TwiSwap Part 1

Nov 11th, 2018
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  1. >Morning in Equestria.
  2. >You yawn, tired from last night, and hold your hand up to cover your mouth as you walk out of the room that you asked to sleep in in the castle, and Princess Celestia acquiesced.
  3. >For some odd reason, the room seemed familiar when you first saw it. Probably just reminded you of something from the show.
  4. >But thinking about the show brings up memories of participating in the fandom, and with those memories, you cringe. Ever since you got here, you’ve basically regretted every single thing you’ve said and posted on the internet about the show.
  5. >Every one of the Mane Six is far more wonderful than you ever thought they were, knowing them in person (or, well, in pony).
  6. >Even if some of them can be pretty annoying, and some of them (especially Pinkie Pie) just don’t make sense half the time, they’re amazing ponies and you’re glad to have met them.
  7. >You also found something of a kindred spirit in Twilight Sparkle.
  8. >You’d always liked her when you were watching the show, and you’d even dreamt about reliving the show through her eyes before (a bit weird, considering you’re a dude and are in no way whatsoever a girl), but you never expected her to be so affable, her voice so mellifluous, and her views so relatable to your own.
  9. >Besides, you finally have someone you can nerd out about science (and magic, which seems to come to you really easily) to who doesn’t just tune out.
  10. >Not that you had anyone to nerd out to back on Earth.
  11. >Because you had no friends.
  12. >But never mind that! Now you’re in Equestria, and you have actual friends.
  13. >You notice that you’re approaching the castle’s dining room. Walking in, you see Princess Celestia sitting at the table, eating some pancakes. Luna’s not in yet.
  14. You smile and straighten. “Good morning, Princess Celestia,” you say.
  15. >Princess Celestia blinks, looking at you, before a wide smile crosses her face. “Anon!” she says. “You remember what today is, right?”
  16. >You blink. Today? Then suddenly, it comes to you.
  17. “It’s my birthday,” you say. You’d forgotten.
  18. >You’d forgotten about your own birthday!
  19. >You’d stayed up all night last night, researching magic in the Canterlot Library of Magic, and somewhere along the way you’d forgotten that it was your birthday.
  20. >It must be showing on your face somehow, because Princess Celestia chuckles. “Got too caught up in research?” she asks.
  21. “...How’d you know?”
  22. >”Oh, just a hunch.” She levitates over some more pancakes from somewhere. “Want some?”
  23. “...Yes, please.” You take a deep breath to destress yourself before graciously accepting the pancakes levitated over towards you.
  24. >Taking a fork, you take a bite out of one. You can feel your heartbeat start to slow as you chew at the delicious pancakes, and close your eyes, almost in bliss. Then you swallow.
  25. >What? Princess Celestia makes really good pancakes.
  26. >Then she says one thing that shatters your tenuous hold on yourself.
  27. >”So, what do you want for your birthday?”
  28. >Your eyes snap open.
  29. >Oh no. You don’t know what you want for your birthday.
  30. >No, no, no. This isn’t good, this isn’t good at all. You can’t just say you don’t know what you want to Princess Celestia when she’s specifically asking you what you want!
  31. >So, in your panic, you blurt out literally the first thing that comes to mind.
  32. “I want to switch bodies with Twilight!”
  33. >...Where did that come from?
  34. >Princess Celestia has a strange look on her face now. “You… want to switch bodies with Twilight?” she asks, with a hint of caution in your voice.
  35. >Well. You can’t just say no, because you already told Princess Celestia, and you don’t want to lie to Princess Celestia. So you nod.
  36. “Um. Yes. I, well, want to switch bodies with Twilight Sparkle.” Your voice cracks a little. “Only for a few weeks or something, though! Nothing permanent. I mean, Twilight is Twilight, and I’m me, so we should get our own bodies back. But, you know, I just want to know how it feels to be her. For a little.”
  37. >Princess Celestia is silent, and her expression is unreadable.
  38. >Welp, might as well go whole hog.
  39. “I also kind of maybe want to be your student for a bit. You know, to learn magic.” You smile nervously.
  40. >Princess Celestia remains silent.
  41. >Oh, no. That’s not good.
  42. >What if she can’t even do body-swapping magic? It’s not something you’ve seen very much about, aside from a few rumours and pieces of hearsay in magical journals.
