Diaries of a Madman

When Discord breaks free of his stone prison, he proves to be much older and wiser than he was on the show. A being of ancient and unimaginable power, he forces Celestia to make a deal to save her little ponies. What she doesn't realize is that one of the terms of the deal is that she forgets ever making it. Enter Navarone, a poor human just trying to get by—or at least, to the ponies that's what he looks like. Pulled from his home by an accidental summoning from one Twilight Sparkle, Navarone is thrust into a world of ponies and more violence than he expected from such a peaceful seeming world. These are his adventures—with a few asides from everybody's favorite Lord of Chaos, of course.

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10. Chapter Eight—Carnies, teeth, and interesting meetings Part 1

About a month after I got the girls their Cutie marks, there was a knock on the door. Twilight was sitting in the library, stressing out about something that no one should stress about. Spike was doing whatever he does in his time off. I was telling Twilight to chill and generally just laughing at her.

When the knock came, she used magic to throw me at the door. “IF YOU THINK EVERYTHING IS ALWAYS FINE, YOU CAN DEAL WITH THIS!” she screamed at me before teleporting up the stairs.

I picked myself off the floor and popped my neck before opening the door. “Can I help you?” I asked the two sleazy looking pegasi standing there.

They looked at me with concern. “You’re… you’re bleeding,” one of them said.

I rubbed my lip and looked at it. Yep, that’s blood. “Yeah, I suppose I am,” I answered. “So, what do you need?”

They looked at each other and then back to me. Without a word, they both reached in and grabbed me, pulling me outside. Before I knew it, I was facing back into the library and they were holding my wings.

“Yep,” I heard one of them say. “He’s a flier.”

“Most definitely. And a very resilient one. Would be a great addition.”

“I say we go for it,” the first one said.

“Agreed.”

Without another word they shoved me back inside and pulled the door shut. Huh. I began to walk away when someone knocked again. I turned to answer it. “Can I help you?” I asked them again.

“I believe you can, strange winged ape,” one of them said. Yellow flag one. “You see, my friend and I are recruiters for a famous flight school called Vaudeville, and we would just love to have you there!” Yellow flag two.

“Uh huh,” I answered.

“Yup, that’s right!” the other one said. “And at absolutely no cost to yourself, at that!” Yellow flag three. And you’re outta here!

“I see,” I said.

“We have all manner of interesting courses and lesson plans suited for creatures of all types!”

“You don’t say.”

“No, I do say,” one of them said. “Or rather, I did say. Anyway, we think you would do great there!”

“Cool,” I said.

They looked at me expectantly. The silence went on for a little while. One of them cleared his throat.

“…Well?” one of them finally asked.

“Not interested,” I said, and started closing the door. A hoof blocked it. I opened the door slightly and slammed it closed. The hoof was still there. Oh right, they don’t even feel that. I opened the door again and stared at them. The hoof disappeared and the smiles reappeared. One of them opened his mouth.

I slammed the door before they could move or say anything and turned back into the library.

Twilight was standing there with her horn glowing, giving me the third craziest look I had ever seen from her.

I turned around and opened the door and stepped outside. “Do tell me more,” I said, closing the door behind me. Something crashed against the door. “In fact, let’s walk and talk.”

I led them off into the town. Normally, the food I eat is provided by Twilight or is given in exchange for odd jobs, as I had pretty much no pony money to my name. I had enough for… well, at least I would be allowed inside most places. I led them to Sugarcube Corner, where Pinkie lived and the Cake family did business.

I saw the two pegasi behind me look at each other as we approached the building. One of them muttered something about ‘real food’. “Have a seat,” I told them. “I just need to talk to a friend of mine here and I’ll be right back.”

They moved to a table and sat down with a speed I haven’t seen in a while. I went to find Pinkie Pie.

She found me first, as is her way. “Hiya Nav!” she yelled, popping out of some place she couldn’t have possibly fit in. “What’re you doing here?”

I made sure the two pegasi couldn’t hear me. “I’m hiding until Twilight calms down,” I told her. “Listen, you want to help me run two filthy Carnies out of town?”

She gave me a look. “What’s a carnie?” she asked. “Is it like a… what rhymes with carnie?”

“Carnies are people that run carnivals,” I said. Her eyes lit up. I grabbed her mouth before she shouted anything out loud. “Not those kinds of carnivals,” I told her. She practically sank. “Freak shows and the like. These two tried to pretend to be representatives of a flight school to recruit me.”

“Well that doesn’t seem very nice!” she answered, peeking her head around to look at them. She pulled her head back. “But then, they don’t look like very nice ponies…”

“Carnies are terrible people, yes,” I said. “I’m going to see if I can get them to pay for lunch. If you want to make a buck, charge them extra for everything. And if you know where Rainbow Dash is, go get her.”

“Psh, silly! Rainbow Dash is downstairs in the basement!”

This place has a basement? “Well, if you could bring her up here, that would be great. I’m going to need some help to get the bastards out of town.”

She put on a serious face and gave a perfect salute. She broke the illusion by giggling. She dropped the salute and trotted over to a side door that I had never noticed before. When she opened it, I saw that it led down.

A blue blur shot out of the basement so quickly she was hiding behind me before I realized it was Rainbow Dash. “I didn’t know you were afraid of the dark, Rainbow Dash,” I said, looking at her.

