ARCHIVE Anon's Herd of Misfits (RGRE, not mine)

Sep 29th, 2020 (edited)
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  1. >You return home from your grocery shopping to your family of misfits.
  2. >A singy-song pegasus who loves to build snuggle nests for sleeping.
  3. >A marely mare construction worker who goes putty in your hands despite her rough nature.
  4. >A unicorn whose number one priority is to brush her silky coat against you as many times as possible.
  5. >A perpetually tired crystal pone whom you love to carry around in your arms.
  6. >A loving but strict batpone, the herd's 'mom'.
  7. >A chill and relaxed kirin, the 'cool mom' of the herd.
  8. >And.... wait, where did she go?
  9. "Quicksilver, honey, do you happen to know where-"
  10. >You are interrupted by a crashing noise, followed by a flash of green, coming from the kitchen.
  11. >Quicksilver, whose alchemic compounds are stored in the walk-in closet that opens from the ante-room - currently in the process of putting new ingredients in store - smiles as you enter, she wastes little time to make her way to you and nuzzle your lower chest as she stand up on her hindlegs in a hug.
  12. >"I haven't a clue, love. But experience tells me that noise had to do something with her."
  13. >You smooch her on the muzzle, petting her back just the way she likes it.
  14. >Probably hearing your arrival, your pegasus wife speedily flies into the ante-room, slowing her momentum with large flaps of her wings, perching on your back just as you turn around to put your coat on the hanger.
  15. >"I have seeeen~ Someponies being naugh-ty~!" She trills, resting her chin atop your head.
  16. "Is that so?" You ask her, already knowing where and what happened.
  17. >"Rightly so~" She replies, wrapping her wings around your shoulders.
  18. >You /love it/ when she does that.
  19. >"Shall I prepare the truth serum? Two servings?" Quicksilver asks, her horn already aglow with her magical aura, ready to open the drawer containing the aforementioned serum.
  20. "No need, I can take care of this the... old fashioned way." You reply, shaking your head.
  21. >This makes your pegasus wife - Robin - wobble a little and readjust her hold on you.
  22. >Reaching up with your right, you pet her head and scritch behind her ears.
  23. >She lets out a very birdy chirp of pleasure, and at the same time, Quicksilver disengages from the hug.
  24. >Free to move, you make your way through the ante-room, into the living room.
  25. >In there a familiar scene welcomes you.
  26. >The centerpiece of the room, a beautiful wooden and glass coffee table is about a meter away from its normal position and has a considerable amount of glass shards under and around it.
  27. >The table’s glass however is undisturbed.
  28. >Sitting in one of the comfy couches situated around the table is your hard-working and now rather grumpy looking construction worker earth pony wife.
  29. >She glances up at you, for a moment an expression of fear washes over her face, then it’s back to grumpiness.
  30. >”I fell.” She simply states, pointing at the glass shards on the floor with a twitch of her head.
  31. >”And that is just a lie, which she made up on the fly~!” Robin sings, and although you cannot see it, you know she has a shit-eating grin on her face.
  32. >She knows she is safe from Red up on top of your head and back.
  33. >Red, true to her name, goes red in anger, but a single, pointed look from you quenches the flames of rage in her.
  34. >She is more than well aware that only the cold couch welcomes her for tonight if she tries to catch Robin again.
  35. >She tried many times, the lithe pegasus is just too evasive for her stocky frame to easily catch.
  36. “Well then, let’s clean up this mess before somepony steps into it.” You reply, ignoring the obvious.
  37. >Red’s face drops a little, her eyes trailing down at the glass shards.
  38. >”R-right…” She gulps, then points a hoof at the table. “I-I will push the coffee table aside, we don’t want to miss a spot..” She says, sounding very unlike her usual, authoritative and no-bullshit self.
  39. >However as Harmony wills it, her plans are foiled by another member of the herd, in the form of your lovely kirin wife, specifically by her strolling in from the kitchen,, eyes half lid… she is high on kirin-nip again.
  40. >She’s also carrying a plate with an 8 level sandwich on it.
  41. >”Heyy, Reddie-Do, that was a sick backflip, but why is Elytra pretending to be the table?..” She asks, then notices that something is wrong. “Huh? Why are you looking at me like that? I wasn’t joking when I said it was great!....Is it my accent again? Uhhh...?” She tilts her head, eyes shifting between Red and the ‘table’.
  42. “Red, what do you think, should I take away her kirin-nip privileges?” You ask, your face becoming an unreadable mask.
  43. >This isn’t the first time something like this happened and Red knows that if she lets her temper take control, she will sleep on the couch for twice as long.
  44. >Though she does enjoy Amber’s sudden hiccup of fear as she realizes what she had just done and who is in the room with her.
  45. >”N-no, and I… I’m sorry for breaking the table. /We/ are sorry.” Red admits, deflating like a popped car tire.
  46. >Her words are the mark for your elusive changeling wife to finally give up on the act.
  47. >With another green burst of flames, the glass of the coffee table disappears, giving place to a sad puppy impression giving changeling.
  48. >”I’m sorry, my King…” She apologizes, head bowed down.
  49. >Before more words could be exchanged, a whooshing noise could be heard from upstairs.
  50. >Every single one your family present - yourself included, freeze, eyes going wide.
  51. >In unison, you all look at the top of the staircase.
  52. >”If I come downstairs and the coffee table is broken, I will kick everypony’s behinds!” Comes the dreaded shout, followed by another whooshing noise.
  53. “Quicksilver, get the broom and the quick chill potions! Amber, get angry and melt the glass back into shape! Red, carry the table back to its place! Elytra, turn into a pickle! Wait, no, into a shovel! Robin!... I need you to make a sacrifice.” You whisper shout to your mares, ending it with picking Robin up and off your back in one fluid motion.
  54. >”I know what I must do, and I still deeply love you… but you owe me a dozen hugs and twice as many fugs!” She replies and smooches you on the lips, almost like a little peck… then she takes off, flying upstairs like a spooked little birdie.
  55. >As your mares jump into action, You hear the sound of something heavy hitting the floor upstairs.
  56. >”Mmmhhhhhmm! Noooooo… Let me sleeeeeep!...” Comes the voice of your crystal pone wife a second later, obviously pushed off the bed by Robin, following your request. “Moooon… Robin is harassing me again… Mooooooon!” Poor Arctic Lily - suffering thanks to the increased sunlight hours of the summer - wails, making your heart ache in pain.
  57. >However, there are worse things than letting her go through this unfortunate turn of events.
  58. “You girls will be the death of me...” You quietly say, hearing Moon’s wings beat and whoosh as she flies into the master bedroom. “The death of me, I swear…”
  59. >But you love them and they know that too.
  61. -:-:-:-:-
  64. >It’s not easy to manage family events when your immediate family has 7 members, each with their own work and sleeping schedules, moods and desires, but by some miracle, you always seem to make do.
  65. >It’s the weekend now, a sunny almost noon.
  66. >The girls have been warned two weeks ago, reminded every other day: Today is family picnic day!
  67. >Of course, this does not mean that you have an easy job, oh no.
  68. >Despite being the sitting-at-home house husband, your main task of working out schedules is more tolling than your mares realize.
  69. >Thus, you make it /extra obvious/ how much this little outing means to you.
  70. >They have to either accept it or face the cold and couchy consequences.
  71. >At least you don’t have to tell it twice to some of them.
  72. >Robin is the easiest to work with, like in many other matters.
  73. >She’s such a selfless little birb, and she loves taking flight in the pleasant breeze as the gentle rays of the sun warm her fluffy coat.
  74. >Arctic Lily is also an easy case: She is fine with whatever program you make as long as you respect that she can’t control her sleeping problem.
  75. >This usually leads to you carrying her around not unlike a baby.
  76. >Some mares (by that you mean most mares) would think of this as emaresculating, but Lily gives no fucks, if sleep hits her, she sleeps, her public image be damned!
  77. >Red Brick, as you found out, actually likes to spend her free time outside, though only as long as she can bring her BBQ grill and grill something tasty.
