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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74. Chapter Sixty—Date night

When I finally escaped the cat house, I quickly flew to my apartment. I wanted to wipe that memory from my mind as quickly as possible. What I found when I got back was surprising enough to remove the event from my mind.

As soon as I stepped in the door, I got tackled from the side. Whoever did it was an inexperienced tackler, and before we hit the ground I had it on the bottom, one hand around its throat and a dagger in the other, ready to send it back to hell where it belonged.

Then I noticed the form under me had pink hair.

And then I noticed it was another human.

“S-surprise,” Pinkie mumbled, her voice coarse from being choked. She was still smiling, at least. I immediately pulled my hand away from her throat, but I didn’t get off her.

“Give me your arm,” I said, holding the dagger up. She presented it and I very gently pricked it. She bled red. “What in God’s name?”

“Who’s God?” she asked, her voice getting a bit better.

I sighed and stood, hauling her to her feet. She stumbled a bit until I caught her. I saw that she was wearing a spare outfit of mine, but it didn’t fit her very well; she was a bit chubby. I didn’t notice at the time, but her chest felt very nice against mine when I was on top of her.

“Don’t tackle me like that, Pinkie. Actually, don’t tackle me at all. Now, what the fuck?”

She grinned as I led her to the couch and sat her down. I backed away and stared at her, crossing my arms. “I know how you mentioned a long time ago that you never wanted to date a pony! I just wanted to keep your record clean.”

I grit my teeth. “When we get to the party, you’re turning back. I can’t stand the idea of so casually betraying your race! Why would anyone…” I sighed. “Doesn’t matter. Celestia will turn you back.”

Her grin widened and she shook her head. “Nope! She said it would take at least a day for her to build up the strength needed to turn me back. I’m stuck like this until tomorrow.”

I felt my wings sag. “Unbelievable,” I sighed, shaking my head. “Can you walk well? And can you use your fingers alright?”

She nodded, holding up a hand and wiggling the fingers. “The feet took me a few minutes to get used to and stairs might be hard, but you’ll be there to help me!”

“Well… I guess there’s no choice. Are you wearing that to the party?”

She looked down at herself before looking up at me. “What’s wrong with it? Other than it being really tight.”

“That is the problem. Where I’m from, clothes that show off as much as that does would be considered very slutty. Now, you won’t see me complaining, but it’s still bad form.”

She grinned. “So you like it?”

Dammit Pinkie. I took a moment to actually look her over. She was very cute, all things told. “Yes.”

“Pinkie do good?”

“No. You shouldn’t have done it at all.” She seemed a bit disappointed. “But fuck if you aren’t sexy. Now, we need to get ready to go. I’ll wear my armor so you can have some shoes to wear; you’ll need them. They might be loose or tight, but we’ll manage.”

“Why do we need to get ready so soon?”

“Because my armor is encrusted with blood and blackened from dragon fire.” Of course, it was already black to begin with, but the fire made it worse. “And you need practice walking with shoes. I wish we had time to get you proper female clothes… You’d be a beauty.” I shrugged and kicked my shoes off. I saw that she was blushing before I went to grab my armor from the pile in the corner where I left it. “Put some socks on before you put the shoes on,” I said as I began pulling armor into the kitchen.

I heard her scrambling around as I began scrubbing gore and smoke from my armor. It probably needed to be properly maintained, but I couldn’t make myself care. Still, it finally earned its keep; it saved me from that dog’s punch. I just wish I had another cloak to wear over it.

It took me half an hour to wash all the armor off. In that time, Pinkie walked around the apartment several times in my shoes, touching everything she could so she could actually feel them.

“I’ve never noticed how soft my mane was before!” Pinkie was commenting as she rubbed her hair and I put my armor on.

“It’s hair. Ponies have manes while humans have hair.”

“Well that’s just silly. What’s the difference?”

“Fuck all if I know.”

“Then why not just save words and call them both manes?”

“I’ll let the person in charge of English know that when I see him.”

She nodded as if that was the perfectly natural thing in the world. And then she started rubbing my face, feeling the whiskers that I still needed to shave. “Ooh, they’re all scratchy!”

“They feel fine on my face. You wanna feel something neat?”

Her eyes went wide and she nodded. I gently grabbed the hands that were still connected to my face and pulled her into me, leaning down and kissing her deeply. Her eyes went wider before closing as she wrapped her arms around me.

I didn’t hold it long before pulling away. She was wearing a dreamy smile, a blush on her face. “Well?” I asked, smiling.

“That was… Wow,” she answered, her voice a bit husky.

I nodded. “I can imagine. Now, I need to finish putting my armor on.” She didn’t let me go, just continued staring dreamily at me. “That means you need to let me go.”

She blinked and did so, her smile turning back to normal. “The mane on your face doesn’t feel so bad anymore.” She went back to feeling things as I finished putting on my armor.

“Feels good to be in steel again,” I sighed as I began finding weapons and putting them on. I left the sword and took the axe instead. The crossbow also came, along with my knife belts. “Are you ready?” I called, hoping Pinkie would hear me.

She tried running in from the bedroom, only to fall flat on her face. She was up again in an instant. “Yep!” She started poking at her boobs. I had to stop myself from joining her. “That kind of hurt…”

“Your body is a bit more sensitive. You need to be careful with it. Now come on, we need to get going. And remember: behave. This is the princess’s shindig, not yours.”

She sighed and nodded. She immediately perked up and asked, “Can we fly there?”

“Do you have wings?”

She spun around trying to look before getting dizzy and almost falling. “No,” she groaned as I steadied her.

“Then only maybe. You’re going to be heavier than Kat, so it would be a lot harder to do.”

“Are… are you calling me fat?”

