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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102. Chapter Eighty-Three—Wedding and the fall heat

That night, Luna came by yet again in my dreams. She did, of course, knock. “Are you finally ready to continue?” she asked when she was back inside, Flo safely secured in my clothing.

“Yes. Sorry for not being available the last few days. I’ve been feeling somewhat under the weather, but I believe I’m better now.”

“It is quite alright. I’ve had plenty to keep me busy.”

Sure you have. “Well, let’s get started.”

“I assume you still remember how to get out?”

“Yeah. Just gotta do it.” She began walking around as I tried concentrating on getting out of my dream.

About five minutes after I started, she said, “It’s strange. You always have the same dream every night. What is this place to you, Navarone?”

“Not helping me concentrate, Luna.”

“It’s just a simple question.”

“Fine. It’s a human thing. Let’s leave it at that.” Thankfully, that shut her up. Five more minutes later, I broke out. She joined me a second later. “So what are we doing first?”

“Entering and manipulating simple dreams. I don’t want to risk your mind by entering a nightmare that you can’t escape from easily.”

“Very well. Whose dream will we enter?”

She looked around the dreamscape full of bright and shining colors. “Pick any one of them you desire.”

“Can I enter the dream of a changeling?”

“No. Only the dreams of ponies.”

I shrugged and thought of Twilight, turning my head until I felt something I recognized. I stepped that way and came to a white nonagon. Luna appeared next to me as I pulled the smoke aside, peeking in. Twilight was in a large park, three extremely tall poles with circles of various sizes up and down them. Twilight’s horn was glowing as the circles moved around.

“Holy shit, she’s doing a fuckmassive Tower of Hanoi in her dream.”

“Impressive,” Luna commented, also looking inside. “Now, when we get inside, we won’t just be moving objects around. We are going to talk to Twilight and her reactions will change the dreamscape around us. Depending on how the conversation goes, the dream can either turn into a nightmare or a good dream. Or I suppose it could turn erotic.”

When she said that, I decided what my goal of the night would be: Turning all three of those poles into dicks when Twilight wasn’t looking. “Well, shall we?”

She pulled the hole in the fog open wider and jumped through. I did the same on my side, landing next to her in Twilight’s dream. Flo cured the fog in my mind before I even registered that it was there. Since we were both behind Twilight, Luna took a moment to make sure I was myself before she approached purplesmart.

“An interesting dream, Twilight,” Luna said. “I’ve never seen this game.”

Twilight whirled around in surprise, the sky taking on a sickly yellow color. When she saw us, she gasped. “I…” She blinked a few times. “Wait. Are you the real Princess Luna?”

“Very astute.” While Twilight was facing us, I changed the poles into penises and Luna’s breath caught. She giggled slightly and continued, “I am teaching Nav how to traverse dreams.”

“Can I learn too?!”

Luna shook her head. “I’m afraid not. You aren’t attuned to the artifact. And you aren’t my student anyway. Hmm… Navarone, remind me that I need to find a student.”

“I reckon I can do that. Twilight, what’s up with the weird fucking dream?”

“Weird? I think it would be stranger to have what might be called a ‘normal’ dream. I’m sure mine is probably tame compared to some of what you’ve seen.”

“It would be, if not for the giant penises.”

“…Giant what?” Luna and I smirked and I nodded behind Twilight at the poles. Her ears immediately drooped as her head slowly moved up to the top of the poles. When she saw that one of the heads was dripping slightly, the sky immediately turned black.

Luna and I looked around and she idly commented, “Well Nav, you made a nightmare.”

“What?” My question was answered for me when the scene shifted from a park to a classroom, with a completely shaved filly Twilight standing at the front of the class, huddling down on the floor as all the other ponies laughed at her. “What the fuck?”

“Dreams are random, Nav. Twilight obviously has insecurity issues. When she saw the poles, she expected me to be disappointed since I am her teacher’s sister. And this is proof of how easy it is to lose control in a dream.”

“Huh. Well that sucks. Time to go?”

She shook her head. “You did this, Nav. You fix it.”

“Alright… How?”

“Do what comes naturally.”

“Comfort her,” Flo whispered.

I walked over to Twilight, summoning a blanket on the way. When I got to her, I knelt down in front of her and pulled the blanket around her. She looked up at me with tear-filled eyes and I pulled her into a hug. “They can’t hurt you, Twilight. Remember, staves and stones may crack your bones, but words will never hurt you.” Physically, at least. She pulled back, looking at me in confusion. “Also, it’s a dream.” I snapped my fingers and we teleported back to the large field, minus the three penises. Or maybe the large field just appeared around us. I don’t really know.

Either way, I released filly Twilight and stood up. “…N-Navarone?” she asked, slowly growing in size.

“Yep. God, you look hilarious.” She looked back at herself and found that she was still completely shaved. A massive blush covered her face and we reappeared in the classroom, with her back as a filly.

Luna sighed. “Navarone, you are terrible at this.”

“Yeah, but it’s also really funny.”

“While that is true, this is one of my subjects. We shouldn’t be tormenting her. I will take care of this.”

“Aww…” Luna brushed past me, walking to Twilight. When she stopped next to her, Twilight’s fur slowly grew back while she expanded in size.

“Professor Twilight, your class awaits you,” Luna announced when Twilight was back to her normal size.

Twilight blinked from her position on the floor, looking up and around her. “…Yes! My students.” She hopped up and walked over to her desk. “Today’s lesson is on simple elemental magic. Princess, will you and your knight be joining us today?”

“I’m afraid not, Twilight,” Luna answered. “We have business elsewhere. Come, Navarone.” Her horn lit up and we appeared back in the field, Twilight left behind. “There. Look up.”

I did and found that the sky was a brilliant blue color, much nicer than the black it had been. “My solution was funnier.”

“And it led to a nightmare. Is that truly what you want to do to your friends?”

“So they have a bad night of sleep. I don’t plan on making a habit out of it. Remember, I only plan on doing this when I get bored.”

Her eyes narrowed. “Then why should I continue teaching you at all? If all you are going to do is increase my workload of easing night terrors, why shouldn’t I just ban you from the realm of dreams entirely?”

“Because where would be the fun in that? You can’t tell me that you’ve never wanted to chase someone through the realm of dreams before.”

“I have, yes, but not at the risk of my subjects.”

Flo, think you can do everything she taught me?

“Yes, but there might be more that she knows that we need to know. I would not abandon her yet. There is, after all, only one person on the planet that can teach you this.”

Fuck. “Whatever. What’s next?”

“…Navarone, are you okay?”

“Yeah? I told you that I was feeling better. Probably just a tremor or something from whatever Blueblood did. We moving on or what?”

“Very well. Escape this dream.” She stepped out of it without waiting for me, this time.

Flo, how quickly could you get us out of here?

“Instantly, of course. The plus side to not being alive is having an intense focus. However, would that not be cheating?”

Because I care.

“You’re doing better, Nav. This should be something that you master on your own. Luna has thousands of years of experience. Of course she’s going to be better at it.”

I stopped responding and went to focusing on getting out of here. I don’t know why I needed to know how to do it perfectly if Flo could do it for me—and could read my thoughts as I had them so she could get me out as soon as I wanted—but whatever.

It took me eight minutes, that time. Luna was outside, waiting on me. “You’re getting better. I remember blundering my way through this. It took me days to figure out how to get out of dreams.”

“That’s nice. What’s next?”

She rolled her eyes. “Do your achievements mean nothing to you, Nav? Do you truly care so little for improvements? It took you hours the first night! To be getting in and out in mere minutes in comparison is an outstanding achievement! Why are you not proud?”

“Because it’s not instant. I won’t be happy with how far I’ve come until I’ve gone the whole way. Now, what’s next?”

“No wonder you’re always so depressed…” I narrowed my eyes and she sighed. “Very well, if you are going to be like that. Now we’ll find a different dream to practice on.”

I shrugged and looked for Cadance’s dream. I found its golden hue a few seconds later. When I poked my head in, I saw something that I was not at all expecting: Cadance using binoculars to watch me and Fluttershy innocently kiss.

