trandhal

Nothing more pure - Spitfire (WIP)

Mar 23rd, 2018
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  1. >You are Spitfire
  2. >And it's friday night
  3. >And you are spending it the same way you spend most fridays
  4. >Getting drunk in a bar and lamenting about your wasted youth
  5.  
  6. "Girls, I tell'ya, being young is sooo fucking underrated."
  7. >Despite your imminent alcohol poisoning, your head feels relatively clear
  8. >And for once, you have an actual audience, instead of the usual bored, and probably uncomfortable, bartender
  9. >A group of younger mares, most likely on the hunt for some free drinks and male attention, are listening to you
  10. >Well, you say listening. It's more like the spot at the bar next to you was the only ones not taken
  11. >Still, they're not ignoring you completely, which your etanol-marinated brain takes as a sign to continue
  12. "Don't f-fucking waste it, alright? I remember when I was a young mare, I could get aaany stallion to bend over backwards for me."
  13. >You take a big swig of whatever you're drinking now. The bar and you have an unspoken agreement of keeping your glas constantly full, no matter what's in it
  14. "So, so don't do what I did, right!"
  15. >You swing your hoof to point at one of the mares, who look vaguely concerned about the state of your liver
  16. "Don't waste your years just... just doing your job, right? Find someone, someone nice... someone to settle down with."
  17. >Your hoof sways in the general direction of the rest of the bar
  18. "Finding a husband, someone n-nice, to fucking grow old with... worth damn more than your career."
  19. >You violently swing your limb back to one of the mares, who yelps and move back a bit
  20. "Yoou might not believe it, being so young and pretty... But it's ALL gonna just, like, fade away!
  21. And you'll be stuck like me, with no one and nothing."
  22.  
  23. >You turn your attention back to your glas of whateveratleastitsalcohol, and spend some time getting lost in thoughts
  24. >You're telling no lies to these young ones. You did spend most of your early adulthood on the Wonderbolts
  25. >And look where that got you
  26. >The rank of Captain
  27. >Which isn't complete donkeyshit, you'll admit
  28. >There are worse ways to spend your thirties
  29. >But despite the prestige and the glamour and the fame, you still return each night to an empty home
  30. >A home made by one pony, for one pony
  31. >Filled with stuff for you, and you only
  32. >An empty home, and an empty bed
  33. >An empty life
  34.  
  35. >The sudden onset of melancholy isn't unfamilliar
  36. >It happens most friday night
  37. >Hell, all friday nights
  38. >At this point it's like an old friend
  39. >And you know just what will make it go away
  40. >More booze
  41.  
  42. >As you finish your drink, which you're pretty sure is some mix of gin and rum, you take a look around you
  43. >The group of young mares are gone
  44. >Probably left because of you
  45. >That's fine, it's usually what happens whenever you vent your frustrations
  46. >Who in their right mind would like to hear an old mare nag about her mistakes, right?
  47.  
  48. >As you beacon the bartender, who you're on first name basis with, you hear a timid voice beside you
  49. >"Excuse me, miss?"
  50. >You turn towards the mare, who you're pretty sure was one of the group preciously seated next to you
  51. "Yeah? Whatyawant?"
  52. >"Well, my friends and I had to move, we found a free table. No offence to you tho, it was...
  53. >She hesitates for a second
  54. >"Intresting... to listen to your story"
  55. >You chuckle loudly as the bartender fills your glas with something red and cloudy
  56. "Yeah, I'm sure it was. The m-mad ramblings of some old drunk fucker."
  57. >You take another swig of your now refilled drink, relishing in the taste of cherrys and smokey apples
  58. >You gotta order whatever this is more often
  59. >"It's just that, have you considering dating maybe a coworker? Someone who appreciates a hard-working mare?"
  60.  
  61. "Nah, I get whatyo saying, but it ain't that easy you'know? They... they aaaall got hitched somewhere along the road. Wasn't as commited to the job as me I guess. Spent more time looking for a mate than I did."
  62. >Damn, your glas is already half empty
  63. >When did that happen?
  64. >The mare hesitates again, before shyly asking
  65. >"Then, maybe... have you considered the Husbando Initiative?"
  66.  
  67. >You put down your drink before you can finish it all the way
  68. "The... the whatnow?"
  69. >"The Husbando Initiative!"
  70. >You turn your full attention towards the mare
  71. "Yeah, I heard you the first time, I just don't know what the hell that means."
  72. >These crazy kids and their wierd names for wierd stuff
  73. >Husbando Initiative?
  74. >Is that what they call the latest drug going around?
  75. >The mare turns around and walks back to her table
  76. >You see her poking around in her saddlebag for awhile, before returning to you, holding a few papers in her mouth
  77. >"This is the Husbando Initiative!"
  78. >She drops the papers infront of you
  79. >It's some sort of government issued form
  80. >At the top you see a symbol which you recognise as the cutiemark of that love-princess
  81. >Princess Condense?