I poked her in the belly. “Feel your belly and then feel mine.” She poked her own before poking my steel cuirass. “Well, you know what I mean. Point is, you’re pudgy. And cats are smaller and lighter than humans anyway. You could probably ride a pony, but I might not be able to carry you. I can try, but no promises.”

She squee’d and jumped into my arms. I just barely managed to catch her. I didn’t immediately buckle under the weight, which was a good thing. I grinned. “This would be a lot more fun if we weren’t wearing any clothes,” I said as I started for the door.

“Well… no pony says we have to be on time.”

“Celestia would probably insist. You know how she is. Now get down; I need to lock the door and I can’t with you in my arms.”

She pulled the key that I keep around my neck out of my armor and over my head and pulled the door shut before locking it and putting the key back around my neck. “Happy?” she asked.

“Eh.” I tried taking off to find that I couldn’t get enough lift. I thought before nodding. “Step down, Pinkie. I have an idea.” She sighed and jumped out of my arms. “Stay facing that way,” I said, pointing down the street. She nodded and turned. I popped my neck before leaping into the air and soaring up a bit before looping around and skimming the street, grabbing Pinkie as I passed and getting us both into the air. “Hold onto me!” I called over the wind. She managed to wrap her legs around me. It wouldn’t last long if I lost hold of her, but it might get us to the ground if I somehow dropped her.

Thankfully, that wasn’t an issue; we got to the party easily enough, though we did get a number of looks. “Alright, a few rules for your human body,” I started. “First: Limit is three cupcakes or its equivalent in regular dessert. Second: Just because you can eat meat doesn’t mean you should. It would make you sick since you aren’t used to it. Third: Don’t touch random people. Okay?”

Three cupcakes?”

“Remember how I can’t eat much sugar? You’re the same way. It would make you sick. Now come on.” She sighed as I led the way to the front door. She quickly perked up and wrapped one of her arms around mine, pulling me close. I didn’t fight it.

“Invitation?” the doorman asked. I noticed that for some reason his eyes were closed.

“How can you even see like that?” I asked.

He opened his eyes, outraged at what I said for some reason. When he saw who I was, he immediately cooled off. “Forgive me, Sir Navarone. You and your… There are two of you now?”

“Magical mishap.” I said with a shrug. “We good to enter?”

He sighed and nodded. “Of course. You and your date may enter.”

Pinkie seemed absolutely giddy about being called that for some reason. She somehow pulled me tighter and started leading me inside. “Remember,” I quietly said, “my royal duties come before our date.”

She didn’t answer. I wouldn’t have minded giving her a legitimate practice date; I did owe her, after all. That said, she picked this as her date knowing that I would be busy, so she brought it on herself.

When we got to the main room of the dance/ball thing, I was honestly shocked at how many people there were inside. It reminded me of the ballroom in Firefly. However, I didn’t have to give up my weapons and I wasn’t planning on getting into any duels.

Not a minute after we stepped inside, a servant delivered a note to me. I thanked him and pulled Pinkie to a wall so I could read it without anyone looking over my back.

“What’s it say?” she excitedly whispered, trying to peek at it.

I grinned as I read it. “We can enjoy the party for two hours before I have to do any work,” I answered, folding the note up and sliding it into my armor. “I leave the choice of events to you, my dear.” I knew when I said it that I was probably going to regret it, but I had been an asshole to her for the past few days, so I figured this would help make up for it.

I want to say something cheesy like ‘her grin lit up the room,’ but that isn’t the kind of person I am and I don’t feel that way for Pinkie anyway. She was definitely happy, though, and she expressed it by bouncing up and down several times in a way that I found most enjoyable to watch. When she recovered from her episode, she pulled me through the large number of partiers to the dance floor. I saw that Octavia was one of those that were playing. I gave her a small nod as Pinkie and I began dancing.

I’m very glad I have a lot of stamina. Pinkie wouldn’t let us stop dancing for half an hour. When she finally got tired—or more likely bored—she led me to a table and made me get her punch. She was smiling like crazy when I got back to the table. We were both getting odd looks, probably because most people that knew of me thought I was the only human. They didn’t know what to make of Pinkie.

To be fair, I often don’t know what to make of Pinkie either.

“Isn’t this so much fun?” she asked as she sipped at her punch in a most undainty manner.

“We danced for half an hour and now we’re sitting. How is that fun?”

“It’s the principle of the thing. I’ve always wanted to go to a fancy ball with my special somepony!”

“This is practice, Pinkie. That does not make me your special somepony.”

“Shush, don’t ruin it.”

“Also, when did you turn into Rarity?”

“You’re ruining it again!”

I sighed and tasted the punch. “I figured you would be more lively,” I said after a moment. “This might not be your kind of party, but it’s still a party.”

She sighed. “I got in trouble the last time I tried to Pinkie up a not-Pinkie party. It took me a while, but I eventually learned that a party can be enjoyed in many ways. Just because it’s not a Pinkie party doesn’t mean it can’t be a fun party!”

I shrugged and took a moment to look around the ballroom. I noticed the changeling delegation sitting off in one corner. Several dogs and griffins were sending glares their way. I saw a few cats and a small number of dragons and naga. Ponies were the most common.

I grinned. “Pinkie, you want to meet a king?”

“Is he a nice king?”

“You’d be hard pressed to find a ‘nice’ royal. They might act it, but most of them are cold and devious. But Jim wasn’t so bad, I don’t think. I didn’t have that many conversations with him, though.”

“Oooh, do you think he’d let me throw him a Pinkie Party?”

“Probably not.” Not if I could help it, that is. “When would you do that anyway? He rules Egypt.”

