RGRE Story, Woodworker Anon.

shukaku20 Jan 11th, 2015 (edited) 7,576 Never
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  1. First attempt, Now an RGRE Story.
  3. >You are Twilight Sparkle, Purple alicorn and Element of magic, and today, you're checking in on the newest member of Ponyville, Anonymous.
  4. >Nopony is quite sure how he got here, but being the gentlemare you are, you got the princesses help to get him a modest home to live in.
  5. >From what you have seen and heard, he's settling in well enough, though a lot of ponies have heard or had him asking around to find work.
  6. >Honestly, a stallion like him should be looking for a well to do mare to take care of him, such as, yourself, maybe.
  7. >Ponies have also reported seeing him heading off into the woods alone, sometimes, and that's definetally a no-no for a defenceless colt like him.
  8. >Reaching his street, you hear a thunking sound off in the distance that holds your attention as you walk.
  9. >It grows louder as you get to Anon's house, and stopping in front, you can tell it's coming from his back yard.
  10. >Which is very odd, there aren't any stallion hobbies that should involve that sound.
  11. >Walking around the back of his house, you feel your wings rise at what you see.
  12. >Standing over a log, Anon is bare chested and sweaty, swinging an axe to split smaller logs into boards.
  13. >Those muscles, that plot, unf~.
  14. >But as much as you'd love to jump that body right now, your gentlemare instincts tell you otherwise.
  15. >They also tell you to stop him before he hurts himself.
  16. >And so, with a bit of focus, you magically grab the axe and hold it still mid swing.
  17. >"Huh?" Anon asks, looking up at the axe, before noticing the glow, "Oh, hey Twilight, you mind letting go?"
  18. >Dragging the axe to the ground, you flick your mane aside and walk forward.
  19. "Good afternoon, Anon, I decided to stop by to see how Ponyville's new human was doing."
  20. >Popping his shoulders back, you bite back a lewd comment, and watch as he takes a seat on the stump.
  21. >"I'm doing fine, Twilight. Finding a job has proven tough, so I'm starting one of my own, sort of."
  22. "Oh? What kind of work?"
  23. >"Woodworking. Or carpentry, depending on how you look at it. Back home, My grandpa and I used to spend many summer days making benches and tables and things, and I figured I could do that here too."
  24. "Are you sure you want to do that? Wouldn't you rather do something like a food cart, or something?"
  25. >"Nah, That kind of stuff has never really been for me, but if you have time later, I wouldn't mind if you came for dinner so you could teach me about how business stuff works here in Equestria."
  26. "Sure, I'd be glad to," you reply with a smile, before turning to head home to prepare.
  27. >Wait, did Anon just ask you on a date?
  28. >It's just dinner though.
  29. >Well, a dinner date is a date, so in the end, he asked you on a date.
  30. >But that's what a gentlemare like yourself is supposed to do.
  31. >He must think you're some sort of stallion user or something.
  32. >But he did say food stuff has never really been his forte, so maybe he wanted you to prove you could do cooking to make up for his lack of skill.
  33. >Yeah, that's got to be it, he wanted to test to see if you would be a good mare for him.
  34. >Looking up, you see the door to the library, and opening it with magic, you practically prance inside to the kitchen.
  35. >The moment you open the fridge, you freeze.
  36. >You've never cooked in your life, you've always had your parents or the castle staff or Spike do it for you.
  37. >Still, it can't be that hard, right?
  38. ~~~
  39. >Now you are Anon, man of Ponyville and from what you've seen, the first woodworker.
  40. >Without proper tools, it's slow work, since you can only make boards that are about a foot long at most, but with these tiny colourful ponies, they should be big enough.
  41. >And after Twilight's little interruption, you can get back into the "swing" of things.
  42. >Hefting the axe from where Twilight set it down, you line up with the log and bring the axe down in an arc.
  43. >Just a few more boards to do, then you'll have to start getting ready for dinner.
  44. >These pony stoves were so slow, it takes half a day to cook a roast, and even for something simpler, like Lasagna, it still takes three hours.
  45. >And that's what you had planned for tonight's, and the next few nights, dinner.
  46. >No point in wasting leftovers, after all.
  47. >With a final swing, you split the last log and start gatherting the pieces.
  48. >Stowing everything in the shed that came with the house, you head inside and to the kitchen, grabbing your long apron you got made.
  49. >Rarity wanted to make it all frilly and puffy, but you insisted on your design, and it came out similar to a butchers apron, like you planned.
  50. >Starting a pot to prepare the pasta, you get a bowl and tomatoes, ready to mash down a sauce.
  51. >Sleeves rolled up and with a flex of your fingers, you get to work.
  52. ~~~
  53. >You are Twilight Sparkle, worst cook ever.
  54. >Staring at what should have been a pot of delicious spaghetti, you question how it turned into what looks like a high school digestive tract lesson gone wrong.
  55. >The noodles look like thick pink worms, while the sauce is so thin and red that it looks like blood.
  56. >Dipping a hoof in, you taste the sauce and gag, a sour and bitter taste overwhelming your sensitive princese palate.
  57. >In an instant flash of magic, the porcelean throne greets your vision and you body heaves and shudders, debating if vomiting is worth it.
  58. >Being the perfect princess body it is, though, it says no, and so you instead rince your mouth out with the top quality spring water that is pumped through your pipes.
  59. >Feeling refreshed, you return to the kitchen, where the foul pot remains.
  60. >Part of you is tempted to vaporise it on the spot, but a princess and a gentlemare must never succumb to such urges, so you lift it with magic, and dump it into your trash bin.
  61. >Removing the bag from the bin, you proceed to vaporise that.
  62. >After all, the bag was just going to be thrown in the garbage, there's no reason not to destroy it and it's most heinous of contents.
  63. >Looking up at the clock, your heart skips a beat, as it is less than an hour till normal dinner times at Anon's house.
  64. >Er, not that you'd know, it's not like you spied on him for a week, recording the times he did everything each day so you can choose the best times to visit.
  65. >No, nothing like that.
  66. >Seconds tick by as you stare at the clock, silently wishing it to stop to give you more time to figure something out.
  67. >Well, it's a date, right? Maybe get him something as a gift that is something we could both eat too.
  68. >Bit purse floating in, you stuff it in a saddlebag and trot out into the street, eyes darting everywhere.
  69. >Something a stallion would like for dinner, what to get...
  70. >Colts love flowers, especially roses, but Anon doesn't eat flowers...
  71. >Chocolates and sweets might work, but they're not really good for dinner...
  72. >Walking through the market, your mind systematically examines then rejects every idea you get from passing by every stand, and before you realize it, you're at the end of Anon's street again.
  73. >Anxiety rises in your chest, when suddenly a brilliant idea comes to you.
  74. >Even if you can't cook, you have lots of bits so you could go out for dinner most nights, at least until you get Anon to learn how to cook once you make him your husband.
  75. >You feel heat rise up in your cheeks at the end of that thought, but with a plan settled, you confidently walk down to his house.
  76. >Without knocking,(Why would you have to, you're a princess and he's expecting you) you walk inside and open your mouth when your nose takes control of your brain.
  77. >And it's telling your brain that your mouth should be watering right now, but princesses don't drool.
  78. >Those stains on your pillow in the morning are just sweat.
  79. >Yeah, that's right.
  80. >But taking your noses direction, it leads you to Anon's kitchen, where you come across a lovely sight.
  81. >Just like how he was bent over swinging the axe, he's now bent over the oven, pulling out a steaming tray of delicious smelling lasagna, a big white apron dangling off his front.
  82. >If only he didn't have his clothes on underneath, you would freeze time just so you could drool all over the image.
  83. >Wait, not drool, princesses don't drool.
  84. >You will, however, furiously clop to the mental image later, along with all the scene that the japonies anime's say happen in these situations.
  85. >"..ey? Hey Twilight? You there?" you hear Anon's voice say, snapping you back to reality.
  86. >Looking up leaves you feeling grounded as you look at Anon's face staring you down with a concerned look.
  87. >Half of your mind wants you to run, the other want's you to take charge, leading you to just sit there, gesticulating.
  88. >"Hey, Twilight, are you alright? You've kinda been sitting there for the past minute or so not saying anything."
  89. "Uh, um oh yeah, I'm fine, I just got lost in thought as I remembered something. Sorry."
  90. >"Ok. So, would you like something to drink with dinner?"
  91. "Um, Sure, I'll have whatever you're having," you reply, your confidence starting to come back.
  92. >Make the stallion feel like you're an equal to them, it's a surefire way to work yoursekf into their heart.
  93. >According to all those romance books you've read, of course.
  94. >Proper information is always based in fact, and with that many books, it can't be wrong.
  95. >Besides, It's probably just going to be tea or a fruity white wine or something.
  96. >Trotting up to his table, you elegantly flutter up to one of his high seats and put on your best "Princess you will come to love" smile.
  97. >Your stature takes a hit though, as you see a bottle of beer placed down next to you, the lid already popped off, and a clunk as he sets his own down before grabbing plates and utensils.
  98. >It's okay, it's just one beer. He probably just wants to seem strong and independant in front of a princess.
  99. >You watch as he cuts out a piece of lasagna for you and slides the plate over along with a fork.
  100. >You're quite glad he already seems to instinctively know it's proper to feed your mare first before yourself. They are the ones who get the money for the food after all.
  101. >After cutting himself out a slice as well, he moves the pan to the counter and takes off the apron before sitting down across from you.
  102. >If only this table were lit by candles and had soft music in the background and rose petals everywhere, it would be perfectly romantic.
  103. >"So, Twilight, how have you been lately?" He asks, starting on his meal and snapping you out of your mental imaging again.
  104. "Everything's been fine, thank's for asking. What about you, Anon, how have you been settling into your new life?"
  105. >"Not having a job is very different, but then, that's kind of why I invited you here, since you'd know where I could find out how to start a business."
  106. >With a small laugh, you set down your fork and reach for your saddlebag.
  107. "I had almost forgotten that after I smelt your wonderful lasagna," you say, pulling out a couple business for beginners books you stuffed in the bag while you waited for the abomination to cook.
  108. "These should help," you say, setting them down on the table, off to the side, "but for now, I have to ask, I thought you said you were bad at cooking? This is delicious."
  109. >"I never said I was bad at cooking, Twilight," he replies, twirling a fork in those dexterous fingers of his, "I just said running a food cart wouldn't be my kind of thing."
  110. >"My mom taught me to cook fairly well before I moved out, and trust me, Twilight, as a bachelor, you either learn to cook or just order in, and the later is not the best for your health."
  111. "But ponies would love your cooking. I know I do, and you'd be providing a safe and desired service to Ponyville."
  112. >He picks up his drink, and in a bit of a shock to you, he makes half of it's contents dissapear down his throat, before setting it down.
  113. >"Twilight," he says, leaning onto his hands and looking at you, "If there's one thing I've learned here, it's that practically everything is safe. Hell, I've even started leaving my door unlocked when I go out during the day."
  114. >"And besides, if you were looking to get a new table, where would you buy one, Twilight? I haven't seen a single furniture store that sells anything besided Quills and Sofa's, and they only sell sofas."
  115. "Well, I suppose You'd order one from Canterlot, but..."
  116. >"But wouldn't it be easier if you could go down to a shop with your husband or kids or friends and find one in person that fits?"
  117. "Yeah, I suppose that would be nice, but..."
  118. >"Enough with the buts, Twilight, relax, enjoy the food and drink, we can talk business after dinner."
  119. >Nodding, you lift up the beer with your magic and take a sip.
  120. >Hooo oh wow that's stronger than you remember.
  121. >Still, you should show yourself to be a proper strong mare, and you slowly drain the bottle amidst eating the lasagna.
  122. >Near the end of the meal, Anon finishes his first bottle and grabs another from the fridge, asking if you'd like another as well.
  123. >Ah, the curse of being a gentlemare, you have to accept, even though you're about three quarters of the way done your first bottle and already feeling a little light in the head.
  124. >You're a princess though, so you can't get drunk before a stallion, especially one you may or may not be imagining naked with an apron on again...
  125. >Again, he snaps you from your erotic fantasy, this time by sliding his chair back to get up again.
  126. >Scrambling to attention, you see he has finished his meal and is taking his dishes to the sink.
  127. >Quickly draining the rest of your first bottle, you set it aside and just short of inhale the last of your lasagna, before floating up the books and both your and Anon's beer.
  128. "I'll see you in the living room when you're done, we can talk then, ok?"
  129. >"Sure, no problem, I won't be long."
  130. >In his livingroom, you hop up onto the sofa and set his beer on one of the end tables, before opening yours.
  131. >You do have to prove you can handle your drinks like a mare, so a little head start couldn't hurt.
  132. ~~~
  133. >Finally, you are back to being Anon, and you're tidying up the leftovers and giving the dishes a rinse.
  134. >Cheese is always a pain in the ass to get out if it gets to sit.
  135. >But, with some work, it gets done, and you head into the livingroom to talk business with Twilight.
  136. >Well, that's what you thought.
  137. >Upon entering, you find your purple guest fast asleep on your couch, two empty bottles beside her and a puddle of drool leaking from her mouth.
  138. >You can do nothing but shake your head at the sight, as it's far to cute to change, despite you wanting to minimize the damage pony drool may cause.
  139. >In the end, you settle for covering her with a towel and setting a washcloth with a sponge next to her mouth to soak up her spittle.
  140. >Grabbing one of the books she brought, you settle into your chair to read, muttering about these darn, lightweight cute little ponies.
  141. ~~~
  142. >You're wishing you weren't the most purple and magicky Alicorn, Twilight Sparkle, but as fate would decree, you are.
  143. >Rolling over to the edge of your bed, you quickly realize you aren't on your bed.
  144. >Gravity decides to let you know that you are in fact, on a couch, and you just rolled off onto the floor.
  145. >Well buck you, Gravity.
  146. >Rolling to your hooves, you stretch back, flexing your wings and thighs before doing a quick trot in place and wandering to the bathroom.
  147. >A bleary eyed gaze meets yours as you stare in the mirror, so you turn on the tap and splash some water onto your face.
  148. >Shaking dry, you smile at the mirror, the face looking back far more princessy than it was before.
  149. >Turning around to use the toilet, you freeze, your eyes and mind going haywire at what you are seeing.
  150. >Tall, muscly, wet, naked Anonymous, humming to himself in the shower.
  151. >By some miracle of Celestia, he hasn't seen you yet, but...
  152. >Everything, you can see everything.
  153. >Every glistening inch of his human girth.
  154. >The full curvature of that glorious human flank.
  155. >Your mental image of your nude, apron wearing human husbando is complete.
  156. >A dopey, drooly grin forms on your face, your eyes half closed in wonder, but not cutting of the wonderous sight in front of you.
  157. >That is, until a sheet of white covers it at high velocity, sending you stumbling back.
  158. >"What the fuck, Twilight, Don't you have any sense of privacy?"
  159. >Oh buck oh buck oh buck, time for damage control.
  160. "Huh? Anon? What are you doing in my bathroom?"
  161. >"Your bathroom? This is my bathroom. You passed out on my couch yesterday, so I left you there for the night. Now get out of my bathroom."
  162. >Surrying to the door, you swiftly exit the room, confident your story will at least get you off scott free.
  163. >If not, some Princess persuasion should solve the problem.
  164. >Back in the living room, you find one of the books you brought with a bookmark quite a ways into it.
  165. "A literary inclined stallion, huh, just my type," you say with a smile.
  166. >Looking into the kitchen, you consider for a moment trying to make him breakfast, but yesterday's attempt sends a shiver down your spine.
  167. >And besides, Cooking breakfast for a mare is a colt's job anyways.
  168. >Hopping onto the couch, you feel a wet squish under your plot, and you shudder.
  169. "Please let it not be gross..."
  170. >Rising to a squat, you move whatever it was, and let out a sigh of relief as you see it's a sponge.
  171. >The real question now is why it's wet.
  172. >But if it was on the couch, and thet's where you slept...
  173. >But princesses don't drool, especially in front of stallions.
  174. >Maybe it's time to go digging in some of Starswirls old spellbooks for a memory eraser spell.
  175. >There's no time to consider further, as a fully dressed Anon exits the bathroom.
  176. ~~~
  177. >Time to be Anon, the clean and mildly irked.
  178. >After all, who wouldn't be somewhat ticked off if s girl you barely know waltzed into your bathroom while you were showering and ended up staring at you naked.
  179. >Sure, she was hung over and half asleep, so you can forgive her a bit.
  180. "I'm guessing you're awake properly now, Twilight?" you ask, entering the living room.
  181. >"Yeah, sorry Anon, I didn't realize it wasn't my place until I saw you."
  182. >Walking past her, you head for the kitchen and start up the kettle.
  183. "It's fine, I guess. As long as you don't go off telling anyone."
  184. >You don't hear her squee from where you are, but a very quick, "I promise," settles it for you.
  185. "So, is oatmeal fine for breakfast?" you ask, "because it's what I'm making."
  186. >"I'm okay with that. Do you want to talk about your business plans after?"
  187. "Yeah, I've got no plans today, besides some more woodworking."
  188. >"Wonderful. If we work quickly we could even have all the paperwork done by this evening, and we could start working tomorrow."
  189. "We?"
  190. >"Did you miss that part? The law says a male can't own a business without a steady income female to co-sign for him, unless he's either noble or part of a large income family."
  191. "Again, we?"
  192. >"Well, I thought, since I'm a princess, I'd be the perfect pony to co-sign for you."
  193. >Staring at the pot of oatmeal as it thickens, you mentally sigh.
  194. >This does explain a lot of the "The Mare" stuff you saw while skimming through the book.
  195. >Setting out bowls, milk, sugar and cream, you move the pot to the table and call Twilight in.
  196. >Over breakfast and for a short time after, Twilight explains to you how the whole co-sign system works.
  197. >From how the mare has to cover any debts the business may have when it closes, to their Split Cut, and everything in between.
  198. >At the end, you asked Twilight to give you a few days to think, partly because you did actually need time to think, and partly because a shop with no stock isn't a very good shop.
  199. >And that brings you to right now, carefully carving a nice edging into a side table.
  200. >If you're gonna start a business, quality is important, since that always leads to customer satisfaction.
  201. >A good sanding, buffering and a layer of varnish and the little wooden table is good to sell.
  202. >After it dries, of course.
  203. >But with the summer sun as it is, it shouldn't take long.
  204. >In the mean time, you need more wood.
  205. >The scraps you've collected from townsfolks have run out, and you need to go chopping.
  206. >A hefty harness of ropes and cloth, a sled, an emergency kit and your axe join you on the journey out into the Everfree Forest.
  207. >Despite the ponies insistance it's dangerous, you've never run across anything dangerous in your occasional forays into it.
  208. >Searching through the trees, you look for a perfect one to cut down.
  209. >One that's in a spot where it won't grow much bigger because of other trees around it, but is already large enough to provide plenty of wood.
  210. >It also has to be small enough you can drag it home alone.
  211. >You would invite a friend but last time you did, Applejack ended up nagging you about how colts shouldn't be doing hard labour like this, and how it's a mare's job, before hauling the tree off with Rainbow Dash.
  212. >In the end, you got a wagon full of firewood, most of it useless for anything but little wooden trinkets.
  213. >Coming up to a good tree, you circle around it, looking for any obvious birds nests or squirrel dens or similar ilk.
  214. >With none to be found, you find your line and start to chop.
  215. ~~~
  216. >You're now a very dirty, hungry and tired Fleur-de-Lis, stuck in this Celestia forsaken forest.
  217. "Let's go for a nature hike, they said, It'll be a great mare weekend out, they said," you grumble to yourself, stumbling though the underbrush in what you hope is the right direction.
  218. "I'm gonna need to bathe like a stallion for a week after this."
  219. >Stumbling in a mud puddle, you pick yourself up and struggle onward.
  220. >In the distance, a different sound cuts through the forest, the sound of an axe biting into wood.
  221. >Your spirits shoot up, and you dig into your energy reserves to run towards the sound.
  222. "Hey, I'm here!" you call, scrambling through the roots and leaves.
  223. >The chopping grows louder, and you take your second wind, just short of flying to your way out.
  224. >Breaking through a bramble, you find the source of the chopping, a massive minotaurian figure when it suddenly yells out in a manly voice, "TIMBER!".
  225. >The tree creaks and groans, leaning towards you.
  226. >It's all your brain and muscles can do to scream and fling you down next to a large rock in hopes it will provide some sort of cover.
  227. >Darkness overtakes you, and you close your eyes, waiting for the end.
  228. >A sharp pain stabs into your right thigh, making you scream in pain.
  229. >There's a groaning sound, and suddenly the pressure of the branch in your hip decreases.
  230. >Peeking an eye open, you see the figure gripping the tree, heaving it up.
  231. >Oh dear Celestia he's strong, and with a final loud grunt, the tree is lifted out of you and pushed away.
  232. >Kneeling down next to you, he, grabs your face in one hand, making sure you look at him, while the other examines your wound.
  233. >He looks nothing like a minotaur up close, such a smooth and flat face, and those vivid lips, perfect looking for kissing, the way they move.
  234. >Move?
  235. >"Come on, stay with me. Don't close your eyes, blink one at a time, you understand?" he asks.
  236. "Uh, yeah," you reply with what eloquence you can get.
  237. ~~~
  238. >You are back to Anon the potentially screwed.
  239. >The tree you just cut down fell on a pony, and after heaving it off her, you're trying to make sure she's safe.
  240. "Come on, stay with me. Don't close your eyes, blink one at a time, you understand?" you ask, half your attention on her face, the other half on the nasty deep injury that is seeping blood.
  241. >"Uh, yeah," she replies, and with a nod, you move her head onto your knee while you dig in your emergency kit.
  242. "This is probably going to hurt a lot, bite down on this," you say, moving a bound stick to her mouth.
  243. >She bites down, and opening a your water pouch, you dump some over the injury.
  244. >Then, you fill the hole with honey from the kit, and yanking your shirt off, you wrap it around a gauze pad you place over the honey.
  245. >Tightening it gets a muffled scream, but with that done, she should be safe to move.
  246. >Pulling the bar from her mouth, you slowly and gently shift her into the best position to lift her without stressing the injury.
  247. "I'm going to carry you to the hospital now, try not to squirm alright, and keep those eyes open, If I don't see at least one of those violet eyes, I'm going to wake you up, and it won't be pleasant."
  248. >"I'm tough, I can stay awake," she replies, "don't go fainting because of some blood, my life is in your hands."
  249. >Getting a grip under her, you carefully wiggle and move your hands till they're in the right spot, probably crossing several do not touch areas in the mean times, and in one smooth motion, you lift her and stand.
  250. >Reorienting yourself, you start jogging back to town keeping your eyes on the ground and on the mare in your arms.
  251. >True to her word, she stays awake and aware, if not constantly wincing in pain.
  252. >You cut around the town, since it's faster and safer than going through the crowded streets, and nearing the end of an hour since you picked her up, you arrive at the hospital.
  253. >Shouldering the door open, you immediately yell for someone, and several nurses immediately rush to you.
  254. >Seeing the mare in your arms, and more importantly the bloody bandage and streaks down her leg, she is immediately removed from your grip and set on a bedcart.
  255. >All the nurses but one cart her off, the last guiding you to a seat.
  256. >"You did well bringing her here, sir, she's in professional hooves, so you don't need to worry yourself."
  257. "She'll be fine?"
  258. >"Of course. We have the best doctors around, and her injury was bandaged well."
  259. >Letting out a sigh, you sink back into the cushions in the waiting area.
  260. "I'm glad. How long do you think it will be till shes able to have guests?"
  261. >"I'll have to check with the doctors, but she should only need doctor attention for a short while."
  262. >As she walks away to check, you hear her say something you can partially make out.
  263. >"Ah what a sweetheart colt, so..."
  264. >Shrugging it off, you dig through the magazines and books on the side table, looking for something interesting.
  265. >Most of them are the pony equivelant of Vogue, but there are a few sports and hobby magazines as well.
  266. >Enough to distract you till the nurse returns with a clipboard.
  267. >"The injury wasn't too bad, and she should be fine to leave the hospital in a few hours. I just need you to sign these papers, and you should be good to see her."
  268. >The form is fairly standard medical jargon, and a quick scan basically tells you it's for the signature of the one who brought her in for treatment.
  269. >Giving it your John Handcock, you pass it back to the nurse who nods and says, "This way, follow me."
  270. >You don't go far, before you're led into a room, and on the patient bed is the pony you carried.
  271. >"She's not allowed to walk for the next few days, and after that she should keep weight off that leg for a few weeks, but she'll heal up just fine."
  272. >As the nurse steps out, she says, "go easy on her, Sweetie," and the door closes.
  273. >Taking a seat, you hear the pony ask, "Sweetie? Do you know her?"
  274. "Can't say I do. How are you doing? That was a pretty bad hole."
  275. >"Like she said, I'll be fine. I know you were the one who caused it, accidently, but thanks for carrying me here, it's not something a lot of stallions would have done."
  276. "Well, as you can see, I'm not a stallion, and I'm not just going to leave someone in trouble if I can help it. And again, sorry for dropping that tree on you, I didn't expect anyone to be in the Everfree."
  277. >"If you weren't out there, I might not have made it here. I got lost while hiking with friends, and wound up in there."
  278. "Situation aside, it's nice to meet you, my name is Anon, and I'm gonna be the town woodworker soon."
  279. >"Mine's Fleur-de-Lis, and I'm one of Canterlot's top female models. Out of curiosity what do you mean soon?"
  280. "I still haven't started the business, mainly because I don't have any stock built up yet. I only came here recently, after all."
  281. >"What are you, anyways? Not to be rude, but I've worked with just about every species ponykind has contact with, and I've never seen something like you."
  282. "It's a bit of a long story, but I guess you have time, huh, well..."
  283. >Over the course of an hour, you give her an approximate explanation of your arrival and a touch of your pre EQ history.