She turned her eyes over to Pinkie Pie, gulped quickly and blushed a bright red, and looked back up to me. “Yeah… dark…”

“Nav here needs your help with something, Dashie!” Pinkie Pie said in her cheerful tone.

Rainbow Dash gave me a small look of thanks and stood up straight. “Whatever you need, Nav, I’m here for you!” Her eyes flickered over to Pinkie for a second and she got a little closer to me to whisper, “As long as it takes me away from her for a little while…” For some reason, her blush got even deeper.

I patted her on the head. “You’re going to help me run some Carnies out of town,” I told her. “Right after they pay for lunch.” Her eyes grew hard at the mention of Carnies.

“Carnies, eh?” she asked, a haughtiness entering her voice. “Two pegasi?” She described them further.

“Yep,” I said. “Sleazy looking fuckers. Tried to recruit me by saying it was a flying school called Vaudeville. Stupid fucks don’t know that’s a human word too.”

Rainbow Dash was wearing a very wide grin that replaced the horror. “I’ve met them before, Nav. They tried to recruit me because of my mane.”

“…That’s natural?” I asked. She kicked me in the shin.  Well, hell, her mane was fucking rainbow colored. How was I supposed to know? After I got done hopping up and down for a moment, I said, “Fine. Just follow me out there and pretend you don’t know them. After they pay, I’ll ask you what you know about Vaudeville, their faces will drop, and between the two of us we’ll throw them right the hell out. Sound fun?”

“Absolutely!” She looked at Pinkie again, then back to me. “And as payment, you’re going to hang out with me all day!” I looked down at her. She was wearing a nervous smile. I turned to Pinkie, who was staring at Dash with a smile I had seen just over a month ago. I turned back to Dash, who was starting to leak sweat. “Yep, allllll day.”

I shrugged, figuring I could get her out of a weird situation. “Fair enough, I suppose.” I was suddenly wrapped in a very tight hug. “Yes, yes, I’m awesome. Hugs later, Carnie-kicking-out now. And hopefully free food.”

The two of us walked back into the main room. The dirty fucks at the table stopped talking as soon as I came into view and flinched when Rainbow Dash stepped in behind me. One of them put on a really bad poker face.

When Rainbow Dash didn’t say anything, they seemed to sag. I sat at the table. “Well,” I said.

They continued making things up about the ‘school’. Pinkie came out wearing a ridiculous French maid outfit that I had never seen before and never wanted to see again, but caught the eyes of all three of my companions.

Thankfully, the Cakes still served some of that human food I taught Pinkie how to make. She took orders and departed, swishing her tail slightly and waggling her hindquarters quite a bit more than I thought was necessary.

I looked up and noticed six wings spread out fully as each of them watched her depart. I sighed. “Okay, as the only one here who has actually hit that,” I said, “stop watching her. She’s a freak, yes, but please!”

Rainbow Dash turned to look at me so quickly that her neck popped. A blush was slowly creeping down her face. The other two were slower in returning their gazes. “Now,” I said, leaning in a bit. “Tell me a bit more, would you?”

They did with glee. They thought they were going to get a new freak to show off, after all.

Pinkie came back in a few moments later, still wearing that ridiculous French maid outfit. She set the plates down normally and whatnot, but dropped Rainbow Dash’s spoon. Somehow it landed a few feet behind her. “Oops, silly me!” she giggled. She turned around and very slowly bent over to pick it up, swishing her tail aside and that’s when I decided to stop looking. I turned back when she was standing normally again. “I guess I’ll just have to… clean it off for you,” she whispered seductively, slowly licking the spoon clean before I turned away again. Okay, what the fuck, Pinkie? I mean, seriously!

She set the spoon down and walked away the same way she did before. Rainbow Dash’s small blush had turned into a fully-fledged one and I was starting to think she could pass as a smaller body double for Big MacIntosh. I heard one of the two carnies whisper to the other, “We need to come to Ponyville more often!”

We began to eat quite heartily after that. There was little talking. We all heard Pinkie before she began to come down again and the two carnies and Rainbow Dash were looking to the door with a hopeful expression.

And in walked Pinkie Pie.

In full dominatrix gear.

Their mouths dropped. All three of them. I just looked on impassively.

Pinkie glared. “You better have my money,” she growled, cracking a whip somehow. The two carnies looked at each other. One looked terrified. The other had a disturbingly excited look on his face. I heard Rainbow Dash gulp.

“You guys are covering this, right?” I asked them. The terrified one turned his gaze to me while the excited one looked to Pinkie, who had pulled out another—Oh my God what is that?

Now I was gaping. The terrified one saw my look and slowly turned his gaze back. He let out a very, very scared sound and dropped his entire coin purse on the table before dragging his friend out despite his protests. Rainbow Dash turned to follow them, but I grabbed her tail before she could get anywhere. She fell on the floor and decided to go into a fetal position.

Pinkie Pie dropped all of her… things, and joined me at the table. “Well, Nav?” she asked, giggling.

I opened the coin purse and dumped it on the table. “Enough for lunch,” I said. “And quite a nice tip besides.” I stood and bowed slightly. “You were an excellent waitress, my dear,” I told her, standing up straight again.

