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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37. Chapter Thirty-One—Long talks and rave parties

When I finally got up, I felt even worse than I had when I went to bed. I decided to mutter obscenities while I put on my desert clothes; they were decent to wear in the heat and they drew little attention to the fact that my wings were fucked up. I left the hood off, because that would draw even more attention. I hid a few throwing knife belts around me just because.

As I was checking a few more of the hidden compartments in the library, I heard Rarity’s unique screech of horror behind me. “Yes, Rarity?” I sighed, reaching up for another hidden alcohol compartment. I have way too many of these.

What are you wearing?” she demanded.

“Clothes. And I don’t care what the local fashion is right now, I’m not changing.”

“Nav, you don’t understand! Looking like that, you’ll soon START the new local fashion!”

“Welp, I’m going to go change…” I downed a good shot of booze. I really need to stop doing this… Drinking, that is, not antagonizing Rarity. “Oh, that reminds me of something, actually,” I said, turning to face her. “Your ugly outfit saved my life in Egypt. Next time you’ll have to try harder to make something that makes me an even more defenseless target.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve never made an ugly outfit!”

I rolled my eyes. “Anyway, if you’re looking for Twilight, I don’t think she’s here. I think she and Taya went off somewhere. I’m somewhat surprised by that, given how early it is…”

“I passed by them on the way here, actually. They asked me to tell you they were going to go help one of Fluttershy’s little animal friends. The poor beast hurt itself, and I suppose Taya needs some healing practice. Though I figured she would have gotten plenty with what happened to you.”

“More practice is always better than less practice.” There was a pause. “Oh, you were wanting gossip.” There was a longer pause.

“Well, now that you mention it…” An even longer one. “Well?”

“Do you want the story I should probably tell people, or the story I’m only going to tell people if they ask?”

“If you put it like that, you’re begging somepony to ask.”

“I’m telling someone they can ask, but that it isn’t necessarily something I want to talk about, just something I will if they ask. That means they have to judge whether or not they want to risk hurting either my feelings or our friendship in order to find out some interesting details.”

“…So what’s the full story?”

“Taya fucked up her magic somehow and I caught the brunt of it. Celestia and Luna managed to keep me alive, but had to give me at least a thousand extra years of life to do it. So when you’re bones, I’ll still be up and kicking.”

“So… what’s the true story?”

“That was the true story. The healing magic they used was some ancient stuff, used in only the most life-threatening cases, by melding night and day magic. I wish I had been awake to see it.”

“So you’re going to live for over a thousand years.”

“Assuming I don’t get killed, probably. It’s hard to know for sure.”

“I can just imagine your effect on fashion now… I bet you’re going to spend all your life crusading against it!”

“If I ever gave it a thought, I would. I dislike it, but I don’t care enough to actually do anything to it. Some people are into it, for whatever stupid reason, so there’s no reason for me to fight it. Still, I’m surprised that’s the first place your mind went to.”

“It’s no business of mine how long you live. I wish you luck in your life. And when fashions I create today stay famous all through your life, be sure to remind everypony just who it was that came up with them! That’s how I will live forever.”

“If you ever get famous, I’ll be sure to let everyone know I wore your clothes before they were popular, and that they saved my life on at least one occasion.” Wait, shit, does that make me a hipster?

She nodded as if that’s what she fully expected. “At least Princess Celestia and Luna will have somepony else around for company. For some reason, I keep thinking Princess Celestia is really bored, even though she hasn’t given any indication to me otherwise.”

“I’m sure they’ll find ways to keep me occupied over the centuries. It hasn’t even been five years and they’ve already come up with several ways to try to get me killed. Maybe the world will calm down soon. God knows I need a break…”

“You could just start refusing to help her. Though honestly, that seems like a bad idea.”

“After this, I think she knows I need a break. I was minutes from death. I’ve acceded to her requests so far because she had good reasons. There is almost nothing she could say that would get me to leave Ponyville for more than a day right now.”

“So what are you going to do about Fluttershy?”

“I plan on dealing with that situation as I see fit.”

“You sound like you need some advice.”

“You sound like you’re going to give me advice whether I want it or not,” I riposted.

“What you want isn’t always what you need. Did you try telling her how you feel?”

“I have heard that you should never accept advice about women from a woman, because none of them have any idea what they really want, just what they think they want.”

“That sounds like advice from a bitter old stallion. An unmarried bitter old stallion.” I decided not to tell her about anything else I heard about the same subject.

“I’ll manage, one way or another. I’ve faced off two angry princesses and an army. What more could anyone throw at me?”

“Beware the wrath of a mare scorned. Though if you’ve dealt with both of the princesses being mad at you, it sounds like you’ve already faced that.”

“No more gossip for you. I was going to go talk to Fluttershy now, but with Twilight and Taya over there, I think I’ll wait.”

“In that case, do you think you can explain something to me?”

“I might be able to.”

“I was talking to one of my fashion contacts recently, wondering why I hadn’t gotten any big orders in such a long time. Apparently I and a sexy white pegasus stallion were arrested for treason half a year ago, and all of my contacts and clients thought I was either in jail or dead.”

“You? In the company of a sexy stallion? Who did you blackmail to make that happen?”

A magic pimp slap later—which I consider unfair—she said, “What confuses me is that I don’t remember getting arrested. Or convicted. And I got to thinking about it, I really don’t remember any of the last few days of our little fashion trip. I asked our friends if any of them knew anything. At the time, only Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Applejack were here. Fluttershy refused to answer. Rainbow Dash very quickly feigned ignorance and zoomed off. Applejack and Pinkie Pie just had no clue. Now what would cause Fluttershy to refuse to answer a harmless question like that?”

“I don’t know.”

“I’m pretty sure you do know. I saw a lot of papers on her table when I was over there the last time. They had the look of your writing on them. Since you were the only other witness I have to the events back then, and she has papers that you wrote, I think it’s possible you wrote down what really happened, and that what really happened was us getting arrested. So why don’t I remember it?”

“Because Celestia and I decided it wasn’t something you should remember. You were a bit perturbed with how it turned out.”

“How did it turn out?”

“We’re both alive and out of jail.”

“Then why was I upset?”

“Because you’re a woman and you decided to be difficult?”

Another pimp slap later—on the other cheek, at least—she said, “Why do I have the feeling that there’s more to it than that?”

“Because there is, probably. And if you hit me again, I’m hitting you back.”

She gave me that look that all women seem to know, that ‘yeah right’ look. She didn’t hit me again, though. Which is good, because I didn’t want to have to chase her down in town while she was screaming about the human trying to attack her.

“So what else is there to it? And why don’t I remember it?”

“Telling you that would go against the whole not letting you remember thing. It’s enough to know that we’re here now. And if it makes you feel any better, the prison cell was really cold and you made me cuddle with you the whole time we were in it.” Among other things.

“Why would that make me feel better?”

“Because you seem to think I’m sexy as a pony. You got the chance to capitalize on that a bit. More than a bit, actually. If any of your contacts ask, tell them I got us a royal pardon. If they ask how, wink coquettishly and tell them that there are ways a sexy male model can make a princess happy.”

She looked disgusted at that. “Navarone! That’s base, even for you! Suggesting that Princess Celestia would… Wait. Would she?”

“You’ll just have to take my word for it, seeing as how you don’t remember. And since that male model no longer exists, the paparazzi would have a hard time tracking him down to confirm the story one way or another.”

“Or I could get Fluttershy to tell me. Or maybe Rainbow Dash, though I don’t know why you would have told her anything.”

“Rainbow Dash doesn’t know how to keep her nose away from where it doesn’t belong. Good luck getting her to tell you anything, after what has been promised for her if she talks. Fluttershy… Could you really forgive yourself for making Fluttershy talk about something she has been asked not to discuss? Just imagine what it would do to her mind to betray a friend like that, or to be trapped between betraying a friend and letting a friend down.”

“I hate how you always do that!” she muttered, and then tried flirting: “So what will it take to get the truth?”

“We’ve been over this. I’m not attracted to ponies. And I’m not like those stallions you usually twist around your finger anyway: If I’m promised something, I’ll collect. Which is why you’re not getting this information.” She pouted at that. I ignored it. “Feel free to ask Celestia, if you want. I’m sure she would love to discuss something she purposefully made you forget.” Her pout turned to horror.