  284. >The whole time, she seems actually interested, unlike most mare's you've talked to, who kinda nod along and say yeah till you start talking about something that makes no sense, and then they often run away embarrased.
  285. >"I guess that explains a lot then," she says, nodding to herself, "Most colts would have pissed themselves then run off crying if a tree fell on somepony, and the odds of one of them actually cutting down a tree themselves is like a million to one."
  286. "Still sorry about that."
  287. >Whatever reply she may have had for that is blocked as the nurse re-enters the room.
  288. >"The doctor has given the go ahead for you to leave, Fleur, and since your signer is here, we don't need to send off for somepony to pick you up. Just sign out at the front desk and you're good to go."
  289. >And with that, she heads out again, no time for either of you to question.
  290. >"My signer? I don't have anyone in Ponyville that would even know I was here, let alone sign for me."
  291. "I guess we should head to the front to check it out. How do you want to be carried?"
  292. >"Like before, I guess."
  293. "Hold still then," you say, before lifting her from the bed.
  294. >The new bandage is much tighter and well formed than your shirt, for obvious reasons.
  295. >Getting through the door proves to be a minor challenge, but one you accomplish nonetheless.
  296. >Following the hallway back to the main lobby, you approach the desk where the receptionist greets you with a smile.
  297. >"I just need a signature from you, Miss Fleur, and you're good to leave."
  298. >"Yes, about that, the nurse said that somepony signed for me to be let out, and I can't think of anyone I know who knows I'm here."
  299. >Flipping through the small stack of papers, the receptionist points at you, "he signed for you, and since he's the one who brought you in, we didn't question. Is there a problem?"
  300. >"No, I just wanted to know if it was my agent or someone else like that. Now, where do I sign?"
  301. >You stay silent during the proceedings, waiting till you take Fleur outside before asking.
  302. "So, what are you gonna do now? If you want, you can stay at my place till you contact your agents or can walk."
  303. >"Sure, if you don't mind. I kind of want to let my friends stew over my dissapearance a bit before I let them know."
  304. "Revenge then. Sure, I can dig that. Is there anything you'll need for the duration? We can make a stop on the way if need be."
  305. >"No, I don't want to be more of a bother than I already am, especially if it's going to put out one of your mares."
  306. >Starting the walk, you give a bit of a laugh at her comment, before shaking your head.
  307. "Sorry to dissapoint, but I'm what the mares call an 'independant' stallion, despite not being a stallion. I live alone and take care of everything myself."
  308. >"That's a bit of a surprise," she replies, "you seem like the kind of guy an average mare would swoop in on in a heartbeat."
  309. "Believe me, they've tried, but few of them have even interested me, even as a friend. You, on the other hand, you I could be friends with. Compared to the others, you're, how do I put this, more chill?"
  310. "I guess you're just someone I can talk to without feeling like you're just passing off whatever I say as 'Stallion things', and just agreeing to get in my pants."
  311. >"That's because I don't want anything to do with what's in a stallion's pants. I told you already that I am a model, but since you're new here, I'll elaborate that a bit."
  312. >"I'm a female model who's stuck working with a bunch of male models who have more fluff in their head than in my down pillows."
  313. >"I can barely stand it. Hell, half the reason I still do that work is the pay."
  314. >"Most of the time, between shoots I'm stuck running errands for the stallions along with just about every other female who doesn't happen to be a cocksock for the models."
  315. "Sounds like it sucks."
  316. >"Yeah, but well, comes with the job. At least I have enough brains in my head to not go for one of those idiot models."
  317. "What kind of guy are you looking for then? There are a couple nice guys in town here who wouldn't object to adding a model to their herd."
  318. >"Well first, I do want to avoid big herds. With some of the ones you see, you'd be one in a few dozen, and you're lucky if he remembers your name, let alone anything important."
  319. "Hmn, that does narrow it down a fair bit, but more talk can wait, we're here, so lets get you comfortable."
  320. >With some effort, you get the front door unlocked and open, and you take and set her down on the sofa.
  321. >Two different girls in two days, Dad would be proud if they weren't horses.
  322. "I just remembered they were calling for rain tomorrow morning. if there's anything you need or may need, tell me now, because I'm gonna have to head out to get the tree and my axe back."
  323. >"So, I think I'll be fine for a while, though a book to read would be nice, if you're going to be gone."
  324. "Sure, just give me a moment."
  325. ~~~
  326. >You're now a far less muddy and hungry Fleur-de-Lis, resting peacefully on Anon's couch.
  327. >It was really nice of him to go this far for you, even though you just met.
  328. >Even better, he's not being a colt about it, waiting on you horn and hoof.
  329. >Sure, he asked if you needed anything, but it's not like he's handling every little detail for you.
  330. >He's actually been gone for the last hour, going to get his stuff from the forest.
  331. >The book he brought you was interesting, and not even remotely stallion-y but it didn't hold your attention for long, which brings you to now, as you float a small wooden statue off his mantle down to you.
  332. >It looks like a squat, fat human like Anon, holding a small seared bowl in it's hand, probably used for incense.
  333. >Carved from a single piece of what looks like oak, the statuette is very unponylike in it's method of manufacture, but at the same time, it holds a good aesthetic apeal to you.
  334. >Hundred if not thousands of little flat edges where it was likely carved by a knife gives it a rough look, but it's done to such a small level it looks almost smooth.
  335. >A far cry from the magically smoothed and polished pony manufactured statuettes.
  336. >You spot a couple more around, each a different subject.
  337. >A dark pine spear holding human, seemingly ready to hunt.
  338. >A near white holly unicorn with porportions similar to saddle arabians.
  339. >And several more, each bearing an amazing level of detail despite being carved by a blade.
  340. >If Anon made these, his business should have no issues, once he starts it.
  341. >You'd love to buy one of these, they'd make a great conversation piece and a nice decoration.
  342. >But with that distraction out of the way, you're starting to grow bored again, and there's been no sign of your host.
  343. >Additionally, a pressure is starting to build, and you're beginning to regret drinking that pitcher of water in the hospital.
  344. "Keep calm, Fleur. Keep calm, don't think about it, and you will be able to hold on till Anon gets back."
  345. >Minutes keep ticking by and the pressure keeps building, and your focus on holding on starts to slip.
  346. >Another half hour and if it weren't for your leg being buggered, you would be dancing to not wet yourself.
  347. >From outside, you hear a loud scraping before a heavy thump, and you see salvation through the window.
  348. "ANON! HELP PLEASE!" you yell out, and he looks it at your pained face.
  349. >"What's wrong Fleur?" he asks, and you almost freeze at your answer.
  350. >Your bladder says otherwise.
  351. "Bathroom, I gotta go! Help please!"
  352. >He starts lifting from under you, but his arm pressing against your bladder makes you squeal in discomfort.
  353. >"Sorry, I'll try from the front, Just hold it in."
  354. >His arms grip under your forearms, and lift you vertically, and with you up, one hand moves under to support your flank and hurt leg.
  355. >Quickly but smoothly, he carries you to the washroom, supporting you as he sets you on the toilet.
  356. ~~~
  357. >Suddenly, you find yourself to be Twilight, and you're worried about Anon.
  358. >You've heard through the grapevine that he's not only gone off to the Everfree forest, but he was at the hospital too.
  359. >As his friend and future business partner and hopefully future wife, you feel obliged to make sure he's safe and fine.
  360. >Arriving at his front door, you turn it to find it locked, so doing the next logical thing, you look in a window.
  361. >Inside, you can see Anon, the stallion YOU have your eyes on, lifting up another mare in an innapropriate way.
  362. >This will not stand, so with a flick of your horn and a little princess law ignoring, you unlock his door and rush inside.
  363. >He's already gone from view, but there's an open door with a light on, so you know exactly where he is.
  364. >Skidding the corner into the room, you are greeted by Anon's bare back and the sound of a released moan from a mare.
  365. >Your heart plummets, despairing the lost chance to get a virgin colt, but your will is forged that you will protect him from mares who would take advantage of him.
  366. "Stallionizing mare, I, Princess Twilight, challenge you to a duel for Anon's heart!" you exclaim, puffing yourself up as much as possible to look intimidating.
  367. >What happens next is far from what you expect.
  368. >Anon doesn't dive into your hooves, swooning at your mareliness, the mare doesn't back down, cowed by your challenge.
  369. >Instead, Anon turns around and shoves you out the door, closing it behind you, locking himself in with that mare.
  370. >Opening your mouth to say something, you're cut off when Anon yells, "Twilight, learn to not barge into my bathroom. Sit down somewhere and wait if you want to talk."
  371. >Stallions, sometimes you just have to nod and say yes to what they say, just to keep from hurting their feelings.
  372. >Walking into the livingroom, you hop onto the chair, and think of the best speech you could give to get Anon to understand the mare is just using him.
  373. >Gotta make sure it's romantic though, stallions love a romantic mare.
  374. >The door opens, and as you open your mouth, you see him carrying that mare again.
  375. >Opening your mouth to chew her out, you're shut up when Anon sets her down and you notice the bandage around her thigh.
  376. >"That's the second time you've barged into my bathroom, Twilight, I thought you were smart enough to have learned the first time," Anon says, and your gaze wanders to the floor.
  377. "I couldn't just stand by and let this mare take advantage of you though, Anon."
  378. >"Which proves you know nothing of what was going on. I was helping Fleur to the bathroom because she can't walk right now."
  379. "What happened then?"
  380. ~~~
  381. >Be a sore, but relieved Fleur, and you're coming to admire the balls on this stallion.
  382. >He's arguing with a Princess, and giving no groound to her.
  383. >You're staying silent, no need to piss off one of the princesses.
  384. >"Alright, fine, I understand Anon, I'm sorry I rushed in. Fleur, was it? I seriously hope you don't plan on trying anything with Anon, especially with how nice he's being to you."
  385. "I never considered it, Princess, I've been too busy dealing with the pain of being stabbed by a tree."
  386. >"I'll leave you two to talk, or whatever you mares do, I have dinner to make," Anon says before rising and walking off into the blindspot made by the couch.
  387. >Across from you, Princess Twilight stares at you like a colt would stare at a stain on a suit.
  388. >"So, what is Anon to you, Fleur?" she asks, with a cold, almost malice filled voice.
  389. "What do you mean, Twilight? I've known him for half a day now, and he's just helped me out."
  390. >"Well, so you know, Anon is going to be my stallion. He doesn't need another mare, so I want you gone as soon as possible."
  391. "The doctor said it would be about three days till I could walk again, and Anon offered to house me for the time. I plan on leaving after that, so don't worry your little princess head over it."
  392. >You can see rage seething under the surface, when suddenly Anon's voice says, "I hope you don't mind reheated lasagna, Fleur, I don't have the stuff to cook up something new."
  393. "That sounds fine, Anon," you reply, and Twilight nods cheerfully, likely able to see him.
  394. >Incredible how he can just charm a princess like that.
  395. >That, or she's infatuated with him.
  396. >More than likely the latter.
  397. >While Twilight's distracted looking all goody goody for Anon, you take the opportuninty to grab the book again, and use it to block the Princesses glare.
  398. >You're not even really reading it, just turning the page occasionally to look authentic while you think of how to get back to work, and worrying about how this likely scarring injury will affect your career.
  399. >At worst, you're canned, at best, you might get a pay cut or less shoots, though there may be a small chance you'll get off without penalty, besides having to not walk much for the next month.
  400. >Letting out a quiet sigh, you turn the page again, before Anon appears in your vision beyond the book.
  401. >"Dinner's ready. Do you think you can sit on a chair, or would you rather stay here and use the end table, Fleur?"
  402. >You can feel Princess Twilight staring daggers at you, so you set the book aside and reply.
  403. "I think it's better for me to stay here for now, I think moving as little as possible is best for now."
  404. >"Alright, I'll bring your plate over. Do you want anything on it?"
  405. "No, plain will be fine. I do have to watch my figure, after all."
  406. >"What about you, Twilight? I figure we can all eat out here, since it wouldn't be nice to leave someone out."
  407. >"Okay, I guess. Let me help, that way you don't need to take multiple trips."
  408. >Anon nods and she hops off the chair, folowing him into the kitchen.
  409. >There's a brief silence before you hear her say "Oh Anon, is that for me? It's too big."
  410. >"It's the same size as yesterday," he replies.
  411. >"Buh ish shoo gooo," she says with a full mouth.
  412. >"Don't talk with your mouth full, Twilight, especially not with company." Anon scolds, and She makes a garbled "sowwy" as reply.
  413. >Seconds tick by, before Anon asks, "Are you gonna help me, or sit there with your mouth full?"
  414. >A loud gulp, and a deep inhale, before she replies, "okay, I just didn't want your guest to see us like that. I'll take the food if you grab the toppings and silverware."
  415. >You roll your eyes as Twilight basically struts into the room, setting down a plate in front of you.
  416. >She gives her lips a lick, before setting down her own plate and Anons.
  417. >Anon walks in a moment later, saying, "Sorry, Twilight decieded to shove a big piece of Lasagna in her mouth and then start talking."
  418. >"Hey!" Twilight exclaims, "I was not, I was, er, nevermind."
  419. >You chuckle a bit, before turning to the meal and forking up a piece.
  420. >A moan involuntarely rises from your throat as you chew, savouring the amazing food.
  421. >Well, amazing compared to the quick order salads you normally get.
  422. >Your life is too busy for good cooking or fancy eating except rare meals.
  423. "This is delicious Anon, you made this yourself?"
  424. >"Yeah, yesterday."
  425. "I'm finding it harder and harder to believe some mare hasn't conned, seduced or otherwised you into marriage."
  426. >"I'm a pretty smart person, I know when someone is trying something. It's even easier with ponies, as they're not very good at hiding emotions."
  427. "Oh, then what am I feeling right now?"
  428. >He covers his face with one hand, waving the other around at you, before smiling.
  429. >"You are... wishing Twilight would go away because she's bothering you, you're wondering if seconds of this lasagna would damage your figure and..."
  430. >Reching out, he pokes your nose, before getting a huge grin, "and you want me to help you in the bath because you stink."
  431. >Past him you can see Twilight's cheeks puffed up so much you swear they'd burst.
  432. "Pretty close on all counts. I can clean myself, being a unicorn and all, but I think you'd appreciate it if I did so in your bathtub. I wouldn't mind Twilight leaving, since I'm hoping for a proper night's rest tonight, and maybe seconds, once I finish this piece."
  433. >Sitting down on the floor, he slides his plate over next to him on the coffee table, and digs into it.
  434. >Taking a more sedate pace with your own piece, you savour the wonderful meal and ignore your mare senses telling you to seduce this colt.
  435. >He's great, hell, he's almost exactly what you want in a male, but with what may lay ahead, you need to focus on your job.
  436. >Finishing your piece, your stomach disagrees with more, and you agree with it.
  437. >Anon cleans up the plates and takes them to the kitchen, before returning.
  438. >"So, Twilight, what brings you here anyways? I thought I told you I was going to think for a few days before I decide if I want to have you co-sign."
  439. >"Well, I heard that today you not only went out to the Everfree, but you went to the hospital as well, so naturally I was worried.
  440. >"As you can see, I'm fine, so if that's all, I do have plans for the evening, on top of helping Fleur."
  441. >You can see thoughts percolating through her head, but nothing seems to click, and she lets out a huff.
  442. >"Yes, that's all. I'll see you around Anon."
  443. >And with that, she heads for the door, giving her goodbyes, before dissapearing beyond the door.
  444. >The moment the door closes, you see Anon flop into the chair with a groan.
  445. >"Man, she's not a bad girl, but sometimes, she just needs to think things through before doing things."
  446. "So, about that bath?"
  447. >"Yeah, no worries. You sure you won't need help? I don't want you stinking up my bed tonight."
  448. "But I'm not gonna ta..."
  449. >You're cut off as he waves your statement off.
  450. >"Don't worry about it, Fleur, it's just for a few days, and you do need all the support you can."
  451. >Standing up, he approaches, flexing his hands.
  452. >"But for now, I'm gonna carry that butt of yours to the bathroom, you're starting to stink up the place."
  453. ~~~
  454. >Once again, you're back to being Equestria's only human, Anon.
  455. >After making sure Fleur knew how to work your bathtub fixtures, you head outside to clean up.
  456. >Your axe is still where you tossed it, and the log is still where it was before.
  457. >Hauling the log up onto your patio, you cover it with the tarp and weigh down the corners with small chunks of wood.
  458. >Your axe goes back into the small wood shed you have, and the now dry side table and all your tools get brought inside.
  459. >It adds in to the two you already have made, making the "stock" you have available for sale if you open your business is now three side tables and a small number of little statuettes.
  460. >Not exactly impressive, but with this new log, all sorts of possibilities arise.
  461. >You're probably gonna start with a bench made from long planks made from the log, as well as sturdy branches bent carefully into shape.
  462. >While not exactly as sturdy as the city benches, it should be plenty tough and look nice in a garden.
  463. >Only time will tell though, and your clock just struck seven, meaning the sun is gonna be dropping below the horizon soon, and Fleur is going to be stuck in bed soon.
  464. >First though, you need to make sure she's getting cleaned properly.
  465. >Unlike Twilight, you knock at the door and wait for a reply.
  466. >"Yes?"
  467. "You almost done in there?"
  468. >"Yes, you can come in, if you like."
  469. >Entering, she's still in the tub, drying herself off.
  470. >Setting a spare towel on the ground, reach in and grab around her wet belly and lift her out.
  471. >Holding her over the towel, you suspend her roughly what you think her standing height is.
  472. "Stand up, without using your injured leg, Fleur, I'll support you and that leg so you can dry off."
  473. >With a lot of focus, she lowers her three uninjured legs, and once she has a footing, you lighten your grip and shift down a bit so your lift is around just in front of her rear legs, and is holding the injured leg up.
  474. >You both ignore the fact that without your pants, you'd probably be balls deep in her, and she floats over the towel she was using and starts drying her stomach.
  475. >A few little shuffles and she's dry all over, so you lower her to the ground, before picking her up again.
  476. >This time, you set her on your bed.
  477. >Her head droops almost immediately, and you give it a pat.
  478. "Get some sleep, Fleur, you need it. I'll see you in the morning."
  479. >"Mhmm, Good night Anon, and thank you for all this."
  480. >Turning the lights off and closing the door leaves you wondering what, if anything you should do before you fall asleep yourself.
  481. >Because of the rain, you won't be able to work right away in the morning, and it also means market will be opening late, so you can't work on refilling your fridge.
  482. >Shrugging to yourself, you flop down onto the couch, knocking up a bit of a stink from all the time Fleur spent on it, so you get back up again, and bring your little bowl man statuette over.
  483. >A few leaves from a box of insense, and a match, and you soon have a thin, pleasant smelling smoke drifting through the room.
  484. >It doesn't burn long though, with how little incense you put in, but it's enough to nullify the smell of several sweaty days without a shower.
  485. >You pour the ashes into the sink before putting the man back where he stays and shutting off the lights.
  486. >Sleep comes pretty quick, the stresses of the day draining the last of the energy you had and tossing you into dreamland.
  487. ~~~
  488. >Morning arrives with a sore back, but plenty of sleep, so after extricating yourself from the couch, you head for the bathroom.
  489. >Making a quick detour to check on Fleur, you find her still asleep, snuggled up tight in your blankets.
  490. >Hopping into the shower, hot water pours over your body, easing the tension from your back muscles and loosening you up.
  491. >Throwing on some light clothing, you start making breakfast, oatmeal again, since your cupboards are rather empty.
  492. >Just as you finish, a tired voice calls out for you, and you move the pot off to cool, before heading to see Fleur.
  493. "Good morning, How are you feeling?"
  494. >"Fine. The injury is a little sore, but nothing I can't handle."
  495. "Do you need to use the washroom, or do you think you'll be fine till after breakfast?"
  496. >"I can wait. I haven't had much to eat or drink lately besides a pitcher of water at the hospital and dinner yesterday."
  497. >Nodding in aknowledgement, you reach under her and lift her up again, setting her back down on the couch.
  498. "How do you like your oatmeal?"
  499. >"Plain with milk, please."
  500. >Rolling your eyes a bit, you prepare two bowl, your own with a sprinkling of sugar, cream and cinnamon, hers with milk.
  501. >Setting her bowl down for her, you sit back in your chair, scooping your own into your mouth.
  502. "So, do you have anything you plan on doing for these days off, or are you thinking you're just gonna laze about?"
  503. >"What can I do," she replies after swallowing a mouthful of oatmeal, "I can't move around much, and I don't have any of my things anyways, so no, I don't have much planned."
  504. "I suppose that's fair, but you never know. Anyways, do you want to help me out later? I plan on doing some woodworking, and if you want to help, it would be appreciated."
  505. >"Sure, I'll help as much as I can."
  506. >Idle chatter fill the rest of breakfast, and as you tidy the dishes up, you can see the coulds being broken up outside.
  507. "Looks like the clouds are being cleared, so while we wait for it to dry, do you want to head into town with me for some shopping, or would you rather stay here?"
  508. >"Sure, but I'd prefer if you didn't carry me around, please."
  509. "Oh don't worry, I have a plan for that."
  510. ~~~
  511. >You are Fleur, the pony now wrapped like a burrito.
  512. >To bring you along with him, Anon set you on a small tarp that is on a sled and then covered you with a blanket which he wrapped under your hooves so you can't move your body much.
  513. >Your front half is still mostly free, and you get a nice view of him from behind as he pulls you along.
  514. >The dirt paths are a little muddy, but the tarp keeps you clean as Anon shops at assorted food stands along the way.
  515. >More than a fair number of salesmares give you the stinkeye when Anon isn't looking but you don't pay them any heed.
  516. >His arms become quickly laden with food, and he looks up at the sun and wipes his brow.
  517. >"Alright, now time for the serious stuff."
  518. >Mare instincts make you gulp, and every acessory store, shoe store and beauty store you pass makes your heart beat faster, dreading what this male could be taking you to.
  519. >"Here we are," he exclaims, and every fiber of your being dreads looking up.
  520. >Skipping a beat doesn't even begin to describe what you feel as you look up to see a Hardware store.
  521. "Huh?"
  522. >"I'm starting a woodworking business, and I need some more tools. Is it that strange?"
  523. "No, well, yes for a stallion, but I guess my mare instincts got the better of me there, I forgot you are not a stalliony colt."
  524. >"So, you want to come in, or are you go to wait out here?"
  525. "I'll wait. I can hold the bags, if you want."
  526. >"Sure, that'll help," he replies, holding them out for you.
  527. >Your magic grabs them and you float them down next to you, and he heads inside.
  528. ~~~
  529. >Now back to soon to be woodworker businessman Anon, entering the hardware store to get a stack of tools.
  530. >Pony tools, unfortunately, are on average a little too small, and their handles tend to be awkward too, but as you wander the aisles, you find most of the ones that you need.
  531. >The others seem to be behind the counter, and with the rest in hand, you head up to get the rest.
  532. >"Good morning, how can I help you?" the mare behind the counter asks, batting her eyelashes a bit.
  533. "I'm looking for a bow saw, twenty inches at least prefered, a hand, er hoof saw, twelve inches minimum and a hand plane please," you say, setting the other things on the counter.
  534. >"Sorry, but I'm not allowed to sell dangerous stuff like that to a Stallion, sorry. Not without a mare's permission."
  535. >You take a deep breath, about to chew her out, when an idea hits, and you nod and quickly head to the door.
  536. "I'll be right back."
  537. >Walking outside, you grab the bags from Fleur and set them aside, before picking her up.
  538. "Sorry about this, Fleur, but I need that vagina of yours."
  539. >"I, Huh??"
  540. >Setting her on the counter, facing towards you, you take and lift Fleurs tail to the cashier.
  541. "There, I have a girl pony. Now can I buy my tools?"
  542. >"Uh, well, Ma'am, does he have your permission to buy dangerous tools?"
  543. >"Yes?"
  544. >"Alright, if you say so."
  545. >The salesmare heads into the back, and you give Fleur a smile.
  546. "Thanks, some of these stupid pony rules are a real pain in the butt sometimes."
  547. >"You're welcome, but did you need to flash the store clerk with me?"
  548. "No, I guess not, but it was funny."
  549. >Picking her back up, you take her outside and set her on the sled again, before returning, just as the cashier does.
  550. >"Is that everything?" she asks, Setting the objects you asked for on the counter as well.
  551. "Yes. How much do I owe?"
  552. >An abacus clicks behind the counter, and after a moment, she replies, "Eighty nine bits."
  553. >Dumping out your bit bag, you count out the required ammount and pass it over, gathering up the leftovers.
  554. >The tools are all dumped in a bag, Which you grab and swiftly depart the store.
  555. >"Got everything?"
  556. "Yeah. Do you mind carrying the groceries on the way home?"
  557. >"Sure, no problem."
  558. >With her floating the bags, and you pulling her, it's a miniature train going back to your place.
  559. >Everything is put away, and Fleur is brought out back and set on your lawn chair, which is now dry, while you uncover the tree.
  560. >You only brought the trunk back, leaving most of the branches behind save strong but flexible ones.
  561. >Bringing Fleur a whittling knife and a block of wood, you suggest she tries carving something while you do the heavy work.
  562. >With the trunk, you measure, cut, measure again, trim, sand and prepare boards as the day goes on, bringing water for yourself and Fleur, and helping her to the bathroom when she needs it.
  563. >The day ticks on, but you notice Fleur isn't really active in carving, instead she seems rather spaced out.
  564. "Hey, Fleur, is something wrong?" you ask, setting down what you were working on and walking over.
  565. >"I hope, yeah," she replies, something obviously wrong in her voice.
  566. "Tell me."
  567. ~~~
  568. >You are Fleur, the marely mare model, and you're pouring your concerns out at a stallion.
  569. "I'm afraid for my job, Anon. Being gone for almost a week, and then not being able to stand in certain poses for a month, I'll be lucky if I just lose a third of my wage."