She answered me with a giggle and “Any time, Nav! And if you ever want to… well, you know!”

I dropped my smile. “No.” She was looking at me with a disturbing intensity. There was nothing else to say. Eventually she sighed lightly and turned her gaze to Rainbow Dash instead. I followed it. “Come along, Rainbow,” I said, “We have to make sure those carnies are gone.”

No answer.

“Look, Dashie,” I said. She flinched at Pinkie’s nickname for her. “I remember my deals. Let’s go.” Nothing. I grabbed her tail and began to drag her out. She started making little noises as soon as she was turned to face Pinkie. I looked back to see Pinkie smiling at me and waving. I shrugged and turned around. The noises began again. I didn’t stop.

Well, I did stop and turn around at the door. “Pinkie?” I said.

“Yes, Nav?” She fluttered her eyelashes.

“Go change before Mrs. Cake sees you and has a heart attack.” Or Mr. Cake sees you and reconsiders his marriage.

She blinked and her smile dropped for a second before returning full force. “Okie dokie lokie!” I dragged Dash out the rest of the way.

When we got outside, I managed to revive Dash well enough to get her to stand. “Now, let’s go hunting carnies,” I said when she was back on her feet. I looked around. They were nowhere to be seen. “Well, this sucks.”

Rainbow Dash suddenly flinched. I heard her muttering to herself. I let her have her moment. After a few seconds, she nodded. “Alright, let’s go!” she finally exclaimed. She looked back at the shop and flinched slightly. “Away from here,” she whispered, shuddering.

 

We were walking for a few minutes looking for them, talking. “I don’t care why the Cakes let her do stuff like that,” I was saying, “What I want to know is, where the fuck does she get that stuff? I mean, a dominatrix suit? Really?

Rainbow Dash was looking less and less enthusiastic with each word. “Look, Nav, I don’t really want to tal—There they are!” Her enthusiasm returned when we saw the two carnies talking to each other near the library.

We walked up to them and heard them talking. “I’m telling you man, this place is crazy! Let’s just cut our losses and get out of here!”

“And I say we forget the weird ape thing and take the pink mare instead!”

The other one rolled his eyes. “Ever since Trixie left, you’ve been trying to find somepony else to abuse you like that. I’m tired of it!”

This was getting into things I didn’t want to hear. I cleared my throat and saw them looking up at me with fear.

“Oh, hello!” the one with the bad poker face said. “We were just talking about you!”

“I see,” I answered. “Tell me, what was the name of your school again?”

Their eyes flicked to Rainbow Dash and then back to me. One of them gave off a little laugh and answered with a sheepish tone, “Tuskegee Institute…?” Seriously?

Bad poker face is bad.

Really?” I said. “Because I think I remember you calling it something else earlier. Tell me Rainbow Dash, you know everything about flight schools in Equestria, right?”

She smiled and nodded eagerly.

“Have you ever heard of a place called Vaudeville?”

Her smile diminished a bit. “Can’t say that I have, Nav.” The carnies looked at each other. She continued, “At least, not in a flying school kinda way. I have heard of Vaudeville, though.” She looked at the two carnies, who were starting to sweat bullets. “It’s a traveling carnival that recruits all manner of weird things to use as entertainment. I’m sure these two refined gentlecolts wouldn’t be from that Vaudeville, though,” she finished with a sweet smile.

I heard one of the two carnies gulp as they turned their gaze back to us. “Well, Mr. Ape sir,” one of them said, “It really has been a pleasure! But I see you’re a busy… thing… and we think you might not quite be what we wanted!”

The other continued, “We’ll just be on our w—” My hand shot out and grabbed him by the throat. The other fellow took off immediately. I waved Rainbow Dash down while I dragged this fellow closer. It was fucking hard, too; these ponies are strong as hell.

I leaned my face in close since I couldn’t pick this guy up. “I may be a freak, but at least I’m not an asshole.” I snarled. “Get the hell out of my town, you filthy fucking carnie.” I let him go and he took a deep breath before flying the fuck away.

I turned to Rainbow Dash, who finally decided to stop holding in her laughter. “Well, what now, Dashie?” I asked her. She suddenly found a reason to stop laughing after that.

She looked around herself with suspicion and flinched when she saw something. I turned my gaze that way and saw Pinkie waving and smiling again. I waved back and turned to Dash, who was now hiding behind me.

“Let’s go flying, Nav…” she whispered, peeking around me.

“Alright,” I answered. “I could always use the practice.” The rest of the day was spent chilling with Rainbow Dash. It was pretty alright.

When I got back to the library, I found Spike sitting on the front steps. “Well?” I asked.

He shook his head.

I walked up behind him and opened the library door just in time to see a book flying at me. I slammed the door shut and heard a loud thud.

I joined Spike on the steps. “Applejack?” I finally asked.

“Applejack,” he answered. I lifted him on my back and we started off to Applejack’s farm. She always had spare beds and was usually willing to let a friend borrow one as long as that friend didn’t fuck anything up while there. Most of her beds were small for me, but then most of all the beds in this world were small for me.

We made good time to the farm and when I knocked on the door Applebloom merrily answered with all her usual fanfare at seeing me. Namely, a running jump hug that knocked me back a few feet.