I slowly pulled away from the dream. “Let’s find a different one.”

“I think not,” Luna said, still looking into the dream next to us. “It would be good for you to learn how to deal with having a dream entity that’s already in place. This dream seems safe enough to learn that skill in.”

I shrugged. “Alright.” Before she could say anything else, I pulled myself through. Everything went dark as I felt an intense feeling of… something right and warm and various other adjectives as I gently kissed Fluttershy. God, I don’t want to become lucid…

“Too bad,” Flo whispered. “Wake up, Nav. You need to learn.” In response, I reached around the back of Fluttershy’s head and leaned further into the kiss, turning it from ‘innocent’ into a full on make-out session. Fluttershy made some kind of noise as the kissing intensified.

After a few seconds, I pulled away with a loud smack. “Love ya, toots,” I said before concentrating and making her disappear. Before Cadance could do anything, I teleported behind her. “Boo.”

Then the dream exploded in color around me, blinding me. After a second, I shot backwards out of the dream and got thrown into the dreamscape. Before I could catch myself, I landed in a nearby dream, going completely through the oily black smoke.

I finally caught myself on a white wall, slamming into it and slowly sliding down. I felt a crushing sorrow for a few seconds before Flo forced sentience into my mind. When I looked around, I found that I was in a hospital room. Big Mac was lying on a bed. There was no one else in the room.

He grunted when I stood up and he noticed me. “Go ‘way,” he muttered.

“I’m not going anywhere,” I answered, walking over to the bed. “What are you doing in bed? Doesn’t Applejack need your help?”

He glared at me. “Don’t you mock me! You know I can’t move!”

Oh, that makes sense. I snorted. “You can’t or you won’t? Lazy bum like you, I bet you did this on purpose so you could avoid work.”

“What. Did. You. Say?”

“I called you a lazy bum. Lying in bed and making your sisters do all the work. No wonder they’re not visiting. If you were in my family, I’d disown you, too.”

“Stop. Talking.”

“Make me. Get out of that bed and prove me wrong. I dare you.”

He roared and forced his body to work, escaping the confines of his nightmare through sheer rage. I held up a hand, holding him in place as I moved us to the orchard. Before I released him, I teleported several hundred yards away, into a tree. When he was finally free, his rage immediately dissipated. After a moment of confusion, he shrugged and went to the nearest tree. A cart and some buckets appeared out of nowhere as he started to work.

Flo whispered, “Effective, though crude.”

Yeah, well. You have any idea what happened?

“If I had to guess, you shocked Cadance so much that she woke up. I suggest that you don’t do something like that again.”

“Hey, at least I didn’t shoot Fluttershy in the face like I was planning. I was kind enough and just made her disappear.”

“Quiet! Luna is probably watching. Now get us out of here; it looks like our job is done.”

Still say you should just do this part for me… She didn’t answer, presumably not wanting to waste her time by disputing it. Eight minutes later, we were out of the dream.

“Well, that was somewhat unexpected,” Luna said from her position next to me. “It has been a long time since I accidentally made somepony wake up. Well, now you know what happens when you do.”

“Is there any way to control the flight?”

“React in time and catch yourself before you hit another dream. It was a complete surprise to you, so I understand why you didn’t react in time. Just be more careful next time. At least you did much better in this fellow’s dream. Do you know him?”

“Yeah. Big Mac. Acquaintance of mine.”

“The ‘Big’ definitely applies. It is good that you reacted when you did. If you hadn’t, you would have learned first hoof what happens when you die in a dream.”

“So what happens when you die in a dream?”

“The same thing that happens when the dreamer wakes up, though it involves a lot more personal pain. It can even be enough to drive you to a waking state.”

“So… what else is there to really teach me?”

“Honestly, very little. You seemed to pick up on the powers you have very quickly. You just need to continue practicing exiting dreams. I could teach you personal exercises that would aid you in falling asleep, but I don’t know if you could use those with your body as it is. Let me think…” Her eyes seemed to glaze for a second before she gasped. “Vagrants! You probably won’t run into one, but on the off chance you do, it’s extremely important that you know what they are and how to deal with them. Very, very rarely, you will run into somepony in a dream that’s also sentient and fully aware. And when that happens, they know who you are and that you are also a dreamwalker. They know, and they hate you for it. I don’t know what causes them or if they’re actual dreamwalkers or something else, but they blend into the dream almost perfectly. If you look into the dream from the outside, you can tell who they are by their faint red glow. But once you get into the dream, you can’t tell.”

“I don’t really see what the problem is. So they kill you and knock you out of the dream. Big deal.”

She shook her head. “If it was that simple, yes, it wouldn’t be a problem. I would warn you of them and leave it be. Vagrants are menaces, but sadly menaces that we can’t touch. If you see one, leave the dream alone. Just close the hole you used to look inside and turn the other way. Trying to fight them risks having your own mind and dreams invaded, and they get complete control. They don’t want to kill, Nav. They want to hurt. Avoid them if you can. If you run into one without realizing it, leave the dream as soon as possible. I’ve never had one follow me.”

I shrugged. “Alright. I’m not in a hurry to get in a fight with a malevolent monster. You find one and you want to try fighting it, let me know and I’ll help you out. Maybe between the two of us we can destroy one of them.”

“Maybe. I don’t think I will risk it. As far as I can tell, they are harmless until you attempt to enter the dream they’re hiding in.”

“I don’t suppose you’ve ever found one that wasn’t violent?”

“No, I haven’t. They all turned on me as soon as I entered, before I could even make contact with one of them.”

“Meh. I’ll leave them be, then. Lord knows that I don’t need any more enemies. So what’s next on the agenda?”

“For me, work. For you, continue exploring dreams for another hour or two, practicing exiting them. Or use your own dreams and practice in your mind. Just practice leaving dreams. That’s all you seem to lack, now.”

“Hey, can I get into Celestia’s dream?”

“You’ll have to either ask permission or fight your way inside. That would also be good practice for you. Just be wary of her dreams; occasionally when I enter or ask to enter, she plays games.”

“…What kind of games?”

Luna smirked. “Oh, you’ll find out. Nothing dangerous, I assure you. Now, I need to go. Have fun and be careful.”

“I’ll try. Don’t forget to get a student.”

She nodded. “I’ll start looking tomorrow, when everypony is awake. See you later, Nav.” I nodded and after a second of waiting for some kind of response, she sighed and disappeared.

“Alright, who should we fuck with first?”

“Check on Taya’s dream. If she’s having a nightmare, we help her first. If not, I say we visit some of your friends’ dreams, like Rainbow Dash or Pinkie.”

“Hell no. I’m not stepping anywhere near Pinkie’s dreams. I don’t care what they’re about or if she’s having a nightmare or what. Rainbow Dash, sure. Pinkie, no chance in hell.”

“…That’s probably a good idea.”

I looked around for a second to find Taya’s dream. It was white, so I didn’t bother with it. I shrugged and found Dash’s instead. It was red, a sensual dream. “Well, should we invade her privacy?” I was already stepping that way.

“You really shouldn’t,” Flo sighed.

I already had my head poked in at that point. That’s exactly what I was expecting. “Think they’d mind if I joined them?”

“Navarone, you are supposed to be practicing escaping from dreams. If you go down there, you won’t want to escape.”

I sighed, nodding. “Alright… Although to be fair, I didn’t really want to escape Cadance’s dream, either. Wanna go mess with Celestia, then?”

“Might as well. Just be sure to ask permission to enter, first.”

“I’m not stupid.” I found Celestia’s white dream in the masses and stepped toward it, appearing next to it instantly. “Huh. Does it seem… darker up close?”

“It does. Luna mentioned that her dream was protected. Maybe that’s what she meant by that.”

I shrugged and dipped my finger into the dream, feeling resistance. Instead of attempting to open a hole, I just started writing words into it. “Sup, honey buns? You want some company from your favorite hominid?”

Flo sighed. “This can’t end well…”

A minute or two of sitting around the dreamscape later, the sign in Celestia’s dream changed. “Cum on in.”

