everfree forest Rumors, and the Love that Follows It. (Discord Jointy w/SteelEagle)
Crickets were chirping in the bushes as Remington arrived and waited by the edge of the Everfree forest for his fillyfriend to meet him. This was the right time, right? He thought to himself. Remington had lost his overly nervous attitude about spending time with the filly, but his heart still fluttered a little when she was included in whatever he was doing. It had been a week or so since they had started officially dating. In terms of the environment of the classroom, their relationship was not nearly as romantic as two would be in the Ponyville parks on Hearts and Hooves Day, but the assumption was that they would do everything around each other, whether it be in the cafeteria eating lunch, sitting in the back row of Loyalty class, or just reclining in the same tree every afternoon during recess. Remington sat down along the path that entered the forest. She would show up eventually.
Moonlight's gait had gained some extra bounce and juice since she had cemented her relationship with Remington. Ponies far and wide would know she had a coltfriend because she made sure to tell them a coltfriend even when they didn't ask if she had a coltfriend but she was more than happy to share it. And how could she not? She had the best one ever. How good was he? So good that when his fillyfriend went out of her way to make him go out of his way to take her to a special place in the woods, he didn't complain. At least to her. So no wonder her gait and bounce was still evident as she made her way to the edge of the Everfree, catching eye of the colt with the beautiful eyes. "Heeeeey there Rem-Rem!"
Remington stared at a few stars in the sky. He thought he knew what they were but he couldn't recognize the constellation. But then he was distracted by the voice of his heart. He looked her way, smiled, and chuckled. "Hey, Glitzy. You ready to go in?"
She finished her trot next to him and pecked him once on both sides of the cheek. "You betcha! Like, I am so totally ready to this bitchin' treehouse everycreature is raving about!"
"Are you sure we're allowed? It's not like they take fieldtrips out there every week."
"I mean, we are not not allowed, right?" She said with a giggle. "Come on, show me your big brave stallion muscles."
Remington was always cautious. His narcolepsy trained him to avoid unnecessary risks. However, his new relationship with Moonlight pulled him out of his shell, for better or for worse. Today, he hoped it was for the better. He smiled at her prying and followed her into the forest. He knew that she knew he wasn't all that strong. But the way she made it sound encouraged him all the same. "How far do we have to go in? You know, I've never told you this, but I've never actually been into this forest. I've heard so many stories about bad things coming from it. But lately, it's like everything that's good is hidden inside it. It's like they're trying to cover it up like some big Ponyville conspiracy," he said in jest, half-joking on his premise.
Applejack had told her all about the Everfree since she had first come to Ponyville all those moons ago. She knew better than Remington what it was all about, but she'd have to feign ignorance in large part. At least for now. "Well, I mean, like, this was some small farming town. Those towns can be so totally superstitious, right? Me, I'm, like, only a little stitious."
Remington chuckled. She was so funny. Maybe hilarious. Maybe the funniest mare in the history of ponies. Or maybe he was in love, and any silly thing she said deserved his honest laughter. Nah, she was hilarious. "Yeah, something like this would never happen in Manehatten. Manehatten would have bulldozed it into a wagon parking garage." Remington frowned pensively. "Maybe the regarding the forest as a living thing is a good thing in that regard."
She nodded. "I guess it has its charms. Mostly, right?" She said as she jumped over some tree branches. "See that though? I was totally almost killed there. Stand closer to me. I'm cold and in danger."
Remington began walking closer next to Moonlight at her request. He knew she was joking, but he would be serious about getting closer. But what seemed like a silly love game turned into a real problem. The moonlight casting on Moonlight was not as bright as it was near the front of the forest. The trees above that clamored windy howls were also casting dark shadows on the two ponies. He looked up and took notice of the environment they were heading into, but his hoofsteps had slowed. As his sides brushed against Moonlight's, he wondered if she was as secretly scared as he was. "Have you ever been into the Everfree before?"
As he got close she allowed herself some time to play with him, her tail wrapping around his as she trotted time in time. As it got dark she would light up her horn and that would give them some more light but...well, dark was dark, spooky was spooky. She was spooked. She had encountered enough wild creatures and even giant pony eating worms before so it wasn't as terrifying, but she wouldn't dissuade him from feeling some fright. "Oh, I mean, like not for long. Not deep," she said as she looked around. She took a deep breath. "Despite the name though, like, I'm not really totally into moonlight this pale. It's a little, ya know, blah."