  570. >"And you can't do anything about it?"
  571. "Why should they care, they always have half a dozen spares waiting in the wings for one of the tops to screw up, well, at least for the mares."
  572. >"Then... what about a little positive publicity?" he says, a smile and an idea forming.
  573. "I'm listening..."
  574. >"Well, I know the whole gender roles things are wonky here compared to what I know, but nothing boosts popularity like heroics."
  575. "But how would I do heroics when I can't walk?"
  576. >"We already have the story though, we just need to change the details."
  577. >The spark in his eyes spreads to yours as you piece together what he means.
  578. "But how do we get them to believe me?"
  579. >"Proof, I guess. I bet I could convice Twilight to lend me a self developing camera for a bit, and a few pic's should do it."
  580. >You feel yourself smiling, this could actually save your job, or better.
  581. "Let's get started then," you say, a hint of excitement in your voice.
  582. >"Tomorrow. You need to relax today," he replies, before going back to his work.
  583. "Alright," you say in consent, before turning to the piece of wood you had been half heartedly carving.
  584. >It's still indistict as to what your end result was going to be, but inspiration strikes and you get the knife back up and moving.
  585. >You occasionally glace over at Anon as he works, the same muscles that heaved a tree now gently bend branches into shape.
  586. >He's strong, far stronger than the colts you see, but still soft and gentle like the kind of stallion a mare loves.
  587. >Slices of wood flick off as you work, and it's final shape starts to take form.
  588. >It's a little silly, but you decided to try and carve Anon, or well, a human shape.
  589. >As you get down to the smaller details, you start to realize how hard this is.
  590. >Making a rough shape is easy, but when you only need to remove tiny shavings, it get's hard to manipulate the knife.
  591. >Focusing intently on your cuts, you don,t notice Anon finishing what he was doing and walking over.
  592. >While your knife is away to examine your work, he says, "How's it going?" making you jump a little.
  593. "Good, I suppose. This is really hard."
  594. >"It takes some practice, yeah, but you seem to be doing pretty good."
  595. "How about your bench? Is it coming along?"
  596. >"Yeah. I'll need to wait for some of the branches to steam before I can bend them, but I can finish most of it tonight."
  597. >And he does, the day passing peacefully, an uncommon thing for you, and as you settle in for sleep, you silently wish for more days like this.
  598. ~~~
  599. >Being Twilight the purple and Alicorny, you pace your study, unease gnawing away at you.
  600. >After all the Stallion you plan on taking has a different Mare staying at his house.
  601. >She did say she wasn't going to try anything, but you're worried more about what Anon may do.
  602. >After all, she is a model, and even you can't deny she's beautiful, maybe even beautiful enough to steal Anon's heart.
  603. >Stallions are swayed easily, after all, and it should be your soft and fluffy princess wings and charming princess smile that wins his heart, not her stupid, sexy body.
  604. >You can just imagine her subtly shaking her flank, perhaps on a ski trail while wearing a flanktight suit.
  605. >Both angry and aroused at the image, you shake your head violently to clear it, before settling down to think.
  606. "I have to stop her from influencing him, but not make unprincessy blunders anymore."
  607. >However, as much as you think, as many books as you look, nothing comes to you that you could do without risking make it worse.
  608. >Therefore, there's nothing to do but wait till she's gone and Anon decides to start his business.
  609. >Then you can sink your princess wiles into him, and when he's ripe for the plucking, bam, you get an exotic husband.
  610. >A big, strong, exotic husband.
  611. >One who won't expect to get more mares to play with while you're busy.
  612. >No, he'll be all yours.
  613. >With a smile, you walk to your bedroom, ready to sleep.
  614. >Just another day or two, and she'll be gone, and you can start capturing your husband.
  615. >Jumping into you super princess sized bed, big enough for you and your soon to be husband to have all the hot human sex you could ever want, you snuggle under the sheets that are almost as soft as your wings and go to sleep.
  616. ~~~
  617. >Back to being Anon, but not like you'd expect.
  618. >Instead, it's now time for Fleur to head back to Canterlot, and you're waving her off.
  619. >Hopefully your plan works for her, and she doesn't lose her job.
  620. >If worse comes to worse, you did offer her home till she finds a new one, if she wants.
  621. >And, as a bonus, you swapped adresses with her, the pony equivelant of giving eachother your number.
  622. >Dad would be proud of that, getting a model's number.
  623. >Hell, he'd ask if she had a hot mom or something.
  624. >But now, you house is empty, safe all the new furniture and knick-knacks you and Fleur made over the few days.
  625. >And you've reached the point where you are going to have to start your business with Twilight.
  626. >Seemingly right on cue, there is a knock at the door.
  627. "Speak of the devil and they shall apear," you mutter to yourself, heading for the door.
  628. >Opening it reveals, surprise surprise, Twilight Sparkle and a stack of paperwork.
  629. >"Good afternoon, Anon, how are you today?"
  630. "Fine, I suppose. I guess we should get started."
  631. >"Of course, Anon, and I've even sorted it all to make it go faster."
  632. >Gesturing her inside, you both move to the now somewhat crowded livingroom.
  633. >Not crowded by ponies, mind you, just a bit cluttered with the furniture and knick-knacks made over the past few days.
  634. >Twilight looks around at them, the papers left on the central coffee table.
  635. >"These are really nice, Anon, did you make them yourself?"
  636. "Most of it. A couple statues were made by Fleur, and she helped with some of the detailing on a few of the side tables."
  637. >"I'm impressed at how much you made though, without magic, furniture making takes a long time for each one."
  638. "Fingers help with that."
  639. >Sitting down, you let her peruse your wares while you scan the papers.
  640. >Fairly standard contract stuff, really, at least for the few sheets you look at.
  641. >"Eager to get started, I take it," Twilight says with a giggle, sitting down on the couch, "You didn't even offer me tea."
  642. "Not really a tea drinker myself, and besides, this is important business stuff, it wouldn't do if we were to accidently spill tea on it."
  643. >Without losing her smile, she sets an inkpot and quills down, before moving most of the stack of paper aside.
  644. >"First up is your business owners license form, just fill in your information on the appropriate lines."
  645. >Reading it in more detail, it basically states that you agree to all the information on the following pages.
  646. >Skimming those reveals they cover basic stuff like paying taxes, following the local and federal government business laws, fair trade and all that stuff.
  647. >Nothing strange, so you start putting in your information when you notice Twilight filling in a form as well.
  648. "What are you signing there, Twi?"
  649. >"Just some of my co-signer information forms. They do have to have my information too in case something happens to the business, since it's considered partly mine."
  650. "So there's gonna be a lot of the same stuff then, I take it?
  651. >"For the most part. There are some minor differences, but it's mostly the same."
  652. ~~~
  653. >Be the loved by all Princess of Magic, Twilight, sitting in the living room of the colt you WILL have.
  654. >He's filling out the forms you brought at a steady pace, scanning them before signing.
  655. >Smart guy, but you don't need brains with a body like that...
  656. >While filling out your own forms, you keep glancing over the top of your papers to look down the small neckhole of his shirt.
  657. >Note to self, convince Rarity to make the holes bigger.
  658. >Still, you occasionally stare down his shirt, getting glimpses of that bare chest you saw in his bathroom.
  659. >Ah, to be able to rest on that broad, muscled chest after a wild round of sex and be held by those arms.
  660. >There's a stirring on your back that is thankfully held down by the unicorn saddlebag you wore today.
  661. >Form after form goes by, and him, yourself or both of you sign them as needed.
  662. >Between the initial signing, a second go over to make sure all the forms are there and signed and a final sort, two hours have passed, and your mind has been remembering the image of Anon naked in the bathroom more and more frequently, the musk of his house filling your senses.
  663. >That sexy body will be yours, and this little business will be the start.
  664. >Who could resist your charms when you will be spending days together at work.
  665. >Maybe you'll let him give you a wing massage after a hard days work.
  666. >Stallions love fluffy wings and soft, snugglable mares, just as much as mares love a fluffy, snugglable stallion who enjoys sex.
  667. >Brains are certainly a bonus in most mare's opinions, but there are those who like a nice, easy to manipulate colt.
  668. >You, personally, something makes you want Anon.
  669. >You're not sure if it's the challenge of getting the alien, the challenge of taming the marely colt, or even just plain xenophilia, but...
  670. >Something deep inside you tells you it HAS to be him.
  671. >But there's no need to rush, you don't really have competition, after all.
  672. >An image of Fleur flashes into your head, but you dispel it.
  673. >She's off in Canterlot being a model, she's too busy to win Anon.
  674. >A thought pops into your head, and you turn to Anon.
  675. "Hey Anon, do you still have my camera? The one you borrowed a few days ago?"
  676. >"Yeah, I'll go get it."
  677. "By the way, what were you using it for?"
  678. ~~~
  679. >[Insert witty line about becoming Anon here]
  680. >Grabbing the camera from the back room, you put on a smile and reply.
  681. "Just some preparation for the business opening. I figured since I don't really have a store or showroom yet, we could use a stand with a few demo pieces and a book filled with pictures and prices of the stuff we have in stock."
  682. "That way, if they see something they like, they can point it out and we could get it from storage."
  683. "At least until I've made enough to get a showroom."
  684. >Twilight's smile widens, before she says, "that's some good thinking there, Anon, but you know I could just get us a showroom."
  685. "It's a matter of pride, Twilight, I want to earn this, not have it given."
  686. >"Alright Anon. I'll get these to the mayors office, and then we have to wait for approval, but we should be good."
  687. >"See you soon!"
  688. >With a sigh, you flop down into the chair, grabbing a half-carved statuette you have been working on and your carving knife.
  689. >Angrily, you take chips off, shavings soon pooling on the ground.
  690. >It may have been hidden, but it was there, all through the documents.
  691. >Hidden little bonuses for the mare.
  692. >There was the obvious stuff like the severance/transferal cut, where if the colt shuts down the business or wants to switch co-signers, he owes the mare a percentage of the value of the business in bits.
  693. >To be delivered in person, of course, as one last chance for the mare to squeeze a fuck out of the stallion or something.
  694. >Business reports must be given to the mare in person no less than once a week in a pre-determined location of her choosing.
  695. >No mentions limiting where that can be, though, of course.
  696. >One small blessing with this is Twilight, in her simplistic thinking probably set them as her tree/house/castle/library thing.
  697. >The mare must, in some way be directly involved in the day to day running of the business, and has a say in all major decisions.
  698. >Her monthly wage must be at least equal to the Stallion's monthly wage, regardless of how little she works.
  699. >Hell, there's a rule in there saying if the stallion gets engaged or married to a different mare, the co-signer can change their severance/transferal cut by up to 10% without consulting the stallion.
  700. >So much little crap to make the stallion dependant on that mare specifically.
  701. >It's practically a marriage license, but, if handled correctly could certainly be used in the Stallions, or in this case, your, favour.
  702. >As ideas on how to bend this flow, your chipping becomes more controled and less rapid.
  703. >It's a pain in the ass, but to be making your own money again, it'll be nice.
  704. >Nothing to do now but carve and wait.
  705. ~~~
  706. >Two days later, you find yourself being woken extra early by a rapid pounding at your door.
  707. >Dragging yourself from the bed, you walk to the door, staring out while rubbing your eyes and half naked.
  708. >Outside is an indistinct purple shape that's becoming clearer as you wake up.
  709. "Huh, What's up Twilight? It's... way too early in the morning."
  710. >"Your owners licence came in today, and we can open any time we want!"
  711. "And this couldn't wait till sunlight, maybe?"
  712. >"Well, I guess it could, but I thought you'd be realy excited about this and would want to know right away."
  713. "Thanks and all, but could you stop by later, I want to get back to bed before it gets too cold."
  714. >You can barely make out her nod, and turning, you close the door and stumble back into bed, crawling between the warm blankets.
  715. >Sleep is able to retake you, and you're able to get an excelent three more hours of rest before you rise bright eyed and bushy tailed, as the saying goes.
  716. >Wandering into the kitchen, you start up a kettle for coffee, and make your way to the bathroom.
  717. >Nothing interupts you, and after getting dressed for the day and coffee in your body, you grab an apple and head for the door.
  718. >Twilight's going to be either on the other side, waiting awkwardly or at her house, waiting awkwardly, so you might as well check them both.
  719. >Opening the door reveals nothing, which surprises you a bit, but you travel on, keeping an eye out for the purple pony.
  720. >Even on the way, you see no signs of her, though you get some attention from shopkeepers setting up shop.
  721. >The massive eyesore that is Twilights Crystal tree palace library looms ever closer, and soon you find yourself in front of the doors.
  722. >Knuckles rap on the wooden doors, and there is a surprised sound on the other side before a clatter of hooves rush to the door.
  723. >"Anon, I wasn't sure when you wanted me to come, but you didn't have to come all the way here, just for me."
  724. "I figured you wouldn't be sure when to come, so I came here. Plus, since this is a library, if any questions arise, we'll have all the info we should need."
  725. >"Yes, of course, come in. I'll get Spike to make some breakfast for us."
  726. >Following her in, you make your way to the nearest couch and claim it with your butt.
  727. >Twilight dissapears for a moment, before returning with an envelope.
  728. >"Well, here it is, Anon, your business licence and business bank account card."
  729. "So an account comes with opening a business?"
  730. >"It's a thing that was put in about twenty years ago. It helps streamline the process, and makes it easier to transfer co-signers, since you just transfer cards and sign a few papers at the bank."
  731. "You have a card too then, I take it?"
  732. >"Yes, but the Mare card won't allow withdrawls without a signature from the Stallion card holder. It helps keep mares from taking more than their cut if they are severed or dumped."
  733. >Nodding, you smile at this little bit of information, something you didn't know earlier.
  734. "I guess this also means the account isn't tied to the business name, so we could, in theory close our first business after a while and start a new one, right?"
  735. >"Yes, though it's a very rare thing to happen, besides seasonal businesses."
  736. >Staring at the license, you can't help but smile at some of the things on it.
  737. >Mane colour, cutie mark, coat colour, it's just a very "pony" thing.
  738. >Sure, you answered them all, and the fact your species says human lets it get away with "None" as a cutie mark.
  739. >The guard or law enforcement don't even need to check, it's listed as such.
  740. >One of the good things Twilight has done for you.
  741. >Another of those good things reaches your nose as a door opens on another part of the room.
  742. >Being a princess, she has access to a lot more options when it comes to shopping, including cheap imports of meat from Gryphonia, which she keeps on hand for times you eat at her place.
  743. >A thin pork chop slice adorns an egg on toast, brought in by Spike, along with a jam on toast for Twilight.
  744. >The plates are set down, and you thank the little dragon, before he heads off to do his own thing.
  745. >It's far too infrequent your teeth get to rip through the flesh of the once living, but it does feel like a nice reward every once in a while.
  746. >"Are you enjoying your breakfast?" she asks, knowing all too well the answer.
  747. "Mhmm," you reply with a full mouth.
  748. >You swear she gets some pleasure out of watching you eat meat, more than likely just because she knows she's the only way you can get it, a status thing, in the end.
  749. >That, or a predator fetish, you can never be sure.
  750. >Not without getting with her.
  751. >And that's not on your planned list for the next, long while for sure.
  752. >Finishing off the meal, you set the plate down to be taken away, before turning to Twilight.
  753. "So, what I see needs to be done soon is a few things."
  754. "One, we need to make a stand to sell from, which should be easy enough."
  755. "Two, we need a sign for advertising, which should also be pretty easy."
  756. "And third, we need you know who to help set up a grand opening."
  757. >"Pin..." Twilight starts before you cut her off with a hand over her mouth.
  758. "Yes, but I don't want this getting out early. So, we'll tell her later, and for now we can head to my place to start making boards and building the stand."
  759. >"Ah, yes! Lets go!" she excitedly exclaims, but as you stand, you pause.
  760. "Actually, do you mind if I borrow a few books? I want to do some studying in business before the business is finally opened."
  761. >"Of course Anon, this is a library still, after all."
  762. >Skimming the shelves, you search for the right book.
  763. >Eventually, you find it, a modern copy of pony business laws, and sticking it under your arm, you head for the door where Twilight awaits, her own bag on her back.
  764. >She has a sort of skip in her step as she walks along side you, all the way to your house.
  765. >Setting the book inside, you head for the back where about half the trees length remains.
  766. "This is what we have to make the stand, though I could go get another tree if needed."
  767. >"This will be plenty, now sit back and watch Princess magic at work."
  768. ~~~
  769. >Reving up your horn, you are the Mightiest magical pony in Equestria, second only to Celestia and maybe Luna.
  770. >Also knows as Twilight.
  771. >The log presented to you rises up in your purple magical glow, and imagining what you need, you get to work.
  772. >Magic slices through the log, forming perfect sized boards, before lining those up and fusing them together.
  773. >In barely a minute, you have a parfectly formed stall minus signboard.
  774. >And you're not at all tired either, even though this would be impossible for normal ponies.
  775. >With a smile, you set it down.
  776. "How's this, Anon?"
  777. >He walks forward, looking over your work.
  778. >Smacking it, shoving it, he gives it a working over before smiling as well.
  779. >"Looks like it'll hold long enough. Nice work Twilight."
  780. >You feel yourself blushing a bit, but your marely instincts supress it.
  781. "Thank you Anon, and I'm curious, have you thought of a name for your business yet?"
  782. >"Actually, I have, but I think I'll keep that as a surprise till the opening."
  783. "Could I have just a hint? I am your business partner, after all."
  784. >He stops a moment to look around, before leaning down to your ear and whispering, "It's wood related," before jumping back with a smile.
  785. >You do everything in your power to hold a scowl at him, but it doesn't last long till you're laughing.
  786. "Alright, alright, keep your secret. What other kind of preparations are we gonna need to do?"
  787. >"Well, since teh opening is going to be a bit of a party, I figured we could sell our initial stock in an interesting way."
  788. "Oh? What is it?"
  789. >Sitting on the new table, he starts explaining his idea, and your smile grows.
  790. >This human is pretty clever, all the more reason to snag him off the market and put that creativity to good use.
  791. >In your bedroom.
  792. >Or, you know, helping with princess duties and all that.
  793. "I think I can set that up. How many do you think we'll need?"
  794. >"A thousand or so would be a safe bet, but even eight hundred would be plenty I think."
  795. "Alright, i'll get right on it. You keep planning your other things, and I'll pop in tomorrow to see how you're doing and give a progress report, alright?"
  796. >"Okay. See ya, Twilight."
  797. >Making your way back home already, you start mentally listing the books you're going to need to read to do woodworking with Anon.
  798. >Dear Celestia you love lists.
  799. ~~~
  800. >Sometimes, being a human in a land with magic kind of sucks, as proven by you watching her make a solid stand in no time at all.
  801. >But it's definetly not something you'd give up hands and feet for.
  802. >Then who'd comfort you on those lonely nights.
  803. >But enough about your solo night details, time to figure out how to make the sign.
  804. >You went through dozens of wood based dick jokes for a name before deciding on one that can be seen as explicit, but is not that obvious.
  805. >The Mighty Oak Woodworking.
  806. >Sure, it's a little cheesy, but it works, and after you get a sign to hook up to the two posts on the sides of the stand, you'll be ready for business.
  807. >Wandering into your house, you debate what to use.
  808. >Another thought hits you as you pass your mailbox, and you head to your desk to prepare a letter.
  809. ~~~
  810. >A sudden shift (and a lack of reason to be Anon anymore,) means you're now Fleur-de-Lis, and you're having coffee with a magazine director, and she just hit you with one hell of an offer.
  811. >A special edition photo shoot.
  812. >Double the normal pay and extra for the shoot partner, but...
  813. >They want you to bring in Anon.
  814. >It seems a number of higherups in the magazine industry heard and have been jostling for this opportunity, and The Canterlot Carouse snagged it first.
  815. >From the short time you spent with him, you're not sure if Anon would do it, it doesn't seem like his kind of thing.
  816. >Still, it wouldn't hurt to try, and you do have his address.
  817. "Give me a few days to get in contact with him, and I'll have an answer for you."
  818. >"I look forward to a favourable response," the manager replies, holding out her hoof.
  819. >Meeting it with your own, you pay your bill and head for home.
  820. >It's been a rough few days since you got back, but your story helped you keep your job, though no shoots have been planned yet.
  821. >Not until this one, but you need to get Anon for it.
  822. >Arriving home, you find your mailbox flag up, which is unusual, as most ponies who would contact you would do it in person or through your agent.
  823. >Pulling the letter from the mailbox, you open it with magic as you head inside.
  824. >You get a bit of a start when you notice the name scrawled at the bottom, the same person you were going to write to.
  825. >Reading over the letter, it's a basic "Hi, how are you doing, I'm doing well," type letter that end with an invitation to his business grand opening.
  826. >The Mighty Oak Woodworking, he called it, a bit silly but it works, and may even attract some ponies for the wrong reasons.
  827. >Still, it serves your purposes perfectly, since the opening is in two days, and if you head off tomorrow, you'll have time to really explain the situation, and the two of you can return on the late train that day.
  828. >That way, you should be good to get a reply in on time, and if your chat with Anon goes well, you'll have a big shoot by the end of the week.
  829. >Setting your mind, you head to pack up a nice dress for the opening, a leftover that was ditched from the last shoot.
  830. >A slightly transparent, sequined ankle length purple dress with a darker purple bow belt.
  831. >They decided the colours were all wrong, so they were going to chuck it, but you asked if you could have it instead.
  832. >You do look stunning in it, though you look wonderful in most things.
  833. >A brief jolt of pain shoots through your thigh, causing you to involuntarily raise that leg, balancing awkwardly for the moment.
  834. >It's much better than before, but it still has these twinges, and any excess amount of weight causes flares of pain.
  835. >After the pain has subsided, you lower the leg and get back to packing, though you won't need much since it will be just a day.
  836. >Some painkillers, your bit purse and emergency bandages join the dress in your travel bag, before you turn to get back to your day.
  837. ~~~
  838. >Unknown to you, you now have a reason to be Anon, as it's the day after you sent the letter to Fleur and the day before your grand opening party thing.
  839. >Pinkie Pie was informed this afternoon, and she has already started her preparations.
  840. >You just hope it isn't too much party and not enough Grand opening.
  841. >The weather is clear for the next few days, so to get more things ready, you've been spending the day tending the lawn, since your stand will be just out front for now.
  842. >And because of this, you're hot, sweaty and rather smelly.
  843. *Knock Knock Knock*
  844. >And now you have someone at your door.
  845. >Making your way around, you're surprised to see Fleur there at your front door, and you call out to her.
  846. "Hey, Fleur, what brings you here? Did something go wrong?"
  847. >"No, not at all, Anon," she replies with a smile, "I just figured I'd come early, spend some time with a friend."
  848. "Oh, who?"
  849. >"You, of course. At least, I'd like to think we'd be considered friends."
  850. "I helped you in the bathroom. if that doesn't make us friends, I don't know what does."
  851. >"As long as you don't tell that to anyone else, at least."
  852. >With a chuckle, you open the door and gesture her inside.
  853. "Please, do come in. My couch will welcome your return."
  854. >She rolls her eyes, walking in and setting her bag aside, "I hope you don't mind me staying the night, it's easier than lookin for a hotel."
  855. "Sure, but I get the bed tonight."
  856. >Hopping onto the couch, she lays down, looking over at you.
  857. >"That's fine by me, but..."
  858. >As she pauses, you sit down across from her and wait for her to speak.
  859. >"Nevermind, it can wait for later. So, what did you have planned for today?"
  860. "Not a whole lot. Feeling like heading out for dinner?"
  861. >"Asking out on a date, what a brave stallion."
  862. "Hey, I'm just feeling too lazy to cook tonight, alright."
  863. >"Sure, I believe you, and sure, lets go out for dinner. Did you have any place in mind?"
  864. "A few. You want to go fancy or fun?"
  865. >"Fun. I've been to so many fancy places, but I never get the chance to just have fun with friends."
  866. "In the mean time though, how did our plan go?"
  867. ~~~
  868. >A quick jump of time and perspective, and you are now Fleur, following right behind Anon as he leads you through town.
  869. >"Ponyville's not that big, so there aren't many resturants, but there's one place we can go to both eat and have fun this late at night."
  870. "A bar then?"
  871. >"Not exactly. Like I said, Ponyville's not that big, so some businesses merged to increase profits."
  872. >He leads you to a rather large building with a flashy sign out front.
  873. "Food Family and Fun Place? Not the most creative name ever."
  874. >"I agree, but the foods pretty great and it's the only real adult fun place open this early, also..."
  875. >Glancing around, he leans in close and says, "They also let me buy good alchohol there, so long as I hit the stage."
  876. "You, singing? That seems a little odd."
  877. >"I was drunk the first time. I'll tell you the tale when we get to a table."
  878. >As soon as the two of you enter, a server comes over and guides you to a table.
  879. >"So, a nice mare finally caught you, huh, Anon," the server says, setting menus down.
  880. >"She's just a friend who's in town for a few days, so I figured we could go out for dinner together."
  881. >"If you say so. Also, are you gonna sing for us tonight? It's been over a week since you were last here, which is odd for you."
  882. >"Life's been keeping me busy, but maybe I'll embarass myself in front of my friend tonight."
  883. >The server laughs, saying "I can't wait," before heading off to handle another table.
  884. "So you come here often, I take it?"
  885. >"Yeah, a couple times every week. I may be pretty good at cooking, but it's not really fun when it's just for yourself and the company here is nice."
  886. >Lifting up your menu, you're pleasantly surprised at the array of food available.
  887. >Sure, there's stuff like pizza and pastas, but there are also some "fancy" meals here too.
  888. >Once you've decided, Anon waves the waitress over, and she takes your orders.
  889. >With that out of the way, you turn to your "date" and smile.
  890. "So, what was that story about you being drunk and singing?"
