For Twilight Sparkle, it was supposed to be an ordinary night of stargazing. Her discovery of a human, will change her life in ways she never thought possible.
By all accounts, Andrew was your average human with a job and a family, living in Baltimore. His life will be changed forever when a mysterious portal in the park whisks him away to a bizarre world filled with magic and talking ponies. He will need the help of Twilight to learn the mystery of who he saw in the portal and how to get him home. Will the friendship of Twilight and her friends show him where he truly belongs?
Note: This takes place during season 3 and the main character has never heard of MLP
Andrew sat at his desk, staring at the stack of papers in the middle of it. Normally, he'd already have made up a checklist of what he needs to do but the blank sheet of paper just stared back at him. The pen in his hand moved between his fingers as he tried to focus on his plan of attack but his mind kept drifting off to other things. Things that he'd rather be doing, like reading the book that was in the bag leaning against his desk.
His blue eyes shifted to that bag underneath his desk but he internally shook his head. The last thing that he needed was Mr. Jacobs walking by and catching him reading. Andrew understood that he had to finish the work on his desk before the end of the day. Lately, he's been finding it difficult to concentrate at work. When he first started working at the company, he was eager to start but almost a year later, that excitement has all but left him.
Removing his half-rimmed glasses, he brought his hand up to his face and pinched the bridge of his nose. Feeling a headache coming on, he closed his eyes and let out a sigh. He wished that the day would just end but he looked at the clock and saw that it was 2:35. Still quite a while before he could think about leaving. Letting out a groan, he ran a hand through his brown hair and put his glasses back on. He was thankful that it was Friday and he had the weekend off to do whatever he wanted.
Before he could give it anymore thought, his supervisor knocked on the wall of his cubicle. Andrew was jolted from his thoughts and he sat up before turning the chair to face his colleague.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you." Terry continued before letting out a light chuckle. "I just wanted to see how you were making out with those designs for the client's website."
Andrew adjusted his glasses with his finger and let out a sigh before responding. "Sorry, I haven't gotten a chance to get started yet. My mind hasn't really been in it today. Plus, It doesn't help that they keep changing their mind every day. It's hard to keep up with all of these changes."
Terry shook his head. "I know what you mean but they're a big client. That's why the boss wants those done by the end of the day."
Are you serious? Do you know how long it's going to take me to check all of this coding? Andrew knew that it wasn't Terry's fault that their boss was being a jerk.
Terry looked over at Andrew's desk and looked at the photo of a young boy and girl on a roller coaster. The boy looked terrified while the girl was pointing and laughing at him.
"Isn't your sister's birthday coming up soon? Are you going to visit her?" Terry asked, deciding to change the subject.
"Yeah, it's in a couple of weeks." Andrew replied, looking back at the same photo. "Crap. That reminds me, I still need to get her a present."
Terry saw the distress in his friend's eyes and sighed. "Look, I know it's none of my business but have you ever thought about..."
Andrew turned his head to look at Terry with a puzzled look, "About what?"
Terry waved his arm, "You know, doing something else? Look, you're performance here has been great but I can tell you're not happy doin this line of work. To be honest, it's not for everyone."
"Ugh. You're starting to sound like my mother." Andrew rubbed his forehead.
"Hey, I'm just trying to look out for you."
An incoming text notification suddenly came in on Andrew's phone. He looked at the screen and recognized the number as being his mother's.
"Speaking of the devil. Is that who I think it is?" Terry asked.
"Yeah, it's her. That makes the fourth one this week so far." Andrew groaned. He sent the call to voicemail and turned off his phone.
"Why don't you just tell her that her calls are bothering you so much? You can't keep avoiding it. Maybe she is right about you doing something else."
Andrew took in a deep breath and let it out before responding. "Yeah, well if I don't get these evaluation reports submitted to Mr. Jacobs, I just might have to."
"Well, if you want to talk about sometime, let me know. Speaking of which, the other guys and I are going out for drinks later after work. Do you want to come with us?"
A few moments later, Andrew pulled himself away from his screen. "Thanks but I'll pass. Maybe next time, alright?"
Terry shook his head. "Suit yourself. If you keep turning the other guys down, they're going to start taking it personally. Sure they may be a little goofy but they’re great guys. You really need to get out more. Find a girl."
"Ugh. Now you really sound like my sister."
"Anyway. If you have any questions about the designs, let me know."
"Thanks." Andrew smirked as he watched Terry walk away. He turned his attention back to the stack of papers on his desk.
Ugh, I really don't want to deal with these.
Knowing that he would need something to help him get through them, his eyes were immediately drawn to the coffee container on his desk. He picked it up and let out a dejected sigh. He knew that he was going to need some coffee if he was going to finish the project.
Crap. I'm going to need some more.
Andrew got up from his desk and grabbed his jacket to go to the café across the street.
After a few hours, and some more coffee, Andrew finally finished the reports before the deadline. After submitting them, he looked at the clock on his computer. He was excited to see that it was finally time to leave and enjoy the weekend. Turning off his computer, he grabbed his stuff and left the office. Since he lived only a few blocks away, he didn't see the need to drive to work. While walking home, he stopped at the local market to grab some food for dinner and things for the weekend.
When he came out of the store, Andrew looked up and noticed that the mostly clear skies above him were starting to darken. He took a couple sniffs of the air and could tell from experience that it was going to rain soon. Drops of rain slowly started to come down. If he had known that it was going to rain, he would have brought an umbrella with him. Damn. At this rate, I'll never make it home before it starts pouring. I better cut through the park. He thought to himself as he zipped up his sweatshirt all the way. Re-adjusting the strap of his shoulder bag, he prepared to make the run back home.
Fortunately for Andrew, the park was just just across the street. The fall leaves crunched underneath his shoes as he tried to make his way through the park as quickly as possible. Walking through the park, he passed by the large center fountain and unoccupied wooden benches. The slow rain continued to come down, wetting his brown hair and sweatshirt. Suddenly, his cell phone rang. Juggling the bags in his hands, he reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. A look at the caller id showed that it was his mother.
Just great. He knew that if he didn't answer it, she wouldn't stop. Taking a deep breath, he pressed the button on his phone to accept the call. Not wanting to start a fight, he tried to be as polite as he could.
"Hello, mom. Yes, I got your message from the other day and I know what you're going to say."
"Andrew, we have to talk. It's.."
"Mom, not again, alright? I've had it with you sending me emails about other jobs and calling me every ten minutes. Please, let me make my own decisions."
"No, you don't understand. Andrew, it's about your..." His mother continued.
That is when the stress of his day at work and what he felt was her persistent nagging finally hit their boiling point.
"No mom, you don't understand! Yes, I've made mistakes but they're mine to make. I'm not going to live my life the way you want me to. Just leave me alone, alright!"
The sound of Andrew's trembling voice was followed by silence which confused him. Usually his mother would continue their argument but she wasn't saying anything. Puzzled, he looked at the screen on his phone which showed that the call had been disconnected.
She wouldn't have hung up on me. What's going on?
Before he could think of what to do next, he saw something bright appear out of the corner of his left eye. Turning his head, he expected it to be the headlight from a car or someone walking through the park with a flashlight. What he didn't expect to see was a small glowing sphere hovering above the ground. It looked to be no bigger than his hand and was emitting a humming noise. In the center of the sphere, a mixture of colors were moving around like a moving kaleidoscope. The colors appeared to be changing with each beat of his heart, which was beating pretty fast at the moment.
"What the hell is that thing?" He said aloud as he moved a little closer to get a better look at it. He hadn't seen anything like this before except for in movies.
All of a sudden, the humming sound got louder and the orb started to pulsate almost like something was trying to escape from inside of it. Suddenly, there was a bright blinding flash of light that emanated from the center of the orb, followed by a pulse of energy. He felt it hit his body like he had been shoved really hard and it knocked him to the ground, causing him to drop his bags. Momentarily blinded and dazed, Andrew shook his head to get his bearings. He rubbed his eyes until his vision returned. After re-adjusting his glasses, Andrew turned his gaze back to the object in front of him.
The sphere had grown in size to be nearly as tall as he was. It was now a circle with a purple glow around it with rainbow colors swirling inside of it. The air around the sphere started to crackle as if it was giving off a lot of energy. Suddenly, the bright colors in the center of it started to swirl around faster until a shape started to appear in the center but he couldn't tell what it was. The image wasn't very clear but he could swear that whatever it was, it looked like the head of a horse. It had teal eyes and something like a horn on top of its head which was glowing.
"It can't be. Is that a unicorn? There's no way this could be real. I must be dreaming." Looking around, he didn't see anyone else in the part of the park that he was in.
The horse started to speak but Andrew couldn't fully understand what it was saying. distress. Whatever it was, for some reason, he could sense sadness in the sound of its voice.
"Amelia, are you ------? Please, I -------------. Everything ------ different now since ----------. She won't --------- anymore. ----- only cares -------- while I ---------. You were ------ best friend. I---------. The ------- are getting worse. They're telling-------------do something horrible. Please come ---------Equestria."
"Who in the hell is Amelia and what's Equestria? What is going on here?"
The face in the portal faded away and was replaced by swirling lights that flowed down a tunnel which seemed to go on forever. The more he stared at it, the more he tried to rationalize what he just saw. A voice in the back of his mind was telling him to run home as quickly as possible and never speak of what he saw to anyone. Andrew didn't know if it was just morbid curiosity or what made him do it but he slowly stood up, dusted off his pants, and started to walk towards the portal. Perhaps his curiosity couldn't let him leave without trying to figure out what it was.
Standing before the portal, Andrew reached out his sweating hands against it. There was a warmth coming from it but nothing else. A few moments went by and nothing happened. What the hell is this thing? Suddenly, he felt like his hand was being pulled inside of it.
"What the hell?" Andrew cried out. "What's happening? I can't move my hands. Let go of me you piece of crap!"
It was like something on the other side was pulling him in and he couldn't stop it. All his struggling to free his hands wasn't working. He had seen too many movies to know that this can't be good. Instead of pulling away from the portal, he kept being pulled closer to it.
Both of his arms had been sucked inside of it. Fear overtook him as he felt the heat and energy from the portal getting closer to his face.
"Help! Someone please help me!" Andrew looked away and screamed but his pleas for help were not answered.
Tears formed in his eyes as he struggled to free his arms. It felt like they were being ripped out of their sockets but he managed to free one of them. He frantically tried to grab onto something with his hand but it was useless as the rest of his body except for his arm and head were gone.
"Nooooo!" Andrew shouted just before the rest of him was pulled into the portal.
Once his body has been completely pulled inside, the energy around the portal crackled and the portal disappeared in a flash of light. The park was quiet except for the sound of rain hitting the leaves in the trees and the ground.
Andrew felt like he was falling through the vortex. Tears were flowing from his eyes as he felt like he was being torn apart. It seemed like it went on forever until there was a blinding flash of light and the bottom opened up to show a grassy field. Andrew landed hard on the ground and blacked out.
On top of a hill, on the outskirts of Ponyville, Twilight Sparkle sat with her telescope pointed up at the sky. This night, she was studying the constellations and making notes of their positions in her notebook as she observed them through her telescope. Sitting around her were some snacks, a stack of parchment, and some books. As she was making notations in her notebook, she sighed and wished that her friends were as interested in astronomy as she was. But like with a lot of things that she liked to do, she did them on her own. If only I could have somepony that could share my interests, she said to herself. But she shook those thoughts from her head and focused on the task at hoof.
"I hope that I get to see some shooting stars tonight." Twilight gleefully said to herself.
As if the heavens were answering her call, a bright shooting star raced across the night sky making her gasp. Soon several other ones appeared as well. Giddy as a little school filly, the unicorn started making notations in her notebook with her quill. This went on for several minutes until something else caught her attention. In the corner of her eye, she saw a bright light in the field below her. The light expanded with shimmering colorful lights around it. Twilight stared at it intently, wondering what it was. Suddenly, something appeared from the portal and tumbled a couple of feet away from it.
The portal disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. Throwing caution to the wind, Twilight decided to check it out and slowly cantered down the hill. In all her years as Celestia's student, she had never seen magic like that before. Part of her was both scared and excited at the same time.
A couple moments later, came across what had come through the portal. What she saw made her stop in her tracks. She didn't know what the strange creature was or if it was dangerous. It didn't look like anything that she had ever seen in any of her books. The books in the library had pictures of creatures from all over Equestria, but none that looked like this.
Whatever it was, it had hairless skin on parts of its face and neck except for the messy mane on top of its head. From what she could see, it had four limbs. Instead of hooves on its forelegs, it had five weird looking digits that looked like stubby claws. Its body was covered in some sort of clothing that she didn't recognize. For a moment, she wondered what her friend Rarity would think of these garments. On the front of its peaceful looking face was a pair of glasses.
"Is it alive?" Twilight asked quizzically to no one but herself. She titled her head to the side, bringing her hoof to her chin. The rational part of her brain was telling her to stay away from the creature until she could get her friends but the researcher inside told her that this was a brand new discovery and she couldn't afford to miss this opportunity. With shaky hooves, the moved a little closer to it.
On closer inspection, Twilight noticed that its chest rose and fell gradually. Even without knowing its biology, she guessed that it was still alive. During her magic studies, she had learned some basic healing spells but decided against using them since she didn't know enough about the creature's physiology to try them.
"Well, I can't leave it out here or it could die. I need to get it inside. I'll send a letter to Princess Celestia once I figure out what this is."
Knowing that she needed to act quickly, the lavender pony used her magic to load her telescope, books, and notes back into the cart. She then closed her eyes to concentrate as she cast a spell to teleport both herself, the cart, and the creature back to the library. In a blink of an eye, both of them were gone.
Andrew's mind snapped back into consciousness as he let out a gasp. His eyes shot open and he quickly sat up on the bed that he was on. The immediate pain to his head made him regret the sudden movement. Placing his right hand against his temple, he laid back down. The throbbing pain was enough to keep him from wanting to open his eyes for the moment. It felt like someone had smashed his head with a cinder block.
A minute or so passed before the pain in his head started to fade away. More slowly this time, he sat back up again. His thoughts slowly went back to what happened before he had blacked out. The memories started coming back to him in bits and pieces. While he played back the events over and over again in his mind, he barely heard the sound of something clip clopping towards him.
"Oh good, you're finally awake." A feminine voice suddenly said, startling the human.
Looking to his left, Andrew's eyes widened in shock at seeing a unicorn by the side of the bed. She had a purple coat and a magenta mane with purple stripes. Staring back at him were a pair of violet eyes, still trying to determine what he was. All he could do is stare back at her in shock, his mouth hanging open until he let out a shout.
"What in the hell are you? Get away from me!" Andrew backed up in the bed, trying to get away from the creature in front of him.
Surprised by his sudden outburst, Twilight took a couple steps back. She raised her hoof and spoke, "It's alright. I'm not going to hurt you. I'll try to explain everything to you if you give me a chance." She looked at the human who was sitting in a fetal position and continued. "I found you outside in a field behind my home last night. You were unconscious so I brought you here." She said trying her best to sound calming and reassuring.
"A talking unicorn? I must be dreaming." Andrew said, not believing what he was both seeing and hearing. He pinched the skin on his arm until it hurt just to be sure. "Ow! I guess not. Damn it."
"I can assure you that you are not dreaming. Just take a deep breath and relax." She said with genuine concern. "My name is Twilight Sparkle but you can call me Twilight if you would like." She said holding a hoof to her chest. " What is your name?"
Andrew took a few deep breaths before answering. "My...my name is Andrew."
"Its nice to meet you. I'm sure like me, you have a lot of questions. Do you know where you are?" Twilight asked the human.
Andrew shook his head. "I have no idea. One minute I was in my apartment and then I woke up here." He looked around before continuing. "Wherever this is."
"You are in the Golden Oak Library located in the town of Ponyville." Twilight replied.
Andrew racked his brain trying to figure out what was going on but nothing rational was coming out. "Ponyville?"
"That's right. It's located in the land of Equestria." Twilight nodded.
"Wait a second. I'm sorry but this is just a lot to take in at the moment." After taking in a deep breath, Andrew continued. "Let me get this straight, I'm in a place called Equestria where horses can talk?"
"Actually, we're called ponies, not horses." Twilight stated matter-of-factly. "More specifically, I'm a unicorn and there are other creatures here that can talk as well. Can't ponies talk where you're from?" She asked with her head tilted to the side with a puzzled look on her face.
"Well, where I'm from they're called actually horses and they certainly can't talk. Creatures like unicorns just don't exist where I'm from except in children's books and fantasy novels." Andrew replied, rubbing his forehead with his hand.
"Wait, so you're not from Equestria?" Twilight asked.
"I think that's pretty obvious." Andrew raised an eyebrow and let out a light chuckle. "I'm what's called a human from a planet called Earth and...." He looked around. "this is definitely not it."
"By Celestia, this is not good at all." She said, placing her hoof on her chin before she turned to look at him again. It looked like she was deep in thought. "Well, I promise you that I will look into getting you back home. In the meantime, it's still pretty early in the morning but I would be happy to stay up and talk with you some more, if you'd like."
