- You slowly trot out the double doors of the hospital, your old clothes folded on your back along with some petty get well gifts and orchid’s bags. The guilt from yesterday has built up on you, and as much as you hate the fact that Orchid’s making your emotions go fucking crazy he’s not done anything to purposely hurt you.
- You’re going to apologise to him as soon as you can, as you’re pretty sure he’ll understand. You really don’t want your relationship with Orchid to change because of this. He’s still your best friend and you don’t want to lose that.
- Standing there in front of the hospital are Serene and Orchid. The unicorn looks extremely pleased to see you and rushes over to bring you into a hug, which you return in earnest. Orchid’s looking pretty nervous, but also slightly hopeful. As soon as you see him you freeze for a moment, your earlier confidence evaporating on the spot.
- “Ano- Juniper, it’s wonderful to have you back,” Serene says, “I can’t imagine how dull that room would have been.”
- “Y-yeah, it’s not been the most exciting couple of days;” you say, rolling your eyes, “aside from observing the… changes there hasn’t been that much to do.”
- “Oh you poor dear, well let’s make our way home and we can figure out what to do next.”
- You walk up to Orchid, levitating his stuff off your back, you were planning to apologize here and now, but you find yourself too scared to do so. You both stand there awkwardly for a moment, with you desperately trying to avoid eye contact.
- “June I-” He starts to say something before you place his bags on his back without a word and start to move toward your house. Your friends are a little startled at your actions but follow along at your brisk pace.
- The walk isn’t very eventful. Serene fills you in on random happenings during your absence, not many of which are significant to you. Orchid’s painfully quiet the whole trip, and eventually says a quick goodbye as you pass the street that leads to his house. Serene seems to watch the whole exchange with a fascinated expression, but doesn’t say anything about it.
- You really wanted to say something to him but you couldn’t bring yourself to do it. Why are you being like this? You really can’t get your head around it. Are you being a bitch? Cos you really don’t want to be a bitch. He’ll understand right? You’re gonna make it up to him eventually…
- It’s not much longer to your house, and you can’t help but notice that you’re not getting the usual fearful glances and strange looks during the walk. Just being treated the same as everyone else, it’s pretty nice actually. Being a novelty is cool for a little while but after a whole year of it you’re welcoming the change.
- “Well here we are,” Serene says, turning the key and swinging open the door to your house. It looks even more tidy than usual. Serene must have done this for you.
- “Serene you didn’t really need to do all this,” you say, making your way toward your room, “You would have been really busy at the spa without me.”
- “Oh nonsense, of course I needed to. This is quite the life changing event and I don’t want you to have to go through it with a cluttered environment. Celestia knows your thoughts are cluttered enough as it is!”
- You just smile and shake your head at her logic. She’s such a neat freak, and has always pestered you about the way you kept your room. You were opposites in that regard, her being one to try and fit in with higher Canterlot social life, and you being the layabout you are.
- You reach your door, which is slightly ajar, and open it. You’re stunned for a few moments at what you find. Your room is near spotless. All the scattered books and papers from your attempted story writing were sorted into a seemingly new bookshelf. All the discarded junk food wrappers and soda bottles were completely gone, and your clothes were all folded neatly in the cupboard by the window.
- You whip back around to face Serene, forgetting to account for your new horizontal length and smacking your head into the doorframe. Your head swims as Serene rushes up to you, asking if you’re ok.
- “I’m fine, I’m fine,” you say, rubbing your head with a hoof, “just… You didn’t need to do this! That mess was my own responsibility, and I didn’t do anything to earn your help!”
- She looks at you, a stern expression on her face, “An-… Juniper, I care about you a lot, and I want to make this whole transition as easy as possible for you. Having this happen would be traumatic for anypony, and I would feel terrible if I didn’t do everything within my power to help.”
- You stand there for a bit, looking into her eyes, completely lost for words. You really don’t deserve friends like this. Wordlessly, you move toward her and wrap a foreleg around her shoulder, imitating a hug as best you can. You’ve seen other ponies do this, so you figure it’s what to do in this situation. She’s startled for a moment before she returns your embrace.
- There’s tightness in your chest, and your vision starts to blur. You don’t care that you’re crying, you haven’t cried since the first day, and it’s been building up since then.
- “T-thanks,” You manage to choke out, squeezing your friend tight. She pulls back from the hug and smiles at you, moving your hair out of your face with magic. You realise it’s probably the stupid fucking hormones making you more emotional, but even with that knowledge you can’t do anything about it.
- “Don’t mention it,” She says, waving a hoof dismissively, “Now get yourself settled in hon, I’ll work on getting us something for lunch. How does an uhhhh… daisy and daffodil sandwich sound?” She’s got a slightly mischievous look on her face.
- You should have known that she’d jump at the chance to make you try her favourite sandwich now that you have the tastebuds to suit it. The first time you tried it didn’t go over too well. You sigh in mock exasperation, smiling at her.