  78. >Thank Harmony for fish being in the pegasus diet, at least you get to enjoy some meat together with your family.
  79. >Due to the pressure Red puts on Amber Glow, she’s obliged to come along and serve as the flames under the grate inside the BBQ grill
  80. >She doesn’t find it humiliating either, the practicality of it, as explained by Red, convinced her long ago.
  81. >However, the good part of the list ends here.
  82. >Quicksilver /hates/ going outside.
  83. >According to her many explanations it’s something to do with the sun messing up her alignments and alchemical… whatevers, you forgot the details.
  84. >According to Robin however, Quicksilver just hates to get her hooves dirty.
  85. >The little perfectionist would wash her hooves a dozen times an hour just to avoid ‘contamination’.
  86. >Even though she uses her magic to move things...
  87. >Then there is Moon Shine.
  88. >She is not only a nocturnal batpone, she’s the night shift supervisor of the nearby distillery plant.
  89. >Her work allows her little time to spend with her herd, and most often it is used to deal with accounting.
  90. >So obviously she’s difficult to raise and then tear away from her work out of work.
  91. >On the other end of the spectrum is Elytra.
  92. >She’s a changeling, that is true, but she’s… Well, she is afraid of the outside.
  93. >She can shapeshift, she can (badly) impersonate others, but going out into the open?
  94. >Fussier than a 4 years old child refusing to take a bath!
  95. >With combined effort of your more outdoorsy mares, you somehow still manage to make it out there
  96. “Alright girls, we are here.” You announce as you and your group of misfits enter the park, drawing attention to yourselves as usual. ”Red, do you see any good spots?”
  97. >The mare in question squints her eyes, scanning the area like a professional.
  98. >”The spot by the willow tree next to the South-East pond is empty, hoss” She announces, a grin forming on her face. “Come to mama…” She adds, eyes fixated on said spot.
  99. >With that, she’s already off, carrying the BBQ grill with her.
  100. >”Anonymous, love, I know it is useless trying to convince you to return home, but... Basing our primary location on the decision making skills of /Red/ of all ponies, it is unwise.” Quicksilver tells you, clearly disapproving of getting near the ’nasty pond water’.
  101. >”Naw, come-ooon Silvy! The pond is fiiine, you can just relax under the shade of the willow tree! Trust me.” Amber responds to her in your stead, and you just nod, your totally not high as a kite angerfloof wife makes a fair point.
  102. >Your nodding causes an unwanted reaction however.
  103. >”Ach, too much sunlight. Please find me a cave or… or… a hole in the ground, I don’t care, I’m going blind… ugh…” Moon whines, her eyes covered by her leathery wings.
  104. >She is perched atop your shoulders, chin resting on top of your head, not unlike how Robin usually sits there.
  105. >Speaking of Robin, the energetic birbpone is literally flying circles around you.
  106. >”Oh the gloomy nights~ All your heart’s desire~ Instead you get scorched~ by celestial fire~!” She sings and giggles, even snorting.
  107. >Even though her humor can be grating, none of her herdsisters can be angry at her.
  108. >Her unshakeable sanguinity brought joy in otherwise gloomy and depressive moments countless times.
  109. >”I will get you for that!... Later. Oww my poor eyes…” Moon responds in a faux-angry tone, not moving her wings from her eyes, not even an inch.
  110. >This is important because in any other situation she would stare a hole into Robin.
  111. “Calm down girls, we are almost there.” You reassure Moon, but you are also relieved, though for a different reason.
  112. >”Good… I don’t know… how much more I could… wa-” Lily tries to say but her words are interrupted by a long, serious sounding yawn. “-aalk. Walk.” She finishes and looks up at you, offering you a sad little smile.
  113. >She hates being exhausted, but alas.
  114. >Her body does not agree with the day/night cycle of sunny Equestria.
  115. ”At least you can walk on your own.” You reply, looking down at your arms, currently holding a large box.
  116. >It’s Elytra, of course.
  117. >The problem with this is that she isn’t the box.
  118. >She is /in/ the box.
  119. >She wouldn’t come in any other way, so you had to make the sacrifice.
  120. “Right, love-bug?” You ask the hidden buggo and get cricket chirping in response.
  121. >”I would like to sit in the box once Elytra has been extracted from it.” Quicksilver says before you could react to the chirping with more than a grin and a shake of your head.
  122. “Of course you do, Silvy, of course you do.” You respond, finally arriving at the willow tree.
  123. >Red already has the grill set up, and by the looks of it, only Amber is missing from there.
  124. >Maybe the day will be fine, after all.
  127. -:-:-:-:-
  131. >Setting up the extra large blanket to lie on is an easy task with the help of Robin and Quicksilver.
  132. >A quick one, too, however not as quick as Red.
  133. >The stocky mare wasted no time pulling Amber into the specially made BBQ grill’s lower compartment, only grunting to the kirin to ‘start being angry’.
  134. >Amber, the good herd sister she is, burst out in flames, immediately bringing forth the sizzling of the various food items Red prepared on the grill’s grate.
  135. >”Hmmm, nice…” You could hear Red saying under her breath, fixated on the grill.
  136. “Would be nicer if I could get Elytra out of the box.” You speak up, trying to take Red’s attention.
  137. >She’s excellent in brute-force solutions, which is most likely the only thing that could peel Elytra out of said box of self-containment.
  138. >”Don’t burn the carrots and I will take care of it, sugardick.” She replies, earning a look of disapproval from Quicksilver.
  139. >”Why must you be so crass, beloved sister?” She asks as she lies down on the blanket, indeed under the shade of the willow tree.
  140. >”Nope, not gonna reply to that, not again.” Red responds, shaking her head, although keeping her eyes fixated on the box containing Elytra.
  141. >Quicksilver rolls her eyes, she knows exactly why Red said that, and she has to admit: Her muscle-brained herd sister has the smarts to learn from her mistakes.
  142. “How are you doing, Moon?” You ask your currently visually impaired wife as you fiddle around with the tongs Red gave you a moment ago, occasionally flipping a more grilled piece of vegetable or slice of fish.
  143. >”These tasty smelling things you work on... makes it easier. Maybe I should have brought those stupid goggles.” She admits, talking about a pair of welder goggles Red got her a few months ago.
  144. >Last time she put them on they got her eyes irritated, so she couldn’t wear them for longer than a couple minutes.
  145. “Maybe, maybe.” You reply, slightly nodding your head.
  146. >”Finally I can lie down…” You hear Lily’s voice, she lagged behind the rest of the group and just reached the picnic blanket. “I’m going to… fall asle-” She is, once again, interrupted by a yawn. “-eeep. Asleep. Right now.”
  147. >And as an honest mare would when making a promise she intends to keep, her head near-comically droops down.
  148. >You lightly chuckle, knowing even without looking that she’s actually gone into Princess Luna’s domain.
  149. >It was wild when the Princess visited her in person once.
  150. >Uhh, in pony?...
  151. >Arctic Lily wasn’t much surprised though, instead she invited the dark blue princess in for tea.
  152. >Strangest half an hour of the month, right there.
  153. >Now however, you are too busy dealing with the grill to reminiscence about these shenanigans, though your focus cannot remain 100% on the grill.
  154. >”Out.” You hear Red and the telltale sound of the cardboard box rustling as she shakes it.
  155. >”No!” Elytra replies, then cricket chirps.
  156. >”Out or I will make you get out, and you don’t want that.” Red continues, the rustling intensifies.
  157. >So is the volume of the cricketing, intermixed with buzzing and little squeaks.
  158. >”Elytraaaaa!” Comes Red's final warning before she goes physical.
  159. >Everyone in the herd knows that when Red half-yells a name, extending the last syllable just like she did, shit’s about to hit the fan.
  160. >”Nooo, I don’t want to get out, I don’t want to be seen!” The poor buggo replies in a last ditch effort, to no avail.
  161. >”Okay, that’s it.” Red says and with the mighty earth pony strength imbued in her hooves, she rips the box in half.
