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Minty's Careful Steps (/nmp/, OC, lewd)

YukkuriPalehorse Nov 25th, 2017 (edited) 1,596 Never
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  1. >"Immigrate to Equestria: your true love awaits"
  2. >It's the second brochure you've received this week.
  3. >You are Anonymous, resident of Bumfuck Nowhere City.
  4. >It's not enough that your autumn mood is as glum as the autumn days you begrudgingly live through working your ass off on a dead end job.
  5. >Now someone is taunting you with this shit.
  6. >You found your first one in your mail box a week ago. Now it's here again, together with the bills you can barely pay and the regular "The first real AI is already here, singularity is near, are humans becoming obsolete? Find God while it's not too late" kind of spam that's been popping up a lot lately.
  7. >To you it seems like it's the same thing. Even glancing over it you see it's bullshit.
  8. >No payment required, just sign it a live your dream?
  9. >Unconditional love and foolproof match you'll be guaranteed to be happy with?
  10. >Surely there's some catch.
  11. >Returning home first thing you do is google this equestrian immigration thing.
  12. >Some fanfiction and a few questionable sites. Just what you expected.
  13. >Among those results you see a thread on /mlp/ with those same words in the topic.
  14. >"Guys, I just got this in the mail. Should I be scared or happy? Also post waifus."
  15. >Not even gonna click on that. It's just a prank, that's what it is.
  16. >Relaxing in your chair you let out a content sigh. It was just bait all along.
  17. >You gotta admit, it got you bothered. Someone playing with your feelings like that. Luckily you never get your hopes up for anything anymore, so that's-
  18. >Your heart skips a beat when you see a small magazine on the corner of your table. It wasn't there when you left to work in the morning.
  19. >So inconspicuous, you almost missed it, concentrating on uncovering the truth.
  20. >But it seems that the truth of the matter is that before you lies "Equestria and You: a comprehensive guide" that's roughly fifty pages thick.
  21. >So either mailman has broken into your house to put it here or there's something else going on.
  22. >Seeing how all your apartment windows are closed and you're on the sixth floor anyway, you're inclined to think it's the latter.
  23. >But then... How and why?
  24. >Oh, fuck this. It won't hurt looking at it. If it's just an elaborate ruse you'll at least amuse yourself.
  25.  
  26. >"Dear Anonymous."
  27. >Oh hey, it's you.
  28. >"We hope your received our bi-weekly brochure about your personal chance to live the life of your dreams."
  29. >Wow, way to hype this thing up.
  30. >"We'd like to thank you for your patience and dedication and we're happy to tell you that there's a mare already waiting for you on the other side."
  31. >That's rich. Already?
  32. >"Princess Cadence has found you the perfect match. The magic of the Crystal Heart can be trusted and it has never failed before. Over a hundred humans have already found their happiness in gentle hooves of their mares."
  33. >It goes on and on about what jolly times await you there.
  34. >"To assure your stay is as pleasant as it can get this magazine will provide all the basic information you need to decide on your immigration."
  35. >"Signed, Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, department of Love and Princess Twilight Sparkle, humanity preservation initiative activist and organizer."
  36. >That last part sounds really sinister but it's probably just the wording. You also highly doubt it was really two princesses who made this, it's all in your native language.
  37. >It still seems like a prank to you.
  38. >You glance over the table of contents and immediately go to the "price" section.
  39. >Even though it says price there, there's no money involved. Just three rules.
  40. >First, you have to abandon your whole life here. Well, that's a given.
  41. >Second, no electronic devices allowed. Anything that uses electricity will be confiscated upon arrival.
  42. >Third, you'll have to sign a legal document which forbids you to ever mention My Little Pony series to any non-alicorn pony.
  43. >Human immigration committee can't be held responsible for any culture shock and existential crisis anypony will experience.
  44. >You'll be punished by banishment but not back to your world.
  45. >Same about teaching ponies advanced technology.
  46. >You can kinda understand why it's-
  47. >Wait, there's a section on interspecies sex here.
  48. >Before you get to it though, you see that "Instructions" section is rather small.
  49. >"Pack everything you want to take to Equestria beforehand (remember, no electronics). Circle "I do" on the last page of the brochure or this magazine and leave it in a drawer over night. When you wake up, we'll be ready to pick you up and your journey will begin."
  50. >On the last page you see the contract and there, for the first time, you actually see the picture and name of the mare.
  51. >An earth pony with a light green coat, wheat colored mane arranged in bangs and two pigtails and blue eyes. She looks surprised that she's being photographed.
  52. >Below it says: "Minty Steps (photo taken two weeks ago)".
  53. >Alright, you won't deny, she looks rather cute.
  54. >...
  55. >You only now realize that somewhere through this exploration of this idea you actually started believing in it.
  56. >That's just not possible, right?
  57. >But you don't have to even do anything. If you sign this, what's the worst that can happen?
  58. >Is it the government's way to determine if you're prone to fleeing your country or something?
  59. >Somehow that's easier to believe than in the concept that Equestria is one night away from you.
  60. >But even still. You don't even have a pen near you right now.
  61. >A-ah, too bad, it almost worked. It's not real anyway so you don't have to bother.
  62. >You stand up and go to the kitchen to finally fix yourself a snack before bed.
  63. >Oh, there's a pen right there. But it's too late now, the magic of the moment is gone. Your suspension of disbelief is already broken.
  64. >As you absentmindedly make a modest sandwich your mind starts wandering.
  65. >What should you pack there? Some clothes probably. Ponies don't have those for you there. So-
  66. >You're still thinking about it?
  67. >The food is done and you can't find an excuse to linger here, so you return to your room.
  68. >Then, after some time, you return to take your pen.
  69.  
  70. >"Otherworldly love: your human and you"
  71. >That's the third one in one week.
  72. >You are Minty Steps, resident of Hoofdale (also known as middle of nowhere village) and you have no idea why you've been getting these brochures.
  73. >You haven't signed up anywhere. In fact, you've haven't talked to anyone aside from customers these last few weeks.
  74. >There were some pegasi in uniforms taking photos of ponies around the village but nopony else have approached you at all.
  75. >It was probably for some secret princess business or something, you had no opportunity to ask anyway since they just shot you and were gone before you even realized what happened.
  76. >Other than that nothing suspicious happened. But now somepony is adamant to shove these papers in your mailbox almost every day.
  77. >You thought you were in luck that two of your best friends have heard of this human thing, living in Canterlot unlike you.
  78. >But when they've come to visit you discovered, to your horror, that they both now have humans of their own.
  79. >Both of your friends! In two months! Unheard of.
  80. >Looking at them chirping away about their "husbandos" you remember your younger days when the three of you thought you'll be by yourselves forever, not bound by anything that can slow you down.
  81. >Of course you're way past your silly young years with its brash statements now, and as adults life hasn't really given much of a choice anyway.
  82. >You thought they would find stallions for themselves as soon as they move to Canterlot but every time you received letters from them you were relieved to find that they are still not taken, just like you.
  83. >But now it all changed. And it kinda pisses you off.
  84. >Not to mention somepony has the audacity to taunt you with these invitations too!
  85. >Those two ponies were supposed to help you with this situation but it looks like they're content with just comparing their human mates while you eat your ice cream at the other side of the table.
  86. >This place is empty this time of day anyway, you wouldn't miss any clients.
  87. >Not like you don't know every single pony in this village anyway so their schedule is known to you too.
  88. "Uuugh..."
  89. >Your friends look at you and blush, realizing they've been ignoring you this whole time.
  90. >"Sorry, Minty, we kinda got carried away," says the unicorn, Violet.
  91. >"Yeah, we haven't talked in like two months, had to catch up," nods the pegasus, Mallow Orchard.
  92. "Alright, but I'm kinda grasping at straws here."
  93. >Violet's brow shoots up.
  94. >"What in Equestria are you talking about? We've told you right away, go get 'em."
  95. >"Yeah, you just have to circle the answer and leave give it to that grumpy mare in the town hall."
  96. "But what if I don't want to?"
  97. >"Why?" they ask at the same time.
  98. "Well... It just seems so unlikely."
  99. >"That's just nonsense. We both can confirm that this is the real deal."
  100. >"And it's a real steal."
  101. >"Why do you even doubt it at this point?"
  102. "It seems to suspicious to me. You're both Canterlot mares, but who would want to live here?"
  103. >"What does this has to do with anything?"
  104. "I mean... It says that they want nothing more than to be with a mare but this can't be it."
  105. >"Why not?"
  106. "It just can't! There's surely some hidden agenda behind this."
  107. >"Like what?"
  108. "Like getting rich in Canterlot. They aren't immigrants for nothing."
  109. >"So that's why a human wants to live right here with you, to leech off your ice cream business. Totally."
  110. >Orchard smirks and both mares laugh at you.
  111. "But what if-"
  112. >"Minty, you're just making excuses. They are pure and gentle creatures. If only you've seen how they look at you..."
  113. >"Yeah, you'd sing a different song then."
  114. "What?"
  115. >"You'll know. Oh, you'll know it well."
  116. >Grunting, you take a big spoonful of ice cream and look at the brochure again.
  117. >You haven't even read it yet but you already feel cheated. But why?
  118. "Look, it's just not possible. So you're saying they abandon their homes and everything just to be with a mare?"
  119. >"Knowing how some of them live it's not that-"
  120. "And if they do, why is it this mare or that one? Why me?"
  121. >"Princess Cadence does the matching, magic of love is never wrong."
  122. "But what if he sees another mare and he likes them more?"
  123. >"That doesn't happen even in Canterlot. I've never heard of a human cheating on their waifu."
  124. >It's that word again. Ugh, they even got their own slang now.
  125. >Orchard looks at your defeated posture and tries to reassure you:
  126. >"You really worry too much about it. Even if it has its negatives, which I personally haven't found yet, the positives outweigh them."
  127. "I just can't understand... How can it be that..."
  128. >You stop, trying to find the right way to say it. You don't get to, however, as Violet taps your shoulder.
  129. >"You don't understand because you've never given it a chance. And if you ask why does it have to be you, well, I think you could use some good mood right now."
  130. >Orchard nods:
  131. >"You know, they have the power to lift you up in every sense of the word."
  132. "I... What if I prefer stallions?"
  133. >At this point both of your friends just burst in laughter.
  134. >"Minty, WHAT stallions? There's like three of them here and they are already taken."
  135. "Silver Forest came back a few days ago."
  136. >"Yeah, to visit his wife he's been married to for seven years."
  137. >"Even in Canterlot we haven't found ourselves a mate after all this time."
  138. >"And we've tried!"
  139. "Yeah, I remember the letters."
  140. >Somehow you now realize that there was a clear reason why you were gloating at their failures back then.
  141. >After all that meant they are not living a happier life than you.
  142. >"Mints, look. Right now there's not a lot of humans in Equestria so we're just figuring this out, but princess Twilight works tirelessly. She'll get him here no problem. Just cash in your ticket and you're golden."
  143. >"One pony is only compatible with one human and vice versa. Don't let this chance float away from you."
  144. "Uugh..."
  145. >You are completely and utterly crushed. Your two friends, seeing your defeat, continue talking among themselves.
  146. >"Speaking of Twilight, is it true you're working with her?"
  147. >Violet blushes a little.
  148. >"I've only talked to her once or twice, she's just so busy. But we're working on improving the portal system."
  149. >"Wow. Must be hard to balance it out between work and a husbando."
  150. >"I don't think she has one. I heard she's been neglecting her opportunity to snatch her match just so she can dedicate herself to saving other humans full time."
  151. >There! That's it, you'll be just like a princess. A stoic mare who doesn't need a human mate.
  152. >Though... There's no reason for you to do so, unlike Twilight.
  153. >Yeah, some princess you are. Just one more reason to not have faith in yourself.
  154. >Who would want a country bumpkin like you? Little education, dead end job, completely unimpressive special talent and similarly unimpressive appearance.
  155. >Violet is talking about how they appoint humanarians to areas and research human physiology but she can't talk about that, which lights up Orchard's eyes with excitement.
  156. >"Now you just HAVE to tell me!"
  157. >"No, stop, this is a secret, for real. All I can say it's for the benefit of both our races. We're making future happen here, Orchard, you'll know when it happens."
  158. >"Alright, alright. I'll just ask her when she comes for a check-up."
  159. >"You wish."
  160. >"I'll ask my hubby to ask her."
  161. >Hubby.
  162. >You feel yourself wincing at that.
  163. >Your friends have become those stupid lovey-dovey airheads you used to laugh at so much.
  164. >Now look who's become exactly that. You don't want this.
  165. >While you think about this the two are already at completely different point.
  166. >"...and then he just rips it apart! It's so scary!"
  167. >Violet laughs at that and waves her hoof.
  168. >"Oh, I know, mine does that too sometimes, he's like an animal."
  169. >They exchange blushes and wry smiles with each other.
  170. >"I just wish he'd stop smoking those medicinal herbs."
  171. >Orchard looks at her friend in bewilderment and gasps:
  172. >"Violet! You can't let them do that!"
  173. >"But he likes it so much and it doesn't really smell bad," the unicorn smiles bashfully. "Besides, he says he's so close to finding the perfect mix."
  174. >"Come on, you'll spoil him this way, and who knows if it's any good for him at all?"
  175. >"It's medicinal herbs, Orchard, what can go wrong?"
  176. >"I've read that smoking is bad for humans, you'll ruin him this way."
  177. >Listen to them, it's like they're discussing pets or something.
  178. >"He does become really mellow after that. So it's either this or that. Switching so much..."
  179. >"That's the stuff though, isn't it?"
  180. >"Oh yes, yes it is."
  181. "Wait, what are you talking about?"
  182. >"Oh, you know, "that."
  183. >"Just some pillow talk."
  184. "Huh? You mean... Wait, you have sex with them?"
  185. >Both of them stare at you in absolute shock.
  186. >"W-what? Wait, you mean-"
  187. >"Uh, Minty, you know what "husband" means, right?"
  188. >Now it's your time to blush.
  189. >It never even crossed your mind until now that humans aren't just friends to mares.
  190. >This topic just never got brought up so...
  191. "I know, alright? J-just confirming."
  192. >They look at each other and suddenly knowing smiles appear on their faces.
  193. >"She doesn't know..."
  194. >"Oh my..."
  195. "I know about sex, jeez! It's not what I-"
  196. >"But not with a human."
  197. >"Oh, Minty, you poor mare, you."
  198. "W-what? Are you looking down on me?"
  199. >"No, it's just-"
  200. >You stand up so fast your glass of already molten ice cream almost falls down.
  201. "You can have your humans all you want, no need to shove it in my face!"
  202. >"Minty, we..."
  203. >"We just wanted to encourage you."
  204. >Somehow they do look guilty even if they say they aren't.
  205. "Well it doesn't look that way at all! You came here to laugh at me! Oh poor Minty, she doesn't have a human!
  206. >"But that's exactly why we-"
  207. "Well I don't want one! I'm perfectly fine as is! I thought you could at least be reasonable with me but you're like a marketing team now, humans this, humans that, is there anything they CAN'T do or be bad at? I'm done, I'm so done."
  208. >You rush to the door and slam it. You don't even care that it's your shop, you have no customers today anyway.
  209. >They wouldn't want to see you so worked up anyway.
  210. >Too late you realize that your brochure is still inside with your two "friends".
  211.  
  212. >There it is, your house, to which you rush on the verge of tears. Crude and shoddy. Perfect for living alone.
  213. >Here's your bed, just big enough for one mare, on which you fall feeling drained and hurt. Perfect for sleeping alone.
  214. >One blanket, in which you burrow your muzzle to push back tears. Just cozy enough for one.
  215. >An Equestrian Immigration Campaign magazine which you notice when you calm down a little. Wait, what?
  216. >How did this get in here? The mailmare couldn't have entered your house while you were away, right?
  217. >Oh, why does it matter.
  218. >You feel bad about your outburst, knowing full well that there's no pony to blame for it other than yourself.
  219. >Your friends did exactly what you wanted to, explained to you what being with a human is like. It's not their fault that it's actually good.
  220. >It's not their fault you're a sad lonely mare who refuses to move on with her life.
  221. >It's not their fault that you get mad at ponies who are happier than you.
  222. >Who would want a bitter mare like yourself, you wonder?
  223. >A perfect match to you? That's not possible.
  224. >But it is as they said. You don't have to be jealous, you have the same thing they do, a ticket to a better life.
  225. >Why do you feel like that then?
  226. >You were always the third wheel, weren't you? Both of them have made it to Canterlot.
  227. >Violet as a magic surgeon and now a humanarian. Orchard as a florist who deals with miss Rarity and the like when they need flowers.
  228. >Both started out here. Both made it to high society. And you're still here. Clinging to your life like it's worth anything compared to theirs.
  229. >You thought you'd never make it in Canterlot like them. So you stayed. You never believed in them too. But they've carved their path while you were wasting your time here.
  230. >But at least they were just as lonely and sad as you. And now they aren't. And you see what a bad friend you've been.
  231. >Again, it's just not possible that a human would like you at all. You'd be a bad wife. Or waifu, or whatever.
  232. >You'll never get your hubby, you don't deserve it.
  233. >But then... If Crystal Heart doesn't ever make mistakes, does that mean that there is in fact someone waiting for you already?
  234. >In the first hundred? Not other mares, you?
  235. >It's because you're that bad, huh? You need someone to un-ruin your life because you can't pull your own weight.
  236. >What a cruel joke. You could almost laugh at yourself.
  237. >You decide to laugh more so you open the magazine.
  238. >A one in a lifetime opportunity... Blah blah... Foreword by Princess Twilight... Whoa, two pages of just text by her.
  239. >You're not reading all this.
  240. >Wait, is that your name? They're custom made?!
  241. >It's like the princess is speaking just to you...
  242. >No, snap out of it.
  243. >"Humans are the most delicate creatures there are. It may not look like it at first, but they can get even more emotional that old mares watching a drama play. Only you have the power to harness those emotions through your affection. In the next chapter we'll discuss what does it take to be a good waifu."
  244. >The next chapter is just one sentence:
  245. >"Hug them and show them they are loved."
  246. >Puzzled, you search for more but that's all there is for these two pages.
  247. >Turning the page you find an explanation:
  248. >"Confused? You will be when you learn first-hoof how humans react to affection. The key to-"
  249. >It's paragraphs upon paragraphs again but you can imagine what it's about.
  250. >Turning pages you try to find anything else but hugs.
  251. >Feeling at home... Human diet... Comforting your husbando... Human hands... Human sexuality...?
  252. >You realize how raunchy it is that this makes you stop browsing but you can't help yourself.
  253. >As you take in bold statements in this chapter that get more and more fantastical as you go on, you feel the hairs of your coat standing up and a shiver goes down your spine, right to your crotch.
  254. >One involuntary tail swoosh is all you need to realize you have to stop reading right now before you get yourself in a situation that needs resolving right away.
  255. >You don't want to deal with this right now.
  256. >What's next... Humanwear.
  257. >Pictures of human clothing. Supported by Rarity, as it says in the corner.
  258. >Blankets for cozy snuggling.
  259. >Also for ponies. What could be here?
  260. >Sweaters that you both fit in. And socks. "Cute, sexy and cozy at the same time."
  261. >Why would a human find socks sexy? That's just silly.
  262. >You have a few pairs of those somewhere. Some striped, some plain, one pair with little bows. You got this covered already. It's good to be one step ahead.
  263. >This thought makes you put the magazine down. So here you are, allowing yourself to get captivated by this idea.
  264. >Was your resistance all for nothing then? Could it be that you really want a human?
  265. >A real human being, right here next to you.
  266. >He could be hugging you right now with his hands.
  267. >He could be brushing your mane right now.
  268. >The nights are so cold here... Oh that Cadence, figuring out the perfect timing for this campaign.
  269. >You don't want it. No, you want it. But you're just afraid.
  270. >Because if this fails, like everything else in your life, you'll be so crushed you will never be able to recover.
  271. >You want to be happy just like your friends. But you're nothing like them. You're not that kind of mare, you're not cute, sociable, beautiful, smart, resourceful, charming, witty...
  272. >You're just a country girl nopony ever noticed.
  273. >And now you're in the first hundred of waifus, also known as the happiest mares in all of Equestria.
  274. >You're one of them now. At least you could've been. If only you haven't forgotten your brochure in your shop.
  275. >Now it's probably gone, just like your friends.
  276. >Like in a dream you get up and get to the door, opening it. Of course you don't see anypony there. Your hope is squashed before even appearing.
  277. >To your surprise, a few papers fall down, previously held between your door and its frame.
  278. >It's your brochure and a napkin with scribbles on it.
  279. >"We're sorry, Minty."
  280. >"Please do the right thing."
  281. >Oh you, girls...
  282. >You pick up the brochure and nod to yourself.
  283. >Now you just have to find your quill and inkwell.
  284.  
  285.  
  286. >It's so easy to notice when somepony is living alone.
  287. >They don't have to worry about making things good. They just have to make them good enough for themselves.
  288. >And so you, Minty Steps, realize, to your absolute horror, that your house just isn't ready to accommodate anypony else.
  289. >Especially not a human from another world.
  290. >You've had two days to make everything better but no matter what you do you can't make it look presentable.
  291. >It's just an old house through and through. It's not possible to make this work.
  292. >The worst thing about it is the bed.
  293. >You're absolutely sure it will break in half as soon as anything heavier than you gets on top of it.
  294. >Speaking of you and weight...
  295. >Yeah... This also happens when you live alone and also eat so much ice cream.
  296. >They say that those who sell certain products usually don't like consuming them all that much. But if there's anything you love, it's ice cream.
  297. >And it definitely shows.
  298. >What's even worse, you haven't even considered this a problem until now.
  299. >Usually you don't wear any sort of dresses. Now you outright can't wear any of them even if you wanted to. They are all too tight.
  300. "What a disaster," you mumble to yourself trying out another one.
  301. >Nope, it barely fits.
  302. >There's only one that looks passable and it's that roomy one that conceals your figure anyway since it's so long and airy.
  303. >Maybe this will do?
  304. >You can't meet him just like that. It's a very special occasion. The least you could do is try your hardest to look good, just this once.
  305. >It's true that this place has like three single stallions so you never had to actively look good for anypony.
  306. >To your dismay, even after finding a dress you hit another roadblock.
  307. >You don't actually have any makeup to prettify your muzzle.
  308. >That's another thing you don't use very often.
  309. >You could've easily gone out of your way to get something new long time ago. But no. Who needs makeup, right? You probably have some rouge and eye shadow left but...
  310.  
  311. >There's no reason to try at this point. He won't be impressed anyway.
  312. >Remembering how Violet looked on one of her Canterlot photos you sigh with bitter disappointment.
  313. >There's no need to even do your mane now. Just gather it all up and add a ribbon.
  314. >Even that fails since its volume just pushes it out. With annoyed grunt you make one loosely braided ponytail and cover your head with the only hat you have - broad, old and out of season.
  315. >There, all covered up. Would be better if he'd never even get to see your face or figure but it's not possible. Still, it's important to leave a good first impression. It's everything you can hope for, your chance to shine.
  316. >It's not long until his train arrives now.
  317. >You open up your advanced guide once again, just to refresh your memory.
  318. >Not even two days after you had given your signature this thing magically appeared on your table, together with a postcard from princess Cadence.
  319. >It was signed by her, had warm wishes to you from her, and had train number and time of arrival on it.
  320. >On the other side was your husbando's photo. Confused and looking away he certainly wasn't even aware he's been photographed. It looks weird but also a bit funny.
  321. >He looks, well, like a human. What more can you expect?
  322. >The guide itself was pretty in-depth, certainly more advanced than that magazine you got at first.
  323. >It's this kind of thing you needed the most and it seems that they knew it.
  324. >Along with shopping tips for furniture, clothing, food and medicine you've bookmarked the "Three easy steps to make your human happy" chapter.
  325. >Well, there are just three steps.
  326. >Hold the human.
  327. >Love the human.
  328. >Never let him go.
  329. >Easy enough, right? Hug them and show them they are loved...
  330. >You don't know if you can accomplish even this much. You know what you need to do but there are no details here.
  331. >It says to move at your own pace but what if you don't know your own pace?
  332. >With each passing minute you're more and more unsure about this.
  333. >Just one hour left. You're already clothed and sitting at the table, re-reading the same lines of the guide over and over again without even comprehending them anymore.
  334. >This was a mistake all along.
  335. >Maybe you shouldn't go at all?
  336. >The weather is bad as well, what if it rains just like it did last night?
  337. >You should just-
  338. >You jump up on your chair when suddenly you hear your alarm going off on the counter.
  339. >It was set so you won't miss your time or just sleep in but you ended up waking up two hours before that anyway.
  340. >10:30
  341. >Thirty minutes until Anon's train arrives.
  342. >You gulp. It's time for you to leave your house.
  343.  
  344. >Crystal Empire is seriously one of the most amazing things you've ever seen in your life.
  345. >This is what every human experiences right after they take their first steps in Equestria and you, Anonymous, were not an exception.
  346. >But even now that you had some time to take in the view you still have to choke back tears looking at the beauty of it.
  347. >You're here. You've made it. You've left your world behind.
  348. >It's true that you got scared when a loud crackling noise woke you up in the middle of the night and two unicorns emerged from a newly opened portal.
  349. >Starry void behind them was as captivating as it was terrifying. But the ponies, Rosy Gale and Violet as they introduced themselves, made sure you're safe.
  350. >Even after you started to drown in shadows surrounding you they have never left your side and you've made it safely.
  351. >Both Twilight and Cadence were waiting for you on the other side.
  352. >That was the first time you've cried in years. Though seeing their knowing smiles you think you weren't the only one who reacted this way upon realizing they are indeed in Equestria.
  353. >But it also wasn't the last. It was something ponies are used to as there are special rooms for emotional counseling in the large crystal hotel where all the newly transported humans stay.
  354. >It was mostly empty and a few guys you've seen were too enchanted by the experience to really pay attention to each other and you.
  355. >You can't blame them, you had no real desire to speak with others at the time as well. At most people just exchanged names and general remarks but it was obvious they're dreamwalking.
  356. >It's been just one day and one night since you're here. They've given you a big guidebook and tickets to your train.
  357. >Now you're walking to the station after one day of roaming the city's streets in amazement and one restless night of sweating, shaking and intense heartbeat.
  358. >Crystal ponies were generally very friendly, even to rabid humans running around.
  359. >Even now you see some guy sitting on a bench with his face in his palms, weeping.
  360. >A crystal mare is sitting near him and touching his shoulder.
  361. >You heard it wasn't rare that people break down right here on these streets. But seeing such a scene you feel like you're so much wiser now, being here one day longer than this guy.
  362. >Hell, you're almost a native now.
  363. >You also pity the poor man's choice of clothing. Having only a shirt on him surely leaves him cold. Even though Crystal Empire is fairly warm, you still made a smart decision to bring all kinds of clothing with you.
  364. >Now you're rocking a sweater and a scarf, ready for Equestria's November.
  365. >Man, it feels good that it's not you who's crying on the streets. You were wise enough to use the designated room.
  366. >It had all kinds of "Yes, you really are in Equestria, this is not a dream" posters and magazines there. What a nice friendly place.
  367. >While you wait for the train you take a quick look over the map again. You'll pass Vanhoover, go near those mountains and a few stops from there your destiny awaits you.
  368. >The cart it nearly empty, just like you love it. Sitting near windows was very important to you.
  369. >Naturally, you always listen to some music while you travel. That's a luxury you can't afford here.
  370. >Just a small price to pay for being here at all.
  371. >You have something to read for now anyway. The big guide to surviving in Equestria was given to you by Twilight herself when your gushing stream of questions had finally run dry after an hour of interrogating her.
  372. >And also explaining why they use the word waifu wrong even though she knows it already and it's just easier for everyone to call "a mare who has a human" a "waifu". Whatever.
  373. >You have already made some bookmarks, of course, from shopping tips to sex education (it even had some basic pictures), but mostly you're concerned about your first time meeting her.
  374. >Your Minty Steps. What will you even say to her?
  375. >Hello, I am some guy you have to live with?
  376. >Jesus, this is way harder than you ever imagined.
  377. >Then there's "Three easy steps to make your mare happy" chapter.
  378. >Hold the mare.
  379. >Love the mare.
  380. >Never let her go.
  381. >It's obvious to you that this is only the tip of the iceberg.
  382. >How will you even hold her? Just come close and pick her up? There, she's a happy mare now. Great job.
  383. >Reading the explanations you don't feel any more confident.