  82. >Candyass?
  83. >Something like that
  84. >The mare smiles at you
  85. >"I picked up a few extra forms when I was there earlier today, if some of my friends wanted one, y'know?"
  86. >"You can have this one if you want to."
  87.  
  88. >You look at the paper
  89. >Name, adress, city, the usual stuff
  90. >Profession, age, interests
  91. >...
  92. >Ideal romantic scenario?
  93. >Most important quality in partner?
  94. >...
  95. >Favorite sexual position?!
  96. >You turn back to the mare, who's still smiling at you
  97. "Wha... what the hell is this?"
  98. >"It's the Husbando Initiative!"
  99. >"You've seen those humans walking around lately, right?"
  100. "You mean those monkey-looking this? The h-hairless minotaurs?"
  101. >"Yeah! They're called humans, and I... Well, I don't really know where they come from, but if you fill in this form, Princess Cadance will match you with one of them and you become partners!"
  102. >...
  103. >Say what now?
  104.  
  105. >Well, that settles it for you
  106. >This mare is drunker than you are
  107.  
  108. >You scoff at her, and at the form, and then once more at her
  109. "Oh! Oh, So... so you're saying, that I, I just f-fill this form, and then the maaagic princess of love descends, and just brings me a h-husband, just like that?"
  110. >Her smile is growing bigger
  111. >It's getting on your nerves
  112. >"Yes! Apparantly humans comes from a place where no one appreciates love anymore, so this is like the perfect solutions!"
  113. >If she could smile any harder she'd pull a muscle in her face
  114. >"Princess Candance uses her magic to match couples, so all the lonely humans and all the lonely mares end up together!"
  115. >You really wish you had more to drink, but the bartender is nowhere in sight
  116. >"I just filled my form today, so in the next couple of weeks I'll meet my own prince charming!"
  117. >Sure filly, you just keep on believing that
  118. >You never heard of this... Husbando Initiative before, but you recognise a scam when you see it
  119. >"And if you fill in your form, you don't have to be lonely anymore!"
  120.  
  121. >She finishes her little speech by patting you on the back, like you're old friends sharing something wonderful together
  122. >And you've just about had enough of this foolishness
  123.  
  124. "Yeah, of cooourse, that makes perfect sense!"
  125. >You slip down from your chair
  126. "Just, fill in the form! And it all works like goddamn magic! Husbands raining from the f-fucking sky!"
  127. >The mares smile falters abit
  128. "Y'know, I get that you think I'm some lonely old sour bitch, which, f-frankly, I am."
  129. >You point at the papers on the bar
  130. "But this... this is just ridiculous! I don't need this! I am perfectly capable of getting a mate without some... some fucking phony princess trying to scam my ass off!"
  131. >The young mare gasps at your words
  132. >"She's not a phony! The Initiative..."
  133. "I don't CARE what the Initiative is or isn't! You have to be real fucking desperate and stupid to put your trust in a damn scam!"
  134.  
  135. >The mare seems to be pretty close to tears now
  136. >You might've taken this abit to far
  137. >But it serves her right
  138. >Fucking "Husbando Initiative"
  139. >You'd be willing to bet your ovaries that Princess Crabdance is just pulling some huge practical joke
  140. >Real mean too
  141. >Getting all the lonely mares hopes up, just to crush them in the end
  142.  
  143. >You really don't need this sort of bullshit right now
  144. >All you wanted to do was to get so drunk you can barely stand, and forget about the sad excuse you call a life
  145.  
  146. >Your drinking mood is pretty much gone now, and it doesn't get better when the young mare turns around and returns to her friends
  147. >While you spend several minutes trying to pay for your tab, you can feel her friends shooting angry glances at your back
  148. >Yeah, you might've taken it to far
  149. >Not her fault, really, to believe in something that sounds so nice
  150. >Hell, if you weren't such a jaded sourpuss, you've might have fallen for it too
  151.  
  152. >Having paid for your drinks, you put on your coat and prepare to go home
  153. >Hopefully you won't vomit in the bushes this time
  154. >You barely notices it, but you put the Initiative papers into your saddlebags while gathering the rest of your stuff
  155.  
  156. >Homewards it is then
  157. >Hopefully in the morning you've forgotten everything about free husbands and the naivety of youth
  158. >And you can once again focus on the only thing you have left
  159. >Your damned job
  160.  
  161. ==============
  162.  
  163. >Be Spitfire, still very drunk
  164. >Right now you're in a certain mood
  165. >The kind of mood where you long for a simpler time
  166. >Where ponies lived in small communities, and everyone trusted eachother
  167. >Where leaving your home unlocked was the norm, and not terrifyingly surreal
  168. >Where there was no long-beaked griffons trying to steal everything you own
  169. >If nothing else it would mean you didn't have to spend an eternity to find your keys
  170. >You drunken hooves finaly put your damned keys into the damned keyhole
  171. >And you're home
  172.  