  43. >After a few seconds, when you’re halfway to lifting a pancake up to your mouth to stuff it full before you can hyperventilate, she smiles. “I think I can grant that request. I’ll talk to Twilight, and we can hash things out.”
  44. >You freeze, dumbfounded.
  45. >She said yes?
  46. >”You don’t worry need to worry. Twilight will be fine with it,” she adds.
  47. >She said yes. Princess Celestia said yes to the really weird and dumb request you asked of her for your birthday.
  48. >”In fact, I’ll ask now.” She produces a quill and parchment scroll from nowhere, and starts to write.
  49. >The pancake on your fork falls off onto the plate.
  50. >”Oh, you should probably finish your pancakes,” she adds, finishing off the writing with a flourish and incinerating the letter, sending it to Spike.
  52. >It’s approximately forty-five minutes later, and both you and Princess Celestia are in the throne room, waiting on a response from Twilight. Princess Luna is doing whatever Princess Luna is doing; she did come in to have breakfast, though.
  53. >Also, you’re still a bit dumbfounded by Princess Celestia’s response, though not anywhere near as dumbfounded as you were before. Why would she say yes? It’s really odd.
  54. >Suddenly, green fire flies in through the window before solidifying into a scroll of parchment.
  55. >Princess Celestia takes it in her telekinesis and reads it, before nodding.
  56. >”Alright.” She turns to you. “Anon, Twilight said that she’s willing to go through with this. She’s also made sure to inform her friends, family, and acquaintances about this. She should be here fairly soon.”
  57. “...Alright,” you say. You take a deep breath and try to center yourself. It succeeds, but barely.
  58. >Suddenly, the sound of air displacing and the telltale hum of magic fills the room, and in a flash, Twilight is standing in front of you and Celestia.
  59. >Twilight seems to be holding it together. She shoots Princess Celestia a nervous smile, then smiles at you. “Hey, Anon.”
  60. “Hey, Twilight,” you say.
  61. >Awkward silence fills the room.
  62. >”Oh! Right! Happy birthday,” Twilight says, her smile more genuine now.
  63. “Thanks,” you say.
  64. >More silence.
  65. >”Sooo… About that body swap thing,” Twilight says.
  66. “Yeah, that,” you say.
  67. >Twilight’s smile grows wider. “I actually think it’s a pretty interesting idea. It might be interesting to see how your body works differently from the Mirror humans, and find out just how different it is.” She hesitates, then adds “Well, aside from the whole biological sex issue.”
  68. You blink. “Wait, so you’re fine with it?”
  69. >”Of course! I didn’t even know body swap spells were a thing!” Twilight says, the excitement in her voice palpable. “I’ve only ever found references to them in a few obscure journals, and even then only hearsay. To find out that they’re real is, well, amazing!”
  70. Your eyes widen. “That’s true,” you say, and a grin starts to appear on your face. “Body swap spells actually exist. They actually exist!” You can feel your heart begin to race as you think about this new magic-
  71. >”Ahem.”
  72. Your gaze snaps to Princess Celestia, and you blush. “Um, sorry,” you say.
  73. >“That's okay. I should know better than to expect any less of two of the most magic-obsessed beings in Equestria when they learn about a new spell,” Celestia says with mirth. “Just no words for a bit, because this spell requires utmost focus.”
  74. >You nod, and she appears to be satisfied.
  75. >She summons a pair of odd chairs, back to back. “Now, I need you two to sit in these. Make sure you put your heads in the groove.”
  76. >You raise an eyebrow, but comply, walking towards the chairs and sitting down in one of them. Twilight does the same.
  77. >“Now first, I need to inform you that this spell will render you unconscious for a period of several hours. This is because the spell, after swapping, needs time to anchor the spirits in the switched bodies. It won't change anything mentally, so you don't need to worry about that.”
  78. >Celestia smiles. “Are you ready?
  79. >You nod. Twilight must have nodded, too, because suddenly everything goes black.
  81. >The first thing you feel as you fade back into consciousness is a pounding headache.
  82. >Your memories are a bit fuzzy right now, too; you can’t really remember what happened to put you in this state.
  83. >Something about Princess Celestia?
  84. >Your head throbs again, and you hiss.
  85. “My head,” you mumble, bringing up your hand to massage your forehead.
  86. >When your hand touches your head, however, instead of fingers you feel a cool, mostly flat surface.