  384. >It says that even though the match is perfect, it's up to you both to make it work.
  385. >"Remember: what your pony needs the most is your love. Doesn't matter how you show it, as long as it's earnest, she will appreciate it and love you back. Do not break your mare's heart as it is not easily mended. Even if it's hard at first, remain optimistic and try again."
  386. >"Mares are gentle. They will not make you suffer, emotionally or physically*. Embrace their nature, even if it's cold in the beginning, and soon they will melt."
  387. >"*Making others suffer intentionally is villainy** that is prohibited and punished by law. Princess Luna WILL see your dreams reflecting your troubled emotional state so you should work that out right away."
  388. >"**In Equestria, even villains need love."
  389. >There's a crude little picture of Chrysalis near that statement.
  390. >That gets a little chuckle out of you but doesn't get you near any sort of answers.
  391. >It probably can't be covered in a guide like this anyway. Everyone's meeting is different.
  392. >Something as easy as saying "hello" shouldn't even get covered in any sort of guide.
  393. >You were so consumed by reading you never noticed that you're already passing Smokey Mountains.
  394. >Isn't it a bit sad that you missed so many wonderful views of northern Equestria because you're so nervous?
  395. >Well, whatever. You'll travel around the world later. With your waifu. Even though you have no idea what her job is or if she even has one.
  396. >A NEET mare you have to take care of? Doesn't really sound so bad, at least her self esteem would be so low you couldn't possibly fail to make her feel loved.
  397. >See, that's the problem here. Aside from her name and how she looks like you don't really know anything about her. That was intentional, by the way, as Cadence believes that it's up to you to figure each other out.
  398. >So your guess is that Minty doesn't know anything about you as well. That's somewhat reassuring.
  399. >From the tunnel of these thoughts your train arrives at Horseshoe Creek, a nearby village. That means two more stops until it's your time to meet the mare.
  400.  
  401. >Cold wind slaps you across the face as soon as you step on the wooden platform.
  402. >Hoofdale's rude greeting makes you feel as awake as ever after your comfy ride.
  403. >Bleak, discolored wood creeks and moans under your shoes when you walk down the empty station.
  404. >Same with the few steps down, wet and slippery after the night's rain.
  405. >The village strikes you as a run of the mill sight, judging by pictures in the guide with different types of pony settlements.
  406. >Just a couple dozen houses, town hall being the biggest structure aside from water tower in the distance.
  407. >Cold and grey, complete with leaden clouds above, this place is anything but friendly.
  408. >A few ponies are seen on the streets and they don't seem to take notice of you.
  409. >Although there's one going right towards you.
  410. >You don't see her face because an old-fashioned broad brim hat covers her head.
  411. >It's also hard to determine the color of her coat since she's wearing a big wavy dress that covers just about everything.
  412. >You notice right away that its backside is so low its linings got stained from touching dirt on the street. Ouch.
  413. >There's just her mane that is fully visible. They're the right color. So could this be...?
  414. >The mare sighs quietly and looks up to you with determination. Sudden reveal of her face takes you aback since you recognize her right away.
  415. >It's her. It has to be her. She's here to meet you.
  416. >The pony is looking at you sternly and you think you'll have to make the first move.
  417. >She's drilling you with her stare, concentrated as if she wants to pierce your head with it.
  418. >This is bad. She's expecting a lot from you. Ah, you can feel your knees weakening.
  419. >As soon as you so much as open your mouth the train sounds its whistle so loudly both you and the mare jump up.
  420. >She is frozen in place and her eyes are filled with horror. After a few blinks a few wet drops form in their corners.
  421. >Oh no, this is totally not good. She probably got herself in the mood and now it's so abruptly ruined.
  422. >You have to make it up somehow.
  423. "Hello, uh... Minty Steps, I presume?"
  424. >For fucking out Christ, that sounded so weak and wrong you immediately feel the need to drown yourself in the nearest puddle.
  425. >At least your voice remained normal without cracking, that happens sometimes and you couldn't afford it here.
  426. >The wind is howling violently and you wish it could be strong enough to pull your scarf with force enough to strangle you.
  427. >"Aaah..."
  428. >Excuse me?
  429. >"Ah... Anonymous?"
  430. >Oh god. That was so cute. So tender. So unsure. Like she's afraid to even call your name.
  431. >"I'm M-"
  432. >Smack. Her hat tips over onto her muzzle under heavy wind's pressure.
  433. >Next second her accessory leaves her head completely and, with the most pathetic and harrowing plop, finds its rest in the mud after making a daring escape from her head by air.
  434. >So now Minty's hat is a few yards to the left of her.
  435. >S-should you do anything? Will she fetch it herself? Should you go? But it's closer to her than you.
  436. >She looks absolutely stunned and demolished, eyes seeing things a thousand yards behind you.
  437. >And yet somehow as soon as you take your step she takes hers. You both stop at the same time as well.
  438. >Like in some sort of western you look at each other, frozen in place.
  439. >Who will make the first move? Who will make the first mistake?
  440. >Instead of determination there's horror in her eyes. Both of you know you've long past blew it.
  441. >No matter who wins in the deadly duel, you both have already lost.
  442. >Your eyes are locked but with your peripheral vision you still notice how the hat, finding wind again, jumps up, makes a loop in the air and lands even farther away from both of you.
  443. >The time has stopped. It's over. Both of your lives are over now. The happy family life, ruined forever without even having a chance to start.
  444. >Rose-colored lovely honeymoon times will never come...
  445. >"Hey, Mints, isn't that yours?"
  446. >The spell is broken by some light-blue colored unicorn stallion who levitates the damned hat back to Minty Steps.
  447. >"Y-yeah. Thanks, Silver Forest."
  448. >"My, is that a human? Never thought I'd see one around here. Don't tell me he's here for you, hah! You silly filly."
  449. >"Ahehehe..."
  450. >That laugh of Minty's was more like a whimper and a prayer so the middle-aged stallion just evaporates right away.
  451. >Though she follows that with a completely defeated sigh. Seems like there's no way and no need to keep this charade up anymore.
  452. >"Well, you two have fun now, sorry for interrupting."
  453. >"Yeah, thanks."
  454. >Minty looks at you briefly but can't keep up the eye contact. As she looks away her hoof presses her hat to her chest and you definitely can hear the mud being squashed upon it.
  455. >You can't take this anymore.
  456. "It's nice to meet you, Minty."
  457. >"Uh-huh."
  458. "Can I... Help with that?"
  459. >She seems like she doesn't even see your hand you extend to her. She also ignores that her hat is completely dirty and motions to put it back on her head.
  460. "No!"
  461. >That scares her but just enough for her to stop.
  462. "I mean... Here, let me just..."
  463. >You walk up to her. It's so strange for her to prop her head like that it seems but she insists on looking at your face.
  464. >It's only fair that you lean forward to at least somewhat be closer to her eye level. When you extend your hand again she reacts to it and reluctantly lets go of her ruined hat.
  465. >Her hat is still warm but you're careful to not get yourself dirty.
  466. >And then you see a smile.
  467. >And all is good in the world.
  468. >"Almost got rid of this old thing too... Heh..."
  469. >She gives you a weak laugh and you realize that it's her attempt to ease the tension by joking.
  470. >Even though this remark isn't really funny to you, this whole situation is so ridiculous and nerve-wracking you can't help but laugh at the mare's feeble and tired last resort attempt to salvage this disaster.
  471. >She sees you smiling and her laughter grows louder.
  472. >You don't even notice how in a moment you're both laughing out loud.
  473. >The ponies are probably staring at you now, thinking you've gone mad but it's even more funnier knowing this.
  474. >This just can't get any worse at this point.
  475. >You both pant and gasp for air by the time your laughter subsides.
  476. >"I'm... I'm Minty... By the way..." she says barely breathing.
  477. "I know..."
  478. >That sends you in a laughing fit again, though not that violent.
  479. >"I dunno about you but I've had enough wind in my face for today, so if you don't mind we can head home now."
  480. >We can head home...
  481. >Home. Just like that. It's your home now. Suddenly you realize it.
  482. >It's your waifu you're looking at.
  483. >She probably notices your astounded expression because she gives you a pitying smile.
  484. >"Or we can stand here some more."
  485. "No, I think I'm good."
  486. >She nods and turns around.
  487. >You just now notice how her braid is so loose it's about to fall apart. But it doesn't even though it seems so lush.
  488. >It falls onto her side after making a circle in the air when the mare turns around and motions you with her head to follow her.
  489. >You also take in that even under her dress her backside is kinda...plump? You're not sure. But you hope you're right.
  490. >Both of you make your way through the village in silence and for the first time you take it all in.
  491. >You're finally home.
  492.  
  493.  
  494. >"It's lovely here."
  495. "You really think so?"
  496. >"Well, yeah. Better than my old place for sure."
  497. >Anon is standing in the middle of your house and as he looks around he really seems to enjoy the view.
  498. >Good job making this place look bearable, Minty. At least something went right for you today.
  499. >After that horrible hat fiasco you thought you're surely done for.
  500. >But he made it work somehow. At least one of you is confident and knows what to do.
  501. >He knows exactly how to behave in such situations, unlike you.
  502. >Like he courteously took off his shoes upon entering your house. You completely forgot it was all muddy outside so you had to wash your hooves.
  503. >If you were here alone, would you even bother with anything more than lazily wiping them before going in?
  504. >He'd be still holding your hat by now too but you took it and thrown it in the laundry basket, together with your dress.
  505. >Better to get rid of these right now, you don't want to see them ever again. Or at least until you forget your failure.
  506. >There's nothing in the laundry but some ice cream stained aprons anyway. You're lazy enough to even clean that right away.
  507. >What kind of wife ARE you? Maybe humans don't like housewives anyway?
  508. >Keep telling yourself that.
  509. >Anonymous is still looking around when you return so you decide to take him on a tour.
  510. "Here's the living room, kitchen is right there, bedroom is up the stairs."
  511. >Silence. That's about it, really.
  512. >"Bathroom?"
  513. "Oh, right there. Shower too."
  514. >You were actually quite proud of the fact that you have those, knowing how some more distant villages still have outhouses.
  515. >"So, uh... I'll unpack then."
  516. "Oh! Right."
  517. >Even though you have spent so much time tidying up this place it's still a house for one pony.
  518. >So when you enter your bedroom it's quite obvious there's just no room for an extra human here.
  519. >Anon takes in the scenery of your plain room. A bed, a table with one chair, a closet and a bookshelf was all you ever needed.
  520. >Even your "living room" had more furniture than this. It had a couch.
  521. >Once you've cleaned up all the mess it's suddenly so empty.
  522. >The bed was the most shameful thing here.
  523. >After looking around Anon walks to it and puts his bag on it.
  524. "You can put your things wherever, closet is right here and the table is empty, so... Heh..."
  525. >"It's fine, I don't have a lot anyway. Mostly clothes."
  526. "You wear them all the time, right?"
  527. >"Yeah."
  528. "Is it silly to ask why?"
  529. >You know why but you don't want to let go of this conversation.
  530. >"It's no secret. It's just cold without it. We don't have coats or fur."
  531. "Ah, I remember reading about it. Isn't it tiresome? To always have to put something on and take it off?"
  532. >"Not really, you get used to it."
  533. "I see."
  534. >"But sometimes when you wake up for work early in the morning it can be a challenge."
  535. >That makes you giggle.
  536. "I can imagine."
  537. >You're almost ashamed of yourself for finding something as simple as wearing an apron a pain in the bum, so much that you sometimes don't even put it on when you work.
  538. >That reminds you. He's probably starving after his trip.
  539. "Hey, you want something to eat? I have hot cocoa and lettuce sandwiches."
  540. >"Sure, I'd like it. But why cocoa?"
  541. "Oh, it's a long story."
  542. >"Well... We have time, right?"
  543. >Once again you are reminded that he's not your guest. He'll be staying here. Forever.
  544. "Alright, if you want a boring story about my boring job."
  545. >"Yeah, I'd love that."
  546. >He's just being polite, you're sure. But it still feels warm to hear him being interested in your life.
  547. >"It can't be as boring as my job."
  548. "Oh yeah? Then you'll tell me about yours next and we'll compare it."
  549. >He nods, smiling.
  550. >"Sure. Let's go."
  551.  
  552. >Making two easy sandwiches shouldn't be a problem, however you feel him watching you while he sits at the table.
  553. >Is he just curious? Is he admiring the view?
  554. >Well, nothing else to look at in here.
  555. >You're just standing at the counter with your forelegs on it so it's not like you're striking a pose for him or something.
  556. >He's probably just astounded by how fat you really are now that you're standing up like that. Oh, bummer.
  557. >No reason to hide it now, it was probably obvious even in that dress.
  558. >To your surprise he walks towards you and stands right at your side, looking at you slicing bread.
  559. >He looks really confused and you can't tell why.
  560. >But you learn soon enough since he voices his concern right away:
  561. >"I've been wondering... How do you guys hold things?"
  562. "W-what? With... With hooves?"
  563. >"Well yeah, how do you manage that?"
  564. >Now you're the one confused.
  565. >To demonstrate you pick up the knife. Then you put it down again, then pick it up one more time.
  566. "Like that."
  567. >"But how?! You don't have anything to grab it with!"
  568. "What do you mean? I grab it with my hoof, see?"
  569. >You pick it up again and show it Anon, turning it around so he can see it better.
  570. >He's so flummoxed he chuckles and smiles.
  571. >You smile back and for a few seconds you just stand and smile at each other.
  572. >At that moment your heart flutters. It's like everything around you is blooming with warmth and color.
  573. >By Anon's smile growing into amazement he probably feels the same way.
  574. >It only lasts a moment and it's over before you can get a hold of it.
  575. >"I still don't get it."
  576. "Of course, you have your fancy fingers and all that."
  577. >"That has nothing to do with it."
  578. "Do you guys even have knives? Seems like you could chop these right off when you cut something."
  579. >"It's not that rare, you know."
  580. "Ouch."
  581. >You feel yourself wincing at a thought of that.
  582. >Looking at his hands right now you can almost imagine him without a finger or two and you shudder at that thought.
  583. >You'll have to be careful with him around.
  584. >"Still, I can help you with that."
  585. "No!"
  586. >...
  587. "I mean, no need. It's already done anyway."
  588. >You bring the plate to the table and you both take your seats across the table so you're facing each other.
  589. >"So, what's your story?"
  590. >What do you even say to that?
  591. >That you're just a pony who owns an ice cream restaurant because her parents used to have it and now you're the ice cream mare?
  592. >That's the entire story. So you tell him exactly that.
  593. >"That's nice."
  594. >Yeah, so nice. So interesting.
  595. >"So, what's your special talent then?"
  596. "What do you think?"
  597. >"Sorry, I just never managed to take a good look at your cutiemark."
  598. >That's reasonable. But that means he'll be staring at your fat-
  599. >Oh, who cares at this point.
  600. >You stand up and turn your side to him so he can take a good look at your mark and your figure. That's inevitable.
  601. >As you thought, his gaze does linger on your flank.
  602. >But... It doesn't look like he's disgusted with you. That's a relief.
  603. >"So it's a leaf and a bowl of milk?"
  604. "It's mint, yeah. Can you guess what kind of ice cream I make?"
  605. >"Is it chocolate?"
  606. "No, it's- Well, I make chocolate too."
  607. >"I like that."
  608. "Is it your favorite?"
  609. >"Yeah. Though I've never tasted mint ice cream."
  610. "It's an experience, yeah."
  611. >"Is it rare?"
  612. "I think I'm the only pony who makes it around here. That's why those foals from Horseshoe Creek visit here from time to time to eat it and I also have to take trips there because their school buys a bunch."
  613. >"Oh, that village two stops from here?"
  614. "Yeah. Well, it's more of a small city now. It's called Horseshoe Creek Village but we just call it like the river it's called after."
  615. >"I see."
  616. "Can you guess why it's called that?"
  617. >"Because it looks like-"
  618. "Yeah."
  619. >You exchange smiles again.
  620. "It's hard to deal with them because you have to take a ride there and that means I can only do it once a week on my day off."
  621. >"Huh, why?"
  622. "Don't want to leave the store when there's customers."
  623. >"Can't you ask someone else to sell it while you're gone?"
  624. "Who? It's only me there."
  625. >"Wait, what? You work around the shop alone?"
  626. "Yeah, it's just me."
  627. >He gives you an impressed but also pitying look. What, is it unheard of in human world?
  628. >"Well, at least I can help you out now."
  629. "You don't have to. But we'll see. Now I want to hear your story."
  630. >"Can you show me where you work first?"
  631. "Fine, let's go."
  632. >Another round of messing up your hooves. Such a bother.
  633. >To your relief it's not as wet anymore so you decide to take Anon on a tour across the village. It's not a very exciting thing to do but might as well.
  634. >Here's your closed shop. Today is your day off but tomorrow you'll have to work.
  635. >Here's the town hall, also known as school. There's a lot of families in Hoofdale but not enough small children to grant a real school, unlike in Horseshoe Creek.
  636. >As you say that, you suddenly remember that Anon has to get registered here.
  637. >Good thing you decided on this tour then.
  638. >There's just a few papers to sign so it's doesn't take long.
  639. >You chuckle when you see Anon's handwriting.
  640. >Even though he says it's because he's not used to quills, it's still funny that you write better with your mouth than he with his fingers.
  641. >When you make that remark another heartstopping smile shoots between you.
  642. >What is up with this feeling? It's just a smile.
  643. >The documents are signed and you walk out of the hall.
  644. "Now you're officially a resident here, congratulations."
  645. >Even though there's sarcasm in your voice Anon seems happy.
  646. >You now officially live together. Still can't process that fact.
  647. >It's just so hard to believe that this man will be in your life from now on.
  648. >How it was described in the guide, it's almost seemed like there had to be a spark when you see each other and bam, you're a happy family now.
  649. >But nothing special happened.
  650. >You... You didn't even hug yet.
  651. >Some part of you is glad. It's better to not escalate things yet.
  652. >Even though you know it's supposed to happen you are still utterly terrified.
  653. >What if you just fail again? Make it worse than it is now?
  654. >Anon apparently doesn't share your concerns as he looks like he's in a good mood walking down the road.
  655. >It won't hurt to take him to the creek too.
  656. >The river of your neighboring village is still but an actual feeble creek here.
  657. >He doesn't mind a detour. But when you arrive it's painfully obvious you've run out of places to take him.
  658. "Sorry, Anon, it seems like that's all there is here to see. I told you, it's a very boring place."
  659. >"It's alright. I don't mind that."
  660. "Really?"
  661. >"It's a nice change of pace. I lived in a city, you know. Sometimes it's nice to slow down and appreciate smaller things."
  662. "I guess..."
  663. >"A lot of people want this kind of quiet life," he continues as he watches the stream flow and listens to its soothing sounds. "It seems like a nice break."
  664. "Until you realize you'll have to spend your whole life here."
  665. >"Well..."
  666. >He ponders this for a second but then says:
  667. >"My dad lived in a village like this. I used to visit him once a year during summer breaks."
  668. "Used to?"
  669. >"He died a few years ago."
  670. >Shock paralyzes you for a second.
  671. "I'm so-"
  672. >"No need. He probably died as he lived, drunk shitless in his- Ah, sorry."
  673. "Don't worry, I don't mind the language."
  674. >Awkward silence forms as you don't even know what to say.
  675. >All of a sudden you become acutely aware that Anon will never see his family or friends again.
  676. >He abandoned all of it just for you. You are the only reason he crossed off his whole life.
  677. >Now he's bound here by your side. In this empty village with nothing going on.
  678. "W-what about your mother?"
  679. >"She's alright. Still lives in our old house with gran."
  680. "Any friends?"
  681. >"Yeah. Some."
  682. >You want to ask if he misses them but it would be so unfair. He'll have to tell you that it's all worth it. Or worse, that it's not and he regrets it.
  683. >It's so heavy to feel that you're to blame for him ditching his every chance for a future in his own world. For a moment you lose your breath.
  684. >But Anon pulls you back to reality.
  685. >"What about your parents? And friends?"
  686. "Ah... Ma and pa moved to Vanhoover. Friends work in Canterlot and visit sometimes."
  687. >"Why haven't you moved as well?"
  688. "I don't really know. I just never felt like it."
  689. >It sounds so silly when you think about it this way. You just let your chance go.
  690. >"That's commendable."
  691. "Huh?"
  692. >"To remain here. All young people flee villages at the first opportunity, in my world too. I think it's nice that you stayed. Keeps the local community going, you know?"
  693. >You're don't know what to say yet again.
  694. >"Me, I didn't even know my neighbors' names aside from that one guy who used to scream on his balcony a lot. You know everyone here, right? I think that's great."
  695. "Well, thanks. I guess."
  696. >You push a meek smile on your face and Anon responds with the same gesture. At least his mood has improved.
  697. >"Do your parents even know you've got yourself a human?"
  698. >And now your smile grows to its fullest.
  699. "No, not really. You wanna meet them?"
  700. >"Depends on how they'll react."
  701. "They probably wouldn't believe I have a special somep- someone in my life anyway."
  702. >"Yeah, my mom probably wouldn't believe I have a pony now too."
  703. "What will she believe now that you're... You know?"
  704. >You kinda said this without even thinking but Anon doesn't seem to be hurt by it.
  705. >"Probably won't notice until she needs something from me. To be fair, I wasn't the best son there is."
  706. >He pauses for a moment and then looks up.
  707. >"Is it getting colder or is it just me?"
  708. "Wanna go home?"
  709. >"Yes."
  710. >On your way back you learn that Anon worked in retail and on a gas station and the thing he misses the most is the Internet.
  711. >You barely understand what he's talking about but you feel good about him opening up to you.
  712. >It's good when he's in a good mood. You find yourself enjoying it.
  713. >When you return you make him more hot cocoa.
  714. "When it's winter barely anypony buys ice cream," you finally explain to him. "So as soon as the first snow falls I switch to hot chocolate, cocoa and iced coffee. It's a tradition."
  715. >"Sounds good. I'm more of a tea person though."
  716. "I'll keep that in mind."
  717. >As you both sit at the table quietly your think about today's events.
  718. >No matter how it went it's nice to have someone to talk to. Simple things about ponies interest and amuse him since they are sometimes so alien to him.
  719. >Same could be said about you, a lot of human things are still strange to you.
  720. >His stay will without a doubt be a unique experience. And hey, not a lot of ponies even know about humans. It's a rare opportunity to learn about a completely different culture.
  721. >Drinking your time away as you talk you don't even notice it's already evening.
  722. >Anon asks if he could use a shower and of course you agree.
  723. >Now that he's there you realize two things.
  724. >First, with him living here your laundry will grow disproportionately bigger.
  725. >Second, he's in there naked.
  726. >You don't quite comprehend what it means yet. You're naked, right? What's the big deal? But you're naked all the time.
  727. >It's not a big deal and so you don't even notice it.
  728. >But for him it is a big deal, obviously. It was in the guide, the social importance of clothes, taboo so deep and old in human culture it's their second nature now.
  729. >How should you go about it? How should you feel? There's no telling.
  730. >He has taken his fresh clothes with him and the old set is already in the basket. Even though you know articles of human clothing by heart now it's still interesting to you.
  731. >There's his sweater, for example. Feels woolly.
  732. >Oh sweet merciful Celestia, what in the world are you even doing?
  733. >J-just a quick sniff.
  734. >Alright, no, put it down right now. How could you be so perverted?
  735. >You didn't even hug yet and you...
  736. >He's right there. In your shower.
  737. >A stray thought glances your mind. What would it feel like to shower together?
  738. >It leaves your head immediately but you still register it.
  739. >Dropping his sweater you run back into living room.
  740. >Too late you start hoping he hasn't heard your hoofsteps, since it's rather obvious on the wooden floor. You dummy.
  741. >Oh no. He'll know you're a pervert. He'll know.
  742. >With dread you listen to the running water and await his return. It turns off. He's using your towel too now.
  743. >You don't even think about it. No, you'll be a proper pony and nothing weird will happen.
  744. >Humans are delicate. You have to be like that too.
  745. >Anon exits. With barely contained anticipation you wait until he returns into the room.
  746. >But when he does, it's just him. Only in a different kind of sweater. That's about it. You were worrying for nothing.
  747. >What WERE you even worrying about? Whatever.
  748. >"Hey, you alright?"
  749. "Yeah, just... A bit sleepy, yeah."
  750. >"Oh. You go to sleep early?"
  751. "Not always. What about you?"
  752. >"I prefer staying up so late I can't even sit upright anymore and then I sleep for three hours total and feel like crap at work."
  753. >You laugh, knowing how that feels. What a relatable guy.
  754. "It's dark outside anyway, so there's nothing really to do now except staying inside."
  755. >"Yeah, I figured.'
  756. "Hey..."
  757. >You don't really know how to say it but you do your best.
  758. "I just want you to know, it's alright to dislike this place. I'm not proud of it or anything. I don't feel too great about living here either."
  759. >"Minty, it's alright. I told you. I don't mind being here."
  760. "But it's so boring..."
  761. >"It's comfy."
  762. "What?"
  763. >Anon takes a seat right next to you. He's so close now you notice he smells like your shampoo.
  764. >"When you live in a big city you're like a hamster in a wheel. You feel like life is slipping away through your fingers. No matter how much you rest you can't ever have enough time for anything. You're always late. You're always tired, always sleepy."
  765.  
  766. >You feel like you're starting to understand the more he goes on.
  767. >"When I first arrived in Crystal Empire I felt uneasy. Like I have to run but there's no need to run anymore, no wheel to push. No need to hurry anywhere anymore. It's so scary. I've seen people breaking down right there, right on the streets. For some of us it's beyond comprehension that it's possible to live like this, to slow down."
  768. "So what about now?"
  769. >"I don't know yet. There's still so much to do, I guess I'll be busy for now. It's alright though, being busy with this feels good."
  770. "What's the difference?"
  771. >"Well... In everything. It's another life. Another chance."
  772. >In earnest attempt to understand you remain quiet just like he does for some time.
  773. >Your human stands up and walks to the window.
  774. >"It's so familiar. Like I'm really home. And... Well, there's you."
  775. "Me?"
  776. >Somehow you both managed to dance around the real reason why he's here. Now that he mentions it you get a bit anxious.
  777. >"Yeah, it's... Whoa, wait a second."
  778. "Huh?"
  779. >He is looking up at something outside and then he walks to the door, determined to leave.
  780. >Did... did you mess up again?
  781. >Panicking, you jump after him and see that he's already outside in the dark, looking up.
  782. "What's wrong?"
  783. >"No, nothing, just... It's the stars. I completely forgot where we are."
  784. "I don't get it."
  785. >You look up to the blanket of myriads of stars, sparkling brightly over you. It's how it always been.
  786. >Luckily, Anon explains this as well.
  787. >"In the city you don't get to see the stars. It's too bright most of the times and the air is polluted anyway. But in the countryside it's completely different. And here, in Equestria... It's just different skies altogether."
  788. >There's nopony on the streets, only chilly November breeze makes you company.
  789. >You gaze upon the stars as Anon continues:
  790. >"I remember the first time I saw the real night sky as a kid. It was so scary."
  791. "Why?"
  792. >"I dunno. It was so big and all around me. I felt so insignificant. And I also was afraid aliens would come and get me if I stare at it too long so I avoided looking at it much."
  793. "What aliens?"
  794. >"From outer space."
  795. >No comment on that but Anon doesn't expect one.
  796. >"I though they'd snatch me right away if I see their ship hiding among the stars. Or something like that, I was a kid who loved UFO stuff, alright?"
  797. "Aliens, huh..."
  798. >"Well, actually, that's almost exactly what happened. Since I'm here, you know."
  799. >He laughs but you hear some bitter notes in his voice.
  800. >When you look at him the image you see is overwhelming. You look upon him from below and he's looking up above.
  801. >A man against the Universe. A stranger in a world he has no right to be in. He is the alien now.
  802. >A man who transcended reality of his life despite all odds, only to be dropped in the middle of nowhere where only the stars remind him of home, however cruel and cold they may be.
  803. >It's not only an image you see. You feel him trembling. Be it from the cold wind or from the burden of his existence pitted against unchanging cosmos of a different dimension, it doesn't matter now.
  804. >Now is your time. Do it. Comfort the human.
  805. >You skipped that chapter of the guide, thinking that it's just so unlikely that you'll ever need to support him. But as it turns out, he really is just as vulnerable as the guide told you.
  806. >He may be strong, he may be sturdy, he may be adaptive. But nothing of that matters if he's alone.