Andrew could tell that she was trying to be friendly and he appreciated it but right now wasn't the best time for him. "I appreciate the offer...but all of this is a lot for me to take in right now. I...I think it would be best if I was by myself for a while." He replied shaking his head with a dejected look on his face, staring at the bed.
"I suppose you're right. This has been a bit of a shock for you." Twilight nodded and turned away from him.
Twilight walked over to the steps, before stopping to turn her head to look back at the human. "I will be downstairs doing some reading if you need anything. If you are up to it later, hopefully we can talk more. I would like to learn more about where you're from." She said with a concerned look on her face before looking at the ground.
Andrew nodded with a small smile on his face. "Thank you, Twilight."
With one last look at him she nodded. Turning her head, she made her way down the stairs. Moments later, there was nothing but silence except for the thoughts in his head. Andrew doesn't know how long he sat there, his eyes not really focusing on anything. His brain was going a mile a minute trying to process everything that Twilight had just told him. Why did this happen to me? I didn't ask for this. What am I going to do? How am I going to get home?
Andrew laid his head back down on the pillow. He closed his eyes and tried to take slow deep breaths. 'Maybe when I wake up, this will have only been a dream and I'll wake up in my own bed. Yeah, only a dream...' He kept repeating that to himself until sleep finally overtook him once again.
Sometime later, Andrew was awoken by the sounds of birds chirping by the window. Turning his head towards the window, he saw that it was brighter outside. 'How long had I been asleep', he wondered to himself. He looked around the room hoping for it to be his apartment but his heart sank when he saw that it wasn't. Looking down, he didn't recognize the blue bed sheets and blue comforter with stars on it.
Andrew's train of thought was broken by a voice coming from downstairs. “Andrew, are you awake?” He could hear Twilight calling out to him.
“Y..yeah. I’m awake.” Andrew replied, rubbing his eyes, underneath his glasses, trying to wake himself up. The sounds of hoof steps got louder as she came upstairs to the loft.
“Twilight....right?” He asked the unicorn, trying to remember her name.
"That’s right. Are you feeling any better?" She asked with a warm smile.
Andrew slowly sat up before responding, "I am feeling a little bit better, thank you. Like I said before, this is a lot to take in."
"That is good to hear. I can't begin to imagine what you're going through but I'm going to do what I can to help you get through this. You're not alone in this." Twilight trotted over and placed a reassuring hoof on his shoulder, smiling at him.
"I appreciate that, Twilight. I really do." Andrew looked at her with a small smile.
"You must be hungry, would you like to join me for some lunch?" She asked, taking her hoof off of his shoulder.
After everything Andrew just saw and heard today, he didn't feel much like eating anything. “Well, I..” Before he could respond, his stomach let out a rumble, causing him to place his hand over it. His face turned red from embarrassment.
"I'll take that as a yes." Twilight giggled. "Just come down when you're ready." She said as she turned to go downstairs.
A few moments after she had left, Andrew pulled back the covers and swung his legs over the side. He stood up on the wooden floor and noticed that his legs were a little stiff from laying in the bed for so long. He did a few stretches and the circulation soon returned. Next to the bed were his shoes as well as his sweatshirt folded up next to them. Andrew put on his shoes and zipped up his sweatshirt.
Finally getting a better look at his surroundings, Andrew noticed the room was quite spacious. To the right of the bed, there was a large window with a view of some buildings outside. Along the other side of the bed, there was a mirrored vanity and a shelf with some books and photos on it. Looking back at the bed he was just laying on, it was the only one here so Andrew figured that this must belong to Twilight. Not wanting to be rude, he made the bed before he left.
Andrew made his way down the stairs to the next floor with some more windows that let more natural light into the room. There were shelves along the walls that looked like they were built into the oak walls of the library, filled with books. A stone fireplace set along one wall with a sofa nearby it. There was also a writing table with a bottle of ink and quills on it. A door off to the side led outside which looked like to a balcony. There was another set of stairs going to a lower floor.
"Oh good, there you are. The kitchen is this way." She said with a smile, motioning with her hoof.
Andrew followed behind Twilight as she opened the door to the kitchen. It looked just like any other kitchen with cabinets and drawers along the walls as well as appliances and a refrigerator and a sink. In the middle of the room was a simple square table with four chairs. It had already been set with two plates and silverware in the middle of the table was a silver vase with flowers in it.
"Do you like salad? I picked up some ingredients at the market yesterday," Twilight asked, turning her head to look at the human.
"Sure. That sounds good to me." The human shrugged his shoulders.
“Alright. I don't know what humans eat. I guess I should have inquired about that earlier." She remarked while putting lettuce into a bowl.
"That’s alright. We eat pretty much anything, except for hay and flowers. Humans can't process hay as well as ponies can." Andrew leaned against the table, placing his hands in his pockets. "Is there anything that I can help with, Twilight?"
"Sure, there are some salad dressings in the refrigerator. Can you get them out for me?" She pointed to the refrigerator with her hoof.
Inside the fridge, Andrew found two bottles of dressing; ranch and a blueberry vinaigrette. He grabbed both bottles and closed the fridge door. When he turned around, he stopped in his tracks not believing what he was seeing. Twilight was cutting vegetables but she wasn't using her hooves. The knife was floating in front of her. It was surrounded by a purple glow floating in the air. Twilight's horn was glowing the same color as well.
"Wha?" Andrew's eyes widened and his mouth opened from shock, almost dropping the bottles of dressing. ""W-wait a minute. How..how are you doing that?"
Twilight looked over at Andrew as she continued cutting, and giggled. "Do you mean what I'm doing with the knife and these vegetables? It's a simple levitation spell. It's one of the first spells I ever learned." Twilight said as her face beamed with pride.
Andrew nodded profusely. "Yeah, how are you doing that? The handle of the knife is glowing the same color as your horn." He blinked a few times and rubbed his eyes. "It's like you're using magic.”
"That's because it is magic." Twilight chuckled, placing a hoof over her mouth. "I'm sorry. It's just that I'm guessing from your reaction that you've never seen any magic before?"
"Well, on Earth, there is no magic. We have magicians who appear to make things move and disappear but that's no real magic. It's all illusion and slight-of-hand." Andrew explained.
"No magic at all? That's very interesting." Twilight momentarily wondered what Equestria would be like without magic but quickly shook her head to get rid of that unpleasant thought.
"Can everyone in Equestria use magic?" Andrew inquired.
Twilight closed her eyes and tapped her hoof on her chin. Her guest wasn't from Equestria so she had to think of a way to explain how magic worked in a way that he could understand. After a few moments of trying to find the right words, she opened her eyes and finally responded.
"Everypony in Equestria can use magic to an extent. For instance, earth ponies are considered to have a magically ingrained connection to the earth that makes them better at growing things like crops and other plants. Pegasus ponies also have a magic that allows them walk on clouds and manipulate the weather. To put it another way, both earth ponies and pegasi have passive forms of magic but unicorns, like myself, can actively perform magic like I just showed you. There are other creatures, besides ponies, that can use magic.”
"That's really fascinating. Maybe you can show me more sometime." Andrew remarked, picking up the bottles from the floor.
"Really? I would love to show you!" Twilight exclaimed before realizing how excited she sounded and turned her head in embarrassment.
Twilight turned back to the counter to finish cutting the rest of the vegetables and mixed them in the bowl with the lettuce. After she was done, they both sat down at the table and enjoyed the salads. They both chose the vinaigrette dressing. Andrew stabbed some of the salad and put it in his mouth. Despite his current situation, he had to admit that it was the best he's ever had!
There was an awkward silence in the air as the human and pony didn't say anything as they finished the last of their meal. Occasionally, Andrew caught Twilight glancing over at him with those violet eyes but then she would immediately turn her head away. He could tell that she wanted to ask him some more questions but something was holding her back. Maybe she didn't think he was comfortable talking about it yet. Andrew decided that he would let it all out there for her.
"It's alright Twilight. You're probably wondering what I am and how I got here.” He let out a deep sigh and folded his arms across his chest. “I've been thinking about the later part myself."
"I am very curious. Can you tell me anything that you remember from before you woke up this morning?"
Over the next several minutes, Andrew described how yesterday was a regular day for him. That was until the portal appeared in the park. He didn't leave out any detail about the face that he saw in the portal, what it said to him, or the fear that he felt as a force sucked him inside of it. Twilight listened intently while writing everything he said in her notepad, not wanting to miss anything.
"I don't remember anything after that until I woke up here."
"That is very interesting," Twilight said holding a hoof to her chin. "From what you described, it sounds like some form of inter-planetary travel but I'm not familiar with what you described. I'm also curious about that face you saw. You're sure it was a unicorn?"
"That's right." Andrew nodded before continuing. "The horn on its head was glowing as it spoke but I couldn't understand everything that it was saying. Some of it was garbled and to be honest, some of it is still a little hazy. Do you have any idea of who it could have been?"
"I'm afraid not." Twilight shook her head until she saw Andrew's face all at her response. She knew that she needed to help lift his spirits. "But don't worry though, I will do my best to figure it out."
"Thanks, Twilight. For this and for bringing me here and helping me." Andrew said with a sincere smile.
Despite Twilight's friendly nature and hospitality, all Andrew could think about was getting home. His family would start to worry about him soon when they don't hear from him. He couldn't imagine what it would do to them when he suddenly disappears without a trace. Would they think that I ran away or that I was dead? No, he can’t think like that now. He needed to have faith that Twilight or someone there could get him back home. His half smile turned into a look of melancholy.
"You're quite welcome but I didn't do it all by myself actually. After I brought you back here, you were still unconscious. Unfortunately, I know very little about healing magic. So, I teleported to the Ponyville Hospital and asked Nurse Tenderheart if she could take a look at you. She was able to heal some of the injuries you received from the fall." Twilight explained.
"Well, If I see her, I will have to thank her as well. " Andrew said.
"I'm sure she would appreciate that. In the meantime, would you like to go out for a walk with me? While you were resting, I realized that I need some supplies and I can show you around Ponyville." Twilight asked, breaking the silence.
"Going outside? Are you sure that's a good idea? I mean, wouldn't I stand out and draw attention? I don't want to cause any trouble." Andrew asked, sounding a little apprehensive about the whole thing.
"You have nothing to worry about. The ponies in Ponyville are some of the nicest ponies you will ever meet. It'll be fine." She said smiling.
"Well, if you're sure...then I will go with you." Andrew said as he stood up and carried his plate over to the sink. Twilight carried her plate to the sink as well and they left the kitchen.
"That's great. Normally, I have Spike go with me but he's with a friend of ours right now. So, your help and company would be appreciated."
"Of course. Wait, who's Spike? Andrew asked.
"He is one of my best friends who lives here with me. I guess I should warn you though...he's a dragon." She responded back.
Her response caught Andrew a little off guard. "A dragon? Wait, you live with a dragon?" First, talking ponies and now dragons. What's next, griffons and zebras?
"Don't worry about it. He's a baby dragon. We've known each other since the day he hatched. He's like a little brother."
Out in the main entrance to the library, Andrew stood in the middle of the room a gasp at all the books surrounding him. Despite his current situation, he was tempted to spend time reading the books. In the middle of the room, there was a round wooden table with a wooden bust of a pony's head on it . Off to the side, there was an adjoining room with even more shelves and books. A few moments passed before he gave into temptation and approached the nearest shelf.
Oh well, one look couldn't hurt. Could it?
Andrew was so engrossed at reading the titles on the spines of the books that he almost didn't become aware of some giggling behind him.
"See something you like?" Twilight grinned at the human.
"Sorry, I..uh.. couldn't help myself." Andrew responded sheepishly.
"It's quite alright. I sometimes get lost in reading books too, especially with books about magic. Those are my favorite books. History is a close second though." Twilight declared with a big smile on her face.
"I like to read about history myself. It's one of my hobbies. Maybe you will teach me a little about your world's history as well.”
"I would really like that. Maybe later?" Twilight smiled.
"Sounds good. Well, shall we go then?" Andrew motioned towards the door with his hand.
Twilight nodded as she used her magic to lift a pair of saddlebag onto her back. They were gray and embroidered with her six-pointed star, just like her cutie mark, on them. The door glowed violet as it opened. She trotted through first as he followed behind her. The door closed and locked behind them.
Walking outside to Ponyville for the first time, Andrew raised a hand over his eyes to block out the bright sunlight. After blinking a few times, his eyes soon adjusted to the light. From what he could see, the buildings had a very medieval-style to them; timber-framed with thatched roofs overhanging the upper floors. There were ponies of different color and manes as well as strange marks on their flanks. They were going about their daily business on such a beautiful day. Andrew looked over at Twilight and saw one on her as well. Hers was a large star with five smaller ones around it. He made a mental note to ask her about that later.
Putting his hands inside his pockets, Andrew decided to inquire about where they were going. "So, where do you need to go in town?"
Twilight pulled out a piece of parchment from her saddlebag using her magic and held it in front of her. "Just a few places. Let's see here...I need more parchment, ink and quills, some food and talk to the mayor about you."
"Sounds simple enough." 'Why did she need my help then?' Andrew wondered to himself.
"Let's see. The stationary shop is just up ahead. Let's go there first." She said looking at her list after putting a check mark next to one of the items.
Andrew and Twilight headed over to get the stationary that she needed which just so happened to also sell furniture.
Whoever heard of selling quills and furniture in the same place? Andrew asked himself.
After that, they stopped at the food stalls for groceries. The human insisted that he carry the bags, which Twilight appreciated.
"Well, I think you bought the entire market here." Andrew chuckled, lifting up all of the bags.
Twilight rolled her eyes, "Oh very funny."
"Is there anywhere else that you need to go?
Twilight marked off the last couple items on her checklist with her quill before replying. "Nope, that it is it. We're all done." She beamed with a satisfied smile, "How about I show you around Ponyville and we can stop for a snack before we head back?"
"I would like that. Did you have any place in mind?" Andrew asked.
"There is the Sugarcube Corner. They have the best treats in Equestria. You'll love it." Twilight said, licking her lips.
"Sounds great. Lead the way." Andrew motioned with his arm.
As the two walked through Ponyville, Andrew's thoughts from earlier popped back into his head. "Twilight, can I ask you a question?"
Twilight looked up at the human and nodded, "Of course. What's on your mind?"
"I've been noticing that you ponies have these marks on your flanks. What are they?"
Twilight repeated the human's words back to herself, "Marks on our flanks? Oh, you mean our cutie marks?"
"Cue-tee marks?" Andrew repeated back with a confused look on his face.
Twilight nodded. "That's correct. All ponies are born without them but as we grow up, we discover what we're really good at. Once that happens, our cutie mark appears. On the rare occasion, a pony may not discover their special talent until much later than that. It's rare but it's been known to happen." Twilight turned her head to look at her mark. "My cutie mark represents that I'm really good at magic."
"From what I saw earlier, I believe it." Andrew remarked.
Walking down a couple streets, they made it to the Sugarcube Corner. On the outside, it looked like a regular shop except if someone poured chocolate sauce over the roof. Andrew walked up to the front door and held it open for Twilight. She smiled and thanked him. The inside of the store looked like any child's dream come true. There were displays filled with different kinds of cakes, cupcakes, and shelves filled with almost any candy you could think of. Behind the counter was a mare with light-blue fur. Her pink main swirled like the topping of a cupcake.
"Oh Twilight, it's nice to see you and hello to your strange looking friend there." She greeted them with a sweet voice.
"Hello Mrs. Cake. This is Andrew." Twilight said motioning a hoof in the human's direction, "He is new here and I am just showing him around Ponyville. We decided to stop here for a little snack after doing some shopping at the market. Is Pinkie here? I wanted her to meet him."
Mrs. Cake regarded Andrew with a warm smile, "She's out making a couple deliveries but I'll let her know that you stopped in. It's very nice to meet you Andrew and welcome to Ponyville. Do you know what you two would like?"
"Thank you Mrs. Cake. Everything looks so good here. I wouldn't know how to decide." Andrew chuckled, still looking at everything that the store had to offer.
Twilight tapped her chin with her hoof, trying to decide. "I think we'll have two of my usual cupcakes to go, please. Oh, and one of Spike's favorites as well."
"Ah, excellent choice. Let me go wrap those up for you." Mrs. Cake said before putting them in a bag and putting it on the counter with her mouth. "Here you go. That will be ten bits, please."
"Thanks again Mrs. Cake." She said, paying for the treats. "Tell Pinkie I said hello."
"I will, Twilight. It was nice to meet you, Andrew. Come back again soon." Mrs. Cake said, waving to us with her hoof.
"Thank you Mrs. Cake. It was nice meeting you as well." Andrew smiled, grabbing the bag on the counter and adding it to the bags already in his hands.
Both of them waved back to her as they left. Re-adjusting the bags in his hands, Andrew opened the door for Twilight as they left and closed it behind him.
They didn't get very far before Andrew noticed something pink popped bouncing towards them. She had a poofy mane and tail, almost like cotton candy. Twilight seemed to recognize her cause she greeted her.
"Hello Pinkie Pie. We were just in Sugarcube Corner but you weren't there. How are you doing?"
