Tfanon

Zephyr Part 15

Oct 10th, 2012
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  1. Your last sentence seems to have wounded her a bit, as her ears droop along with her neck right down into the cushions. It takes you a few seconds to realize that you've misspoke. "There's no going back" must sound so frightening to someone in her place. It would've scared the hell out of you if anyone had said it when you first woke up. You just goofed, hard. She doesn't cry, but the silence is just as awkward as it was before. You can't think of anything to say, so you quietly nuzzle her neck. She doesn't shy away from you, and after a few minutes she starts talking again.
  2.  
  3. "I wanted a fresh start. But this is just... I don't know if I can live like this."
  4.  
  5. "Oh, Opal, it's not as bad as it seems. I'm sorry for saying what I did, but please believe me when I say I'm not trying to make you unhappy."
  6.  
  7. "Zephyr?"
  8.  
  9. "Yes?"
  10.  
  11. "C-could we just watch some t.v. or something? I'd rather not have to think about any of this."
  12.  
  13. You suppose a distraction wouldn't hurt, and the two of you end up watching comedies. It takes quite some time before she starts laughing, but humor is irresistible. The lull in action, though, means your long, long night of waiting up beside her is finally catching up to you, and you struggle to stay awake until you notice Opal herself has dozed off beside you. As the longest day in your recent memory crashes down on you, you find yourself idly wondering if maybe Master designed you to sleep more than a human would. Like a house...
  14.  
  15. cat...
  16.  
  17. You allow yourself to lean against opal slightly, and drape one wing over her, a gesture you hope will offer comfort as she sleeps. You're out the moment your head hits the cushion, though.
  18.  
  19. The sound of hoofsteps on the floor rouses you back into the waking world far, far earlier than you would've liked. You're still sleep deprived, but you still force yourself up to survey the room.
  20.  
  21. Opal's pacing back and forth in small circles in the middle of the room, a worried expression etched into her face as she glances toward the door and mirror. Her field of vision must pass over you half a dozen times before she seems to actually notice that you're also awake.
  22.  
  23. She stops suddenly upon eye contact with you, still mid-trot. What is this mare doing?
  24.  
  25. "You, uh, in the middle of something over there?"
  26.  
  27. "I, well, I was... thinking..."
  28.  
  29. "And do you always pace when you're thinking?"
  30.  
  31. "Well, no. That's more of a nervous thing, actually."
  32.  
  33. "And you're nervous about what?"
  34.  
  35. "I, um... I was looking for a way out."
  36.  
  37. "To do what, exactly?"
  38.  
  39. "... I keep thinking that I should be trying to escape."
  40.  
  41. Troubling, but not totally unexpected. You can't let this keep happening, though. You decide to push her to talk more in that jittery tone.
  42.  
  43. "Should be trying to, or wanting to?"
  44.  
  45. "What?"
  46.  
  47. "Do you really desperately want to run off into the woods looking like you do, or is it something you think you should do because that's
  48.  
  49. what's normal?"
  50.  
  51. "I don't know!"
  52.  
  53. "Right, you don't. It can't be that important to you if you couldn't make up your mind, right?"
  54.  
  55. "That's just it! I should be able to! He's done something to my head! Yours too, I bet! This isn't right!"
  56.  
  57. Crap. You guess David used to be the clever sort of guy.
  58.  
  59. "Calm down Opal, of course he's in your head. How else do you think your name changed?"
  60.  
  61. "Y-yeah, but-"
  62.  
  63. "But nothing. You're having a few bad days in a row, and the stress is starting to mess with you. I'll call Master."
  64.  
  65. There's an audible gulp from her after you say that, but for now you've avoided the topic entirely.
  66.  
  67. Hopefully Master can answer those questions better than you could, because your answers probably would have only made her angrier.
  68.  
  69. Opal's nervously fretting about the room as you tap the intercom and explain that she could use a talk to Master, but once the speaker clicks off she's talking to you again, her speech quick and frenzied. Poor thing's mind must be racing.
  70.  
  71. "No no no, he can't come down here. If I see him, I'll feel... I can't let it happen again! That fuzzy feeling from before is unnatural, something he did do me! Something he must have done to you!"
  72.  
  73. "Calm down, Opal. You're going to be okay, just wait for Master to get here."
  74.  
  75. She goes stone still in her spot by the mirror, face wrenched into a sneer of indignation even as the rest of her becomes a jittery ball of panic. Her voice is steadily rising as fear gets the better of her. This is going to be a problem.
  76.  
  77. "That's the problem! You won't listen to me! I can't stay here. If I stay he'll make me want to stay! I can't! I can't and I won't!
  78.  
  79. At that perfect height of hysteria, the lock turns and the door swings open, Master stepping in a bit more languidly than he perhaps should have. You see her move before he does, a sudden bolt along the wall while his eyes are facing you and the rest of the room, with Opal only on his peripherals. She's making a break for it!
  80.  