  807. >And he's not. He will never be alone now.
  808. >You come towards him and touch his hand with your nose, nuzzling his knuckle.
  809. >Anon reacts right away, finally looking down at his sympathetic mare instead of unfeeling void above.
  810. >His open palm finds its rest on your head. It feels pleasant despite being a bit cold.
  811. >You both look up.
  812. >Now it's not a man who's against the universe, scared, cold and alone.
  813. >It's a man and a mare, together. And together it's not nearly that scary and cold.
  814.  
  815. >Back in your house you find another trial you have to pass. And it's the most daring one yet.
  816. >It's late. Like past your bedtime late. You have to go to bed.
  817. >That means Anon has to go to bed too.
  818. >You are both quite perplexed by this. In fact, you sit at your sides of the table without moving. Even though you both know you have to go to bed now.
  819. >But you don't intend to go through your early morning tribulations again.
  820. >Your problem was that you were both too indecisive. Somepony has to take the lead now.
  821. "I'm going to bed, Anon. There's work tomorrow so..."
  822. >"Alright."
  823. "You..."
  824. >Say it. Come on, just ask him.
  825. >What in the world are you waiting for?
  826. >"I'll, uh, stay here then?"
  827. "What?"
  828. >"T-there's a couch here, so..."
  829. "Eh..."
  830. >That's all?! That's all you can manage?
  831. >Like in a dream you stand up and walk to the stairs like you're okay with this.
  832. >Everything in you is screaming to go invite him up but you're not in control of your body.
  833. >Is this how it is then? Crushed, defeated by your own incapacitating fear of...what exactly?
  834. >You were so close not even ten minutes ago.
  835. >He's willing to accept you leaving him here. It's still your house first, he trusts your judgement.
  836. >If he wanted any funny business he'd do it by now, bringing up the reason why he's here in the first place.
  837. >And even then, even if he did that, isn't that what you signed up for anyway?
  838. >Isn't that also the reason why you wanted him here?
  839. >And you're walking away. Coward. Return. Invite your man to your bed.
  840. >Somehow you manage to stop moving. That's good.
  841. >Upon your return you see Anon already trying to get comfortable on your little couch and that scene breaks your heart.
  842. "Anonymous, come on. This couch is too small for you."
  843. >You nod to him as he gets up and follows you.
  844. >His footsteps are so close behind.
  845. >Once you're in your room you close the door behind him. It's suddenly so small here now that he's here too.
  846. >You lie down as you always do, on your left side, head towards the wall. Too late your realize that it doesn't leave Anon much room.
  847. >And you promised him that the bed is bigger.
  848. >It's not what concerns you now though. It says in the book that humans take off their clothes when they sleep. At least most of them do.
  849. >When you hear shuffling behind you it's clear that Anon does indeed take of his clothes.
  850. >A mighty shudder goes through your entire body. This might be happening right now.
  851. >But you don't get to revel in that feel as Anon seem to interpret your reaction differently.
  852. >He doesn't take off anything but his sweater and lies down next to you.
  853. >His shoulder touches your back and you almost jump up at the sudden sensation.
  854. >Anon pulls away in fear and tries to situate himself so he doesn't touch you.
  855. >So now, to recap: your reactions made him think you're uncomfortable with him both touching you and being naked. Smooth start, Minty.
  856. >He tries his best to cover himself up with what's left for him of your one-pony sized blanket.
  857. >You've left your man on the edge of the bed without anything to cover himself with.
  858. >Not only are you a bad housewife, you're a bad wife overall.
  859. >This is what he's been waiting for. This is what you've been waiting for.
  860. >You blockhead, DO SOMETHING!
  861. "A-Anon, the blanket..."
  862. >"Huh? Oh, sorry, I-"
  863. "It's too small for us both so... You should get closer."
  864. >That's a start but it's not enough for him to realize what you want.
  865. "I'll have to get a bigger one soon. I'm sorry."
  866. >"It's alright. I know how it goes when you live alone."
  867. >You push a weak laugh out of yourself. At least he's willing to joke about it.
  868. "I should get a warmer one too. Nights in Equestria can get really cold."
  869. >"I can see that."
  870. "Until then we'll have to share our warmth, you know. So..."
  871. >Hug me. Hug me. Hug me. Hug me.
  872. "So..."
  873. >Hug me. Hug me. Hug me. Hug me. Hug me. Hug me. Hug me. Hug me!
  874. >A light, barely noticeable sensation warms your side and moves to your shoulder.
  875. >Anon is turning onto his side towards you.
  876. >His hand travels between your forelegs and on your chest, leaving a trail of sweet tingling on your coat in its wake.
  877. >Other hand you feel at your head and it takes you a second to understand what he wants, but when you lift your head he snakes his arm right under it.
  878. >Your cheek falls on his sleek skin and you see his elbow bending to complete the circle around you.
  879. >And as the final act, your back is now fully against his chest. An amazing, indescribable wave of heat goes through your whole body.
  880. >You are embraced.
  881. >You want this to last forever.
  882. >"Good night, Minty," he whispers not that far away from your ear.
  883. "Good night, Anon," you answer, drowning it his body's warmth.
  884. >It's all around you. His softness, his smell, it's like you're molded into him. And that's not even the tightest hug possible.
  885. >But you can't ask for more now. You are overwhelmed as is. You can't believe this is really happening.
  886. >This is your life now. This is how the nights are gonna be for you from now on.
  887. >This... This is working!
  888. >On the brink of tears of joy you don't even notice how sleep takes your tired mind and body as it has taken Anon's as soon as he wished good night to you.
  889.  
  890. >First thing you realize when you wake up is that you forgot to set your alarm.
  891. >You might be late. Though judging by outside's dim light you don't think you're too late.
  892. >But the problem is, you can't even get up and look.
  893. >There's a human desperately holding on to your body.
  894. >His head is so deep in your mane he's been breathing it for the whole night.
  895. >Barely able to move his powerful arms you somehow manage so slip out of his tight embrace.
  896. >In the next moment you already regret it.
  897. >Why can't you stay like this forever?
  898. >But at least you can stay like this at all.
  899. >You're ready to move but looking at Anon something stops you.
  900. >He looks so satisfied. For the first time no worries are darkening his face.
  901. >You sit near the bed and watch him for some time, enjoying the steady breath of a content sleeping man.
  902. >Unable to help it, you touch his nose with your hoof and smile like a playing filly.
  903. >His nose crumples up and he snorts. Then you hear a mumble.
  904. >"Nhooah... Mom... Don't have college todaaay..."
  905. >Giggling softly you decide to not tease him any longer. Let the man sleep. He doesn't have to worry about anything and that's alright with you.
  906. >Turns out you weren't late at all. Getting ready to work was pretty fast anyway.
  907. >While arranging your mane in your usual braids on both sides of your head, you think about your parents.
  908. >Should you write them a letter? Probably. But what will you say, just state that you have a human now? Nothing else to write about.
  909. >This is stupid. You'll think about it later.
  910. >Also, your bangs are growing too low. With how much you'll need to look up from now on this has to go.
  911. >Leaving a few snacks on the table as well as everything he might need to make himself a hot morning drink, you leave the house.
  912.  
  913.  
  914. "Minty."
  915. >"Mmm... Anon..."
  916. "Hey, Minty."
  917. >The pony borrows her nose in you shoulder even more. Which gives you an even better access to her ear.
  918. "Minty, wake up."
  919. >"No alarm, too early..."
  920. "Alarm went off, you just missed it."
  921. >"Hwuh?.."
  922. "I had to turn it off. Come on, get up."
  923. >...
  924. "Don't make me unhug you."
  925. >"You'll have to do it anyway."
  926. "Then get up."
  927. >The pony probably doesn't realize it pains you no less than her.
  928. >There's nothing more you want than to stay in bed with her for days.
  929. >For the first time you've felt her warmth against your skin you knew you'll never want to let her go.
  930. >And it's been going strong for three nights now.
  931. >It's the start of your third day here and you already feel like this is where you belong, this is where you were always meant to be.
  932. >While your mare hesitantly gets up and goes to the bathroom you make breakfast for both of you.
  933. >Minty got much more comfortable with you too. Despite the nerve-wracking first hug she quickly became the most cuddly pony you could possibly imagine.
  934. >You stick around to help with her restaurant and as soon as there's no pony in sight you are jumped and hugged.
  935. >Giggling and smiling, she rubs herself all over you and you have to drop everything, sit down to hold her.
  936. >Sitting on your lap is her favorite pastime now.
  937. >A few ponies had walked on you hugging and even though Minty blushes furiously every time, the customers don't seem to mind.
  938. >They smile knowingly and don't ask questions.
  939. >Minty is a well known mare here and it's no secret that she's been alone ever since her parents left.
  940. >It's a blessing that this little village is happy for her.
  941. >That's because you kinda expected some ponies to be against an idea of human being with a mare.
  942. >It wouldn't be too far fetched to imagine some folks being angry that some aliens take their females and all that.
  943. >But maybe that's just your human logic speaking. It certainly doesn't seem that anyone was judging her.
  944. >And they were pretty friendly to you too, both mares and stallions alike.
  945. >Most asked general human-related questions and liked that you're so eager to help with the shop.
  946. >It wasn't a hard job and you were happy to do it.
  947. >You? Happy with a job? Who would've thought.
  948. >The only part of this job you hated was waking up and then waking Minty up.
  949. >Ever since you appeared she's been sleeping so soundly you felt bad for disturbing her.
  950. >Same thing happened now.
  951. >This night you never even got to spoon her. Instead of turning to her left, she remained face to face with you.
  952. >Accepting that challenge you still hugged her and it was obvious that this is exactly what she wanted.
  953. >It's good to be more confident and satisfy your mare like that.
  954. >Though thinking about it now, you realize you have never even done anything but hugging.
  955. >Honestly, seeing how unsure of herself Minty could be sometimes, you firmly decided on not forcing yourself onto her.
  956. >You don't feel bad for moving at her pace. You'll go her steps.
  957. >Minty's steps. Ha.
  958. >It's not like you have to hurry. She doesn't hide her enjoyment, she appreciates you, and if this is how she wants it, this is how it's gonna be.
  959. >You want to savor this feeling too. Getting used to this alone can be overwhelming sometimes so you kinda get how she might be feeling.
  960. >She wants to be with you. Such an simple thing but so hard to fully grasp.
  961. >You have nothing to offer except yourself and yet this was enough for her.
  962. >Perhaps she thought like this about herself too while being plenty for you.
  963. >Minty is unbelievable soft. Not only is she just a little bit pudgy, her coat is getting ready for the winter.
  964. >Despite the fact that Hoofdale has yet to see its first snow this year it's pretty cold already.
  965. >The Smokey Mountains protect nearby southern villages from northern winds and clouds.
  966. >Fluffy coat is one thing. It's pleasant to the touch and it warms your nose when you snuggle her after freezing outside, but it's just that.
  967. >But your mare's form is just driving you insane.
  968. >Not only does she has those cheeks you just want to pinch when they get rosy because of the cold, her belly is cushiony and her thighs... Well...
  969. >She has to know you're ogling her behind. She has to, there's no way she doesn't know. You can't help it.
  970. >Even despite you liking unicorn ponies the most before moving to Equestria, you can now see things clearly. These things bounce like nothing else.
  971. >No, not in the fat bubbly way. She's a built, sturdy mare that just happens to eat too much sweets and they happen to all go into her rump.
  972. >When you pick her up you can feel her weight and it feels so good.
  973. >You are absolutely sure she is conscious about it. Once you could barely keep her in your arms because she was moving too much and she looked away in shame as if she thought she's too heavy for you to lift.
  974. >What nonsense. You're not even that strong, you weren't really working out in a gym or anything, but even you could hold your mare with ease.
  975. >Just one more proof that this was meant to be.
  976. >You wish to feel this weight on your chest one day. For now, you get to feel it on your legs and your crotch.
  977. >That's a bit troublesome, because she does occupy most of your lap and her wide behind presses hard into it.
  978. >And you have no idea how she has yet to feel how awkwardly hard you get when she does that.
  979. >She either doesn't notice it, or doesn't show it, which is extremely unlikely, or she doesn't even understand what that it.
  980. >Minty's just so pure and innocent. You feel like a total pervert for reacting this way but luckily she hasn't confronted you about it.
  981. >It's almost shameful to you to even think impure thoughts about her.
  982. >You know she wouldn't think this way about you, surely.
  983. >Well, you are a human and she's a pony. Of course your mind is a much dirtier place.
  984. >Not even a single kiss after all this time. But again, you don't mind. You're already living the dream, there's no hurry.
  985. >You now realize she's been in the bathroom this whole time. She probably fell asleep there again. You know how it goes, it happened yesterday too.
  986. >Hearing a stuffed yelp and some shuffling noises from there you confirm it. Poor mare must've hit her head against the wall and is now wide awake.
  987. >She gets out eventually, mane still messy after the night and cheeks blooming with healthy redness that's extremely obvious on her pale-green coat.
  988. >Adorned with a slightly guilty smile her muzzle is as cute and innocent as ever.
  989. >The food is waiting for her so you both dig in.
  990. >She suddenly remember something and speaks with her mouth full:
  991. >"I forgot to mention yesterday, I'm getting you some tea and a new blanket for us."
  992. "Oh, you remembered? That's great. Thanks."
  993. >"Of course. You like plain black tea with no sugar. I remember that."
  994. "Oh, you."
  995. >Minty smirks, satisfied with your reaction.
  996. >She seems to be fully awake now and she doesn't take long to finish preparing for work.
  997. >For you there's not much to do either, so it's a given that you're ready first.
  998. >You still can't help her with her mane properly but she promised she'll teach you soon.
  999. >For now you just admire her skill in making braids with just her hooves.
  1000. >And how silky her mane is. It always smells so nice you're dazed every time you bury your nose in it.
  1001. >It's still an enigma to you, how these magnetic hooves works. You have to figure it out one way or another.
  1002. >In the shop there's nothing new. Even though you do all the heavy lifting now there's just not a lot of it once you're done in the morning.
  1003. >Her hot beverages aren't in the season yet so it's still ice cream here, despite her already having everything ready for the switch.
  1004. >At this rate you two will just consume all the hot drinks on your own.
  1005. >"No, it's a tradition and they know it. I can't switch it up just like that."
  1006. >When you're done moving the barrels and filling up the freezer you realize there's nothing more to do for now, and it's a shame because you just started warming up.
  1007. >It's definitely below zero out on the streets already. Just no snow yet.
  1008. >Minty notices you're done and signals you to come over.
  1009. >As there are no customers yet she wants some hugs, so you sit down and pick her up right away.
  1010. >Her hooves feel a bit cold so you get them between your arms and torso. Minty closes her eyes, appreciating the gesture.
  1011. >"Tomorrow is Friday, the day I usually deliver goods to Horseshoe Creek," she says lazily.
  1012. "You're gonna go?"
  1013. >"I don't know if I should. First of all, they may not even want it now that it's so cold. Also, I don't really like the idea of letting you stay here on your own."
  1014. "Why not? I'm a big boy."
  1015. >"You're also too warm to let go of you."
  1016. "You don't have to risk your business for that."
  1017. >"I know, but seriously. It doesn't sit well with me."
  1018. "What it... Look, Twilight is visiting today for her check-up, remember?"
  1019. >"Yeah."
  1020. "Let's think about it after that. You can ask her about it too."
  1021. >"I guess so. Yeah, I'll do that. What will you ask her?"
  1022. "No idea."
  1023. >"She'll be the one asking questions probably."
  1024. "Probably."
  1025. >You sit with your pony listening to the wind outside.
  1026. >At some point you notice you're rocking back and forth and this has made Minty sleepy again.
  1027. >Hell, you're getting sleepy too.
  1028. >Maybe there was no reason to get out of bed after all.
  1029. >How cruel. Even though you live with your mare it still doesn't seem to be enough.
  1030. >What can't you just cuddle in bed all day? That would seems fair.
  1031. >You squeeze your pony and hold her closer to you.
  1032. >Even this was beyond your imagination just a week ago. And now you want even more. You need to slow down.
  1033. >Twilight will certainly ask about your progress. Maybe her reaction will give you a hint of how well you're doing.
  1034.  
  1035. >School is out and now the store is much more lively.
  1036. >Fillies and colts don't care that it's cold outside even if their parents do.
  1037. >And parents just can't say no.
  1038. >To your surprise these kids aren't afraid of you, on the contrary, you've become a kind of a mascot of this shop already.
  1039. >Some come here just so you personally give the ice cream.
  1040. >Minty laughs at that every single time.
  1041. >Without a doubt she also enjoys those bonus sales that come from you being here.
  1042. >Her eyes sparkle every time something is sold purely because some colt wants to see the tall alien.
  1043. >Some parents worried about it at first but after the first day it was obvious you're no threat, not to mention you live with a well known pony.
  1044. >Adults asked you questions while their kids were playing around in the shop where it's a bit warmer than outside.
  1045. >All in all, during the day you got some business going, even this time of the year. Just wait until you switch to the hot side.
  1046. >You can't help but notice how Minty looks at the young ones. A dreamy smile grows on her face when she looks at them playing.
  1047. >Sometimes when she looks at you after that her smile grows a lot wider.
  1048. >You try not to assume things but you're pretty sure you know what it means.
  1049. >Naturally, you never talk about it. Not yet. Is it even in a realm of possibility?
  1050. >You're not sure you could ask Twilight about it. Who, by the way, should be arriving pretty soon now.
  1051. >It's evening and after dark ice cream store doesn't see a lot of gold, so Minty is content with closing early today, for princess' sake as well.
  1052. >You'd be out of your mind to neglect her visit.
  1053. >In her official check-up notification it was stated that she'll be arriving at 18:30 and not a second late a portal opens right outside your house.
  1054. >The purple princess passes through it and it closes right behind her. She's completely alone.
  1055. >You stand with Minty and open the door right as she gets close and you see that the princess is already smiling at you.
  1056. >"Hello, Anonymous, Minty! How are you?"
  1057. "I'm good, thanks."
  1058. >"We're great!"
  1059. >Greetings go around for some time and it's fairly noticeable that Minty is a bit nervous.
  1060. >"So I see you're settling down pretty well?"
  1061. "Feels like home already."
  1062. >"Good, good. I'd like to get right to business so do you mind if I borrow Minty here for a few minutes?"
  1063. "Sure."
  1064. >"Great."
  1065. >Your mare leads Twilight upstairs and they close the door behind them.
  1066. >Not having much to do you make yourself some hot chocolate (it is different from just cocoa here, a lot more sweeter) and grab your pony language self-teaching guide.
  1067. >Again, written by Twilight. This pony is making this all go around, doesn't she?
  1068. >You wonder what does Cadence even do if the purple mare has all of this covered.
  1069. >Learning pony's written language is no challenge. You know English and this is pretty close. From a simplified letter-y version of it to the pony runes, it follows the same basic set of rules.
  1070. >You just started yesterday and you already started recognizing letters with ease. Not enough to read fast but it's a start.
  1071. >Twilight is taking her sweet time there. Roughly ten or fifteen minutes later both ponies walk down and you hear their earnest laughter.
  1072. >"Anonymous, I'd like to talk to you to."
  1073. "Alright."
  1074. >Minty gives you a wry smile. What's she so smug for, that's unusual.
  1075. >Eh, probably just girl talk.
  1076. >Twilight closes the door behind you with magic and sits on the only chair in the bedroom while waving her hoof, signaling you to sit on the bed.
  1077. >Once you're all set she begins.
  1078. >"So. How do you feel?"
  1079. "Good. It's nice to be here."
  1080. >"No trouble acclimatizing?"
  1081. "None so far. I'm used to this kind of weather."
  1082. >"I remember. You lived in northern places yourself."
  1083. "Yeah."
  1084. >"It would still be good for you to get some winter clothes. I already talked to Minty about it, you'll just have to select some from here."
  1085. >She points at a big journal on the table.
  1086. >"It's for free, as a part of your immigration program."
  1087. "Oh. Thanks, Twilight."
  1088. >"Don't mention it. Minty also has some things to order but she'll need your help with some of them."
  1089. >You gulp. Something that would require your taste?
  1090. >Twilight sees your reaction and chuckles.
  1091. >"She said you need a new bed. It's a common demand so we supply those for free too."
  1092. >You do need a new bed. This one is so small you have to bend your knees to even fit.
  1093. >It certainly helps with cuddling Minty but you'd prefer that to be a choice instead of necessity.
  1094. "She needs my help with that?"
  1095. >"It's a bed for both of you, don't you think both of you need to choose the one you will like?"
  1096. "That's... That's true."
  1097. >Princess of friendship smiles and checks something on her scroll she pulled seemingly out of nowhere.
  1098. >"That reminds me, that bed of yours isn't, how do you say it, actively used. Do you have any concerns or questions?"
  1099. "Actively used?"
  1100. >"Minty said you hug a lot but not much else."
  1101. "Well..."
  1102. >"Now there isn't anything wrong with that. You have to do it at your own pace and this can be really overwhelming at first."
  1103. >It's like she's reading your thoughts. You nod in agreement.
  1104. >"I'm just saying that if you have any worries you can ask me, I'll never tell anypony else and maybe I can help you. I'm no Cadence but I've heard a lot by now."
  1105. "Well... You say to go at your own pace."
  1106. >"Right."
  1107. "But what if I want to go at her pace?"
  1108. >"That's fine."
  1109. "What if she wants to go my pace too and then we aren't moving at all?"
  1110. >Princess ponders that for a moment and you clarify:
  1111. "I'm not saying I'm not okay with moving slow, I enjoy this more than anything. She's everything I've ever dreamed of."
  1112. >"I'm glad to hear that."
  1113. "But what if she, you know, what if she's waiting on me and I wait on her and... Oh, forget it."
  1114.  
  1115. >"No, I understand what you mean. In this case you just have to trust each other. Be honest with yourself about your feelings and don't be afraid to show them. Chances are she won't push you away because of it."
  1116. "How can I be sure? I'm just a human."
  1117. >"And she's just a pony."
  1118. "She's not just any pony, she's-"
  1119. >"And you're not just any human to her, Anon. You have to understand, you are both special to each other. If you want to know how she'd feel when you say something to her, imagine her saying that to you."
  1120. "I guess that makes sense. Huh, I've never thought about it that way."
  1121. >Actually, maybe she hasn't thought about it that way either. Maybe she asked exactly the same question so Twilight knew right away what to answer?
  1122. >You won't ask that though. That would be unfair.
  1123. >Twilight asks you a few more general questions and checks a few more boxes in her list. Finally she decides it's enough and you walk down to the living room right after she takes your catalogue with the clothes you've chosen.
  1124. >Minty is already waiting for you there, reading the same catalogue Twilight had in your bedroom.
  1125. >"Anon, hey. Twilight told you, right?"
  1126. >You look at the princess and she nods.
  1127. >Taking a seat near your mare you see her pointing at some luxurious looking bigass bed with that draped canopy thing over it.
  1128. "You serious?"
  1129. >Minty whispers to you:
  1130. >"Shush, you! It's for free, we should grab the biggest one."
  1131. "That won't even fit, look. It's too tall."
  1132. >"We'll just-"
  1133. "What about this one?"
  1134. >You point at a more modest one, just a human-sized bed for two. It looks well built.
  1135. >The mare grunts but she can see that you're not wrong.
  1136. >"I wanted the one with drapes..."
  1137. "You just want it because of the drapes, we can just cover the windows instead, you know?"
  1138. >She tires out a sigh like a really high-class mare who's been denied a free pass to the Gala or something.
  1139. >"I s'pose you're right..."
  1140. >You grin at her antics but you swear you can hear Twilight giggling just quietly enough that you barely take notice of it.
  1141. >When you give the magazine to the princess she in turn gives you three pieces of paper that look like blank A4s and a big round wooden stamp.
  1142. "What's this for?"
  1143. >Minty is curious too and Twilight explains:
  1144. >"It's for your humanarian. She lives in Horseshoe Creek village and she got a human of her own recently. Her name is Melancholic Medicine."
  1145. >Twilight smiles right before you both do, knowing it's inevitable. You can only imagine what kind of mare she can be.
  1146. >"If Anon ever feels unwell, you have to stamp this paper really hard, alright? Make it count. You'll contact one of our operators. You can take the paper around the place too if you need to show them anything. Understand? It's one time use each, so don't waste them."
  1147. >"Got it!"
  1148. "Sure."
  1149. >"Good. Now I've gotta go. It was nice to meet you both, good luck! Stay safe!"
  1150. >You say your goodbyes and watch Twilight tear open a portal with her own horn. She just sliced the fabric of reality like it was nothing, opening a path to that familiar starry abyss.
  1151. >Just what kind of spell is that?
  1152. >Minty sighs.
  1153. >"A princess visits me just like that..."
  1154. "And you have me to thank for it."
  1155. >"Hah! So you're like a good luck charm, first the customers, now it's a princess."
  1156. "You should've given her your ice cream."
  1157. >"I haven't thought about it!" she gasps. "Why are you telling me NOW?"
  1158. "I just thought about it too."
  1159. >"She was so nice to us, too... Oh well."
  1160. "That ice cream would probably melt in that portal anyway."
  1161. >"Is it the same kind of portal you've been dragged through? Is it hot in there?"
  1162. "Yeah, and no, not hot. Just really scary."
  1163. >"Well, you've made it, how scary can it be?"
  1164. "Little ponies helped me."
  1165. >"Little ponies make everything better, don't they?"
  1166. "My thoughts exactly."
  1167. >For a second you two look each other in the eyes and start laughing simultaneously.
  1168. >Minty does make everything better. You laughed with her more times that you have in years on Earth.
  1169. >You seat at the table and it the mare, seeking affection, jumps up like she always does.
  1170. "So," you start while petting her head. "You think I can go to Horseshoe on my own to make that delivery?"
  1171. >"Oh, I don't know."
  1172. "Come on. I used to be a delivery boy back in school years."
  1173. >"Have you now?"
  1174. "Part of my summer jobs."
  1175. >"You guys work while you're at school?"
  1176. "Just easy jobs like that though. Easy money for the summer."
  1177. >"That's pretty impressive. You liked working like that?"
  1178. "No. Not for one day. I was mostly trying to not disappoint my mom."
  1179. >"O-oh..."
  1180. "Now I want to finally do something I enjoy."
  1181. >Saying this you press your cheek against her head and breathe in her mane's aroma.
  1182. >"Well, when you put it that way how can I say "no" to you?"
  1183. >She leans in more, making your tighten up your hug.
  1184. >For now you don't have to go anywhere and it feels good.
  1185. >The room is dark and the chimney's cold. But in the cold moonlight it's enough for you to just hold your mare.
  1186.  
  1187. >The plan was fairly simple. You take a box of pre-packed ice cream, get on the train, ride to Horseshoe Creek, find the school and ask for Rosemary McFeatherson, school's organizer.
  1188. >Easy enough, right? So the next day, after waking up feeling the same pain of tearing your pony away from you, you get ready for your journey.
  1189. >It's the middle of the day and it's still already dark. It's also colder than yesterday.
  1190. >Your sweater and scarf aren't enough anymore but you'll be moving by train so it probably won't matter that much.
  1191. >Though you could use some mittens and any sort of hat right about now.
  1192. >The box itself isn't that heavy which is a huge relief to you.
  1193. >All you need to do now is depart. Minty is waving you goodbye and you sense that she's really concerned about you.
  1194. >You'll show her though. You'll complete this challenge like it's nothing. It's the human spirit that burns inside of you, it can't be broken no matter what.
  1195. >The train arrives just in time and you trip is uneventful. When you drop off at the HsC station though, you see how different from Hoofdale it really is.
  1196. >It is indeed like a small city. Paved roads, big buildings, a supermarket right at the station. The ponies look at you but with little interest.
  1197. >You see a mare that's sitting on a bench near the station and ask her where the school is.
  1198. >As it turns out it's built on the outskirts of the village and it's roughly the same type of building as Ponyville's school.
  1199. "I'm looking for, uh... Rosemary McFeatherson?"
  1200. >A petite little mare stands in front of you. Her cutiemark is a quill with some papers so you guess she's could be a local teacher.
  1201. >"Oh, right this way. Are you from Hoofdale?"
  1202. "Yeah, why?"
  1203. >"We've heard from miss Medicine that miss Steps is one of her clients now. So I take it you're here with her ice cream?"
  1204. "That's right."
  1205. >"How very nice of you! You know, I always say, Medicine's own human should work more, he just sits around all day with her."
