The Caretaker

Aug 26th, 2019
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  1. >you are known throughout Equestria as Anonymous Faggot, the Man
  2. >in the years since you've arrived in this strange world, you've been:
  3. >a scholar
  4. >a hero
  5. >a cowboy
  6. >a scientist
  7. >a gunslinger
  8. >an archaeologist
  9. >a pirate
  10. >a craftsman
  11. >and much, much more
  12. >okay, all of those points are somewhat exaggerated
  13. >the point is, you've lived a little
  14. >the point is, you're a grown ass man
  15. >the point is
  16. "Twilight, I do not need a babysitter."
  17. >by a stupendous fuckup of magic, you've been transformed into a small filly
  18. >oddly enough, this isn't the first time something like this has happened in your journeys
  19. >but this time, it's Twilight's fault
  20. ^"Anon, we're already on the train for the Crystal Empire, and I really need to get started on this adventure. Just… try not to think of Flurry Heart as a babysitter. Think of her as… a caretaker. For your time of need."
  21. "I can take care of myself."
  22. ^"And how are you planning on eating? I think you've fairly well proven that you can't cook with those hooves."
  23. "There's takeout."
  24. ^"On whose bits?"
  25. >you snort
  26. >princess of a whole damn town
  27. >somehow can't spare the bits for a weekend's meals
  28. >for the guy she turned into a helpless filly
  29. ^"Everything's gonna be just fine, Anon. You'll see. Just one weekend with Flurry Heart, then in a year the potion to turn you back will be ready, and then-"
  30. "A year?! A whole damn fuckcuntering shitniggering fagtastic year?! When were you planning on telling me this?"
  31. ^"Anon, changing someone's species, sex, or age, even temporarily, it's pretty complex magic. To do all three at the same time, and have the effects be permanent? It takes a little time."
  32. >Twilight eyes you wearily
  33. ^"And because you didn't want to go quite back to your natural age, it's even more complicated."
  34. >you throw up your hands
  35. >hooves
  36. >fuck
  37. "I mean, shit, if we just so happen to be changing my age anyway, I wouldn't mind being 20 again. What's so wrong with that?"
  38. >Twilight rolls her eyes
  39. "Oh, what do you know? You're gonna stay 17 forever."
  40. >your purple riding companion's face does that scrunchy thing that ponies sometimes do
  41. ^"I was 19 when I ascended.
  42. >awkward silence reigns over the desolate train car
  43. >the other passengers moved to other cars some time ago
  44. >Twilight sniffs
  45. ^"You know, the spell I messed up was designed to find you and bring you to me. I knew I had this adventure coming up and I wanted to see you first."
  46. >your eyelid twitches involuntarily
  47. "And…?"
  48. ^"And…"
  49. >Twilight sticks her nose in the air
  50. ^"None of this would have happened if you hadn't been avoiding me."
  51. >you flop out of your seat
  52. >and rise to your hooves before your tormentor
  53. "Oh, so now it's my fault! Well, let me tell you where you fucked up, you purple fucking horse, was when you put me in the body of a pre-adolescent filly! I've got twice as much estrogen as you do right now, and I can play your female mind games just the same- WHOAH!"
  54. >a cloud of purple magic hoists you into the air by your tail
  55. >something hard and hoof-like smacks into your soft filly tush
  56. "FUCK"
  57. >slap
  58. "SHIT"
  59. >slap
  60. "STOP"
  62. >Princess Cadance is craning her neck down at you
  63. >there's something of genuine confusion on her face
  64. /"My, Anon, you've, um, shrunk a bit since I last saw you."
  65. >Shining Armor snorts
  66. ~"Smells nicer, too."
  67. >Cadance ignores the comment
  68. /"Well it certainly has been a while, hasn't it? I don't think we've seen each other since… was it Flurry Heart's crystalling?"
  69. "No. You didn't invite me to that."
  70. >Cadance cringes
  71. /"Is that right? How odd. I could have sworn we invited all of Twilight's friends."
  72. ~"We did."
  73. >the princess of the north chuckles awkwardly and tugs at the golden yoke around her neck
  74. /"Well. It's really too bad that Twilight couldn't stick around to chat longer. But… Shining and I have to get going now, too. Our train to Los Pegasus is taking off in an hour."