“Since it means that much…” I just looked at her. “Fine! Have it your way.” She muttered some other things I pretended to not hear. She finally said, “How about you explain something else, then?” I nodded. “Why aren’t you attracted to ponies? I think I look fabulous!”

I rolled my eyes, and I thought for a second she was about to hit me again. “It is somewhat hard to explain, as you don’t really have anything analogous to a farm animal here. In my world, horses—and by extension, ponies—are barn animals: Stupid, smelly, somewhat dangerous farm animals.” She looked rather indignant at that, and started to form a reply, when I continued. “I know you aren’t. Well, most of you aren’t. Intellectually, I know that. But I would never have sex with an animal, and I would never be attracted to one. It takes some effort to get me willing to even think about a pony that way. Hell, I don’t imagine any of you find me overly attractive, either.”

She couldn’t really argue that, and I don’t think she wanted to think about it anymore. I had given her a rather new perspective. She changed the subject with, “Since I haven’t had any big orders, I’ve had a bit of free time. Do you have any reading suggestions? It has been a while since I opened a book.”

We had a considerably friendlier discussion about books until Applejack and Rainbow Dash showed up. Rarity grabbed a few of the books I suggested and left before much was said between them.

“So Nav, how you feeling?” Applejack asked.

“Better. Not saying much when you were minutes from death, but it’s the truth. I still feel terrible.”

“Good!” Rainbow Dash said. At my look, she amended, “Er, that you’re feeling better. Not that you’re still feeling bad. When Pinkie told us how you were, we were all pretty worried… I mean, I knew you’d just shrug it off, but you know how Rarity worries.”

“Uh huh,” Applejack said, staring at Rainbow. “Way I remember it, you tried rushing off to Canterlot as soon as you heard.”

“Well, yeah. I mean, I tried to visit, but Princess Celestia wouldn’t let anypony in to see you. I wasn’t going to let him just sit in a hospital bed all alone. So Nav, what’s the damage?” I swept the cover from my wings and Rainbow Dash flinched. Applejack let out a low whistle.

“If you think this is bad, you should have seen me before. I wasn’t awake for the first week, so I don’t know how bad it was then, but when I finally woke up, my entire body still looked and felt leathery. Hurt like a bitch, too. I’m alive, though, and that’s all that matters.”

“How’s Taya doin’?” Applejack asked. “I know she had to be feelin’ pretty bad…”

“She’s also doing much better. As soon as I woke up, I talked to her. She helped with the healing, to try to learn more magic.”

Rainbow Dash suddenly grabbed my head and jerked it to her face. She eyed the top of it suspiciously. “Why is your mane growing in green?”

“…What?”

Applejack took a look. “Now that you mention it, it does look greenish. How could healing cause that?”

Just then, it hit me that no one had ever tried taking the life force of a tree before. There was no telling what kind of surprises I had in store… “That’s one of the side effects of one of the procedures the princesses had to do to keep me alive. An untested procedure, apparently, because they didn’t mention this.”

“One of the side effects? What are the others?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“An incredibly long life, for one. I don’t know about any others. I wasn’t expecting the hair, that’s for sure.”

“How long?” Applejack asked.

“Around a thousand years.”

“That’s…” Applejack began, and faltered.

“AWESOME!” Rainbow Dash finished. Not quite what Applejack was going to say, I’m sure. “Do you think they could do that for me?”

“I wouldn’t wish this fate on anyone. I’ve talked to Celestia and Luna both for a long time about the pros and cons of living that long. From their descriptions, long life ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.”

“Well yeah, if you’re a princess! But you have no responsibilities, Nav. You can do whatever you want for all that time and never have to worry. I know if I lived that long, I would join the Wonderbolts and spend the rest of my life learning newer and better tricks! It would be so cool…” Applejack just stared at her with a half-smile before shaking her head.

She said, “If I was forced to live like that, I don’t think I’d spend all my life apple farming. I like it, but there’s so much more to life… Either way, I don’t think I’d want that kind of long life.”

“Me either,” I said. “But I’m stuck with it. And as to responsibilities? Do you really think Celestia is going to stop getting me to do stuff just because I won’t die anytime soon? And the more I help her, the more she’ll trust me. With that trust comes more and more responsibilities. And don’t think I can tell the princess no. A thousand years is a long time to be locked up.”

“I don’t think she would ever lock you up, Nav,” Rainbow Dash said.

I waved that away. “She probably wouldn’t lock you up either. Do you still want to try telling her no when she asks you to do something?”

“She probably wouldn’t ask me to do something dangerous!”

“It’s a moot point anyway. I’ve already promised her my help in whatever she needs in a few years.”

“Now, I trust the princess with all my heart. But are you sure that’s smart?” Applejack asked. “Whatever she needs is a pretty broad subject.”

“She knows I’m not a servant. Or at least, not a common servant. I don’t think she’ll have me wasting my time. And at least living in the palace will be pretty nice. This tree gets a bit drafty.”

“So does the palace, if you mess with the wrong ponies…” Rainbow Dash muttered. Louder, she said, “You have only yourself to blame if Luna—” I held up a hand to forestall her and cocked my head to the side.

We waited a second like that. Applejack said, “What?”

“I thought I heard something,” I said.

And then the window exploded, bringing in a flying and shrieking Pinkie Pie. She collided with Applejack and Rainbow Dash both, somehow, and managed to knock just about every single book off the shelves.

“Another window…” I sighed. “Twilight’s going to be pissed.” Of course, none of the three of them were harmed in the slightest. “What the fuck kind of cartoon world do I live in?” I asked. “Am I the only one here that ever gets hurt?”

Instead of answering, Applejack said, “Nice of you to drop in, Pinkie. Now would you mind gettin’ offa me?!”

“Oh, sorry!” They all got up. “That was fun! Your sister and her friends sure can build!”

“What were they building, a trebuchet?” I asked.

“I don’t know, but it looked neat. I just sat down and Sweetie Belle accidentally hit a lever when she turned her head. Next thing I know, I’m flying.” I just shook my head. “So how are you, Nav? You weren’t doing so well the last time I saw you…”

“The last time you saw me, you screamed in horror. That’s actually the last thing I remember before I blacked out. Now I’m doing a bit better. And I’m not as horrifying to look at, just back to my mostly typical human self.”

“With a green mane,” Applejack added.

“And with a thousand extra years of life,” Rainbow Dash said.

“A green mane? How did that happen?” Oh, Pinkie Pie…

“Blame the princesses. That’s what happens when you let them do experimental procedures.”

“Well, you’re alive, and that’s all that counts! I saw Taya and Twilight earlier, helping Fluttershy. I’m glad Taya’s doing good, too. I know if I almost killed my dad… Well, I’m glad I didn’t.”

“Speaking of which, how did your family handle that?”

“They were alright. My parents were worried, of course. And after you were taken away, my mom was horrified at what happened to my room. My sisters were terrified of Taya after that. The naga that’s living with them is actually the reason you’re still alive. He risked his life to go down the well to get Twilight.” I thought it likely that he grabbed my dagger and used that to keep himself safe, but whatever. It was nice of him, anyway.

Just then, the fillies showed up, chasing down Pinkie Pie. They asked after her and my health and all that. I didn’t mention my long life to them. We all had a decent conversation before Twilight and Taya came back.

“So what happened to my window this time, Rainbow Dash?” Twilight asked as she walked in, crunching on broken glass.

“Hey, don’t look at me!” said an indignant Rainbow Dash.

“So whose fault was it?”

Pinkie Pie pointed at Sweetie Belle. Rainbow Dash, Sweetie Belle, and Applejack pointed at Pinkie Pie. Applebloom for some reason pointed at me. Scootaloo pointed at Sweetie Belle.

“General consensus says Pinkie Pie,” Twilight said. “So Pinkie Pie, what happened to my window this time?”

“Traitors,” she muttered, and then said, “Oh, you know how it is, Twilight. I just wanted to drop in on Navarone, see how he was doing.”

“And my window?”

“I dropped in, like I said.”

“Uh huh. And the books?” We all looked at Pinkie Pie again, making sure the blame stayed on her.

“Dropping in is hard work. Sometimes you don’t plan it right and you end up everywhere!”

Twilight sighed. “I don’t know how you managed to knock all these books loose…”

“And I don’t know why you make us pick them up by hand if you can pick orchards of apples and move thousands of torches by magic in an instant,” I said, at least making a token effort to defend her.