  891. >"Well, as you know I'm an alien here, but not by choice. Some random event in the universe sent me here without warning, so as you can imagine, the first little while was rough."
  892. >"The ponies were accepting of me, even giving me a small fund to live off of, and since I didn't really own anything, I got my house."
  893. >"Anyways, during the second week here, I was still in a bit of a funk, so I was gonna drink away my sorrows, and I came here."
  894. >"No offence, but it seems like some of you mares can sense "easy prey" and I was being plied with just about every weak fruity drink available here."
  895. >"Being as big as I am though, they do nothing for me. I needed the stronger stuff, and let them know."
  896. >"When I didn't pass out from the first one, more were brought and soon I was actually getting wobbly."
  897. >"I was also getting happy too, which was my goal at the time."
  898. >"Then, one of them asked if maybe I could sing a song, and since they were buying drink for me, I figured, Hey, might as well be nice back."
  899. >"Next thing you know, I was up on stage singing, and after seeing my drinks, the manager offered to let me buy the good stuff so long as I sang that day."
  900. "Is that so. Well, are you gonna sing tonight?"
  901. >"I don't really plan on drinking, but I'll do it after dinner."
  902. >And as he says this, your waitress arrives with the food, setting it down in front of you and him.
  903. ~~~
  904. >Be Sneaky Scoops, Reporter, Photographer and Investigator for the Ponyville Press.
  905. >And you are following what could be the scoop of your career.
  906. >Ponyville's newest unclaimed Stallion is out on a date with one of Canterlot's top female models!
  907. >This could be huge, but you have to be sure.
  908. >And by that, you mean you have to take pictures and start writing vaguely true statements that could be interpreted as scandalous.
  909. >It is a bit odd they went to a lower cost place like this, since Fleur could afford to go anywhere in Ponyville.
  910. >Wait, there was that small article in the Canterlot times a few days ago, maybe Anonymous was the Stallion she saved.
  911. >And now they have a long distance love?
  912. >Oh Celestia how romantic.
  913. >You MUST put this in the news now.
  914. >Whipping out your camera, you start snapping pictures.
  915. >Sales will go through the roof with this.
  916. ~~~
  917. >Be a slightly drunk Fleur, enjoying some social drinking with Anon.
  918. >He decided to have some drinks after his song, and the two of you moved to the bar area.
  919. >Nothing too crazy, since he's opening his business tomorrow, but enough to enjoy yourself.
  920. >And now that both of you are done, you reach for your bit bag to pay, but...
  921. "Oh shoot, I forgot my bit bag in my bag," you say, but Anon pats your shoulder.
  922. >"Don't worry, Fleur, I intended to pay anyways, since I was planning on eating out tonight anyways."
  923. "But a mare should..."
  924. >He cuts you off, paying for the meal and drinks before heading to the door.
  925. >"It's too bad we couldn't do some dancing, it's always interesting to watch you ponies dance."
  926. >"Well, except Twilight. She can't dance at all."
  927. >He laughs a bit, and you chuckle with him, focusing on keeping upright.
  928. >You may not have had much to drink, but you also don't often drink much anyways.
  929. >A stray rock causes you to wobble, but a hand reaches around your shoulder and holds you to Anon's thigh, keeping you upright.
  930. >Side by side the two of you walk to his house, where he gets you some water before heading to bed himself.
  931. >Settling in on his couch, you find yourself comforted by the smell of the house as you drift off.
  932. ~~~
  933. >Another perspective jump, this time to Twilight Sparkle, waking up really early in the morning.
  934. >You could hardly sleep, so you might as well get an early start on things.
  935. >Packing your dress in a bag, you make sure you have all the things Anon needed you to do.
  936. >And like a proper gentlemare, you handled them for your human stallion.
  937. >Well, he's not yours yet, but he will be.
  938. >You had your dress from your corronation upgraded by Rarity, and you can just imagine Anon swooning as you walk in wearing it.
  939. >You'd then catch him with your magic, gently float him over and awaken him with a kiss, just like a Princess from a fairy tale.
  940. >Opening your eyes makes you realize you were fantasizing and were staring at a mirror making a kissy face.
  941. >A very attractive, princessy kissy face, but a kissy face none the less.
  942. >Your kissy faces should always be covered by Anon's face, his lips on your...
  943. >Shaking the second fantasy from your head, you grab your bag of stuff and set out for Anon's.
  944. >Sure, you could just teleport or fly there, but you like to make the townsfolk feel like you're not that different from them.
  945. >Even though nopony is around.
  946. >Well, maybe a little teleport wouldn't hurt...
  947. >Focusing your magic, there is a flash and a crack and you're now outside Anon's house.
  948. >Princess powers are wonderful.
  949. >Taking off your bag to start, you realize you have no clue what to do.
  950. >And you can't wake Anon, he doesn't like that much.
  951. >You're also not a very good cook, so surprising him with breakfast is a bad idea.
  952. >Hopping into his lawnchair in the back, you suddenly feel a little sleepy again, and doze off.
  953. >The sun is just coming up when you wake up, and figuring Anon might be awake now, you head to the back door.
  954. >It's locked, but a little princess power lets you fix that, and you walk inside.
  955. >Inhaling, you pick up the scent of Anon and smile.
  956. >Maybe you should wait for him in the living room, since he won't mind you showing up early.
  957. >Making your way through the kitchen, you go to hop on the couch when you notice it's already occupied.
  958. >By a certain pony model.
  959. >You're half tempted to teleport her as far away from your soon to be colt as possible, but that wouldn't be very Princess of Friendship/Magic-y.
  960. >So, with a quiet sigh, you settle onto the chair and look at things to occupy yourself.
  961. >Unfortunately, you keep finding yourself staring at her, whether in envy or hatred, you're not sure.
  962. >She's always here, with the stallion you will have.
  963. >But still, there must be a reason.
  964. >Maybe Anon invited her for the opening, and she had to come early.
  965. >That makes sense, and you feel yourself calming a bit.
  966. >She isn't after him, he's just being really nice Anon like usual.
  967. >Maybe if he had been here when you accidently blew up your treehouse, he would have let you stay while the new crystal palace was growing.
  968. >He might even have let you share his bed with him.
  969. "Squee!"
  970. >Instantly, you cover your mouth, fearing your outburst had woken Fleur.
  971. >And upon inspection, it has.
  972. >Scrambling to get a book from your bag to fake reading, the whole bag comes flying up and crashing into you.
  973. >When you look at Fleur, she's half sitting up, staring at you disapprovingly.
  974. >"What are you doing here so early in the morning, Princess?" she asks in proper princess addressing tone.
  975. "I'm, uh, here to help Anon prepare for the grand opening of our business. I just decided to wait for him to wake so he can provide imput as to what needs to be done."
  976. >"I see. Can you do so without waking me though, I would like to sleep properly, I did have a bit to drink last night."
  977. >With that, she lays her head back down, turning away from you.
  978. >Drinking? With Anon?
  980. >Jumping off but landing silently, you slip around into the kitchen, magically digging through the trash, looking for used condoms or any sign they did the deed.
  981. >When it comes out clean, you silently move into the bathroom, doing the same thing.
  982. >While digging throught the bathroom trash, a thought hits you.
  983. >Would Anon even need or use a condom?
  984. >He is an alien species, he might not be able to breed with ponies, and so he wouldn't be afraid of giving a mare his baby goo.
  985. >Does he even make semen?
  986. >You don't think anypony's asked him and gotten an answer.
  987. >You do know he's got male anatomy though, or at least, as long as he doesn't have she hyena type genitals.
  988. >Still, it did look like it would feel good deep inside your...
  989. ~~~
  990. >Be Anon the half awake and full bladdered.
  991. >Climbing out of bed, you shuffle out of your bedroom and along the path to the bathroom.
  992. >Kicking the door shut behind you, you stand before the great porcelean throne and prepare your offering.
  993. >A stream of golden liquid graces the holy waters of the mighty throne, and the pressure inside you fades.
  994. >There is no pleasure like a gift to the throne.
  995. >Your offering spirals down as you press the flusher, and you turn on the tap, briefly washing your hands.
  996. >Turning back to the door, you head out into the hallway to go back to bed for a few more hours of sleep.
  997. >Stopping outside the bathroo door, you sigh.
  998. "Twilight, if you're gonne be here, don't dig through the trash," you mutter out loud before continuing on the way to bed.
  999. >You don't even bother pulling the blankets over yourself as you crash into bed, hitting the land of dreams shortly after.
  1000. ~~~
  1001. >A brief jump and you're Twilight again.
  1002. >And your human just caught you digging through his garbage.
  1003. >At least he wasn't mad, right?
  1004. >Putting the trash back, you quietly slink back to the chair, embarrased.
  1005. >Today might not have started very well, but it'll get better, you know it.
  1006. ~~~
  1007. >A stray ray of sun cuts in and hits you right in the eyes, rousing you, Equestria's only human from a great dream.
  1008. >You're not sure what the dream was of, but it was awesome.
  1009. >Climbing off your bed, you grab a shirt and throw it on before heading to the kitchen.
  1010. >Starting a pot for coffee, you open your cupboards and stare at the contents for breakfast.
  1011. >Cereal and milk or toast.
  1012. >Not exactly the breakfast you would like on a big day, but whatever.
  1013. >Grabbing a bowl, milk and a box of Apple bits, you sit down at the table.
  1014. >A yawn rises from the couch, and after a moment, a sleepy Fleur rises from it and heads for the bathroom.
  1015. >The tip of a purple horn is visible over the back of the couch, and you sigh.
  1016. >Damned Twilight letting herself in.
  1017. >Gonna have to invest in magic proof locks.
  1018. >Once you get the money for it.
  1019. >The root of all your problems.
  1020. >Sure, you could mooch off government funding or a mare, but you're not that kind of guy.
  1021. >The kettle whistles and Fleur walks in, so you rise to make the coffee.
  1022. "How do you take it, Fleur?" you ask, grabbing cups from the cupboard.
  1023. >"Black. I think I drank too much last night," she says with a groan.
  1024. "I wouldn't say so. You had like, 3 good drinks."
  1025. >As soon as you pour her glass, it floats over to her, held by her magic.
  1026. "What about you, Twilight, you want some coffee?"
  1027. >"Oh, Um, sure," she says, jumping a bit, "cream and sugar, please."
  1028. >Filling a mug for her as well, you make it how she wants and hold it high.
  1029. "Here you go," you say, and after a moment, it gets grabbed by magic and floated over.
  1030. >Taking your own, you sit back down with breakfast, going through it quietly.
  1031. >With breakfast finished, you turn to Twilight, over the couch.
  1032. "So, what are you doing here so early? The grand opening doesn't start for a few hours."
  1033. >"I thought I'd come here early to help prepare."
  1034. "Everythings already pretty much done. It was done yesterday."
  1035. >"Oh..." she says somewhat dejected, "but that still means there is stuff left to do, right?"
  1036. "Just setting out the stuff for display."
  1037. >"I'll do that then," she replies with a smile.
  1038. >Finishing her coffee, all the for sale furniture you have is lifted up and follows Twilight in a line out the front door.
  1039. ~~~
  1040. >As a unicorn, you, Fleur, feel kind of intimidated watching the display of magical power.
  1041. >You're rather glad you don't have a stallion to show off to.
  1042. >Though...
  1043. >Glancing over at Anon, you feel a blush start to creep up, before you drown it under other thoughts.
  1044. >You're here as a friend, and you do have a favour to ask him.
  1045. >Now's not the time to let your mare instincts take over.
  1046. "Hey, Anon, there's something I wanted to ask you."
  1047. >"Hmn? Sure, ask away," he replies, refilling his mug with coffee.
  1048. "Well, that story you decided on went over really well, and a few days ago, I got an offer for a photo shoot."
  1049. >"Let me guess, they want me too?"
  1050. "Yes. They want us to recreate the scene for a shoot. The pay huge though."
  1051. >"When?"
  1052. "As soon as possible, I think. They wanted me to get your agreement and let them know."
  1053. >Sipping his coffee, he stares off into space, rubbing his chin.
  1054. >"Well, after the opening today, if everything goes well I won't have any stock left so we won't be opening again for a week."
  1055. >"I guess a day or two to do this would be fine."
  1056. >Grinning, you fight back the urge to squee, and instead nod happily.
  1057. "Thank you for this, Anon, you won't regret it."
  1058. >"I'm getting paid, aren't I? I'd do it just because we're friends though."
  1059. >Your smile feels inadequate for the happiness you're feeling, but it's good enough.
  1060. "So, Are we going to let Twilight do all the work or are we going to help set up?"
  1061. >"Let her do the work, we can relax a bit longer."
  1062. >With no reason to argue, you follow as he heads to the living room.
  1063. >"Out of curiosity, what's in your bag? You're only here for yesterday and today, so I wouldn't think you'd need much."
  1064. "Just some medical stuff for my injury, some bits and a few little things I may need."
  1065. >"So if you suddenly collapse in pain, I know where to go."
  1066. >Reaching over, you give him a light jab with a hoof, smiling.
  1067. "I'm tougher than that, Anon, you should know."
  1068. >"Alright. Well, what do you want to do while we wait?"
  1069. ~~~
  1070. >Being Twilight the organized and magical means you get everything set up according to plan ahead of schedule.
  1071. >Looking over you work, you smile.
  1072. >Anon will definetly praise you for this, and if today goes perfect, maybe more...
  1073. "Hmnn, maybe I should check on Pinkie. Knowing her, this might be too much party, not enough business."
  1074. >Speaking of the mare, she's hauling a cart down the road to here.
  1075. >"Good morning Twilight, are you super duper excited for the super important opening party today?"
  1076. "Yes, but I'm also a little worried. Anon has a friend from Canterlot over, and I'm worried she's going to end up stealing Anon away, even though I really like him..."
  1077. >"Then you just have to get him first. I'm sure if you had a stallion in the frog of your hoof, you could do whatever you want with him."
  1078. >Giving her a neck hug, you nod.
  1079. "Thanks, Pinkie, that helped me feel a lot better. is there anything I can do to help you?"
  1080. >"Nope. I've got all the party stuff under control. The non-party party stuff too."
  1081. >With Pinkie handling the rest, you head back for the front door when you notice something through the livingroom window.
  1082. >Anon is standing tall in front of the couch, beating his chest in the manner of gorilla's showing dominance.
  1083. "Wait... Gorillas show dominance to attract mates!"
  1084. >Rushing for the door, in your panic, you forget to turn the knob and crash straight into it.
  1085. >Re-orienting, you open the door and rush inside to see Fleur and Anon staring at you confused.
  1086. >"What's up Twilight, you forget how doors work?"
  1087. "What where you doing, Anon!" you exclaim, "was she trying to intimidate you into something?"
  1088. >"What are you talking about, Twilight? We were just playing charades while you were setting up things."
  1089. >"He's a very amusing and fun guy, Twilight, I may have to visit more often."
  1090. >Part of you wants to stare death at her, but with Anon there, he'd see too.
  1091. "You think so too?" you say instead, "I like how he's more independant than most stallions as well."
  1092. >You're suddenly pushed forwards as Pinkie's head pops around the door frame.
  1093. >"You guys better get ready soon, ponies are already starting to show up."
  1094. >"Alright. I'll be out in just a moment," Anon replies, and Pinkie's head retreats.
  1095. >"I'm gonna head to the bathroom quick before heading out. Feel free to use it or my bedroom to prepare, once I'm out."
  1096. >You and Fleur nod, before turning intense stares at eachother while heading for your bags.
  1097. >"I'm going to use the bathroom to dress after him. You can use his bedroom."
  1098. "Who gave you the right to choose? Last I checked, I'm the princess."
  1099. >"Then I will use the room he had been sleeping in till about an hour ago to change."
  1100. >A sharp snort escapes your nostrils, but you can't argue.
  1101. >It is what you want.
  1102. >Grabbing your bag, you trot to his bedroom.
  1103. >Inside, it's everything you hoped.
  1104. >The air is thick with his smell, dirty laundry piled in a corner.
  1105. >Your immediate instincts tell you to jump into it, cover yourself with his smell, show the other mare's he's yours, but...
  1106. >It's not a princessly thing to do.
  1107. >Instead, you float up a couple shirts and rub them daintily on yourself.
  1108. >When you feel like you smell of him enough, you dig your perfectly folded dress from your bag and start dressing.
  1109. ~~~
  1110. >Exiting the bathroom, you notice Fleur is waiting and Twilight is nowhere to be seen.
  1111. "Don't strain yourself," you say to Fleur as you pass, "I may not notice you missing so you could be stuck in there a while."
  1112. >"I'll probably take a while, since I have to rebandage myself, but I should be ready for when you're doing the opening."
  1113. "Alright, see you then."
  1114. >Making your way outside, you hear the bathroom door close behind you, and as you step into your yard, you can see ponies wanderng about, looking at things.
  1115. >Wandering around to them,  you make idle chatter and answer questions they have.
  1116. >Most just have idle curiosity, "what kind of things you will be selling", "how much", "when are you going to be open" and stuff like that.
  1117. >Some do show genuine interest in purchasing some of the items on display, and you explain to them how they will be sold today.
  1118. >A few stick around to wait for the opening, others head off, saying they'll return later.
  1119. >As you wander and chat, you come across Fluttershy staring at one of the little statues.
  1120. "Good morning Fluttershy, I didn't expect to see you here so early."
  1121. >"Oh, hi Anon, I thought I'd come early so I don't get in the way, you know."
  1122. "I don't think anyone would think you're in the way, this is supposed to be a social thing, after all."
  1123. >"That's okay, I'm not really a social pony. I do really like this statue, did you make it?"
  1124. >Examining the one in question, a small sculpture of a human, you shake your head.
  1125. "No, actually Fleur-De-Lis made this one while she was staying at my house. Do you like it?"
  1126. >"Very much. It's really neat and it looks like a lot of effort went into making it."
  1127. "If you want it, you could try getting it at the silent auction we will be doing."
  1128. >At the mention of auction, she shrinks back a little, shaking her head.
  1129. >"No, I couldn't do an auction, they're too noisy and attention drawing."
  1130. >Laughing, you explain to Fluttershy how a silent aution is more of a draw than a standard auction.
  1131. >During this time, Twilight finished getting dressed and made her way outside and to you.
  1132. >"Hey Anon, how do I look?"
  1133. "That dress looks pretty good on you, Twilight."
  1134. >Her cheeks go a little rosy, and she turns to Fluttershy.
  1135. >"How are you doing, Fluttershy? It's been a few days since we last saw eachother, it seems."
  1136. >"I've been okay, ..." Fluttershy starts and you wander off to let them talk.
  1137. >Up at the front by the street, Ponies are starting to gather, watching Pinkie setting up some things.
  1138. "How is it going, Pinkie, I hope you aren't making this too much of a party."
  1139. >"Anon, I know my parties. I know this isn't a party. I know how much party to bring to a not party," she replies in a serious tone, giving you a flat stare.
  1140. >"Now, do you think I should use a double capacity or a triple capacity confetti launcher?" she asks, her normal smile showing through.
  1141. "Umm, a double, I guess. Too much confetti might be hard to clean up from outside."
  1142. >"Okie Dokie," and with that, she dives into her wagon, only a pink cotton candy looking tail revealing she is even in there.
  1143. >Returning to the house, you grab the banner from it's hiding spot when you hear Fleur call out from the bathroom.
  1144. >"Anon? Are you there? I could use some help."
  1145. "Yeah, I'm here. What's up?"
  1146. >"I need some help getting my dress on. It's too awkward to do alone."
  1147. "Alright, I'm coming in."
  1148. >Pushing open the bathroom door, you see she has what looks like a puffy collar that is her dress around her neck.
  1149. >"I can rest my back half on your toilet cover, but when I try to get one of my front hooves through, I lose balance."
  1150. "I see," you say, setting the banner aside before crouching in front of her.
  1151. >Raising a hoof, you guide it through the forelimb hole, supporting her at the same time.
  1152. >After getting the other, you help her pull the dress down her back, and tie the purple ribbon around her waist.
  1153. >"Anon! Hurry up, it's almost time to start!" Twilight's voice calls from outside.
  1154. "Alright, coming!" you call back, grabbing the banner from where you set it down.
  1155. "Shall we go together, Fleur?" you ask, and she nods with a smile.
  1156. >"Lets."
  1157. >Opening the front door for her, you walk side by side with her to where Pinkie has a small stage set up, right next to your stand.
  1158. >An impressive number of ponies stands past that, looking around and talking amungst themselves.
  1159. >As you walk forward, their attention turns to you and the slightly limping Fleur.
  1160. >Holding back a laugh, you realize just how this appears, but you choose to continue.
  1161. >While you step onto the stage, Fleur moves around to the edge of the crowd, Twilight rushing to join you.
  1162. "Welcome all of you, to my new shop."
  1163. "I know it's not much, but I hope it will provide a needed service to Ponyville, and with your help, it will grow."
  1164. "And so, with my co-signer Twilight, I'd like to introduce you to Ponyville's newest business, The Mighty Oak Woodworking."
  1165. >Flinging open the banner, Twilight helps lift it into place over the stand.
  1166. "For today, I figured I'd so something special to sell the furniture and statues I have it stock."
  1167. "I'm going to be doing a silent auction, with the drawing at the end of the day."
  1168. "I'm sure some of you know what a silent auction is, but for those who don't here's a brief explanation."
  1169. "To participate in a silent auction, all you have to do is buy a few little tags from Twilight, who will be at the stand."
  1170. "These tags come in small clusters, and have a number on them. When you buy the tag, Twilight will record your name and address as well as the numbers you have."
  1171. "With these tags, you seperate them, and put them in the container on or next to the piece you want a chance to win."
  1172. "At the end of the day, a random tag will be drawn from each container, and the owner of the tag that is drawn wins that piece."
  1173. "Also, at three, I will start taking requests for furniture to be made, but the number of requests I take will be limited, so get in early."
  1174. "That's all. I'll be walking around if you have any further questions."
  1175. >About to step off the stage, a pair of booms make you jump, confetti flying everywhere.
  1176. >"Oh, there they go," you hear Pinkie say, before giggling.
  1177. "A little warning next time would be nice, Pinkie," you say, sternly staring at her.
  1178. >"But surprise is half of the surprise."
  1179. "What's the other half?"
  1180. >"Not letting the victim know."
  1181. "Isn't that still technically surprise?"
  1182. >"Show's what you know. Leave the surprising to the professionals," she replies, and with that, she bounces off to do her thing.
  1183. >Heading off to walk around, you are soon joined by a couple stallions from around town.
  1184. >"Hey, uh, Anon, we got a question for you."
  1185. "Sure, what is it?" you ask, stopping to talk.
  1186. >"Are you, um, you know," he asks, wiggling his eyebrows, "with her?"
  1187. "Huh?"
  1188. >"He couldn't be," a different one says, "He's with the princess, why else would she be his co-signer?"
  1189. >"I dunno, but I'd pick Fleur-De-Lis over Princess Twilight myself."
  1190. >"No way, who wouldn't want to be with a Princess."
  1191. >"She's even..."
  1192. >At this point, you've realized their banter has no significance to anything important, so you head off again to see if anyone has important questions.
  1193. >There's still a bit of a crowd out front that Twilight's talking to, but your yard is now much more actively filled with ponies.
  1194. >"Howdy, Anon, Ah heard our own little human stallion was gettin' his own business, so Ah figured Ah'd check it out," Applejack says, coming up behind you, "Ah didn't expect ya ta open a carpentry shop."
  1195. >Turning, you see her and Applebloom there, Big Mac nowhere in sight.
  1196. "You could say I've got a bit of a knack for it, AJ, and a hello to you too, Applebloom."
  1197. >"Hi Anon. Big sis brought me to see if maybe what you and Princess Twilight were doin' was somethin' Ah'd like as a cutie mark."
  1198. "Well, you never know, I guess. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me or Twilight when she's not busy."
  1199. >Nodding, she looks up at Applejack, who smiles and says, "Yes, ya can go look on yer own. If I hear any mischef outta ya though..."
  1200. >"Ah promise big sis," she says, before scurrying off.
  1201. "What do you think, Aj, is she going to be a carpenter?"
  1202. >"It's definetally a mare's job, and she's got the skills for it. You ever seen her clubhouse? She built most o' it herself."
  1203. "Impressive. I'm guessing you helped her?"
  1204. >"O' course. Ah wouldn't let Big Mac help. It's too dangerous."
  1205. "So you don't like me doing it, then."
  1206. >"Anon, ya know ah don't lie, and Ah'm tellin' ya now. Ah don't like ya doin' a mare's job, but Ah also ain't gonna tell ya how to live your life. Just promise me you'll be safe about it, alright?"
  1207. "I wouldn't dare being otherwise. I'd hate to lose a hand or worse over a stupid decision."
  1208. >Applejacks lips turn up into a honest smile, and she pats you on the thigh, saying, "Well, best of luck to ya then, and Ah'll be sure to come here if'n Ah need some woodworkin' done."
  1209. "Have a good one, Applejack."
  1210. >As you go about, answering questions, you reflect on what Applejack confirmed for you.
  1211. >Hell, what the world has been throwing at you since you got here.
  1212. >There are mare things and there are stallion things.
  1213. >Very few of these things cross over, and you're working deep in mare territory.
  1214. >Looking around, you spot Applebloom staring between two statues in what seems like confusion.
  1215. >Stepping over, you kneel down next to her.
  1216. >"Anon, were these made by differen't ponies? The more Ah look at em, the more Ah can tell."
  1217. "You're right about that, Applebloom. The one on the left, I made, and the one on the right was made by Fleur-De-Lis while she was staying at my house."
  1218. "Still, I'm surprised you can tell the difference, they were made in the same way."
  1219. >"Ah dunno, Ah guess ah can see how differently the wood was handled."
  1220. "Then maybe you will have a cutiemark for carpentry or woodworking, who knows. I think you should give it a try."