“Pinkie Parties always find you, Nav. You should know that by now.” Sadly enough, that’s true.

“Well, I hope you want to meet him; he’s coming this way.” Jocasta was with him.

“Do you want me to pretend to be an airhead for him?”

“…Pretend?” She kicked me under the table. She then pulled her foot back, rubbing at the shoe; I don’t advise kicking someone wearing plate mail.

“Ah, Navarone!” the king said. “It is good to see you again!” He looked pleased, but Jocasta didn’t.

I nodded. “Sup, bro?” He blinked. “Wait, shit. Hello, your highness.” He blinked again. “I’m not used to pretending to be respectful anymore. What do you need?”

He grinned and sat at one of the spare seats. “I see you found another of your kind. I did not know your people were divided as ponies are. Do any of your kind have magic?”

“Pinkie’s a human because of a mistake, a spell gone wrong. She’ll be normal again tomorrow. But to answer your question, no. We don’t have magic. We also don’t have wings.” I fluttered mine. “These are another magical mistake.”

He looked to Pinkie as Jocasta sighed and took the last seat. “What are you normally, then?”

“A pony!” she answered. “Can I throw you a party?”

The king gave her a confused look. “Why would I need a party if I’m already at one?”

Pinkie grinned. “You can never have too many parties! And no pony throws a party like a Pinkie Party!”

“Uh huh. Sadly, my schedule is full.” Pinkie’s gaze turned sour as he looked back to me. “Tell me, are you going to be free any time soon? There are things I could use your help with.”

“Here or in Egypt?”

“Egypt. I have no desire to draw the gaze of that pony princess anywhere near anything I do, so I will not operate out of this city.” He didn’t know the irony in his statement.

“I don’t know my schedule either. I know there’s a chance I’m leaving Equestria in a year, but if I do, it will be on personal business. Whatever you have planned, it won’t involve me.”

He sighed and muttered something. “A shame. Jocasta told me how well you handled controlling troops. No casualties, aside from our poor Kat.” He grinned. “And even she is recovering nicely, though she’s venomous as ever. I wonder how well you would do commanding troops as a general,” he mused.

“I don’t really know. That job was the first time I’ve ever had the opportunity to really lead. I advised and helped on the March, but most of that was Jocasta. I know there would be a big difference in directing men on an open battlefield against another general and leading a few squads against a disorganized crime group.”

He nodded. “There definitely is. Still, you never know until you try.” I figured I would have a chance soon, if I stuck around long enough for the war games. His eyes flicked to Pinkie for a moment before returning to me. “You know, if she really will be turned back tomorrow… Well, I’m sure it must be lonely for you.”

I raised an eyebrow. “I’ve come to terms with my entrapment in this hell,” I answered. “I hardly grow weary for company, even of the more… bawdy sort. Yes, seeing another kinsman is nice, but to me, at least, it is obvious she is a fake. She lacks all the mannerisms that to any human would be second nature.”

“Hey!” Pinkie cried. “That’s not true!”

“And what,” Jocasta said, “does she lack?”

“Watch her hands as she talks. They don’t move. Most humans make some manner of gestures as they speak. Look how she sits, perfectly ramrod straight. Every biped race I’ve seen has a relaxed posture when sitting; she isn’t used to being in that position. Look at her fingers: they’re perfectly straight. The normal position for most humans is to have them slightly bent. If you watch her face, you’ll see that all of her facial expressions are off slightly, or at least they are to me. She’s not used to having a flat face. Look at her chest. That shirt is uncomfortably tight and most humans would probably be picking at it, trying to pull it away from their skin. Look at her ears. They keep trying to twitch even though that does nothing for humans. There are other things, of course, but those are the big ones.” Whenever I mentioned a new thing, Pinkie would look at the offending item and try to correct it, or match my position. She couldn’t look at her face or ears, but as soon as I commented on her shirt, she shifted uncomfortably and picked at it.

Jocasta and Jim looked back and forth between me and Pinkie. “I don’t see it,” Jim finally said.

“That’s because you aren’t a human,” I answered.

Jocasta nodded. “I see it. Or some of it, at least. Still, I imagine those hands could be put to a good use…”

I made a scratching noise on the table as I balled up my fists. “She’s not yours, Jocasta,” I answered.

“Oh?” she mocked. “So she’s yours to do with as you would?”

They all three looked at me expectantly. I trapped myself with that one. If I claimed she was mine, Pinkie would be on my case for the rest of time with how I said that. If I said she wasn’t, Jocasta would be in our business all night trying to get her.

But I saw a third option. I always do. I grinned. “I’m not averse to sharing.”

The king barked a laugh. “Genius, Navarone,” he answered. “As much as I would like to see how this goes, however, I have business elsewhere to attend. Jocasta, do as you would.” He left without an answer from any of us.

Pinkie and Jocasta both looked a little disappointed at what I said. I implied that I considered Pinkie mine, but I didn’t outright say it. And I made it clear to Jocasta that the only way she was going to get Pinkie was if I was involved.

“You are absolutely infuriating, Navarone,” Jocasta said as she stood. I gave her a shit-eating grin as she left.

When I looked back to Pinkie, she was wearing a grin that matched mine. I dropped it upon seeing hers. “You said I was yours!”

I crossed my arms. “I don’t remember saying that.”

She leaned forward, batting her eyes. “You impliiied it!” she sang.

I shrugged. “I suppose one could look at it that way. That does not, however, make it true. Now, I know you don’t want to spend the rest of the party just sitting here talking.”

She opened her mouth. but didn’t get anywhere; Kumani joined us and cut her off with, “Sup, Nav? Who’s this?”

“Pinkie in a human body. The how isn’t important. What do you need?”

