SadNonny

Beauty and the Blob

Jan 9th, 2019
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  1. >Anon is teleported to Equestria, as tends to happen.
  2. >In this particularly case, though, things get a little... messy.
  3. >When Anon appears, it's not as a man, but instead, as a horrendous monster of two mouths, seven eyes, nostrils in all sorts of places, three arms protruding from his base like legs, and an actual leg and foot dangling from his front like a mockery of a elephant's trunk.
  4. >Oh, and tentacles.
  5. >Thirteen of those whipping about on his back.
  6. >Yeah, it's just not Anon's day, and it's only made worse when he stumbles into town, and immediately gets a mob set upon him.
  7. >As Anon runs, he remembers back to dinner last night at the Chinese place, and the fortune cookie he got for dessert.
  8. >"You will be transformed into an abomination and chased by small equines. Your lucky numbers are 45968."
  9. >What are the odds?
  10. >Anon doesn't have time to do the math before he is cornered by six mares.
  11. >"Okay monster, whatever you are, you're coming back to my lab so that I can figure out what sort of foul magic made you so we can nip it in the bud," says the purple one.
  12. >"Ah got the rope," says the orange one. "Ya think you can get in around those tentacles and knock it out, Dash? It'll be easier to wrangle without all the flailin'."
  13. >"Sure thing, one good buck atta do it."
  14. "P-please," Anon chokes out of one mouth cringing back against the wall.
  15. "Don't. Hurt," says the other as his many eyes start to water.
  16. >"Uh, what?"
  17. >"Oh, you poor thing! You must be absolutely terrified!" the yellow one suddenly says, fluttering forward. "Don't worry, we won't hurt you."
  18. >"Fluttershy, get away from that thing!"
  19. >"Hush, Dash. Can't you see its just scared? It didn't even hurt any pony, and we all just started chasing it without even knowing what it wanted."
  20. >As the pegasus comes close, Anon's tentacles twitch away and go stiff when she lays a hoof on his front most lump.
  21. >Then she starts rubbing in small circles, and they go limp.
  22. >"There you go, you just rest up right there," says Fluttershy, patting between three of Anon's eyes.
  23. >Anon, for his part, is thankful for the tender touch as he works to fold his three arms under him in a comfortable way in the large animal bed.
  24. >Perhaps both the petting and sleeping arrangements are a bit demeaning, but the kindness helps him feel like less of the monster he appears to be.
  25. "Thank," says one mouth, the other opening to add, "You."
  26. >"I'm happy to help," she says gently.
  27. >"Are you sure this is a good idea, Fluttershy?" asks Dash as she stares over her friend's shoulder with a weary eye. "It could still be dangerous. What if it eats your other animals?"
  28. "Won't," you say instantly. "Am. Good."
  29. >"You are," Fluttershy assures before turning a hard eye to her friend. "Dash, if you are going to be rude to my guest, you can go down stairs and wait with the rest of our friends."
  30. >"Yeah, and leave you with Blobby McMonster Face, sure."
  31. >Anon curls in on himself and fights back tears at the blue pony's remark, but doesn't argue.
  32. >"Dash. Down stairs. Now," Fluttershy says, her tone leaving no room for argument as she stomps a hoof.
  33. >Something must have changed in the sweet mare's expression, because the other pegasus gulped and conceded.
  34. >"Fine, but I'll be listening at the bottom of the steps," she grumbles.
  35. >Once she's gone, Fluttershy sighs and turns back to her guest.
  36. >"I really am sorry about her. You aren't a monster, you're just a little... different. Now, do you need anything, sweetie?"
  37. "Anon," he says suddenly. "My name. Is Anon."
  38. >She blinks, surprised, but smiles.
  39. >"Okay, do you need anything, Anon?"
  40. >His own mouths smile a little.
  41. "Water? Some food?"
  42. >"Sure. is there anything you eat specifically?"
  43. >He think about this.
  44. "Anything. Good. Fruit. Veggies. Meats."
  45. He remembers she's a pony then, and quickly adds, "Meat, not needed... No grass. Hay."
  46. >She doesn't seem scared about the meat comment and nods.
  47. >Anon certainly can't say he's pleased with his current situation, but he's glad he's found this kind pony.
  48. >Maybe with her help, being an unholy freak of nature will actually be semi-bearable.
  49. >Or if not, she can direct him to the nearest cliff to jump off of.
  50. ---
  51. "So, you're a human," asks the purple alicorn, not looking from the notes she's writing. "And you aren't supposed to look like... that."
  52. "Yes."
  53. >"And, how are you supposed to look?"
  54. >By the time Anon is done explaining, Twilight presents him with a sketch that is only marginally less horrifying than his current appearance, but at least she has the right number of limbs and orifices down.
  55. >She leaves, making a promise to look into how to unscramble his form.
  56. >He tries not to get his hopes up.
  57. ---
  58. >"Really, Anon, you don't need to help, I can handle this just fine," says Fluttershy.
  59. "Want. To," the blob answers, standing behind the pegasus, his multiple tentacles laden with different feedbags for all the animals. "Owe. You."
  60. >"You don't oh me anything, but thank you. It does help not having to run back and forth from the store room to get food."
  61. >He smiles, tentacling over bags as she requests them.
  62. >It's hard work, the bags are heavy and his palms aren't meant for standing on, but he's glad that he can be useful in even this small way to her.
  63. >She carries a large bag of seed up to a feeder, huffing under the strain as her wings flap furiously.
  64. >She fills it without issue, but is thrown off balance as she brings the heavy bag back to her chest, falling backwards in the air.
  65. >Anon drops everything as his tentacles shoot out to catch her, saving her from a nasty crash.
  66. >They are both silent, staring, until Anon starts to realize her face is slowly turning red.
  67. >That's when he notices one of his tentacles curled up between her hind legs, and feels something squishy.
  68. >Two squishies, in fact, each topped with a little, hard nub
  69. ---
  70. >"So... you're actually friends with it?" Rarity asks as she and her friend try to relax in the hot tub at the spa.
  71. >Try being the operative word as even thinking of that creature makes Rarity tense.
  72. >So asymmetrical...
  73. >"He," Fluttershy corrects instantly, then blushes a little. "And yes, he's very kind."
  74. >"Of course, sorry," Rarity responds. "I know I shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but it really is quite the distracting cover."
  75. >She giggles to herself.
  76. >"Though I suppose this merely drives home the idea that males are the fairer sex. Even looking like that, he still has better manners than most mares I know."
  77. >Fluttershy smiles herself.
  78. >"Yes, he really is quite kind. Why, just the other day, h offered to to help me feed my little animal friends, and when I almost fell, he caught me, and... a-and..."
  79. >Rarity raises a brow.
  80. >"Fluttershy? Is something wrong?"
  81. >The pegasus is lost in thought, remembering the warm tentacles brushing against her teats.
  82. >A hair's breath away from her...
  83. >She shakes her head.
  84. >"I'm fine," she says a bit to hastily. "He was just very helpful, is all. And did I tell you he's started drawing? He says it helps him learn better control of his tentacles."
  85. >Rarity isn't buying the poor attempt to change the subject, but doesn't push.
  86. >If it's important, Fluttershy will talk about it when she's ready.
  87. ---
  88. >"Anon? Are you up? Somepony is here to see you," Fluttershy asks as she enters the room.
  89. >The blob stretches, yawning from both mouths while a jaw pops.
  90. "Yeah. I'm up. Who? Twilight?"
  91. >"Sorry, but no egghead's here," a scratchy voice says a moment before Dash comes in behind her friend. "Just your resident source of all things awesome."
  92. "Oh," Anon starts, tensing. "You."
  93. >His tone must have conveyed his enthusiasm as the blue pegasus flinches.
  94. >Before the silence can stretch on too long, however, Flutteshy clears her throat.
  95. >"Dash here wanted to speak to you about a few things... I really hope you'll hear her out."
  96. >In truth, Anon would rather not, but this is Fluttershy's friend, and he owed her everything, so he kicked his front-mounted leg a little in what he and Fluttershy interpreted as a head nod.
  97. >The yellow pegasus smiles brightly.
  98. >"Wonderful! I'll just leave you two to talk! I'll be right down stairs."