  173. >It's just as soulchrushingly empty as when you left it
  174. >No one to greet you
  175. >No other smell except your own
  176. >No one to cook dinner with
  177. >No one to hold you close at night
  178. >No you to love you
  179. >No one to hold your mane while you bow to the porcelain king
  180. >Speaking of...
  181.  
  182. >You're slightly less drunk now that your stomach is empty
  183. >And the bathroom floor is cool and nice
  184. >It gives you an opportunity to think
  185.  
  186. "Celestiadamned bitch..."
  187. >Your thoughts are occupied with that mare from the bar
  188. >And her stupid magical monkey husbands
  189. >Hah!
  190. >So stupid...
  191. >And so nice
  192. >You can't deny the idea is lovely
  193. >Someone to hold, someone to love
  194. >Someone to love you
  195. >Or, atleast be partially interested in you and your life
  196. >Honestly, at this point you'd settle for less
  197.  
  198. >While your mind wanders away on the wonders of partnership the floor goes from cool to downright freezing
  199. >Standing up takes way more coordination and effort than you're willing to give at the moment, so you do a sad crawl into the livingroom and heave yourself onto the sofa
  200. >Staring into the dark ceiling of your home you loose yourself in thoughts again
  201. >A husband...
  202. >Someone to cheer you on during Wonderbolt events
  203. >Someone to wake up with every morning
  204. >Someone to eat dinner with, maybe in a fancy restaurant, like a date
  205. >Someone to raise a couple of foals with...
  206.  
  207.  
  208.  
  209. >The sun shines its lifegiving rays of warmth directly at your face
  210. >It feels like you're being stabbed in the eyeball with toothpicks
  211. "Fuck be damned, lemme sleep..."
  212. >Turning around doesn't help much, and soon you're awake
  213. >Early saturday morning, still groggy, body feels like jelly, everything stinks of either alcohol or sweat
  214. >Classy, Spitfire, real classy
  215. >This is what your life has become
  216. "Sad... sad is what it is"
  217. >You groan and try to find a more comfortable way of passing out, but your head keeps hitting something
  218. >Groaning more loudly this time, incase the world didn't hear you the first time, you sit up and check your surroundings
  219. >Still on sofa, joints aching slightly from your not very ergonomical sleeping position
  220. >Your neck pain is explain by your saddlebags, which you for some reason used as a pillow
  221. >Groaning a third time just for the sake of it, you grab the bags and throw them across the room
  222. >And a certain paper flutters out and lands on the livingroom table
  223.  
  224. >You stare at it for awhile
  225. >It doesn't do much, except maybe taunting you slightly
  226. >Why did you even bring that home with you?
  227. >Actually, you don't think you did
  228. >You're pretty sure you left it at the bar
  229. >Apparently you didn't
  230. >Some unconscious part of you still wanted to believe, so you grabbed the scammiest of scams home with you
  231. >Sad, really
  232. >Close to pathetic
  233.  
  234. >You stare at it for awhile longer, hoping it would crumble to dust by itself
  235. >It doesn't, obviously, and that makes you angry
  236. >As you proclaimed at the bar, probably so loud everyone heard it, you don't need this shit
  237. >You got plenty enough to be miserable about without someone claiming to bring you free love
  238.  
  239. >Getting up from the sofa makes you wish you were dead, but you eventually reach the kitchen
  240. >Water, the archenemy of hangovers
  241. >You need it desperately
  242. >After you soothed your parched throat and upset stomach, you look out the window
  243.  
  244. >Saturday morning
  245. >A time for quiet contemplation
  246. >And nursing hangover, apparently
  247. >But mostly for quiet contemplation
  248.  
  249. >The sun is making quick work of the remaining nightfog, and already the birds are chirping
  250. >Other than that the street is empty
  251. >Years of experience instinctively draws your attention to the sky
  252. >Mostly clear skies, but some nimbostratus clouds hovers at the horizon
  253. >You're not working today, but that doesn't stop the mind of a Wonderbolt
  254. >Unconsciously you start making up flightroutes and plans to deal with the incoming weather
  255. >Assigning specific tasks for your team members, taking into account the atmospheric preassure, the temperature, even the way the sun will move during the day
  256. >There is a reason you're the Captain
  257. >Your damned good at your job
  258. >Maybe you don't excel at life, but it will be a cold day in Tartarus before someone bests you at Wonderbolt stuff
  259.  
  260. >You feel slightly less terrible, standing there in your kitchen, drinking water and watching the skies
  261. >You got your job
  262. >You're a Wonderbolt, for Lunas sake!
  263. >That's nothing to scoff about
  264. >It's taken you more than a decade to get where you are today
  265. >And you're respected in the whole Empire
  266. >Yeah, despite the lack of love in your life, it's not so bad
  267.  
  268. >Saturday mornings
  269. >As you said, for quiet contemplation
  270. >No need to get upset about the things you don't have
  271. >You just gotta appreciate what you do have, and make the best from...
