Kichona scuffed at the grass with a hoof. “Come out of there, right now!”
“Nooo!” came the reply.
“What ever is the matter?” she begged.
“We’re so close! Close to the mountains. And beyond them is Chowa, and that’s the capital!”
Kichona fretted. “But… but we’re trying to go there! All the ponies said the wonderful musicians were heading for Chowa to perform, we want to see them play! What’s got into you?”
“There will be Kirin, the most powerful Kirin!” wailed the overgrown, trembling shrub. “I’m sure I saw one racing across the skies!”
Kichona’s lip quivered. She addressed the bush before her.
“But YOU are a Kirin!”
Daitana’s head poked miserably out of the bush. His lip quivered too, and his wonderful Kirin horn glimmered weakly, barely any glow left in it at all.
“Not much of one,” he sniffled. “They’ll destroy me! I have failed in my duty, I am no Kirin at all…”
Kichona’s eyes glistened. “Please, please come out of there. You’re not well. We must find help for you…”
“Find me more of those lichens!” begged Daitana. “I’m sure there’s magic in them. I just know it’ll be all right if only we can find more of those glowing lichens and moss.”
Kichona hesitated. “I will if you come out. And let me hug you,” she said.
Daitana did. Days of living off the land had not helped his stamina. He wobbled, and the lichens hadn’t been much help. They did have magic, in a sense, but they also had many other curious effects and the hapless Kirin had raved ecstatically for five minutes and then thrown up. Worse, he’d thrown up magic as well as the bellyful of lichens, and it’d left him more starved than when he started.
And Kichona was beginning to realize that a starving Daitana was even more wilful and unhinged than a half-starved Daitana. His gaze at her was seething with Kirin passion and desperate need, but it terrified her that he’d grown so passionate, because his strength was giving out and he’d become even more stubborn about not feeding from unicorns that weren’t his beloved. And then the paranoia set in…
He cried, as she hugged him. She cried, as she felt his emaciation, his trembling. This wasn’t how love should go.
“We’ll get there,” vowed Daitana. “We’ll hear the music. For you. Even if they destroy me.”
“You’re not well,” repeated Kichona.
His eyes were wild, fevered. “If I expire it shall be listening to the music we seek…”
“Oh, poop on the music!” cried Kichona, tearfully. “Daitana, my love! Don’t you see…”
“What was that?!?” gasped Daitana. “Was it a Kirin?”
Her ears laid back, Kichona scanned the skies. “I don’t think so. I think it may have been a Weird Monster flying by! I’ve never seen one. If it was a Kirin, I would beg them for help. Perhaps it was. Help, help!”
“Shh, quiet!” insisted Daitana. “What was that? In the bushes, no more than two hundred yards away!”
“I didn’t hear anything,” said Kichona, more quietly. “Oh, Daitana!”
“I thought I heard something. We must continue. We’ll have to go around the mountains, they’re impassable.”
“If you were feeling better,” said Kichona, “you could go over them. You could do anything.”
“Only our most enlightened Kirin, Daiyam, climbs to the top of those mountains,” said Daitana. “Kirin don’t do foolish things like that, even Daiyam goes there only to meditate in perfect solitude. Kirin can’t, especially not me.”
“Why not?” asked Kichona, her lip quivering.
“Because I am no Kirin,” said Daitana, his voice regaining the lilting cadances of Kirin formality for just a moment. “Kirin care for all ponies. That is their duty. I am lost. I love just one mare. My magic is gone. Indeed I don’t deserve it. I weaken. But before I expire, we will hear music!”
He lay his head against Kichona’s neck, and she stared tragically into space, stroking his mane, so silky and soft but so quiet in the absence of its animating magic. She nodded. “Rest, my love. We’ll hear your music.”
“YOUR music,” corrected Daitana, with an exhausted sigh.
“My music,” agreed Kichona sadly. As she stared into space, her jaw set in determination, and her gaze grew angry and fierce.
Perhaps, she thought, her beloved Kirin really was ceasing to be a Kirin. Perhaps he was right, that he would be in dreadful trouble if he was caught with her, so obsessed, so weak and debilitated. Perhaps she was bad for him. It was hard to think otherwise, as she watched him sicken and grow stranger by the day.
