find him soon enough.”

“I daresay we’ve made a proper mess of things, my dear filly.” He sighed.


“I do apologize for my part in this mess-”

“I brought him here. I should have left him alone when it was manageable.”

“... What do you mean by that, Sparkle?”

“I can feel what Max is feeling. He’s not feeling anything.”

“That sounds as though it should be a glorious factoid.”

“It means that he’s detaching and might not be safe to be around much longer. Max carries weapons on him at all times and he’s already proven that he’ll lash out at a pony that isn’t me.”

“Then it would seem as though we’ve made a serious blunder.” He muttered gravely.

“Max isn’t that kind of pony. Not yet.” I said darkly, not quite knowing why I was saying what I was saying until the words left my mouth and memories pieced themselves together, fragments of wishes and dreams that had never come to fruition. “In a different life, Max and I were married. We dated a long time before that. There was a point in Max’s life where he changed and never really came back, and that was when he went to Gryphonia on the same mission Celestia tried to send him on. He killed somepony for the first time there and I always knew that life would have been easier if I’d saved him before then. That’s why Diliculum sent Fleur after Max. Why I sent her. Max is a pony that needs redemption, but we can shorten his road by catching him now.”

I’d sped up as I walked and now was practically trotting along, trying to find Max before he did something dumb since it was a day for dumbness to strike like a thunderstorm. Sadly, I found him in the center of a crowd in a shouting match with two guards, a blond stallion that I didn't recognize from behind, and a few mares that were standing next to the blonde stallion. Fancy and I wasted no time in barging our way through the crowd with my Uncle in the lead so we would actually make progress. Once we were in the middle of the crowd, Max’s voice became much clearer.

“Are fucking kiddin’ me!? This prick and his little whores just threw their fuckin’ trash at me!

My blood ran cold.

One of the guards scoffed, not having noticed that anypony had entered the circle. “He’s a Prince and you’re not even a Pony. Where do you think you are, Monkey? Giraffrica?” He and the other guard chortled as the one who hadn’t spoken shook some shackles.

“Are you gonna make this difficult, Beanpole? ‘Cause I saw you get slapped by one of the mares and almost fall over!

So many of my kinsponies just… They laughed. The awful things they said…

“A stallion getting slapped around by a mare? How quaint.” I heard somepony say.

“I’d like to give the gal a pat on the back! Extra-Ponies don’t belong in Canterlot of all places!”

“Psh, I rather suspect he stole those rags!”

“If he shakes any harder, he’s going to start an earthquake! Peasants! Especially the Muck-Blood, Nomags. You’d think they’d learn to stay in their own Tartaric countries and leave the good stuff to the Ponies who deserve it.”

The blonde stallion didn’t seem to care about what was going on anymore so than either of the guards, which is probably why he sounded so bored when he asked, “When are you going to slap shackles on this walking pile of…Ick? Your job is to take out the trash, isn’t it? Garbagepony?

As little as that ninnified little nag didn’t wike being cawwed a bad name, he still followed Prince Blueblood’s orders because he chose the wrong job.

However, everypony present picked the wrong day to be blatant racists. “Enough!!! I will have NO MORE OF THIS!” Heads turned as the founder and primary shareholder largest Real Estate firm in the Western Hemisphere, aforementioned former Guard Captain, Solar Knight, and well-known personal friend of her Royal Majesty Princess Celestia herself strode forth and gave Max an upward nod for some reason. I got an eyeful of the rage on Fancy’s face, and unlike Max, it was super sexy on him, like… Ponies don’t purr, but the memory is a keeper. I wasn’t worried about it at the moment because I was busy being livid myself, and Fancy carried on with, “You absolute dis-graces! All of you. Every. Single. Last. One! This? This is Equestria!? This is the home of Harmony!?” Heads bowed and ponies shuffled their hooves while I kept on muttering to myself. Fancy turned toward the guards and pointed a judicious, carefully placed finger at them. “You. Resign. It’s highly. Advised. Because I already know your names, Dusty Wind; Supreme Scheme. You’d better pack your shit-!” Fancy nearly flew off the handle and calmed himself with a stroke to his mustache, the guards in front on him wide eyes with their tails tucked between their legs. Trembling slightly, he picked up where he left off. “Pack your shit tonight. You will never find work in a major Equestrian city again, and you can thank the hatred in your own hearts for that. You don't deserve Her Majesty’s Seal.Take it. Off.

When Fancy finished speaking, so did I, but I didn’t really plan on saying anything. “Tua
ossa eorum quasi favilla erit, et defluet venas ejus. Et scindite corda vestra et anima, caro tua te resiliet. Tuum erit sanguis eorum coram te: et char. Diliculum judicii est: Black Hole tuae robigo” I had no clue what any of that was supposed to mean, but I did know that I was something that I’d never been before:


Celestia later told me about what I’d actually said when I wrote her a letter earlier and
what it meant, and the best translation is: ‘

Your bones will rot and your veins shall wither.

Your flesh you'll rend and your mind shall splinter.

Your blood will char and so shall your sight.

Diliculum’s Judgement: Black Hole Blight.

It honestly sounds about right. And the sad thing? I think I don't think a single Pony besides Fancy, Max, Fluttershy, and myself had enough kindness in their hearts at the moment to avoid the curse. After Fancy and I finished speaking, I doubted that anypony in the crowd was smart enough to know that it wasn’t just some bug going around, being extra mean: it was a Blasphemous Hornet of some kind, though nopony knows why it’s called that. Celestia explained that that the sting marks on Blueblood’s neck look like one, but Blasphemous Hornets don’t have Potent Curse potential. I learned that I and whatever thing I made was both do, and that I was more than willing to use it against dumbbucks who thought Max was inferior to them, thus, my little Bug Buddy was hopping from heckler to hateful heckler. As I came up behind Blueblood and his dimbos (Dim-Bimbos. I thought it was clever.), I cast a speedy little Quicksand spell around their feet and a Creepy Crawly Charm on Blueblood’s mane so it would attract every insect within miles.

I mean, what part of don’t buck with Max is so hard to understand? It’s not a hard concept, yet it’s like some cosmic being goes out of their way to throw adversity and strife his way, and I’m sick of it! I’m the DAMN Vanguard now, and I proved it by teleporting in front of Blueblood, spun around, and gave a one-hoof buck as hard as I could with Magic to boost it to his alfalfa sprout and nightshade berries, which almost got me dirty because he didn’t manage to hold his lunch for much longer after that. I backed away making the same gesture Max had made to Fancy early with both hands, somehow stopping next to Max. Or maybe he walked up to me. Who knows?

… Well he knows, but I’m not going to ask right now, darn it!

Either way, the crowd hurriedly dispersed once two of the most recognizable faces in Canterlot made an appearance on behalf of the alien Ponies just couldn’t seem to accept or even tolerate. Blueblood himself even backed down to Fancy since Blueblood doesn’t actually have much influence or power, which I blame on him being unbearable. Speaking of the Butthole, Blueblood and his cadre of empty-headed, Dummy-Dummy-Big-Fat-Tummies; Just-Bright-Enough-To-Be-Like-Bunnies, blind foals of mares left without Fancy being able to lay into them. Fancy and Blueblood had never gotten along in general, and it was because they were around equal standing, despite the polar calibers of the men.

Whereas Fancy’s power came through respect, self-made wealth, and his own Pony Capital, Blueblood was just some trumped up orphan that had a title because he was a good enough colt when he was young. Fancy made his own name by the sweat of his brow, gouges in his hooves, and his own wit, while Blueblood’s only mentionable accomplishments were simultaneously infuriating everypony he came across while making peaceful ponies wish that they were more violent. Nothing made me sicker to my stomach than a pony who thought they were better than somepony else for any reason. We all put our pants on one leg at a time when we put them on, unless we’re super lazy and use Magic, but we shouldn’t be that lazy.

Once everypony was good was good and gone, Max said, “It wouldn’t have stuck.”

Fancy looked at him and snorted. “Not if I would have had anything to say about it, and I doubt that Celestia herself would have let the guards who arrested you leave with their armor. Max, as a Pony and a former Guard Captain, nothing brings me greater shame than what you’ve been subjected to since you’ve been in Equestria if your reception has been anything like this.”

“For better or worse.” My coltfriend replied, sighing. “Look, Sir-”

“My name is Fancy Pants, my dear lad, and I’ll have to beg your forgiveness for my first impression as well. We Ponies do tend to become a little pushy when it comes to heavy, aching hearts. If you can extend forgiveness unto this sometimes bull-headed old stallion, then I’d happily wipe the slate clean and begin anew.” Uncle Fancy offered him a tight, worried smile.

Max puffed out a breath of air through his nose and cracked a little, genuine smile, extending a hand to Fancy. “Sparse and rare is the man who cares enough to bow his head first. Thank you, Fancy Pants, and if you ever need anything, don’t hesitate to call. And as far as the Shitheads go-”

“They’ll be taken care of in their own time.” I muttered ‘evilly’ according to Max.

How do I know he thought it was evil?

“... Sounded kinda evil there, Cherry,” he replied anxiously.

He winced when I looked at him. “You were already having a bad day and these bucking shit-sained nags thought it was worthy of their time to make your bad day that got worse turn even shittier. Shitty ponies deserve shitty days. You’ve done your best to cope with your surroundings and now your environment is starting to strike out at you. I’ll not abide by it.”

“... Right…” He nodded a few times. I felt a hand on my shoulder and turned to see Fluttershy with her eyes full of tears, but Max was the one who said, “Why don’t we all go find somewhere to get a bite to eat? I skipped breakfast and I should probably eat something.”

“I’d happily host our little group if a home-cooked meal strikes your interest.” Fancy offered.

“B-But…” Fluttershy started.

“It’s okay, Fluttershy.” Max snorted, shaking his head and smiling ruefully. “There’s… I guess it doesn’t hurt to see that Ponies can be just as shitty as Humans. In a way, I kinda needed this. Really proves that sentient life is full of dumbarses and arseholes no matter where you go, which is why you find the smart, kind, and loyal,” He looked at me, Fluttershy, and Fancy in turn with a crooked smile that was more of a smirk, “and keep them close.” His smile faded. “I turned my back on your kindness and consideration this morning, Twilight. I’m-”

I bounced and gave him a quick peck, surprising him. “Apologize to a pony who wasn’t warned against doing what she did. I was told that Human day was a bad idea, and you asked me to leave you alone for a walk that could have been over in a couple of hours for all I knew. I’m sorry I didn’t give you your space, and I don’t hold anything that’s been said today against you, Amour. I love you like the flowers love the morning Sun, and next time we have an argument, let’s agree to wait to resolve it.”

“A little time to cool our heads sounds like the best thing we could come up with. Thank you, and I love you so much, Twilight.” Max took a half step and gave me a light, meaningful hug that didn’t need to last long to get his point across. He didn’t let go as he said, “Fancy-”

“Max, my lad, ponies have evidently been pushing you all day. It’s no surprise that you didn’t take kindly to some old Fogey with a better mustache than your own,” Max touched the scraggly fur on his face, flushing a little, “and a more stylish mane to boot.”

My coltfriend harrumphed. “You’re full of crap, old man. I try to stay clean shaven, but I don’t have anything sharp enough to get a decent shave with.”

Fancy raised a brow. “I’ve a few straight razors I’ve no compunctions parting with. After all, they’re not exactly made for Ponies.”

I let go of Max and he asked, “If you don’t shave with a straight razor, then what do you use it for?”

Fancy blinked. “I couldn’t tell you, honestly. I just like them.”

“Odd, but I dig it.” Max turned to Fluttershy. “Hi, Flutters. Looking good today. Your mane is especially lustrous. Did you change shampoos?”

She tilted her head and her mane fell away from her eye. “... Y-Yes, actually… Th-Thank you for noticing.”

“No problem.” Max said, his mask piercing itself back together before I jabbed him in the ribs. “Ow! What was that for!?”

“You were about to start pretending to be happy.” I stated matter-of-factly. “The ponies near you right now don’t care if your mad or sad at the moment, Max. We just want to know that you’re okay and that you’re going to make it through the day.”

He stared at me.

“She’s right, you know.” Fancy said quietly. “... I’ve my own reasons for my fondness of you, but I wish to see you well, Max. I can sense a kind soul within you, though I see some of my own demons in your eyes.”

Max stared at him.

“U-Um… I-I… I-I j-just…” Fluttershy took a decent breath and said, “I-just-want-my-friends-to-be-happy!”

He turned to her and I saw a tear fall out of his eye while the corners of his lips started trembling.

“Amour?” I asked softly, clearing his tears.

He jolted when I touched him and barked out a laugh that sounded like it was nearly a sob. “Good God, you Ponies can sure take a guy on an emotional roller coaster. I need a fuckin’ drink.” He chuckled, shaking his head and smiling. It was a real, sincere, aching smile that just made me even more confused.

“Maximus?” I asked softly. “If you don’t want to talk about it, then we don’t have to, but why are you crying?”

He sniffled and cleared his eyes again, giving me his biggest smile. “Ainna soul gave a’ rats bloody tail whether Kaid Gadai saw another meal or sunrise on Earth. Not for half a damn decade. Took a Goddamn new planet for people to actually give a fuck for once.” Fancy placed a hand on his shoulder, I hugged him, and Fluttershy probably did something too, but I couldn’t see. “... I wasn’t gonna kill myself. Back on Earth, it woulda been an option, but I got you here, Twilight, and most of the time I just want to keep living so I can keep being around you. Still, I got weak. I let my heart hurt and I let it blind me and worry you all day, but… Human Day, or whatever it was… It wasn’t a mistake, Twilight. Today’s been full of lessons.”

It was on my heart, filling my lungs until it was brimming the back of my throat as I pulled away from him and cupped his cheeks in my hands, clearing his eyes once more, though pointless. “What did you learn?” I have to know! What could you have possibly gotten from this!?

“... I’m worth something.” He murmured, stunning us all into silence. “For the first time in… A while, more than one person wants me alive, and it’s not so I can break my back for ‘em.” Max covered his mouth and barked out a thick laugh/sob, considerable tremors shaking him before he swept my hands away and brought Fancy and Fluttershy in for the hug as well. “Thank you. From the bottom of my heart: Thank you. All of you.”

“Anything for you, Amour.” I murmured lovingly into his warm chest, his heart thudding inside. There was definitely an effort made into infusing a little bit of spare love so that it would amalgamate into my words, making them get into his brain and stick with their love-glue.

… That was a little suggestive…

Moving on, Fluttershy said, “I-I didn’t know you felt like you didn’t have any friends, Max… I-If I would’ve known, I-I would’ve invited you to smoke my tea!”

Max made an odd noise as Fancy said, “As I said before, my reasons for my fondness are my own for the time being, but perhaps once we become closer we can share tales and, if you’re stiff of lip and strong of stomach, a drink or three.”

My coltfriend burst out laughing and asked, “Do you mind if I bring bourbon?”

“Do you have a ten year-old Tenneighsea that you’d like to share, or shall I have the honor of providing the first drink?”

“Ah, sounds like a perfect age, if I’m not mistaken. Isn’t ten a little on the young side for brown?”

“It depends, but I find that the mid-range bourbons are often some of the better ones. Why, there’s a thirty bit brand that I discovered completely by whim and I’ve been serving it to my inner circle during our card games for some months now.”

“Ah, so a cigar bourbon then.” Max answered knowledgeably.

“That depends on what a cigar is, I suppose.” Fancy said amusedly.

“Tobacco leaves cut up and rolled with whole tobacco leaves.”

“... Isn’t tobacco poisonous?”

“I never said Humans were smart creatures. I only smoked marijuana back on Earth.”


“N-Nightcap N-Nip.” Fluttershy answered.

“That’s smokable?” Fancy asked confusedly.

“It hurts, but it’s a good kind of pain. It’s also extremely potent, so one or two good hits would do you just fine.”

“I believe Fleur keeps a stock of it for when her nerves could use some steadying, but I never knew it was that kind of herb.” My Uncle chuckled.

“Do you think she’d mind?” I asked.

“Do you think you could teleport her back and ask her yourself?” Fancy inquired, being a little bit of a butt about it, though it was okay because he was who he was.

I blushed and almost did it then and there before I said, “Do you think you could scry her to see what she’s doing before we do that? I mean, we are in public.”

Fancy ceded top my logic, but we still wanted to make sure that Max was okay, so I held his hand as we walked, and he and Fancy talked more than Fluttershy could have ever hoped to! I’ve never seen two stallions that were so different bond so quickly over stories that were so… Identical. Where Max told stories about his life on the harsh streets of England, Fancy had grown up in the worst town in the whole of Equestria: Slane. Both Max and Fancy lost their parents at an early age, which I didn’t know about Fancy, but the more they talked the more I learned about my Uncle that I’d never even thought to ask about.

My proud, noble Uncle had killed his first Pony when he was seventeen and was sent to Canterlot to be tried by Celestia. Since murder is a capital offence in Equestria, Fancy was either going to be sent to Tartarus to live his days in relative freedom until he died a horrible death at the hands of some demon, or he was going to see the inside of a cell until he just couldn’t go on anymore. However, the reasoning behind Fancy’s crime was justified, in my opinion, which was shared by most Ponies that had common sense.

While working a job for a client, Fancy had been sold out because the client turned out to be a guard who had his hands in business that shouldn’t be going on in Equestria. The guard tried to kill Fancy when he’d finished the job, but Fancy’d had to fight for his life and he even swore to Princess Celestia that he never would have been a guard like the one who’d turned his back on his oaths. Hearing that Fancy was being honest and was truly and genuinely enraged by the fact that somepony who’d sworn to protect and serve made the Princess ask if he’d like a chance to replace the guard he’d killed and take on the full responsibilities of being a Royal Guard, and Fancy, of course, vigorously snatched the opportunity and ran away with it. He ran so hard and so fast that certain things got dragged into his wake, like promotions, investment opportunities that eventually turned into starting a business of his own, and essentially an early retirement.

Max ended up telling Fancy about as much as Fancy had told us about him, and the way their stories seemed to line up was beyond coincidental. Kindred spirits had less in common than Max and Fancy, though the two were like different colors of the same gem with different cuts and polishes. They had some of the same base values, but they were still ponies that walked their own paths that just so happened to intersect at Twilight Junction. I couldn’t really decide to be happy or sad that Fancy had gone through some of the same things Max had gone through, but I did know that I was glad that my misunderstood, misguided, mistreated Amour now had somepony to ask for advice when he needed a shoulder to lean on if I wasn’t strong or knowledgeable enough to help at the moment.

When we got to Fancy’s estate, Max tried to tell my Uncle that he didn’t need the extraneous gifts like the fancy pipe and carrying case, the pocket-watch, normal watch, or the super-duper ornate straight razor, but he did accept a more plain razor that Fancy thought wasn’t really worthy of a man he wanted to groom to become his successor. Max was also press-ganged into taking a nice pipe that he christened with Auntie Fleur’s tea, after which he was much more receptive and smiley about, well… Everything. He’d often pull me in for a hug or a kiss on the cheek and just smile for a moment, which Fluttershy and Fancy thought were cute little moments. After Fancy managed to convince Max to spend the coming weekend in Canterlot so he could see if he wanted to delve into Fancy’s business, I remembered to get him to scry Auntie Fleur so I could bring her back. She was walking at the moment, and she had all her stuff with her, so I teleported her to us.

She made it another step before she whirled around and looked at me. “He disappeared, Twilight, I-”

“Celestia brought him back a couple days ago… I’m sorry, Auntie Fleur... I thought she would have brought you back too since you were going to be with him…” I admitted guiltily.

“Oh. No, I just knew Max wasn’t a Pony, so I knew who to follow. I never introduced myself.” Fleur turned and gave Max a warm smile while he returned it with an amused one of his own. “It’s nice to meet you face to face, Maximus. You know, you and your friend cut quite the figure while strolling through Farrier and the countryside whenever I caught glimpses of you.”

Max inclined his head and smirked. “And so did you, Miss Fleur. I remember you having to leave the Tanned Hide because you attracted a little too much attention.”

Fleur’s face fell and her shoulders slumped. “I was sitting behind you the entire time and you never turned around! Your friend never even glanced at me!”

“I could see you with the metal tankard and I could feel you looking at me. Crimson might not have noticed you until the border, but I visited your room, you know.” Max stuck his tongue out at her.

If Fleur could have been anymore floored, she would have sank through the one she was standing on. “... Mwah?

Max made a kissy face at her. “Mwah!”

She stared at him. “You’ve gotta be kidding me.”

“I figured you were probably there to see if I’d run off while Crimson was napping, but then I did some digging through your stuff and found that note from Fancy saying that Twilight hadn’t mentioned anything about me coming back to him. Friend of a friend is best in the end, right?”

“... I was an Operative… I-I… I won the assassination game against the toughest mentor we had…” Fleur said numbly.

Max shrugged. “I used to get by via not sticking out. Not being heard. Not being seen. I go where I want when the Sun falls, Miss Fleur.”

“I see…” She answered pensively.

“If I wanted to hurt you-”

“What’s your favorite color?” My Aunt interrupted rudely, her tone ice cold and brutal.

Max’s mask slipped on in the blink of an eye and he didn’t seem to react to what she’d said beyond that. Fluttershy’s jaw dropped as she heard the ever-elegant, ever-gracious Fleur de Lis snap at one of her friends for no discernible reason. I was a little upset myself. “Fleur!

She looked at me and raised a brow, but before she could say anything, Max said, “If you want a question answered, then it might behoove you to be a touch less whorsetile about it. The Mane thing is that I feel like poo on your shoes right now.”

“Whorse means Pony on Max’s planet.” I sighed.

“It’d buckin’ better.” Fleur said flatly, glaring at Max.

He turned to Fancy, away from me, before turning back to Fleur. “My favorite color is blue.”

What shade, genius?” She inquired, venom in her tone.

“Royal and navy.”

“Fair enough.” My bi-polar Aunt gave Max a pleasant, friendly smile. “Now what color does Twilight look best in?”

Max’s face stayed the same as he answered with, “She looks good in a nice wine-ish red, a lot of purples darker than her coat, and lavender. Especially lavender.” Fleur opened her mouth and Max kept talking. “Asking me is unwise, however. My bias is ridiculous. Twilight could wear checkers and polka dots for all the fucks I give as long as she’s happy with it.”

“Oh? Then perhaps you wouldn’t mind one more little question.” Fleur said, smiling sadly. “Who’s the most fashionable pony you know?”

“... I don’t fuckin’ know.” Max grunted, his mask slipping to show his irritation for the first time. “I’m not gay enough to care about much more than whether my clothes are too tight or too bright. As long as it’s comfortable, blue, and in shades of black to white, then that’s my wardrobe.”

Fleur’s jaw dropped. “Holy shit, you’re straight!

Max gave her a look. “No shit. I’m dating your niece, not your nephew. Either of ‘em.”

“You did mention doing gross things to Shining when you were trying to make Mom stop being mad at me.” I said, making a face.

“I said gay stuff to get your cute little bum out of hot water, so stop throwing me under the bus!”

Fleur nodded along with Fancy. “Your Uncle once pretended to be gay before we were married so mares would pass him by during certain seasons.”

“It also helped prevent a mare from nearly forcing herself on me.” Fancy stated frankly with little amusement, if any at all.

“Then I’ll pretend as hard as I need to besides doing the obvious.” Max chuckled awkwardly.

“What? You think kissing you wouldn’t be nice?” I asked, trying to bring a little levity to the situation.

“It’s not as nice as kissing you, but I appreciate that you’re willing to settle.” He replied carelessly.

I patted his chest a little firmly and gave him a disapproving look. “I’m well aware that you’re joking, and I’m not chiding you; It makes my heart hurt to hear ponies say self deprecating things, especially when those things are baseless or outright lies.”

Max bent down and kissed my forehead before licking it and kissing me again. I couldn't describe the sound I made, but apparently it was funny because everypony got a chuckle out of it. After wiping my head clean, I pouted at Max since it’s my first reaction, and I honestly need to change that, but then he said, “My sweet Cherry Pie with ice cream on the side, I don’t give two shits about what people say about me, and that includes myself. There are few people I respect enough to take their opinions seriously. I know me. I know what’s true and isn’t true. Nothing I say hurts me personally, my love, so don’t let it hurt you.”

I stared at him. “I hear you, but I still feel the way I feel.”

He snorted. “Figures. I’ll tone it down.”

I gave him a kiss for it. “Thank you, Max. I’ll try to keep the reminders of home to a minimum, and I have a plan for getting the Ponies of Equestria to accept you.”

Max gave me a pained look. “It’s going to involve me being in the public eye, isn’t it?”

“Oh, we can get you acquainted with the Canterlot scene if you’re willing to stay on your best behavior.” Fleur assured him.


Max started sliding that darn mask back on as Fancy said, “Let’s not dump everything on the poor lad’s lap, Dear. If you understood the shallows of the shoals in our so-called ‘fair’ city has shown to Maximus today, then I daresay we’d all be a little hesitant about introducing him to even more Ponies.”

“And if he’s seen with the Princesses?” I asked extra sweetly.

“Celestia doesn’t like me.” Max pointed out slowly.

“Yes, but there are certain things that I’m willing to do to make sure that as many ponies see her enjoying the side of you that you bring out for the ponies who offer you a little respect. Celestia just doesn’t like it when you talk too much, so show her some of the kindness you show me and you’ll have her at your back in no time!” The smile I gave him made him purse his lips, so I hugged his arm. “Come on, Max. You’re too old to not know how to play nice to somepony bigger than you. Celestia might not be a bully, but there are some things she just won’t tolerate-”

“You’ve committed treason and you’re not in Tartarus? You’re already special.” Fancy said abruptly. “If Celestia’s taken a liking to you by not at least imprisoning you, then it would likely be a small favor if a favor at all to ask for a chance at redemption. Perhaps an honest heart to heart?”

“I don’t do well with those.” Max said, withdrawing quickly.

I grabbed his hand and gave him a reassuring squeeze. Why don’t you try telling her the story about the Granny Gang? You seem to think that one’s pretty funny.”

“It made both you and your mother burst into tears.”

“Celestia’s old enough to know not to press an issue, and I doubt that she would be terribly hard to comfort with that big, goofy grin of yours.”

“I have better stories than that one.” He replied, warming up to the idea a little.

“And the Princess herself has many to share that might just surprise you. Many of us had humble beginnings, you know.” Fancy said tactfully.

Max gave him a half-smile and a nod. “They say some of the most successful people came from nothing… Guess it’s time to seize the opportunity.”

“All in due time, my dear lad. All in due time.” Fancy said warmly. “For now, why don’t we smoke some more of Fleur’s tea and share a few more tales, no?”

Auntie Fleur scoffed. “Just go buy more herbs if you’re smoking my tea.”

Fancy gave her a smile. “Oh, your Nightcap is actually a smokeable herb. It’s quite pleasant, and I plan on buying some for myself.”

She returned his smile with a wry one of her own. “Just leave me enough for a few cups before you empty my supply.”

“Oh, posh, Dear. You’ll have enough for a dozen cups if all goes well.” Fancy waved her worries aside.

Max chuckled and scratched his head. “So… I like turtles.”

He garnered some odd looks for that. Fleur asked, “What makes you say that, Max?”

“I dunno, I’d just like to ride a turtle one day.”


“Quite.” Fancy agreed, chuckling. “I’d like to strap a saddle on a raptor myself. Flight always has been a dream of mine.”

“You always were a fan of airships.” Fleur sighed dreamily. “Why, I remember our last trip to Bridleland~”

And so Fleur started telling a tale that I’d already heard, but it was one that captured Max’s attention from beginning to end, and for some reason, Max knew a lot about Bridleland, including the location of the capital, some of the attractions there, and he even knew about Stonehenge, which was odd because I didn’t have any books on Stonehenge readily available in my library since most ponies didn’t care to dive that deep into Mana Wells. His questions brought up a few more that were odd, but then Max started countering them with some of his own, like whether Manehattan was called ‘Manhattan’ or if Stallion Island was called ‘Staten Island’. Even the Statue of Harmony came up in his questions, but he called it the Statue of Liberty for some odd reason. Then he explained that Equus appeared to be a parallel world to his Earth since some of the names of places seemed to correlate, though he mentioned that they were ‘shitty Pony puns’ instead of just having normal names. I was a little offended, but he had a point when he mentioned that our cities did have Pony-based names…

After that little revelation, Fancy invited Max to come meet some of his friends and Fleur invited Fluttershy and I to go shopping with her since she’d been inspired by Max’s eyes, apparently. She was thinking of finding something that matched his eyes for me, but green isn’t my color, and everypony present knew it, so Fleur found us a nice little shop that had a nice selection, and she even had me take a picture of her and Fluttershy since she remembered that my friend had once been a smash-hit on the modeling scene, much like herself. However, I was still a little thunderstruck that my Auntie Fleur had been an Operative of all things, so I spent a fair amount of time asking her about that. She couldn’t tell me much about her business, but she did tell me to be even more careful around Max.

After we went shopping, Fleur and I teamed up to get our trio back to Ponyville, but I could have done it myself. Expending so much Magic was actually interesting for me, but I spent most of it just getting rid of my old clothes and filling my wardrobe with the new things that Fluttershy and Auntie Fleur had helped me pick out. Of course it had taken some time to get everything replaced and packed up to be donated to whoever would want them, but when I looked at my newly filled closet and drawers, I couldn’t help but wonder if Max would like some of my new choices. Either way, Fluttershy got her autographed photo and went home to her animals while Fleur and I went back to Canterlot to find Max cutting up and keeping the party alive in a room full of smoke, laughter, and stallions all playing cards. My coltfriend seemed to be the center of attention and his wide smile and goofy faces kept the older stallions laughing their heads off, though Fleur and I bore witness to some rather bawdy jokes. Once Max realized I was there, he gave me a giant smile and waved me over.

“Cherry! Your Uncle’s like, the greatest!” Max proclaimed. “He just keeps giving me his money!”

Fancy threw a chip at Max, laughing with ruddy cheeks. “If you hadn’t been loading us all up with drinks, we might have gotten a few rounds off you!”

“Come off it, Mate! You old fogies just can’t handle new blood!”

Another round of laughter sounded and Max took the blue chips from the pot, leaving the other ones before he grabbed a stack of green chips too. “Oh come on, young stallion! You can’t keep leaving the pot while taking your favorite colors!”

“Oh, I couldn’t rob you geezers blind in good faith! Besides, the game lasts a little longer this way.” Max said, smiling and grinning like he was having the time of his life.

I came over and gave him a smile and a kiss on the cheek. “Looks like somepony’s having fun.”

“It would’ve been sweeter if you’d stuck around, but we’re all doling it out, right fellas?”

There were a few chuckles and raised glasses/pipes when Max said that, so I chuckled and gave him another kiss. “Well, I’ll leave you to it, then. Don’t invite any strange mares over while I’m gone, okay, Mister?”

“The strangest mare in Canterlot is already here.” He said conspicuously, pointing at a light brown stallion with the most charming pink eyes. His little gesture caused more raucous laughter as the stallion himself grinned and thumbed his nose.

“And she still holds a grudge over it!” The fellow chuckled merrily.

Fleur and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes, taking our leave shortly thereafter to talk about what she’d been able to glean from Max so far, and she started that particular part of the conversation with, “Max makes friends easily when he so desires. It appears that his current mood and the first impression a pony makes with him matter a lot in how he treats them later on, but that stallion is subversive by nature, Sparkle. I doubt that he’ll ever be completely up front with you about everything, even if he makes an effort to share more of his heart with you.”

“It’s a good thing that prying and delving into strange subjects is my specialty. I don’t think it’s anywhere near as complicated a problem as we think it is. I can make Max talk about anything, or have him tell me all sorts of stories and distract him from whatever’s bothering him. I think he’s the kind of stallion who deals with things over time rather than confronting his emotions head on.”

“Hmm… Well, you know him better than I, surely. Perhaps having Max attend business school here in Canterlot would keep him busy?”

“It certainly would, but we kind of have more pressing matters to worry about than what Max is going to do for a living. Apparently Discord, the pony who used to rule the world, is supposed to wage some sort of war in the future, but he hasn’t made any kind of appearance so far.” I said worriedly.

Fleur pursed her lips and grimaced. “About that… Discord is…”

“Auntie Fleur, do you know something?” Trying not to let my trepidation enter my voice, I did my best to keep a straight face.

She nodded and sighed. “Twilight, Discord is busy trying to stick his nose up Celestia’s bottom. He’s trying to court her.”


“Only Celestia’s inner circle knows about it, but yes. Discord is just some goofy colt with a crush at the moment, Twilight.”