  272.  
  273. >aaand there's a pegasi couple, hovering above the street, kissing and laughing together
  274. >Something within your mind makes the sound of falling glass
  275.  
  276. "Fucking fuck a duck"
  277. >And just like that your relatively comfy mood is gone
  278. >Typical, isn't it?
  279. >The moment you finally get your mind off your aching heart, life pulls a fast one and fucks you over like this
  280. >Mind clouded by irritation and quite alot of sadness, you stomp into the livingroom
  281. "Public display of affection should be punishable by law... How would you like that, you bastards!"
  282. >Your shout back at the offenders
  283. >It's unclear if they heard you through your closed window and a hundret feet of street, but it made you feel slightly better
  284. >You come to a stop at the table
  285. >And once again you stare at the papers lying on top
  286. >Those stupid papers
  287. >Stupid, the whole thing is so stupid
  288.  
  289. >You stare awhile longer. Then you look back into the kitchen
  290. >Through the window you can just make out the lucky couple, still playfully expressing their love
  291. >You stare at the papers again, mind fogging with what is now anger
  292. >Not fucking fair, is it?
  293. >Why should they be happy, and not you?
  294. >Why don't you deserve what they have?
  295.  
  296. >With one last angry glare at the papers you make up your mind
  297. >If life's gonna pull these dirty tricks on you you might as well play along
  298. "You know what... Screw this, and screw you! You want me to sign some stupid princess stupid scam, I'll fucking do it!"
  299. >You fly into the kitchen and grab a pen
  300. "Just watch me! I'll sign this thing, and I'll post it, and nothing will happen, because it's bullshit!"
  301. >You furiously starts scribbling down your information on the form
  302. "Prefered petname? Don't care!"
  303. "Ideal romantic scenario? Uuh... walking at the beach during sunset? Who gives a crap?"
  304. "Prefered sexual posi... DON'T CARE!"
  305.  
  306. >Almost reeling with anger and frustration you sign your name, fold the paper in half, and jams it into an envelope
  307. >You find a stamp, and write "Princess Cadance, Crystal Empire"
  308. >And before you know it you're out the door, zig-zaging down the street to the mailbox
  309.  
  310. >You slam the whole thing into the slot before you can rationalise your actions and calm down
  311. "There! DONE! You happy now?!"
  312. >... you shout to exactly no one
  313.  
  314. >Still angrily mumbling you return home
  315. >Walking inside, you realise just how tired you actually are
  316. >A night of heavy drinking is not fully countered by a few hours of sleep and then alot of emotions
  317. >So without further ado, you step into your bedroom and flung yourself onto the bed
  318. >You feel kinda stupid now, getting that angry
  319. >And posting that letter... what good did that do?
  320. >You just wasted a perfectly good envelope and a stamp
  321.  
  322. >Nevermind all that
  323. >Now, you need sleep
  324. >And alot of it
  325. >You can deal with all the other stuff later today
  326. >Or preferably never
  327. >And with that, you fall into a restless slumber
  328.  
  329. =========================
  330.  
  331. >You are Spitfire
  332. >Or, yesterday you were atleast
  333. >Right now you'd probably be classified as something unholy that recently died, just to be resurrected back into this cruel world by a rather mediocre necromancer
  334. >Everything hurts, or stinks, or both
  335. >Your brain has been replaced by soggy cotton
  336. >And your muscles are overcooked pasta
  337. >Thank you Mr. Necromancer, good fucking job
  338.  
  339. >Rolling out of the bed, you do a whole-body shudder and stumble towards the kitchen
  340. >Water, and then food
  341. >Something greasy... Hayburgers maybe?
  342. >A top tier athlete as yourself can only afford junkfood rather seldom, but now you need it
  343.  
  344. >After consuming a few gallons of water and some painkillers, you leave your house and carefully fly down to the burgerjoint
  345. >Hopefully it's been long enough since your alcohol-rampage that you're beneath the limit
  346. >You don't wanna be fined for an FUI
  347. >...again
  348.  
  349. >It's certainly not the most graceful flight, but it does the job, and soon you're chomping down on a fried hayburger with lettuce and flowers
  350. >Sitting outside the burgerjoint, you lament on your sad state, and the fact that it's late in the afternoon
  351. >All that saturday, wasted on sleep
  352.  
  353. >Or not all of it, right?
  354. >You have some veeery faint memories of doing something this morning
  355. >You... puked in the bathroom? Seems normal
  356. >And then you got really angry, because... someone was kissing and your papers didn't like that?
  357. >No, YOU didn't like the kissing, because... the papers were taunting you?
  358.  
  359. >Wait, which papers?
  360. >Job-related papers?
  361. >Finishing your burger you sip on your sparkly water, trying to puzzle together last night
  362. >No, it was some sort of form, which you got at...
  363. ...at... at the bar!
  364. >From that mare!