The pink pony just stood there saying nothing. Her overly-large blue eyes just stared at the both of them. Andrew looked over at Twilight, then back to the pink pony, and then back to Twilight.
"Is she always like this?"
"Not normally. She's usually very bubbly and excited over something."
"Hello?" Andrew waved his hand in front of her face hoping to get a reaction.
Suddenly, the pink pony jumped up into the air, her hind legs reaching higher than her forelegs. Her mouth hung open as she let out a long gasp before she zipped into Sugarcube Corner faster than Andrew's ever seen anything move before.
"So..umm...just what was that?" Andrew asked, looking back at the trail of dust behind them.
"That was my friend, Pinkie Pie. You'll get used to her. In fact, this reminds me of how she greeted me when I first came to Ponyville..." Twilight trailed on.
"Should I be worried?"
The red door to the library glowed as Twilight used her magic to open it. Once inside, Twilight took off her saddle bags and they went upstairs.
"I thought that we could have some tea with our cupcakes. How does that sound?"
"That sounds great. Thanks." Andrew replied.
Twilight went to the kitchen and came back minutes later with the tea. Andrew grabbed the two cupcakes out of the bag and unwrapped one of them and handed it to her.
"So, what is one of your "usual" cupcakes?" He asked with a raised eyebrow while tearing off the wrapping.
"It's chocolate with a strawberry filling. These have been a favorite of mine since I was a filly. My big brother, Shining Armor, would always get me one when I needed some cheering up." She closed her eyes and smiled as she recalled the fond memories of her fillihood.
"It must have been nice to have a big brother to look after you like that." Andrew remarked thinking about when he took care of his sister when they were younger. He took a bite of the appetizing cupcake. Almost immediately, his taste buds were assaulted with the sweetness of the treat. "Oh wow! This is really good! I can see why you like these so much."
"I'm glad you like it." Twilight let out a light chuckle, hovering the cup of tea over to him before sitting on the couch. "Do you mind if I ask you some question?"
Andrew shook his head and responded to the unicorn, "Not at all. I have some for you as well."
"Now, you mentioned before that your species was called hew-man. Is that right?"
"That's right, my species is called human or homo-sapiens sapiens if you want to get scientific about it." Andrew replied before taking another bite of his cupcake.
"That's fascinating. I hope that you don't mind me asking but do all humans look like you or are there different kinds?" Twilight inquired, writing down notes with a quill and notepad that she made appear with her magic.
"No, we all look different otherwise we couldn't tell each other apart, unless you count identical twins. We're built the same way except for physical appearances like skin and hair color, height, eye color, those sorts of thing. Then you get into the different genders, male and female like I'm sure you have here."
For the next couple hours or so, Twilight asked Andrew questions about where he came from. She was like a never-ending trove of questions. Every question that he answered led her to asking another one. He couldn't help but chuckle to himself at her eagerness to learn new things. Andrew couldn't really blame her though. He was the first human that she had ever seen and she wanted to learn everything that she could about him. Twilight took the time to answer some of Andrew's questions as well about Equestria
"Unbelievable. It's like one new incredible discovery after another around here." There was a part of Andrew that wished that he could stay in Equestria and learn more but he knew that he needed to get home. He had a job and a family to worry about.
Twilight chuckled. "Believe me, there is a lot more to learn. I've been studying history and magic most of my life and there's still a lot that I don't know. That's why I keep studying every day."
"That's very admirable." Andrew nodded.
"More tea?" Twilight asked, finally taking a break.
"Yes please." Andrew smiled holding out his cup.
Using her magic, Twilight lifted the pot and refilled his cup. "This is really good tea."
"Thanks. I get it from my friend Zecora. Maybe you'll get to meet her."
Andrew put down his cup and noticed that Twilight was glancing over at him. "If there's something you want to ask, go right ahead. I don't mind." He said, trying to reassure her. Andrew took another bit of his cupcake.
"Andrew, I've been wanting to ask you something. What those things are at the end of your hooves?" She asked, pointing a hoof towards his hand.
"You mean these?" Andrew held up a hand and moved his fingers around. "This is called a hand and these are fingers. They are very handy when trying to grab hold of things."
"Very interesting. Could I have a closer look, please?" she asked
"Sure." Andrew replied holding out his hand.
Twilight held his hand in her hooves, studying closely. Turning it over and back, she wrote down more notes and made a couple drawings of his hand. He'd never seen anyone so interested in a hand before unless they were a fortune teller. Andrew couldn't help but notice how her hooves felt touching his hand. They were warm and very soft.
"You don't know how exciting this is for me." Twilight squealed excitedly. "It'll take me forever to organize my notes for my report. You don't mind if I ask you more questions later, maybe even get some more sketches of you?"
"Well, I suppose that..." Andrew began.
Suddenly, they both heard the sound of the front door open and closing, followed by the sound of feet coming up the stairs.
"Twilight, I'm home!" The voice said, "Rarity wanted me to tell you that..." its train of thought was stopped as it looked right at the human.
What Andrew saw was about three feet tall with emerald green eyes. Its body was mostly purple except for a green strip along its belly. A line of four large spines on its head trailing to shorter ones going down to the tail.
"I don't know what the hay you are but you better get away from Twilight!" Spike shouted.
Spike sucked in a huge lungful of air and opened his mouth to let out a stream of glowing green flames. Andrew didn't think this little thing could do much damage but he was wrong as he felt the heat from the flames through his jacket. Shielding his face with his arms, Andrew turned and tried to get out of the way.
"Spike! Please stop it!" Twilight pleaded with him.
"Are you serious? It could be dangerous." The dragon shot back pointing at the human, standing between them.
"Yes I am, Spike! He's not dangerous and he's staying here with us."
"W-What?" Spike responded back in a confused tone.
Andrew took off his jacket and stomped on it to put out the parts that were still smoking. He was relieved that it didn't look too bad with only a few scorch marks on it. Checking the rest of his clothes, he was relieved that they were undamaged. He looked at Spike with anger in his eyes. Spike's brave face quickly turned to embarrassment, and a little fright.
"Are you crazy? You could have killed me." Andrew fought the instinct to grab the dragon by the neck and throttle him. Even if the dragon just tried to kill him, he was friends with Twilight. So, he didn't think that would be a good idea.
"Andrew, are you alright?" Twilight rushed past Spike, to check on the human, "Spike, look what you've done!"
"How was I supposed to know? I thought he was a monster trying to hurt you." Spike responded with a confused look on his face.
"He's not a monster, Spike. His name is Andrew and he's a human from far away. You could have seriously hurt him."
"I wasn't going to hurt him that badly, just until he left." Spike retorted which he soon regretted.
She gave him a look letting him know that she wasn't very happy with him. Spike looked at the ground in embarrassment.
"Your jacket is a mess." Twilight looked at Andrew with concern.
"Yeah, I'll be alright. The rest of my clothes are fine, no thanks to him!" Andrew said while brushing himself off, staring at the dragon.
"Look, I know what Spike did was wrong but he didn't really mean to hurt you." Twilight said, trying to de-escalate the situation.
"So, this is the dragon you mentioned this morning?" Andrew asked, pointing at Spike.
Twilight nodded her head. "That's right. Spike, this is Andrew. He's going to be staying with us until I can find a way to send him back to his home."
"I'm really sorry about that." Spike said, tapping the tips of this claws together, his face looking down but his eyes looking up at the human. They were filled with remorse but Andrew wasn't ready to forgive just yet.
"Whatever. Just don't do that again." He shot Spike a glare before walking away.
"Andrew, I know you're mad at Spike, but he said that he was sorry for what he did. Can't you forgive him?"
"I don't know Twilight. Not right now. Maybe later." Even though Spike said that he was sorry, some part of Andrew just couldn't forgive him. He didn't believe in forgiving someone that just tried to kill you.
"Fine but I hope you'll change your mind. You'll see that Spike can be a great friend if you just give him a chance."
Looking between Andrew and Twilight for a little bit, Spike finally spoke up. "How about I got to the kitchen and heat up some of that vegetable soup from the other day. Does that sound alright?"
"Sounds good, thanks Spike." Twilight replied back. Spike left for the kitchen, leaving Twilight and Andrew alone.
There was a period of silence in the room until Twilight broke it, "Andrew, I..."
He held up his hand to stop her, "Twilight, I'd rather not talk about it right now if that's alright with you. If you're worried about me doing something to Spike, I can promise you that I'm not going to touch a single scale on him." At this point, Andrew just wanted this night to be over with but he was hungry. "Let's just eat."
Twilight nodded and they made their way to the kitchen. Spike heard the door open as they came in. "Oh good, you two are just in time. The soup is ready." He hopped off of the stool and carried the pot of soup over to the table and proceeded to fill the bowls with the delicious smelling liquid.
Andrew sat down on one of the chairs and Twilight sat down next to him while Spike sat across from them. Taking the spoon, Andrew scooped up some soup and blew the steam from it and put it in his mouth. Despite his current sour mood, he couldn't deny how good the food was.
"Mmmm!" Andrew voiced with approval of the soup. "This tastes so good!" He continued, consuming another spoonful of vegetables. He had to admit, this was really good. "Did you make this Spike?"
"I sure did!" He replied, putting his claws on his hips and puffing out his chest.
Twilight rolled her eyes with a smirk, "Try not to inflate his ego too much."
The rest of the meal passed by without much being said. Spike did ask me if Andrew would tell him about his world sometime. Andrew shrugged his shoulders and told him that they would see. Not wanting to press his luck, Spike left the topic at that.
"Well, I'm beat. I'm heading to bed." Spike said, letting out a yawn and stretching his arms. He put his dishes in the sink before leaving the kitchen. "Good night you two."
"Good night, Spike." Twilight said to her dragon friend.
"Hey, don't worry about the dishes, I'll clean this up." Andrew offered, taking the dishes over to the sink.
"Are you sure?" Twilight craned her head to look up at him. "Well, umm, thank you." She seemed slightly surprised at his offer.
"Twilight, it's the least that I can do," Andrew said sincerely. "I wouldn't be much of a tree...house guest if I didn't do something to help out around here. Plus, washing dishes usually helped reduces stress and improves my mood."
Twilight rubbed her chin with her hoof. "I would never have considered that since Spike is the one that usually does the dishes. When I do them, it's with my magic." Twilight turned to leave. "Well, I hope it works and you can work things out with Spike. Thanks again." She nodded before leaving the kitchen.
"Hmmm, we'll see. I won't make any promises."
"That's all I ask." Twilight smiled and turned to leave before remembering one last thing. "Oh, I almost forgot. If you need to use the bathroom, it's located upstairs just under my loft, behind the door on the left as soon as you come up the stairs."
Andrew watched her leave and turned his attention to cleaning the dishes. Putting some soap on the sponge, he scrubbed away the remnants of tonight's dinner. The warm water was starting to feel good on his hands and was having an affect on him. Either it was making him smile or making him have to pee. Andrew hoped that it wasn't the latter.
After Andrew was done, he turned off the lights before leaving the kitchen. He walked up the stairs to the loft and saw Spike was fast asleep in his basket. Twilight was laying on her bed reading a book. She stopped reading when she heard Andrew come up the stairs.
"Oh, hello Andrew. Done already?" Twilight asked, lifting up her head.
"Yep, all done. I didn't know where anything went. So I left everything out to dry. I hope that's alright." Andrew replied back, putting his hands in his sweatshirt pockets and leaning against the bookshelf.
"That's fine. Spike will take care of them in the morning. Thanks again for offering to do the dishes for Spike. He really appreciated it."
"You're welcome. It was the least that I could do for your hospitality and the delicious dinner." Andrew smiled at the unicorn.
"I asked Spike to get the spare bed out of storage and set it up for you. If it's too small, just let me know." Twilight motioning to the bed with a hoof. The bed was about the same size as hers but with a green blanket. It wasn't his first choice of blanket colors but beggars can't be choosers.
He sat down on the bed. "No, this will be just fine. Thank you, Twilight. Are you sure you wouldn't want me sleeping somewhere else? I don't want to invade your privacy or anything."
"I appreciate the concern but you're fine." Twilight smiled back at Andrew. "Oh, and feel free to read any of the books on the shelves."
Andrew shrugged his shoulders. "Well, if you're sure, then I won't argue."
"Good." Twilight nodded her head with a smile and went back to her book.
Andrew unbuttoned his long sleeve shirt and placed it on the floor. He then removed his shoes and socks and placed them next to the bed. Looking over at Twilight to make sure she was still reading her book, Andrew undressed down to his boxers and placed the pants with his other clothes. Pulling back the covers, he slid under them. Even though she was a pony who didn't wear clothes, it still felt a little awkward undressing in front of her.
"Good night. You don't mind if I do some reading before I fall asleep, do you?" Twilight asked.
"No. Go right ahead." Andrew replied with a chuckle. "Can I ask what you're reading?"
"Oh! It's called Modern Spell Casting. I wanted to rule out some spells that may have brought you here." She replied.
"Not a bad idea." Andrew rubbed his chin with his hand. "Hopefully you have some luck."
"Thanks. It shouldn't take me too long. Not many spells could have done it."
"Yes?" She replied back looking up at the human from her book.
"I never got a chance to say thank you for everything and for letting me stay here for the night." Andrew said.
"You are very welcome. I wouldn't be much of a pony if I had done otherwise." She replied back with a smile. "Something tells me that if I had come to your world instead, you would have done the same for me."
"You're right, I probably would have." Andrew replied. "Good night, Twilight."
"Good night, Andrew."
Andrew pulled up the covers and turned off the lamp. He turned on his side and let his head sink into the soft pillow. The soft glow of the moon hit the beds. The human looked out the window at the stars and sighed.
The morning sunlight streamed through the windows of the library and shined onto Andrew's face. Annoyed, he groaned and pulled the covers over his head to hide himself from the inevitability of having to get up. The softness of the covers and pillow would have lulled him back into further sleep but another one of his senses was stimulated. Taking in a few sniffs with his nose, it smelled something rich and butter...breakfast! As soon as that realization hit his brain, his stomach got the message and let out a rumble. Andrew guessed that was his cue to get up.
Grumbling, Andrew pushed the covers off of his face and then the rest of his body. After rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he reached over to the nightstand for his glasses and put them on. Sitting up, he swung his legs over the side of the bed and planted his feet on the cold wooden floor. Andrew then stood up and did a couple stretches to loosen his stiff arm and leg muscles. Looking over at Twilight's bed, he noticed that it had been made. After making his bed as well, Andrew got dressed and grabbed his jacket before heading downstairs.
Descending the stairs, Andrew saw Twilight sitting at her desk. A quill was hovering over a piece of parchment.
"Morning." Andrew put a hand to his mouth and let out a yawn. "Please tell me that Equestria has coffee."
"Good morning, Andrew. You're just in time. Spike will be finished making breakfast soon" Twilight paused in her writing and turned around on her stool to face the human with a smile.
"What are you working on by the way?" Andrew stopped himself. "Sorry, I didn't mean to be nosy."
"It's alright." Twilight chuckled. "I'm just finishing up a letter to Princess Celestia about you. She's been around longer than any pony I've ever known. I couldn't find any record of your species previously being in Equestria. I'm hoping that she can shed some light on your situation. If any pony would know about your species, it would be her."
"Do you think that she'll know how to send me back?" Andrew asked.
"I'm hoping so. She's the smartest pony that I know. Other than Starswirl the Bearded that is." Twilight thoughts went to her idol and she grinned as she turned around and went back to her writing. A few moments later, she placed the quill on the desk and rolled up the scroll with her magic.
"Did you sleep well last night? I hope the spare bed was alright." Twilight asked with a little concern in her voice. She got off the stool and approached Andrew.
Andrew walked next to her as they made their way to the kitchen. "Yes I did, thank you. The bed is a little short for a human but it was still comfortable."
"I'm glad." Twilight let out a sigh of relief. "Oh and yes, we do have coffee. I could use a cup myself." She said with a chuckle.
Andrew opened the kitchen door and followed Twilight inside. In the kitchen, Spike was standing on a wooden stool in front of the stove. His claws were holding a pan and spatula as he flipped pancakes. He was wearing a pink apron and a chef's hat. Now Andrew had seen everything. "Morning, Spike." He called out to Spike as he walked in.
Spike turned his head briefly before returning his cooking. "Morning, Andrew! You two are just in time. Breakfast will be ready in just a bit. There is coffee on the counter if you want any."
"Thanks Spike." Twilight said before padding over to the counter for the coffee maker. She filled a purple and a blue mug with coffee and lifted them over to the table with her magic as Andrew sat down at the table. He smiled and thanked her. Bringing the mug to his face, he blew away the steam from the hot liquid before and took a sip. Slowly the coffee started to help both of them feel more awake.
"Wow. This coffee is really good." Andrew said, taking another sip.
"I'm glad you like it. I get a supply of it from a local pony." Twilight remarked.
Before they knew it, Spike hopped off the stool carrying a serving tray containing a bottle of syrup, a bowl of berries, and a very tall stack of pancakes. After placing everything on the table, Spike took off his apron, placing it on the counter, and sat down at the table. "Everypony, dig in!"