Yeah, she was really happy that I helped with her cutie mark.

I set Spike down and asked, “You guys mind if we borrow a bed or two?”

She nodded, “Just gotta ask Applejack or Granny Smith!” She sprinted back inside. Too much energy.

Applejack came to the door. “What’re y’all two doin’ here?” she asked with her typical southern twang. “Don’t y’all have your own beds?”

Spike and I looked at each other. He nodded to me. I answered, “Twilight is having one of her little breakdowns. I dealt with that shit for a few hours and Spike dealt with it for a few more hours. Neither of us want to deal with it anymore. Can we borrow a bed or two?”

She looked at us both. Spike did his best to look downtrodden and as baby-ish as he could. She finally rolled her eyes and sighed. “Fine. But if Twilight comes to claim y’all, you ain’t gonna get a lick of help from any of us.”

“Thanks, AJ,” I said. “Today has just been a really weird day.” She shook her head, letting us both in.

 

The next morning, I woke up to a filly on my back. “Dafuq?” I muttered, turning over to see what was standing on me.

There was a loud, “MEEP!” and then something tumbled to the floor.

I sat up and rubbed my eyes and then looked down. “Applebloom, why are  you on the floor?” I asked.

She looked up at me with her evil sad face. “Because you knocked me down!” she whimpered, sticking her lip out slightly.

I was too tired this time to be affected as I had been the last… well, several times. Holy fuck, I must be really tired. “Well,” I said, “I hope you learned your lesson.” Then I turned back over and closed my eyes again.

I immediately opened them when I felt her back on my back. She jumped up and down a few times. I curled into a ball. She continued jumping, inured to my plight.

“You gotta get up, Nav!” she yelled. “Twilight’s here to get you!”

“Fuck that shit,” I moaned. “She’s just gonna throw stuff at me some more!”

She stopped jumping. “What do those words mean?”

How has she never heard me say them before? “They mean things little fillies shouldn’t know about,” I said. “Now get out and let me sleep.” I imagined she rolled her eyes, which I would have found amusing if I had been able to see it. I heard her clop down to the floor.

“Fine,” she said. “But you’re gonna get it!”

I didn’t say anything.

I didn’t say anything when Twilight came up five minutes later, either. “Get up, Nav,” she said. I popped an eye open. Seeing Twilight, I slammed it closed. “I’m not going to ask again. We have work to do!”

“How did you even find me?” I groaned.

“Pinkie Pie knew where you were,” she said. “Now get up and stop intruding on Applejack.”

Fucking Pinkie Pie. I rolled over, turning my back to Twilight.

She sighed. I felt something yank at my wings, dragging me off the bed. I hit the floor and didn’t move. “I’m not going to drag you all the way back to the library, Nav,” she said.

“Good, that means you’ll give up and let me sleep some more.”

“No, that means I’ll do what it takes to make you get up now so I don’t have to drag you back.”

I didn’t like the sound of that. “Fine!” I said, pushing myself to my feet. “I have a bed at the library too!”

She nodded, smiling. “That’s better! Now, where’s Spike?”

I shrugged. “Next door, I guess.”

She rolled her eyes. “Come on then, Nav. Your first task of the day is to get Spike up.”

“Aww, do I have to?” She looked at me with a bit of fierceness until she realized I was just being difficult. “Jeez, Twilight, chill the fuck out. You are way too uptight. I swear you need to get laid or something!”

Her eyes opened wide and she blushed so red I immediately thought of Rainbow Dash. I just shook my head, smiling, and went to look for Spike.

I found him where I predicted. “Yo Spike, time to wake up,” I said, poking him.

He groaned and swatted at me.

I was not amused. I bent down to his… ear? I think it was his ear; it was hard to tell with all the little spine things jutting off his head. “Psst, Rarity’s here,” I whispered to him, and quickly pulled back and did my best to look nonchalant.

He jumped right out of bed. “WHERE!”

I looked at him, pretending to be confused. “Where what, Spike?”

He looked at me with madness in his eyes. “I heard somepony say Rarity was here!”

The confusion turned to concern. “You’re hearing things, man,” I said. “Or maybe it was just a dream. Either way, we gotta go. Twilight’s here and she’s decided to stop having a fit. Time for us to earn our meals.”

He looked at his warm bed. His warm, full-sized bed—at Twilight’s library he sleeps in a basket. He turned back to me. “Do we have to?”

“Yep,” I answered, picking him up and slinging him over a shoulder.

I felt his elbows go to my back, as he propped his head up with his hands. “Things were so much easier back in Canterlot,” he reminisced. “Whenever Twilight would start to have a fit, Princess Celestia would just come by and calm her right down…”

I started to walk out the door. “Between you and me, Spike, Twilight needs to get fucking laid.” Between him and me and Twilight and all of the Apple family, actually: They were all standing in the hall when I said that. “Oh uh… Hi guys!” I said, setting Spike down.

Twilight was looking at the floor, turning even more shades of red. Big Mac was wearing a silly little grin, looking at the wall. Applejack was alternating her gaze between me and Twilight, cracking up. Applebloom was looking at me with confusion. Granny Smith was wearing her own little smile, staring at me with an intensity I wasn’t quite comfortable with. And Spike was just plain laughing his ass off.