  1206. >Can't imagine why.
  1207. >"Come on, just over there."
  1208. >She opens the door right in front of her and you thought that it's gonna be a kitchen or some sort of room where they keep their goods.
  1209. >But it's a classroom. And it's full of fillies and colts.
  1210. >They seem so glum but how can you blame them, it's so dark outside and the school isn't even out yet.
  1211. >"Oh, it's Minty's delivery!" says the teacher of the class, an older pegasus mare with a cutiemark of a crossed rose and a feather.
  1212. >You can probably guess who this is.
  1213. >All the foals turn their heads as soon as they hear your pony's name.
  1214. >Like a row of searchlights their eyes are all glued to you.
  1215. >Next, there's chaos. They drop everything and they storm you like soldiers stormed Omaha beach, all for the sake of ditching class and getting some ice cream.
  1216. >They almost make you fall, a titan besieged by eager fluffy bundles of love.
  1217. >"Now, now," Rosemary's voice is drowned out by exciting squeals. "Let's not hog mister human here, everypony gets an ice cream, calm down."
  1218. >Both her and her colleague laugh at the unstoppable force that already pushes you out of the room trying to snatch the box from your hands.
  1219. >It takes considerable amount of effort and time to at least calm them down enough to take a breath in peace.
  1220. >"Tell us about the human world!"
  1221. >"Are you friends with miss Medicine's human?"
  1222. >"What's the space like?"
  1223. >"Is it true that you eat ponies?"
  1224. >Oh god. Between thirty simultaneous questions and both teacher's forbearing smiles you're pretty sure you're not leaving this place until they finish their snacks.
  1225. >And that would take a long time.
  1226. >Oh, what in the world will Minty think?!
  1227.  
  1228. >What in the world is taking Anon so long?!
  1229. >You are Minty Steps and you're getting so pissed off you can't find a place to stay for one second.
  1230. >The shop is empty. It's dark. It's cold. Your human is nowhere to be found. Last three trains came and left with no traces of him.
  1231. >Is he still there? Is he-
  1232. >Should you call Medicine? She lives there, maybe she can... No, it's not like she's seen him there if he's at school.
  1233. >IF he is at school at all! What if he's lost? What if somepony attacked him? No, some monster? What if something just happened to him?
  1234. >Fell under the train? Snatched by a giant Smokey eagle?
  1235. >What if he...
  1236. >What if he's not coming back?
  1237. >The shock is so powerful it makes you stop right there.
  1238. >Anon is gone. He's not going back.
  1239. >You choke back tears. How can it be? Didn't he promise to be with you forever?
  1240. >Wait a second. No, he didn't. He never said anything like that. You imagined it, didn't you?
  1241. >Anon never promised you that. It was your imagination all along.
  1242. >That he'll stay. That he wants to stay at all. He never said he wants to stay!
  1243. >Upon realizing this you can finally complete the puzzle in your head.
  1244. >He has fled and you're to blame. It was nice to imagine that your every failure is forgive but it's just not true.
  1245. >It's how princess Twilight said. You have to go at each other's pace. But you never went anywhere. You only stall, you never move things forward. You're a coward who's afraid of change.
  1246. >He was polite enough to play along and now he's polite enough to go without ripping your heart to shreds.
  1247. >Breathing heavily you walk outside. Your heartbeat is deafening and you can't focus on anything.
  1248. >He probably... He probably stayed in Horseshoe Creek. Yeah, he has found somepony better than you.
  1249. >Somepony special. Somepony interesting, caring, funny.
  1250. >There was no spark that was promised. He has been waiting for it and it never came, and now he's gone.
  1251. >Sobbing, you take it the freezing air of the evening Hoofdale. The absolute shithole you're left in, alone.
  1252. >A dead end life of a mare who never had any chance right from the start.
  1253. >He was right to abandon you. You couldn't have made him happy anyway.
  1254. >He won't miss-
  1255. >"Minty?"
  1256. >His voice?! Right in front of you?
  1257. >In awe you see the human, standing against moonlight. He's panting and sweating, and you can see why, the train has barely left the station.
  1258. >He was running here as fast as he could.
  1259. "Anon?"
  1260. >Your voice is so weak you can barely hear yourself.
  1261. >"Oh god, Minty, what happened? You look so scared."
  1262. "Y- You idiot!"
  1263. >Faster than lightning you jump at him and he catches you with flawless human precision.
  1264. >And now the floodgates open.
  1265. "W-w-what do you think?!"
  1266. >"I'm so sorry! It's that damn school, Minty. They wouldn't let me go, the kids."
  1267. "What?"
  1268. >"It's a long story."
  1269. "What was I supposed to thi-i-ink!?"
  1270. >You're weeping and sobbing on his shoulder.
  1271. >He squats down and your hindlegs touch the ground.
  1272. >"I'm sorry, Minty. I'm sorry I left you for so long."
  1273. >He understands why you feel that way. He knows.
  1274. >"I missed you too. I missed you so much."
  1275. >He still holds you at his chest and you feel yourself calming down.
  1276. >"I'll never leave you again, Minty."
  1277. >You suddenly realize he's holding you a bit differently. His arms are at your shoulders, gripping you tightly.
  1278. >His face is right in front of yours.
  1279. >And he's getting closer.
  1280. >And then you jump up and run, leaving him behind.
  1281.  
  1282. >You curse yourself with every bad word you know and that's not enough.
  1283. >This can't be happening. You're not for real right now, Minty Steps.
  1284. >Who would be so stupid?!
  1285. >Who else but you?
  1286. >Pushing him away at such a moment, when you know THIS is gonna happen.
  1287. >The thing you feared the most is happening instead.
  1288. >He returned safely to you. Not wanting anything but to be with you.
  1289. >Instead, it's you who betrayed him. It's you who has pushed him away.
  1290. >Now, sitting on a bench after running through the whole village, you know for sure you don't deserve anything good from him.
  1291. >So it was all a lie then? Your affection? Your desire to move things forward?
  1292. >Just how many times will you deny him any chance to be gentle with you?
  1293. >Isn't this what you want the most? The most desirable thing in your life.
  1294. >Isn't this why every morning you pleasure yourself in the bathroom to relieve the tension of being in his arms and imagining him touching you all over, caressing your body with his hands?
  1295. >Isn't this why it takes less than two minutes even though you use only your own hard hoof? Isn't this what you crave the most?
  1296. >And once again, your ever patient human has to catch you. Even now you see him moving towards you.
  1297. >His scarf is gone and he's breath is even heavier than before. He's soaked wet from running.
  1298. >"Minty..."
  1299. "I'm sorry."
  1300. >It's your time to apologize. However, Anon doesn't even care. He grabs you yet again, sits on the bench and puts you on his lap.
  1301. >"Minty, you can't run from me."
  1302. >A sharp needle pierces your heart. You've hurt him so much he has to say this now.
  1303. >But he doesn't allow your muzzle to drop. His cold hand cups your cheek and he makes you look in his small eyes.
  1304. >"You don't have to run. I missed you so much and I'm not letting go. Whatever you do, I'll be with you. I want to be with you, forever."
  1305. >No. Don't. Don't say it.
  1306. >Not now. Not to you. Not like this.
  1307. >You don't deserve it.
  1308. >"I love you, Minty."
  1309. >Your life is complete.
  1310. >Jumping forward as if you've been waiting this whole time just for this, you lock your lips with his.
  1311. >They're cold on the outside but once his mouth opens to match yours a wave of moist warmth overtakes your brain.
  1312. >It's a feeling unlike any other.
  1313. >Your hooves find his shoulders and you bring him closer, and as soon as you do that he embraces your back, putting one hand on your nape, pressing your muzzle to his face so pleasantly you moan in his mouth.
  1314. >As the kiss breaks he's not willing to let you pull out and your noses stay touched.
  1315. >Clouds of hot breath mix together when they escape your nostrils.
  1316. >You are sharing a breath with your mate now.
  1317. >This is as good as it gets.
  1318. >You realize now, that spark the guide was talking about, it was between you all along. In every smile, in every gaze.
  1319. >He was always on your mind and your heart was seeking his affection all along.
  1320. >You finally see now. It's all been a part of the plan.
  1321. >With your heart being cleansed of any worry, determined and assured, you confess your feelings to him, like you should've done when they first appeared.
  1322. "I love you too, Anon."
  1323. >You kiss him again, this time much more gently, trying to take in all the range of the heart-melting sensations. You can't possibly do it, but you want to try.
  1324. >When your lips part and you look at him, he's looking at your forehead.
  1325. >"Minty..."
  1326. "Huh?"
  1327. >You look up and see what he sees.
  1328. >Myriads of little snowflakes land on his head, just like he's seen them land on yours.
  1329. >You smile at each other.
  1330. >It's officially winter in Hoofdale.
  1331. >It's warmer than it has ever been for you.
  1332.  
  1333. ---
  1334.  
  1335. >Silence of the Crystal Empire's shielded night is torn to pieces together with reality itself.
  1336. >Shining borders of light contain the gaping wound in the world's canvas while its contents swirl and shift.
  1337. >Pitch-black void is sparkling with lights of distant stars of yesterday and tomorrow.
  1338. >Its nauseating movement hypnotizes, it invites, begs to stay, threatens to absorb anything that steps inside.
  1339. >For most, it can be an inescapable web. For some, it almost was. For you, Twilight Sparkle, it's just a means to travel faster between locations you can't easily teleport yet.
  1340. >And so, as you open a portal in the middle of Batlimare, in the the Empire's Love Department HQ opens its exit.
  1341. >Starswirl is a genius for creating such a spell, yes. But it's you who not only made it usable by just one pony, you made it readily available for any pony who has a special piece of paper.
  1342. >You, however, just use it like a normal spell as you don't need to sustain it if you're alone. No need to waste runic paper if you can avoid it.
  1343. >It just takes too long to draw more, that's all.
  1344. >The room you walk into is fairly dim. Only one magic candle is lit and Cadence is sitting near it, thinking about something.
  1345. >She doesn't seem to notice you're here so you cough a bit and she finally turns her head to greet you with her usual smile.
  1346. >No, not with the usual one. A really tired one.
  1347. "Working late again?"
  1348. >"Seems so. I was kinda lost in thoughts."
  1349. "Anything on your mind?"
  1350. >"Yes. I... No, nevermind. I'll tell you later. How was your check-up day?"
  1351. >She's quick to change topics but you won't forget that.
  1352. "Pretty good, actually."
  1353. >You hand her the reports and give a summary. 35 new humans east, 25 west. No incidents, two ill, almost half of them already confessed. All are happy.
  1354. >"That's really great to hear."
  1355. >The pink princess pushes yet another meek smile.
  1356. "We also have some big orders to cover. Mostly furniture. And also..."
  1357. >You don't really know how to say it but you decide to not be like Cadence and tell it as it is.
  1358. "Most of them asked about the human preservation thing. It's worrying to them. We need to change the wording."
  1359. >"But it's what we do..."
  1360. "Yes, but they don't need to worry about details. How about just human immigration initiative instead of preservation?"
  1361. >"Alright. But I still see no need to hide it from them."
  1362. "I do."
  1363. >Cadence looks at you worryingly and you see guilt in her eyes. She still remembers what happened last week.
  1364. >"It's fine, as I said. Our name is not important."
  1365. "Thanks."
  1366. >"By the way, what about... That?"
  1367. "Oh? Oh, the project."
  1368. >You remember you haven't talked to her about it ever since that conversation. It was this topic that started it too...
  1369. "No breakthroughs yet. Sorry."
  1370. >"It's alright. I just wish it could be done till spring."
  1371. "Me too. But you know how it goes. Sugar Star does her best with simulation but it's not the real thing. We can't show them graphs and numbers. What they need to see is an actual belly."
  1372. >Cadence sighs heavily and shakes her head. You can feel impatience in how she does it and you react on a whim.
  1373. "Well, it would go way faster if we had, you know, a real human genetics expert..."
  1374. >You bite your tongue too late. But instead of lashing out like the last time Cadence turns to you pleadingly.
  1375. >"You're still mad about it, aren't you?"
  1376. >This is getting awkward. The last thing you want to do is hurt the princess this way. You thought she'd be more confident but it seems that it's she who's taking your disagreement too hard.
  1377. "No, Caddy, no! It's fine, I'm just saying! Please don't be mad at me for that time."
  1378. >"You were just voicing your concerns. I shouldn't have yelled at you like that. I don't know what came over me."
  1379. "You're just tired, Cadence. And you watch their world all the time, of course some of its violence and vulgarity is going to rub off on you."
  1380. >Your attempts at joking are met with warm welcome and princess smiles anew.
  1381. >"Maybe it's getting to me too much. That world is beyond my understanding."
  1382. "That's why I'm here, remember? Don't tire yourself with more problems than you already have."
  1383. >"But we NEED this to work. It's our only vulnerability now, the only thing we can't offer. As soon as this is covered we'll be all set."
  1384. "Well, there is something... Three mares have volunteered for tests. As soon as we have something to test at all, we'll be moving full speed."
  1385. >"That's good, that's such a relief. Thank you, Twilight."
  1386. "It's nothing. It's the least we can do. I'll go check up on the girls, alright? I'll leave the reports here if you're interested. Please, have some rest."
  1387. >"What about you?"
  1388. "Huh?"
  1389. >"You work too much lately too."
  1390. "I'm fine."
  1391. >"Well, you know..." She stands up and walks towards you. "How is the surveillance net?"
  1392. "Up and running?"
  1393. >Where is she going with this?"
  1394. >"What about rescue ponies? They operate on their own without you now, right?"
  1395. "Yes, they are all very talented so-"
  1396. >"And the project is going as fast as possible with simulations?"
  1397. "I... I guess"
  1398. >"So, what about you? Can you catch a breath just for a bit?"
  1399. >You never actually thought about it. This thing is getting so much momentum lately you've been getting progressively less important jobs just to keep working, as everything else is moving great without you already.
  1400. >"Maybe it's time you go on the other side of things?"
  1401. >She floats a little pamphlet to you and as you recognize it right away your heart flutters.
  1402. >"Every time you see that invitation your eyes light up, Twilight. I can't let you go without you promising me you'll do it."
  1403. "I... I'm not sure. I'm-"
  1404. >"Always busy? Not anymore."
  1405. "But I'm-"
  1406. >"Bad with romance? You're giving more love advice on your checkups than ponies can take."
  1407. "I-"
  1408. "You've learned your lesson on setting up a boundary between your life and your responsibilities. And besides, don't you think your match will understand?"
  1409. >You look down, not finding an answer.
  1410. >"If you want me to stop worrying, you'll have to set an example."
  1411. >Chuckling bitterly, you take your ticket. One of the oldest issues. A month ago.
  1412. >"He's still waiting, you know."
  1413. "What?"
  1414. >"His circled answer is still in his drawer."
  1415. >That makes your heart outright drop. Surely after a month of fruitless waiting he'd given up hope?
  1416. >But if he is still there, waiting for you...
  1417. "Thanks, Cadence. I'll go get him tonight."
  1418.  
  1419. >On the other side you step into the Humanity Preservation Initiative HQ, also known as the Friendship castle.
  1420. >All that empty space is seeing some use after all.
  1421. >This is your pride, your colossal pet project. The unseen eye, the invisible safety net, the ever beating heart of humanity's future in this world.
  1422. >From here every single human is guided. From locating them, to watching them, to directing them, to finally rescuing them.
  1423. >All of it through magic that is akin to the Internet. That is something you can't create but can imitate.
  1424. >There are maps, lists and portal papers everywhere.
  1425. >Through miniature portals ponies view various human devices to know exactly where each potential immigrant is at any given moment.
  1426. >When humans are finally ready, guided to that decision by subtle ques by the Initiative operatives, they circle the runes embedded in your special paper, allowing it to conduct magic enough for a real portal to be projected and sustained, acting as a beacon and an alarm here.
  1427. >See, even a human can operate this thing. Sometimes you impress yourself. 2D drawing into 3D portal in one easy motion.
  1428. >Exactly by the formula you've seen on the Internet: "2D > 3D".
  1429. >Of course there is a working PC out here too. One of the humans wanted to take his whole "rig" with him so you've confiscated it and put it to good use.
  1430. >You leech off power and the Net through a tiny portal, no one will ever notice that.
  1431. >At that PC the designated information specialist is seated.
  1432. >Even now, she's doing the best damage control she can to lessen the impact of the disappearances.
  1433. >Of course, the biggest hive for that sort of news is that blue anonymous forum board. It's estimated that at least a half of all the saved people have visited it at least once.
  1434. >The threads about "happenings" are still going strong and you start to think that your specialist just posts there out of habit now.
  1435. >"Tickets to Equestria thread #19: We're all gonna make it edition"
  1436. >You glance over it as the mare scrolls down
  1437. >"reminder that your waifu is probably already taken"
  1438. >"Fluttershy was already taken before that so no"
  1439. >"WOW! I'm gonna visit a glimglam waifu!"
  1440. >"Twilight will get paired with Jin kek"
  1441. >"No, Jin gets that guy who changed his name to Twilight Sparkle"
  1442. >"Twicucks on suicide watch"
  1443. >"Why the fuck this many abductions happen in eastern europe? Is it because they clop so much? Was that pornhub graph accurate?"
  1444. >"It's just west doesn't even fucking report it at all."
  1445. >"RT stopped reporting missing people while some local news made a report about three just this week, IT'S HAPPENING!"
  1446. >"Oy vey, shut it down!"
  1447. >"Guys, RT is being pushed out because (((they))) don't want us to know, that was the real reason!"
  1448. >Then you see the mare's post, she's trying to falseflag and tell them there's zero proof and there were no streams even though everyone who got tickets were promising it.
  1449. >The replies are all negative, naturally.
  1450. >"autismo-kun is that you? don't you have some cuckposting to do? [spoiler]I think I'm starting to believe in it myself, idk[/spoiler]
  1451. >"I wonder who could be behind that post"
  1452. >"ur a faget, anon"
  1453. >Of course all you accomplish with that is make them even more giddy, but it somewhat derails the thread and that's the important part.
  1454. "Keep up the good work."
  1455. >The pony nods and you see how tired she is. Her shift is almost over too. You wish her good luck.
  1456. >There's a reason why there's only one PC here. You are not allowed to steal tech from the human world. Its place is not here, it doesn't belong here.
  1457. >Whether or not this has any actual meaning is up to debate but its moral correctness is clear.
  1458. >What about borrowing? Rarity borrowed a fashion magazine once for just one day and it allowed the Initiative to fill every human's wardrobe with everything they could possibly need. Was that wrong too?
  1459. >Luckily, this rule isn't perfect. You abused the loophole in this logic as much as you could.
  1460. >When a human arrives to Equestria everything he has on him becomes a part of this world.
  1461. >And as they are prohibited to carry electronics, you are legally obligated to take it.
  1462. >Since no human has ever followed that rule, you have quite a collection now.
  1463. >It's where you're going right now, passing a sleeping operator at her desk.
  1464. >Right when you do the desk at her head combusts violently, tearing a small portal right in front of her as she jumps up and screams, just like the mare who's calling her.
  1465. >You smirk and pass her by, overhearing the conversation:
  1466. >"Hello? How may I-"
  1467. >"Hello, yes, my human is very ill, please help! He has a fever and, and..."
  1468. >Wait, isn't it that green mare's voice? The mint one, you just visited her yesterday. Already a sick human, how unfortunate.
  1469. >At least her order will be delivered soon. A bed, human winter clothes and some lingerie for her. A pretty classic pack. You should make a "best deal pack" kinda thing on the first page there.
  1470. >Need to write it down to not forget it.
  1471. >With this kind of thoughts you enter your "office". Needless to say, it has everything related to human tech.
  1472. >First thing you do, however, is turn on your screen wall.
  1473. >Instead of mirror, a few dozen phone touchscreens light up, powered by magic.
  1474. >All the confiscated devices connected together. It's like a shrine of electronics.
  1475. >At its base sits a laptop that is the core of this network.
  1476. >Its screen is glowing white. There's nothing here.
  1477. >Of course you could just use it as is. But it's one thing to just use human tech and anypony can do it.
  1478. >No, here at your place you make it work on your own terms, reverse engineering everything to its basic components.
  1479. >It's the only way to properly make this tech your own. The first Equestrian electrical device.
  1480. >No luck as of yet. It just stands here, white, motionless.
  1481. >You know how dangerous this is and you're okay with moving slowly. Only a handful of ponies can even know about this.
  1482. >Human technology isn't something ponykind should indulge in. It's useless for them at best, but if it gets in wrong hooves...
  1483. >It still doesn't work so it doesn't matter.
  1484. >Magic and technology. Two worlds combined that can't make sense.
  1485. "Possibly I've seen too much..." you mutter to yourself.
  1486. >"Huh?" calls the pony at the desk who didn't even notice you at first.
  1487. "Hey, Starlight."
  1488. >She puts down her small details and waves her hoof.
  1489. >"Long day, huh?"
  1490. "Tell me about it."
  1491. >"How's Cadence? You talked to her about...that?"
  1492. "Yeah, she's still sad about it."
  1493. >"That's too bad."
  1494. >Saying this she returns to arranging her circuits, soldering some with magic.
  1495. >It was like yesterday she used to play with her wooden shape things to calm herself down and spend time. Now she plays with electronics.
  1496. >Well, she's enjoying it and she seems to be good at it too. You see no harm in this.
  1497. "Starlight..."
  1498. >"Uh-huh?"
  1499. "You ever though about, you know, redeeming your prize?"
  1500. >"You mean using the invitation? Nah, I'm good for now. Too much work."
  1501. "You know, Cadence wanted me to cash in mine despite me having work too. I think it would be good for you, maybe he'll help you with that PC you're building."
  1502. >"I'll think about it," she answers not even looking at you.
  1503. >She's obviously not interested in that conversation so you decide to leave. But she does stop you after you make a few steps.
  1504. >"Are you going to get yours?"
  1505. "Yeah. I've decided to get him here."
  1506. >"Finally."
  1507. >She turns to you and gives you a pleasant smile. It's nice to see she cared about that.
  1508. >"I'll think about it. Honestly."
  1509. >After that, she returns to work for real. You're pretty certain she's caving in on this idea. So maybe seeing you with your mate will finally help her make up her mind.
  1510. >But when you walk up to the door she calls for you:
  1511. >"Twilight, uh, do you think humans would make different sockets for different CPUs? I'm sweating on this one right here and I'm pretty sure it doesn't fit.'
  1512. "No, they wouldn't do that. Humans are practical creatures."
  1513. >"Alright, if you say so. Good luck out there."
  1514. >Feeling good about yourself you close the door.
  1515. >You take pride in understanding humans. You could easily be native on their Earth.
  1516. >Shame not everypony is willing to learn them like that.
  1517. >Well, to be fair, you have to have a very high IQ to understand humanity.
  1518.  
  1519. "Morningrise, give me location on number zero two nine."
  1520. >A few spells and she shows you a man at his desk. He's looking at some pictures on his computer screen and his right hand is making-
  1521. >He's jerking off alright. You try to see what's on his screen but you can only make out that it's something purple.
  1522. >Perfect.
  1523. >You think about teleporting right there to give him the scare of his life when he sees you behind him, but something stops you.
  1524. >It's been a week since you've been to human world. After that talk with Cadence you haven't made an effort to actually think about it.
  1525. >So you instead teleport somewhere up above.
  1526. >The hungry void wants you still. But you know better. Once you nearly lost a human here.
  1527. >The way he looked at you, content to stay there, enchanted by the starry nothingness like it's his release from his mortal coil was absolutely terrifying to you.
  1528. >He would prefer to get lost right there, dissolved by nightmarish tendrils of ravenous shadows, to his life in that world.
  1529. >Equestria was merely a dream to him, but finding his final rest wasn't.
  1530. >That gave you all the perspective you needed. Since then there's two ponies guarding the human as he walks through the slimy bog of rotting stars.
  1531. >Because the second he stops the oily shadows will seduce him with their eternal rest. Something they all crave.
  1532. >This is why you save them. So there's never a feel like that. So that their lives have meaning. So them living even a simple life is better than casting yourself into literal nothingness.
  1533. >You fly out of the portal and immediately oppressive darkness surrounds you.
  1534. >Under this leaden acid sky it's disgusting to even open your wings.
  1535. >But you still do and land on the nearest skyscraper's roof.
  1536. >A big city like that is so fascinating. But it's all an illusion.
  1537. >These lights are all that's pretty about it. Inside every building hundreds of human lead their lives as if nothing is wrong.
  1538. >But for you it's so obvious.
  1539. >Now an epiphany strikes you. You see what Cadence meant.
  1540. >She yelled at you when you made her furious by mentioning that you can save brilliant minds of this land to make progress in understanding humans.
  1541. >You've never seen her this furious.
  1542. >"This isn't charity, Twilight," she said then. "Not every human can be saved. Not every human should be brought here."
  1543. >It's cruel, isn't it?
  1544. >Only those selected by Crystal Heart are saved. Rest are to remain here until the civilization boils itself alive in technological and cultural meltdown.
  1545. >You inhale as much of this putrid polluted human air as you can so that every cell in your body knows how this feels. Cadence feels it every day searching for humans.
  1546. >The way love and companionship is treated here drives her mad. You're thankful for never knowing this feel.
  1547. >Only those who are willing to accept the ways of Equestria in their heart resonate with Crystal Heart and make it there.
  1548. >It's not a law that's enforced by anypony, it's just how the magic of your world decides.
  1549. >No amount of tech can ever be more important that this. Deep inside you know that technology and culture are inseparable. Bring one and the other will follow.
  1550. >Both can be impure, both should be treated with care.
  1551. >Only one thing is pure.
  1552. >It's the love between a man and a mare.
  1553. >You swoop down to finally meet your match.
  1554.  
  1555. ---
  1556.  
  1557. "Minty..."
  1558. >"Huh?.. Anon?! What's wrong, you sound different."
  1559. "I don't feel so good."
  1560. >It's hard to talk and breathe. Hearing your wheezing Minty props her head up from your shoulder looking at you with worry.
  1561. >Everything hurts so much. Eyes are heavy and burning. It's painful to swallow. You're sweating and you feel hot.
  1562. >And the worst part of it all, Minty is spiraling into panic mode at alarming rate.
  1563. "No, don't pa-"
  1564. >"Anon, what's going on?!"
  1565. "I just feel a bit-"
  1566. >"What do I do?"
  1567. "First of all, calm down, I'm not dying or anything."
  1568. >"You sound like you're in pain!"
  1569. "I'm not, it's just my throat, alright?"
  1570. >As if to prove you wrong your body spasms in a mighty wet cough.
  1571. >The pony is petrified.
  1572. "Just call the doctor, Minty."
  1573. >She jumps down the bed right away, leaving you cold.
  1574. >You turn around to watch what she's doing but you regret it right away.
  1575. >A bright flash blinds your poor eyes as you hear a massive thud.
  1576. >She slams the stamp into the paper so hard she almost breaks the table and sparks fly everywhere, igniting everything around the table.
  1577. >Immediately she reels away, screaming, but nothing is on fire. Instead, there's a small portal right in front of her.
  1578. >The pony behind that portal screamed too as she seems to be sleeping soundly before the sudden explosion.
  1579. >She finds her wits right away though.
  1580. >"Hello? How may I-"
  1581. >Minty interrupts her right away.
  1582. >"Hello, yes, my human is very ill, please help! He has a fever and, and... I don't know what to do!"
  1583. >"Please say your name and where you live, miss."
  1584. >"I'm Minty Steps, we're in Hoofdale. His breath is wheezy and he has a fever! Please help!"
  1585. >"Alright, miss Steps, can you give some more details."
  1586. >"He's coughing real bad and he's all sweaty and hot."
  1587. >Even though you're right here and could tell her all that if you could just leave the bed.
  1588. >She could even take the damn paper right to you.
  1589. >"Alright, miss Steps, your humanarian, miss Medicine, will be right there in ten minutes with some remedies, please don't let him leave the bed and try to keep him warm, alright?."
  1590. >"Oh? Oh, thank you so much."
  1591. >"It's no problem, miss. I hope he gets well soon."
  1592. >The portal dissipates and the alright mare disappears. The paper has now a burnt circle in the middle of it.
  1593. >So now you wait. Together in a room with a panicking mare you can't do anything about.
  1594. >Like in a cage with a lion. Only the lion torments you emotionally with worrying and you're hurting because you can't comfort it.
  1595. >Minty walks up to you and takes your hand in her cold hooves.