Andrew placed a small stack on his plate and poured on a generous amount of syrup on it, savoring the smell. Cutting off a section with his fork, he put it in his mouth. The flavor was rich and buttery with just a hint of cinnamon. It was the best he'd ever had!
"Remind me to never doubt the cooking skills of a dragon." Andrew remarked between eating more pancakes and sipping his coffee.
"Awww. You guys are too much." Spike said bashfully before finishing his stack of pancakes. "I'm going to go read a comic."
Stabbing the last bit of the pancakes with his fork, Andrew rubbed it in the syrup on his plate and put it in his mouth. After washing it down with the last of the coffee from his mug, he was full.
"I don't think I have room for anything else." Andrew said contently, sipping the last of his coffee and patting his stomach. "More coffee, Twilight?"
"Yes, thank you." She responded with a smile.
Andrew retrieved the coffee pot from the counter and poured more coffee into both of their mugs. "So, what do you have planned for today, Twilight?" Andrew asked, holding his refilled cup in his hands.
"Not too much today. I do have an appointment with Mayor Mare. Apparently, she needs my help re-organizing her filing cabinets again. Also, we don't know how long you will be here for, and from observing you, I assume that your species needs to wear clothing, correct?"
"That's correct. It's not only to keep us warm but primarily to protect our modesty. Where I'm from, it's against the law to go into public without any clothes on. You ponies have fur and tails which means wearing clothing is optional for you. We don't." Andrew rubbed the back of his neck hoping that Twilight would understand where he was going with this. He really didn't want to go into any further details than that.
"Yes, well that explains a lot. Thank you." Twilight's face reddened a little bit. "That's why I think that it would be a good idea to visit my friend Rarity at the Carousel Boutique. I'm sure she would be more than thrilled to make you some new clothes. While you're there, I can go see the Mayor."
Andrew thought about it for a moment before replying, "I guess you're right. I can't wear the same clothes forever. Some new ones would be nice. Washing the same ones every day doesn't make much sense. Speaking of which.." Andrew looked at his clothes and gave his shirt a sniff. "Yeah, that needs a wash soon. Speaking of which, I could use one as well."
Twilight chuckled, "Don't worry, we can wash those for you later."
"That's a relief. Before we go, do you mind if I grab a shower first?" Andrew stood up from his chair.
"Sure. Come down when you're ready."
After a hot shower, Andrew headed up to the loft to finish getting dressed. When he came up the loft, he noticed that Spike was sitting on Twilight's bed with his legs dangling over the edge. He was looking down at his feet like he was contemplating something important.
"Spike, if this is about last night, I don't really want to talk about it, alright?" Andrew paused before putting on his shoes and looked over at the dragon. Spike still didn't say anything. Andrew was starting to get a little annoyed until he finally spoke up.
Spike let out a long sigh. "Andrew, I'm really sorry about last night. I feel bad about attacking you. Please don't hate me.”
Andrew let out a sigh. “Look Spike, I don't hate you but I am still mad about what happened."
Spike kept looking at the floor silently.
"Spike, you almost set me on fire. That hurt a lot. Not to mention you scared Twilight when you did that." Andrew took a deep breath, trying to control his anger. "You didn't even give either of us a chance to explain what was going on. Instead you jumped right in and attacked me."
"I know. That's why I came up here before you left so that I could apologize again.
"Well, Twilight and I are about to head out. I'll tell you what. We'll talk about it when she and I get back, alright?"
"Alright. Thanks." Spike got off the bed and headed towards the stairs. He felt absolutely terrible for what he had done. He did it to protect someone that he cared about, not to be mean about it. The look on his face when he apologized told Andrew that. He wondered if he could stay mad at him forever? Is that what he wants to do here, keep pushing people away like he used to back home? Perhaps that should change.
"Spike?" Andrew said before Spike got to the stairs.
"Yeah?" Spike turned his head to look back at the human.
"Thanks for apologizing. It means a lot." Andrew gave him a small smile.
"No problem. See ya later." Spike said before walking down the stairs.
Andrew and Twilight stopped just outside of Rarity's shop, getting a closer look at it before they went inside. It looked like a very fancy establishment, tall with decorative pillars, and pony sculptures towards the top making it resemble a carousel. The front door was purple with two diamond-shaped windows on it. He couldn’t help shaking his head. These ponies and their puns. Ponyville. Golden Oak Library. What's next, Marehatten? No, he didn't want to jinx himself.
Figuring that he had stood outside long enough, Andrew walked up to the purple door and tried to open it but the door was locked. "Do you think she's home?"
"She should be. I hope that she didn't stay up all night working and we're waking her up." Twilight looked concerned but had an idea. "Try giving the door a few knocks."
Andrew gave the door a few knocks and then heard the door unlock followed by a cheery voice from the other side say, "Come in!."
"She must be open now,” Andrew muttered to himself, shrugging his shoulders. Twilight opened the door and heard the familiar bell chime. Andrew followed her. Inside, he was surprised by all the different shades of purple everywhere. This Rarity must really love this color he thought. To one side, there are what looked like beauty stations like at a salon, along with racks of clothes.
An alabaster unicorn with a stylish purple mane came out from behind a curtain and trotted towards Andrew. Her mane had a bounce to it with every step that she took. On her pure white fur, the only distinguishing feature on her was three blue diamonds as a cutie mark on her flank. Her eyes were closed as she gave what Andrew assumed was a long practiced speech she used to greet customers.
"Welcome to the Carousel Boutique where every garment is chic, unique and magnifique. Now what can I...." She stopped when her eyes opened and saw her friend at the door.
"Hello, Twilight!" She said, greeting her friend. "This is a surprise, darling. What are you doing here? And who is your strange looking individual you have with you?"
"Hello, Rarity. It's nice to meet you." Andrew gave her a little wave, hoping she wouldn’t freak out at his appearance.
Rarity stood there looking at the human like he was the strangest thing she had ever seen. Her eyes looked at him from head to toe, trying to discern what he was. Andrew didn't know if she was going to pass out or scream for help. To her credit, she didn't do either one of them.
Rarity turned back to face Twilight again and repeated her question, "Twilight darling, who is this?"
Twilight gave her friend a warm smile, "Rarity, this is Andrew. He is going to be staying with me at the library until I can find a way to send him back to his home."
Rarity took a deep breath and looked back at the human. "I sincerely apologize for my reaction. Your appearance just took me a little off guard. I hope that I didn't offend you."
“Not at all, Rarity. I'm sure I look pretty strange compared to what you're used to.” Andrew gestured with a wave of his hand.
"Rarity, I was hoping that you could do me a favor and make some new clothes for him. As I mentioned before, he's staying at the library but I don't know for how long. Until I can send him back, this is all that he has to wear." Twilight gestured towards Andrew with her hoof.
"That won't be a problem at all darling. The opportunity to dabble in different fashions would be my pleasure." Rarity nodded with a smile at her friend.
"Thanks a lot Rarity, I knew I could count on you." Twilight said to her friend. "I have to meet with the Mayor and help her organize her scheduling. Andrew, I don't know how long I will be but I'll meet you back here when I'm done."
Andrew could sense some enthusiasm in her voice as if she was looking forward to doing some organizing. For a brief moment, he thought that he saw a twinkle in her eyes. He nodded his head as she opened the front door with her magic and walked outside. "Alright. I'll see you later."
"Alright, step right this way my dear and I'll take your measurements." Rarity motioned with her hoof towards a large circular platform surrounded by a few mirrors. She regarded the human over her red-rimmed glasses. "Now, please remove your shirt and pants and step onto the platform. Hold out your arms and stand still please, darling."
Andrew stepped onto the platform and removed his clothing until he was down to his t-shirt and boxers. Rarity's horn glowed blue as the tape measure around her neck glowed the same color and lifted up from around her neck. It seemed to move on its own as it took his various measurements along his waist, arms, shoulders, and legs. The measuring tape floated back to Rarity and hung loosely around her neck. Rarity went over to a nearby table and wrote down the measurements and some notes on a notepad.
"Well, I believe I have everything that I need, darling. You can step down from the platform now and get dressed." Rarity said, nodding as she went over her notes and measurements.
"Now, I assume that this is what you normally wear?" Rarity looked up from her notes.
"That's right." Andrew replied, pulling his pants back up and putting his long-sleeved shirt and jacket back on.
"I see." Rarity nodded and made more notations on her notepad. "Are you sure you wouldn't like something like a suit? I am sure you would look quite fetching in one." Rarity remarked.
"That's quite alright, thank you. I'm more of a casual person anyway. Maybe some other time." Andrew replied, as he put his socks and shoes back on.
"Very well then." Rarity said after letting out a disappointing sigh. "The good news is that I should be able to help create some clothing for you. Based on what you're currently wearing, it shouldn't be too difficult. I've made clothing for other creatures besides ponies after all."
“That would be great, Rarity. Thank you. I do have one question though. How am I supposed to pay you? I don't really have any money." Andrew sighed and reached into his back pocket for his wallet. "I'm pretty sure you don't take dollars, do you?
"Oh, no no no." Rarity said, shaking her head. "I consider this as a favor for a friend. It will be my pleasure to make these for you. So, don't trouble yourself."
"You are far too generous, Rarity. Thank you." Andrew smiled, nodding his head.
"It was a pleasure meeting you. Now, if you'll excuse me I....." Rarity asked.
Before Rarity could finish her statement, the front door opened and a small white unicorn ran inside right into the path of his legs. Andrew lost his balance and fell over, hitting his head against the floor.
"Ow! Rarity, what do you have the door blocked for?" The little filly yelled, rubbing her forehead with her hoof.
"Oh, Sweetie Belle....Andrew. Are the two of you alright?" Rarity asked, trotting over to her sister, looking between the two of them.
Shaking his head, Andrew slowly got back onto his feet. "Yeah, I'm alright. Nothing broken but my pride." He chuckled, holding the back of his head.
"Yeah, I'm fine." Sweetie Bell replied, standing back on her four hooves, shaking her head to loosen the cobwebs. "What is..." She stopped suddenly as she finally moved her eyes towards the human. The green pupils of the white unicorn moved up and down as if she was trying to figure out what it was. Her head slowly turned to the side without breaking her puzzled gaze at the human. She slowly backed away behind her sister's legs.
"Sweetie Belle, there's no reason to be afraid. This is Andrew. He's a...friend of mine." Rarity said in a calming voice. "Andrew, this is my younger sister."
"Sweetie Belle, was it? That's a pretty name." Andrew remarked.
"Umm...Hello. Why are you so tall?" Sweetie Belle looked up at the tall human.
"Why are you so adorable?" Andrew grinned and reached down to ruffle up her mane.
Sweetie Belle shook her head and giggled, "I like you. You're funny."
"Thank you." Andrew made a small bow.
"Sweetie Belle, what are you doing home so early? Shouldn't you still be in school?" Rarity interrupted.
"Well, Miss Cheerilee wasn't feeling so great. So, she let us go home early." Sweetie Belle replied.
"That sounds awful. I do hope that the poor dear feels better." Rarity said before turning towards a clock on the wall and seeing that it will be time for lunch soon. She wanted to give her little sister something to do so that she would stay out of her mane.
"How about you go upstairs while I get started on these outfits for Sapphire Shores. I promise that I'll make you some lunch in a little bit. Hmmm?"
"Sapphire Shores? The Pony of Pop? Oh, can I help you with the costumes, please?" Sweetie Belle asked with hopeful eyes.
"I'm sorry, Sweetie. Not this time, I'm afraid. These costumes are very important for Sapphire and they have to be perfect." Rarity put on her best fake smile and thought back to the last time that her little sister tried to help her and shuddered. "You can play with your Crusader friends. How does that sound?"
Sweetie Belle let out a sigh, looking glum, "Scootaloo is hanging out with Rainbow Dash and Apple Bloom is helping her brother and sister in the orchard today."
"Then this will be a perfect time to clean up that disaster of a room of yours then. Don't you think?." Rarity declared.
Sweetie Belle rolled her eyes, "It's not that bad. It just hasn't been cleaned since my friends were over here last. Besides, it's not as bad as your room."
"What?" Rarity let a very overly dramatic gasp. "My inspiration room is not messy! It's organized chaos!"
"Fine...whatever." Sweetie Belle let out a dejected sigh while she trotted up the stairs to her room. "See ya later, Andrew."
"Bye Sweetie Belle. It was nice meeting you." Andrew said with a wave goodbye.
"Wait till I tell Apple Bloom and Scootaloo about this. They won't believe it." Sweetie Belle said to herself after she closed the door to her room.
"I do apologize for my sister." Rarity let out a sigh of frustration. "She can be trying sometimes."
"Don't worry about it. I have a sister myself. In fact, Sweetie Belle reminds me of my sister when she was younger. She always wanted to help me out with stuff." Andrew chuckled.
Rarity looked back and forth between upstairs and the kitchen. "Oh dear, I really do need to start on these costumes but then again, I should make Sweetie Belle some lunch."
After some thinking, an idea came to Andrew. He didn't know how long it would be until Twilight came back. So, he had some time to spare. " How about I cook something for your sister while you get started on the dress, Rarity?"
The alabaster unicorn shook her head and turned back towards the human before responding. "Oh no, no no. I couldn’t ask you to do that."
"It's not problem at all. I have some experience cooking. So, I don't mind." Andrew waved off her objections.
"Well, if you insist. There should be food that she likes in the pantry and refrigerator. " Rarity relented and trotted upstairs to her inspiration room.
Andrew went into the kitchen to see what he had to work with. Opening the refrigerator, he was both surprised and relieved to see that Equestria seemed to have the same food that he did back home. This will make things a lot easier. He said to himself as he grabbed the ingredients that he would be needing. This was a recipe that his mother showed him how to make many times.
Andrew grabbed an onion from a nearby hanging basket and cut it into small pieces. He then placed them into a pot with some butter. Once the onions were done cooking, Andrew removed the pot from the heat and added some flour. He then whisked in the tomato juice. Putting the pot back on the heat, he let it heat to a boil and then reduced the heat to a simmer.
While that was cooking, Andrew set a frying pan on the stove to heat up. He spread mayonnaise and some mustard on the inside of a couple slices of bread. Then, he added slices of Equestrian cheese and put the two pieces of bread and cheese together. Once the pan was hot enough, he buttered one side of each of the sandwiches and placed them down against the pan, remembering to butter the other sides as well. Knowing that the sandwiches wouldn't take long to cook, he remembered to add an important ingredient to the soup at the end.
Upstairs, Rarity was still working the costumes. She paused and took a few steps back to admire her work. "Sapphire Shores is sure to just adore these new outfits that I'm designing for her."
She looked over the dress from all angles, making sure that she didn't miss anything. Rarity looked at the dress a little closer, looking over her red-rimmed glasses while rubbing her chin with her hoof. "Hmmmm, I still feel that it needs a certain je ne sais quoi. Perhaps it needs an appliques or sequins. Ha! Idea!"
The aroma of grilled food suddenly came through the room and caught the attention of Rarity's sense of smell. Momentarily distracted, she sniffed the air and decided to follow the wondrous smell downstairs until she reached the kitchen. There, she saw Andrew at the stove stirring some milk into a pot.
"Andrew, what is that delightful smell?" Rarity asked, continuing to smell the rich aroma that had filled the room.
"Oh, hello Rarity. Just made some tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches." Andrew checked the sandwiches and scooped them onto a plate with the spatula and then filled a couple bowls with the hot soup. "I hope your sister likes grilled cheese and tomato soup. I made enough for both of you in case you were hungry."
Rarity nodded. "Oh, she does, she does. It's one of her favorites! How did you know?"
"Lucky guess I suppose." Andrew replied, shrugging his shoulders. "My sister loved having this growing up. She would just gobble it up." Andrew let out a chuckle.
"I don't know how to thank you for all of this, darling. You're simply a life saver." Rarity smiled as she used her magic to set the table.
“Don’t worry about it, Rarity. Consider it a trade for the clothes that you’re going to make for me.” Andrew smiled with a winked laugh at the mare.
“Very well then.” Rarity sniffed the food as she placed it on the table. If she wasn’t such a lady, she would be drooling right there.
As Andrew washed some dishes, he noticed a picture out of the corner of his eye. Turning his head he saw that it was a picture of Rarity and Spike. They were in what looked like a cavern digging for some different colored gems. Andrew’s thoughts suddenly went back to Spike and their conversation earlier this morning.
“Rarity, can I ask you a question?” Andrew scrubbed a dish and rinsed it off before placing on the drying rack.
“Yes, darling. What is on your mind?”
“How long have you known Spike for?” Andrew scrubbed away at another dish.
“A little over a couple years now, I would say. Why do you ask?” Rarity asked, placing the last of the silverware on the table.
“Oh, it’s not important. Forget I asked.” Andrew shook his head and returned attention back to his task.
As she looked at the human, Rarity got the feeling that something important was on his mind. Experience taught her that it was best to let it out instead of letting it fester inside.
"Care to tell me what's on your mind, dear?" Rarity asked the human.