“So Applejack… Can I borrow that bed for a few more nights?” I sheepishly asked. Applejack finally burst out laughing.

Applebloom finally asked, “What’s… laid?”

Now Granny Smith was cracking up.

“You know what,” I said, “I think I’m just going to stay with Rainbow instead…”

Twilight sighed and grabbed me and the still-laughing Spike with magic and dragged us back to Ponyville.

 

Some time later, I shattered some teeth. Well, it wasn’t actually me that shattered them, but they were my teeth. Honestly, I’m just lucky my entire jaw wasn’t broken…

I was playing hoofball—football—with the extended Apple family and a few other friends when Applejack pretty much bucked me right in the face. I went flying backwards, dropping the ball. My head felt like it had been put through an engine block, and I was spitting up enough blood that it looked like I had just bitten a chunk out of someone.

After hundreds of apologies and a quick trip to the doctor, I was diagnosed with a serious case of missing half of my teeth. And a concussion, but that wasn’t really permanent. Given my diagnosis, I was prescribed a trip to the dentist.

Colgate.

Colgate… I haven’t written about my past experience with her, because she scares me. The first time I went to her—to get a specialized toothbrush—she freaked the fuck out over my canines. I didn’t know if she was aroused or terrified or both. I just know that me getting a toothbrush turned into me getting hit with a lot of laughing gas and not remembering what happened next. I woke up with my teeth shined to perfection and a minty taste that didn’t leave me for a few days. I also had a toothbrush and a card that said ‘call me’ on it. Ponies don’t have phones.

I avoided her from then out.

Sadly, that wasn’t exactly an option, given what happened. My teeth were fucked and I needed them fixed. Thankfully, Applejack agreed to sit with me, since it was her fault my teeth were busted. We got to Colgate’s… I hesitate to call it an office, but I guess that’s the closest word for it. There was no line, since it would take a foolhardy person to visit her more often than they needed.

Colgate was sitting at the front desk, wielding a large, bright smile towards the door. She was a light blue unicorn with a darker blue and white mane. I stopped when I stepped inside, afraid to go any farther, but Applejack pushed me in. “Ya gotta get your teeth fixed, Nav. Even if it’s by… Colgate!” AJ had just gotten in and saw her staring at us with that smile. “Uh. Hi. Nav here has some broken teeth and we were hoping you could fix him up.” She sounded a bit uncertain.

Before either of us could react, Colgate was across her desk and pulling me to her back room. “I’ll have to take a look, but I should be able to fix him right up. Anything for my favorite patient!” AJ moved to follow us, but Colgate said, “You just wait out here, now. I’ll take gooood care of him!”

I looked imploringly at AJ. She saw my look and said, “I don’t suppose you’d mind if I watched, would ya? I uh… I want to see what happens?” Applejack is easily the worst liar I have ever seen. This was one of the only times I ever saw her even try to say something that wasn’t true.

Colgate shook her head. “Don’t you worry about him a second. I’ll just take a look-see and have him back out in, oh…” She looked me up and down and her smile somehow grew wider. “An hour or three.”

“Three hours?!” AJ sputtered. “Why would it take that long?”

“Well, if his teeth are busted out, I’ll have to regrow them! And since they’re broken, I’ll have to file them down so they won’t be jagged.” This was sounding worse and worse, making my wings droop. “I mean, if he can’t even talk, surely it’s pretty bad.” I sighed. She saw the state of my wings and said, “Cheer up, Nav! I’m sure I can keep you distracted through the excruciating pain.” My eyes widened as she yanked me the last step and slammed the back door behind me.

Before I could recover, she threw me onto a chair made for ponies and lowered it back, leaving my upper body to dangle onto the floor. “Oh yeah, forgot about that!” She pulled an ottoman from somewhere and put most of my upper body on it, letting my wings dangle under me. “Now let’s get a look at tho—Sweet Celestia!” She had my mouth open, looking at what was left of my teeth. “How did this even happen?” I tried to say something, but nothing articulate came out. “AJ bucked you in the mouth? That was rude of her!” Well, I didn’t think it was anything articulate. I guess she can understand mouth-open speak.

She poked one of the remnants of my teeth with some tool or something and I flinched. “I bet that hurt, huh?” What the fuck kind of doctor are you? I gurgled as much. “Oh, I never went to a medical school. I’m not a doctor!” I think my pupils shrank at that and I tried to push my way up but she threw me back down with magic. “You have to sit still for the dentist, silly! Now let’s see, how did that spell go again?” She left me struggling in the chair and walked over to a table. She picked up a book and walked back over. I saw the title was Dentistry for DummiesWho even makes something like that? “Ah!”

Her horn lit up and she bent it down to my mouth. I squeezed my eyes shut, expecting a massive amount of pain. I felt nothing. I hesitantly opened one eye to see her sitting back, watching me with a smirk. “Psh, did you really think I would use a spell that hurt you while you weren’t even sedated?”

“Hng?”

“That spell is painless. Your teeth should be back in an hour or so. I wasn’t lying about having to file them down, though. We won’t actually use a file, mind, but it’ll probably be uncomfortable.” I gurgled something. “Because the look on your face was priceless!” I gurgled something else. “Oh, no. I’m still going to do that. I just wanted to see your face before I started.” My eyes had time to widen before the gas mask was forced over my face. I had time to struggle before I was completely out.

