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Everything posted by Hippo

  1. As Zareb listened to the Prince, he began wondering if he misunderstood the pony's role. Was he also a teacher? He seemed to be, at least he contained some sort of teaching skill as it related to society and ethics. And though the pony may have seemed to fill more than one role, he was simultaneously suggesting that ponies in Equestria were raised to only have one role, or rather that professions covered everything a civilization needed, and one did not need to specialize in more than one skill. Zareb's first thought was to how boring that might be, for a pony to only have one interest worth furthering. But maybe he misunderstood. Certainly ponies are allowed to expand their skills sets beyond what is recommend to them by society. "First, I am not offended, don't worry." He laughed. "Inachekesha. It's perfectly understandable that it would be different here. I couldn't imagine young ponies could have built this masterpiece. But I thought I would include my question about it's founding with a story from my own. I think that when villages are too small to have professions of many kinds, it requires everyzebra to combine efforts to build and serve. Any failure to do so would put the village at risk of the harsh elements. Which might be another reason our societies are different. Ponies here might have more time to explore their talents, when they are not constantly being chased by wildlife." Zareb said slyly. "Would you like to see my lion scar?"
  2. Silverstream had mistakenly forgotten her classmate here needed help from her doodad in order to turn back into a griffon. She blushed and returned to the water to give him the touch he needed to give him back his original form. Once they were both out of the water and standing on the rocky surface of the cave, she responded to him suggesting how much they had in common, all while look at the wet hair on his hind legs standing up trying to reject the water they had to endure until he was dry. "Uh, yeah. Practically twins." Silverstream related with Gallus on flying, but the truth is, someone like Headmare Twilight had spent more days flying than she did. Most of her life was spent in a corral reef underwater, only recently had she been able to explore her hippogriff nature, typically with the same kind of enthusiasm of learning new things she found while she was attending the school. She wondered if Gallus was too different from her. She knew he was a friend, but could there be any room for closer relationships with others from another wing of life? "I figured you have dealt with enough culture shock for one day, and wanted to give you the opportunity to escape it. I could have introduced you to my father in order to allow you to use the spare nest on the mountain top, but we can do that tomorrow. There's no telling how many hours he will spend lecturing you on tactical findings in the hippogriff navy." She rolled her eyes, attempting to inform Gallus that this cave was less a memory and more a chance to breathe. She knew her kind could be vexing, especially to somegriff who hadn't been part of a closely-knit familial culture until this year. "When the sun comes up, we can return to the station and get our bags, and I can show you Mount Aris. We got a whole day ahead of us." Silverstream sat down, contemplated the awkwardness of sharing the cave with Gallus, and then laid down. She kept view of Gallus in case he objected to it.
  3. As they walked out of the castle and towards the school, Zareb began taking in the interesting architecture of the building, and guessed it had not been an old building, as cracks had not formed in any walls, and vines were not crawling over it as much as many of the other buildings he had seen in Ponyville. "Did students build the school? Back home in my village, when a storm would knock down buildings and poorly-made huts, students attending the school would be expected to build up the walls to a new school, and maybe even offer their labor to elderly who were too old to rebuild their homes. It used to be, a young zebra would have to perform a task of heavy labor to their village in order to receive education from the wisest of our elders, and to refuse work would label you as a villager with no work ethic and thus not deserving of teaching. Wavivu!" He expected not, but he was interested in the story involving the building of the school and how long it may have taken.
  4. "Oh." Silverstream looked down at the wrench. "Good. Yes, that'll do." The wrench was a five-sixteenths hoof wrench with ratcheting which didn't seem to work properly, probably because the tool was well used. She was sure the griffin tried hard to find what she asked for, it was more likely that the apple farm hadn't organized their toolsets in a while than Gallus being completely incompetence. At least that's what she told herself. "See this broken cog wheel?" Silverstream held up a splintered wooden cog up, that was about the size of her head. "We'll need a piece of wood that is big enough to carve a replacement part in this exact shape. If you can, try and find some hardwood. If you can't, I'm sure a nice balsa wood would be fine." Silverstream said as she looked down at the rest of the treadmill parts, trying to fit different pieces to get an idea of how this thing could be put back together. Cider press #3 repair: 80%
  5. Apple Chord listened carefully at the interaction between Azure and Coloratura. She found the subtle truths in their voice linger and their coy sentence fragments. But then something stunned Apple Chord. She did not know Coloratura had three siblings. Why did she never talk about them? Did she have songs about her family? It was hard to imagine a Countess Coloratura song during her heavy pop phase having lyrics that hinted towards togetherness and the warmth of family. She would never know if she never asked, and she planned on it, after whatever activity the star was wanting to do next. "Why, sure! I'd love to." She put her own headphones on. "But the only range I know is the home that's on it." She said jokingly, as if to suggest she didn't know what vocal exercises were. Although Apple Chord would never object to it, she wondered if the famous singer was trying to mask her vulnerable image with a well-known professional action. Voice exercises were helpful but they didn't help a pony sing from the heart.