  1596. >"S-stay with me, Anon."
  1597. "I'm not going anywhere."
  1598. >"I mean, you have to make it through, you hear?"
  1599. "It's alright, Mints, I-"
  1600. >Coughing breaks your spine and burns your lungs. Minty's face is grim unlike ever before.
  1601. >"Help is on the way, Anon. You're gonna make it."
  1602. "For crying out loud, it's just some cold, Minty."
  1603. >"Shh, don't talk."
  1604. >She brings your hand to her fluffy chest and your palm drowns in her furry coat.
  1605. >You feel her tiny heart beating rapidly for you.
  1606. >It's so unfair that she's so upset by this trivial thing. But you kinda can understand her.
  1607. >Not even a full night after you confessed to each other.
  1608. >You never even had a chance to bask in each others newfound warmth in the morning since it's so dark outside.
  1609. >Your little pony probably thinks it's all ruined now. You so want to hug her and kiss her. But alas.
  1610. >This is your punishment for being so cheesy with your confession, isn't it?
  1611. >It's also getting really wet under your back and coupled with this bed being so tiny you have to bend your knees in it's a torment to even be here.
  1612. >Despite your initial bravado you really want to see Medicine as soon as possible.
  1613. >The fate decides that you can have more luck this week so you soon hear the portal opening right outside your house, under the bedroom's windows.
  1614. >Minty's ears perk up and she lets go of your hand, running down the stairs.
  1615. >In a few moments you hear her desperately explaining everything at once and Medicine's voice, for the first time ever.
  1616. >You can barely believe your ears.
  1617. >"Well now, what do we have 'ere?"
  1618. >A unicorn mare with a pink-ish coat and golden short cut mane dances in the bedroom keeping her doctor's bag on her back with the help of magic.
  1619. >"Ooh, I can already see it, y'ave a cold mister? Let's look at'cha."
  1620. >So she lives a busy lively life despite her name, that's great. But what the hell kinda accent was that?
  1621. >She gives you no time to think tugging your blanket down right away. You hear Minty go "Hey!" but it's too late.
  1622. >Your naked torso doesn't bother her in the slightest and her magic does the work fast and precise.
  1623. >Arm extends. Thermometer goes at your armpit. Arm at the torso. Next.
  1624. >Sit upright. Horn lights up, your jaw is open.
  1625. >"Say aaah."
  1626. "Aaaaah."
  1627. >"Good boy."
  1628. >Stethoscope. Breathe. Stop. Breathe. Stop.
  1629. >Lie down. Thermometer is out. She looks at it and says matter-of-factly:
  1630. >"Tonsillitis."
  1631. >Your heart drops and Minty gasps. So much for common cold.
  1632. >Medicine is as busy as ever though, she's already writing something down while getting some jars out of her bag.
  1633. >"I swear, humie, every single one of ya gets one, it's a tradition or som'thin?"
  1634. >She asks Minty if you have some hot water and she brings Medicine to the kitchen.
  1635. >You hear a lot of her chirping from up here, still depressed about your state of affairs.
  1636. >As the voice returns to the room you are seated by magic once again.
  1637. >"Good, good. Now listen here, boy. You take this," she gives you a cup of some green paste. "And you drink it in one sit, hear me? Do it."
  1638. >You try to do it but you just can't push it down your burning throat.
  1639. >Lucky for you good old Medicine is here with her magic to not let you pull the cup away from your mouth not even for a second.
  1640. >As soon as the paste touches your throat it burns is so hot you want to cough it out right away. But she makes you swallow it all.
  1641. >Then you are presented with the jar of some crimson-colored extract that smells like blood and is smoking like it's freshly boiled.
  1642. >"Now put your face in there and inhale with y'mouth, get it all 'nside."
  1643. >As you do so she adds. "And try not to spill it."
  1644. >You understand what she means right away because you cough with a force so unbearable you think you'll cough your lungs out.
  1645. >She takes the jar right out of your hands and puts in on the table while you fall on your knees.
  1646. >The torment continues seemingly forever but once it stops you feel like it's much easier to breathe.
  1647. >Minty is sobbing in the corner not even looking at you but you don't even have time to comfort her.
  1648. >"Down."
  1649. >You are helped on the bed, which is completely dry now, and your mouth is opened.
  1650. >Medicine has her mask on and her horn is adorned with a overhead mirror.
  1651. >You're blinded by magic once again and you feel your mouth completely violated with something warm and hairy.
  1652. >It leaves unpleasant sensation all over your throat, like she's scraping your with a brush.
  1653. >She's quickly done, leaving some paste in there.
  1654. >"No food for a few hours for you, no drinking either. If you're thirsty water your lips."
  1655. >You haven't even eaten anything yet. Though to be fair, in your condition...
  1656. >"Minty, the list is on the ta- Minty?"
  1657. >"Y-yeah?"
  1658. >She walks up to Medicine but it's obvious she's still shell-shocked.
  1659. >"Just buy those things, kay?" I left some of the syrup down t'kitchen."
  1660. >Now it's your turn.
  1661. >"Stay 'n bed for a few days. Drink the thing. Don't eat ice cream, y-" she turns to your mare. "y'hear me Minty?"
  1662. >"Yes."
  1663. >Back to you again.
  1664. >"If you feel fev'rish drink some more o'that paste. When you sweat don't forget to stay warm and change clothes regularly. If you need anything, 'ere."
  1665. >She puts some more paper on the table.
  1666. >"Stamp this to contact me directly for a question or a deliv'ry. Don't call after midnight and before eight though. Don't kiss, don't share breath, don't eat from t'same plate, you'll throw this thing around and it WILL get worse. Take care, lovebirds."
  1667. >With that, she walks to the door.
  1668. >You thank her and she waves her hoof while Minty accompanies her to the door.
  1669. >Seeing another bright flash outside you realize she's gone. And that it's also already morning.
  1670. >Minty returns to you and she looks absolutely exhausted. Like it's her who's ill.
  1671. >She takes a chair to sit near your bed but she immediately falls asleep sitting right there, without even saying a word. Amazing.
  1672. >No reason to stay awake for you. Hoping it will get better soon you close your eyes.
  1673.  
  1674. >Despite Medicine's medicine working miraculously it's still a hell in Equestria to go through your illness.
  1675. >First, the bed is killing you, to the point where you feel your legs going numb. You have to lie down diagonally to let them rest.
  1676. >You don't want to get out of bed since your doctor knows what you need, seeing how she managed to subdue the infection in under an hour.
  1677. >But this is getting ridiculous. You have no idea when the new bed is going to be delivered and you have no way to check.
  1678. >Second, even though Medicine told you to change your clothes regularly, there's just not enough of them to do so.
  1679. >Minty is doing her best to wash what you already have and dry it near that tiny oven she has in her kitchen that also serves as her fireplace.
  1680. >Needless to say sweaters don't like that and her first mistake was even trying to wash it in the first place.
  1681. >It was easier with your undershirts but at this point you have no idea how to keep yourself warm enough.
  1682. >The blanket is amazingly thin and tiny too and you feel certain parts of your body freezing when fever strikes.
  1683. >It's not even the worst part, the chills you're having sometimes make you fear for the bed itself, trembling under your sickening spasms.
  1684. >That blood-like inhalation mix is doing its riveting work of cleaning your body too damn effectively since it not only makes you cough out all the wetness in your lungs.
  1685. >You also managed to vomit all over the floor once after coughing so much you were in tears and couldn't see anything.
  1686. >To your shame, it was up to Minty to clean this up and seeing how she does it without even a hint of hesitation or disgust made your heart ache with guilt.
  1687. >Indeed, the third, and the most horrible one for sure, is how Minty reacts to all of this.
  1688. >It is without a doubt the most scared she's been.
  1689. >This isn't her usual self-inflicted silly fear of you staring at her butt or something.
  1690. >The way she looks at you really makes you want to re-evaluate your life.
  1691. >Your mother was always really protective of you and in times of illness she made sure you're safe and sound, catering to your every need.
  1692. >But Minty goes even beyond that. She never leaves you, not for one minute, and only goes out of the room if taking care of you calls for it (and for bathroom breaks).
  1693. >She knows how inadequate her home is for supporting your current state and she blames herself for your broken state.
  1694. >It's not hard to put two and two together and realize that your daring trip to Horseshoe Creek was the event that sealed your fate
  1695. >Being wet in just one sweater in such a cold environment pretty much kicked this into overdrive.
  1696. >Chasing after her back then you never even thought this could happen, yet here you are, and Minty realizes this now.
  1697. >You can see how depressed she is between asking you if you need anything every ten minutes.
  1698. >It's useless to tell her that she doesn't have to worry so you don't even bother.
  1699. >You don't blame her for anything and certainly not for trying to help you now. It's just a bit overbearing, that's all.
  1700. >The worst part is, even if she wants to help, she can't do much at all.
  1701. >She's completely powerless here and it's eating her inside. She can't even do what Medicine has told her.
  1702. >Disobeying the doctor's instructions means longer time for you to recover. Minty is prolonging your agony and she can't do anything about it.
  1703. >The only this she can really accomplish is make your hand feel warm. You know she wants to snuggle you like before.
  1704. >You know how it pains her to not be able to relax in your arms once again.
  1705. >It pains you just the same. The little mare near you desperately needs to be comforted.
  1706. >You want to wrap a blanket around both of you so she's only surrounded by your warmth and nothing more.
  1707. >And you want to kiss her. You want to kiss her all over.
  1708. >But now she can only hold your hand in her hooves. The hoof itself is solid and firm but the frog under it is a bit softer.
  1709. >It's what they grab stuff with so it's only natural it has to be more flexible. Overall it feels nice and warm on your hand.
  1710. >A beacon of her affection in this uncomfortable state of constant unrest. It calms her down to keep your hand in her gentle hold.
  1711. >You're proud of your mare. With utmost dedication she keeps her solemn watch over you.
  1712. >She makes sure you take your medicine right on time, she checks if you need a change of clothes and bed sheets.
  1713. >She accompanies you to the bathroom's doors. She watches your back when you go up the stair back to bed.
  1714. >She tells you that everything is going to be fine. She herself barely believes it but in her hooves you feel safer than ever even despite all the discomfort.
  1715.  
  1716. >Fortune smiles at you once again. Amidst all the unrest Minty's desperate attempts to make things work finally yield some positive results.
  1717. >The fruits of her hard labor to keep everything proper are now appearing one by one.
  1718. >After one hellish day the next one you wake up feeling much better. There's no fever and you're able to actually laugh, dead giveaway that you're getting back on track.
  1719. >It's still painful to swallow most of the times but you don't even cough anymore.
  1720. >The mare is relieved beyond words. She actually came down to have a hot drink for herself, leaving you alone for entire two minutes.
  1721. >It's all uphill from there. Next thing you know you actually have conversations with her and walk to the bathroom without needing an escort to keep you on your feet.
  1722. >Your sweater is finally dry again and you're comfy on the bed, sitting on it with your pillow behind your back, letting your legs stretch.
  1723. >Minty is feeding you the remainder of your herbal medicine, smiling at your helpless attempts to take initiative and eat it on your own.
  1724. >She doesn't have to say how worried she's been, she knows you know.
  1725. >It's the kind of thing that goes without saying, looking in each other's eyes is enough to understand that.
  1726. >Just like she knows you're grateful for all of this.
  1727. >This isn't the kind of feeling you need to awkwardly express or try to find fancy words for.
  1728. >It's just what happens naturally. It's in the nature of you being together. It would be like thanking each other for saying "good night", silly and not necessary at all.
  1729. >Minty had visitors later that day, which is really unusual. Returning to your bedroom she presents you with a jar of strawberry jam, saying that it's from your neighbors.
  1730. >Looks like it was for you, seeing how there's a piece of paper on it that says "Get well soon, Anonymous!"
  1731. >Barely a week here and ponies already know your name, what you're up to and care about you enough to give you a gift. Unfathomable.
  1732. >Even when you bring up that Minty skipped work because of you she assures you that ponies know she had a good reason to do that.
  1733. >The day goes on and it doesn't get worse. Minty doesn't have to worry so much and it's nice to see her relax.
  1734. >After she's done with chores which she can now actually do, she returns to you with a book in her hoof.
  1735. >As you can't read properly yet she wants to read to you. There's no telling where this idea came from but you're not against it, after all there's nothing else to do.
  1736. >She sits on the bed at your legs and starts reading.
  1737. >It sounds like some sort of legend but she insists that it's historical and it's good for you to learn these things.
  1738. >Using this educational excuse to spend more time near you she really gets into it.
  1739. >Her voice is like music to your ears. She haven't talked to you much for the last days and it was all nervous for her.
  1740. >You almost have to choke back tears just thinking about how unfair it's been for this pony.
  1741. >The wait for your return, the confession, the illness.
  1742. >There's nothing more you want to do than to bathe her in affection. There's no doubt in your mind that she wants that too.
  1743. >You'll have to make sure to be extra affectionate when you get better.
  1744. >For now you can only put your hand on her back and rub it.
  1745. >She's delighted to feel your touch again but what you feel is how tense Minty is.
  1746. >All of this worry can't be good to her.
  1747. >You definitely need to make it up to her, your hero mare.
  1748. >She reacts to back scratches with cute shuffling. Her coat on the back is still smooth and velvety unlike her chest that got even fluffier these days.
  1749. >A few times you notice her leaning to your side but stopping her motion. She wants to just lay dow right next to you, enchanted by your petting.
  1750. >She has to be vigilant though. It will be worth it in the end. You'll get well soon and she won't fall ill and you'll cuddle all day long.
  1751. >At the end of the day a mailmare visits, delivering a letter and a box of tea Minty ordered for you.
  1752. >Minty returns to you and she looks really glum and disappointed, putting the opened letter on the table. It worries you to think that a letter could upset her like that.
  1753. >She tries to get in the mood again and smile and you decide against bothering her with questions. She's with you and that's what matters.
  1754.  
  1755. >But on the third day she already has to go back to work.
  1756. >Lucky for you and her, she doesn't have to watch you that closely anymore.
  1757. >You feel a lot better. So much better in fact, that you can walk around the house easily. Well, not that easily since your legs hurt like hell.
  1758. >You still have to promise to her you'll stay safe.
  1759. >She's putting on some winter clothes of her own now. A scarf,a cute little coat and those tiny boots you've seen laying around in the corner once or twice.
  1760. >It's snowy outside and she doesn't want to risk it. You support that notion.
  1761. >But once she leaves you have nothing to do.
  1762. "Oh, the letter!"
  1763. >You're really curious about it but you still can't read the runes properly. Maybe you'll recognize some words?
  1764. >It doesn't cross your mind that it's a letter to her.
  1765. >You should and you will pry into something that made your mare so upset.
  1766. >As you thought, there's not much you can make out of this.
  1767. >There's "Minty".
  1768. >What is this, "around" or wait, "fooling around"?
  1769. >Then you see something that makes your heart skips a beat.
  1770. >"Marriage".
  1771. >What could this mean? Ah, you don't even recognize the rest. It's like trying to read japanese when you only know hiragana.
  1772. >There's the signature. You make out "Steps" and you gulp.
  1773. >This can only mean one thing, it's from her parents. There's no telling what they want from her and this makes you real uneasy.
  1774. >She did write to them the other day. Is this their reply?
  1775. >Grim thoughts on your mind you look out the window.
  1776. >Hoofdale in snow isn't really all that pretty. But it's a nice change of scenery.
  1777. >The mountains stand proud, shielding the valley and the group of settlements to the south it, including this one.
  1778. >Couldn't find any place better than this. Mild weather makes it great for all kind of farming.
  1779. >Thick forests to the west and south give way to plains and meadows, perfect for grazing.
  1780. >The woods are split in half by the lifeblood of this land, the railroad.
  1781. >Can you even ask for a nicer place than this?
  1782. >Fresh, nice air and crystal clean water make this a paradise for a city-born guy like you already.
  1783. >The diet is also pretty good. Despite not having meat you have everything else, all kind of dairy products, eggs, chocolate, what have you.
  1784. >Minty suggested that you fell ill because you're weakened from not eating meat but you've dismissed that claim.
  1785. >But there's also something you've yet to taste here even though Minty loves hot drinks, there's milk and eggs here and you live near Vanhoover.
  1786. >You'll have to mention it later, maybe Equestria just doesn't have it. Yet.
  1787. >The view is certainly good but it gets boring fast. You have to find something else to do now.
  1788. >It is actually first time you're alone in this house.
  1789. >You try to take in the silence around you. Once again, it's unbelievable that this is your home.
  1790. >Not for a month, not for a year. It's yours now. You live with a mare you love and she loves you too.
  1791. >This is undeniable now. She doesn't have to be scared anymore. The ice has been broken.
  1792. >Even though it was done in such a cheesy way she doesn't mind it.
  1793. >It may not look like it, but being able to speak your mind freely is really important. It's so liberating when you can just voice how much you love her.
  1794. >You put yourself in a vulnerable state opening up your heart to you and you know she won't hurt you. She will appreciate your feelings and trust you with hers as well.
  1795. >You promise to yourself to always say what you think about her. You have to show her how you really feel no matter how cheesy it sounds.
  1796. >You look around yourself. If it's really your house then maybe you should finally go exploring?
  1797. >Newspaper on the table is the first thing you notice. Even without being able to read you see how innocent pony press it.
  1798. >Here's a picture of a happy pony holding a snake. Here's a picture of two ponies hugging. Right there is princess Celestia at some event, smiling as ever.
  1799. >But here's a picture of four humans in suits. They are on a stage and it seems like they are singing.
  1800. >Now you fully regret you can't read. God damn pony runes! Seems like a nice show.
  1801. >But you can already imagine what's this about without even reading it. You see names of different cities... Canterlot, Manehattan, Fillydelphia, Vanhoover.
  1802. >Maybe you should ask... Nah, it's too soon.
  1803. >You walk around some more but there's nothing really interesting here.
  1804. >The closet though, that's interesting.
  1805. >To your surprise you see quite a few dresses here.
  1806. >You don't want to take them out but you touch one of them. The fabric is so light. You can imagine how it would feel on her.
  1807. >What if it's also see-through...
  1808. >Stuffing these thoughts to the back of your head you leave the dress alone.
  1809. >You're still a bit ashamed of thoughts like that, it doesn't matter that you already confessed.
  1810. >But you won't completely neglect them as well. You find her pretty and you won't hesitate to mention that.
  1811. >There's nothing wrong about lusting after the mare you love. Right?
  1812. >Below the dresses you find a lonely drawer. Well, you're this deep now.
  1813. >You don't know what you've expected but it seems to be her sock drawer. Scandalous!
  1814. >They're pretty. Especially the striped ones.
  1815. >Oh god, just imagining her full legs in these sends a shiver through your body.
  1816. >You'll remember that she has these.
  1817. >In the back of the closet you see something wooden. A strange but familiar shape.
  1818. >You can't believe your eyes. It's a small guitar. What the hell is this doing here?
  1819. >Granted it's pony-sized, but... You strum a chord. So out of tune it almost sounds good. It's pretty dusty and hasn't seen use in years.
  1820. >Looking over it you see a little signature at the back of its neck.
  1821. >It reads: "Carefree Steps."
  1822. >So it's probably her dad's, left behind when Minty's parents moved.
  1823. >Maybe you could impress your mare with your guitar skills?
  1824. >Yeah, no. You only know how to play the opening passage of Nothing Else Matters.
  1825. >But it makes you think. People will bring at least some of their Earth's culture here, it's inevitable.
  1826. >The more humans arrive the more things will get introduced to pony society.
  1827. >You guess that's why they don't bring everyone at once. Ponies need to absorb your knowledge or at least get used to it.
  1828. >Like you, already known and liked by your local community.
  1829. >Maybe it's even-
  1830. >Your thoughts are interrupted by a knock on the door. Minty wouldn't knock. So it's someone else?
  1831. >It's an instinct to you to at least look at who's at the door through the window, even though in Equestria you don't have to worry about a single bad thing happening at your doorstep.
  1832. >It's two stallions in uniforms you recognize. Purple and black. Cadence's cutiemark at their chest badges and shoulder straps.
  1833. >You see that a portal behind them is still opened.
  1834. >Well, they should be your friends, right? So you open the door.
  1835. >The stallion gets straight to the point:
  1836. >"Hello, uh, Anonymous? We're here for miss Steps' order."
  1837. >Takes you a few moments to even remember what's this about.
  1838. "Oh, the bed? She's at work right now."
  1839. >"We just wanna carry it in."
  1840. "Alright, what do I need to to?"
  1841. >"Nothing, really. Just show me the room it's gonna be in."
  1842. "Oh. Ok, come on it."
  1843. >He wipes his hooves at the door while his friend still stands silently near the portal.
  1844. >"Gonna put it where this one is, right?"
  1845. "Sure."
  1846. >You still have no idea how this is going to happen but soon you figure it out.
  1847. >The stallion takes out a familiar piece of paper and puts it on the floor right at your bed.
  1848. >He stomps it with his hoof lightly and the portal opens with sparks and smoke just like that last time.
  1849. >It gets a lot wider though. So wide you can put an entire bed through it now. Smart.
  1850. >While you take off everything from your bed the stallion measures everything and once you ready he picks up the bed with his magic and carefully passes through the portal carrying it.
  1851. >Just like that. Amazing.
  1852. >What's even more amazing is that he returns carefully carrying that king-sized be you ordered.
  1853. >The portal is just wide enough for it to pass through.
  1854. >It has covers, pillow, sheets, everything already set.
  1855. >He puts it right on top of the dusty residue that was below Minty's bed.
  1856. >"Here's the bed, now for the rest."
  1857. >The pony returns through the portal and looking inside you see some sort of warehouse with lots of boxes laying around.
  1858. >If that's the Initiative's goods it seems like there's a lot of orders to fill for them.
  1859. >Carrying some boxes of his own the stallion returns into your room. He lets you open them.
  1860. >There seems to be everything you've ordered. And then more.
  1861. >A cylindrical red carton box that's held together with a ribbon.
  1862. >On top of it the ribbon forms a little heart and there's a postcard attached to it by lace:
  1863. >"To: Minty Steps"
  1864. >You have no idea what this may be and you decide to not open it if it's for Minty.
  1865. >The stallion nods and gives you a paper to sign.
  1866. >Everything seems to be in order so you do that and both of you go down the stairs.
  1867. >His partner is still keeping the portal opened while filling out some forms and checklists.
  1868. >They both wish you farewell and the portal closes behind them.
  1869. >Minty's up for a surprise when she returns.
  1870. >You go through your new clothes. It's good that they know how human measurements work and so you had to just enter yours.
  1871. >Thankfully, you remember. That's probably because you had to but new clothes regularly because they were all cheap and never held up long.
  1872. >These though, you feel the quality materials already. Damn, do you really deserve all this just by virtue of being here to make a pony happy?
  1873. >It's a nice feel. With it you lay down on your new bed.
  1874. >Curious how it's obviously made for humans. Just the right height and length. Minty will have to jump higher now.
  1875. >The sheets feel good to, really soft, just like the pillows. And the blanket is pretty puffy, should be extremely warm.
  1876. >You can't wait to cuddle Minty right under it. This is going to be amazing.
  1877. >Thinking about your mare you let the softness of your new bed take you to the dream world.
  1878. >When you wake up first thing you see is Minty's puzzled gaze.
  1879. >She's standing just next to the bed and looking at it in bewilderment. In her hooves she holds a blanket.
  1880. >"Anon, what's..."
  1881. "Hey, Minty."
  1882. >"Did they come by when I was away?"
  1883. "Yeah. Brought my clothes too and something for you as well."
  1884. >Minty looks at the red box you're pointing at and her cheeks now match the color of that box.
  1885. >Was it some sort of a gift? Or did she order something for herself? You won't ask if she's embarrassed like that.
  1886. >She quickly drops her blanket on the bed and grabs the box, then walks to her closet you rummaged through today and throws it in there.
  1887. "What's up with the blanket?"
  1888. >"It's the one I ordered back then," the mare explains walking around the new bed examining it. "I was excited to bring it home too..."
  1889. "Hey, you can never have too many blankets."
  1890. >"I guess. Hoofdale can get really cold."
  1891. "With us being together it won't."
  1892. >Minty smiles at you and puts the blanket at your legs. She jumps up awkwardly and walks towards you.
  1893. >So strange that there's something to walk on now, now you can actually both lay down comfortably.
  1894. >"How are you feeling?"
  1895. "Better. Cough is gone, throat is smooth, no fever. I think I'm all good."
  1896. >You weren't lying. After your mid-day rest you feel fantastic. It's pretty late now, well obviously, as Minty's already home from work.
  1897. >"Let's get something to eat then?"
  1898. "Yes, I'm starving."
  1899. >The meal is humble but it's something. Minty regrets not making something special.
  1900. "Hey, you were looking after me this whole time, you had no chance to do anything."
  1901. >"I guess. I'll make some pancakes tomorrow morning, alright? Gotta use that jam with something."
  1902. "Yes, please."
  1903. >"You like pancakes?" she giggles seeing your reaction.
  1904. "Yeah."
  1905. >"What a coincidence, me too."
  1906. "That's no surprise."
  1907. >"What does that supposed to mean?"
  1908. >Minty ponders that for a second and then turns bright red again after looking down at her belly.
  1909. >You can't, you can't not tease her. It's unbearable.
  1910. >"T-that was uncalled for!"
  1911. >She scrunches her muzzle and you chuckle.
  1912. >Minty can't keep this up so a smile forms on her muzzle soon enough.
  1913. >She knows you mean well. Again, she's probably aware how much you stare at her.
  1914. >You decide to take a hot shower before bed and Minty goes up alone.
  1915. >There's no need to linger there so you're out quickly.
  1916. >Opening the door to your bedroom you see Minty looking at that letter with a sad, almost angry expression.
  1917. >Once she hears you coming in she quickly puts it away and tries to look at you as if nothing happened.
  1918. "What's on your mind?"
  1919. >She is sitting at the desk still so you walk up to her from behind and put your hand on top of her head.
  1920. >"Nothing, really."
  1921. "That letter doesn't look like nothing."
  1922. >Your second hand finds its way on her head and you trail her mane so each of your hands have one of her braids in them.
  1923. >The pony reacts right away, putting her hooves on your hands.
  1924. >"It's just a silly letter, Anon, don't mind me. I'm fine."
  1925. "So silly it got you bothered? Is it from your parents?"
  1926. >Minty shakes her head, seeing how she can't wriggle out of this now.
  1927. >"Yeah." She sighs. "Just a stupid letter from them."
  1928. "A reply to yours about me, right?"
  1929. >Leaving her mane alone you touch the back of her neck and give it a slight rub. She's so tense you can feel it just like that.
  1930. >"It doesn't matter. Let's not talk about it."
  1931. >You lean forward to the still unmoving mare and put your cheek on top of her head.
  1932. "What do you want to talk about then?"
  1933. >"I dunno. About you. You're feeling fine, right?"
  1934. "Yeah, I already told you. Thank you so much for taking care of me."
  1935. >Saying that you kiss hear head an she smiles. Sliding your hands down you feel her shoulders and chest and she leans back to feel your body against hers.
  1936. >"It's no trouble."
  1937. "It was trouble though. I'm sorry I scared you so much."
  1938. >"No, it's-"
  1939. "I don't want to see you scared, Minty. I want to see you happy. I came here for that reason but I think I only ever made you scared."
  1940. >"No, not at all!"
  1941. >The mare is bothered by your accusations and she turns around to face you.
  1942. >"I'm so happy you're alright again. I-"
  1943. >She stumbles over her words but you guide her.
  1944. "Missed me?"
  1945. >"Yes."
  1946. "I did too. It's so silly, that timing..."
  1947. >"It's all good now, right?"
  1948. >You don't answer that. Instead, you get your hands around her little body and pick her up.
  1949. >She wriggles in your arms so you can hold her more easily and in a moment she's sideways and her muzzle is right next to your face.
  1950. >Her weight and softness melt your heart once again, it's like you've forgotten how it feels over these days.
  1951. >"We never even got to celebrate a week since your arrival."
  1952. >Her voice gets quieter as she moves closer.
  1953. >She almost goes for a kiss but then just nuzzles your cheek.
  1954. >This won't do. You carry her and sit on the bed holding your love, all cozy already.
  1955. >Then you make your own move and your lips touch her cheek.
  1956. >"Aren't we supposed to wait three days until you're completely healed?"
  1957. >Even though she asks that you hear it in her voice, sarcasm and anticipation.
  1958. >Her breathing gets shallow as she awaits your next action.