“Oh. Then… I suppose we should let Max see if he can start a career…”

“Wouldn’t it be interesting? A stallion with such a propensity for being a wildcard playing the game of real estate?” Fleur gave me a knowing smile.

I pursed my lips off to the side. “I don’t know if Max is going to be satisfied with a normal job, though. He’s kind of just a free spirit…”

Fleur’s eyes sparkled a sparkle that Sparkle wasn’t okay with. “Oh? A bit rambunctious, is he?”

“Well… Yeah, when other ponies like that are around. He’s usually pretty mild or happy to just sit and cuddle in between events, though.”

“So what makes you think that he’s more of a spirit than say, Fancy?”

“I just have a funny feeling that Max isn’t the type of guy who’s going to get satisfaction out of making deals and doing that kind of thing in general…”

“Well, you know how your Uncle was before he became a guard, you know. He was quite like Max in a way.”

“I’ve heard some stories, but I doubt that there’s anypony out there quite like Max.” I sighed. “For some reason, I just think he’d be better off doing something more… Remarkable, you know?”

“I suppose you know him better than I, but I’d suggest against letting Max do more work than he already has for Celestia.” Fleur said, smiling sadly.

“... I feel like you mean something by that.”

“It’s not like you to be so skeptical.” She replied worriedly. “Is something the matter?

“It’s just… Well…” I looked at the floor and bit my lip, unsure of what I should say from there. I mean, I trusted Auntie Fleur with my life, and that’s not something we Ponies say lightly, but telling her that the Princess might have been up to no was asking for trouble…

My aunt gave me a tender, caring smile that hurt to look at for some reason. “Celestia tried to use Max for that mission because he told you something he shouldn’t have, didn’t she?”

I was like a foal coal nabbing cookies straight from the jar, so I just nodded. “Uh-huh.”

“I knew something was suspicious about the whole thing, and with him having committed treason, it only makes that much more sense… That’s… Worrisome, but I can help you here.” She spared me one of her confident smiles and a wink that always made every stallion in the room flush red and half of their mares turn equally green.

All it did to me was make me smile and rush her for a good hug. “Oh, you’re the best Auntie, Fleur! What are you gonna do?”

“I’m going to ask Celestia to make him a spy.” She said, still smiling.

I let her go and patted her shoulder. “Oh, you’ve lost your hay-fried mind. I see.”

“Twilight, talent like his isn’t common.” Fleur protested immediately. “Haven’t you noticed that he seems to stay out of the center of a room? Or how he’s always prepared to make a quick movement? I mean, can you tell me how many times you’ve caught Max off guard?”


“And how many times has he snuck up on you without meaning to? I’m sure it’s happened before.”


“Has he ever come into your home without you knowing about it? Like, you never hear the door open or close? It’s like he was there, just waiting for his cue, wasn’t it.” She leaned in and gave me a conspicuous smile. “You know, I see too much of myself in Max for him to slip through my fingers-”

I jammed a finger in her face because I really didn’t like the sound of another mare latching onto my Max when he’d already told me I was the only one he wanted. “Touch my stallion and I will break you.

She leaned back and nodded. “That’s not what I meant, but I see somepony isn’t fond of sharing in any case.”

I blinked. “Oh. I-I’m sorry, I-”

Fleur smiled again, no offense having been taken, apparently. “It’s fine, but I was asking you if you would allow me to train Max. Let me teach him how to use the skills he’s most likely gained out of ill intent for the good of our nation.”

I considered it for a minute or two and wondered what Max would prefer to do before eventually coming up with the most fair answer I could think of. “It’s up to him. If he wants to live that kind of life, then I support him.” I sighed.

“I don’t think you really do.” Fleur ‘guessed’.

“Well, if he becomes a spy or whatever, he’s never going to be home!” I pouted. “The whole point of loving somepony is having them around so you can love them!”

“And you visit your parents how often?”

“Th-That’s not the point!”

“When’s the last time you saw Shiny?”

“Shush! They don’t visit me either!”

“Which is a shame, of course, but still Twilight. You’re used to not seeing your loved ones every day, and it’s not like Max can learn all of Fancy’s business from Ponyville.”

“I can teach him anything he needs to learn! It wouldn’t be a problem to buy the books we wouldn’t have-”

“Not everything can be learned from a book, Twily.” Auntie Fleur sighed wearily. “If that were the case, there would be a great number of books on how to do every little thing as efficiently.”

“That’s a terrible argument.” I huffed.

“But not inaccurate.” She chuckled. “Let’s give the colts a few more hours of playtime before you drag Max back home, hmm?”

As if on cue, a peal of raucous laughter sounded and was muted in a couple of seconds before steps could be heard coming down the hall along with some stallion and Max’s voices. “... but it’s not like I have to take care of it, right?”

“You’re a bloody bum and a piece of shit if you don’t. Just from the way you described things, you took advantage of a starry-eyed girl, Mate. Not a woman.” Max answered frankly.

“Tch, the fellas would agree with me.” The deadbeat answered as Fleur tapped my shoulder and lead the way to do a little eavesdropping.

“Cool, let’s cut this smoke break then.” Max said cheerfully.

“I-I mean, weren’t you ready to-”

“Why’d you bring this little tidbit to me, Silver Shekel? The chaps were takin’ the piss in every direction and seein’ how far we’d splash, but you held onto this one. What’s the deal?” We stacked up on the wall in time to see Max take a step back from Silver Shekel and offer him a cocksure grin that I kind of wanted to slap some tape over. If anything than to just prevent him from attracting more trouble.

‘Silver Shekel’ didn’t like Max’s question. “Like you don’t already know! With all the mares you’ve laid and left-”

“None of them were ever pregnant the next time I checked up on them. Man’s paranoid.” Max scoffed. “Look, Silver, you’re a decent guy. Do the right thing and try not to let your head wander-” My coltfriend deftly sprung out of the way of Silver’s punch.

“Like a Non-Pony knows what’s best for a foal! I bet you carnivore stallions just eat the babies if you can, don’t you!?”

Max laughed. “Sure thing, Mate. We also like to get together and stick eggs under our nutsacks and wait for ‘em to hatch!”

Silver wasn’t happy with Max’s answer, but Fleur was even less pleased with the next punch he threw. Max still wasn’t getting hit, but he also wasn’t trying to fight back. “Stop namby-pambying around and fight like a stallion!”

Max spread his arms. “Are you sure you don’t want to rethink that? I fight kinda dirty.”

The Butthead didn’t rethink anything and sent another punch at Max, but I wasn’t going anywhere soon because of Fleur’s grip on my ear. When I tried to look up at her, she winked and put a finger to her lips, urging me to watch and learn rather than interrupt like I wanted to do so badly. When I turned back to see Max throwing a punch of his own, I saw that his actually connected, and it looked like it really hurt, but more on Max’s end than Silver’s. Ass of the year shook off my coltfriend’s punch, but the kick between the legs made him double over, bringing his ears in reach for Max to grab them and use them as leverage to start kneeing him in the face. After Silver started to fight back with a little less enthusiasm, Max wrenched his head one way, letting go so he could kick Silver away. I barely noticed that Fleur had let go of my ear until she was halfway down the hall, walking as if she owned the pl- oh. Oh yeah. It was her house. Right.

Anyway, Silver decided to get on his hands and knees for a little bit and Max was happy to start walking away, coming face to face with Fleur. “... Man, fuck.” He groaned. “Please tell me-”

“Why did you assault an innocent pony?” Fleur asked icily.

I gaped in outrage as Max raised his hands, his left hand shaking violently, “Miss Fleur, please, let me explain.” He paused. “Okay, Silver thought-”

“Don’ listen ta that Ass! I tol’ ‘im I hadda fam’ly ta take care of an’ he tol’ me ta leave dem for some hussy!”

Max turned to him, snorted like he was hocking the grossest of lugies, and spat. “If that got on your floor, I’m only half-ass sorry right now. That piece ‘a shit’s lying through the teeth I shoulda broke.” He replied, his tone colder than Fleur’s.

“No, he’s speaking the truth. My spell hasn’t gone off.” Fleur said airily.

Max set his hands in front of him. “Then cast it again and listen when I tell you that Silver Shekel-”

“He’s lyin’!” The now-ambulatory Silver cried.

The door to Fancy’s game room opened and he himself along with a couple of other stallions stepped into the hall, seeing Silver, Max, and Fleur all standing in their current states. “Now I do say, Darling, what’s all this commotion?” Fancy asked.

“This Monkey attacked me!” Silver shouted.

Brows raised and looks diverted to Max, who waved calmly and blew some air between his lips. “So am I going to get to say that this deadbeat piece of trash got some mare knocked up and intends to leave her stranded, or what?” He blurted.

“That’s not the whole story!” The deadbeat defended. “She-”

“Opened her heart and you came inside, leaving another life therein.” Fleur spat. “Keep denying it. Even if you say that Max attacked you, I was just around the corner watching with Twilight the entire time.” She looked back, so I sprinted up to Max and stood beside him.

“I saw everything, Amour, and I’m so proud of you for trying to resolve it peacefully!”

He beamed and me and gave me a side-hug, keeping an eye on Silver Shekel. “I knew I felt like you were around here somewhere.”

I nodded before glaring at Silver. “You should be ashamed of yourself!”

“Indeed, Sir. To not only cheat on your notoriously faithful wife, but to have taken advantage of one of your own interns at that.” A scarlet stallion with an misty grey mane said judgmentally.

Silver’s jaw dropped and his mouth wasn’t a pretty sight. “You knew!?

“Everypony knew you’d been sleeping around, but I suppose Red Dawn is the only one who knew whom with.” Fancy answered flatly. “I suppose you’d like to perform your duties as a husband and a father now?”

Silver nodded and walked past Max and I, his head hung low and his tail between his legs. As he passed Fleur, she said, “Don’t think this will ever escape you.”

His shoulders sagged further after that, but it was hard to feel bad for a stallion who’d been thinking of leaving a mare he’d had snacks with since he already had a wife and he was planning to leave her with a foal too. After everypony watched him walk out, Max turned to glare at Fleur and ask, “Why are you so shady?

“Excuse me?” She asked, taken by surprise.

“I get that you were grilling me to get Silver to admit to being a Jackass, but why come after me in the first place? You said it yourself that you caught him red-handed, and you watched the whole fight: You could’ve intervened at any time.” He replied harshly. “Why the Hell do you feel it necessary to both toy with me and take my side?”

My Aunt rolled her eyes. “Like a twenty year-old has a hope of understanding a mature mare’s mind.”

“Bite and chew, Granny: your greys are showing.” Max answered flatly. I whacked him and he gave me a hurt look. “She started it!”

“Then be more mature than her and let it go!”

“She’s supposed to be the mature one! Why don’t women ever hold themselves to their own standards!? She literally said she was mature!

“Because the half of ‘women’ that made the standards are crazy.” Some random Flanksniffer commented.

I glared at the group of stallions, but Fleur interrupted before anything could go any further. “And with that, I believe it’s time to bring this gathering to a close, wouldn’t you say?”

“Oh, don’t be a bitter bother, Dear.” Fancy drawled. “Maximus has a fair point, though the next time he speaks to you that way, he’ll be given a right and proper what for. As for now, I say we let the matter lie and continue with our game. What do you say, chaps?”

I looked at Max. “I’d rather go home.”

He slipped on his mask and even his eyes wouldn’t give anything away. “Whatever you want, Twilight.”

As little as I liked the fact that Max was clearly unhappy, I didn’t want to stay in a place where he’d just got done fighting, and I didn’t want him playing around anymore since he’d just spoken to my Aunt like she hadn’t helped him at all. There was no remorse in his eyes whatsoever, so I asked, “You don’t even feel bad for talking to Fleur like that, do you?”

He raised a brow. “I often find that manipulative people try to use me.”

I glared at him. “Fleur is not manipulative!”

“... So you heard how I talked to her, but not what I fucking said?” His mask slipped away to reveal vexation and disbelief.

“It doesn’t matter-”

“Just go ahead and fuckin’ slap me, why don’t you? Spit in my face. Push me around, chain me to yer fuckin’ bed. You know what I’ve been fuckin’ strugglin’ with, Twilight? All damn day, ever since I realized that I’m fuckin STUCK HERE!?” He roared out of nowhere, startling everypony. “I been tryin’ ta come ta grips with th’ fact that I ain’t seein’ Humans again. Notta natural one. Notta one that’d be my kin.” Max let the ‘visor’ in front of his eyes fall, opened his heart in his next sentence and let his ache run through his voice. “I been comin’ ta terms with th’ fact that I’m just as alone as I ever been, but now more than fucking. EVER. My. Feelings. Don’t. Matter. I love you with my whole heart for no reason, and you feel the same way, but we’ll never be as close as we could be. We fight too much. If there’s another person anywhere near us, we start fighting.”

I looked at him, furrowing my brow. “Max, I don’t understand where all this is coming from.”

He sighed heavily and ran his hand through his hair. “Does it really hurt you that much to be away from me?”

“Well, of course! I’ve wanted you in my life since the day I met you, Max!”

“Then why do you jump to everyone else’s side whenever something comes up? When you do argue in my defense, you barely put up a fight, but the moment I start to raise my voice or point out how I was wronged, I’m wrong. So far, if it’s not a physical fight-”

“Shut up before I actually do slap you.“ I snapped, not liking the whole ‘You don’t take my side thing’ at. All. “You know what? I’ve put my tail on the line multiple times for you, and I’ve done just about everything in my power to help your ungrateful flank! If you don't want my help anymore, then fine! While you want to be mean to my family and tease my friends half to death, you can find another mare to take you in since you’re evidently so~o good at laying mares.”

Max shrugged and looked at me coolly, the expression on his face completely and utterly unreadable. “I assume we’ll talk in a few days?”

I glared at him. “And what good would that do? You refuse to open up, and nothing I do-”

“Twilight, how long have I been on this planet?” He asked, his eyes closed.

“I really don’t care. We have a lifetime of memories to back up the fact that every little thing I do for you is done with nothing but love behind it, and if you can’t appreciate me or what I do for you, then why should I keep doing things for you?” I asked, tears brimming in my eyes.

Max pinched the bridge of his nose and took a deep breath. “It’s not that I don’t-”

”Um, yeah, you seem to forget that I took your side against my Mom, against Rainbow-”

“Rainbow threw the first punch and I came right behind you and got your Mom off your back because, and correct me if I’m wrong here, but she was gonna whoop your arse like no tomorrow. Plus, Applejack was there to convince you to take my side.”

He had me there, but mares don’t back down during arguments, even if we’re losing. “You still live in my house-”

“Which the Princess herself said was hers and technically on loan-” Max said, shortly before he earned himself a slap I knew he could have dodged.

“Why don’t you just go and make somepony else miserable for once!?” I shrieked at him, somepony’s hand coming to rest on my shoulder while I sniffled.

Max worked his jaw, his mask not extending to his throat, his voice thick as he said. “Iffis whatcha wan’. Yea.” He backed away, clenching his jaw before turning and walking with his head held high.

“Look at him-” Some stallion started.

I whirled around, shoving Fleur off of me and jamming a finger in the direction of Fancy and his friends. “KEEP TALKING! I DARE YOU!

Fancy gave me a calm, warm smile. “There’s still so much love in your heart, Twilight. You wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

I’d turn them all into larvae.

He chuckled awkwardly and looked at the potential maggots. “And It looks like we’re just going to leave the chips where they lay and be on our merry way, Gents. It’s been a pleasure, honestly.”

There were a few muttered ‘faretheewells’ and whatnot as Fleur escorted them out of an entrance Max likely hadn’t used while Fancy came to calm me down further, my emotional state having decayed to the point where I was a sobbing mess, making a good point of it to cry out my frustrations onto Fancy’s shirt since he was kind enough to listen to my blubbering as it ranged from me apologizing to him, to me apologizing to (And then weeping on) Fleur, to wailing about how everything I’d said to Max was just hateful and unwarranted. I just wanted my Smokey Bear back so I could kiss him and cuddle him and tell him to stop fighting ponies in general, mostly so I could apologize for making him upset again. Fleur assured me that Max was at fault and that I should be at home, waiting for his sorry tail to come begging for my forgiveness, hopefully bearing gifts. Fancy, however, thought there was fault on both sides, and I agreed with him, but that made me cry harder and Fleur scolded him for not lying to me, which I teleported her to their room for.

When Fleur came back and I’d gotten the worst of it out, Fancy went off to go find Max before he got himself into more trouble since it seemed to follow him around. Fleur assured me that she’d go and help him look as soon as I got home and sent her a letter confirming that I was okay. I did as she asked and I assume she just went and did the thing she said she do because she said she’d do it and there’s no point in saying that you’ll do something if you’re not going to do the thing you already announced that you were going to do, which is why I wrote a second letter and sent it off to Max immediately, doing my darndest to make sure that he could actually read my scribbles.

… I guess that’s it for this entry. I… I don’t want to do a conclusion. I already wrote out every little detail of how I just added more thorns to Max’s crown. There’s no point in making myself hurt anymore…


Dear Diary,

Fancy and Fleur had to go and get Max out of jail last night, and the story behind it was just asinine. Max had been arrested for ‘Intent to commit Larceny’ by walking too close to an outdoor florist’s closed shop, which was just… Ugh. He didn’t even take anything, which is why the moment Fancy and Fleur could get his case expedited to be put in front of Princess Luna, which wasn’t exactly hard to do, they did it. Still, Luna isn’t known for being nice. She only just seems to not want to smack Max’s face off at most given moments, so I was plenty worried that she was going to bring the hammer down on my coltfriend, meaning I didn’t get to sleep at all until she reached a verdict and Fleur let me know what it was.

Max was going to do two experiments for Luna, and if he survived, then he would be given the right to challenge Prince Blueblood for his title, accrued wealth, and life.

My blood ran cold and I fainted when I read the words, the shock having taken a few moments to blur my vision and cause me to actually overload and just… Break. Luna, who was never known for being any kind of gentle or studious, wanted to run experiments on my Max. Spike came along with me in the wee hours of the morning as we made our way to catch the red-eye that we barely made on its way to Canterlot. My little brother was too tired to care about why I wasn’t talking, too busy napping to notice that I couldn't form a real sentence beyond ‘Luna has Max and now she’s not going to.’, but it wasn’t important at the moment. Not to me, anyway. The only reason I’d taken the train was so I could calm down and plot what was about to happen if she’d actually laid a finger on Max, but then I came up with too many things that make me want to lose my lunch over if I think about too hard. In the moment they all seemed like perfectly rational, perfectly plausible ideas that I was going to place into Luna’s head via brute force for once in my life, and I’m sure that’s what earned me a clear path through the morning traffic of Canterlot.

Spike egged me on to go faster, but I said, “We’ll get there when we get there.”

It was all the response he got for most of his questions, though that’s because they could be answered with the aforementioned phrase. If he’d started asking more needless questions, however, I would have happily muted him since I was in the mood to ruminate on the grave things I could do to Luna that would make everypony afraid of messing with my FUCKING HUSBAND! It wasn’t until this morning when I finally snapped: when words became too little to explain anything going on in my mind. I was on the warpath and Spike was my unwitting Lieutenant, there for the sole purpose of making sure that I didn’t kill Luna.

… That… That should make me feel terrible. I remember yesterday when it would have. I remember so clearly what it was like when my heart was still pure; before I was tainted by the full force of my memories… I… I need to talk about it. Not to a pony, but to you, Diary… I’m… I’m afraid of letting anypony know what a monster I am now… Just.

Okay, can’t throw up if you’ve already thrown everything up. Here’s goes

… Alright. So you can keep going, even if nothing’s there. Good to know, I guess. I don’t know how to say that I remember creating the world I live on other than just saying that. I remember everything, and I pulled the strings. I am the puppetmaster, but I’m not. If I extend my consciousness outside of the little bubble I’m in, not only do I lose my mind for a few seconds, but I get snatched into a room with a mare who looks like my Alicorn ancestor or something. The first time I saw Diliculum, saw myself, I broke down at what I’ve done. I… I can’t just write it down. I don’t want to look at the awful things I’ve done. All the people… the little babies and… oh my god…

I… I thought I could write about it. I was wrong, so we’re just skipping the rest of my angry walk until the point where I reached the Castle Gates. When I stopped in front of the guards along with Spike, they crossed their spears instead of opening the gates, so I teleported them to Cloudsdale and let them sort out whether or not they could fly without a care in the world. My heart was so cold, so caullous to the fact that if they hadn’t both been Pegasi, I could have very well killed those-

Yup, still going. I really wish I had a stronger stomach, but I can’t stop now. After Spike and I cleared the gates, he grabbed my hand and asked me what was wrong, which I replied, “Luna has my Max.

“Um… Yeah, so you’re walking slow and I run fast.” Spike said shortly before running a little faster than I would have to tell on me to whoever.

Instead of teleporting wherever I wanted to go to follow him or cut him off, I just gave myself a pair of wings and flew over his head to the Court Hall where Luna was making her exit. She calmly folded her arms in front of me and Celestia was quick to teleport to her side the moment I touched the marble floors. The nightly motif of the caste was surely stunning to somepony to actually gave a damn, with its picturesque architecture that’s stood the test of time for a thousand years, tales of great Ponies scattered throughout the artwork built into the very structure. However, I was staring down Princess Luna and she wasn’t backing down.

“We assume thou art here to make some sort of deal.” Luna said boredly.

I sensed the telepathic message between Luna and Celestia, but didn’t pry. “You could say that.”

There was another. “And thine proposal?” Luna asked.

“Sister, why don’t we just release Max? It was a petty charge in the first place: one that he shouldn’t have had to deal with in the middle of the night.” Celestia said, glancing at me.

Luna raised a brow, not taking her eyes off of the primary target. “Thou art not curious as to what Magicks Maximus could wield?”

“Experimenting on an unwilling pony is wrong.” Celestia urged.

The Princess of the Night shrugged. “Twilight Sparkle. Feel free to-”

“My husband for your continued ability to function in daily life.” I said calmly.

Celestia’s jaw dropped and Luna smirked. “It would seem that thou would be willing to do nearly anything to free thine lover, no?”

I tilted my head. “Do I need to splatter you against a wall? I wouldn’t mind.”

Her smirk fell and she rolled her jaw. “Alicorn or not, it would be unwise to challenge us, Twilight Sparkle.”

I shifted through space and time because I knew Spike was going to say something if I did as I told Luna I’d do, so I dipped on down to the point where Luna first got sent to the Moon and slapped Nightmare Moon around for a century, breaking her down and beating her senseless to the point where ‘bullying’ didn’t even come close to covering it. Not at all. Once I’d made sure that the memory was going to surface at just the right time, I went back to the present day, walked up to Luna, and slapped her like she stole from me.

“It’s not a challenge when I’m stating facts. You will die if you don’t give me back my Goddamn husband.” I replied, my tone flat.

Luna held her cheek and nodded. Apparently too stunned to hit me back. “Fetch him at your earliest convenience.”

I nodded. “Have you already done your experiment on him.”

She nodded. “Yes.”

“If he’s unhappy about it, I’m breaking your legs.” I stated.

Twilight!” Spike cried.

“Dear Heavens…” Celestia murmured.

Luna nodded again. “As I’d expect. I believe you’ll find that Max is happier for what I’ve done.”

“I would hope so.” I gave Luna one last meaningful look before I started walking toward Max’s general direction, Spike and Celestia dogging my hooves as I walked. They both tried to chastise me or something for being so brutally honest with my intents to Luna, but I was quite beyond caring.

Walking down to the dungeons was easy since Celestia was with me, and when I saw that Max was sitting in a cell, bouncing a ball of of a wall to keep himself entertained, I felt a little better about the current predicament. As it was, the cells in Canterlot don’t allow ponies to see outside of their walls, so Max was unaware of the fact that he had visitors until I had Celestia open the door so I could walk in. I could have easily made the door just not exist, but I didn’t want to abuse my powers for my own personal gain over Max’s.

He saw me enter the room with a flat face and his frown deepened. “... Can’t seem to stay out of trouble, can I?”

The small cell offered Max little time to prepare before I marched up to him and flicked his forehead. “You don’t make me miserable, you just make my life complicated. I’ll try to see your side of things before I take sides from now on, but I just want you to know that I love you, Max. If you need me to step back, I can kinda do that. The point being that I’m sorry for lashing out at you when you finally open up to me. Like,” I pressed my middle and index fingers against my temple before casually flinging them away,” “you understand that I don’t do the best of jobs when it comes to handling you in general. It took me years to learn how to deal with you and not become a super nag about every little thing, so let’s scale it back a bit, slow things down, and get some space between us, no?”

He rubbed his head and gave me a rueful, crooked smile. “I mean, apology accepted, and I’m sorry for accusing you of never sticking up for me. I was just straight up wrong, and I don’t show you how much I appreciate your generosity-”

I waved it aside. “The only way you know how to pay someone back when you don’t have the money or what they want is with favors and friendship. You haven’t found a way to pay me back other than being extra affectionate and being more open to the things I want to do, but honestly I just think we need to start sleeping in separate beds, for starters.”

Max nodded and tried to keep the fear out of his eyes when I said that, but there was something on his mind when he said, “That would probably help. Here’s hoping that learning Fancy’s business will give us a little more time to get away from each other so we can appreciate the time we spend together a little more.”

“And what makes your heart hurt when you say that?” I asked plainly, folding my arms and giving him an expectant look.

He winced under my cool gaze and said, “I mean, I just kinda like sleeping in the same bed as you is all-”

“If that was the whole truth, I wouldn’t have asked about it, Amour.” I cut him off rudely, but with kindness in my tone. “It’s the nightmares, isn’t it?”

“H-How did you know?” My future husband asked meekly, chuckling weakly.

“I remember a lot more now than either of us did yesterday. How are you feeling, Amour? Has Luna hurt you at all?”

“What all do you remember?”

“Enough to know that we were married longer than one lifetime. Max, are you hurt? Have you been experimented on?”

“I’m fine, Luna just took a trip into my head to see about something or other and introduced me to someone I should have already remembered to meet named Noir. Now what was that about ‘multiple lifetimes’?”

“We lived for longer than you can imagine, and I can purge you of Noir if you’d like. Give her back her real body and a bag of chips too.” I waited for him to reply.

“... Please do?” He ‘said’.

I stretched out a hand palm forward toward Max before moving my arm to the left. Noir separated from his soul before I snatched the Alicorn Amulet out of some crypt and fused the soul and the body back together, making myself an Alicorn on command. Max gaped while Noir stretched and limbered up, so I went over to kiss his forehead. “Whatever you want, you can have, Max. Struggling isn’t your thing anymore if you don’t want it to be.”

“... Cool.” He muttered numbly. “So…”

Noir yawned and turned to Max and I, Celestia slipping into the cell and making things a bit crowded honestly. “Hello, Twilight. Did you expect that I would find you?”

I raised a brow. “Time. Ah. I should have known that you would stick a piece of your Aetera to one of my aspects in the hopes that I would shuffle through this one. Quite brilliant, actually”

She sat down next to Max on his bed after giving me a nod. Max gave her an awkward grin and she gave him a loving, almost motherly smile. Maybe something like an Aunt or a mentor, most likely since Noir was, you know, Kaid Maximus’ Mistress. “Hello, Maximus. It’s… It’s good to see you.”

“Wotcher, Blackberry. Anyone care to tell me what’s going on?” Max asked, not sure of what to say.

Noir looked at me and I nodded, so she turned back to Max and kissed his temple before saying, “My name is Noir, and as I can sense that you remember, I trained you how to fight and honed your skills for centuries to come. You do not, however, have any memories of your Godhood.”

“Do what.”

“You were God, Maximus.” The midnight blue Alicorn murmured.

“I beg your fuckin’ tits on a whatnow?” Max giggled.

“She’s telling the truth. Diliculum, or in other words, an aspect of myself, has been blocking your memory so you don’t accidentally become a God again. You’re on this planet to live a happy life and die in peace.” I said truthfully, giving him a warm, loving smile. “I created this place just for you, you know. The alternative was letting you turn into a monster and destroy everyone and everything that ever existed, so you understand my motivations, no?”

“... Um…”

Noir wrapped an arm around Max slowly, her loving gaze never having changed. “You would not believe how long it has been since I have truly seen you, Maximus. You are greatly missed.”

Right… So… If I get all of my memories back, I destroy everything?”

“Not anymore.” Noir and I said at the same time.

She looked to me for an explanation since I understood it better, so I carried on with, “We exist outside of existence right now. By the time you die of natural causes here, my Aetera will be so worn out that I’ll join you in Heaven the second the universe collapses. I mean, if it weren’t for my power as the Maximus Omnium, we wouldn’t be talking right now.”

“Scary.” Max commented.

“A little, but we’re actually safe right now, so~” I gave him a reassuring smile. “Really, Max; do you doubt me on this?”

“I don’t really doubt anything other than your sanity, but it’s relative to the moment, honestly.” He replied loftily, humor being his emotional shield.

I sat down on his other side and put a hand on his leg. “All you have to worry about is what you want to do, Max. Other than leaving this planet, I can make anything happen.”

Noir gave me a worried look when I said that, but then Max said, “... Would you… Would you get rid of the memories of Graham?”

He wouldn’t look me in the eye when he said it, but he didn’t really have to for me to understand why he just didn’t want to think of what that horrid bastard did to him. I numbed Max’s wounds, but I left scars where I healed him on purpose so he would grow, which I explained to him. Celestia didn’t say anything as Noir and I lead Max out of his cell, collected Spike, and then teleported back to Golden Oaks so Noir and I could explain everything Max in earnest, though Spike was also interested in being completely blown away with godly facts and figures. Max took the news pretty well, all things considered, and actually managed to go to sleep right after Noir and I finished talking to him. Spike went out to avoid me since he thought I was crazy, leaving Noir and I to talk between ourselves for awhile.

As I poured some of Noir’s favorite tea, she smiled at me sadly and said, “It is good that we can do this in peace. Our company is not to be taken lightly.”

The weight behind her words would have bowled over a lesser God since she was damn-near as old as I was at this point in her existence as Time, but I was fine. “Truly. I’ve missed you, Noir. We’ve never been as close as we could have been, but we were perfect cuddle buddies.” I offered her a grapevine laden with my sweetest creations. Metaphorically, of course.

She nodded and her eye crinkled up with another genuine smile. “I should have known that you would take care of him. I can bring good news to Diane, for once.”

I nodded and sighed. “... Noir, I-”

“It is regrettable, but it was a decision made by a wise mare. The ramifications have been better than the alternative.”

“True, but what should I do now, Noir? I… I can’t really be with Max when I’m coated in sin and-”

“Did it stop him from being with you?” She asked abruptly, sipping the still steaming tea calmly.

I gave her a look. “At least you still give good advice.”

“At least you are still cute.” Noir chuckled.

I cooled my tea with a spell and conjured up a hemp-leaf cigarillo with the good herb rolled inside. After a few puffs, I sipped my tea and frowned. “So why did you come all the way out here, Noir? You know this piece of you is going to die if it stays out here long enough.”

“If I would have left a piece of my soul with Max in the first place, I would have been with him, here. I could have helped turn the events that started his journey in this world off on the wrong hoof to a positive result, but alas. It shall be a project for the coming days.”

“You plan on training him again.”

“... With your blessing, I would neuter the regimen.” She replied frankly.

I nodded. “Teach him his old styles. They were the ones most suited to him.”

“... And his old Magic?”

“... Maybe later. I still haven’t put any thought into that, to be honest with you.”

“I’d suggest giving him his True Theft back. It was truly remarkable as to how he managed to bend the rules around the power.”

“It was passable. He should have been able to do more, but then again, if he’d been able to do everything his Magic should have allowed him to be able to do, then he would have been a monster beyond all comparison.” Noir and I looked at each other before we both started giggling. “Ah, that was funny.”

“Was it not? Tell me, Twilight, would you support me should I try to be an active part of Maximus’ daily life?”

“Stop being taller than Celestia and you’ll be golden.” I chuckled.

Noir shrunk herself and dialed down her looks so that she just looked like a really pretty mare rather than a statuesque, perfect Alicorn of a woman. “How is this?”

“You look fantastic! Rarity’s going to be jealous.” I gave her a wink.

She rolled her eyes. “I refuse to be less attractive than what I truly am.”

“At least you’re modest.” I said drily.

Noir rolled her eyes and drained the rest of her cup before biting into it. “Modest and secretly the wealthiest mare on this side of the planet. Once I find my treasury, I will purchase a house here in Ponyville and offer Max a place to stay. If he accepts, then I will train him and allow him to visit you as he sees fit.”

“Just make the bits you need.”

“Is that not less sporting than just gathering my old wealth?”