But she would still pretend to seek that wonderful music, heard but once at a distance, and pursued ever after, across half of Neighpon.
And it probably would lead them around the impassable mountains, and to the capital city of Chowa, where the musicians would perform for all the most enlightened Kirin.
And then she’d get them to fix poor mad Daitana, even if it made him forget about her and resume life as a normal Kirin!
“I love you,” breathed Daitana, and he went to sleep snuggling up against her, in the warm embrace of her comforting forelegs.
Kichona gazed up at the mountains they’d be journeying around. Impassable, unattainable. Not fit for mortal pony. Beautiful and too big for one poor mare to reach, much less own. Much like… the love of a mad Kirin, one who sickened and grew pale and wan from the intensity of his infatuation.
Kichona’s fierce glare softened. The beauty of the mountains felt very big, and she felt very small.
“I think I will have to love you more,” she said, so quietly that Daitana could not hear.
Two hundred yards away, Braeburn’s eyes were gleaming slits as he reconnoitered, ears pricked for any sound, his face camouflaged with two different colors of mud and his mane festooned with fresh leaves.
He’d heard a mare call out ‘Help, help!’ but it hadn’t continued… and he was in no position to help anypony.
He was sneaking his way across Neighpon to the capital city, because he’d heard the musicians were expected to perform there. If so, he would find Big Macintosh there… Princess, to him. And then?
Braeburn’s eyes swam with tears. And then he would get one last kiss, perhaps, or he would beg, or… he wasn’t sure.
He longed for Princess, but after days of skulking across the land, he longed for a simple pony hug, from just about anypony. He didn’t dare try and find one. All ponies were against him in this strange and beautiful place. They seemed so happy, but he’d become a terrifying spectacle, haunted and driven. Worse, he had become a violent and cruel horse: he still thought constantly of that poor swishy pegasus he’d clobbered. He hoped the poor little guy was okay, but there was no way to find out. Perhaps Moeru, so passionate and lusty, was dead because of his terrible fit of… what had he done? It wasn’t even temper, not really. He’d been about to mount the poor boy, staring at that brick-red bottom, and Moeru had crooned ‘love me’… and he’d flipped out.
It hadn’t been Moeru’s fault that he was not Princess.
It had been his fault, that he’d stopped being Braeburn for a terrible moment.
And now he seemed condemned to be Braeburn again, Braeburn in the fullest extent of the word, a wild cowpony using all the talents of the long trail to evade capture by the posse. But there was no joy in it, because there was nowhere to flee to. Princess didn’t want him, and all the ponies in this land stood to betray him. He couldn’t trust even one of them, and he had to find his love and see Princess again while hiding in bushes literally all of the time.
He’d never been such an outlaw, and the outlaw existence had never seemed so worthless in all his life. His crimes weren’t a matter of inflaming mare-ly passions, this time. He’d been goaded by passion into striking down an innoc… well, no, there weren’t nothin’ so innocent about that colt and his hunger for stallion cock, and if he was to be believed (and his tackle-capture of Braeburn had been impressive) he was a mighty capable boy. But on another level, how innocent he was, just wanting to take a prisoner and cheer that prisoner up with eager pegasus butthole embraces.
Braeburn wiped a tear. He ought to have at least waited until the poor colt blew a massive load, and THEN clobbered h… no, that was ridiculous.
Shouldn’ta left home, he thought. Not once ya got a home. Shouldn’ta kicked the place down and run off to Neighpon. It was too late now: he couldn’t possibly go back, he’d be caught for sure. Them pegasi were no joke. He didn’t dare get caught by one again. Or unicorns, or earth ponies even if they seemed sweet as anything… especially not the Kirin. He had to go forward, or he was lost. Somewhere around the mountains was the capital city. He’d been lucky enough to hear some conversations from ponies discussing where the musicians meant to go next, otherwise he’d be truly lost.
Ha! He’d never stop bein’ lost. There was nothin’ left for him… but he had to see Princess again. There was no plan, there was no hope, not when Princess turned away and wouldn’t meet his eye… but all the same, he had to. Just had to.