  75. >you blink
  76. "Your sister-parenthesis-in-law-parenthesis is saving the world from yet another eldritch horror and you guys are going on vacation?"
  77. >Twilight's brother waves his hoof
  78. ~"It's fine. Nothing she hasn't done a million times before."
  79. >you have to admit, he's probably right
  80. >even Twilight herself seemed awful casual about it
  81. >for Twilight standards, anyway
  82. >Cadance coughs
  83. /"Anyway, we'll be going now. Flurry Heart should be in her room upstairs. You can't miss it, it's the same room you stayed in that one time."
  84. >the pair of them head out to not save Equestria
  85. /"Take good care of our Flurry now."
  87. >Flurry Heart is in the same room you stayed in that one time
  88. >that one time like 17 fucking years ago
  89. >as though you'd fucking remember where to go
  90. >you'd leave well enough alone and just make some dinner
  91. >but it seems rude to not let your host know you're here first
  92. >also, you need her to cook it for you
  93. >what?
  94. >how can you be expected to get anything done right without fingers?
  95. >anyway, weren't there servants and guards and stuff in this castle the last time you were here?
  96. >where the hell did they all go?
  97. >wait a second
  98. >that door right there looks like it could be the entrance to a teenage girl's room
  99. >posters of boybands taped up on it
  100. >fluffy hearts glued around those
  101. >oh, and one of those fluffy hearts is embroidered with the name "Flurry Heart"
  102. >you rap three sharp knocks on it
  103. <"Mom?"
  104. "Nope, just the strange man you're all alone in the house with."
  105. >the door opens
  106. >a light pink princess pony pokes her head out
  107. >she looks a little bit shorter than Twilight
  108. >but, in your present state, that's still tall enough to fucking tower over you
  109. <"Oh. You're that kid I'm supposed to be babysitting."
  110. "Kid? The last time I was in this town you were a sperm cell in your daddy's ballsack-"
  111. <"Ew! That's fucking disgusting!"
  112. "Listen, how about making us some dinner? I'm starving down here."
  113. >Flurry scoffs
  114. <"It's, like, 6 at night. Don't you have a bed time or something?"
  115. "You mean 6 in the afternoon?"
  116. <"No. I mean 6 at night."
  117. >Flurry Heart becomes the second alicorn princess today to turn her nose up at you
  118. <"It's, like, bedtime for little fillies."
  119. >the princess's horn glows
  120. >you instinctively clench your butt cheeks
  121. >POOF
  122. >when you open your eyes, you're locked in what seems to be a guest bedroom in the castle
  123. "BITCH"
  125. >sunlight filters dimly in through the thick crystal walls
  126. >you roll over
  127. >your limbs stretch out into your sight
  128. >your limbs?
  129. >hooves?
  130. >thick crystal walls?
  131. >is this the work of some kind of mad scientist?
  132. >again?
  133. >wait
  134. >no
  135. >that was just Twilight
  136. "Fucking damnit."
  137. >and you're still under the power of Flurry fucking Heart
  138. >you hop down to the floor
  139. >you've gotta piss
  140. >after a determined march to the door, you begin pounding on it as hard as you can
  141. >which isn't very hard, under the circumstances
  142. >so you throw in a little screeching
  143. "McFlurry! Let me out of here!"
  144. >silence is your answer
  145. "I'm gonna piss on the fucking floor if I don't get out of here!"
  146. >you're rearing up now, pounding with both forehooves
  147. "Flurry fucking Heart! I'm gonna-"
  148. >the door flies open
  149. >you go sprawling across the floor
  150. >an angry teenage alicorn sticks her head in the room
  151. <"It is 10 in the morning what do you want?!"
  152. "10 in the-"
  153. >you shake your head
  154. "Bitch, I gotta piss."
  155. >you squirm your way through Flurry Heart's legs into the passageway
  156. >you begin storming off toward the bathroom
  157. >wait a second
  158. "Hey, where's the bathroom?"
  160. >now that that's done
  161. >you seem to be free to roam about the castle
  162. >you're still hungry, so you decide to look for the kitchen
  163. >given how utterly unhelpful Flurry Heart has been, you're willing to give cooking with hooves another go
  164. >you mean, what's the worst that could happen?