“I’ve kind of already put it in the bank for you. I felt like doing it for a split second, so…”

“Thank you for the service, I suppose.” She offered me a freshly conjured bottle of wine. “Would you like to drink to celebrate my newly found wealth and Max’s soon-to-be safety?”

I made two glasses and smiled as she poured. “To lifelong friends that live longer than one should.”

“To peace and love, wherever we may find it.” She toasted in turn.

We poured our wine into our ears and drank it that way because it sounded better than it tasted, though we still got to taste it. It was rather pleasant both ways, but still. Noir left since there was plenty of time in the day to get everything she needed to get done and more, though she was going to get a hotel room for the next couple of days while she was moving into her home, whenever she found one she wanted. Meanwhile, I went off and checked up on Max while he was sleeping to find that he was perfectly snoozy except for the odd twitch and frown. He’d laid down in the guest bed like we’d agreed he would do for the foreseeable future, so I sat down at the foot of the bed and watched him rest more easily with my presence.

Spike eventually came back and brought the girls with him, but I wasn’t in the mood to explain why I’d been ready to obliterate Luna quite yet, so I promised to tell them the next day as long as they would leave me alone for the current one. Pinkie and Fluttershy were the ones who managed to get Applejack and Rainbow off of my case, oddly enough, but I still wondered about whether or not to tell anypony about any of the things I remembered. Even now I know that Noir is likely the only person on this planet who could possibly comprehend what I’m going through, though Max could have understood. If I was in the mood to ruin my own plans, that is.

With the girls taken care of for the time being and me having been able to get this written out, I think it’s time for a nap. There’s no reason to write a conclusion for this one, but there is some more weed that needs to be smoked before I can get a good night’s rest without Max in my bed. Rest, not sleep. Kinda screwed myself on that one. Oh well.

A Date To Remember

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Redux: A Date To Remember


Dear Diary,

I didn’t mean to make a drug so potent that it could effectively repress my memories as I enjoyed a mild buzz, but here we are. I actually managed to subconsciously make something strong enough to make me feel like me again, and the only thing I have to do is puff on the little ACC (Atomic Cannabinoid Converter) once or twice whenever I needed to clear my head and voila! I mean, it was probably enough THC to kill a regular person, or the heat would certainly do it, but fit was perfect for a Goddess on the Go™! It also meant that I dropped my power-level like a rock and actually managed to sleep for a full hour!!! I don’t know why that’s so important anymore, but I feel like it is, and it’s just wonderful~

Speaking of wonderful things, Max decided to come and give me a wake up call, though some of the sweetness of the moment was a little spoiled. My boyfriend had a pensive look in his eyes when he gave me a gentle smile and asked, “Wakey wakey, got time for eggs and fakey?”

“... Fakey?” I asked, the fog of sleep not really inhibiting me, oddly enough.

“It’s not real bacon, but let’s not get into that so early in the morning,” he kissed my temple. “Breakfast is already done, so you’ll have to meander a little later in the morning.”

I sighed and grabbed the ACC to nullify some abilities. “Mm. What time is it?”

Max looked at me strangely. “Are you seriously a vapist?”

My cheeks flushed as I exhaled through my nose. “It’s essentially a dab strong enough to put you in a coma.”

“That’s my Cherry.” Max chuckled earnestly, catching a contact buzz in two blinks. “Oh fuck.

“Whoops.” Was that convincing?

Yooo.” He gained a goofy grin and a certain gleam in his gaze while he started giggling.

“Max, how high are you?” I’m sure my concern was very apparent through me forcing myself not to laugh.

Aren’t we inna tree? We godda be hiiigh…” His smile melted and his expression went from dopey to wonderstruck. “Yooo! When’d we climb the tree!?

Oh, he was so fried.

As a mare with dignity and respect for her fellow pony, as well as love and admiration for the man whose eyes were currently ‘glowing’, I chose the high road instead of messing with him. “Max, we climbed the tree last night and got our bed up here. Would you like to climb back down?”

Like… Can we?” Max tried to stand and fell over. Thankfully he fell away from my night stand, but I wouldn’t have let him hit it anyway.

I popped out of bed and gave him a hand, but he could barely stand on his own two feet. Max swayed like a reed in a gentle breeze, going from side to side seemingly at his own whim. I held his hands tight so he wouldn’t fall, but I couldn’t help but focus on the fact that the only time I would most likely ever get to see Max so happy was when he was intoxicated. It turned my smile a little bittersweet, but I knew that we could still have fun if I decided to stoop just a little.

“Hey Ma~ax.” I crooned mischievously.

He smiled and stuck his tongue out at me. “Bwaaah!

I kissed his nose because he was being cute. “I’m gonna go take a shower~”

Max’s smile turned a little goofier as his cheeks flushed. “Heh heh. Smel~ly Po~ny.”

“I am not smelly!” I protested playfully.

My coltfriend wrapped me up in a hug and continued to giggle. “You smell like wine!

I briefly thought about that while I held Max still and considered the fact that I apparently smelled like alcohol and tasted like it to him. I wondered if he actually had a problem for a moment before deciding to let it be and go on about my own business. My business being how to get back at Max for calling me smelly.

“Hey Ma~ax. You can come with me to the shower if you want~”

He let me go and beamed. “I’m the best back washer!”

I let him go and went to go start finding an outfit for the day. “You can come in if you can get there yourself~”

Max stayed and swayed in his spot while I went about my duties, satisfied with the simply adorable outfit I managed to put together while Max was busy trying to figure out what he was supposed to be doing. My blouse and skirt combo wasn’t exactly awe inspiring, but I thought it was more than cute enough to be worth wearing. When I held it out for Max to see he said that he thought it was pretty cute, or something along those lines. I was mostly focused on the tent in his pants at the time, though I was wondering where he’d gotten whatever object was in his pants until he casually told me that he needed looser underwear as he adjusted himself.

After that, I really did take a shower just so I could wash the syrup off of me. I’d been planning to save it until after breakfast, but twenty minutes is quick, right?

We went down to go have something to eat, and when I say that, I mean that I practically carried Max around because he was so incredibly inebriated. He was very giggly, and upon making eye contact with Spike he cried, “Dude! It’s a super reptile!”

He gave Max an odd look before turning to me. “Is he drunk?”

I gave him a grin and a wink. “No, but he is cute. How’s it feel to be a super reptile?”

Spike looked at Max and puffed out a little flame, making Max’s jaw drop like a gold nugget through foal oil. My little brother cracked a smile and said, “Have you been messing with him all morning, or what?”

I shrugged. “I’ve only been teasing here and there. Nothing too bad.”

Aww,” Max muttered to himself as he wandered over to where he usually sat. “Food…

“What about it?” Spike asked, looking at Max’s half-full plate.

Who munched my munch, maaate?

“... You?”


My little brother chuckled and smiled. “I’ll make you some more if you promise to help me with my chores for a day!”

My handsome little Human gave Spike an easy grin. “Yeah!”

With a chuckle, my dashing little Dragon finished off his breakfast while I got Max sat down and had some of my own breakfast. Max ate slowly enough for Spike and I to get through some of our meals, though my brother only needed to eat so much to just be done since he’d never been fond of waiting people when food when involved. After Max polished off his pancakes, Spike made him five more and Max demolished all of them without missing a step for any bite, putting honey on some, syrup on a couple more, and jam on the last one, eating it like a crepe. It was odd to say the least, but when Max burped, I could hear the faint echo of a Dark Worm in his throat, so I cast a spell or two to make it fade into the Ether so Max wouldn’t eat us out of house and home.

I’d always wondered why Max ate so much when we were married, though the only reason I thought to rid him of the worm was because of my budget. It wouldn’t have hurt him or anything, but my bits. After Max was cured of his extra special tape worm, he was actually full from breakfast, so I had him go and find a book to read in the library while I finished with readying for the day. There was little I actually needed to take care of that was outside of the norm, but finding something that I wanted to do for the day was pretty pertinent until I realized that I had to take Max to Canterlot to have him turned into a ‘tough guy’ at the Institute. Sadly he was busy being too high to function when I came downstairs.

Max was looking at one of Spike’s comics while wearing gloves, but the thing was that he was reading it upside down. Mild amusement took me over while Max blearily stared at a couple of pages for a good few minutes while Spike giggled and asked how he liked the book so far. Apparently Max thought the pictures were moving, so I looked at what had his attention and saw that Spike was reading another comic about that team of super-heroines and that Mane-iac mare or whatever it was supposed to be. Again, I was a little lost as to how mane-tentacles were supposed to be a power, let alone something funny, but Max was stoned out of his gourd, so I gave him a pass.

He was easier to get moving than he had been before, though Max was still wobbly and wasn’t fond of the idea of leaving the house since it was hot outside. I made him do it anyway, and he didn’t complain for so much as a second when we got to the train station, which I thought was nice of him. Having him board the train and watching him enjoy the ride was fun in and of itself. By the time we got to Canterlot, however, I needed to hit the ACC again and Max was sobering up, so I made sure that he wouldn’t get my fumes again when I exhaled this time.

As we walked along, Max was happy to hold my hand and chat about random things from his past, like video games. I didn’t actually know what video games were, but when Max talked about their ancestors, the ‘Arcade Cabinet’, I knew just the place to take him. It’s not like we had to go to the Institute right away, though I was mostly worried about the general audience that Solar Eclipse brought in and how they’d react to Max. I wasn’t expecting a bunch of fillies and colts to exactly leave us alone, so my thinking was that I could just cast an Aversion Spell and get us through our visit unharassed if need be.

Much to my surprise, nopony bothered us when we initially walked in anyway, though the mare who ran the coin counter was a little more than just talkative. We eventually got away from her and Max started picking out two player games for us to try, often being the victor in whatever we decided to play, though I blamed that on his experience in the gaming industry. I’d never really been one much for the pew-pew ‘bling-bling-blop!’ noises in the first place, but even while Max was becoming more and more sober, he seemed to be having more and more fun with the place. He usually set a highscore on whatever he played, so we did attract attention after awhile, but it was mostly just fans of my boyfriend that were captivated by his skill and kept around by his jokes.

Once I managed to drag Max away from the games and pretty lights, it felt like a good time to go and grab a drink since the beverages in the arcade weren’t exactly Human-friendly. Well, Max mentioned that he could drink kale juice; he just wouldn’t enjoy it at all. We decided on a smoothie bar for our little diversion, and the Bonkers Banana-Date-Lime smoothie I got was tasty while Max’s pineapple-coconut was fine. I preferred mine, and so did Max, which probably played a part in how many kisses I got before we got to the Institute Guess who wasn’t complaining?

Older couples passing by often gave Max and I looks of envy, or rather, they seemed to be taking in the nostalgia and missed the old days. I made sure my Special Someone knew that I enjoyed spending the day with him, and while he was still riding a bit of his high, I started asking questions, stopping us outside of the Institute to take a stroll around campus. As innocent as I may seem, I can be a little subversive when I want to be. Instead of directly inquiring about what all he was feeling, I asked about some of his activities while he was away from me.

“Hey, Amour? What do you even do when you’re not around? Like, what did you do at Rarity’s while you were staying there?” I asked innocuously.

“Ah. Yeah. Um…” He blushed and my heart just sank.


“It wasn’t my fault! I swear, Sweetie Belle-”

I stopped him in his tracks. “Wait, what.

He blinked. “Um… I was helping Sweetie Belle pick out an outfit and she kinda flashed me?”


Kill her.

‘We’re not killing her! Why would you even go there!?’

Well, we’re going to have to have a chat. Little whorse has her claws in Spike too, I’m betting.

‘Shouldn’t we ask Max-’

If he liked what he saw? Yes.



“Twilight, I swear, as soon as I realized that I wasn’t looking at a pale person wearing a white shirt, I covered my eyes and left.”

“Why… Why haven’t you mentioned this before now?” I asked, a little confused.

“Mostly because I didn’t want you to misunderstand and think I was some kind of creep.” He answered with an uneasy look on his face.

“Okay, explain what happened.” I sighed.

“Alright, so Sweetie Belle asked me to go through her closet and her wardrobe for something that matched her coat from a ‘stallion’s’ perspective, right? So I go digging around and actually find a lot of shit that would go with her coat since she’s not exactly neon green, but when I turn around to hand her a dress I thought was cute, she’s stripping. Thus, I covered my eyes like so,” He put his hand on the side of his face, “and put the dress on a chair in her room. She never brought it up and I don’t want to remember, so I didn’t say anything about it.”

“I understand that, but… Don’t you think it’s odd that Sweetie Belle just started taking her clothes off in front of you?”

He bit his lip and raised his brows. “Thought it was just as weird as you and Rarity picking blouses and not much else to wear to breakfast.”

The blush that hit me came full force. “... You just assumed all Ponies were…”

“Less modest than your average Human?” He said kindly.


“Yeah, I really did. I thought I was just imagining things or just being struck by the culture shock, but here we are.”

I’m sure the look on my face wasn’t a pleasant one, but I wasn’t exactly mad. “Has there been anything else like that you can remember?”

“The incidences with you are the only other ones.” He replied confidently, nodding once.

I pinched him. “Shush! We don’t need to talk about that!”

“Oh, just relax and give into Max~” His chuckles were adorable as my mind fogged up.

“Sure. What do you want me to do?”

He gave me an odd look. “... Nothing?”

I stood as still as I could and stopped breathing, cleared my mind, and waited.

“... Twilight? Cherry?”

I nodded.

“... I didn’t literally mean nothing.”

I started breathing again and gave him an odd look. “... Why did I do that?”

“... Just relax and give into Max.”


He took four steps away from me. “Get over here.”

His tone was sharp and disapproving, but I didn’t really care until I stood in front of him. “Hey, that wasn’t very nice!”

Max’s brow furrowed in befuddlement. “I’m sorry, Cherry. Would you mind doing me just one more favor?”

I gave him a look. “I don’t think so, Mister.”

“Okay. Just stay right there, okay?” Max held his hands up and moved away from me.

There was no discernible reason for him to be acting so strangely. “Max, what are you trying to do here?”

“Just stay there, alright? No matter what I say, stay there.

I rolled my eyes. “O-kay.”

“Thank you. Please come here.”

“You just told me to stay away!”

“Just relax and give into Max.”

“Sounds good.” I smiled at him.

“... Come here,” Max asked shakily.

I started walking towards him without a care in the world until I was standing in front of him again. “... Wow, I am bad at following directions.”

Max shook his head. “... Do you remember giving me your… Privatewear, back when we were shopping to get you a new table?”

I flushed and pinched him. “Why are you bringing that up now!?”

He swatted my hand and said, “Because I said the same thing back then and you didn’t think twice. The phrase I keep saying before you blindly do the thing I said either has some control over you, or you’re fucking with me hardcore.”

“Hmm… Try telling me to do something that I don’t want to do and we’ll see if I do it,” I said, suggesting an easy test.

“Rub your horn on my chest.”

“... Why?”

“Nuzzle me.”

“I actually want to do that.”

“Just relax and give into Max.”

“That’s a good way to have some fun if I’ve ever heard one!”

“Hmm… Let me cop a feel.”

I swung my arms behind my back and presented my chest to him. “All yours~”

Instead of touching me inappropriately, Max kissed me briefly and said, “You don’t have to do that.”

I blinked and my face lit up like a Hearth’s Warming Day tree. “... Oh.”

“So I’m not going to say that anymore.”

Chewing my lower lip, I thought of the possibilities that might ensue if I let Max close off this interesting avenue. It was like one of my most well hidden secrets had come true, Diary! Well, one literally did, but you can’t prove that I actually feel that way so ha! With a little trepidation I replied, “I wouldn’t mind as long as you don’t abuse it…”

My coltfriend gave me a strange look and asked, “... Are you asking me to… Take control?”

“Well…” I squeaked out an awkward chuckle or two.

“... We’ll see,” He said neutrally. “Let’s take it slow as far as that goes.”

The little smile I gave him bolstered my own confidence. “I think I’d prefer that over jumping right in.”

“Speaking of jumping right in, I just came down hard and where the fuck are we?” He asked carelessly, like he hadn’t just realized that he was in a different town.

“We’re at the Institute in Canterlot, silly,” I giggled at him. “We can go inside and finally get you enhanced so that ponies don’t leave bruises by flicking you.”

“Oh, sweet. Let’s head on in then.”

“Alright! Here’s hoping Mom’s working today,” I said more to myself than to Max.

“If she is, then we’ll have to stop by and say hi. I like your Mum.”

“I think she likes you too, you just need to… Well… Smooth out a little and you’ll do just fine.”

“I’ll try to be smoother than chunky peanut butter.”

“That’s not hard to do, Amour.”

“I know, that’s why I set the standard so low. That shit was so smooth you can glide across it.”

“Oh, shush!” I tittered. “You’re so full of it.”

“And you’re full of smiles and kisses, but you don’t always share,” He grumbled bitterly, faking a bad mood and a pouty look.

I gave him an especially loving smile placed my hands on his chest. “All you have to do is ask, Smokey.”

He claimed his kiss. And then he took another since I was passing them out to Humans with green eyes for free that day. Smooching Day and Kissing Day were different from Kissy-Kiss Day and Smoochum Day because they’re all different days of the week with different traditions attached to them. For instance, on Kissy-Kiss day, Max gets two kisses for every one, and on Kissing Day, every kiss must last at least three seconds. It’s a very difficult business to run, you know!

Anyway, we strolled into the foyer of the Institute and I loved the sight of the millennia old artifacts that were on display as much as I had the first and last time I’d seen them. Max, on the other hand, was rather nonchalant about the third air balloon ever known to have flown, the Axe of Tree-Felling, and even Starswirl’s second favorite staff! I was a little upset by his complete and utter indifference toward magical history, but I withheld my comments because it wasn’t Max’s fault for not recognizing the historical significance of artifacts from a different planet. However, I’d chided Rainbow the entire time we’d been there together during one of our trips to Canterlot since she hadn’t even bothered to try and pay attention. Max put forth the effort for the pieces of history that involved the other races, but when it came to Pony history, Max just didn’t seem to care.

His general disinterest made me stop the tour I was giving him, thus prolonging the thing we needed to get done. Despite dragging out the event, I just wanted an answer to my question. “Max, why don’t you care about the history of my kin?”

“Hmm?” he asked, turning toward me after looking at an old suit of armor. “Did you say I didn’t care about your people’s history?”

I nodded. “Yes. Would you care to answer?”

“Yeah, sure. Pony history has to be bullshit. Nothing adds up.” He said simply.

The look I gave him had been named by a select few ponies as the ‘Did You Truly Just Commit This Crime Against My Intelligence?’ look. “... Beg pardon?”

“Alright, so let’s start off with the beginning: There were just three Pony Clans in a frozen wasteland, right? Well that wasteland was supposed to be north of Gryphonia, but the shit there literally isn’t livable, and without Unicorn Magic and Earth Pony Magic to make the land itself arable, which would have been impossible due to persistent permafrost in the ground, there wouldn’t have been any means to grow food. And where did they come from in the first place? The Arctic is notorious for its lack of nutrition, and the animals that live there are highly specialized to live there. Ponies wouldn’t have had the materials or the technology necessary to scrape out a living in that climate for any period of time, which tells me that the origin story must be false. Then you have the Unification, which was supposedly made possible by rational minds under the threat of the Windigos, but the only mentions I ever find of Windigos is and are in history books, and there’s virtually no data on them otherwise. Plus, if the Ponies migrated from the icy reaches above Gryphonia, they would have had to either sail the coast, which has never been mentioned, or they completely avoided contact with the Gryphons entirely because, again, there’s no mention of the native inhabitants of Gryphonoia in Equestrian history. In fact, history’s so vague between the Unification and the Tyranny of Tirek that it’s pointless to try and figure out what happened back then, and what few accounts there are of the Tyranny of Tirek contradict themselves in a dozen different ways depending on who’s telling the tale. The only thing that stayed constant about anyone’s depiction of Tirek was that he was tall and muscular, but multiple people had said that he walked on four legs and some on eight. Some say he looked like a Pony with red fur and a cows lower half while others say that he was a Windigo. Then you have the reign of Discord, after which the Royal Sisters took over, but if the Royal Sisters took over from Discord over two thousand years ago, then why is there only fifteen hundred years of accounted-for history in most of the books you gave me to read? And the only history in your entire library is Equestrian. I don’t care about fake information because it’s untrue, Twilight.”

I stared at him.

“You okay, Cherry?”

“... Let’s get you toughened up,” I sighed.

“... Just rocked your world, didn’t I?”



“We should travel and read some real history.” I said, making a face.

“Sounds good to me,” Max said casually.

I nodded a few times, shrugged off the fact that everything I thought I’d known about my country was a lie, and took the guy who apparently paid attention when no Pony ever did to the receptionist to get a stupid ring put on my horn so I wouldn’t do anything completely normal. As with most Unicorns, I hated having my Magic bound from the base, but I kinda-sorta understood where they were coming from. Still, it took us a good hour or two to find the right department since the halls are magical and they sometimes like to lead you astray depending on the day. Some ponies ended up wandering for days if they had a particularly bad vibe about them, so it wasn’t that bad that Max and I only took about an hour and a half to get where we were going. Once we found our department, we didn’t have to wait long for a dozen ponies from two more departments to rush in and try to convince Max to let them experiment on him, but all he wanted was the Enhancement Spell, so that’s all he got. They did, however, manage to bend him a little bit by having him step into a Rune Circle to test his natural magical aptitude only to find out that Max was a freaking Conduit!!! While he’d been born with no Magic of his own in any manner of the word, Max was essentially the perfect candidate to hold pretty much any kind of Magic there was on Equus.

We barely managed to get out of the laboratory to avoid the raging mob of scientists that was gaining steam as ponies shouted about the alien that was walking among us. By ‘walking’, I mean running after we found out that Max was a Conduit. Once the news got out that there was a one-in-a-million ‘Test Subject’ in the Institute, things started getting fuzzy fast. Breaking the line of sight was all we needed to do, and getting to Mom’s lab took less time than it should have due to Max being able to finally carry me like a Princess. It wasn’t something terribly important in the moment, but it was definitely nice. I loved the way I could hear his heart hammering in his chest over the din of the mad scientists trying to get a sample of his blood, or the one mare who kept trying to goose Max with a probe. She was very adamant about getting a rectal sample, which I wanted too, but Max’s butt is my butt.

When I pointed out Mom’s lab to my own personal pick-me-up, Max slowed down, dropped me onto my hooves and got us both inside just as we heard more hoofsteps echoing in the halls. Instead of relaxing or saying hi to the mares and stallions who were staring at us, my coltfriend said, “The first one who gives us up is getting a black eye and a bloodied nose!” before he practically dragged me to the back of the room to hide behind a free table.

Mom was walking over to us with an amused look on her face when the door burst open and the mare with the probe shouted, “Bring that flank here for SCIENCE!

My lovely mother turned to look at the crazy gal and tilted her head as the door to the lab shattered from the force of being flung open. It mostly just spider-webbed, but Mom…?

Well, her patience cracked too.

“Filly, did you just bust into my gosh-darn lab and break my damn door?

The woman put the probe down. “... Umm… I’m searching for an alien?”

Mom popped her neck and gently picked something up from the table while Max and I watched from the side and top of the workspace respectively. “I’m searching for a reason not to shove that probe down your throat.” She replied pleasantly.

“... I’ll be-” The mare started as Mom threw the thing she picked up, “Eep!”

The sound of rapid hoofsteps beat their way down the hall as Mom looked down to Max, all earlier amusement gone. “The next time you intend on bringing trouble to my place of work, consider it twice.”

“In my defense, I was looking for a reliable parental figure to help me feel safe and un-” Max said, getting cut off by the sound of more hooves drumming their way into Mom’s lab.

She turned her attention away from us for a moment to glare at the intruders. “Do you buckheads seriously not have your own labs to do your work in? I am not putting up with this crap.”

There were a lot of awkward chuckles and the chase ended there for the most part, save for a stallion I knew my Mom despised. “Tch, we’re just checking to see where a specimen could have run off to.”

“Pump said there was an alien. I’m assuming that you’re well aware of the fact that nothing likes being experimented on when there are a hundred ponies watching.” She replied drily.

Doctor Snide Scribble scoffed. “It doesn't really matter when you’re making the scientific discovery the millenium. The alien is a Conduit!

“... So you’re chasing a magically volatile being around with what it could assume to be weapons and you expect it to…? What exactly? If you do manage to find this creature, it should try to hurt you, and I do mean that in the worst of ways, Scribble. Your ethics are abysmal.

I could practically hear him roll his eyes. “We don’t even know if the thing can feel. It might just be another Extra-Pony race for all we know, so why does it matter if it gets a little maimed during the process?”

Mom bristled and her lip curled in disgust. “All lives are equal, you curr.

“Oh please. Like Unicorns haven’t always been more valuable to society than anypony else.”

A life is not measured in how much Magic it expends.” Mom seethed.

“Stuck-up nag.” Scribble scoffed.

“Tactless, honorless, moral-bereft foal.


For the last time, another few sets of hoofsteps exited the room and Mom looked down to Max. “Honey?”

“... Yes Ma’am?”

“Call me Mom.”

“Can I say Mum?”

“Yes, as long as you do me one favor.”

Max nodded. “Anything.”

“If that stallion tries to take you, BREAK HIM.” She said, one of her eyes flashing red.

“... Yes, Mum.” He replied, shocked.

“Good colt.” She looked to me. “Sparkly, Dear?”

“Yes, Mom?”

“Do you happen to know of any… Creative, hexes?”

“I know one that can make him feel like he’s constantly shrinking down there.” Dear Stars, was that a horrible feeling.

“Can you actually shrink it?” She asked evilly.

“Um… Sure?”

“I’ll scry him if you want to do it now.”

… Writing down evidence is a bad idea. We didn’t do anything, but it was probably a bad idea to mention that Mom was thinking about it in the first place. I guess I’ll just add another Privacy Spell or two to this and… Done! Anyway, once I didn’t do anything at all and Mom gave Max and I hugs, we snuck out of the Institute and had the receptionist take the darned Magic-Cancellation Ring from my horn before we got back into the streets of Canterlot. I feel I should mention that Mom had the tenure to take it off so I could cast my spell; she just didn’t want her magical signature on the deed. If there was one, that is. There wasn’t anything I wanted to do in town, but just as we were passing one of the clothing stores that sold Fleur’s special makeup kits and other Fleur de Lis merchandise, we saw an old family friend that wanted to stop and catch up for a couple of minutes. The event wasn’t exactly time consuming in the beginning, or terribly important, though it did give me a chance to see how Max acted when he wasn’t vulnerable to every little thing that might decide to push him over.

I noticed that he smiled a lot more often and his laugh sounded more genuine than it had before as the conversation carried on. His smile cooled the frustrations in my heart surrounding the Institute, and his laugh breezed the bad thoughts out of my ears, making me smile and giggle along with him. Mountain Mix and Mesa Muddle took to Max like ducks to water, and Max evidently found himself some new friends since he got us invited to a party later on in the evening. It was a little surprising since, for one, I wasn’t technically invited, and for two, Mesa kept giving Max little winks and conspicuous smiles that set me on edge. Apparently Max noticed the specific phrasing of Mountain Mix’s invitation because he jokingly asked if he was allowed to bring his date or if he was supposed to go to a stranger’s house alone. That was when I actually got invited to the party, but it just became even more obvious that I wasn’t important when Mountain Mix offered to take Max to his favorite herb shop. Without me.

Mesa evidently thought it was a brilliant idea and told Mountain to be back by sunset, but Max gently denied their offer, stating that he’d rather spend his day, as little of it as there was left, with ‘his mare’. That put a huge smile on my face and earned Max a kiss to be cashed in for the trip home, whenever we actually got to go back, which brought up a problem: Max and I had nothing to wear to the mini-ball, but that particular conundrum was dashed and solved as soon as I said something about it. Mountain, being a legendarily generous stallion to his friends, offered to buy Max a tuxedo to wear while I was going to be on my own. While I was glad that somepony was finally treating Max with something other than contempt or disdain, whether for his feelings or general well-being, I was a little perturbed by being essentially cast aside every time I said something until Max brought me back into the conversation.

We eventually got Mountain and Mesa to just go away when Max told them that he was feeling a bit worn out, but when we were out of earshot and about as alone as one could get while having company in a capital city, my coltfriend said, “We’re not going to that party.”

I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest, but I still had to ask, “Why not?”

Max passed me a sidelong glance. “Mountain and Mesa want something from me that I don’t want to give them. That woman gives me the creeps, but Mountain is alright.”

“... What do they want?”

“Either my wang or my arse,” He said frankly, “and both belong to the woman they decided to ignore. Even if we had an open relationship and I actually wanted to sleep with either of them, we still wouldn’t be going to that party because of the second reason.”

I couldn’t help myself as the tiniest smile crept its way onto my lips. “So you’d rather miss out on a potentially great party just because some ponies were a little rude to me?”

“Oh, I’d skip out on Celestia if I didn’t like the way she talked to you. You know I don’t like it when people disrespect you.”

“So you know how I feel?” I asked sweetly, hugging his arm because walking while doing a normal hug is really hard.

“I wouldn’t say I know the full extent. The worst I’ve seen was Mesa trying to flirt with me while you were standing around.”

“Wait, she what!?

“Yeah, that’s why I kept telling jokes about old women. I was trying to send her a message.”

“She probably didn’t know what a woman was since she didn’t ask.”

“Didn’t you know what a woman was?”

“I am supposed to be a little smarter than average, Max. The things I catch onto might not be the same as what everypony else understands.”

“Fair enough. You are a bright little star, aren’t you?” Max asked softly. “Not bright enough to find a better guy to date, but that’s a good thing. For me, anyways.” The stern look I gave Max was enough to jog his memory. “Oh, right, the self-deprecation. Sorry, Cherry.”

“At least you didn’t need me to say anything about it.” I sighed, my lips smiling while my mood soured.

Max leaned over to kiss my temple. “Now you know how I feel, right?”

“I don’t exactly go around calling myself a bad pony, Amour.”

“No, but you do say that you’re unattractive, and that’s just a lie.”

“You… Have a point, I guess. I’ll say I’m… Not ugly, I guess, if you’ll admit that you’re at least decent.”

He scoffed. “See, just being ‘not ugly’ is neutral. Being ‘decent’ is positive. Say something positive about yourself and I’ll say something equally positive about myself.”

I chuckled nervously, the fair trade being too much to pass up. The only thing was that I couldn’t think of anything nice to say about myself… “Um… I have a pretty mane?”

He’s going to know.

He knew before you opened your mouth.


“I know you didn’t mean that,” Gosh darnit! “but I never said you had to, I suppose. If that’s the tone you’re setting, however, then I’m going to go with, ‘I have nice eyes.’.”

“... But that’s true.” I said slowly as we approached the train station, just able to sight the tracks off in the distance.

“And you have a pretty mane, you just don’t think you do. I don’t think my eyes are anything other than green.”


Max chortled at me. “Would you like to try again, or do you want me to try?”

Oooh! Tell him to lead by example!

... Okay?’ “M-Maybe you could lead by example?”

He blew some air through his nose, though it didn’t sound as deep or as loud as when a Pony did it. “Sure. I actually do like how quiet I can be. I was able to walk straight behind the counter at Sugarcube Corner and just stand there until I felt like leaving when I first got here.”

“Oh. I didn’t think you took pride in being sneaky.”

“It’s a valuable skill. Your turn.”

Dumb struck me like you wouldn't believe. “Um…”

“Anything?” He asked jokingly. “I know you take pride in your scholastic slash academic stuff.”

His words relieved some of the tension in my tummy. “W-Well, when you put it like that…”

“It doesn’t hurt that you’re downright adorkable, and it’s even better that you’re so damn knowledgeable about whatever I need to know. Well, as far as most things go. Not only are you generally pleasant to have around, you’re also nice to look at, nice to talk to, and nice to cuddle with. I couldn’t really ask for much more, other than a change in color.”

I’d been smiling like a regular goofball until he said the last part. “Hey, what’s wrong with purple and pink!?”

“I don’t like pink, but I do like purple. You’re a good shade of purple.”

“So what? You’re just thinking of what I’d look like without the pink run in my mane?”

“No, I’m thinking of what you would look like if you were royal blue with a navy mane and sky blue and periwinkle streaks.”

That actually sounds really cute.

Punch him for his treachery!

‘We’re going with cute, Miss Punchy.’ “That actually doesn't sound half bad, but I think I’m happy with my current color scheme.”

“And I wouldn’t change you for the world,” Max said warmly, his voice clear and true.

My heart skipped a beat in my chest. “Aww! You’re so sweet!”