“Huh. Sup, Pinks?” She turned back to me. “Want to blow this joint and go do something fun?”

“More than anything,” I answered. “But I can’t. I’m giving Pinkie that date you made me owe her. And I also have business for the princess to take care of after this.”

Kumani grit her teeth at the mention of the date. She turned a glare on Pinkie. They shared a silent battle of the wills. “I thought we had this discussion before,” Kumani finally forced out.

Pinkie sniffed. “He’s a free pony.”

I face-palmed, which is not a good idea with gauntlets. “Kumani, you know I owe her this. You were there when I agreed to it. Chill.”

Kumani’s glare turned to me. “We can talk about this later,” she said in a cold voice. She stood and walked away. Pinkie made a face at her turned back. I sunk my head in my hands. I should have stayed with Braeburn…

“What’s wrong, silly?” Pinkie asked, giggling.

“Nothing. Let’s just… go back to the party.”

 

By most accounts, the practice date went well. Pinkie had a blast. I did not. Flo had to stop me from strangling her once, but I’m pretty sure the only reason she talked me out of it was because she wanted me to rescue her sooner rather than whenever I got out of prison. I mean, I did have some fun, but… ugh.

Thankfully, we got past it. At the two hour mark, we were both ushered into a back room. “So what are we doing here?” Pinkie asked.

I grinned. “A few card games. Celestia’s a fucking misandrist that thinks the boys can hash out their problems over a friendly game. She’s wrong, of course, but that won’t stop me from cleaning these fuckers out.”

“What am I supposed to do?” she asked.

I shrugged. “Sit there and look pretty. Or you could play, if you wanted. If things get ugly, though, just back against the wall and stay out of the way.”

“And let you have all the fun?”

I scoffed. “Hell no. I’m backing against the wall too. This ain’t my fight.” That wasn’t entirely true. I would at least make an attempt to get them to stop fighting.

Before she could answer—sometimes I wonder if I was ever going to get cut off for once—the door opened and Shining Armor entered. “Ah, Navarone, I see you’re—who’re you?” he asked, looking at Pinkie.

“Pinkie,” I answered for her. “Who all is going to be here?”

He blinked, shrugged, and answered, “The cat king, the griffin king, the dog boss, and the changeling ambassador.”

“No naga or dragons?”

He shook his head. “They may be powerful races, but they aren’t any kind of political powers. The cat is only going to be here because we need a neutral party we can control.”

“He’s not neutral if we control him.”

“I didn’t make the plan, Nav,” he answered as he joined me at the table. “So how does this game work?”

“You’ve never played? Fuck, dude, I thought all guards learned how.”

“Maybe the single guards or the guards that have off time. I am married and I’m almost always busy. I never had time to learn.”

“Dude, you were doing nothing half the time we were in Gryphus. We offered to let you join several games.”

“I was performing my husbandly duties.”

“Damn dude, your wife’s a nympho if you two were fucking that much.”

His mouth dropped and a big flush showed up on his face. Pinkie giggled. “We weren’t bucking!” he cried just as the door opened and the griffin king came in.

“Am I… interrupting something?” he asked, stopping at the door with a filthy grin on his face. Now Shiny was just sputtering.

“Nah man, it’s cool,” I said. “We were just talking about him and his wife. Come on in. Pinkie, Bloodbeak. Bloodbeak, Pinkie.”

He gripped one of her hands with a talon and brought it up to his beak. “My pleasure,” he said when he pulled away. “Though I thought Nav was the only one of his kind here.”

“Oh, I’m not a human!” she said. “Or at least, not really.”

He ripped his talon away. “Changeling!”

I waved a hand. “Not quite. She’s a pony. A magic mistake turned her into a human. She’ll turn back tomorrow.”

His beak shut with a click. “I see,” he finally said. “I don’t like magic. None but ponies and changelings do, as none but ponies and changelings have it. What we have built by strength and cunning, they have built with laziness and their cursed magic.”

I had heard this spiel several times from him when I was in Gryphus. Personally I agreed, but I didn’t think he should be talking like that in front of a unicorn. A response was made impossible by the entering of the dog boss with Minerva and Jim with Jocasta. The boss and Jim were talking about something or another when they entered. Their ‘dates’ were silent. The two important guys were talking about trade relations or something. They shut up when they noticed us.

The dog crossed his arms and glared at Shining Armor. “Why did your princess call us all back here?” he demanded.

“You live in Equestria. She is your princess as much as she is mine,” Shiny shot back.

The dog rolled his eyes and turned to me. “Is she your princess, human?”

“Fuck no. That cunt can eat a dick. We’re here to have a few card games. As soon as the last guest arrives, we can begin.”

“Last guest?” Bloodbeak asked. “I highly doubt a naga would be interested in any manner of card game.”

The dog snarled. “And neither would a dragon. I’m not going to be anywhere near a changeling, thank you very much.”

“I understand that sentiment, even if I don’t agree with it. Celestia, however, does not want any manner of war near her people. After what the changelings did to that mining colony, war seems possible. A war against the changelings would mean a war against the ponies.”

“Are they that close, then?” Bloodbeak asked, his tone cold. “Are they so ready to forgive the changelings their attack on the pony’s own capital? Or the wholesale slaughter or enslavement of an entire colony? Can they disregard millennia of raids and kidnappings? I think it’s high time the changelings were eradicated. If Celestia and her ponies don’t want to help us, I imagine the dragons and even the cats can be convinced to.”

“If your only recourse for feeding your people was stealing, to what lengths would you go to do so?” I asked.

“I would become a monster,” Bloodbeak answered. “And I would fully expect to be put down as soon as possible. Such parasites should not be allowed to live.”

