Getting Schooled By Ponies

Mar 5th, 2019
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  1. >Anon is a smart man.
  2. >He really is.
  3. >It's a shame then that Twilight apparently doesn't believe him.
  4. >Just because he can't read horse glyphs, has trouble with their base-four numeric system, and lacks even a basic understanding of the magical sciences does not mean he's dumb.
  5. <If anything, the fact that he's mostly rectified that first one already should be proof of his intelligence.
  6. >And yet, here he is, enrolled in elementary classes with a bunch of foals while also being forced to study with Twilight for two hours after school each day.
  7. >It's absolutely ridiculous, and Anon intends to prove as such.
  8. >He'll ace these classes with flying colors in no time flat.
  9. >Yep... it's gonna be easy.
  10. >Anon stares down at the math test, pencil unmoving even after several minutes.
  11. >His eyes flick over to see Applebloom cheerily filling in answers, humming a little tune under her breath as she rapidly nears the finish line.
  12. >Anon leans over minutely.
  13. "Psst... Hey, Bloom, ah, what did you get for number one?"
  15. >Anon gets the weekends off from studying with Twilight.
  16. >As much as she would like to tutor him seven days a week, she has her princess duties to attend, along with her own research projects and a social life to maintain.
  17. >Anon is of course happy about this.
  18. >Yep, he certainly doesn't want to study anymore than he has to.
  19. >"Hey Anon!" Bloom calls as they exit the school building. "Hold up!"
  20. >Anon turns, adjusting the strap of his backpack as he looks down at the tiny pony.
  21. "What's up, AB?"
  22. >She stops, suddenly getting nervous as she kicks a hoof in the dirt.
  23. >Looking over her shoulder, Anon follows her gaze to spot her two friends giving her encouraging nods.
  24. >"Well, Ah was just wonderin', um there's that test comin' up next week, and it's gonna be a big one..."
  25. >Anon frowns at the thought, chest already feeling tight with nerves, but he tries to hide it.
  26. "Yeah? What about it?"
  27. >"Um, it's just, the gals and Ah plan on havin' a study party this weekend, and Ah was just wonderin' if maybe you'd, you know, like to join in?"
  28. "... You're asking if I want to come over to your place and study for a test?"
  29. >"Ah... Yeah?"
  30. >Anon drops to one knee, grabs the filly, and pulls her into a hug.
  31. "Yes. Thank god, yes, please help me study."
  32. >Applebloom, stunned, looks over her shoulder to see her friends grinning like idiot.
  33. >Sweetie even swoons, falling into Scootaloo's side, much to the orange filly's annoyance.
  34. >They're looking forward to having a whole night to flirt with the big colt, but Applebloom's motives are different.
  35. >She remembers the last test, and the look on Anon's face when he got his back.
  36. >She saw the results, and how his expression fell and his fist clenched.
  37. >He'd failed, and it devastated him.
  38. >The little farm filly doesn't want to see that look on his handsome face again, and she intends to help him as much as she can to learn the material for this next test.
  39. >The next day, at the CMC clubhouse, Anon and the girls sit in a circle, books and papers spread out in front of them.
  40. >"So if'n you times four by two, you get...?" Bloom prompts patiently as Anon chews his eraser.
  41. "Ah... fourteen?" he says, getting the filly to beam.
  42. >"That's right, Non! See yur gettin' it!"
  43. >"That was very good, Anon," Sweetie adds a bit patronizingly as she pats his thigh.
  44. >Her hoof remains, beginning to rub a bit closer to his inner thigh as her eyes drift down.
  45. >"Yeah! You're pretty smart for a colt," adds Scootaloo. "Now you just need to take what you got in the parentheses and add the three, then times that by the two."
  46. >"Actually," Applebloom interrupts, smacking Sweetie Belle's hoof off of Anon with a slight glare. "Ya do the multiplication first, then the addition."
  47. >Scootaloo blinks a few times, then frowns.
  48. >"Stupid order of operations."
  49. >"We're trying to help Anon pass, Scoots," Sweetie says as she wipes the line of drool off her chin. "Try not to confuse the poor colt."