  165. >a grease fire?
  166. >it's not like crystal burns down
  167. >making your way through long passages and winding stairs proves to be no easy task on stubby filly legs
  168. >somewhere on the ground floor, you notice a double set of swinging doors
  169. >the small windows set in them show that the room beyond is gleaming white
  170. >with your oversized filly head, you nudge open the doors and tumble inside
  171. >oh yeah, it's a kitchen
  172. >appliances, counters, utensils
  173. >it's even got big white hats hanging up on hooks
  174. >there's a big walk-in fridge, but you have to use a stool to reach the handle
  175. >inside the fridge, you look for something that seems easy to cook
  176. >something you're not likely to fuck up, even with these big goofy hooves
  177. >how about those eggs?
  178. >reaching into a low shelf with both hooves, you carefully pull out a carton of eggs
  179. >but as soon as the carton comes free of the shelf
  180. "Shit!"
  181. >and the eggs are on the floor, leaking yellow egg-fluids all over the place
  182. <"Hey!"
  183. >oh, shit, busted
  184. >the princess of teenaged angst is glaring at you from the entrance of the fridge
  186. <"You're making a giant mess!"
  187. "You wanna make my damn breakfast for me? Shut the fuck up."
  188. >Flurry Heart scoffs
  189. <"I'm not cooking for you. The palace has cooks for that."
  190. >the princess scans the room uncertainly
  191. <"I just need to find them…"
  192. >then her eyes lock onto something out of sight
  193. >she trots over to it
  194. >you get out of the fridge and follow her
  195. >she's looking at something on a counter, but it's too high for you to see
  196. >then she magically levitates the object in front of her face
  197. >it's a note
  198. <"Dear Flurry. I gave the servants the weekend off. There's plenty of stuff in the fridge for you and…"
  199. >she squints
  200. <"How do you say that? Ah-non-er… Uh-nan-ny…?"
  201. "Just call me Anon."
  202. <"There's plenty of stuff in the fridge for you and Anon to make food with. Love, Dad."
  203. "Well that explains that then. I thought it seemed awful empty here."
  204. >your companion offers no reply
  205. <"Uh, princess? Are you all right? McFlurry? Are you breathing?"
  207. <"What are we gonna do? How are we gonna eat? I'm gonna starve to death!"
  208. >the princess of moodiness suddenly seems a lot less moody
  209. >and a lot more panicked
  210. "Geez, calm down. First of all, nobody ever starved to death in two days. Second of all, you can just cook for yourself."
  211. <"Me? Cook? I don't know how to cook!"
  212. "It's not that hard. Just open up the fridge, I'll-"
  213. <"You can cook? Oh, thank the Heart. Here-"
  214. >the princess magically drops one of those big chef hats on your head, and a pile of cooking utensils in front of you
  215. "Well, I can cook theoretically, but…"
  216. >you stick a hoof into the pile of utensils, attempting, somehow, to grab a big wooden spoon
  217. "I can't really grip things."
  218. <"What do you mean you can't grip things?! It's the easiest shit in the world! You just…"
  219. >with physics-defying ease, Flurry Heart takes the spoon with her hoof and waves it around
  220. "What even are you doing? I have no idea what I'm seeing here."
  221. >and moodiness makes its triumphant comeback on Flurry Heart's face
  222. <"Ugh! How can you be this stupid?"
  223. "Listen. I'm fucking hungry. I assume you're fucking hungry. Just grab some shit and I'll tell you what to do with it."
  224. <"But that's servant work!"
  225. >it's really taking a lot of effort not to have a stroke right now
  226. "No, it's functional adult work."
  227. >Flurry blinks
  228. <"Adult work?"
  229. "Yeah, yeah, you'll be real grown-up once you can make your own food."
  230. >the princess of insecurity averts her eyes from yours and scowls
  231. <"Okay, fine. Just tell me what to do."
  232. "Good."
  233. >you push the stool over to the counter and climb on top
  234. "We'll start with something simple. You'll need peanut butter, jelly, and sliced bread."
  235. >with what you're sure is a needless waste of energy, Flurry Heart teleports the listed ingredients onto the table before her
  236. "Get a knife, too."
