Zephyr eight-year anniversary drabble
Jun 21st, 2020 (edited)
- A stray sunbeam is pointing quite insistently at your eyes. Worse, the breeze coming through the window means the curtain blocks it only intermittently. A strobelight is no way to wake up but given the absolute warmth, the complete softness of your present position you can only sigh gently and peek an eye open to take stock of things.
- Opal lays on Master's chest beside you, as it was when you fell asleep, and her unicorn sister's tail sits beside his head as she lays on his arm, facing the foot of the bed, using your butt as a pillow. Soft snoring coming from opposite Opal suggests that Autumn and Seafoam are in a similar configuration on Master's left side. Hm. No wonder you felt as good as you did. Nestled into the crook of his shoulder with a mare on either side of you is pretty much the best possible way to start your day, especially when one of them is your Opal.
- That she wound up sleeping on his chest is no real surprise, given the duration of her stay here. At first everyone had tried to pretend that your guests would be sleeping downstairs on the couch, or in the pretty little beds Eli brought along when he dropped them off. But given the absolute convulsion the outside world had gone through when the news broke, their stay had blown away the expected two week sleepover into a lovely couple of months. Once the three-week threshold had been crossed your guests had become needy enough that Eli's rules about what your owner was and was NOT allowed to do with "his girls" had to be brought up more than once. Still, some snuggling and a bit of heavy petting from a man, coupled with all the attention little ponies could pay to one another, was proving enough to keep every pet sane and your Master more than a little satisfied with life.
- ... You're honestly beginning to worry he might want to keep a stable of this size after Eli takes Opal and company home. That would be...
- Well, not that you're the jealous type, but that would simply be too much competition for too few digits, too few smiles, too few kisses and too few earnest beddings.
- Not that you're the jealous type.
- ... Though you would essentially be the head of the harem... Keep the others, beside Autumn of course, in line... that's a little hot.
- Musing on your hypotheticals you almost miss Opal yawning softly.
- "Mornin' Zeph. What time is it?"
- "Sometime after 10. I can't see the rest of the clock over Orchid's butt."
- You feel the named unicorn stir, her chin still resting on your flank.
- "You know you love it, birdbrain"
- You sigh aloud, taking a small nip at the offending rup before conceding
- "The butt? Yeah, I do. Unicorn butts have an elegance to them."
- A soft chuckle reverberates through your owner's chest, as he lifts his head off the pillow.
- "Do you have any idea how much it took to craft something like "elegance" into her? I spent so much time looking for inspiration that my browser history was pretty much just butts for a week.
- "Wait, what kind of butts?" Orchid asks. "If I find out you copied my rear end from some deviantart plot closeup I swear I'm gouging you with my ho- EEEP"
- Master firmly pinching her rear is not much of a surprise. He's softened up a lot in your time together, but Orchid's, er, fearlessness is proving that for all his gentleness of late the man who'd brook no backtalk is still in there.
- "First of all, Eli's insolent little flower, you'll do no such thing. Second of all, no, I had to work in three dimensions. So mostly human references. And a palomino, if I'm recalling correctly. If you really want to know I probably have them in your files."
- "Uh... No thank you, Sir. I feel like that's maybe knowing too much. This is my butt. There are many like it, but this one is mine."
- "I'd argue it belongs to Eli" Opal interjects, standing and moving to hop off the bed. "Speaking of, any word from him?"
- Master frees his arm by depositing Orchid where Opal had been before grabbing his phone. "Look at you, little miss. I seem to recall a time when you'd have had a panic attack if someone talked about your butt as a piece of property. Your butt's owner sent an email a few hours ago that he thinks the coast is clear. He's on his way."
- "Good. And listen, a couple years of eating from the palm of his hand and letting him play dress-up with me drove it home pretty well. All of this-" She laughs, gesturing with a hoof " - is pretty much his. Hard to dispute the truth when I know full well I'll be in garters and lace once we get home. Harder to dispute that when I'm looking forward to it. So I guess that's mission accomplished for you."
- Autumn, apparently awake and thrilled, hops off the bed to greet your best friend with a morning kiss. "You finally got it! I thought you'd understood for a while now, but it's nice to hear. I forgot how difficult non-volunteers could be about accepting the gift."