  50. "It's fine, I think I'm getting the hang of it," Anon mumbles as he works over the problem, scribbling an answer, then presenting it to Applebloom. "This right?"
  51. >She looks it over for a second, then smiles proudly.
  52. >"That's right, Anon. Good job."
  53. >He smiles a little himself when there's a knock on the door.
  54. >A moment later, Applejack pokes her head in and says.
  55. >"Heya there girls... and Anon, how's the studyin'?"
  56. >"Good," Bloom chirps. "What's up, sis?"
  57. >"Oh, nonthin'," she answers, coming in the rest of the way to reveal the plate on her back. "Just figured Ah bring ya'll some apple slices ta snack on."
  58. >She looks at the group, eyes mostly jumping between the fillies.
  59. >"Ya'll behavin' yer'selves, right? Ah don't want ta gettin' a talkin' to from Twi about ya actin' up around Anon."
  60. "They've been fine," Anon says in their defense. "They're really helping me out."
  61. >"Well that's good ta hear," she answers, placing the plate down nearby.
  62. >"So, ya thinkin' yer gonna be ready for that test, then?"
  63. >Anon looks down at his sheet of practice questions, all the numbers, and bites the inside of his cheek.
  64. "I hope so," he mumbles, getting Bloom to look up at him in concern.
  65. >She herself isn't sure she'll be able to get him ready in the couple hours this study session is supposed to last, but at the thought, she gets struck with inspiration.
  66. >"Hey now, if'n ya need more study time, we can just study more," she pipes up, looking back to her sister. "Ya think it'd be okay if Anon stays the night, Sis? We can turn this study session inta a study sleepover!"
  67. >Anon thinks about it.
  68. "That... would probably help," he agrees.
  69. >Applejack looks skeptical.
  70. >"Ah don't know.... I'd have ta ask Twilight if'n it's okay first for her boy ta stay over."
  71. "Her boy? She's not my mom."
  72. >Anon is ignored as Bloom gives the mare puppy dog eyes.
  73. >"Please, Applejack. It's really important that Anon passes this next test. If he doesn't, he might even be held back a year!"
  74. >Applejack sighs.
  75. >"I'll go talk ta Twilight, but Ah'm not makin' any promises," she answers, turning around. "Better tell Big Mac ta make extra for dinner just in case, though..."
  76. >Once she's gone, Sweetie smiles encouraging up at the human.
  77. >"Don't worry, Anon. Education is super important to Princess Twilight, so I'm sure she'll agree to let you stay."
  78. >Her smile takes on a heated quality.
  79. >"Then you can spend aaalll night with us..."
  80. >"That's if your sister lets you stay," Scootaloo points out. "I know my aunts probably won't let me. They hate when I'm not home after dark."
  81. >"Ah reckon Ah could teach Anon by myself," Bloom says. "Ah am the best at math, after all."
  82. >"Only because your brother tutors you," Sweetie points out defensively.
  83. >"Still don't mean it ain't true," she shoots back smugly. "Don't worry none, Anon, by the time Ah'm done, you'll be a regular ol' brainiac."
  84. "I hope so. I'd rather not spend anymore time in school than I need to."
  85. >The night stretches on, and Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle have to leave, much to the latter's chagrin.
  86. >Before she leaves, though, Sweetie makes sure to give Anon a hug, wrapping her forelegs around his neck while he's seated and inconspicuously (very conspicuously) takes a big sniff of his hair.
  87. >Scootaloo drags the little perv out by the tail after that, waving goodbye to Anon who returns the gesture with a chuckle.
  88. >"That filly sure is... interesting."
  89. >"She learns it from her sister," Applebloom says.
  90. >After that, they study until sunset, the man really starting to feel like he's getting a grasp on the material, before Applejack calls them to dinner.
  91. >Anon is glad that, despite their family name, not everything on the table is apple-based.
  92. >At least not the desserts.
  93. >He ate a hardy vegetable soup and a couple corn on the cobs before Applejack tells Bloom to go get their study material from the clubhouse and move it inside.
  94. >"It's gettin' cold out there and the tree house don't stay warm worth nothin'," she says.
  95. >After that, the two sit across from each other on Applebloom's bed, Anon with his legs crossed, knees poking far over the sides of the tiny mattress.