  81. She's halfway out the doorframe before Master knows what's happening, but he wheels around on the spot in time for both of you to see a terrified pony stumble up a few stairs before Master loops his arms around her waist and hoists her up. Opal's screaming and flailing her limbs from the second he touches her, and carries on even as he carries her back into the room, unperturbed by her thrashing.
  82.  
  83. "Lemme go! I don't want to be pony! I don't wanna be a pet! Please, I just wanna go home! Please, PLEASE!"
  84.  
  85. All her begging gets her is an unceremonious drop onto some cushions in a corner, a small "Oof" noise escaping her lips as she lands on her haunches. Her wild-eyed panic quickly becomes a paralyzed terror as she realizes she has nowhere to go with a cross looking Master blocking any way past. Tiny, frightened squeaks escape her muzzle and for a moment you're gripped by fear as Master reaches a hand towards her. He wouldn't hit her, right?
  86.  
  87. Relief washes over you as Master gives her a soft two-fingered swat on the nose. Opal jerks away, in surprise more than pain by the look of it, and goes crosseyed when Master points a finger directly at her face.
  88.  
  89. "Bad girl! You absolutely don't ever try to go anywhere without your owner's permission! You're only eating unsweetened oats until further notice, got that?!"
  90.  
  91. "Th.. That's it? I try to escape and you... you'll just treat me like an animal?" Despair laces every word. She seems to understand now that the game she's trying to play is unwinnable. Even when she rises in open rebellion all she's going to get is the same treatment as a poorly behaved puppy. Master doesn't even respond, electing instead to scoop her back up and then settle himself down on the cushion, leaning against the wall, holding Opal close to him.
  92.  
  93. She starts struggling, with little noises of protest and grunts of effort but even her most determined efforts are futile against his grip, only moving her centimeters out of contact before being pulled back in. Master begins to softly coo to her, one of his hands petting along her mane, and Opal's eyes meet yours as she realizes that she's going to get cuddled whether she likes it or not. Those involuntary little shudders give her away as Master's hands slowly strokes her mane, occasionally scritching behind her ears; She's enjoying the attention, even though it's exactly what she was afraid of, with tears welling up in her eyes.
  94.  
  95. "It's too good. It's unnatural. Why are you doing this to me?"
  96.  
  97. "Have you seen yourself in the mirror? Of course I'm petting you, you're an adorable little pony."
  98.  
  99. "Please don't do this. I don't wanna be a pony. I wanna go home."
  100.  
  101. She's crying now, still half-struggling to get away from him even as he lavishes her with attention. You settle yourself down on an adjacent cushion as Opal's struggling ends, now fully committed to sobbing into Master's chest. Master whispers sweet words to her and goes right on petting, and it seems as though now you can finally get the rest you've been in desperate need of.
  102.  
  103. You wake up feeling rested and refreshed, though you do realize that between staying up for hours on end in a room with no windows and then napping before finally getting real sleep has thrown off all sense of what time or day it is. Not that you'd really cared about what day it was for a while, anyway. What did the date matter to someone whose only job is to be pretty and obedient? It takes a few seconds of satisfied stretching to notice that you're under a blanket, and after throwing it off with a hurried jerk upright you catch sight of a full moon through the windows of Master's bedroom. He must have carried you up here after you fell asleep, and he got done letting Opal get it all out of her system. At least you assume that's what he was doing.
  104.  
  105. You trot out of the bedroom and give yourself a quick once-over in the bathroom mirror before going downstairs. Your mane's a bit of a mess, but then again so is Autumn's most of the time. You wonder if you could get Master to cut it short for you, that much hair must produce a lot of drag in flight. After taking a moment to enjoy a bit of narcissism regarding your own shapely flank and rump, you set off downstairs while wondering if that minute of concern for your appearance or pride about your feminine rear is the sort of thing Opal's so afraid of. It would have bothered you at first, too, if you'd ever thought about it. After shakily taking the stairs one at a time, you're enthusiastically greeted by Autumn, sharing an affectionate nuzzle of one another's necks. A mirthful snort catches your attention, and the both of you turn to see Master leaning in the kitchen doorway.
  106.  
  107. "Y'know, I never even tried to make any of you act like ponies from the show, but you do anyway. Must come naturally."
  108.  
  109. At first you don't even know what he's talking about until you really, really think about what you just did. Why would you ever think to do that? Autumn speaks up first, though.
  110.  
  111. "That's what we're supposed to be, so that's what I do!
  112.  
  113. It's not surprising in the least that Autumn would be purposely emulating the show, but it's a little embarrassing to realize you've been unknowingly doing the same the whole time. What else have you picked up from her?
  114.  
  115. "I, uh, I think I started doing it because she did."
  116.  
  117. "See, girls? Here in my home we have the beginnings of a pony culture. Adorable."
  118.  
  119. He seems to think he's pretty funny, and with another small chuckle he returns to cooking whatever it is that smells so good. Autumn gets your attention almost at once, though.
  120.  
  121. "So, c'mon, what's she like?"
  122.  