  87. >Your eyes snap open to see a purple furred limb in your field of vision, and you remember what happened.
  88. ”The body swap,” you say, taking your hoof - your hoof - off your head.
  89. >That’s when you realise that for some reason, your new voice - how Twilight hears her own voice - sounds right.
  90. >You’d always felt your voice sounded awful. People told you it was a nice voice, but you never believed them.
  91. >But the voice you have now just feels right.
  92. >You shake your head. This isn’t important right now; you probably just haven’t gotten used to this voice yet, and the inevitable dysphoria that will arise from having a female voice - and body - will appear. After all, the very idea that you had dysphoria of any kind as a human is ridiculous.
  93. >But you’ll try and have fun until those feelings arise.
  94. >The headache seems to have died down mostly by now. You look around the room.
  95. >Huh, looks like Princess Celestia put you into your castle room.
  96. >Still looks like it did before, even with that full length mirror you don’t really like, but you guess you can use it to look at how your new body looks.
  97. >In one corner of the room you notice a fairly young unicorn royal guard who looks to be half-asleep.
  98. >Carefully sliding yourself out of your bed, you stand up, which feels oddly natural, and try walking over to the royal guard.
  99. >Huh. Apparently, walking on hooves is a lot easier than you would have thought. It feels rather natural, too.
  100. >It certainly feels easier than walking on feet, for some reason, with all the tripping and fumbling.
  101. “Excuse me, sir?” you ask politely.
  102. >At the sound of your voice, which somehow still sounds right, the guard jolts fully awake, looking towards you. His eyes widen.
  103. >”O-oh! Princess Twilight! I’m sorry!” he says, bowing.
  104. >You blink. As nice as it sounds to hear someone refer to you like that for some odd reason, you’re not Twilight- Oh.
  105. You hold up a hoof. “Oh, no, you don’t need to bow. I’m not Twilight Sparkle,” you say. “I’m Anonymous, the human.”
  106. >The royal guard stays bowed for a second, then shoots straight up. “Oh, that’s right,” he says a dejected look on his face as he seemingly remembers something. “Princess Celestia told me about the body swap, said she’d assign me to you as a guard. U-uh, sorry for confusing the two of you, Sir Anonymous.”
  107. “You really don’t need to apologize,” you say, a small pang of hurt going through you when the guard calls you ‘Sir Anonymous’. “And please, don’t call me ‘Sir Anonymous’. Just Anonymous is fine.”
  108. >”B-but Sir Anonymous, it’s your title!” the guard protests, a confused look on his face.
  109. You sigh. “I know that. But you can just call me Anonymous, or Anon for short if that’s easier.” Has this guy been dealing with Prince Blueblood a lot?
  110. >The guard falters. “A-are you s-sure about that?” the guard asks. “T-titles are important.”
  111. >Yep. Definitely been dealing with Blueblood a lot.
  112. “I’m sure about that,” you say with confidence. “It’s important to foster relationships between ponies who are going to spend some amount of time together, and lack of formality is one way to do so.” You’d read that in several books. “Besides, I don’t really like my title that much anyway.”
  113. >You’re not even sure why Princess Celestia gave you that title regardless. You hadn’t done much to warrant a ‘Sir’, except maybe help with a few crises. And really, they weren’t even that big of ones.
  114. >The guard blinks, his eyes wide. “R-really, S-sir Anon- I mean, Anonymous?” the guard asks, hurriedly correcting himself.
  115. You nod. “Yes, really.” You give him a kind smile, hoping it gets the message across. “I’m fine with just being Anon, or Anonymous for the more long-winded ponies out there. Anyway, what’s your name?”
  116. >The royal guard blinks. “You… want to know my name?” he asks.
  117. “Yes?” you say, cocking an eyebrow. Then you realise what you just asked, and throw up a hoof, waving it back and forth. “I-I mean, it’s okay if you don’t WANT to share it. You don’t have to tell me if you don’t really feel like it.”
  118. >“M-my name is Silver Shield.” He tries to smile. It’s rather awkward, but you can tell he probably has a rather nice smile when he’s not scared half to death. Which you have a feeling he is right now.
  119. You smile back, hopefully more naturally. “It’s nice to meet you, Silver Shield.” Now, onto a different matter. “By the way, did Princess Celestia say she wanted to see me?”