With the help of her hornlight, Remington felt encouraged to help in his own special way. "Let me fly up and see if I can see how far the path goes." He jumped up to take flight and was immediately met with a large tree branch that bounced him back to the ground. He shook himself back to his senses and tried to save face. "Looks good from here."
Moonlight giggled as she pulled him up with her magic. "Smooth flying up there, Wonderbolt!"
He gasped as he tried to shake his momentary pain. Ahead, he saw a large rock. He walked quickly up to it. "I think I know what this is." Remington carefully cleaned off the extra leaves and branches off it. "It's a, it's it's... it's just a rock." He looked at the large rock with disappointment. His imagination had led him to believe it could be a piece of rubble from the palace of the two sisters, a landmark he read about in books in the library.
She trotted up next to him. "Well, ya know. Not every gem a diamond and all that jazz. Your head feeling screwed on right honey?"
"Uh, yeah." He said as she walked by him. "I feel fine." He paced next to her. "Especially with you." Did he really just say that? Luckily for Remington's brain, the part of him that feels regretful of the things he says and does was not fully operational after his little bump.
She blushed and pushed her snout onto his. "Aww, you're such a softie. No wonder you're my coltfriend. Like, could you imagine if it was anycreature else? Gag me with a spoon!" She said before she kissed him on the lips. "Or you," she said with a wink.
Remington's ears darted up as he was kissed. She was soft, and it melted him every time she met him this way. He looked back at her wink with a stare of approval. Mare, she was good. There wasn't anything he could do about it. He was partially convinced she was casting more than just simple light magic. With a few more strides down the path, he asked her. "Wait what do you mean anycreature else?" Remington showed small signs of jealousy as it seemed like she implied the possibility of her ditching the red pegasus for a non-pony student, even though that was not what she said. He wondered who it could be.
She trotted alongside him happily, allowing her rather lewd flirt to lie there dead for a moment. And then he asked what she had meant. She laughed. "Oh, I mean oh my Celestia could you imagine me with, like, anycreature else? So grody! Yuck. We're just soooo perfectly made for one another," she said as she cast a glance. "Why, you have any leads on some hunks I should check out?"
"No!" Remington responded seriously. "Heh, I mean. No, of course not." He decided to return the favor of evil flirtation. "Unless you know of any babes I should introduce myself to."
"Oh, I've seen the way you've looked at Smolder. Pretty hot, right?"
Okay, now he knew she was joking. "Haha, yeah, maybe her breath is. Haha ha." With the laughing, Remington lost sight of the path ahead of him and rolled a loose stone off the edge of a cliff. His front hoof sliding caused him to stop. He instinctively held Moonlight back in case she was at risk of falling. His hoof was placed suspiciously.
"Good catch...getting frisky, seriously?" She asked with a giggle. "But seriously. Seriously."
Ignoring her criticism of his exaggerated precautions, he looked around for a way across the trench, which seemed abrupt, even for a haunted forest. He spotted a rope bridge. "Where do we go now?"
"Well, I dunno. Let's go over the bridge! That's new. And tre exciting, right?"
Remington took flight and examined the bridge. It was literally hanging by a thread. He flew back to Moonlight. "You know, maybe I could just fly you over there." She can't be that heavy right? Oh, horseshoes, this was awkward. What if he couldn't carry her? What if he was not strong enough. What if she was too heavy. Either way, it would not look good for him if he failed.
She gulped. She was a lightweight, but he wasn't...you know what? It'd be fine. This was Equestria. "A personal escort over? I'll take it!"
Remington knelt underneath Moonlight and picked her up onto his back. He then started flapping his wings. He flapped harder and harder until his pegasus magic finally granted him a liftoff. The standard hover was harder to maintain, and his wings shook a little more instability in his agility, but he was technically flying. He took a few deep breaths, trying not to show his panting, as it would probably upset Moonlight. He winced a little as he started hovering over the edge. Ever so slowly, he flew to the other side with his motivation lying on his back. As he got closer to the other side, he started to lose momentum and altitude.
She clambered on as much as he took her on and she tried to settle evenly on him. She could feel his muscles stretch and pull and his wings flap and strain and he tried to hide it but she knew this was rough for him. He wasn't the strongest flyer. Heck, he wasn't the strongest stallion. But his efforts were enough- both for her emotionally, and also herself physically as they made their way across. She made sure to hop off as soon as possible. "My hero! Now we just gotta do that again on the way back."