“No, I taste like burning wood. You’re literally sweet.” Max deadpanned.

I gave him a look. “Oh, shush! You’re just so full of it today.”

“I’m being serious,” He said drily.


That was the last of our conversation before we bought our tickets back to Ponyville, though the conversation picked back up when I hit the ACC. Max was interested in it, but was surprised that I refused to let him try it. He became a lot more understanding and a lot less amused when I admitted that I was essentially using a drug many times stronger than whatever he’d had on Earth. Much to my chagrin, Max wasn’t fond of me doing drugs for the sake of deleting memories, but I explained that me remembering everything that we’d ever done together and facing the reality of him never being able to know just how long we’d spent in each other’s arms pulled him to my way of thinking. Once I got my motivations on the floor, Max understood why I didn’t want to be with an amnesiac when I could have the option of living in the same timeline as he did. Yes, it was and is wrong of me to try and run from my problems with drugs, but a woman with twenty Graham’s Numbers at least under her belt falling in love with a twenty year-old? It would be like a Pony from before the Unification living until the last generation of Equus was born, just to pick the right Special Somepony before they were even out of the womb.

In other words, it would’ve been super weird and creepy. Max didn’t want to be the molested child and I wasn’t trying to be the ancient priest with wandering hands, so we had that to worry about. Well, as long as I kept the ACC, we didn’t really have to think twice about it, and even if I lost it, all I’d have to do is wait for the effects to wear off to make another one. I personally didn't think of it as much of a problem. The pen, I mean. Max still wasn’t fond of the fact that I had to be high to be around him now, but he understood that I couldn’t possibly love him and his company; his presence and his spirit, any more than I already did. It was because of the aforementioned love that I couldn’t bare to be around Max while sober… I just knew him too well; knew too many things that would no longer come to pass, and the conversation we had about that was a sober one that we needed to have.

After a bout of silence that lasted about halfway through our walk back home, Max opened that conversation with, “Twilight, how much of our old life do your remember? Like right now?”

I gave him a sad smile. “I remember everything up until a certain someone met the former Big Guy.”

“... Isn’t that when I-”

“Yes, and I wish I didn’t remember.” I chuckled, feeling a little ache in my heart at Max’s glossy eyes… The stillness… The coldness…

“... Sorry for bringing up a bad memory.”

“It’s fine, Amour. I just… I’m just glad that things have worked out the way they have so far,” turning toward him, I watched as he mulled my words over. “This… This is special. This isn’t easy, but this… This is something that I don’t want to lose. Even as rough as it’s been since you arrived, there’s no part of me that wishes you weren’t by my side.”

Max glanced at me, a smirk already on his lips as he said, “There’s no part of you that wishes I would go somewhere and leave you alone for a little bit?”

“I have my moments, but they’re just moments.” I giggled. “Really, Max. We’re meant to be together.”

There were few enough ponies on the streets to impede, so my ever-precious boyfriend- Er, I’ll probably flip back and forth between Pony words and the common one, Diary. The memories keep mixing up and doing weird things in my head… Anyway, Max came to a stop on the cobblestone road and pulled me over to a knick-knack shop that Fluttershy liked to go to whenever they were having the weekend sale. The sun was past its zenith and was casting a warm glow on the world beneath it, giving Max’s pale face a slight rubescence that made it seem like there was light dancing in his eyes. I could’ve sworn that I was looking into pools of glistening Scutch with Bluegrass mixed in for extra effect, the fading light of day giving his eyes a captivating quality. His words echoed through my head until his lips stopped moving, the meaning finally breaking through to me after he finished speaking.

“Yeah, we are. Damn near opposites, and yet how many people could say that their love runs as deep as ours?” He’d asked to his temporarily incapacitated lover.

The kiss we shared… It was my answer. It was the only way I knew how to answer him, or at least that specific question. It would’ve been simple to say ‘no one’ or ‘nopony’, but even without the memories of my interactions with Max from the other universe(s?), I knew that physical affection was the way to make sure my point got across. Knowing your partner’s Love Language is a very, terribly important part of any relationship, and I needed to speak to Max in the way he understood best. The prolonged nature of the kiss was a little unnecessary, but I’m sure it was appreciated from both ends.

From the contact we shared, I knew that my message was received, so I looked at my lover, my heart, and said, “I love you, Maximus. I wish more days would be like this.”

He hugged me to his chest and murmured, “I love you too, Twilight. Thank you for being in my life. Lives. Lifeseses.”

I giggled and gave him a squeeze. “The only way you’re getting rid of me is if you make me go away.”

“Just be lax and give into Max~”: He chuckled.

“Hey!” I slapped his chest lightly, trying to frown. I failed miserably, but I tried.

“I didn’t even say the thing!”

“You were trying to make me think you did!”

I couldn’t blame him for being immature since he was younger than me, but I still made an attempt at a disapproving look when he said, “No, I was trying to trick you into giving me your knickers again.”

My face flushed and my gaze fell to the road, my hands finding their way over my heart. “Why don’t you give me some of yours?” I asked weakly.

He chuckled and kissed my forehead. “Pick a pair and they’re yours.”

I perked up at that. “Really!?”

“We need to exchange gifts that aren’t undergarments.”

“Eventually.” I waved his worries aside and got us moving again. “First we have to get you out of those clothes!”

Max had a laugh at that and took my hand, leading the way back to Golden Oaks. The sensation of walking hand-in-hand with my Dearest was familiar and comforting, the warmth of his hand invigorating, and the synchronization of our steps and breathing was just… Natural. Like we’d already been together for our Golden Anniversary and had known each other since we were foals. It was prosaic in a way that it felt like Max and I often spent our time doing exactly what we’d been doing all day, but even as we walked down a road I’d been down a thousand times before, each second felt like it was full and bursting with yet another piece of elation to be caught. Every little blink was like opening my eyes to a new day with someone I couldn’t possibly love anymore; who could never push me far enough away to never come back. The steps I took with Max felt as though they were carrying us toward something new and exciting, something worth the wait, but time-sensitive. The breaths we took in tandem felt as though they were flowing through two pairs of lungs, and as we strolled, just enjoying each other for who we were, our emotions began to mix and mingle like never before. I wasn’t aware of the slight changes at first, but I soon realized that I had been content rather than ecstatic a few seconds ago, and rather than feeling calmed and collected, I felt a trickle of energy and euphoria bleed from my heart with every beat.

The nearly imperceivable changes in my emotional state only raised flags because they came in fits and spurts, but when Max went to open the door for me as we arrived at the library, he stopped before he could finish opening the door and let his hand fall back to his side. We’d been casually chit-chatting and flirting until a lighting bolt of pure silence came down, striking us both. It was like the words had been taken straight from our mouths as something happened. I could feel it in my chest: the swelling in my heart; the occasional skipped beat and the more frequent thudding that happened while Max and I both started gasping for breath. I sat down on the stoop first and Max joined me soon after, clutching my hand as my heartbeat went from irregular to outright painful in the course of a few seconds. We let out a little croak slash burp at the same time, in the same tone, though in different octaves. I didn’t care about the ache in my chest so much as the one in Max’s up until reality slapped me with a new piece of information.

I could feel Max.

It wasn’t just him sitting beside me or holding my hand. I wasn’t just feeling his personal warmth or his aura. I was in tune with him, and through the connection, I knew he could feel me too. Once we got our breath back after a few seconds, Max and I looked at each other and said, “I blame you.”

We burst out into giggles, but Max was the first one to recover. “I bet it’s your fault! You’re the only one who knows how to use Magic!”

Pffft! Only a little foal points the finger, Amour,” I teased.

“I’m younger than you, Granny.”

“Hey! I’m young and spry!”

“Young, spry, and you can catch an eye.” He winked at me, setting my heart aflutter. His hand went to his chest as we both blushed. “Wow, is this what you feel when I tease you?”

I giggled and kissed his jaw because I didn’t want to kiss his cheek. (Mary) Sue me. “Mhmm. It sure is.”

“Wow, what else do I do to you?” He giggled, sounding like he was waaay too amused with my emotions.

I ‘glared’ at him and pouted. “We’ll find out if we actually go inside.”

He leaned down to kiss me again, but this time neither of us pulled away. It wasn’t a passionate or enstickening stickifying stickying arousing kiss. No… It’s… It’s almost hard to describe. The solace that Max’s lips held for me was ever present, the hearth filled with cherrywood still blazing as the snow fell out in the world beyond our microcosm, but there was a new sensation burrowing its way into the purity of our love. Whereas before I’d just felt the way Max always made me feel when we were doing well, the kiss that joined us was unique. Different. There was something new that I had to delve into, but I knew that letting my lust for knowledge interfere with the moment would ruin it completely, so I bided my time and let the flow of the motion carry me to the answers I sought, rather than continuing to look for them myself.

The new feelings… I felt… The safety that overcame me was an oddity. Instead of having the sensation of being hugged in a bubble shield (Weird, I know), I felt more like I was being held by someone smaller than me; someone who loved me with their whole heart, a person who cared for me so deeply that no request was too much. I wanted to cry, but the pure joy that was filling me from the inside dammed the tears and convinced me to bring my hand to Max’s face, cupping his cheek gently to keep him close while we took a second or two for the sake of gathering our thoughts. Neither of us had backed away per se, despite no longer being joined by the lips. It seemed as though we’d just thought to end the moment at the same time to meditate on what we’d experienced.

“... Wow…” I breathed.

“... Woah…” Max murmured simultaneously.

“Did… You felt that, right?”

“... You actually teleported twenty dudes into the ocean. Two of those fuckers weren’t even there when you zooped those science guys.”

I blinked. “You’ve had to run away from a full gang of people multiple times. Same gang.”

“Gollum never really did like me if I didn’t have Savage’s permission to be in town,” he replied uneasily.

“You saw the reception I got at the Institute.” I replied drily.

We shared a chuckle at that, but just as Max was (probably) going to make me laugh some more, the porch light flipped on and Spike opened the front door. “Oh, I was wondering who was out here. How’s it going, guys?”

Max waved and gave him a crooked grin. “Well, I would consider today one of the, if not just straight up the best dates I’ve ever had. I’m pretty sure it only could’ve gotten better if Twilight was included in everything I got to do today.”

“Oh, that one conversation was barely even a bump in the road.” I chided playfully.

My coltfriend shrugged and kissed the tip of my horn. “If it’s nothing to you, it’s nothing to me. Kinda. Situation dependent and all that.”

I rolled my eyes and got off of the hard step we’d been sitting on, with Max following suit shortly after I said, “Mhmm. So if I told you that Rarity’s been picking on me, you wouldn’t do anything because I asked you not to?”

His smile faded. “I’d still talk to her regardless of your feelings on that one.”

“But if I asked you not to?”

He shook his head. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Even Celestia doesn’t have the right to fuck with you. No one does.”

Dude, you are so big brother material! Marry her already, Max!” Spike cried before I could say anything.

My face betrayed me in my time of need, and I’m sure that I would’ve been practically glowing if Spike hadn’t turned the outside light on. “Spykoranuvellitar!”

He looked at me with innocence in his eyes. “What? This guy is way too cool to not marry!”

“Men get scared when you spring the topic of marriage on them out of the blue-”

“Yeah, shut up until I get enough money to buy a decent ring.” Max said flatly, aiming his words toward Spike rather than me.

My neck popped with how quickly I turned to face Max, my face growing even hotter as a strange dichotomy raged on inside. Where there was jubilation, there was also a certain kind of anxiety that would have left me breathless if it weren’t for the calm assurance that rolled off of my boyfriend. Coltfriend. Whichever. Either way, Max’s demeanor spread its way into me and soothed my nerves, leaving the happiness where it lay and picking up the litter that was cluttering my heart. Of course my heart still hammered as I remembered our first wedding day, and then the day we renewed our vows, but I couldn’t help but see an even better wedding in our future. Neither of us had wanted an audience for our wedding, and now that neither of us were royalty, we didn’t have to worry about that level of attention. Max would have to build his family from the ground up all over again, but we didn’t have to get married anytime soon. If my own words were anything to go by, then we had all the time in the world and most of it could be spent in each other’s company. That in and of itself was a blessing like no other, though that’s not to say that we wouldn’t spend time away from each other. I was mostly just happy that Max had stated his honest intentions, though the way he’d thrown them into the conversation like dirty laundry into a hamper was a little… Well, blindsiding is a good word for it. I may as well have been emotionally tackled by an ethereal Rainbow Dash going at full speed.

Um…” I said with the utmost elegance, eloquence, and a slight warble to my voice.

Max raised a brow at me. “What, did you expect me to just be satisfied with being your boyfriend forever? Nah, I want a place by your side that only you can take from me.”

See!? That’s so girly-mushy-gushy! Don’t mares love that stuff!?” Spike cried.

He was out of whacking distance, so I corrected that with a brief Levitation Spell and put him back where he was once I’d doled out my dose of ‘Shush!’. “It’s not mushy-gushy. It’s romantic.”

My little brother rubbed his arm where I’d hit him and stuck his tongue out for me. “Fine, but if you don’t marry Max, then I’ll never let you forget it!”

For some reason, Max decided to be a butthead. “Trust me, Spike; if Twilight somehow manages to turn all this down,” he gestured toward himself, “then she needs more help than we can give her.”

I rolled my eyes hard enough to help turn the planet and shook my head, grabbing Max’s hand and taking us inside. Spike had already made and eaten dinner, so it was up to Max to make us something edible since my little brother was obstinate about not cooking for the mare who’d shut him up. I’d kind of expected it shortly after hitting him in the first place, so I wasn’t surprised, per se. Just a little let down that I wasn’t going to get a latke since it was potato pancake night. I love latkes, but Spike only makes them so often, which made me curse myself after I realized what day it was. Max gave me a strange look for ‘swearing’ at the dinner table when we’d just been talking about maple syrup and how it seemed to be extremely niche in its uses, so I had to explain why I was ‘cursing’. He promised to figure out how to make latkes for me, earning himself a leafy smile that he was all too happy to poke fun at.

Bedtime came and went as Max and I went from the kitchen to the library, just talking and cuddling throughout the night, though he let me write in you long enough to get this done, which brings us to today’s conclusion! Unlike last time, it’s actually a good day to do some retrospection, so we’re doing this!


In conclusion, today honestly couldn’t have been much better. I got to wake up with Max, accidentally get him to the point where he was so high he forgot the first couple of hours of our day... The latter part of that sentence was more funny than anything, and I might just see how high I can get him before the week is through. However, the day just went uphill from there at a downhill pace, and I can’t help but wonder if it’s because I got Max to indirectly open up about his feelings by connecting to him through True Love. Today taught me for certain that Max isn’t one to put his feelings, his true inner thoughts, out for just anyone to see. It wasn’t and isn’t his style to talk, but to hug his sorrows out. All along I’d been trying to crack Max’s walls by going in through the darn-near impenetrable front gate when there was a side door made of wood with well-oiled hinges that just needed to be pushed to open. That little push just so happened to be physical affection, which is a little out of my comfort zone at the moment, but it’s not so bad when I’m actually hugging and kissing my… Well, dare I say my future husband?

Yes, I do! My future husband just needed a little fur-to-flesh contact to start unloading the burden he bore, and it’s not like I minded at all. It would take some doing on my part to fully ease up around him, but I was and am confident that I’ll pull through for Max because it’s Max. I know in a place deeper than mortal emotions go that my Special Someone fully intends on trying to be the Vanguard, even though it’s his turn to be the Harbinger, and that’s so incredibly touching. If power were bits, I’d be Fancy, Celestia, Healthy Wealth, and Ignis all rolled into one while Max would be somewhere near Apple Bloom, and he’s still worried about protecting me! Day after day goes by and Max… I… How do you truly, and I do mean well and truly, transcribe what this is like, Diary? I suppose you wouldn’t know, but it almost feels like Max and I squabble and quarrel so much because we need to know each other as intimately as possible, which would align pretty well with what Mom told me about worthwhile relationships back when I never thought I’d actually have one. Her words at the time were something along the lines of, ‘A relationship worth having is a relationship worth fighting over, even if it seems like it never stops.’

As it is, I feel like the brunt of the storm has passed as far as the initial steps of my journey with Max are falling behind us. I’m excited and a little nervous about the next step and what it’s going to be. Well, a little excited, a lot nervous, but still; there’s no one I’d rather face the rest of my life with than the man sitting beside me, knocked out light a light…

Today was a good day, Diary. Thank you for letting me share it with you~❤


Dear Diary,

Instead of going upstairs to sleep on my far more comfortable bed, I couldn’t bring myself to get out of the library without Max, so I grabbed a blanket from the chest Spike evidently thought was a good place to stow his journal (I just know it’s there, I’d never invade his privacy like that.) and returned to my sweet so we could share some heat. Of course it wasn’t actually so much as chilly in the library, but my words rhymed and that makes me smile, so that’s how it’s going to be. To get back on track, I got to snuggle up to Max, which unfortunately woke him up. That being said, with his newfound strength, Max just pulled me on top of him so he could lay down. Guess who wasn’t complaining? Again.

I slept like an old stallion that’d had a bit too much to drink, which is to say that my sleep was deep and restful. It was unusual for me to wake up before Max, but for once I was the one who got to see the other before they rejoined the waking world. After a quick toke from the ACC, I was feeling fine and dandy all over again, the dose pushing back millions of similar mornings to the back of my mind. It couldn’t have taken more than ten minutes for Max to wake up, but I easily could have spent hours just letting my head rest on his chest, listening to the soft, steady thumping of his heart, letting my head arise and fall as he breathed. It was such a perfect moment that I could’ve been a little pouty that Max had to go and wake up, but what point would there have been in that?

In lieu of being salty, I chose to be sweet and kissed Max’s breastplate when he started stretching. “Good morning, my sleepy Prince~❣” I sang softly into the slowly lightening library.

Max craned his neck so he could look at me before giving me a squeeze. “Morning, my sweet Cherry Sundae. How long have you been up already?”

“Not long. I don’t think I can sleep for more than a couple hours at a time anymore anyway.”

“Damn, it’s going to be a lot harder for you to pretend that you’re dead.” He said flippantly.

I patted his chest and chuckled, nuzzling him. “Now, why would I want to play dead?”

“I don’t know, maybe you’ll become evil one day and see how fast you can break my heart. I don’t think you have it in you, but you never know. It’s the cute ones you have to lookout for.”

I giggled some more. “Oh, you silly goose! You know I would never try to mess with your heart like that.”

“Which is why you’re better than any woman I’ve ever had the pleasure of hugging. Period.”

“Pshaw, you’re not even setting the standard at knee height!”

“My standard’s are weird. You might get over the first couple of hurdles with no problem. Then again, the kinky, kinky things I want to do to you might be a little harder to hop past.”

I propped myself up and stared at him in the low light. “... Didn’t you say we were-” Max grabbed my derriere with both hands. “Yeep! Ma~ax!”

He bit his tongue and chortled at me. It was probably because I almost went as straight as an arrow and twice as stiff when he did it. “Sorry, couldn’t help myself.”

Max let his hands rest on my bottom rather than squeezing it and I actually found it more nice than anything when he started massaging me with careful attention. I eventually let myself lie on him when the awkwardness of the sensation was replaced by a touch of stickiness. With the blanket over us, I shouldn’t have been afraid of Spike seeing anything he shouldn't, and that was even without it being just bright enough to make out Max’s face, but there was still some anxiety in me that wanted Max to stop it with his mild advances. The vast majority of my will was leaning towards letting Max continue as he pleased, however, so that’s what happened.

[CTRL+F Scene is over to Skip]

Even if I was a little more skittish like Fluttershy, I don’t think I would’ve stopped Max when he slipped his hands under my skirt to touch me directly. As it was, the thrill of being caught sent a trill of excitement down my spine since we were actually stepping into the territory of lewdness. To be realistic, I shouldn’t have been so wound up with just Max’s hands on my third most private place, but I swear every moment of intimacy shared between us was just as new and heart-pounding as the last. Just the gentle, soothing warmth of my future husband’s hands helped put me at ease, clearing my mind of pretty much anything other than the sparks that were turning to flames inside me.

Out of nowhere, Max moved his hands from the outer parts of my flank to the place where my violet rose was hidden, pulling my cheeks apart and making me squeak as his grasp went from soft and nearly negligible to being firm, bordering on rough. The little whimper I let out let Max know that he was squeezing a little too hard, which is probably why went back to what I assumed was either foreplay or increasingly intense teasing. I knew that I was getting stickier by the moment, but when Max touched my rosebud, I had to withdraw. Even with him, I did not like the idea anyone touching such a dirty place with the intent to possibly enter.

As I arched my back, Max chased my hands and held them to his chest. “So don’t do that. Understood.”

“Thank you…” I said nervously.

He sat up and scooted me up on his lap, bringing me forward from his thighs so that I was resting directly on top of something… Pokey, as he kissed me. “If you’re so much slightly uneasy, just let me know and we can slow down.”

Drawing a little spiral on his chest, I murmured, “Anywhere but there…”

“Hmm…” He hummed, moving his hands from my hips to my thigh, caressing them lightly enough to tickle just a little. “Is this okay?”

The giggle that escaped my lips pushed out the intimacy-related misgivings I was having at the moment. “This is nice...”

He smiled at me, making my stomach do more funny things that it wasn’t supposed to be doing. In fact, I’m going to give my tummy a good what for whenever I finish writing this! You hear that you little gurgling ninny!? Stop messing with me- Oh, I was writing about something way more important than my gastrological conundrums…Let’s see.. Left off there, so the next part would be when Max initiated the second kiss of the day, though we both quickly realized that it was more than just a simple smooch. No, when my lips met his, something new started that neither of us had anticipated:

I was ready.

I just knew. I don’t know how I knew, but I just did, Diary. It was like a switch was flipped in me and the studious filly that had grown up sheltered and innocent finally became ready for marehood. Yes, I’d been managing my own finances (and a few other pony’s as well) for years, and I’d known about adult stuff, but as Max’s peppermint stick pressed against the sodden gates of my Cupcake Castle, there was just something anomalous about the way I perceived the moment. Before that point, Twilight Sparkle would have had a panic attack the second Max touched her naughtiest place. At the moment? At the moment I could hardly fathom being anywhere else doing anything else with anyone else. Nothing could have convinced me that the morning was going to have any other avenue than where it was currently going.

Then I heard Spike’s claws scraping down the stairs. I was not about to miss out on the perfect chance to give Max my first time, so instead of waiting for my little brother to arrive and snacktually frustrate both me and Max, I teleported us to my room while still ‘snogging’ Max like our lives depended on never breaking the connection. I don’t think Max even cared when we plopped down on my bed, though the moan he let out through his nose when I lifted myself off of his rod and stroked the tip with my fingers was a little wistful. His pants were in the way, and I severely needed them to be somewhere that wasn’t covering the thing I wanted, so I pulled away from him and somehow managed to unbuckle his belt and free his loins without needing assistance.

With my momentum slowly building, I tried to take over for a little bit by way of giving Max a favor, but he stopped me and stole every bit of my mojo by simply swapping spaces. Now that I was on the bottom, I was apparently going to be on the receiving end. My boyfriend and I shared an opinion on how unneeded clothing and words were, though when his fingers flew down my blouse and left it open in less than ten seconds, I had to speak up.


Max chuckled. “You wouldn’t believe the reason I’m so good at that.”

He followed up his odd statement with yet another arousing kiss, distracting me from my sudden lack of a blouse. Yes, I did realize that I was shirtless while kissing Max some more, but it mattered about as much as it did when he got rid of the cute-but-not-the-right-kind-of-cute bra that I was wearing. Not one to lag too far behind, I pulled Max’s plain blue Tee off of his lithe, almost feline form, letting my hands wander over the taut, corded muscles that stood out so well on his slender frame. Even though there was a certain part in both of us that remembered every inch of the other’s being down to the Anima, nothing could beat back the rekindling of our love, the hot, fiery passion that had come to make its move.

As we explored each other, Max’s hands glided over my fur wherever he touched, making his foreplay/torture just that much more intense. My body felt like I was burning from the inside out with a steady heat that wouldn’t dissipate, no matter how innocent or benign my future husband’s touch was. Every point of contact was just a little more fuel to the fire, every kiss another flame to thepyre. My mind was so occupied with trying to keep myself quiet that I almost forgot that I could just cast a Hear-Me-Not Spell on my room and be done with that mild concern.

I didn’t even have to break our latest kiss to cast the spell, which was all fine and dandy by me since it meant that I didn’t have to go without the amalgamated emotions that lie between us during our kisses. It was a little heart wrenching when Max finally let my lips have a rest, but I didn’t stay disappointed long. When my own personal Fount of Love unbuttoned my skirt and whisked it off, hope for release filled my breast like a tidal surge coming in from a storm at sea. The brushing of his lips against my fur and the soft, sultry gusts of his breath that swept underneath to my bare flesh drove me wild. I squirmed and wriggled a little while Max trailed his way down from my lips, kissing my jaw and throat to make me lose the functionality of my lungs. There was nothing that could have persuaded me to make him alter his course, although my patience was wearing thinner and thinner by the moment.

As my first boyfriend stalled at my breasts, I wondered why he’d stopped doing the damn thing until his tongue flicked my left teat. It was barely enough to count as a lick, but that little move nearly got Max’s face crammed between my legs. As it was, my lover’s lips and dexterous, nimble fingers brought me more pleasure than I thought was possible from everyday, mostly useless breasts. His occasional pinch on one breast was often accompanied by a nibble on the other with each action pushing me closer and closer to that point without him having ever touched me below the waist. For a second I wondered if Max just had that much experience up until he messed up and accidentally bit me with one of his sharp teeth. When I yelped, he immediately removed the pressure and started sucking on my breast for some strange reason that I cared about less and less as the new sensation pushed me over the brink.

I’ve never been the terribly vocal type, so imagine my surprise when I had a ‘breast orgasm’ and moaned louder than I spoke when I was upset. Max growled at me before coming in for the hottest, sauciest, most suffocating-est kiss yet that had me breathing like I’d finished a race with Rainbow across town in less than ten minutes. Before I could get my bearings or shove a clear thought into my head, Max ran his fingers down from my breastplate to my navel, picking up a few inches away from where he’d left off.

Before Max started dipping below my belly-button, I’d thought that I’d just experienced one of the best climaxes of my life. It was certainly an unusual one, but then Max kissed my pink pearl over my embarrassingly wet undies and I knew for certain that I hadn’t even seen the beginning of what my man could do to me. There was no hesitation in me as I let him strip me of the last article of clothing between the two of us, and much to my surprise, I wasn’t even shy about him giving my Cupcake Castle a good, thorough look before he licked me between my folds. The shiver it sent down my spine was almost too good to be true, so I looked down at Max and spread my legs as far as was comfortable only to see that my icing was attached to his tongue by a thin translucent string. I don’t know why, but the sight of my nectar on Max’s face was enough to show me another good time, though it was nowhere near the level of the last climax. I would honestly just call it a burst of pleasure rather than any kind of orgasm.

Speaking of… I never knew that tongues were so great! As little as I wanted him to waste time on tasting the petals on my flower, Max refused to penetrate my gates until he’d lapped up every errant drop of my arousal, making the moment that much sweeter when his flexible little muscle parted me. The fire was being stoked even before Max popped one of his fingers in his mouth, confusing me until he cautiously entered me, almost as though he was afraid that he was going to hurt me with just one finger. Granted, I only use one when I take care of business myself, but Max’s fingers weren’t much thicker than mine. They just so happened to be long and able to reach just the right spot. The insertion of Max’s finger was fun, and having him take his time with my climax was even better, but when he hooked his finger?

It sent me over the edge all over again when he did the thing while he kept up his wonderful endeavor. This time my vision went blurry for a few seconds, but I barely made a peep when I found my release. My voice left me, but Max’s finger never did. No, while my Cupcake Castle was throwing a party in anticipation for the guest of honor, my slippery little boyfriend slipped a second finger into me and began anew with a different, even better method of affection. He licked the dew that I’d created off of the base of his fingers and around my entrance, making sure to swallow before his free hand went from my thigh to my exposed pearl.

As if he’d known just what to do, Max waited until he’d just about left my flower entirely with his fingers to stroke my favorite button as he ‘fingered’ me. Even if he’d waited until I wasn’t pumping out my brain cells with my icing, I’m pretty sure I still would’ve been thrown back into the pool of bliss that Max seemed to want me to drown in. By the time I was done with that climax, I was coated in sweat and a little worn out, but my future husband apparently remembered enough to slow down before he actually made me ask to stop.

I was plenty grateful for the breather when it came, but Max never stopped adding more kindling to the dying flames, keeping me ready for what was going to be the main event. Even as he rose from my private place, he continued to stroke and caress my thighs, or tease and manipulate my breasts until I was begging him to just give it to me already. My fervor didn’t wear down until Max’s tip slid between my flower petals, my nectar coating the throbbing, hot appendage as he held it down and ground it against my Love Button. We never broke eye contact: Not even as Max’s girth stretch my inner walls to the point where I had my doubts about whether or not I was made to accept such a gift. I was lost in Max’s gaze, even as one of the most important milestones in my life approached. The stage was nearly set as Max slowly pressed his rod further into my depths until he met the part that was going to hurt. The temptation to balk reared its ugly head as the coward I try to keep in a mental closet voiced some worries about getting gored on the inside, but it was silenced with the final application of Max’s lips upon mine.

We made contact just before Max rammed the rest of his length past my hymen, the bliss of the kiss nullifying a lot of the pain I’d experienced in the last sticky dream I’d had. In fact, I can barely even say it hurt since I couldn’t form the words at the time due to the vivid, rapturous euphoria that course through my veins. My entire being from my horn down to my hooves was all manners of tingly before I became numb to all but the one man who’d received my virtue and returned the trust I’d given him with mind-boggling bliss. Thankfully, Max didn’t make a single move other than to let me scream his name at the top of my lungs, immediately garnering his completely unnecessary concern.

He babbled apologies until I grabbed his face and kissed him with energy I didn’t know I had, desperate for him to find the peak of his pleasure at least once before I surrendered. “I-I’m okay,” I breathed, my horn resting on the top of his head.

“Are you sure? We can st-”

No! Just a little more!” I protested, giving Max the best combination of sexy and sad that I had.

He kissed my nose and let his length leave me at a snail’s pace, and he only reversed the action when I could feel him about to slide of of me. If mares actually had control over that sort of thing, I would’ve tried harder to keep him inside, though it turned out that I was worried about nothing. Instead of pulling out because he’d thought I was just acting tough, I was pretty sure that Max was just going slow to give me some time to get used to him. I honestly didn’t need it, so I ‘requested’ that he… Um… Well, ‘Buck me like you love me!’ was said, but I deny any involvement in the speaking of those words.

My wish was his command, and he proved it by tarrying no longer. Max gave me what I wanted without going too far, even poking my cervix whenever he thrusted with the full force of his member. I couldn't decide if I was fond or frightened of his length at that point because it kinda felt like he was going to break my insides if he wasn’t careful, but then I remembered that I couldn't have foals with Max in the first place, so I chose to be fond. It was most definitely a good choice, because the longer we consummated our relationship, the more frequent his visits to the Nursery of my Cupcake Castle were. I lost count of how many times he knocked on the door around the same time I lost count of which orgasm I was on, well and truly being ‘bucked silly’ as I giggled and moaned for the fun of it half the time. Or because I was in the middle of peaking. It practically didn’t stop because Max only stopped long enough to change positions, going from being on top to lifting one of my legs and trying a new angle, which eventually turned into having my legs together in the air before Max just picked me up and kept thrusting in mid-air, lifting and dropping me on his Princess Pleaser to go faster or buck harder depending on what noises I was making at the time.

I’d lost all sense of anything other than snacktime when Max said, “I’m getting close, Cherry!”

I probably replied to that.

“Sounds like a plan to me!”

I would have tried to understand what he meant or count the thrusts of his pelvis into mine if I even knew what was really going on at that point. What I knew for certain was that Max was thrusting into me harder than before, and as he drove his lovely ‘little’ friend for the last few times, he hit the Nursery with every attempt until the final thrust. Then he just let himself into the room and started passing out warm mugs of cocoa to everyone but me. I got eggnog. An especially thick, essentially useless, super tasty eggnog, but eggnog nonetheless. When I realized that Max had stopped moving and was now panting half as heavily as I was, I barely had time to think about whether or not we were done before I fainted with a smile on my face.

{CTRL+F Scene is Over to Skip]

I woke up to Max licking my nose, but I didn’t have the strength to push him away. “Shtooop.” I whimpered pathetically, hoping that Max would take pity on my poor, fatigued form.

“I will once you can look me in the eyes,” he said, concern laced throughout his voice.