I woke up to find myself on Applejack’s back. She was carrying me somewhere. I lifted my head and noticed that I actually had all of my teeth. “Oh good, you’re finally awake.” AJ stopped to let me stand. I stumbled slightly, my head still dizzy.

“What… what happened?”

“That crazy dentist did something to your teeth. Looks like they’re all back!”

I grit my teeth, using my tongue to feel them all. “Yep, looks like they’re all there. She even got the canines right!”

“Canines? You have dog teeth?”

“Ah, no. That’s just what they’re called.”

“Why do you have sharp teeth, anyway? You don’t need teeth like that to eat our food!”

“Uh… They’re so we can crack open fruits and nuts easier.” Bold-faced lie.

“Oh. Huh. Well, you think you’re good to get home? I need to get back to helpin’ the family.”

“Yeah, I’m good. Thanks for looking after me.”

“Hey, it was my fault you were out of it anyway. I’ll try to be more careful next time.” I waved her off and continued back to the library.

One day, I had an unexpected visitor at a very unexpected hour. It isn’t very often that you get woken up at three in the morning by a princess, after all.

“Navarone,” said the voice that was bothering me. Then I felt another prod on my back, something cold and unwelcome against my bare flesh. I unconsciously swatted at it with one of my wings, since my arms were too busy being asleep. She began sputtering and I felt a feather land on my back. “Cease this foolishness and awaken!”

“Fuck off,” I groaned, turning away from her.

“Should you not awaken, I shall do something you will regret.” Of course, I paid her no mind. “So be it. I hope you enjoy swimming.” Wait, what?

Then there was the pop of teleportation and suddenly I was lying on a lake that was completely covered in ice as the howling snow wove around me. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep for much longer after that, especially since I wasn’t wearing a shirt. My bare chest was up against the ice, which was an absolutely horrible and painful feeling.

I was still too tired to realize what the fuck just happened, but I knew that suddenly I was extremely cold and I didn’t want to be cold anymore. But it was also completely dark with cloud cover, so I had no idea where the fuck I was. Since it felt like I was on the ice, just about anywhere would be better than where I was, so I scrambled to my feet, wrapped my wings around myself as best I could, and started walking.

Not a minute later, I teleported out again, this time to stand in front of a smiling Luna who immediately stopped smiling when she saw me. “Why aren’t you covered in water?”

“It’s f-fucking winter!” I yelled, my teeth chattering like crazy.

“...Oh.”

And then I shook my head to prove that yes, I was covered in water, just water of the more frozen kind. She flinched when some of the melting snow hit her. “Fuck, it’s c-cold...” I muttered, looking around. We were now in the foyer of the library instead of my room. “I’m going back to bed. I bet it’s warm there.”

“Nay, I’m afraid not,” Luna said, using magic to stop me. “Come close. Proximity shall warm you while we talk.”

“A blanket would be better,” I sighed as I was tugged with magic into a more physical grip. One of her wings went around my shoulder as she led me to a large open space on the floor.

“But a friend should not let her friend suffer, correct?”

“Then why’d you throw me out in the snow?”

“I needed you awake,” she replied, sitting down and forcing me down with her. When she had me next to her, the wing tightened its grip and she leaned her head onto my shoulder. “There. Now you shall warm up quickly.”

“So soft,” I sighed, my body slumping down in its tiredness.

“Do not fall asleep again yet, Nav. Do you remember my offer?”

“N-no.”

“It involved meeting my sister.”

“Not ringin’ any bells.” She snorted. “I’m tired. And I’ve had shit on my mind.”

“Hm. We spoke of you meeting my sister some time in the future. That time has come. My sister will have some time free in the coming days. I believe it is time you met her. And she agrees. After hearing about you for so long from Twilight, she believes it is time to meet Equestria’s unique resident.”

Only from Twilight? “And you couldn’t have told me this when I woke up? Or earlier today?”

“I have a busy schedule as well. I came to get you when I could.”

“...Get me? We’re going to Canterlot?”

“Indeed. I will give you a few more moments to warm up and then you must pack what you will need for a day or two at the castle. I suggest traveling lightly.”

“This is… your sister we’re talking about. The one that will smite me if I’m not on my best behavior? Or if I’m not dressed just perfectly? Or if I don’t address her in just the right way?”

“What? No!” she replied with shock on her tongue. “‘Tia is no brute, no monster! Why wouldst thou even think so?”

“Watch your language,” I sighed, popping my neck to give me a moment to think. “The way everyone speaks about her, she sounds like a monster. Rarity told me that if I ever met her, I just absolutely had to look my best or there’s no telling what she’d do. Twilight told me that I would have to learn perfect manners and how to address her properly or the princess would banish me. Almost everyone just seems absolutely horrified of her. No one gets that kind of reputation without a reason.”

She sniffed and looked away. “There is no reason for my sister to have such a reputation. True, in our earlier years, she was more of a hothead, but she has since been cooled and molded into a more proper shape. How she allowed such a reputation to come to be, I do not know.” She was silent for a few seconds, thinking. Eventually she said, “Well… Perhaps it is for the best that the common ponies know not to bother her. We must be aloof from the common population. I forgot that in my… time away.”