  123. "You mean Opal? She's very pretty, but she's not too happy about all this."
  124.  
  125. "Neither were you, silly filly. You learned, so will she."
  126.  
  127. "Right you are, my stalwart little companion." Cheers an upbeat looking Master as he pokes his head back into the hallway. "The food's ready."
  128.  
  129. You're delighted to find a stir-fry waiting for you in a dish on the floor near his seat, and while Autumn seats herself next to Master's chair, you notice the floor tiles are a little cold and your Master is barefoot. That simply won't do, so you carefully set yourself down with your abdomen resting atop his chilly toes. Just as you anticipated, his feet are uncomfortably cold, but that just means you feel comfortably warm on them. He's made a small grunt of surprise and is leaning below the table to take a good look at you. You respond without words, only your biggest smile, which he returns in kind. You both return to eating wordlessly, you satisfied with having made him happy, him seemingly satisfied with your desire to please him in the first place and probably also with having his feet warmed by your fur. The stir-fry is excellent, and though you still think it could use a bit of chicken, the salty, savory flavors added to the crisp vegetables are something you haven't had in quite a while. You'll worry about Opal later, right now everything's just... perfect.
  130.  
  131. After a meal eaten in comfortable silence, the three of you retire to the living room to enjoy a quiet cuddle pile on the couch while watching nature documentaries. The channel gets changed after watching a lion take down a young zebra gives you the creeps, and while a competitive cooking show drones on you decide to ask Master about Opal.
  132.  
  133. "Did anything happen with Opal after I fell asleep?"
  134.  
  135. "She had her good long cry, she's not the first to need it. Asked to go home, begged to know her old name."
  136.  
  137. "What did you say to that?"
  138.  
  139. "Nothing. Well, nothing of substance. There's no answer to those that would calm her down, so I just kept reassuring her that it's going to be okay."
  140.  
  141. "And cuddled her into submission?"
  142.  
  143. "Everybody wants to be loved, and you know better than I do how sensitive your bodies are."
  144.  
  145. "So she calmed down?"
  146.  
  147. "It took quite some time, but yes."
  148.  
  149. "Then fell asleep?"
  150.  
  151. "Not every pony is like you, you narcoleptic little pegasus. She asked about her friend there. How all this happened, what I was going to do to him, whether she could see him again. Telling her exactly what he wanted you for pretty much killed her desire to see him again."
  152.  
  153. "Out of disgust or fear?"
  154.  
  155. "Fear, by the look of it."
  156.  
  157. "That's good."
  158.  
  159. "How is that good?"
  160.  
  161. "She's worried he'd want to do the same to her. Meaning she thinks of herself as a pony."
  162.  
  163. "Maybe. It's really cute how worried you are about her, you know. Such a caring little pet I've got for myself."
  164.  
  165. You can think of a few snarky replies, but choose instead to nuzzle at his waist and knead at his chest with your outstretched hooves, his little complements and sweet nothings are a constant source of happiness to you now, one of the many little things that continue to make being a part of his life preferable to being in charge of your own. He seems happy too, splitting his attention between you and Autumn as the two of you compete to see who can make the cutest face. She seems to be winning, but your open adoration is still enough of a novelty to him that you're still getting enough love to feel satisfied. Well, almost satisfied; You haven't been intimate with either of them in over a week! Some wriggling of the hips and pokes of the hoof later and Master understands full well what you want. Even though you've only just woken up, you quickly find yourself back in bed, with two partners committed to tiring you out before the night is through.
  166.  
  167. Definitely one hell of a way to reset your sleep schedule. While there are some near misses, you still haven't found the right time to "all the way" quite yet, but occasional little breathless whispers from Autumn mid-coitus make it plain that even she knows it's coming sooner or later.
  168.  
  169. There's always a small seed of doubt in the back of your mind as that final frontier of your body looms large, a deathblow to any remaining notions of masculinity hiding out in your subconscious. It's easy to ignore these days, though. There's no use in thinking like Opal does, after all, what could be wrong about feelings like these?
  170.  
  171. Master rouses you early in the interest of getting you onto an ordinary sleep schedule again, offering a small bowl of coffee after laughing at the sleepy pony shuffling around his kitchen. Autumn's still chipper as ever, and while you don't begrudge her that you certainly can't be bothered to keep up with what she's saying until after you finish the drink. The heady jolt of caffeine entering your system was enough to get you outside for some morning exercise at Master's insistence that you work to get your strength back, because "I keep my ponies healthy". Jeez, you didn't realize having a Master meant having a personal trainer. Autumn manages to goad you into a two pony game of tag and while fun is had you're exhausted well before you usually would be. Grudgingly, you admit that your Master has a point as the three of you head in.
  172.  
  173. You sit patiently with Autumn as Master fills a bowl full of oats alongside a bowl of water before following him downstairs to see Opal. For a moment when Master opens the door you wonder if you're going to find her huddled in a ball having another anxiety attack, but instead she's sitting on a cushion and turned rather excitedly toward the door. Oh, good.