"I don't know what you mean." Andrew replied, not sounding very convincing.
Rarity let out a light chuckle. "Darling, you may be a human but I can tell when some....creature like yourself is trying to avoid something."
Andrew took a deep breath and exhaled before responding. He knew that continuing to avoid the situation wasn't going to resolve it. "Well, alright. You see, it has to do with what happened between me and Spike last night."
"Whatever do you mean, darling? What happened between the two of you?" Rarity gave the human a confused look.
Over the next several minutes, Andrew recanted to the alabaster pony about what had transpired the previous night at the Golden Oak Library. Rarity listened intently as he continued, nodding here and there. She waited until he was finished before she spoke.
"Andrew, are you still mad at him?" Rarity asked.
"I suppose that I am. I mean, not as much as I was yesterday. He did try to apologize again to me again this morning."
Rarity shook her head. "Forgiveness isn't easy. Believe me, sometimes Sweetie Belle does things that drive me crazy but in the end, I forgive her because we're sisters and that's what we do."
"I hate to break it to you, but Spike and I aren't brothers." Andrew retorted.
"Yes I know." Rarity rolled her eyes at the human. "But did you ever consider what Spike must have been feeling at the time?"
"Well....not really." Andrew shrugged his shoulders.
"My poor Spikey Wikey must have been scared out of his mind, finding a big creature like yourself in his home. Not to mention with Twilight."
"Well, I actually hadn't thought of that like that." Andrew mentally berated himself. 'Way to go idiot, thinking only about yourself. If I had been in Spike's shoes..umm paws, would I have done the same thing?'
"The way I look at it, everypony makes mistakes. Just don't let one mistake ruin a beautiful thing."
"So you think I should forgive him then?” Andrew looked at the alabaster pony.
"Darling, I can't tell you what to do but I believe that you should give Spike another chance at least."
Andrew took a deep breath and exhaled before responding with a smile. "You're probably right, Rarity. Thanks."
"Oh, don't mention it. Besides, now that everything is ready, Sweetie Belle and I can have some lunch. Then I can get back to work. These outfits aren't going to make themselves you know." Rarity smiled. She was relieved that a weight had been taken off of her shoulders thanks to this creature. She didn't know where he came from but she was glad that he was here. Plus, he was very polite and friendly with her sister.
Just then, a familiar chime rang through the air, indicating that the front door had been opened.
“Oh, that must be Twilight. That pony has impeccable timing as always. Come, we shouldn't keep her waiting." Rarity smiled and trotted out of the kitchen to meet her friend with Andrew following behind her. They both met Twilight in the front of the boutique.
"Hi Rarity. Hi Andrew. Well, what did you find out? Do you think that you'll be able to make him some clothes?" Twilight asked her friend, softly biting her bottom lip.
"Yes, darling. I do believe that I will be able to help him." Rarity nodded.
Twilight let out a sigh of relief and smiled at her friend. "That's excellent Rarity. Thank you so much."
"Think nothing of it. I'm always able to help a friend. Now, if you'll pardon me, I need to get Sweetie Belle her lunch before I can get back to work."
"Well, we'll get out of your mane then. Thanks again for doing this, Rarity, I appreciate it." Twilight waved to her friend, the front door glowed purple as it opened.
"Bye, Rarity. It was nice meeting you." Andrew waved as well.
Rarity let out a sigh as the door closed behind her friend and her new companion. She looked up the stairs and cleared her throat. "Sweetie Belle! Lunch is ready!" Rarity called out.
"Yay! I'll be right down!" Rarity's little sister came out of her room and zipped down the stairs into the kitchen. "It's about time! What took so long? I was starving up there!"
Rarity blinked a few times at the response and turned her head towards the kitchen. She then smacked her forehead with her hoof and slowly slid it down from her eyes to her muzzle as she groaned. This is going to be a loooooong afternoon.
The door to the boutique closed behind them as the human and pony walked back out to the streets of Ponyville. Andrew took in a deep breath of fresh air and exhaled.
"Ahh. It's good to be outside again."
"I agree. It is a beautiful day." Twilight looked up at the sky and nodded her head. "Rainbow Dash and the other weather ponies did a nice job at clearing the sky of clouds today."
"I still can't believe that the weather here is controlled by pegusi. By the way, thank you for having Rarity make me some clothes."
Twilight shook her head and gave Andrew a cheerful smile. "Don't mention it. I'm glad that she was able to help you."
"I was fortunate that she is so generous. I wouldn't have been able to afford those new clothes." Andrew remarked.
"Well, it is her element after all."
"Her element? What are you talking about?" Andrew gave the lavender pony a confused look.
"Her element of harmony is generosity."
"The elements of what? Ok, now you've lost me." Andrew shook his head before continuing. "I don't even..."
Just then, a rumble came from Andrew's stomach, interrupting their conversation. Twilight brought a hoof over her mouth and chuckled.
“Hey, do you don't mind if we stop and get something to eat?" Andrew sheepishly held his growling stomach.
The thought of food made Twilight more aware of her growing hunger as well. She looked up at the human and nodded. “I could actually use something to eat myself. I know the perfect place. Do you by chance have pizza in your world?”
The mention of one of his favorite foods caused his mouth to salivate. "You bet! Lead the way. Then you can explain to me what these elements of harmony are." Andrew replied as he walked beside Twilight.
High above the town of Ponyville, sat Celestia's afternoon sun. Young fillies and colts played in the streets while the other townsfolk went about their daily routines. Their noses were also filled with the aromas with the many foods that the local establishments provided. One in particular was being patronized by the town's resident librarian and a creature that none of the other townsfolk had ever seen or heard of before.
"...and everything that I tried couldn't get the Elements of Harmony to appear. It wasn't until my friends found me that I felt something inside of me."
"What do you mean? What was it?" Andrew asked before taking a sip from his glass and placing it back on the table.
"It was a spark. I felt it inside of me when I realized how happy I was that they were there with me, when I realized that they were my friends. Once that happened, all of the Elements of Harmony appeared before us and we used them to defeat Nightmare Moon."
"So, what happened to Nightmare Moon?"
"When we all came to, she was gone. She had been turned back into Princess Luna. Somehow, the Elements of Harmony changed her back."
"So, you're saying that you defeated Nightmare Moon with the magic of friendship?"
"Something like that, yes. Though I think Spike would call it rainbow lasers or something like that."
"Nightmare Moon. Princess Luna. Elements of harmony. Rainbow lasers. Not to mention, Changelings and a lord of chaos.” Andrew shook his head. “I'm really confused. It all sounds like something out of a cartoon for kids."
Twilight held a hoof to her mouth and let out a giggle. "Not to worry, I can explain all of it later when we get back to the library."
Andrew grabbed the last bit of the pizza from his plate and put it in his mouth, savoring the wonderful flavors. He still couldn't get over how much better everything tasted there. After washing it down with some lemonade, he let out a relaxing sigh as he leaned back against the chair. He extended his arms above his head and gave them a good stretch.
"Well regardless, your friends sound like great horses. Umm.. I mean ponies.” Andrew held up both of his hands before his companion could correct him. “Sorry, this still is all so new and strange to me.”
Twilight nodded. "They really are. They are the best friends that anypony could ever ask for." Twilight paused before continuing. "Speaking of my friends, I wanted to talk to you about something, if you don't mind." Twilight fidgeted with her hooves.
Andrew noticed the change in tone of Twilight's voice. Whatever it was, it must be serious. "Umm...sure. What's on your mind?"
Twilight had been trying to figure out a diplomatic way to resolve the situation. But experience has taught her that sometimes it's best to be direct and hope for the best. She took in a deep breath and let out an exhale before continuing. "It's about what happened with you and Spike. I was hoping that you two could make up and even try to become friends. It would mean a lot to me, especially if you're going to be staying with us for the time being."
Andrew stared back at the pony as he tried to come up with a response. The situation had been on his mind since they had left Rarity's place but he still hadn't made a decision yet. Rarity's words were still echoing through his mind.
"Do you have any friends where you're from?"
"Well, if you really want to know, I don't really have any friends back home." Andrew admitted.
"No friends? Why not?" Twilight asked, tilting her head to the side.
Andrew sighed before responding to the pony sitting in front of him. "I have my job and reading doesn't give me much time for friends. I feel like I get more enjoyment out of relaxing on the couch with a good book."
Twilight blinked a few times as it hit her how much this human was like how she used to be.
"Well, to be honest, I used to feel the same way. When I lived in Canterlot, there wasn't a day when my nose wasn't in a book reading about magic, old Equestrian languages, or history. There were other ponies that I hung around with but I never considered them my friends. I had never appreciated other ponies until now. Come to think of it, I wonder what they're doing now." Twilight pondered as she placed her hoof under her chin before figuring that now wasting the time and returned her attention to her guest.
“Look, I don’t know what caused you to stop having friends but I know from first hoof experience what will happen if you keep your face stuck in a stack of books and push everypony else away. I spent most of my life believing that friends weren't important that they would only got in the way of my studies. All that mattered to me was learning as much as I could and getting the best grades. That was, until Princess Celestia sent me to Ponyville. If she hadn’t sent me here, I would probably still be living in Canterlot, spending every moment that I could at the Canterlot Library without any friends."
"But what about your studies? Did you give those up?"
"Oh, I'm still doing those but I've learned to spend time with my friends as well. It's not that hard if you give it a chance."
Twilight paused before taking a taking a breath and giving Andrew a stern look, "Look, it's your decision what you want to do with your life. I just hope that you make the right decision before it's too late. "
The gaze of Andrew's blue eyes shifted from the purple pony sitting across from him to the straw in his drinking class as it moved around in his fingers. Twilight's words echoed in his mind as his thoughts drifted to his life before coming to Equestria. Even with his books, his life has become as empty as the drinking glass in front of him. There was no one to share his insights with or anyone that he could make laugh, that is except for his sister.
Maybe Twilight is right. It's time for a change.
After a few moments, the solemn look on his face. He started to smile, one of his first in Equestria, and looked up at the unicorn. "Twilight, I know what I have to do but I'm going to need your help."
"Of course. What can I do?" Twilight asked, giving the human a puzzled look.
Arriving back at the library, Andrew closed the door behind them and hung his jacket on a hook by the door.
"Spike! We're back!" Twilight called out to her assistant.
"Alright! I'm up here reading!" Spike replied back.
Andrew started walking up the stairs before being stopped by Twilight. "Are you sure you don't want me to go up there with you?"
Andrew turned his head and shook it. "I'll be fine. This is something that Spike and I have to do alone."
"Alright. Good luck. When you're done, can you have Spike come down and make some dinner?"
"Sure thing." Andrew replied, readjusting a package in his hand.
Andrew went upstairs to the loft to find Spike lying in his basket engrossed in a comic book.
"Go Power Ponies! Stop Mane-iac or Maretropolis is doomed! Pew! Pew! Pow!"
Andrew couldn't help but let out a light chuckle at Spike's childish antics. He may be a kid but he has a big heart, the human thought to himself. Spike suddenly looked up from his book and was shocked to see Andrew standing there.
"Oh hey, Andrew. I didn't even hear you come up."
"It's alright. Enjoying the comic book?" Andrew smirked.
"You bet! The Power Ponies are awesome!" He exclaimed before noticing something in Andrew's hand. "What do you have there?"
"It's my way of saying that I forgive you and thanks for this morning with Rarity." Andrew said, handing him the bag. "Think of it as a peace offering."
Andrew swore that Spike's eyes got even bigger when opened the bag and saw what was inside. "No way! A sapphire cupcake! Awesome!" Spike smiled, licking his lips at the tasty treat.
"You're welcome, Spike. I hope you enjoy.."
"...it." Before Andrew could finish, Spike had shoved the entire cupcake in his mouth. His cheeks bulged out as he chewed and swallowed it.
"Yum. That sure was tasty. Thanks dude!"
"I'm glad you enjoyed it." Andrew rubbed the spines on Spike's head before kneeling down to his eye level. "Look Spike, I've spent some time today thinking and I now understand that you were just trying to protect Twilight. You were scared and acted out of instinct. She’s lucky to have a little brother like you to look out for her.”
“You really think so?” Spike smiled and looked at Andrew with big emerald eyes.
"Of course. Who else can say that they have a little brother that can cook and breathe fire?" Andrew grinned, giving Spike a little jab in the arm with his elbow.
"Thanks dude." Spike grinned back at the human before changing to a more serious look. "Hey, I know that we got off on the wrong foot yesterday but Twilight likes having you around and you seem like a pretty cool guy. What I'm trying to say is, do you wanna be friends?
Andrew looked at Spike for a few moments thinking to himself. My first friend in Equestria. Is it really that easy to make friends here? Just last night, he tried to barbecue me and now he wants to be friends. What if Twilight can't send me home? I'm going to need some friends here. There's no way can I survive here for very long all by myself. There's something about Spike that tells me that I can trust him even though I haven't known him for very long.
He suddenly felt a warmth spread through his body. Something he had not felt in a long time.
"Sure, kid." Before Andrew knew it, Spike grabbed him in a hug. Chucking to himself, Andrew reciprocated the hug.
A few moments later, Andrew released Spike and stood up. "Oh, before I forget, Twilight wanted you to make some dinner after your bath."
"Alright. I'm just getting to the good part of this comic and then I'll start my bath." Spike giggled before opening the comic and going back to reading.
Andrew shook his head and made his way downstairs where Twilight was still reading. She looked up when she heard him come down the stairs.
"I couldn't help overhear what you two said up there. Thank you for forgiving Spike, I appreciate it." Twilight said with a big smile, like a parent proud of their child.
"Your friend Rarity helped me see things from Spike's point of view and that staying mad at him wasn't going to help anyone. Plus, having him as my friend won't be so bad I think."
"I'm glad you realize that." Twilight smiled with a nod.
"There is an old saying, 'It takes a strong person to say sorry, and even stronger one to forgive'.
Twilight looked at Andrew for a moment before speaking. "That's very well said."
This human is full of surprises.
"Thanks. I don't know what made me think of it. It just popped in my head." Andrew admitted.
"That was very sweet of you to get Spike that cupcake. You didn't have to do that for him." Twilight smiled at the human.
A few moments later, Spike finally came downstairs to make dinner. The pony and human followed Spike to the kitchen where he warmed up some vegetarian lasagna. Andrew had never had any vegetarian food before but he thought this was really good. It has the right amount of cheese and vegetables. Spike didn't eat very much because of the cupcake he had eaten before. So, he went back upstairs to finish his comic book before going to bed.
After Andrew and Twilight finished their meal, they put the dishes in the sink. They left the kitchen and went back to the main area. Both of them enjoyed some hot chocolate while she told him about the rest of her day doing research.
"So how often do you two organize all these books?" Andrew looked around at all the shelves filled with books.
"About once a month or so. I do so much research for my studies that I don't have time to put everything back where it should be. Not to mention books being checked out and returned by the residents of Ponyville."
"Well, you have a lot of books. Its a good thing you have an assistant to help you then."
"Yeah, I don't know what I'd do without Spike." Twilight smiled before letting out a yawn. "Well, I'm bushed from all that organizing and studying today. Thanks again for making up with Spike. He is like a little brother to me. It means a lot that you cared enough to do that for him." and gave him a hug. Andrew leaned down and hugged her back. After a few moments, he released her. Twilight made her way upstairs to the loft.
After Andrew finished cleaning the dishes, he got cleaned up and went upstairs. Both Twilight and Spike were already sound asleep in their beds. Twilight had a book opened up next to her. Andrew couldn't help but shake his head as he bookmarked her spot in the book and placed it on her nightstand. Unzipping his pants and stepping out of them, he slid into bed. He tried falling asleep but his thoughts kept going back to home. Has anyone missed him yet? Are they wondering where he was? As much as he didn't want to admit it, this place wasn't all that all that bad. Very nice people....ponies. Good food.
What was I going to do if I can't go back though?
*knock knock knock*
Andrew moaned as he stirred from his slumber by the constant knocking sound. Not wanting to get up, he hoped that Spike would get the door or whoever it was would just go away. A few moments later, the knocking returned. The human figured that both Spike and Twilight were too sound asleep to hear any of the racket.
Rolling over, he slowly became aware of his surroundings. He was puzzled that he wasn't lying in a soft bed but on something a lot harder. Mentally, he hoped that he hadn't fallen out of the bed in his sleep. Spike and Twilight would never let him hear the end of it.
Feeling the floor with his fingers, it felt like a carpet but Andrew knew that Twilight's library doesn't have a carpet. Andrew opened his eyes and saw that he was indeed laying on the floor. Everything was a little hazy at first but after a few moments his vision improved. What he saw shocked him. Everything looked familiar but not in the way he expected. There were shelves of books, a TV, plants, and pictures on the walls. Then it finally hit him like a freight train.
“This isn’t Twilight’s place. This is.....my living room. I-I’m back home! But how?”
“This isn’t Twilight’s library. This is.....my apartment. I-I’m back home! But how?”
Andrew tried to get his bearings as he slowly picked himself off the floor. Still feeling a little groggy, he stumbled a bit before grabbing the coffee table to catch himself.