I didn’t feel like it, but I still opened up to give Max the sternest look I could muster, which was a goofy smile and furrowed brows that couldn’t stay furrowed. “I’m okay, you worrywort.”

Max gave me a gentle smile, stroking a sweaty lock of my mane away from my face. “Went a little too far there…”

I wouldn’t trade a second for the world~

He leaned down to kiss me since I wasn’t doing much any time soon. I couldn’t even feel my legs. “So? How’s it feel to be a bona-fide adult who does sex and everything?”

I was too sensitive for Max to be rubbing the inside of my thigh, so I asked, “Can you give me a break?”

“Still relearning how to move, I take it?” He inquired with an amused smile.

“It’s your fault!” I objected half-heartedly.

“It’s seventy-five percent your fault. I asked if you wanted to stop a few times.”

“I don't even think it was a real option. I mean, would you have asked me to stop if you were in my position?”

“Yeah, but for shitty reasons that I don’t really want to get into while the afterglow is still glowing.”

“Mmm~ Yeah, let’s do your thing for once.” I murmured, closing my eyes again.

“Twilight, it’s one in the afternoon. We’ve been in here for nearly seven hours.” He chuckled mirthfully.

“Who cares? Lay down and snuggle already~”

“And just like that I have something fun to do.” He chuckled, laying down as I rolled onto my side so he could be the big spoon.

We just stayed like that for a good while, and what a good while it was! I’d never felt closer to Max, and I’d never felt so satisfied before, like nothing would ever bring me more contentment than making love with him. Through the True Love connection, I knew that Max was every bit as relaxed as I was up until the tummy rub. If only Humans knew the pleasures of a tummy rub~ I’d happily do it for Max since I knew how good it felt, but apparently he preferred me playing with his hair over me touching his tummy any day, and that wasn’t a problem at all. When he’d first arrived, Max’s hair kind of looked like a mess on a day to day basis, but it was a mess that looked like it belonged on top of his handsome little head. Now his mass of waves drooped over his brows, silky smooth with a satiny sheen to them.

As afternoon stretched on into the early evening, Max finally managed to help me massage some feeling back into my legs to we could go take a shower. Neither of had noticed in the heat of the moment, but I’d bled more than I thought a mare was supposed to and it just felt icky. Max wasn’t fond of having dried stuff on his thing either, but I was a little more enthusiastic than him about getting clean. I may or may not have been anticipating an especially fun shower, and I was not let down in any sense of the word. Max somehow managed to help me stay on my hooves, wash me, and nearly make my legs give out all over again in the span of thirty or so minutes, though we would’ve taken longer if my word counted. Unfortunately, Max just laughed off my completely serious proposal to get dirty all over again, which was probably because I tried to come off as extra sexy when I suggested it.

Look, I know I can’t do sexy. Cute? Yes. Cuddleable? Yes. Sexy? More like goofy.

I swallowed my teaspoon of disappointment while Max, again, proved to be worth his weight in rose gold when he even went so far as to help me get dressed when I was having difficulties with my undies and tights. Making my legs go higher than my average step just wasn’t happening, so my lovely, perfect partner held out my bottoms for me at floor-level and grinned the entire time he looked at his prize. The parting kiss he gave my muns was cute to say the least, but it also put more ideas in my head about things I could do with Max, like getting on top while he sat back and enjoyed the ride. I made a mental note to ask either Applejack or Rarity how to do it properly and tuned back in to hear Max commenting on the dopey look I was wearing.

“You know, I’d warn you that your face is gonna get stuck like that if it wasn’t such an adorable smile,” Max said, the Sugar Factor turned up to ten.

I tried to quell my smile long enough to kiss his jaw and barely managed to get my lips together. “I’m just in a good mood~ Someone special helped me with that~!”

Max chuckled and kissed my temple and the base of my horn. “Good God, I love you.”

“I am pretty great, aren’t I?” I teased.

He blinked and burst out laughing. “I just slept with God!

I didn’t get what was so funny, but I was willing to let him get his giggles in before making an attempt to drag him to get food. It was only an attempt because Max was officially as strong as a Pony, and I didn’t exactly have much coal to fuel my legs, so I basically tugged on his arm until he came along. Spike had left our breakfasts in the fridge, meaning that I got to show MAx another marvel of household Magic: The heating pad! It was simple in that it used Aetherial Magic to auto-cast Warming Spells at the press of a button, but the actual experiments that went into making such a common everyday thing were legendarily perilous. Many of the developing inventors either ended up with missing patches of fur that required spells to grow back, or in a few unlucky cases, they completely burned down their own workspaces. A lot of tweaking and tuning went into making the modern heating pad, and I was sure to avoid boring Max with all the details until he actually asked about it.

Trust me, Diary, I know. Someone who actually gave a darn about magical conveniences!

Once I’d made Max as knowledgeable on the subject as he wanted to be, we actually ate our food, although we ended up having to make more because both of us were ravenous. Max ate six eggs, four links of sausage, four more eggs, but with cheese, and then some toast. I, on the other hand, restricted myself to five eggs and two sausage links, but Max was still finished with his seconds prior to Spike bringing Apple Bloom over, both of them giggling and laughing at weird filly and colt stuff that stopped making sense to me after I hit sixteen or so. Unlike with Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom’s presence in my little brother’s circle of friends didn’t give me a strange, maternal feeling like I needed to protect him from her, which is why I didn’t think twice when Spike told me he was taking Apple Bloom to his room.

Oddly enough, Max asked for a word in private with Spike, which I would have loved to eavesdrop on if I didn’t feel like it would be a gross invasion of their privacy. With Max and Spike having their talk, I decided to have a little one with Apple Bloom at the dinner table. “So, Apple Bloom, what have you and Spike been up to today?”

She smiled, pink showing through her coat. “Well, we just been hangin’ out, helpin’ Granny cook, doin’ stuff on the farm… Nothin’ too interestin’, y’know?”

That piqued my interest, and made channel a bit of my inner Max. “Oh? So the little birdy told me wrong?”

Apple Bloom’s face lit up while I watched her with an amused smile. “I-I-Er, um… Wh-Whatcha mean, T-Twi?” She asked, fumbling her words.

“Hmm? Are you sure you wouldn’t rather tell me yourself, would you?” I teased.

“I-It was just the one! W-We only did that one time!” Apple Bloom cried. “Please don’t be mad, Twi! I know ya don’t want Spike ta have a fillyfriend yet, but he’s sooo cute an’ smart an’ loyal an’ sweet an’ nice an’-”

“Wait, hold up,” I raised my hands to forestall the flood of words tumbling from her mouth at a breakneck pace. “You were doing what? Let’s start with that.”

She looked at the table. “... We only kissed the one time…”

A part of me wanted to be a little mad at her, but a larger part of me wanted to ask, “Was it worth it?”

Apple Bloom looked me in the eye and said, “I’d do it again in front a’ the whole town.”

“So it would be okay if I told Big Mac that you were smooching on my little brother?” I watched as she blanched before I said, “Tell you what. Why don’t you and Spike just keep things quiet for a little bit longer so I can talk to Big Mac about when stallions should start dating?”

“I-If that’s what you think we should do…” She said quietly, obviously giving it some thought.

I propped my head up on my chin, my mind wandering to a seventeen year-old Spike and the pure love in his eyes whenever I saw him dancing with Apple Bloom at my wedding. There was an equal amount within her own eyes at the time, and even now I could see the sparks flickering in her Aura. It honestly gave me a lot to consider in a short amount of time, but it wasn’t something that I was anxious about per se. I knew what I wanted to convey within fifteen or so seconds; enough to let Apple Bloom mull her own thoughts over for a bit.

“Apple Bloom?”

She looked up. “Yeah?”

“I want you to date my little brother. Nopony else is good enough for him.” I answered judiciously, my Big Sister Voice coming out kind of harsh.

A filly I would call a little sister flinched before blushing furiously, bumbling with her words. “I-I… Ya mean…?” She waited for my cue.

“You’re the only filly I think will treat my little brother with the love and respect he deserves. We both know that Spike’s a gentle soul on his worst days; wouldn’t hurt a wasp after it stung him. I don’t know what he’s like romantically, and I hope that things aren’t getting much more than sweet between you two, but my point is that I assume Spike’s as kind as he is in a relationship as he is normally. That being said, Sweetie Belle can be a mean, entitled little filly, and she will try to use Spike for whatever she wants at the moment. I want you to stop her from doing that.” I sat back in my chair and levelled a cool, calm look at her.

“... Ya… Ya want me to look out for Spike as his… Fillyfriend?” Apple Bloom squeaked, biting her lip, just needing me to say one word.


She knocked her chair over in her rush to give me a hug, but I’d come close to toppling mine since she was so darn fast in getting to my side of the table. “Oh, Twi! I won’t let ya down, I-” Apple Bloom stopped hugging me and stepped back to look at me. “Wait, were you jus’ badmouthin’ Sweetie Belle?”

“I can see the future.”

“... That kinda makes this suck.”

I brought her in for another hug and let her head rest on my shoulder. “You’re already growing up so fast. When love’s involved, there seems to be a lot of ‘suck’ going on, but it just adds to the moments that make memories, Sweetie. It just makes it all so much more worth it~”

“You say that like you’re head over hooves.” She giggled, squeezing me before we both let go.

“I’ve got it pretty bad, but it’s because my stallion is really complicated. I can’t decide whether I’m lucky or cursed half the-”

“Oi!” Max yelped from the doorway, giving me a look. “After all the ‘luck’ I just brought you this morning?”

“Oh, will you shush!” I tittered, feeling my cheeks heat up. “You got lucky too!”

“What? Did y’all go somewhere this mornin’?” Apple Bloom asked.

Max walked in with Spike en tow, my little brother saying, “I didn’t see you guys go anywhere.”

“You didn’t see our note? We left it on the table,” Max covered smoothly.

“Oh, no. I guess it must’ve blown off somewhere.” Spike scratched his dorsal scales because he’s simple.

Apple Bloom was busy giving me a scrutinizing look, so I chose to give my attention to the guy who wanted it most. “Oi, Cherry, have you had enough walking for one day or would you like to have a little double date?” Max nudged Spike and got swatted for his teasing.

“It’s not-” My little brother started.

“That sounds lovely! I’d feel a lot better about Spike dating if we chaperoned every once
in awhile.” I replied pleasantly, surprising both of the young men I loved.

My boyfriend smiled back at me, giving me an approving nod. “I was thinking malts.”

“It’s more of a cone kind of day, don’t you think?” I winked at him.

He tried not to make it obvious that he was biting back a smile, but I just felt like it was a paper thin attempt. “But it’s warm enough to make the cream melt onto our fingers.”

“I’ll clean yours if you do mine.” I answered, giggling.

Ewww!” The young ones said simultaneously, garnering chuckles from Max and I.

We’d gotten an awfully late start on the day, but we still had daylight to burn, so we paired up and got to walking. Spike and Apple Bloom talked about random information they’d heard, gossip around town, silly stuff their older siblings did, and silly stuff they did. It was honestly just super cute to see how Apple Bloom acted around Spike, backing in and out of her shell whenever he gave her a compliment, or whenever he mentioned something that she held a similar opinion on. They disagreed on a lot of things in retrospect, but their different viewpoints were just more conversation topics to them, and the strange way that young people delve into their information just astounds me. I suppose that one loses touch with their youth after a certain age, or rather, that mindset fades after a certain amount of time and warps into the adult brain. Max tried to get my attention from time to time, but he didn’t seem too upset when I told him that I just wanted to watch Spike for a little longer. In fact, he just held my hand and kept quiet until we got to Sugarcube Corner.

There were a fair amount of ponies trying to escape the summer heat for the day with ice cream, so our choices were a little limited by the time we got up to the counter. Max chose black walnut and amaretto as his scoops while Spike asked for Clustered Cinna-burn. I got Turtle-Turtle since I was a part of the Canterlot Turtle Club back in my early years, and Apple Bloom picked the oddest flavor Sugarcube Corner offered; Pudding and Tall Grass. Max gave her a weird look for eating grass flavored ice cream, but it wasn’t unheard of for some ponies to like the taste of good old aged meadow grass. The short stuff that usually grows around knee high is generally pretty flavorless, but the taller grass gets, the more flavor it has. Explaining that to an Omnivore that couldn’t eat most Pony foods was a little hard since he didn’t get why grass got better as it got taller until I mentioned that Ponies in the Far East ate bamboo too.

After we got our ice cream, we took to the Whitetail Woods because Max was fond of the area. He took us to a copse of trees that form a nearly perfect circle around an open meadow that had but one tree, and that tall, lovely shade tree was almost exactly like the one Max had been sitting under during the picnic dream. It took me a second to realize that Max was plucking buds off of one of the thin green, so I got him a jar from my lab via teleportation and he started filling it with different nugs from different trees depending on what he saw after he broke them open. He ended up collecting a couple light green buds, a few bluish ones, and a few more dark green buds with fiery orange hairs all over. Apple Bloom and Spike asked what he was collecting the plants for and Max told them that he wanted to conduct an experiment with them if I was willing to help him.

Well, since he asked, we crammed a lot more weed into the jar and I promised to get him sorted by the end of the night. With that, we headed to Sweet Apple acres to drop Apple Bloom off for the night, and Max asked to stick around after he managed to get a couple of chuckles out of Big Mac. Applejack was just finishing up with washing off for the day, so I asked for a word in private with her.

“What did ya wanna talk about, Twi? We never really have too many heart-to-hearts.” Applejack commented truthfully.

“I know, but this one is pretty serious.” I said, not able to stop my lips from curving.

Her jaw dropped, one hand going to cover her heart and the other going to my shoulder. “You didn’t!

I blinked. “I was talking about our younger siblings.”

Applejack practically deflated. “Ah. What about ‘em?”

I gave her a conspicuous grin. “Don’t you think they’re kinda cute together?”

That got her smiling again. “Don’t tell me ya done gave Spike your blessin’ ta start dating!”

I pointed at her. “Only Apple Bloom. Your sister is a sweet little filly, but I don’t want my little Spikey-Wikey around Sweetie Belle too much. I think that filly was trying to get Max in trouble when he was staying with Rarity.”

“Hmm? What makes ya say that?”

“Well, according to the information Max volunteered, Sweetie Belle had him give her a stallion’s opinion on a dress and started stripping in front of him.”

“... We might wanna cast a Truth Spell on that one.” Applejack said uneasily.

“When Max lies, I can tell. He never really wants to give me false information, and he was rather forthcoming with what he said. I think we should be asking Sweetie Belle why she started stripping with a stallion in the room.”

“Well, ya know I’ll stand beside ya, but iffin’ what Max says is true, then I don’t want Spike ‘round ‘Belle. Not like Rares sets the best example as far as stallions go.”

“I know, which is why I’m worried, but I feel like there was something else I wanted to share with you…” I rubbed my chin, trying to think.

“Twi, I already know ya done ‘special snuggled’ Max,” Applejack said amusedly.

My face heated up and I giggled a little. “I-Is it that obvious?”

“Ya been walkin’ funny since I seen ya today,” She replied mirthfully, her own cheeks pinkening after a second, “and when I stopped by earlier I kinda caught a peep.”

It was my jaw that dropped this time.

After a few minutes to calm down and un-faint, Applejack got the smelling salts and said, “Ya gotta stop doin’ that.”

Whaaa?” I asked blearily.

“So you an’ Max are officially official, right?” She asked patiently, standing over me.

I sat up on her bed and rubbed my eyes. “Um… Yeah. Yes. Yes we are.” The corners of my mouth started lifting without me telling them to as I steepled my fingers.

“If what I heard this morning is anythin’ to go by, then ya got yerself a good one.” My lewd friend gave me a dirty, dirty grin and a wink.

“Applejack!” I exclaimed.

She chuckled and wrapped me up with her strong, solid arms. “Oh, I’m jus’ funnin’ ya, Twi. Still though, I’m surprised ya didn’t see me.”

“Um…” I thought back. “... I lost track of a lot of stuff, to be honest with you.”

Dayum.” She let out a low whistle. “And it was your first time?”

“W-Wait, what’s that supposed to mean!?”

“My first time kinda sucked. Guy just stuck it in.”

“Oh, no. Max was very gentle. I actually had to ask him to stop teasing me once the hard part was over.”

What!?” Applejack’s face was overcome with a look of pure jealousy. “Okay, Max can sleep alone tonight; we’re havin’ a slumber party.”

“Uh, I kinda promised to make something for Max before he went to bed, but… I don’t think he would mind too much, would he?”

“... You realize it ain’t that bad sleepin’ alone, right? And ya can just hop in bed with him tomorrow if ya want.”

“It’s not just that Max wants me to be around when it’s bedtime, it’s more that he has nightmares unless I’m there. I’m sure he’ll sleep well enough once I make the thing for him though.” I gave her a hopeful smile.

“Ya do a lot for that guy. It’s obvious that y’all love each other.”

“I try, but it never feels like enough, no matter how many times Max tells me all he wants is my love.”

Applejack chuckled a little at that and gave me a longing smile. “When he starts askin’ for the brown cherry-”

“We already covered that. It’s not happening.” I said flatly.

“Twilight Sparkle!” She gasped.

“What?” I asked, my face flushing. “I don’t like it like that!”

There was a knock on Applejack’s door, so she just left it at that and went to grab it, revealing a very amused Granny Smith. “Well, wouldn’t I jus’ love ta be a fly on the wall for whatever that was~”

“She’s trying to kiss your granddaughter!” Max shouted from the living.

“I know that, I’m jus’ tryna see why!” The old nag shouted back.

“Granny!” Applejack and I objected, though she was more admonishing and I was definitely embarrassed.

“Oh, take a joke, you two, “Granny chuckled, “I was jus’ comin’ ta ask if ya wanted some hard cider.”

Applejack looked at me, so I nodded. “Sounds lovely!”

“Thanks, Granny. I’ll be headin’ ta Twilight’s here soon though. Gossip.” My orangest whispered with a wink.

Granny made the ‘OK’ gesture and gave me a toothy grin, making me blush and smile at the floor.

Applejack and I joined Granny, Big Mac, and Max for a few mugs of cider before I told Max that I was going to host a sleepover and that he could sleep in my bed if he wanted. When I mentioned that I wasn’t planning on sleeping there, he replied with, “Well, at least it smells like you in there.”

“Your sense of smell is so weird.” I giggled. “How do I smell like wine to you?”

Max pointed at Applejack, “The same way she smells like baked apples and cider, “ his finger moved to Big Mac, “he smells like fresh apples,” Granny was the last one left, “and she smells like apple pie straight out of the oven. Spike smells like reptiles, Fluttershy smells like yellow cake, Rarity smells like toasted marshmallow, Pinkie like cotton candy, Rainbow like some fruity kind of candy, and your Mum smells like jasmine. Very calming.”

I blinked. “Oh.”

“... So everypony smells like somethin’ to you?” Applejack asked.

He nodded. “It’s usually food or something you can drink. I haven’t smelled a lot of people that don’t smell like some kind of consumable thing.”

“Weird.” Big Mac commented.

“‘Bout as weird as that thing on your face.” My boyfriend commented flippantly, like he was mentioning a blade of grass on the road.

Everypony looked at Big Mac just long enough for Max to disappear, making me look at his seat with a sigh. “Darn it.”

“... Doesn’t he not have Magic?” Applejack asked slowly.

“He has some, but he can’t telep-” Something grabbed my shoulders and spooked me straight out of my seat and into Applejack’s arms. “Aiiee!

Nopony was surprised when Max popped up from behind my chair, but we were surprised when he ducked down and got Applejack not even a second later, making her practically crush me out of fright. “Dear Celestia!

Max rose from behind the couch and laughed some more. “Aw, man, this is great! Why didn’t I think of doing this before?”

I gave him a pouty glare that got me kissed on the nose. “Stop scaring ponies!”

“Aww.” He pouted back at me.

Applejack yanked his arm while he wasn’t paying attention and put him in a headlock. “Who taught you manners, eh? Did your Momma teach ya ta go around scarin’ innocent mares?”

Max bore his noogie with as much grace and poise as a guy could while being manhandled by a woman. “Nah, she taught me how to be slippery though.” As soon as he finished his sentence, he jammed his thumb into the back of Applejack’s neck.

At first she just noogie him harder before she let him go. “Ow! Why’d that hurt so bad!?”

Max rubbed his head and gave her a devious grin, standing up straight. “Five bits and I’ll teach you, young grasshopper.”

“I’d rather just pay ya ta not do it again.” She grumbled, rubbing her neck and giving him a salty look.

“Hey, I was just spooking people. You were the one who shoved my face in your boob.”

“Well, now I kinda wanna thank ya for gettin’ me off ya…” Applejack admitted with a blush.

He waved it aside. “If Twilight’s not worried, I’m not worried.”

My friend gave him a little smile.”At least you’re not the complainin’ type. I half expected ya ta moan about me messin’ up your mane, Pretty Colt.”

Max thumbed his nose and laughed at that, apparently finding the ‘Pretty Colt’ part funny. “I can’t say I’ve ever thought of myself as a ‘Pretty Boy’, but if that’s what you wanna call it, Love…”

I rolled my eyes and pulled Max to the side of the couch I was sitting on since he was between me and Applejack. “You’re more like a dashing rogue than a Pretty Colt.”

“I wouldn’t say ‘dashin’’.” Big Mac grunted.

“I’d say ‘pretty’!” Granny cackled.

“The popular guy from school got with the biggest Bookworm on the block!” Applejack giggled.

“Opposites really do attract, don’t they?” Max laced his arms around me, setting his chin on my shoulder.

I licked his nose and he jolted. “Not so funny now, is it?”

How does your tongue do that!?

“It just does.” I giggled.

“Wow… Ponies must make fantastic lesbians.” He said frankly.

Granny lost her teeth, Applejack lit up bright red, Big Mac choked on his cider, and I considered it. “What would that have to do with anything?”

He kissed my cheek. “Don’t worry about it.”

“I wouldn’t.” Applejack said quickly.

“Ya might have to at the rate you’re goin’.” Granny said flatly.


Due to my nature as the Element of Magic, the binding force that makes friends friends, I decided to lend one of my sisters a helping hand. “You know, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover if we want to get all of the gals invited over to my house.”

“Yes! We sure do, Twi!” She exclaimed, snapping her fingers and pointing at me.

Max chuckled and let me go. “I’ll grab Spike and go on ahead. See you at home, Cherry.”

“See you soon, Amour.” Here’s hoping I don’t have to wait forever to sneak off and see you.

He leaned down to give me a kiss. “Love you. Be careful on the way back, okay?”

“I love you too, and you’d better look out for Spike, Buster!”

Max chuckled and fondled my ear for a moment, making me press my head into his hand. “Will do, Cherry.”

While Max was getting Spike, I went with Applejack to ‘help’ her pack and overnight bag, but all I really did was stand around and talk to her while she actually did the thing. We ended up taking until nightfall to get all of the gals together, but the only pony who seemed to know anything about my news was Applejack, and I preferred to keep it like that. When we got back to my house, Pinkie, Fluttershy, and Applejack tasked themselves with setting up the library with the lamps, snacks, sleeping bags, and blankets while Rarity, Rainbow, and I decided to go digging around in my basement for cool things that glowed for ambiance. It was actually a lot easier to find my radioactive things when the lights were off. We almost started getting some of the odd, abstract shapes hung prior to Max asking why we had glowing metals and rocks instead of magical lights. When I mentioned radioactivity, Max made me put everything back in a box and send it to the least populated place I knew of, though the only reason I did what he asked was because he was so freaked out about it.

Then he told me about cancer and I understood his point.

After my boyfriend stopped me from killing myself and all of my friends by way of accidental exposure, he tried to get out of my mane before I got started on processing the marijuana we’d collected, but much to my surprise, Rainbow asked him to stick around and ended up talking to him in a corner for a little bit before they both started making more hand gestures and generally becoming more animated with the conversation. I kept an eye on both my mini-project and my boyfriend, but the last thing I saw was him shrug and Rainbow nod. When I asked her about what the topic had been, she said that they were just clearing the air. I had a funny feeling that it was more than that, but I let it go for the time being.

I’d wanted to make Max some dabs so he wouldn’t have any troubles falling asleep, but the old method I was using (I had a really wide mane straightener) didn’t yield much, so I cheated and used Magic to extract the rosin from the herb I’d already pressed and the raw bud that still hadn’t seen heat. We’d collected about thirty or forty grams of different buds, so Max ended up with three grams of a mostly indica dominant strain, two of a sativa dominant, and about four grams of hybrid stuff since it had been growing wild and cross pollinating. All I had to do to make a little vape for Max was focus with the intent to break reality for a few seconds, and it wasn’t really all that hard to do since I hadn’t puffed on my ACC since before we’d gone to get ice cream. A couple seconds later and I had a few cartridges with different colors on the tips so he could tell them apart. Red for sativa, blue for indica, and purple for a hybrid. Simple!

Max mentioned that it felt like I was bribing him to sleep alone, which I kind of was, in a manner of speaking. I just wanted him to be comfortable, even if I wasn’t going to be laying next to him. Either way, Max wasn’t upset about getting to sleep in my big, comfy bed by himself, and he even promised me kisses if I could sneak away to come see him before he fell asleep, assuring me that he’d wait for me for a night or for a lifetime. Both would be tedious, but the prize would be worth it in his eyes, which got him kissed for being sweet.

When Max sent himself upstairs, I watched him go up until the gals chorused, “Aww!

“You two are so precious!” Rarity gasped.

“Jus’ gives ya th’ warm n’ fuzzies, don’t it?” Applejack asked, smiling knowingly.

Pinkie set her hands on her hips and gave me a look. “Why aren’t you following him up there for dance lessons!?”

Pinkie!” I cried, not able to stop myself from smiling. “Will you have some tact for once?”

Rarity’s jaw dropped. “You didn’t!

Rainbow’s brows lifted as she beamed. “No way! I was just telling Max to do it right!”

“W-Wait…” Fluttershy looked around, confused.

Pinkie clapped her hands. “That’s why she needs lessons! So she can do it right too!”

“Oh, that stallion can do it right.” Applejack said naughtily. “Somepony happened to walk in on ‘em this mornin’ and I never woulda believed it was Twilight in there-” I teleported her two feet into the air and dropped her on her rump. “Hay!

I clutched my pounding heart. “Will you not talk about that!?”

“That’s what we’re here for, isn’t it?” Rainbow asked. “I mean, this is the news, right?”

“Well, yeah, but-”

“Then you must know that a mare’s first time is an event to be shared with her closest friends in the privacy of her own home, no?” Rarity chimed in.

“Um…” Fluttershy’s face turned a bright, florid red.

Applejack nudged Rarity. “I can’t wait ta hear this one.”

“D-Do I have t-” I started.

Every detail.” Applejack, Rainbow, Rarity, and Pinkie all said simultaneously.

... Eep.

Pinkie grabbed my hand and lead the charge to the library, despite my weak, pitiful protests and bargaining. Before I knew it, I was sitting in a circle with my best friends, my sisters, all smiling at me with different levels of ‘Spill it, spill it, spill!!!’ in their eyes, so I asked, “So… Wh-Where should I start?”

“From the beginning, Darling!” Rarity exclaimed. “What was it? What set the mood?”

I curled a lock of my mane as I focused through my buzz to reminisce on the morning and the pleasures it had held for me. “Well… Max and I went back to Canterlot yesterday to make his physiology more suitable for living on Equus, and we made a date out of the day… For once, nopony bothered Max or called him nasty names; threw stuff at him or tried to have him arrested over nothing-”

“Wait, you’re saying that your coltfriend, Max, is basically a pariah and be hasn't even been on the planet two months!?” Rarity asked, dumbfounded. “While I can’t say that I’m the stallion’s biggest fan, I will admit that he has a certain charm to him that’s far too obvious for the refined ponies of Canterlot-”

“Prince Blueblood and the cadre of Dimbos he keeps around threw trash at Max and the guards that were going to arrest Max saw the whole thing happen. Equestrians are extremely xenophobic and racist, Rarity. There’s no arguing that at this point in my relationship with Max.” I said sadly with a sigh.

“So that date y’all had was extra special.” Applejack said softly.

I smiled and nodded. “For once, it was I was the one on the outside, not Max. We stopped and talked to some of my parents friends, and the only reason I got to talk was because Max kept bringing me back into the conversation. After my Uncle got stopped Max from being arrested and got him out of jail later, I think Celestia put out an order for the guards to be on the lookout for ponies coming after Max for no reason.”

“Wait, who’s your Uncle?” Rarity asked, interested in the Canterlot tale.

“Oh, you probably know him since you’ve worked with my Aunt Fleur.” I replied foalishly.

“... You’re related to one of the most influential couples in the country.” She said with a numb grin.

I shrugged. “They’re just ponies. Good ponies, but ponies nonetheless.”

“Alright, but what about the douches that were ignoring you and paying attention to Max. How’d that work?” Rainbow inquired irritably. I wondered if it was because she didn’t brain good.

“Oh, they just invited us to a party they were having later in the night that Max asked if he could bring me to and they barely said yes, despite knowing my parents on a personal level.” I said amusedly. “As soon as we got away from them, Max told me that we weren’t going because he didn’t like the way they’d disrespected me~” I stuck my chest out a little as I spoke, pride in my partner shining through.

“Aww, that is so sweet! It would’ve been sweeter if he’d said something-” Pinkie began.

“And made a scene as well as ruin a possible connection? The slight was minor, as far as the Canterlot Scene goes, gals.” Rarity clarified.

“Still, that was rude of them!”

“Yeah, but Twilight doesn’t care, so why should we? What happened after that crap?” Rainbow asked.

I blinked a few times. “Um… Well, Max and I came back home and on the walk home, the day just… It just got perfect. It was like everything was falling into place. Max and I walked in sync, breathed in sync, and when we got home, we had to sit on the stoop together because we just felt each other… It wasn’t like we were touching, but it was like his emotions and the way he felt started spreading into me and what I felt mixed into his heart. I’ve never felt so close to someone before.”

“And then what?” Fluttershy asked breathlessly.

“Well, Spike turned on the porch light to see who was outside his house and the moment was over from there, but then Max and I stayed up late last night reading on the couch until he started dozing off. Well, he was reading and I was writing in my diary, but he was still the first one to fall asleep, so I grabbed a blanket from the chest and went to snuggle up to him, but he woke up and pulled me on top of him and we slept like that for a few hours.” I had everypony wrapped around my finger at this point, so I carried on. “I woke up before Max and got to watch him while he slept for a little bit. Listen to his heart. Feel him breathe… I was almost a little mad that he woke up, but then we just flirted for a little bit until Max put his hands on my…”

Five mares leaned forward as my face lit up, making me hide behind my hands. “Will you stop staring at me!?”

“C’mon, Twi! Ya can’t stop there!” Applejack urged

I wrung my hands and looked around, all of the gals either giving me dirty grins or interested looks. “W-Well… Max p-p-put his hands on… M-My b-b-butt…”

Aaand?” Echoed around the circle.

“W-Well… He started off a little too hard, but he started getting softer and it started feeling n-nice…” I admitted through a trembling voice and a bright, glowing blush.

“The sooner ya get through with it the sooner ya can be done~” Applejack needled.

“W-Well… M-Max just did that… Er, massaged me for a little while before he s-slipped his hands under my skirt…” I looked at my hands. “He-He touched the wrong place and that got cleared up pretty fast, so... Um… Well, he sat up and had me on his lap so I could feel… it-”

“Was it big?” Pinkie asked.

“Save it for the good part.” Applejack shushed. “Keep goin’, Twi.”

“Well… It’s a nice thing, I’ll say that much… I-Um… Well, from there, Max started touching my thighs and that felt good too. Then I got another kiss and… Well, it just clicked. It just felt like the right moment until I heard Spike coming down the stairs.” I finished a little irritably.

“That’s what you get for getting busy in the library~” Rarity sang.

“Shush.” I huffed.

“Don't stop there! What happened next!?” Rainbow urged.

“After I teleported us to my room, we started getting… Busier, and I really have to say that Max is way too good with blouse buttons.” I tugged at the front of my Tee.

There were giggles around the circle as Applejack asked, “What, did he have ya shirtless in ten-” I started nodding and she blinked. “Oh.”

“If it even was ten seconds.” I said, still a little stunned. After that, we took each other’s clothes off and… Explored…”

“So how big was it?” Pinkie asked again.

I made a face and tried to figure it out, imagining that I was grabbing with my arm straight. When I made a little line in my fur where his tip stopped, Rarity said, “You’re lying!

The look I gave her must have been innocent or something of the sort as I shook my head. “No, that’s about right.”