  174.  
  175. Wait, what?
  176.  
  177. What happened down here?
  178.  
  179. "Good morning!"
  180.  
  181. She sounds like she might even be in a good mood?!
  182.  
  183. "Someone's happy to see us."
  184.  
  185. "Happy to see anyone. Sitting down here by myself is so boring I'm going to lose my mind... Assuming I haven't already."
  186.  
  187. "Well, that's a start. Girls, keep Opal company for a while so I can get some work done."
  188.  
  189. Opal looks a little perturbed when the two of you reply "Yes, Master" in near-perfect stereo, the odd expression still on her face even after Master sets down her food, ruffles her mane and leaves the room. You've had you eye on her the entire time, still trying to grasp how someone goes from a desperate escape attempt to cheerful greetings in one day.
  190.  
  191. "Something on your mind?" you throw out as innocently as possible.
  192.  
  193. "It's... he just tells you you're staying down here, or doing something else, and that's it? You live every day of your lives like this and it doesn't bother you?"
  194.  
  195. "Nnnnnope. Trust me, it's absolutely worth our while. You already know he's not much for punishment. But enough of that, this is Autumn.
  196.  
  197. Autumn, this is Opal."
  198.  
  199. "Hi pretty!"
  200.  
  201. "Um, hi. I'm really sorry about tying you up and that... whole thing?" She's direct about it but there's definite shame in her voice. To her credit Autumn doesn't miss a beat, breaking into a mischievous grin before replying.
  202.  
  203. "How can I stay mad at a face like that? I'll forgive you, but you'll need to do something for me."
  204.  
  205. "I'm not going to like this, am I?"
  206.  
  207. You can't help but laugh at the whole exchange, Opal's a bit nervous, but Autumn's playing a game with her and they both know it. This is fantastic, but you're still enormously curious about how Opal feels after Master's cuddle session with her. For now, though, you want to see what Autumn's playing at.
  208.  
  209. "Call him Master."
  210.  
  211. Opal sputters for a moment, taking a step or two back before raising a forehoof defensively.
  212.  
  213. "What? No!"
  214.  
  215. "Oh, come on. You've got to call him something, he'll reward you for it, and I'll forget you ripping out part of my mane while you gagged me."
  216.  
  217. "Well, I, uh..."
  218.  
  219. "I'm not asking you to sleep with him! Unless you'd rather...?"
  220.  
  221. "No!"
  222.  
  223. "Well then next time you see him, I want to hear you call him Master. Or sleep with him."
  224.  
  225. "B-but I..."
  226.  
  227. This is all a bit odd for you. You know what Autumn's playing at here and so does Opal, but you're not particularly opposed to Autumn's demand. The first one anyway. If Master's sleeping with anyone it had better be you first... Oh god, did you really just think that? You lost your junk less than two months ago and you're already clamoring for someone else's? It's not the ugly, sick feeling that thoughts like these would have provoked a few weeks ago, sure, but it's still a little uncomfortable. it's no longer a matter of overcoming revulsion, but a matter of admitting to yourself that you want it and trying to accept it as part of who you are.
  228.  
  229. If you're still having this much trouble with it, how can you take Autumn's game with Opal so lightly? You know full well that even the first demand is the beginning of a slippery slope. You're still torn between rooting for Opal's resistance out of sympathy and the "get-it-over-with" attitude inspired by your knowledge that her domestication is probably inevitable, and ultimately beneficial. It's probably best just to see how she feels about it and quit worrying about yourself.
  230.  
  231. "So how are you feeling? You were in a pretty bad way the last time I saw you."
  232.  
  233. "I think I'm better? It's weird."
  234.  
  235. "Go on."
  236.  
  237. "I, uhm, I feel different. I'm not afraid of him. I want to be, I should be, but I'm not. I... I think it's still something he did to my head." She slumps down and presses her hooves to her head. "What's happening to me?"
  238.  
  239. "Didn't he make you feel better yesterday?"
  240.  
  241. "Yeah, he did, but-"
  242.  
  243. "So why does it have to be something he did to you? You're not afraid of him because you know he's not going to hurt you. You know he cares."
  244.  
  245. "Because he's going to sell me!"
  246.  
  247. This is astonishing. In two days she's come around to a point that took you more than a week. You don't have anything to say in answer to her complaint, you never really got over it yourself. Instead you elect to nuzzle at her neck as affectionately as you can, eliciting a soft gasp from her as the new sensations run along her newly-sensitive neck before you start speaking.
  248.  
  249. "Oh, sweet thing, don't you worry about that. We're here for you, and if Master thinks you won't be treated well he won't send you with someone."
  250.  
  251. You set yourself down beside her, continuing to nuzzle at her neck. Opening one eye reveals Autumn setting herself down on Opal's other side, the playful look in her eyes from before still fixed on Opal.
  252.  
  253. "Poor thing! Isn't there anything the two of us can do for you? Something to make you feel better?"
  254.  