- "In my defense I did last over a year"
- Seafoam, apparently roused by Autumn moving, pokes her head up. "Oh please. It would have been less than a year if he hadn't caught her "practicing" with her tongue on one of my toys. She was so embarrassed about the "little Eli" incident that she didn't speak to any of us for a week. Also, even as an almost-volunteer I find the term "non-volunteer" a little upsetting."
- Your warm pillow shifts out from under you as your Master rises and starts to get out of bed. "Instead of re-treading the degree to which I am or am not the villian of your life stories, how about breakfast?"
- That's all you needed to hear. Breakfast certainly beats having the same round-table discussion you used to have by yourself again. Especially when someone eventually thinks to ask how culpable you are for writing basically his recruitment pamphlet... and helping new ponies with the adjustment... and pitching upgrade ideas.
- Hm. You might be a bad person. Good pet though!
- Five ponies, bumping, pushing and stumbling their way downstairs to reach the front door is still quite an experience. Master's joke about needing a herding dog rings somewhat true, though frankly you'd be loathe to share the home with a nonsapient the same size as you. You had a hard enough time getting the family dog to stop humping things when you were human...
- Eugh. No, thank you.
- Still, the morning outing happens just the same. Master leaves the front door open and seems to head in to start breakfast while you all do your morning business. Initially you'd all attempted to form orderly morning queue for the bathroom but frankly one pony-use toilet and five of you waiting made things pretty needlessly... competitive.
- Master's rules for this were simple. Out and back in, no roughhousing, no flight sessions. Orchid is technically pushing boundaries by romping after some butterflies but Opal insists she be allowed to. So the two of you wait by the door for her to come inside before shutting it behind you and getting in on some french toast.
- "Oh man!" Opal chirps when she sees her bowl. "Not to complain but this beats the pants off oats and fruit. If you -can- cook this well how come you don't do it more often?"
- "Because, wiseass, treats aren't treats if you indulge constantly. Plus I can't have you horses getting pudgy."
- "Master, pardon if I'm speaking out of turn, but, uh, don't you literally control our metabolisms?" you grin, knowing that a formal opening excuses most insolence. He likes the game more than the authority, you think.
- "Pardoned. Listen, is it possible for me to tinker with every process that turns food into you remaining alive? Yes. Is that bound to be incredibly complex and require a certain degree of vigilance and fine tuning? Also yes. I'd hate to miss something and find out that one of you can't feel sated after eating, or that someone's pet is having a nutrient deficiency because I wanted to be able to feed you an all-cake diet."
- "That's... uh... actually worse than I'd imagined."
- "See? Despite how it looks I tried my best to do the bare minimum to make a pony a pony. Hell, I wasn't sure it was safe to do the wings and horns until after the first dozen Earth ponies went off without a hitch."
- At that he squats beside Seafoam and begins scratching behind her ears. "Isn't that right, my pretty little prototype?"
- Seafoam, for all her open lamentations that she's "out-of-date" and less attractive than newer ponies, certainly doesn't voice those concerns now. She basically pushes him over in her haste to cuddle.
- "Easy, girl. What's gotten into you?"
- "I like it when you say it like I'm special. Please, continue, my gracious creator."
- Your Master spends the rest of breakfast on the floor, alternating his free hand between sips of his coffee and feeding Seafoam bites of french toast. You've developed the distinct impression that he'd honestly have wanted her for himself if she hadn't been meant for Eli.
- You'd feel jealous, but then again you derive quite a lot of pleasure from how much Eli likes you whenever you're together. His offer to buy you at your first meeting seemed like a silly dalliance at the time, an impulsive decision from a guy with too much money and a serious love of ponies. Having spent more time together, especially with Seafoam and Orchid around, you've learned that you're pretty squarely his type. So, Seafoam loves Master's sentimental attachment to her, and you love the look in Eli's eyes when you flirt with him before going to sit on Master's lap instead. Fair trade.