Braeburn faded away into the underbrush and foliage, and then nothing could see him at all.
The delicate rustling of foliage resumed as the Sneaking Spy began to travel around the mountains, toward Chowa, though he did not know the way.
“Big Macintosh! The speaker is crooked!” accused Octavia.
“Settle down, Tavi!” snapped Vinyl Scratch. “He’ll fix it. Won’t you, Big Macintosh?”
“Eyup,” reassured Big Macintosh, his ears laid back… because the speaker looked perfect to him, yet Octavia glared fretfully as if he’d left it pointing backwards.
“Well, go on!” said the DJ unicorn.
“Uhhh… remind me again, how ya wanted it?”
“Arrgh!” cried Octavia, and jumped down from the little stage they’d been given. As they approached Chowa, the audiences became more numerous, the venues more impressive… and the musicians, more stressed and frantic.
DJ Pon-3 gawked at her fellow performer. “Hey hey whoa WAIT STOP!” she whinnied.
Octavia wrenched the speaker to the left, her teeth gritted, soft mare muscle bulging and straining… and then, Scratch was pulling her away, shades askew, a look of horror in her eyes.
“You’re on in TEN MINUTES,” she insisted, “what are you DOING?”
Octavia glowered, rubbing her foreleg. “Fixing the speakers.”
“Look at you! You’re wincing! That is your bowing foreleg, Octavia!”
“Well, if he didn’t aim it all wrong, probably on purpose to see if I was paying attention…”
Big Macintosh gasped. “Nuh-uh! Ah never! Why would Ah do such a thing, Miss Octavia?”
She was trembling, and glared at him again. “Oh, I’ve seen the look in your eyes. You don’t believe angles of a few degrees matter for the sound dispersal, and you get cross with me when I correct you more than five times, and you’re testing me, aren’t you?”
“Enough!” whinnied Vinyl Scratch. “Stop it, both of you! Octavia, go and rest your foreleg, you’re performing almost right away. Big Macintosh, you gotta trust us, we really do know what we’re doing with this music stuff…”
“He has to keep up,” muttered Octavia. “He’s got to. He can’t be the weak link.”
“Oh my GAWWD Tavi, seriously? Him, weak? Fucking look at him, okay? Let him do his job,” said Scratch. “I mean it. Believe that I mean every word I say right now.”
Octavia’s lip quivered. “So do I.”
Scratch gave her a hard stare. “Yeah, I noticed. You’ve been getting harsher and harsher with the poor big lunk, and I want to know why.”
Octavia wouldn’t look directly at her old friend… and then, suddenly, she did. “Because Michian was as good as his word. It cost you a lot to lay him, and you did, and he set things up so we’re going straight to Chowa to play for the most important ponies and Kirin in all Neighpon. And I’m not going to let anything fuck that up for you, Scratchie. This is for you.”
Vinyl Scratch stared back, her shades askew, her eyes wide. “B… but, first of all you promised you weren’t gonna talk about him again especially right before a gig, what the fuck is WRONG with you Tavi, and second of all he never gave me any word about anything…”
“It’s obvious,” said Octavia, a little more gently. “Look at us. Just this one more gig, and then we have to rush around this mountain range so we can reach Chowa. They’re all expecting us. Why would they even care, otherwise? He came through, Scratchie. You won. Now we have to follow through. Now we have to do it.”
Vinyl gulped, trying to compose herself.
“Don’t we?” said Octavia, gentler still.
“Yes, dear Scratchie?”
“You are on in seven minutes. Get ready.”
Octavia’s eyes flashed with courageous determination. She gave DJ Pon-3 a salute, then jumped back on stage, preparing for her duties as opening act.
“We’ll be good,” promised Big Macintosh. “I kin stand her running around like she got a cooter full of bees.”
Vinyl gulped again. “Yeah. Do that. I’ll talk to her. Maybe that’s her problem, I can’t imagine why she’s not blowing off steam with locals. I could use some of that, but I gotta think of something to add to the show for Chowa, put it over the top. We don’t have anything, we’ve just got us. And you, I mean, we’ve got you as well.”