“…Think she misspelled that on purpose?” I mused aloud.

“Ugh…”

I grinned and tried opening a hole in the dream. I couldn’t get in that way, so I tried punching it. My hand went right through, leaving the rest of me outside. Before I could pull my hand out to try with the rest of my body, I felt something pulling me inside. My eyes widened in surprise as my entire body was forced into the dream.

“Well, well, well… It looks like the piece has found its way to the game.” I looked around in the dark room, trying to figure out where I was. My face paled as I found that I was standing on a massive chessboard with a full opposing army facing me. I had nothing on my side. “I’m quite disappointed you took so long to show us this game, Nav. I quite enjoy it. Tell me, how good are you?”

“Not very. And I think I’ll pass on playing, thank you.”

“Oh, but you’ve come so far, just to visit me! Shouldn’t you have a little fun before you leave?”

“Not playing doesn’t mean I have to leave. I wouldn’t mind… talking.”

“We can talk while we play.” I saw a huge white hoof descend from the shadows, moving a knight ahead. “Your move.”

“It’s hardly fair to have twenty against one.”

“Nothing is stopping you from introducing a few more players on your side.”

I used my dream abilities to pull out a high powered sniper rifle. After a second of aiming, I pulled the trigger. A bullet shot directly at the king, but it seems my move was anticipated because a pawn jumped up to intercept the bullet.

“I don’t think that is a legal move,” she idly commented as the pawn disappeared.

I casually pulled the bolt back on the rifle, loading another round. “I never was one for playing by the rules.”

“Well…” With a wave of her hoof, all the remaining pawns got bows. One of them pulled out an arrow, aimed for a moment, and shot it dead at me. It thudded into the shield I spawned.

I dropped the shield and the rifle, summoning up a new toy. “I hope you like Russian engineering.” I’ll admit: I never fired an RPG before. That said, I think my first time did a pretty good job eradicating the king. “I do believe that’s checkmate.”

“My oh my, your human toys are certainly powerful.” The RPG had a chance to hit the ground with a thud before it disappeared and she continued, “It certainly makes this game rather boring. But… in your world, I don’t think the fight would end when the king fell.”

My relatively relaxed state disappeared when all of the pawns drew back their bows. Acting quickly, I summoned the power armor and smirked as all of the arrows bounced off. With but a thought, a massive bolter machine gun appeared in my hands and began mowing down the rows of enemies. “Unoriginal, but efficient. Does that mean I win?”

“You may have defeated the tools, but you have yet to beat the master.” Celestia appeared on the board in front of me at the same time as my power armor and my weapon disappeared—not my doing, of course. “Come, show me what you learned!”

“I would really rather not fight,” I said, holding up a sword that appeared at my side. “You know that combat isn’t my forte.”

She began circling around me. I sighed and started circling as well. “You are a knight, Navarone. You should know how to fight.”

“Oh, I do know how to fight. But I don’t know how to fight against someone that’s been training for several thousand years in some martial arts.”

“Well, we can make it interesting. The loser does whatever the winner commands.”

“Not interested. How about we just don’t fight? If you really want your peace, I can just go.”

“Oh, I don’t mind spending time with you. I quite enjoy it, in fact. But enough talk… Have at you!” She used my nostalgic flashback against me, rushing me. Given that I wasn’t weighed down by armor, I easily dodged out of the way.

“This fight is very unrealistic, you know. I’d be using a ranged weapon in real life.”

“Then it’s no fun!”

“It’s hardly fun in the first place.”

“Then hurry up and lose so we can get on to what you’ll consider to be the fun part.” She charged again. Instead of dodging, I jumped into the air and spun. When she got under me, I dropped and landed on her back.

“You know, I had a feeling this night would end with me riding y—Oh God!” She reared back and I grabbed onto her neck. Too late did I realize that she wasn’t just rearing back to dislodge me. She was going all the way back to fucking crush me. I tried letting go and jumping off, but her front legs held my arms in place, preventing me from moving.

So it was that Celestia ended on top of my very pained form. “Who’s riding whom?” she chuckled.

“Please kill me,” I whispered, barely able to get anything else out.

“Oh, stop being such a baby. It’s just a dream!” She pulled herself off me and stood. With a grin, she grabbed one of my hands and pulled me up, taking a deep breath and mashing my face into hers. When our mouths met, she forced air into my body and popped all of my flat or dinged body parts back into place. “There, good as new! Now, what brings you by?”

“I just wanted to say hi. I… I think I’ll be going, now.”

“Oh come now, surely you have plenty of time to spare for your favorite princess!”

“Yes, and I’d be willing to give Cadance all the time she needs. But now that I’ve said hi, I’ll just go.” Flo, please get me out of here.

Celestia sighed. “You’re such a sore loser.” That was all she had time for before Flo got me the hell out of there.

“So yeah,” I said, nodding, “I’m not hitting her dreams up anymore. Fuck that noise.”

“You can’t deny that it was interesting.”

“Interesting isn’t the same as fun or enjoyable. I think I’m done dreamwalking for tonight. I’ll just practice entering and exiting my own dream. Maybe I can get out of one instantly tonight.”

“Very well. Though it would seem more prudent to hunt out nightmares to help Luna.”

“Meh. Now, let’s get started…”

“What do you mean, you can’t teach her?”

Cadance rolled her eyes. “Navarone, this may surprise you, but being a princess isn’t all smiles and giggles. I’ve been doing work off and on since I got here. Between helping around the house as I can, being a mother with no nanny or father around, and the occasional work I have to do, I have little time for anything else. I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I can’t teach your new changeling how to read.” She looked askance at Mimeo. “Especially not one that apparently has four personalities living in his—or her—head.”

“It seemed like a worthless skill to learn anyway,” Mimeo replied. “Words words words. It is better to do.” He sighed and added, “Though all the others disagree.”

“See Nav, that is creepy,” Cadance said. “All living in there, sure. Talking to each other while also dealing with everypony else?” She shivered. “No thanks. And I just know it would get distracting.”

“It doesn’t, if there is respect,” Mimeo said. “Respect and cooperation make this arrangement work.”

Cadance just shook her head. “Whatever. I think I’ll be fine being alone up here. Anyway, I’m sorry that I can’t help, Nav. Maybe you can try asking the local teacher?”

Mimeo narrowed his eyes at that. “Learning is one thing. Going to a school full of foals? The others may go. I refuse.”

“You wouldn’t be going. She’d be coming here, or maybe sending a tutor,” I answered. “And it would probably only be every other day, so whoever comes to teach you doesn’t ask why you keep changing gender. It’s one thing for everyone here to know. It’s another thing for this news to get around. I don’t think you’d be happy with a kid teaching you, so it’ll probably be Eva and Poly. That acceptable for you guys?”

After a second of deliberation, he nodded. “This is agreeable. What will we be doing when we aren’t learning?”

“Hm. I don’t suppose you’re one of the changelings that can use magic?”

In response, his horn lit up a dull green. “We have a small aptitude for it.”

Well, that’s unexpected. “I thought the hives held onto all their mages very dearly.”

“They do. It was not with ease that we escaped. I take it we are to learn magic as well?”

“No offense, but I don’t trust you that well yet. Let’s see… How good are you at spying?”

“Never done it.”

“Let’s walk. I’ll see you later, Cadance.”

She sighed. “Nav, what are you planning?”

With an innocent smile, I replied, “Why, nothing. What ever makes you think I would plot something?”

“I never said plot,” she flatly said.

“See you later!” She just shook her head as I dragged Mimeo out. “Alright, our first stop is the schoolhouse,” I said as we walked out of my fortress. “Gotta talk to Cheerilee. After that, we’ll visit a friend of mine that Eva met yesterday. She’s in the middle of wedding shit right now, so she can’t exactly teach you how to spy and whatnot, but she can give you some pointers to get you started. What she can’t teach you, Doppel can fill in. Between the two of them I’m sure we can get you set up right proper.”

“I believe I can manage. I question the competence of one of my other selves, however.”