  96. >The guest bedroom is across from hers, and Anon is told he can use it when he's ready for bed.
  97. >After a while, getting tired of constantly having to spin papers around or attempt to read them upside down, Applebloom migrates to sit in Anon's lap as she tutors him.
  98. >Anon doesn't think much of it and Bloom is too focused on helping her friend to get flustered by the position, and so the two study well into the night, until finally, Bloom drifts off.
  99. >Anon simply pets the filly's mane as she sleeps curled up on his legs, studying until his own eyes drift shut and he lies his head down on her pillows, legs straightening to dangle off the end of the bed.
  100. >The two sleep peacefully until dawn, when Applejack comes to wake her sister.
  101. >"What in tarnation?!"
  102. >Anon jolts awake, sitting up as Applebloom groggily lifts her head from his groin, a strand of drool running from her lips down to his pants.
  103. "Applejack?" Anon grumbles, rubbing his eyes. "What's wrong?"
  104. >"Ma little sister's head between a stallion's legs is what's wrong!" she growls, coming forward to pull Bloom off the bed. "What were you two thinkin'?"
  105. >"AJ?" the filly mumbles as she blinks away her grogginess.
  106. >Looking around, eyes falling briefly to Anon's wet trousers, she finally registers what has been said, and stiffens in her sister's grip.
  107. >"It ain't what it looks like!" she yelps. "Ah must of fallen asleep studyin'!"
  108. >"Mhmm," Applejack hums, unconvinced. "And what about you, mister? What do you have ta say about this before Ah tell Twilight about it?"
  109. >"Again with the Twilight thing," he mumbles under his breath as he throws his legs over the bed. "You can tell Twilight the same thing Bloom told you. She fell asleep, then I did a bit later."
  110. >"Yeah? And why didn't you go to the guest bedroom, then?" she questions. "Didn't Ah tell you ta use it?"
  111. "You did," Anon confirms. "But I guess I passed out before doing that. Honestly, I don't even remember falling asleep."
  112. >"It's true!" squeaks Bloom, wriggling until she falls to the floor. "We weren't up ta nothin'! Honest!"
  113. >AJ narrows her eyes and looks between the two, then sighs.
  114. >"Alright, Ah believe ya," she eventually says, looking down at her sister. "Still, ya ain't allowed ta close the door from now on when ya have a colt over, and if'n Anon here ever stays the night again, You can be sure we'll be checkin' in on the both of ya every hour."
  115. >Bloom blushes, pouting as she breaks eye-contact.
  116. >"Yur overeactin' sis," she mumbles. "Ah ain't gonna do nothin' untoward ta Anon. He's just ah friend."
  117. "And I'm, like, nine years older than her," Anon adds with a raised brow.
  118. >"Age tain't got nothin' ta do with it," Applejack scolds. "She's an adult in the eyes of the law now 'cause of her cutie mark."
  119. >Her gaze snaps to Anon.
  120. >"And you ain't 'cause you don't got your mark yet," she adds seriously. "Ah ain't gonna have ma sis goin' to the hoosegow all 'cause she couldn't keep her hooves off a minor."
  121. >Anon stares as the room falls silent.
  122. "... What?"
  124. >"Calm down, Anon! It's not that bad!"
  125. "I am not a fucking child!" Anon screams at the princess, turning to her for a moment before he starts pacing again. "I can't believe this. I can't fucking believe this."
  126. >"Language!"
  127. "Stop doing that!"
  128. >"Doing what?"
  129. "Treating me like a kid! I'm a grown ass man!"
  130. >"I'm sorry-"
  131. "Why didn't you tell me?"
  132. >"I didn't want you to freak out, which, in case you haven't noticed, you're doing right now."
  133. "I think I'm allowed to freak when finding out that, in the eyes of stupid horse law, I'm a kid just because I don't have a tramp stamp."
  134. >"That's disrespectful. Cutie marks are very important to ponies."
  135. "Like I care? Can I even legally move out of the castle? Or were you just going to keep me here forever?"
  136. >"... Not forever."
  137. "Oh my god."
  138. >"Anon, I didn't tell you right away because you were already on tract to legally obtaining adult status. Also, I would have told you as soon as I found a way to do it that didn't leave you acting like... like this!"