  237. >a giant fucking meat cleaver levitates from the pile of utensils
  238. "Not that fucking knife! Grab a butter knife."
  239. <"A what?"
  240. "A little knife. One that's not so sharp."
  241. >a steak-knife appears on the counter before Flurry Heart
  242. >close enough
  243. >also, why do herbivores have steak knives?
  244. >or meat cleavers, for that matter
  245. "Okay. Stick the knife into the peanut butter… take a big scoop of it… Good, now spread it out onto a slice of bread."
  246. >this, too, requires a few minutes of coaching
  247. >but in the end, you see one slice of bread with a thick layer peanut butter spread across its surface
  248. "That's not too bad. Now, onto the jelly. Wipe that-"
  249. >that's when the peanut butter on the bread catches fire
  250. "…"
  251. >you end up having bare bread-slices for breakfast
  253. >McFlurry sent you to "time-out" after breakfast
  254. <"Because I'm the babysitter, and I say so."
  255. >it doesn't seem she quite believes that you're old enough to be her dad
  256. >no matter
  257. >if you're going to be treated like a child
  258. >you can act like a child
  259. >before getting telepoofed to your guest-room, you stepped on that giant meat cleaver
  260. >on the flat of it, don't worry
  261. >you didn't know if it would work
  262. >but since it seems like the same thing as hoof-grabbing the thing, you figured that it might
  263. >now you're a small filly alone in a room with a big, sharp blade
  264. >grabbing the thing with your hooves is out of the fucking question
  265. >so, reluctantly, you take it up in your mouth
  266. >hopefully it doesn't give you AIDS
  267. >you rear up on your hind hooves
  268. >rest on the door with your forehooves
  269. >and bring the corner of the blade close to the lock
  270. >oh, sure, the cleaver is too big to pick the lock properly with
  271. >but if you jam it in enough times you might break the lock
  272. >there's an obvious risk somewhere in this plan
  273. >but you don't feel like thinking about that right now
  274. >now the nice thing about being turned into an earth pony
  275. >there'd probably be a steep learning curve to magic or wings
  276. >but earth pony superstrength?
  277. >that's intuitive enough
  278. >you smash the knife into the lock
  279. >and then
  280. >you do it again
  281. >and because that wasn't unsafe enough
  282. >you keep doing it til your neck is too sore to swing the blade anymore
  283. >at that point, you toss it onto the floor behind you and examine the lock
  284. >yep, it's definitely ruined
  285. >now, either you can open it
  286. >or it'll never be unlocked again
  287. >you're not entirely sure how this works, but shooting the lock always works in movies, so...
  288. >with your teeth around the doorknob, you...
  289. >open the door
  290. >all right
  291. >time for some mischief
  293. >actually, after roaming about the castle for a while, there's no obvious mischief to cause
  294. >yeah, you could break some shit
  295. >yeah, you could kick food all over the place
  296. >yeah, you could take a big horseshit all over the floor
  297. >but none of that is really speaking to you, you know?
  298. >eventually, you settle on grabbing the steak knife from the kitchen
  299. >you head up to the door of McFlurry's room with the handle in your mouth
  300. >no, this hasn't turned into a slasher
  301. >you put the tip of the blade to the surface of the door
  302. >unfortunately, you can't be very precice doing this with your mouth
  303. >but perhaps the art of what you're about to do lies within its very crudeness
  304. >you scratch out a curve
  305. >another curve below that
  306. >a straight-ish line protruding from the curves
  307. >parallel to that, another line
  308. >and, connecting those, one more line
  309. >you step back and admire your handiwork
  310. >or is that mouthiwork?
  311. >Flurry Heart's bedroom door is now graced with a big, poorly-drawn horsecock
  312. >you squint
  313. >actually, it's kind of faint
  314. >you can't really see it unless you're looking straight at it
  315. >better trace over it a few times
  316. >you're about to put the knife to the door again
  317. >when it's flung open
  318. <"What are you doing?!"
  320. "Eh wehr jeh, ehr-"
  321. >you spit the knife out
  322. "I was just, uh, trying to see about getting some lunch."
  323. >Flurry groans
  324. <"Fine. This time it better be easy."
  325. "Yes, of course, peanut butter and jelly was clearly too advanced for you."