  99. >"Sure, Fluttershy," says Dash with a sad smile.
  100. >It drops once the other mare is out of the room, and she sighs.
  101. >"Right," she starts, moving forward to sit in front of the blob. "So, Anon, right?"
  102. "Yes," is your curt reply. "What do you. Want to say?"
  103. >She rubs at the back of her neck and looks away.
  104. >"Well, um, it's just... sorry, for being a jerk to you when you first showed up."
  105. >He gives a few unsynchronized blinks.
  106. "That it?"
  107. >Her cheeks go red and she glares.
  108. >"That it? I'm trying to apologize, here!"
  109. "And you did," he says back. "Is there. Something else. Or..."
  110. >His eyes flick towards the door.
  111. >She stands.
  112. >"What's your deal?!" she questions angrily. "You're not going to say I'm forgiven or something?"
  113. "Oh... You're forgiven. Bye."
  114. >"Ugh! Don't just say it!"
  115. "Why not?"
  116. >"Because... because!"
  117. >She flounders for a second more, than deflates with a huff.
  118. >"It's not supposed to be that simple. I said all that bad stuff about you, called you a monster and acted like you were going to hurt Fluttershy, but now it turns out you're cool and nice and just a lost colt with really bad luck... So why aren't you madder about it?"
  119. >Anon feels a hint of guilt at the mare's dejected look, and decides to be serious with her.
  120. "Because. It made sense," he answers. "I am scary. You didn't know me. You were right. To be scared."
  121. >She crosses her hooves and mumbles, "Wasn't scared."
  122. >Anon ignores her.
  123. "Now you know different. And admit it. So apology. Accepted."
  124. >He smiles his ugly, but genuine smile, and Dash gives a small one of her own.
  125. >"That's it? Really? You don't, like, want me to grovel, or, I dunno, do you a favor?"
  126. >Anon makes as if he's thinking it over, then extends his foot and wriggles his toes.
  127. "Massage?"
  128. >Ew!" she says, though with a smile and laugh. "Gross! Get your stubby wriggles out of my face!"
  129. >Anon gasps.
  130. "Stubby? B-but my wriggles. Are pretty..."
  131. >Her smiles vanishes.
  132. >"Oh, uh, crap, I didn't mean it, Anon, you have really nice... things. Seriously, they're great, and-"
  133. "Snrrk!"
  134. >Dash pauses.
  135. >Anon is biting his lips, body undulating in barely repressed laughter.
  136. >Dash frowns, expression dry.
  137. >"Oh, hardy-harhar, real funny."
  138. "It. Kinda was."
  139. >Dash maintains her look for three more seconds, then cracks a smile.
  140. >That does it, and both start laughing uncontrollably.
  141. >"Okay," says Dash, catching her breath. "Now I'm starting to regret not hanging out with you more. You've got a sense of humor."
  142. "Have to. When you're like this," Anon comments absently, stretching a hand up to wipe away a tear from one of his eyes.
  143. >The others were unfortunately beyond his reach.
  144. >Rainbow Dash becomes solemn.
  145. >"Yeah, it really does suck, what happened to you."
  146. >Anon slumps.
  147. "Yeah."
  148. >"B-but don't worry!" she quickly adds. "Twilight will have you fixed up in no time! She's, like, the most magical egghead alive."
  149. "That's good. To hear."
  150. >Dash doesn't know what else to say, so she scoots forward and awkwardly pats Anon's side.
  151. >He smiles, a tentacle reaching over to brush her hoof.
  152. "Thanks," is all he says.
  153. >"No problem."
  154. >"Ahh..." breathes Fluttershy from the entryway.
  155. >So cute.
  156. ---
  157. "Did you. Get messed up. Too?" Anon asks, as he stares at the mismatched creature before him.
  158. >"Rude," says the creature, then yells. "Fluttershy! There's a talking wad of gum in the upstairs bedroom...! Is it a gift for me?"
  159. >"Discord!" is called from downstairs. "When did you get here?"
  160. >"Just a minute ago," he says, dropping his suitcase on the bed. "Was just unpacking before I said hello."
  161. >When the suitcase hits the bed, it pops open, and its contents explode all over the room.
  162. >"And done."
  163. >Anon, blinking the sleep from his eyes and making sure he's not hallucinating, looks around to see that the stuff from the case didn't land in an entirely haphazard way.
  164. >Ordered chaos is what first comes to his mind.
  165. >"Don't," Discord grits out, turning a angry glare on him. "You dare call my chaos ordered."
  166. >Before Anon can respond, Fluttershy comes into the room, then beelines right for the creature.
  167. >Instantly, Discord's anger dissipates as he leans down and meets Fluttershy's embrace.
  168. >"Oh, how wonderful it is to see you again, Fluttershy! It's been too long."
  169. >"Why didn't you tell me you were coming back soon," the mare asks, stepping back. "I'm sure Pinkie would of had a party ready for you."
  170. >"And miss the chance to get one over on that mare?" he questions incredulously. "No, dear Fluttershy. It will be I who throws a surprise party for her! Oh, how reality will warp when the partier becomes the partied-!"
  171. >"Hiii Discord!" Pinkie says, hanging from the windowsill. "I just want to invite you to your surprise Welcome Back to Ponyville party!"
  172. >All three occupants stare at the pink mare, Discord's eyelid twitching.
  173. >It's Fluttershy who breaks the silence.
  174. >"Okay, um, is there a time and place...?"
  175. >"Sure is!" she chirps, suddenly giving a sly look. "But you won't know. Could be today, could be next week. Maybe it'll be at Sugarcube Corner, or in your basement."
  176. >"But I don't have a basement."
  177. >"I know! Wouldn't you be surprised! Well, anyway, I gotta run! I'm still working the register for Mrs. Cake!"
  178. >And thus, she disappears, leaving Anon to ask the reasonable question.
  179. "Am I high?"
  180. >He waves his foot in front of his eyes, but sees none of the telltale tracers from when he did shrooms that one time.
  181. >"Discord and Pinkie have that effect on ponies when they're in the same room together," Fluttershy explains with a gentle smile.
  182. >Her eyes light up as she looks between the other two in the room.
  183. >"Oh! Discord! Anon! You two haven't been introduced!"
  184. >"Yes, how impolite of me," Discord says, turning his attention to Anon. "I'm Discord, Spirit of Chaos and all around amazing fellow."
  185. "Uh. I'm Anon. Freak of Nature."
  186. >"Anon," Fluttershy abolishes gently. "You shouldn't talk about yourself like that. You are not a freak. You're just a little... mixed up at the moment."
  187. "A little?"
  188. >"Oh? You're bodily befuddled, are you?" Discord interrupts, leaning in to get a closer look. "Well, I must say, whoever did your work was quite the genius. Mind giving me their business details?"
  189. >He gestures down at himself.
  190. >"While I of course love Loki's work, I believe I'm about due for a style change, and I abhor going to the same mixologist twice."
  191. >Both Anon and Fluttershy stare, confused until Discord frowns.
  192. >"Alright, fine, keep them to yourself, then. I've heard Tzeentch has really been paving the way for next era's fashion scene, anyway."
  193. >The looks of confusion don't change, but Fluttershy shakes it off.
  194. >"How was your trip, Discord? I hope whatever Princess Celestia asked you to do wasn't too hard."
  195. >He waves his eagle claw dismissively.
  196. >"Pshaw! It was a simple task. She merely asked me to make sure the Tarrasque wouldn't destroy Equestrian when it woke from its nap, so I just turned the lands around it into turkey meat and let it eat itself into a tryptophan-induced coma "
  197. "That sounds. Disturbing."
  198. >Discord rolls his eyes.
  199. >"You sound like the ponies I saved. Really, what's a little white meat under the hooves compared to be being eaten?"
  200. >"I'm sure they were thankful, Discord," Fluttershy reassures, flying up to pat his shoulder while he crossed his arms and pouted. "Did you turn the land back to normal after Mr. Tarrasque was asleep?"
  201. >Discord averts his eyes, and Fluttershy narrows hers
  202. >"Discord..."
  203. >His arms drop to his side and he groans at the ceiling.
  204. >"It's only a couple hundred acres."
  205. >"Discord!"
  206. >"But it's gonna smell by now!"
