Teaching Happiness [Fleetfoot, One-Shot, Complete]

Sep 9th, 2018 (edited)
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  1. Teaching Happiness
  3. >Heavy raindrops bombarded the streets.
  4. >Anon's shoes were sopping wet and squelched with each step.
  5. >He did his best to ignore the water seeping through his jacket.
  6. >It wasn't quite enough to turn into trickles beneath his clothes, but it was enough to make him shiver with cold.
  7. >He was out far too late, and in the cheapest part of town – which was where he lived.
  8. >The only things lighting his way were the orange bulbs of streetlamps.
  9. >Even their light seemed to get devoured by soaked asphalt and the damp, run-down red brick walls of the buildings around him.
  10. >The fact that about a quarter of the lamps were out of order didn't help, either.
  11. >But he cared little of his own safety.
  12. >Why would he?
  13. >All he had to look forward to was another day of getting yelled at by customers who didn't understand what they were buying.
  14. >Followed by yet another evening cooped up in his apartment, scouring the Internet in search for something that'd let him feel something.
  15. >Whether that something was rage, sadness, happiness, fear or shame, he didn't care.
  16. >Anything was better than the all-encompassing slight boredom that filled his mind, his body and his heart.
  18. >He rounded a corner and headed down an unlit alley.
  19. >It was pitch black, very wet and stank of garbage.
  20. >But passing through it would save him a few minutes since it cut through between two massive apartment complexes he'd otherwise have to walk around.
  21. >Even if the thought of getting home didn't really tempt him, the prospect of dry clothes penetrated the veil of indifference shrouding his mind and shone ahead as something he wanted to experience.
  23. >Splish, splash.
  24. >Cold water filled his shoes and made his toes ache as he walked straight into a puddle.
  25. >He backtracked a little and kicked at air in an attempt to get most of the water out.
  26. >Then he stood still, and waited.
  27. >At first, the only thing he could see was a strip of clouds in the sky, glowing faint green with excess artificial lighting from the city.
  28. >Slowly, as his eyes got used to the dark, he could pick out other details as well.
  29. >There were cardboard boxes and bags of trash piled against the walls on both sides of him.
  30. >The puddle only filled half of the pathway.
  31. >And there was the faintest rustle from somewhere nearby.
  32. >At first, he didn't care about it.
  33. >It was just some mouse or something.
  34. >But as he was about to round the pool of water, he heard a squeak.
  35. >It wasn't the squeak of a rodent, but the squeak of someone who wakes up and realizes their throat is so sore they can't speak.
  37. >Something moved in one of the cardboard boxes.
  38. >Anon had to dig his phone from his pocket and flick on its flashlight to make out what.
  39. >It was a pegasus pony, drenched to the bone and shaking with cold.
  40. >”Ee...”
  41. >She let out a quiet whimper and squeezed her eyes shut when the beam of light hit her.
  42. >She had a vibrant cyan coat, pure white mane and tail, and her cutie mark was an upside-down horseshoe with a streak of gold beneath it.
  43. >Or that was how she would have looked like if she wasn't covered in stains of something yellow and if there weren't streaks of something brown in her mane.
  44. >The box she was in was starting to disintegrate in the rain and had the word “free” written on it in thick red marker.
  45. >The sight made something very rare happen in Anon.
  46. >He felt something.
  47. >He felt pity.
  48. “I can't just leave you here, now can I? Come on.”
  49. >He shoved his phone back in his pocket and wrapped both arms around the mare.
  50. >”Ee...”
  51. >All she did was let out another pathetic whimper.
  52. “I'll take you somewhere warm and dry, don't worry.”
  53. >He snaked his shoulder beneath the pegasus and lifted her out of the box like she was a sack of potatoes, with her forehooves hanging on his stomach and her rear hooves over his back.
  55. ***
  57. >Fleetfoot woke to the rattling of a key in a lock.
  58. >Click. Screeeeak.
  59. >She leaped off her master's bed and galloped out of his bedroom, hoping he wouldn't be too mad that she'd slept in his bed again.
  60. >Hoping he would care.
  61. >Screee- slam.
  62. “Master, you're home!”
  63. >Anon dropper his keys in his pocket and set down the bag of groceries he'd bought.
  64. “Ooh, what'd you get? Do you want me to cook for you? If you brought cauliflower I can make you your favorite cheese cauli.”
  65. >He had a hint of a frown on his face as he pulled down the zipper of his jacket.
  66. >“Nah.”
  67. >His voice was low, quiet and deadpan.