  120. >Silver Shield blinks, thinking for a second, before his eyes widen. “Oh. Y-yes, she did,” he says. “She said that when you wake up, I should bring you to see her. As soon as possible,” he adds.
  121. >A font of panic almost grips you, but you manage to squash it down. Princess Celestia wouldn’t be that mad if you woke up and didn’t know that she wanted to see you until a few minutes later. You’d been in several situations like this before, and after enough panicking and grovelling, the Princess had outright told you in no uncertain terms that she didn’t care if you were a few minutes late for whatever she needed you for.
  122. >She had basically had to drill it into you before you understood.
  123. >Instead, you close your eyes and take a deep breath in, then out, to calm your nerves. After opening them, you notice your hoof is held out in front of you.
  124. >Huh, that breathing exercise Cadance taught Twilight must be reflexive or something.
  125. “Alright then. Let’s go and see Princess Celestia.” Your voice is as strong as you can make it.
  126. >Silver Shield nods, and goes and opens the door to your room. You’re about to leave, when you stop.
  127. “Actually, hold on a second,” you say, and turn around towards the full-length mirror.
  128. >You can’t really remember the last time you actually looked in the mirror. You do know that it was more than a month ago, but aside from that you can’t really place it.
  129. >Taking a deep breath, you turn towards the mirror, and look at yourself in it.
  130. >Your eyes widen, and your breath catches in your throat.
  131. >Looking at yourself in the mirror right now doesn’t feel like it did before - odd and slightly off.
  132. >It feels… right.
  133. >The purple coat, the perfectly straight deep blue and pink mane and tail, the lavender eyes, even the wings and the horn on your forehead, they feel like they make sense to be there.
  134. >It almost feels natural.
  135. >You feel something hot on your cheeks, and bringing up your foreleg - YOUR foreleg - to rub them, you realize that your eyes are watering.
  136. >You’re not crying, of course; obviously men don’t cry, and you’re a man despite the fact that you’re in an alicorn mare’s body right now.
  137. >”U-um, Sir An- I mean, Anonymous? A-are you okay?”
  138. Silver Shield’s words bring you out of the odd trance, and you shake your head, rubbing away the rest of the discharge with your foreleg. “I-I’m fine,” you say, looking over at him. “Let’s go.”
  139. >Then, just in case, you look back at the mirror.
  140. >Everything seems mostly normal now. You have no idea what all that was about.
  141. >Probably just some weird attempt at trying to rationalize away how easily you’re taking this or something.
  142. >Shaking your head again, you turn back to the door and walk out.
  144. >It doesn’t take long for the two of you to reach the room Princess Celestia is in. Apparently, she’s in her private study.
  145. >You personally haven’t seen much of it, but you suppose it’s the room where Princess Celestia spends most of her downtime.
  146. >From what you remember seeing of it once or twice, it’s rather cozy, with a fireplace and several cushions.
  147. >You knock on the door with your hoof three times (not twice or four times; thrice is the optimal number of knocks), before standing back and waiting.
  148. >The doorknob suddenly glows with a golden light, and the door to her study swings open. Princess Celestia’s not visible from here, but you know she’s in here. You look at Silver Shield.
  149. >”I-I’ll be waiting outside, Anonymous,” he says, with a tight smile.
  150. >You nod, and with that walk into the room. The door shuts behind you.
  151. >Princess Celestia is sitting on a large cushion in the center of the study, looking over towards the entrance. When she notices you, she perks up. “Ah, Twilight,” she says, with a smile. “Just in time.”
  152. You blink, ignoring the thrill of happiness you feel when you hear her call you by that name. “Princess Celestia, you know that I’m not Twilight, right?” you say.
  153. >Princess Celestia grows silent, and her eyes narrow. Instantly, you start to panic.
  154. “I-I mean, that is to say, I’m Anonymous who swapped a body with Twilight. Y-you know that, right? After all, y-you were the one to do the swapping, right?!” Your gesturing is frantic as you try to defend yourself.
  155. >After a few seconds of silence, Princess Celestia… starts to giggle. “Of course I know that, Anon. You don’t need to worry, I’m not going to banish you or anything like that.” She levitates a cushion underneath your behind.
  156. “...Oh,” you say, and fall back on your haunches, onto the pillow.
  157. >Princess Celestia giggles again. Then, she stops. She leans towards you, furrowing her eyebrows. “...Anon, have you been crying?”