  207. >"I don't care, mister, you go back there and you clean up your mess!"
  208. >"Ugh! Fine!" Discord says, bringing a talon up to snap his fingers.
  209. >Anon jerks back as the other male vanishes in a puff of smoke.
  210. >After a moment he tries to break the silence.
  211. "So... How'd. You meet-"
  212. >"Just a second, Anon," Fluttershy interrupts, holding up a hoof. "Let's wait for Discord to get back."
  213. >As if on cue, there's another puff, and a slighter greener draconequus is in the exact same spot as he had been when he left.
  214. >"Ugh," he groans, a shiver running up his serpentine body. "It was just as bad smelling as I thought it would be. At least I didn't do the gravy like I had contemplated."
  215. >"It's all cleaned up?" Fluttershy asks like a stern mother.
  216. >"Yes, Fluttershy, it is," Discord responds like a huffy child. "Now the farmers can go back to planting boring crops instead of turning the whole location into a tourist trap. Would have been far more lucrative, but what would I know? I'm just the ageless avatar of a primordial force."
  217. >Fluttershy relaxes and smiles.
  218. >"That's good."
  219. >"Yes, yes, it's wonderful. Yay me," he says with a dismissive wave. "Now, would you like to tell me why Anon here has moved into my bedroom while I was away?"
  220. >And so, Fluttershy did, concluding with, "I really am sorry about moving him in here, but it's the only spare bedroom, and I wasn't sure how long you'd be gone for."
  221. >Discord sighs.
  222. >"It's fine. I can hardly be upset when Anon here has been through so much. If anything, I'll just stay in the fourth dimension for now."
  223. >He turns his gaze to Anon.
  224. >"As for you, let me get a closer look at you..."
  225. >As he says this he leans down, and Anon shrinks back.
  226. >"Hmm," he hums, sniffing the blob and making him even more uncomfortable. "If I had to guess, you passed through a thinny... without protection. Very bad idea, that."
  227. "Um. Thinny?"
  228. >"Mutliversal rift. Very rare to find naturally formed," he explains. "Very dangerous. Unlike different facets of a universe's contained reality like different dimensions and planes of existence, actual, different universes are separated by an immeasurable void of nothing."
  229. >He pokes Anon's body.
  230. >"Which, incidentally, you are not made of. As a result, when a little something enters nothing, even briefly, homeostasis will begin to occur, and the matter will begin to break up. In a way, you could say you were quite lucky."
  231. >Anon gives his best dry expression without a proper facial structure.
  232. "Really? I get. The whole. You're lucky. To be alive. Thing. But come on. Look at me."
  233. >"Yes, quite nice looking," Discord says with a raised eyebrow. "Don't know what you're trying to get at, but really, you are lucky. You wouldn't have died in there had you not entered our universe. Matter and energy can't be destroyed. No, you'd have simply dissipated across the void as a barely coherent thought strung between the particles of your body."
  234. >Anon's eyes widen in surprise.
  235. "Oh..."
  236. >Fluttershy looks between the two nervously.
  237. >Anon is clearly struggling to terms with the fact that he had nearly suffered a face worse than death, and Discord didn't look too inclined to comfort him.
  238. >"W-well, it's a good thing that didn't happen," she says forcing a chipper attitude. "Anon is safe with us, and Twilight is working on fixing him up. Everything worked out fine in the end."
  239. >"Twilight?" Discord asks. "I doubt she'll be able to fix this."
  240. >Flutteshy joins Anon in his shocked expression.
  241. >"What? Why not?"
  242. >Because," Discord says, holding a talon in the air. "This is not a matter of simply unscrambling his body, but also restructuring the rules of reality that holds it together, which suffered erosion in his stint in the void. As I said, he's quite lucky, not only to be here, but to even be alive. By all rights, he shouldn't even be a functional part of our reality."
  243. ---
  244. >"Come on, Anon, it's only a little further," Fluttershy prompts, looking back to see Anon lumbering up the hill on three hands, his fingers digging into the soil and tossing up blades of grass occasionally.
  245. "Hope. So," he pants. "Could have. Stayed home. you know."
  246. >"You've spent too much time inside," she argues, hovering over to his side, looking ready to catch him if he slips. "You need to get out and get some sun, and today is beautiful."
  247. >Anon grumbles, but continues to trudge along.
  248. >He'd rather wallow in the tragedy that is his incomplete existence, but apparently, spending three days in bed wasn't acceptable around here.
  249. >After Discord had dropped the bomb about his situation, Anon had gone catatonic while Fluttershy bombarded her friend with questions about what could be done.
  250. >Apparently Discord's specialty was bending reality, not utterly destroying or creating it, and he couldn't fix things with a simple snap of his fingers.
  251. >What he could do, he admitted after many more desperate questions from the mare, was work with Twilight to inform her of the full extent of Anon's condition and teach her what he knew about quantum structuring, whatever that was.
  252. >"Don't you worry, Anon. Discord and Twilight together will help you for sure," Fluttershy had said on more than one occasion since then, but the deformed human was having trouble believing it.
  253. >"We're here," Fluttershy says, touching down on the top of the small hill and reaching behind her to grab the picnic basket with her teeth.
  254. >Anon plops down as soon as he hears her, and looks around.
  255. "Wow. It's a hill."
  256. >"It's my favorite spot to come and relax with my thoughts when I have time," Fluttershy explains as she pulls out a blanket and lays it out over the grass. "This is, um, actually where I got my cutie mark."
  257. >Anon blinks, then looks around.
  258. >Still just a grassy knoll, but apparently one with special significance to the mare.
  259. "Oh," he says after a time. "It's nice."
  260. >She giggles at that.
  261. >I know it's just a hill," she says, pulling out some sandwich and a bowl of salad. "But it's out of the way, so you don't have to worry about any pony coming by and seeing you."
  262. >Anon doesn't say anything to that and moves to sit on the blanket.
  263. >Even after Twilight had informed the Ponyvillians that the "monster" wasn't dangerous and was simply seeking help, Anon still didn't like going into town.
  264. >He tried it once to help Fluttershy with her shopping, and most ponies either shut themselves up in their houses or stared at him in horror.
  265. >One stallion even lost his lunch, and even after Fluttershy tried to excuse Caramel by saying he was very sensitive, Anon didn't much feel like being seen by strangers again.
  266. >No need to ruin someone else day with his body.
  267. >"I made cucumber and tomato," Fluttershy is saying, gesturing at the little triangle sandwiches. "And we have a nice ginger salad for the side."
  268. "Sounds good," he says, reaching out with a hand for one of the cucumber sandwiches.
  269. >The tentacles are nice, and he's getting the hang of them, but using his hands for these simple things is somehow humanizing, and he rather likes the feeling, even if he does have dirt under his nails and smeared on his palms.
  270. >He doesn't mind.
  271. >Fluttershy apparently does, judging by her light gasp.
  272. >"Anon!" she yelps, reaching into the basket to pull out a corked bottle of liquid and cloth. "You should wash your hooves first before eating."
  273. >His hand stops, mere inches from delivering it's tasty payload to one of his open mouths.
  274. "Really?" the other says. "I'm sure. It's fine."
  275. >"Oh no," Fluttershy says, pulling the cork out of the bottle and spilling waht smelled like rubbing alcohol out on the cloth. "There's all sorts of dangerous germs in the grass than can make you sick."
  276. >She looks around before adding inconspicuously, "Animals poop out here."
  277. >This gives Anon pause as he puts the sandwich down.
  278. >He remembers the horror stories of E. Coli.
  279. >Fluttershy hovers close and grabs his hand gently in a hoof, plopping down as she turns it over.
  280. >"It's important to take care of yourself," she says, wiping gently at his palms and running the cloth up the length of his fingers. "It'd be awful if you got a tummy ache."
  281. >The care in her eyes and softness of her touch keep Anon quiet as he watches her turn his hand this way and that, checking for anymore dirt.
  282. >She lets it go with a satisfied nod and reaches for another hand, and he doesn't hesitate to offer it up.
  283. >She begins cleaning it the same as the last, but as she moves up the length of his middle finger, he winces, and she stops immediately.
  284. >Looking down, Anon notices a small, wooden sliver in the tip of his finger that he must have gotten on the walk here.