“Do ya want a nice lil’ pony hug, ma’am?”
“No!” snapped Vinyl. “Not right now! I gotta focus. I mean, sorry, I really do have to focus. I think you’re done for the day, just be there in the morning because we’ve got to start good and early for the trip around the mountains.”
“Yes, ma’am!” replied Big Macintosh, looking dismayed. His DJ boss looked really fried, but even as he watched he saw her pulling it together, raising her chin, straightening her rose-colored trademark shades: putting on the armor of DJ Pon-3, because she was on after Octavia finished, and she wasn’t about to blow it.
When Octavia faced the crowd, cello in hoof, and greeted them with a toss of her mane and a flourish of her bow… the roar that went up seemed as large as all their previous gigs rolled together. She hadn’t played a note. It was in anticipation of what was about to transpire.
It really did seem like Michian had put the word out: this tour was not to be missed.
Vinyl Scratch flinched at the ravenous cheering, and her eyes were bleak and scared behind the shades as the applause cut off instantly with a gesture from Octavia. The first notes oozed out of the meticulously positioned speakers: the speakers that would first caress the crowd with cello, and then thump, rock and hump them with heavy beats and bass drops when it was the turn of DJ Pon-3 to live up to the hype.
The crowd listened, rapt, as the evening started.
DJ Pon-3 took a deep breath, as Big Macintosh quietly skulked off to watch the crowd from the side of the stage.
He was scanning the crowd, trying to work out what his chances were of getting in some unicorn practice without too much crazy, when…
Suddenly, he was standing straight and tall, staring like a madpony at a gap in the crowd. There’d been a glimpse of something that jolted him to the core.
Suddenly, he was trotting through hordes of awed ponies, even as they danced to DJ Pon-3’s big climatic finale. He didn’t even know what he was doing, he butted ponies aside with his massive chest, looking this way and that…
There it was again! He hadn’t been imagining it!
It was a lovely sandy-colored rump, sure. And a fine, ruddy-blonde tail, with a hint of cowpony raggedyness, no mistaking that. And, yes, he saw a cutie mark and it was a big red juicy apple.
But the green eyes that looked back at him… and even that detail matched! But it wasn’t him.
He was looking at a Neighponnese mare. An earth pony. Looking? He was staring at her like she was the answer to all his dreams. And why was he doing that, when she wasn’t Hina and wasn’t even Braeburn, wonderful Braeburn who’d taught him so much?
The unicorns tended to be little. Neighponnese ponies in general tended to be little. This mare wasn’t so little as all that. Her size wasn’t so far off the size of Braeburn, or a typical Ponyville pony.
She blinked at him, undaunted. “Well, look at you!” she cried, over the thunder of the music. “Have we met?”
“Who are yuh?” gasped Big Macintosh.
She batted her eyelashes, and smiled.
“I’m Fuji,” she said, and the last beat dropped. The concert was over, still reverberating out of the hills as ponies all around them cheered and hugged.
Big Macintosh gawked. He realized his mouth was hanging open. That wasn’t all that was hanging. Mares all around, and at least five of the stallions, were gawking at the rest of him. Fuji didn’t gawk, she just smiled.
“Did you come over here just to look at me?” she said, playfully. “I wouldn’t mind. For once I’m not the big pony. I enjoy looking at you, too.”
“I have a better idea!” squeaked a little violet mare, trotting up.
“Back off, Atsui!” squealed the sandy-colored, russet-maned, Braeburn-alike. “It’s not fair! Anyway, you’d have to go see the Kirin after, so there!”
“You’d have to see the Kirin,” accused Atsui, “because nopony will lay you and you’re probably fertile!”
Fuji stuck out her lower lip. “I saw the Kirin already. I had a feeling I might get lucky. And I meant, go and get your vagina repaired afterward, foolish mare!”
“Yay!” squeed Atsui, predictably, with a cute poing into the air.
“No, I mean it!” urged Fuji. She gave the smaller, more delicate mare a hug. “Be good. At least let me have my chance? It’s been such a long time, even to try it.”