  139. "Wait, back up. What about me being an adult legally."
  140. >Twilight sighs.
  141. >"It's a loophole of sorts. A pony is considered an adult once they get their cutie mark, true, but this is a relic from the past when foals would immediately start apprenticing to learn a trade once they got their mark. Schools were more of a way to help foals reach that point, and so they'd drop out once they began their careers."
  142. "Okay, and that applies to me, how?"
  143. >"Well, schools are meant to teach ponies everything they need to know to be an adult, so even late bloomers wouldn't lag behind too bad when they went into the workforce. This means that, legally speaking, completing school can count as another proof that you're prepared for adulthood."
  144. >Anon stops and mulls this over a second, then groans, leaning against the wall.
  145. "Are you really telling me I need to graduate high school again?"
  146. >"Yes," Twilight answers, giving Anon a sympathetic look. "It's not that bad, though. You only have five more years."
  147. >Anon groans again, hands covering his eyes. "You're a princess, right? Can't you just change the law to say non-ponies who don't get cutie-marks are adults once they're old enough?"
  148. >"No... I'm sorry."
  149. "Why not?"
  150. >"Well, it's also a relic from the past, but there were many non-equines who migrated here, and used that very argument to get jobs. Many of these were gryphon's and minotaurs not even old enough to have graduated, and of the ones that were, well, they had come here because their nations were comparatively underdeveloped and, as a result, put even less emphasis on education as Equestria back then. Because many of these migrants were so uneducated or young, and the xenoisms of some ponies, they were taken advantage of, receiving pay far below what they deserved, and even being placed in hazardous working conditions, all the while not realizing the extent to which they were being used."
  151. >The mere act of speaking of this actually brings a tear to the alicorn's eye which she wipes away with a wingtip.
  152. >"Once Celestia realized this, and seeing that their naivety was the root cause, she adjusted the law accordingly so that a diploma would serve as these creatures' proof of adulthood, ensuring that they'd have the knowledge required to negotiate with potential employers and notice if they were being manipulated. She even created programs to help house and feed migrants who needed to finish their education."
  153. "Huh..." Anon says once she's finished. "Still, surely the law can be tweaked now, right? I mean, come on, I am an adult by age at least, and the stuff you mentioned isn't happening anymore."
  154. >"True," Twilight concedes. "But the way laws are made and adjusted have changed since then, too."
  155. "But you're royalty," Anon says.
  156. >"Yes, but even so, I, along with the other princesses still have to run any new law or change to existing ones through a counsel now to get it instated, and while our votes are worth three of of the other council members, a majority of three fourths is still required. Even then, the council is so backed up thanks in no small part to a certain prince flooding it with asinine bills that will only be shut down, that it'd take quite some time before we could get to yours."
  157. "Twilight, I'm hearing you right now, I want you to know that," Anon begins, pushing off of the wall to walk over and kneel before the mare. "But I need you to understand something."
  158. >Suddenly, he grabs her by her chubby cheeks and starts shaking her head.
  159. "I am not going to school for five more years!" he proclaims. "I'll go nuts!"
  160. >"A-anon! Stop!" she yelps, pulling away from his grip, only for her eyes to still be bouncing around in their sockets.
  161. >She shakes her head and focuses her gaze on the human, frowning.
  162. >"That's not helping," she says.
  163. "Well, you start helping me then!" he snaps.
  164. >She sighs, running a hoof down her face.
  165. >"Right. Okay, listen, I already had a plan back when you first enrolled, and though my confidence has waned some, I'm still hoping it'll work out."
  166. "Now we're talking," Anon says gleefully. "Lay it on me, Sparkle. It's a plan to get me out early, right?"
  167. >"Yes, it is," she confirms. "And it's quite simple. See, it's possible to request a comprehensive test for each year of education that covers everything you'd have learned in that time, and by passing them, you'll effectively pass that grade. This means that, if you take and pass all five of the tests for your last five years, you could potentially get your diploma in less than one."
  168. "Oh..." Anon says. "And your confidence in that plan has waned because...?"
  169. >"You haven't progressed as quickly as I've hoped," she confirms, her shoulders sagging some.
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