  326. >the gangly princess stalks out of her room
  327. >you follow behind
  328. >but not before glancing back at the door
  329. >holy kek she really didn't notice
  330. >down in the kitchen, you instruct your pupil to grab a box of instant macaroni
  331. <"The fuck is that?"
  332. >right
  333. >you go diving through cabinets til you find what you're looking for
  334. "This."
  335. <"Ew, poor-people food."
  336. >ignoring that
  337. "Use that alicorn magic of yours to fill up that pot with water, and set it down on the stovetop right there."
  338. >now, you know what the audience is thinking
  339. >"but, Anon, if McFlurry can burn PB&J, why would you trust her with a hot stove?"
  340. >simple answer:
  341. >you wouldn't
  342. >while she's getting the water, you grab the wooden spoon and push the stool over to the stove
  343. >you clamber up the stool to the gratifying sight of a potful of water
  344. >at the flick of a switch, the magic-based heating element activates
  345. "Can you tear open that box and set it over here?"
  346. >Flurry brings the box
  347. >and also a question
  348. <"What are you gonna do here? I thought you couldn't cook."
  349. "I can't figure out how to make these hooves work, but I think I can stir a spoon with my mouth just fine."
  350. <"Is that sanitary?"
  351. "Probably not, but I've seen them do that at the bakery in Ponyville, and they're not shut down yet."
  352. >whoah
  353. >the water came to a boil way faster than you thought it would
  354. >this magic stove apparently gets way hotter than your lonely campfires on the road ever did
  355. "All right, pour that shit in."
  356. >with the spoon in your mouth, you don't say anything for a while
  357. >Flurry Heart doesn't say anything either
  358. >she's watching you stir the macaroni curiously
  359. >ah, man
  360. >the hot steam blowing into your face isn't great
  361. >but it sure does feel nice to be successfully doing something for yourself again
  362. >after the five minutes specified on the box, you reckon that lunch is done
  363. >better have Flurry get the strainer ready
  364. >you turn to point at the sink
  365. >too bad you forgot to take the spoon out of your mouth first
  366. >now your macaroni is all over the floor
  367. <"..."
  368. >you have bare bread-slices for lunch too
  370. >at the very least, there was no bullshit "time-out" after lunch
  371. >not that you could be contained anymore with that broken lock
  372. >but still, it's the thought that counts
  373. >or, maybe the lack of thought
  374. >the princess seemed sulky about something when she stalked off into the castle
  375. >whatever
  376. >you're gonna wander now
  377. >the courtyard gets boring pretty quick
  378. >who makes a garden out of lifeless crystals in the middle of a fucking crystal empire?
  379. >you could stare at the walls all day and see the same damn thing
  380. >the palace library library has a few interesting titles
  381. >too bad most of them are out of your reach
  382. "I'm gonna go sit on Candyass's throne."
  383. >you find the throne room
  384. >it's a great hall with three fancy thrones at the end
  385. >you're guessing the big one with the blue heart on it is Cadance's
  386. >oh yeah, you plop your ass down on it
  387. >you start making airy-fairy gestures with your hooves
  388. "Hi, my name is Princess That's Amore Pizza Lasagna Candyass, and I love everyone til I'm behind your back!"
  389. >hey wait a second
  390. >is there supposed to be a giant hole in the middle of the throne room?
  391. >and if so, is it supposed to have a winding staircase that descends into an ominous black abbyss?
  392. >also, should you explore it?
  394. >down
  395. >down
  396. >down the steps you go
  397. >the further you go, the darker it gets
  398. >and the darker it gets, the louder the voices get
  399. >no, not the voices in your head
  400. >all around, you can hear what sounds like dozens of voices speaking in frantic whispers
  401. >actually, you hope those voices are just in your head
  402. >heh
  403. >this feels like something Sombra would have enjoyed
  404. >Sombra was a good bro sometimes
  405. >too bad about that whole "going insane again and kidnapping a baby" thing
  406. >actually, that baby was Flurry Heart, wasn't it?
  407. >your hoof nearly slips on a rock and gives you a heart attack
  408. "Man, it sure is fucking dark down here."
  409. >as if on command, an eerie swirl of green and purple light emanates from no apparent source
  410. "Th-thanks."