“Why?” I asked. She blinked, surprised. “Why would you need to hold yourself aloof?”

“It is… not proper,” she said after a few more seconds of thought.

“Says who? You two are the prime princesses of the planet, right? Don’t you get to decide what’s proper?”

“...My sister and I live longer than do our subjects. It is not wise to form lasting relationships with them.”

“And yet here you are, your wing around me. We’re friends, aren’t we? Are you saying that’s a bad thing?”

As soon as I mentioned her wing, it flinched, but didn’t pull back. She did look away, though, blushing. “We… we are above them. It isn’t proper!”

“And now you’re just using rehearsed lines.”

That got her to pull away. “Go pack, Navarone,” she somewhat coldly said. “I will remain here.”

“What about Twilight?” I asked as I stood. “If I just disappear, she’ll be worried.”

“I will leave her a note,” she replied. “Now hurry. The sooner you return, the sooner you can begin sleeping again.”

“Amen to that,” I wearily sighed, trudging to the stairs. When I got to the room I came to call my own, I realized I had no way of packing anything. No bags or anything. So I just shrugged and pulled out the robes I used for the Halloween costume, threw a few sets of clothes in the center of them, got more fully dressed myself, tied the bundle up, and walked on back down to where Luna waited.

“What does ‘amen’ mean?” she asked when I got back down.

“It’s… a word we use to conclude a prayer. Or to show we agree with something.”

“And a prayer?” she asked. “I don’t think I’ve heard that term.”

I sighed, my wings drooping. “I’m tired, Luna. And didn’t you just say you were running low on time?”

“Avoiding the question only increases my desire to know the answer,” she said with a smile, stepping closer.

“Uh huh. Well, unless you feel like carrying me to a bed in the palace, I suggest you get us there soon or I’ll fall asleep standing up.”

“Ugh. So be it. But do not think I will forget this, Navarone.” My answer was a well-timed yawn. “Prepare yourself. I do not think you have had a long distance teleportation trip yet.”

“Nope. How bad can it—” The sound of everything disappearing cut me off. It was only for a second before we reappeared somewhere completely different. “—be?” I casually finished, not really perturbed.

“Wait a moment.” I did and almost immediately felt nauseous. She noticed my face and said, “It will pass. Too much magic build-up in somepony relatively unused to it causes some minor physical discomfort. But nothing dangerous.”

“Oh God…” I sighed, rubbing at my head with my free hand.

“And now you speak of this… God. You have mentioned him before.”

“Bad Luna. Where’s my bed?”

She rolled her eyes and said, “We are currently in the teleportation chamber. Come. I shall lead you to your bedchamber.”

“Awesome.” She started walking out of the smallish room and I followed. “So do I get a personal maid or anything while I’m here?”

“...Do you desire one?” she dubiously asked.

“Eh. I like the outfits.” She looked at me in surprise. “But… never mind. Don’t even worry about it.”

“So you finally started finding us attractive, hm?” she asked, smiling.

“That’s why I said never mind. I’m tired and still thinking about humans. Don’t worry about it.”

Her eyes narrowed and she turned back. “You will need a guide, of course. The palace is large. I cannot be with you at all times, nor can my sister. I was going to assign a guard to you, but a maid is as good as anything.”

“That’s very unnecessary,” I hastily said. “Not the guide part, mind. But it doesn’t have to be a maid!”

“You requested it. I shall assign a member of the staff to you before you awaken come the morning.”

“Dammit,” I sighed. “Well, I dug this grave myself. Might as well lie in it.”

Her head jerked to me when I mentioned a grave. “Thou wouldst die over such an offense?!”

“Jesus, calm down. It’s a saying from my world. Death there’s a bit more common than it is here, it seems. We joke about it to keep it off our mind. That’s one of the jokes.”

She swatted me with her tail and continued walking again. “Be wary of what you say, Nav. Ponies are very different from humans. Many might have done something rash if you had said such a thing near them.”

“Then I’ll be more wary. At least I haven’t told anyone that I should have just died at birth yet.”

Once again, she looked at me in some mild horror. “Such a statement is… monstrous. Even for a culture that glorifies death, how do you justify such a thing?”

“Because I’m a terrible person. Now can we hurry this up? I’m missing out on some really cool dreams because of this.”

She snorted and increased her gait. “You’re lucky you can dream.”

“...Why? Doesn’t everyone?”

“Yet another difference between our worlds, it appears. Dreaming here is a rare thing, without magical assistance that I currently lack. But that is a discussion for another time. These will be the quarters in which you stay.” Her horn lit up and the door opened, revealing a nice and swanky little apartment.

“Nice place,” I said, entering the room. “No roommates, right?”

“You sleep here alone, unless you would prefer company.”

“Nah, it’s cool,” I said, tossing my robe full of clothing into the corner.

“The bed has plentiful blankets,” she said with a nod toward it. “But if you require more heat, a fire can be set.”

“What? No, it’s fine in here. Wait, shit. ‘Cool’ in that sense is slang. It’s alright the way it is. Sorry, I keep forgetting you don’t know much lingo.”

“I’m learning more,” she quickly replied, perhaps trying to save face or something. “Is there anything else you require before I leave you?”