“Take it up with her, then. You and Ganger can learn how to be spies from Bon-Bon and Doppel. Eva and Poly can learn math and how to read. After some time, you can all learn magic, though I don’t know anyone offhand that would know the changeling’s style of it.”

“We already know some. All changelings that show any manner of magical aptitude are put into a special program. Evo didn’t want to stick around very long after we got put into it, though.”

“Damn shame.”

“We left one step ahead of the execution squad that was coming to our hovel. Evo survived because his parents kept him hidden. That was no longer possible when our magic was discovered.”

“Still, would have been useful if you knew the changeling way of magic. It’s supposedly much less complex and difficult to do things with.”

“It is, according to the teacher we barely had time to get to know. However, he didn’t think we had much aptitude, which is why we weren’t as closely watched.”

“I always figured magic was something you built up like a muscle. Is it not?”

“I don’t know. We weren’t there long enough to learn.”

Unfortunately, I knew what that meant. Looks like we’re going to visit Twilight. If nothing else, she’d be able to tell us if she could teach them or if anyone else could. I was certainly hoping so, even if it wouldn’t be for a while. “So when you do start learning magic, what do you care to learn?”

“Anything I can find useful,” he answered. “Poly apparently wants navigation magic, if there even is such a thing. Ganger wants charms. Eva wants to learn to heal.”

“Figures. If Ganger does learn any charms, he’s to only use them when he’s in danger. I do not want to hear any cases of fucking date rape going on.”

Mimeo smirked. “He doesn’t like what you’re implicating.”

“Hey, I’m not taking chances. It would be inconvenient if you got arrested for rape.”

“Not that. He doesn’t like that you think he needs the charms to get laid.”

“I would suggest a competition, but I’m not going to do that to the poor mares of Ponyville.”

“I’m not going to repeat what he said.”

“Good. You’re not a messenger, after all; you don’t have to tell everyone everything they say. In fact, I advise against it, especially if we’re around people that don’t know. The people in my house are… different, and are used to things most ponies aren’t. Tell them you have four people living in your head, they’ll understand. Tell it to anyone else, and you might have problems.”

“I will remember that, Navarone.” After a minute of walking in silence, he sighed. “Poly demands I ask you about what else we should avoid when dealing with the ponies.”

“They’re very jumpy and wary of new things. Luckily for you, you aren’t the first changeling they’ve had to deal with in recent times. Just don’t ruin it for the other two by fucking up.”

“I have no desire to be removed from another home. The Everfree Forest was not fun for any of us and I fear that we would not last long without fragmenting further in that place. And prison would also not be fun.”

“Just remember that. And this here’s the schoolhouse. It’ll be lunchtime soon, so all the kids will be leaving to eat. We can talk to Cheerilee then.”

“And Cheerilee is the teacher?”

“Yup. She probably won’t be the one to teach you, though.”

“But it would be a smart idea to make an impression, so she won’t send someone that isn’t smart.”

“Yeah. Speaking of which, would you mind changing your gender or something so your voice sounds female? It would give her a more accurate impression of who to send.”

“Such issues matter little to me,” he said in a female voice. “Male, female, I don’t really care.”

“But you identify most with male?”

“I suppose. It seems more… proper. Still, I do not mind the opposite.”

I shrugged just as a bell in the school rang and a flood of foals began streaming from the building. Most of them didn’t go too far and a few stopped when they saw me. When the torrent of kids was out of the way, I led my faithful changeling companion to the inside of the schoolhouse.

“Last time I was in this place was much more interesting,” I idly commented as I stepped inside.

“How can I help you, Navarone?” Cheerilee pleasantly asked.

“Eva wants to learn to read and to do some simple math. No one at my house has the time or cares enough to teach her. Can you do it or send a tutor by to do it?”

She grinned widely. “I’d be happy to send somepony by. I would, but I have little enough time to myself to do it and it’s nice to let somepony else experience the joys of teaching. When do you want to start?” she asked Mimeo.

“Tomorrow,” he or she answered.

Cheerilee nodded. “I’ll send somepony by after school, then.” She looked up to me. “Do you have any particular preference for whom to send?”

I shrugged. “Don’t really care. I can pay them if I need to. Just give me a fair price since I don’t really know how tutors work. I guess they do need to be able to deal with a naga and a timberwolf. They’re both mostly harmless, but I don’t want whoever you send to freak out over them.”

“Oh, a bit a day will be plenty fair. I know you don’t really have to worry about that. And I can find somepony that isn’t too jumpy.”

“Good. Can the tutor come by every other day?”

“When learning to read and learning basic math, it’s best to work until the basics are learned, and then you can go into things like every other day.”

I shook my head. “That wasn’t really a question, I’m afraid. It needs to be every other day. I’m sorry, but that’s how it is.”

She sighed. “Very well. I’m sure you have your reasons. I’ll send the tutor by every other day.”

“Cool. I’ll see you later, Cheerilee.”

“Of course. Before you go, though, when were you last in here? I don’t remember you ever stopping by the actual schoolhouse.”

My mind shot back to the first time I had sex with the other Gilda. “It’s been a little while and I don’t think you were around. Not really important.”

She shrugged. “Alright. See you, Nav. And it was nice meeting you, Eva.” Mimeo only nodded, since he’s one of those assholes.

When we got back on the road into town and Mimeo changed back into a dude, he commented, “For some reason, I have a bad feeling about this tutor business.”

“What’s the worst that could—Oh God dammit!” I completely forgot about Twist and what she did. I almost turned back around to tell Cheerilee not to send Twist or anyone else that had a crush on me, but I stopped myself. “She probably won’t send anyone too bad. The one problematic one didn’t seem like the type that would be brave enough to deal with a naga.”

“So you say. We’ll see. I am only thankful that I don’t have to deal with whoever it is.”

When am I ever going to learn my lesson?

 

I opened the door the next day to find Diamond Tiara standing there. That was quite surprising and my first reaction was, “Does your dad need something?” I asked.

The smiling look on her face turned snooty for all of a second before she smoothed it back over, answering, “I’m the tutor!”

“…Alright. Come on in.” Cheerilee knows what she’s doing, I’m sure. I let her in, closing the door behind her. “This here’s Eva,” I said, nodding at the changeling sitting in the living room. “Eva, this is Diamond Tiara, the one that’ll be teaching you to read and do math. Also, that freaky wolf thing is Freki.” The puppy looked up at that, wagging his tail. “Don’t you worry about him.” Diamond Tiara didn’t seem that fazed by him. “Eva, you know where the study is. That’ll probably be the most peaceful place to learn. Diamond Tiara, you need anything, just ask her. Eva, she needs anything you can’t help with, find Doppel.”

Poly hopped off the couch. “You got it, Nav. Come on.”

“You aren’t coming with us?” Diamond Tiara asked.

“I already know how to read. No reason for me to learn again. I got things to do, sadly.” I mean, if I was going to sit there watching her learn, I wouldn’t even bother with the damn tutor.

“Oh…” I turned to go again, but she stopped me with, “Did you like your gift?”

“…That was from you?” I hesitantly asked.

She nodded, smiling. “I bought the candy from Bon-Bon for you.”

Oh boy. “It was good, thank you.” With the way she was beaming, I think I might have made a mistake. “Anyway, I need to go. Have fun.” I quickly made myself scarce, not wanting to be around for whatever kind of reply Diamond Tiara might have had. When I was upstairs and safely in my room, I began strapping on my armor. “What do you think, Flo? Should I tell her dad or not?”

“Morally, yes. However… you ate every last piece of that candy, knowing what it was tainted with. How would you explain that to him? I suggest against telling him. We know Diamond Tiara is smart, even if she’s cruel. Surely she’ll pick up on some hints that you aren’t at all interested in a filly.”

“I hope so. It would be very inconvenient if she tried pushing the issue, especially now that she’s in my house and has a chance to find blackmail material.”

“Navarone, you are a very careful and meticulous person. There is nothing here that can be used to blackmail you… yet. Make sure she teaches Eva and Poly quickly so she will have less time here.”