“And it’s how thick?” Pinkie asked breathlessly.

I shrugged. “It’s hard for me to get my hand around, I’ll say that much.”

Applejack stared at me. “... And… I’m sorry, but the guy I had was smaller than that an’ all it did was hurt.”

“I concur.” Rarity said uneasily.

“That’s because you tarts were fucking: Twilight and I were making love.” Max commented loudly, passing by the doorway on his way to the kitchen.

“Hey, get that flank in here!” Applejack yelled.

“Water first!” Max shouted back.

“We’ll be waitin’!”

I threw a pillow at Applejack. “Don’t bring him into this!” I hissed.

She shrugged. “His hands are bigger.”

I choked on my own saliva, Fluttershy and Rarity gasped, Rainbow didn’t look like she really cared, and Pinkie looked far too interested for comfort. “Why does it matter how big he is?”

“Because that thing shoulda split ya in half!” Applejack said in low tones.

“I already told you he was gentle!” I murmured hotly, not liking her implications.

“Ya keep sayin’ that, but what is your definition? Cause when I saw him buckin’ ya silly-” I silenced her with a spell for talking too much.

“It was not like that!” I protested.

Eyes turned to look off to my left, leading me to see Max as he knelt down next to me with a cup half full of ice and water. “So why am I in here?”

“We got a question for ya that Twilight just can’t answer, and it’s been botherin’ me since she told me she gave ya her first time.” Applejack said bluntly.

I slowly covered my face, knowing that Max was looking at me. I was worried about how he felt until I felt a trickle of acceptance pass through our connection. It was tainted with disappointment and loneliness, making me lean on my future husband to support him. “I tend to answer questions. Lay it on me.”

“How do you make a mare’s first time not hurt?”

“I never said it didn’t!” I mewled pathetically, getting Max to wrap an arm around me.

“Like I said, AJ; you were fucking. Twilight and I were making love. The difference is in foreplay.”

“... The buck? How would that help Twilight?” Rainbow asked.

“Um… How would it not? After a few extra fun favors, who isn’t ready to go?” He replied, not understanding why it was so odd.

“While I hesitate to ask for the sake of proper etiquette, I must know what constitutes as foreplay for you.” Rarity asked.

“Yeah, this is as awkward as I thought it’d be, yup.” Max said plainly. “Seriously, have none of you ever heard of oral?”

“What you did to my chest wasn’t that!” I cried.

“That was a breast orgasm, and I’m honestly surprised you reacted so well to it. Most women don’t know what the fuck is going on when that happens.” My boyfriend answered pleasantly, giving me a squeeze.

“Wait, you… Did a thing and Twilight got ‘happy’ from just that!?” Rainbow asked, her face screwed up in confusion as I peeked out from behind my fingers.

“Yeah. It’s uncommon, not unheard of.”

“... So… Was that all?” Fluttershy asked.

“I’m pretty sure Twilight doesn’t want to talk about our bed life anymore.”

I grabbed his hand. “I-I don’t mind… I-If it felt good for me, they could ask a stallion to do it for them too…”

He shrugged. “Alright. After the breast orgasm, I went down on Twilight-”

“What?” Echoed between Applejack, Rarity, and Rainbow.

You went down on her?” Rarity asked. “St-Stallions… Stallions don’t do that.

Mares don’t do that.” Rainbow scoffed. “I should buckin’ know by now.”

“... Seriously…?” Max asked.

“Yep,” Rainbow grunted.

Applejack nodded. “Mhmm.”

Rarity just shook her head, Pinkie shrugged, and Fluttershy kept looking around, her hands firmly between her legs. Max looked around, his gaze settling on the orange mare. “No fuckin’ wonder your first time hurt! Were you even wet? Like, how ‘in the mood’ were you? Seriously. It shouldn’t hurt that much if you have half an idea of what you’re doing.”

Applejack blushed and coughed, clearing her throat. “Um… Well, I was inta it, but there were better times for it later, i-if that’s whatcha mean.”

“You couldn’t have been less interested in sex at the time.” Max said flatly.

“Yeah.” She sighed.

He looked to Rarity and she shook her head. “It was during a special time and it still hurt, but then again, it sounds as though you gave Twilight plenty of time to prepare for the moment of truth.”

Max nodded solemnly. “In the future, just keep in mind that waterslides are more fun when there’s water involved. Otherwise it’s going to hurt.”

“Gosh, I wish you weren’t dating Twilight! It sounds like you’re a good first stallion!” Pinkie said, making Max’s heart ache.

“Yeah, she caught her a good one.” Applejack sighed. “Darn, the cute ones get all the luck.” Another thorn stabbed its way into Max’s heart.

“I’d rather have you as a friend, if it’s all the same to you. I don’t think I could put up with your nonsense for long.” Rarity teased, making Max smile.

“What, are you saying that my little Twiwight is more ‘mare’ than you? Or are you saying I’m too much ‘stallion’ to handle?”

“I bow to Twilight when it comes to supernatural beings.” Rarity huffed.

“How am I- An alien, yup. Forgot.” Max sighed, leaning into me.

“There are worse things to be.” Rainbow said brashly, catching my attention. “You could always have a little dick and be the biggest stallion around.”

“Yeah, you got a point there.” He admitted, shaking against me as he tried not to laugh.

“What’s so funny?” I asked.

His look of betrayal was ruined by the smidgiest smidge of a smile on his lips. “Me? What do I find funny? A great many deal of things, so let me tell the tale!”


Once there was a sailor and his name was Troglodyte!

When he reefed the sails the whole ship did shake with fright!

For fear he’d bend and break the mast with his Manly Might!”

I hooked a finger in his mouth as he started another verse. “Shush, smartass.”

Even as Max bit my finger (Which hurt) the gals were giggling their heads off, save for Rarity. She didn’t find randomness as funny as the rest of the foals with too many endowments, but I had to admit that Max was too cute for his own good at times, and this was one of those times. I yanked my finger out of his mouth and tackled him to the floor, careful not to poke him with my horn as he let me pin his arms to his sides. With a handy-dandy spell, I made sure he wasn’t going anywhere before pushing myself up, grinning triumphantly.

“Oh no! I have now known defeat! Da-hoof! Whichever!” Max chuckled, his eyes gleaming.

“And I know exactly what I want for winning~” I leaned down and planted a kiss on his nose before getting a taste of his face.

“Oh my gosh, if this gets any gushier I’m gonna hurl.” Dash said pointlessly. It’s not like I was gonna stop.

“Oh hush, Rainbow! This is better than any novel~!” Rarity sighed.

I flipped my mane to one side of my face so I could give her a look. “Of course we’re better than a book! We should be a book.”

“I’ll help you write it if you get your slobber off ma’ face.” Max grunted.

I rolled my eyes and obliged him, releasing my spell a second later. “Now-”

He quickly turned the tables on me, but my constantly paranoid boyfriend was careful not to let my head hit the floor before he gave me a kiss. “Next time you drag me into Girl Talk, at least give me a kiss for my troubles.”

Sure, Amour. I’ll be sure to give you a better one in the morning if you let me up to give you a quick one now.”

Max scoffed and looked around. “Why would I get a quick one when I could jussst…”

The wolf-whistles and giggles were unappreciated, but the kiss was a different story when my mind started wandering towards other things. Tasty things. Either way, Max still went to bed and left me doing my best to not watch as he left, though the girls helped with that by teasing me relentlessly to little effect, for once. Instead of feeling embarrassed or ashamed of having been seen at that level of intimacy with Max, I was a mixture of happy and smug that probably leveled out to ‘proud’, which was all due to my loving friends and boyfriend. The way my silly Human seemed to mix in with the gals when they were all together was effortless, and I was definitely going to bring up an interesting idea for a prank to him.

I should mention that I only got devious because I was sobering up to the point of becoming ‘older’, in a manner of speaking. If I wasn’t accounting for thousands of years of Prank Wars with Max, then there was no way that I ever would have thought of my cute little idea, but it was already in my head by the time I hit my ACC, so it was too late for me to save the gals. I mean, I could’ve always just cast the thought aside, but where’s the fun in that?

… Hmm… I don’t think I need to go into the rest of the sleepover since it calmed down a lot from there, but when I snuck off to go see Max for a moment, he was sound asleep with the blouse I’d worn the day before in his grasp. The sight was heartwarming to say the least, so I just left him with a quick smooch before going back downstairs to get this written down and sorted out. Now should be a perfect time for a conclusion~


In conclusion…

Holy moly. My morning was epic. My day has been perfect. If I don’t understand how I was feeling today just by reading this in the future, then I’m going to regret not finishing this. I need some alone time to properly reflect on how my morning went down in the basement where nopony can bother me for a bit. In any case, it’s been good talking to you, Diary~❣

Paper? < Scissors~ < Rock.

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Redux: Paper? < Scissors~ < Rock.


Dear Diary,

… Let’s… I need to talk about some stuff with someone other than Max. You’ll lend a page or two, won’t you…? Thanks, Diary.

So the morning started with me waking up among the gals after our slumber party, specifically after my trip to the basement for a little release after Max’s teasing. My prank was already in my head, and Max decided to sweeten the loaded morning by making breakfast for everyone. Well, he did a few other things toward being the ultimate, sweetest boyfriend ever, despite having argued with at least two of my five friends. The little grabs and fondles when no one was looking were just nice. Rarity and Applejack pitched in to help Max make the most of what we had in the kitchen, and with Fluttershy helping with the preparation, breakfast was done in no time flat.

It wasn’t exactly fancy, and it didn’t take long for everyone to finish up and be ready to get on with their day. I saw the girls off while Max went and took a shower, but Applejack stayed behind to have a quick word with me after the rest of the girls left. She waited until Spike was out of the house for the day and my boyfriend had started his shower to mention that she wanted to talk in the first place, but it’s not like it wasn’t obvious by the fact that she’d lingered so long.

When I had her sat down in the kitchen with another mug of coffee, Applejack asked, “Twilight, do you… Do you think Max is happy right now?”

I gave her a sad smile, knowing that her intuition was spot on. “Not as happy as he could be, even given his situation. Last night hurt for Max.”

“... I thought so. Somethin’ didn’t feel right when I mentioned that I needed a guy like Max in my life.”

There was a little smudge on my new table, so I cast a quick spell to wipe it off. “... Max… I think Max feels like nopony respects him. Nopony sees him as more than a ‘thing’ with legs, if you get what I’m talking about. If I’m right, then that’s a large part of why Max doesn’t like me talking about our bed life.”

“Doesn’t want more mares seein’ him as just another piece a’ tail.” Applejack murmured.

I sighed along with her. “Why don’t you take him fishing or something, Applejack? I know you know how to make friends with stallions.”

“I could try gettin’ some fellas together for some hoofball. The season’s just right for it, I reckon.” She cracked a little smile.

I returned it with a suspicious look that she didn’t believe for a second. “You just wanna get your hands all over him!”

“That beanpole?” She lifted a brow. “Maybe if he filled out a little more. I-”

“Used to be his FWB before I started dating him in another life~” I teased.

Her jaw dropped and we broke out into giggles. “Seriously!?

“Yup! Apparently you liked how honest he could be as long as you weren’t openly prying.”

“Huh.” She just shook her head at the thought. “That’s kinda odd.”

“Well, if you want to cuddle with Max, you have my permission as long as he’s okay with it.” I gave her a warm smile.

“Well, I wouldn’t want him to think I’m tryin’ ta steal him from ya, and I doubt that he wants me as a friend with benefits more than just a friend right now. We’ll see what happens after we go fishin’.”

“Let me know how that goes, by the way. I don’t know what you intend on doing with what you catch-”

“Oh, the little buggers are goin’ straight inta the field as fertilizer unless Max wants to throw ‘em back.”

“He might want to eat a couple.”

“Ah. Yeah, I noticed he had a couple a’ fangs, but I wasn’t too worried about it.”

“It’s honestly just a plus. It makes his nibbles more nibbly.”

She gave me a flat look. “Alright, Lover-Mare, simmer down.”

I shrugged. “The guy’s cute. What am I supposed to do about it?”

“Go upstairs and surprise him in the shower?”

“Why don’t you go and try to get ahead on your work so you can go shopping tomorrow with me and the gals in Canterlot~?”

Applejack gave me a look. “Because I don’t wanna. You know I never actually get anything on our shopping trips, right?”

“That’s because nopony wants to be seen going into Flannel-Tartarus,” I replied, giving her a look of equal magnitude.

“There’s nothing wrong with flannel!”

“It only looks good on farmers.”

“It’s not the darn hat!”

“It’s the hat.”

“You could wear hats too!”

“My beret is all I need, thank you,” I sniffed.

“You need a Trotson. You’ve got the perfect mane for it, Twi!”

“You’re dehydrated.”

“You’re stubborn,” She pouted.

I tried not to stare at her with too much ‘Ninny please’ in my eyes before I tried brokering a deal. “How about this? You and I take a special trip to Jolly Junction-”


I held up a finger. “If you let me pick out an outfit for you to wear on our next outing with the girls.”

Applejack’s face fell and I felt a little offended. “Well…

I gave her a dirty look. “It’ll be from what you already own.”

“Oh, then yeah. Let’s do it today! That’s the only reason I got to come to the slumber party anyway, with work bein’ light right now.”

“Meet up in say, two hours?” I proposed.

“Sounds good to me. Here or the train station?”

“The train station. Would you mind if I brought a new friend along with me? Her name is Roxy, and I’ve wanted to introduce her to the girls for a couple days now, but there just hasn't been time.”

Applejack gave me a blank look. “Ya mean like last night?”

“That was kinda sudden, and I don’t think a complete and utter lesbian wants to hear about my first time with a stallion.”

“Ooo, stone-cold homo?”

“She has a warm personality! She reminds me a little of Max, actually.”

“Huh. Then I can’t wait to meet her.”

I smiled and Applejack finished her mug of coffee before leaving for the time being. Max was finishing up with his shower, so I went upstairs and grabbed some of my more ‘Working Mare’ clothes so I could match with Applejack for our shopping trip. I only had two flannel shirts in my whole wardrobe, which would work out well for what I had in mind. When Max came out of the shower looking hotter than a coal that’s been left in a blast furnace in the middle of a volcano, I asked him to leave his shirt off until I got out of the shower. As his reward for being a sexy Sweetheart, he got to wash my back and my front when he started fake-pouting about not getting anything out of being shirtless. I could’ve just let him wash my tail since he asked, but I wanted something out of it too, so shush!

Once I was done being molested washed by Max, he also helped me dry off and get dirty all over again by giving me plenty of kisses after he finished shaving his face. As nice as that was, I still needed him to stop so I asked, “Can you please not make us lose any more time than we’re already taking? We need to get ready for my prank!”

Max pulled away from me with a strange look on his face, my shirt unbuttoned and my jeans still yet to be put on. “You? A prank…?”

I started putting my pants on and tried giving him a look at the same time until he held my undies out for me. After snatching them from him and putting them on I said, “Yes, me. How do you feel about being a girl for a day?”

“... Can we snuggle while I’m a girl?”

“Did you think we weren’t going to?” I asked in disbelief.

He gave me a wide smile. “You’ll change me back if it sucks, right?”

“Of course, Amour. I think I remember you being around my size when you were female, so let’s find you something to wear!”

His smile faltered. “... Can’t we-”

“It’s going to be a flannel shirt and some jeans.”

“Yeah, that’s cool. I thought you were going to try and strap a bra on me.”

My horn lit up as an evil smile crossed my lips, Max’s entire form changing into the finest woman I’d ever known. Her smattering of freckles were adorable, even if Max himself didn’t have them, and the way his eyes had lightened and softened made him- Er, her, look more approachable, even with the mildly disgruntled, disapproving look she was giving me. I couldn’t help but blush, my heart pounding in my chest as I fell in love all over again, an awkward, nervous smile coming to my lips.

“... Wow…”

Max glared at me and patted herself down, feeling up her chest and rear while giving me few reasons to be smiling. “Give a guy some warning, will you?”

“Maybe next time~” I sang mercilessly. “Don’t you want to see what you look like?”

She gave me another look and went to the mirror to check herself, frowning at what she saw. “Well, I wasn’t expecting sex-bomb of the year, but I was at least aiming for a six.”

I stared at her. “... You don’t think you’re pretty?”

“... No? Why would I?” Max asked, turning to look at me, smirking. “I’m not exactly Twilight over here, you know.”

“... You don’t think you’re as pretty as me?

“... You think I’m legitimately attractive like this?”

“Max, I would lick your paw-thing for a chance to just hold your hand. I-I-I would get a special shovel to-to scoop up some dirt you walked on!”

She stared at me and gave me an odd smile. “Just relax and give into Max.”

My heart fluttered and I beamed at her lovingly. “Yes, Amour?”

“Come kiss my nipples.”

My smile grew a little dirty as I came over to do as she asked, having to stoop pretty low to get down to her chest since she was shorter than me. Once I gave each one a little peck, my face lit up and I covered my mouth. “Max!

She rubbed her breasts, her face flushing like mine. “That was kinda hot.”

I tried to glare at her, but my lips were tingling too hard for me to frown properly. I kept my mouth covered because I could still make angry eyes, but it was still a little frustrating, so I tried something for myself. “It’s alright; listen to Twilight.”

Max’s eyes went glossy and she gave me a gentle, peaceful smile. “Anything for you, Cherry.”

My grin was beyond mischievous. “Do something cool.”

She tilted her head and her brow furrowed for a split second before she turned on one leg and took off toward the shower in the cramped space, rocketing away from me like a rock from a sling. Or like a rocket, I guess. Either way, Max did the most ridiculous flip I’d ever seen off of the lip of the tub, stepping off of it to launch herself to the point where she kicked off of the ceiling and spun in the air to land on her feet facing me. While I was busy being stunned, Max shook her head to clear it and gave me a look.

“You honestly couldn’t think of anything better to make me do?” She pouted, “My legs hurt.”

“Sorry, but that was amazing! You have to do that in front of Spike!”

She shrugged. “Just give me a bare wall and some shoes. Your ceiling makes my feet hurt.”

“Ah, they’re called feet!” I exclaimed. After a quick facepalm, I gave Max a smile. “Well, I’ll explain my prank to you while we’re getting dressed in my room, okay?”

“You’re more dressed than I am.” She grumbled, shimmying her hips so that her bottoms fell off completely instead of just hanging off like they had been. I stared at the small patch of fur that covered her flower and wondered what it smelled like before Max said, “Oh shit, I could probably shave that now.”

“Why would you want to?” I asked confusedly.

She gave me a look and pulled on some of it. “It’s too long.”

I cast a quick spell and it fell off of her. “How about that?”

She and I looked at her lips while I tried not to drool. “Huh.” Max felt herself up. “Puffy.”

“Can I feel?” I asked meekly.

“Well, it’s your fault it’s here in the first place, so feel free, I guess.”

Max’s hand didn’t leave herself as I approached her, but when I touched her beneath the waist, she bit her lips and put her hand over mine, the warmth I felt between her legs intoxicating. The softness of another mare had been lost on me until then, but we weren’t going to spend the day having snack time quite yet. No, we alighted to my room before things could get any seriously seriouser than they already were and got Max dressed up for the day. She reluctantly let me strap one of my old bras on her that hadn’t been thrown out yet. Roxy was a little modest with her bust, and the jeans that she chose to wear just made her flank look phenomenal. The panties, on the other hand, had been a battle to get her to wear since, for one, she didn’t want to wear girl’s underwear, and for two, she didn’t want to wear my underwear. I eventually cajoled and blackmailed her into slipping on a pair of navy undies I’d gotten with her in mind, though the irony was lost on my sweet little Human.

Once we got dressed, I left a note for Spike and we went off to the train station to meet up with Applejack, though she was almost late for the train by the time she got there. Apparently, she’d had to help Big Mac fix the door on the barn unexpectedly, but it hadn’t made us miss our train. Everything was turning out well so far, but then we actually got on board the train and Max introduced herself as Roxy to Applejack. Roxy was kind and pleasant; ready to smile at the drop of a hat or the slightest crack of a joke, and Applejack really seemed to like her from what I could tell.

By the end of the relatively short train ride, I was already a little more jealous of the bond between my boyfriend who currently happened to be a girl and my farm-filly best friend, but I brushed it aside every time they brought me back into the conversation and let them make me feel better about essentially being a third wheel. As we walked and talked, or rather, as Roxy and Applejack told rambunctious stories about their youths, I felt like I was watching a budding romance between a young couple and wondered if the gals were as envious of me as I was jealous of Applejack. She just always seemed to know the right ways to get into Max’s good books, even if they started out a little rocky. Honestly, between the two of them you’d never know that a conversation could carry on so fluidly.

When we actually got to Applejack’s all-time favorite shop Roxy asked, “Wait, is this the place to get a jean-jacket or what?”

Applejack beamed at her. “It sure it! Welcome to the workin’ gal’s paradise!”

“Huh. Wonder if I can find a bow in there.”

She gave Roxy an odd look. “What would ya need a bow for?”

“I live near some crazy dangerous beasties. Never hurt to keep ‘em at a distance, yeah?” Roxy said, smirking easily.

Applejack chuckled and gave her a look. “Ya really do remind me of Max. Both a’ y'all got the same sense a’ humor and that funky accent.”

“You have an accent too, Applejack.” I pointed out, trying to get back into the conversation.

Roxy gave me an appalled look. “So do you, ya purple little minx!”

“I don’t have an accent!” I gasped.

“Yeah ya do. It’s a slight Canterlot Cadence, but it’s there.” Applejack huffed.

I blushed. “Well, I never knew that.”

Roxy grinned at me. “C’mon, let’s go make you look the part of the small-town heroine.”

“Now you’re speakin’ my language!” Applejack said a little louder than necessary. I think she was just glad to get to go shopping at Posie Pickers.

Once we got inside the shop, Applejack could barely contain herself until Roxy told her that she’d follow her lead wherever she went, much to my concern. There were so many things that would only ever look good on Applejack, though Roxy convinced me to buy a denim skirt and a cute pink and black plaid shirt that was linen instead of flannel. It was a cute outfit, but after I made sure that Max knew I was going to get her one to match it, she was keen to stick with Applejack as she went undie shopping. I wasn’t exactly worried about my ‘girl’friend getting turned on by Applejack’s choices since the only things Posie Pickers had that were even close to being snack-worthy were boyshorts that made your tail hike up.

Applejack couldn’t convince me or Roxy to get anything other than a few pairs of boyshorts apiece, though it was a lot easier to convince Roxy to model things for me in the same changing room as Applejack. I never saw her eyes wander whenever it was my bestie’s turn to strip and redress, so I was feeling good about Roxy and her dedication to me because Applejack is like a nine-point-five and I’m just a four. Applejack has the looks, the bust, and the booty to back up whatever kind of talk she wants, but she just has some complex about being too muscular because a couple dumbbutts told her that she was too strong for them. Maybe I was just more Roxy’s type, but either way I appreciated the fact that Applejack had to call her out for sneaking peeks at me while I was changing.

“Roxy, are ya tryin’ ta catch a peek a’ Twi?” Applejack asked amusedly.

I turned to face Roxy, covering my chest with one arm. “Wait, what?”

My girlfriend’s blushed and she chuckled awkwardly. “Um…” She gave up and sighed. “What can I say!? She’s got a cute bum!”

My farmer friend’s face flushed. “Oh.”

“Roxy!” I hissed, trying not to get us kicked out of the store. “Don’t say that!”

“It’s true!” she whispered back, making an innocuous gesture with her hand.

“I didn’t know ya- Oh wait. Yeah I did…” Applejack murmured, her hoof firmly in her mouth.

Roxy gave her a look, her cheeks still rosy. “You’re just jealous that I wasn’t looking at you.”

“I’m wondering why,” I squeaked.

Roxy shot me a glare as Applejack said, “I’m not saying anythin’ on that, but stop bein’ a pervert!”

“I’m not a pervert; I’m an opportunist,” my actress of a girlfriend said haughtily, crossing her arms and raising her chin.

Applejack gave her a look. “Uh-huh. Why don’t you get dressed and-”

Roxy flip-flopped one of Applejack’s breasts before scooting around to stand behind me. “Gotcha!”

Applebrain flipped her off. “Come take it like a mare!”

“Neh-neh-nah-boo-boo, stick your head in doo-doo!” Roxy sang, holding my back to her chest, sticking her head over my shoulder.

I summoned up the power of every unfertilized egg I’d ever had and tapped into the raw energy of Marehood Incarnate to grab Roxy by the pussy. “Knock it off, you goober!”

Yeep!” She cried. “Wooah now!

I pressed my middle finger against the place I knew it would feel the best, being a merciless menace while Roxy clutched my arm. “Are you going to be good?”

Applejack’s face was as red as her brother’s and glowed brighter than some of my former favorite minerals. “Twilight Sparkle!

A salesmare chose that moment to poke her head into the room, a concerned look on her face. “Is everything- Oh.”

“I-I-It’s not what it looks like!” Applejack squawked.

The salesmare looked over to Roxy and me, her eyes traveling down as I slowly moved my hand away. “... Yeah… Um… Don’t do… That. Don’t do that here.”

“This is a huge miscommunication, but thanks for the interruption,” Roxy said meekly, jamming a thumb in my side.

Ow!” I glared at her.

The salesmare looked at Roxy. “Yeah, Sugar. If a mare bigger than you tries to do that, then don’t jus’ let it happen.”

“Noted.” Roxy murmured.

She turned to me next. “We don’ like yer kind ‘round here.

“... Oh.”

The salesmare made the ‘I’m watching you’ gesture and backed out of the room. Once the door was closed, Roxy wrapped her arms around me and kissed my cheek. “Love you, Sugar Plum.”

I twisted in her arms and kissed her lips, flicking the inside of her mouth with my tongue during the slightly extended exchange. “I love you too, Sweet Birch.”

She raised a brow. “Sweet Birch?”

“It’s what you taste like.” I shrugged and looked at Applejack. “Why don’t we get dressed?”

When I saw the cold expression on my friend’s face, I flinched. “Yeah, sure.

“... Is there a problem, AJ?” Roxy asked carefully.

“You know a guy named Max by any chance?”

Roxy draped her arms around my shoulders, her breath tickling my collar. “I dunno. What’s it to you?”

“Your fillyfriend has a coltfriend.”

Well somebody told me, that you boyfriend, that looked like a girlfriend, that I had in February of last year, it’s not confidential, I’ve got potential, a-rushin’ a-rushin arooound! Roxy sang, rocking me back and forth until I stepped on her toes. “Yeeow!” She picked me up without using her hands, but she smacked my flank with one.

“Ow! Stop that and get dressed already!” I said when she put me back on the floor.She made a silly face at me and got her clothes while Applejack stared at her.

“... Did you not hear what I said?” My orange friend asked in the most confused fashion.

Roxy put her shirt on and fastened the buttons in less than ten seconds. “Hmm? Yeah, I think so. Twilight has a boyfriend?”

Applejack nodded.

“Applejack, Roxy knows about Max.” I giggled.

She shot me a stern glare. “But does Max know about Roxy?”

My little smile made her frown harder and my wink made her look dissipate into one of confusion. “Maybe~

“... Are ya cheatin’ on the stallion who loves you most or not?”

“I’m not a stallion. I’m not even a fucking Pony; for the last time, I swear to God.” Roxy grumbled irritably.

Applejack stared at her. “... Max?”

“Vagina now included.” She gave her a big wink and a smarmy grin.

My simple farm-gal stared at her before she lit up bright red and started whacking her relentlessly with one hand, covering herself with the other. “Put’cher damn pants on and get outta here you pervert!”

“Stop hitting me so I can!” Roxy guffawed, shying away from Applejack while trying to protect her face.

Applejack laid off so Roxy could finish getting dressed, and I wasn’t far behind her, but Applejack hit me too before I could leave. When we had all our stuff bought and paid for, the cowfilly asked, “So what are ya buyin’ girl clothes for anyway, Rox- Er, Ma-”

“Nah, just call me Roxy. It feels more natural while I look like this,” she interrupted, though not unkindly.

“Right. So… Are ya plannin’ on stayin’ like that or somethin’?”

“Nope,” I answered for her. “It’s just going to be an occasional thing. We’re also going to try and prank the rest of the girls with it too if you want to play along.”

Applejack looked a little sad about that. “You know how bad I am at smart pony pranks.”

“What, you can’t lie worth a cowpie, can you?” Roxy giggled, and thus it was adorable.

“Pretty much.” I patted Applejack’s back as she shrugged. “It’s not like it’s a bad thing.”

“Right? I’d rather be honest than be a liar any day anyway.” Applejack huffed.

“Which is gonna get you pranked again.” My girlfriend said impishly, her smile making Applejack and I trade a look.

My orange friend’s cheeks were a little pink and her voice was a little lower than normal when she said, “Yeah, sure.”

Roxy reached over from my left side and poked Applejack, making her jolt. “What, you’re just gonna bend over and take it?”

I hit her. “Roxy, will you stop?”

“What!? Ben Dover was famous in my country for his prankability!” Roxy exclaimed, clearly offended.

Applejack’s arms were the longest out of our trio’s, so she rapped her knuckles over Roxy’s head with no issues. “You’re just a goofball with whatever hormones ya got, aren’t ya?”

My widdle Sweetie pouted and shot Applejack a dirty look. “Nig-nug-neg-nog.”

“... What?” We Ponies chorused.

“Ah, sorry, I was a little concussed. I meant nag.”

“Damn, that was kinda good.” Applejack muttered.

I almost went crosseyed trying to give both of them looks at the same time. “You two need to clean up your language!”

Moo.” Roxy crooned.

I gave her a sharp look. “Are you calling me a cow?”

“Me? A cow?” She held a hand to her heart. “Why, I never!”

“Not you, me!”

“Me? Don’t call me a cow!” Roxy pinched me.

I pinched her back. “You called me a cow!”

She whacked me. “I am not a cow!”

I whacked her in turn. “I didn’t say you were one!”

Applejack’s giggles got her hit twice, but she was still smiling. “Aww, shucks! Tan my hide an’ butter my biscuits; y’all are better than the Uniday funnies!”

Roxy stuck her tongue out at her, so I figured a show of unity would prove Applejack wrong. I was sadly mistaken, but at least somepony got something out of it. With that out of the way and Applejack fully aware of who Roxy really was, my girlfriend and I could hold hands and trade smooches as much as we pleased. Or rather, so I thought. When Roxy and I kissed as we were making our way to the train station, we usually attracted some pretty maligned looks as we did, but Applejack being nearby seemed to keep most ponies at bay. However, there was a group of mares and stallions that started following us while we were on our way, and that made Roxy more than a little sketched out.

As we walked along, the ponies kept getting closer and closer to us, walking faster as Roxy started hurrying along. Applejack checked the road behind us and made us stop, but Roxy wasn’t really feeling the while ‘Stop and chat’ thing. When the ponies walked up to us, a mare and a stallion both wearing Trotsons stepped forward ahead of the rest, making Roxy put me behind her and Applejack.

“Howdy, Y’all. How’s it going?” Applejack asked calmly.

The stallion spat something icky and brown on the dirt next to his hooves. “It was goin’ gooder before y’all queers showed up.”

Applejack worked her jaw while Roxy took over. “Then why don’t we just take our queer little tails on out of town?”

“Sounds like Y’all might need a little extra impeetus to hurry on along.” The mare next to him slurred.

Applejack started forward, but Roxy caught her arm. “You’re messing with the Element of Honesty, the Element of Magic and a personal friend of Celestia’s. Do you really think it’s wise to keep on?”

The stallion started beating his fist into his meaty mitt. “It ain’t dumb iffin’ ya don’t make it out of town.”

Applejack looked at Roxy and they both put their hands up. “You got Twi?” My farmer friend asked.

“You watch her. I got this.” Roxy said coldly, stepping forward.


“Looks like the littlest nag is gonna step on up first!” Somepony from the mob of intolerants shouted.

“Roxy, we don’t have to do this!” I cried.

She looked over her shoulder and opened her mouth, but then a rock came and clocked her in the side of the head, splitting her brow and slicing my patience in half. However, I couldn’t tell if it was my fury or Roxy’s that tasted like ashes and copper, but I could tell that Roxy was eating up all of it. I barely got a mouthful while she feasted on the negativity, blue flames erupting around around her feet as she swept her hands outward. When her fingers met her palms in the form of fist, the fire raged on, sucking the heat out of the day and adding some much needed fear to the ponies who’d thought it was a good idea to be hateful. Roxy’s flames suddenly flashed and she screamed, her voice shredding as she peaked in volume.

The flames that had circled her feet raced to encircle the spiteful, narrow-minded group of foals who’d thought throwing rocks was something that adults did, but what worried me about the whole situation, the only thing, was that Roxy shrieked, “Who did it!? Who hit my Cherry!?