  158. You freeze. “U-um, no,” you say. You don’t really feel like sharing what happened in your room. “I’m alright,” you add, for clarification’s sake.
  159. >”...Okay,” Princess Celestia says, although she still seems slightly dubious of your claim. ”Now, since you’re here, Twilight should be here any moment now.” Someone knocks thrice on the door, and Princess Celestia smiles. “There she is now.” Princess Celestia’s horn lights up, and the door opens.
  160. >What steps in through the door is something you’d never expected to see from the outside: yourself. Or rather, your body.
  161. >You guess this is what you look like from the outside.
  162. >Huh. You’re cuter than you expected.
  163. >You blink when you realise the thought you just had, and shake your head. You don’t need to be confused right now; you need to be calm.
  164. >Still, for some reason, when you look at yourself the room seems to be getting rather hot.
  165. >”Twilight,” Princess Celestia says, nodding at her. Him? You’re not sure. You’ll just refer to her as her for now, since she’s still a girl even in your body. She pulls out a cushion, which Twilight sits down on.
  166. >Twilight shoots Princess Celestia a thankful smile, although she seems to be tired. “Hello, Princess Celestia,” she says in your voice, which sounds smoother and higher than you expected. Way smoother. She looks to you, and her face freezes into one of shock, before she smiles again, although this smile contains some surprise. “Um, hello, Anonymous.”
  167. You smile back. “Hello, Twilight.”
  168. >Princess Celestia giggles. “Surreal, isn’t it?” she says.
  169. >Twilight coughs. “A little,” she says. “The most surreal thing is that the other me is, well, actually my body, while I’m-”
  170. >”-in somepony else’s,” Princess Celestia confirms, nodding.
  171. “You mean somebody,” you point out. When Princess Celestia and Twilight look at you, you shrink back, smiling nervously, but continue. “Technically, somebody is the singular pronoun used to refer to an indeterminate human being.”
  172. >”Well, you’re certainly finding it easy to act like Twilight,” Princess Celestia says, an odd smile on her face. “Although, considering the two of you are fairly similar already, of course it wouldn’t be that hard. Still, if I didn’t know better, I’d think that you were her.”
  173. You blink, and try to ignore the burst of the odd combination of happiness and sadness in your chest. “T-thanks, I guess,” you say, trying for a smile; you notice that Twilight has her eyebrows furrowed, and is muttering to herself.
  174. >Celestia’s face turns more serious then. “Alright. Now to talk about the body swap.”
  175. >Both you and Twilight pay more attention to her now.
  176. >”After the body swap spell has been completed, the targets of the spell may feel dysphoria of some manner, especially if the swap spell has occurred across species. In this way, it's slightly different from the species swapping spell.” Princess Celestia looks at Twilight, then you, and continues. “I just need to ask a couple of questions about each of your bodies before we can move on to anything else. Now, Twilight, how do you feel about being in Anonymous’ body?”
  177. >Twilight, sitting down as she is, clutches onto your pants - her pants now, you guess - and winces. “Well… It doesn’t feel good.” She sighs.
  178. >”Can you elaborate?” Princess Celestia asks.
  179. >Twilight nods. “Elaborating on that, everything about this body makes me feel uncomfortable. When I look at myself in the mirror, I just know everything about my reflection is wrong. My voice sounds too deep, and my facial features are too masculine.”
  180. >Huh, that’s kind of how you felt before. Well, aside from the voice being too deep part and the masculine face part - you wouldn’t mind if your voice was a bit higher. You’d always thought your face was a bit off, too.
  181. >Twilight takes a deep breath, then continues. “Also, there’s the whole ‘being human’ thing. For some reason, it feels remarkably more normal to be human on the other side of the mirror than it does in this body. Although that may just be this body.”
  182. >Princess Celestia hmms, then looks at you. “How about you, Anonymous? How do you feel about being in Twilight Sparkle’s body?”
  183. “Honestly? I don’t necessarily mind,” you say, shrugging. It’s probably not a good idea to mention the episode you had in your room, so you don’t do that. Instead, you continue. “For some reason, walking feels more natural, and I don’t really have to worry about tripping over all the time.”
  184. >Princess Celestia closes her eyes to think. Then her eyes open. “Do either of you wish to switch back currently?”