Twilight opened her mouth. And then closed it.

A few minutes later, the room was clean. Before those few minutes were up, I was already gone. I slipped out the door while everyone was watching things fly about.

As I headed to Fluttershy’s little house, I put the covering back over my wings. I really didn’t want to do this, but I knew I had to.

I did get a few stares from random ponies on the way to Fluttershy’s home. Most of the ponies here were getting used to me, and seeing me wearing what I was, and with no hair to boot, got a few of them confused. I got a few questions, which I answered, but I didn’t mention the whole effectively immortal thing.

When I finally got to Fluttershy’s house, I found myself stopping in front of her door, one hand raised to knock. When I knock on that door, everything might change. Again.

I knocked.

No answer. I turned to go.

And found Fluttershy standing behind me. I jumped.

“I was wondering how long it would take you to knock,” she said, smiling.

“You could have saved me the wait,” I answered, trying to cover my nervousness.

“I didn’t want to startle you...” She pushed past me and somehow opened the door. I swear, I don’t think the doorknobs do anything in this world, that they’re just there for show; all the ponies have to do is push a door and it opens. Whenever I try that, though, I have to actually turn the knob. Freaking crazy world. I shut the door behind me.

“So,” I said, “I’m going to start with the baseline assumption that you detest me now. That’s quite alright, I assure you.”

“Why would you think that?” she quietly asked, sitting down on her couch. Various animals around the room were staring at us. I saw Angel amongst the group, who alternated his gaze between me and a large knife on a table. For salad, I suppose. Or for me, if it came down to it.

I settled into a military-style at-ease pose. “That’s the general assumption I have whenever I tell anyone anything about me.”

“You are not terrible, Nav. But… you also aren’t good, as I used to think. You are what you need to be, good or bad or neither.” I waited. She eventually continued. “When you told me some of what you’ve done, I assumed you were trying to scare me away to protect me. And then I started reading. I didn’t know how to take it. I went to Pinkie Pie, the only one who I thought could help me. I told her some things I shouldn’t have… But she urged me to keep reading. I thought you loved me, thought were trying to protect me…”

There was a much longer pause this time. Finally, she sighed. “You don’t know how to feel anything,” she finally said. “No love in your heart. No loyalty. No hate. You have anger, happiness, and ambivalence. You have a sense of duty, but it is only to whatever helps you.”

That actually… hurts. I opened my mouth to say something, but she continued. “When I brought this up with Rainbow Dash, as you told me to, she actually agreed. And when Pinkie Pie got back and got over the shock of seeing you almost dead, she also agreed, with the reproof that you might be changing. I talked to Taya and Twilight today, and they’re the only two I’ve spoken to that think you have anything inside of you. And Twilight said the change is only recent, when I got her away from Taya for a second.” She paused again, and continued. “It took me a whole week of studying your journals to figure that out. If you had come back sooner… Well, you didn’t.”

Fuck it. “You are mostly correct. I also know despair. And dealing with Taya is reawakening some of the emotions in me that I thought long dead. And I’d like to think my loyalty is better than you say. I helped Pinkie Pie with her naga problem when I could have left. I helped Celestia the second time when I could have said no. I helped Rarity with her fashion stuff when I could have told her to fuck off. Hell, I’ve done most of the things you’ve all asked me to do. Complaining a lot, sure. But I did them.”

“You’re good at pretending. I picked up on some comments you made in your journals that gave your true opinions on the matter. When I pointed some of the comments out to Rainbow Dash, she actually started to agree.”

“Fine. So you don’t hate me. But at the same time you realize I don’t feel anything. Where does that leave us?”

“I’m… I’m so sorry, Nav,” she said, looking away.

“...About what?” I asked, actually confused.

“For you. You’re so hurt inside that you’re dead.” She looked back at me. “But this wasn’t something that happened while you were in Equestria. Nav, what happened in your world?”

"I don't want to talk about it."

“Please, Nav! As your friend, I want to know. I want to help you, help you feel again!”

Ugh. “You betrayed my secrets once, Fluttershy. Why should I give you any others?”

She flinched and looked away. “Nav, you… you need help. From anypony. Even if it’s not me…” She looked at me again. “Will you… will you at least promise me that you’ll tell somepony?”

I sighed and said, “You know, I used to be a lot like you. So kind, so helpful…” I waited a few seconds to see if she would try to say something, but she just waited patiently. “It is so very, very hard for people like that to survive where I came from. There are people that aren’t dicks. But those that are prey on you. Use you. And use you up. I thought I had so much kindness to give… I ran out.”

“You’ve lived with us three years, and yet you’re still so alien… You’ve told us about your world, but I don’t think any of us ever really listened. It’s a horrible place, if it has done this to you.”

“Here in Ponyville… I haven’t seen any ponies like that. You don’t have to worry about running out of kindness. I did. I learned it, and once I figured it out… There’s no going back. Fluttershy, I refuse to risk stealing too much of your kindness. I don’t know if you’re like me or if you could ever give up like I did, but I’m not going to find out.”

She looked away again and nodded, as if she expected nothing else. She probably didn’t, and I can’t blame her. “I’m sorry for you, Nav. I know you probably don’t understand why, but I am.” I like to think I understood perfectly why, but I really don’t.

So I said, “What now?”

She sighed and looked back at me. “We’re friends. Maybe you’ll make Luna happy one day. We’ll all help you with Taya, but Luna is something you’ll have to figure out on your own.”

All in all, not what I was expecting. Especially not from Fluttershy. But that’s life. You get what you get and there’s not much else to say about that.

“Where are my journal entries, anyway?” I asked.

She slowly walked over to the bookcase that magically reappeared when I wasn’t looking and took a binder down, bringing it over to me. “I hid them in here so nopony would accidentally see anything.”

“Awesome,” I said, popping it open and grabbing the secretive contents within. “Now that I know I can’t trust any of you, I’ll have to find somewhere better to hide these.”

“Can’t trust us?”

“You told Pinkie Pie what was in here. Rainbow Dash and Twilight both read through them while I was away. I’d say that’s a pretty good sign I can’t trust you. Maybe I’ll hide them with Celestia. Nobody would break into her room. And hell, she’s the one with the best chance of finding a way to get them home to my family if the worst happens.”

“I… I thought you weren’t that close to your family.”

“They deserve to have some answers. I was in bed and then I vanished. If anyone was in the house when I did disappear, I freaked them out when I was screaming. Probably thought I was being kidnapped. Which I was. But they should learn what happened so they can stop worrying.”

She nodded at that. “So you do have some heart.”

“I tend to do what I think is the right thing. It isn’t always the best thing or the most popular thing, but in my mind, it is the right thing. I don’t know if that means I have a heart or not. Probably not, since that occasionally requires me to kill.”

“Killing is never the right thing to do, though! Don’t you remember how you felt when you… killed the naga?”

“They would have died anyway. And there was a possibility they’d get to kill some of the naga on our side before they did so. I just sped up the process a bit.” Having said that, though, I honestly don’t know how the naga on my side would have dealt with the women and children I killed. Thankfully, Fluttershy didn’t bring that up.

“And the cats you killed?”

“It was them or me. I don’t ask you to excuse what I’ve done. I feel bad about having to do it, but I would do it all again. All the deaths at my hand were necessary.”

“…Calix?”

I flinched slightly. “He was… dangerous.” He’s the only one I ever had doubts about.

“You murdered him in the middle of a desert and made his death look like bandits, just so you could get a minor advantage over the king.”

“He had threatened me and Emerald Script. He had beaten at least one defenseless pony. And both Emerald Script’s and Calix’s death were planned by Celestia herself anyway. I was just a belated executioner. There’s no telling what trouble he could have caused for me or Celestia in Egypt, and if he screwed up I would have been heading back there to fix his mistake. He was a jerk, he was dangerous, and he is dead. Talking won’t change that.”

“But it might prevent it from happening again. If you’re going to live as long as you think, how likely is it that you’ll be called upon to help the princess again?”

“Fairly damn likely. I think she’ll trust me more, though. Probably enough to tell me if she actually wants me to kill someone.”

“And what if you kill somepony that she doesn’t want you to?”

“The chances of that happening will hopefully be low. Besides, I’m pretty sure anyone—or rather, any pony—that I kill will be someone she’ll be able to agree needs to die. And if not, well, we’ll see what’ll happen.”