  6. "That's okay." Zareb responded to Blueblood's offer. "I wouldn't feel good about intruding on students and teachers wisdom-seeking just because of my curiosity." Zareb finished the apple juice with no grace, and set the cup on the table. "Twendi!" Zareb stood up but waited for Blueblood's direction on where to go next. Seeing as there were servant ponies who seemed to have tasks to help visitors, he was anticipating an overly unnecessary mode of travel that would take them to the school, like a fancy carriage or a magical spell of teleportation.
  7. Silverstream did not like this plan. However, she could not think of anything else. She followed Gallus' lead slowing gliding and flaking downwards, checking for hiding young ponies in the clouds she passed. The descent seemed illogical. If he had come down this far, it was likely he went all the way down. The sky and ground underneath Rainbow Dash's place was mostly empty, a small pool of rainbow water that fell from the cloudominium was the only feature worth mentioning. "Do you think he fell in the rainbow water? Can he swim? Can you even swim in rainbow water? Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever touched rainbow water before." Fluttering next to the rainbow fall, she stuck her claw out and made contact with the stream. Her talon instantly turned multiple colors. The water ran off her claw easily, but the stain from the water stayed momentarily longer than it felt. She sniffed her talon, it smelled like nothing. She licked her talon and immediately got a tangy sensation all over her mouth. "Wow! That is not what I expected." She rubbed her neck. "Probably not something you mix into your drinks."
  8. Granola smiled at the kind unicorn mare. She was friendly, and not spooked like a lot of other ponies that come to Ponyville, either in a move or for visiting. She smiled back at her when she revealed her name. "And my name is Granola Gracie. But most ponies that know me well call me Nola. You can call me whichever. It was great to meet you, Angelis!" The brown earth pony continued to fasten her goods for presentation, making sure none of them were dried our or being harmed by the shade of the tents and buildings around. Granola assumed the pony would have to be on her way, but she could help her with more if she needed. In case she was to walk away, she spoke up about the lavender seeds she sold to her. "Lavender grows well in dry soil. So if you have a spot in your small plot that gets too much sun, that's where you'll want them. They will grow more than half the year if the weather ponies don't make it rain too much."
  9. ((The following is a joint post between @RainbowFoxxy, @SteelEagle, @PrinceBlueblood, and @Hippogriff)) Before Zap Apple could get a response from Moonlight, his mother Rainbow Dash walked out towards him and asked him if he wanted to meet his sister. "Yes. I have a snack for Mommy." Zap understood the word sister, but he did not understand the weight of such a term and how it would apply to him. Plus, he had this apple snack. Wasn't that more important? Moonlight Glitter could hear the cry of the newborn and she so desperately wanted to go in to see the newest Apple of all, but she knew it wasn't her time. With Zap Apple's attention taken by his mother, Moonlight took her leave as she trotted excitedly back to the rest of those waiting. This included Apple Bloom, who was now bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as she hopped in place. "Moon, are they allowin' us in?" Apple Bloom asked, though the inference in her voice was that allowance was optional. "Do you hear her crying? Oh my Twilight she is so precious! Well, like, I bet so. Rainbow is taking Zap in now." Meanwhile, Applejack was still unconscious, clutching her daughter dutifully. Rainbow put her hoof lightly on Zap's back, leading him into the room. It was quiet in her and warm too. Just the right sort of place for her family to be all together in the world for the first time. "Mama is still asleep Zappers. Let's try to be quiet." She walked up and softly nuzzled AJ. "AJ, Zappers is here to meet his little sister." She smiled, her heart swelling. She was pretty sure Zap wouldn't get the whole picture of what was happening but that was ok. Into the delivery room, Zap couldn't see over the bed, so he climbed on Rainbow's back and leaned on her head to get a look at Applejack and the new family member. Applejack's eyes fluttered open lightly. She looked rather awful- matted with sweat, her eyes sunken with effort- and she was still breathing haggardly. But all the same her eyes fluttered open as she tried to give a weak smile. "There's...mah colt, mah big col," she muttered, arm weakly pulling him in. "Say...hi ta...yer lil' sis..." Zap stepped onto the bed and Applejack pulled him closer, he replied, "I got apple snacks for you. Me and Uncle Big Mac got them from the vending machine." But then he looked over at the wrapped foal