“For what it’s worth,” Shining Armor said, “I agree.”

I smacked him in the back of the head. He rubbed it with a hoof and glared at me.

The dog grinned. “So not even the ponies like the changelings. It was just a political move. Tell me, who would they support if it came to eradicating those bugs? Celestia, who wants to aid them against every other nation on the planet? Or us, who promise to free them from the menace?”

Shiny grinned. “Celestia. Above all else, we follow the mover of the sun. As should you, dog.”

Every non-pony except Pinkie scoffed. “We all know she doesn’t move the sun,” Bloodbeak said. “Ask any dragon who was alive before she was. That’s a lie told to the ponies to keep them in line. Yes, she can move the planet, but the sun is stuck in the sky.”

“That’s not true!” Pinkie and Shiny both said at the same time.

I rolled my eyes. “Yes it is. The sun is super massive, a gravitational monster. Moving it would be almost impossible for anyone, even Celestia.”

“The planet’s a lot bigger than the sun,” Pinkie said. “Just look at the two!”

I looked around the room. “Any takers?” All of them except Shiny were too busy facepalming. I sighed and held up a hand. “Hold your hand up, Pinkie.” She did so. “Look at yours and then look at mine. Which is bigger?”

“Uhhhh… Oh.” She turned a bright red. “N-never mind.”

“No wonder Applebloom and her friends are so retarded. What the fuck do the schools in Equestria even teach?”

“That is not the issue,” the dog said. “The point remains that we want nothing to do with the changelings.”

“That’s quite a shame. Ambassador Simulate, would you kindly reveal yourself?”

Minerva morphed into a changeling. The dog jumped away from her. “Where is Minnie?” he roared, backing away a bit more.

“She was not harmed,” Simulate answered. “Your hatred is amusing. I can taste it all the way over here.”

The dog and griffin got into attack postures at that. Jim, however, was confused. “So you are a changeling?” He tilted his head. “And you can mimic something so perfectly that others can’t tell the difference? It seems to me that you would be a better friend than an enemy. Of course, I know little of the history of your kind and its relations with other races, so I say that in ignorance.”

“Which is why we’re here,” I said. “Celestia wanted us to hash our differences out over a card game. I say fuck that. Let’s just have a talk, shall we?” The dog and Bloodbeak eyed the door. “Maybe you think this is optional. As soon as the last person walked in, this room was fucking sealed. I wish I was lying.”

The dog began growling. I sighed and pulled my axe out, setting it on the table. Everyone took the hint and calmed the fuck down. “Please, would everypony sit?” Shining Armor asked.

“I see only one pony here,” the dog snarled.

“Everyone, sit at the fucking table,” I said, pointing to it. I got two glares as the dog and Bloodbeak moved to the table. Jim moved with no issues. Simulate sat between Jim and Shiny. When everyone was down, I took my place between Shiny and Bloodbeak. I moved the axe off the table and said, “Alright. A few introductions are in order, I believe.”

“Everyone here knows my name,” Bloodbeak said.

“Fucking humor me.”

“So vile…” he muttered. “I am Bloodbeak, king of the griffins.”

I turned to the dog, whose name I still didn’t know. His head was barely poking over the lip of the table. He grit his teeth.

I put my axe back on the table.

“Tito,” he answered. I’m not gonna say it. I had to fight to keep from smirking.

It was the cat’s turn. “Jim Johnson, king of Egypt.”

“Ambassador Simulate of the changelings.”

“Shining Armor, prince and guard captain of the ponies.

“Navarone.”

“That’s Sir Navarone,” Shining Armor corrected. “Knight of Princess Luna.”

“These introductions are for things we’re proud of, Shiny. It’s Navarone. Now, we’ve already aired out some grievances. I have a feeling this meeting is going to get repetitious enough without going over why you hate the changelings again. So, why don’t we talk about things the changelings can fix to make them less hated?”

When Tito and Bloodbeak shared a look, I knew that I was in for a very long night.

 

One long night later, I was carrying a sleeping Pinkie back to our apartment. Nothing at all was accomplished in the meeting and I quickly grew to wishing I was able to sleep. I had to repeatedly remind everyone there that I could make no official gestures for the ponies, as I was not their representative. I was the technical mediator of that meeting, given that I was the only one that had no say in any manner of war.

Celestia and Chrysalis would both try to get me to help them, of course. Bloodbeak would likely try to get me to help him. Meanwhile, I’d be saying ‘fuck all of you’ and leaving to go find the elementals. It would probably put me in a bad light with pretty much everyone else, but if the elementals were as powerful as Flo said, I should be fine.

I landed and had only a little difficulty with getting the door open. I carried Pinkie into the bedroom and gently set her on the bed. I put her stuffed critter on her stomach and started to walk away.

“This is the part where you kiss me awake,” she whispered theatrically.

I turned and looked at her. One of her eyes was peeked open. “You need your sleep, Pinkie.”

She leaned up, stretching and yawning. “What time is it?” she asked, pretending the other thing didn’t just happen.

“Time for you to go to bed.”

“Can you tell me a story?”

“Once upon a time there was an ugly pony. He was so ugly that everybody died. The end.”

“…That’s a terrible story.”

“And I’m a terrible person. Are you going to go to sleep?”

“Only if you give me what I want!”

I sighed. “Fine. I’ll think of a better story.”

She shook her head. “Nope! My demands have increased!”

I facepalmed. “Well?” I asked around the palm.

“You miiiight need to get out of that armor.”

Dammit Pinkie.

 

The next morning shined nice and bright.

I wish I had a better chance to enjoy it. Being held tightly in an angry dragon’s clutches kinda does that to a guy. “Kumani, can we talk about this?” I asked, trying to keep my voice calm.

