Snow Flurry - 3 - Yay Character Development

Jan 3rd, 2013
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  1. Part III – Oh god what I have created, or 'You follow independence bat his heels.'
  3. Ryan laces up his hiking boot, wincing slightly with pain as he bends over. It's been nearly a week since you first arrived at Dan's cabin in the mountains. Whether you like it, a point on which you're growing ever more undecided, you've fallen into something of a routine in your life as a pony. At the very least you've got a warm place to sleep and all the fresh produce you could ask for from Dan's garden. As much as you hate to give up meat, you've found out that pony bodies just aren't particularly suited to eating it; as long as you're getting food like this every night it's a fair trade. Dan was finally able to cut that collar off your neck, too, which was a major relief in itself. You would've been happy just to have that much.
  5. You can't help but feel a bit at fault for Ryan's predicament so you've stuck by his side nearly the entire time since your first night at the cabin. While you haven't yet discarded them entirely, you've put aside your suspicions about Ryan's involvement in this entire affair for the time being; nobody that takes a bullet for a veritable stranger can be all bad. You've found yourself quite limited in what you can do to help given your lack of opposable thumbs, but you've managed to make yourself fairly competent at handling enough daily tasks to not feel like you're a complete waste of space. Ryan's mood seems to be recovering quite well, and even you haven't remained entirely immune to his wit despite your present situation.
  7. “Ready?”
  9. “Ready.”
  11. Ryan lifts himself off the chair with his arm and opens the front door. You've grown to look forward to your hikes through the woods, so you're out the door soon after him. He's made a remarkably quick recovery with Dan's medical attention and his regular walks to help him regain his strength. You'd like to think you're doing your part to help as well, if only by keeping a smile on Ryan's face.
  13. “Hell of a day out today, isn't it?”
  15. You take a moment to let the warmth of the sun sink in. You can't really argue with him there.
  17. Ryan begins up the trail to the adjacent the cabin, limping only slightly compared to just a few days prior. You follow closely behind at his heels.
  19. You stroll along through the woods silently for some time, just enjoying the scenery and the chance to be outdoors. Luckily for you Dan lives far enough outside of civilization to make worrying about running into another human a non-factor. Even so, you stick close to Ryan in the woods as much for concern about him as for your own safety. You're not exactly well-equipped to handle a dangerous situation.
  21. A few minutes later you and Ryan emerge onto a hilltop. He pauses just ahead of you to admire the view. You're taken by surprise as he turns around and scoops you up in his arms; you can only offer a weak “Don't hurt yourself,” in protest. Ryan lifts you up to eye-level, but facing outward at the mountains.
  23. “Quite a view, isn't it?”
  25. God damn Dan knows how to pick a place to live. He might be a bit crazy but you can't fault him for wanting to be crazy in a place like this.
  26. Ryan gently sets you back on the ground before taking a seat on this grass himself.
  28. “Looks like as good a place as any to take a rest.”
  30. You move up to his leg and lie down next to him.
  32. “Here,” he says as he reaches into his pocket opposite you. “I brought you a little treat.”
  34. He pulls out a bag of Dan's carrots. You've become addicted to those since you got here; you're not sure whether it's your new body or some voodoo magic that Dan does, but they're just about the best thing you've ever tasted.
  36. Ryan holds one out in his hand and you waste no time in nibbling off a few bites. It wasn't long ago you were concerning yourself with eating off the ground in front of him, and now he's got you eating out of his hand in a very literal sense. If you had a bit more pride left it might have gotten in the way, but you care too much about his well-being to let lingering parts of your past self interfere with this moment. If a cute pony is what he wants, a cute pony is what he gets.
  38. Feeling thoroughly satisfied after finishing your carrot, you sprawl out in the grass next to Ryan, your free wing flapping idly in the breeze.
  40. He rubs his bandaged leg, lost in thought. “It's been one hell of a ride, hasn't it?”
  42. “You might not totaaaaaaaly buy this,” you start, “but if you told me I was gonna be a pony living in the mountains with a cripple and a whackjob a month ago I probably wouldn't have bought it.”