  1221. >A face splitting smile is turned on you, and she says, "Ya realy think so?"
  1222. "I think it's worth a try. If you want some help, come over on, hmnnn Friday, I suppose and I'll be able to help teach you."
  1223. >"Awww, that long? Ah wanna learn right away!"
  1224. "I have a trip for the next few days, so I won't be around to help. Twilight might be able to though."
  1225. >"Alright Anon, Ah'll see ya when ya get back."
  1226. >Giving the happy filly a pat on the head, you stand back up and look around.
  1227. >It seems Fleur has extricated herself from the group that was with her, and Twilight has taken up the stand.
  1228. >Everything is going smoothly, jars are starting to get tickets in them.
  1229. >All you have to do is get through this, and then you'll be off with Fleur to do a photo shoot, and then back to do more woodworking.
  1230. >With a sigh, you feel a small smile form.
  1231. >Well, at least it's by your power you will survive now.
  1232. ~~~
  1233. >Be Fleur, fanciest dressed pony here, except for Twilight, who is far overdressed.
  1234. >It seems the ponies of Ponyville do like a story, but at the same time, they're not pushy about it like Canterlot ponies.
  1235. >After all, it only took an hour and a half to get through all the mares and stallions wanting to know what your relationship with Anon was.
  1236. >Or if you wanted to join a herd, there were a couple nice offers, but you turned them down.
  1237. >No need to make more of a fuss, and they weren't much your type anyways.
  1238. >Making your way to the male who is your type, you gently nudge Anon's thigh with your shoulder.
  1239. "Is everything going well?" you ask, and you feel a hand pat your shoulder.
  1240. >"Yep, it's going good so far. Have you had any problems?"
  1241. "With ponies asking awkward questions, yes, with my injury, no."
  1242. >"That's good. I wouldn't want to be the only one being asked if you and I are dating and or married and or having sex."
  1243. "I hope you weren't getting marriage proposals then, because I was."
  1244. >"Oh, any good ones?"
  1245. "One or two I might have considered at a better time, but right now, I feel like my standards are kind of hard to meet."
  1246. >"It seems like we both have the same problems then," Anon says, looking up.
  1247. >"Hard to meet standards, and troubles with work, though I guess that second problem is going to be fixed for both of us soon."
  1248. "You have standards that are hard to meet? I figured Princess Twilight could cover any standards."
  1249. >"Money and power are nice, but what I look for is personality. And don't get me wrong, Twilight has some of that going for her, but just not what I wan't in a wife."
  1250. "Oh, so have you found any who fit yet?"
  1251. >"One or two I could see myself with, but right now, stability comes first."
  1252. >Laughing at the near identical answer he gave to the one you gave just a moment ago, he smiles at you.
  1253. >"And yes, I do like a girl with a good sense of humor."
  1254. >The two of you talk about other things for a bit, occasionally switching to discussing some of the pieces with interested ponies, but when the two of you are mostly alone, you turn the subject.
  1255. "About this shoot, we should catch the evening train to Canterlot, but it leaves not long after you planned this to end."
  1256. >"Then we'll head out as soon as everythings done. Can I trust you to pack me some clothes?"
  1257. "They're in your dresser, right? Yes, I should be able to."
  1258. >You feel his hand pat your side, and he says, "Alright, I leave it to you. I'll get everything set to go, and we'll leave as soon as possible."
  1259. >As you walk away, you feel a quick pat on your butt, before you hear Anon walking away.
  1260. >With quickened steps, you trot inside his house, doing everything you can to suppress the blush on your cheeks.
  1261. ~~~
  1262. >A short jump of time later, and also a perspective switch, you are Twilight Sparkle, Greatest co-worker to Equestria's only human.
  1263. >Well, only co-worker, but that doesn't mean you aren't the best.
  1264. >Anyways, you're counting up the bits Anon's draw built up, and it's looking like a good amount.
  1265. >At least enough to cover what the normal selling prices of the furniture and statues would have been.
  1266. >You've also got down the requests for this week, and you've magically cleaned all of Pinkies mess.
  1267. >Just some of the many great things you can do, being the princess of magic.
  1268. >Another great thing is what you're doing now, Magically carrying the prizes with Anon to the winner's homes.
  1269. >He's got the list, made by you, and a map to guide you around.
  1270. >Idle chatter fills the air between you, a pleasant scene, if you do say so yourself.
  1271. >A mare and her will soon enough be husband, together.
  1272. >"Hmn, looks like these last ones are on the outskirts of town all over the place, do you think you could teleport to deliver them? I have something that I need to do right away."
  1273. "Of course I can. I'll see you when I get done," you say with your best princess smile.
  1274. >He hands you the sheet before turning and jogging towards his home.
  1275. >Looking at the addresses, you focus and teleport to each one.
  1276. >One for the hospital, another for Old lady Agate, and for your final stop, a statue for Fluttershy.
  1277. >Stopping for a bit to chat, you eventually head out, drawing up power for one last teleport.
  1278. >You have plenty for more, if you wanted to, but you don't need to, since you teleported to Anon's house.
  1279. >Looking around the house, you don't see him there, and moving to go outside, you see him in the distance.
  1280. >About to run outside, you notice what's beside him.
  1281. >Or rather, who, is beside him.
  1282. >Side by side he walks with Fleur, heading in the direction of the train station.
  1283. >The sound of breaking glass fills your ears as your heart shatters, believing Anon is lost to you.
  1284. >You did also dive through the window to run home, but that's beside the point.
  1285. ~~~
  1286. >Be Anon, the happy and hungry.
  1287. >Everything went perfect today, so perfect you didn't have time to get lunch.
  1288. >Or dinner.
  1289. >But Fleur offered to buy Dinner on the train, since you don't have much for bits right now.
  1290. >Those tools burned a rather big hole in your budget.
  1291. >If this shoot pays off as well as Fleur says it will though, you won't have to worry about that for a month or three.
  1292. >When she told you an approximation of your pay, your jaw dropped.
  1293. >She had to close it for you with magic, in the end.
  1294. >With those bits in your pocket, you'll be sleeping nice though.
  1295. >At the station, Fleur pays for your ticket, saying you'll have to buy your own to get back.
  1296. >The car isn't fancy or anything, just a basic spot, shared with two other ponies.
  1297. >With there being only two benches, you and Fleur take one, while the other two take the other.
  1298. >Dinner is brought in on a cart, and with full stomachs, you and Fleur settle to take a nap for the trip.
  1299. >One uneventfull nap sequence later, and you wake to the sound of the announcement system saying they will be arriving in Canterlot shortly.
  1300. >A weight is in your lap, and looking down reveals Fleur's sleeping head resting there.
  1301. "Hey, Fleur, we're going to be arriving soon," you say, shaking her shoulder.
  1302. >Her head turns and one eye opens to look up at you, pink begining to fill her features as her mind wakes up.
  1303. >Shooting up, she glances away, saying, "Sorry."
  1304. "Don't worry about it, sleepy head," you reply, rubing her head.
  1305. >There's a minor shift in the train as it begins to slow, so you grab your bag.
  1306. >After waiting for the train to make a full stop, you follow Fleur out onto the station.
  1307. "So, we spending the night at your place?"
  1308. >"Yeah, it's not too far from here. Follow me."
  1309. >She leads you through the city to a nice appartment building at the edge of the rich part of the city.
  1310. >There's a greeter at the front who smiles and nods as you pass, and you can feel her eyes stick to you until you're out of sight.
  1311. >Up a few stories and down a hall, and Fleur floats up a key to unlock a door.
  1312. >Opening the door, she gestures you inside, before following behind.
  1313. >The apartment is fancy but modest at the same time.
  1314. >Costly but sparse furniture decorate it, perhaps a measure of how little time Fleur spends here.
  1315. >"Welcome to my place. It's not much, but it's home to me."
  1316. "I'll be on the couch then, I guess," you say, tossing your bag down beside it.
  1317. >"If you want to. I've got enough bed to share."
  1318. >Quirking an eyebrow at her, she pushes open another door to a bedroom with a super king sized bed.
  1319. >Looking at her, you can see a faint rose hue on her ivory cheeks, and you chuckle.
  1320. "You want to share a bed with me?"
  1321. >"My couch isn't big enough for you, so I figured we could sleep together."
  1322. "Sure, but you can't complain about what happens while we sleep."
  1323. ~~~
  1324. >Be Fleur the aroused and embarassed.
  1325. >You're climbing into your bed with a half naked guy who wears clothes all the time, and he was just flirting with you.
  1326. >And not in the "I'm a cute fluffy stallion" way, but a marely way.
  1327. >And it's working.
  1328. >You must be going soft, but he is an ideal stallion for you.
  1329. >If you were in a better spot, you'd pounce him and take him for your own right here right now, but...
  1330. >Something deep down tells you it won't work.
  1331. >It could just be the fact he's a predator species.
  1332. >At the same time, his presence in bed with you helps make you feel safe, like sleeping between your parents.
  1333. >Slowly sinking into dreamland, you fail to notice the fate that will befall you by morning.
  1334. >As you start to wake, you feel a pressure around you.
  1335. >It's not an opressive one, but as you open your eyes you find the pressure is Anonymous's arms wrapped around you.
  1336. >He's got you gripped so firmly you can't even squirm.
  1337. >And there's something poking your lower back.
  1338. >It twitches, and you instantly know exactly what it is.
  1339. >Calming your breathing, you focus on how to get out of his hold.
  1340. >Tugging at his arms with magic, you slowly spread them open and roll out.
  1341. >Instead of falling when you release them, though, they spread out and you hear Anon yawn as he stretches.
  1342. >"You know, if you wanted to be let out, you could have just asked."
  1343. >A small blush returns to your cheeks, and you turn and walk out of the room.
  1344. "I'm gonna clean up, then prepare breakfast. You can use the bathroom after me."
  1345. >Making it into the bathroom, you let go of your breathing control, your breaths turning to pants.
  1346. >Dear Celestia how hasn't this stallion been scooped up when he acts like that?
  1347. >Turning on the shower, the cold water jolts your system back to normalcy, somewhat, and you turn the warm water on.
  1348. >It seems the more time you spend around Anon, the more you feel yourself falling for him.
  1349. >He seems to know it too, or he's trying to show he likes you, at the very least.
  1350. >But you can't have him distracting you for this shoot, your work depends on it.
  1351. >With your will hardened, you finish your shower and dry off before preparing for the day.
  1352. >Heading to the kitchen, Anon passes you, heading to the bathroom.
  1353. >Inside the kitchen, you find a plate of breakfast already made for you.
  1354. >Egg, toast and hashbrowns, all prepared with a cup of coffee, still steaming.
  1355. >Sitting down, you ignore all your instincts to tell him off or make a colt's in the kitchen joke, knowing how good his cooking is.
  1356. >Even for the short(enough) time you were in the bathroom, the eggs are done to near perfection and the hashbrowns are golden brown and delicious.
  1357. >Despite nobody else being around, your manners remain and you eat slowly with utensils, savouring the meal.
  1358. >As you finish, Anon comes out of the bathroom, looking...
  1359. >Oh wow, he looks like you could take him to the Gala and he'd fit in fine.
  1360. >A suave black suit, perfectly fitted to his body with an appropriate tie and undershirt.
  1361. >"Well, now that you've eaten, shall we go?"
  1362. >Smiling and setting the dishes aside, you nod, following him to the front door.
  1363. >Down through the appartment, out into the streets and to the magazine company, the two of you walk, near side by side.
  1364. >Seeing you, the receptionist sends a runner back to the boss, and not a minute later, she's walking out of the back.
  1365. >"Fleur, It's good to see you, and this would be Anonymous, I take it?"
  1366. >"That's me, Ma'am. I understand you had a photo shoot lined up for the two of us?"
  1367. >"I do, and an interview as well, since this is quite the tale."
  1368. "Do you have the set ready? He's only here in Canterlot for a few days, so sooner would be prefered."
  1369. >"Everything's already good to go. You've always been one of our best, Fleur, we knew you would come through."
  1370. "Please, lead the way."
  1371. ~~~
  1372. >You are back to Anon now, and you're wishing you didn't wear your suit.
  1373. >Inside the dressing room they set up for you, there is nothing wearable by you.
  1374. >Sure, you could make some stuff fit, but it would be hideous looking.
  1375. >Rarity's gonna kill you for messing up this shirt and pants, but she'll also probably fawn on you for being a model.
  1376. >Setting the jacket to the side, you start snipping, cutting down the fabric into something designed for casual wear.
  1377. >A prop axe is sitting by the door, and you grab that on the way out.
  1378. >Walking back to the set, you see a dirty Fleur already there.
  1379. "It's been only two hours since you showered and already you need another one. Boy, you sure are messy, Fleur."
  1380. >"It's makeup, not dirt. After that excursion, I'd rather avoid dirt for a while."
  1381. >A sharp clop draws your attention, and several ponies enter.
  1382. >"Ah, here's the hero couple of the month, I am your Photographer today, Money Shot. Follow my directions and we'll have this done in a jiffy."
  1383. >"I got a script, of sorts from your boss, but you will need to recreate the scenes."
  1384. "I guess at the start, it would start when I was chopping down the tree," you say, swinging the fake axe a bit.
  1385. >Posing next to a fake tree, you assume several stances in the chopping motion, pictures snapped each time.
  1386. >The scene plays through, at least, the modified version you came up with, and with the help of pegasii and thin ropes, the tree seems to fall on you as you slip, trying to get out of the way.
  1387. >Fleur rushes in, "struggling" to heave the foam tree off you with her magic, before squeezing in under to lift it.
  1388. >Slowly lifting, the ground gives and she slips, a branch "stabbing" into her thigh.
  1389. >She struggles through it, lifting the tree slowly till you can crawl out.
  1390. >Escaping from under it, she stumbles a bit, and you catch her, before lifting her up.
  1391. >There's a makeup cut, and Fleur gets some new bandages, and it's time to recreate the image you created.
  1392. >Kneeling down next to her, you wrap your arms around her neck and lean up to give her a kiss on the cheek.
  1393. >With one hand, you suddenly turn her face and meet her lips to lips.
  1394. ~~~
  1395. >You are Fleur, the mare with monkey muscle in your mouth.
  1396. >When you and Anon were gonna re-create the picture, he suddenly turned your head and penetrated your lips with his tongue.
  1397. >His sudden forwardness catches you off guard and your can't resist his actions.
  1398. >The thing that confuses you the most is that his tongue doesn't do anything, even though he pushed it into your mouth.
  1399. >Shutters click rapidfire, and he breaks the kiss, a small strand of saliva linking the two of you for just a moment before it snaps.
  1400. >Cameras take picture after picture of the two of you, Anon hugging your neck.
  1401. >"Wonderful, Passionate, Romantic, Amazing, Perfect!" Money Shot exclaims, furiously clicking her camera.
  1402. >It's all you can do to keep from turning red and running from here like an embarassed colt.
  1403. >Anon turns and sits beside you, one arm still draped around your neck.
  1404. >"How was that, miss?"
  1405. >And Anon's playing innocent, it seems.
  1406. >"Perfect. Absolutely wonderful, but please, take a few minutes to relax, get changed and I will send somepony to guide you to the interview room."
  1407. >With that, she shoos the two of you into Anon's changing room.
  1408. >Staring at the door, Anon guides you inside before closing it.
  1409. >Nervously shifting your weight, you stand behind the door, looking everywhere but Anon.
  1410. >You know what Money means by taking time to relax.
  1411. >You've heard what goes on past those doors.
  1412. >It's true, half of you wants it, but at the same time, you don't want it like this.
  1413. >Glancing over, you see Anon removing his shirt, and you reflaxively step back.
  1414. >"Fleur, you gonna switch to a clean bandage?" Anon asks, looking at you.
  1415. "Huh, oh, yeah, I suppose I should."
  1416. >Skirting around the room, you head for the first aid box, when you feel Anon's hand rest on your back.
  1417. >"What are you nervous about, Fleur? We shared a bed last night, why are you scared of being in the same room as me?"
  1418. >Your gaze runs up his body to his smiling face.
  1419. >The same simple smile he has all the time.
  1420. >With a silent snap, all your tension melts away, and you smile back at him.
  1421. "I don't know, I guess my instincts and memories got the best of me."
  1422. >He goes back to what he was doing, and you dig out new bandages and a sterile wipe to clean and rebandage yourself with.
  1423. >Anon cleans himself up as well, before donning the suit jacket.
  1424. >Now it just looks silly though, with shorts and full sleeved jacket, the outfit seems top heavy.
  1425. >He seems to think this too, as he looks in the mirror, he frowns before taking the jacket off.
  1426. >There's a knock at the door, and the pony on the other side says, "When you're ready, come out, I'll escort you to where we're doing the interview."
  1427. >Anon heads for the door, and you hurry after him, the two of you opening to the pony on the other side.
  1428. >"Follow me," the mare says, and the two of you follow her through the building.
  1429. >She leads you to a room with several very large and plush cushions and some recording machines in the back.
  1430. >Both Money Shot and the director of the magazine are already there, relaxing on seperate cushions leaving a double sized one for you and Anon.
  1431. >"Welcome, Fleur, Anon, I heard the shoot went well."
  1432. >"It was perfect," Money says, "Fleur truly is one of the best, and Anon did great for a first time. I have sent the pictures to be developed already, we should have them soon."
  1433. >You and Anon settle onto the cushion, and you find yourself right up against his side.
  1434. >Flicking on a large switch, the recording machines whir to life.
  1435. >"So, we know how you two met, but tell us, what happened between the time this happened and when you returned to Canterlot, Fleur? The medical record shows there were three days between the incident and your return."
  1436. >Opening your mouth to reply, you hear Anon say "Well, she stayed with me. She wasn't in a position to move much, so I made her stay at my house for the three days."
  1437. >Both mare's eyebrows shoot up, and you resist the urge to blush.
  1438. >"You must have a nice house, then, since you had a spare bedroom she could borrow."
  1439. >"Oh no," he replied, looking down a bit and rubbing his head, "She was in my bed every night."
  1440. >You can almost hear the scandal in their eyes as Anon says this.
  1441. >"Is that so. Well, tell us about yourself then, Anon, We're quite interested in what you and your herd is like. You must certainly have a tolerant mare or two to let a strange mare sleep in bed with you."
  1442. >"I don't have any mares, actually. I live alone, and I just started a business with Princess Twilight as my co-signer."
  1443. >Barely concealed grins are on the faces of the two other mares and you just wish you could say something but Anon's hand suddenly rests on your head.
  1444. >"So I take it you live in Ponyville, since that's where the princess lives as well. Where are you staying while you're here?"
  1445. >"Oh that's easy, Fleur is letting me stay with her. Just like my house though, she only has one bed so we shared last night."
  1446. >Pleace Celestia, banish me now. It has to be better than what's gonna happen after this gets out.
  1447. >"Her fur is really soft, you know, though I guess it comes with being a model, right?"
  1448. >Why must he say these things...
  1449. >"Enough of that though, what do you plan on doing while here?" Money Shot asks, changing the topic.
  1450. >"Well, I guess I'm probably gonna go say hi to Princess Celestia, since she said if I'm ever in Canterlot I should stop by."
  1451. "You know Princess Celestia personaly?"
  1452. >"I only met her for a bit when I arrived, but I think she's a realy friendly pony."
  1453. >Money Shot and the director look at eachother before nodding.
  1454. >"Then I suppose we can end this here. Your pay's waiting at the front desk, and I hope you enjoy your time in Canterlot," The director says.
  1455. >"And if you ever want to do some more modeling, I'll be sure to find a job for you," Money shot adds as you and Anon stand up.
  1456. >"I'll be sure to remember," he replies, and the two of you head to the front desk.
  1457. >The receptionist smiles at you two, nodding towards a pair of bit sacks.
  1458. >"The left one's for Anon, the right one's yours Fleur, and the boss added a small bonus for you, as well."
  1459. >Floating over your bag, you peer inside, and snap it shut again immediately.
  1460. "Thank you," you say, floating it to the side, "Anon, do you want to drop off these before heading to visit Celestia?"
  1461. >"Sure, to your place it is."
  1462. ~~~
  1463. >Finally, you're back to being Anon, arriving at Fleurs appartment.
  1464. >Grabbing your bag of clothes, you head for her bathroom.
  1465. "I'm gonna change quickly, then we can head to the castle, alright?"
  1466. >"Okay, but are you sure I can come along?"
  1467. "Why wouldn't you be allowed to?" you call back through the door, ex-pants around your ankles.
  1468. >"I don't know..."
  1469. "And I'll need a guide around Canterlot anyways, and since you're here, you can guide me and we can go together."
  1470. >Finishing changing, you step out and toss what used to be your good suit on your bag.
  1471. "I'm ready to go, what about you?"
  1472. >"In just a moment, I need to grab a saddlebag."
  1473. >With that reply, you have a thought and grab your personal bit bag and add some coin from your new bag.
  1474. >A nice weight on your hip, you wait at the front door till Fleur comes, a stylish but practical saddlebag on her back.
  1475. "Lead the way," you say with a small bow, and she goes to open the door, but pauses.
  1476. >"I need to know something first," she says, turning to you, "why did you act like that during the shoot, that's not you."
  1477. "I was playing the role for the camera," you reply, tilting your head and making a kissy face, "they eat up stallions being innocent but erotic, sort of like back where I'm from."
  1478. "And well... I was kind of hoping you'd pick up on the hints."
  1479. >"What hints?"
  1480. >Your hand meets your face, and you sit down.
  1481. "I suppose it might be harder to tell, with the way things work here. I was hinting to see if you'd accept being my girlfriend, sort of."
  1482. >Whatever she was planning on saying or doing stops in an instant, her body seeming to freeze.
  1483. >"G..girlfriend? Sort of?"
  1484. "How do I put this, hmnn," you start, scratching your chin.
  1485. "We're both in the same sort of spot in life, we're just stabilizing, yeah. Because of that, we can't really be in a serious relationship, but..."
  1486. "But well, I want to, be in a relationship that is," you say, looking down and rubbing your head embarrased, "Even if we're not much more than friends who do couple stuff, I feel like I want that."
  1487. >"But why me?" Fleur asks, kneeling down slightly to look at your face.
  1488. >Looking into her eyes, you turn your had back up.
  1489. "You're kind, your friendly, you're fun, I mean, we've only really spent four or five days together and we've been in the bathroom together, and..."
  1490. >Red flushes her cheeks as her mind jumps to past events, and you rub her head, your a smile growing on you.
  1491. "And you're not afraid to blush and look 'unmarely'. You don't see me as a walking dick like most mares, you see me as me."
  1492. >"Well you aren't!" she replies loudly, before blushing again at the outburst, "You're a really nice guy, and your smart and strong and independant, not like the guys I work with."
  1493. "Is that a yes then?" you ask, tilting and lowering your head to look her in the eyes.
  1494. >Those beautiful purple orbs look back at you, and the red on her cheeks intensifies before she nods.
  1495. >Tilting her chin up, you bring your lips to hers for a brief instance, before siting back, all smiles.
  1496. "Sealed with a kiss," you say, before pulling her into a hug that she returns.
  1497. >After a brief embrace, you stand and straighten yourself a bit.
  1498. "We should get going soon, we only have so much daylight for our first date," you say.
  1499. >She rises as well, blushing again at your comment, before opening the door.
  1500. >Following Fleur, you head out for a day of meeting Celestia and exploring Canterlot's markets, together with your new girlfriend.
  1501. ~~~
  1502. >Be Twilight the heartbroken and downtrodden.
  1503. >It's been two days since Anon left, and just today you recieved something that shot your hopes further down the drain.
  1504. >A magazine, the Canterlot Carouse, and an article within it.
  1505. >Pictures of Anon, the human that was supposed to be yours, together with that model Fleur.
  1506. >It contained a whole scene of her being heroic and saving him, and in the end, he rewards her with a deep kiss.
  1507. >His first kiss was supposed to be yours.
  1508. >Well, you hope it was his first kiss.
  1509. >And that's not the end of it, the small article that came with it tells of how they stayed together for days, sharing beds and more.
  1510. >There's a small hope for you in it though, It also says that he knows Celestia and was planning on visiting her.
  1511. >And if there's any pony thats on your side, it would be your teacher.
  1512. >She'll make sure he comes back to Ponyville.
  1513. >Looking up at the clock, you realize it's almost time for the noon train to roll into the station.
  1514. >You can only hope Anon is on it.
  1515. >Not wanting to waste time, you charge up a teleport, before discharging and blinking across town, reappearing a distance above the train staion.
  1516. >Floating down slowly, you observe the ponies leaving the train, and your poor, battered heart leaps as you see Anon exit one of the cars.
  1517. >You nearly divebomb down at him, flaring your wings into a soft landing a short distance in front of him.
  1518. "Anon! You're back!"
  1519. >"Yeah, sorry I didn't let you know, Twilight, it was kind of a rushed thing."
  1520. >"Anyways, are you ready to get to work?"
  1521. >You feel your wings rustling, rage under your surface.
  1522. >He was gonna be yours, and yet he's passing off going and doing a photo shoot with another mare as a "rushed thing".
  1523. "You call running off and doing a misleading photo shoot like this a rushed thing?!" you exclaim, holding up the magazine.
  1524. >"Yes, I did mislead them, Twilight, you should know this. Remember what I told you before?"
  1525. >Your anger freezes cold, sending a chill down your spine.
  1526. >You can't remember, everything seems to be gone in the haze of rage.
  1527. >"Okay, then let me explain. As you know, Fleur is a model, so appearances are everything. Now what happens to her career if she gets a scar?"
  1528. "Well, it," you start, and you feel your gut sink knowing the answer.
  1529. "It's pretty much over, I guess, at least for a mare model."
  1530. >"Exactly, but what if you take and turn that scar into a good thing. Who wouldn't love someone who saves a damsel, or rather, Stallion, in distress?"