“Yes, that is what we are going to do. We’re just going to do it in a more comfortable environment.” We were flying over the city after she dragged me from my apartment where I had been writing. Pinkie was still asleep—and probably would have had trouble walking anyway.

“I was very comfortable back in my apartment.”

“I wasn’t!” I felt one of her talons caress my wings as she lowered us down. Then her feet touched down and she opened a door. She carried me inside wherever we were and shut the door behind us. I heard it lock before she continued walking.

“This is highly unnecessary. Even if I wanted to run from you, I wouldn’t be able to. You should trust me more than this, Kumani.”

“I know you have heard it said that dragons are jealous and greedy lovers,” she commented. “There is truth in that.” With a sigh, she set me down. “But I do trust you. A little. Come.”

I saw that we were in her mansion. She began walking further in and I followed. When she finally got to a nice room, she pulled me on in and closed the door behind us. “Now, what were you doing with Pinkie?” she asked.

“Going on the date I had to promise her for helping you.”

“And?”

“That’s it. We went to the party as a couple. Then I did some business for the princess, took Pinkie home, fucked her silly, and wrote all night.” I probably shouldn’t have mentioned the fucking part. I saw her vestigial eyelids blink, which I have heard was a sign of anger among dragons. I held my hands up and said, “That’s part of the normal date for humans! That date was your fault, Kumani. I don’t know why you don’t realize that.”

She sighed. “I do. It’s just… Ugh, it’s our mating season and dragons are naturally greedy anyway… I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that you did this for me, even though I know it’s true.”

Thinking about it, there was also the fact that Kumani was technically still a teenager, even if she was over fifty years old. That kind of made me seriously rethink my decision of letting her come with me if I did end up leaving. I would still probably do it, though. She hadn’t raped me, after all.

“So are we okay?” I asked.

She sighed and wrapped her scaly arms around me, pulling me into a hug that pretty much crushed me against her chest. “As much as I want to say something like ‘you owe me,’ I know that you did this for me. I suppose if anything, I owe you. Again. This is starting to get slightly aggravating.” She finally let me go and I backed away, not wanting to get crushed like that again.

“If it makes you feel any better, that’s relatively normal,” I answered when I was sitting on her bed.

“For a lesser race, perhaps. Dragons, however, pay our debts. But I’m racking up too many with you to ever hope to pay them back.”

I shrugged. “You can pay your debt with me by not worrying about paying your debt.”

She opened her mouth, but then closed it. After a moment, she shook her head. “There is precedence for that. It did not end well.”

“You know that, but you can’t even read? Come on, Kumani.”

“Most dragons do not know how to read. Again, we outgrow most books very quickly, and occasionally sneezing flame does not help when we’re trying to read. The only reason I know the precedent for that case is because my father is high ranking. He told me about the case.”

“Wait, this shit is actually official enough to get judged in dragon courts?”

“Only between two dragons. We are greedy. When someone owes us, we want the favor repaid, usually. And we are honorable, so when we know we owe someone, we want to pay it.”

“Sounds complicated as hell. Glad I’m not a dragon.”

“You would lose some of your charm and mystique, yes. But… Well, never mind.”

I shrugged. “So, do you have any plans today? I’ll probably need to go back to my apartment and take care of Pinkie; every fucking criminal in this city is looking for ‘the human’ and she currently matches that description. I’m honestly surprised they haven’t tried attacking my apartment yet.”

She shrugged. “I suppose even thieves have some honor. I have to prepare for the tournament, though; honestly, I suggest you do the same. You are going to be competing, right?”

“Depends on Celestia. She’s thinking about banning me after the stunt I pulled last year.”

“That is foolish. None of the contestants would be stupid enough to trust you after that. It sounds to me like she is punishing you for beating her ponies.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised. I already know she considers—or at least, used to consider—the average pony life more valuable than mine. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the same for every other race. Fucking cunt.”

Kumani smirked. “Why even stay in Equestria at all if that’s how you feel about the princess?”

“Exactly. That’s why I’m thinking about leaving soon. This won’t be a ‘leave on business, soon to return’ kinda deal. This will be a ‘fuck you, I’m leaving’ kinda deal. If I go, there is a good chance I will not return.”

“Where will you go?”

“I could go anywhere; I’m welcome in every civilization known to ponies. However, I have a job I have to complete for a friend. There’s a good chance a lot of travel will be required.”

“Hm… What’s the pay?”

I grinned. “I wish I could tell you. I know undying gratitude and, if all goes well, a nice place for me to crash for a while. A haven outside of the world, hopefully. If all doesn’t go well…” I shrugged. “I’ll probably just go exploring. Too much of this world has gone unmapped for too long.”

“Doesn’t that seem… a little dangerous?”

“I’m used to danger. I can go for days without eating or drinking and during summer and spring I don’t sleep at all. I can probably walk—or fly—across continents in weeks if I don’t stop. Since most animals don’t see me, I wouldn’t have to worry about that.”

“If I go with you, I would probably slow you down.”

“I’d welcome the company regardless. You would give me an excuse to slow down and rest. You would also hold me accountable to eating and drinking, and would force me to take care of myself better. You don’t have to go, of course. You don’t have to go at all. I would be loath to take you from your family and race anyway.”

“Dragons come and go all the time. As long as I wasn’t seen leaving with you, it would not be a problem.”

“Cool. Where is the dragon capital, anyway? It would be a good idea to know that before I wander aimlessly trying to find you.”

“Iceland. The entire island is dragon owned.” Well, with as many volcanoes as that place has, it makes sense. “You… might have trouble securing passage there, however.”

“I have money. I also have three princesses that owe me a lot of favors. How will I be received on the island?”