  44. Ryan bursts out in genuine laughter. You're finally content with yourself now that you got a laugh out of him.
  46. You lift your head up and lay it across his lap. “Thanks, again, for everything.”
  48. “Don't mention it. Believe me, you're the best thing to happen to me in a hell of a long time.”
  50. You can't imagine how this whole turn of events would qualify as a good moment in anybody's life. Curious, you decide that now is a good time to finally press the issue of Ryan's background a little further while he's content and relaxed.
  52. “How so?”
  54. “Hah,” he muses out loud, “Dan's the only real friend I've ever had. I think I'm closer now to a talking pony than I've ever been to most people.”
  56. He pauses for a moment and continues, “I grew up with a single dad. Lost my mom before I even knew her. My dad tried his best to give me everything I could want; he was a big hotshot research scientist with the government with enough money to afford anything you can buy with some left to spare. The only thing he never even tried to give me was some real attention. His work was his life, and I was just a means of continuing on his work once he passed on. As soon as I hit 18 I left to join the service. He's probably the only guy, apart from maybe a few hippies, who'd call his son a failure for enlisting, but he pretty much gave up on me once he knew I wasn't interested in taking on his legacy. I haven't spoken to him since, although I heard he lost his grants awhile back after some big scandal. Not that I give a fuck.”
  58. Well, that pretty much shifts the suspicion off of Ryan and onto his father. You decide its best not to tell him what you suspect to avoid upsetting him after he's told you all this, but now you have a pretty good idea who might be responsible for all this. You just can't believe he'd try it on his own kid, regardless of what he thinks of him. You're just grateful that the apple fell very, very far from the tree with regard to Ryan.
  60. You nuzzle Ryan's leg and actually feel it ease the tension in his body. He reaches down and scratches your head rhythmically. For a few brief moments the entire world melts away from the two of you.
  62. Ryan is the first to break the silence. Well, we should probably be getting back. Dan said he'd have lunch ready for us. You spend another few seconds staring off into the sunrise, trying to commit everything that just happened to memory before turning and following him back down the trail.
  64. - - -
  66. By the time you reach Dan's cabin, both of you are thoroughly exhausted. Luckily, Dan's already got a salad laid out for you on next to the foot of Ryan's chair. Not wanting to waste a moment apart from Dan's food, you quickly dive in. Ryan pulls out the chair beside you and lowers himself down on it, starting to pick at the last bits of whatever Dan brought back from his last hunting venture. Within minutes both of you have torn through your respective meals.
  68. “So, where exactly is Dan, anyway? I feel like I should give my complements to the chef,” you muse out loud.
  70. “Oh, he had to go into town today. Had to get his truck fixed so it doesn't, you know, look like he just drove it through a war zone.”
  72. You wonder exactly what town could be anywhere near here and, for that matter, if Dan even knows what a town is.
  74. “Sooo,” he begins, “we've got the whole mountainside to ourselves pretty much. Even so, I think I'm perfectly content spending the rest of the day off my feet.”
  76. Ryan gets up, picking up your dish and setting them both on the counter.
  78. “As you might have been able to guess, Dan isn't exactly big on links to the outside world. He only keeps a mobile phone on him to schedule appointments in town when he needs to. I'm afraid all we've got for entertainment around here is a bunch of books and chess. If you don't mind, I think I'm just gonna lie down and read for awhile.”
  80. Ryan grabs a book off Dan's shelf, the contents of which are of no particular interest to you, and goes to lie down on the couch. You nuzzle his right hand, which he left swinging down off the edge of the sofa as he opened his book.
  82. Successfully distracted from his reading, he turns his attention to you and begins scratching up and down your ears. A moment later you've been flipped over on your back, with Ryan leaning over you frantically rubbing your belly as you melt away in complete bliss. If this is what life is like for a pony, you aren't complaining.
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