“You shouldn’t rely on the possibility of Princess Luna still loving you to save you. She might hate you for what you did.”

“I’m not relying on that at all. I’m relying on my natural charm and good looks.”

She snorted at that.

I said, “I’m a bad influence on you. You used to be a lot nicer. And shyer.” Hell, I’m a bad influence on all of them.

“Reading your journals was… therapeutic. It helped me to know that it’s possible to be scared and still act.”

“Only an idiot isn’t afraid of scary things. Courage is the ability to overlook that fear and do what needs to be done anyway. Another word for courage is stupidity.”

“So what does that make you?” she asked coyly.

“Whatever the situation calls for, I suppose. Generally, I have no choice but to be brave. I had to face down Trixie because Twilight needed my help. I had to kill the naga to help Pinkie Pie. I had to go to Africa the first time because Celestia demanded it. I had to help the slaves because they would have killed Spike otherwise. I had to go back to Africa because Celestia needed me. And I had to fight the assassins because they would have killed me otherwise.”

“You always have an excuse, don’t you?”

“Not always, but I do my best to come up with them as I can.”

We talked for a bit on inconsequential matters. When I finally got up to go, she surprised me with a hug. “You might not be able to love, now,” she said, “but I hope you learn one day.” She let me go.

“I hope I do, too. I have at least a thousand years to learn, if all goes well.”

“If you ever need to talk about anything, Nav, come to me. Please. I know you’re… I know it’s hard for you to trust anypony. But… We want to help you.”

“...I know, Fluttershy. I’ll see you later.” She just watched me leave without another word. I had a feeling that if I looked back, I might well see tears in her eyes.

I learned a long time ago to never look back.

After finally extricating myself from Fluttershy’s humble abode, I headed off to Rarity’s shop. The clothes I had been wearing in the fire were one of my better sets, and I wanted them replaced. I also needed a new sheath for the naga knife, if possible. I don’t know why I didn’t ask her before, but sometimes my memory fails me.

When I entered the shop, I looked in and immediately stopped after a step and a half inside, foot still in the air. Rarity and Applejack stared at me with a deer-in-the-headlight look. They were both wearing the frilliest and gaudiest dresses I have ever seen, and they were sitting down for what looked like tea. I returned the stare for all of a few seconds.

I slowly reversed the direction my foot was heading and silently backed out of the shop, maintaining eye contact until the door was shut. I don’t know. I don’t want to know. Applejack hates wearing things like that, if you couldn’t tell. I resolved to knock the next time I came to the shop, in a few days.

With that option being currently blocked, I headed on back to the library, where I found Pinkie Pie watching Taya and Twilight practice some manner of magic or something. I started replacing journal entries while I thought no one was looking. I figured they would be fine there until I could get them to a safer place.

 

Around a week later, I was finally able to tell for myself that my hair was coming in green. My feathers were coming in white, of course, but the hair on my head was green. Around the time I was able to start noticing my hair, I also stopped getting hungry, for the most part. I was still thirsty, of course, but I rarely felt the pangs of hunger.

Most animals also completely stopped noticing me. Those that could talk—ponies, dragons, and a few naga visitors on their way to Canterlot—could see me fine. Exceptionally intelligent animals, like Angel, could also find me. But to the dumber ones, I might as well have been a tree.

I also stopped sleeping entirely. I still occasionally got tired, mind, but never enough to sleep. Any time I got some decent sunlight, I felt fully replenished again.

At that time, it was late August. Celestia, Twilight, and I all theorized that my hair would start changing colors in September and October, and I would start getting tired again. They predicted I would go bald come winter, but I was staying optimistic.

 

Around the time my hair was finally more than noticeable—about half a month after I left the palace—I was still feeling pretty down about the whole affair. Understandably so, in my mind—alive for… a thousand years. Think about it. Just… think. It is a terrifying thought, in my mind, that length of time.

Luna did it—alone. Celestia did it. Hell, I’m sure others have as well. But… me? I couldn’t help but shake my head as I walked through town. I don’t want to live like that. I can’t imagine living knowing there might not be an end. Maybe things will get be—“Why so glum?”

I jerked back from the massive pink face that was suddenly in my way. How did you get on my head?

Pinkie jumped off me and landed on her feet in front of me and quickly grabbed my upper body and pulled it down to her level so she could look me in the eye. “Well?” she asked with the beginnings of a smile.

“I’m thinking,” I answered. I tried to pull myself back up, but she didn’t let go. “How are you holding onto my shirt? I couldn’t do shit like that as a pony.”

She finally let me go and I stood up straight. I saw then that the road we were on was somehow empty. It was also getting pretty late, and I suspected it would be dark soon. “P-shaw!” she said, waving her hoof and putting on an incredulous look. “Thinking is overrated, you silly filly!”

“I’m not silly,” I said.

“You need to be like me!”

“And I’m older than you.” Or at least, I think I am. How old are these ponies, anyway?

“Just come with me and let all those nasty thoughts slip away!”

“I’m also not a girl, so filly doesn’t even apply.”

She grabbed me again and tried to drag me off somewhere. I flared my barren wings out and dug my heels in.

“I’m fine, Pinkie,” I said.

She turned to face me again. “Nuh-uh!”

“Yes I am.”

“No you aren’t!”

“Yes, I am.”

“No you aren’t!”

“Yes I am!”

“Yes, you are!” she quickly said. I blinked.

“Good, then we’ve come to an agreement.” Her mouth dropped and her eyes went wide. Even her grip went slack. I walked around her and kept going on the path I had been treading.

I heard her walking—not bouncing, but walking—behind me. “How did you… What did… Huh?”

“You agreed with me so I felt no reason to continue the discourse,” I answered. “Or did you actually need something?” I asked, turning to face her again. I saw her looking incredibly confused for all of a moment before her habitual smile returned. She bounced up to me again.

“You need a party!” she said, her voice cheerful again.

“I disagree,” I answered. “Is the sane Pinkie there? I would like to talk to her.”

Her smile deepened as she shook her head. “Just me!” she replied. “And you can never disagree with a Pinkie Party!” Her smile dropped and she stood on her hind legs to stare me in the eye, one of hers closing and the other seeming to zoom in on me. “They’ll always find you!” she added, her voice going pretty deep for a second. She dropped back and her smile returned. “So make it easy on me and do this willingly!” she said, her voice back to cheery.

I spread my wings and jumped into the air, only to remember I didn’t have any feathers. She leapt at my legs and held me still before I could try to run. “HE’S CHOOSING THE HARD WAY!” she yelled out. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Applejack and Rainbow Dash leap out of an alley. Applejack was whirling a rope around her head, holding it with her mouth.

Is that a fucking lasso?

She let it loose and I barely managed to duck under it. Somehow, it landed on Pinkie Pie, and before anyone knew what was happening, Pinkie got dragged past me and trussed up by Applejack, who promptly face-hoofed. “Dangit, Pinkie!” she groaned.

Rainbow Dash landed a few yards from me, standing in an attack mode. “Don’t make me do this, Nav,” she warned.

I held my hands up in a placating gesture. “Look, I don’t like parties, okay. But I’m not going to fucking fight you guys to avoid it. I know I can’t outrun you, Rainbow. Let Pinkie go and I’ll go with you.” I thought for a moment. “Actually, on second thought, don’t let Pinkie go and I’ll happily go with you.”

Rainbow Dash stood down, but I knew she was still prepared to chase me down if I tried to run. Applejack was untying Pinkie Pie, who was giving me a pleased look.

“Why would you just give up that easily?” Rainbow Dash finally asked.

I looked at her. “Rainbow Dash, you read my journals. You know how many times I’ve been…” My eyes flicked to Applejack for a moment. “Well, you know. Some things you just can’t fight and there’s no reason to even try. Just give in and hope it’s as painless as possible.”

Rainbow Dash gave me a pitying look before turning her gaze to Pinkie and Applejack. “He really doesn’t want to do this. I say we just let him go,” she said.

I saw a fire in Pinkie’s eyes. “I went through all the trouble to plan this party and he’s going to enjoy it!” she asserted, before running up to grab my hand again and dragging me off. I sighed and let her take me away. Applejack and Rainbow Dash followed and I imagined they were sharing a look.