unicorn next to Mommy, and gained a small level of confusion. "Sister?" He stared at her, the tiny filly showing subtle movements but otherwise peaceful. She was a lot smaller than Zap could have possibly imagined. Everything up until this point was bigger than him. He paused at the sight of something significant that was smaller than him. "Whoa. she's so tiny." "Aww, thank ya. Mama loves...apples," Applejack sniffed, whether it was due to trying to withhold tears or due to exhaustion-induced hysteria she couldn't tell. She gently played with his mane as she nodded. "She...sure is so tiny, just a lil'...foal. Just like...you were," she said giving her daughter a kiss. Then the exhaustion started to overrun her again, and her head fell back. "Zap, Mama's so...tired, heh. RD...?" During all this, Ambrosia's first cry had been soothed by her subsequent first feed, which had probably not helped AJ's exhaustion. But once the shock of greeting the world had been soothed by food, she was keen to look out on the world, seeking out the voices she'd remembered, back through the walls of the warm place. "Ra- za?" She turned, this way at that, looking up at the large shapes she didn't yet recognize as her family. RD just watched as AJ introduced Zap. It was heart warming but she had a pang of worry. Applejack had never looked so completely spent. Rainbow touched Zap then Ammy then AJ and smiled, a single tear in the corner of one eye. After a few moments and Ammy's small wondering noises she scooped Zappers up softly. "Mama needs to rest now buddy. She loves the snack you brought her." She spoke softer still. "We love you big guy." "Why is she so tired?" Zap continued his confusion of the situation, he couldn't get a clear understanding of why Mommy was in so much pain. He knew the baby was forming inside of her tummy, but he hadn't expected this dramatic of an ordeal because of a foal so small. He figured he had no choice but to trust his rainbow mother and allow her to pull him away. "Okay." Zap walked back with a confused look on his face. He didn't completely understand why his parents were both so happy and tired at the same time. Once back in the waiting room, the rest of the ponies looked frantically at Zap as he entered the room. Why were they so excited to see him? He'd take it. ((Anyone is free to continue as we sort of reset the post order here.))
  10. "Just got back from Mount Aris. Me and the guys were sent out there to consult with their council about their weather patterns. They still aren't sure if they want us to cloud bust for them." Zap rolled his eyes at the bureaucratic nature of his job. "Might have to go out there again next week." Zap had landed an internship at the weather factory and eventually became staff in their licensing committee. It wasn't glamourous, in fact Zap really didn't like it all that much, but his mother's connections were able to give him stability in an occupation while he figured out what he wanted to do long term, which according to him changed daily based on his mood, and his confidence. Fortunately, he still had plenty of time, and many of his friends his age were basically in the same holding pattern. "How's work on the farm? Little Mac kicking trees yet?" Zap sometimes helped out on the farm during peak season. The farm was mostly operated by the earth ponies of the family, and sometimes Ambrosia when she required punishment.
  11. As Moonlight ended her ramble, Applejack couldn't help but pipe in an addition. "Is he honest, though?" She chuckled. Applejack was slightly concerned. She had never heard a filly of any age speak this much about a young stallion's back half. Well, except maybe from Granny Smith during one of her Las Pegasus trips, but that was a wildcard situation. "You uh, sure do like a good flank, huh?" Applejack knew stallions and the masculine variety of most species for that matter were way more vision oriented than fillies. But she had to remind herself that Moonlight, while she absolutely qualifies for being a filly, might have some of her colthood carried over into her new ponysona. And then she realized, what colthood. Applejack involuntarily chuckled to herself of her own thoughts. "Moonlight, you ever think that maybe his flank ain't the most important thing? But let's talk about the flustered aspect of it. I used to love getting colts that had a crush on me goofy by me just pretending that maybe I liked them. But then after realizing that was kind of mean, I also realized I didn't usually get honesty from them. Sometimes a colt who isn't completely obsessed with you is a good thing. But then if they don't care, then they don't care, right?" She chuckled, knowing full well not even she knew what she was talking about completely. She was in Rarity territory of this subject matter. She kicked a few more trees as Moonlight responded to her. Applejack's muscle memory could keep her ears unoccupied to Moonlight's teenage explanations.