  162. >From it a very surprised and very flustered looking Elytra rolls out, not even disguised as anyone or anything.
  163. >”Half a box on the left side~ Half a box on the right~ That’s the way Red tore it apart~ Out! Falls Elytra~!” Robin sings the familiar tune, modified to fit the… ‘theme’.
  164. >The little troublemaker is flying circles around the group again, grinning and giggling to herself.
  165. >”Unfair!” Elytra replies, pouting.
  166. >She sits down on her haunches, forelegs crossed before her chest, the textbook example of an unhappy foal whose favourite toy has been just taken away from her.
  167. >”Job well done!” Red remarks, admiring her handiwork.
  168. “Mhm, good, good.” You say approvingly, then step away from the grill. “I will let you get back to tending the grill, alright?” You ask Red, holding the tongs out for her which she takes happily.
  169. >”Yes please. Aaand you didn’t burn any of them! C’mere, sweet-cheeks!” She tells you, giving you no time to react.
  170. >In one fluid motion you are pulled into a bear-hug, her strong forelegs wrapped around your waist.
  171. >You are no wimp, however you have a certain somepony resting on your shoulders, which makes your eyes go wide.
  172. “Red, don’t do-” You try to warn her but it’s already too late.
  173. >”Sweet Luna, no!” Moon yelps as she is knocked off your back, and if not for Robin already flying and being a really good one at that, she surely would have hit the ground in her blindness.
  174. >”Gotcha!~” Robin trills, safely letting Moon land on the blanket.
  175. >”Never again…” Moon responds, pulling a corner of the blanket on top of her.
  176. >”Hey-uhh, girls? I snuck some of my good stuff into the picnic basket, you can have some if you want to, y’know, relax?” You hear Amber speak up after the unusually long pause she took with concentrating on keeping up the flames.
  177. >”You know what, Amber? I will take some.” Moon replies, her voice muffled by the blanket.
  178. >”Elytra should be given some, too.” Red remarks, pointing the tongs at the still sulking buggo. “And Robin. She is acting hyper again.” She adds, turning her head for a moment to track the tirelessly flying birbhorse.
  179. >”You will have to catch me first~ If you want to end my burst! Until then my song’s dispersed~ And none of it is unrehearsed!~” Robin sings, switching to fly around Red only.
  180. >The color red appears on Red’s face, her eyes fixated on the giggling feathery menace.
  181. >”You are lucky I have to mare the grill, you daughter of a-” She tries to say but is interrupted by your stern gaze. “Uh. Nice lady.” She finishes, eyes back on the grill.
  182. >You will listen to her quietly grumbling, but that’s a price you are willing to pay.
  183. >All for a peaceful family picnic, after all.
  186. -:-:-:-:-
  188. >Life wasn’t always like this for you.
  189. >One does not simply gain a 7-mare herd, in which all of the mares are of different tribes, or hell, even species!
  190. >But as you settle down for the chilly night in this pleasant autumn weather, sitting on your favourite armchair by the hearth - the fire being Amber’s courtesy - you take a look at your family of misfits, all looking content with what they have.
  191. >Old memories pop up in your mind.
  192. >How did it start?...
  194. >Years ago...
  195. >You are Anon and you are pretty sure you are being taken as an airhead.
  196. >This is the third time this week those salesmares were trying to swindle, nay, scam you with those shitty tools only a clueless housewife would buy!
  197. >You have accepted your new situation in this weird-ass horse land, you adapted and prevailed!
  198. >And you can’t find a damned place that sells you a proper set of tools so you can finally assemble that stupid horse-Ikea cupboard that had no tiny tools included in the box.
  199. >It’s… infuriating.
  200. >As you think about the solution, on your way towards the town’s fourth - and last - hardware store in the newer part of the town, no less, you are quite rudely interrupted.
  201. >”Hey there, good lookin’! Do you wanna have a good time?” A construction worker mare calls out to you from above, she is, along with her crewmates, sitting on the second floor of a skeletal building clearly under construction.
  202. >You are, at this point, quite upset.
  203. >Enraged, even!
  204. >In your anger you forget moderating yourself, and before you realize it, words already leave your mouth.
  205. “Oh yeah, if you have that big of a mouth, come down here and show me a good time!”
  206. >A look of mild shock appears on your face, which is mirrored by the construction worker mares, all of them as they are perched on the edge of the building like a row of unruly sparrows.
  207. >It only lasts for a few long seconds though, ending with this mortar gray coated and brick red maned mare’s steely gray eyes going wide, along with an... almost disturbing smile on her face.
  208. >“Alright you cunts, pay up, I’m going on a date today!” She says and her crew’s reaction turns from shock to disbelief, then dismay.
  209. >”Unfair!” One of them says, only to be elbowed in the side.
  210. >”Shuddup and pay, you took the same bet as I!” The red-gray mare responds as she collects a nice number of bits in her hardhat, then disappears from view.
  211. >You almost consider just leaving, but before you could turn away to continue on your journey of trying to find decent tools, the heavy hoof falls of the stocky gray mare from above halts you.
  212. >”You thought I was joking, sugardick? Come on, Momma did not raise no quitter, let’s get going!” She excitedly tells you, coming up to your side.
  213. >Since you are a human in a world of little ponies, you are very easily towering above her.
  214. >She is a well toned, basically burly mare, taller than her comrades above, too.
  215. >But even that does not compare to your natural height.
  216. >”What, what’s this look? Haven’t seen an honest to Celestia earth pony before?” She asks you, making you rapidly blink in confusion.
  217. “Y-you know what, fuck it. If you can help me get a set of non-shitty tools so I can finish building my goddamn furniture, I will go on a date with you, and I will enjoy it!” You reply, anger from your previous attempts flaring up in you again.
  218. >”Whoa there, easy now, filly. You want… tools?” She asks you, an expression of honest confusion painted on her face.
  219. “Well yeah, why else would I go to this part of the town?” You ask back, theatrically looking around.
  220. >”Come on Red, on a date! On a date!” The construction workers start to chant above, most likely perceiving your situation as some kind of a pony standard crazy.
  221. >You just roll your eyes at them.
  222. >”Shuddup girls, this colt’s serious.” Red, as she’s apparently called, retorts, an all knowing look on her face. “Let’s get going then, huh?”
  223. >Being just about done with this nonsense, you nod and start moving, this time accompanied by Red.
  224. >“You know, you are lucky I’m into exotic males, sweet-cheeks. What’s your name?” She asks after an increasingly awkward silence between the two of you.
  225. “Ah, I’m… Call me Anon.” You tell her, letting out a tired sigh.
  226. >”I’m Red, by the way. Red Brick, fourth generation house builder at your service.” She puffs out her chest as she introduces herself, probably something to do with this pony type sexually attractive chest fluff thing.
  227. >She miserably fails as she is wearing a shirt of coarse fabric and a high-visibility vest above that, completely covering up her torso.
  228. “Nice to meet you, Red Brick. Your colleagues, they think I’m crazy. Right?” You respond, the new talking partner cooling off your rage.
  229. >”Well, yeah, no normal colt wants to buy tools of all things. But you ain’t normal colt, so I figured… y-y’know…” She does that awkward hair readjusting thing, almost dropping her bit-filled hardhat.
  230. >This does not go unnoticed by you, and the thought of ‘this must be how those women must feel when seeing all those simps’ crosses your mind.
  231. >Well, Papanon did not raise you to be a bitch, in any sense of the word, so you react as a proper gentleman should.
  232. “Yes, I believe I know. Thank you for trusting me.” You say and lower your head, only to first cover your face with your palm, then wipe it as if you were trying to wipe away something from there.
  233. >“Oh colt, that looks like a weekend of bar hopping amount of stories to tell!” Red comments and elbows your leg in a friendly manner. “You can tell me aaall your worries, sweetums, date or not!” She offers, grinning confidently.
  234. >You nod.
  235. “Alright. But first, tools. I’m done being treated like an airheaded wimp.” You reply and completely miss the look of ‘oh boy, what have I gotten myself into’ look on Red’s face.