“Well, if you groomed your mane nicely…” retorted Atsui, hugging her friend back.
Both turned, startled, to look at Big Macintosh. The objection had been his.
“Ah mean… I like it,” he said.
He began to blush. Fuji began to blush, and grin. Atsui snickered, and whacked the larger mare on the withers with a hoof. “See what else he likes! That’s fair. See ya!”
She trotted off quite happily, and Big Macintosh stared blushingly at this curiously large, bulky, tousled mare.
She had to look away, finally. “I don’t, you know. Groom my mane, I mean. All the girls tell me I should. There doesn’t seem to be a point, and there’s always so much work to be done…”
He gulped, unable to stop staring. “Reminds me of somepony, that’s all.”
Her eyes flew wide. “All? Oh, no! Darn it, I thought… fine, if that’s how it must be. I hope it’s a good somepony?” Then she glanced under him, and hit him with an eyes-narrowed gaze. “You’ve not even told me who you are, and I hope that’s not all. Your dangura says it’s more than just reminding you of somepony.”
“Oh! Ah’m sorry, ma’am, where are my manners? I’m Big Macintosh.”
“Appropriate,” purred Fuji. “I’m pleased to meet you. You’re staring at my flank, and I’m used to that speaking only of my livelihood, not of pleasure.” She bit her lower lip, cutely, her ears laid slightly back in trepidation. “Do you… like it?”
“Livelihood?” asked Big Macintosh.
“I’m a farmer pony,” said Fuji. “I grow a special kind of apple.”
Big Macintosh’s eyes widened. “Dang. Guess it’s a good thing you ain’t got three apples on your butt or it’d be a whole other kinda creepy…”
“It’s not creepy!” exclaimed Fuji, stamping a hind hoof. The taut supple jounce of her muscular rump brought Big Macintosh’s dangling stallionhood up to slap against his belly. That, plus she’d been flicking her tail about excitedly, and it flew like a russet flag in the gentle evening breeze. “They’re the best apples, you’d better not have a problem with farmers or I’ll…”
“No, no!” exclaimed Big Macintosh. Fuji quieted, staring at his cock, her ears perked forward in great interest. He continued, “Ah’m a farmer myself! What’s more, an apple farmer!”
Fuji licked her lips. “Oooh. Well then. Mister Macintosh, care to plant some apple seeds?” She hastily added, “Just for sport, you know! I won’t require anything else of you, we just do this for fun. Or they do, I don’t do it much. Um… do ponies have sex for fun where you come from? I don’t really know. I don’t want to offend, I’d just really like to. Really.”
Big Macintosh sniffed the air, wrinkled his lip in appreciation, grinned at her. “Twist my hoof, why don’t ya. I mean, yeah! It’s jes’ a saying. Means ‘yes’. Lead the way, we’ll go back to your house and git private.”
Her eyes widened. “What?”
“You know, lead me to…”
“I’m a farm pony, Mister Macintosh! I’m only an earth pony. I share a farm house with eight other mares, all of them cuter and daintier than me… or that’s what they’d tell you. What is ‘private’? Why would I lead you someplace like that?”
“Um,” said Big Macintosh, “y’know, go off somewheres and have sex an’ all…”
Fuji rolled her eyes. “You don’t want to be seen with me, of course.”
“Naw, it ain’t nothin’ like that!” protested Big Macintosh. “Honey, Ah love the whole look of ya, from that fine toned rump to that there wild prairie mane, I tell you I’m proud ta tap that ass… exceptin’ that maybe you’ll like it better up the hoo-ha an’ not the patootie…”
“Look around,” instructed Fuji.
He did. At least six pairs of ponies were quietly and happily copulating around them, all at a polite distance so as not to be distracting. One pair was actually a threesome of stallions, with an extra one sucking from below. One of the couples contained Atsui, who called out, “Go for it, Fuji!” before her eyes rolled back in her head in bliss, testament to the pleasures of the slim but muscular pegasus who’d mounted and entered her.