  12. Paying close attention to Bluebelle, Silverstream couldn't help but comment on her suggestions from experience in application of her own life. "No." She giggled. "I don't think so. But, if they aren't sending letters or anything like that, does that mean they aren't interested?" Silverstream wore a concerned look. She felt a lack of control of the situation, either because she was raised with the idea that being female meant you were more along for the ride than the one pulling the ropes, but maybe also because she was born into a royal family that had many other traditions involving courtship and organized family structures, up to and including arranged marriages. Traditions did die over time though, just like Mount Aris culture prior to the Storm King's invasion. Smolder added in her own concern that Silverstream related to, although she hadn't thought about it until now. "Yeah what if he's not a hippogriff or seapony? I think my parents assume that I would eventually end up with someone from either Seaquestria or Mount Aris. They're cool enough to include lifestyles in and out of the water. But I don't think they would ever had expected me to go on a date or something like that with someone I met here at the school." Silverstream pointed at Smolder in example. "It wouldn't seem strange to me if Smolder hit it off with some changeling she met, but I can't imagine the dragon kingdom or changeling hive would like it that much." Silverstream daydreamed on her royal issues. She hesitated, but then point towards Bluebelle. "You're a Princess, and Prince, and whatever. Are you obligated to end up with someone else who's a royal? And what would happen if you didn't?" Silverstream was not all that close to the throne in Seaquestria, but she sometimes wondered what her obligations were with her kind. Only recently has it really mattered or changed.
  13. It's time to post ponies!

    1. Blueblood
    2. tacobob


      Also Huzzah!


      I also need to pose ponies.


      and dragons.

  14. The trees were mostly naked in front of Zap as he continued on his little trot. He had hopelessly fell behind everypony. He wasn't even sure he was going in the right direction, but there were enough hoofprints in the dirt that aided him in continuing on the path the race was designated. He made one final turn out of the winter-ready forest and down a small slope towards the finish line, where hundreds of ponies were celebrating the ending of the running. A few pegasus ponies were even cheering him on as the backmarker to the race, allowing at least some semblance that no effort would go unnoticed. But would he be noticed? He spent the day running alone in the forest instead of doing the small cleaning chores his mother had asked him to help with as it pertained to the catering of the event. Maybe it would be best if he hadn't been noticed, maybe enough recognition of the colt's whereabouts would plant him firmly in the corner staring at the wall before supper. However, he was famished, and he would not be able to resist an ice cold apple juice or a fresh juicy pear or even a lukewarm cup of water. Water! He hated plain old water! Zap could not believe how exhausted he was. He had never been this strained. After all the times he was said to have too much energy, these ponies that all ran ahead of him seemed to have more in the tank than the young colt. Maybe not now, but soon, maybe even next year, he would look forward to the day he finally runs with everypony else, and take his true aim as the first pony across the finish line. Just like his mother. He spotted a drink table and fluttered over to it. Though his legs were rubbery, his wings were relaxed and ready to do the rest of the work for his mode of travel. He grabbed a cup and started drinking from it.