When I saw that Pinkie Pie was leading me to a fucking cellar, I ground my heels in and refused to move. “Hell no! Not after last time!” I yelled, ripping my hand away from her and turning to leave.

Applejack and Rainbow Dash casually grabbed my arms and continued dragging me. “You know I don’t lie,” Applejack said. “And I say it’s fine. Just an odd location, is all.”

I relaxed a bit. Applejack and Rainbow Dash would never do something like that to me. I thought the same of Rarity and Pinkie, though… Besides, I’m human right now anyway. They’re not attracted to my human body… Right?

“Alright,” I said. “You can stop dragging me.” I felt their legs drop from my sides and I turned to see the cellar door already open. “Whose house is this, anyway?” I cocked my head, hearing something coming up from the stairs. “And… what’s that sound?”

It sounded… mesmerizing. Like nothing I had heard in this world yet… Techno. I started smiling.

Pinkie’s smile returned when she saw mine. “This isn’t your typical Pinkie Party,” she said. She led the way down the stairs and I followed her. Applejack and Rainbow Dash fell in behind me and one of them swung the cellar gates closed. When I got in, I heard the music pick up again. When the doors closed, I heard a cheer as the music really kicked up. When we got to the bottom, I saw a sight I thought I would never see in Ponyland: Fucking ravers!

The smile on my face could mimic Pinkie’s on a bad day. I had always wanted to go to a human rave, just once, to see what it was all about. I didn’t figure a pony rave would have all the drugs and naked (human) chicks, but ponies tend to make do with what they have.

That said, I can’t dance and I really don’t like being in the center of attention, so I knew exactly what I would be doing this entire party: Watching from the sidelines.

Then I realized I came here with Pinkie Pie, and that this party was apparently thrown for me. This is going to be interesting.

Pinkie Pie was saying something about the DJ. I heard her saying something about trying to get someone named Scratch, but that she was planning for something huge and couldn’t take a break from it. So instead they got a few other people to sub in. The one playing right now was apparently DJ Scoots, or something. I looked at him and I don’t think he had any relation to Scootaloo.

He was playing the board pretty well, though. Got my head nodding to the beat, that’s for sure. I don’t know where Applejack and Rainbow Dash wandered off to, but when I checked, they weren’t behind me anymore. It was just Pinkie and me on the edge of a large crowd of dancing ponies. I saw a ‘bar’ type thing set up on one side of the cellar. There were different colored lights hooked to the ceiling, and with the thump of the music and the thump of the hoof beats on the floor from the dancing, they were strobing quite a bit.

The DJ was set up at the far end of the cellar that seemed to be quite a bit larger than physically possible. There were two massive speakers set up to the sides of the table, and there was some manner of board or something the DJ was playing on—I couldn’t tell from where I was.

Pinkie Pie was still trying to drag me, but I put up all the stops this time. There was no way she was going to drag me onto that floor. I would pull out my dagger and cut off my arm before I let that happen. I would explain that to her, but she wouldn’t be able to hear me—or would pretend to not hear me.

So I ripped my hand from her grasp. It was a lot harder than it should have been, what with her not having any fingers. I backed my way up to a wall and stood there watching.

Pinkie followed, because she’s annoying like that. She gave me a look of pure sadness. I motioned her forward. She came up. I bent down and pulled her head close to mine. “I don’t dance,” I said. I made sure it was loud enough for her to hear me.

She pulled her head away and glared at me. I shrugged. She pointed to the dance floor. I shook my head with a small smile. She glared for two seconds before sprinting away. And here… we… go! I knew I hadn’t seen the end of her, but at the same time I still loved the party. I love watching stuff like this, for some reason.

I also really loved the music. It had been a long time since I heard music this heavy in my chest. I felt the drop in the song I was listening to and couldn’t help but smile: This music sounded eerily similar to some stuff I had heard back home. Ponies couldn’t make music the same as we had, but they could do some interesting stuff. I knew some of those beats had to be done by magic, but this Scoots fellow wasn’t a unicorn.

I was crowd watching when I saw Derpy and Doctor Whooves. Derpy had a pretty big gap around her, since everyone knows what happens when she does anything dance-like: Bad things. They were still doing their best to dance together, with interesting results. Wonder how that timid stallion ended up down here. I know he had gotten better, since Derpy had been working with him. And maybe he listened to my advice and manned up a bit. I hadn’t really dealt much with him since I got him that date; we still talked every now and then, but nothing much came of it. Derpy still gave me muffins every now and then, which was nice.

I was looking somewhere else when I saw Lyra and Bon-Bon. Bon-Bon was obviously a little uncomfortable, but Lyra was living this up. I ended up having several more encounters with those two over the years. I listened to Lyra’s music quite a bit in the park, whenever I wandered by and saw her playing. I listened to their problems and helped when I could and gave them a shoulder to cry on when I couldn’t. I discovered just how disturbingly fascinated Lyra was with fingers one day, but she never tried anything untoward, so I didn’t say anything.

I saw Rainbow Dash and Applejack dancing somewhere else. I didn’t figure this was much Applejack’s kind of scene, but I’ve misjudged people—and ponies—in the past. I saw Twilight and Spike dancing away in another spot. Twilight… God, she’s a terrible dancer. Like, think of the whitest person you know. Twilight is even worse at dancing. It’s almost painful to watch. Still, if she has fun, she has fun. I figured if Spike was with her, that meant Rarity was not here. This was definitely not her scene. It wasn’t Fluttershy’s either, so there was no surprise I didn’t see her.

I was rather surprised to see the Cutie Mark Crusaders dancing, though. All three of them were busting moves on the dance floor. I saw that Scootaloo had her scooter for some reason, and was using it to accentuate her dancing. I can’t imagine what Rarity would think if she knew Sweetie Belle was at this kind of party.

What I was surprised at not seeing anywhere was Pinkie Pie. I knew she was going to make a move to get me on the floor, but I didn’t know what exactly she was planning.

I looked over at the bar. I know they don’t have booze. I know about salt, and I don’t see any. Do… Do ponies have other drugs? Note to self: Don’t take any sugar cubes offered to me. I hate being drugged. Although… I suppose since ponies can get extreme sugar highs, the bar probably has all kind of sugar stuff. Wonder if they have any caffeine… After so long, I could probably get just a little bit of that stuff and crash after a terribly hyper night.

I closed my eyes and crouched down, letting my head just nod to the beat. It might have been a party for me, but I was enjoying it the way I knew how.

It was about half an hour before Pinkie made her first try: She sent Twilight over to me. Don’t ask how I know Pinkie did it, because she wasn’t so naïve as to show her hand in it. But I just knew. After all, if I was dancing with Twilight, no one would be able to comment on how badly I was dancing.

I didn’t see her coming, but when I felt a bubble of magic surround me, I opened my eyes to see her looking at me with a massive smile. The music and noise from outside was muffled in the bubble she made. “Why aren’t you dancing, Nav?” she asked.

“Who’s watching Taya?”

“Taya is practically an adult, as mature as she is. I don’t think she needs anypony watching her. Now, why aren’t you dancing?”

“I don’t dance to stuff like this,” I said with a shrug.

“But you don’t mind ballroom dancing.”

“I don’t particularly like it either, but I didn’t have much choice in the matter when it came to learning it.”

She rolled her eyes. “I read your journals, Nav. I know you enjoy it.”

I couldn’t hide a grin. “Either way, that’s ballroom dancing. Nothing at all like this. Ballroom dancing has order. This… this is not my element.”

“I thought you loved dancing to tunes you don’t know,” she commented.

“I’m not as young as I used to be,” I said, sighing wistfully. “I miss those days.”

She shook her head. “Not much has really changed, you know,” she said.

“Aside from me getting a daughter and learning I’m going to outlive her and just about everyone else I know in this world?”

She blinked. “Well, I suppose a little has changed. But this party is for you, Nav. No reason to spend it against the wall.”

I smiled lazily. “That’s where I belong, Twilight,” I answered.

“What about Pinkie?” she asked.

“What about her? She threw this party for me, didn’t she?”

“She sure did,” Twilight answered. “And if you don’t have fun, she’s going to be hurt.”

“I am having fun, Twilight. I don’t like being the center of attention, and you bet your ass that’s what would happen if I got on that dance floor. Everyone would make room for the human and a lot of them would be watching. I get watched enough. I don’t feel like giving them another reason.”