Once she hopped off his back onto the other side, Remington was more free to raise himself up from fluttering down to the bottom of the trench. Without his beautiful fillyfriend weighing him down, he could finally catch his breath and return to acting like it was nothing. "Heh heh, yeah. One the way back."
Immediately up a hill, both of them could see the Castle of the Two Sisters, or at least what was left of it. "Stars of Luna, look! Is that it?" Remington stepped a few steps closer to get a better view of the ruins covered in forest fog. "It's. It's... It's actually kind of small. I thought it would be bigger. It looks bigger in the library books."
The Castle was certainly less impressive in pony than in the books, but that was for a few reasons. They were both city ponies and modern cities made most of the old-fashioned marvels look tame by comparison. Then there was age. Only a portion of the Castle remained. "Well, I mean. It is, like, really old and stuff. I'm sure it was cooler back then, right?"
"Let's go see how cool it is now." Remington began to forget who he was with and what he was doing. He become overly curious about the ruins. Something about the reality of them existing gave him a different sense of being even though he believe the books that it was real. "So this magical tree thingy. You said it's made of crystals? All I see are gray stones."
She looked around. No cool treehouse yet. "Well, we both know it exists, right? Professor Jackie and the others, like, they wouldn't be fibbin'. And Smolder and Gallus and Yona and Silverstream...nah sweetie, we just gotta keep looking! Speaking of looking, like, come and see this radical old banner. Maybe you should take it for your bedroom, Luna-boy," she said as she looked up at an old Lunar banner, imagining him finding room for it in his collection,
Remington walked up to the Princess Luna tabard. She was right, it was awesome. It was also very old, and he didn't feel right about just taking it. Wasn't there some law against it? "I can't just take it. What if Princess Luna finds out I took it. What if she banishes me to the dungeon?"
"Oh, I'm sure you've dreamed of it already so it can't be too bad...but you're right. We'll probably get yelled at by our professors. Oooh, look at how cute this painting is. Oh, and that window curtain is to die for! Oh, like, look at that- is that a secret door?"
Remington could tell Moonlight was beside herself. The interior designer part of her brain was firing on all cylinders. "What secret door?"
"Oh, that one," she said as she pointed at a wall. Well, it looked like a wall, but it was cracked open like a door.
Remington walked up to it and walked into it. It seemed to go no where, like an indent in a brick wall. He looked back at Moonlight. "It doesn't lead anywherahhhhahhhah!" The ground around the two opened up and sent them both falling into a trap. With a hard thud, Remington hit the ground.
"AHHHHHHHH!" She screamed, then smacked against the ground. She pulled herself up lazily, rubbing her head and horn. "That was the worst! Auuughhhh...." she moaned before looking after at him. "You still in one piece, Rem?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Let me get a vine or something to help you climb out." When started flying to the top, a gate closed the top of the trap, keeping him from being able to escape. He fell back down to the bottom, softer this time. "What!?"
Her breathing quickened a little, but she kept a smile on. This was an adventure, right? "Okay. Well, let's investigate!" She said as her horn lit up so they could see better.
With the help of Moonlight's horn, the both of them could better make out their surroundings. They fell into what looked like an ancient well that was modified into some sort of trap. On one of the walls was a large fissure. Remington moved to it and tried to see if he could see anything through the gaps.
He wasn't alone. Inconsiderate of his need for personal space, Moonlight pressed her face closer as well. She got closer and closer until something ran by! "AHHH!" She said as she reared back. A moment passed as she tried to process it. Then she saw it was a rat. "AHHHHHHHHH!" She screamed louder this time, her horn shooting a weak beam towards the fissure as she hopped away.
The excitedness of Moonlight pulled Remington's attention away from the crack for a moment as he too saw the rat skitter by. Despite the grossness of such a critter, he knew a rat could easily get to this point from the fissure, which meant the fissure must have lead somewhere. The magical beam Moonlight shot hit the fissure and it started falling away. Remington examined the damage, and tried kicking more wall off to make enough room for a pony to walk through.
She saw what he was doing after she allowed herself a moment or three to gather herself. Uggh, it was so gross. Old places were gross. Why was she here? Why weren't they dancing in a ballroom of some majestic crystal treehouse already? How grody. "Plant my life, seriously," she muttered to herself as she trotted up to the fissure and joined her friend in pushing and prodding the solid rock until there was enough space for them.
Remington smirked towards his fillyfriend as the two tried to create a path. "Hey, this was all your idea, Babe."