  15. Even Granny Smith knew how important it was for her family to participate in Ponyville functions. Sweet Apple Acres owes it's livelihood to the nearby pony town, and vice versa. That is why even though Big Mac had extra chores for the day, he was allowed to make time out of his busy day apple harvesting to visit the town center to cast his all too important ballot for the Mayoral election. With plenty of midday energy to spare, he made his way into the building where he would wait for his turn to pull the lever, or mark the dot, or punch the hole, or whatever system they were using to tabulate votes this time around. Once he saw an open voting booth, he stepped into it and pulled out the ballot paper. Carefully with his mouth, he grabbed a pen and marked the candidate of his choosing. To him, the vote was easy. There were things Big Mac thought about a lot in terms of how things should be run, or how citizens should be empowered, but between the candidates that were competing, only one of them gave the obvious promise of their cooperation with the farm, and more importantly Big Mac's self-interest as it relates to the things he loves the most. Well, maybe the thing he loves second to most. Once he was done with his decision, he folded his ballot and shoved the ballot into the collection box. He did not need to think too hard about who he was voting for. And in case he wasn't sure, his family might have convinced him otherwise. Granola walked into the voting area with unnecessary nerves. She always got more nervous about everything than was ever warranted. The mayoral candidacy left a sour taste in Granola's mouth every time she thought about it. First of all, she thought about running herself to lead the town. And why not her? She had great ideas, and once everypony else knew about her ideas, they might agree. Except that was the problem, she was always short of being able to execute popular opinion. Her philosophy, and her way of life even, was very niche, and not known to most ponies, probably due to the fact that she lived off the beaten path, spending a great deal of her time among the trees in the forests. And that is why she felt important to cast a ballot today. Despite not being able to file enough paperwork and coral enough financial support, or do anything that amounted to evidence towards involving herself in a race for mayor, the issues on the ballot regarding the candidates hung on her heart. There were issues that the previous mayor never addressed and the ignorance of ponies related to the some of the more creature and monster-related problems are the town never got a good shake. So today, to make her voice heard, she would vote for the candidate that she thought would consider more about the balance of nature around the town. Too many times have Granola's plant experiments been ruined all because some ponies near the town decided to offer all the foliage in the area as a buffet to hundreds of rodent families. Well not any more! She stepped into a booth and began making her decision with a pen in her mouth. She felt good that she was helping make real change, and that she could do it without shouting obscenities on rooftops to ponies in the marketplace that would undoubtedly turn her into the village nitwit. She folded the paper, and placed it into the ballot box. Maybe next time she would run for mayor, when the new mayor inevitably fails to follow through on campaign promises.
  16. 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." Source 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. Gallus ignored. "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. "-easy!" 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. Characters by: @Hippogriff: Remington, Silverstream @SteelEagle: Moonlight Glitter, Gallus
  17. Big Mac nodded and tugged on his nephew's tail to follow him to the hospital cafeteria to look for the snacks Rainbow Dash suggested. He didn't waste time asking his nephew, he knew a physical pull would be required to get Zap's attention in a situation like this. He assumed there was a delay with Applejack's status, so instead of giving the young and misunderstood a chance to fret, keeping them busy with a task might prevent any possibility that the orange colt would involve himself in any unnecessary stress. The two gentlecolts made their way from the waiting area to a room filled with many vending machines. Big Mac walked up to one of them and slid a coin into the slot. "Are there apple snacks in this one?" "Eeyup." "Can I hit the button?" "Eeyup." Zap fluttered up to get a view of the food items in the vending machine, and upon a quick browse, found what looked like a small pouch of sliced apples. He inspected the icon it was labeled next to, and looked for the corresponding button. "This one?" He asked his uncle. "Eeyup." Zap flew into the button and then looked inside the vending machine to watch it dispense the apple slices. Without a hitch, the snack fell into the reach-in slot and Zap grabbed it. Big Mac allowed his nephew to carry the snack, it was after all, just a distraction. Giving the colt something to do was a good idea, thanks to Rainbow's quick mitigation. He only hoped it was enough time to stall what would prove to be a difficult cry for attention from the young pony. And even if it was a short trip, at least he had something to carry. Slowly but surely, Big Mac and Zap Apple made their way back into the waiting area. Just as they came back, Moonlight walked into the waiting room from the delivery room. Zap fluttered towards her distance cousin. "Moony, I have a snack for Mommy."