  285. >It's a painful enough process walking on his palms that it's not a surprise he hadn't noticed.
  286. >Fluttershy's eyes go wide.
  287. >"Oh no! You have a sliver," she frets, quickly going to her picnic basket. "Don't you worry, Anon, I brought bandages."
  288. >She pokes her head into the basket, only to pull it back a second later, a look of shock on her face.
  289. >"... But no tweezers."
  290. >The horror is clear in her voice, and Anon quickly tries to calm the mare.
  291. "It's fine. Doesn't even hurt," he says, but the mare shakes her head.
  292. >"Oh no, we can't just leave it. It might get infected."
  293. >She flies back over, a look of determination filling her eyes.
  294. >Even more gentle then before, she grabs his hand, and looks straight into his eyes.
  295. >"This might hurt a little, Anon, but trust me, it'll feel much better in just a bit."
  296. >Bringing the appendage to her muzzle, Anon feels a puff of warm breath before she suddenly opens her mouth and put his middle finger in.
  297. >The situation is so bizarre that Anon doesn't register what's happening until her soft, wet tongue begins to roll over the small injury.
  298. >After that, he has to fight the urge to pull away as she works.
  299. >She gently sucks on his finger, eyes closed, before she pulls back so only the tip remains.
  300. >Anon feels her nipping at the sliver, shivering as her teeth brush over his skin.
  301. >When she finally gets a grip, she polls away slowly, the sliver coming out in a smooth motion.
  302. >Then she spits it onto the grass, and looks up at him with a smile, a strand of saliva still connecting her bottom lip to his finger.
  303. >She wipes it away and says, "See, that wasn't so bad, was it? Now lets get this cleaned up and put a bandage on, hmm?"
  304. "Ah. Yeah..." Anon agrees numbly, shifting his weight to unpin a certain appendage from between him and the ground.
  305. >Said appendage hung from his backside like a tail, and was now pointing forty-five degrees up behind him.
  306. >He hopes she doesn't notice.
  307. >A minute later, and he has a little bandage wrapped around his finger, and the two begin to eat their lunch, filling the air with idle chatter.
  308. >At least, she does.
  309. >She points at various birds around them and names the species and if she knows the particular bird personally.
  310. >The answer is almost always yes, and then she would comment on their favorite food and tell little anecdotes of times she helped them.
  311. >He would hum and jerk his foot in acknowledgment, munching down sandwiches and bites of salad.
  312. >Anon notices that, as she spoke, Fluttershy has been scooting closer to him, and by the time all the food is eaten, she is pressed up into his side.
  313. >"It's so peaceful out here," she says with a yawn. "Rainbow Dash and the weather ponies really outdid themselves."
  314. "They did," Anon agrees, a tentacle coming down to start petting at the mare's pink mane.
  315. >She hums, eyes closing, and Anon takes that as permission to add another tentacle, this one running down her side.
  316. >When he adds a third that rubs between her wings, she actually gives the tiniest moan.
  317. >"That feels wonderful," she comments, and Anon feels a swell of affection in the middle of his blobby body.
  318. >Before he knew it, the pegasus is fast asleep, and his tentacles slow as he began to do the same.
  319. >As he drifts off in that tranquil patch of nature, Anon thinks that maybe he can live with being stuck like this, as long as he has this little mare by his side.
  320. >If anyone were to pass by, they'd see a yellow pegasus wrapped in the numerous tentacles of a hideous monster, both smiling in their sleep.
  321. ---
  322. "Will it work. Or not," Anon asks irritably. "Give me a. Straight answer."
  323. >"Well, it's not that simple," a frazzled Twilight snaps back, looking over her notes. "This is uncharted waters we're entering here. Magics that are at the edge of accumulated pony-"
  324. >"And draconequus," chimes in Discord, who's lounging on a floating loveseat behind the alicorn.
  325. >"And draconequus," Twilight corrects with a tired look over her shoulder. "Knowledge. I can't give a definite answer without lying."
  326. >That is not what Anon wants to hear, not after having trekked all the way to the castle with a quilt thrown over his body.
  327. >A hoof lands on his side, and some of his eyes snap over to look at the concerned face of his best friend.
  328. >He takes a deep breath, and lets it whistle out of his various nostrils.
  329. "Okay. What can. You tell me?" he asks more levelly. "If it doesn't. Work, try again. Later."
  330. >"Um, the problem with that," Twilight begins, eyes shifting away, "Is that if it doesn't work the first time, it might just make things worse."
  331. >"How likely," Fluttershy asks looking very worried now. "And how much worse."
  332. >"Well... very likely," the alicorn says, wincing.
  333. >"And the rules dictating his turbulent existence in Equestria would break down further," Discord chimes in. "Probably enough to render said existence void."
  334. "Which means..."
  335. >"Dead," Discord concludes matter-of-factly.
  336. >He juts his bottom chin out in thought, then adds, "Effectively, anyway. You might just become a wondering phantom image flickering in and out of sight and unable to interact with the world."
  337. >"I guess we'll just have to wait until you find a safer way to do things, then," Fluttershy speaks up after a long silence.
  338. >Turning to Anon, she pats his side and gives a sympathetic look.
  339. >"I know you want to get back to normal, but-"
  340. >"Actually," Twilight interrupts sheepishly. "Waiting isn't going to make much of a difference... Or any difference, in fact."
  341. >Fluttershy stops, looking to her friend.
  342. >"What do you mean? You just have to do more research, right? No need to rush things if it's too dangerous now."
  343. >"Yes, but Discord and I have hit the proverbial wall on that front," she goes explains. "We've simply learned all we can from research alone. Only experience can teach us anything new."
  344. "So. Trial and error?" Anon asks in a tight voice. "That's where. We're at? Just go. For it, and. Hope for the best?"
  345. >"Pretty much, yeah," Discord confirms. "Oh, and also, there's no guarantee that if we stabilize your existence, that you'll end up looking like you did before."
  346. >"But why not?" Fluttershy asks, tilting her head. "You're going to make his... rule things normal, so shouldn't that make him, well, normal?"
  347. >"We don't actually know what the rules of reality from his world were like before he came here, though, and we probably wouldn't want to reform his in that way even if we did."
  348. >Discord answers the question clear in the Anon and Fluttershy's expression.
  349. >"It's actually because of the incomplete nature of our handsome friend here that he's able to exist in our reality," he says, flipping over on his belly to prop his head up on his lion's paw. "Think of our universes like two puzzles, and Anon a piece from the other one that got mixed in with ours. Now normally, there'd be no place he could properly fit, but the damage to his existence is like having the edges of his corners snapped off. As a result, he can technically fit into our puzzle, albeit loosely."
  350. >"A... surprisingly good analogy," Twilight comments, rubbing her chin.
  351. >"If we return Anon to as he was, he might not be able to fit in our reality anymore, so instead, it's better to complete his existence in a way that will."
  352. "So, what? I'll be. A pony?" Anon asks, confused.
  353. >He isn't sure what to think of that; he rather likes his fingers, even now when they're his toes.
  354. >Twilight shakes her head.
  355. >"We can't be sure, but probably not. You'd more than likely be as close to a human in Equestria as you could be, so maybe a little different, but..."
  356. >"Does it matter?" Fluttershy snaps suddenly, getting all eyes to lock onto her worried, borderline panicked ones. "Anon could- could die, or worse, so we're not going to do it, right?"
  357. >She directs this to the creature besides her, voice pleading.
  358. >"You don't need to do it, right, Anon? I know you want to be your old self, again, b-but you can be happy like this, with me. I don't care what you look like, none of us do. The rest of the town will stop being scared once they see for themselves how nice you are, and you can start making all sorts of friends."
  359. >There are tears in her eyes and her breathing is becoming rapid as she leans up to put her front hooves on Anon's side.
  360. >"Just... You don't have to risk your life like this to be happy, so... don't."
  361. >Anon stares at her for a moment, then slowly brings some tentacles down to wrap around her barrel.
  362. "Thank you," he says, pulling her in for a alien hug. "You're the nicest pony. I think I'll ever meet. And the Best friend. I'll ever have."
  363. >She returns the hug and sniffles.
  364. "I don't doubt. You're telling. The truth," he continues. "I could be. Happy like this... But it hurts."