  1531. >"The point is, that whole story was mixed around. I told you what actually happened before, we just changed it so Fleur could keep her job."
  1532. >"That's what friends do, after all, they help eachother out."
  1533. >A tumult of emotions swirl inside you, and you just nod slowly.
  1534. "I understand, I just didn't think it through."
  1535. >"It's fine now, right? I'll need your help if we're gonna get the requests done and make more for sale in time for opening on monday."
  1536. >Your lips rise into a smile, and you nod happily.
  1537. "You're right, lets go!"
  1538. >Togther, Anon and you head to his house, and get started on the woodworking.
  1539. ~~~
  1540. >Two days later and you are Anon, the shirtless and sweaty.
  1541. >With Twilight's help, making boards and precise pieces of wood has become a hell of a lot easier, thanks to unicorn magic.
  1542. >Assembly's not as much her forte, but in a sense, it feels like when your grandpa was teaching you, but now you're the grandpa.
  1543. >Speaking of teaching...
  1544. >"Anonymous, Princess Twilight, A'm here ta learn!" the youngest Apple calls from out front.
  1545. >Looking over at Twilight, you see her deep in concentration, magically forming boards with as little waste as possible, you you set down your tool and head for the front.
  1546. >Sitting in front of the door is Applebloom, who quickly notices you.
  1547. >"Anon, is it alright for ya ta start teachin' me today? Ah hope yer not too busy."
  1548. "Not at all, come around back and you can start learning."
  1549. >As you turn to walk back, the excited young filly scrambles around you and runs into the back.
  1550. >Hustling after her, you catch her by the tail before she gets to your tools.
  1551. "Hold up there, Applebloom, you're a little too inexperienced to start using those tools," you say, letting go of her, "Instead, we'll start with some building."
  1552. >"Aww, but Anon!" she starts with a whine, but you silence her with a pat on the head.
  1553. "Learning anything is just like building something, Applebloom. You have to start with the basics and work your way up."
  1554. >"But that's so boring Anon, Ah wanna learn how to make little statues like you, and use all these fancy tools."
  1555. >Letting out a laugh, you sit next to her and pat her head again.
  1556. "Patience, Applebloom, you wouldn't paint a house before it's built or decorate a cake before it's baked. I promise you, by sunday next week, you'll have something you made all yourself done, and I'll have taught you how to use most of these tools."
  1557. >"You promise?" She asks, looking up at you with orange eyes.
  1558. "Yes, and you might even earn your cutie mark."
  1559. >Like you said the magic words, she's suddenly all smiles and nodding her head rapidly.
  1560. >"Okay Anon, where do we start?"
  1561. "Twilights making boards right now for our project for today and tomorrow, which is a picnic table for the Cakes."
  1562. >"And they're all done," Twilight says, taking a sip from her glass of water, "Seven long boards of the same size, four that are two inches longer than five boards wide, and four double wide boards."
  1563. "To start, we're going to need the measuring tape and a pencil," you say, and before you can start looking around, Applebloom has them in her mouth, ready to go.
  1564. >"First we gotta measure suff, right?" she says, dropping them into your hand.
  1565. "That's right. We need to cut some boards at angles for legs," you reply before turning to Twilight, "Bring the four double wide ones over."
  1566. >With magical assistance, she hauls them over, and the three of you get to work.
  1567. ~~~
  1568. >Days go by sweatily, it seems clouds and rain are few and far between in summer time, and work progresses.
  1569. >Applebloom swiftly gets a grasp on the trade, getting past where Twilight's skills leave her, if she doesn't use magic.
  1570. >You're not exactly surprised, but alicorn magic is high tier bullshit strong, and she can do things that would take you hours in only minutes.
  1571. >You try and keep her on the basic forming, as she wastes as little as possible, a perk of her obsessive compulsiveness.
  1572. >It also helps keep her from trying to deny you from using some of your tools.
  1573. >Over these days of working with her, you've picked up a lot about her.
  1574. >Such as, she was raised in Canterlot high society, where the gender roles are strongest.
  1575. >She's never had anything close to a romantic relationship with anyone, and is about as subtle as an off the tracks train because of it.
  1576. >And with those two points in mind, she want's you.
  1577. >Not in any way you want either.
  1578. >She considers you a trophy, a showpiece, nothing more than further proof of her status.
  1579. >That, or an exotic toy.
  1580. >Either way, as a friend, she's tolerable, as a co-worker, you wouldn't mind a better one, but she'll do, but as anything more, hell no.
  1581. >Speaking of, as you sip your morning coffee, your door unlocks itself and opens, and the purple alicorn hops in uninvited.
  1582. >"Good morning Anon, are you ready for another day of good hard work?"
  1583. "You ask like I have a choice, Twilight. We still have two orders to go, and I'm not going to be late on them."
  1584. >"Wonderful. I wouldn't want Equestria's only human to have a bad work ethic, even though he's a stallion."
  1585. >Flipping her the bird, a guesture lost in translation, you set your mug down and rise to standing, stretching your shoulders.
  1586. >As you do, her wings flutter open slightly, and you just grab your mug and head to the kitchen for a refill.
  1587. >It's much too early to deal with her without at least two cups of coffee.
  1588. >With your second cup in hand, you head for the back door, the purple house invader following you.
  1589. >Looking out into the yard, you can see an immediate problem.
  1590. >You've gone through all the large wood from the most recent tree.
  1591. >As you grab your usual tree chopping supplies, Twilight flies over worried.
  1592. >"What's wrong Anon?"
  1593. "Nothing, Twilight, I just need to get a new tree to cut down for wood."
  1594. >"I'll join you, since I don't have anything else to do here."
  1595. >Knowing nothing you say will change her mind, you just nod and grab the sled.
  1596. >Prancing along side you, Twilight is all smiles till you reach the edge of the forest.
  1597. >"W-wait, Anon, you can't go in there, it's too dangerous."
  1598. "It's not any more dangerous than a normal forest."
  1599. >"But..."
  1600. "Twilight," you say, cutting her off, "if we don't go, we don't get more wood, and our business suffers."
  1601. >Mouth open to form a rebutal, it closes and she nods, "Alright, Anon, lead the way."
  1602. >She follows you through the trees, she keeps trying to suggest ones to cut down, but you tell her no.
  1603. >More and more frequent her requests for you to take a tree from closer to town become, but you've already cleared the nearby ones.
  1604. >It gets to a point where she's silently hovering around you, staring into the woods.
  1605. >On one hand, she's quiet.
  1606. >On the other, it's making you a little nervous.
  1607. >She has lived here for longer than you have, so she's more likely to know any dangers, but you've had first hand experience that there aren't that many dangers here.
  1608. >After a while, you find a nice tree, perfect for chopping.
  1609. >Getting to work, the thunking of your axe into wood covers the sound of Twilight's nervous flittering.
  1610. >Slowly, you work around the trunk, and chosing the direction to drop the tree, you make the last few chops.
  1611. >One mighty yell of timber later, and the tree hits the ground, a cloud of blue dust rising from where the top hit.
  1612. >Both Twilight and you move to investigate, but as soon as she sees, Twilight grabs and drags you away.
  1613. >"Be careful, Anon, those flowers are poison joke!"
  1614. "They're poisonous? I've seen them before but they seemed harmless, even when I picked them."
  1615. >"Their poison makes jokes. It's hard to explain, but we need to get back to town and get some antidote soon."
  1616. "You go ahead Twilight. I've encountered these before, and they're harmless to me."
  1617. >"NO. It's a mare's job to make sure a stallion is safe."
  1618. "And I'm not a stallion. I'm a human, and these flowers don't affect me."
  1619. >Twilight pauses, before taking a step back to town.
  1620. >"I'm going to go get cured. Either you come with me, or I'll come here when I'm cured and drag you back with me to be cured.
  1621. "Then go, Twilight. I'll be fine."
  1622. ~~~
  1623. >Be Twilight the Alicorn stuck dealing with this stubborn stallion.
  1624. >You've tried making it sound like it's a big deal, but he refuses to come with you before the poison joke takes effect.
  1625. >Sure, it's not deadly or anything, but if something bad happens to him like he gets shrunk like Applejack or made clumsy like Rainbow Dash.
  1626. >Sighing, you grab Anon with your magic and lift him up.
  1627. >"Hey, put me down, Twilight."
  1628. "This is for your own good, Anon, don't worry."
  1629. >A quick sound filter spell blocks out his complaints, a must have for any mare with a stallion.
  1630. >It lets you drone out their chatter, and lets you focus on more important things.
  1631. >Like rushing the two of you back to Ponyville to get the poison joke remedy.
  1632. >Good thing you know the way back, for the most part, since you payed attention to the path here.
  1633. >Reaching town, you carry him to the spa, where they always keep a supply of poison joke antidote.
  1634. >Except for today, apparently.
  1636. >"Ve have had a rush of cases lately, as there vas a boom of flowers near town," Aloe says.
  1637. >"Ve have an order waiting with Zecora, but she said it vould be a few days before it's ready," Lotus adds.
  1638. "But I..."
  1639. >"Quarantine yourself, Princess, itz the best choice."
  1640. "What about Anon though?"
  1641. >"He says he's fine, can't you hear?"
  1642. >Pausing a moment to stop your filter spell, you hear Anon calmly talking to Aloe and Lotus.
  1643. >"...and she doesn't believe me, instead she draged me back here."
  1644. >Setting him down, you take a deep breath to explain anything.
  1645. "It has been proven that no Equestrian species is immune to poison joke, Anon, there's no way you're immune."
  1646. >"I'm not from Equestria, remember."
  1647. >Tilting your ears, you rub your mane with an awkward smile.
  1648. "Eh heh, yeah, I forgot..."
  1649. >"Now if you don't mind, I'm going back to work. You can get your poison joke dealt with yourself."
  1650. >And out the door he goes, leaving you with the Spa twins.
  1651. >Stupid human, why couldn't he have just joined you for a curing spa bath...
  1652. >Just him and you in a steamy tub, naked...
  1653. >You feel your wings rise, but as hard as you try, they won't go down.
  1654. >Looking back at them, you see they're stuck out and twiggy, your feathers seemingly glued out.
  1655. >Trying to grab them with magic, your spell fizzles with a soggy sound, and you know what's on your forehead.
  1656. >Running from the building, you hurry home and lock the doors.
  1657. >There's no way you're letting anyone see you like this any more.
  1658. >Especially not Anon.
  1659. >Speaking of Anon, you hope he can handle work while you're away.
  1660. >Poor colt, at least with Applebloom there to help him you don't need to worry too much.
  1661. >But she could be trying to steal him with her youthful cuteness.
  1662. >It has been happening more often lately, young fillys working their way into a Stallions heard while young for later safety.
  1663. >Trying to grab a book instintively, the wet flopping sound snaps you back to your immediate problem.
  1664. >Future stallion stealing Fillys can be dealt with later, for now, praying to Celestia that Zecora gets the remedy soon.
  1665. ~~~
  1666. >Be Anon, the man doing work with a filly.
  1667. >It's not as bad as it sounds.
  1668. >Sure, you had to go back and find the tree and haul it back, but now you're teaching Applebloom the basics of making boards.
  1669. >The basics with the tools you have.
  1670. >But then, your bit bag has been heavy since you got paid, so maybe getting some new ones wouldn't hurt.
  1671. >On the other hand, the shopkeeper probably wouldn't let you get any of the "dangerous" tools without a mare with you.
  1672. >Looking over at Applebloom, you see her trimming down some parts on her soon to be table.
  1673. >You highly doubt they'd accept a filly as a consent giving female.
  1674. >But unless you want to wait till Twilight gets better and deal with her being your consent giver or wait for the next time Fleur comes, it's Applebloom or find a stranger who will say yes.
  1675. >Well, it's worth a shot.
  1676. "Applebloom, do you want to come with me to get new tools?" you ask, setting aside your bow saw.
  1677. >"Ya want me ta help? Sure, Ah'd love ta see all the tools we can get," She replies excitedly.
  1678. >Bouncing along beside you, she follows you through town after you grab your hefty bag of bits and a satchel.
  1679. >Some might call it a man purse, ponies call it a Colt-Bag, but you don't care.
  1680. >It carries stuff, and lots of it.
  1681. >Walking with Applebloom, you suddenly notice her stopping and staring through a window.
  1682. >On the other side is an array of delicious looking cupcakes, as the building is Sugarcube Corner.
  1683. "You want one?" you ask, looking down at the barely resisting drooling filly.
  1684. >Her bow and the head it's attached to nod rapidly, and her orange eyes look up at you excitedly.
  1685. >"Can ah have one, please?" she asks, and you nod, stepping to the door.
  1686. >Scurrying around you as you open the door, Applebloom rushes up to the counter Pinkie popping up on the other side.
  1687. >"Goooood afternoon, Anon and Applebloom, what can I get for you today?"
  1688. >"Ah'd like one of those Red and orange cupcakes from the window please," Applebloom says, pointing with a hoof.
  1689. "I'll have a chocolate glazed donut myself."
  1690. >"Okie dokie, that'll be three bits," she replies before accepting your coins.
  1691. >A quick duck behind the counter, and she comes up with a cupcake and a donut, passing them over to you.
  1692. >"Thank you and I hope you have a wonderful day."
  1693. >She waves energetically at you as you leave, and you wave back, opening the door again for Applebloom.
  1694. >"Uh, ah don't mean ta be a bother Anon, but ah can't walk and eat like you."
  1695. "Hmn," you say, scratching your chin, before developing an idea.
  1696. >Opening your bag, you open it wide before grabbing Applebloom around her waist.
  1697. >Lifting the light little filly up, you set her in the bag, her upper body free to eat her cupcake.
  1698. "There, now we can walk and you can eat."
  1699. >You get a smile, before said mouth is filled with cupcake.
  1700. >Consuming your own confection, you make your way to the hardware store.
  1701. >A bell jingles as you enter, and you start browsing down shelves for more basic things like chisels and sandpaper.
  1702. >Having found everything you want from the shelves, you approach the front counter and start searching through their "in the back" catalogue.
  1703. >The mare behind the counter watches you as you browse through, marking pages by keeping a finger between them.
  1704. >All their "Powered tools" are run by a treadmill system you have to buy seperately and attach to the tool you want to use.
  1705. >Honestly not too bad for a species who hasn't discovered motors.
  1706. >With the stuff you have gathered already on the counter, you slide the book over to the cashier.
  1707. "I'd like one of these, as well as this, this, this and two spare blades for each of them," you say, pointing out the items in the book.
  1708. >"I'm sorry, sir, I'm not allowed to sell you power tools without a mares consent," She says, exactly what you were expecting.
  1709. >Reaching down, you grab Applebloom from your pouch, and lift her onto the counter.
  1710. "It's a good thing I have one right here," you say, not lifting her tail.
  1711. >No need to be innapropriate with a filly.
  1712. >"We can't accept the word of a daughter, sir."
  1713. >"Anon's not mah dad," Applebloom says, "He's mah teacher."
  1714. >An eyebrow is raised at you, but the mare lets out a sigh and nods, "Alright, I'll have the tools packed up and delivered to your house by tomorrow."
  1715. "Thank you," you reply with a smile, "How much do I owe?"
  1716. >Beads skip around on an abacus, and she comes to a total which you pay from your heavy sack of pay from the photo shoot.
  1717. >The bag weighed more than Applebloom, and probably still does.
  1718. >You gave up counting it past the first two thousand.
  1719. >Man are you glad they have bits with different values.
  1720. >You'd hate to have to count out thousands of individual coins to pay someone.
  1721. >Leaving your address for the delivery, you pack up the small parts and put your bit bag back in your bag.
  1722. >Picking up Applebloom as well, you set her in the bag again, to which she doesn't protest.
  1723. >In fact, she's been rather quiet, which is odd for her.
  1724. >"Are we gonna be using the new stuff right away, Anon?" She asks the moment your prior thought finishes.
  1725. "Probably not, since it has to be set up, but when it's ready, I'll start teaching you how to use them safely."
  1726. >"Alright, Anon," she says before scooching down into your bag, getting comfy.
  1727. >Part of the way home, you feel her stir, before jumping out of your bag.
  1728. >"Anon, Ah see mah friends over there. Ah'm gonna go play, alright?"
  1729. "I'll see you when you next come then, Applebloom, have fun."
  1730. >The little yellow filly runs off, leaving you alone to do work at home.
  1731. >And thanks to that work, tomorrow you have to give your weekly report to Twilight, who is now locked in her house.
  1732. >She never told you where the reports were to be given either, since that was on one of her sheets, not yours.
  1733. >Guess you'll just have to run on the fly tomorrow.
  1734. ~~~
  1735. >Be Twilight the temporarily magic and fluffy wing less Alicorn princess.
  1736. >Not that they're gone, they're just disabled temporarily by posion joke.
  1737. >Still, you're stuck in your home, unable to help Anon or anything.
  1738. >You can't even read books properly without your magic.
  1739. >Your only hope is that Zecora gets her remedy gathered and delivered early.
  1740. >*Ding Ding Ding*
  1741. >The doorbell ringing makes your head shoot up, horn flopping comically.
  1742. >It's the end of the week, there shouldn't be anypony who needs to visit you, and with the sign saying the library is closed, nobody should be looking for books.
  1743. >End of the...
  1744. "Anon!" you squeak out loud, jumping to your hooves and scrambling for the door.
  1745. >It seems your co-ordination has taken a hit as well, as you can barely stop yourself before you crash into the door.
  1746. >Biting and pulling open the door reveals, as you expected, Anon.
  1747. "Eh, hi, Anon, what brings you here?" you ask, already having an inkling of the answer.
  1748. >"Well, today is the day I need to give you the weekly report, isn't it?"
  1749. "It is. Do you have everything ready for it?"
  1750. >He pulls out a few papers, Celestia you love organized colts, and clears his throat.
  1751. >"We didn't technically have any sales, but after the opening, we turned a gross profit of Three hundred and fourty six bits, and as there are no current expenses otherwise, that's also our net profit."
  1752. >"Between the preordered furnitures, we have a total of Two hundred and eighty five bits expected, on top of the profit from the extras expected for next week."
  1753. >"As it stands, there are no staff wages due, nor do we have any owing rent, but that will change next month."
  1754. >"On a side note, I'm thinking of offering Applebloom a part time position if she gets her mark and wants to work with us."
  1755. >"We couldn't pay her much, but having the extra production would increase our furniture output by a good bit."
  1756. "Seems fair," you say with a slow nod, "We'll have to see how things go first."
  1757. >Stacking the sheets, he passes them to you, saying, "And that's it. I guess I'll see you when your horn isn't floppy and your wings are normal then."
  1758. "Yes, it shouldn't be long," you reply as he turns around to leave.
  1759. "At least, I hope," you whisper to yourself.
  1760. >Nudging the papers off your back, you bite down on them, and carry them to be filed away.
  1761. >Stallions love a tidy mare, after all.
  1762. ~~~
  1763. >Be Anon, the boy with new toys.
  1764. >Sure, they're huge for what they are, but they work.
  1765. >A pony equivelant to a band saw, a table saw and a drill press now reside in your shed, along with the treadmill power system.
  1766. >It's unfortunate, but these tools aren't meant for single person use, as they hook up back to back.
  1767. >Which means waiting for Twilight to be fixed.
  1768. >Or getting help from another pony.
  1769. >Applebloom is probably not big enough to run the belt, given the resistance.
  1770. >At least they come with instruction manuals you can read in the mean time, when you're not working on making things.
  1771. >Applebloom has been off wherever today, meaning for the first time since you accidently dropped a tree on Fleur, you're alone.
  1772. >Then again, it has only been like, two weeks, but it feels like longer.
  1773. >In the midst of preparing lunch, you hear a knock at the door.
  1774. >Setting your knife down, you head for the door.
  1775. "I'm coming," you call, before opening the portal as you reach it.
  1776. >"Afternoon Anon," Applejack says, tipping her had to you, "Ah have the day off, so ah figured Ah'd come down and see how mah sis was treatin' ya."
  1777. "Would you like to come in? She isn't here today, but I'm making lunch right now, so if you want to stay and chat, I can make some for you."
  1778. >The apple mare smiles and follows you inside to the kitchen.
  1779. "I'm just making some sandwiches, if you don't mind peanut butter and jelly."
  1780. >"That'd be fine, if ya want. Ah haven't had lunch, but Ah figured Ah'd grab somethin' on mah way home."
  1781. >Pulling out two more slices of bread, you take hold of your implement and get back to work.
  1782. "Well, Applebloom has been surprisingly good, given her reputation with the CMC. She doesn't often get distracted, and seems to have a real drive to work."
  1783. >"She'd better. Ol' Granny Smith raised us well, and while she lets loose with her friends, when she's workin' she's expected to work hard."
  1784. "Speaking of," you say, setting down a sandwich in front of her, before sitting with your own, "I was thinking of offering her a job, if she wants it, but I figured I'd ask you if you think it's fine as well."
  1785. >"Well, She's her own mare, ah figure she can make her own choices. If'n she likes doin' this work, ah've got no objections, so long as she finishes her schoolin'."
  1786. >Taking a bite, she chews and swallows, before letting out a quiet sigh.
  1787. >"Ah had another reason to visit though. Ah'm concerned for yer safety, Anon. Bloom told me she went with ya ta get some big power tools, and those things ain't exactly the safest for new users."
  1788. "I've used ones that are more dangerous," you say non-chalantly, before taking another bite of your sandwich.
  1789. >"Well ya shouldn't. A stallion's gotta keep himself safe, an' big power tools ain't the way ta do it."
  1790. >Reaching across the table, you boop her right in the nose.
  1791. "You worry too much, Applejack, but I guess that's a good trait. I've been reading the instruction manuals for them, since I can't use them alone anyways."
  1792. >Her warm country smile returns and she says, "Well I'm glad yer doin' things the smart way. Just make sure Twi and mah sis read 'em too before they get usin' the machines too."
  1793. "Of course. Safety should always be top priority, especially when dealing with dangerous machinery and cute little ponies."
  1794. >"We're not little, yer just big," she replies, "but we ain't the only ones who are cute."
  1795. "Oh," you say, batting your eyes and giving what you hope is a cute smile, "You think I'm cute?"
  1796. >"Ah'm not sayin' ya are, and ah'm not sayin' ya aint, but there's a lot o mares around who'd love ta take ya home and make ya theirs."
  1797. >"Especially after that magazine thing ya did. Ah think yer a good, harworkin' colt, but Ah'd prefer ya a little more if ya worked 'round the house, rather than dangerous stuff, buf if that's what ya wanna do, ya should follow yer heart."
  1798. >Before the conversation can go on, a crashing sound comes from outside, and you rise to your feet.
  1799. >Going for the door, Applejack follows, and you find your wood pile has fallen, and there are some sheepish looking fillies near it.
  1800. >"Uh, howdy, Anon, Sis, we were just gonna finish mah table, but ah accidently knocked over the wood pile."
  1801. >Kneeling down, you pat her on the head and smile.
  1802. "That's alright. Lets get this all tidied up first and then we can finish off your work."
  1803. >Between the five of you, Applejack included, you get the wood all stacked back up, and you get Applebloom's nearly done table down for her.
  1804. >Getting back to your own project, you notice Applejack hovering around.
  1805. "You can help out, if you want, AJ, think of it as payment for lunch."
  1806. >"Yer gonna need a lot more than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich if ya want my help fer the afternoon."
  1807. "Fine, I'll throw in dinner too, for you, and the CMC, if they want to stay and work."
  1808. >"Now that sound's like a mighty fine deal. Ah accept."
  1809. ~~~
  1810. >Be Twilight the now cleaned, detoxified, fluffy winged and magic capable Alicorn again.
  1811. >And to celebrate your now back to perfect self, it's time to visit Anon.
  1812. >Trotting down the street, you let your wings out a bit to ruffle in the breeze.
  1813. >Even though you aren't pegasus born, its a really relaxing feeling.
  1814. >This must be why Rainbow Dash hovers around most of the time.
  1815. "I wonder if Anon would like to fly some time..."
  1816. >Losing yourself in thought, you barely snap back to reality before arriving at Anon's house.
  1817. >A humble little place that would be better with little foals running around the yard under his watchful eye as he prepares dinner for his mare or mares.
  1818. >Of course, with you as the Alpha mare.
  1819. >Stopping at the door, you can hear voices inside, but can't make out what they're saying.
  1820. >Flapping up, you peek through the little window on the door, but nothing is visible, so you flit around the house to peer in a window.
  1821. >This one gives you a view of the kitchen, and you can see Anon and Applejack and all the Cutie Mark Crusaders gathered around the table, eating a tasty looking dinner.
  1822. >Oh Celestia it's just like a family, the lot of them smiling and happy, Anon occasionally saying something to the fillies to correct their behaviour.
  1823. >You wish so much that he was yours and you could just walk in there and wrap your hooves around his shoulders and kiss him.
  1824. >Him greeting you from a hard days work with tender hugs and warm food.
  1825. >And then a night of trying to make foals.
  1826. >Trying every night.
  1827. >You hoof has wandered between your legs, and you drop down behind a bush to relieve your pressure.
  1828. ~~~
  1829. >Since you're the one who cooked this dinner, that makes you Anonymous the human, apparently chef extraordinaire.
  1830. >Apparently, of course.
  1831. >That's what all these ponies keep telling you.
  1832. >Even the supposedly hard to account for CMC all enjoyed it.
  1833. >But with dinner tidied, your company is starting to get ready to head out.
  1834. >Applejack is strapping up Applebloom's now complete table to her back, and the three are doing some last minute tidys.
  1835. >Calling Applebloom aside, you sit with her on the patio.
  1836. "Applebloom, before you go, I have a few questions I want to ask you."
  1837. >"Sure Anon, what do ya want ta know?"
  1838. "First of, how do you think you did, making your table?"
  1839. >"Huh? Well, ya'll should know better than ah do."
  1840. "True, but I want your opinion."