  255. Opal stiffens a bit at the last sentence due to the sound of Autumn's voice dropping a few octaves, with a breathy tone full of sultry promise. Oh dear, what is Autumn getting you into? Moreover, between this and what she did with you less than an a hour after your first meeting, you have to wonder if Autumn doesn't have a go at every new pony Master leaves her alone with. You suppose it fits for her, but the idea of Autumn's cheerful, immature behavior hiding a predator of sorts was very, exceedingly strange.
  256.  
  257. "No! I mean, uh, no thank you. I'm fine."
  258.  
  259. "Oooooh, someone's shy! You're just the cutest! That's okay though, you'll come around."
  260.  
  261. "Th... Thank you? Can I eat my breakfast now?"
  262.  
  263. All that said, she pushes out of the pony sandwich you and Autumn created on either side of her and makes it over to her food with minimal stumbling. Her ears fold back and a look of tremendous annoyance crosses her features when she gets a look at it, though.
  264.  
  265. "He really wasn't kidding. Dry oats and water."
  266.  
  267. "You did try to run away." You hope the mirthful tone behind it will soften the blow.
  268.  
  269. "Don't say it like I'm some dog! I tried to escape from a kidnapper!" She replies, already on the defensive.
  270.  
  271. "Whose house you broke into."
  272.  
  273. "Who made me inhuman!"
  274.  
  275. "Whose head you clubbed."
  276.  
  277. "Who wants to sell me as some fucked-up pet!"
  278.  
  279. "Whose loving, willing pets you tried to kidnap."
  280.  
  281. "B-but..."
  282.  
  283. "Kidnapped, mind you, so your friend could rape and torture Autumn and myself. I know you don't deserve the blame for all of it, but don't act like he took you from your home and did this to you." Your voice has a cool edge to it you hadn't planned on, and the sudden droop of her ears and neck means she heard it too.
  284.  
  285. "I... I'm sorry..."
  286.  
  287. "I forgive you. Please understand, he couldn't let you leave here. Would you rather he killed you?"
  288.  
  289. There's a long moment of silence, and while you're peripherally aware of Autumn looking back and forth between the two of you, you keep focused on Opal. Sure enough, she looks back up at you with what seems like a small hint of confidence behind those enchanting slit eyes "... No."
  290.  
  291. "It's not what you wanted, but you're alive. You're debt free and you'll never have to worry about money again."
  292.  
  293. "Because someone wants to own me."
  294.  
  295. "Because someone wants to love you, give you food and shelter and affection and all you have to be is yourself. When I first told you this you said it sounded kind of nice. Why don't you think about it while you eat, Autumn and I will find something for us to watch until you're done.
  296.  
  297. "Yeah, okay."
  298.  
  299. You should have known what leaving Autumn in command of the remote would mean, but you were busy trying to watch Opal through the corner of your eye rather than what was happening on the television. You didn't really notice until Opal's expression changed, and your focus rapidly shifted to the television in time to hear an all-too-familiar theme song.
  300.  
  301. ... Of course Autumn would put Friendship is Magic on. For a minute you're seized by awkward tension as you worry about how Opal will react to this, until the music fades out and Opal simply says "Oh man, this is one of my favorites!". Apparently the only one who thinks ponies watching ponies seems odd is you, which at the moment is quite a relief. With the hypothetical crisis averted you take a second to actually watch what's happening on screen, are are a bit surprised at what you see. Perhaps a bit predictably, one of Opal's favorite episodes is Luna Eclipsed. Not like you hated it, but you'd think someone who just became a very specific kind of pony featured in this specific episode would see the irony. Oh well.
  302.  
  303. It's a bit odd to think that the whole time you've been living here and interacting with all these other ponies, people specifically taken by Master because they'd gone to the trouble of coming up with original characters, you'd only very rarely thought of them as being other fans of the show itself, or at least you didn't identify with them because of it. As soon as the other two start pointing out certain background ponies and other references you catch yourself joining in. This is sort of fun, and very new to you as you wouldn't have been caught dead discussing ponies with anyone you knew before all this. The knowledge that you have something in common with both of them besides a collar is reassuring to you, and hopefully does the same for Opal.
  304.  
  305. What was supposed to be a distraction while Opal ate ends up going on for a couple of hours as additional episodes follow afterwards. The familiar, "safe" distraction seem to have put Opal at ease in a way no amount of talking could and once it's over she seems to be in a legitimate good mood. When the credits roll on the last episode this morning, you decide to capitalize on her happiness.
  306.  
  307. "Feel better now?"
  308.  
  309. "Yeah, I guess. I do feel a lot better."
  310.  
  311. "See? It's different, yes, but the world hasn't ended. You can still enjoy all the same things."
  312.  
  313. "Yeah, I'm sure having no fingers will work out great for gaming. Or playing music. Nevermind the things I'll have to do to 'earn' the equipment for either."
  314.  
  315. "Hush, I'm sure you can adapt. I'm also sure you can clean floors or something if you plan on celibacy."