  365. >She blinks, pulling back to look at him.
  366. >"What?"
  367. "My arms," he says. "They weren't meant. For walking. The joints. Hurt every day. I have. Too many teeth. And many. Ache. I think. My jaws. Are unaligned. I'm, pretty sure. I have. Three nasal. Infections. And pink eye. In a couple eyes."
  368. >She's shocked, stepping back.
  369. >"Anon! Why didn't you tell me?! We have to get you to the doctor right away!"
  370. "And then. What?" he asks. "These things. Will keep happening. My body. Was never meant. To be this way. It's a mess. And it's. Falling apart."
  371. >His gaze shifts back to Twilight and Discord.
  372. "How soon. Can we try?"
  373. >Twilight, taken aback, gives a quick shake of her head and stammers out.
  374. >"Um, tomorrow. It'll take a day to get everything ready... You're really sure you want to go through with this?"
  375. "I don't. Have a choice," he says gravely. "I'll die. If I stay like. This."
  376. >Plans are made then for Anon and Fluttershy to return at sunset the next day, and the two return home in solemn silence, Discord remaining behind to make preparations with the princess.
  377. >Fluttershy prepares Anon fish for dinner that night, and when it's time for bed, and the lights go off, Anon hear the door to his room creek open.
  378. >He settled in an hour ago, but sleep alludes him, so he is wide awake when Fluttershy enters.
  379. >He doesn't make a sound, though, as the mare comes to lie down next to him, pressing her side against his.
  380. >He simply draped his tentacles over her, and shuts his many eyes.
  381. >Within in minutes, he's asleep, thoughts of his turbulent future leaving him for the night, replaced by dreams of a butter-yellow pegasus and the kindness she's never failed to show him.
  382. ---
  383. >The day passes quietly between Fluttersy and Anon, the two trying not to let what is to come weigh too heavily on their minds.
  384. >Or, at least try not to show it outwardly.
  385. >To them, it's just another day together, and not potentially their last, and so they act accordingly.
  386. >They have a light breakfast of oatmeal and fruit, strawberries for Fluttershy, and blueberries for Anon, then the blobby human helps with the morning chores.
  387. >it's difficult as always, but he endures, knowing deep down that after today, he'd never have to struggle like this again, one way or another.
  388. >Then noon rolls around, and they sit down for some sandwiches.
  389. >Just as they finish, there's a knock at the door, and Fluttershy gets up to answer it.
  390. >"Rainbow Dash?" she asks, surprised. "What are you doing here."
  391. >The speedster looks over her friend's shoulder to see Anon at the kitchen table, returning the smile when the creature does so himself and waves lazily with a tentacle.
  392. >"Well, I'm actually here to tell you that Twilight will be ready to do the thing in a couple hours," she says, smile lessening. "But I also wanted to hangout a bit before then."
  393. >"Oh, well you're more than welcome," Fluttershy answers, stepping back to let the other mare enter. "It's always nice to have friends over."
  394. >"Yeah," she says coming inside and moving to the table. "So, today's the day, huh? Twilight told us all earlier this morning. You're going to be your old self again, Anon."
  395. "That's the plan," he answers. "Then you'll. Finally see. How handsome. I really am."
  396. >"Five bits says you're actually better looking this way," Rainbow responds cheekily, laughing when a trio of tentacles smacks her side. "I'm joking. Don't get your testicles in a twist."
  397. "Hard to do. Anyway," he quips back. "I keep. Forgetting. where they're at."
  398. >"Wow, really?"
  399. "No, Rainbow Dunce," he answers with a good-natured, albeit unsynchronized eye roll. "They're kind of. Hard to misplace. Especially when. I have three now."
  400. >"Hey, maybe if you're lucky, you'll get to keep that extra one after you get turned back to normal."
  401. >"Rainbow Dash!" Fluttershy squeaks, looking at her friend in shock.
  402. >"What?" the brazen mare responds, shrugging. "The more the merrier, right?"
  403. "I'd be. Okay with it," Anon adds, kicking his foot. "Heck. I'd be happy. To just have. Two legs. Under me again."
  404. >"Just two?" Dash asks, tilting her head. "Wouldn't that make it hard to walk?"
  405. "It's how many. Legs humans. Have normally."
  406. >"Huh... Now I'm really curious to see what you're gonna look like," Rainbow comments, idly grabbing some bread from the loaf on the table and smearing some butter on it. "I bet Rarity is going to want you to model clothes for her. Remember when Gilda came back to buy baking powder and visit? Rarity actually got her into a dress before she left. She likes making stuff for creatures other than ponies."
  407. "Actually," Anon says. "Humans wear clothes. Most of the. Time, so that. Would be. Nice."
  408. >"Seriously?" Dash says around a mouthful of bread, spraying crumbs on the table. "You humans are weird."
  409. "Says the rainbow. Pony with. Wings."
  410. >"Yeah... that is what I just said. You're memory going or something?"
  411. >Anon matches the mare's curious look with a dry one, and Fluttershy cuts in.
  412. >"So... a couple hours, huh? Then Twilight can do her magic..."
  413. >The mood grows somber at that and Dash looks down.
  414. >"Yep," she says, biting the inside of her cheek.
  415. >When she looks up again, worry is clear on her face.
  416. >"Are you really sure about this, Anon? Twilight said that it might not work, and that it could..."
  417. "Make things worse," Anon finishes for her.
  418. >"That you could die," Rainbow corrects, standing up. "Are you really going to go through with it?"
  419. >Anon sighs tiredly.
  420. "I don't have. A choice."
  421. >Fluttershy bit her lip, knowing her disagreement wouldn't be welcome.
  422. >Dash didn't have that problem.
  423. >"Listen, I get it, you're a colt and looks matter to you, but your life is more important."
  424. "You think. That's why. I'm doing this?" Anon snaps, hands clenching as the tentacles on his back begin to whip violently.
  425. >"W-well, I mean," Dash tries to say, but Anon cuts her off.
  426. "I'm already. Getting sick. Because of this. Body, and even if. That weren't the case. I'm tired of. Being useless."
  427. >"But you help me with my chores all the time," Fluttershy chimes in, confused.
  428. "And you feed and. Shelter me," Anon responds, turning his eyes to her. "I spend most of. My day. Laying around. Becuase I'm in. Too much pain, and ponies. Are disgusted by me."
  429. >The tentacles stop moving going limp as his whole body sags.
  430. "I don't want to. Be a burden. I don't want. To make ponies. Uncomfortable. I want to. Be able to. Get a job. Become a real. member of. Society... And pay you back. For real. For all that you've. Done for me."
  431. >Rainbow Dash sinks into her chair, ears falling.
  432. >"I'm... Anon, I'm sorry I said that," she says. "I'm just worried, is all. You're a really cool dude, and I don't want to see you, I don't know, goopified or whatever's gonna happen if Twilight and Discord mess up."
  433. "That might happen," Anon admits. "Or I might be erased. Or maybe it'll. Be a dud. And nothing happens... Or maybe it works. And I'm Me. Again."
  434. >He makes sure he meets her eyes with as many of his as he can.
  435. >Makes sure she can see he determination in them, and finishes.
  436. "I have to. Take that chance. There's no other option."
  437. >Dash's lip forms a thin line, then she sighs.
  438. >"Yeah, I get that now, and I know I can't tell you what to do."
  439. >"What we can do, though," Fluttershy says quietly, stepping close to her friend and putting a hoof on her shoulder. "Is support Anon in his decision, and be there for him."
  440. "That's all I can ask," Anon agrees.
  441. >Dash, sniffs, looking from one friend to the other, then suddenly lunges from the seat to hug Anon.
  442. >Surprised, Anon tenses, but once he registers the act of affection, he leans into the blue mare and wraps an arm around her.
  443. >The embrace lasts for nearly a minute before Dash pulls away, tears wetting her cheeks.
  444. >"Ah geez," she mumbles. "I think I'm allergic to one of Fluttershy's animals. Got my eyes all watering."
  445. >Anon and Fluttershy share a knowing look and the former smiles.
  446. "Yeah. Lot of dander. In here."
  447. >She wipes are her cheek, then smiles at Anon.