“Yeah. But for now, I need to go get wrecked by the naga. So much to do, so little time to do it in…”

The next day, a somewhat welcome surprise occurred. “I’ve learned enough, I think,” Gilda said as she packed her only bag. “And to be honest, it’s beginning to feel way too crowded here.”

“Understandable. Thank you for tolerating them for so long; I might have had problems dealing with two of my worst enemies living under the same roof.”

“And you’re not a princess. It was annoying, but I’m used to annoyances. And I do believe it was worth it, if I am able to recreate even one of the devices I learned from your laptop. You know that I would pay dearly to possess it, right?”

“I know. If I had a spare, I’d let you take it. After clearing it of all details about weapons, of course.”

She rolled her eyes. “I don’t see what the big deal is. Changelings and ponies have magic. I believe any weapons you could give us would only even the field, not tip it.”

“So you’d think. It takes a unicorn to use magic. Anyone can use a gun.”

“Whatever. It’s not like we have a war planned on the horizon anyway. Again, I don’t see what you’re so worried about.”

“Hey, I put several minutes into worrying about a war between the griffins and the changelings. I even drafted up a nice little treaty thing so it wouldn’t happen.”

“And peace is going reasonably well, all things told,” she sighed. “I never would have believed it.”

“It helps that you never really gave it a chance. I mean, how long have you two been in open conflict?”

She shrugged. “Longer than I’ve been alive. We used to put them down as we found them. Things go a little differently now.”

“I’m sure. Well, you’re always welcome back here if you need anything else. I’m sure your father will be happy to send you by.”

“And he’ll probably be disappointed I’m leaving without a ring on one of my talons. At least you weren’t as interested as the last several suitors he’s tried to get me to marry.”

“Eh. Marriage ain’t my style. You ready to go?”

“I think so.” She took one last look around her room before nodding. “I got everything I want. I suppose this is it, then.”

“Until I come to collect my infiltration team, at least. I suppose I’ll see you then, if not sooner.”

“Yup. Maybe by the time we meet again, I’ll have a few working engines.”

“Good luck with that.” Truth be told, it was nice to see her leave. For one, she was kind of a bitch. For another, I used up a lot of time running through the plans with her, time I could be putting to a better use.

Shame I never got to tap dat ass, though…

The day of the unofficial and actual wedding was pretty wet and rainy, actually. Lyra and Bon-Bon didn’t invite anyone and we just did it in their house. Given the location and the lack of guests, no one really dressed up. “Do you, Bon-Bon, take Lyra as your wife, with all the responsibilities that entails?”

“I do,” she answered with no hesitation.

“And do you, Lyra, take Bon-Bon as your wife, with all the responsibilities that entails?”

“I do,” Lyra answered, a small quiver in her voice.

“Does anypony in the crowd have any reason that these two should not be wed?” There were no answers, which probably had something to do with there being no crowd. “Then under the stars and the moon, I, as a knight of Princess Luna, declare you two lawfully wed.” I really love Luna’s wedding ceremony. “You may now kiss.” It was supposed to be ‘you may now kiss the bride,’ but I figured that would be a bit ambiguous given the situation.

And of course, they didn’t seem to mind. The kiss started relatively pure, but as the realization that they were married against the odds kicked in, passion began leaking into it. When one of Lyra’s hooves went behind Bonnie’s head, I decided to excuse myself with a murmured farewell. I didn’t really want to interrupt, after all.

 

Upon insistence from Celestia and probably fucking Cadance, Luna sent me a much less abridged version of the script for the big wedding that Celestia did, in fact, set up for the couple. I knew that I could still finish the wedding up in about ten minutes, though.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t really anywhere fancy or formal enough for Celestia’s tastes in Ponyville proper. Sure, normally she wouldn’t care, but this was a big event. Apparently the news got out about it and a ton of people wanted in on it. Reporters, dignitaries, and a few other important people that I didn’t really care about. So in the end, the wedding was moved to Canterlot, in the actual fucking palace. Not the same place that Shiny and Cadance got, though.

Personally, I didn’t fucking care where it was. As long as I could marry them, grab a bunch of free food, and then leave without getting bugged too much, I’d be happy to do the ceremony anywhere.

So there I was in a little back room, waiting with Bon-Bon for the damn wedding to start. It was decided somewhere that she would be the ‘man’ of the wedding, taking the place of the groom. “So why are you in your disguise?” I asked, trying to pass the time.

“After so many years, I just… feel better as a pony. And Rarity made this outfit to match me, not a changeling.” It did a very good job at that, too: The main body of the dress was a deep blue, with pink hemming on the bottom and a pink saddle-like piece on her back. She also had a purple set of shoes with a single blue stone attached to the middle of each.

“There are gonna be people out there that’ll feel disappointed to not see you as a changeling.”

“And this is my wedding. Or rather, me and Lyra’s wedding. They are merely uninvited guests.”

“I’m very happy you feel that way. Just remember that Chrysalis is still your queen.”

“No she’s not. After so long expatriated from the changeling hives, I don’t really feel any desire to go back. Princess Celestia very happily accepted my appeal for official citizenship in Equestria.”

“Well now, that’s certainly interesting. How did Chrysalis take that?”

“I don’t think she knows just yet. Honestly, I doubt she’ll care. I’m just one changeling.”

“You are, yes. But I’ve heard tales of other changelings defecting as well. I know for sure that there’s one in the night guard. Doppel decided that being around me is better than being around her, too. That’s three in my experience alone. How many others might there be?”

“I don’t know and I don’t care. It’s not my problem anymore.”

“That’s a nice atti—You hear that?” The music started, making her jump. “That’s our cue.” I pushed the door to the main room open and walked through, letting Bon-Bon enter behind me. We walked to the center of the stage together, where we stopped to wait for Lyra. I bet you’d never believe it, Flo, but I used to get stage fright.

“I know,” she answered. “I imagine you probably grew out of that the first time someone tried hitting you with a sword.”

Your priorities do change a lot, yeah. Hey, weddings are boring and you know the lines anyway. You want to take control?

“I can do that. Just relax and let me out.” I did as she said. Soon enough, I found myself back in her glade, reclining in an armchair and watching the scene through a big screen.

That gave me ample time to watch Lyra slowly walk down the aisle, a few flower fillies throwing down petals ahead of her. Of course, she didn’t have a veil, but her dress was still mostly a pure white with a minty green hemming and a saddle-type thing held on by thin golden straps. Her long hair was held up by a pin in the shape of her lyre cutie mark.

I could see Chrysalis, Cadance, Celestia, and Luna in the crowd, sitting next to each other near the back. Cadance was as far as she could get from Chrysalis, of course. Twilight was also back there, wedged in between Cadance and Celestia. The rest of the rows were taken up by Lyra’s family and news reporters, all of whom seemed rather bored that there were no changelings but Chrysalis openly present.

When Lyra finally got to her position, Flo began reciting the script. Now, as I’m sure we all know, weddings are boring as fuck unless you’re the one getting married. I won’t bother writing down all of what was said. I’ll say that instead of rings, Lyra got a necklace with Bonnie’s cutie mark and Bonnie got a set of earrings with Lyra’s ass tattoo.

“If anypony has a reason these two should not be wed, speak now or forever hold your peace.” I was waiting for that line, because I knew that Equestria is a cartoony kinda place and that something big would happen when that line was spouted out.

Sure enough, I wasn’t disappointed. Not two seconds after Flo said that, someone kicked the doors in. A large white unicorn stallion walked in dramatically, yelling, “NOT SO FAST!” This exclamation was followed by a number of surprised gasps.

Oh boy. “Give me control back,” I sighed. In an instant, I was back in my body. “By what right do you interrupt this lawful matrimony?” I demanded.

“No innocent mare should marry a monster!”

“Oh? And who is the monster here?”

Now that one stumped him. “Uh…” He looked back and forth between Bon-Bon’s shocked face and Lyra’s very angry face before pointing at Lyra. “Her!”

“Wrong,” I answered, crossing my arms. “That would be you. Celestia, would you kindly remove him and teach him some manners?”