She shot a look back. "Well, my idea was, like, crystal dance floors and a totally bitchin' secret hideout. Not all this grodiness-" she started before the fissure finally gave away and she fell forward into the dark.
Remington followed her tumble forward to make sure she was ok. She was. Once they created a big enough gap, they were able to walk through a tunnel that had no discernable end. "We could use your light. I hope you got your magic charged up, we might need it a while down here."
Her horn lit up as she moved forward. Luckily, all that model work and good dieting meant she worked well in tight spaces, even if the smell of dust and mud and rock and webs made her want to totally vomit. "This should be enough. Hopefully this ends in, like, a scented bath. I could use it."
Now that the two were moving forward and able to continue their adventure, Remington was able to take a small second to appreciate his closeness with Moonlight. She was a very pretty filly and an amazing friend. He was lucky to have her, and even though she was a bit much with the grime and dirt of their current situation, he wouldn't trade her attractive spunk for anypony else in this moment. "If not, at least we have each other."
"That's something, yeah," she said, though truth be told she'd rather take a shower or a bath than give him a hug if it was offered. She stunk, or think she stunk, and that wasn't the proper way to give a good friend a hug. In what seemed like forever but couldn't have been more than two minutes the path opened up a little, enough for her to not feel as assaulted by dirt, until they reached a somewhat large cavern with water dripping from the ceiling and tiny puddles on the ground.
"What is this place?" Remington asked, looking around at the stalactites hanging from the ceiling.
"Uhh...a cavern," she looked up, "maybe with a stream or...I don't know...like, uhh...plumbing for an old castle...above u?"
"I wonder if they knew this was down here." Remington looked around, being mesmerized by the natural decor. Without looking, he ran into a large crystal pillar, that jutted from the cavern floor to the ceiling, seemingly imperfectly. The pillar was light blue and indigo and had luster. He could see his reflection in it. "What the-?"
Moonlight liked what she saw. She knew that there were crystals all over the place near the treehouse and castle and that meant they weren't too far off. Or at least, that's what she hoped for. "Looks like, umm, one of those crystals that the others described!" She sad excitedly, tapping her hoof gently around it and admiring the two of them as best she could in its reflection. "Pretty hot stuff, ain't it?"
"Others? What others?" Remington wasn't keen on the information that Moonlight might had overheard. For a filly from out of town, she seemed to know an awful lot about this kind of stuff.
"Oh, Gallus, Sandbar, those ones."
"Oh." Remington for moment wondered if Moonlight had been spending quality time with other students, and for just a small second, he felt jealous. But he continued on through the tunnel, which seemed to get narrower. At one point, the tunnel forked in two directions. When glanced down the left one, and then the right one, and quickly the left one again. "Princess Twilight Sparkle?" He could not see anypony except Moonlight behind him, but he could have sworn that he had.
She had a feeling like she was being watched, but then again, they did know that they were sharing this space with disgusting, icky rats so it didn't shock her. "What about her?" She asked as she started to nudge him to the right.
"I could have sworn I saw her down that way, but then she dissappeared." Remington stared in confusion. "Let's go this way."
"Ooooh, spooky," she said lightly and then giggled. "Maybe you're having some radical hallucinations. Like, what else do you see? Is it another pretty mare?" She asked as she trotted along, happy to tease her prey.
Remington could feel the banter coming from his companion behind him, but he remained focused on figuring out what he saw, and how they were going to get out of there. The tunnel kept turning left and inclining slightly, almost like a spiral staircase with no stairs. Eventually, they met a wooden door. Remington reached for the door handle to open it but hesitated. He looked back. "Should I open it?" Remington didn't want to be the sole pony responsible if this ended up unleashing a thousands years of curses onto Equestria.
She thought about it for exactly one moment. "Duh. Totally!" She encouraged him. There had to be less muck and grime, right?
Remington put his hoof on the door and slowly opened it. Once fully opened, he walked into a room that had crystal walls and gemstones that lit up the area. He carefully tiphoofed through the first room and looked into the other rooms connected to it. The second room he went into had a large billboard with photos on it. The photos were ones of students, but mostly of Silverstream, Gallus, Yona, Ocellus, Sandbar, and Smolder. "What is this place? Is this their home? I thought they lived on campus."
They were here! She'd heard so much about this from some of the other students, even a little from the professors. Mostly the students- specifically, those six who had helped save Equestria. "Ooh. This is their, like, magical treehouse that grew from the remains of the Tree of Harmony! Oooh, we found it," she then giggled with a certain playful viciousness. "Think they'll be upset?"