Alright. Alright. There has to be a rational explanation for all of this. But what is it? Am I dreaming or is this real?
Andrew pinched the skin on his arm and flinched. "Ow, ow. Okay, I'm definitely awake." He felt his phone in his pocket and pulled it out. Tapping the screen, it said 11:46 Saturday September 3rd. It's almost noon on Saturday. Was I passed out all night?
*knock knock knock*
"Right. The door."
Andrew took a couple deep breaths to calm himself down before walking to the front door. Without even thinking, he unlocked the door and opened it. Normally, he would have checked to see who it was first but his mind was still trying to process what was going on. Had he simply blacked out that night or had it all been real? If it had all been a dream, it was the craziest and most real one he ever had.
"Well, are you going to let us in or what?" Asked a familiar voice.
"Mom, is it really you?" Andrew couldn't believe that she and the rest of his family was standing at his door. He quickly grabbed his mother in a tight hug. Feeling her return the hug, helped confirm to Andrew that she was indeed really there. But did I really go to Equestria?
"Well, of course it is. Who else would it be, dear?" His mom chuckled as she released her son and ruffled his brown hair, much to Andrew's annoyance.
"W-What are you all doing here?" Andrew asked, still very confused. He was still trying to make sense out of what's going on.
"You can blame me for that. I told mom and dad that we should visit you." Katherine chimed in with a grin on her face. "What took you so long to answer your door by the way?"
"I was..uh...in the bathroom. Yeah, it was a real emergency." Andrew thought of a response quickly.
"Sure. What's her name?" Katherine teased while she and their parents walked inside and closed the door behind them.
"There's no one here except me. Alright, Kat?" Andrew responded, rolling his eyes.
"Sure thing, Andy." She responded jokingly.
Both siblings turned to stare at each other for a few moments until their serious faces broke into grins and then laughter as they hugged each other.
"Alright you two, knock it off.” The two separated so that Andrew’s dad could give him a hug. “It’s good to see you, kiddo. Did you get that book I sent you?”
"Yeah dad, it arrived in the mail the other day.” Andrew released his dad and gave him a puzzled look. “But didn't you get that book from grandpa?"
His father nodded and smiled back at his son. "That’s right but I thought that you should have it. He gave it to me when I was about your age and I know how much you love history. So, I thought that you should have it. Just promise me that you'll take care of it. Alright?"
"Thanks dad, I'll take really good care of it."
“That’s all I ask. By the way, I've got dibs on the bathroom. Man, that was a long drive." Andrew’s dad patted him on the shoulder before he disappeared down the hallway.
"Come on, I've gotta tell you the great news." Katherine grabbed Andrew by the arm to drag him into another room.
"Ow, ow. Stop pulling so hard. You're going to pull my arm out of its socket."
"Oh, stop being such a baby." Katherine chortled.
"Hey, I'm a few years older than you. That makes you the baby." Andrew retorted while rubbing his sore arm.
"Whatever. Anyway, next month, I start working at the animal shelter. I'm so excited!" Katherine jumped up and down.
Andrew chuckled and shook his head at his sister's exuberance. She was always full of energy even when they were younger. "That's fantastic news! Is that why you got your haircut?"
"Do you like it? I figured I would try a new look for the new job." Katherine ran her hand through her shorter brunette hair that now ran to just above her shoulders. "What about you? You're not still working for that software company are you?"
Andrew turned away from his sister before responding half heartedly. "Yeah, what about it? It pays well. That's all that matters."
"I don't know why you're still working there. You need to get out there and try something else." Katherine glanced to her side and saw the piles of books sitting on the desk. Her voice became more stern. "You need to find a job that you actually like. And I've told you before, get your nose out of these books and make some friends."
"Yeah, yeah. I know. You've told me this before like a billion times." Andrew rolled his eyes.
"Hey, I'm just looking out for my little brother." Katherine smiled back.
"Katherine, can I ask you something? Have you ever had a dream that seemed so real that you swore that you were still awake?" Andrew hoped that his sister didn't think that he was crazy. There were still some things that were nagging him. What happened in the park? How did he get to his apartment and end up passed out on his living room floor?
"You mean like people who have lucid dreams? Why, did you have one?"
"Well, I.." Before he could continue, Andrew was interrupted by a knock at the door
"And what are you two talking about?" Their dad stood at the doorway.
"Nothing, dad. Just brother and sister stuff." Katherine rolled her eyes.
"Well, do you want to go out and get something to eat?" Their father asked.
"Actually, I'm not feeling that great. How about we make something up here? I should have something that we can whip together." Andrew responded.
"Alright, if that's what you want." His father shrugged his shoulders. "Why don't you help your mother in the kitchen then?"
They left the room and followed their father to the kitchen. "Hey, you still owe me $15."
"Yeah, yeah." Andrew replied, playfully punching his sister in the arm.
Andrew and Katherine joined their mother in the kitchen and helped make some sandwiches and heat up some soup. Something else that was bothering Andrew was that he clearly remembers talking with his mom on the phone that night at the park. He also remembered what he said to her before he hung up. Maybe she didn't hear what I said or she's already forgotten about it. Maybe I should at least say something.
"Yes dear?" His mother looked away from the pot of soup momentarily as she was stirring it.
"Well, I wanted to say that I was sorry for what I said when you called last night. It was uncalled for." Andrew rubbed the back of his neck before he continued. "Look, I know that you only care but I wish that.."
"Andrew, dear. I really have no idea what you are talking about. I would certainly remember if I had you." She shook her head. "Alright, the soup is ready. So get some bowls out onto the table, please."
She doesn't remember? How can that be? Something's not right.
As they ate, Andrew couldn't help but notice that his mind kept going back to everything that he had done with Spike and Twilight. It still felt so real to him. "It felt so real." He muttered to himself, poking his food with his spoon.
"What was so real, dear?" His mother asked between taking a bit from her sandwich.
"Oh..umm nothing, mom. Just a weird dream that I had. That's all." He took a bite of his sandwich but there was no flavor to it. It didn't taste like anything. The flavor, if it had any, was like that of a rice cake than anything else. He looked down at his sandwich and saw the lettuce, tomato, and bacon but he didn't taste any of those things. Suddenly, the sandwich in his hand started to get blurry, out of focus. Looking up from his hands, his parents and sister were becoming the same as well. He lifted his glasses to rub his eyes but it had no affect.
Shaking his head, he stood up and excused himself. "I-I'll be right back."
Something about all of this didn't feel right but he couldn't put his finger on it. Looking back at his family sitting at the table, nothing seemed out of place but he couldn't shake the feeling that something wasn't right. Suddenly, the voices of his parents and sister became more and more quiet until he couldn't hear anything that they were saying. Katherine had her hand to her mouth and let out a laugh about something but he couldn't hear anything coming from her.
"Mom? Dad?" He shouted as walked back to the table. None of them made any indication that they could hear him. They didn't even react when he waved his hand in front of their faces.
He placed his hand on his dad's shoulder but it went right through him. "What the hell?" Suddenly, everyone at the table melted away until he was alone.
"Wait! Come back!" Andrew shouted as he dropped to his knees and hung his head as a tear rolled down his cheek. Everything around him disappeared as well until everything faded to black. A few moments later, he was in a vast grassy field with a starry night sky. All he could hear was the wind blowing through the tall grass and his sniffling. Moments later, he thought that he heard something in the distance.
"Alright, who's there? What's going on?" Andrew stood up, wiping his eyes on his sleeves. He shouted his questions until he heard a voice coming from behind him.
"So, it is true as my sister said." Said the voice.
Startled by the sudden voice, he turned around to see a pony slowly approaching him. Unlike Twilight and Rarity, this pony seemed to be about as tall as he was. It had a dark blue coat and a blue mane with a translucent blue border. The mane appeared to wave by itself against a nonexistent wind. Inside the mane looked like twinkling stars. Behind the horn on its head sat a black crown and around its neck was a neck piece with a crescent moon on it which matched the one on its flank. Adorning her hooves were shoes that sparkled in the moonlight. The pony's teal eyes gazed back at him with surprise and concern.
Andrew examined the pony in front of him further. He remembered that Twilight had explained to him the differences between the pony races but this pony had both a horn and a pair of wings. She must be of a different species than the other ponies.
Andrew gave the pony a puzzled look. "I'm sorry but who are you?"
"Oh, we..I apologize. I'm still not fully accustomed to socializing with others after my banishment for so long." She paused before unfurling a pair of elegant wings before the human. "I am Princess Luna but you can call me Luna. My sister told me that Twilight had discovered a human but I did not believe it to be so."
"A Princess?" Andrew had read enough history books to know what would happen if respect wasn't shown to royalty. He immediately knelt to the ground. "I didn't mean any disrespect, your highness."
Luna lifted a foreleg and waved it from side to side, "Please, my friend. There's no need to kneel before us. Please rise."
Andrew let out a sigh of relief and rose to his feet. "So this was all a dream and I was never home, right?" Andrew asked. He pinched his arm but he didn't feel anything. "Very strange..."
"I'm afraid so. You are simply dreaming. I am using my power so that we can communicate." Luna replied. "Am I to assume that was your family?" Luna inquired.
Andrew nodded. "That's right. Those were my parents and my sister."
"I am sorry. I know all too well what it is like to be away from one's family." The guilt and shame of what she did as Nightmare Moon still ran deep inside her but she vowed every day to make up for her past misdeeds.
Andrew could hear a tint of sadness in Luna's remark but he thought it best not to pry and decided to change the subject. "What is this place? I've never seen anything like it. Everything feels so real."
"This is the dreamscape. From here, I can view the dreams of all of the ponies in Equestria. From here, I can protect them from their nightmares."
"So, why did you visit my dream?"
"We wanted to see if what my sister said was true about a human returning to Equestria. Twilight Sparkle is an intelligent and resourceful unicorn but she wouldn't know what a human looks like but my sister and I would."
"Wait a minute. You're saying that humans have been to Equestria before?" Andrew couldn't believe what he was hearing.
Luna closed her eyes and turned away for a moment. She felt a swell of sadness that she did not want to show in front of the human. For her, it had been over a thousand years since it happened but she couldn't talk about it to anypony, except her sister. After a few moments, she let out a sigh and nodded before answering. "That is correct. It was a very long time ago but I'm afraid that this isn't the time or place to discuss it. My sister will be raising the sun soon. So our time is almost up I'm afraid. We will see each other again. Farewell."
Luna melted into the background and disappeared as everything faded to black. This last thing Andrew saw were her glowing eyes, watching him.
Andrew opened his eyes to the chirping of the birds outside. The dream was still vivid in his mind, his family and Princess Luna. "What the hell was that all about?" He muttered to himself. Seeing his family again weighed heavily on him. Even though it was a dream, it was good seeing them again.
Looking over at the alarm clock, it said 7:25. Spike and Twilight were still asleep in their beds. For several minutes, Andrew tried to go back to sleep but with no luck. Finally giving up, he resigned his fate of getting up and got out of bed. Putting his clothes back on, he slowly made his way downstairs, being careful not to wake the pony and dragon.
To pass the time, he decided to look at the various books Twilight had in her collection until one caught his eye, 'The Tale of the Two Sisters'. Looking through the book, he noticed a picture of the two sisters. The one looked like the pony from his dream. "Could that have been her?" He asked himself.
'Once upon a time, in the magical land of Equestira, there were two regal sisters who ruled together and created harmony for all the land....' Andrew read intently until he heard hoofsteps and feet coming down the stairs. He looked up and saw Twilight and Spike.
"Good morning you two."
"Good morning, Andrew. I'm surprised to see you up so early this morning. Is everything alright?" Twilight asked with concern in her voice.
"Yeah, I'm fine. I just had a weird dream and couldn't fall back asleep, that's all." Andrew closed the book. "So, I came down here to do some reading. I hope you don't mind but I found this book on your shelf and decided to give it a try."
"Oh, not at all. You can help yourself to my books whenever you want. Which one is it? Did you like it?" Twilight asked, intently.
"It's pretty good so far. It's about two pony sisters that ruled over Equestria." Andrew held up the book so they could see it.
"That's the story of Princess Celestia and Princess Luna. I like that story." Twilight looked at the book and then back to the human. "May I ask what made you pick out that one?"
Andrew scratched the back of his neck. "I'm not really sure. I could have something to do with my dream last night. Someone called Princess Luna appeared and talked to me."
"Princess Luna visited you in your dream?" Twilight was surprised that Luna would visit the dreams of the human.
"Yeah. She told me something really strange though." Andrew looked at his hands folded on his lap before continuing. He didn't feel like telling Twilight about the other part of his dream just yet. Not that he didn't trust her, he didn't feel like talking about it at the moment. "She said that humans have been to Equestria before, a long time ago."
"They have? I wonder why they are not mentioned in any of the history books. If they were here, then what happened to all of them?”
"That’s a good question, Twi. Maybe they are but just not in the ones that just anypony would have access to, Twilight." Spike chimed in.
"You could be right, Spike. Princess Celestia and Princess Luna have been around for thousands of years. I'm sure they must know something about what happened. Though I wonder why she never told me about these humans before." Twilight rubbed her chin with her hoof.
"I don't know but I'm sure there is a reason why. Something must have happened to them since they aren't around anymore."
"If you ask the Princess, I'm sure that she will tell you, Twilight."
"I wrote a letter to her the other day about Andrew but I haven't heard back from her."
"Oh, Luna said that two of them were searching for a way to send me home. Perhaps she's just been too busy to reply back to you."
"That could be it, I'm sure. She is busy ruling over Equestria after all." Twilight said.
"Luna did mention something that I didn't pick up on at the time. She said something about being banished for a long time. Do you know what that's all about?"
Twilight and Spike looked at each other before turning back to the human. "It's a long story that started about a 1,000 years ago." Twilight used her magic to open the book to the appropriate section.
"I'll start making breakfast while you explain everything to him, Twi." Spike offered.
"Thanks, Spike." Twilight smiled at the dragon.
"Good luck, dude. You're gonna need it." Spike whispered to Andrew, before snickering and making his way to the kitchen.
Twilight rolled her eyes and groaned as Spike left, causing Andrew himself to chuckle.
While Spike was in the kitchen, Twilight explained to the human how Princess Luna became Nightmare Moon and her banishment to the moon by Princess Celestia. Andrew listened intently as Twilight told him how she had learned about Nightmare Moon's return and how she and her friends found the elements of harmony and used them to turn Princess Luna back to good. She also described some of their adventures together while learning about friendship. Andrew had many questions about Twilight's friends and the Princesses which Twilight was more than happy to answer. A little while later, Twilight and Andrew decided it was time for breakfast and made their way to the kitchen.
"Your friends sound like great people..er..I mean ponies. I've already met Rarity and she was very generous. I guess that's why she got the element of generosity." Andrew remarked.
"They really are. I don't know what I'd do without them. Ever since I started learning about friendship, I couldn't imagine my life without my friends. They're very important to me."
After having omelets for breakfast, Andrew took a shower and went upstairs to get dressed. Downstairs, Spike and Twilight were going through the stacks of books that were spread out everywhere.
"What are you two doing?" Andrew asked as he walked down the stairs.
"Oh good, you're all cleaned up. Spike and I are just cleaning things around here after all that researching I was doing. I haven't had a chance to put any of these books back yet." Twilight said while putting books back on the shelf where they belonged.
Andrew looked around at all the piles of books everywhere, some were as tall as he was. He hadn't realized how much Twilight had actually done for him, for a complete stranger. Helping her clean everything up was the least that he could do.
"Where can I start?" He asked as he grabbed a couple books from a pile. Suddenly, those books were surrounded in a purple magical field which pulled them from his grasp.
Twilight looked at the human and shook her head, "Oh no no no. I couldn't ask you to help clean up. You're our guest. It just wouldn't feel right."
Andrew placed a hand on her shoulder. "Twilight, you've done so much for me already. You've let me stay in your home and tried finding a way to send me home. There's no way I could ever repay you for that. Please let me do this for you."
"Well, if you're sure. Thanks!" Twilight's face brightened with a smile.
After a few minutes of cleaning, Spike grabbed a scroll off of the table and opened it. His eyes shot open as he read the scroll's contents. His voice sounded like he was really worried about something. "Uh, Twilight?"
"Yes Spike?" Twilight responded while levitating some books onto their proper positions on the shelves.
"Umm..You didn't happen to forget about something happening today, did you?" Spike asked nervously while looking between the scroll and the lavender pony.
"Hmmm....not that I can think of." Twilight shook her head and used her magic to pull the calendar off the wall. After reading it for a few moments, she let out a gasp. "The lunch! I totally forgot!" Twilight suddenly exclaimed, momentarily startling Andrew and Spike. She turned around and grabbed the piece of parchment from Spike's hands and paced back and forth while she read it to herself.
"Uh Spike, what's got Twilight so freaked out?" Andrew asked.
"You mean Twilight didn't tell you?"
Andrew shook his head at the dragon.
Spike sighed and continued. "Can't say I'm surprised since she's been so busy lately. She invited our friends over for lunch today so that they could meet you. That's a checklist of everything that she needs to do before they get here. She gets like this every time she forgets something."