  237. >...
  238. >The hardware store is well stocked and finding the things you are looking for is a breeze.
  239. >It’s… too easy, in fact.
  240. >As you think about why you weren’t approached by a store employee, your eyes wander onto Red’s muscular frame as she examines a power driller, nodding and humming to herself.
  241. >Then it hits you.
  242. >It’s /her/.
  243. >She IS the reason for you being left unharassed.
  244. >The sad reality of the situation sinks in, leaving you feeling rather disappointed, but, to your own surprise… not really pissed.
  245. >You can use this to your advantage.
  246. >You can date a, uh, what’s the term?
  247. >’Marely mare’ and get things done thanks to her mere presence.
  248. >And also get a chance to actually get to know someone local who is, at the very least, superficially interested in you?
  249. >Hell yeah, not missing out on that one!
  250. >Thus, when you have all of the tools you wanted to buy and you reach the cash register, a perhaps too happy smile is on your face.
  251. >The cashier doesn’t seem to notice, or feigns ignorance, but whatever is the case, you get your new stuff put into a bag and given to… Red.
  252. >She even pays for the tools, from the bits in her hardhat, which you react to with a raised eyebrow, but she just shakes her head dismissively.
  253. >Perhaps it’s for the better to leave this as is.
  254. >”Thank you for your purchase, we hope to see you soon!” The cashier tells her, completely ignoring you.
  255. >It’s like being invisible, almost
  256. >”Ye-yeah, you are welcome and stuff…” Red replies, not really paying her any attention..
  257. >Once outside the building, you release a breath you didn’t even know you held.
  258. “Oh my /god/, it was that easy, no employees harassing and swindling and-and… I could kiss you right now!” You burst out as you take the bag of tools Red holds up for you.
  259. >”Well I mean, you can, I’m not gonna say no to that.” She says, a cheeky smile on her face.
  260. >Fuck it.
  261. “Fuck it.”
  262. >You lean down, cup her cheeks and kiss the sweaty and musky smelling construction worker poner, tongue and all.
  263. >It only feels a little awkward, given how far you have to lean down, but the effect it has on her is making you rather surprised.
  264. >Like putty in your hands she melts into the kiss, awkward like a schoolgirl yet eager for more.
  265. >It takes over half a minute to break the kiss, and when she does, her first words are in the form of a question, a question which you did not expect to hear from the ‘kind of mare’ she seemed to be at first sight.
  266. >”S-so, we are dating now? For real?” She even has a dopey look on her face.
  267. “Fuck yeah we are!” You reply in her previous, crude manner and tone.
  268. >”Yes!” She happily says, pumping her right forehoof into the air, then does that adorable trotting in place ‘clapping’ you noticed ponies do when excited.
  269. >Who knew you would actually end up marrying this silly mare?...
  270. >Her coworkers certainly didn’t and lost plenty of bits for making bets against it.
  273. -:-:-:-:-
  276. >It’s been 9 months since you first met Red Brick.
  277. >4 months since your engagement.
  278. >And 2 days since your wedding.
  279. >Goddamn, she was so fucking adorable in her dress, acting like bashful bride!
  280. >Her entire crew was there - her parents too, nice ponies - and none of them could stop themselves from shedding a tear.
  281. >You aren’t sure if from suppressed laughter or from being so touched, but you hardly care, this was about you and Red only.
  282. >Now however, you are on your honeymoon, on a hiking trip of all things.
  283. >Red insisted, something about family traditions or some such.
  284. >The hike itself isn’t that big of a deal thankfully, the mountain Red chose was one of those less heights-more view types.
  285. >Nevertheless, there are some dangerous looking drops here and there, so you are not letting your guard down.
  286. >”There should be a… a village on the mountaintop.” Red speaks up after a long strip of silence, her otherwise clean (and two shades lighter, after taking a proper bath in preparation for the wedding) fur matted with sweat now.
  287. >You aren’t faring any better, the dark spots on your clothes are visible for anyone to see.
  288. “Are you sure?” You ask her, turning your gaze up, to the place where you imagine a village could be.
  289. >”Yeah I’m sure, Ma took Pa there when they got married. It’s there.” She replies, stopping for a moment to catch her breath.
  290. “We are not in a rush, you know.” You tell her, shaking your head. “It’s still the early afternoon and we will get a nice comfy bed once there, so, why don’t we just stop for a moment?”
  291. >Red takes a few long seconds to think, staring up at you.
  292. >Then she sighs, lowering her head which she shakes in feigned disapproval.
  293. >”Okay, fine Hon, but only because you asked me so nicely.” She is avoiding eye contact.
  294. >You know it’s hurting her mareliness to admit that someone else is right, a ‘stallion’ no less, but you have been on the same side as her all your life, so you drop it.
  295. “Besides, take a look, that’s some view to remember!” You exclaim, taking the old-timey camera into your hands.
  296. >You went ahead and prepared for this special occasion by buying this nice piece of gear, with some extras so you can hang it around your neck.
  297. >Focusing on taking a good picture, you squint your eyes, peeking through the peephole of the camera.
  298. >You can see the aperture within, it’s a strange thing after being so used to the digital devices you owned in the past decades.
  299. >With a loud click and whirr, a picture is snapped.
  300. >Changing angle, you are trying to find focus when a red blob floats into the picture.
  301. “Uh, what?” You ask and pull the camera away from your face.
  302. >Red is standing on her hindlegs, a bit wobbly, trying to look into the camera’s lenses.
  303. >”Are you going to only make pictures of the, uh, scenery?” She asks, a pointed expression on her face.
  304. >With a little scoff you smile and pet her mane before responding.
  305. “Of course not. It’s just… there aren’t any good places to stand here. Look around.”
  306. >Indeed, besides the well worn and maintained tourist trail leading up, all that was around were grassy patches and rocks of various sizes.
  307. >Not exactly ideal, to say the least.
  308. >”No good places to stand my flanks, look! See that boulder? That’s a nice boulder. Rock farmers used to roll those for days to find the best spot so the stone can sponge in all the magic in the air and make minerals.” Red explains, showing off one of the few topics she is actually knowledgeable in, namely, rock farming.
  309. >She’s related to some rock farmer, though barely.
  310. “Yes, what about it?” You ask back, fearing what she will say next.
  311. >”I’m gonna stand on that and you can take a picture of me. No, wait. /Two pictures./”
  312. >Your lips immediately follow gravity’s direction and turn into a scowling frown.
  313. “No, no way missy, you are NOT going to do that!” You almost yell at her, which leads to the reaction you wanted to avoid.
  314. >Keeping your temper held back is a great effort and there are some situations in which it bleeds through.
  315. >Like this one, when she’s trying to do a stupid thing just to show off.
  316. >If you were back on Earth, she would be a college dude and she would say ‘hold my beer’ before climbing the boulder.
  317. >SHIT, she is climbing the boulder!
  318. “Redelia Brickannica, get down from there in this instant!” You yell at her, sounding quite angry.
  319. >”You ain’t my real dad! And that’s not even my name, the fuck, Anon?” She replies, however as she does so, her hooves slip. “Oh, horse apples.”
  320. >In your stupor you aren’t fast enough to catch her.
  321. >Or close enough to at least jump under her to lessen the blow.
  322. >Time seems to slow down as Red falls, her body getting closer and closer to the rock-dotted, sloping ground.
  323. >If she hits it, she will roll for who knows how far, breaking herself into a mush.
  324. >Then, like a miracle, you see a brightly colored spot swoop in and with the grace of a colibri, take hold of Red’s hide, keeping her hovering in place.
  325. >It takes you a few seconds to understand the scene you are looking at.
  326. >Out of nowhere a pegasus, with wings beating really, really fast, caught Red and is safely lowering her down onto the ground.
  327. “Wh-what?” You manage to utter before Red touches down and flops onto her belly.
  328. >”Oh my Celestia, I almost fell, I could have died! Anon I-I-I…” She says, and as she is looking up, she realizes that she was saved by not you, but a complete stranger.