She gave me a smile I could only describe as creepy. “I could turn you into a pony for the night,” she said.

“Pass. You know I hate being a pony. There are a few reasons I’m willing to do that. Dancing is not one of them. Hell, I’m uncoordinated enough as a pony. Trying to dance to this would probably end up with me on the floor.”

I think she was beginning to get a bit flustered. “I can’t just leave you against the wall!”

“Sure you can,” I said. “I’m fine here. I like the music and I like watching the crowd. I might hit up the bar later, see what they have.”

Her gaze turned that way and her mouth dropped. “I didn’t even see that! I wonder if…” She shuddered and turned her gaze back to me. “I suggest avoiding that bar, Nav,” she said. “I’ve never been to… to one of these parties before, but I know it’s best to stay clean if you do.”

“Oh, now I’m interested. What do they have? Some kind of pony drug?”

“Well, aside from the obvious salt, they probably have some extra-strength sugar. They might even…” She gulped. “They might even mix sugar and salt!

I couldn’t help but laugh. “Twilight, that shit doesn’t affect me. Unless they have booze or E or something, I’ll be fine.”

“…E?”

“Human party drug. That shit is wild. Let’s just say that it would make you loosen up right quick. Shame I never got any back home…” I bet I could find shrooms, though. And I did see some plants growing in the forest that might have been weed…

She looked at me with a bit of concern. “You would actually willingly do something like that?” Her voice rang with a bit of horror.

I blinked. “You ain’t lived until you try everything once,” I answered.

The smile was back on her face. Oh, shit. “Well, why don’t you come on down to the dance floor, then?”

Time for lies. “I’ve tried it in the past,” I said. “It’s not for me, like I said.” I shrugged. “I ain’t going.”

She glared at me and stormed off.

I settled back again.

The next attempt came ten minutes later. It was Spike. He looked at me. I looked at him. I shook my head. He shrugged.

I held up my fist. He bumped it.

He went back to the floor.

I swear I heard Pinkie howling in frustration.

Wait, that is howling… but it’s not Pinkie.

I heard the music start to wind down. The DJ pulled up a mic. “A’ight, mares and stallions, my set is UP!” There was a general chorus of boos until Scoots held up his front legs for silence. “I ain’t gonna leave you hanging. You may hear that howling. That’s the sound of the next DJ making her way to the stage.” The cellar doors burst open and a dark mist flew through them. What the dick? It flew through and around the crowd, finally starting to coalesce at the DJ table. “Many of you might have met this crazy mare in the past. Some of you know her by a different name. Meet the dark and mysterious ruler of the night, Princess Luna herself!”

The dark mist finally gained a definite shape—a shape that was much larger than Luna. But before I could discern any features, the form shrank down to Luna’s regular size. That’s… unexpected. She pulled up a mic of her own. “Beat it, Scoots. This is my party.” It was good natured and the crowd loved it.

Without another word she conjured up a dusty record player. There were groans in the audience. She raised an eyebrow. “You don’t like my dusty old music?” she mocked. With a grin and a glow of her horn she turned that dusty record player into a massive fucking turn table. The audience cheered. Her horn glowed for a second and the music started.

My mouth dropped. She was… No. Fucking. Way. She was playing Ride of the Valkyries! The ponies in the crowd were staring up at her like she was an idiot.

Until the fucking beat dropped. She fucking remixed Ride of the Valkyries!

Well, this night just turned completely badass. After that song, she played a remixed In the Hall of the Mountain King. Then she hit several songs I didn’t know but were all classical.

I don’t know how Pinkie got Princess Luna here.

I don’t know how Princess Luna learned to DJ.

I don’t know how Princess Luna knew songs from Earth.

I do know that shit was cash, as I’ve heard said back home. Shit was so cash. And if you don’t know what that means, well, you shouldn’t be reading these journals anyway, you dick.

Then Pinkie had to ruin it with another attempt to get me on the floor. I turned my head to the side and saw Rarity sitting next to me. Tonight is just full of surprises. I turned my head back to the crowd as I felt another bubble surround us.

“Navarone, I don’t suppose you would be willing to escort a lady to the dance floor,” she said.

I turned back to face her. “If you can find me a lady, I might be,” I answered with a bit of a smirk.

She gave me a look of pure malevolence. I saw someone in the crowd eyeing us and I motioned him over. He was picking his way through the crowd when Rarity dropped her look and said, “Then I don’t suppose you would deign to join me?”

“I don’t dance to stuff like this,” I answered. “As I’m sure Pinkie Pie told you when she put you up to this.”

She blushed slightly. Man, ponies are just absolute shit at lying. “I… I don’t know what you’re talking about!” she said. “And if you can’t take me onto the dance floor, I’m afraid I just can’t go! It just wouldn’t do for a lady of my standing to go alone, unescorted!”

Enter Spike. “He’s free,” I said, nodding to him.

Spike beamed. Rarity looked at him. After a moment she put on a small smile and turned back to me. “Fine. Since you refuse to be a gentle-stallion, I shall make one out of Spike! Come along, dear!” she said, grabbing him and dragging him off to the floor.

Spike held up a fist as he was dragged away and I met it in the air. Of course, that leaves Twilight alone, but I don’t think she’ll notice.

Either way, this time I know I heard a shriek of frustration somewhere. I couldn’t stop a smile.

Half an hour and no attempts later, Pinkie herself came out and sat next to me. She let out a deep sigh that I could barely hear over the remix of Waltz of the Flowers. I didn’t say anything.

I felt something fit around my ear. “You’re tough to crack,” I heard Pinkie say, as though from a great distance. I jerked and turned my head to see a funnel from her mouth to where my ear had been. She motioned me closer. After a moment of thought, I did so. “Tough to crack… But I’ll give you one more chance. Dance with me and I’ll forget you ever tried to fight this party. Refuse, and… Well, I don’t want to break you. But I will.”

I grabbed the funnel thingy and put the big hole up to her ear. “Make my day,” I answered with a smile.

She looked at me with the biggest grin on her face. She raised her head a little and brought her hoof across her throat slowly. With that, she stood and bounced off, leaving me the funnel thing. I think it might be time for me to call it a night. I stood to go and wandered to the cellar doors, only to find they were barred. “Now that’s a serious fire hazard,” I mused aloud. I went to the bar.

I sat on a stool and looked for a menu. I sure didn’t see one. The bartender came over to me and said, very clearly, “Host said to give you nothin’. Said you had to stay sober for some reason.” He shrugged. “Seems cruel and unusual to me, but she’s payin’.” He pointed me to the floor. I shrugged and headed back to my spot on the wall, only to find it occupied by a couple. I turned and looked. All of the spots were either occupied or were too awkwardly close to a couple to be claimed.

Clever girl…

I made my way back to the bar. He couldn’t give me anything, but nothing says I can’t si—the bar was full. Huh.

I looked back at the dance floor. It was still pretty packed. I looked at the walls. Covered in couples. I looked at the bar. No empty stool. “How many ponies are down here?” I asked no one in particular.

Now, as the only human anywhere in this world, I’m pretty damn noticeable. I’m sure the word has spread that I was here as soon I stepped in the door. I’m sure most of the people knew I was against the wall, chilling. And now they all saw me just… awkwardly standing there. What’re my options?

I couldn’t hit the wall. I couldn’t leave. I couldn’t hit the bar. I refused to hit the dance floor because I wasn’t about to let Pinkie win. I looked around one more time. I saw the DJ stand and smiled. Thank you, Luna!

I picked my way around the couples on the wall and got to the front of the cellar. It was quite a bit louder up here, without the mass of ponies blocking the sound. I sat against the speaker. My ears would be feeling it come morning—and all next week, as it turned out—but I was doing good.

Until I felt another field of magic dim the music and I saw Luna’s head bend down from the stand. “There had better be a good reason you aren’t enjoying my… beats… Nav,” she said.

I turned to her. “Luna, this is probably one of the most badass things I’ve seen you do so far. I love it. I just don’t dance to stuff like this.” I shrugged. “Pinkie has been trying to get me to all night. She chased me all the way up here. Thankfully, I know you wouldn’t force me to do something like that.”

She smiled and pulled her head back. With her went the magic field.

Why do I have a bad feeling about this? I shrugged and went back to enjoying the tunes.

Two songs later and her set ended. She played herself off with an insanely remixed version of the national anthem of the Soviet Union.