  365. >And it was about the free husband thing, and it was so ridiculous, and you got angry, and then you...
  366. "Oh goddamn crap, I posted the stupid thing, didn't I?"
  367. >Yeah you did
  368. >You remember now, quite clearly
  369. >You filled it in, and you rageflew to the mailbox, and...
  370. "Aaaaah, why did I do that?!"
  371. >You loudly exclaim your embarrassment to the heavens
  372. >And also to a very uncomfortable family of four, sitting behind you
  373. >"Mommy, is she alright?"
  374. >The mother gives you a look you recognise well
  375. >You've recieved it more times than you can count during your drunken escapades around town
  376. >"Yes dear, she is just... tired"
  377. >Giving you the stinkeye again, the family moves a few tables away
  378. >Great
  379. >Embarrassed in public
  380. >You slump down at the table, head in your hooves
  381. >You probably stink of booze too
  382. >Should've taken a shower before
  383.  
  384. >But all of that kinda pales to the realisation that you sent in that Initiative thing
  385. >You don't believe in it, that's for sure
  386. >Which means that the damage done is purely towards your own ego
  387.  
  388. >You, Spitfire
  389. >Captain of the Wonderbolts
  390. >Highly regarded citizen of Equestria (atleast when you're sober)
  391. >Elite athlete
  392. >... has actually sunken so damn low that you basically wished for a mail-order husband
  393. >A mail-order scam, perhaps, but you still posted it
  394. >Which means a not unsignificant part of you wanted to believe
  395.  
  396. >You press your head against the table, and for the first time in what must be years, you feel tears burning at the corner of your eyes
  397. >That's sad, really sad
  398. >Downright pathetic
  399. >You have somehow managed to get so utterly lonely you wanted a mail-order husband
  400. >Those words burn in your head, alongside with the shame
  401. >This is the most down you've been in a long time
  402. >Your weekend is pretty much ruined now
  403.  
  404.  
  405. >It is with a heavy heart, and a very somber mood, that you return back home
  406. >Closing the door behind you, you collapse on your sofa
  407. >The implications of what you've done is still whirling in your cotton brain
  408. >... mail-order husband
  409. >That means you've given up, doesn't it?
  410. >You're pretty sure it does
  411. >Given up on love, given up on finding a mate
  412.  
  413. >You burrow your head as deep as you can in the pillows
  414. >Well, that's it, isn't it?
  415. >Good job, Spits, you've actually done some progress with your life
  416. >You've officially given up on love
  417. >That means, from now on, you might as well stop with your pathetic attempts at flirting stallions at the bar
  418. >If nothing else you won't be ridiculed as much
  419.  
  420. >You turn over, and stare at the ceiling
  421. >You're pretty sure you did this exact same thing some twelve hours ago
  422. >But that was before you sunk so low as to...
  423. "Stupid fucking Initiative scam, goddamn stupid fucking princess..."
  424. "... goddamn stupid fucking me"
  425.  
  426. >You spend a few minutes thinking about absolutely nothing
  427. >And then you start making plans, sort of
  428. "So... this is the bottom. Given up on love... given up on life too?"
  429. >No, not on life
  430. >You still have your job, your passion
  431. >Maybe it's time to go serious?
  432. >As in, really really serious
  433. >Forget everything else, lock your aching heart into a box of neglect
  434. >Become the best Captain the Wonderbolts have ever seen
  435. >Improve the team until you go from merely fantastic to legendary
  436. >...
  437. >Yeah, you could to that
  438. >Drown yourself in your work
  439. >Put everything you got into it
  440. >...
  441. >And maybe, just maybe, it will be enough
  442. >Maybe there will come a day where you don't feel like dying whenever you return to your cold and empty bed
  443.  
  444. >With this in mind, you feel slightly better
  445. >And despite all the things that you've felt in these last terrible hours, you fall asleep
  446.  
  447. ====================
  448.  
  449. >Sunday morning comes, and you feel rather good
  450. >Physically, at least
  451.  
  452. >You spend the day doing some paperwork, and getting an early start on the next weeks rigorious exercises
  453. >Gotta burn that hayburger away somehow
  454.  
  455. >Monday arrives, and as if the weekend never happened, you clock in at work bright and early
  456. >More paperwork
  457. >Assembling the team
  458. >Some mundane weather patrolling
  459. >Planning for the upcoming show in Baltimare
  460. >Breaking up a fight between some new recruits
  461. >Leading the team through the newest version of the training routine
  462.  
  463. >Basic Wonderbolt stuff
  464. >You could do it half-asleep, and to be honest sometimes you have
  465. >But that gotta change now
  466. >You've decided to turn your job up to eleven
  467.  