  1959. >You hand finds her nape and you move her head so you can speak right into her ear.
  1960. "It's been three days already."
  1961. >She uses her position to nibble at your neck, brushing her lips agains your skin, a pleasure you have never tasted before.
  1962. >"You fell ill during the night, so it's not full three days."
  1963. >In retaliation you gently bite her ear and bring your whole body close to you in a tight embrace.
  1964. "We can wait for the morning if you want..."
  1965. >"Or?"
  1966. "We can give this bed a test run?"
  1967. >A wave of hot air washes over your neck when the mare exhales loudly. She then presses her nose right against your skin and takes an inhale just as loud.
  1968. >"I'd love that."
  1969. >You feel her hoof touching your chin and you follow its motion. She wants you to hold your head up.
  1970. >Getting full access to your neck she stats kissing it and now it's your time to breathe heavily. Her tender lips leave wet spots all over your throat.
  1971. >Your mare gets so eager you lose balance for a moment. It's almost like she's been waiting for this, because she pushes you on your back, gently but persistently.
  1972. >Once you're down the tent in your pants becomes painfully obvious but Minty doesn't care.
  1973. >You are both way beyond being bothered by these things. It's time to enjoy them.
  1974. >Even though your mare's kisses fill you with joy you can't let her have all the fun.
  1975. >She's not against you cupping her cheeks and lifting her head.
  1976. >Minty gives you space so you can properly arrange yourself on the bed but she's quick to dive into your embrace once you're done with it.
  1977. >You don't give her a chance to resume her smooching, instead you go straight for the mouth-to-mouth.
  1978. >It's not that kind of innocent after-confession first kiss anymore. You feel how passionate she is.
  1979. >Immediately her tongue finds yours and your kiss deepens.
  1980. >The incredible slimy moist warmth of her tongue in your mouth makes you melt and you grab Minty's back so you can hug her tighter.
  1981. >Her hooves press your head to hers as well and as they do you roll her on her side.
  1982. >Both of your tongues continue to dance around in attempts for feel each other more but the pony's hoof travels lower.
  1983. >She tries to get it under your sweater. There is no doubt in you left.
  1984. >You to break the kiss so you can take off your sweater and for a moment it allows you to catch your breath.
  1985. >Once your torso is exposed, however, Minty doesn't hurry back for more sloppy kisses.
  1986. >She admires your body and her hoof moves up on it, from stomach to your chest.
  1987. >You're not even that good-looking, there's not much to admire at all.
  1988. >Though remembering how she feels about herself and how you feel about her appearance, you don't allow that first thought to settle in.
  1989. >You use your fingers to scratch under her chin, but as she closes her eyes and smiles you switch to your true target, her mane.
  1990. >At the end of the work day her braids are so loose they almost fall apart on their own. They always fail to contain the sheer volume of her mane.
  1991. >And so you've gotta help her. Just one flick of your fingers is enough to free the beautiful silky cloud out of its twisted helix.
  1992. >Second one she undoes herself and then moves closer to your head so she can give your nose a soft smooch.
  1993. >Your palm is still somewhere in her lush mane and she touches it with her hoof.
  1994. >In a single moment it all becomes so clear to you. Seeing your mare with her mane down, with her cheeks rosy from excitement, with a smile most warm and welcoming, with the lusty bedroom eyes she gives you, you finally see it.
  1995. >She's blooming with passion. It's not enough that you see her sensual nature. It's not enough that you imagine her with you. You're missing the point.
  1996. >She's not a little filly. She may be innocent and not corrupted by anything impure from your world but she's still a mare. And she needs affection.
  1997. >She's an adult mare in full bloom and she's been alone through all of it.
  1998. >She's never been held, never been kissed. She craves love just like anyone else, just like you.
  1999. >Everything about her is precious. But you're not here  to admire her from afar. You're here to remind her that she deserves to feel loved.
  2000. >You want her like you've never wanted anything. You want to make her feel like a mare. You want her to find happiness and satisfaction in your arms.
  2001. >When she rubs her cheek against your arm with the most satisfied smile, you say what's been on your mind this whole time.
  2002. "You're so beautiful."
  2003. >Not giving her any time to react you tug her towards you and she falls onto you effortlessly as if she's been waiting for you to do this.
  2004. >But this time, rolling her on the side again, you take your turn to assault her neck.
  2005. >By her surprised gasp and shallow breaths you guess that it's as good for her as it was for you.
  2006. >Kissing her coat all over you start to pick up the pace. Burying your nose in her fluff you take a powerful whif of her scent and it makes her giggle.
  2007. >She keeps your head close to her with her hooves for some time as you rub your face against her chest to her amusement.
  2008. >But it can't last long since you want to move even lower.
  2009. >A concerned yelp escapes Minty as you roll her on her back and start kissing her tummy with passion and glee.
  2010. >The few times you bite her playfully she doesn't giggle, but instead a light moan escapes her mouth every time.
  2011. >You are getting close to critical mass here and you won't stop even for a second.
  2012. >With your open hand you grasp Minty's luscious butt and give it a firm squeeze.
  2013. >Even though she yelps it yet again sounds more like a moan at this point.
  2014. >You're making your little pony moan with pleasure. The voice of your little innocent angel becomes sultry and filled with desire.
  2015. >Your hand travels all the way up her pleasantly chubby thigh and up her leg. You press it against your head while you continue your belly pleasuring.
  2016. >Why does she have to be so soft? You're surrounded with it now and it makes you dizzy.
  2017. >The only way for you to get more of it is to leave your head in between her thighs. And that's what you want to do next.
  2018. >But not before you motion her to move her leg to the side.
  2019. >To this point Minty has kept her hindlegs close to her crotch, but now that you want her to spread them she has a little bit of trouble doing that.
  2020. >You see it in a second when the mare averts her gaze once again, just like when she's embarrassed about her weight.
  2021. >You fail to see what it's about this time since her precious pudgy pony tummy is already nice and wet from kisses.
  2022. >But then you realize she's probably conscious about her teats.
  2023. >You remember now in the guide, there were little basic pictures of ponies' private places and the teats drawn over there were like petite bumps more than anything.
  2024. >But Minty's were much more prominent, it's like they are plump like the rest of her body.
  2025. >As your eyes are glued to the darker shade of green of her crotch she confirms your guess by scrunching her muzzle like she's unhappy with something. You know exactly what this looks means.
  2026. "Minty..."
  2027. >She doesn't respond but you get close to her ear again.
  2028. >Even though she doesn't look at you her hooves grab your arm as soon as it's in her reach.
  2029. >"Don't..."
  2030. "No, you don't."
  2031. >"Look, I know I'm-"
  2032. "Pretty?"
  2033. >"That I'm-"
  2034. "Stunning?"
  2035. >"f-"
  2036. "Gorgeous?"
  2037. >"Anon!"
  2038. "Sexy as hell?"
  2039. >She finally looks you in the eyes and you want to keep going.
  2040. "Maybe you should trust me with my preferences in mares?"
  2041. >"W-what are your preferences?"
  2042. "You."
  2043. >A scrunch even more intense appears on her muzzle but disappears right away as the mare shuts her eyes and gasps.
  2044. >That's because your palm is at her crotch now, moving over her nipples gently and slowly.
  2045. "Minty."
  2046. >"Hnn..."
  2047. "Minty?"
  2048. >...
  2049. "Minty..."
  2050. >"What?"
  2051. "I want you, Minty."
  2052. >There is no other way around it. You won't let her doubt your affection towards her, not for a second.
  2053. >You never get to see her reaction since you dive back down and immediately place the mare's right nipple in your mouth, sucking on it deeply and greedily.
  2054. >The other one needs attention too so it gets pinched ever so slightly between your fingers.
  2055. >And now the mare moans for real. It's a full blown moan of ecstasy and it's the tune of pure heaven.
  2056. >As your kiss continues you feel her hoof on your head and she lets out another moan.
  2057. >"Aahnon..."
  2058. >The needy, husky tone of her voice makes you shiver and your dick throb in its tight confinement.
  2059. >You let the mare's nipple go and instead start licking the unreal softness all around it.
  2060. >Her pillowy teat is like a puddle of warmth under your tongue and you can't get enough of that feeling.
  2061. >Minty's legs are wide open now and her labored breath is only getting more and more bothered.
  2062. >Even if she has ever pleasured herself this is a completely unknown territory to her.
  2063. >You're so happy that you're the one to show her these pleasures.
  2064. >Even this is soon not enough for the mare, you feel her hoof pushing your head lower with your every lick. She's subtle at first but then it becomes obvious.
  2065. >But you're not that easy.
  2066. >You get your head lower just like she wanted but instead of finally tasting her already damp and swollen pussy you press your lips into the chubby goodness of her inner thigh.
  2067. >Her coat is really delicate here and you derive a lot of pleasure from rubbing yourself all over it, helping keep it near your face with a firm grip right on her cutiemark.
  2068. >Then you go back to her aching sex but only for a second, tapping it with your tongue only to then go tease her other leg.
  2069. >Her hoof begs you to return. It touches your cheek and tugs at your shoulder.
  2070. >You can only tease Minty for so long anyway. You allow her to bring your face right before her crotch where her fleshy nub already rolls out in the open in her pussy's thirsty wink.
  2071. >Already nicely moisten and swollen Minty's marelips await your caress and you begin slowly, taking in her smell and taste.
  2072. >Her delicate flower opens up readily but you don't feel the need to rush inside.
  2073. >The wet pearl of her clit is alluring but you want to prolong the sweet agony of the pony.
  2074. >Tracing her lips down with your tongue you also give the tight ring of her ponut a swift lick and the nibble at her dock, to which she squeals a little and shivers with delight.
  2075. >Retracing your path you return to the main course and this time your tongue pushes right inside.
  2076. >Immediately she locks your head between her legs, the paradise you craved right from the start.
  2077. >The unreal feeling of warm softness around you almost makes you moan just like her.
  2078. >And then you start licking. You don't really know how to do this properly but when your pony's voice gets louder, her thigh's grip becomes tighter and the musky liquid is streaming down your chin you figure you're doing at least something right.
  2079. >With passion you grab Minty's ass and squeeze in upon your face.
  2080. >You want to remain right here forever, between her powerful hips.
  2081. >Your fingers drown in her butt and you grasp as much of it as you can wanting to break your fingers upon Minty's ungodly softness.
  2082. >If she'd crush your skull with her mighty earth pony thigh grip you'd die a happy man, but you can't leave this place yet.
  2083. >You lick and kiss Minty's wet pussy as fast as you can, trying to catch her pearl with your lips.
  2084. >When you decide to just focus on that puffy area and suckle on it encircling it with your lips, Minty starts thrashing about and it sounds like she's crying.
  2085. >In desperate but sultry voice she calls your name and wetness fills your mouth. You push it all the way out with your tongue and Minty almost screams at that.
  2086. >Violent convulsions overtake her body and she cries out your name one last time before resorting to just whimpering.
  2087. >Her grip on your head weakens and her legs finally spread apart to let you out.
  2088. >This is where you belong and you don't want to leave, however you are forced to.
  2089. >Her hooves grab your head and she tugs it up with considerable force.
  2090. >She's not asking anymore.
  2091. >Her face is steaming. She's sweaty and her breath is scalding upon your face when she lock you in a lustful, sloppy kiss.
  2092. >Your lips are still covered in her juices but she doesn't care.
  2093. "Minty..."
  2094. >"Don't say anything."
  2095. >She's so serious now. To your surprise you see her hindleg touching your crotch, motioning down. She wants you to take your pants off.
  2096. >This... This might be really happening now.
  2097. >Like in a dream you unbuckle your pants and get the button out.
  2098. >Then the zipper goes down.
  2099. >Minty is watching it in astonishment but there are hints of concern in there.
  2100. >Then you pull down your pants. You watch her face for reaction and now you definitely see it. She's completely overwhelmed now and not in a good way.
  2101. >You still drop your pants and your boxers are the next thing to do.
  2102. >Minty's eyes go wide.
  2103. >W-what, it's not that impressive. You've seen comparative illustrations.
  2104. >Sure, little pony cocks aren't as massive as in your world and the guide said that the end result for the mare is "generally in human favor".
  2105. >But it wasn't anything to panic about and Minty's panicking for real.
  2106. >She grabs your hand and she motions you to roll over her.
  2107. >Even though you oblige you see how out of this world she is now.
  2108. >Be it orgasm high or fear, or possibly a mixture of both, you see she can't really comprehend what's happening.
  2109. "Minty?"
  2110. >She's breathing heavily, but not in a sexual way. It's her panic breath. The mare is also sweating cold sweat.
  2111. >You check her forehead but she has no fever. Again, she looks like she goes through the motions for you to do your thing, but it doesn't look like she's even aware of what's happening.
  2112. >And you don't want that. You're scared more than anything right now.
  2113. >Did you do something wrong? What's the deal here?
  2114. "Minty!" you call to her yet again.
  2115. >She doesn't even look at you, eyes fixated on your chest.
  2116. >You can't be doing with this. Not like this. Fucking hell.
  2117. >Dropping to the side you bring Minty close to you. She immediately hugs you and you feel her little heart beating out of her chest, it goes so fast you're seriously starting to panic yourself.
  2118. "Minty, say anything. God damn, Minty?!"
  2119. "Huh?"
  2120. >Her stupor finally ends and she looks in your eyes, still fearful.
  2121. "Snap out of it for god's sake."
  2122. >As soon as your hand brings her head to our chest she embraces you and you feel that she's wet all over from sweat.
  2123. >You prop yourself up briefly to grab the blanket and cover you both so just her head is outside.
  2124. >It better not be that illness spreading on her. It better not be that she's been too close to you these days. God fucking damn it.
  2125. >But she is calming down now. You sigh in relief when her poor heart finds its regular steady pace again.
  2126. >And with that the realization comes to her.
  2127. >"Anon? Oh no, I didn't mean to-"
  2128. "It's ok, Minty."
  2129. >"I'm so sorry."
  2130. "No, don't say that."
  2131. >"I never wanted to-"
  2132. >She is silenced by you pressing her mouth to your neck.
  2133. "Don't even try to apologize for that, you hear me?"
  2134. >Reluctantly, she nods.
  2135. "I love you more than anything, Minty. It's alright."
  2136. >"I love you too."
  2137. >She's shaking like a leaf. It's easy to see how her nerves caught up to her after so many powerful things happening one after another.
  2138. >Did you really push her to some kind of nervous breakdown? Now you feel bad.
  2139. >What she needs now is rest and you're gonna give it to her whether she likes it or not.
  2140. >Minty is hugging you closer and sobs.
  2141. >"I love you so much, Anon. Just don't-"
  2142. "Minty..."
  2143. >"Just don't let me go from now on."
  2144. >She mumbles something else but you can't hear it. In your embrace, safe and secure she drifts off right away.
  2145.  
  2146. >Living alone and without much money you never had the need to learn fancy cooking.
  2147. >But if there's one thing you were good at it's scrambled eggs.
  2148. >And by good you mean passable.
  2149. >And by passable you mean it can be eaten without gag reflex being involved.
  2150. >So, in other words, you're really mediocre at it. At best.
  2151. >What else are you supposed to do though, you can only survive on sandwiches for so long and anything else requires actual skill.
  2152. >And with Minty still sleeping it's up to you to make breakfast.
  2153. >At least you made sure no pieces of egg shells made it into the meal.
  2154. >The mare is gonna be mad when she wakes up so you have to make this count.
  2155. >Yes, it was painful to leave her in bed. But it was for her own good.
  2156. >Being completely naked for the first time with her you couldn't even imagine how good full body contact feels.
  2157. >Her fuzzy coat was really pleasant upon your skin and the natural softness of her body left you craving for more the second you let her go.
  2158. >She was holding on to you and if it was really up to you, you'd never ever let her go.
  2159. >This is the most intimate you've been with her. It's a shame it had to end on such a note.
  2160. >Not because you never got to bone her, the poor dear made you worried for her.
  2161. >The scariest part of it was the fact that you actually have no idea how to care for her if something actually happens.
  2162. >Minty knew how to take care of you. But if she herself falls ill, what would you do?
  2163. >You have no idea. What if you do something wrong? What if you just simply can't help her?
  2164. >Calling her panic attacks silly and unwarranted is easy but what if this is just as terrifying to her as it is to you?
  2165. >Seeing Minty like that last night opened up your eyes to her actual struggles.
  2166. >She's been going through a lot lately.
  2167. >You assumed she just knows what she's doing because it's been going to smoothly for you two so far.
  2168. >But the truth is, she's just like you.
  2169. >She has no idea how to handle you. If something happens to her you can ask other ponies what to do.
  2170. >Minty doesn't have anyone to ask other than the Initiative. She's completely alone in dealing with you.
  2171. >And yet she still tries and moves forward. She trips over and falls down but she gets up and moves on, because there's just no other way to do it.
  2172. >Everything is changing so fast she has to run to keep up. And if she's anything like you, change probably scares her more than anything else in life.
  2173. >But however it is, you know one thing for certain. You never ever want to see her scared and dazed like yesterday.
  2174. >So fragile and wavering she was still willing to go on. You could've taken her last night.
  2175. >But it's not how you would've liked it. Whether it's selfish or beta or anything in between, it doesn't matter.
  2176. >Now you've also gone out of your way to prevent her waking up at an early hour.
  2177. >Even if she'll be mad at you, you'll take it. She needs her rest. You need her rested.
  2178. >She will wake up alone though. What if she gets scared again? What if she thinks you've left her? Oh no.
  2179. >You never even thought about it. Looks like you'll have to-
  2180. >"Anon?"
  2181. >With relief you turn around and see your beautiful little pony standing right at the table.
  2182. >Her mane is still down and messy and she herself looks really groggy.
  2183. >"What happened? Why are you down here?"
  2184. "Good morning, Minty."
  2185. >"It's so late, what happened to the alarm? You didn't wake me up..."
  2186. >She takes her place at the table despite asking all these questions. So she's not mad about this.
  2187. "I just thought you needed rest. You're in no shape to wake up that early and go anywhere."
  2188. >"But..."
  2189. >Instead of trying to counter it she lets out a sigh and smiles.
  2190. >"Thanks, Anon. I'll still go later, alright? I'm feeling much better."
  2191. "If you say so, but we'll go together."
  2192. >"Fine."
  2193. "But first, you have to eat all the eggs."
  2194. >You put your questionable culinary creation before her.
  2195. >At first she's visibly confused but then the mare grins.
  2196. >"Waking up to breakfast, how long it's been. Thank you, Anon."
  2197. "Don't go head over heels until you taste it."
  2198. >Maybe you should've even brought it up to her while she was still in bed? Something tells you it wouldn't have ended well though.
  2199. >You both have your food ready and she doesn't hesitate to dig in.
  2200. >There's no disgust on her face so maybe it's not bad?
  2201. >"It's nice. Good job."
  2202. "Thanks."
  2203. >It's hard to completely ruin eggs so maybe that saved you. But Minty looks like she's enjoying it.
  2204. >Tasting it yourself you don't find it that bad too.
  2205. >Success feels good. And you made something good for you dearest pony. That feels even better.
  2206. >When you're done she sighs, satisfied. But then she remember she still has to go to work.
  2207. "Feels good to be self-employed, doesn't it?"
  2208. >You stand behind her as she combs and arranges her mane.
  2209. >"Of course. We've still missed the early hours, that's like the most important part."
  2210. "You told me there's no business in the morning."
  2211. >"With ice cream. Ponies want a hot drink when their day starts."
  2212. "Oh. Right."
  2213. >You put your hands on her back and give it a rub. The pony promptly closes her eyes for a second but then resumes her mane fiddling.
  2214. "So that means we don't have to go?"
  2215. >"No, that means we'll have to work extra hard."
  2216. "I can do that."
  2217. >"I hope so."
  2218. "You... You're not mad at me, aren't you?"
  2219. >"Honestly? I-"
  2220. >She turns to you and you expect her to scold you. To be fair, that wouldn't be a wrong thing to do.
  2221. >But seeing her grateful smile your heart flutters.
  2222. >"I'm really glad you did this."
  2223. "You needed rest, Minty."
  2224. >"I guess so. I'm just not used to being stressed so much."
  2225. "Sorry I've made you worry about everything."
  2226. >"It's nothing. And hey, even if it's sometimes hard it's better than not having anyone to care about at all."
  2227. >While you still process that she gives your hand a wet smooch and jumps off the chair.
  2228. >"Come on, we've got work to do."
  2229. >Why does this horse have to be so lovely?
  2230. >With newfound joy you put on your new jacket and scarf, get into your new winter boots and you and your mareventure outside in snowy Hoofdale.
  2231.  
  2232. >Even though Minty has said that you've missed the busy hours it's far from truth.
  2233. >There's actually a queue at the doors.
  2234. >You both apologize profusely but among annoyed remarks you get knowing glances and wry smiles too.
  2235. >Minty blushes realizing what they think is the reason you're both late and honestly, you react just the same.
  2236. >While your mare frantically prepares the drinks you do you heavy lifting and get all the ingredients to her.
  2237. >With you both working in together the hot vending is back on track in no time.
  2238. >You exchange warm looks as you work and it seems like the pace you both work with is pretty similar so the restaurant operates like a well oiled mechanism.
  2239. >You never noticed it but you already work in tandem and compliment each other perfectly.
  2240. >It's no surprise then that you're done with the waiting ponies rather quickly. Most of them were here for their launch breaks and you managed to serve them just in time, some leaving with steaming cups in hooves or magic grips in haste.
  2241. >Now you have some time before another wave of customers arrives here after their work hours are done, and then the next wave is after the train arrives when those who work in Horseshoe Creek return here.
  2242. >For now it's quiet here.
  2243. >While you finish with your duties Minty is scribbling something on a paper. She's writing a letter as you figure.
  2244. >Soon she calls for you.
  2245. >"Could you get this to town hall?"
  2246. "Sure."
  2247. >You see "Vanhoover" on the envelope and ask Minty:
  2248. "Is this for your parents?"
  2249. >"Yeah," the mare frowns. "I still want to say the last word here, you know."
  2250. "You haven't told me what's this about still."
  2251. >"It's just some stupid-"
  2252. "Are they against us being together?"
  2253. >Mare's eyes darting away for a second betray her panic. She can't hide it now.
  2254. >"Kinda. Well, they're not against it. They just, they don't take it seriously. They think it's some kind of game for me."
  2255. "That's stupid."
  2256. >"Told you."
  2257. >You won't mention that you've seen "marriage" there. Now this makes sense.
  2258. >In all honesty, they're not wrong to be concerned.
  2259. >It's one thing to know you're the perfect match but it's still up to you to make the relationship work.
  2260. >And it's one thing to be in love and another to start a real family.
  2261. >It looks like it's been bothering Minty too. Maybe she too thinks that it's a fair point.
  2262. >But you don't want to bring it up now. You want her mind to rest too. Seems like you'll have to try to make her forget about her worries later.
  2263. >Since you're done with chores around the restaurant you leave right away with Minty's letter.
  2264. >The trip doesn't take long but when you return you see that your mare is sitting at the counter with her eyes closed, head supported by her hoof.
  2265. >You walk up to her a quietly as possible and not a moment too soon.
  2266. >Her head slips from its support and without you catching it she might've hit the wood.
  2267. >Minty's a bit awake now but you use her sleepy state to quickly relocate her without the pony even realizing what's happening, picking her up and then setting her on your lap like she always enjoys it.
  2268. >Her back is against your chest and she wants to twist her head to look you in the eyes but gives up on that motion since it requires too much effort.
  2269. >The mare realizes she doesn't even have to wake up and closes her eyes again, burrowing herself in your embrace.
  2270. >You put your cheek on her head as your hands keep the pony close and the cocoon of warmth is complete. Minty is snoring quietly in your arms.
  2271. >Being the perfect bundle of comfiness, she bestows her sleepy vibes upon you together with the gift of her body's heat.
  2272. >It's in this awkward position you wake up much later, seeing one of the village's old mares at the counter, looking at you.
  2273. >The pony shakes her head at your attempts to move and gets herself a cup of cocoa, leaves a few bits on the counter and goes her way without saying a word, giving you an approving nod before she exits the building.
  2274. >Minty's perfectly safe a happy on your lap. Her muzzle is graced with a completely carefree smile and it's contagious, as you can't help but smile yourself.
  2275. >The day is slow but it will surely pick up the pace near evening.
  2276. >Minty doesn't want to leave the comfort of your hug.
  2277. >She puts her hoof on your shoulder and uses it to sit up on your legs but in doing so she comes dangerously close to your face and you grab and pinch her cheek.
  2278. >Easily guided by your hand she falls unto your chest and you press your lips to hers.
  2279. >The kiss escalates right away and now she hungrily sucks on your tongue like she's been waiting to do it this whole time.
  2280. >"I can't wait till we get home." she whispers when the kiss is broken.
  2281. >She knows just the thing to say to make you shiver. She gives you a sultry look and smile when she feels it, as well as your tightening hug.
  2282. >Minty knows she's wanted now. But you doubt she realizes just how much power she can have over you if she'd as much as wish for it.
  2283. >It's fine that way though, as long as she doesn't forget the way you see her.
  2284. >Little by little customers come and go and by the time you're done for the day it's already near night.
  2285. >Minty looks satisfied. You don't seem to have lost much business today despite your late arrival.
  2286. >Now that you're home though, what will she want to do now?
  2287. >Yesterday's awkwardness still lingers in the air.
  2288. >Lucky for you Minty suggests you take a shower, after all you've been busy today.
  2289. >You take this advice and while you cram yourself in the little pony's shower cabin as usual, you hear rapid hoofsteps up above.
  2290. >Minty walks across the room a few times and then it sounds like she jumps on the bed.
  2291. >Interested to see what's this about, you try to finish your shower without getting to excited, and especially without fantasizing about her as you usually do in here.
  2292. >There's no need to do this anymore now that the ice has been broken.
  2293. >No need to smother your face with her towel, taking in her scent. Now you can do the same with its source.
  2294. >Amazing how fast you've become so close. It must really be the magic of love.
  2295. >Two loners drifting in life without direction, with no one to share their love with.
  2296. >Does the Crystal Heart even do anything other than find these kind of matches?
  2297. >If you've met on the streets you'd probably pass each other without thinking. But when you both know you were meant for each other you naturally seek each other's affection.
  2298. >You know there has to be no mistake so you open up to each other, trust each other. But you don't take it for granted.
  2299. >So even if there would be no magic of love involved at all, would you drift apart? Would you not fall for each other in less than a week without any sort of spell?
  2300. >You highly doubt it. Minty is everything you wanted in life. Just finding her was enough to make you happy.
  2301. >What matters is her being with you. The real magic of love happened right here, not in the Crystal Heart, not somewhere else.
  2302. >But then if the Heart isn't the source of love, it's the other way around and the magic of love feeds the Heart. But then it means...
  2303. >On the brink of a great epiphany you walk into the bedroom.
  2304. >All your thoughts evaporate in an instant. Before you you see something that leaves you speechless and your head spinning for a moment.
  2305. >Minty is lying on the bed, stretching seductively as she sees you enter.
  2306. >Her hindlegs are adorned in black stockings, going up to her cutiemark where compression squeezes her lavish thighs in just the perfect way.
  2307. >Her forelegs are covered just the same. She turns herself on her back and you see that this isn't nearly all.
  2308. >Black laced panties are covering Minty's marehood and they also go upper on her belly, forming a shape of a heart.
  2309. >This silky black heart goes over her teats like a bra. With ponies it doesn't have the same effect but what it represents means much more than what it actually does functionally.
  2310. >It's just high enough to cover her nipples and the rest of Minty's teats form a sort of crotch cleavage.
  2311. >On account of them being more plump than the usual deal it kind of works for her. What's more, it seems to be a kind of a push-up bra and it squeezes Minty's forms, accentuating her already pronounced features.
  2312. >Whoever designed this was obviously inspired by human lingerie.
  2313. >Minty herself has her mane already down but well brushed and she gives you the most seductive look she can manage.
  2314. >Seeing your reaction her eyes sparkle with excitement as it seems that her plan worked.
  2315. >Enchanted by the view you move to the bed, to Minty's delight.
  2316. >At the bed you see that red box that the Initiative delivered to you yesterday, opened and thrown away in haste.
  2317. >Looks like it's now clear what was inside of it.
  2318. >The mare flips to the side again, putting one hindleg near the other and dragging them close to her barrel.
  2319. >That way not only can you admire the beautiful form of her legs and her butt, but her panties also peek out right in between her legs, as well as her completely exposed dock.