“With indifference… Probably.” She looked me up and down. “I would not tell any of my kind that you are the only one of your species here. There are some that would… try to claim you. You are a unique creature, something many of us would love to own.”

“Uh… huh.” Is that what she saw me as?

She quickly recognized the error in what she said. “Don’t take that the wrong way, Nav. I’ll admit that I started this because you were exotic, but it has evolved past that.”

I shrugged. “Good enough for me.” God only knows I wouldn’t want to deal with a dragon that wanted to own me. I stood. “I guess I can let you get back to preparing. It would probably be considered cheating for me to watch.”

She walked up to me and I thought she was going to hug me again. Instead, she pushed me into the bed. “I think you can stay for a little longer,” she said with a smile.

I just can’t catch a break…

 

An undisclosed amount of time later, I was sitting back in my apartment, just looking into space and thinking, a goofy grin on my face. I didn’t notice Pinkie until she plopped herself down on my lap. “I made pancakes!” she said, holding up a plate.

“That’s… nice,” I answered, blinking myself out of my reverie.

“They’re for you!”

I sighed and took the plate. I noticed that there wasn’t a fork. “How did you eat yours?” I asked.

She held up sticky hands and smiled. “Wanna help me clean them?”

“How about you go do that while I eat?”

Her smile instantly turned into a pout. “Pleeease?”

“No. Also, it’s really hard to eat when you have someone in your lap.”

“I could feed you!”

“Go wash your hands, Pinkie.” She sighed and picked herself off my lap. Not before jiggling a few good times, though. I ate the delicious pancakes in silence. Say what you want about Pinkie, but she’s a good cook.

I was about to stand up to wash my hands when Pinkie entered the room and plopped right back down on my lap, stopping me from going anywhere. She grabbed one of my hands and felt it. “Sticky,” she whispered. “Want me to help clean them?”

“No thanks.”

She pulled my hand to her face and started licking my fingers, looking me in the eyes as I watched impassively. When she finished one hand, she eyed the other. “Want me to clean the other, too?”

“You realize that licking my hands does nothing for me, right? Besides, I’ve already had sex this morning.”

She gasped. “You already cheated on me?!”

“…We aren’t dating?”

“We are too! We went on one last night!”

“You said that was a practice date.”

She blinked a few times. “Wait wait wait, are we doing a practice relationship or not? I’m confused now.”

“...No? Or at least, you didn’t tell me anything about that. Just that we were going on a practice date.”

“Oh! That makes a lot more sense. Never mind, then.”

Man, Pinkie’s fucking out there. “I’m gonna go wash my hands now.” She hopped off my lap and sat on the couch across from me.

I stood and went to go wash my hands and put the plate in the sink. When I got back into the sitting room, Pinkie was fiddling with her fingers. I sat back down on the couch. “So what do you want to do today?”

“Let’s talk!” she happily said, looking up.

Oh boy. “What about?” I asked.

“Burden me with your problems!” she answered.

“...What?”

“Well, you always say that you don’t want to burden anypony with your problems. But if I’m actually asking you to, it isn’t burdening!”

“That… that doesn’t make any sense.”

“Sure it does! It makes perfect sense. So tell me everything!”

I sighed and said, “Tell the truth: What do you really think of the princesses?”

“…Why do you ask?”

“Because my answer depends on what you think of them.”

“I think they’re ponies, just like everypony else. They do some good things and some not so good things.”

I smirked. “Alright. You wanna know my problems? Fine, get comfortable.” And thus began a long discussion.

 

Sometime later, I found myself having to hold Pinkie back from hunting Celestia down and beating her ass. Admittedly, it would have been funny, but I don’t think that it would have ended well.

…Although, this is Pinkie we’re talking about.

When I finally got her calmed down to a reasonable level—again, this is Pinkie—she said, “You need a break, Nav. And you definitely need somepo-one to love. And that someone probably isn’t going to be me.”

“So does that mean you’re done stalking me and watching me sleep?”

She waved a hand. “Oh, I stopped that ages ago. It’s just Taya that watches you, now.”

“…I’m installing a better fucking lock on my door.”

She giggled. “You know that wouldn’t stop either of us. Now, we need to go find Celestia so I can get turned back into a pony.”

“Before we go, I want your word—a Pinkie promise, if it would help—that you won’t tell a soul about what we discussed. No writing it down and ‘accidentally’ leaving it somewhere, no telling a nonpony and having them tell your friends, and just don’t mention it at all. Even to me.”

She sighed and snapped and then stared at her hand in wonder, snapping several times.

“Pinkie!”

She blinked and looked up. When she saw my serious face on, she sighed. “I promise…”

“Alright then. Are you ready to go get turned normal?”

She hopped up, a smile returning to her face again. “Yep! Although… Can you carry me there?”

I stood, popping my neck. “I suppose. Though I’ve seen you flying before using some contraption. Why you’d want me to carry you is beyond me.”

“It’s different,” she answered. I just shrugged and led the way to the door.

“You know,” I said as I closed the door, “you’re taking this a lot better than I expected. Especially since I’ve been such a dick lately.”

“You do have reasons, but you gotta learn to let the past be the past! You’re not the only pony that’s been through hard times.”

“I know,” I answered as I picked her up. “But most of my experiences I went through alone; I had no one to talk to.”

“You could have talked to me… Or any of the others. We’re your friends, Nav.”

“I risked much telling you what I did, and I still didn’t tell you everything. I was told not to tell anyone some of the things I did and what I’ve been through. However, I no longer give two shits about what Celestia orders. Now, do you know where she is?”