  18. Zap had slowed his pace to the rhythm of everypony's attention towards helping those across the bridge, which was now in a thousand pieces downstream. It took him a minute to soak in the idea that it was the same slabs of wood he ran across. His mothers would be so mad at him for being here. Supposedly, Applejack was preparing for the ceremony after the race. What what the face of his mother look like if she saw him cross that finish line coming out of the tree line. Better yet, what would her reaction be if crossed that finish line first? As the daydreams conflicted Zap, he followed all of the bigger ponies up the trail to a break in the woods, where wide open fields could be seen. Zap remembers this place, it was one of the family's favorite camping spots. The flatter paths encouraged the stronger ponies to gallop faster, and they began pulling away from him. Even his auntie, who had a bigger stride than him, was trying to close the gap in on the soldier ponies. As the path joined with the path from higher ground, he saw more ponies to compete with, including a bat pony, who would have looked a little scary had he not been full blush. It became obvious that the older ponies had a bigger stride than him. All he could do is move his little legs as rapidly as he could. Fortunately for him, Zap seemed to never run out of energy. So instead of slowing down from feeling defeated, he decided to keep to his own pace and try and take in the wonderful nature surrounding the running of the leaves.
  19. Bridge There seemed to be three separate gusts Zap could feel on his wing's feathers. They were still folded to his sides, but they could sense everything, just like Mother said they would when she taught him how to be aware of his surroundings. One of the movements of air came from above. The manufactured weather the pegasus ponies created was moving in, and it was borderline overkill. Applejack was right, they never did check for quality when it came to producing storms for the wilderness where no pony lives. The second movement was from the water. Oddly, the raising of the water level of the stream seemed to change something about the pressure of the air. Zap learned, again from his rainbow-maned mother, that every pegasus has an internal altimeter, the senses in their ear can tell within a margin of error how close a flying pegasus was to the ground. In this case, the ground, or water seemed to be getting closer. The last disturbance of gaseous molecules was coming from the sides, particularly the side that was closest to the opposite side of the bridge. The other ponies were speaking out to him, the purple one shouted urgently about Apple Bloom beating him. Zap daydreamed for a few seconds longer, until he snapped out of it and saw his feathers starting to get weighed down by the moisture that found itself on him. He looked frantically around and realized he was on a failing bridge. Everypony was almost on the other side of the bridge, and he needed to be with them, if for not the race's sake, but for the brilliant idea that he would not be swept away and finally get that swimming lesson his mother always promised him for. Today was not the day for swimming though, Zap had too many other plans, like beating ponies six times his age at a hoofrace. Zap painlessly tiptoed his weightless hooves across the rest of the bridge and found himself next to Apple Bloom. "This is fun, Auntie B!" Bridge Crossed
  20. Bridge Zap's senses were whelmed with the sights, sounds, and smells of the forests. With orange and red hues, they all clapped their leaves while cheering him on as if they were fans of the ponies that shared their colors. As his soft hooves pitter-pattered on the dusty path, the first wooden pallets buried in the dirt marked out the beginning of the brook's bridge. He didn't slow down much as his paced onto the bridge, but he did notice how his hoofsteps were echoing against the ravine walls that now set directly below him. The rushing water and the sound of the other ponies stampeding also added to the ambience. As Apple Bloom and Pinkie Pie ran next to him, he felt protected to some extent, which to him was not necessary. He rather enjoyed the loneliness for the short time he executed the ambitions he made about being involved in the running. Auntie seemed a little fretted and out of breath. Even Zap could tell that was a bad sign it being this point of the race, they were only about halfway right? Pinkie Pie was less visibly exhausted, but that was typical. Zap knew the pink pony well, she was always around when there was a big party, especially his birthday. She was also what led to Zap Apple being ultimately confused as to what it meant to be a cousin. It took a half hour inquisitive conversation with his mother in order for him to realize that technically everypony is a cousin if you went back far enough. And these other ponies on the bridge with him, the pegasus with the white socks, or the purple one with the messed up horn, or that stallion who looks like he takes himself too seriously. Were they his cousins, too? He didn't really react much to the other ponies, except for showing an involuntary smile to share his pleasure with the attention they were giving him. But as they crossed the bridge, Zap was distracted so much with the scenery that he slowed to a stop on the mist-covered bridge and looked over it at the rush of water that flowed through it. He could hear the clouds rumbling in the distances as they casted a large shadow over the ravine, and he could smell the fragrances of churning water and damp soil. "Whoa." He whispered to himself, staring at the fierceness of the water building. He had no idea what the living ravine was doing. Was it singing a song? Was it like the trees? Was it also cheering him on?