Big Macintosh looked back at Fuji. She smirked at him, with a coy angling of her head, and then trotted away a short distance, with Big Macintosh following close behind. Her gait was springy and healthy and fine, like the farm ponies he knew… in fact, dern it, she had a flank nearly as potent as his beloved sister, though it felt less disturbin’ to think of it as a flank to rival ol’ Braeburn’s, he’d just be enterin’ a bit lower…
“It’s okay!” squeaked Fuji, darted forward, and hugged him. “I’m not making fun of you, if you’re shy that’s okay! Don’t cry! I’m sorry if I’m not attractive, but it’d mean so much!”
“Ah’m not, I mean you’re fine,” began Big Macintosh, and wiped his eyes. “Sorry. Been workin’ real hard, an’ thinking of stuff I shouldn’t think about.”
Fuji hugged him harder. “Don’t be sad. I want to make you happy, Mister Macintosh. And I really could use this, okay? I never get laid, I’m not pretty.”
“Mrrf,” went Big Macintosh into her neck, as he hugged back.
He hugged tighter, and spoke clearly. “Th’ hell you ain’t. Miss Fuji, you’re a hot hunk o’ mare, and it is my honor.”
“Oooh…” she breathed, in amazement and a little disbelief.
“Don’t even go no farther,” he said. “Let ‘em watch.”
“Oooh!” squeed Fuji. She pranced for a moment like a filly, and her fine muscled body gleamed in the evening light… and then, Big Macintosh reared and clasped that supple rump against his belly, and began to trot and position himself.
She arched her neck against his in delight, and let out a wild whinny as he prodded her pussy, and then with a deft shove of his powerful hips, he’d poked his expanding flare into her and she clamped down excitedly upon him. She was silky-slick and the closest thing to his scale he’d had since he came to Neighpon… yet, he didn’t start pounding her, didn’t ram boldly to her gizzards like some maddened colt’s first fucking.
He was, after all, the greatest stud-pony of Ponyville and its environs, and he’d been trained by… well, by somepony whose absence hurt his heart dreadfully, if he was honest. He’d been trained by a pony who looked just like this mare in so many ways. As a sort of homage, as an act of expiation, as the nearest thing to an apology he was going to ever see, he began to make love to Fuji as if she was that pony he’d lost, as if it somehow could heal his hurts just by dealing with this mare the way he knew he could.
Fuji’s eyes grew wider and wider, as she felt the massive, potent hard-on begin to explore her vagina with ingenuity and tenderness, moving in a way she’d never felt… swelling to breathtaking girth… and lasting, lasting so astonishingly long, like no other stallion had ever done inside her.
She began to whimper with pleasure, against the faint squelching noises her pussy made. She gave a breathy squeal, clenching upon him in an orgasm that dizzied her, and then the squelching was a lot louder, for she’d gushed with lube and all he did was deepen his stroke, taking advantage of the lubrication.
Other ponies began to drift over, fascinated, including a post-coital Atsui and her pegasus lover. They watched, faces alight with happiness, keeping very quiet and still to not disturb the scene.
Fuji jolted harder and began to pant and wriggle, tensing her buttocks again and again, bearing down on that ridiculously girthy shaft. Some of the watching mares had eyes bigger than the horsecock those eyes devoured. Some of the ears, both mare and stallion, were laid back in alarm, just thinking about what that had to feel like. They stared back and forth between the big strong farm pony mare, and the stallion who straddled her and made her look, if not small, then in scale. Their awe was obvious.
Big Macintosh shut his eyes, and kept on lovingly balling the mare with a Ponyville body and colors like his lost Braeburn. He clasped her closer, feeling his climax impending, and his cock swelled up enthusiastically in the snug muscular confines of a fine healthy mare like the mares back home.
Fuji began to emit little shrieks, oddly fillyish, staring up into the evening sky as if witnessing something impossible and miraculous there. Her whole body began to shiver and quake in his embrace.
Big Macintosh gritted his teeth.
“YEEEE!” screamed Fuji, her body rigid with shock. Just as she’d begun to really climax, a weighty load of horse-spooge had blasted through Big Macintosh’s cock, uncompressed by the challenges of dainty undersized and overambitious vaginas… and it had all slammed into her cervix and flooded her womb in a single heavy blorp. He’d given just enough of a shove to pop all her corks and seal himself firmly against leakage, and then he’d flooded her like a tsunami of farmpony.