  68. >He shook the jacket off himself and let it fall to the floor.
  69. “Did you meet anyone interesting at work today?”
  70. >Fleetfoot squeezed past her master and the groceries he was carrying to pick up his jacket.
  71. >It was still warm.
  72. >”It was the same as always.”
  73. >She spread her wings and fluttered up to the coat hangers before depositing the jacket in its place on the coat rack.
  74. “How about a bath? Or would you like to go for a walk? The weather looked nice earlier.”
  75. >Thump.
  76. >She let herself fall back to the floor.
  77. >”Nah. Go for a walk yourself if you want, I was just outside.”
  78. >Fleetfoot made sure her master wasn't looking before wiping away the dampness forming at the corners of her eyes.
  80. >Flying laps above the park and feeling the air stream in her coat and tickle her wings as she pushed herself to go ever faster should have filled her with joy and excitement.
  81. >But not this time.
  82. >Was her master okay?
  83. >Would he let her fall asleep with her muzzle buried in his neck like usual?
  84. >Would he still let her use him as a reminder that the past was no more?
  85. >That she no longer had to scrub grease off the floor of a fast food restaurant and sleep in a pile of dirty work uniforms?
  86. >She angled her wings and brought herself to an upwards spin before fanning out her feathers and coming to a stop mid-air.
  87. >Her wings beat the air at a steady rate as she looked downwards at the humans and ponies below.
  88. >There was a group of ponies and humans playing hoofball.
  89. >There was an earth pony mare, letting a toddler chase after her.
  90. >The little child's parents sat nearby, on a rug with their arms around each other's shoulders as they watched their slave play with their offspring.
  91. >And then there was Fleetfoot.
  92. >All alone, high up in the air.
  93. >Why couldn't her master come and play with her?
  94. >She just wanted so see her savior smile and enjoy life.
  96. “I'm home!”
  97. >The front door slammed shut behind Fleetfoot.
  98. >She gave it a push with a rear hoof to make sure it was locked.
  99. >”That was fast.”
  100. >His voice carried from the living room, along with the clicks of a mouse, and she could barely make out the words since it was so quiet.
  101. “I'm going to prepare a bath for us.”
  102. >She trotted down the hallway and peeked into the living room.
  103. >Her master was focused on his computer and didn't even glance her way.
  104. >”Whatever.”
  105. >Well, at least he didn't say no.
  107. >She pushed the plug off the rim and into the tub before hopping in behind it and pushing it in its slot at the bottom.
  108. >She hovered near the tap as she twisted it all the way to the hot side.
  109. >The sound of flowing water filled the bathroom.
  110. >Fleetfoot tried the stream with a hoof and adjusted the tap a few times to get the temperature right.
  111. >Then she left the tub to fill and trotted back to the living room.
  113. >He wasn't even playing anything.
  114. >He was just cycling between some web sites, scrolling up and down while occasionally refreshing them.
  115. “Is there anything you want to talk about?”
  116. >”Huh?”
  117. >His entire body twitched before he swung his chair around.
  118. >”Oh. No. Not really.”
  119. >He hadn't even had any porn open, yet he acted like she'd caught him in the act.
  120. >She'd done it a few times, come home to him with his dick in his hand.
  121. >It always made her feel uncomfortable.
  122. >Probably even more so than him.
  123. “Oh. Well, I saw some ponies and humans playing hoofball in the park.”
  124. >But what really made her feel bad was seeing him so down.
  125. >When all her ideas were met with short, few-word denials and excuses.
  126. “Would you like to go play with me tomorrow or some other day?”
  127. >”I'll think about it.”
  128. >And he would find some reason to say no.
  129. >But Fleetfoot would keep trying.
  130. >It was what she was there for.
  131. >To repay his kindness.
  133. “Mmmmh!”
  134. >Shivers passed down Fleetfoot's spine from the spots on her neck that his fingers grazed.
  135. >”I can't wash it properly if you keep shaking.”
  136. >But his touch was so soft.
  137. “Sorry.”
  138. >She had her back turned to him and had her forehooves on the rim of the tub.
  139. >He rubbed shampoo in her mane with large yet gentle massaging motions.
  140. >The tub was quite cramped with the two of them in there, even with them in the opposite ends.
  141. >And now he had squeezed in with her to wash her mane.
  142. >Her lower back touched his stomach and her rear hooves were tangled with his feet.
  143. >But she didn't mind.
  144. >She'd heard from Jasmine Leaf, one of the other slaves in the neighborhood, that physical contact made even humans feel happier and safer.