- “Yeah sure, I’m not getting my hopes up too high though.” You say in a mirthful tone, making your way into your almost refurbished room.
- Jesus Christ she really went all out in here. The bookshelf isn’t even the only new thing in here. There’s a small fridge next to your bed filled with your favourite cider, what looks to be a set of Saddlebags matching your color scheme, a… poster of the Canterlot Hydras... Yeah you’ve gotta admit that’s a bit childish. And what’s that on top of the bookcase? There’s only one book not sorted in with the rest…
- She fucking didn’t.
- You pick up the book in your magic and read the title very carefully to make sure your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you.
- “Head-to-Hoof Guide to You: Answers to Questions Fillies Find Hard To Ask”
- If you had a spell to ignite this thing on the spot you would have done it by now, so you settle with throwing it into the wardrobe and slamming the door in disgust. You’ll get back at Serene for this, you can guarantee yourself that.
- “So as soon as you’re ready to get back to work things should be fine!” Serene says, finishing a long winded explanation on how things have been going at the spa. Apparently it’s been a bit hard in your absence, which you can’t help feeling bad about.
- “So what’s going on with you and Orchid?” Serene asks you, “You two are usually inseparable but you didn’t talk at all on the way home.”
- You almost choke on the sandwich you were actually enjoying until this point, spluttering and coughing. You manage to swallow what didn’t end up on the table and look away from her.
- “Uhm… nothing. What else did you put in this sandwich? It’s really good.” You say, trying to change the topic to something else. ANYTHING else would be better at this point.
- “It doesn’t sound like nothing.” She says, wiping up the bits of flower and bread with a napkin.
- “But it is.” You snap back, sounding more defensive than you intended.
- “Juniper, it’s plain to see that something’s wrong. Now you can either tell me now, or let me pester you for the rest of the day and have it eat away at you,” she retorts, “it’s your choice.”
- You look back down at your lunch, weighing your options. You -were- going to talk with her about it, but now that the opportunity’s here you’re hesitant. Serene just sits and looks at you patiently, raising an eyebrow at your prolonged silence.
- “<God> damn it…” you sigh, placing your food down on the plate in front of you, “ugh it’s just… it’s hard to explain.”
- “Just tell me what happened,” she says, giving you a comforting smile.
- “I just uhh… It’s… He… I…” you stammer out. Every time to try to speak you find your words stuck in your throat with a familiar feeling welling up in your chest. You take a deep breath to calm yourself. Why does this have to be so fucking difficult?
- Eventually you manage to tell her about everything that happened. The feelings, what orchid said and your complete freak-out about it. You’re pretty embarrassed about what you did, but she just sits there and listens without saying a word.
- “So are you upset about it because you didn’t like what he said, or because you think you -shouldn’t- like what he said because you used to like fillies?” Serene asks.
- “I do like girls! I… I do like girls…” You don’t even sound slightly sure of yourself.
- “Hon,” she says, placing a hoof on your shoulder, “It seems pretty obvious to me that that isn’t the case. Anypony could see how you feel about Orchid. Your body language practically screams it whenever you’re thinking about him.”
- “Body language?” you ask, “What kind of body language?”
- “Don’t worry about specifics, it’s there, and it’s pretty damn obvious.” She says with a giggle, “It’s up to you whether you choose to accept the way you feel, or wallow in it.”
- “It’s just… he’s my best friend! It’d be really fucking weird!”
- “Well I for one, think you’d make an adorable couple.” She says with no small amount of cheekiness in her voice.
- “You really think so?” you say before catching yourself. Heat rising to your face as Serene laughs at your expense. Her laughter is infectious and you find yourself giggling along.
- “Thanks, Ri. I guess I just need more time to get used to everything…” you say once recovering from your laughing fit.
- “We can sort out all the other issues with your change at any point,” she says, hugging you, “but this is much more important than any of those. Tell him how you feel at the party tomorrow. I’ll be right behind you.”
- You spend the rest of the afternoon chatting away about various things. You were never one for just talking, but now it feels like you’re really comfortable talking to her, making her feel even more like a sister. Probably something to do with the change, you think.
- Eventually you share a dinner of stir fried rice (which is fucking delicious by the way) and make your way to bed. After brushing your teeth, you flick on your bedside lamp and levitate a book over, going through your normal night-time routine.
- It’s a bit weird to think that things will just… go on, as if nothing changed. You’d think something as big as this would be a huge fucking deal for a really long time, but everyone’s just taken it in stride and done their best to help you through it. If this happened on earth you’d probably end up in some lab being dissected after months of rigorous psychological examination.
- Right before you turn off the light you notice something out of the corner of your eye. You levitate it over and… oh god it’s the stupid fucking puberty book Serene left for you. You’re about to throw it away again but something stops you.
- Maybe… maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to look through it a little bit. There’s nothing wrong with a little curiosity right?
- The rest of your time awake is spent staring in shock at diagrams and information about your new (and so far problematic) body.
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