  1841. >"Well, Ah can get better, but Ah think Ah did a pretty good job."
  1842. "And did you enjoy doing it?"
  1843. >"Mhmm, it was loads of fun, and interestin' at the same time," she replies happily.
  1844. >Behind her, there's a faint glow, and you can pick up why.
  1845. "So if I offered you a job, even if it was only a part time one, would you like to do it?"
  1846. >"Ah'd love to, but ah can't without a Cutie Mark."
  1847. "Don't you?"
  1848. >Turning to show you, she notices what appeared just moments ago.
  1849. >You barely have enough time to cover your ears before she lets out a loud squeal of excitement, drawing the other fillies.
  1850. >Soon, the three of them are a bouncing cluster of very loud excitement.
  1851. >Applejack glances over, and seeing the cause smiles and heads for the front gate.
  1852. >Heading in your back door, you call to Applebloom.
  1853. "I'll hope to see you for your first day of work Monday after school, Applebloom."
  1854. >A vigorous nod that bounces her bow like mad is her response, and the three soon run off together.
  1855. >One day left before you open for the first real time, and you've got all the requests done.
  1856. >Now you just have tomorrow to do extra pieces for sale.
  1857. >That photo shoot trip really ate some of your production time, but certainly padded your bank account.
  1858. >Looks like a busy day ahead of you.
  1859. >Hopefully Twilight or Applebloom or someone will be able to help.
  1860. ~~~
  1861. >Be a tired and worn out pony.
  1862. >It's well past sunset, and you're walking towards the nearest bed you know.
  1863. >The door to the house is locked, but a little magic fixes that problem, and you're in.
  1864. >Dropping your bag at the doorway, you trudge through the house to the bedroom.
  1865. >Almost bumping face first into the bedroom door, you pull it open, before stumbling to the bed.
  1866. >The soft fabric catches you as you flup your chest onto it.
  1867. >Lying like this a moment, you step back and worm under the blankets, slowly pushing your way up to the head next to Anon.
  1868. >He won't mind...
  1869. >In your last seconds of wakefullness, you can swear you feel an arm grab around you before you enter Luna's realm.
  1870. ~~~
  1871. >Be Anon, warm, comfy and... not alone.
  1872. >A warm and snuggly pony has found its way into your arms last night, but your eyes are too lazy to open right now.
  1873. >Struggling to beat the lazyness, a knocking on your front door jolts your system awake, letting you take hold of your senses.
  1874. >And the pony in your arms is...
  1875. >Fleur, oddly enough.
  1876. >And she seems deep asleep.
  1877. >Another loud knock rings out, and you disentangle yourself from the pony and pull on some pants.
  1878. >Suitably enough dressed, you make your way to the door, and pull open the wooden portal.
  1879. >On the other side is Twilight, back to her no longer flaccid horned self.
  1880. "Morning. What's up?"
  1881. >"Well, I'm all cured now, so I came to do work. You have been by yourself for the past few days afterall, right?"
  1882. "Applejack and Applebloom were over helping yesterday, actually, so I have all the orders done. I don't have much for spare stock, just a few little pieces I've managed to finish."
  1883. >"Then I'll help with that!"
  1884. "Feel free. We still have plenty of wood, but I need to do things first, like coffee, so if you don't mind..."
  1885. >She nods and heads for the back, and you turn around to walk to the kitchen.
  1886. >Starting water for coffee, you stop to stare into the depths of your fridge, trying to decide on breakfast.
  1887. >In the end, it comes down to how much effort you want to put into this, and dince your girlfriend, marefriend or whatever you decide to call her is here, you may as well make it nice.
  1888. >So, into a bowl go all the ingredients for pancakes, and you grab a couple eggs to scramble.
  1889. >With a pan heating, you gather toppings for the soon to be flatcakes, and set them out on the table.
  1890. >From down the hall you hear Fleur stumble out of bed, her hoof steps getting closer.
  1891. >She walks by the living room to the front door, before walking back, a bag in her mouth.
  1892. >You can tell just how tired she is at a look.
  1893. >Must have been a late night for her.
  1894. >The door that closes this time is the bathroom, since you can hear the shower start up moments after.
  1895. >Batter fills your pan, and the race is on.
  1896. >While not technically a race, it does make watching pancakes cook seem more exciting.
  1897. >Two stacks of three are formed by the time the shower cuts off, and you start the eggs.
  1898. >Looking much fresher and more awake, she trots in and takes a seat at the table.
  1899. >"Good morning, Anon, sorry for sneaking in last night, I wanted to surprise you just before bed, but the train ran into some problems."
  1900. "No worries, but feel free to wake me next time. If I wasn't so comfy, you would have wound up on the floor before I opened my eyes."
  1901. >"Mom always said, Always keep a little extra fluff on you and the colts'll cuddle you all night," she says, sticking out her chest.
  1902. >She does, in fact, have a small tuft of extra fur on her chest, and you feel the sudden urge to bury your face in it while holding her tight.
  1903. >It seems she can see your thoughts, as she smiles and puffs it out just a bit further.
  1904. "Save that thing for night time, or you may find yourself spontaneously being hugged, no matter where we are."
  1905. >The way she quirks her eyebrow at you does not bode well, but she settles down, retracting her tuft and going for her coffee.
  1906. >Levering a sunny side up egg onto her plate, you load two onto yours and reach for the syrup.
  1907. "So, why are you here so soon?" you ask, "Besides wanting to snuggle up to me in bed, that is."
  1908. >"Three weeks till my next photo shoot, and I've got nothing to do in Canterlot anyways."
  1909. >Wiggling her chest up just a bit, she adds, "and I'm getting to learn all sorts of interesting things about my coltfriend. Or, do you want to be called something else?"
  1910. "A boyfriend is what humans would call it, but if you feel more comfortable with coltfriend, that's fine."
  1911. >"My boyfriend Anon, I bet the paparazi would eat this up."
  1912. "Any more than they already have from that photo shoot?"
  1913. >"Way more. They are often considered more of a parasite than Changelings."
  1914. "Back to breakfast, I hope you enjoy it," you say with a grandoise sweep of your arm.
  1915. >"I am," she replies, stuffing a fork full of pancakes into her mouth.
  1916. >Both plates are emptied before long, and you set them aside to be cleaned later.
  1917. "What are your plans?" you ask, putting away everything while she sits and sips coffee.
  1918. >"I'm planning on looking around. If I'm gonna be spending a bunch of time with you here, I'd like to know the good places to go when you're busy."
  1919. "So I'm not enough for you then?" you half say, half ask, faking looking downtrodden.
  1920. >"You aren't the one I have a problem with, Anon, it's the purple one."
  1921. >You nod sagely, and she smiles, "Besides, I may be a mare, but I do enjoy shopping sometimes too."
  1922. "The Carousel Boutique is a place you might want to check out then."
  1923. >She makes a surprised face, before covering her mouth with a hoof.
  1924. >"I thought you weren't a stalliony man, Anon, but here you are, sending me off to a clothing store."
  1925. "One, I'm not a stalliony man. Two, I do wear clothes all the time, so I do go there to get new ones as I need them. Three, I'm directing you there because if you want a 'fancy' pony, the owners about as fancy as it gets in town."
  1926. >"Why do you wear clothing all the time anyways?" she asks, leaning on the table, "Not that I mind having something I can let my imagination play with."
  1927. "No fur, for one. Humans wear clothes to keep warm mainly but also for decency. With not having fur or anything, our junk kinda just, hangs out there in the open."
  1928. >You notice her eyes drifting downwards, and you roll yours.
  1929. "I'm not going to be going around naked unless one of two things happens. We get married, or we have sex. And I don't see either of those happening right now."
  1930. >"Sorry, call it a mare's curiosity," Fleur says, looking away, "But back on topic, I'll certainly visit the Carousel place."
  1931. >Rising and grabbing her bag, she heads for the door.
  1932. >"I'll likely be out late, but I should be back before dark. Don't miss me too much."
  1933. >As she walks out the door, you give her a light smack on her flank, before blowing a kiss at her.
  1934. >Her cheeks change hue, and she stutters a step before heading off.
  1935. >Leaving the front door yourself, you make your way around back to get to work with Twilight.
  1936. ~~~
  1937. >Days turn into weeks, and for the time Fleur is here, by some miracle, Twilight doesn't find out.
  1938. >It seems like she's either at your house working, locked up in her house, or off on adventures with her friends.
  1939. >Applebloom starts her job working with you, four hour shifts several days a week.
  1940. >She's always energetic, but safe when working.
  1941. >Fleur has taken up working the treadmill when Twilight is away.
  1942. >"To work off your too good for its own good cooking" she says, and you suppose she's right.
  1943. >After just the first week, she'd built up a little more junk in her trunk.
  1944. >Some mass in her ass, some might say.
  1945. >You got a swat when you called it that, and you countered with a spank of your own.
  1946. >It was obvious she didn't quite know how to react, so she puffed out her chest, and ended up getting surprise snuggled by you.
  1947. >In the middle of a park.
  1948. >She is such a soft pony.
  1949. >A fact re-affirmed every night as she cuddles up with you in bed.
  1950. >Day and night, the two of you are getting closer.
  1951. >Falling in love.
  1952. >And not some cheesy, love at first sight, prince and princess love.
  1953. >Real, deep, meaningfull love.
  1954. >Twilight, on the other hand, she's getting wierd.
  1955. >Not just awkward book nerd wierd, legitimate wierd.
  1956. >She's been not so subtly trying to push you away from all the "dangerous" work in your job, trying to get you to do sales and cashier, rather than making the furniture.
  1957. >At the same time, she's been interjecting into almost every conversation you have with anyone of the oppsite gender when she's around.
  1958. >Basically obsessive controling girlfriend, but without her being a girlfriend.
  1959. >And as these weeks turn into months, winter grows ever nearer.
  1960. >With the weather getting colder, you have been forming a plan, solidified by lots of research into business laws.
  1961. >And now, with only a week and a half to winter and sales already slowing down by twenty five percent, it's time to set everything in motion.
  1962. ~~~
  1963. >Be Anon, the now quite a bit less wealthy, as you've just spent the last of your pay from the photo shoot.
  1964. >What you spent it on, well, that's a secret.
  1965. >A secret that currently has you on a train to Canterlot.
  1966. >Twilight thinks you're headed here for a carpenty convention, since she has to stay to help prepare winter for Ponyville.
  1967. >It's not exactly a lie, since you do plan on checking out what carpenters there are in Canterlot, but...
  1968. >Your plan will only work if she's not around.
  1969. >The plan does have one minor flaw though...
  1970. >Fleur doesn't know you're coming, and you can't remember the street she lived on.
  1971. >So here you are, standing on the corner of two streets looking like a fool.
  1972. >Or rather, looking like an airheaded colt, which is drawing in what you are hoping for.
  1973. >Within thirty seconds, you have a mare beside you, asking if you need help.
  1974. >Since you don't remember Fleur's address, you ask for the next best thing.
  1975. >Derections to the place where you had the photo shoot.
  1976. >You do have to sign an autograph on her magazine, but she directs you there.
  1977. >Once there, you chat up the director a bit to get Fleur's address at the cost of, surprise, more signatures.
  1978. >You're now a pseudo celebrity, so a lot of mares will probably pay quite a bit for your signature or otherwise.
  1979. >At least you don't have to deal with the press or anything.
  1980. >Yet...
  1981. >Arriving at Fleur's appartment, you smooze the greeter into letting you into her room.
  1982. >It doesn't take much, she seems like a bit of a lonely mare, and just having someone to talk to for a while is great.
  1983. >She's a nice girl who'll hopefully find the right guy for her, but that's neither here nor there.
  1984. >Here, being on Fleur's couch, and there, being her standing there in the doorway shocked.
  1985. "At least I didn't sneak into your bed in the middle of the night," you say, and the odd freeze that was around snaps, and she bursts out laughing.
  1986. >"I suppose so," she says, supressing her chuckles, "What brings you out here and away from work?"
  1987. "A little lie, partly, but you, mostly."
  1988. >And her cheeks light up just a touch.
  1989. "I was hoping you'd like to go out for dinner. I don't have a lot of bits on me, but I'm hoping you know a good place we could go."
  1990. >"Sure, I can think of a few places. Let me just get ready first, my mane is a mess."
  1991. >Motioning her past, you rise and check to make sure you have everything.
  1992. >Patting all your pockets reveals the answer to be yes, and short moments later, Fleur's bathroom door opens to reveal her with her hair brushed out and done up a bit.
  1993. "Lady's first," you say, bowing and gesturing to the door.
  1994. >She just rolls her eyes at you, knowing full well the irony of that statement, before walking out.
  1995. >Following behind her, you close the door and take a place at her side.
  1996. "So, where are we headed?"
  1997. >"A nice little place I think you'll like," she replies, nodding to the greeter.
  1998. >You give her a wave as well before dissapearing into the streets.
  1999. >Fleur doesn't lead you far, the two of you winding up in a nice little cafe/resturant combo building on a street corner.
  2000. >Taking a booth in a corner leaves the two of you slightly secluded, but not out of the way.
  2001. >After placing your orders, you're left alone with her, and she turns that wonderful smile on you.
  2002. >"So, are you gonna tell me the secret reason you came here?" she asks, leaning on the table.
  2003. "Oh, so I need a secret to come and see my loving marefriend, huh?"
  2004. >"Well you know I have a shoot in the next few days, and then I'll be right back to Ponyville and your bed."
  2005. "True, but with winter starting, this is my best chance to do this."
  2006. >"Do what?"
  2007. "You'll find out, soon enough," you reply, wiggling your fingers in a waving motion, "for now, we should enjoy the dinner that should be here soon."
  2008. >And it does, idle, but romantic chatter filling the pauses between bites, Fleur occasionally trying to bait out your secret from you.
  2009. >Every time she does, you reply with a boop to the nose which makes her scrunch up briefly, before smiling.
  2010. >Dinner winds to a close and you pay the bill before walking out with her against your side.
  2011. >Strolling through the streets, the sun nearing the end of it's descent, you stop a moment, and Fleur turns to you.
  2012. "I have two last requests, tonight," you say, "the first, do you think we could go to a park to watch the sunset?"
  2013. >"Of course, I know the perfect spot," she replies, "what's your other request?"
  2014. "A little later, love, for now, I want to see the sun go down together with you."
  2015. >She directs you to a park near the edge of the rich sector, similar to where her appartment is.
  2016. >Finding the perfect bench, you grab hold of her around her waist and haul her onto your lap as you sit.
  2017. >Your arms encircle her barrel as she rests against your chest, her head resting slightly above and to the left of yours.
  2018. >The sun begins piercing the horizon, colours exploding across the sky slowly.
  2019. >Reds blend into pinks and oranges, and them into yellows and golds.
  2020. >The sphere of light that is the sun is slowly enveloped by the world, the skies darkening.
  2021. >With the light starting to fade, you gently encourage Fleur off your lap, before digging into your coat.
  2022. >Hand across your chest, you can tell how hard your heart is beating, like a jackhammer below your skin.
  2023. >Fleur has turned to look at you from beside you on the bench.
  2024. >Standing up, you clench your grip around the box in your coat.
  2025. "Fleur, I," you start, before pausing.
  2026. >Closing your eyes, you take a deep breath and try to calm your heart.
  2027. >Taking a knee, you hold out a hand which she seemly instictively sets her hoof in, before you draw the box from your coat.
  2028. >You can see her reaction already, as the edges of those wonderful eyes start to tear up.
  2029. "Fleur, the pony I love, heck, the only woman I've ever truly loved, will you fulfill my last request of the night? Will you marry me, for now and forever?"
  2030. >Her answer seems frozen in her throat, so instead she flings herself from the bench and into your arms.
  2031. >Quickly closing the box before it loses the ring, you wrap your arms around her as her lips meet yours.
  2032. >The two of you have kissed many times before, but this one, this one is beyond comparason.
  2033. >Deep, passionate, intimate and more, it's like she's giving everything she is to you through this one simple gesture.
  2034. >It seems to drag on forever, your mouths intertwined like lovers, which at this point, you sort of are.
  2035. >Finally breaking away, you pop open the box again, and remove the simple but elegant silver ring.
  2036. "I know it's not amazing, but I got it measured perfectly for you, and..."
  2037. >You're cut off by a quick kiss, before she says, "It's perfect, love."
  2038. >Slipping it down over her horn, it fits into place perfectly, just above the base.
  2039. >"I can't wait to see it when we get back to my place," she says, nuzzling up in the crook of your neck.
  2040. "There might be a problem with that," you say, reaching down and picking her up.
  2041. >"Huh?"
  2042. "You, me, bed, no clothes, no sleep."
  2043. >She opens her mouth to say something, but you waggle a finger in front of her.
  2044. "I used my last request asking to marry you. I'm not giving you much of a choice in this, dear."
  2045. >Leaning into your lips, she nibbles your top lip gently, gazing at you with sultry eyes.
  2046. >"You're assuming I'm going to say no?"
  2047. "I'm assuming you're going to want to sleep in tomorrow, given what bit's I've read about pony sex."
  2048. >Her tongue darts across her lips, and as you re-enter her building, the greeter giving Fleur a knowing nod.
  2049. >And you give Fleur's supermodel butt a slap, right in front of her.
  2050. >Red fills Fleur's cheeks, both upper and lower, and you just carry her to her room.
  2051. >A click of the lock behind you just confirms how ready she is for this.
  2052. >It's gonna be a sweet night...
  2053. ~~~
  2054. >Be Fleur, the...
  2055. >Oh buck that was a good night.
  2056. >You could barely feel your hoofsies by the end of it.
  2057. >Wiggling your legs, you determine that you can in fact move them.
  2058. >Your nose detects something in the air, something amazing.
  2059. >It smells like your boyfriend...
  2060. >Your fiancee cooking.
  2061. >Haybacon, waffles, eggs, you can smell it all, and it slowly pulls you from bed.
  2062. >The moment your hooves touch the floor, another smell hits you.
  2063. >The smell of sex from last night.
  2064. >This room is going to need one heck of a cleaning.
  2065. >Exiting the bedroom, you take a brief stop in the bathroom to handle some business before making your way to the kitchen.
  2066. >Upon entering, you find yourself greeted with a view that makes your mare instincts wolf whistle.
  2067. >Bare chested, Anon is leaning over the stovetop with an apron on.
  2068. >Straigtening up, he turns to you, a smile on his face.
  2069. >"Good morning, sleepyhead, you get enough sleep?" he asks, kneeling and holding his arms out.
  2070. "Not enough, and I don't regret it," you reply, moving yourself into the hug trap that is those strong limbs.
  2071. >His lips meet your forehead, kissing you just below your horn.
  2072. >A line of kisses run down to your lips where his press and his tongue presses through.
  2073. "Mmm, tasty," you say as the kiss is broken.
  2074. >"I hope breakfast's just as good."
  2075. "Knowing you, it'll be close."
  2076. >He laughs and rises, going back to the stove to save your breakfast from burning.
  2077. >Good in the kitchen, amazing in bed, and pretty much completely independant.
  2078. >What god did you please to deserve this?
  2079. >Focusing your magic to grab a cup of coffee, you can feel the band there, growing faintly warm with the power.
  2080. >It reminds you that you'll have to go with him down to the government offices to register the engagement.
  2081. >"So, I figure for today we can spend a little time here after breakfast before going to register us getting engaged, before lunch and then watever you want? How's that sound?"
  2082. "Just about what I was thinking. You have any shopping you want to do?' you ask jokingly.
  2083. >"Ha. Ha," he replies, turning with food on plates, "now eat up before I decide I'm extra hungry today."
  2084. >Quickly snagging the plate from him, you start eating the delicious breakfast set before you.
  2085. >Nearing the end of breakfast, Anon pauses in his eating and says, "And since I made breakfast today, I think it's only fair you do the dishes."
  2086. >As you are about to make a reply, he sticks a fork of fluffy waffle goodness in your mouth.
  2087. >"If you do, I have a little secret to share with you."
  2088. >Chewing and swallowing, you nod in agreement, turning to the rest of your breakfast.
  2089. >If cleaning dishes is the price for cooking like this and sex like last night, it's more than a fair price to pay.
  2090. >Grabbing his plate, he comes around the small table and kisses you on the cheek before setting it by the sink with the prep dishes.
  2091. >Finishing your own meal, you take it and run the sink while Anon gets out writing supplies.
  2092. >Putting tip to paper, he starts writing, and asks, "What do you know about business laws, Fleur?"
  2093. "Not a whole lot, why?"
  2094. >"Well, listen to this. A co-signer mare's monthly wage must be at least equal to the Stallion's monthly wage, regardless of how little she works."
  2095. >"Seems bad, right?"
  2096. "Well, yeah, it would cost him the same ammount of money to get money for his own expenses."
  2097. >"And if said stallion gets engaged to a mare other than the co-signer, she can adjust her severance cut by up to 10% without his permission."
  2098. "So you getting engaged to me means she can take another 10% of your business if you cut her loose?"
  2099. >"Theoretically yes, in practice, I hope not, you see, Twilight has a crush on me, if it wasn't obvious to you."
  2100. "I never would have guessed," you reply sarcastically.
  2101. >"Well, because of that, I have two things going for me. One, she put her monthly wage at whatever mine is for that month, and two, her severance cut is only 5%."
  2102. "So her cut is going to go up less than ten percent, you hope?"
  2103. >"Actually, I expect it to go down." He states matter of factly, "You see, since I proposed here, and Twilight has no clue, well she doesn't know to go change her severance cut yet. I'm going to get the cut change paper here, and send it, with this letter to her."
  2104. "What's in the letter?"
  2105. >"Stalliony sounding 'I'm worried business might go bad in the winter and I'll have to close the business and lose a bunch of bits.' type drivel," he says wiggling his fingers, "as well as asking her to maybe reduce her cut."
  2106. >"It also says that I handled my half, so she only has to turn in her part for it to be done."
  2107. "So if she reduces it enough..."
  2108. >"I could get her out of the business without paying a single bit to her," he finishes with a smile, "that is, if you want to be my co-signer?"
  2109. "I'd be glad to, but you're saying you haven't payed her anything?"
  2110. >"Nope. Her wage is the same as mine is right now. 0. I've paid for everything with my pay from the photo shoot."
  2111. "You clever human, I can't believe you figured out all these loopholes," you say, tossing the drying cloth aside.
  2112. >"Smart enough to snag one of the most beautiful and down to earth ponies in Equestria," he says, grabbing you from behind and foribly hugging you.
  2113. >Any struggling you might attempt is cut short by fingers on your belly.
  2114. >Your body knows exactly what's coming and that there's nothing you can do to stop it.
  2115. >Bellyrubs happen, causing you to lose about five minutes of time in the bliss, before he eases up, and you notice the tip of your ear is in his mouth.
  2116. >"Equestria to Fleur, are you in there?" he says quietly, his voice slurred because your ear in his teeth.
  2117. "Yes, I, er, just..."
  2118. >"You just love belly rubs too much, huh," he says, letting go of your ear.
  2119. "Yes," you reply meekly, before he sets you down.
  2120. >"Well, do you have anything you want to do here before we go finalize last night?"
  2121. >Licking your lips and looking up at him, you find a finger over your lips before you can say anything.
  2122. >"Besides me, that is."
  2123. "Umm, I don't think so. I don't really spend much time here, especially lately."
  2124. >"Where do you spend time then?"
  2125. "Well..."
  2126. ~~~
  2127. >Be Twilight, Princess in Ponyville, and happy as can be.
  2128. >Why?
  2129. >Because you got a letter from your husbando, begging for your help.
  2130. >Poor thing, but this will be another strong thread you weave into his heart, and soon you can tighten the knot and make him yours forever.
  2131. >Maybe you could get Celestia to make him long lived like you as well.
  2132. >Your eternal prince, to love you and hug you and [spoiler]call you George[/spoiler].
  2133. >Plus, if those medical records you "checked" are correct, Anon is not only incapable of fertilizing a pony without magical aid, but he takes minutes to ejaculate.
  2134. >And he's not too big for a pony either.
  2135. >That lucky mare who walked in on him while he was making his sample because he was taking too long...
  2136. >But then, you've gotten an eyeful of Hot Monkey Dick yourself, and you like what you see.
  2137. >It's also a good addition to your personal Encyclopedia Phallica.
  2138. >Not that you write and illustrate your own big book of dicks, it's for science.
  2139. >But enough of those thoughts, you have to fill out some paperwork to ease Anon's poor stallion heart.
  2140. >Kissing the letter, you store it away and pull out a quill and ink to write with.
  2141. >You kind of wish there was some sort of fancy tool that would hold ink and use it to write that could be easily held like a crayon.
  2142. >Name, date, race, Magic ID, normal ID, Flight ID, all the standard information you fill out, and you come down to the last box.
  2143. >How much you want to adjust your severance cut by.
  2144. >Being the wonderful, kind and generous princess you are, you write down -10%.
  2145. >Sure, nopony has ever made their cut a negative percent, but it will make Anon feel even safer, knowing it means you are willing to give up your own money to help him.
  2146. >The government officials won't question a princess either.
  2147. >Finishing the sheet off with a well formed signature, you fold it neatly and set it in your bag to be taken to the Mayors office.
  2148. >Picking up said bag, you head out, smiling to yourself.
  2149. >Boy will you have a tale to tell in mare magazines, of how you cleverly manipulated, no, directed the stallion you wanted into loving you.
  2150. >'Princess Twilight's tips for charming the stallion of your dreams' they'll call it.
  2151. >Well, maybe you'll have them remove the princess title.
  2152. >Make it feel more relatable by normal mares.
  2153. >Humming a tune, you arrive at the town hall and enter inside.
  2154. >Mayor Mare's cute little secretary colt greets you as you enter, which you return with a smile.
  2155. >"Do you need to meet with Miss Mayor?" he asks.