  329. >”Hi there!” The lithe pegasus peeps, grinning ear to ear. “I was on my daily flight, taking in the gorgeous sight, but then I saw you fall in fright, so I swooped in to test my might!” She… sings, rhyming, as if she was some kind of a poet from the Shakespearean era...
  330. >”I-uhh… uh…” Red tries to respond, her mind surely unable to catch up with this more than strange turn of events. “Thank you. Thank you so much for saving my hide. T-to think I could have fell and… get crushed, right on my honeymoon…” She manages to say, staring down at the steep slopes.
  331. “Red, honey, are you alright?...” You finally say, breaking out of your stupor and getting by her side. “Thank you, Miss, for saving my wife.” You exhale tiredly, looking up at the still airborne pegasus mare.
  332. >She’s an orange coated pony with creamy white mane and tail, her eyes are a warm chestnut brown.
  333. >Kinda reminds you of a-
  334. >”You are welcome dear Mister, that surely was a neck twister! By the way Robin is the name, Mountain Guide is my title to claim!” She continues to sing, finishing it with a somersault and puffing out her chest.
  335. >These ponies and their chestfluffs, you swear…
  336. “I’m Anon and this is my wife, Red Brick.” You introduce yourselves and hug your silly wife close.
  337. >”I.. I owe you my life, Robin.” Red says, looking up at the hovering mare, then into your eyes. “I owe her my life, Anon…”
  338. >You are unsure why she sounded so dire, but then again, you are quite literally an alien here, so....
  339. “Robin, can you… would you kindly lead us up to the village?” You ask your wife’s saviour, trying to change topics.
  340. >She happily nods, flying up and ahead with the speed and elegance of an actual colibri.
  341. >”Follow me I know the way, soon we will reach the safe bay!” She trills, hovering in pace not that far away.
  343. >...
  345. >You ended up managing to shoot more, actually nice pictures.
  346. >Half of them had Red and Robin in them, some were the two of them posing for the camera, and some just them chatting.
  347. >You also made a few pictures of yourself, but you refuse to call them ‘selfies’.
  348. >That expression can remain in the hellhole it came from, back on Earth.
  349. >Before long, your little group reached the village atop the mountain, and in good time too!
  350. >The small inn you rented a room in just set out plates for dinner when you got there.
  351. >The thing that broke the relaxation and anticipation of a delicious dinner was Red’s wavering voice, which she only had when talking or asking about something she was unsure or unadmittedly scared of.
  352. >”A-anon… Hon…” She began gently poking yourside to get your attention. “I would like to.. Uh, ask you something. Of something I mean.” She continues, pointing a hoof at Robin, who is at the moment sitting across the table, looking up at you with a happy expression, a little smile adorning her face.
  353. “Uhhhm, what, what is it honey?” You ask her back, raising a confused eyebrow.
  354. >”It’s a thing about y-y’know, the… When I almost fell and crushed myself out on those rocks.” Red explains shortly, unable to look at you. “I talked about it with Robin, and, well… I mean I know you are not a pony and you think it’s strange and all, but.. I want to give it a shot. I owe her my life, and she is a really nice pony.”
  355. >You start to think.
  356. >What exactly does she mean by that?
  357. >What does ‘it’ mean? A threesome? Surely not, Red isn’t like that, she’s a family mare.
  358. >Wait.
  359. >That’s it.
  360. “Are you asking me to uh, herd up with her?” You ask, blinking at Red in confusion.
  361. >”Y-yes. That’s my question.” Red answers, finally looking into your eyes.
  362. “Take me out to dinner first then! Lucky thing we are already doing that, huh?” You reply, offering a silly smile to Red and then to Robin, who in response, claps her hooves together.
  363. >”To move out and make a family, to escape being stuck here clammily, my heart just flutters and so do my wings, I could take flight but first feast like kings!” She sings again, grinning ear to ear.
  364. >Fuck, that’s adorable.
  365. >Well, you already committed to horseland, so, might as well adapt to it in yet another way.
  366. >Now only if you could get meat back on the menu…
  369. -:-:-:-:-
  372. >Moving to a larger house is /way/ easier in magic horseland than back on Earth.
  373. >First of all, it’s unbelievably cheaper, and secondly, there are 8+ bedroom houses growing under every tree!
  374. >Quite literally if you are living in the Crystal ‘Empire’ (these technicolor horses must have a very different idea about what an empire is, but you aren’t going to tell them that), if the things you have heard are true, however you aren’t going to see for yourself, not just yet.
  375. >With Red’s insistence and the help of Robin’s foresight, the three of you managed to buy a two storeys tall 3 generations house on the southern part of the town, not that far from the park.
  376. >There is enough space in each room for Robin to do acrobatic tricks, while Red can keep her bellowed power tools in a separate room in an almost-shrine.
  377. >Weird flex, but alright.
  378. >At least you can use said tools whenever the occasion comes up, such as when you are trying to assemble the barbecue grill you got her for her upcoming birthday.
  379. >Hidden in one of the many, yet to be used rooms, you tinker at it, trying to follow the gibberish looking instructions.
  380. >It deliberately uses expressions like ‘horseshoes’ or ‘magic flick’.
  381. >What the fuck does that even mean?!
  382. >Questions like this fill your head when you hear the doorknob jiggle behind you.
  383. >Before you could do as much as yell out to stop them, the door opens, revealing… Robin.
  384. >Letting out a silent sigh, you put your right index finger on your lips, letting out the universal sound of ‘get silent you li’l shid!’
  385. “Shhhh. Don’t tell Red about this.” You tell her in a whisper and motion to close the door.
  386. >Robin looks surprised for a few moments, but she quickly recovers and after making her way inside, closes the door behind her.
  387. >”A birthday present?” She asks, sounding genuinely curious.
  388. >You simply nod in response, returning your attention to the instructions manual.
  389. “Problem is that I can’t make heads or tails of this stupid booklet.” You admit and in your frustration, throw the manual behind you, above your shoulder.
  390. >With the flexibility and reflexes of a cat, Robin catches the booklet, in her mouth, no less!
  391. >”Awh khan helf yoo!” She offers, then spits the instructions manual onto her hooves as she lands and sits on her haunches. “Aw dang, this is written in some unicornish, I can’t read it.”
  392. >Wel, there goes that.
  393. >Offering her a sad little smile, you sigh, pet her pretty head and take the booklet back.
  394. “That’s alright my little songbird. I think I can deal with it myself.”
  395. >She leans into the petting, pushing her head against your hand.
  396. >Fuck, that’s cute.
  397. >”I can still help though, right?” She asks, looking up at you with big, doe eyes.
  398. “Sure you can. Pass me the screwdriver, please.” You reply, recognizing some of the drawings now that you hold the instructions upside down.
  399. >”Yay! Here!” She says, the screwdriver grabbed by one of her wings.
  400. >Pegasi have many hidden abilities, you have to realize.
  402. >...
  403. >Today’s the day.
  404. >You aren’t much of a cook - you are still learning Equestrian dishes, which is an /excellent/ excuse for why you can’t cook a complex meal yet - but your confectionery skills are on-spot.
  405. >Having Robin help you with the decorations on the Black Forest cake you made for Red’s birthday also makes things faster!
  406. >The little bird is more precise than you realize, especially when she isn’t flying around and singing.
  407. >”Red will be back from work in an hour, are we done yet?” She asks, gazing at the wall mounted clock worriedly.
  408. >You nod your head, focusing on not messing up the writing on the top of the cake.
  409. “Mhmm…. Lemme focus…” You respond, then your eyes go wide. “Oh shit, the candles!”
  410. >Robin’s eyes go wide too, with a 2 seconds delay.
  411. >”I will get them!” She yells out and takes off, the little hero.
  412. >You can’t help but chuckle, she has this near-childish youthfulness, it’s so refreshing.
  413. >Soon enough she is back and the cake is ready.
  414. >A good thing, too, because it doesn’t take more than just a few minutes after getting the cake out of sight and cleaning up the mess its creation left behind, Red arrives.