His white face paled as he cast a hurried gaze over the crowd. When he saw all three of the princesses glaring at him, his mouth dropped. “Not again!” he finally groaned. He sprinted away without another word, leaving the door wide open.

Who the fuck was that?

“The monster hunter Pelt,” Flo answered. “You’ve met him before.”

Whatever. “Given the lack of serious opposition, I, as a knight of Princess Luna, declare you two lawfully wed. You may now kiss the bride.” Despite the sudden interruption, they both leaned in for it. Bon-Bon was actually crying as they nuzzled before kissing. Bonnie reverted into her changeling body mid-kiss, showing everyone that changelings actually can cry.

After a moment of hesitation, the reporters started taking pictures. I really wanted to roll my eyes, but I managed to hold back. So I just waited up at the front as the couple slowly walked out, one of their front legs wrapped around the other’s.

When they were finally out, I crossed my hands behind my back and announced, “For everyone that is invited—you know who you are—the reception will begin in fifteen minutes. For everyone else, trying to sneak into the reception will end poorly for you. So all you reporters can do yourself a favor and just go on home now.” There were a few groans in the audience that I ignored as I began to walk away. Some of those groans turned into grunts as some of the reporters jumped up to follow me.

That time, I didn’t bother stopping myself from rolling my eyes. “What’s your opinion on interracial relationships?” one reporter asked, ready to write a response down.

“You see any other humans around here? Take a guess on my opinion.”

Another asked, “What about changeling and pony relationships? What’s your opinion on the marriage?”

“If they love each other, they love each other. It’s nobody’s business to tell them they can’t get married.”

“What about the stallion that interrupted?”

“Bigoted idiots will be bigoted idiots. I had to deal with that asshole myself a few years ago. Given that this wedding has the blessing of all three princesses, I’m sure not many ponies will bother them.”

“Is it true that you had an affair with Queen Chrysalis?”

I snorted and replied, “Is it true that you had an affair with a blind filly named Snowdrop?”

“W-what? I’ve never—”

“I mean, it’s hardly my business, after all, but if you’re going to pry into my life, it’s only fair that I can do the same to you.”

That reporter just sputtered and blushed, looking away. Someone else asked, “What about your… other dealings with the changelings? You were instrumental in acclimating Chrysalis to Equestria, you were seen as her date in one of the Galas, and there are rumors that you’ve visited at least two changeling hives. How do we know you aren’t brainwashed?”

“Because Celestia trusts me. Do you think she would be so quick to trust someone that had their mind fucked with by a changeling?”

“Didn’t she trust Captain Shining Armor?”

“That was before she found the old influence detecting spells,” I answered with a shrug. “Her student used the same spell to confirm that Bon-Bon wasn’t influencing her new wife.”

“How much did you charge for the wedding?”

“It was a favor for some friends. No charge. And for the love of God, don’t fucking advertise in whatever paper you work for that I do weddings.”

“Who’s God?” one reporter asked.

“I’ll tell you later.” He blinked and shrugged.

“What truth is there to the rumors that you and Captain Shining Armor are having an affair?”

I burst out laughing and was eventually able to say, “Holy shit, you guys actually bought that rumor? God damn, I need to start making up even more hilarious ones. Celestia is secretly a narwhal, but her disguise only drops when the clock strikes three in the morning.”

“Well, it’ll look good in the tabloids,” one of them muttered, scribbling it down.

“Anyway, enough questions,” I said, waving a hand. “Bugger off. Anything else you ask me past this point will be answered in a way that will either be useless or make you feel bad about yourself.”

“What about Princess Cadance? Do you know where she is?”

“If I were to ask you to have sex with me, would your answer to that be the same as to that of this question?”

“I… N—er, y—um… Maybe?”

Someone else asked, “What do you have to say in response to everypony that claims you’re a marizer—” Womanizer, I think. “—that cares about nothing but getting laid?”

I stopped in my tracks, turned to the reporter that said that, knelt down to his level, and answered in a calm and quiet voice, “What would you do if I and ten random ponies came into your workplace and started asking you question after question? How long would it take for you to get annoyed? How long would it take for you to snap? What is your breaking point? And when you reach that point, how far would you be willing to go to make sure none of those people ever asked you a question again?”

The reporter’s eyes slowly grew wider as I spoke and his ears dropped down. He started stuttering out some response as I stood and continued walking to the reception area.

None of the reporters followed me.

I decided to dreamwalk again that night, just to see if anything interesting was going down in the dreams of my friends. Not that I was really snooping all that much, but you never know what interesting tidbits you might find in dreams.

Imagine my surprise when I looked for Taya’s dream first and found it red. I lifted an eyebrow and said, “What do you think, Flo?”

She sighed. “As a father, it’s your business to know if she’s dating someone. However, looking into her dreams like this… I don’t suggest it, Nav. Nothing good can come of it.”

“She said she wanted me more involved in her life, didn’t she? She’s tired of me caring only about myself or something like that. Well, seeing who she has an eye for and helping her get a date can’t be too bad, can it?”

“You’re leaving soon and she’ll be going with you. Do you really want her to leave someone behind that she’ll be pining for?”

“I still miss some of my old flames. You know that, Flo. And you know that I also feel bad about the chances I never took. It’s better to take a chance, I’ve found, than to live wondering what could have been. She doesn’t know that, though, and maybe I can help her realize it.”

“You don’t have to violate her privacy to do it, then.”

“Yeah, but first I want to know if I approve. What if she’s dreaming about some old guy or the naga or something?”

“That’s creepy. I won’t stop you, Nav, but I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

I shrugged. “It’s just a little peek. What’s the worst that could happen?” I floated over to the dream and slowly pulled open a window. My mouth immediately dropped.

After a few seconds, Flo answered, “That. That’s pretty much the worst that could happen.”

Inside the dream, gently kissing my loving daughter, was a dream representation of me. When I finally got control of myself, I slammed the window shut before it could get any worse. “How…” I whispered, falling to my knees. “How did I fail so badly?”

“This isn’t necessarily a failure,” Flo quietly said. “Think, Nav. She probably doesn’t know what incest is. She likely doesn’t know the stigmas behind it. Once you explain, I’m sure she’ll realize this desire is wrong. And that’s if it’s a desire at all, of course; you know how dreams are.”

“God… What would even bring this filthy dream up, anyway? All the days before this, her dreams have been normal!”

“Nav, she did just get her cutie mark recently. Maybe she’s in heat. Just… talk to her about it tomorrow.”

I spared another glance to her dream bubble. “I could do it right now. Turn that dream into such a nightmare she wouldn’t even think about something like this again.”

“That’s a terrible idea. Yes, it could solve the issue of her possible crush on you, but it might also make her afraid of you instead.”

“Can I at least make her wake up? It pains me to know that something like this even exists!”

Flo sighed and shook her head. “Just leave her be, Nav. You can deal with it in the morning.”

As I stood back up and walked away, I couldn’t help but repeat a question to myself. How could this have happened?

 

The next morning was… I don’t even know. I woke up at my normal time feeling terrible. I spared a moment to put some clothes and my ring on since I typically sleep in the buff. Once I was dressed, I sighed and started plodding to Taya’s room, already fearing the discussion I knew was to come.

When I pushed the door open, she looked over at me with a very blushed face, a towel of some kind in the middle of the bed and her tail between her legs.

“We need to talk,” I said in a tired voice.

“I… I didn’t mean to! I don’t know how it happened…”

“Didn’t mean to what?” Now I was confused. She couldn’t have known that I was in her dream.

“W-wet the bed… I’ve never done it before, I swear!”

“…Sit down, Taya. It’s time we had a talk.” She swallowed and looked away before sitting on the floor, not wanting to touch the bed. “Alright, what do you know about a mare’s reproductive system?”

“…What?”

“Didn’t think so. Taya, when a mare gets her cutie mark, she starts going into heat. This is when her body craves the attentions of a stallion. You didn’t ‘wet the bed.’ You had a sensual dream and during it, you had an orgasm. Mares and stallions both release some fluids when that happens.”

“So that’s why I feel really warm… back there?”

“Yes. You probably also feel like you need something but you likely don’t know what.”

