Stint promises Emily again

Jun 25th, 2018
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  1. Based on this great story:
  4. It happens during Anon and Cellys first visit to Emily the vet, after line 1636 of that story. It's totally non-canon, and some things that happen later in the real story break some parts of this one, but it holds up ok.
  6. Be Emily.
  7. >Anon and his alicorn (holy shit!) seem content to forget Stint while you examine her. You are not about to remind them either. Polite.
  8. >She has a long road to recovery, but you don't find anything rest and care will not eventually heal. The cracked hoof (and the other three) should have a shoe, and you recommend your favorite farrier. Addiction recovery will be hard, but hardly complex.
  9. >Why do these ponies hate steel nailed shoes so much, anyway? They never give you a straight answer, but the set of Celestias (holy shit!) ears say Anon might need to be strict with her. He will have to be anyway: he should secure those nasty pills!
  10. >They eventually leave, medicine and advice in hand, and you turn to another much less happy chore. You knock gently on the closet Stint claims for himself, and open it to find him cowering before you.
  11. "Come."
  12. >He's heard this calm, flat, voice you use in times of stress talking to Mark on the phone, but never directed at him. Mother sometimes indulged in hysterics, but you can only scream intentionally and you’re too upset to make that work now. Your Ex could never understand: the softer the voice, the greater the anger. Stint knows you better, and silently obeys, slinking out the door and glancing fearfully at you through his forelock.
  13. >Your poor precious herd watches it's two caretakers walk up the valley to the road, your hand resting on his neck, your faithful partner matching you step for step. They can't see how strong your grip is (large animal vet: pretty strong) or how his ears plaster themselves back over his neck. It's a perfect sunset on a perfect evening, and you appear to be just taking a quiet walk with your best friend.
  14. >You stop under the sign. You don't know how he did it without magic (Is that really real? Really?!), but it appeared two months ago and you never said a word. He was waiting and waiting for you to notice, no doubt with a rehearsed speech at the ready, but you enjoyed torturing him with the suspense too much and eventually it was just how it was.
  15. "We both know my 'ownership' of you is legal bullshit. We both know you're just as skilled a healer as I am. Our patients need us both. I need you."
  16. >He falls to his knees, lays his head on the gravel at your feet. His eyes are closed tight and his skin shudders with fear. "Mistress..." he whimpers. He hasn't called you that in a very long time. You squat beside him and gently rub around his ears and horn. You must be harsh with him now, for everyponies sake.
  17. "I can't let you be my partner while you assault and rape my patients, or damage my customers property. You promised me."
  18. >Your voice stays absolutely matter-of-fact over that "property", without any ironic 'air quotes' in your tone. Stint flinches as if you had struck him.
  19. "Tell me how I can trust you, Stint."
  20. >It's a direct command, not a rhetorical question, and Stint rises to his feet and looks you in the eye. "Whip me, Emily". He looks back over his haunches, where the scars sometimes show through his summer coat. "Fifty lashes, in front of the rest of them. I'm sorry and I know I deserve it. I promise I won't hate you after."
  21. >Stints a tough little guy under the silliness, and he's been taught that's the answer to failure. You've treated too many whip injuries to make more yourself, and you believe in permanent solutions. You don't even have a whip anyway.
  22. >You look up at the sign above you instead, with it's faithful blue blob at your side.
  23. "No. I have a better idea: you ARE my partner, not my slave. The sign will be remade to say 'Emily and Stint's Equine Veterinary Practice' and the operating company name and letterhead will be changed to match. I can't give shares to a pony, but I can pay you a small salary, and 'nonperson' means 'nontaxable'. It will be as real as I can make it be."
  24. >His cartoonishly large eyes bulge out and his ears jerk forward. "But Emily..."
  25. "But."
  26. "I will provide you with a course of androgen antagonist and a dosage schedule. I won't make you take them, because I have to trust you in everything else as well. If you react adversely we can discuss it as medical professionals."
  27. "But if you betray me and mine a third time..."
  28. >You break eye contact and move your gaze rearward.
  29. "You will face a very hard choice. Ask me to castrate you, and stay..."
  30. >You look down the road, where a distant cattle transport leads its dust plume towards you.
  31. "Or keep them, and be sold away from here."
  32. >"You wouldn't" he whispers. You don't reply, just watch the big truck slowly get bigger. Your dead voice makes you into some emotionless monster, but your tears rescue you. He leans forward and licks your salty cheek, so you know he knows.
  33. >"You won't" he says more firmly "I won't do that to you. You can trust me". You both step back from the road and let the transport roar off to the kill plant two towns away. You both see the frightened bovine faces peering through the grill. Earth is a hard world.
  34. >The sun has set, and your damaged desperate herd watches the two partners return from their walk in the grey twilight. Your hand rests gently on his neck, and he matches you step for step down into the valley. You feel a confident spring in his gait and you wish you could share it. You really, really don't want to make good on those threats, but you weren't kidding either. The cold analytical part of your mind wonders if Mark needs a medically trained pony...
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