- The afternoon passes peacefully from there. Master has been taking a break from his work while things settle out, so there's not much to do besides your usual flight session and some lounging. He's especially doting on your guests today, and you get why. Two months is a long time for him to be housing ponies, truthfully he's never had anypony but you and Autumn here for more than a week or two at a time. Sometimes ponies with newer features spend a few extra days here so he can be double-sure he didn't mess anything up, but that's purely professional. Sometimes unneccesary, like the Zebra he insisted needed a ton of diagnostics despite being functionally a different-color pony. Not that you minded having Kipenzi around, she was funny.
- Still, Eli's ponies were more than a little restless by the evening. The only thing that pulled them away from the window looking toward the driveway the entire time was occasional snippets of news as Sir deigned to check it between channels.
- "-derstand the implications of this. These patents, and the press releases surrounding them, change everythi-"
- "-ansisco based biohackers claim to have already replicated the technique, with one member showing off goat-like pupils and claiming to be able to see in colors not perceptible to the unaltered human eye"
- "The danger here, Tim, is that the fundamentals of the tech are simple enough that it could be accessible to a wide range of state and private actors. Hell, with enough education and funding even a hobbyist could-"
- "Cancer, even aging, could be a thing of the past, but I think you're not grasping that we'll have to redefine "humanity" into something far more broa-"
- "We're here tonight with a panel of current and retired Department of Defense personnel to discuss the potential for bioterr-"
- "-li Brooks, secretive investor magnate whose holding company filed the patents, has not responded to any requests for comment."
- "This is really happening, isn't it?" Orchid asks, looking back toward your Master. "You and Eli opened Pandora's box."
- "Well, we had to, Honey. It was stupid of me to assume the secret would keep forever. One of the pets I'd sold getting injured really clinched it. I was able to talk their owner out of trying to bring them to a hospital, but honestly if they didn't happen to live close enough for me to make it in time the pony might've died. Poor little guy was in pain the whole time too. Next time we might not be that lucky."
- "But the talking heads are talking about bioterror. People are already recreating your work!"
- "Someone would have eventually. My colleagues at my last job might even have had everything they needed to piece it together, or at least understand it was possible."
- "So now the world knows."
- "Yep. The first patents are on the basic principles, and on a version that fights other nanomachines. A vaccine of sorts."
- "And you think someday we'll be able to go out in public?"
- "Maybe. A lot to think about there. The world isn't ready for you yet, hence Eli waiting for the news to stop camping outside his property line, but once a few people go and turn themselves into even stranger stuff, well, you might even be seen as mundane."
- Wheels trundle up toward the house and suddenly Opal, Orchid and Seafoam are at the door, practically bouncing on their hooves. It's not unfamiliar to you, given how bad you've got it when Sir leaves for a few days, but boy is it cute to watch.
- Master chuckles to himself and after waiting by the window for a few seconds opens the door for them, with Eli just beginning to make his way up the steps to the house. Three ponies knock his friend clean over, the wealthiest man you've ever known expressing first joy, then shock, then resignation as Seafoam collides with his chest and topples him. For a few minutes Eli isn't good for much besides greeting his pets, all kisses and hugs, before eventually his face emerges from the pony-pile.
- "Couldn't have have held them back at all, buddy?"
- "And miss seeing that? Fat chance."
- "Real nice o- yes, hello Opal, I love you too - Real nice of you."
- For a few more minutes, Eli tries to extricate himself enough to carry on a proper conversation, but two months without one's Sir does some odd things to a pony. Sea, Orchid and Opal keep escalating things until eventually Eli looks desperately towards your Master, who has been watching, beer in hand, barely suppressing his laughter.
- "Uh, buddy, I know I was gonna spend the night anyway, but would you mind if-"
- "There's a guest bed inflated downstairs. You will launder the bedding yourself afterwards."
- Opal dashes past you toward the basement stairs, her sisters in hot pursuit behind her. Eli pauses for a second at the landing, shakes your Master's hand, and simply says "I've never seen them like this. Uh, I'll just go ahead and replace all of it."
- "I'll make a late dinner in... let's say three hours. Zephyr, please go turn the TV up as loud as you can."
- - Fin -
- If you're reading this: Thanks! It's been officially eight years since I posted the first snippet of the fic to /mlp/. I realize I kinda fucked off for a while here. But someone pointed out that the eight-year anniversary was coming up so I decided to channel my angst at how fucking -ancient- I am into this. Hope you liked it.
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