  2156. "No, I just have a form to drop off. Feel free to give it to her when she's available," you reply, floating the neatly folded piece of paper over to him.
  2157. >"Ok Princess, I'll make sure she gets it. Have a nice day."
  2158. "You as well."
  2159. >And with that, you make your way back home, mind wandering to wondering how many bags Anon will have on returning.
  2160. >If he's anything like your brother, he'll have half a dozen at least.
  2161. >Good thing Cadence has magic to carry his bags.
  2162. >You have your own magic to help Anon and bits enough to let him go on shopping sprees a lot.
  2163. >And when that's done, the two of you returning to your castle and giant bed within.
  2164. >And then...
  2165. >*POMF*
  2166. >Stupid fluffy wings, go down...
  2167. >Quelling your arousal before anypony notices, you scurry back to your castle to prepare for Anon's return.
  2168. ~~~
  2169. ~~~
  2170. >Be Anon the ready to get home.
  2171. >It's been one hell of a few days in Canterlot with Fleur.
  2172. >After the engagement papers were filled out and your letter was sent, she dragged you to a jewlers and got a ring for you.
  2173. >The only say you got in that was that it couldn't be more expensive than yours.
  2174. >A good thing too, the price tags on some of those rings put the one you got her to shame.
  2175. >In the end you got an engraved silver band, which is currently around your finger.
  2176. >The mare who bought it is asleep on your lap, and the train is rumbling along the tracks.
  2177. >Given the two of you left right after her photo shoot, it's understandable she's tired.
  2178. >They even had you do a few bonus pictures, for some pay, of course.
  2179. >Couldn't give up the scoop that the rumored couple finaly tied the knot.
  2180. >You did at least get them to agree to delay publishing that article a week.
  2181. >A yawn from below snaps you out of your train of thought and you look down to the sleeping pony on your lap.
  2182. >Slowly stroking her mane, you look out the window into the distance.
  2183. >Ponyville's low skyline is just visible over the forest, Twilight's castle easily visible.
  2184. >Other buildings like the hospital and Sugarcube Corner are also discernable between the roofs.
  2185. >Speaking of Sugarcube Corner, Pinkie is going to want to throw a party for this.
  2186. >And Rarity will pester you and Fleur till you give up the secret if she sees the rings.
  2187. >Twilight... Twilight's going to be the hardest to explain to.
  2188. >She's been so oblivious to the whole goings on it's probably going to hit her like a truck.
  2189. >Letting out a sigh, you close your eyes and relax, petting your pony.
  2190. >The sun starts painting it's sunset as the Train arrives in Ponyville Station, and you rouse Fleur from her nap.
  2191. "Rise and shine, we have a ways to walk to bed," you say to her.
  2192. >"Can't you just carry me?" she asks, rolling over and looking cute.
  2193. "Nope. I have to carry the bags."
  2194. >She gives a huff before rolling onto her hooves and climbing off your lap.
  2195. >The train coming to a stop makes her wobble slightly, but she doesn't fall while you grab the bags.
  2196. >All six of them.
  2197. >Of course, only one is yours, the rest are Fleur's things for moving in with you.
  2198. >Now loaded up with a pony's weight in bags, you squeeze out of the train, Fleur following behind sleepily.
  2199. >The town around you is slowly winding down, little attention being paid to the human and mare walking side by side.
  2200. >Unlocing your door, you escort her inside, throwing the bags on the couch.
  2201. >Fleur shuffles past, headed straight for the bedroom, while you stop for a quick toilet use before joining her in bed.
  2202. >A quiet night leads to a slow morning, up until the mail arrives.
  2203. >Given how little long distance communication you need here, mail's kind of a rare thing, save bills and Pinkie Party invites.
  2204. >And this is one of the latter.
  2205. >Opening the envelope as you head back to the kitchen for breakfast, you unfold the invite as you sit down.
  2206. "Anon, you are invited to a Pinkie Party Today at Sugarcube Corner this evening. You can bring your own guests, but they MUST be ready to party. Hope to see you there, Nonny, Signed, Pinkie Pie," you read aloud, Fleur raising an eyebrow from behind her coffee mug.
  2207. >"I guess that means I'm good to come too, then?"
  2208. "Yes, though this invite leaves me worried."
  2209. >"Why's that? It's just a party, isn't it?"
  2210. "One, parties are never just a party with Pinkie Pie, and the fact that it doesn't say what kind of party this is or why she's hosting it is a little disconcerting."
  2211. "Two, how'd she know I was back?"
  2212. >"Twilight could have told her, or she might have seen us last evening."
  2213. "True, but still... I feel like something's gonna go wrong."
  2214. >Fleurs eyes roll, before she smiles, "I thought you weren't the kind of guy to worry about coltish things like parties."
  2215. >Reaching across the table, you boop her nose before taking a sip of coffee.
  2216. "I'm just saying, it feels like something's gonna happen."
  2217. >"Well, if something does happen I'll be there to protect you."
  2218. "Said to the one who lifted a massive tree off you."
  2219. >"It's a mare's duty to protect her stallion."
  2220. "And I'm a human, not a horse."
  2221. >The two of you stare at eachother a moment before bursting into laughter.
  2222. "I'm gonna go out back to do some work. Feel free to do whatever."
  2223. >Rising up, you refill your coffee and head out to work some wood.
  2224. >After about an hour, Fleur comes out to join you, picking up a knife and block to start carving.
  2225. >Like the block, the day whittles away, with both of you breaking for lunch.
  2226. >Twilight never stops by, oddly enough, but it gives you more time to think.
  2227. >As the day settles into evening, you tidy up both your work and yourself, getting ready to head to the Pinkie party.
  2228. >Fleur herself pulls on a nice but modest dress, and together, you head out into the streets to head to Sugarcube Corner.
  2229. >The building shows all outward signs of an average Pinkie Party in Progress, but nothing that could explain what the party is for.
  2230. >Pushing through the door, music and laughter hits your ears all of a sudden.
  2231. >A smile hits your face, and you gesture Fleur in with you.
  2232. "Welcome to a Pinkie Party, where fun is Mandatory."
  2233. >"Or else!" Pinkie exclaims, jumping up onto your shoulder, before backflipping onto a sea of ponies that crowd surf her away.
  2234. "Enjoy yourself, I'm gonna go see if I can't catch up to Pinkie and see what this is all about."
  2235. >"Okay."
  2236. ~~~
  2237. >Be Fleur, the pony way out of place.
  2238. >You haven't done a party like this since...
  2239. >Shoot, you can't remember the last time you've been to a party like this.
  2240. >It's all just been fancy stuff, with more chatting and sipping wine than dancing, and even that was just slow dancing.
  2241. >Spotting a refreshment table, you make your way over and ladle out yourself a glass of punch.
  2242. >With a drink to help you feel at ease, you start looking around for a face you recognize.
  2243. >It's not long before you find one, a white coater like yourself.
  2244. >"Ah, Fleur, Darling, it's good to see you, but I didn't know you were back in town," Rarity exclaims, making her way over to you.
  2245. "I just got back yesterday. How have you been doing?"
  2246. >"Well, business has picked up wonderfully, but it always does this time of year. Everypony is shopping for new winter clothing and such."
  2247. "Time just flies, doesn't it," you say with a nod, "I've got winterwear shoots popping up like crazy next month, and yet the last clothing shoot I did was mid summer."
  2248. >"You did get put out of commission for a while there, it's no surprise, but anyways, are you enjoying the party?"
  2249. "It's... different, I suppose. I've never really been to high energy parties like this."
  2250. >Rarity nods, "They can be a little low brow, so to speak, but they are quite fun as well. If you can build up the courage, you should hit the dance floor. It's mostly mares anyways, so you won't be judged unless your dancing is really bad."
  2251. "I'll give that a shot then," you reply with a smile, before drinking the rest of your punch.
  2252. >Debating a snack to help steady you before trying to dance, you're interrupted by a stallion approaching.
  2253. >Pausing a few steps away, he takes a deep breath and puffs up his chest a bit before walking up next to you.
  2254. >"Excuse me, would you like to dance, maybe?" he asks, posing slightly.
  2255. >Out of the corner of your eye you can see Rarity trying to conceal an exclamation of some kind.
  2256. >For good reason too, stallions are always the ones who get asked to dance, not the ones who ask mares to dance.
  2257. >Still, you're a to be married mare, so you have to turn him down.
  2258. "Sorry, I'm taken already," you say, tapping at the ring on your horn.
  2259. >The next moment, a sound fills the air that can only be described as numerous loud exclamations of joy.
  2260. >One of the sounds being a squeal of epic porportions from Rarity.
  2261. ~~~
  2262. >Be Anon, the man on the hunt.
  2263. >On the hunt for a pink party pony and the answers she has.
  2264. >Like why have this party, and how did she know you were here.
  2265. >Also because you're not feeling like dancing right now.
  2266. >Spotting a pink coat, you make your way over till you notice it's one of the spa ponies.
  2267. >Another pink coat turns out to be Daisy, and then a pink mane turns out to be Fluttershy with a big poofy hairdo.
  2268. >After searching what seems to be every pony in the building, you are about to give up when Pinkie pops up behind you right as you sigh.
  2269. >"What's wrong Anon, are you not having fun?"
  2270. "Actually I was looking for you. I was wondering why you were throwing this party, I haven't seen any banners anywhere."
  2271. >"Well, my Pinkie sense told me it would be a perfect time for a party today, and it's never really wrong, so I said 'IT'S PARTY TIME!'."
  2272. "But how did you know that I was back from my trip to invite me?"
  2273. >"You went on a trip? Was it fun? Did you have parties there?"
  2274. >Facepalming, you reach down and rub Pinkie's head a bit.
  2275. "Yeah, it was a good trip, even though there weren't any parties."
  2276. >Reaching back, your hand snags, and Pinkie lets out an "ouchie".
  2277. "Whoops, sorry Pinkie, my ring snagged in your mane," you explain, detangling the band of metal.
  2278. >"Your ring?" she asks, before looking at the jewlery.
  2279. >In the next moment, a loud sound takes over the building, part of it coming from a beyond normal gasp from Pinkie.
  2280. ~~~
  2281. >Be Twilight Sparkle, the now tardy Princess.
  2282. >Well, you're not exactly late, there was no specific time set, but not being there right at the begining makes you feel like you were late.
  2283. >Still, you can't just rush proper sorting, which means you're now arriving slightly behind schedule.
  2284. >Entering the building, nobody seems to mind you being later, which is a burden off your shoulders.
  2285. >A few steps in, and you can see Anon in the back of the room.
  2286. >He seems to be talking to somepony, and judging by the pink mass next to him, it's Pinkie.
  2287. >After a few words both ways, he reaches down and pets her head, before his hand comes up attached to her mane.
  2288. >Detangling himself from her, he says something and then a loud sound covers everything.
  2289. >You can tell it's a loud gasp from Pinkie, mixed with a screech or squeal from another part of the room.
  2290. >Suddenly everything's quiet and you can hear Rarity and Pinkie yell "You're engaged!?"
  2291. >There's a moment where those words hang in the air, before ponies go up to Anon and whoever Rarity was with.
  2292. >Pushing your way through to Anon, you manage to get close enough to see the ring on his finger.
  2293. >Unable to get closer, you look to the other pony, and the train that is your love gets hurled off the rails to Anonville and into the chasm of emptyness.
  2294. >Fleur-de-Lis, the pony Anon saved, befriended, and it seems more...
  2295. >Tears pouring down your face uncontrolably, you turn tail and rush for the door, straight to home.
  2296. ~~~
  2297. >Be Anon again, and that nagging sensation you had has been realized.
  2298. >Twilight heard Pinkie's exclamation and figured it out, then rushed out the door before you could even call out to her.
  2299. >"This is wonderful, Darling, I knew you two were a perfect fit!" Rarity exclaims from across the room.
  2300. >"Come on, Nonny, go bring your fiance over and we'll really start this party," Pinkie says, giving you a light shove.
  2301. >The crowds part for you as you make your way over to Fleur, resting a hand on her shoulder.
  2302. >Pinkie bounces along the path you made, and asks, "So, when'd you two get hooked up?"
  2303. >You can see Rarity's eyes light up and ears turn forwards, not wanting to miss what must be the juciest gossip of the season.
  2304. "Well, it was just three days ago, actually. I proposed to her right as the sun set, and she said yes."
  2305. >A number of thumps sound from around the room, including right beside you as Rarity and other ponies faint for one reason or another.
  2306. >Others squeal or start whispering and many mares come up to congradulate Fleur.
  2307. >A few stallions come up and say things to you, but you're not paying them much attention.
  2308. >Rather, you're looking for a way to make your way out of here so you can go talk to Twilight.
  2309. >No, maybe not.
  2310. >It might be best to let her settle down and think things over first.
  2311. >Also, you have a feeling Pinkie isn't gonna let you get out of this party any time soon, nor will Rarity let either of you go without more details.
  2312. >Looking down at Fleur, you see she has the same thoughts in her head, and you both let out a silent, synchronized sigh.
  2313. >Let's get this over with.
  2314. ~~~
  2315. >Be Twilight, the Princess with shattered dreams.
  2316. >The human who was going to be yours instead got stolen from you by some fancy Canterlot Model.
  2317. >Sure, she's tall, beautiful, graceful and has a wonderful voice, but you're a princess.
  2318. >You're supposed to be perfect.
  2319. >You have some of the strongest magic, you have soft and fluffy pegasus wings, you're a lot stronger than you used to be, you're even Celestia's student.
  2320. >The mare every stallion wanted, that's what you were supposed to be.
  2321. >But instead, the one stallion you wanted got scooped up.
  2322. >A thought hits you, and you stop for a moment.
  2323. >It may not be too late.
  2324. >Well, it's too early, to be exact.
  2325. >Your early culture studies with Anonymous did tell you his species was primarily monogamous, but since he's here, your own culture will be rubbing off on him.
  2326. >He might not start herding right away, most Stallions don't but they do eventually.
  2327. >And you are still his co-signer for his business, so you'll have plenty of time with him, even when Fleur has to go off for her own work.
  2328. >First though, you do have to fix up your severance cut, just in case.
  2329. >Heading to the bathroom to quickly tidy yourself up, you stare at your reflection in the mirror.
  2330. >Your eyes are puffy after your crying, the fur on your face is matted and gross.
  2331. >You may no be a stallion but as a princess you do have to look your best, so with some water, a wash cloth and a bit of magic, you're looking pretty again.
  2332. "Perfect, now to go visit Mayor Mare," you say to your reflection, which smiles back.
  2333. >Mood uplifted, and only half a day gone since you found out, you trot through town to the mayors office.
  2334. >Mares get over foul moods quickly, after all, not like stallions and their drama.
  2335. >You remember when a store stopped selling your brothers favourite shampoo when you were young, he didn't get over it for weeks.
  2336. >And you, losing first dibs on the colt you love, only half a day.
  2337. >Mom'd be pround at how marely of a mare she raised.
  2338. >And a mare should always fix her own mistakes.
  2339. >Opening the door to town hall, you step inside.
  2340. ~~~
  2341. >Be Anon, the hung over and snuggled.
  2342. >As soon as the word you got engaged hit the party, it kicked into bachelor(ette) mode and alchohol started flowing.
  2343. >And try as you might, you found yourself pretty wobbly by the end of the night, when Pinkie escorted you and Fleur home.
  2344. >Both of you just short of crashed into bed, snuggling up under the warm sheets.
  2345. >Fleur was practically attached to your chest this morning, curled up in your arms.
  2346. >She was looking pretty rough too, but at the same time, that little happy curve of her lips told you she's fine just where she is.
  2347. >But today wasn't a day you could sleep in.
  2348. >Past ten, that is, but you got up, made breakfast and cleaned yourself up to go and talk to Twilight.
  2349. >Which brings you to where you are now, staring at the closed sign on the door of Twilight's library/castle.
  2350. >Knocking on the door gets no response, leaving you to head back home to get Fleur to start the co-signer changing process.
  2351. >You find her out back, carving some wood, which reminds you that your work has been stalled for near a week now.
  2352. >At least you have no orders due.
  2353. >"Back so soon?" Fleur asks, looking up from her carving.
  2354. "Seems Twilight isn't home. I figured we could start the co-signer change process, and talk with her later."
  2355. >"You sure that's a good idea? She seemed pretty down, it might not be best to do anything that might antagonize her further."
  2356. "It's going to have to be done eventually, but if you think we should wait, I'm fine with that."
  2357. >"Good, now can you make me a sandwich?"
  2358. "Ha. Ha. You're a grown pony, you can make your own food. I have some work to do, after that time I spent in Canterlot."
  2359. >She huffs before sticking out a tongue and making her way inside, leaving you to haul your tools from the shed.
  2360. ~~~
  2361. >Be Twilight, the panic attacked mare.
  2362. >No no no, this can't be right...
  2363. >You filled out a BS2 form last time, not a BS3, right?
  2364. >Anon said he filled out his forms, so the ponies at the Canterlot office would have sent a Severance cut form and not an engagement Change form.
  2365. >Unless...
  2366. >What if they had done their engagement signing at that time, and the ponies gave him the BS3 form to send instead of the BS2.
  2367. >But then you should have been able to get a BS2 since Anon would have filled out his own half of the BS2.
  2368. >That would mean Anon lied, or the office didn't file his form.
  2369. >The office wouldn't not file his forms though, so that would mean he never did them.
  2370. >So why would Anon lie then?
  2371. >You suppose it could be because he was scared you'd suddenly change your cut when he got engaged to Fleur.
  2372. >You've heard that colt's tricking mares in business practices is becoming a bit more common lately, but Anon should trust you.
  2373. >It's not like you're vindictive or anything, and would increase your cut just to spite him.
  2374. >You'd be fine with no cut of his business, so long as you get to make sure you get to be around him.
  2375. >Unless...
  2376. >What if he was going to switch signers to Fleur, leaving you out.
  2377. >With your cut as a negative percent, you'd owe him for him to get rid of you.
  2378. >Your pulse picks up again, your breathing becoming erratic as another panic attack starts to set in.
  2379. >Magically teleporting yourself home, you charge to the bathroom and stare in the mirror, focusing on steadying your breaths.
  2380. "Keep calm, Twilight, your mom didn't teach you to be a colty mare. No need to panic."
  2381. >Splashing a little water in your face, you shake your head clear, and flatten out your mane again.
  2382. "Alright, I'll just ask Anon to explain, and I'm sure everything will be cleared up."
  2383. >A quick preen to tidy your wings, and you set out to Anon's house.
  2384. >Smiles and waves greet you all over as you walk, near all you return.
  2385. >That's right, everypony loves you, and Anonymous does too, he just doesn't know you want him to be yours.
  2386. >When he knows, he'll glady accept your love.
  2387. >Then he can marry both you and Fleur at the same time.
  2388. >It'll be a huge event at your castle, with Princess Celestia and Princess Luna and Princess Cadence all watching.
  2389. >They'll all be so proud of you, and Cadence will see how true your love is, and...
  2390. >Oh look, you're here!
  2391. ~~~
  2392. >Now you're Fleur, the mare who has to make her own sandwich.
  2393. >At least you know where everything is, after all your time here.
  2394. >You're still not sure why he keeps the peanut butter where he does, but whatever.
  2395. >With a sandwich done and ready, you start tidying up when there's a knock at the front door.
  2396. >Pulling open the door with your magic, you find yourself looking down at the purple pony princess herself.
  2397. "Good day, Princess, what brings you here?"
  2398. >"I was hoping to talk with Anonymous, is he around?"
  2399. "He's out back, starting on work."
  2400. >"Alright," she says, before heading around the side of the house and you turn back to the kitchen to finish tidying up.
  2401. >Also to avoid what is going to come.
  2402. >Your drama senses are tingling, and that's a good sign to get out.
  2403. ~~~
  2404. >Nervously stepping just behind the back corner of the house, you are a very nervous Princess Twilight Sparkle.
  2405. >Because right now, come Tartarus, high water or Discordian interference, you're gonna be confessing, and you don't want to look like one of those awkward mares.
  2406. >You're a princess, noble, kind and all around perfect.
  2407. >Well, mostly perfect.
  2408. >With one last deep breath and a swift pat to make sure you're all tidy, you hold your head up high and elegantly trot around the corner.
  2409. >Your airs drop, just like your jaw as you spot Anon.
  2410. >His shirt has found it's way off his body, and he's now sporting a faint sheen of sweat as he saws into some wood.
  2411. >Thank you based sun for being so hot.
  2412. >Not as hot as him, mind you, bbut hot enough to make him hotter.
  2413. "H... hi Anon, I hope I'm not interrupting anything," you say, working hard to control your rapidly rising sexual urges.
  2414. >"Oh, hey there Twilight, I was hoping to talk to you."
  2415. >Your pulse jumps a stage but you keep calm enough and put on a smile.
  2416. "Sure, what did you want to talk about?"
  2417. >"To be frank, firstly I want to make sure you're okay. You took it pretty hard when it was announced that Fleur and I had gotten engaged."
  2418. >A sharp twinge shoots through your chest, but you push past, keeping up your happy smile.
  2419. "I suppose I did, but I also realized it wasn't the end of the world."
  2420. >His smile is a fiery warmth that fills you up, bolstering your courage.
  2421. "And besides, I knew I'd still be your friend and get to spend time with you at work."
  2422. >"That's another thing, Twilight, I was going to have you come with me when you could to town hall so I can transfer co-signer status to Fleur."
  2423. >Like a cold drop of water, his words send a freezing sensation down your spine, squeezing out the warmth of his smile.
  2424. >The mental plans you had go up in flames, burnt to ash and blown away on the breeze.
  2425. >Try as you might, for as strong and princessly and marely as you are, you can't hold back.
  2426. >Sadness, anger, panic, even lust and fear flow through you all at the same time, overriding common sense.
  2427. "BUT I'M A PRINCESS!" you shout, your as of yet immature Royal Canterlot Voice still causing some minor shaking in nearby objects, "YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO LOVE ME! YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO WANT TO BE MY STALLION!"
  2428. >Your magic pushes him back into a chair, pinning him there by force.
  2432. >Nostrils flaring, your lungs struggle temporarily, unused to so much air being pushed out.
  2433. "ALL BECAUSE... All because..."
  2434. >Your steam running out, you feel your head drooping and magic failing due to loss of focus.
  2435. "Because isn't a princess supposed to rescue her stallion, and bring him to the life he wants?"
  2436. >Staring at the dirt, you don't notice him lean forward till you feel his hand on your head.
  2437. >As you look up you notice he still has a small smile, and with it, it feels like a small spark of warmth is relit in you.
  2438. >"Twilight, I'm going to be blunt, but I also want you to give me a chance to explain."
  2439. >"I can't see you as a girlfriend or wife of mine. Not because you're a princess, not because you're an alicorn, Just because you are you."
  2440. >Anger starts to well up, and you are about to let out another burst, but his next words cut that short.
  2441. >"Still, you're pretty much my best friend here, and to me, you're pretty much perfect at that."
  2442. >"You're smart, funny, good to hang around with and a great friend to be around."
  2443. >"What makes you and I incompatable is deeper than that. It's the way you think, the way you act."
  2444. >"I guess the best way to put it is how you were raised, how you treat males, it just grates on me. That's part of why I got engaged to Fleur."
  2445. >"I mean, if you knew another mare was going to be with your guy, alone, you'd be protective of him, her, well, I bet she's gone off for a walk or something."
  2446. >"She trusts me to deal with my own stuff, to be independant."
  2447. "But I can change, I know I can."
  2448. >Anon's arms reach under your forearms and lift you up, setting him down in his lap.
  2449. >More than half of you is tempted to just bury your face in his chest, but the mood makes you feel like it would be wrong.
  2450. >"Would the change be worth it though?" He asks, tilting your chin up to look at him, "It may even mean getting rid of who you are now."
  2451. "I..." you start, but his words ring true.
  2452. >You are who you are now by your past, how you were raised and how you acted based on that.
  2453. "I guess it might not be, even if I feel like you're right for me."
  2454. >And there's some ear scratches.
  2455. >Feeling much better, you smile just a tad, making his smile grow.
  2456. >"Alright, now that that's out of your system, you think we can move on to Business?"
  2457. "Er, about that..." you start, turning your ears back in embarassment, "I kind of... I may have made an error that we need to fix first."
  2458. ~~~
  2459. >With Twilight whispering in your ear, you are Anonymous, the man who must resist laughing.
  2460. "You're a silly pony, you know that, right?"
  2461. >She blushes faintly, and you set her down on the ground.
  2462. "Well, lets go fix this problem, find Fleur, get the transfer done, and then... I think I'll need to hire a full time employee, since Fleur's not always going to be around, and Applebloom only works part time."
  2463. "Someone with experience would be good," you say, putting a finger to your chin, "do you know anyone I could hire?"
  2464. >"Well, I can think of one mare, she's on her last day at her current job today, so she'll be looking for work soon. I'll have her drop off her resume, if you want."
  2465. "That sounds good, now, where did Fleur get off to...
  2467. End.
  2471. Bonus Bit:
  2472. >Evening starts to roll around, when you hear a knock at the door.
  2473. >Opening the wooden portal reveals Twilight and another pony standing there.
  2474. >"Good evening, Anon, I'd like you to meet Oak Buffer, an old aquaintance of mine from Canterlot. I let her know how you were looking for an experienced woodworker."
  2475. "It's nice to meet you, though I was kind of implying I wouldn't mind it if you wanted to continue working for me."
  2476. >"Oh, well I think I'm done with wood for now," Twilight replies with a smile, "I'm thinking of going into [spoiler]carpets[/spoiler]."
  2477. >"But I'll leave you two to chat, see you later Anon."
  2478. >Twilight wanders away, and with a shrug, you gesture Oak inside.
  2479. >Inside, she turns to you and asks, "So, are you gonna lose those pants so I can get to work?"
  2480. >Today was a I didn't do enough boner jokes in this story day.
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