  185. “No!” you shout out of nowhere. When Princess Celestia and Twilight turn to face you, you smile. “I mean, no thank you. I said I was only going to stay in this body for a couple of weeks, and I’m going to do that - stay in this body for a couple of weeks before I return to my own body, and Twilight returns to hers.”
  186. >Twilight thinks for a second, then sighs. “As much as I dislike being in this body, I was planning on studying the effects such a body swap had anyway on the psyche. So I’m sorry, but I’m gonna have to say no,” she says.
  187. >Oh, that’s a good idea. You could write down the effects this transformation has on your mental state, like Twilight is doing.
  188. >Princess Celestia smiles. “Well, I suppose I should have seen those answers coming,” she admits, and what? How could she have seen your answer coming? “Now, Anon, Pinkie Pie should arriving soon to prepare your birthday party, so if you could go and meet her in the castle ballroom, that would be appreciated. Oh, and make sure that Guardsman Silver Shield accompanies you.”
  189. >Oh, right; Pinkie is coming to set up your birthday party! You'd almost forgotten. You feel a little silly for that.
  190. >At the same time, though, you do realize that Princess Celestia probably has to have a private talk to Twilight about something super important, but at the same time she doesn’t mean you’re being excluded for the sake of being excluded.
  191. You nod. “Yes, Princess Celestia.” You turn towards the exit, trotting forwards.
  192. >Just before you reach the door, Princess Celestia calls out “Oh, and Anonymous?”
  193. >You look back at her.
  194. >She smiles a very nice smile. “Good luck, my new most faithful student.”
  195. >You freeze.
  196. >Princess Celestia’s words send a shiver down your spine - not a bad one, but one of happiness.
  197. >Trying to ignore the weirdness of that happening, you cough.
  198. ”Um, th-thank you, Princess Celestia,” you say, your voice a little choked. You turn to face the door, and Princess Celestia opens it with her telekinesis.
  199. >You walk out, waiting for the door to shut behind you and turning to Silver Shield when it does.
  200. “Come on,” you say, gesturing him over towards you. Silver Shield blinks, before following after you.
  201. >Once he’s caught up, he gulps. “W-where are we going, Anonymous?” he asks.
  202. “We’re going to wait in the castle ballroom for Pinkie Pie to arrive,” you say.
  203. >He blinks. “Pinkie Pie?” he asks. “You mean the Element of Laughter?”
  204. “That’s the one,” you say, nodding. “Just… Fair warning, Pinkie can be weird, but as long as you don’t question it, it’s not that bad. Just don’t question it.”
  205. >Silver Shield nods. “A-alright, don’t question it,” he mumbles.
  206. “Good!” you say. With a happy smile, you lead Silver Shield to the function room.
  207. >You’re quiet most of the way there, though, only asking Silver Shield a few questions. Thankfully, you don’t run into anypony on the way there, so there’s no need for to deflect them away from asking why Princess Twilight is here.
  208. >Although, if they know today’s your birthday, they’d probably know why Twilight was here anyway.
  209. >You reach the ballroom soon enough to find it mostly empty, with a few tables set up around the room for refreshments, as well as a larger one for sitting around.
  210. >Good. It’d be bad, to say the least, if anyone mistook you for Twilight.
  211. >Not that you wouldn’t like it.
  212. >You blink. Where did that thought come from?
  213. >You’ve got to do something to get your mind off of this.
  214. Turning to Silver Shield, you notice him looking a bit confused. “What is it?” you ask.
  215. >”I, was just wondering why we’re h-here,” he says, looking around nervously.
  216. Your eyes widen. A chance to explain something to someone? That’s a perfect conversation starter if you ever knew one; all the better to remove the awkward silence. You smile. “You know about the castle ballroom, don’t you?” you ask.
  217. >Silver Shield blinks. “W-well, yes,” he says. “Um, usually, it’s used to host high society events, although anypony with the approval of Princess Celestia can use it to host their events. T-that is, I think. Though I haven’t heard of anypony using it for a birthday party before.”
  218. >You wonder how someone as shy as him managed to get into the royal guards without having his lack of confidence drilled out of him. Shiny - no, Shining Armour; calling him Shiny is reserved for his close family from what you can tell, even if you’ve had the urge to call him that for a while and the two of you get along quite well - may have been in the Crystal Empire for a while before you came to Equestria, but you’ve heard from him, at some of those ‘guy’s nights’ that you’d been rather uncomfortable at, that the guard had some rather intense training regimens.