We were currently in the air, slowly flying over the city. We spent a minute looking around. There was a massive crowd around one area of the city. Like, more ponies and a few other races than I had seen in one place in this city yet. I started flying that way and alighted on a building near the epicenter of the crowd, next to a very large tent.

We saw Celestia speechifying near the center of the tent, standing on a stage. Now that we were closer, we could hear that her words were heavily magnified. Security was also very intense.

“Ugh, another pointless speech,” I commented, sitting with my legs hanging off the building. Pinkie sat next to me, kicking her legs idly.

“Hm…” She pulled one of the daggers out of my belt and started playing around. It took me a few minutes to figure out that she was angling the sun into Celestia’s eyes and giggling.

“If you get in trouble, don’t expect me to take the fall,” I said. Celestia began fidgeting a little, trying to avoid the glare. Some of the guards were also starting to take notice, looking around for where it was coming from. Whenever one of the guards looked our way, she hid the dagger. “How did you like your time as a human, anyway?”

“It’s been a lot of fun! Hands are great and being so tall is a lot of fun. But these,” she said, cupping a nice breast with one hand while shooting sunlight at Celestia, “get in the way a lot. They feel nice, but it’s not really worth it. It would probably be better if I had clothes made for a mare human.”

“We call them women. Kinda figured you would have known that by now.” We were silent for a moment. “Wait… Is Celestia’s horn… Move!” I threw my arm around Pinkie and hopped down the side of the building, letting my wings control our fall. A beam of pure light shot where we had been sitting. Pinkie and I hit the ground with a really loud clatter and thud—clatter from my mail boots hitting the floor and a thud from where she fell out of my arm. The only part of my armor I was wearing were my boots, at least.

Pinkie let out a loud “Oof!” when she hit the ground. She slowly stood up, rubbing her ass. I was tempted to join her, but we were already getting a very large number of looks from confused ponies. Celestia’s speech was still going on, so I just shrugged at them. After a moment, they turned back to where Celestia was.

I grabbed my knife from where it had fallen and slid it back into my belt. “So, wanna find a place to fuck with Celestia some more?”

Pinkie looked back up to the ledge where we had been sitting and rubbed herself again before turning back to me and saying, “No thanks.”

I held up my ring. “What if you were wearing this?” I asked with a smile.

Her eyes lit up for a moment as she thought. She shook her head, though. “No, I wouldn’t risk it. I don’t want to make her mad.”

Shame. I slid the ring into a pocket. “Where do you want to wait, then?”

“Hmm… If she’s here, I bet most of her guards are as well. Want to check out her personal chambers?”

I grinned and picked Pinkie up again. Her devious smile probably matched the one on my face. I leapt into the air and flew off towards her building.

We did a few circles over the building, looking for guards and the like. There weren’t many around; it seemed that most of them were with her. I landed at the entrance and set Pinkie down. I just waltzed up to the door where two guards were standing, Pinkie behind me.

When I tried the door, I found that it was locked. The guards didn’t say anything, so I pulled out my key and opened it. They continued not saying anything as I just walked right inside, Pinkie behind me. I pulled the door shut behind her and locked it again.

“I wonder why those guards didn’t say anything,” I mused as I twisted the lock.

“I bet that’s why,” Pinkie commented. I turned and saw a phoenix staring at us.

“Sup, Philomena?” I said. It tilted its head. “Right. Well, Pinkie and I are just going to go exploring.” It cawed very loudly. “I’m going to assume that meant ‘okay, feel free.’ Pinkie, shall we?”

The bird spread its wings and flew at me. I flinched back as it landed on my shoulder.

“If you shit on me, we’re going to see if that little regeneration thing of yours works with a magic sword,” I said as the bird preened. The bird reached out and nibbled on my ear as we walked further into the abode. It didn’t take us too long to find Celestia’s personal room. I eyed the dressers. “You know, I’ve never seen Celestia wear any clothes. I’ve seen her sleeping, at balls, and having sex, but she’s never wearing anything.”

I walked up to the dressers. Just as I put my hand on the handle, the bird dug its talons into my shoulder and cawed right in my ear. I also felt it get a lot warmer.

“Well well…” I said. “If the bird is trying to protect it, it’s gotta be something good. Lucky for you, I’m nearly immune to pain.” I pulled the drawer open as the bird bit my ear. Pinkie hopped up next to me as we looked over our findings.

“Uh, Nav?”

“…Yes, Pinkie?”

“What… what are we looking at?”

“…I think we should go,” I slowly said, pushing the drawer full of sex toys closed.

“Why are you in such a hurry?” Princess Celestia whispered behind us, her head between ours. The bird made a happy chirping noise. I felt Celestia’s evil hair moving down to a place I wasn’t comfortable with.

Pinkie and I slowly turned to face her. “Pinkie?” I whispered.

“Yes, Nav?” she whispered back. I reached into a pocket, pulled out the blue stone, and touched her with it.

“Good luck.”

“What?!”

I was already running to the window, thanking myself for having the foresight to put the ring on. I was also thanking whoever built this building that it was only two storeys high. The bird jumped off me just before I got to the emergency exit.

I wrapped my wings around my body as best I could and jumped out the window. It shattered and I quickly straightened my body out and hit the ground with a painful clatter, my legs not liking that at all. I did a quick body check before sprinting away, hoping I wasn’t going to get chased by the guards. They could run faster than I could, but I could run longer than them. Hell, I could probably run longer than anything on the planet.

When I got away from the pony quarter, I slowed down to more of a casual sauntering. I knew Celestia was in heat—or at least, she would be unless she did whatever she did to avoid it. Hell, what Pinkie did before we left for Flankfurt might have awoken her desire anyway. Me, I had no desire to get involved in that. Pinkie’s a big gi—boy. He could take care of himself.

 

 

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