  468. >The rest of the week goes by, and before you know it it's friday again
  469. >And for the first time in Celestia knows how long, you don't go to the bar
  470. >Instead you stay late at your office, putting in some extra hours
  471. >It feels... wierd, to say the least, when you return home that friday night
  472. >Usually you would be here several hours later, vomiting on your doorstep and passing out hugging your pillow
  473. >Now instead, you lie awake for awhile
  474. >Reflecting on your life
  475. >Normally, the non-existing presence beside you in the bed would've felt like a cold wall of regret and hurt
  476. >You still feel it, but less
  477. >Drowning yourself in work has some benefits, after all
  478. >...
  479. >Yeah, you can live like this
  480.  
  481.  
  482. >You spend the weekend doing more job stuff
  483. >And the following week, you really start to change stuff
  484. >Some of your team is onboard, some are a bit hesitant
  485. >They'll come around
  486. >They have to
  487. >You can NOT go back now
  488. >Not when your job is all you have left
  489.  
  490. =========================
  491.  
  492. >You unlock your door one late friday afternoon, picking up todays newspaper and some mail from the floor, and walk into your home
  493. >Another friday without going to the bar
  494. >It's been, what... over a month since you were drunk last time?
  495. >Yeah, something like that
  496. >Feels pretty good
  497. >Your liver has certainly enjoyed not being pulled to the brink of death every week
  498.  
  499. >You place your saddlebags and the mail on your kitchen table, and get a drink from the fridge
  500. >Your new lifestyle might be... healthier, maybe?
  501. >But stars above it's exhausting
  502. >You're pulling atleast fifty percent more work now than before
  503. >Even if you still wanted to do your old bar routine, you don't think you would actually have time
  504. >But all that extra work is paying off
  505. >The team is in amazing shape, even that pie-whore Soarin
  506. >The show you did last week was the best one so far, according to every single newspaper you've read
  507. >And you read them all
  508. >Even Princess Celestia voiced her admiration, saying she haven't seen the Wonderbolts being this good in centuries
  509. >Now that's something to put on your CV
  510.  
  511. >Finishing your soda, you start opening the mail
  512. >Mostly bills, as always
  513. >Next week you're doing a whole new set of routines, and from what you've seen of them so far, they look difficult as hell
  514. >Another bill...
  515. >But the team can handle it
  516. >The exercises you've been putting them through lately has been hell itself, so a new routine is nothing
  517. >Another bill...
  518. >On the other hoof, maybe you should bring down the intensity just a fraction
  519. >You don't wanna overwork them, and some of your Bolts have complained of slight injuries
  520. >Another bill... aaand this one isn't yours
  521. >Goddamn mailmare, this is the third time this month she puts your neighbours heating bill in your mailbox
  522. >Really, if it happens again you gonna have to complain
  523. >Speaking of complaining, the Wonderbolts financial manager is not very happy with your changes
  524. >You never been much for math and economy, but even you know that doubling the expenses is a bad thing
  525. >Still, it's the price someone gotta pay for excellency
  526. >That someone being the Crown
  527. >Another bill... no wait, this is...
  528.  
  529. >Your brain is brought to a full stop as you stare at the letter
  530. >It looks like, well... a letter.
  531. >A perfectly ordinary letter
  532. >Adressed for you
  533. >With a stamp and everything
  534.  
  535. >And beside the letter is a symbol you recognise very well
  536. >You hoped you never would have to see it again, but here it is
  537. >The cutiemark of Princess Cadance
  538.  
  539. >A few stray braincells bump around in your head, but other than that it's still full stop
  540. "Wha.... But, but I.... What?"
  541. >Having exhausted your intellect, you keep staring at the letter
  542. >You're almost afraid it's gonna do something
  543. >Is the letter as confused as you are? Probably
  544.  
  545. >Someone who isn't quite you moves the letter to your mouth, and you slowly tear it open
  546. >It is with shaking hooves and a tingle in your spine that you dump the content on the table
  547. >A paper, adressed to you, and signed by the Princess
  548. >A small pamphlet, titled "Humans: A Brief Introduction"
  549.  
  550. >And a photography of a human, tall and dressed in a suit, smiling at the camera
  551.  
  552. >...
  553. "WHAT THE FUCK?!"
  554.  
  555. =============================
  556.  
  557. >You are, for once, not Spitfire
  558. >You are a tree
  559. >Or, well, you were a tree, a long time ago
  560. >And as most trees that lived on the very edge of the forest, your fate was to be chopped down, sawed into pieces, and made into a floor
  561.  
  562. >Honestly, it wasn't too bad
  563. >Sure, some of your brethren was turned into more noticable things, like grandfather clocks, or beautiful bookshelves, or fancy jewelery boxes
  564. >Compared to that a floor might seem a bit dull
  565. >But as you said, not too bad
  566. >It was a relaxing line of work, where no one expected much from you. As long as you laid still and didn't creak too much, all was well
  567. >Especially if the house you belonged to only ever had pegasi owners, that prefered to glide from room to room instead of walking
  568. >So for the last fifty or so years you had quite enjoyed your existance
  569.  