  316.  
  317. "Ooooh, maybe she could get little mop-booties for her hooves!"
  318.  
  319. There are traces of annoyance on her features, but she still seems more amused than anything. The mirth in her voice is comforting; even when she's cynical about her future, she seems to be retaining her sense of humor.
  320.  
  321. "So, I've eaten and watched TV. Unless the two of you know something I don't, that seems to be just about all there is to do around here."
  322.  
  323. Autumns face lights up and you find yourself desperately trying to choke out a suggestion before she can say something that will weird Opal out again. Comeoncomeoncomeon- think!
  324.  
  325. Aha!
  326.  
  327. "Catch!"
  328.  
  329. ...Maybe you should have picked a better word, because now they're both staring at you. Without any context, you could have just as well shouted "potato" and it would have made as much sense.
  330.  
  331. "Um, Zephyr, take pity on the new, um... girl... and explain how you expect us to play catch?" She asks, waving her forehooves in front of her face for a few seconds. "No hands, remember?"
  332.  
  333. "No, I meant you've gonna have to catch Autumn and I."
  334.  
  335. "Why would I do that?"
  336.  
  337. "Because if you don't I'm going to make cat jokes about your name at every possible opportunity."
  338.  
  339. "You... you wouldn't!"
  340.  
  341. "Awww, is poor little Opal cranky because she got dry food? I think I've got a can of the wet stuff tucked away somewhere."
  342.  
  343. She doesn't even reply, opting instead to charge directly at you while Autumn scrambles clear, laughing all the way. You're a little slow in reacting, having expected to goad her a bit more before she relented, and for a second it really looks like she's going to catch you on her first try...
  344.  
  345. ...until she trips on her own hooves and lands on the carpet a foot in front of you. With that stroke of luck in your favor you bolt for the other end of the room where Autumn is, and the three of you spend what feels like hours on this game. Your weakened endurance means you're easier prey than Autumn even with Opal's occasional misstep or stumble, and one bad turn towards a corner ends with you sprawled out on the ground after a rough tackle from Opal. Her triumphant "Ha!" is met only with a smile on your end, and she returns it with a look of such sincerity that you almost feel guilty for tricking her into having fun. After Autumn blows a raspberry at her and the chase begins anew you elect to watch from your vantage point in a corner, and you're noticing something interesting. As Autumn runs away, you occasionally catch Opal's eyes begin to wander. You'd like to justify it as her keeping "eyes on the prize" so to speak, but every now and again her eyes focus on Autumn's rear end, usually preceding a stumble or poorly executed turn.
  346.  
  347. And here you were thinking she wasn't ready yet. Maybe a bit shy, but if she's checking the two of you out... hmmm.. maybe you should be playing Autumn's kind of game after all. A shriek from the other end of the room brings you back to reality in time to see Opal pin Autumn beneath her, both of them smiling from ear to ear as Opal basks in her victory. High on positive emotions and endorphins? Time to strike while the iron is hot.
  348.  
  349. You creep up behind Opal as carefully as you can. If she stops focusing on Autumn you won't be able to get away with what you've got in mind. They're in the middle of laughing at something when you make your move. A somewhat 'soft' tackle, just enough to put Opal on the floor between you and Autumn as the two of you flop down in a tangle of limbs. Her initial response is simply "Hey, no fair!"... and no, you're not going to play fair right now, but that's because the game is different. Opal figures out that you're up to something pretty quickly, though that probably has something to do with to your slow kisses up her neck.
  350.  
  351. "W-w-w-what're you doing?! Stop!"
  352.  
  353. You do stop, but only to put your snout right against hers and make eye contact, doing your absolute best to look seductive. "It's okay, Opal. I saw where you were looking while you chased Autumn. It's completely okay, but if you repress it you're only going to get more wound up than you are now. Do you find me attractive?"
  354.  
  355. "I, uh, I... yes. But we're men!"
  356.  
  357. Your hoof guides one of hers to the gap between your rear legs, and you allow yourself a small gasp at the pleasant foreign contact.
  358.  
  359. Opal's flustered stammering increases in volume and frequency but stops entirely once you speak again.
  360.  
  361. "Do I feel like a man to you?"
  362.  
  363. There aren't any real words coming out of her mouth any more, just small stuttering squeaks that only get louder when Autumn appears behind her and picks up where you left off, lightly kissing and nibbling on her neck. You gently move your own hoof and brush at the gap between Opal's haunches and she does her best to suppress a moan, but you know better.
  364.  
  365. "If you tell me to stop, I will. But come on now, don't you want me?" You're doing your best to be invitingly feminine in the hopes that it will stop Opal's male ego from slamming the brakes, and it really seems to be working. Opal's soft panting certainly doesn't sound like a refusal, so you advance a bit further with a direct kiss on the mouth. She moans heavily mid-kiss as you begin to rub her still-untested sex in small circular motions with the tip of your hoof. The faint sensation of wetness rewards your efforts and you're now certain she won't want you to stop. You give Autumn a knowing wink as she nibbles on Opal's adorably pointed ears, and break the kiss before giving Opal a breathy whisper.