  21. Bridge "I'm a big pony!" Zap stated it as if he was having an argument. He dare not let another older pony tell him he wasn't old enough to participate, even though it would have come from the best Auntie in the world. Zap may not have fully understood Apple Bloom's lived experiences dealing with an older sister who did everything more amazing than her. His only perspective gave him a few glimmers of opportunity, and foolish or not, Zap decided that this dusted path that weaved through many forests for the next several miles was one offered to him. Zap couldn't lie though, having his Auntie with him did make him feel better, and if the pack of ponies got away from him, he would at least not accidentally take a different unused path and get lost. When the road ahead forked, Zap could only see the kinds of ponies that took them. To the higher road, he saw ponies who looked normal and flirtatious. Going towards the brook's bridge, he saw ponies that looked like they normally wore armor. There was no doubt which direction he would choose. He was not a wimp, he was an apple. And maybe not now, but eventually he would prove to be one of the toughest ponies ever. Why wait for an opportunity to prove that, when it seems a moment has come to illustrate that to the world? He scampered towards the bridge and noticed immediately the depth that the bridge upheld. It wasn't that significant for Zap, who had been to cloud tops with his pegasus mother before. In fact it was pretty serine. The calm water underneath the bridge made him feel more calm about participating.
  22. Fluttershy comfortably trotted to the town center to cast her ballot for the next mayor. She wasn't typically involved in these kinds of functions, she was afraid of the ponies she didn't vote for finding out she didn't vote for them. But her friends encouraged her that it was important for her to vote her interests and that it would be completely anonymous if she wanted. With Angel resting in her mane to keep her calm, Fluttershy entered the building and made her way to an unoccupied voting booth. Once there, she hesitantly looked around to see if anyone was looking at her. Once confident, she took a ballot and began making her choice. Her choice was mostly made based on the aggressive moves one of the candidates seemed to make towards the thing she loves most, animals. It wasn't so much that she was voting for somepony, but rather voting against somepony. But she had to vote her conscious and she was determined to make it official. Once she checked the box she intended, she carefully placed it into the ballot box. Behind her, Angel had found a scrap piece of paper, scribbled on it, and shoved it into the ballot box. Fluttershy wasn't sure his vote would even count, but she felt it was necessary to at least make him feel like it could. After the ballots were submitted, Fluttershy walked out of the town center and made her way back to her cottage. She couldn't gain any extra energy to speak to the candidates there, she felt awkward about speaking to them after she released the pressure that had been built up inside the decision she made.
  23. He had totally forgotten about the race today. Once he finished the little chores around the farm, he heard horns and commotion down the road near the starting line for the annual Ponyville Running of the Leaves. Once he zipped there, he pushed through the crowds of ponies to see the beginning, and noticed it hadn't started yet. For what seemed like his whole life (forever), he had heard about the legends of his mothers' accomplishments. Rainbow Dash's Wonderbolt legacy, Applejack's rodeo trophies. Speed records, endurance championships, title holders. It wasn't just one of them that were esteemed, the both were! Zap was constantly reminded of how amazing his parents were and are. And though he had forgotten the race was due to start today, he had never forgotten the stories his mother told him about the times she lost with Rainbow Dash, the times she almost won, and the time when she won it all. A true heart-stopper of a journey in a pony's athleticism, and it was his own mother! While these thoughts of success running in the family filled his head, he caught eye of his Auntie Apple Bloom at the start line. He could just make her out, even though she was hard to find among the taller ponies around her. Zap would jump and flutter in place to get a good look. But right as the whistle blew for the start of the race, Zap had made a conscious decision in his mind, one he felt he couldn't possibly regret. He wanted to compete. He wanted a piece of the glory. He spilled out of the group of spectators and could be seen running in the wake of the ponies across the start line. He couldn't see the path, only the dust that picked up from the hooves ahead of him. He hoped to at least catch up with his Auntie. He wouldn't even try to use his wings. Even if he could use them for a quick burst of speed, he knew from all of Rainbow Dash's stories about herself that for the leaf running, wings were banned for pegasi to use, and if Applejack caught him cheating, he might never live to eat another apple again.