  2320. >Minty sees you eyeing her up, entranced by her looks and she relishes this feeling of being desired, so much that you can barely think straight now that you're near her.
  2321. >The pony invites you to get on the bed by a slight wave of her hoof.
  2322. >As soon as you're in range of her touch she immediately brings you over her small body.
  2323. >You're standing on all fours above her. There's not even a shadow of fear or doubt on her muzzle.
  2324. >Minty's hooves lift your sweater up and you try to help her but doesn't want it.
  2325. >Awkwardly she tugs it off herself and she seems to be satisfied with that.
  2326. >You finally bring your body lower and she once again hurries you up with her wanting motions.
  2327. >On your elbows you're inches away from her now.
  2328. "Minty..."
  2329. >"Shh. Don't."
  2330. "You didn't have to do this."
  2331. >"I know."
  2332. >A wet, greedy kiss on the lips makes your head spin once again as you feel how much she wants it.
  2333. >You finally put your whole body on top of her and experience her warmth once again, this time with added silk of her lingerie.
  2334. >Though her coat seems much more pleasant under your touch. And you want to touch her everywhere.
  2335. >Your hands travel all across her body, grasping, feeling, caressing. Minty's hooves explore your body as well, though she is limited to your torso.
  2336. >When the kiss breaks your head falls on the pillow right next to hers and you whisper playfully:
  2337. "You don't know what you're doing to me."
  2338. >Which was of course false. You know she knows full well what she's doing. But you want her to feel what kind of impression it makes on you.
  2339. >The pony starts kissing your neck and whispers back.
  2340. >"Then tell me."
  2341. >Her hindlegs both slide at your sides and try to get your pants down, motioning just like then that she wants them out of the picture.
  2342. >You do as she asks and while you're busy with removing them she places her legs on your stomach so that her silk covered hooves touch your skins.
  2343. >"Tell me what you want," she insists. "I want to hear it from you."
  2344. >You drag both your pants and boxers down, feeling the coldness of the room with your already erect member.
  2345. >It doesn't get any reaction out of Minty like the last time, aside from mischievous smile while her eyes are glued to it.
  2346. >She even opens her mouth with a smile while watching your dick swing and throb as you let yourself free of your clothing.
  2347. >You feel strange but pleasant seeing that. Is this how she feels when you're ogling her forms?
  2348. >Minty doesn't let you proceed though. Her hind hooves are still on your torso, this time much more closer to each other.
  2349. >Even though you move forward she applies pressure to your body and doesn't let you tower over her.
  2350. >Her strong and full legs press upon you in their silky softness. Everything from from hocks down to frogs is on you now and it presents considerable pushing power.
  2351. >You can't even imagine a kick from a pony like her, it would surely shatter your bones.
  2352. >But of course she would do no such thing. The only thing she wants now is to hear you call her your dear beloved.
  2353. >"Say it, Anon," she begs when you caress her legs and touch silken cups on her pony bra.
  2354. >You want to play along so you oblige.
  2355. "I want you more than anything, Minty. I want you to be mine."
  2356. >Her legs move to your sides and you finally drop on top of your mare just to hear her exhilarated gasp.
  2357. >You have no idea how to deal with her underwear though. So for now you just get your fingers on her surprisingly thin panties and give it her hot petals a gentle rub.
  2358. >You keep yourself up on your elbow over Minty again, leaving you fully exposed for your mare's displays of affection and as you play with her privates you experience all kinds of it - kissing, moaning, touching, even few attempts to bite.
  2359. >You'll remember to give her some kiss marks of you own later, but for now you're committed to exploring her underwear.
  2360. >Her bra seems really tight as you thought and what's above it is firmly squeezed out. It might be uncomfortable for her but even if it is she doesn't show it.
  2361. >She does let out a very satisfied gaps when you get your hand inside of it though, kneading her teats gently but persistently.
  2362. >It's then she decides she's had enough of you playing with her body and her hoof guides your hand to her tail's dock, the key to it all.
  2363. >It is there you find the single strap that holds this all together, just above the tail, hidden from you by mare being on her back this whole time.
  2364. >It's hard for you to undo it with just one hand and you already see Minty's smile as she patiently awaits you to relieve her of her bra, but you finally manage to do it.
  2365. >Minty sighs gently and lowers your head to give you a tender kiss, caressing the insides of your mouth with her tongue slowly.
  2366. >You however are impatient to get Minty's clothing off and she lets you go as you pull her bra-panties off of her, revealing her darkened crotch.
  2367. >Finally you give both of her teats a nice firm squeeze and the mare trembles in your touch.
  2368. >You already aim to repeat yesterday's fiery success but Minty is determined to once again insist on her own course of actions.
  2369. >This time when you lay on top of her there's no barriers left between you. Your dick touches her a few times when she squirms under you as you try to give her the deepest kiss possible.
  2370. >Unable to take the tension anymore Minty grabs your cheeks and looks at you with eyes full of determination and lust, almost mad with it.
  2371. >She doesn't speak, she just nods.
  2372. >Even though it's unfair that she made you verbally reveal your desires you don't care about something like this right now.
  2373. >No matter how unreal this all seems it's now inevitable. Minty, your little Minty, your lovely plump mare, wants you inside of her.
  2374. >And you want to give her everything you've got.
  2375. >Her hindlegs are already up and apart, ready to accommodate you in their warm embrace.
  2376. >When your tip finds her moist petals you both feel that this is it.
  2377. >Even this little contact is so new and pleasurable you fear you won't last even a minute.
  2378. >Minty's breath gets shallow when you prod against her marelips a little bit.
  2379. >You feel her winking and you know there's no reason to hesitate.
  2380. >In a slow but persistent motion you bring your pelvis forward and your dick slides right into her moistened slit.
  2381. >Minty throws her head up and her body stretches in bliss. She tries to move her hips to meet your motion and you continue on.
  2382. >This might be it. You can't deal. This is too good. The texture, the warmth, the movements of her body, it all drives you crazy.
  2383. >Here's to human's superior stamina. Destroyed by one overly eager earth mare.
  2384. >But you manage to hold on to your sanity. This can't end like this. You will fuck your pony.
  2385. >She herself is out of her mind, looking up and gyrating her ass slowly.
  2386. >If you'd finish right now she won't even notice it seems. But you collect your thoughts and you move. Getting out is easier than pushing forward after all.
  2387. >But as soon as there's just your tip is left inside of her you thrust again, meeting the same tension as before, this time sliding your full mast in her.
  2388. >Minty's legs hug you and she tries to do something like a leg lock, but it's hard for her because of your size. Instead, her legs are just at your sides, holding you firmly. Stockings brush against your skin in an unfamiliar sensation, and the mare adds to it by throwing her forelegs over your shoulders too.
  2389. >She hugs you close. And in that full body hug you start thrusting.
  2390. >First, unsure and slow. Then you pick up the pace. Minty reacts right away, and pretty violently, thrashing about under you, moaning and gasping in your ear.
  2391. >It escalates fast and soon her body spasms just like yesterday, the mare letting out one high-pitched moan after another in in rhythm with your motions.
  2392. >Your hands affix her body to your firmly and her mouth is right at your ear, so you hear her every wet inhale, her every lusty sigh.
  2393. >Feeling Minty getting close you brace yourself, holding her as hard as you can.
  2394. "Minty, I love you." you whisper in her ear as you hilt.
  2395. >Right in that second a mighty shudder goes through the little pony's body and you feel your dick squeezed so hard it's almost like she's pushing it out.
  2396. >You are determined to keep it in though, but that costs you everything.
  2397. >Minty's spasms is all that's needed to send you over the edge.
  2398. >Crying out your mare's name and holding your cock as deep in her as you can you join her in uncontrollable shaking.
  2399. >In mindblowing spurts you release everything that's been pent up over these day, coating her tight pussy with your seed.
  2400. >Your moans and grunts add to hers and for a few moments you're just a mass of convulsing flesh.
  2401. >And when it ends you look in her eyes.
  2402. >That heart-shaped pupil thing might be a meme, but you are instantly reminded of that "instant life bond" picture because that's the look Minty gives you right now.
  2403. >No words are said. You just fall on her again. And the you start kissing her all over.
  2404. >You don't stop for a moment, to Minty's delight. She caresses you with her hooves and want more of your affection. And not even five minutes later you feel yourself getting hard again.
  2405. >It's only fair that after such a short one time you have another one, right?
  2406. >The pony is more than ready for it, whispering your name in anticipation, and you plunge inside of her right away.
  2407. >Vigorous as ever you rut her even harder and faster, and her reaction is appropriate. This time you want to remain at her face to watch her eyes but she instead locks your lips in kiss.
  2408. >But then you realize that even though you were technically ready for another go, you still haven't fully recovered at that point.
  2409. >Now it's taking its toll on you and you find yourself going a bit numb.
  2410. >You can't have that. Minty is getting close once again and you definitely feel it but this time you continue fucking her right through her climax and it seems to prolong it too.
  2411. >After it she looks at you wistfully but you're nowhere near close. So you pick up the pace.
  2412. >You change it up a bit, propping up your body to stand just on your knees when you rut Minty.
  2413. >She follows you with her hooves and you grab her forelegs at their ankles, holding onto them as you keep thrusting.
  2414. >Obsessed with getting yourself off you go faster and faster and Minty promptly reacts to it.
  2415. >She seems to be saying you're going too fast but between her moans and your own haze your mind can't keep up.
  2416. >Finally you feel yourself getting close. At this point you're going so fast Minty is just whimpering, her body completely mellow.
  2417. >The mare's mouth is opened as if she's frozen mid-moan and she seems to be looking somewhere far up above while letting out stuffed yelps, trembling on your cock from time to time.
  2418. >You're definitely on your finish line when you feel a lot of wetness streaming down your dick and balls. Minty just gasps for air at this point and her hooves are twitching at random.
  2419. >There's a strange smell in the air but you can't concern yourself with this.
  2420. >This new layer of lubrication is just what you needed and an orgasm even more intense that your first one shatters your mind as you moan over Minty's barely moving sobbing body.
  2421. >She regains composure faster than you do and she holds you close, kissing your cheek.
  2422. >It's only after a few minutes of silent solidarity with your dick still being in your mare she realizes something is bothering her.
  2423. >When you get off her she looks at the wet sheets and her cheeks burn crimson. You still don't get it, but when she orders you to get off the bed and grabs the sheet in panic you kinda starting to understand.
  2424. >Minty returns to your room and you grab her immediately, not even allowing her to say anything.
  2425. >Her every attempt to apologize is met with another "I love you" from you. After a few times she understands and nods. She won't bring it up again. You're not uncomfortable with it and that's final.
  2426. >She feels safe again and you cuddle her gently.
  2427. >You exchange sweet nothings as you lay down.
  2428. >After a quick trip to the kitchen she brings a few sandwiches in bed and you eat still right next to each other.
  2429. >She looks at your differently now. Today her position of your mare has been sealed.
  2430. >Now she belongs to you and you belong to her.
  2431. >She won't waver and hesitate anymore. Minty is content. You love her and she loves you.
  2432. >She tells you how much she loves you and you tell you that you love her more.
  2433. >She knows no feeling purer than this.
  2434.  
  2435. >The next day a mailmare comes along. She gives Minty a letter that makes her spit out her hot chocolate.
  2436. >You ask her what happened and she answers you with annoyance in her voice.
  2437. >"My parents... They say they're coming to visit us."
  2438.  
  2439. ---
  2440.  
  2441. "Cadence?"
  2442. >Pink ears twitch on the princess' head.
  2443. >You, Twilight Sparkle, are really excited to finally bring good tidings to the tired pony.
  2444. >"Twilight, good to see you. You have anything for me?"
  2445. >Pink pony doesn't even turn around to "see" you, slouched over the table with a big pile of newly printed invitations for humans that she signs one after another.
  2446. "Yes," you answer with bared contained enthusiasm. "I have news about the project."
  2447. >This instantly gets Cadence's interest and she finally looks at you.
  2448. >A stack of papers float from your magic grip to hers.
  2449. >"Tell me you've got it."
  2450. "Eh, almost. But we're on the way there."
  2451. >"All thanks to your dearest, I assume?"
  2452. >Now that was uncalled for. Your embarrassed smile is too obvious and Cadence smirks.
  2453. "He only gave me the idea, we did-"
  2454. >"Twilight, I'm just joking."
  2455. >You muzzle still crumples up and the pink princess already goes for another apology but it's too late.
  2456. "Yes, I know you were right all along, you can gloat however you want now about how I should've listened to your advice and we basically wasted time with our "research" and now-"
  2457. >"Whoa, hey..."
  2458. >A tight hug interrupts your rant and you feel wings enveloping your body.
  2459. >Cadence's worrying whisper sounds right at your ear.
  2460. >"Have you been working with no rest again, Twilight? You never listen to me."
  2461. "I did listen to you and got him here."
  2462. >"I wanted you to let yourself recover, not get obsessed with work again."
  2463. "Well it's too late now, and we're only getting started."
  2464. >She doesn't let you go and you feel a little bit annoyed.
  2465. "We could've started ages ago if we only had that idea right from the start. If only we had a human."
  2466. >"Don't say that."
  2467. "If only I went there right from the start and-"
  2468. >"Twilight..."
  2469. "We wouldn't have had that argument too."
  2470. >"Twilight Sparkle!"
  2471. >It almost looks like she's on the brink of tears now that she's released you and looks you in the eyes.
  2472. >"It's not important now. Please, it was just a silly joke."
  2473. "I know we were incompetent in such an important field..."
  2474. >Cadence's frown only grows deeper.
  2475. >"You? The pony who still keeps this all up together, who was on the brink of making impossible possible with zero prior research, incompetent?"
  2476. "But that's just it, it was always possible!"
  2477. >"Wait, what?"
  2478. "Cadence, it's always been possible for a human and a pony to have a baby together."
  2479. >"But then-"
  2480. "Exactly. We've wasted this whole time digging in the wrong direction. All because of me and my ambition."
  2481. >"But how did you find out?"
  2482. "It's a long story but let's just say we had our share of arguing to find this out."
  2483. >Of course it was arguing and making up to each other. More of the latter, actually.
  2484. >"Twilight, you can't blame yourself for anything."
  2485. "I don't feel that way. But you're right, as always. It's not important now."
  2486. >"So what have we been missing?"
  2487. >In a very long winded explanation you tell Cadence about the nature of mare's body being receptive and how it can be stimulated to the point of just magically accepting human genes.
  2488. >"Wait, so basically we're talking about some sort of magical estrus?"
  2489. >That over-simplification isn't giving your project justice but to be fair it's not really your project anymore because you've failed in on such a fundamental level.
  2490. "Yes, something like that."
  2491. >Estrus as a natural biological concept was abandoned long time ago and it's strange that Cadence even knows about it. It's like saying that the Sun was rising up on its own or the weather just happened by itself, no pony would even think about it nowadays.
  2492. >"What about tests then?"
  2493. "There's still three volunteers but, well, I've sent everyone a survey recently, about the importance of starting a family with kids.
  2494. >"I think I know where this is going."
  2495. "Of all the human-mare couples 97% answered that it was important or very important to them. Both humans and mares answered this way."
  2496. >"That's understandable."
  2497. "I think that's just because they figured out why we sent them these questionnaires in the first place."
  2498. >"We're not exactly hiding that research, you know."
  2499. "I still want to run some tests. To know if it's safe at all. I think three ponies will be enough."
  2500. >"You notified them already?"
  2501. "We are preparing the remedy right now."
  2502. >"The what?"
  2503. "Just a potion to, let's say, get the mare in the right state."
  2504. >"Is this really everything that's needed for it?"
  2505. "It appears so."
  2506. >"It's like we've been always ready for this. Like it was meant to be."
  2507. "Well, I guess it's not wrong to think about it like that now that we know how it works."
  2508. >Cadence looks at you with pride and another round of tears form at her eyes, this time from joy.
  2509. >"Thank you so much for this, Twilight."
  2510. "You don't have to thank me, I'm not-"
  2511. >"No, I want to thank you specifically."
  2512. >You can only sigh bitterly.
  2513. >"If you still insist on selling yourself short, why don't you take this time to get some rest?"
  2514. "No, there's still-"
  2515. >"Oh, I'm sorry, isn't it me who's always right?"
  2516. >Even though she giggles while looking at you playfully you can only squint your eyes at her hijinks.
  2517. >She doesn't have to rub it in. It's almost like she is really laughing at you.
  2518. >Silly Twilight, why do you think you know anything? You're still just the princess of friendship, you don't know the first thing about love.
  2519. >Stumbling in the dark with no guidance, not trusting those who know better than you.
  2520. >Rejecting judgement of a power much greater than you, than that of your domain.
  2521. >Arguing with your superior about things you don't comprehend.
  2522. >Misleading others while they could already live the life of their dreams, starting families. Wasting precious time trying to figure out something so simple.
  2523. >It's so you, isn't it? Overthinking it all. It's so idiotic.
  2524. >It wasn't worth anything in the end. It wasn't even-
  2525. >"Twilight? Are you alright?"
  2526. "Huh? Yeah, I'm fine."
  2527. >"Please, please promise me you'll go home and get some rest. Not "just another run", no check-up, just home and sleep."
  2528. "Maybe."
  2529. >Cadence is really serious now.
  2530. >"No, promise."
  2531. "Alright. Alright, I promise you."
  2532. >"Good. Now stay safe. And thank you once again. You've given us a new hope today."
  2533. >Yeah, whatever.
  2534. >You just open the portal and go inside.
  2535. >Didn't even open the other side yet. Don't know where to go. Don't know if you want to.
  2536. >The pale light of the stars reflect in your eyes. All of them are out of your reach.
  2537. >The Void is a lie. No matter how close these stars are, you can't get to them. It will lead you astray and you'll never find your way back.
  2538. >At least you have someone waiting for you to not be tempted by this unknown vastness.
  2539. >Maybe it is time to go home. But even though you promised Cadence, there's one detour you'd like to take.
  2540. >It's a matter of one minute anyway.
  2541. >You jump out of the portal in your chambers after taking the small bottle you've left in laboratory labeled "#00001".
  2542. >The number showcased just how optimistic you were in your estimations for distributing this substance.
  2543. >"Twilight? You're home?"
  2544. >Your human. Your husbando. It was a bit hard to get used to his constant company and at first you were almost avoiding him.
  2545. >But you've learned better.
  2546. >"Problems with Cadence?"
  2547. "No. No problems. She just sent me to rest. Made me promise too."
  2548. >"Finally, someone convinced you."
  2549. "Oh, come on, it's not-"
  2550. >You don't even notice how he approaches you so him picking you up in one swift motion startled you. Almost dropped your flask too.
  2551. >"Let's go then"
  2552. "Give me a second."
  2553. >"Don't you remember? Ponies who struggle get double the snuggle."
  2554. >You almost smile at that. Almost. Alright, you do, just a little bit.
  2555. >It only does take a second to open the bottle and drink it all up. The magic essence burns your throat.
  2556. >Not proven. Not tested. Definitely not approved. But it's the least you can do. It's about the only thing you can do for this project now.
  2557. >Even though Mallow Orchard, Sugar Star and Dreamy Drizzle wanted to test this out first, you want to at least be useful for the project this way.
  2558. >No chance this will backfire horribly. Not at all.
  2559. >Who cares at this point, not like they need you anymore. The whole Initiative is running full speed on its own now.
  2560. >It then crosses your mind that if that is indeed so then you can just not show up tomorrow.
  2561. >That will show them. They won't even notice you're not there. Or they'll go all "Where's Twilight? Oh well, back to work." And then Cadence will eat her words.
  2562. >Whatever. It doesn't concern you now. You'll be useful another way.
  2563. >And...
  2564. >With these kind of thoughts maybe you do need some rest.
  2565. >You know this way of defeatist thinking.
  2566. >You're starting to sound like Cadence when she snapped at you. And you don't want to snap at anyone.
  2567. >Especially not at the one carrying you to bedroom right now.
  2568. >Not at the one who has his firm but gentle arms around your tired and aching body.
  2569. >Not at the one who puts you on the bed and coos softly in your ear about how he missed you.
  2570. >Certainly not at the one who you'll test this remedy with tonight.
  2571. >And you have all night of tests ahead of you.
  2572.  
  2573. ---
  2574.  
  2575. >"Is your family (parents) important to you?"
  2576. >Eh... A bit important.
  2577. >"Is starting your own family with your husbando important to you?"
  2578. >Yes. Very important.
  2579. >"Is having children (any kind) with him important to you?"
  2580. >Yes. Well, it is very important, but as it is impossible for now you don't want to let it get in the way of how you see him.
  2581. >"Please answer as if it is possible to have children with him."
  2582. >Oh. Well then yes, it's very important to you, Minty Steps.
  2583. >Wait, are you understanding this correctly? They wouldn't ask these questions just out of interest, right? Something's happening.
  2584. >Looking at Anon filling his own forms you wonder what his answers are.
  2585. >You hope it's all "very important".
  2586. >At least he always tries to put it inside of you. Like he's secretly hoping that he can knock you up.
  2587. >Come to think of it, there wasn't a single time he hasn't done that.
  2588. >You hope he always will.
  2589. >It's been a few days since you've had your first time with him. Ever since your interest in him has only grown.
  2590. >After a long day at work there's nothing feels better than being carried home, softly put on the bed and taken right away.
  2591. >Especially since you think about it so much at work.
  2592. >It's so strange, being wanted. But Anon leaves no doubt in your mind. That first time confirmed that you're irresistible to him.
  2593. >You have no way around it, you had to accept it. It's the best feeling ever.
  2594. >Just like it's a strange to feel how loving he is.
  2595. >He's so big and strong. He could rip you to shreds easily with his bare hands. At least that's how you imagine it is, you don't actually know how strong he is.
  2596. >But his touch is most tender. A gentle giant with only one desire, to make you feel good. A lion tamed by a mere pony.
  2597. >And it's so easy to make him feel good too. You, a small and timid mare, have so much power over him it's sometimes intoxicating.
  2598. >At your single touch, a single movement he squirms, whines and moans your name. His fate is in your hooves. And you want him to feel good, to lose his mind when he's with you.
  2599. >Even though you have only started exploring each other you already crave more. You want to try every position, every way possible, push his and your limits.
  2600. >And even though he's so gentle you sometimes want him to be rough. To show you just how powerless you are before him.
  2601. >These kind of fantasies make you hot and bothered without fail but you don't want to try yet.
  2602. >Just this is more than enough for both of you. You're just getting started but you can't get enough.
  2603. >It reflects in your daily interactions too. Your middle-work snuggles become more and more lewd with each day.
  2604. >Right now there's a client so you remain decent.
  2605. >Here's Anon asking them if they've ever tried eggnog. He's been asking all the ponies today, nopony told him "yes" yet.
  2606. >You yourself had no idea what is that and why is it so important for Anon.
  2607. >He said that he never tried it himself but was sure that "it has to be a thing here in these parts" without explaining much else.
  2608. >Then he formed an order to Melancholic Medicine. There was nothing but a few tinctures in it. This is so suspicious.
  2609. >But now that the customer is served and away, Anon invites you on his lap.
  2610. >You're so happy to be in his hug again.
  2611. >And you can't help it. You kiss him. More and more. You touch him, you start petting him.
  2612. >You want him to touch you too and he does.
  2613. >He loves it so much, but you love it more. It's no wonder that you inconspicuously move his arm lower and lower, until his finger finds your slit.
  2614. >It's what you crave but it's not what you can admit. Somepony might come in. And yet his hand is below the counter so nopony would even know.
  2615. >And that just adds to the experience. All these days he's been doing this and you loved it every single time.
  2616. >He hugs you close and he pleasures you, slowly but persistently playing with you.
  2617. >You feel like a little filly in his embrace, gasping and biting his sweater while stuffing your moans to at least try to appear as a proper mare.
  2618. >He rubs your cheek and kisses your head, he nibbles on your ear and he whispers your name in a very sultry, needy way. And you can't ever resist that.
  2619. >Anon needs you and you want to give in to him.
  2620. >When an ever intense orgasm overtakes your trembling body he keeps you close like he wants to protect you, your precious moment. There's nothing in it but him and you.
  2621. >You always show him how happy you are. But one thing has been bothering you.
  2622. >He always quick to pleasure you. However you don't usually get to repay him.
  2623. >You've got to make it right. Maybe tonight it's you who shall take the reigns and make him feel like a filly. Or a colt in his case. No, a...young human? No, but that would imply that-
  2624. >Forget it, you're getting sidetracked.
  2625. >Wait, where were you again?
  2626. >Oh, there are clients here now, looking right at-
  2627. >Whoa, what?!
  2628. >"Hello, Minty."
  2629. "Mom? Dad?!"
  2630. >"Huh?" says Anon, quickly but surreptitiously removing his fingers from your marehood.
  2631. >There's no saying how long they've even been here. But judging by their friendly look not long enough.
  2632. >Besides, Anon would've seen it if they arrived in the midst of his secret mission, right?
  2633. >Mom gives your hubby and inquisitive look.
  2634. >"You must be Anonymous. Nice to meet you. I'm Sunny Steps. And this is my husband, Minty's dad - Carefree Steps."
  2635. >"Heya!" says dad, taking his winter hat off.
  2636. >"Uh, hello."
  2637. >Anon is nearly panicking but you touch his still wet hand with your hoof to calm him down.
  2638. >Dad doesn't have much to say and by his looks he doesn't even want to be here, lamenting mom's decision to drag him here.
  2639. >If this visit is about that letter then you're pretty sure you know it's mom who initiated this and he wants no part in any scandals.
  2640. >"Minty, we'd like to talk to you."
  2641. >Mom is already prepared for your negative answer. She's just testing waters to see your reaction.
  2642. "We're at work right now, mom, we can't go home yet."
  2643. >"Strange, I don't see any work going on."
  2644. >You lock your eyes in a staredown but dad breaks you off.
  2645. >"Well, we'll be on our way for now, the day is almost done anyway."
  2646. >On their way where? Your house? Well, it's not like you care.
  2647. >Mom will probably take her time to rummage through your things to find something dirty on you but the most she'll find there would be your lingerie, back in its box. And you're not ashamed of that. Not one bit.
  2648. >Sunny scoffs at her husband's suggestion but still goes to the door.
  2649. >It doesn't look like she even wants to stay here longer than she should. One has to wonder why did she come here in the first place.
  2650. >Dad shakes his head.
  2651. >"I'm sorry, Minty, Anonymous."
  2652. "What's her problem?"
  2653. >"No idea. She wasn't like that when we were riding the train here."
  2654. >Maybe it's because she saw you in Anon's embrace? But it doesn't affect dad, what's the deal.
  2655. >"The workday is done anyway, you shouldn't keep her waiting. You know how it goes."
  2656. >He takes off too but you stop him at the doors.
  2657. "Was it her idea to go?"
  2658. >"Yeah. You know me. I'm fine with whatever makes you happy. And you look happy enough."
  2659. >With that he leaves the establishment.
  2660. "I'm sorry you had to see that."
  2661. >Your hubby doesn't answer, he just hugs you closer. When you lean in for a kiss he gladly accepts.
  2662. "Anon... I might need extra tight hugs tonight."
  2663. >"I'll be happy to, sweetheart."
  2664. >Ah, this tingly feeling again. You make him kiss you a few more times.
  2665. >It doesn't concern you that everything inside can be seen from outside so if your parents were to wait for you they'd see this.
  2666. >Let them see, let them know you're Anon's mare.
  2667. >You still follow dad's advice and close up soon after he's gone.
  2668. >"What should I expect?"
  2669. >Anon's question leaves you wondering as you walk through the snow-covered street towards your house.
  2670. "No idea. Dad's probably gonna support us. Mom though, I have no idea what to expect out of her. Let me handle her, alright?"
  2671. >"Sure."
  2672. "You don't have to stay silent and take everything though. If they bite, bite back. They are on our territory now."
  2673. >"Gotcha."
  2674. >Even though it's still technically their house they have no business barging in like that.
  2675. >But when you get there, it seems that this situation can be resolved easily.
  2676. >Mom suggests you go up to talk in private, leaving dad and Anon in the kitchen.
  2677. >You nod to Anon and he smiles at you, albeit weakly.
  2678. >But now you're alone and unprotected, fearing the talk with mom.
  2679. >That scares you a bit but you'll stand your ground.
  2680. >When she enters your room she comments right away.
  2681. >"Nice bed. Just the right size for a human, huh."