I almost cried from the awesomeness. It’s a damn shame none of those ponies in the crowd had any idea what it was. When the last notes rang away, the crowd burst into cheers in the newly made silence. Luna raised her hooves for silence and it gradually returned. For having a rocky start, she had an awesome end.

“I believe my time with you is at an end, ponies of Ponyville,” she said, her voice ringing out through the speakers. The crowd groaned and booed. She raised her hooves and it died down quickly. “My sister likes to keep me busy with princess duties, so I fear I have to return to Canterlot. Don’t think I won’t leave you in good hooves; DJ Pinks, make your way to the stage!” Oh hell no.

I looked to the crowd and didn’t see her. I looked back to the stage and—Yep, there’s Pinkie Pie shaking Luna’s hoof with a big ol’ smile. I saw Pinkie’s eyes catch mine, leaning out from behind the speakers. She winked. I slinked away from view. Time to catch a ride with a beautiful princess.

Thankfully, Luna decided to leave in a more mundane fashion, so I was able to grab her as she left the stand. We were enveloped with a field of magic as I pulled her over. “Can you get me out of here?” I asked.

She smiled at me. “This party is for you, planned by your friend! Why would you want to leave?”

“I don’t think anyone is watching Taya and the doors are barred. I want to check on her.” Her horn glowed. Fuck. “Oh come on, that’s all true!” The horn didn’t glow this time. Stupid horn.

She looked less than impressed at my lie. “So what’s the real reason you want to leave?”

I sighed. “Pinkie is going to try to make me dance and I don’t want to.”

Her horn didn’t glow. She looked at me like an idiot. “Did you try telling her no?”

“Yes.”

“I think I can take you away,” she said with a smile. “On one condition.” She paused for a second and leaned in close enough to whisper in my ear. “Let’s take a trip to the moon.”

I looked at her. She was definitely smiling. I shrugged. “Okay. It’s beautiful up there.” I put my hand on her side.

“That easy?” she asked, actually surprised. “If I had known, I would have asked sooner!” She blushed for a moment. “Well, maybe not. Not after what happened the last time I left the city without permission…” I had forgotten she was banished to the palace. Maybe she got a pass for tonight.

“If you’re going to get in trouble if you don’t get back, we can just go to Canterlot instead,” I said. “As long as I’m with you it doesn’t really matter where it is.” I can’t believe I just said that.

She beamed and threw her front legs around me. In a flash, we were on the moon. Well, at least I won’t get to see the rest of Pinkie’s scheme. I mean, Pinkie is good. But there’s no way in hell she can get to the moon. I put my arms around Luna, knowing it was expected.

“I feel bad about abandoning your third anniversary party,” Luna said, still holding me.

“Third anni—It is, isn’t it? I’ve been here three years. Time flies when someone’s trying to kill you.” Or get you killed.

I looked up to see the planet. Still an amazing sight. Still looks so much like Earth…

“It gets old,” Luna said. I looked back down to see her looking up. After a moment, she turned her face to me. “Looking up at it, I mean.”

“A lot of things can get old after so long,” I answered. But never you, is what I should say, but I already said too much.

She smiled as though she knew what I was thinking. “I know this is hard for you, Nav. So much has changed for you… And trying to romance something you once thought of as an animal of burden can’t be easy.” She pulled away from me, making sure I kept in contact with her, and sat us both down side by side. I put my arm around her. We just looked off into the expanse of the empty sky.

“Luna?” I said after a while.

“Yes, Navarone?” she said without looking up.

“Where did you learn to DJ like that?”

I saw her smiling. “You told me to visit the cities. To… ‘get over’ my fears. You mentioned that some cities in your world never sleep. The same is true here, as I learned. But… the ponies I found not sleeping were very different from what I was used to. But they were also much more willing to accept me than most other ponies were. I visited several… nightclubs, I think they’re called. Eventually somepony offered to let me run the tables, and everypony else in the crowd loved the idea of a princess as a DJ.” She blushed lightly. “It was hard, at first. But the crowd was understanding, and I eventually got pretty good.”

“So… where did you get all that human music?”

She looked at me, then. “Human music?” she asked, confused. “Those were all songs popular back before… Well, you know. I added a few present-day touches to them, but their essences were the same.”

“Luna, the last song you played was the National Anthem of the Soviet Union. And I recognized several other songs as well. And I recognized them from Earth.

She shrugged and turned her gaze back to the horizon. “No telling,” she said. “That’s not the only unsolved mystery in this world.”

As the silence returned, I couldn’t help but think. And as is so often the case, my thoughts turned dark rather quickly. This world… I sighed inwardly. I don’t want to go so far as to say that it sucks, but… I’ve not had an easy time of it.

I was still psychologically damaged from a lot of things. Killing. Rapes. Being hurt—often badly. And none of the ponies seemed to be able to help me with those. They tried, of course—I can’t fault them for that. But you can’t stop the nightmares that still occasionally hit. You can’t stop the occasional flashbacks. You can’t stop the small twinge of fear each time I see Pinkie or Rarity or any cats at all. I like to think that I forgave them, but I know that they’re capable of it now. All of that combined has made me incredibly passive. Even more than I was when I got there, I mean; some things you just can’t fight, as I told Rainbow Dash earlier.

At the same time, though, I was more capable than I probably ever was in the past. I was decked out with weapons when I needed to be and I always had a few daggers hidden to use in a last-ditch effort. I was physically fit. I could walk and run for a while. When my feathers grew back, I would be able to fly again. Imagine that: A human flying with actual wings. I didn’t even have to worry about pulling an Icarus and getting too close to the sun.

And I have more friends now than at just about any other point in my life. I never really was much of a people person, but in a way, the ponies somehow managed to work around that. Maybe it’s because they weren’t people. And I have a daughter, even if she is adopted.

But could I ever romantically love a pony? Could I ever have sex with one without flinching slightly at the very idea?

I looked at Luna, sitting at my side with her own look of contemplation. What does she think of when she sees the moon? What does she think of when she returns here? What changes has she seen with her eyes? And yet she still moves forward, Celestia alongside her.

One day, I mused. I’ll be able to love them. I know I will. I patted Luna’s neck lightly with the hand around her shoulder.

What does pony or human really matter, when faced with love?

 

Thankfully, everything did seem to calm down through fall and winter. My hair did change colors, and stopped at an unhealthy grey color that stuck with me all through winter. I was just thankful the stuff didn’t fall out. I did start to get tired again, though, when my hair started changing. By the end of winter, all of my hair had returned to where it should be, and I was fully able to fly again. It was nice.

(Sex is coming. Ctrl+f Sex is over to skip)

 

 

 

 

A few months after I dealt with Fluttershy and around the time my hair finally grew back fully, Twilight approached me somewhat nervously. “Navarone, would you mind helping me with an… anatomy study?” she asked in a rather timid voice.

“Why would you need me to study anatomy? I’m the only human here; there’s nothing important to be gained from it,” I answered. Taya was with Fluttershy at the time, learning something or another about healing or nature or some crap. She didn’t tell me why she was going, I just assumed. Spike was away with Rarity, lusting over her and wishing for any manner of attention. It was just me and Twilight in her library at the moment.

“I would… turn you into a pony first…” At my look of trepidation, she said, “It shouldn’t take too long, I promise!”

I sighed. “Fine, as long as I’m not stuck as a pony for a few days. You know how odd it feels, changing like that. And if Taya comes back and sees me like that, you’re going to have to explain it to her.”

“Don’t worry, she’ll be away long enough,” she said, and whispered something I barely heard, “Fluttershy promised me a few hours…”

Oh, this is one of those kinds of anatomy studies… I started taking my clothes off; no reason to ruin them in the change. I nodded when I was ready.

As ever, the change between human and pony was incredibly jarring. All my senses get jacked up and my center of gravity changes heavily. I fell forward on my front legs, and my eyes saw all manner of things I hadn’t seen before; I had a much wider field of vision, now. I noticed a pot of flowers that I hadn’t seen before, along with a few other things I rarely look at.

And I noticed new smells, too. One, specifically, was very strong. I shuddered, trying to ignore it. “Twilight, I’m smelling… pheromones. Would you kindly help me with that?”

I looked at her through half-lidded eyes, trying not to lose myself. I usually didn’t have this kind of problem; every time after the first time that I became a pony, I was immediately guarded against the smells. I saw a small smile on her face, along with a lot of nervousness. “I trust you, Nav. I don’t think you’ll do anything bad.”