The lavender pony stopped her pacing and addressed both of them in a frantic voice. "We still need to finish cleaning, go to the market to get food, and make lunch for everypony. There isn't enough time to get everything done. Oh, why did I forget about this."
Andrew had worked under pressure before and knew keeping a level head is what they needed. He knelt down to Twilight's level and placed a hand on her shoulder causing her to gasp and look up at him. "Look at me Twilight, it'll be alright. You keep working on these books while Spike and I will go to the market and make the food. Sounds like a plan?"
Twilight was surprised that Andrew was taking charge and helping her out. "Are..are you sure?"
Andrew smiled and gave her a thumbs up. "Absolutely. Spike and I have got this. Plus, I'm no stranger around the kitchen."
The human and dragon got together and devised a game plan and left for the market to get everything that they needed. Andrew wasn't sure what Twilight's friends liked to eat, so he let Spike decide what to get. A little while later, they arrived back with bags of food in their hands. Once they got to the kitchen, they started cooking.
"Alright Spike, I'll get started on these sandwiches while you get those cookies baked." Andrew said while he started prepping the vegetables for the sandwiches. "What kind did you say they were again? "
"My famous triple-decker, nut-crazy vanilla-cream cookies." Spike responded proudly, folding his arms.
Andrew drooled at the description of the cookies. "That sounds really good."
"Hehe. Just wait till you taste them." Spike grinned at the human before giving him a more serious look. "Thanks for helping Twilight with this by the way. I'm sure she really appreciates it."
"No problem. It's the least that I can do, Spike." Andrew smiled back at the dragon as he was cutting the vegetables. "So, how many ponies are coming over?"
"Let's see..umm..five." Spike responded after using his claws to count.
"Five huh? That doesn't seem too bad." Andrew breathed a sigh of relief and went back to his task.
"Yeah, you have nothing to worry about. They'll like you. You'll see." Spike said, looking up from the mixing bowl as he finished mixing the ingredients together. He placed a batch in the oven, closed the door, and set the timer. "Need any help with those?"
"No, I think I'm just about done actually." Andrew replied, turning his head to the dragon.
Spike walked over and looked at all the sandwiches Andrew had made. His eyes got big and his mouth opened with drool coming out. "Those look great. Everypony will love those. Now, I know what Twilight and Fluttershy's favorites are. So, I'll show you how to make them."
After much cleaning, sorting, and baking, there were a few knocks at the front door which startled Spike from his dusting. "Coming!" Spike ran down the stairs, still wearing his pink apron and carrying a feather duster. Opening the door, the dragon was greeted by his pony friends. "Hello ladies. Oh..uh..Hi Rarity." Spike blushed while waving at her.
"Hi'ya Spike. So ummm, where is the 'special guest' of y'alls anyway?" Applejack asked as she walked inside. She kept turning her head like she was expecting something dangerous to leap out.
"Oh, he's still in the kitchen and Twilight is upstairs." Spike pointed upward with a claw.
"As I told you before, Applejack, you have nothing to worry about. He was very friendly with me and Sweetie Belle yesterday." Rarity said, trying to alleviate her friend's concerns.
The four mares trotted upstairs and saw their best friend reading a book. They shook their heads knowing what a bookworm their friend was but they still loved her regardless.
"They're here, Twilight!" Spike shouted to the floor above.
"I can see that Spike." Twilight let out a chuckle before addressing her friends. "Girls, thank you for coming. I want you to meet my guest. He's a long way from home and he has been staying here for the past couple days. His appearance may be a little strange but there's no need to be afraid."
A few moments later, footsteps could be heard coming upstairs. The said human came up the stairs carrying a tray of food.
"Alright Spike. That's the last of them." Andrew placed the tray of food on the table next to the other food they had prepared. Turning away from the table, he saw what he assumed was Twilight's friends standing there, staring at him.
Twilight smiled at Andrew and waved her hoof at her friends. "Andrew, these are my friends, Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Fluttershy."
The four mares stopped in their tracks and stared at the human, all except for Rarity who had already met him. The others didn't know what to make of the strange creature in front of them.
Rarity rolled her eyes and shot a glare over at her friends, "Girls, really? There's no reason to be so rude to our guest."
Andrew was getting a little nervous with all of them staring at him. So, he decided to break the ice. Taking a deep breath, he took a few steps closer to them and introduced himself to the mares.
"Hi, my name is Andrew. It's nice to meet all of you." He waved at each of Twilight's friends.
"Well, Ah'll be."Applejack stared at the human before shaking her head and holding her hat over her chest. "Name's Applejack. Nice to make yer acquaintance, Andrew."
"Nice to meet you as well, Applejack." Applejack placed the hat back on her head and extended her hoof which Andrew shook.
Andrew released her hoof and looked to the yellow pegasus sitting next to Applejack but a little behind her. Flutteryshy slowly walked over next to her friends. She had been hanging back to see how this creature would react to her friends.
"Um..excuse me. Umm..Twilight said that you were far away from home. Is that right?" Fluttershy asked in a quiet yet soft voice. She looked at the human from behind her pink mane.
"That's right." Andrew replied to the yellow pony.
Fluttershy looked at the human before trotting up to him and placing a hoof on his leg. "Oh you poor thing. I couldn't imagine being away from home and my furry friends."
Twilight turned her head and looked around the room, "Wait, where's Pinkie? She was just here a moment ago. Where did she-"
"Hello!" A pink pony jumped out from behind the sitting chair, startling the human. She bounced around until she stopped in front of him. She had a poofy mane and tail, almost like cotton candy, and there were three balloons on her flank. The pony's two overly-large blue eyes just stared at him as she bounced up and down.
"So this is where you've been. I've been looking everywhere for you. Well not everywhere or I would have found you already, duh. Mrs. Cake said that Twilight had come in with a strange looking creature that she's never seen before. I knew then that it had to do with my body shuddering earlier that day meaning that something you never expect to happen is going to happen. Whatever it is, it's a doozy. I know everypony and I mean everypony, in Ponyville. So, that means you are new here which is so exciting! I'm Pinkie Pie and I'm going to throw you a par-Mmfph..."
A hoof from Rarity came over the hyperactive pony's mouth but she kept talking. "That's quite enough, Pinkie Pie. I think the poor thing has got the idea."
Suddenly there was a booming sound of something coming through the front door, startling everyone. A blur of rainbow colors shot up the stairs and over everyone's heads. A wind followed behind it, messing up hairs and manes of everyone present. Rarity let out a shriek and whimper as she noticed her mane was no longer up to her marvelous standards. She busied herself styling it back to her satisfaction.
Andrew starred as the rainbow blur shot around the room until it stopped in front of him.
"Sorry I'm late, everypony. I was busy practicing some new awesome tricks for the Wonderbolts and lost track of time." Rainbow Dash flicked her main before taking a moment to look the unfamiliar creature up and down. "So are you supposed to be that thing that everypony in town is talking about? What in the hay are you supposed to be anyway?"
"Really Rainbow Dash, there's no need to be so rude. Our guest here has a name." Rarity chided her cyan-colored friend. "I must apologize for my friend here. Sometimes she leaves her manners in the clouds."
"Alright, alright. Where did you come from anyway?" Rainbow Dash asked.
"Well, you see I.." Andrew started before he was cut off by the pink pony.
"Oh, I know! He's from another world where everyone looks like him and everycreature like us can't talk. He touched a magic glowing thingy that sucked him inside. It then sent him crashing through the sky where he landed outside." She took a big breath before continuing. "Right?"
Everyone looked at Pinkie Pie dumbfounded. "Wait, how did you know all that?" Andrew asked, confused how the pink pony knew so much about what happened.
The pink pony just shrugged her shoulders non-nonchalantly, "Ehh, just a hunch." She ended with a big smile before hopping away. The other ponies just smiled and shook their heads.
"W-What was that all about?" Andrew gestured towards Pinkie with his thumb.
Twilight held her hoof to her mouth and giggled. "First thing about living in Ponyville is don't try to figure out Pinkie Pie."
Andrew closed his eyes and shook his head before looking at the mares again. "Pinkie is pretty much right but perhaps I should start at the beginning." He proceeded to explain to the ponies everything he knew about how he arrived there, starting his normal day at work and coming home to finding a glowing sphere inside his apartment and then waking up in Twilight's house. "And that's all I can remember happening until I woke up here." He leaned back in the chair and took at sip from the cup of tea.
The mares stared at him in disbelief. They were silent until Applejack broke the silence. "So yer say'n that yer from another world and everything you said was the truth?"
Andrew looked at the orange pony and nodded, "That's right."
"Another world huh? I guess that's kinda cool but not as cool as me." Rainbow Dash held a forehoof to her chest and chuckled before extending that hoof to Andrew. "Name's Rainbow Dash. Fastest flyer in Equestria."
Andrew went to shake her hoof but gave her a hoof bump instead. "Nice to meet you too Rainbow Dash. I must say, that was quite an entrance you made. I've never seen anything move that fast before."
"I am pretty awesome, aren't I?" Rainbow Dash's boasting caused a few eye rolls and groans from the other ponies. She came to the ground, folding her wings to her sides and joined her friends.
Twilight looked at each of her friends and smiled, "Thank you for coming over and helping our guest feel welcome. I know that none of us would want to feel alone being away from our families."
"Sure thing Twi. Happy to help!" Applejack proclaimed. Her friends all smiled and nodded as well.
Andrew followed the mares over to the tables that had been set up with a punch bowl, the sandwiches that he and Spike had made, as well as a salad. After waiting his turn, he grabbed a sandwich and an apple. On another table, there was a barrel with a tap was set up.
"What's in here?" He muttered to himself.
"Why that is mah family's apple cider. Give it a try." Applejack cheerfully replied and filled a mug of cider before handing it to Andrew.
Andrew grabbed the mug and lifted it to his lips and took a sip of the cold brew. After letting the rich flavor linger in his mouth, he determined that it was the best cider that he'd ever tasted.
"This cider is amazing." Andrew took another sip.
"Well, thank ya kindly. Ah do appreciate a satisfied customer." Applejack bowed her head before raising it. "Now if only a certain Miss Rainbow Dash would let others have a taste as well."
"Hello. Umm..excuse me." A gentle voice came up from behind Andrew. The voice was soft enough that he wasn't startled by it.
Andrew turned around and saw Fluttershy standing behind him. He knelt down to her level. "Well, hello there. I'm sorry, sometimes I am horrible with names. sometimes I wonder how I can remember my own." He chuckled lightly. "You're Fluttershy right?"
Fluttershy nodded from behind her pink mane. "Oh..umm...that's right. I just wanted to say that I'm glad you're feeling better. That's all." She said before looking at the floor.
A puzzled look came across the human's face as he tried to determine what she was referring to. "Umm..thanks. What do you mean?" Andrew responded, tilting his head to the side.
"Oh that's right." Twilight appeared behind the two of them and chimed in. "I forgot to tell you that the night you arrived here, I went to get Fluttershy came by and have her look after you. Since I don't know much about medicine or human physiology for that matter. I thought that she would be best to make sure you were alright."
"I didn't notice anything wrong except a bump on your head. So I told Twilight that you should be alright in the morning."
"Well, thank you Fluttershy. I appreciate it." Andrew went to place a hand on her shoulder but she backed away slowly.
"You're...umm..welcome." Fluttershy's cheeks blushed a little and she hid her face behind her mane again.
Andrew looked at Twilight, confused at the yellow mare's reaction to him.
"Don't worry about her. She's just shy around new ponies. Give her time." Twilight remarked.
Andrew nodded. "It's fine. I know what it's like to be around new people. In this case for me, it would be ponies."
Andrew sat down on the couch with his food and drink. For the next hour or so, he answered their questions about his world and what he did there. Rarity was curious about human fashion and what they wore. Twilight had more questions about science and discoveries that humans had made. Rainbow Dash didn't seem that interested. She was more interested in the food and chatting with Pinkie Pie. The more he talked with them and saw them interact with each other, the less he saw them as animals. They, especially Twilight, were curious about things, and even had hopes and dreams.
"Hey Pinkie Pie! How about saving some of those cookies for everypony else?!" Rainbow Dash shouted as the pink party pony enlarged her mouth to a much larger size and proceeded to tip the entire tray of cookies over into her mouth. The empty tray landed on the table with nothing but cookie crumbs and bits of chocolate.
Pinkie chewed and swallowed the contents of the tray before replying to the blue pegasus, "Don't worry, Rainbow Dash. I'm sure Spike made more. Riiiiiiight?" Against all laws of nature, Pinkie extended her neck till her head was next to Spike's
Spike turned his head to see Pinky's face grinning back at him. This startled and almost made him spill his drink. "AAHH! Geez, Pinkie. You scared me half to death." Spike took several gasps of air until he regained his normal breathing pattern.
"Hey Rainbow Dash, don't worry, there's another batch in the kitchen. I'll go grab it." Andrew chuckled as he went down to the kitchen.
A few moments later, Andrew came back upstairs and watched the ponies interact with each other. For the briefest of moments, Andrew forgot where he was. The ponies around him finally seemed like real people and not just talking animals. They didn't judge him or treat him differently, not like the people back home would. He grabbed the tray of cookies and walked out of the kitchen to join Twilight's friends. Just as he arrived back into the room, Spike made a loud belching noise.
Andrew looked over to Spike's direction to see what was going on, only to see a trail of green smoke appear from the young dragon's mouth. Out of the smoke, appeared a rolled up scroll with a seal on it. Twilight caught it with her magic.
"It's a letter from Princess Celestia!" Twilight chirped as she opened and read the letter from her mentor.
My dearest and most faithful student,
I must thank you for the report on your guest. His species has been known to me and my sister. As for sending him home, I would like to discuss that with the two of you directly. I will be there shortly to explain everything.
Every pony and human inside the Golden Oak Library kept their gaze on Twilight as she read the letter from Princess Celestia.
"You mean the Princess Celestia is coming here? Do you think that she’ll be able to send me home?" Andrew asked as he slowly placed the plate of cookies on the table and sat back on the couch. A sudden wave of both hope and fear came over him. He told himself that he had to remain optimistic about his chances of going home but the Princess's letter didn't give an answer to his situation one way or the other.
"It looks that way. Knowing the Princess, she already knows of a way to send you back home. She’s the smartest pony I know after all." Twilight responded while she rolled up the piece of parchment and made it disappear with her magic.
"Yeah, but what if she doesn't? What if I'm stuck here forever? What if I don't see my...." Andrew shifted his eyes to the floor and closed his eyes.
"I..I'm sure that you'll see your family before you know it." Fluttershy chimed in, trying to reassure the strange looking creature that she had just met.
"Fluttershy is right. Ya can't start thinking' like that. Ya got to stay positive. There ain't nuthin that the Princesses can't do. Ain't that right girls?" Applejack interrupted. The other ponies looked at their orange friend and nodded.
"Thanks Applejack, Fluttershy. I just hope that you're both right." Andrew smiled back at the orange and yellow ponies.
Before anyone else could say anything, there were a couple knocks at the front door.
"That must be her. I'll get it." Spike walked over to the door and opened it, greeting the alabaster monarch with a bow.
"Princess!" Twilight smiled excitedly at seeing her mentor. Like her friends, she lowered her head to show their respect.
Just by the way that Celestia carried herself, Andrew could tell that she was royalty. The Princess before him was much different than the one that he had met in his dream. For one thing, this one stood at least a head taller than he was. While Luna's coat was dark blue, Celestia's was pure white like perfect snow. Her mane flowed from her head like a rainbow of colors. On top of her head, sat a golden crown decorated with a purple gemstone which matched the breastplate and hung around her neck. Adorning her hooves were matching golden shoes that sparkled in the sunlight.
"Twilight, it is good to see you and your friends. I see that your guest is here as well." Celestia smiled at her little ponies. Her magenta eyes turned towards her faithful student's newest guest. It had been well over 1,000 years since she last saw a human. This one was certainly dressed differently than the ones that she remembered from long ago.
Andrew looked around and noticed that Twilight and her friends bowed their heads to the Princess. Not wanting to offend her, he dropped to a knee and lowered his head as well.
"Now, there’s no need to be so formal, especially when we're in private." Celestia held a hoof up to her mouth and chuckled.
"I'm sorry but I've never met royalty before." Andrew stood back up, rubbing the back of his neck. "Where I'm from, not showing respect to royalty would get you into big trouble."
"I can assure you that you won't get into trouble here." Celestia gave the human a reassuring smile. "Please stand."
"If you're sure." Andrew looked up at the Princess and sat back down in the chair.
"Princess Celestia, your letter said that you already know of Andrew's species. What did you mean by that?" Twilight asked her mentor.
Celestia sighed and sat down on the couch. "It was a long time ago, back when my sister and I were much younger. Back then, humans and ponies had lived together peacefully for many generations. Unfortunately, the peace didn't last forever. Trouble started to happen for the humans that wanted to expand their nation. They had disputes with the griffons which led to several conflicts. The human leader kept asking our father for help but he knew that we couldn't get involved since our own treaty with the griffons was very fragile at the time. He didn't want to risk destroying that."