  415. >She looks almost overworked…
  416. >”I’m home!” She yells out, only to get surprised by you ‘suddenly appearing out of nowhere’ next to her.
  417. >You just don’t wear shoes or slippers inside the house, which makes you really quiet.
  418. >Especially in the custom made socks Red got you a while back.
  419. >”O-oh, Hon, you startled me!” She gasps, looking up at you. “What… what’s with that face? What are you planning?” She asks, eyes narrowing in suspicion.
  420. “Oh, I don’t know… maybe your Birthday Party!” You reply and stand aside, revealing the decorated living room behind you, with Robin zipping around within, throwing confetti.
  421. >”Happy Birthday, Red! Woo!” She cheers, doing a cartwheel.
  422. >While flying.
  423. >You just stare at her, with a tight-lipped half smile on your face, then shake your head.
  424. “Yes, happy birthday, love.” You nod and lean down to plant a kiss on her quivering lips.
  425. >Hold on.
  426. >Quivering?
  427. >You lean back, an eyebrow arched.
  428. “Is… something wrong? Do you not like it?” You ask, turning your head to inspect the decorations.
  429. >”N-no, it’s not that. I just haven’t had a birthday party since I was a filly.” She explains, sniffing.
  430. >She has totally marely tears in the corners of her eyes.
  431. “Aww, come’ere, you silly pone.” You tell her as you draw her into a hug, which she can’t exactly resist.
  432. >”Let’s turn it into a group hug, let’s cheer up that sad mug!” Robin thrills and joins in, landing on her hindlegs so she can wrap her wings around both Red and you.
  433. “Wait until you see the cake.” you tease, feeling pride in your accomplishment.
  434. >”Or the present!” Adds Robin, smiling widely.
  435. >”Cake /and/ a present? Where have you been all my life?” Red responds, tightening her grip around you.
  436. >Yay for not being a wimp, because her hold on you is strong like an ox!
  437. >”May I see the present first?” She asks, sounding like a little kid.
  438. “Sure… it’s over there.” You answer and just in a few seconds, she’s already ripping the wrapping apart.
  439. >”Oh… my… Celestia. Are you kidding me?...” Red asks eyes glued at the actually assembled barbecue grill you put into a gift-wrapped large cardboard box.
  440. “A little bird told me you like grilling!” You reply, grinning like a madman.
  441. >”Tweet-tweet-tweet!” Robin responds, breaking out in laughter.
  442. >”Aw mare, you shouldn’t have… Thank you. Both of you.” You receive another heartfelt hug, but this time it’s much shorter, as Red is drawn to check over every little part of the grill.
  443. “There is a little downside about it… I couldn’t find any coal to fuel it.” You admit sheepishly.
  444. >”That’s alright, it’s not grilling season yet anyway.” Red replies, shaking her head. “Ooh, what’s this?” She asks then, opening a door to an inside compartment.
  445. “Space for the alternatives.” You answer, feeling damn proud of yourself.
  446. >”What do you mean alternatives?” Red asks again, her childish glee replaced with confusion.
  447. “Weeell, let’s just say this piece here is unicorn made, with alternative fuel sources in mind. Like a fire shard crystal.” You explain, remembering that one time when Red and you were out in the market and came across that big-ass orange crystal that let out tons of heat.
  448. >”We don’t have one of those either…” Red says, her expression turning serious, thinking. “Maybe… maybe there is one in the market? It’s not too late to check now.” She asks, muscles ready to spring.
  449. >Her earlier tiredness seems to be completely gone, replaced with joyous excitement.
  450. “Well I mean, sure, but wouldn’t you like to have some cake befoooaaand she’s gone.” You reply, staring at the empty spot Red was just in, moments ago.
  451. >”Should I follow her?” Robin asks, sounding worried.
  452. “Yes please, and… here is my wallet in case she actually finds something.” You reply, handing Robin your wallet.
  453. >Silly Red…
  455. >...
  456. >It’s two hours later and the girls are still not back.
  457. >You are starting to get.... Well, not anxious, but something along those lines.
  458. >However, the jiggling of the front door’s handle calms you.
  459. >They are finally back!
  460. >You are about to ask what took them so long and what did they find, when you realize that Robin is already flying inside but you hear way more hoof falls than Red alone would be able to make.
  461. >”Anon, Hon, you wouldn’t believe what happened!” Red exclaims, grinning ear-to-ear.
  462. >”We went on an adventure!” Robin adds, flying tight circles around you a couple times before somersaulting into one of the new couches, landing with grace and a happy smile, for she’s able to relax now.
  463. >”Heyyy, your wives are really chill! I’m Amber Glow!” The owner of the additional hoof falls reveals and introduces herself as she enters your home.
  464. >It’s one of those strange lion maned ponies, a… kirin.
  465. >As you look at her scales the word ‘panzerfloof’ pops into your mind and it takes you a few seconds to come up with an answer.
  466. “Uh, hmm, hi there Amber. I’m Anon.” You finally say, thinking about what adventure could have these three gotten themselves into.
  467. >And why bringing someone else (with no clear indication of having any sort of fuel for the grill on them) would solve the grill situation?
  468. >A story needs to be told, it seems.
  471. -:-:-:-:-
  474. >You stand before the amber coated kirin mare, her yellow eyes trained at you.
  475. >Or to be specific, at your body, because she’s looking you all over in amazement.
  476. >”Whoaaa, you look so… so… cool!” She exclaims, tilting her head to the side in absolute wonder.
  477. >Her two-tone blue mane gets out of the way thanks to that and you can see that her back scales which (totally making sense, a mammal to have scales, sure), are a muted light green.
  478. >She’s aesthetically pleasing, however there is this thing about her way of speaking.
  479. >You have had a stoner friend back in highschool.
  480. >He would slow down and exaggerate things once high, which was quite similar to this Amber mare’s behaviour.
  481. >Not letting yourself be controlled by prejudice, you show your best side, with a winning smile.
  482. “Well, I don’t know about that, but welcome to our home, Amber.” You look at your wives as you finish talking. “So an adventure, huh? Care to share the details?”
  483. >Red is the first to react and she exhales theatrically, wiping away imaginary sweat from her forehead.
  484. >”Hoo colt, you wouldn’t believe it! Uh, so, Amber here is travelling the world, sightseeing and trying out new things, right? But then, she’s…”
  486. >...
  487. >It takes Red about 15 minutes to summarize the story, which could be boiled down to ‘a happy coincidence’.
  488. >In fact, Amber was so impressed by Red and Robin, she decided to help.
  489. “So you are saying that you can burst into flames on command?” You ask Amber, now all four of you sitting on the couches.
  490. >”That’s right, big guy! We kirins can do this when angered, it’s a… ah… well, a long story for another time…” She visibly saddens at that, but after a few seconds of solemn silence, she perks up again. “It’s really cool though, seeing ponies freak out when it’s really hot out and I say: ‘Oh, it’s so hot, I feel like catching on fire!’ and then I do!” She laughs heartily, as if she told a good joke.
  491. >You raise an eyebrow, looking at her with doubt clearly expressed on your face.
  492. “Can you show us?” Is your question, to which all three mares exchange glances.
  493. >”I told you he isn’t like other colts.” Red comments to Amber, smirking smugly.
  494. >”Uh, uh, do it in the grill!” Robin chirps in, springing up from the couch, getting airborne and flying around in a blink of an eye.
  495. >If you understood it right, Amber could make the grill work.
  496. >”Alright, alright, calm down, I’m going.” Amber responds and gets up, quickly making her way to the grill, Red following her shortly.
  497. >The not-quite-pony takes a moment to inspect the barbecue grill, then opens the undercompartment and climbs in.
  498. >Before long she’s curled up like a cat, quite comfy looking, too.
  499. >Then she bursts into blue flames!
  500. “Jesus Christ on a unicycle, what?!” You yell in absolute surprise, your mind racing to find where you put the fire extinguisher.
  501. >Then you realize that there are no such things in Equestria and that Amber is grinning and giggling at you.