  145. >”Okay, you can rinse it off now.”
  146. >Fleetfoot plunged her head into the water.
  147. >Her mane turned into a cloud of white fluff around her.
  148. >Then she shook it.
  149. “Ph-haaah!”
  150. >She surfaced for breath and gave the rim of the tub a push to turn herself around.
  151. “Your turn now, Master.”
  153. >She ran the loofah along his back, leaving behind a trail of white foam.
  154. >He sat still and quiet and let her work her hooves.
  155. >She couldn't help but notice that his ribs were sticking out more visibly than the last time.
  156. “You need to eat more, Master. You've lost weight again.”
  157. >”Mmh.”
  158. >His upper body twitched a little as he grunted.
  159. “And don't say you don't have time to cook! I'll make as much food as you want.”
  160. >Even if she'd hated cooking duty back when the Wonderbolts still existed.
  161. >”But you can't. You don't have hands.”
  162. >There it was again.
  163. >The denial.
  164. >Fleetfoot stopped her scrubbing and let her neck fall limp.
  165. >Her forehead slapped against his back.
  166. >Her ears flopped limp on her skull.
  167. “Please let me help you, Master. I'm worried about you.”
  168. >Flo-splash!
  169. >He moved his torso so her forehead slipped off his back and Fleetfoot splashed into the water.
  170. >She flailed for a second, but then felt arms wrap around herself.
  171. >He pulled her to his chest, so his chin rested on the top of her head, and squeezed her tight.
  172. >”You are helping me, Fleets. More than you know. I wish I knew how to make it show. I fight it and I keep fighting it but I always lose so I just don't bother.”
  173. >His arms were around her so tight that it was hard to breathe.
  174. >”It's not going to change. I'm too weak to change it.”
  175. >He let go of her.
  176. >”I should just free you. I didn't even buy you.”
  177. >His eyes were focused on something that didn't exist, somewhere far behind Fleetfoot, and his mouth formed a downwards arc.
  179. “Wh-what do you mean? Of course you can change it.”
  180. >She wasn't quite sure what she should do.
  181. >He'd never said anything like that before.
  182. “You're the strongest, sweetest human I know of.”
  183. >Fleetfoot lunged forward and spread out her hooves.
  184. >Water sloshed around her, then she thumped against his chest.
  185. >She wrapped her hooves around him and rubbed her cheek on him.
  186. “Just let me help you. We can do it, together.”
  187. >”Hmmh.”
  188. >A very wet hand ruffled her sopping wet mane.
  189. >”Fine. I'll come play ball with you tomorrow. We'll see if it helps.”
  190. “That's not what I meant!”
  191. >She pulled her cheek off him so she could look up at his face.
  192. >”I know. But it's what you want.”
  193. >She wasn't going to deny that.
  194. >Playing hoofball was awesome, and it'd be even better with her master since they could both enjoy the game, and she'd get to see him happy.
  196. ***
  198. >Thump-thump-thump-thump-WHACK!
  199. >The ball flew up high in an arc, far above the heads of even the tallest humans on the pitch.
  200. >But human/pony hybrid ball was very different from either hoofball or football.
  201. “I'll get that!”
  202. >Fleetfoot shot after the ball, leaving behind the two pegasi of the opposing team.
  203. >She may not have been quite as fast as Rainbow Dash, but she used to be a Wonderbolt.
  204. >Evening Breeze and Strawberry Sunrise were no match to her in the air.
  205. >They had barely turned around when Fleetfoot was already on top of the ball.
  206. >Whack!
  207. >She gave it a swift kick with a single rear hoof.
  208. “Heads up, Master!”
  209. >He was stalking near the edge of the 16 yard box, and the ball flew straight towards him.
  210. >His face turned into one of immense concentration.
  211. >He spread out his arms to stop the defender from blocking him and angled his body.
  212. >The ball thumped off his chest and settled at his feet.
  213. >He turned around with the ball rolling beneath one foot and drew back his leg for a kick...
  214. >KAPOW!
  215. >...And hit the crossbar.
  216. >He threw his hands up to the air in frustration.
  217. >Fleetfoot flew down to him and pet his head with a hoof.
  218. “You'll get it next time.”
  219. >She didn't even have time to react before he'd snatched her from the air and pulled her into a tight hug.
  220. >”You could have put it straight in yourself, couldn't you?”
  221. >He rubbed the top of her head with a single knuckle.
  222. >Not hard enough for it to burn, though.
  223. >Fleetfoot's mouth turned into a wide grin.
  224. “He-he... Mmmaybe.”
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