  219. >Well, Silver Shield must be at least decent, if the Princess asked him to guard you.
  220. “Well, you see, today’s my birthday, and Pinkie Pie is one of Equestria’s greatest party planners. So of course, she offered her services to plan my party, which will be hosted in the ballroom, and, well, that’s why we’re here waiting for her.” You smile.
  221. >Silver Shield blinks. “Oh.” He scrunches up his muzzle in confusion. It’s rather cute.
  222. >...Not in that way, of course. You’re a guy too, no matter what your body is.
  223. >With his confusion fully evident now, Silver Shield continues. “But how did you get approval from Princess Celestia to have your birthday party here?”
  224. You chuckle self-consciously. “Well, Princess Celestia offered, and would you turn the Princess down on an offer like that?” You pause. “Because I wouldn’t. Turn her down, that is.”
  225. >The room lapses into an awkward silence.
  226. >That’s when the ballroom doors creak open, admitting in Pinkie Pie… who is being closely followed by Rarity, Applejack, Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash.
  227. >Your eyes widen as anxiety grips you, and before they can see you, you duck behind a table, startling Silver Shield, before peeking out from behind.
  228. >They’re mostly chatting animatedly among themselves, including Rainbow Dash who is, as always, hovering in the air.
  229. >Pinkie, though, looks like she’s on a mission.
  230. >She will find you, and she will set up your party.
  231. >It’s not very surprising to see the rest of the Mane Six here, but you’d expected them to come a little later, and Pinkie to come first, although you suppose if Pinkie’s using just her party cannon it won’t take long to set up at all
  232. >As they get closer, several scenarios as to how they’ll react to you fly through your head, from positive to extremely negative, and you gulp.
  233. >You try reassuring yourself, saying that they’re your friends and of course they won’t be that angry, but you don’t know that.
  234. >Well, there’s only one way you’ll know how they’ll react.
  235. Stepping out from behind the table, you instantly catch their attention. “Um hey girls,” you say, a nervous smile on your face.
  236. >Rarity’s staring at you. Well, every single one of the girls is staring at you, but Rarity is staring at you in a way that makes you feel rather uncomfortable. You fidget slightly.
  237. >”...Twilight?” she says, in a questioning voice.
  238. “Oh, no, I’m not Twilight,” you say, shaking your head, and ignoring the rush of thrill that comes with her saying the name. “I’m Anonymous. You... DID get the messages Twilight sent out, right? You know, the ones about the whole body swap situation?” Then your eyes widen as fear strikes you, and you start pacing back and forth, your voice rising as you speak. “Or maybe you didn’t, maybe you’d already left before you got the letters. Or maybe Twilight didn’t even send them out in the first place because she was too busy, and forgot to, or maybe they were found by somepony else before you could find them, or you did find them but thought they were some kind of weird prank! And even if you did find them and believe them, you’d think I’m some weird body snatcher trying to steal Twilight’s life!” At this point, you’re almost hyperventilating, and facing away from the girls.
  239. >So when you feel a warm foreleg wrap itself around your back, you flinch.
  240. >”Hey, Anon?” You hear Applejack say, the twang of her accent less pronounced with her softer speaking, but her sympathy evident. Looking over at her, your eyes meet hers, and you can see the concern in them. “You don’t need to worry, sugarcube. We got the messages that Twi sent out. Still, we don’t think any less of you, just ‘cause of one weird request.” Her voice soothes you. It’s nice and calming. “Now breathe.”
  241. >You take Applejack’s advice; closing your eyes, you breathe in, then out.
  242. After doing so a few times, you’re a lot calmer. Opening your eyes, you smile at Applejack, albeit rather awkwardly. “Thanks, AJ.”
  243. >”It’s no problem, Anon,” Applejack says, smiling. “Just stay calm, and everything will be just fine.” She gives you one last squeeze before she retracts her foreleg, and trots back to the others, who seem to be mostly silent, except for Rainbow Dash, who’s turned away for some reason.
  244. You breathe in, then sigh. “Stay calm. Right. I can do that,” you say.
  245. >Wait, where’s Silver Shield?
  246. >No, now's not the time for him. You take in another deep breath, then breathe out. Now is time to face the music.
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