  502. She looks…. Completely fine.
  503. >”Uh, oh, let me grab some stuff! I want to test out this baby!” Red exclaims and rushes into the kitchen, her intentions clear.
  504. “How… how does she do that again?” You ask Robin, who for once decided to not fly around in circles.
  505. >”It’s a kirin thing. They do it when they get really angry.!” She explains, then lands near the grill, sitting down on her haunches.
  506. >She proceeds to hold out and warm her hooves with the heat Amber’s fire produces.
  507. “Wait, you want to tell me…. No, that makes no sense.” You shake your head. “Is this true, Amber? But… you look anything /but/ angry!”
  508. >The blazing kirin mare shakes her head and chuckles, although this time dryly.
  509. >”That’s my secret, Anon. I’m always angry.” Her expression turns from the happy giggling to sorrowful, depressed one. “There are some things I can’t change, but… that won’t stop me from being a good kirin. A friend and a torch of joy in the dark.” Her sour expression changes slightly, a sad little smile forming on her lips. “I also have lots of kirin nip, that helps too!”
  510. >Before you could ask about what exactly ‘kirin nip’ is, Red interrupts you by standing between you and the grill, effectively blocking your view of Amber.
  511. >”Oh mare, this will be great, the carrots, the hay bacon, the onions-sages, oooh, I can’t wait!” She says to herself, unloading the plate she brought with her onto the grill. “Uh, let me close this, don’t want to burn myself!” And with that, she closes the hatch onto Amber, whom you can see for one last second as she’s making a surprised expression with her mouth forming a little o.
  512. >You just stare at Red for a few seconds, then you exchange glances with a similarly surprised Robin.
  513. “What just…” You mumble, getting seven kinds of confused.
  514. >”Grilling! It’s grilling season right here and now! ...What’s with the face?” Red responds to you, glancing back at you above her shoulder.
  516. >...
  517. >After Red had her BBQ related needs filled, the four of you settled down on the couches again, to talk.
  518. >The reason behind the whole grill thing?
  519. >Well, apparently Amber is about done with seeing the world.
  520. >”So yeah, I want to settle down, mare. I feel tired of being on the move. And since I’m in Equestria, I thought…”
  521. “That you might as well herd up and settle down for good?” You complete her sentence, still thinking over everything she’s just explained to you.
  522. >”Yeah, pretty much. I just… wasn’t lucky so far.” She adds, sheepishly rubbing the back of her head with her right forehoof.
  523. “What do you mean?” You ask her, broken out of your thoughts.
  524. >”You gals aren’t the first herd I asked about joining. They… didn’t like my /fiery personality!/” With that said, as if she was blowing water from her mouth, she blew flames, not unlike a dragon.
  525. >You have seen dragons do that so you can confirm.
  526. “I can see why.” You state matter of factly, then glance at Robin and Red.
  527. >While the former has a hopeful expression on her face, the latter is making an expression that just yells ‘My grill!’ at you, complete with side glancing at the grill itself.
  528. “Well Amber… This whole being constantly angry thing, added up with the fire hazard, it’s, well, I can say only one thing.” You tell her, your expression growing steely.
  529. >Amber’s own expression drops, after all, she knows the stallion of the herd has the final say-so in these matters.
  530. “Welcome to the family.” You finish your sentence, grinning toothily.
  531. >”Yaaaay!” Robin yells, jumping into her usual cheering aerial acrobatics.
  532. >”Phew, good, good.” Red says under her breath, but you could still hear her.
  533. >Her relieved expression tells her entire story though, looks like Robin and you really hit the nail on the head with the grill.
  534. >”Wait, really? Are you serious?!” Amber asks, her long tail swishing left and right like a happy pupper’s.
  535. “Yes, I am! I mean, I want the best for my family and if they think this is for the best then why would I deprive both them and you from it? C’mere, cupcake!” You reply, opening up your arms for her invitingly.
  536. >She almost jumps into your arms, but says nothing. You can feel quite hot tears (of joy, hopefully) wetting your shirt where her cheek presses against you, though.
  537. >”The anger…” She whispers, just audible enough for you to hear. “I can’t feel it now...”
  538. >You chuckle to yourself and pet her scaly back.
  539. “Oh, this could use some polishing.” You comment, rubbing the hard scales.
  540. >Amber goes stiff under your touch.
  541. >”Marry me, right now!” She gasps.
  542. >“Yaaaay!” Cheers Robin again...
  545. -:-:-:-:-
  548. >After Amber joined your herd - earning strange glances from the neighbouring ponies for a week or two - things seemed to go well.
  549. >Then you began to feel… off.
  550. >It all began with a scratching feeling in your throat.
  551. >Then came the coughing and the fever.
  552. >When you felt like puking every time you stood up, but had vertigo when sitting down, you knew it’s something serious.
  553. >”Anon, I’m telling you, you must stay in bed and wait for the Nurse to arrive!
  554. >Despite easily being the smallest and lightest of your mares, Robin is quite firm in her intentions and - probably because of your weakened state - able to push you back down into the bed.
  555. “Stop it Birdie, I’m not dying… at least I think I don’t…” You tell her and try to get out of bed again, intent on getting into the bathroom.
  556. >”I am telling you Anon, it is for your own good!” Robin insists.
  557. “Do you want me to puke all over the bed? No? Then let me go.” You respond and finally manage to push the small pegasus aside.
  558. >Just as you step out of the bed, the bell goes off, followed by a short series of urgent knocks.
  559. >”Looks like puking will have to wait.” Robin announces, and like a swallow, zooms out of the room and down to the front door.
  560. >In the following minutes, which you spend straining to not puke and also to hear what’s going on, you can make out parts of the conversation downstairs.
  561. >Something about a Nurse Redheart being not available, Red expressing unfamiliarity with the replacement Nurse who seems to be antsy standing in the doorway, Amber being gloomy and feeling responsible, and Robin just wanting the Nurse to get upstairs.
  562. >Then, along with the rest of your herd… she enters.
  563. >A really pretty pony, wearing the Ponyville Hospital’s Nurse outfit.
  564. >Something feels… off about her though.
  565. >You can’t exactly put your finger on it either.
  566. >Sure, she’s bearing the normal pastel colors of the ponies, but… there is something about the way she holds herself… the way she walks..?
  567. >While you think about this, she walks up to you, her horn aglow with a spell.
  568. >”Good afternoon Sir, I’m Nurse Stoicheart. Please stay still while I run this spell… huh.” She looks you up and down, lifting up the blanket. “Huh.” She hums again.
  569. “W-what?” You ask, bewildered.
  570. >”Oh, I’m terribly sorry, Sir. The description your wives gave to my colleague, it wasn’t as close to reality as I thought.” She explains, eyes continuing to scan you.
  571. “Well… yeah, I’m one of a kind.” You say, nodding. “Feels kind of weird from time to time, to be honest. But not as weird as I feel now, I hate being sick.” You explain and let out a tired sigh.
  572. >”Understandable.” Nurse Stoicheart nods back, then the glow of her horn fizzles out, only to send out a see-through, computer-esque scene.
  573. >On it you can see information listed not unlike a car’s diagnostics.
  574. >”Your magic levels are all over the place, but I was told that’s normal… however, you are definitely infected with a, to you alien, type of microorganism.” She explains, pointing her right forehoof at the screen.
  575. “What is it?” You ask, eyes going wide.
  576. >”The Kirin Flu. Every Equestrian is vaccinated against it, however, you aren’t from here… makes sense.” Nurse Stoicheart nods to herself again.
  577. >”Aw mare… I’m so sorry Anon…” Amber suddenly speaks up, taking everyone’s attention in the room.
  578. >Stoicheart casts the same ‘diagnostics’ spell on her, and in a few seconds a second display appears, showing that she does not have the infection.
  579. >”It’s not your fault, dear. You are clear.” Stoicheart quickly replies, shaking her head.
  580. “Then how did I get infected?...” You ask, feeling a wave of nausea washing over you.