  448. >"Hey, ya know, I'm thinking about after Twilight fixes you up, we should do something to celebrate."
  449. "Oh yeah?" Anon asks.
  450. >"Definitely," she confirms. "How about I take you out to dinner? Fluttershy can come too, and we can all have a meal in town. It'll be your first, right?"
  451. >Anon imagines sitting down in a public place, and having a normal dinner without being stared at with disgust, and finds he rather likes the idea.
  452. "That sounds great," he agrees.
  453. >"Perfect!" Dash says, rising to hover in the air. "I know this great place that has the best fries and milkshakes."
  454. >She leans in and whispers behind a hoof, "I like to dunk my fries in the shake. It's weird, but it tastes great."
  455. "And here. I thought I. was the freak," Anon replies jokingly. "Maybe Twilight. Should take a look. At your taste buds. While she's fixing things."
  456. >"Real funny," Dash says, the grin on her face showing the truth of the statement. "Just wait 'til you try it yourself. You'll be thanking me as you stuff your face!"
  457. >Anon is looking forward to it, now, and holds onto that feeling.
  458. >Maybe it'll help him get through what Twilight and Discord are going to do to him if he has something waiting for him afterwards.
  459. ---
  460. The trip to Twilight's castle is an easier one this time around thanks to Rainbow Dash.
  461. >Cooler, at least, as, instead of a blanket draped over his form, Dash just covers him in clouds.
  462. >He gets plenty of looks on the way, but at least none are queasy as he plods through town in his fluffy white shell.
  463. >Once they're inside, Anon only has a moment to be surprised by the presence of three other mares before Twilight leads them down into the basement.
  464. >"Girls?" Fluttershy starts as they funnel into Twilight's makeshift laboratory. "What are you all doing here?"
  465. >"Moral support, of course," Rarity answers. "We might not all be good friends with Anon, but he's your friend, and that makes him ours, as well."
  466. >"That's right," Applejack agrees with a nod. "Truth is, Ah actually feel sorta bad for not comin' ta visit ya these last couple weeks. Apple cider season is about ta go into full swing, and we've all been mighty busy at the orchard gettin' ready for it. Dash's told me plenty while trying ta earn free cider points, though, and ah feel like I practically know you myself."
  467. >Dash blushes.
  468. >"I wasn't trying to get free cider," she mumbles. "Just being a good friend."
  469. >The orange mare rolls her eyes.
  470. >"Sure, and the sudden generosity just so happens ta strike right before the first batches of cider get finished. You're a fiend for cider, Dash."
  471. >"Besides, who else was gonna bring snacks!" Pinkie chimes in suddenly, pulling a cupcake from her mane and presenting it to the blob. "Don't want to get your molecules rearranged on an empty stomach!"
  472. "Ah, maybe after," Anon says. "I'm too nervous. To eat right now."
  473. >"Well, if you're sure," says Pinkie as she stuffs the whole thing in her mouth. "There's gonna be plenty."
  474. >"Okay, Anon," Twilight says as she moves to the middle of the room. "Discord and I have set everything up and are prepared to initiate the reality re-construction, so all you've got to do is sit in the middle of this magic matrix and-"
  475. >"Hold onto your skin flaps, because this is going to be a wild ride!" cuts in Discord, looking up from the painted circle to grin. "You know, while I'll always prefer the deconstruction of order, I must say this has all been quite the novel experience. To think, the Spirit of Chaos, working to enforce stability."
  476. >He rubs his chin thoughtfully.
  477. >"Perhaps I should add that to my résumé? It does show I'm capable of diversifying, after all. I'd hate to be called stale or a one-trick pony."
  478. >"Discord, you're getting distracted," Twilight says tiredly. "... Again."
  479. >He frowns at her a moment, then goes back to examining the markings.
  480. >"Always so serious," he grumbles under his breath, licking the pad of his thumb to erase some small line and change it with a paint brush. "And that's why you're single."
  481. >The mare blushes, leveling a glares at the spirit's back, but doesn't comment before turning back to the group.
  482. >"Right, so very simple on your part," she continues from her interrupted instructions. "Though, it will probably help for you to stay as still as possible."
  483. >She eyes the lazily waving tentacles and adds, "Also keep those inside the center most circle. They'll be cut off if they're hanging out when the containment field materializes, and that's lost biomass. For all we know, they're going to become something vital, like organs or tendons or something."
  484. >The tentacles freeze, then slowly move to wrap around his body.
  485. "Got ya," Anon says, a hint of nervousness in his voice.
  486. >"I'm sure the spell is much safer than Twilight is making it sound," Fluttershy says, giving Anon a comforting pat while turning a stern eye towards her alicorn friend. "Right, Twilight?"
  487. >Her gaze darts between Fluttershy and the nervous blob, before starts nodding vigorously. "O-oh, yes! Very safe...! Relatively speaking. Discord and I are professionals, after all."
  488. >"Professional first-timers," Discord chimes in as he approaches the group to put a guiding claw on Anon's back. "Ah, the thrill of going into a new field practically blind. When you get as old as I, such experiences become exceedingly rare."
  489. >As they reach the edge of the circle, he gives Anon a slight push.
  490. >"Anyway, come on, we've dallied long enough! Twilight there is operating on five hours of sleep and several cups of coffee. Every minute we waste is another for her focus to slip."
  491. >"I'm perfectly lucid, thank you very much," she snaps, following behind the two and missing the worried looks exchanged between her friends. "It's a benefit of my alicorn physiology that I can function perfectly well without a full night's sleep."
  492. >"Keep telling Spike that to score extra study time, my dear, but remember I've known two alicorns for far longer than you. That lie won't work on me."
  493. >Twilight grumbles under her breath, but straighten her back and sniffs as Anon reaches the center of the magic circle.
  494. >"Well, unless there's anything else you want to do before we start, we're all ready now."
  495. >Anon swallows thickly, takes a shuddering breath, and nods his foot.
  496. "Ready as. I'll ever be," he says, meeting the princess' gaze.
  497. >She nods, then clears her throat.
  498. >Alright then. Discord, like we discussed," she says, igniting her horn.
  499. >Discord suddenly snuffs it out like a match between his claws.
  500. >"Just a second. Does that look right to you?" he asks, leaning in to point at a part of the circle.
  501. >Twilight shakes him off.
  502. >"Discord, we've went over this for hours, and you've been making adjustments for even longer, I'm sure it's..."
  503. >She leans in as she speaks, trailing off as her eyes narrow.
  504. >Blushing, she levitates over a rag, spits on it, and erases a few lines.
  505. >Anon watches, wide-eyed as the princess makes what appears to be a sizable last-minute change to the thing that his life currently depends on.
  506. >Taking the procured brush from Discord, the two are mere inches apart as they whisper harshly, each pointing at different parts of the circle, before Twilight finally nods, and fills in the part she had erased.
  507. >"Good catch," she says in a hushed voice.
  508. >"That could have been messy," Discord agrees in an equally quiet tone, then speaks up. "Anyway, where were we?"
  509. >"Starting," Twilight answers, horn glowing once again.
  510. >"Ah, yes, that's right," Discord hums, bringing his arms up and wiggling his claws, tips sparking.
  511. >Anon thinks about making a run for it, but he looks over and sees Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash, along with the rest, all giving him encouraging, albeit worried smiles.
  512. >His eyes close and he sits.
  513. >He can trust these two.
  514. >It'll be fine.
  515. >He'll survive and be better for it.
  516. >He continues to tell himself these things inside his head, forcing himself to believe them as the markings around him begin to glow.
  517. >The light becomes so intense that Anon's vision becomes red behind his eyelids, and the air is filled with a low, powerful thrumming.
  518. >He peeks one eye open, and just barely manages to makes out a cylindrical wall surrounding him, a rainbow sheen like oil on water.
  519. >The sound is so loud that Anon can't make out anything else.
  520. >It's all encompassing, his mismatched bones being rattled beneath his skin.
  521. >... No, they're rattling through his skin.
  522. >Muscles are pulling away, his skin flaying open and rivulets of blood rising out of the dark red meat exposed.
  523. >It hurts, but in a distant way as Anon realizes he's no longer having trouble seeing through the light.
  524. >As his flesh unravels, Anon remains in the center, a ball of consciousness freed from its physical form.