I was staring at her, trying to blink something out of my eyes when Applejack wiped something off of my forehead and lip. She was talking, but it was hard to hear her, which made no sense to me. Then whatever was in my eye before clouded it again, but when I tried to wipe it away, my hands were fumbly and I almost fell over until Applejack caught me. My memory is still a little fuzzy, but a little Memory Spell… And there we go! While I was loopy in Applejack’s arms, Roxy was on a warpath, using the cold flames that were still flaring up to push the crowd of hateful pieces of trash toward her. I remember wondering why we were being persecuted for doing nothing wrong when I realized that Roxy had gone through the same thing pretty much everytime she left Ponyville, which partially explained why she was so… Upset really isn’t the word… Pissed might be better, but apoplectic takes the cake.

With bleary eyes and a trembling Applejack holding me close, I watched as pony after pony tried to run out of the flames, only to be caught on fire. The one way out of the circle of fire was directly in front of Roxy, and I wasn’t too keen on going near her. You fuck-ing COWARDS! You attacked an innocent woman for WHAT!? You. FUCKED. UP!!!

A second or two later, the last twelve or so ponies that were in the circle of violet flames ran out in fear for their lives, each of them trying to push past Roxy in order to keep themselves in one piece. They all made it past her, but none of them made it further than the shadow that spilled behind her in the setting sun. All of the ponies were frozen in the positions they’d been in whenever they’d crossed a certain threshold beyond Roxy, giving her ample time to walk among them and sock each and every one of them until she got tired of hitting one person in particular. Then, like a Revenant straight out of the scary stories, Roxy walked over to the ponies who were still on fire and quenched her flames with a snap of her fingers, leaving them crying, but otherwise unharmed to the naked eye. In the moment, I had forgotten that Dark Fyre doesn’t kill ponies unless you don’t manage to find the counter-spell in time, but it is painful. Very much so. That’s probably why Roxy lit the ponies she beat up on fire, but that doesn't explain why she went back to stomp on the ponies she’d already taken care of.

My consciousness faded just as Roxy came back over to Applejack and I, her words now too soft for me to hear as well. I reached out for her, but Applejack pulled me away before I could mumble anything, my eyes closing while the concussion and blood loss from me getting hit with rocks dragged me into the well of slumber. It was a good nap, all things considered, but waking up in the Ponyville Health and Wellness Center wasn’t a good thing. Mostly because I woke up alone, my head kind of hurt, and my face felt like it got hit with, you know, a rock. My head was awfully fuzzy at the moment, but I knew that my best bet was to look for the ‘Call Nurse’ button and figure out how exactly I ended up in the hospital.

My hands felt funny, but not terribly useless. The button was on the side of the bed, which took a little looking since I wasn’t thinking clearly, but I found it nonetheless. It only took a few minutes for Nurse Rainy Parade to show up with her usual sad-sack smile and bevy of sorrowful sighs, but the news was good for the most part. I’d been attacked for being openly gay in Jolly Junction, which I hadn’t known was that backwater of a town. Apparently I was proven very wrong, and Max in the form of Roxy proved that she wasn’t the woman to mess with. Well, She proved that I wasn’t the mare to mess with since she’d sent all of the ponies who’d come to mob us to either the hospital or Happy Smiley Acres, the closest ‘Happy House’ that there was to Jolly Junction. Nurse Rainy didn’t have anymore details than that, but she did tell me that Roxy was walking free; she just wasn’t allowed into the hospital by order of Applejack.

The second thing I asked for (The first being the information I just wrote down) was that Roxy be allowed to come see me, and the third thing I asked was how long I’d been out of it. Apparently I’d only been unconscious for a day and a half, but Applejack was still standing guard, stalwart as she’d ever been. The gals had all been by to see me already, and my parents were both in the building getting food at the time, but no one had told Applejack to let the love of my life get through the darn door. With that little spot of bother on my mind, I asked that Rainy get me a chair since I wasn’t confident about walking while feeling so out of it, and she returned with my parents, both of them wearing worried smiles.

“Here’s your chair, Twilight. Just let us know where you’re going at the Nurse’s Station, okay?” She asked sadly.

“Sure thing, Nurse Rainy. Have a lovely day,” I replied politely.

When she was out of the room Dad grumbled, “Thanking the help.”

Mom gave him a look. “It’s polite, Night Light. Anyway, how are you, Twily? Your lip looks like it hurts…”

I gave her the widest smile I felt like giving at the moment, which wasn’t much more than a grin. “It’s not pleasant, but I’d feel better if Max-”

“No.” Dad said firmly.

Mom glanced at him and bit her lip while I blinked. “Um…”

“That stallion doesn’t have any right to be with you! Especially since he’s a meat-eating Dark Magic user!”

“Max hasn’t eaten meat since he’s been on Equus and I’ve only seen him use Dark Magic once!”

“You mean besides the time he terrorized the ponies that hurt you?” Dad said angrily.

I gave him a look. “... Max used Dark Magic to defend me?”

“What he did wasn’t self-defense, it was bullying.”

“... Those ponies put me in the hospital.” I said slowly, my head aching something fierce.

“He should’ve fought with his hands-”

“He was a mare smaller than me!” I shouted, making myself wince. “Urgh… If anypony should be ashamed, it’s those Jolly Junction shitstains who think same-sex couples are wrong!”

Dad pointed a finger in my direction and went to scold me when Mom pushed his hand down, her ears flicking. “... Do you hear that?”

“Don’t distract me, Velvet! Did you not hear what our daughter just-” There was a loud crash that sounded like it came from down the hall.

“Somepony stop that maniac!” Some mare shouted.

Buck that! Run!” A stallion shouted.

“The buck is it!?” Somepony shrieked.

Mom and Dad traded a terrified look as I made a distasteful face. “Why don’t you two go check that out? I’m sure I’ll be fine if I lock the door. If anything, I’ll just teleport away when I summon up the strength.”

Dad kissed Mom, looking her in the eye. “Look after her.”

“Be careful, Honey!” Mom cried after him

Before the memory could even finish shocking me, Dad was on his way to die and Mom raced over to me, shaking like a leaf. “We have to get out of here, Twily! Your-”

“He’s gonna die.” I said numbly. “He’s the only one who’s gonna die, Mom. Don’t worry…”

I was too busy crying my eyes out, staring off after my father

My attention wasn’t on Mom at the moment, the crashing reality of what had just happened bashing me in the back of the head: It was so, so much more than that… My egg was scrambled and I was seeing the yolk for the first time.

I am Roxanne. I am Twilight Sparkle. We are one in the same, and it’s because I fucked myself. From the beginning of this time period, outside of existence where time has no meaning, Diliculum’s final act was to create another Universal Collective. She… I… We began anew because… Because Fate is a fucking CUNT!!!!!!!! There are a lot of ways to explain what happened, but I’ll try to use the most logical, reasonable terms that I can to get this across to you, Diary. I know it’s about to be a lot to take in, but this. Is. Ludicrous.

When Diliculum saw that Kaid Maximus was destined to slay everything that lived in the Eighth Universal Collective, she went mad. She killed herself until she couldn’t bear to die anymore because she knew that she would ultimately have to end Max’s existence; to kill him entirely with no chance of him ever existing in a comprehensible sense again if she ever wanted to keep the Eighth Collective, his greatest legacy, alive and well. Fate’s tasks in and of itself weren’t what broke her: It was the choice between letting her greatest love destroy everything he’d created, or kill him and save the day for an uncertain future.

What she didn’t realize is that you. Can’t. Subvert. Fate.

It was written and so it would be. In trying to save Max, Diliculum created a new Collective with me as the Omnium. However, at the same time, while she was trying to FUCKING MULTITASK (It’s a skill and a bad habit. Sue me.), Diliculum fused a piece of herself with Roxanne, who she stuck in a Goddamn Time-Loop.

Get where I’m going with this? No?

Well let’s delve deeper!

When Diliculum created me and made me God of Universe One in the new Collective, she didn’t tell me shit about the job. I had no idea that I was supposed to be recruiting other Gods for the ranks of a new Heaven, so the nearest God to me just needed one good, strong jolt to wake their powers. Whether that jolt was magical or emotional; physical or mental, it would only take a single solid shove to send the over the slippery slopes. Unfortunately, the God nearest to me had, within the last six months, been raped and tortured simultaneously, stranded and ostracized on an alien planet, been abused and treated like an animal and nearly arrested for being different, died (Almost forgot about Luna breaking his neck. We never talk about it), and was constantly reminded of the fact that he was friendless.

Max constantly told me that I was the only thing he had going for him. He’d already proven that staying away from me was a bad idea.

The force I felt approaching my hospital room wasn’t Kinkaid Gadai. It wasn’t Maximus. It wasn’t Kaid Maximus Omnium.

It was Max. Just Max.

He’d fully awoken.

Max wasn’t doing anything to the innocent ponies that ran past him; he was just scaring them off with a spooky illusion that barely even registered as ‘kiddy’, which almost kinda made me sad about the state of my country. The only pony that didn’t make it out of the Hospital safely was Night Light, and I wasn’t sad about that per se. I was crying because I wasn’t as clever as I thought I was. Even as I felt his power fade out into the Whiteness Beyond, the Nonexistence that Has No Name, I felt him cast Night Light out as an offering to the new King of the Nameless Ones. He tried to consume another being before his power fully faded, and I know for certain that he pummeled it to the point where it could probably use a hug, but I think he was trying to kill the King, whoever that is/whatever that means. Even I don’t know that one.

When… When he opened the door, I saw a pair of eyes that belonged to a God: one of his eyes was green with golden flakes and the other blue with silver. His looks were polished, like everything that I’d known about him before was sharpened in an image and committed to a moving statue that would hold its beauty everlasting. The silver streak in his hair shone a different glow than his skin; it’s luminescence like the full moon compared to a warm, light radiance that seemed far more natural. It was almost as if the streak in his hair was to remind him of his age, dangling just above his left brow with the rest of his bangs. His lips were set in a line, twitching with rage every couple of seconds. As I could see through the downfall of my plans, his eyes were colder than hoarfrost, making the final pieces of the puzzle click into place.

Max had known. He’d known all along. He’d been Fate…

He… He knew I would try to save him… Knew I’d try to keep both him and his legacy alive long enough for him to rest in peace… He knew that I would make a mistake like I always do when I multitask, so he compensated for it, taking care of me like he always did. When I woke up after being knocked out, Max woke up. The only reason it took him so long to show up was because he needed to adjust to being him again. When he saw that the Eighth Universal Collective was still alive, he sent a piece of himself back to it along with a piece of Roxy. If Max hadn’t corrected my mistake; if he hadn’t foreseen that I would royally screw things up and nearly demolish Existence in its entirety then I would’ve had an aneurysm from the stone hitting my temple, causing a massive brain hemorrhage that would’ve killed my Mortal Shell. From there, the Time-Loop would have kicked in and Roxy/I would have gone back to the morning I met Max, completely bereft of any memories regarding my death. There was no telling if The Transfer was complete or when it would be completed, but since Max kept me alive when I should’ve died, he upset the loop and snapped of his own accord.

Apparently Max would rather be molested than see me hurt. It’s sweet and worrisome.

All I could do when he calmed my Mom with a wave of his hand was babble, “I’m-so-sowwy”, but he shook his head, walking over smoothly, nearly gliding over the tiled floor.

“You broke the black plum.” He grumbled. “You do realize that was why I lived so long, right? I knew damn well it wasn’t just Crimson spiting me and you should have too.”

I blinked. “I’m sow- CUP! Wee?

His glare intensified as he leaned down, making sure that my personal bubble wasn’t as personal as I’d have liked. “What did I tell you about. Being. Fate?

“... W-W-Wong Twiwight?” I stammered.

He narrowed his eyes at me and made a face. “... I thought your eyes were the wrong color.” Max took a step back and shook his head. “Whatever. Don’t break the Goddamn rules. Got it?”

I nodded rapidly.

He sniffed. “I don’t speak nod.”


He tapped his chest with his fist twice and gave me a peace sign before he rotated his hand so that his fingers were pointing up instead of sideways. “Seriously. I’ll finger your butt for a year. An entire. Year. You suck at breaking rules.”

I raised a hand tentatively. “Uh- Um…

“I’m your husband by two different accounts. Don’t raise your hand to ask me things, Cherry-Slush.”

I nodded. “... Right. So…”

“Wondering why I haven’t killed you for nearly damning everyone that’s ever lived ever?”

“... I know you severed the string of Fate between us. You came here with killing intent, Max…” I whispered.

He sniffed. “Yeah, I had some scum to purge from this planet.” Max paused and pointed at my petrified mother. “Oh yeah, killed your husband. He raped your daughter because she fucked up and broke the rules of the Universe that I made. He still did it of his own free will, so he’s dying. Dead. Dying again. Raped? Ooo, that’s- Dead. Yeah, I don’t like that guy.” He snapped his fingers. “And that’s how you get proper payback, wouldn’t you say? Oh, of course you wouldn’t.”

I stared at him like he’d lost his mind. “... I technically-

He made a face. “Even if I didn’t love you, I couldn’t kill both of you. You might’ve fucked up, but you know h’wut?” For the first time since he entered the room, Max cracked open the old standby; a crooked grin with a smug, in-the-know crinkle to his eye that made me want to whack him!

The fear, despair, and desolate loneliness that had swallowed me faded in favor of being irritated at my husband. “Shut up, smartass. I pick up after you waaay more than you pick up after me!”

His grin grew deeper and my heart beat harder. “Yeah, you scoop the poop more often, but you take bigger dumps than I do. And they’re smellier~

“Th-That’s not true!” I yelped.

He booped me, so I pinched his nose, making his voice come out nasally as he said, “Even without Fate making me love you, I still love you, Twilight. Shon can’t stop me from doing that.”

“What?” I asked.

He patted my cheek. “From here forth, this is as free as we get. This is Max and Twilight being unchained from Destiny. What happens happens, and what’s going to happen is good. Be a Sweetheart and try to make Applejack understand the Revenant thing, okay?”

“Wait! What about you!?” I asked desperately.

Max’s lips split into the widest smile I’d ever seen from him as he chuckled. “Who ever thought I’d be happy about dying?” He wiped a tear from his eye as more started to fall from my eyes. “Christ it feels good to say that. I’ll hook you up with a good Max that’ll keep life interesting and all that, but me?”

Max shrugged his silver streak fading from the roots. His hair lost its luster and grayed rapidly, my husband aging into a silver fox before my very eyes until he looked confused. Weakly, I heard a mare with my voice ask, “Max?

“Damn, I was supposed to die of alcohol poisoning at fifty-seven. At least I died looking hella good for my habits.” He shrugged again. “Honestly surprised I lived that long…”

My body trembled at the weight of the event unfolding in front of me; absolute misery and total elation took their turns while battling each other for the spot at the forefront of my mind. I was witnessing an event that only one other being in the entire Universe could claim to have seen:

The Dusk of Kaid Maximus Percussor Fulminata, Savior of Equestria, Blue-Collar and Warrior Prince of Arcadia, Unifier of Equus, Slayer of Tirek, Discord, and countless gods, Gods, demons, Demons and all things betwixt, Creator of Universal Collective Number Eight, and Catalyst of Universal Collective Number Nine. I bore witness to the final moments of the greatest, most generous, loyal, friend I’d ever known. The best, most supportive, compassionate father, brother, son, uncle and lover I’d ever met.

In that moment, my world ended.

In the very next breath, a new one took its place.

Even while ‘Max’ drifted off, departicalizing into the air, blessing my Mom and I with his leftover Goodwill, he was blowing out of the window to form a rainbow in shades of blue. I watched my first lover…

I’m sorry. I need Max right now.


Alright, I’m okay. Just because the original Max is gone doesn’t mean that my Max isn’t within shouting distance at all times here recently. After a few cuddles and a reminder of the fact that I still have him, I think it would be a good time to continue.

As the God finally got the rest he deserved, a gift long overdue, I heard steps coming down the hall. I still hadn’t gotten out of bed, and I really saw no reason to until I felt him. Max had stayed true to his word and left me with a Shell that was basically him, and that’s good enough for me! The only thing is that my Max lacks the ability to become a God, which means he’s gonna die~!

Er, eventually… I’ll save that particular conversation for when we actually have it. As of me trying to figure out whether I was crying because I was happy or because I was sad (Mostly just overwhelmed), a head full of shaggy dark brown hair poked itself through the door that Max had left partially open, green eyes with little gold flakes peering out beneath messy bangs.

“... So what’s up with all the scaredy-cat Ponies?” My boyfriend asked cautiously.

Mom dropped like a rock and I didn’t even feel bad about letting her fall because I only know she fainted due to waking up before her. Thanks to the power of my Human, non-Godly (Though divinely handsome) boyfriend’s kisses, I joined the waking world again, and this time my head didn’t even hurt! It took me a few moments to realize that my lips didn’t either, but there was still something uncomfortable in my mouth. It wasn’t Max’s tongue because I like it when Max gets a little frisky, which left me to believe that the Buttfart that nearly reset time chipped a tooth when he or she did it. When my most treasured person pulled away to give me a concerned look, my tongue ran across my teeth to find that both the top and bottom incisors on the right side of my mouth had been badly chipped. I wondered why I wasn’t healing that at the moment and almost rectified it before they hurt for no reason. I tried doing it again and got the same result, which made me think that God Max had cursed me so that I’d remember not to break the darn rules. My Max nodded when I thought of that, but neither of us had said anything.

“Fuck was that?” he murmured.

“You just answered a question that I didn’t ask, but that’s okay. Rules are good.” I kissed him again.

“Yeah, I told me about you breaking some kinda big-arse rule?” Max shook his head from side to side, waiting for me to elaborate.

“Kinda. It’s complicated.” I gave him an exhausted smile and made him move his hands off of the bedrail so I could make it go down. The hug I got when I stood up was worth the risk of falling over, even if it wasn’t very high.

“Am I gonna have to put you in time out?” he asked, that crooked little smile of his playing on his lips.

“No,” I let my head rest on his chest and held him close. “No, I’ve learned my lesson. Sometimes Max just knows best.”

“Only sometimes,” he chuckled, kissing the top of my head.

We stood there for awhile, soaking in the soft sounds of my Mom being knocked out like a tired front door, but I had to ruin it by asking, “So how much trouble are you in now?”

Max puffed out a mirthless chuckle. “Celestia said she can’t indict me since they struck at us first. In fact, Hate Crime charges would’ve been levied against ‘em…”

I hugged him a little tighter. “... How are you holding up?”

“Me? What do you mean?” he asked, sounding tired before he could even put in the effort to lie.

“I can feel you now, Amour.”

“You’re hugging me.”

“I meant inside.”

“That’s what they call Sticky-Dick.”

I gently pushed against him with my head, a minor, if not completely negligible ache popping up. “You know what I’m talking about, silly.”

He sighed heavily. “Yeah, I know… I just…”

My heart froze along with the blood in my veins, my vocal chords and lips acting of their own accord. I dreaded his answer more than I thought I could’ve with the events that had just taken place. I didn’t want to know, but I needed to. “...Do you feel bad about hurting those people?”

“... I still hear them screaming when I’m alone.” He admitted, clutching me tightly. “I… How did I kill people, Twilight? H-How…?

More tears added themselves to the cup for the day, but instead of being a bucket of misery that I was going to get doused with, it was a cup. A little cup full of smiles. “Y-You f-f-f-feel bad?” I murmured.

“... They hurt you, but… They didn’t deserve… They didn’t deserve that…

I nearly shoved him away, but he wouldn’t have gotten far even if I had shoved him. Instead of giving myself some distance, I just hopped on Max while wearing nothing other than a hospital gown and tried to kill him with kindness. “Oooh! I love you so much!” I cried. Literally and figuratively. Shouting and weeping, I reminded Max of my love for him over and over again, eventually waking my mom after he sat us down on my borrowed bed.

Ugh…” Mom groaned.

Max sniffled and hiccupped, having been crying himself for a different reason. “Mum?”

She snapped to attention and stared at me and Max. “... I need a buckin’ drink.”

“Can I join you?” Max asked thickly.

“... You said you killed my husband,” Mom said slowly, her voice warbling as she spoke.

My boyfriend looked at her like she’d lost her mind. “I stuck my head in the room and you hit the floor.”

“... So Night Light is…?”

“Your husband…?” Max asked nervously.

“Mom, this isn’t the same person. It’s really mind-bending right now, so… I don’t really know. Just don’t expect that piece of shit to come home tonight.”

Mom’s lips quivered. “... Was what the other Max said true?”

I laid my head on my own personal Max’s shoulder. “... It wasn’t just you and me. It was a lot of ponies, Mom. Shiny too.”

“... I’d like to have a word with him,” Mom said, her face creeping towards smiling while her eyes started glowing malevolently.

Twilight? I-I don’t really wanna use Dark Magic again,” Max muttered shakily.

I kissed his temple. “We’ll get it out of you soon, Amour. Mom?”

Yes, Dear?

“Dad isn't technically alive anymore. He’s... Currently somewhere between being [Indescribable noise] to death and being brought back to life again. It’s been going on for trillions of generations at this point.” My face scrunched up, but it was mostly because I found the situation awkward. And Max was poking me against his better judgement. That added to the awkwardness, honestly.

Mom’s eyes darkened from a bright red to a maroon color that I’d never seen before. “And whose fault is that?

“You need to calm down, Mom. You had your chance to handle it. Your chance has passed. I know it hurts, but it’s best to move on like you were doing before you knew.”

She visibly cooled at my rationality, but Momma Bear was still mad. “Hmph! Next time somepony hurts you, let me deal with them.”

“Or Max could beat them up the normal way.”

Mom gave me a look. “Shush before you get whooped.”

I smiled at her, the gesture filled with as much love and affection for the mare as I could muster. It had the desired effect, making Mom’s eyes return to their non-Berserk state. “Thank you.”

She sighed and shook her head. “Don’t let Max use Dark Magic willy nilly, and Twily?”

“Yes, Mom?”

“Live a boring life for once, will you? I miss the good old days when I just had to pull some schmuck out of a wall to fix whatever mess you were in.”

My face flushed while Max trembled a little like he was trying not to laugh. “It only happened-”

“Several times. Literally seven times.” She deadpanned.

I was young!

Max burst out into giggles, nuzzling me as he did so. “Only seven? At least it wasn’t twenty~

I pinched his ear for his treachery as Mom said, “Twenty-two.”

“There were twenty-two ponies in the department, but two were on vacation!” I huffed.

“It’s still in the twenties.” Mom maintained amusedly.


“It still counts.” Max giggled.

“Shush! No kisses for the next three seconds!” I huffed.

“Three seconds?” Mom asked.

I shrugged just as Max snuck a kiss from me. “Why don’t we get you dressed and out of this creepfest? Weird shit keeps going down, and I want some snuggles.”

Looking down, I realized that I was feeling Max’s jeans a lot more… Closely, than I should have been, and a slight adjustment to my positioning verified my hypothesis: I was not wearing undies. My face lit up and I conjured up the ACC because I was waaay too sober for that malarky. A quick puff later had me limiting my memories to the ones I wanted, but I still tried not to pay attention to the little, itty-bitty damp spot on Max’s pants.

Sparkle! Are you not-” Mom started.

I flung a Silence Hex at her before she could slap a hand over her mouth and stop herself, but better safe than sorry. “Sh-sh-sh-sh-shhhh-shoosh!

Max glanced at his lap, made his face completely flat, and then said, “Let’s go find Cherry’s clothes.”

Mom was too busy staring at mine to hear him. “Mom, Max just had a great idea.”

“Colt’s got a tent. Let’s see how long he goes camping.” She murmured, her eyes glued to his crotch.

My boyfriend covered his lap as he stood, prickles of unease and a sort of pleasure he wasn’t fond of welling up inside of him. “Trip’s over. Too many people at the campgrounds.”

Mom blinked, her tact finally returning as she realized that she’d been staring at a stallion’s erection. A stallion she’d asked to call her Mom at that. “... There are no words for my level of embarrassment at the moment. Max, I am truly-”

“A horny old woman?” he said bluntly.

“Don’t speak to your Mom like that!” I giggled evilly, not sure who I was having more fun jabbing at with that particular jibe.

Max decided that it wasn’t going to be him. “I’ll fuck your mother. She’s sexy as hell. Try me.”

I looked at him as my Mom decided it wasn’t going to be her either. “I won’t say no. I’m apparently going to be a lonely old spinster soon, so what the hay?”

My heart throbbed for her when she said that, and I felt Max’s do the same. “Mom…”

Instead of looking like she’d just implied that her husband was recently killed (Because he was), Mom licked her lips and did the grossest strut over to Max that I’d ever seen. Walking her fingers up his chest. “What do you say, Lover-Colt~? Care to make your Mommy smile?” She started kiss up his throat from his collar while I resisted the urge to whack my Mom.

Max shoved her and ran out of the room like his feet were aflame. Mom and I shared a look. “... You know Max has severe emotional trauma that pretty much all revolves around his Mom, right?”


“He never actually told since he doesn’t technically know, but she raped him too.”


“Yeah, that was pretty… That was…”

“I was honestly just trying to play a joke on you,” Mom said quietly.

“He wasn’t expecting you to take it so far. He probably doesn’t even know why he’s reacting so strongly.”

“So we’re keeping this between us?”

Big time.”

As little as I liked keeping secrets from Max, especially key secrets that explained his tendency to lean toward maternal mares and his distaste for children, I felt it was best to not let him know that his egg-donor was a bigger pile of trash than he already thought she was. It bounced around in my mind while I wondered where that particular supposition had come from before I realized that it made sense. Max couldn’t account for a lot of the time he spent with his Mom, but he said that they used to do things together, he just couldn’t remember what. I’d have to wait and sober up to invade his privacy, but he was almost legally mine, so…

Mmm… It still feels like a bad idea. Maybe I’ll wait until tomorrow… Or just leave that mystery unsolved… There’s no reason to wake sleeping dogs. Especially flea-ridden dogs that’ll leave you scratching patches in your fur for weeks.

In any case, Mom went and got my clothes from wherever they were being kept. Max snuck in while she was gone and gave me an apologetic smile, looking a little green around the gills. “Sorry about that, I-”

“It’s fine, Max. Any normal son would freak out if their Mom started making a move on them like that.” He received my smile well, but he still glanced over his shoulder. “She wasn’t serious. She thought you would play along.”

“... The thought of trying was what made me run. Just… Between the whole ‘Mum’ thing and betraying you like that…”

Oh, you sweet sonofagun!” I squished him nice and proper, I did! He’d earned it with that, and it still makes me smile just thinking about it. I’m glad I got to spend tonight so I could write with a steady hand. He gets better sleep and I get his cuteness, but without the volume!

In return for my squishing, Max gave me what he calls ‘The Squishums’, which was sooo cute that I gladly kissed him for a taste of the sugar dripping from his lips. Mom came in while we were just holding each other, looking into our future spouse’s eyes as we thought of days to come, but she didn’t disturb us until I was already dressed and Max was escorting me out of the room.

As Max opened the door, he nearly hit Mom with it, making her take a couple dquick steps back.. “Oh! W-Well hello there platonic son of mine whom I love platonically like my own blood-relative!”

Max looked at me, then looked back to my Mom. Then the cheeky Butthead blew her a kiss and swept me off of my hooves, bringing me low to the ground for a stupidly good snoggerifical kiss that left me smiley and giggly when he brought me back up. “Sorry, my lust for geriatric women was peaking. I had to get get a taste of youth.”

I teleported us back home before he could get himself abused and chided him for being a dummy-dumb-dumb, but he kissed away my frustrations and snuggled up to me on the couch in the library. It wasn’t that late in the day, but it seemed like a good place to call it until Max reminded me that I hadn’t bathed since he’d washed my back. Embarrassed and a little irritated that I couldn’t just enjoy being in a tolerant, mostly pleasant place where ponies didn’t chuck rocks at you for being different, I took my bath and grumpily rejoined a frowning Max.

I gave him a look before I even sat down and said, “If that long face is because you’re blaming yourself for something or other, I’m making you eat an entire jar of peanut butter.”

The guilt in his heart stabbed a little deeper with his apologetic grin. “Sorry. Guess I can’t help being…” He trailed off when he saw that I wasn’t having it.

“You were showing me that you loved me and a bunch of bigots decided that we didn’t have the right to love each other. They attacked us, and you snapped. It happens, Max. Once I sober up a little bit more, it won’t even be possible for you to do that again, okay?” I finally sat, smoothing my dress down between our knees before I placed my hand low on his thigh. I wore a frustrated smirk since I knew I should’ve died as I said, “Honestly…? Honestly those… Things might’ve hurt us a lot worse than just putting us in the hospital, Amour. I don’t want you to feel guilty for defending us, but I’m not sad that you do.”

He reached for my hands and I grabbed his before he could journey into my mini personal bubble. With a little chuckle and a loving, adoring smile, Max murmured, “At least I’m better this time around, right?”

I rolled my eyes. “Have you killed anyone in the twenty years you’ve been alive?”

Max blinked. “... No.”

“Then why are you comparing yourself to someone who lived a different life?”

“... Trippy, but I love you for reaching out to my weird side.”

He got the boop as the price of my wisdom. It’s a very steep cost, you know? “I love you, Max, but we need to re-teach you how to punch people.”

“I can punch people!”

“Beef up, beanpole.” I huffed.

He gasped, his eyes wide as he swallowed hard. “Did Applejack say yes to me buying one of her cows!?”

“... No. No, I was telling you to start working out and eating more protein. Stop trying to cram some bull’s meat down your throat, you gayfer.” I curled my lip and leaned away from him.

He pushed me over and climbed on top of me. “You seem to be pretty eager to have-”

The front door closed and stomps were heard as Max’s voice died in his throat. We looked at each other before looking to the foyer, Mom coming into sight as casual as could be. “Why hel~lo!

Duuude.” Max whispered shakily.

Max! I choose you!” Mom yipped gleefully. “Come give Mommy a hug!

Max froze, a cold pit forming inside somewhere indistinct. “... I don’t want to give Mommy a special hug…”

Mom blinked. “What?”

My boyfriend stared at her until I hit him in the crooks of his elbows, making him faceplant on my boob. “Ow!

He pushed himself up and plastered a smile on his face. “I’m beginning to think man’s not so hot with the ‘Mommy’ thing.”

I patted his cheek and tried to not be obvious about rubbing my boob. “Go give Mom a normal hug, okay?”

He looked over to my blushing mother, then back to me. “... Why?”

“It’s a normal, platonic hug,” I replied.

Max got off of me slowly and looked at her again. “No funny business?”

“I would never! I was just trying to mess with you, Max, honestly.” Mom said, her face betraying her embarrassment along with her voice.

He rubbed his arm subconsciously and walked over to her. “Right. Sorry about calling you a geriatric.”

“It’s okay, Hun, just don’t make a habit of it.” She gave him a short hug when he came over and Max felt considerably better for it.

“Maybe when you start graying out a little more.” Max chuckled.

“Hey, she can still whoop you, you know.” I reminded.

My boyfriend looked at me with an impish grin. “She can also carry alcohol.”

“I have to sober up for a little while, but I’ll go with you to the liquor store anyway.”

“Ah, right. You have to get the Dark Magic out of me…”

I tried to think of something I could do other than giving Max more powers when I remembered that there was a mare getting settled in Ponyville somewhere that Max would probably like so see. “You know, Noir could probably do it so I don’t have to be too terribly sober. I’ll give you back your True Theft in the morning, and I’ll write have you write her a note now. How’s that sound?”

He gave me an odd look, glancing toward the foyer with Mom. “Sounds like you should be writing the note, but then again, you have me write all the notes we leave for Spike.”

“Was that my cue or what?” My little brother himself commented, walking into the library with a smile.

“Thought I heard you come in. What’s up, Super Reptile?”

“Not much, Mega Monkey.” He and Max fist-bumped casually. “I see Twilight soothed your Dark Magic stuff like you said she would.”

Max shrugged. “She’s the music, I’m the beast.”

“Is Applejack still scared of you?”


“Ah. Good luck with that. I’m gonna get started on-”

“Washing up so we can go out for dinner? Good idea.” I interjected.

Spike beamed. “Oh, where are we going!?”

I chuckled. “I think we’re limited to Blossom’s and Bloom’s since someone happens to be too good to eat flowers like the rest of us.”

“I’ll die!” Max objected mirthfully. “How is that my fault!?”