  411. >down
  412. >down
  413. >down into the heart of darkness
  414. >finally, you attempt to step down another stair, but find only level ground
  415. "Fucking finally."
  417. >the space on the bottom is a small room with a little red door
  418. >some sort of warning sign has been bolted to the door
  419. >in the dim light, it takes a little effort to read what it says
  420. >"Fear Door. Opening this door will result in visions of one's own worst fears. Proceed with caution. Entry prohibited except for personnel with H-class clearance or higher."
  421. >uh
  422. >well you used to be pretty good friends with Twilight
  423. >that's gotta be at least H clearance
  424. >whatever the fuck H clearance means
  425. >with a little effort, you reach the doorknob
  426. >the door creaks open to a pitch-black abyss
  427. >and as you peer into the abyss...
  428. >so too does the abyss peer into you
  429. >and visions from a nightmare world overwhelm your senses
  430. >your carefree life of wandering has been brought to an end!
  431. >you've been transformed into a helpless little filly!
  432. >your bidalism!
  433. >your opposable thumbs!
  434. >oh, shit, does this make you a tranny?!
  435. >Twilight Sparkle has taken complete control of your life!
  436. >even kids are infantilizing you!
  437. "Wait a second, I'm already living this."
  438. >you throw the door shut
  439. "Dumb door."
  440. >hang on
  441. >the doorknob seems to have slid to the other side of the door
  442. >you reach up to open it again
  443. >this time the door opens to a wide space
  444. >in the center of the space is an ivory tower
  445. >a spiral staircase wraps around the tower's exterior
  447. >up
  448. >up
  449. >up the damn tower you go
  450. >trying real hard not to think about the long walk back to that throne room
  451. >wondering just what you're going to find at the top
  452. >wondering, more importantly, why so many damn stairs?
  453. >times like this, you really miss being a six-foot biped
  454. >each step becomes a chore in itself
  455. >you have to place both forehooves on each new step
  456. >and pull your hindquarters up with your whole upper body
  457. >your heart is thumping like a jackhammer in your throat by the time you reach the top
  458. >hang on
  459. >just
  460. >just catch your breath real quick
  461. >aw man
  462. >Twilight's gonna have to send a rescue party when she gets back
  463. >there's no way you're doing all that climbing all over again
  464. >you shake your head, and get up
  465. >a pointed arch covers the entrance to a room
  466. >stepping inside, you find that it's lined with bookshelves
  467. >the tomes on the shelves are dark and leather-bound
  468. >which is pretty edgy when you consider that cows can talk in this world
  469. >in the middle of the room...
  470. >Flurry Heart lies still on a couch
  471. >huh
  472. >this feels like an awfully ominous place to be finding a teenaged pink princess horse
  473. >stepping closer, you can see the slow rising and falling of her breast
  474. >she's fast asleep
  475. >tucked under her foreleg is a book
  476. >"Darkstar's Practical Guide to Cooking With Black Magic"
  477. >your eyebrows fly right off the top of your head
  478. >holy shit
  479. >you had no idea that this cooking thing was getting under Flurry's skin so bad
  480. >m-maybe you should wake her up?
  481. >or, uh, maybe...
  482. >oh, look, there's another door
  483. >better go explore what's beyond it
  484. >away from the moody alicorn with the black magic cookbook
  485. >on the other side of the door is the regular palace library
  486. >oh thank fuck, you don't have to climb those stairs again
  487. >carefully, so as not to disturb the sleeping princess, you shut the door behind you
  488. >and when you blink, the door is gone
  489. >well, maybe McFlurry's got the right idea anyhow
  490. >about the napping, not the black magic
  491. >after that walk, you're pretty tired
  492. >you head out of the library and toward your guest room
  494. <"Anon, wake up. Dinner is ready."
  495. >the Flurry Heart that's nudging you with her snout seems like a whole new pony
  496. "Mh... what?"
  497. >you sit up and rub your eyes
  498. "What?!"
  499. >for the first time all weekend, the princess of teen angst is actually smiling
  500. >she seems so excited about something that she hasn't noticed the destroyed lock on the door
  501. >once she sees that you're awake, she stands tall and grins down at you, her chest puffed out in pride
  502. <"Come on downstairs, Anon. Let's eat."