  525. >He stretches this ethereal body and feels it take a familiar, comforting shape.
  526. >Near invisible to his minds eye, Anon still looks himself over, and recognizes himself for the first time in too long.
  527. >Then the meat and blood starts to swirl, whipping up such a frightful storm that Anon sees entire lengths of bone be splintered into shards within the gale.
  528. >It converges then, white and red snapping into place within his intangible being, building up the layers.
  529. >A skeleton first, then a circulatory system.
  530. >Nerves and muscles pack unto the frame along with fat deposits before it all starts to be covered by a delicate layer of skin.
  531. >It's morbidly fascinating, but Anon can't dwell on it long.
  532. >He's seeing out of real eyes again, and part of him is ecstatic it's only two.
  533. >And also, he's feeling again, while his skin is still stitching itself together.
  534. >That's when she starts to scream, his newly reconfigured nervous system bombarding his brain with, "Oh God! What have you done to our body, you little shit?!" signals.
  535. >Good, that distant part of Anon says.
  536. >He did good.
  537. >And then starts to pass out.
  538. >One last bit of commentary though, is, "What color were we before? 'Cause I don't think it was this."
  539. ---
  540. >The lights dim, the barrier containing the spell shattering like glass, and then Fluttershy takes wing fast enough to put a Dash to shame as she flies towards her friend.
  541. >When she spots the motionless being crumpled on the crystal floor, she comes up short, eyes wide, mouth agape.
  542. >"A-anon?" she breathes, touching down to take a shaky step forward. "Anon, are you alright"
  543. >He's so still that the mare can't even tell if he's breathing, her ears flicking forward in hopes of hearing a wheeze or huff.
  544. >Dash is behind her now while the other girls go over to help Discord get a stumbling Twilight Sparkle to her hooves.
  545. >"H-hey? Big guy? That's you right?" Dash says. "You awake?"
  546. >"Is he...?" Applejack whispers, letting her alicorn friend lean her weight against her.
  547. >"The... the spell worked correctly," Twilight mumbles, putting a hoof to her head. "... Right Discord?"
  548. >"It did get a little choppy there near the end," he answers hesitantly.
  549. >Fluttershy is hardly listening as she reaches out a trembling hoof.
  550. >Her lips do, as well, as tears begin to bead up in the corner of her eyes.
  551. >"A-anon?"
  552. "Gasp!"
  553. >Suddenly, the figure convulses, thrusting itself up on its hands and knees.
  554. "I'm..." Anon pants, hand flying to his chest. "I'm alive?"
  555. >His green eyes dart up to look at the ponies in front of him.
  556. "I'm alive," he repeats, pushing himself back to be sitting on his knees. "I'm alive."
  557. >He looks down at himself, both hands now patting his chest.
  558. >As he continues to examine himself, he stands up, waist at eye level with the mare directly in front of him.
  559. "I'm alive... and I'm human," he says, a smile slowly pulling at his lips. "I'm standing on my legs. My Two legs."
  560. >The other's in the room watch on bewildered as the man starts singing something under his breath.
  561. "Thigh bone connected to the hip bone. Hip bone connected to the back bone... Everything's in place... I'm me again. I mean, okay, the skins off. Am I part plant, now? Can I photosynthesize? Does it matter, man? You're human! Who cares!?"
  562. >He looks down at Fluttershy, who, alongside Dash, are still looking straight ahead.
  563. "Fluttershy," he says, voice quivering with barely contained excitement as he thrusts his arms up. "I'm normal!"
  564. >The tentacles that had been limply hanging from his back spring to life, wiggling out in joy.
  565. "... Mostly!"
  566. >"Hurgurbugwaba," the meek mare stammers, cheeks red.
  567. "Ah... What?"
  568. >"I think," Dash says numbly. "She's trying to say... Penis."
  569. "Penis?"
  570. >Anon looks down.
  571. "Oooh... that penis."
  572. >Before Anon can think to cover his modesty, there's a loud pop, and suddenly confetti and streamers start to fall down from concealed packs that had been colored to match the crystal ceiling perfectly.
  573. >"Pinkie!" Rarity yells, swatting the colorful paper from her mane. "You planned a party for this?"
  574. >"Nooo~" she sings, pointing at the banner now revealed. "I planned this for Discord!"
  575. >Sure enough, all eyes turn to read the message, "Welcome Back to Ponyville, Discord!"
  576. >"So, did I getcha?" Pinkie asks, repeatedly hopping up to be eye level with the stunned draconequus. "Did I?! Did I?!"
  577. >"But, the spell, and Anon, and life and death," Discord stammers, a look of pure disbelief on his face.
  578. >Blinking rapidly, he extends a claw and slices a small rip in reality, reaching into his own pocket dimension to pull out a framed certificate.
  579. >"Ooh, what's that?" questions Pinkie, popping up to hang over Discord's shoulder.
  580. >"Confirmation," He answers. "That I'm still the Spirit of Chaos."
  581. >He reads the document naming him as this world's residential chaos sower, then narrows his eyes and brings it right up to his face.
  582. >"There must be fine print or something giving you residual powers. There has to be! How else can you consistently surprise me with surprise parties?"
  583. >"Silly Discord," Pinkie says, patting him on the head with a smug smile on her lips. "I'm just that good."
  584. >Discord scowls, but doesn't have time to respond before there's a creak from upstairs, and voice calls down, "Pinkie? Are you down there? The invitations say this is where the party's at."
  585. >More voices join in as the sounds of many hooves echo down the stairwell.
  586. >Looking down at himself, then up at where the approaching ponies would soon emerge, Anon has to think fast.
  587. >This is going to be his first meeting with the citizens of Ponyville as something other than a disgusting blob, and he wants the impression to be good.
  588. >Having his privates flopping in all of their faces probably isn't the best way to start things of then.
  589. "Ah, ah..."
  590. >His gaze is darting all over the place, searching for something to cover himself, and then they fall on the long, green tentacles hovering at the edges of his vision, and he's struck with inspiration.
  591. >With a mental command, his lowest set tentacles quickly wrap around his hips to midway down his thighs, creating an improvised kilt of green flesh.
  592. "So, what do you think?" he asks, looking around the room. "Works, right."
  593. >Fluttershy still has a glazed look in her eyes, but Dash manages to shake herself out out of her stupor to nod enthusiastically.
  594. >"Ah, yeah! You look great! I mean, that's a good look on you, not that you're body does-! But that does, too! And, uh, hey, Fluttershy, say something!"
  595. >"Muscles..."
  596. >Anon furrows his brow at the two mares, just as the guests begin to shuffle in.
  597. ---
  598. >It's been a strange day, and this party even stranger.
  599. >Once the guests had arrived and filled the basement, Pinkie Pie had gone upstairs to gather the rest of the supplies, having apparently broken in to stash all the desserts and drinks that would be needed in the castle that morning.
  600. >Twilight was definitely upset, especially when she learned that the room Pinkie hid everything in was Starlight's.
  601. >"But Twilight, Starlight is traveling with Trixie in her caravan, she isn't using her room. Plus, I knew you'd never look in there 'cause you respect your student's privacy."
  602. >"That's right, I do, and so the question becomes, why don't you?"
  603. >"I respected her privacy! I did absolutely no snooping and definitely didn't find a weird magazine under her bed all about BDSM and erotic mind control!"
  604. >"... I didn't need to know that."
  605. >"I said I didn't find those things! Or a strap-on, for that matter."
  606. >"Pinkie!"
  607. >Yes, it's been a very strange day, Fluttershy decides, even for their group.
  608. >"So..." Rarity asks, coming up beside the pegasus with a glass of punch in her magic grasp. "What did it look like?"
  609. >Fluttershy blinks at her friend.
  610. >"Er, what did what look like?"
  611. >"Why, Anon's scepter and jewels, of course," she specifies with a mischievous smirk. "He had his back turned to all of us save you and Rainbow."
  612. >"R-rarity!"
  613. >"It must have been impressive, considering your reaction," Rarity continues, taking a sip of her punch. "Then again, I know you've always had a thing for the... exotic."
  614. >"Rarity, please..."