  570. >The last hours had, however, been pure misery
  571. >Because the certain redheaded pegasi mare that currently lived on top of you seemed hellbent on pacing some veeery deep grooves into your beautiful oaken planks
  572.  
  573.  
  574. >Be a certain redheaded mare
  575. >Your hooves ached
  576. >You had been pacing round the livingroom table for what felt like days
  577. >And despite the flurry of thoughts and emotions (most of them fear and shame) you still hadn't arrived at any sort of solution
  578. >You stopped your methodical destruction of the floor, and looked again at the letters on the table
  579. >There were so many things you wanted to say, and so many questions you needed answers to
  580. "... Fuck"
  581. >The pacing resumed
  582. >If there had been anyone around taking notes, they could have told you that was the hundred and fifteenth fuck in about as many minutes
  583.  
  584.  
  585. >A minute later you stopped again and added another swear to the count
  586. >This time however, you really did try to compose yourself
  587. >The pacing was not working (you realised that about ten minutes in but it kept the panic away, so you just went with it) and the swearing didn't made things better
  588. >It was time for a very deep and a very serious conversations with the only pony that could possibly fix this
  589. >Yourself
  590. >You placed your butt on the floor and took a deep breath
  591.  
  592.  
  593. "... Alright..."
  594. "I've fucked up, big time"
  595. >You sure had
  596. >This was about as big of a fuckup as anyone could possibly do
  597. "I... sent that Initiative thing, believing it to be fake"
  598. >Yes you did
  599. >You thought it was a scam, a fake, some sort of very mean-spirited prank by the Princess
  600. >But it wasn't, was it?
  601. "... no it wasn't... apparantly."
  602. >And now there is a human, from another world, coming here, to meet you, because he believes that you're lonely and heartbroken and in need of love
  603. "Well, all of that is true."
  604. "It's just that..."
  605. >It's just that you never even considered one of those as a mate, did you?
  606. >You were always kinda... slightly disgusted, seeing them out and about with their pony partners
  607. "Yes. No. Wait, maybe."
  608. >You always imagined yourself in the strong hooves of a handsome stallion, someone the same size (and species!) as yourself
  609. >Someone who could give you a foal or two...
  610. "Well, foals are kinda not the point. I mean, that would be nice, but I just... I just really wanted someone to love"
  611. >... so what's the problem? Isn't that exactly what's about to happen?
  612. "No! I mean yes, but... it's not the way I wanted it!"
  613. "I wanted to get someone for myself, by myself!"
  614. "Not this... charity!"
  615.  
  616. >Your inner voice doesn't respond to that
  617. >You slump forward onto the floor, tired and drained
  618. >This isn't what you signed up for
  619. >Well, technically it's exactly what you signed up for
  620. >It's just that you should never signed up from the beginning
  621.  
  622. >And now there is a human, leaving everything behind, coming for you, in...
  623. >You sit up and glance at the pappers
  624. >...less than a week
  625. >Right now he's being treated in the Crystal Kingdom, getting all of his magic shots and whatnot
  626. >...
  627. >That poor human...
  628. >If you feel bad about this you can't even imagine what he is gonna feel like when he discovers that his "perfect match" never wanted him to begin with
  629. >And only sent for him because she was hungover and angry and really really...
  630. "Fucking stupid, that's what I was!"
  631.  
  632. >Back to the floor you go, sighing in despair
  633. >...There is no way to fix this, is there?
  634. >Your mail-order husband is on his way, and there is no way to cancel the order
  635. >So what the hell are you gonna do?
  636.  
  637. >...You could always send a letter to the Princess
  638. >And explain what a colossal moron you are
  639. >It would be the most embarrassing letter of your life, and the humiliation would most likely not stop there, but atleast the situation could be fixed...right?
  640. "...Yeah. Yeah!"
  641. >You jump up on your hooves, suddenly filled with energy
  642. "I'll just write to the Princess, and explain that it was a mistake."
  643. >Drawers are flung open while you ransack your house for an paper and an envelope
  644. "It will have to be expressmail, obviously, 'cause he's gonna be here on friday, and the mail usually takes..."
  645. >Your attention is split between counting days and finding something to write on
  646. "And the human is already there in the Crystal Empire, so he can just get rematched instantly! ... Right?"
  647. >That's how this works, right? If someone declines they just get matched again...
  648. >Right?
  649.  
  650. >Finally you find a paper, and wasting no time you slam yourself down at the table, grab a pen, and start writing
  651.  
  652. >You have a sneaking suspicion that this might be the first case of someone declining, and you must admit that you have no idea if a "rematch" even is a thing
  653. >But for the sake of your own (slightly frayed) sanity, you must believe there is
  654.  
  655. >The alternative, a sad and lost human, in a strange world with nowhere to go and no one who wants him, is too much for you to handle
  656. >The thought that you might abandon your match to a very uncertain, and possibly tragic, fate makes the pen stop in your hoof
  657. >That would be... bad. To say the least.