  2682. "For a human and a pony."
  2683. >She turns to you and you make it clear that you won't budge and she can't shame you for anything.
  2684. >"And here I was wondering if I'll ever see grandfoals..."
  2685. "So this is what it's all about? Just children?"
  2686. >"What more do you need?"
  2687. "How about being happy and enjoying my life for once? You ever tried wishing for that?"
  2688. >She's taken aback and for a moment you regret saying that.
  2689. >"Minty, don't be like this. Don't misunderstand. We just want the best for you."
  2690. "Well I'm getting the best there is."
  2691. >"I don't know, you seem easy to accept this...man, even though it hasn't even been a month since you've met."
  2692. "We've already been through a lot. Don't you think that if there's love magic involved it's a sure match?"
  2693. >"Yes, and it skips so many parts of the relationship, like getting to know each other, being together through troubles and-"
  2694. >Mom trips over her words when she sees how appalled you are.
  2695. "Don't you think you assume too much? You have no idea what we've been going through these days. And now you barge in saying that this isn't "real" relationship? Just because you think you know how this all works?"
  2696. >"Dear, I never-"
  2697. "What, you want grandfoals, we'll give you a dozen once princess Twilight finds the way, then you'll be happy? Anything else you want from us, mom?"
  2698. >"You'll have them without even marrying him?"
  2699. "Oh, another thing on the list!"
  2700. >"How can you start a family without-"
  2701. "With love, don't you know how it works? Do I need to remind you of your own story you've been telling me every single year?"
  2702. >The classic story of Horseshoe Creeks' weather team pegasus, Sunny Breeze. And the baker's earth pony son, Carefree Steps.
  2703. >A tale of forbidden love. A stallion like him has no business with a featherbrain pegasus who'll move away to the greener pastures once her poor family has enough money to take off and leave.
  2704. >And the proud pegasus like her has no business with some earth pony who only thinks about slowing her down and having foals.
  2705. >At least that's what their families thought. That never prevented them from seeing each other all the time, at any opportunity.
  2706. >It never prevented them from being together romantically as much as possible.
  2707. >And it certainly didn't get between them when everyone noticed Sunny's belly growing.
  2708. >It didn't take much of an investigation to figure out what has happened. Both families were furious but the lovers stood together.
  2709. >The moved to a new neighboring village some of Creek's denizens were already moving to due to the its fast growth.
  2710. >There they married and found happiness and-
  2711. >"Yes, I remember that."
  2712. "Do you want to be like your parents then? Or do you think we'd be happier under pressure and it's your way to support us?"
  2713. >Mom smirks and wants to shoot back something sarcastic but then you both hear loud laughted down from kitchen.
  2714. >"Well, somepony's having a great time."
  2715. "Unlike us, arguing here for no reason."
  2716. >"Honestly, I... I just wanted to make sure you're safe and doing okay here."
  2717. "Well, I am. I'm better than ever. There's a certain man you should thank for this."
  2718. >"Alright, alright. You've made you point. Let's go check on the boys, they can't have all the fun, don't you think?"
  2719. >Smiling, you follow her, thinking about how stupid this whole idea was.
  2720. >Nice thinking, mom. Could've just read the letter where you said you're fine.
  2721. >You hear voices discussing something loudly. It's Anon:
  2722. >"...these years, it's like nothing. Still tastes good."
  2723. >"No way, that's amazing."
  2724. >You wonder what they're discussing. Your mom wonders the same, asking about it.
  2725. >"Oh, this and that," your dad says, laughing. "This young man has a LOT to say."
  2726. >At least they found a common ground. Anon is smiling too and you think he's happy with the conversation. Dad continues:
  2727. >"I just wanted to say, when me and Sunny were young, we were just like that, remember? She was-"
  2728. >"Oh come one, did you two plan this?!"
  2729. >All four of you laugh now. Look at you, you're like a big happy family now. That makes you all warm and fuzzy.
  2730. >Is everything going to be alright from now on? Please?
  2731. >Mom says they have to go soon and you wonder why that is.
  2732. >Dad answers instead of her:
  2733. >"You know why we're here in the first place? We're visiting Rosemary."
  2734. "Wait, that's in Horseshoe Creek."
  2735. >"We just thought we'd drop by."
  2736. >So it wasn't actually a planned visit? You were already starting to worry about getting them somewhere to sleep for the night.
  2737. >Thanking Celestia for such luck you realize that the last train there is arriving here pretty soon.
  2738. >It doesn't take much to move them out of your house and you still talk about everything and nothing on your way to the station.
  2739. >They depart happier than how they've arrived. At least that's something.
  2740. >"So..." Anon says scratching his hat. "Does that mean we're in the clear and have their blessing?"
  2741. "Probably?"
  2742. >You still don't know what to make out of this. But it seems that they're content with leaving you to your own devices.
  2743. >And that means...
  2744. >Anon barely react in time when you jump at him. He almost falls but in the end he manages to find his balance with you in his hands.
  2745. >His jacket feels cold. You can't wait to get it out of the way.
  2746. >Anon is carrying you through the slowly falling snow. It's so quiet and dark it's like there's just you and him here.
  2747. >You wish it'd be true. Maybe you should go for a walk in the forest on your day off?
  2748. >Though woods to the south aren't really White Tail Woods levels of safe, even though they are technically the same forest, just north to the railroad.
  2749. >Your thoughts are interrupted by Anon slipping for a moment and wobbling on his legs. Looks like there's ice under this snow.
  2750. >"Fucking hell."
  2751. "Be careful, don't want to ruin that nice-"
  2752. >And he drops down on his back. His hands are occupied so he can't soften his fall.
  2753. >You hear a really painful thud and a worrying "ooph" of the air escaping Anon's lungs.
  2754. >Just thinking about how many body parts he could damage in a flat fall like that makes your skin crawl.
  2755. "Anon, you alright?"
  2756. >Turning to face him you see, to your relief, that the layer of snow is pretty thick and puffy.
  2757. >No broken bones hopefully.
  2758. >"Could be better."
  2759. >His voice is a little constrained and he sounds like he struggles to breathe properly. You jump off him, a bit scared.
  2760. >Anon still reaches for you and he touches your mane when you come close. It's a bit comforting.
  2761. >"Fucking ice, I swear to god."
  2762. "Can you stand?"
  2763. >With your help he gets up, grunting and groaning like an old pony.
  2764. >"I think so."
  2765. "Maybe it's me who should carry you?" you try to joke.
  2766. >"Oh, you want me to ride you? Save it for when we get home."
  2767. >He laughs and you give him a scrunchy muzzle, defeated on your own playing field of joking around.
  2768. >When you do get home you aggressively relieve him from his snow-covered clothes and make him eat those words. And you.
  2769. >As he fills you up yet again in ever fruitless attempt to put a baby in you, you realize you've completely forgotten to get your questionnaires to the town hall.
  2770. >A faint hope glistens before you, sparkling in the twilight of the late evening as Anon once again kisses you all over.
  2771. "Can you call me that again?"
  2772. >"Huh? How?"
  2773. "Sweetheart."
  2774. >"Why do you ask, darling?"
  2775. "Just want to hear it again, Anon."
  2776. >"Is it important to you, sweetie?"
  2777. "It is, 'Non."
  2778. >"Do you enjoy it when I call you like that, love?"
  2779. "Very much, Nonny."
  2780. >"Ah... I love you, sweetheart."
  2781. "I love you too, Nonnonymous."
  2782. >"That one's weird."
  2783. "Really? I'll shout this one next round then."
  2784. >"Oh, please. You really think you can throw me off my mood just with that?"
  2785. "I'll come up with more."
  2786. >"Oh no you won't."
  2787. >Not giving you any time to think he gets his fingers to your marebits yet again.
  2788. >It doesn't take him long to get hard again, after all you know that the noises you make get him going right away.
  2789. >It's gonna be a long night of steamy cuddly love yet again. Just the way you need it.
  2790.  
  2791. >"Princess Twilight Sparkle: still no official statement on her absence during... Anon, you're hearing this?"
  2792. "Yeah. So?"
  2793. >Minty glares at you above her newspaper and continues reading while you sip your morning mint coffee.
  2794. >"Hm... Hm... Oh, here: Princess Twilight still has no comments about the two weeks she's been missing for. When asked about her husbando, who also has gone missing during the same time frame, she explicitly stated that she can't comment on it at this time."
  2795. >"Doesn't that sound suspicious?"
  2796. "I guess."
  2797. >"Hmm... Worth noting that ever since he was hospitalized with extreme dehydration and bruises all over his crotch he also hasn't made any statements other than commenting: "It was worth it"."
  2798. "Alright."
  2799. >She doesn't even react. Detective Minterson is on the case.
  2800. >If she is right and this is related to the ponies' research of human-pony compatibility, you can guess what happened there.
  2801. >Twilight's husbando probably feels like his life is complete right now. Good for him.
  2802. >You, Anonymous, have different, more mundane worries.
  2803. >Hearthwarming Eve celebration is today and there's a party in town's hall.
  2804. >Of course, being the main suppliers of hot drinks in Hoofdale, you attend. You'd have to anyway.
  2805. >For the first time ever you were actually excited to go at a public event like that.
  2806. >You've grown to like these ponies over this month.
  2807. >Only a month and a half is all it took them to like you as well. You're a part of their community now.
  2808. >But one thing does bother you. Minty's two friends, Violet and Mallow Orchard, are coming to their home village from Canterlot to celebrate.
  2809. >And they both have their husbandos. There's no way they won't take them for their first Hearthwarming here.
  2810. >To be fair, Minty understands how uneasy it will be for you and she tried to support you, at least by saying that it's nothing to be afraid of and they are both very friendly.
  2811. >Lots of certainty for someone who has never even met them.
  2812. >Lucky for you, you have your eggnog ready. This shit sells like nothing else and it calms you down.
  2813. >Of course it does, with its secret ingredient inside. The one that sets it apart from every other drink and the reason for its popularity.
  2814. >Hell, some Vanhoover snobs have come to taste it and left impressed. You'll be bought out in no time and have enough gold to live happily without ever working again.
  2815. >And with what you're doing today, you'll need a LOT of this stuff.
  2816. >You're gonna make it special for Minty.
  2817. >The Initiative has shown their utmost support to this and you managed to be secretive enough so Minty is in for a surprise.
  2818. >You just hope you'll get into the right condition to pull that off.
  2819. >It's already time to go meet Minty's friends.
  2820. >When the train stops it's fairly easy to spot them.
  2821. >A purple unicorn with a compass cutiemark is walking near a tall, lanky guy who's dressed in a beanie and a loose jacket.
  2822. >The pony seems familiar but you don't remember ever meeting her.
  2823. >A soft-pink pegasus with a blooming flower cutiemark is walking near a completely regular guy just like you, only a bit chubbier.
  2824. >Thinking about it now, you probably gained some weight while eating Minty's delicious treats around the clock.
  2825. >You can't put it against the guy, living with ponies means eating lots of sweets.
  2826. >The mares are giving Minty knowing smiles while their husbandos look at you awkwardly.
  2827. >The greetings commence. While the ponies are hugging and laughing you just shake hands while saying your names.
  2828. >It seems that your waifus all know how restless you are because they immediately try to defuse any tension by paying attention to you three.
  2829. >While you walk to the festive looking building where the celebration is gonna take place you learn everything you ever need to know about them.
  2830. >And it is as Minty said, there's no reason to feel awkward. All of you are here because you're matched with a pony and there should be a mutual respect here already.
  2831. >At least you can impress them with your eggnog, your creation.
  2832. >It's gonna take them some time to settle down after the road so they decide to join you later, when they celebration is about to start.
  2833. >You and Minty have work to do though.
  2834. >The town hall is already filled with ponies. You have some minor things to do to complete the set up but it takes some time to coordinate things.
  2835. >While you go fetch the last barrel, Minty catches up with you. Seeing how there's no pony around she jumps at you and you catch her without effort.
  2836. >A whole month of pony-catching certainly reflects on your reaction times.
  2837. >Minty thirsts for a kiss and you give it to her right away.
  2838. >"Everything's going to be fine, dear. Hold on for just one evening, alright?"
  2839. "I'm not worried, Minty."
  2840. >"I know you are," she says with a soothing smile. "I'll be with you this whole time so don't you worry."
  2841. "Aw, thanks."
  2842. >"Too bad we'll miss our cuddle times."
  2843. "I'll make it up to you."
  2844. >"That's what I was hoping to hear."
  2845. >As her smile shines at you you put her down carefully and pat her head a few times.
  2846. >Together you go on with your preparations and help others with it.
  2847. >Hour after hour goes by and you're finally finished. Just in time for celebration.
  2848. >You wonder what's the need for it at all if basically the whole village was already here working together. Do they really need an excuse to sip their non-alcoholic punch and sing songs?
  2849. >As the time nears the evening Minty's friends join in.
  2850. >Again, the company is split up. Ponies do their girly talk while shooting some swift glances at you three.
  2851. >You invite the boys to your eggnog stand, already occupied by ponies who probably been waiting for this chance to get it for free.
  2852. "Try it, it's good for you."
  2853. >The lanky dude who seriously looks like some sort of hippie tries it out without reluctance, but the chubster isn't swift to down his cup.
  2854. >"Whoa, wait. Is this alcohol?" the hippie says, smacking his tongue to get a better taste.
  2855. "Eh, a bit."
  2856. >Now you get fatty's interest.
  2857. >"No way, what?"
  2858. >He drinks his own portion of frothy goodness in a cup.
  2859. >"It tastes like some sort of mint cocktail."
  2860. "That's what we do here at Minty's."
  2861. >Both smirk sarcastically.
  2862. >"Fucking leafs and their drinks," noodleboy says still drinking up.
  2863. "I ain't no leaf, my man. Not even the same continent."
  2864. >Slowly but surely you three share where you're from and the conversation flows. Of course they followed MLP at their time and the topic shifts to it.
  2865. >"How do you guys think they'll dance around humans being in Equestria now? I mean is the show separate from reality or?"
  2866. >Lanky dude shakes his head.
  2867. >"It's not even that we're here, I mean, things are changing. Twilight's pregnant for fuck's sake, how do you keep something like this-"
  2868. >"What?!"
  2869. "What?!"
  2870. >"O-oh, it's kind of a secret, Violet is pretty close to her so she figured it out. Don't tell anyone, alright?"
  2871. >"Sure, but Mallow was in that program and we've just received our remedy from the Initiative."
  2872. >He shows you both a small ampule of some purple liquid.
  2873. >"Gonna try it tonight." he says blushing a bit.
  2874. "There's not a lot there."
  2875. >"Yeah, just a few drops is enough as they say. Seems like Twilight didn't know that if she's been on it for two weeks."
  2876. "You think she's gone and did that to be the first?"
  2877. >Fatboy shrugs but Slim explains instead:
  2878. >"Nah, I don't think that was the reason. Violet said she's been on edge for some time, maybe she decided that fuck it, time to stop worrying."
  2879. >"Fuck it is right."
  2880. "For two weeks..."
  2881. >"Here's to the hero fella, paved the road for the rest of us."
  2882. >Silently you bump your cups in solidarity.
  2883. >You hear the girl table erupting with giggling and wonder what are they discussing over there. Probably something spicy about their husbandos.
  2884. >You three aren't that keen on sharing your experiences but it does bring you together that you all make them happy. That, and eggnog.
  2885. >Soon the party gets started for real, there's music on an improvised stage and, of course, dances.
  2886. >To say that it's hard to do a slow dance with a pony is an understatement. But no one cares.
  2887. >Minty is on her hindlegs, trying to keep you in an awkward hug as you step around in rhythm.
  2888. >Despite how uneasy it is she seems to be enjoying it.
  2889. >When she looks you in the eyes you can only see hazy affection there. Her gaze begs you to grab her and take her home so she can be alone with you.
  2890. >Of course every single pony here already had a taste of your very special eggnog so all of them are really festive.
  2891. >Between the dances some ponies get on stage to say some toasts and it's all in great fun.
  2892. >Until you decide to go.
  2893. >Minty isn't aware of your plan so she's very surprised when you drag her with out.
  2894. >She's blushing and smiling at you, thinking you just want to say a couple of words to the crowd. Oh, how wrong she is.
  2895. >You heart is pounding like mad. Lucky for you, the tincture you used in your eggnog was supposed to be good for your heart so hey, you already got that covered.
  2896. >You really didn't have this thing written down so you have to improvise. However you did have a plan to follow in your head.
  2897. >Just let the half-drunk mood deal with it.
  2898. "Hello, I just wanted to say a couple of things. As you know I'm fairly new here in Hoofdale. But already I see that the ponies living here are the greatest people I've ever met."
  2899. >Approving voices cheer from the crowd and it gives you some confidence.
  2900. "In less than two months this place has become my home and I couldn't be happier to be here. And that's for the most part because of Minty Steps."
  2901. >Another round of approving mumbling shows that ponies know real well what you're talking about.
  2902. >You turn to Minty and she smiles at you,cheeks blooming red.
  2903. >The cuteness of your mare overwhelms you for a moment but you shrug it off and continue with your speech instead of smooching her right there.
  2904. >Her eyes are locked on yours as you speak.
  2905. >You open up the cheesegates and you don't even care how this sounds. You need this.
  2906. "Minty, without you I wouldn't be here. Without you I'd be lost. I found happiness in life because of you, and I found my purpose. I love you and I want to always make you happy."
  2907. >She knows. She definitely knows where this is going. Her eyes are wet and she bites her lower lip, smiling through pooling tears of joy.
  2908. >Like in a dream you see how she follows your eyes as you get on your knee. The crowd's cheering is but a distant whisper through the mad drumming of your heart.
  2909. >All that matters is her now, watching her every reacting like in slow motion you take out the golden bracelet with a medium-sized clear gemstone in it.
  2910. "Minty... Will you marry me?"
  2911. >The world comes to a hold. But the painful moments doesn't even begin. As soon as you finish your line Minty is already in the air, on her way into your embrace.
  2912. >Shouting "Yes" loudly.
  2913. >Her tears stream down your cheeks but not for long, since you pry her off yourself and kiss her, and she gives this kiss her all, greedily lapping at your tongue and vacuum sealing your mouth with her lips.
  2914. >As you come to your senses you hear the crowd cheering and the music starts to play again.
  2915. >Hugging your crying mare you see that Ornstein and Smough at their table are clapping and their mares are crying for her friend.
  2916. >You put the bracelet on her leg and it fits perfectly. The Initiative knows their stuff.
  2917. >It was for free too. Just how far does their support go?
  2918. >When you return to the table Minty clings to you and both Violet and Mallow give you both knowing looks.
  2919. >The boys both smirk and nod, drinking the only thing that even resembles alcohol here.
  2920. >As the celebration flows into singing friendship songs, all the now tipsy ponies are happy to do so.
  2921. >You too know a couple of them as Minty has shown you the words beforehand. You can't remember all the words and you don't care.
  2922. >Your head is still scrambled at the disbelief that you actually mustered the courage and autism to propose to your mare.
  2923. >She is still clinging to you and it seems that she can't fully process that either.
  2924. >You know for sure that it's the happiest Christmas ever for you and you hope that it's the same for Minty.
  2925. >Once the festive mood dies down to a crawl and ponies are just sitting around talking it's clear that everyone is now free to go as they want since all the official activities are done for.
  2926. >You are excused and Minty basically drags you off.
  2927.  
  2928. >"You idiot!"
  2929. >With your green-red sweater's sleeve in her mouth, Minty drags you to bed and shoves you towards it.
  2930. >You severely underestimated the sheer strength of this pony and it's enough to throw you off balance.
  2931. >Not even a second after she gets on top of you and her tongue gets as far in your mouth as she can insert it.
  2932. >She grinds her whole body upon yours and through your sweater you already feel her warmth.
  2933. >When her newly flooding tears hit your cheek she abandons your lips to take a breath.
  2934. >"You didn't have to do this, Anon. You didn't..."
  2935. "I know."
  2936. >You start with her chin and go down to her neck trying to kiss every inch of her coat while she nuzzles your head, wiping her tears.
  2937. >"I would always be with you either way."
  2938. "I know, sweetheart."
  2939. >"You don't even know if we can have foals..."
  2940. "It doesn't matter. I want to spend the rest of my life with you so might as well make it official."
  2941. >"And in front of everypony too... You idiot..."
  2942. >Minty licks your neck and when she seals her lips on it she sucks on your skin so hard it will for sure leave a mark. She knows it well.
  2943. >Your festive sweater flies right off but Minty stays on top. Before you can even do anything with your pants she already starts kissing you body.
  2944. >Down from your neck to your collarbones, pestering your chest with little kisses all over to finally arrive at your nipple.
  2945. >She gives one a thorough lick and without even lifting her tongue drags her head to another.
  2946. >Your fingers dig into her flanks and she knows that she accomplished what she wanted.
  2947. >Fooling around at your chest and abdomen some more she finally puts her teeth on your pants, dragging them down.
  2948. >Of course she can't do it but you know what she wants and comply.
  2949. >As soon as the last bit of clothing leaves you a warm wave of air caresses your crotch. Minty holds to your sides and her muzzle presses against your erection.
  2950. >The wetness of her tongue makes you grunt and you feel in traveling up your shaft. She's slow but she presses hard and your dick throbs under the pressure. Your hands find her head just when her lips find your tip.
  2951. >The enveloping slimy warmth is almost too much and you're afraid you'll give in right away.
  2952. >You have to tear her off of your member but she doesn't protest.
  2953. >Instead, rising up on her forelegs she exposes her chest tuft and moves her hinglegs back.
  2954. >Her perfect plump tummy shifts from side to side and you're captivated by it.
  2955. >Minty uses the opportune moment. Seeing your unfocused lustful smile she decides to escalate things.
  2956. >Her body drags on yours agonizingly slow until your aching cock finds its place right between the absolute softness of your little mare's teats.
  2957. >The exhilarating please of her touch is out of this world, so when she trails it on your penis from its base to its tip, your throbbing only increases the effect.
  2958. >You can't help but let our a quite effeminate moan to Minty's pleasure, only making her increase the tempo.
  2959. >Her hooves are on your chest and the curve of her pose highlight her full forms like nothing else.
  2960. >You call for her and she answers immediately with leaning on you and giving you a slow kiss while still grinding her hips.
  2961. >Feeling a wet strand tracing down your ballsack is the last straw.
  2962. >This can't continue. You want to actually last more than a minute today.
  2963. >Even thought you surely won't have just one round with your sexy mare, not tonight.
  2964. >You take matters into your one hands, literally. Tapping her nipples lightly you make Minty stop her movement.
  2965. >She sees that she's pushing you too far. Minty has mercy on you and lets you guide her for a change.
  2966. >You don't disappoint her. Getting her on your stomach you bend your knees and then help her sit up.
  2967. >Minty understands right away and her strong legs support her when she presses her back against your legs, leaning backwards.
  2968. >You line yourself up and your dick slides right into her. She takes your full mast right away, gasping slightly and shuffling her forelegs.
  2969. >But as she sits down on your member Minty realizes it's hard for her to move. Her hindlegs are in an awkward position and she can  really push herself up with her forelegs, only touch you lightly.
  2970. >That was exactly how you wanted it. You move your legs a bit and Minty's mane flows right between them. And then it's you who starts thrusting.
  2971. >Slowly and sensually, just enough to get yourself halfway out.
  2972. >What's more, you get Minty's hindlegs onto your shoulders so her hooves curl perfectly on them.
  2973. >That way you support her butt with your hands and give yourself more space to slide Minty up and down.
  2974. >She's situated in such a way that your tip presses hard into her walls and that seems to be the ticket for her.
  2975. >You heard something about this kind of pressure in that spot being pleasurable but whether it's true or not, Minty's out of her mind with arousal.
  2976. >Every movement is met with her loud exhale soon turning into moans.
  2977. >You pick up the pace and decide to relax on the hand hold. One of your hands travels on her belly and crotch, squeezing Minty's teat to her absolute ecstasy, and with another you press her hoof to your cheek and you kiss her sensitive frog.
  2978. >You feel Minty's clit upon your crotch when her hips collide with your abdomen.
  2979. >At once your thumb is at the mare's fleshy nub, giving it a slight push. This torrent of stimulation pushes Minty over the edge right away.
  2980. >But even though in this position your cock is squeezed extra hard, you can't afford to stop. Instead, your legs throw the almost crying mare onto you.
  2981. >With haste, not wasting even a second, you grab her thighs and push her down so hard her whole body bends and she falls on you completely drained of any strength and thoughts.
  2982. >Her tail twitches and swooshes around wildly as if she wants to get it around your leg. But that's about all she can do.
  2983. >Getting Minty's hips in a steady hold you start pumping her full force, bathing in the music of her moans right at your neck.
  2984. >"Aahh... Anon, I c-can't..."
  2985. >Another round on maddening convulsions threaten to make you cum right there but you seem to be able to hold it.
  2986. >Minty's completely out of this world now.
  2987. >You slow down and continue in a slow and sensual manner again, hugging your mare close.
  2988. >Her tail and teats brushing upon your skin make it so much better for you. She lazily puts her hoof on your shoulder and you get your hand into her mane, pressing her lips to your neck.
  2989. "I love you so much, Minty. I will never let you go."
  2990. >Right at her ear you continue whispering words of love to her and soon her whimpering turns into moans again.
  2991. >She's getting close once again and you see tears in her eyes as they peer into yours with love and lust.
  2992. >This time it's impossible to resist it and you hold onto Minty for your dear life, bending your spine and trowing your head back in a heartstopping orgasm that follows hers.
  2993. >Minty looks at you with her giant pretty eyes and whisper:
  2994. >"Soon this all won't be for nothing."
  2995. "What do you mean?"
  2996. >"I want a foal, Anon. I really want it."
  2997. "I want it too."
  2998. >"I know. You've been trying hard..."
  2999. >Her smile is the most majestic thing you've ever seen. Your sweet little angel puts her head on your chest, listening to your heartbeat.
  3000. >It is in this moment you realize how truly blessed you are.
  3001. >You will never leave her. Minty will never be alone now. It's sealed now, and once the remedy is tested...
  3002. >Minty is drifting off on your chest and you never want to let her go.
  3003. >The two of you together as it was always meant to be. The mare your fate was kind enough to lead you to.
  3004. >Nothing in this life matters anymore. Nothing from your old world is missed. You don't want any of it.
  3005. >There's only one thing for you now. In that moment you feel it, the feeling most pure. Her love for you and your love for her.
  3006. >Love between a man and a mare.
  3007.  
  3008. Epilogue.
  3009.  
  3010. >You shield your eyes from the sun to look upon two ponies at the counter.
  3011. "What can I get for you today?"
  3012. >"Uh, mister Anonymous?"
  3013. "Yeah."
  3014. >"We're here to talk to you about this establishment. We represent-"
  3015. >"Oh, this again?"
  3016. >Your wife walks up to you and you gently pick her up to get her on your lap.
  3017. >"Can't we get a break? We're not looking to sell this place or the recipe."
  3018. >The ponies look at each other and try to continue:
  3019. >"But we want to give you a chance to-"
  3020. >"Oh, shush, whatever your deal is we're not interested. We wouldn't mind some free advertisement though."
  3021. >The look at each other and retreat.
  3022. >"We'll think about it, ma'am."
  3023. >When they leave Minty turns to you to reveal her scrunched muzzle.
  3024. >"Why can't we get rid of them?"
  3025. "I guess my eggnog is just that good?"
  3026. >"Well, with this kind of business I guess you're right."
  3027. >At your side a few ponies serve a line of customers that fill up the restaurant to the brim.
  3028. >It's the middle of a late spring day so everyone wants to get their hooves on your Mint-brand refreshing eggnog.
  3029. >You won't sell the shop no matter who asks.
  3030. >Minty said that she got this place from her dad. If he sold it when he had a chance, she wouldn't get to work here.
  3031. >Her dad wanted her to inherit this shop. And as it's a family business now she wants her children to inherit it too.
  3032. >Your children.
  3033. >Minty is getting sleepy on your lap, as always.
  3034. >When you start rubbing her already sizeable belly she purrs and stretches. She's quick asleep.
  3035. >You watch the restaurant for some time and then you get her inside to put her on the small bed you set up here just for her.
  3036. >Watching her sleep will never get old for you.
  3037. >You put your head at her belly that's already getting round nicely.
  3038. >Thinking about how much you've come together and how much is still ahead, you soon drift off as well, right next to your waifu, your wedded wife and soon the mother of your children.
  3039.  
  3040. The End.
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