  615. >"And that impressive physique!" she gushes. "Now, admittedly, I've always preferred a more fatherly figure, but even I can appreciate an athletic build like Anon's. Not as much as I'm sure Rainbow Dash does, but I must say seeing him has gotten me excited, at least from a designer's standpoint. Please promise me you'll bring him by the boutique soon, darling. I can't wait to take his measurements."
  616. >Fluttershy mutters something along the line of a sure thing while her face is beat red.
  617. >"Good," Rarity says happily, then leans in. "Though, you still haven't answered the first question, Fluttershy."
  618. >Amazingly, she gets even redder, but is luckily saved from having to answer by Anon coming back down the stairs.
  619. >Twilight and Discord had taken him up to somewhere more quiet before the party got into full swing to look him over, having to examine the results of their spell more thoroughly.
  620. >Fluttershy notices that Anon has a bed sheet wrapped around his body like a toga, and is surprised to feel a twinge of disappointment.
  621. >The room goes quiet as everypony turns to the newcomers.
  622. >Anon clears his throat and holds up a hand.
  623. "Ah, hello everyone, I'm Anonymous. Um, nice to meet you."
  624. >Silences for several seconds, and then a chorus of hellos as the ponies swarm towards the strange creature and begin to bombard him with questions.
  625. >Fluttershy smiles, glad of the warm reaction to Anon's new appearance.
  626. >The human tries to talk, but squawks as foals begin to swat at his tentacles.
  627. >Discord crosses his arms and pouts.
  628. >"What's wrong?" Twilight asks him as Anon stumbles his way further into the room, taking the inquisitive herd with him.
  629. >"This is supposed to be my party," he says. "And no one has even welcomed me back yet."
  630. >Twilight raises a brow.
  631. >"But you came back a while ago."
  632. >"Yes, but this is still a welcome back party," he counters. "Party planner extraordinaire my tail tuft. Might as well have just made it a party for Anon."
  633. >Twilight rolls her eyes, but smiles and pats Discord's side.
  634. >Welcome back, Discord."
  635. >He smiles down at her, reaching to pat her on the head.
  636. >"Thank you, Twilight. That means a lot."
  637. >"So, ya think their gonna frick?" Applejack whispers to Pinkie Pie as they watch the exchange between Twilight and the Chaos Spirit from a distance.
  638. >"I hope so," Pinkie chirps. "Can you imagine the party I could throw? Congratulation on Losing your Virginity parties are great! Plus I could throw two at once!"
  639. >AJ looks at her friend strangely.
  640. >"Two? How da ya know Discord's a-"
  641. >"Pinkie sense."
  642. >"Oh... Well Ah'll be. Never would've guessed."
  643. >Meanwhile, Anon finally manages to free himself from the foals wrapping themselves up in his back with the aid of Rainbow Dash.
  644. >"Okay, okay, come on now, didn't your parents ever teach you not to touch a stallion's tentacles without permission? I know you fillies have."
  645. >As Rainbow pulls the last filly free, the tentacle gives the little one a tummy tickle, making her giggle.
  646. >"Tentacles are fun!" she declares as the pegasus puts her down.
  647. >Dash smirks, eyeing Anon as he rubs at the back of his neck.
  648. >"They sure are, squirt, now why don't you go play pin the tail on the pony with the others?"
  649. >As the foals scurry off to play party games, Anon gives her a dry look.
  650. "Were the sexual innuendos really needed?" he asks, getting her to grin wider.
  651. >"Nope, but they were pretty funny," she answers, then points at him. "What about you, Mr. Tickler?"
  652. >He blushes, cheeks turning a darker shade of green.
  653. "Theses things sort of have a mind of their own," he defends. "They do what I say, but I'm not constantly giving them orders."
  654. >"Huh," Dash says, tilting her head. "Weird."
  655. >"But useful, I'm sure," Rarity adds as she and Fluttershy approach. "You humans must be quite the industrious species, having so many appendages to work with."
  656. "Hey, Fluttershy," Anon greets with a warm smile at his best friend, who returns it meekly. "And as for the tentacles," he continues to Rarity. "They're actually not supposed to be there."
  657. >"Oh? But I thought Twilight's spell was a success."
  658. "More like ninety percent successful," he answers. "At least, that's what she and Discord said, but it might be enough."
  659. >"But if that's the case, why not simply try again?"
  660. "Because it's still just as dangerous as the first time," he tells her. "Well, I guess they probably would have a better idea what they're doing the second time around, but it's still risky."
  661. >His jaw clenches.
  662. "Plus it kind of really hurt."
  663. >Fluttershy's breath noticeably hitches, and Anon smiles at her.
  664. "But it's over now, and I feel great," he assures.
  665. >Looking down at himself, he frowns.
  666. "Well, mostly. It's a bit chilly in here for just a blanket, and I have, like, no insulating body fat, which is cool both ways."
  667. >"What's that mean?" Dash asks, hovering up to touch the muscles along his side. "You're shredded!"
  668. "That's because these things took up all my fat," he says, thrusting a thumb at the tentacles behind him.
  669. >Fluttershy looks curiously at them, wondering what he means.
  670. >There are fewer now, only five where there used to be thirteen.
  671. "Something about mass conservation, I guess," he goes on. "Same amount came out that went in, and these tentacles took up mass. I'm lucky it went for the fat first, though, instead of bones or organs. Didn't leave me with much, though."
  672. >He looks over at the snack table and his stomach gurgles.
  673. >"Actually, I think I'm gonna go get a little of that fat back," he says, looking back at the girls. "Come on! Those cupcakes look great!"
  674. >"Double chocolate with peanut butter frosting!" Pinkie calls from across the room. "You're favorite!"
  675. "How'd you know?!" he yells back, while also wondering how good the mare's ears are.
  676. >She grins.
  677. >"Pinkie sense!"
  678. "I'm calling hacks!"
  679. >Fluttershy, along with plenty of other ponies have a giggle at the exchange as Anon makes it to the table and shoves a cupcake into his mouth.
  680. "Delicious, delicious hacks," he mumbles around a mouthful. "Can I take these with me after the party?"
  681. >Within minutes, Anon is three pastries in, and Dash touches down next to Fluttershy.
  682. >"Yeesh, guy's got an appetite," she says. "I'm starting to think taking him out to lunch is gonna really hurt my bit bag."
  683. >"I don't know," Fluttershy comments. "Milkshakes and fries aren't too expensive."
  684. >"Yeah, but is that gonna be okay still," Dash says, voice lowering a bit along with her head. "I mean, look at him? You don't take a guy like that out to a fast food joint, right?"
  685. >"For a first date?" Rarity chimes in. "I'd say not!"
  686. >"Well, it's technically not a date," Dash tells her, shuffling her hooves. "I just promised him and Fluttershy I'd treat them after the spell was done, but..."
  687. >"He won't mind," Fluttershy interrupts, looking towards Anon as he tries one of the other sweets and gives a surprised smile with his cheeks bulged out. "Even if it were a, um, a date, Anon wouldn't expect something big and fancy."
  688. >She smiles as a foal stuffs her face to match Anon and wiggles her cheeks up at him, getting a laugh from the man that sprays crumbs everywhere.
  689. >"He's not that kind of stallion."
  690. >"Yeah..." Dash says, watching the display fondly while Rarity looks slightly disgusted. "I guess you're right."
  691. >"... So, are you two going to make it a date?" Rarity asks. "Because, if so, I'll have to make a rush order on Anon's outfit. Can't have him going out in public with a sheet wrapped around his body."
  692. >"Something warm," Fluttershy agrees. "He must be terribly cold without fur."
  693. >"That is kinda weird," Dash comments, adding under her breath. "Kind of cute for some reason, though."
  694. >"You know, while we're commenting on appearances," Rarity begins as she turns to Dash. "Fluttershy has dodged the question twice, so I'll pass it off to you. What did it look like?"
  695. >"Rarity!" Fluttershy whispers harshly, face red again.
  696. >Dash smirks, instantly knowing what her unicorn friend is talking about.
  697. >Out of their group, the prissy unicorn is the biggest closet pervert, after all.
  698. >"Nice," she answers. "Kind of like one of his tentacles, but with a rounder head."
  699. >"More mushroom like," Fluttershy mutters under her breath.
  700. >Rarity and Dash share laugh at their shy friend's expense.
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