  366.  
  367. "Now now little Opal, lie back and let Zephyr show you one of the best things about being one of us."
  368.  
  369. You ignore Autumn's little giggle at your plagiarizing her words to you and slide yourself down along Opal's abdomen, lightly kissing as go until you're ready to welcome the new mare to the fairer sex the best way you know how. Small flicks of your tongue cause Opal's breath to catch in her throat before Autumn begins to kiss her directly. Not the chaste, vaguely romantic kisses you offered, either, but full-on making out that stifles Opal's moaning. The stage perfectly set, you descend on Opal's marehood with gusto, working your tongue in small circles over her clit, stopping only to tease it along her outer folds. Opal's pitched moaning is music to your ears, and a glance up reveals her eyes are shut tight and her forehooves pressed against her chest as she tries, and fails, to cope with the new sensations you've been overwhelming her with. The poor thing probably wouldn't be too pleased if she saw herself in the mirror right now, squealing like a schoolgirl and unabashedly feminine in posture.
  370.  
  371. Her moans ascend as your attentions become focused and aggressive, and it's no time at all before her cries become halting and breathless as her entire body tenses up in anticipation. Autumn's hoof pushes your head back, ending your attentions and you're almost as confused as the grey mare you've been eating out, whose frenzied mewling and desperate hip thrusts tell the whole story; She's so close it hurts.
  372.  
  373. "You want Zephyr here to finish?"
  374.  
  375. A fierce head shake and pleading expression are all she can muster in between pitched breaths. You know what's happening now, flashing back to your own first time with Autumn.
  376.  
  377. "Repeat after me; I'm Opal, and I love my master."
  378.  
  379. The poor thing gazes incredulously at Autumn, looking so pitifully desperate that you've about to finish her off without waiting for Autumn to play her little submission game until a solitary tear rolls down her cheek.
  380.  
  381. "I-I'm Opal and I l-l-love my M-master!"
  382.  
  383. "Again."
  384.  
  385. "I'm Opal and I love my Master!"
  386.  
  387. Autumn kisses her sloppily again and you redouble your efforts with a frenzy to match Opal's spasming muscles. Autumn has her recite the mantra two more times before Opal's haunches clamp down on the sides of your head and her moan becomes a prolonged cry. Her entire body shakes as you're rewarded with more of her sweetness before she goes limp on the floor, panting heavily.
  388.  
  389. You slide yourself along the floor to be level with her before wrapping your limbs around her, holding her close as she trembles and takes gasping breaths.
  390.  
  391. "So how did you like it, sweetie?"
  392.  
  393. "In... credible..."
  394.  
  395. You kiss her forehead and lie with her for a few minutes, enjoying her body heat and mulling over Autumn's apparently methodical submission games. Does she do this for the stallions, too? She better not expect you to help with those.
  396.  
  397. A soft clicking noise behind you gets your attention, and the door opens to reveal your Master, whose face adopts its usual wry smile when he gets a good look at the three of you. Opal's trembling returns in force, as she realizes exactly what just happened... exactly what she said.
  398.  
  399. "I thought I heard something going on down here, and that was from the top floor."
  400.  
  401. Opal is out of your embrace in seconds, headed for a corner of the room before being intercepted and lifted up by your Master. There's no screaming this time, but she still makes weak, exhausted attempts at struggling as he sits down with her on his lap. Autumn's by their side in the blink of an eye, but you decide to sit at a small distance, suddenly feeling very guilty.
  402.  
  403. "Did you enjoy yourself?"
  404.  
  405. "Y-yes... Ah!"
  406.  
  407. The both of them turn to look at Autumn, who just poked Opal right in the gut with a forehoof, glowering intensely. Opal grimaces, and speaks again.
  408.  
  409. "Yes... Master."
  410.  
  411. Autumn's expression brightens instantly and she makes a giddy noise of approval before sitting back down. Master's still wearing that grin, even as he begins to pet her mane and she does her best not to look anyone in the eye, until he gently grabs her muzzle and turns her head to face him.
  412.  
  413. "Do you know what calling me 'Master' means?"
  414.  
  415. "I, um, I d-d-don't really... it means I'm a pet."
  416.  
  417. He chuckles a bit before replying "I'm not sure you fully grasp what that entails quite yet, but you're making progress. How would you like to come outside with us for a while?"
  418.  
  419. Her face lights up, thrilled with the prospect of leaving this room even for a short while.
  420.  
  421. "Yes!"
  422.  
  423. He gives her the faintest hint of an annoyed stare for a few seconds until she realizes what she did wrong.
  424.  
  425. "Yes, Master..."
  426.  
  427. Her face doesn't show it, but the small flicks of her tail and raising of her ears when he calls her a "Good girl" tell you enough about how it makes her feel. She'll be smiling for him in no time, you're sure. Her good mood falters when he pulls a collar out of his pocket.