I shrugged. “You might’ve been even cuter as a Pegasus or a Pony in general. Maybe even a Dragon~”

He stuck his tongue out at me, so I kissed it and made him giggle. “Alright, get me some paper and a pen so I can write that note to Noir and we can get the thing, stuffs, and what-nots to the settling.”

“... Get you some writing materials so you can settle things?” I asked dumbly.


“Ah.” I teleported Spike’s biggest quill and some parchment into my hands before passing them off to Max. “Are you ready?”

“Whenever you are.” Max winked.

I gave him what I wanted to say, but he didn’t let me read over what he’d written before he had Spike send the letter off. I got a reply in minutes from Noir, saying that she could show up whenever for the task while Max got a note for himself a couple seconds later. As he was reading his note, a tall dark blue mare with wings and a horn rose from his shadow and pretty much just towered over him, the weight of her breasts at the same level as his head. I was a teensy bit covetous of her endowments when I saw her hips flaring out around Max’s own thin frame, but the woman just had so much more than me that it was hard to take her seriously in a comparison. It would take a different type of stallion to find me attractive, and I was well aware of the fact that Noir and Max only ever slept together one time in their entire history together. Their relationship wasn’t necessarily sexual so much as just intimate, but my Max barely seemed to even register who she was.

He noticed her behind him though.

Turning slowly, he look at her breasts, took a step toward me, then looked up further to see Noir’s face. “I did not hit huuh; I did not. Oh hi Noirk.”

“In another life, you forced me to watch that with you. I am currently reliving that very scene as we sat together and you burst out laughing,” Noir said softly. “It is good to see you, Max.”

He gave her a little smile. “Hey, Blackberry. You settling into Ponyville okay?”

“I am nearly prepared to receive you in our home.” She replied warmly. “Whenever you are prepared to begin your physical regimen, you will most likely have the freedom to begin.”

“Oh yeah, you were going to beef me up,” Max said bluntly.

I giggled. “See?

He gave me a look. “Shut up, Flatsy-Patsy.” He gestured toward one of Noir’s breasts. “This is a knocker, Madam.”

The big blue Alicorn turned to the side before using her back-breaking boobies to bash my boyfriend’s brains. Max fell onto the couch, legitimately stunned as Noir said, “Huh. You always said I could do that, but I had never tried until now. Interesting.”

Max rubbed his face while Spike practically drooled over Noir and all her snacktimey-ness. “Wow…

My boyfriend looked over to my little brother. “It wasn’t as fun as you think it was.”

Spike blushed brightly, a little rivulet of blood leaking from his nose. “Um… I think my snout is bleeding! I need to go find a tissue! For my snout!” He scurried off like the purple skink he was.

While Max and I watched Spike, we missed the exchange between Mom and Noir that essentially explained who Noir was. “Oh, so you’re like his Aunt!”

“I am his mentor. We do not claim familial bonds.” Noir replied firmly.

“Because Noir seduced him.” I stage whispered when I let myself into their conversation.

Noir blushed and Mom rolled her eyes. “Of course.”

“It was a mutual, misplaced attraction.” Noir grunted.

Mom choked. “What!?

“He is notoriously good in bed.” Noir shrugged. “He is also a sweet young man. There are things that Max has forgotten that I will never speak of again, though reliving the moments where I unload my burden onto his shoulders are often some of my fondest memories.”

“Oh… So… Max is the kind of stallion whose true worth shows itself after this kind of stuff…”

The Alicorn in the room patted Max’s head like he was a puppy. “He is good in a pinch and pleasant for the lazy days. Do not take him anywhere. People do not like him at first since he is simply too stupid for-” Max wrenched a piece of her boob and she swatted his hand. “Ow. How do you always manage to find it?”

“Nipples just attract my hands.” He made a ‘What can you do?’ kind of gesture.

I gave him a look. “Noir, can you extract the Dark Magic from him as uncomfortably as you can’t?”

“As I ‘can’t’?” she asked.

“That was grammatically incorrect,” Mom seconded.

“Well, I don’t want him to be uncomfortable,” I replied logically.

“Shush,” Mom huffed.

“Max is rubbing off on you,” Noir grunted.

Max gave me a hug. “Lo~ove yo~ou”

Noir rolled her eyes and made her hand turn black with swirly white lines all over it. “One moment, please.” She slapped the crap out of Max’s back and he yelped as the blackness swept down his arms and pooled in his left and right hands.

Friggin’ Ow!” Max ‘bitched’.

“You have your main Magic back and you are free from the taint of Dark Magic. Be happy.”

“I’ll pee on your hoof,” He grumbled irritably.

“Don’t pee on mares who do you favors,” Mom whacked him.

“What if they ask me to!?”

“Then don’t engage in their deviancy!” She almost got another swing in, but he swerved out of the way until Noir caught him. She flicked his forehead and it sounded like it hurt, so Mom was satisfied.

With that out of the way, Max ‘stormed off’ (He was as goofy as he could be while doing it) to go get Spike so we could go to dinner, and when they came back, they both looked pouty and irritable, so Mom scolded them, but Max decided that the was going to act like a foal. I don’t date foals, so I took his kisses away from him until he could prove that he was mature enough to receive grown-up kisses from a grown-up mare. My boyfriend failed to shape up and just kept stealing the kisses he wanted from me until I started biting him for taking my kisses instead of giving me his. It was quite rude of him, as you may know.

When we got to Blossom’s and Bloom’s, Max was all too happy to order the fettucini alfredo he used to get all the time in the other universe, Mom got a tasty looking carbonara, I got a nice scampi, Spike got hay fries and a burger because Bloom is a simple kind of mare and likes serving simple food, and Noir ordered the soup of the day, which turned out to be a broccoli and cheddar chowder that was delicious! If I had looked at that portion of the menu, I would have ordered it since Blossom’s chowder is divine! I had to settle for getting a to-go bowl, but it reheats well, and I’ll probably get a couple nibbles of it after I finish writing this.

Speaking of finishing things, the day was nearing its end and Mom didn’t want to go back to Canterlot, so she opted to buy a room at the Bee and Barb to avoid sleeping in my guest room because she got used to living the comfy Canterlot life and is too good for my cozy guest bed, apparently. It meant that Max had no reason to not sleep there since he’d apparently been awake since the day we left for Jolly Junction and had been running off of concern, love, and caffeine, according to his own accounts. He’ll probably move in with Noir tomorrow, but…

Buck it. I’ll enjoy him in my home while I have him. It’s not like he’ll be gone forever.


In conclusion, I’m probably going to avoid turning Max into a girl anywhere outside of Ponyville for the time being… It just seems safer than possibly getting killed again… At least the day was nice besides that. Silver linings are what make the world go ‘round, after all. Anyway, I was incredibly touched to find that Max would get so angry over my Shell getting hurt when he knew that I was technically God, but I wish his heart didn’t hurt over what he did. I’m glad that it does, but it’s only because it means that Max is more remorseful; more Human so to speak, than he was in the previous iteration. I know it’s technically a disingenuine copy of Max because he feels differently, but…

I feel like I love the same man, and it’s unshakable.

I have so many doubts about whether or not I really love my Max, but I well and truly can’t find a reason not to. He just… The way he’s just next to me makes my heart flutter; it makes me want to reach out and caress him to show that I love him just as much as he loves me. There is no room for doubt in my mind over Max’s love, but is that because God Max wanted it to be like that?

… Even if it’s only because someone wanted it to go that way, is that so wrong? Is it wrong for me to appreciate what’s been forced on me…? I… I know that Max is hard to like when you don’t want to deal with him, and a lot of people don’t want to deal with him most days, but I can’t imagine myself being as happy with anyone else as I am with Max. The cognitive dissonance is strong, but I honestly just want to enjoy what I have. I could be living in a Time-Loop, but I’m not. Max could want nothing to do with me, but he loves me. I could’ve destroyed everything, but Max saved the day. I should just be happy that my husband is the ultimate problem solver, so that’s what I’m gonna do.

I don’t want to talk about Night Light, I’ll talk to Noir personally about the passing of the Last Omnium of the Eighth Collective and show her the memory. I… I don’t want to talk about that anymore, Diary. Just being reminded of the fact that my real husband died makes my heart heavy, but at least I have a familiar, Maxxy face to kiss when I miss him.

Until next time, Diary.


Life is good. It just is.

Oh! Darn it! Let me start over.


Dear Diary,

Life is good. It just is. I got to wake up with Max all snuggled up to me, his forehead against my heart while I held him. His hair had the faintest hint of sandalwood that nestled into my nose and brought me plenty of contentment through the power of a mare’s olfactory sense. We like things that smell good for a reason: It’s the most direct way to our hearts. Besides a home-cooked meal and maybe some snacks. Maybe. I toyed with the idea of getting some snacks since I had a feeling he would be more appreciative than anything if I woke him up with a favor. However, that would require letting go of Max, and that just wasn’t in the agenda.

The schedule did allow for me to say some things to Max while he was asleep that I didn’t really have the confidence to say while he was awake, though I knew I was pretty much talking to myself. “... You’ll never know how much I love this... Us... You. It’s not a Fairy Tale. Life here might seem like one sometimes, but Fairy Tales don’t have heroes like us. Not the ones I’ve heard, anyway… It’s not a bad thing. It’s unique, and special, and… Well, no one else has what we have. Who we have…” I gently stroked Max’s hair as I fell silent for a little bit, finding my words again. “You’re special, but… You never let me tell you. You always take it the wrong way, but it comes from love, Amour. I see you. I know you. I love what I see. I love what I know. I can’t wait to see more and learn more with you, about you…” Thoughts of his mother crossed my mind and I held him a little tighter, a deep hatred boring a hole in my stomach for the woman who’d shattered a perfectly good child and forced them to pick up the pieces alone. “... Maybe some things are better left unsaid… I’ll… I’ll think about it some more, but… Now’s just not the time. Not now.”

I continued stroking his hair as he nuzzled me in his sleep, his deep, even breathing calming the cyclone of frustration and anxiety that was starting to bubble up in me. I wanted to tell him, but I just couldn’t summon up the courage to share my suspicions with Max, and there was even more holding me back from just spitting it out, like the fact that I had no clue what Max would do if he knew. I didn’t know what kind of memories I might stir up, but while I thought about it, I remembered that Max told me about Night Light’s treachery against his better judgement because he thought it was the right thing to do. I, however, didn’t know if giving Max more reasons to hate his egg-donor was going to work out for me, which was the line of thinking that brought shame and guilt around to show their ugly faces at the Pit-tea Party.

Knowing that Max had faced a similar situation and had chosen to do the selfless thing when he thought the time was right made me feel like a terrible girlfriend. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that he’d taken my feelings into account before he told me, and I was certain that he would rather know than not. Still, the selfishness that was keeping me from sharing my probable hypothesis was damming the words as I tried to push them out while he was sleeping, trying not to physically react to the stress I was putting myself under. To be frank, it wasn’t difficult to stay still and just look at Max until the feelings went away, but I knew what I had to do and severely hoped that I could support him through the news.

Then Max woke up and I forgot about everything. “Mmm~

His hum tickled my chest and made me giggle, so I placed a careful kiss on the top of his head. “Good morning, my handsome little Human.”

My boyfriend nuzzled me again and sighed pleasantly. “Is the sun up?”

I glanced outside and saw the bastard staring at me through my window. “If I say no, are we staying in bed?”

He chuckled and tried to leave me all too soon, so I held him in place until he gave up and cuddled me like the Cuddle Cretin he was. He gave me about thirty more minutes to soak in the moment before he started tickling me, ending the morning in a fun way and beginning the afternoon with kisses and promises of coffee. We tried taking a shower together, but Max kept tickling me for some silly reason and almost made me fall, so I kicked him out of the shower and made him wash my back from the other side of the curtain. When I let him get in again, I was barely even done drying my mane by the time he came out and I had to ask if he’d even washed his mane. The odd look he gave me made me wonder if Humans had bad hygiene. His response was that washing his hair on a daily basis would ruin his scalp, making him ask if all Ponies washed their manes everyday. To my knowledge we did and do. All I got was a shrug for my loquacious answer and I was okay with that.

Spike was washing his dishes in the kitchen when we came downstairs, wearing a little smile that didn’t seem very genuine to me. “Hey guys.”

“Wotcher, Spike. Something wrong?” Max asked carefully, like he was expecting Spike to want to say something in private.

“Well… Not really. Just something Sweetie Belle told me, y’know?” He answered shyly.

“... Do we need to talk, or is this…?”

“Can we talk?” my little brother murmured.

I looked to Max and he cast a furtive glance at me. “Alone, or…?”

Spike glanced at me and must have seen the concerned look on my face. “... Well… Sweetie Belle asked me out…”

“Sounds like a bad idea.” Max replied easily, like Spike had asked what his shirt said. The breast pocket actually said ‘Lucky Lucky’ in a circle, but that’s not important.

“... That’s probably why she and Apple Bloom aren’t friends anymore,” he said softly, his voice quaking.

I rushed over and he met me halfway. “Oh, Spike! It’s not your fault! Sweetie Belle isn’t the filly everypony thinks she is, and it’s better that you and Apple Bloom distance yourselves from her anyway, Spikey.”

Spike hugged me back. “... If you say so.”

“She’s right, mate. Sweetie Belle is gonna push you to do things you don’t want to do,” Max said, coming to lay a hand on Spike’s shoulder. “It might seem like fun at the time, but it’s only going to get you into trouble.”

Spike sighed. “I just feel so bad for ruining their friendship… They even started fighting!”

“That’s because Sweetie Belle likes you for all the wrong reasons and Apple Bloom likes you for the right ones.” My boyfriend said, patting Spike’s shoulder.

The record skipped and Spike said, “If you say so…”

“I do say so, and I say so why?”

“Because you’re a smart old guy and I’m a naive young guy who should listen to the wisdom of old guys,” Spike chuckled, letting me go. “That still sounds goofy.”

“That’s because you’re young and goofy,” Max answered casually. “Why don’t we go fishing later or something? I’m sure we’ll find something to talk about while we do it.”

Spike put a hand to his mouth and made a face. “You want to do it to me!?”

My jaw dropped as my boyfriend winked. “You bet that sweet, scaly arse I do.”

The little Dragon was stuck for words. “... I was kidding.”

“Who said I wasn’t?”


I giggled. “Gaaay!


Max shrugged. “Oi, if you love me, you love me. I’ll treat you right~”

I hit him lightly, smiling. “Oh shush! You’re just trying to weasel your way into my family, aren’t you?”

“What can I say? Mum’s sweet, Spike’s cool, and I’d like to meet your other brother sometime. Seems like a nice family to be in.” He gave me a little smile.

I gave him a little kiss because it wasn’t my favorite smile of his. “You know you’re already welcome wherever we’re welcome, Amour. Now you just need to go and visit Blue so you can start building your family again.”

Max rubbed the stubble on his chin for a second. “... It’s kinda awkward, Cherry. I mean… I like her already, but what if she just wants to know how I’m connected to her son?”

“... Then it would be selfish to hold what you know back from her. If you don’t know anything, you just say so. It’s better than making both of you hurt, and it might actually bring you together if you be yourself.” I crossed my arms and gave him a look for being foalish- Childish. Whichever.

He snorted and closed his eyes, waiting a few breaths to open them again. “I guess it’s better to get it over with, right? Might as well do it after breakfast.”

“I’ll give you a hug if it goes bad and a hug and a snuggle if it goes anything less than perfect~!”

Spike rolled his eyes, but I didn’t miss his miniature grin. “If you guys keep it up, I think I’m gonna start sinking into the floor with all this-”

“Mushy-gooshy-malarkey.” Max and I groaned.

“Find something new to say-” My boyfriend started.

“And make it appropriate!” I ended.

“Making it funny is a plus-”

“But making it accurate is more important.”

Max gave me a look. “Can you stop-”

“Finishing your sentences?” Spike and I chorused.

For a second, I thought Max was going to lick me with the look of deviancy in his eye, but then his left hand turned black with white, swirly little ivy-like vine crisscrossing his forearm. One second he reached back, and the next he thrust it forward, his arm disappearing up to the elbow. A small mercy was that it wasn’t like I could see Max’s insides or anything, but the problem was that he’d basically stuck his hand in my face. Kinda. The next thing I knew, he stuck a foot between my legs. I felt something hit me in the lower back, nearly making me faceplant like a foal learning how to walk. Like a BUTT, Max caught me just before I could hit the ground, making me shriek like I was terrified. Mostly because I didn’t put it past him to find something icky with his weird True Theft stuff. While I was scrabbling to kick the thing that trying to get off of me, Max suddenly yanked me forward and I narrowly missed bucking Spike in the face.

When I got to my hooves, I thumped Max a good one for his antics. “You Butt. Muncher! You almost made me kick Spike!”

Spike blew some flames at my butt and startled me, making me hop into Max’s arms. The raised brow and amused look he wore didn’t do him any favors in getting out of the Doghouse, but apparently he didn’t like the look I was giving him. “Kiss me or I’ll drop you~”

I wrapped my arms around his neck and glared at him. “Don’t.

“Kiss you or-”

“You owe me an apology.” I said firmly.

He gave me a gentle smile. “I’m sorry for making Spike fall on you, but that’s what you get.”

I teleported myself out of his arms and stood, giving him a dirty look. “I might love you, but that doesn’t mean you can just do whatever, Max.”

He raised his hands. “Cherry, I won’t do it again.”

I took a deep breath. “... There’s no point in being this upset over it, I guess. Just try to rein it in, okay?”

“The reins are taut.”

I rolled my eyes. “We’ll see. Do you want me to help make breakfast, or what?”

His smile took a dip. “If you wouldn’t mind.”

“I’ll make coffee.”

“Thanks. What sounds good for breakfast?”

“Whatever you feel like making.” Was my curt reply.

Fortunately Max had the sense to keep the talking to a minimum, and when he decided that he was ready to go see Blue, he asked if I wanted to go. It was supposed to be a personal thing and I said as much to Max, but shortly after I left, I realized that he’d been asking for my support and I’d basically told him no out of spite. It made me feel bad, but not bad enough to make up for it after the crap he pulled. Normally I’d have given him more of an earful, but I figured that a couple hours of the patented Mare’s Cold Shoulder would make the lesson stick. When four hours passed and Max hadn’t returned, I started to get a little worried. Four hours turned to five, then to six, and the sun was already preparing to set and Max hadn’t said a word about being out so long.

I used the old faithful Clairvoyance Spell to hit the streets of Ponyville in the amber glow of the fading light, the sun reflected in the west-facing windows of the town. It was a little hard to see the faint trail that would lead me to my ever-worrisome boyfriend, but it was visible enough to lead me to a bar full of ponies that were either laughing at the person singing karaoke on the new machine, or cheering her on while she drunkenly wailed through Left Hoof Right Hoof. It was hard to get through the small-town, Earth Pony drinking crowd in all honesty, and it was even worse since it was the weekend and most ponies had the next couple of days off. I couldn’t even manage to see the trail anymore, but I still found Max when he stepped up on the recently built stage, shooing away pony after pony as they pushed the microphone into his hand.

I couldn’t hear him over the hoops and hollers of the mares in the crowd and a few shouts of ‘Pretty Colt! Sing us a song!’. He seemed to be saying ‘Fuck off, alright? I’ll do it, I got ya.’ or something of the sort, the smirking mask on his face making it hard for me to tell what he was saying. It wasn’t hard to feel Max’s unease and disquietude; his general dislike of being the center of attention when it wasn’t storytime or a small gathering of friends, but he still tapped the mic and tested it for a moment.

“What? Do I have something on my face?” He joked, getting some jeers for stalling. “Aww, shut up. Let me sing you rainbow brite Fartbags a little alien song~” That earned a few more chuckles, but then Max smiled and said, “Oh wait! I don’t know any Equestrian songs! Guess I can’t do-”

Put your hand on the top of the box and the song you’re thinking of starts playing!” I shouted helpfully, using Magic to amplify my voice.

“Woo.” My boyfriend said tonelessly, his mask still in place. I wondered if he didn’t want to sing, but then rationalized it away, thinking that he would have just said no if he didn’t want to. “This one goes out to the lovely lady who just did me that special little favor. Song’s called Sun Hands by The Local Natives.” With that, he put his hand on the karaoke device and music like I’d never heard before spilled forth from the speakers like the band was there in the room with us.

I climbed to the top of a hill. But I had just missed the sun.

And although the descending arc was gone, Left behind were the traces that always follow along.

The most beautiful co~lors chase the sun.

They wrap her trail in a taunting gesture that seems to sing out loud,

"This is what you're missing"

Aaa-aah-aah, I'll endure the night

Aaa-aah-aah, For the promise of light

Aaa-aah-aah, I'll endure the night

Aaa-aah-aah, For the promise of light

I want to lift my hands towards the sun

Show me warmth. Baby, won't you show me warmth again?

And when I can feel with my sun hands

I'll promise not to lose her again

And even if the morning never comes, my hands are blessed;

To have touched the sun

The Su~un

And when I can feel with my sun hands

I promise not to lose her again

And when I can feel with my sun hands

I promise not to lose her again

And when I can feel with my sun hands

I promise not to lose her again!

Aaa-aah-aah, I'll endure the night. Aaa-aah-aah, For the promise of light

Aaa-aah-aah, I'll endure the night. Aaa-aah-aah, For the promise of light

Aaa-aah-aah, I'll endure the night. Aaa-aah-aah, For the promise of…”

When he finished, there was a quiet round of applause that slowly crescendoed into a roar of Encore! Encore! Encore!’, Max’s singing voice just… Blowing us away! I’d heard him sing in the other timeline, but I’d thought his voice was amazing because he was singing for me. Paired with upbeat music that had slow moments in it just showed that he could hang with the Crooners and the new Rock and Rollers. Max had found something he could easily turn into a career by accident.

Max tried to get off the stage, but hands shoved him back on from every direction until he relented for just one more song. My boyfriend let his mask fall and I could easily tell that the next Pony who put their hands on him to make him do something he didn’t want to do was going to get a tongue lashing. As he relented for just one more, he dedicated the next song to nothing. Literally nothing. It was called Fourth of Jewly by Sound Garden, or something of the sort. From the very beginning of the song, my heart started hurting, and the crowd’s energy waned. A nearby stallion with a decent voice provided backup vocals, Harmonic Resonation echoing through Max’s voice as he put his heart behind the song.

He received another round of applause for his efforts, though it was more muted than the last. Max was allowed to leave the stage and head to the bar to grab a drink, so I struggled my way through the crowd until I popped out next to him and some sloozy. I could see the Dimbo smiling at my Max and he didn’t seem to be giving a darn about her at all, which was nice for me. I tapped his shoulder and he gave me his attention in a second, swallowing the mouthful of the drink he’d had. When he saw me, he gave me a dirty look, so I gave him an apologetic smile.

“Do you want to go home?” I asked, trying to be heard over the crowd.

He downed the rest of his drink, paid the bartender, and got up. “I’m ready when you are.”

I kinda had to make him lead us out since Earth Ponies and all that, but we got back to Golden Oaks no problem anyway. Along the walk, I apologized for making Max do the thing and he apologized again for being a butthead in the morning, so I forgave him and let him have some kisses for being sweet. Kinda. Ish. Close enough. The main thing was that we were over the little spat like it was nothing and back to being us, even with that little hiccup costing us some time away from each other. There was a question hanging in the air, and it was what Max had been doing in the bar in the first place. He told me that he’d thought that I wanted some space, and he’d been right in a way.

It wasn’t something I’d really considered, but I knew that giving me time to cool off had been the right thing for him to do, even if I didn't want to be left alone for the rest of the day. I’d rather have him around so I can ignore him and keep an eye on him at the same time, thus making the Cold Shoulder more effective than it had any right to be. I couldn’t have kept it up for long if Max really didn’t want me to and we both knew that, but he let me have my victory and I took it for what it was worth. I considered it important, and I’m sure Max knew it was important to me, which made it all a touch sweeter that he was willing to bend his knee to make me happy.

As we entered our home and prepared to end the day, Max asked if I wanted a kiss and I just took one from him since there was no point in trying to be mad at Max for more than a couple of hours anyway. That and I really wanted the kisses I could get anyway. Can you blame a mare for having her priorities? No, you can’t, which is why I made Max let me take him out for a nice date at Blossoms and Blooms where he tried their carbonara. He said that it was both missing salt and some kind of protein, but I didn’t really know how beans or eggs would make pasta any better. I decided not to comment on it and Max enjoy his meal, though there was obviously something on his mind.

While we were walking back home to end the night I had to ask, “Is something on your mind, Amour? You were awfully distracted at dinner.”

He gave me a small, apologetic smile and waved my worries aside. “It’s nothing much. Just wondering why I repay you with irritation and the occasional bout of sweetness.”

“Because love is weird like that, silly.” I giggled.

Max just gave me an odd look. “... And you’re just okay with that?”

“I don’t have a reason not to be, Max. I’m less happy when you’re not around, and I’m a little more irritable than normal. Even if you’re the one upsetting me, I’d rather have you nearby so I know your safe and at least comfy.”

“You want me around all the time so you can ignore me and make it have an effect.” He said flatly.

Eep! Er, I-I mean… Well, that’s not the whole story!” I protested.

He kissed the tip of my horn before flicking it with his tongue, sending shivers down my spine. “I know that, you goofy goober. I’m just getting back at you for kicking me out of the house.”

I gave him a little push. “Butthead! I thought you might have really been upset for a second!”

My ever-infuriating boyfriend chuckled and pulled me closer. “I don’t like getting upset with you. Not over things we can talk out.”

I gave him a one-armed hug and bounced my head off of his shoulder. “You’re still a butthead, even if you’re a sweet butthead.”

“And you’re still my sweet little Cherry, as sour as you can be sometimes.”

“I’m not sour, I’m tart.” I huffed, winning the argument through the power of Marehood.

“You’re not tart, you are a tart.” Max purred.

“... What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked, a little more than confused by the analogy.

“It means you’re a snack!” He shouted, jerking me toward him so he could nibble on my neck and tickle me at the same time.

“N-N-Nooo~! M-Max waaait!” I cried, trying to get away from him.

My hands couldn’t get his away from my sides, but he relented on his own and placed them on my hips to hold me in place for a giggle filled kiss. “I’m waiting.

I gave him the most steely, sternest look I could muster. “Now, I want you to stop this foalishness until we get back- Yeee!” He grabbed my sides and started tickling me again. Maaax~!

“Yes?” He asked, pulling me in for a hug.

I tried my hardest to get away from his evil little fingers. “St-Stop tickling me b-b-before I-”

Max gave me The Smile. “Before you what?”

I licked my lips and worked out a couple more giggles. “Um…Before I… Put a finger in your butt?”

“Ew.” He pulled a face.

The curse was lifted and I gave him a triumphant look. “See? It’s alright; Just listen to Twilight.”

His face eased into a contented smile and he asked, “Yes, Cherry?”

I tapped my chin while smiling at him. “Hmm… I want a kiss~”

Max leaned down and gave it to me. “Is that all?”

… See, on one hand, I doubted that I could come up with something that would actually upset Max. On the other hand, I could see him being displeased about being forced to do anything, so I just said, “I want to be carried like a Princess in the Fairy Tales~”

He beamed at me and swept me off of my feet, giving me a loving smile as I held onto his neck. The strength that lay underneath his pale, smooth skin felt like it was radiating into me through the contact we shared, and the warmth he gave off naturally was just icing on the cake. I didn’t have to, but I curled up in Max’s arms and buried my face into his chest, taking in his natural musk and his cologne at the same time, the odors clashing and blending beautifully, not unlike how Max and I seemed to be getting through our days together. Where one smell was stronger than the other for but a few breaths, the other was just waiting its turn to waft its way into my nose and further convince me to fall asleep in Max’s embrace.

I actually stayed awake until Golden Oaks was just in sight, but after that I was out like a light. I didn’t wake up until Max set me on my bed and leaned down to kiss me goodnight. “Mmm~

He stroked my cheek softly with his thumb before pulling away. “I figured you could use the rest you were getting.”

Nooo~ I missed some snuggle-” I yawned and stretched. “Tiii~me. Oh that felt good.”

“Tch, wish I could feel that well rested from a power nap.”

“Too bad~ I guess you’re just going to have to hop in bed and get some rest the old-fashioned way, hmm?”

“Don’t we have the same Mum? This is all incest, you know.”

“Then let’s disappoint Mom extra good after you sing me something~” I bargained.

He puffed out a laugh at that and waltzed on over to the closet. “Right, because Kaid Gadai sings.”

“Oh, come on.” I drawled, rolling onto my side so I could see him more easily. “You say that like you didn’t have that whole bar pin-drop silent when you were done.”

“Yeah, that’s what happens when you sing to drunk people-”

“Not always.” I deadpanned. “You should hear my older brother try to sing sometime.”

I felt like he rolled his eyes. “Mediocre isn’t good, Cherry.”

“Do you seriously not think you can sing?” I asked.

He looked over his shoulder. “You’re blinded by love.”

“Only in one eye, and that doesn't affect my hearing in the slightest.” I countered.

Max chuckled at that and gave me a little grin. “Then would you like to hear one of my favourites?”

I gave him my biggest smile yet. “I’d love to!”

And I’d love to write the song down, but I’d flub the lyrics terribly since I wasn’t even listening for part of it. I just enjoyed the moment, having Max sing to me. It was something nice that I felt like we hadn’t done before, and he even asked if I’d like to learn a song and do a duet with him for fun. It sounded like a great idea to me, and after we got changed for bed, I started teaching Max the song I knew the best. It’s A Wonderful World by Dewey Strongarm is still one of my favorite songs, and Max knew some of the lyrics already too. Paired with his mellow, soft baritone and the deeper octaves he could reach, my ears were in bliss as we sang our harmony into the night and fell asleep without snacks.

At least there weren’t any crumbles to clean up, I guess… Would’ve been nice to get lucky after the songs, but it wasn’t necessary. I suppose I should add it that I’m writing this by lamp light, only having slept long enough for Max himself to get good and deep into dreamland before getting this written out. It took some time and a couple of stifled giggles, but I managed to get through all of it okay. I think it’s about time for the conclusion, though… Maybe. Just know that I really appreciate you listening, Diary!

Anyway, here goes nothing!


In conclusion I’m still worried about Max and I being pariahs as far as our relationship goes, but I don’t think too many ponies are going to care as long as we’re male and female. At least not too many ponies in the northern places. I do wonder what Mom did all day since she didn’t come over, and I wonder what the heck happened to Noir since she didn’t make an appearance either… It’s weird that both of them neglected to show up for the entire day, but I’m sure it’s just some odd coincidence. It’s not like my Mom and Noir were ever terribly friendly back in the other timeline, so I’m sure that they just had their own reasons for ditching Max and I.

Waking up with Max was a special treat like no other, and I hope to get to cuddle him like that again tonight. It was nice to get to talk to him when I knew he wasn’t going to say anything back or get upset. It was especially nice to be able to get my feelings out in the open and have him take them the right way, even if he didn’t know that I was talking to him in his sleep. There are worse things than speaking and not being heard, like wanting to walk and having no legs. That sounds much worse than talking to someone who’s asleep.

Sending Max off to Blue’s without my support was mean, and I don’t plan on doing something like that to him again. Even if Max almost made me hurt Spike, I shouldn’t have reacted so strongly. While I hope that Max got the message that he can’t just do whatever he wants and expect to get away with it, I do hope that Spike isn’t too upset with both of us for ignoring him for the rest of the day. Well, Max didn’t ignore him, but Spike didn’t want to talk to him anymore than I did, so I guess that also played a part in why Max decided to-

Wait a second… Where the hay did Max get money from?


I woke him up to ask him. He said he forgot for all of two seconds before he remembered and confessed to robbing some ponies before he decided to make a fresh start for himself. He apologized to the wrong person for it, but I couldn’t make him give back money he’d already spent and there was precious little I could do to return the money to its rightful owner without ruining Max’s reputation. However, I made him give me the money so I could send it to Celestia for proper distribution to people who might actually need it, but there’s was still the problem of dealing with Max. For the time being I’m letting him sleep in my bed, but that’s mostly because I don’t want to miss out on my rapidly dwindling amount of time I have with him in my home. I know we’ll have plenty of time in the future, but that’s not now, now is it?

… I know I should be more upset with Max for stealing, but in his defense, he’s never had a role model to really follow like I did or most other Ponies for that matter. England didn’t have the Elements of Harmony and the way Max talked about his hometown made me wonder how he managed to stay alive so long… Well, it was probably because he was smart and willing to dip his toes into dirty water to make ends meet and keep going for another day… Maybe I should end the conclusion here since it’s not really concluding anything.

Oh well. Thanks for listening, Diary~❣ Maybe next time we’ll have more fun things to talk about?