  24. Remington blushed with slight embarrassment at his display of affection. It could be a cover for him just liking the music, which was all too true. He loved that record. But the thrill of his little performance was more of an ability to psych himself for how he felt about the mare in his room, even if the lyrics were subject to ambiguous interpretations. He saw and heard Moonlight giggle, and as the song ended and she scooted herself towards the desk, he realized she wanted to get down to business. But Remington wasn't done with the pleasantries just yet. He hesitated a moment, but then quickly took the needle off the turntable to keep the music from playing the next song. "Um, Moonlight?" Remington stood in front of Moonlight who was patiently waiting for him to sharpen his pencil. He swallowed excess saliva in his mouth nervously. "There is something I need to tell you." He looked down as if the words he wanted to say were written on the floor. "I..." *KNOCK KNOCK* Remington swung his head around and jumped to the door. He was mildly furious at the timing. He opened the door quickly. "Yes, what?" Standing there was the school's mail carrier, who was responsible for delivering letters and packages to students and teachers. "Uh, is this Remington, 206?" "Yes." "I have a package for you," he looked carefully at the card. "From a Mrs. Your Mom?" "Yes, yes. Thank you." Remington took the package and closed the door, somewhat rudely. He set the package down and looked to Moonlight with a smile. He inhaled to continue what he was saying, but another pair of knocks echoed behind him. *KNOCK KNOCK* He winced and went to the door and opened it. "Um, sorry. But this is also supposed to be delivered here. It's the belongings to a new student who will be rooming with you starting tonight." The carrier helped himself into the dorm room and dumped a large unmarked brown sack onto the second bed. Once the bag was secured on the bed, he saluted Moonlight. "Miss." He then walked towards the door and closed it behind him, somewhat rudely. Remington just stood there waiting for the delivery to be made. He could have been thinking about how all the sudden he has a roommate now, but instead just wanted the carrier to leave so he could talk to Moonlight in private. Once he left, he sighed. He looked back to Moonlight. "Sorry about that, I guess I have a roommate now. Anyway, where was I?" He took a deep breath. "Moonlight. I really like you. Like, really really like you. We've gotten along so well with each other, and the more time I spend with you, the more I realize that I might think of you more than just a friend. I could never have expected that somepony like you would even care to spend any amount of time with me. You've made me feel really special. And for that, I thank you. I don't ever want anything to be between us." Remington paused. He wasn't sure how far to go with this. He was too cowardly for the moment to lean in to any specifics, but he just wanted her to know how he felt. This was how he felt openly. There might have been more secretive things he thought about, but for the moment this was what he was willing to share. Remington's lips quivered with the fear of having nothing else to say, combined with the trepidation of wondering how she would respond to how bold the things he just said was. He finished with a, "And... that's it. Let's study." He sat down onto his desk chair.
  25. Fluttershy heard Solar Flare clearly. She seemed in good understanding of her relationship with her pet. It was good to see. Not everypony understood that sometimes pets needed some time away from their pony partners. Fluttershy hoped that Sunny had been exploring his more mature inspirations of companionship as doing so would indicate a healthy relationship with the animal community around him. She kept walking towards the snake homes and then commented on Solar's desire to help with anything requiring medical stimulation. "Oh thank you. I think most of the animals here are kept well and sometimes they need a bandage here or there, but nothing too catastrophic." Fluttershy bent down and poked her head into a snake hole. "Are you hungry, Monty? It's been eighteen hours since your last meal." She removed her head from the hole and grabbed a bag of snake meal, which looked like miniature bread rolls, but was actually a balanced vegetarian-based diet viable for snakes. Like all predators, Fluttershy would not allow any animal to eat any other animal while in the safety and confidence of the sanctuary. This was easily said but sometimes difficult to enforce, as many critters who are used to eating more protein-rich diets might find themselves losing weight and energy while under Fluttershy's care. But typically, the trade-off was worth any therapy the animal needed from the yellow pegasus. As Fluttershy tossed some snake treats to the snake that would eventually come out of his hiding place, Angel Bunny came hopping very fast towards Fluttershy with a sincere amount of urgency. He plopped in front of her to get her attention and began motioning to her with his paws. She answered to him out loud. "What? Jessicat fell from a tree? She was trying to, WHAT!?" Fluttershy picked herself up by her wings and started flying towards the area where Angel was leading her. At the base of a tree, she could see a gray cat writhing in pain. "Oh, what happened?" Fluttershy immediately started talking calmly to the animal. As she inspected the feline, she noticed right away that her left rear leg seemed to have broken, and was going to need splinting and wrapping. "Angel, go get my med kit." Angel saluted and hopped away.
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