“Is there an alarm clock or something? Or do I have a schedule I need to follow?”

She nodded and said, “Your maid shall have everything you need to know with her. And she shall be your alarm clock, unless you wake up before she arrives.”

“Alright then. I’m going to bed. Oh, and please make sure she knows I’m not a pony. I don’t want to wake up to screams and then guards.”

“That will not be an issue,” she replied with a nod. “Sleep well and dream easy, Nav.”

“I’ll try. Have fun with your work.”

She just rolled her eyes before departing, pulling the door shut behind her with magic.

“Well shit,” I said to no one in particular, kicking my shoes off and emptying my pockets. Wasn’t expecting to be sleeping in a palace tonight… At least the bed is nice. And soon enough, I was asleep.

A horribly bright light woke me up some time in the morning. “It’s time to wake up,” what should have been a soothingly pleasant voice said. If it wasn’t attached to the person that presumably opened the blinds, I would have been more tempted to get up. Instead I rolled over, away from the sun. “The princess is expecting you, sir. You need to get up.”

“...Princess?” I muttered, not remembering the events of the night before.

“Oh, yes! Princess Celestia is expecting to see you at breakfast this morning.”

That’s when I realized the bed I was in wasn’t very familiar and neither was the voice of the person that was talking to me. I jerked upright, looking around in surprise. “Where… am I?”

“Canterlot Castle!” the lady happily answered. I slowly turned my head her way, beholding a pale blue unicorn with hair a brighter purple than Rarity’s. Her bright green eyes met my dark green pair. “Um… Is that a problem?”

Thankfully, the memories of what happened the night before were coming back at that point. “...Nah. How long do I have before breakfast?”

“Oh, another hour,” she replied, walking over to where I left my clothes.

“Why are you waking me up so early?” I asked, stretching.

“So you can get ready! Are these dirty?”

“Nope. And I don’t need an hour to get ready. I’d need, like, at most fifteen minutes.”

“If they’re clean… why are they on the floor?” she asked, turning back to face me.

“Are you saying the floor isn’t clean?” I asked with a smirk on my face.

“Of course it is! Princess Celestia wouldn’t allow any of her guests to have a dirty room!”

“Then what’s wrong with my clothes on the floor?”

“It’s dir—Oh. It’s improper!”

“That’s weird. I happen to think it’s perfectly proper, if the floor’s clean.” She opened her mouth to respond, but I wasn’t in the mood to pay attention, so I just kept going. “And since I’m awake anyway, I might as well take a shower. So uh… Where’s the bathroom?”

“In the door to the right,” she said, nodding at it. “Everything within is suited for minotaurs. Princess Luna assured me that what would be fitting for them would be fitting for you.”

“Awesome. So are you going to come back in forty-five minutes or something to get me?”

“What? Of course not! I am to help you bathe, sir.”

“No, you’re not.”

“But Princess Luna said that I was to attend you at all times!”

“That’s too damn bad. Either I go without showering or you stay away from me while I do shower.”

“But… I have to follow her orders!”

“Didn’t she say to make sure I was comfortable?”

“No! She said to obey her orders, no matter what.”

“...Oh. Well shit. What were her orders?”

“She… she ordered me not to tell you.”

Oh boy. “What if I said please?” I asked, putting on what I was hoping was a winning smile.

She shook her head. “I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t…”

I sighed and said, “Can you at least just let me take a shower in peace?”

“No. Orders…”

Well, fuck. “Hey, can you just go ask her if it’s okay if I take a shower alone? I’m sure she’ll be reasonable about it.”

“It would be much easier if you just let me wash you! Nopony else minds.”

“Yeah, but they aren’t humans. For us, it’s a massive taboo to be seen naked by anyone that we aren’t very closely familiar with. Just tell Luna that and I’m sure she’ll understand.”

She sighed and looked at a clock before saying, “Oh, very well… I’ll be back shortly, sir. Don’t go anywhere without me!”

“I’ll be right here,” I said, smiling. She nodded once before trotting out the door.

As soon as she was gone, I hopped out of bed, grabbed some clothes from the bundle I brought, and jumped in the shower. It didn’t take me long to figure it out, since all Equestrian showers are standardized. Soon, I was getting nice and clean in a royal shower. Since I had no idea how long it would take the maid, I made sure it was a very short one, just long enough to wash everything.

As soon as I got back into the main room, fully clothed and mostly dry, the lady trotted back in. “Princess Luna said I absolutely must—why are you wet?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said, stringing out some of my wet hair. “Luna said what?”

“Your hair! Your hair is wet! I can see the water falling from it right now!”

“Is it?” I held up the strand I was twisting and hmm’d. “Well now, looks like it is. Wonder how that happened.”

“...Did you take a shower?”

“Maybe.”

She stomped her two front hooves in anger. “I was supposed to help you! Princess Luna said I must!”

I shrugged and replied, “I think I’ve more than proved I’m capable of taking a shower for myself. Now, what do we do for the next forty-five minutes?” At her narrowed eyes, I knew I might have a problem. “Hey, don’t tell me you’re mad!” Then her horn lit up. “Come on, we can talk this out!” I felt myself getting pushed back into the bathroom as she advanced. “No! I’ll be good later, I promise!”

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