"The humans were no match for the griffons and we couldn't offer them sanctuary within our borders without causing a war to break out. The human leader came to my father again to help the remaining humans but my father feared that if he openly aided the humans, their fragile relations with the griffons would crumble and could lead to open war. Starswirl took it upon himself to save the remaining humans but doing so required sending them away. He knew that the griffon nation would continue to hunt down the humans wherever they went. So, he created a portal to another world and sent the remaining humans through it."
"What happened to the humans then?"
"After things had calmed down with the griffons, Starswirl the Bearded tried many times to contact the humans. Each time he tried to reach them, he ran into problems. Whenever he created a portal into their world, it was always to a different period in time. His notes mention that the technology the humans were using kept evolving and changing back. Monuments to ponies that were once there, had simply vanished. Starswirl wanted to contact one of the humans but our father forbade it. The humans had suffered much during their fighting with the griffons. Our father believed that it would be best to leave them in peace in their new home."
"So, what happened to this bearded pony? Was he ever able to fix the spell?" Andrew leaning forward in his seat, his hands tightly closed around his mug.
Princess Celestia shook her head, "Starswirl the Bearded was a brilliant wizard but scholars have gone over his notes and journals many times over the centuries without finding any mention of him ever completing the spell. If he did, he never mentioned it to anypony before he disappeared."
"So, what you're saying is that you can send me back to my world but not to the moment of when I left?"
There was a long pause before Celestia responded. She looked at Andrew and replied somberly, "I'm afraid so. There's no way to determine when you would end up. It could be hundreds of years in your world's past or even it's future. I am truly sorry."
Andrew couldn't hear anything except for the loud pounding of his heart and Celestia's words repeating over and over in his mind. It felt like it was against his chest, trying to escape. He was lost in his thoughts, unable to think of anything except for Celestia's words repeating themselves over and over in his mind. To say that he was in a state of shock would have been an understatement.
The mug slipped from his sweating hands and landed on the floor by his feet. Cider spilled from the mug as Andrew held his head in his hands, staring at the soaked floor.
I can't go home? I'm stuck in a world of talking ponies? Why is this happening to me? This is bullshit! This isn't fair!
Twilight slowly padded over to the shocked human. She was as stunned as he was about what Celestia had just told everyone. She couldn't begin to imagine what was going through his mind at the moment. A feeling inside told her that she needed to be there for him, to let him know that he wasn't alone. Since moving to Ponyville, she would have done the same for any of her friends.
"Andrew, I'm so sorry." Twilight placed a reassuring hoof on Andrew's shoulder. She became concerned when some moments went by without a response from the human. "Andrew? Are you alright?"
Twilight's hoof broke Andrew out of his train of thought. His mouth felt dry and his hands were balled up into fists. He looked up at her, baring his teeth. "Am I alright? Are you serious?" Andrew shouted, causing Twilight to remove the hoof from his shoulder and step away from the human.
"Andrew, please. You need to calm down."
"Calm down? Calm down? I'm trapped in this stupid world because someone brought me here against my will and you want me to calm down?"
"Don't worry, we'll figure something out. I..I can look over Starswirl's notes. Maybe the scholars missed something. Maybe I can...."
Andrew stood up and turned to address her. "Oh, really? And what are you going to do that your idol couldn't, huh? Do you know of a way to magically send me home?" Andrew spat bitterly.
Twilight looked down in shame, "Well...no. I don't...but maybe we can all..."
"I didn't think so. Do you know what you can all do, Twilight Sparkle? Just leave me alone!" Andrew snapped back at the unicorn before he realized what he had just said to her. Those last words echoed through his mind before his hand quickly came over his mouth. The mental slap in the face caused him to slowly back away from the shocked faces of everyone before he turned and ran towards the door, grabbing his jacket before slamming it behind him.
The only thing that he could think to do was run as far from here as he could. There had to be someone else out there that could help him, he thought. No one from Ponyville was going to help him so he was going away from there. He then remembered that Twilight had told him where she had found him that night. He wiped the tears from his eyes with his sleeve and took off.
Dirt kicked up around Andrew's shoes as he ran as fast as he could. Some ponies stopped to wave at him but he didn't pay them any mind. All he could think about was his parents and his sister that he would never see again. As he thought about them, he could feel a lump in his throat forming but he did his best to hold it back. There would be time to cry later. Remembering that Twilight mentioned finding him by a hillside near the Golden Oak Library, he headed in that direction.
A part of him knew that was impossible but he had to check anyway. Maybe something was there to help him get back home. It didn't take him very long to reach his destination.
This has to be it.
Andrew looked around for anything but could not find any trace of the portal. All he found was a grassy field with some trees and bushes. He felt his heart beat faster in his chest. The more he turned around, the more lightheaded he felt and ended up collapsing at a nearby tree. As he sat there and gazed at the open field, catching his breath, all the feelings that he's been holding back since he arrived in this strange land finally exploded like it shot from his chest. He brought his hands to the sides of his head and yelled out as loud as he could. And finally, the tears came from his eyes as he wept. He never felt so alone and afraid in his life.
Throughout his career, he had been a problem solver. There was always something he could do, something he could try. He may not have had all the answers but he never gave up trying. The feeling of helplessness about his current situation was consuming him. As he rubbed the tears from his eyes onto his sleeve, he barely heard the sound of wings flapping coming from above him.
"There you are, Andrew. I'm relieved that I was able to find you." Celestia landed on her hooves and folded her wings back to her sides. She looked at the human and wanted to ask the obvious question but the human's demeanor told her what she wanted to know. "Twilight told me that this is where she had found you. So, I thought that you might be here."
"I don't mean any offense Princess Celestia, but I'd rather be alone right now." Andrew responded, not really looking at anything in particular.
"None taken." Celestia shook her head before continuing. "And please, just Celestia is fine when we're alone. You may not believe it but I have some idea of what you're going through."
"Somehow I doubt that, unless you've been trapped in another world who knows how far away from everyone you know." Andrew retorted with a roll of his eyes, still not looking at the Princess.
"Has Twilight told you the story of Nightmare Moon?"
"No, she didn't." Andrew shook his head. He was content in continuing to avoid the gaze of the Princess but there was something in her voice that made him finally lift his head. Was it sadness? Regret?
"In that case, I would like to tell you what happened." Celestia sat down across from the human and began her story.
"Over a thousand years ago, my sister and I both ruled over Equestria, protecting it during the day and night. Over time, Luna had become jealous of the ponies that played in my sunlight but slept under her starry sky. Then one night, she refused to lower the moon so that Equestria would be covered in an eternal night. The jealousy that had begun as a tiny seed, had sprouted and twisted her into becoming Nightmare Moon. All because I was too blind to see what was going on. "
"What happened then?"
Celestia looked up at the sky and let out a sigh. "No matter how much I pleaded with her to stop, she refused to listen. I had no other choice but to banish her into the moon. My little sister was there for a thousand years."
"For a thousand years? What did you do?"
"Back then, I didn't have anypony to rely on or that I could talk to about what happened. It was my fault and it was a shame that I had to bear on my own. For a thousand years, every time I looked up at the moon, I saw my sister's reflection on it. No matter how much I wanted to, I could never tell her how sorry I was and how much I missed and loved her." Celestia's regal composure broke for a moment as a tear rolled down her cheek.
"How did you keep going after that? I mean, I couldn't imagine losing my own sister."
"Believe it or not, I didn't really have a choice in the matter. I knew that my little ponies needed me and I had to put my personal feelings aside for them. But while I was alone in my grief, you are not as alone as you think."
"Well, even if you're right, what am I supposed to do now? I can't go home and I'm a complete stranger in your world. It's like everything is out of a damn children's book with pastel-colored ponies that are obsessed with friendship." Andrew threw up his arms in frustration.
Celestia gave the human a soft smile before responding. "I can't answer that for you but I know some ponies that can help you find the answers that you're looking for."
"You mean Twilight and her friends?" Andrew sighed. "I'm pretty sure that I messed that up. Hell, they'll probably never want to talk to or see me ever again."
"I wouldn't be too sure, if I were you. Ponies can be pretty understanding creatures. If I know Twilight and her friends, they've already forgiven you."
Andrew's thoughts went back to earlier with Twilight's friends. He remembered how they were very welcoming to him. They didn't judge or treat him differently because of what he was. The least he could do is go back and try to make up with them.
"I hope that you're right." Andrew stated as he stood up and brushed the dirt from his pants. "One thing that I'm curious about, Celestia. Why do you care what happens to me?"
"Caring about all creatures is what I do, regardless of where they come from. It's what friends do." Celestia replied.
"You ponies sure are big on this whole friendship thing, aren't you?" Andrew shook his head. "I never had many friends back home. I was more concerned with my job and reading my books."
Celestia raised her hoof to her mouth and let out a good laugh. To those ponies that knew her, they would not have expected to hear a Princess laugh like that.
"What's so funny?"
"Please, forgive me. Believe it or not, you remind of how Twilight used to be. When she was my pupil in Canterlot, she was always more concerned with her studies than making friends as well."
"Really? I would never have guessed that. She seems to have lots of friends. She even went out of her way to help me, a total stranger."
"A lot has changed since she moved to Ponyville. She has learned to appreciate making friends as much as reading her books. Although, sometimes she can get a little carried away with her studies." Celestia chuckled to herself. "Perhaps in time, you can learn to appreciate friendship as well."
She even went out of her way to help me. She put a tree...roof over my head, she shared her food with me, and looked after me after I arrived. I can't leave Twilight like this. At least not without trying to repay her.
"I think that I'm ready to go back now." Andrew decided.
"What is this?" Celestia asked as she saw something on the ground. Using her magic, she lifted it up to examine it further.
"What is what?" Andrew asked as he turned to face the Princess.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
"It can't be. There's no way that you could have..."
"It's from this book that I just found here. Is it yours?" Celestia held up an old leather book to the human who grabbed it with his hands.
"This is a book that my father gave me a long time ago. It's called Tales of Two Cities. I can't believe that this came into this world with me. I thought that it ended up getting left behind." Andrew replied as he brushed some dirt from the book.
"Then this must be yours as well." Celestia lifted up a leather messenger bag from a nearby bush.
"Thank you, Celestia. For everything." Andrew sincerely addressed the Princess as he put the bag across his torso and placed the book inside of it.
"You're welcome. Just because you can’t go home, doesn’t mean you can’t make a new one here." Celestia smiled as her horn was surrounded by a yellow aura and she disappeared.
Andrew sighed as he put his hands inside his jacket pockets and turned to walk back to the library, "Well, time to face the music I suppose. I just hope Twilight doesn't turn me into anything unnatural."
A little while later, Andrew found himself standing in front of the red door to the golden oak library. On his slow walk back, he had practiced what he was about to say to himself many times. He raised his hand over the candlestick engraving on the door for a couple of moments before he knocked a few times on it. Moments later, the door opened and Spike popped his head out. He was both shocked and relieved when he saw who it was.
"Andrew, there you are! We were so worried about you. Are you alright? Come inside." Spike turned his head and yelled over his shoulder. “Hey Twilight, it's Andrew!”
"He's back? Thank Celestia!" Twilight's voice from inside.
Andrew lowered his head as he walked inside the library. Twilight's head popped out from behind a couple piles of books and started to pad over towards the human. Both pony and human stood before each other saying nothing. This gave way to an awkward silence between the two of them. Both were unsure what the other was going to say after what happened earlier. Twilight rubbed a hoof along her other foreleg, until she finally spoke up. Andrew opened his mouth to speak as well.
"Twilight, there's something that I..." "Andrew, I just wanted to..."
They both stopped and lightly chuckled over their embarrassing moment. Andrew took the initiative and knelt down to the unicorn's level and began. "Twilight, I am so sorry for what I said earlier. I had no right saying those things to you and your friends. This isn't your fault. To say this whole situation is stressful would be an understatement but I..I hope you can forgive me."
Twilight laid a comforting hoof on the human's shoulder with a warm smile on her face. "Of course I can, you big dummy. I might have acted the same way if I were in your situation."
Andrew breathed a sigh of relief and smiled at the unicorn. "Thanks, Twilight." He was done being angry for things that he couldn't control. It wasn't going to be easy but he knew that he would need to adjust to his new life in Equestria. Luckily for him, he had Twilight and her friends to help him with that.
"Here, let me help you with those." Andrew offered, standing up and grabbing a stack of books.
"Oh no, I couldn't ask you to help with this. You are our guest. That is, if you still want to be." Twilight looked down and scraped her hoof against the floor.
"Of course I do. If you will still have me, after everything that I said to you and your friends."
"We would love to have you stay. Right Spike?" Twilight gave a warm smile as she looked over at her dragon assistant.
Spike nodded his head and gave a scaly thumbs up. "You bet, buddy!"
Andrew smiled as he walked over with the books in hands and helped Spike and Twilight put them back on the shelves.
"Say, there wouldn't be any more of that cake that Pinkie Pie brought, would there?" Andrew asked.
Later that night, Andrew tossed and turned in his bed. No matter which position he tried, he couldn't seem to fall asleep. After what seemed like an eternity, he ended up rolling over onto his back and just stared up at the blurry wooden ceiling. The events of the past few days kept playing over and over again in his mind like a melody that kept repeating itself. Flashes of his family kept popping into his mind as well. After a while, he looked over at the alarm clock and let out a groan.
Crap. It's only 1:12am. That's the last time I have cake before bed. Maybe some fresh air will help.
Determined to get some sleep, Andrew rubbed his hands over his face and untangled himself from the sheets and got out of bed as quietly as he could. With his glasses and clothes on, he carefully maneuvered around Spike's basket and walked outside onto the balcony. He sat down and rested his arms over the cool metal railing. As he gazed out at the town of Ponyville, he couldn't help but notice how quiet everything was. Normally, the nights for him were filled with the sounds of car horns, screeching tires, and noise neighbors.
Andrew sighed as he looked up at the unfamiliar starry sky above. "It's hard to imagine that this world is going to be my new home. All things considered, it's not so bad. I wonder if anyone has even noticed that I'm gone yet."
After a while, Andrew closed his eyes to enjoy the quiet night. Even with his sweatshirt on, he could feel the cold night air against his skin but he didn't mind. His train of thought was interrupted by the sound of hooves padding towards him followed by a familiar voice.
"Andrew, it's 1:34 in the morning. What are you doing out here?" Twilight held a hoof to her mouth as she let out a yawn.
"Oh, hello Twilight. Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you. I couldn't sleep so I came out here to try to clear my head." Andrew turned to face her. "I hope that you don't mind."
"Of course not. I don't mind at all." Twilight shook her head.
"The nights here are very peaceful, not like what I'm used to back home." Andrew briefly looked up at the sky with a small smile.
"Sometimes, I come out here when I have a lot on my mind as well. Ponyville can be very quiet at night, not like what I was used to in Canterlot." Twilight admitted. Looking at his dejected face, she didn't have to guess what was on Andrew's mind. "Are you thinking about your home?"
Andrew let out a sigh and looked up at the sky. It hurt for him to think that he may never see any of them again but he had to hope that he might see his parents and sister again someday. "I'm trying not to think about what my family will do when they figure out that I've disappeared. My parents are going to get worried that they haven't heard from me. Not to mention my younger sister. They'll probably think that something bad has happened to me or that I'm dead. I just wish that there was a way to tell them that I was alright."
"I'm sure that they will miss you very much." Twilight walked over to the human and placed a consoling hoof on his shoulder before speaking again. "Look, I know that Spike, my friends, and I can never take the place of your family but it doesn't mean that you can't be a part of ours. Plus, the girls seemed to like you."
"Thank you Twilight, that means a lot. Who knows, maybe you'll be able to fix Starswirl's spell and send me home." Andrew let out a light chuckle
"Me fix a spell by the Starswirl the Bearded? Pfffft...like that could ever happen." Twilight rolled her eyes at the ridiculous notion. Sure, he was her idol but she knew that she was nowhere near as gifted with magic as he was. Fixing one of his spells would be like her trying to raise the sun or the moon for the Princesses. Deep down, she knew that letting this human down was not an option for her. Plus, a part of her was excited about doing more reading about Starswirl." But that doesn't mean that I won't stop with my research."
Andrew gave her hoof a gentle squeeze with his hand before releasing it. Here was this talking pony who was willing to do everything that she could to help him without asking for anything in return. By all sense of the term, he was an alien in her world but that didn't matter to her. Celestia's parting words to him about creating a new home here echoed through his mind. Perhaps she was correct. Maybe these ponies could help him do that. Without thinking, he gave her a hug.
A few days ago, Andrew wouldn't have thought about hugging Twilight or any pony for that matter. But here he was, wrapping his arms around her. The feel of her soft fur against his skin and her rhythmic breathing helped to put his mind at ease. Twilight gasped at the sudden contact but gave a soft smile as her forelegs around his shoulders in response.
After giving her a final friendly squeeze, Andrew opened his eyes and looked up at the starry sky above them. He stared at the brightest star in the sky with his tear-filled eyes and allowed the words to finally pass his lips.