I smelled a sharpness to the air, just then. My eyes widened fractionally. “This… anatomy lesson… You didn’t plan it for when you were in heat, did you?”

“Navarone! I am a scientist! That would be… highly unprofessional!” I tried to fight my growing arousal; I am not attracted to ponies, by God, but that smell! It stole the mind, ensnared the senses, dulled everything else. I knew that if I gave into it, I would not be able to control anything—or anyone—I did.

“This is tantamount to rape!” I forced through my lips.

“I would never let you rape me, Nav!”

“If you had just… I would have helped you, if you had…” I started shuddering, trying to control myself as best as possible. “Wrong… So wrong… I thought we were friends!” I was losing myself in it now.

And suddenly the smell was gone. I sagged, released from its spell. Eventually I forced my eyes open to see Twilight staring at me with guilt and horror in her eyes, her horn glowing.

“What…” I tried asking, before she stopped me by tearing up.

“I can’t believe I almost… I’m so sorry, Nav! It’s just… you don’t know what it’s like, having this burning desire!” I snorted at that. She didn’t hear me or if she did she ignored me. “I know it’s a base instinct, but I got tired of fighting it. I usually get a tea from Zecora, but I’ve been so busy! I thought… You seemed like the best option… I know you can’t forgive me, but… I’m sorry.” She was rather remorseful about it, I could tell.

“Twilight, if you think I don’t know about a burning desire, you really don’t know anything about men. We live with that constantly. That pheromone makes it uncontrollable for someone like me, who has no experience guarding against it, just the same as you having less experience guarding against your desire than I do against mine. But it is natural, and I can understand wanting to extinguish it. If you had asked, I would have helped you deal with it, as a friend. As long as no one else learns of this, at least.”

“I’ve never… had sex before… I don’t know if it will make this feeling I have go away or not. But if you’re willing to try to help me…” She was very nervous about it, and she had every right to be. The first time for a woman is different, I think, than it is for a man. “I know you’re not attracted to ponies, though. I brought lavender… I read somewhere that the smell helps stallions in some ways.”

I could smell it from where I was standing. I didn’t really need it, though; I was still rather hard from what I had been through a minute ago.

“Well, we’re not about to do this in the front room of the library,” I said. “I sure don’t want to answer the questions that will be asked if someone walks in.”

She blinked. Did you not think of that? “Then… Let’s go up to… my room, I suppose.” She started off and I followed.

“When was the last time you bathed?” I asked as we headed up the stairs—awkwardly for me, since I was rather unused to taking stairs with four feet.

She was a little off-put at the question, but answered, “Right before I came to see you. Why?”

I didn’t answer. We got to her room and she turned to face me. She was unable to meet my gaze, she was so nervous.

“Turn around.” She did so hesitantly, probably expecting me to mount her immediately. I was tempted, I admit; my mind was still reeling from my instincts, and my instincts were telling me to mount this mare and take her as hard as possible as fast as possible for as long as possible. And it would seem like suitable punishment for trying to rape me.

But I am a gentleman. Sort of.

She bent her front legs down and stuck her hindquarters in the air. She swished her tail aside in a move she probably thought was sexy. It might have been, I don’t know.

Instead of mounting her, I eased my face in and gave her a taste. Each girl I’ve done that to has had a different taste. Twilight was soft, velvety. She tasted of… I don’t hardly know how to describe it, honestly. It was sweet and fleshy, not at all unpleasant.

What I do know, however, is that as soon as my tongue met her walls, she immediately reacted. She moaned and arched her back even more, and said with as much lust as her normally bookish tone could hold, “I don’t know what you’re doing, but don’t stop!” One thing I had learned is that the ponies I spend time with don’t know shit about foreplay.

I didn’t disappoint, that’s for sure. Another thing I’ve learned is that mares actually have a clitoris. It’s just hidden and only occasionally winks out in a really disgusting way. I found Twilight’s with my tongue and gave it some special attention. She rewarded my efforts with more sounds of approval. After a little bit of that, to warm her up, I thrust my tongue inside her folds.

I stopped when I started tasting copper. I had to remind myself she was still in heat before I freaked out. With a grunt of disapproval from Twilight, I removed my tongue.

“Why did you—” she started, before my front legs hunched over shoulders. “Oh. Oh! When… whenever you’re ready…” she uttered nervously.

I figured I should probably warn her. “You’re a virgin, so this might hurt,” I said. “I’ll go slow. Tell me if you need me to stop. Also… I won’t get you pregnant, will I?”

“I got… I got a spell from Rarity to protect me,” she said. “Though why Rarity knew it…”

I took a second to align my head to the entrance to her love hole, and gently eased my tip in. Twilight answered with a sigh that turned into a moan as I slowly spread her open. I was a few inches into her when I felt resistance. I stopped.

“This is where the pain might begin,” I warned. “And this is the point of no return. If you want to stop—” She used magic to thrust me into her as hard as she could manage in her state of pleasure. I felt her grunt in pain, and she had to lean her head down to hide the small tears forming at her eyes. I couldn’t stop a sigh of pleasure for myself, though: When she did that, it felt great on my head.

I gave her a second to recuperate, before I said, “If that’s how you want to play…” I slowly eased myself almost all the way out of her before slamming into her again. She moaned, in pleasure or pain I couldn’t tell. I was thinking pleasure, though, because she didn’t say a thing, just raised her ass higher and pulled her head up some more.

I took it nice and slow, after that. I gently eased myself in and out, with her moaning at the building pleasure and me starting to nod a bit in tune with the gentle thrusting.

Twilight was very, very tight, for a pony, and she was starting to get to me. I know I’m not attracted to ponies, but sex is sex. It felt good. I knew I could keep going for a while, though; my past experiences had, if nothing else, given me a decent bit of stamina, even though it had been a while.

After a few minutes of slow and gentle thrusting, Twilight begged, “Please Nav, you’re killing me! Harder!” I gently eased myself fully into her. She was nice and wet now, fully lubricated and ready.

I know she couldn’t see it, but I smiled. “You asked,” was all the warning she had before I began fucking her in earnest. I know normal ponies aren’t capable of a predator’s smile, but I’m a human at heart, and I managed my best as I thrust in and out of her as fast as I could go. A harsh thwacking sound could be heard every time I thrust in, and her moans of pleasure quickly reached a nice crescendo.

I could feel her walls start to spasm around my member, and I widened my smile and kept going as she suffered through her first orgasm. When she stopped spasming around me, I gently eased my member out as far as it could go without actually pulling out.

Slowly, she turned her neck to look at me. I could see a new light in her eyes. “Nav, I… My books never said it would be like that! I… Why are you looking at me like that?” she saw my smile at that point.

I thrust back inside of her as hard as I could. I saw her eyes widen in surprise.

I answered her, still thrusting in and out, while her head turned back, arching back slightly, “I’m hardly done. You wanted this desire of yours killed. I’ll wear your pussy out. That should help you for a nice spell.” Each word was punctuated by a thrust.

I knew she had to still be sensitive from her orgasm, and I used that as best as I could. I used a few tricks I had been forced to learn by Kat to hit some more sensitive spots on Twilight. To be quite honest, Twilight never really stood a chance.

Half an hour and two more orgasms later, I finally let myself stop. I probably could have kept going, but Twilight was begging me to stop. “Oh Nav! I’m so—ooh—so sensitive! S—Oh!—stop!”

Instead of just stopping abruptly, I slowly eased down, until I was barely moving. With one last, sharp thrust of my hips that made Twilight squeal, I thrust myself in as far as I could get it and came inside of her. Twilight let off a grunt when she felt my hot seed inside of her.

For a while, the only sounds in the room were two ponies, softly panting.

I gently pulled myself all the way out of her, my limp manhood already starting to conceal itself again. I gently dismounted her. “So,” I finally said, “how’s that for your anatomy lesson? Or should we call it your lesson in Advanced Friendship?”

She couldn’t stop a laugh, and tried a seductive lilt, “I forgot to take notes. You might have to go over it again some time.”

“And Celestia said you were a good student…” I couldn’t hide a small laugh. “If you ever want to learn more about sex—maybe publish a book or something—you know where to find me.”

 

 

 

 

 

(Sex is over)

 

 

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