  658. >You have practically told him to jump... dimensions?
  659. >...And then just giving him the cold shoulder and leaving him stranded
  660. >...
  661. >... There must be a way for them to be matched again, there just has to!
  662. >Despite some cold feelings in your stomach that stems from the fact that you have no evidence to support your claims, you continue writing
  663. >This might not be optimal
  664. >Actually, it's really really fucking far from optimal
  665. >But it's still the best solution
  666. >You don't get something you never wanted in the first place
  667. >He never gets to meet the mare that doesn't want him
  668. >It's the best, and only, solution
  669.  
  670. >While the sun is slowly falling beneath the horizon, and you're finishing up your letter with a few dozen apologies, a small voice makes itself heard
  671. >It comes from somewhere inside your head, and like an uninvited guest it makes the simple situation alot more complicated
  672.  
  673. >"You could always give it a shot, right?"
  674.  
  675. >You stop licking the envelope
  676. "...No. Absolutely not! You shup up, you hear that! Shut up!"
  677. >The quiet voice in your head dissappears, but the damage is already done
  678. >And the seeds of doubt are planted
  679.  
  680. >...
  681.  
  682. >...Could you give it a chance?
  683. "No! Nuh-uh!"
  684. >Why not?
  685. "Because this whole thing was a mistake from beginning to end, and I'm not gonna drag it out further! I'm putting a stop to it here and now!"
  686. >But what if it works out?
  687. "It won't! I'm not attracted to those... apes!"
  688. >But what if you could learn to be?
  689. >I... just shut up! I'm not gonna give this... him... a chance, because this should never had happened and it's just a mistake! MY mistake, that I'm trying to fix!"
  690.  
  691. >But what if it do work out between you? Just imagine
  692. "Imagine what?"
  693. >... A life full of love
  694.  
  695. >In an instant, your mind is full of thoughts and ideas
  696. >Of coming home to a house that's full of life and love
  697. >A bed that's warm and secure, and not cold and empty
  698. >Someone to cling to whenever life gets the best of you
  699. >Someone to share all your memories and experiences with
  700. >... To share a life with
  701.  
  702. >All the things that you have so desperately dreamed about is, you realise, on their way to you
  703. >Maybe not exactly as you pictured, but more or less
  704. >And they will arrive friday
  705. >As long as you don't send this letter
  706.  
  707. "But... but It could never work..."
  708. >You repeat the words to yourself, but you feel your conviction fade more and more
  709. "But it was just a... mistake... I never meant for him to actually come..."
  710. >Does that makes the promises and opportunities any less real?
  711. "But I... I'm not ready."
  712. >Your voice dies down, and you stare out the window, a thousand things rushing in your head
  713.  
  714. >It's past midnight when you finally leave the table, holding the letter in your mouth
  715. >You still haven't decided
  716. >Reject the whole thing and go back to how things were, or give it a shot
  717. >It might very well be the most difficult thing you've ever had to decide
  718. >Maybe the most important too
  719. >...It would be so easy to slip out the front door, fly down to the mailbox, and get rid of this mess once and for all
  720. >...It would be far less terrifying than the alternative, too
  721. >...
  722. >Still, you can't get rid of the feeling that have blossomed forth these last hours
  723. >Hope, you think it is
  724. >Hope for a fullfilling life, not the hollow lie you're currently living
  725.  
  726. >You stand there, in your dark livingroom, letter in mouth, for a long time
  727.  
  728. >And then you make up your mind
  729.  
  730. >You walk into the kitchen, drop the letter in the trash, and fly directly to bed
  731. >It's been a long day
  732. >A very draining day
  733.  
  734. >It's not even been six hours since you came home from work, but in that time you've experienced a flurry of every possible emotion, you've argued with yourself more than what is healthy, and you've made a lifechanging decision
  735. >No wonder you're tired
  736. >But before sleep takes you, there is still some time to think
  737.  
  738. >You did nothing about the situation
  739. >Which means that no one except you knows of your predicament, and how this predicament came to be
  740. >And next friday, a human will be standing on your doorstep, prepared to offer you love forever
  741. >...You still can't believe the Initiative is a real thing
  742. >But then again, all of those humans you've seen out on the streets must've come from somewhere, right?
  743. >...
  744. >You have NO idea how this is gonna go
  745. >Will it work out between you?
  746. >Will you finally have found a partner in life?
  747. >Or will it end in disaster?
  748. >Honestly, you kinda deserve the disaster-route
  749. >... Even if he doesn't
  750. >... And if nothing else, if everything goes to crap, if nothing else... you didn't chicken out
  751. >You stood by your mistakes, and you're prepared to give this an honest try
  752.  
  753.  
  754. >There are so many more things you wanna go through, but right now those thoughts gonna have to wait until tomorrow
  755. >You can barely keep your eyes open
  756.  
  757. >And so you fall asleep, and dream of letters, and fear, and hope, and of the future
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