  503. >remembering "Darkstar's Practical Guide to Cooking With Black Magic" makes you panic
  504. >did she really turn to forbidden arts just to make dinner?
  505. >dare you disobey this ominous dinner bell?
  506. >you probably should
  507. "Okay."
  508. >but you don't
  509. >you're following the lanky princess pony to the dining hall
  510. >which would be hard enough with those stubby legs of yours
  511. >but when she's practically prancing down the stairs?
  512. >you cough
  513. "I, uh, saw you asleep with that book. The black magic cookbook."
  514. >well, you get your wish
  515. >Flurry gasps, and stops so suddenly that you smack into her leg
  516. <"You saw that?! Oh, no, please don't tell my mom. I didn't use it or anything, I swear!"
  517. "I won't, I promise. But if you didn't use the book, what did you do?"
  518. >your question puts the grin back on Flurry Heart's face
  519. >you walk along together at a slower pace as she explains
  520. <"Well, I started thinking to myself, how can I rule the Crystal Empire some day if I make some little filly do my cooking for me? I've gotta take control of my own destiny, you know?"
  521. <"I looked through, like, a million cookbooks to try and find a recipe I could do. And, uh, yeah, one of them was the one you saw."
  522. <"But literally none of them made any sense! I decided there was only one thing to do."
  523. >you've come to the great crystal doors of the palace dining hall
  524. "And what was that?"
  525. >Flurry smiles, and flings open the doors with het magic
  526. >on the table is laid out...
  527. >a pair of large pizzas in cardboard boxes
  528. <"Give up and order takeout!"
  530. >Twilight got done saving the world a little early
  531. >so she came by to pick you up first thing Sunday morning
  532. >Flurry invited "Auntie Twilight" to stay for tea and a chat
  533. >Twilight was more than happy to stay and chat with her "favorite niece"
  534. >even though Twilight ended up having to make the tea herself
  535. ^"That's a wonderful story, Flurry Heart! Do you feel like you learned anything?"
  536. >Flurry grins and sits a little straighter
  537. <"I learned that being an adult, and a princess, means taking care of myself. Sometimes, being a princess is going to mean facing tough situations, and I won't always be able to rely on servants or my parents."
  538. >Twilight beams
  539. ^"That's a wonderful lesson, Flurry Heart. You're absolutely right."
  540. >oh, geez
  541. >it's so sugary sweet you think your teeth are gonna fall out
  542. >you blow on your tea again before dipping your tongue into it
  543. >still too hot
  544. ^"Truth be told, Flurry Heart, I was hoping Anon could help you learn that. I don't have many friends as naturally independent as he is."
  545. >Flurry's eyebrow cocks at that
  546. <"He?"
  547. >Twilight chuckles awkwardly
  548. ^"It's a, um, funny story."
  549. >the younger princess is staring at you and blinking now
  550. <"Wait, so are you actually, like, really old and stuff?"
  551. "I'm not even 40! That's not that old!"
  552. >Twilight giggles
  553. ^"That reminds me, Anon. I was hoping you would learn something too."
  554. >learn something?
  555. >you scratch your chin in thought
  556. >oh, there is something you learned!
  557. "I finally figured it out! Watch this shit."
  558. >you pull the spoon out of your teacup, and hold it in your hoof triumphantly
  559. "Look at that! I don't even know how that works! Isn't it great?"
  560. >Twilight sighs
  561. ^"I'm happy for you, Anon. But that wasn't quite the lesson I hoped you would learn."
  562. >you shrug
  563. "Twilight, I was cooking beans over an open fire in the middle of Pineywood Swamp when your spell abducted me. Like you said, I already know a thing or two about self-reliance."
  564. ^"Well, that's why I was hoping you'd learn about relying on others."
  565. "Huh?"
  566. ^"As we approach middle-age, we're going to find that sometimes there are challenges we can't overcome on our own. Relying on others to a certain degree will not only help you win the day, but it will also forge the bonds of friendship between yourself and those around you!"
  567. >you eyeball the spoon in your hoof
  568. "Twilight, I can sort of see where you're coming from, but..."
  569. >Twilight yelps as the spoon from your hoof bounces off of her forehead
  570. "Fuck off."
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