"Magical treehouse?" Remington was so confused. He was not privy to this information, and he began wondering if he was to get a magical treehouse if he received good enough marks on his tests, or if he saved the world from a small menacing filly, you know, either/or. He trotted more playfully into the next room and heard a swoosh. He froze.
"Who goes there!?" Silverstream jumped out of no where and in front of them holding a shovel. She relaxed her posture, dropped the shovel and looked at both of them, particularly perplexed at Remington. She scratched her head. "What are you doing here?"
"Silverstream, did you get those anemones?" Gallus asked as he flew in, sweaty from that time spent gardening, little gardener's gloves on his talons and paws. He was wiping sweat away when he saw the guests. He froze for a moment before quickly whipping the gloves away. "You saw nothing," he said darkly before his eyes shot quizzically. "And...yeah, what are you doing here?"
"Uhhh...well, uhmm, we were, like, exploring and...like...were you gardening?"
"Moonlight and I wanted to explore so we came here. It was her idea mostly." Seeing as no adult was present to award any punishment, he realized shifting blame was not necessary, especially on the filly who hung on his heart. "But I helped a lot. We can leave if you need us to leave."
"It's okay. It's just, we've never gotten visitors out here, other students are too scared to come, and Gallus and Smolder would probably prefer us to not invite anyone over anyway." Silverstream suggested openly. "You know, because it's our special place. We still live at the school, we just come here every now and then to do uh," Silverstream looked at the gardening tools. "Stuff! You know, uh, spend quality time with each other." She looked at Gallus, hoping she was helping divert his humiliation.
Moonlight nodded. "Yeah, I got him to come here, sorry. I'm just, like, persuasive that way I guess," she laughed nervously, then shrugged. "Though, I mean, he did lead me down into a dirty trap so it wasn't all fun and games I guess...," she trailed off as she looked at the gardening supplies. "So, like, why anemones?" She asked.
"Yeah, it is our special place. Ours. We earned it. And...I mean," he looked over at Silverstream and huffed, "it's not that I don't want guests though...I mean I don't...but you should really ask instead of just barging in like this. It's pretty freakin' rude," he said in a huff, slicking back his feathers. "As for anemones, its because they're pretty. And because I guess some sort of rare moth species likes them?"
"Oooh. So you do pay attention in Professor Fluttershy's classes, you blue devil you!" Moonlight said teasingly and accusing at the same time. Gallus blushed slightly and rubbed his neck.
Remington got tense slightly seeing Moonlight flirt with Gallus a little, but relaxed when Silverstream got close to him. She began whispering something in his ear and took a few moments. Remington blushed. Silverstream nodded and stepped away. "Uh, Moonlight, heheh, I think we should leave. These two have to get back to their," Remington looked at Gallus, who had dirt on his neck feathers. "Garden." He started happily trotting towards the front door of the treehouse.
What were they whispering about? Why did he blush? What was happening? She shook her head free. "Oh. Yeah. Yeah! Gotta get out, haha. Well, now we know where this place is. Like, just past the cavern, via a trap," she turned to Silverstream. "Unless we can come back through...like, the front door next time?"
"Hm hm." Silverstream nodded. "If we ever plan a party or something, we'll invite you two!" Silverstream was gracious to the freshmare, but she honestly hadn't thought too much about these ponies. She didn't know them very well, but maybe in time she would.
Remington led Moonlight out the front door and gave the owners of the home their privacy back. He waited for Moonlight to join next to him.
She trotted to him with a bright smile. "See, that was-"
"YOU SAW NOTHING!" The blue bird yelled as a reminder.
The door behind them slammed friendlily. Remington sighed and smiled back at Moonlight. He leaned into her and kissed her on the lips with conviction, his eyes closed during for effect. A few seconds later he let go and looked into her eyes. "Glitzy." He said rhetorically.
It caught her unawares, when he came in for a kiss. Not that she hated it. Opposite. She loved it, so much so she slipped in a tongue near the end. "Remmy," she giggled affectionately.
Remington started walking out of the ruins, leaning onto Moonlight as they both made their way back through the Everfree. The darkness and creepy noises would attempt to impede his emotions, but his heart would motivate him to continue without fear until they were both safe.
@Hippogriff: Remington, Silverstream
@SteelEagle: Moonlight Glitter, Gallus
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