She slowly nodded. “And you can help, right? You’re a stall—er, man. You can help me, right daddy?”

I shook my head. “No. The only real way to help is giving you what you need, which is something I can’t do.”

“Why not?!” she demanded, jumping to her hooves. “Don’t you help all the other mares with their problems?”

I held up placating hands. “Taya, there’s a concept called incest wherein two people in the same family have sex. It’s illegal, immoral, and fucked up. I’m not going to do that.”

She shook her head, glaring at me. “What’s so wrong with it? If it’s something I need and it’s something you can do to help me, how can it be wrong?”

“Because that would be like using my position of power over you to take advantage of you. I wouldn’t do that to you, Taya.”

“But I’m the one asking you to do it! You don’t even want to. It’s not taking advantage of me if you don’t even want to do it.” I opened my mouth to say something, but she just kept on going. “And since when have you ever cared about something being immoral or ‘fucked up’? You do whatever you want, whenever you want. What’s stopping you from helping me now?”

“My personal morals. I have a few of them left, and not having sex with family is one of those morals that I have. I will not change my mind, Taya.”

Like someone flipped a switch in her mind, her entire posture shifted and she looked up at me with teary eyes. “Please, daddy! I need this... What do I need to do to make you help me?”

I shook my head. “I’m sorry, Taya. There’s nothing you can do. I’ll ask around, see what mares do when they’re in heat to distract themselves.”

Taya’s ears twitched. “B-but... It hurts! I’ll do anything, daddy! Just make that horrible feeling go away!”

I sighed, running a hand through my hair. “I can’t. And I won’t. It’ll just be a few days, Taya.” And then you’ll deal with it every month or so for the rest of your life. “I’m sure you can keep your mind occupied.”

She slumped to the floor, her eyes closing and ears falling against her head. “Why, daddy? Do you not love me enough? It can’t be hard, can it? Just... helping me?”

“It’s that I love you at all, Taya. I don’t want to do that to you. It would be like... stealing, in a way.”

“Then steal away,” she whispered. “I wouldn’t tell.”

“But we’d both know. And we both know that stealing is wrong. I will help you get through this, but I won’t do it in the way that you want. Remember, Taya: I do and always will love you. But don’t think that means I can solve all of your problems. I can help, but some things you just have to do for yourself.” She didn’t seem overly cheered up by that, which is definitely understandable. It’s good advice that I wish my parents had given me, though. “Now you need to get ready for the day. And if you’re planning on going outside, you need to wear a dress.” She flinched. “I know, I know. Trust me, there’s a reason.”

I waited a second for a response. When none came, I started walking to the door. With a hand on the handle, she whispered, “Daddy?” I looked back to find that she was looking up at me. “I love you...”

“I love you too, honey.” With those words hanging in the air, I let myself out. Closing the door behind me, I took a moment to consider what to do.

“That could have gone much worse,” Flo said. “You’re getting better at this.”

I don’t know if that’s a compliment. I started walking to Cadance’s room, knowing she would probably be able to help Taya more than anyone else in the house. I don’t know if changelings have heat, and if they do, Doppel probably spent her time pulling a train while Eva didn’t know how to deal with it. Either way, Taya probably wouldn’t want their advice. She might trust Cadance enough, though.

So it was that I gently knocked on her door. I didn’t want to risk waking up her brat, after all. She eased it open a few seconds later, looking at me with tired eyes. “What do you need, Nav?” she wearily asked.

“Taya’s going through her first heat. How do I help keep her under control?”

She blinked a few times, too tired for it to instantly click. When understanding came to her mind, her eyes slammed open. “I need to go talk to her!”

“Whoa, there.” I stopped her from running out of the door with a finger to her nose. “We need to talk about some things, first. Taya seems to be relatively uneducated about how some things work. Like incest. She was sitting there, pleading with me to fuck her. I tried explaining why it was wrong, but I don’t think she understood. So if you can help her understand why I can’t make her needs go away, that would be nice.”

“That’s… really awkward, Nav. Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. It’s disturbing and frankly scary to know that Taya wants me to do that to her, but I understand that she doesn’t know what she’s doing. And she’s in heat, making her mind go a little crazy.”

“If you’re sure… Is there anything else you want me to say?”

“I was planning on giving her the whole sex talk later, when her mind isn’t so clouded. On the off chance she doesn’t know how it works, I’d rather not tell her while she’s possibly willing to try it.”

“Should she really have that talk with her father? Or any stallion? I think somepony who knows what she feels might be better.”

“I have gender changing stones, Cadance. I know what she feels.”

“You aren’t a mare, though.”

“I have been one. You forget that I was dating Luna, who apparently has rape fantasies.”

“…Well you weren’t one for long. I just don’t think it would be smart for you to have that talk with her.”

“You’d sugarcoat everything and flinch around topics. Remember, I don’t have any shame. I’d tell her things as they are.”

“Fine. But I want to be there when you’re talking to her, just in case.”

I shrugged. “Whatever. Just go talk to her now so she doesn’t freak out and try dry humping something.”

“Alright. Just as long as you can watch Skyla for a few minutes, that is.”

“…Okay.” It’s just a few minutes and Skyla was asleep anyway. “Just hurry back. You know your spawn hates me.”

“Maybe if you were nicer, she wouldn’t.” Cadance brushed past me and walked down the hall to Taya’s room as I stepped inside, looking at the crib. No movement. Excellent. I slowly crept down to Cadance’s bed, making no sounds at all. Give her no reason to wake up and she won’t move.

“Nav, you’re really overreacting. Yes, she despises you and everything you stand for, but she’s just a baby. You can probably win her affections with a piece of candy or something.”

Hey little girl, I got some nice candy for you right here! Just come on in my van and I’ll let you have alllll you want…

“That’s disgusting.”

What’s wrong with free candy?

“Ugh. You’re horrible, Nav.”

You know you love me. She didn’t deign to give that an answer. I just sat there, staring at the crib in silence until Cadance got back. Seems karma finally paid me back by nothing happening with the little brat. Cadance motioned for me to follow her into the hall, so we wouldn’t wake Skyla by talking. I didn’t have any problems with that, so I joined her out there.

“I spoke with her. I think she’ll be more agreeable to deal with now. The first heat is always the worst, and it always gets worse until it ends, so you’ll definitely want to keep her distracted. I gave her a few methods of doing that, but I don’t know if she’ll follow them.”

I nodded. “And I’ll go ask Applejack and Rarity how they dealt with their sisters their first time. I’m sure between their suggestions and yours, I can figure out something that’ll work for Taya.”

“Good. And it’s also good to see you taking an interest in this. From what I’ve heard, most fathers tend to avoid the subject of heat with their daughters entirely.”

“Well, who else is supposed to do anything with her about it? I’m all she has and I’m not about to make her go through this alone.”

“I am very happy to hear that, Nav. Now I’ll just let you go; I need to get ready for the day. Taya’s going with you to talk to Rarity and Applejack, I think.”

“Alright. It’s probably for the best that she isn’t alone for too long anyway. I told her to put on a dress. Is that a good idea?”

“Yeah. For the first time, it’s good to cover that area. She’d probably be pretty embarrassed by everypony being able to tell and the smell would be pretty strong for any stallions nearby, though everypony near here should be used to it by now; this is a mare town, after all.” I don’t remember if I mentioned this, but the population in this world is relatively stratified so heat cycles don’t mess everyone up so much. Mares and stallions tend to live in different towns. Thus, in a place like Ponyville, you end up with a larger number of lesbians. In a place like Stalliongrad, you’ll find more gays. The population still manages to balance out pretty evenly, though I haven’t figured out how, yet.

“I’m going to do my best to teach her not to be embarrassed by it. It’s biology, not something to hide. Anyway, I’ll talk to you later. I need to get ready to go out.”

“And I need to deal with Skyla. See you later, Nav, and good luck.”

I went on back to my room and considered what all I’d take with me. With the chilly autumn winds in the air, I threw my leather jacket over my back, twitching my wings around under it until they were comfortable. I grabbed my sword and slid it onto my back, just in case. And finally, I put on some shoes; I didn’t want to walk out to the farm barefoot, after all.