  581. >”That I cannot tell. However I /can/ tell you what to do to get through it.” She answers, putting a hoof on your forehead. “You will need to stay in be-Ouch!” She cries out, pulling her hoof back, shaking it in pain.
  582. “What just happened?” You ask, eyes going wide.
  583. >”What’s going on, Nurse? Are you hurt?” Red asks, already by her side.
  584. >”My hoof… I touched him and he… Ow-ow ow!” Stoicheart responds, shaking her hoof, which… is turning black?
  585. “What the fuck…” You mutter, feeling your eyes going even wider.
  586. >“Celestia’s Beard, what?!” Red yells, falling back on her flank in surprise.
  587. >Robin and Amber reacts similarly, with looks of shock and horror on their faces.
  588. >The blackening spreads, going up Nurse Stoicheart’s foreleg and beyond, sending her down on the floor, spasming as if she is having an epileptic episode!
  589. >Before a minute could pass, the whole mare is black, or rather, dark gray, with bug-like features, the only thing reminding you of how she looked being her nurse outfit.
  590. >”A… a changeling?!” Red manages to cry out, being the first to break out from her stupor.
  591. “A what now? What’s going on?!” You yell out in kind, now not only feeling sick but also freaking out.
  592. >”I have heard of these, nasty shapeshifting, stallion-stealing bugs… this does not bode well…” Amber says, slowly making her way to the now unconscious not-Nurse Stoicheart. “They kidnap ponies and take their place to syphon the love of the unsuspecting family of their victim! At least that’s what I heard, this is the first time I see one with my own two eyes.” She continues, poking the unmoving body of the apparent changeling.
  593. >”Yeah, I heard the same, but something doesn’t add up.” Red responds, joining Amber in the poking. “I also heard that they won’t do anything real work related because that gives away their infiltration. They can’t do real jobs like a real pony does!” She states, straightening her back to look intimidating.
  594. >Cute.
  595. >”She was doing real medispells though.” Amber replies, looking up at the still present pair of screens.
  596. >”Maybe we should ask her?” Robin intersects, flying above and hovering over her herdmates. “She’s waking up.”
  597. >Before either Red or Amber could react, not-Stoicheart gasps, jerks her head around for a second, then scurries under your bed, not unlike a cockroach.
  598. >”Wow, that’s creepy!” Red comments, leaning down to look under the bed.
  599. >“P-please don’t hurt me!” Comes the voice of not-Stoicheart from there, except it has a buzzing noise to it.
  600. “Hold up, chill, we aren’t going to hurt you, right girls?” You speak up, taking everyone’s attention. “We are civilized and you were… you were actually doing your job, right?”
  601. >The 3 mares visible to you nod their heads and you can hear a quiet, buzzy ‘uh-hmmm’ from underneath you.
  602. >With some straining you get out of the bed and kneel down next to it.
  603. “Then let’s show some trust. Come out and let’s talk this through, you are not in trouble, I promise.” You tell not-Stoicheart, sounding as convincing as you can muster.
  604. >”You.. promise?” She asks meekly, and to your surprise, you can see her looking at you, since her eyes glow in the dark.
  605. “Of course. Amber is the living proof of this.” You reply and reach out for her.
  606. >”He is right!” Amber agrees, rubbing up against you. “Oh wow, you are so... warm…” She comments.
  607. >Kirins like to feel the bodyheat of their mates.
  608. >”O-okay…” Not-Stoicheart says, letting out a fearful sigh.
  609. >You can see that Red is about to say something but you grab her muzzle with a hand and keep it shut, shaking your head a stern ‘no’ to her.
  610. >Slowly but surely, the changeling mare emerges.
  611. >Now that you can take a better look at her, you can see that she is, indeed, dark gray and blue, bearing beetle-like thorax and eyes of the same dark blue color.
  612. >Her short mane and tail, which takes Red’s attention for some reason, is also blue, but you have no clue why that is important.
  613. “There. See, everything’s alright.” You tell her and smile. “So… what’s your name? The real one?” Pretty blunt, but you don’t care.
  614. >”Elytra.” She simply says as she sits up, and as she does, the hard wing-cover on her back opens up.
  615. >It not only showcases her elytron, but also the gossamer-like wings underneath.
  616. >“Ooooo, pretty!” Robin exclaims, pushing her cheeks together with her own hooves as she hovers above Elytra, eyes filled with sparks.
  617. >”Well ain’t that a wonder of nature?” Red comments, seemingly curious about the strange anatomy before her.
  618. >”Reminds me of the late summer fireflies, really is pretty.” Amber agrees, which brings an abrupt realization to all mares (and one human) present.
  619. >”So you don’t hate me?” Elytra asks, looking around with hope filled eyes.
  620. >Everyone shakes their head a no in unison.
  621. >”I mean, why would we? It’s not like you did anything bad. You even made a di-ag-no-sis for our husband, so we can get medicine for him. Sounds mighty fine to me.” Red says, being the first to reply.
  622. >”About that, I had a hunch and… actually brought this.” Elytra responds, pulling a box of pills out from one of the pockets of her nurse outfit. “It should work on Anon as well, since it’s been found effective on minotaurs and even great apes.” She explains, giving the box to you.
  623. “Oh. Huh. Thank you, Elytra.” You reply, a smile coming to your face. “See Amber? She’s not some nasty thing, she’s… nice. But why did you, uh, disguise yourself?” You ask her as you examine the box of medicine.
  624. >”I-uh… ponies refuse to trust a changeling. They freak out if they see… this.” She explains, pointing at herself.
  625. >”No surprises there.” Red comments, earning an angry glare from you.
  626. >She is quick to stand down.
  627. >”I just… don’t understand, how did touching you make me lose my disguise and-and black out??” Elytra asks then, ignoring Red’s snappy comment.
  628. “I dunno. Weird magic?” You reply, shrugging. “Boop.” You say then and do just that: you boop Elytra on the snoot, making her cross-eyed… and faint once again.
  629. >”Celestia damn it Anon.” Red mutters, returning the angry glare.
  630. “Whoops…”
  632. >...
  633. >After some experimenting and getting to know one another, you learn that, apparently, you are attuned to disperse changeling magic.
  634. >Also, Elytra is a real sweetheart, who for whatever reason you are clearly not aware of, called you her ‘King’.
  635. >On accident, if her own reaction is anything to go by.
  636. >”I didn’t mean to say that, I swear!” She half-shouts, afraid and nearly trembling once again.
  637. “Well I mean, I’m not saying no to someone calling me that… makes me feel better until the pills kick in.” You reply, offering her a shrug and a hug. “Com’ere.”
  638. >It takes her a few seconds to lean into the hug, but with no active changeling-specific spells in use, Elytra does not faint like the times before.
  639. >Robin, the last one to remain in the bedroom with you from the rest of your herd, lets out a quiet ‘aww’.
  640. >”You two look just so sweet, like a candy-apple to eat!” She sings, marking with it how happy she feels.
  641. “You think? What, you want her to join the herd?” You ask Robin jokingly, but her reaction surprises you.
  642. >She goes silent, landing for the first time in half an hour.
  643. >Her eyes are wide, mind probably filled with thoughts, she looks like she’s having a Vietnam flashback to be quite honest with yourself.
  644. >”Yes. I think that’s actually a good idea.” She states matter of factly.
  645. >Both Elytra and you stare at her, the same surprised expression on your faces.
  646. >”Right Elytra? You would like to be in a family that loves you for… who you are?” Robin asks, making the changeling mare blink, her face awash with expressions of sorrow, guilt, longing and a need for love.
  647. >”Yes… I… I wa… I would love that.” Elytra replies, slowly nodding.
  648. >”I will ask the girls then!” Robin says and grins, leaving no time for a reply as she jumps into the air and flies away as fast as a bullet.
  649. “Huh. Alright, well, I mean, it’s not the first time something like this happened. You are pretty.” You say and pet Elytra’s mane.
  650. >She leans into your palm, letting out a cricket-like chirping.
  652. -:-:-:-:-
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