  428.  
  429. "Alright, if you want to go out, you'll need this, because I'm definitely not taking you out unrestrained after yesterday's bad behavior. Once this goes on you, though, it's not coming back off unless your owner gets you a new one. Are you ready to be a good pet pony, or do I have to rescind my offer?"
  430.  
  431. Opal turns to look straight at you, and you wish there were some way of letting her get outside without it. If you had to guess, you'd say the real issue she's having is with the symbolism of the collar. A clear indicator of her status right there on her body, that she'll be unable to remove without someone else's help... her owner's help. You also realize that you never went through this, having been collared before you'd woken up as a purely practical measure. She frets about it for a minute or so, with an expectant Master staring at her the entire time before she relents.
  432.  
  433. "... I'll be good."
  434.  
  435. "I'm sure you will be. Now hold still." She sticks her neck out and remains obligingly still, save for the soft sniffling sounds escaping her muzzle. This must be so hard for her. When you get a good lood at her face there aren't any tears, and you're not sure if that's good or not as Master sets her on the floor and goes in search of a leash.
  436.  
  437. She doesn't speak, but rather touches a hoof to her new collar and stares at herself in the mirror. She twists her neck from side to side a bit, but she looks just so unhappy as she does that you can't stand it. You make a point of approaching slowly from an angle she can see, and nuzzle at the still-uncovered portions of her neck. You're surprised when she nuzzles back, the two of you sharing a moment of real intimacy that makes the previous carnal adventures seem cheap. After a few seconds of comfortable, if somber, silence she speaks very softly to you.
  438.  
  439. "Thank you for before. The game, I mean. I felt normal, even a bit happy."
  440.  
  441. "Hmphf. I go down on you and you're saying you had more fun chasing me around?"
  442.  
  443. "That was... fun, too, I guess. I'm still trying to deal with all of that. It felt amazing- thank you, really, but the things Autumn made me say and all these new feelings..."
  444.  
  445. "You're still going to be okay, you know, Autumn pulled the same trick on me. The feelings never stop being amazing, and trust me, you'll never get tired of those."
  446.  
  447. "And now there's a collar on my neck, like I'm someone's dog."
  448.  
  449. "I've got one too and I don't even notice it anymore. Though it looks like we all get the same kind of collar though. It's a shame, you'd really look better with a white one."
  450.  
  451. "If I have to wear one, I'll take this mismatched leather, I guess."
  452.  
  453. "What, you're going to be deliberately unstylish?"
  454.  
  455. "It's all I've got left at this point, so yes."
  456.  
  457. "Don't forget jokes about your name. I'm pretty sure you'll always have those."
  458.  
  459. There's that smile again. You're getting quite good at making her laugh despite her situation.
  460.  
  461. "Please don't make me hit you, you're my only friend."
  462.  
  463. She's distracted enough by the conversation that Master's attached a leash to her collar before she even knew he was there. There's another forlorn glance toward the mirror, her gaze slowly following the leash up to his reflection, taking in an incontrovertible demonstration of her new position in life. his hand extends to her ears, gently scratching behind them as even her offers some gentle comfort.
  464.  
  465. "Hey now, The past couple of days haven't been so bad, have they?"
  466.  
  467. "Having no control over my life isn't new... I suppose at least you give up on the illusion that I'm in charge. Debt collectors don't really concern themselves with making sure you've been fed recently."
  468.  
  469. "So it's preferable to being a debt slave? That's a start. Let's get going."
  470.  
  471. The small tug on the leash gives her momentary pause, and her head hangs a bit as she follows him. She seems happy enough after conquering her life's latest difficulty, the stairs, and once the four of you are outside she's got energy to spare. You slow yourself down to trot alongside the two of them as Autumn bounds around the yard, but eventually even you leave Opal to adjust and start doing small sprints up and down your little hill, flapping your wings as you go. You're not in flight condition yet, but you'll be damned if you're going to stay grounded just because Charlie's a monster.
  472.  
  473. It's odd to think of him as having a name, but it seems to rob him of any power her once had to frighten you. Before he was the scariest thing you could ever imagine; A monster lurking in the dark, waiting to snatch you up and subject you to horrors beyond your worst nightmares. Now he's just a fat man, newly friendless and chained to a chair in the basement, waiting to get what's coming to him. It's not like your Master, whose power over you was in no way diminished by checking the name on one of his magazines rather than face the embarrassment of asking.
  474.  
  475. A quick glance to the opposite end of the yard reveals Master and Opal coming around on the other side of the house, strolling by the treeline and seemingly chatting to one another. You like Opal, and based on your last conversation, she seems to like you. You'd even like to imagine the two of you could have been friends even when you both had hands. You only want this unlucky person-made-pony to be happy, but that means subverting her attempts to resist every time you make her smile or laugh. You suppose helping her resist would make her happy, but that's a lost cause for a multitude of reasons, first among them being your own willing submission. He's given you happiness, and you dare to hope he can do the same for her.
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