When I was good and ready, I went downstairs to wait for Taya. Mimeo beat her down the stairs. He took a look at me and then my jacket before shrugging and saying, “I’m hungry, Navarone.”

“And?”

“I want to eat.” I crossed my arms and waited. After about half a minute, he continued, “Would you please feed me?” He didn’t sound overly enthusiastic and I knew he only asked because the others demanded it of him, but I wasn’t going to hold that against him.

I just reached down there and grabbed him right under his front legs, lifting him up next to my head. “Go on, then.” His horn lit up that ugly green color and he began feeding. A minute later, he stopped and just continued staring at me. “Is it strange that I kinda find you guys adorable?” I asked holding him up like that.

“Yes,” he answered in a flat voice. “I don’t think our looks were meant to be any kind of cute.”

“Huh. You just look huggable, to me.” He didn’t reply to that, so I just set him back down. When he was safely on the floor, he immediately walked away without a word.

Flo sighed. “Nav, do you really think it’s smart to scare him like that?”

Maybe not, but it’s funny.

“You should know by now that funny things aren’t usually good ideas.”

She had a point, but I’m not just going to stop having fun like that. Anyway, the arrival of Taya in a cute little dress saved me from further explanation. “You want to eat before we leave?” I asked her.

“No. I just want to go and get back.”

“Then let’s go. Applejack should already be awake, so we’ll visit her first.”

“Okay.” I rolled my eyes and led the way out. She followed much closer to me than usual and actually walked by my side when we got outside. We walked in silence for half a minute before she asked, “So where did you get the jacket?” Her voice sounded a little higher and more frantic than usual.

“Back home. This is one of the things I was able to bring back with me. Do you remember how you said you wanted to talk to Flo one day?”

“Yes. Why?”

“Want to talk to her now? She can hijack my body for a few minutes while we’re walking out here.”

“Uh… Okay. That seems weird, though.”

Feel free to take over, Flo. I relaxed and let her out. When I was back in her glade, I just summoned a large heart-shaped bed with red velvety blankets, dropped some rose petals on and around it, and curled up on it. I figured whatever they were talking about wasn’t something I was supposed to be hearing.

After about fifteen minutes, Flo got my attention with, “Nav, what are you even doing?”

“Just chillin’. I’ve always wanted to see what one of these beds was like. Shame I don’t have any company. You two done?”

“No, but we’re here. I figured it prudent to give you back control.”

“You figured right.” I hopped off the bed and rolled my shoulders. “So?” The next time I blinked, I was back in the real world. “And I’m back,” I said. Taya didn’t reply.

We were already at the farmhouse. I saw Applejack pulling a cart loaded with tools out of the barn. She waved when she saw us walking toward her. “What brings y’all around here?” she asked, pushing her hat back with a hoof.

“Need some advice. How did you deal with Applebloom when her first heat hit?”

She winced, looking down at Taya for a second before back up to me. “Uh… Come on, Nav. Taya, you… wait here. Won’t be but a second, I promise.” Taya sighed as Applejack shrugged out of her harness and led me into the barn. “What’re you doing, asking me a question like that in front of her?” she harshly whispered.

“It’s nothing to be ashamed of,” I said, crossing my arms. “It’s natural, a part of every mare’s body. There’s no shame to be had in natural functions.”

“But it’s real embarrassing to talk about it like that in the open!”

“Only if you were raised to be embarrassed by it. Taya didn’t even know what heat was. She doesn’t know she should be embarrassed by it and I see no reason to drill that mindset into her.”

She just shook her head. “Alright, Nav. I don’t suggest it, but you’re her father. But dealing with Applebloom was pretty dang easy. I gave her a toy and locked her in her room for a few hours.”

“Just to be sure, when you say toy—”

“Yep. I… I don’t think she really knew what to do with it, though. She was a mite confused when I let her out, but she still calmed down.”

“…Where would I even get something like that?” She looked away and mumbled something. “Oh, come on, AJ. Don’t tell me that you of all people are shy about this.”

She sighed. “Fine. You didn’t hear this from me, though. It’s a place called The Crop. I’m surprised you ain’t heard about it yourself. It’s all the way in Canterlot, though.”

“So… cucumber?”

“Cucumber. Just make sure she knows what she’s doing, as awkward as that would be. And Nav? This is really, really weird. Even for you.”

“Then if anyone asks, we never had this conversation. That make you happy?”

“I kinda wanna forget it even happened… It just seems strange for a dad to be doin’ something like this.”

“I’d rather teach her myself than risk her running into a colt that doesn’t know what he’s doing and hurts her or gets her pregnant. This way, I’m certain she’ll be safe.”

“Well… yeah. But don’t it seem the least bit wrong to you?”

“Yeah, but I love her enough that I’m willing to go through a little awkwardness if it means helping her. Now I need to get on down to the market. Have a good day and let me know if you need anything.”

“We probably won’t need your help until harvest, but I’ll let you know if that changes. Talk to you later.” I stepped on out of the barn and nodded at Taya to follow me. She fell into step next to me as we headed into town.

“So what did she say?”

“We’ll talk about it when we get home. We just need to hit up the market and then we can go back.”

“What about talking to everyone else?”

“Applejack’s advice will work just fine, I think. And if not, we can go back into town and find someone else.”

“…Alright, if you’re sure. I just want this feeling to go away.”

“From everything I’ve heard, this’ll help.”

“Okay… Can I talk to Flo some more?”

“Sure.” You know what to do. I rode into town in my mind, relaxing on a nice, warm bed.

…And when I woke back up, we were walking through my gate. What the hell? What happened?

“All you needed was a cucumber and some other groceries. We got them and went home,” Flo answered.

Never do that again. I don’t want to lose that much time without knowing what’s going on. I thought I was going to be the one buying things!

“Very well, Nav. I apologize. I’ll remember that, next time.” I just snorted and pulled the door open.

“Alright, Taya. Wait in your room. I’ll be up there in a minute or two.”

“Okay, daddy…”

The good thing about all that time to myself was being able to come up with a better plan than trying to explain how everything worked myself. When Taya was up the stairs, I called out, “Doppel, where are you?” She came in from the study with Mimeo in tow.

“What do you need, master?”

“I need you to teach Taya something. How good are you at masturbating?”

“The best. Why?”

“Right. Mimeo, you do whatever. Doppel, come on.” She just sighed and followed me up the stairs while Mimeo went back into the study. “Long story short, Taya’s in heat and she doesn’t know how anything down there works. I would show her, but I think that would be pretty damn awkward. Can you teach her how to relieve herself?”

“Sure. And don’t worry, Nav; I won’t do anything you’d disapprove of, aside from borrowing a little bit of that residual lust in the air. You do have something for me to work with, right?”

“On such short notice, I don’t have much. Just a few cucumbers of various sizes.”

She nodded. “I can make that work, but you’ll have to get her something better later.”

“I will. I just don’t want to go too far out of town while she’s like this.”

“She’ll be fine, Nav. Taya’s too smart to do something stupid.”

“Still, I’d rather not take any chances.” She just shrugged. Since Taya’s door was already open, we just let ourselves inside. She was standing next to the bed, looking very nervous. “Taya, Doppel here is going to teach you how to help yourself with this. I would, but I really think you would be better off if she taught you. Okay?”

“…Okay, daddy.” She looked over at Doppel. “So what do I do?” I set the grocery bag down and walked to the door. “Where are you going?” Taya asked.

“This isn’t something I should watch, Taya,” I answered. “Just listen to Doppel and do as she says. Trust me.”

“Alright…” She looked somewhat dubious, but willing to try it. I nodded and walked on out, closing the door behind me.

“It’s good to see you trusting Doppel more,” Flo said. “But are you sure this much is wise?”

I don’t want Taya to get hurt and I don’t think it would be a good idea to teach her myself. I reckon this is the best option I have.

“Very well. I’m sure this will probably calm her down, at the very least.”

I hope so…

 

It did.

 
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