She collapsed forward, and as Big Macintosh frantically tried to avoid toppling onto her, five cheering mares sprang forward to support their companion.
“Yay! Yay, Fuji!” cried Atsui. “You did it!”
“She’s beautiful!” cried another. “She’s not frigid or uptight at all! She came!”
“Uh, uh,” sputtered Big Macintosh. They were holding him up as well. Then, the whole crowd eased them forward, and Fuji sprawled, ass in the air, horsecock still buried in her vagina, and her face pressing the grass: eyes half-lidded in postcoital stunnedness, and tongue cutely lolling.
“Yay!” repeated Atsui. “We love you, Fuji! Now we know what you need!”
“Since when can we find a dangura to fit her?” protested another mare.
“It was not just that!” said Atsui’s pegasus. “I watched. He went for amazingly long, like a fucking hero! I know a guy who will take on the challenge. I will try myself! We will learn to please Fuji, now that we know how. The rewards are great. Did you see her eyes?”
“Uh, scuse me!” protested Big Macintosh.
The pegasus turned, smiling, to face him. “And you are that hero. If it does not hurt you too much, stay there! This is a wonderful night.”
“No,” squealed a mare. “Me next!”
In alarm, Big Macintosh squirmed away, popping juicily out of Fuji, who splatted bonelessly onto the ground surrounded by most of the celebrating mares.
“I better get movin’,” he said, “before th’ Kirin comes to scold me some more!”
All the ponies blinked, astonished.
“Why?” said one.
“Well, ya see,” stammered Big Macintosh, “my experiences with ponies here keep being a lil’ too exciting, and some of y’alls ladies ain’t exactly the type to fill me with confidence…”
“Yay!” squeaked a bouncing, petite earth pony mare.
Big Macintosh recoiled, and ran for it.
The assembled ponies blinked at each other, their ears back.
“I think you scared him, Dekinai,” said the pegasus. “I think he expected you to demand his dangura.”
The itty-bitty pony gasped. “No, that was Hirobiro demanding some! Not me, why would I ask that? He would split me in two!”
“Of course it was me!” said the mare in question. “You know how much I like huge cock! Curse it, it would have been so incredible!”
“Be good, Hirobiro,” chided Dekinai. “The important thing is that Fuji found love.”
“Yes,” said the pegasus. “I promise, I will make it my mission to find her that combination of dangura and stamina she needs. To think we overlooked her, all this time!”
Dekinai made an itty-bitty grumpy face. “Be fair to yourself too. She used to complain and insist that she was unloveable, too large and crude, a mere farm worker pony without beauty. I’ve seen you try and flirt, and be put off by this.”
Fuji stirred. “…’m sorry…”
The pegasus leaned down and kissed her. “Don’t worry. Now we know the truth of you, beautiful strong mare.”
“Yay!” squeed tiny Dekinai, once more.
“Why did the amazing giant horse think Kirin would come here?” wondered Atsui.
“I don’t know,” said the pegasus. “We’re not foolish ponies, we don’t hurt ourselves or others. Why would Kirin need to come when we aren’t problem ponies that need their attention?” He blinked. “But… Dekinai, if that titanic dangura wedged into you, you would need all the Kirin to rescue your suberi-yasui-men. I know, and you know, that you would not attempt anything so painful and foolish. Why, then, did you cry ‘yay’ and frighten the giant horse?”
She blinked, smiling at him.
“Because I would get to watch him fuck Hirobiro?”
And then, there was nothing but laughing ponies hugging, and good cheer.
“Oh my GAWWWD honey, I’m so looking forward to this,” crooned Vinyl Scratch.
The subject of her attentions blushed and smiled a great big eye-crinkling grin. He was a white earth pony stallion, with a greying brown mane and tail. He sported a little goatee, and though he was taller than the great DJ Pon-3, otherwise unremarkable. He did wear little glasses, but it was as much practicality as affectation: he had difficulty reading things close up.
It wasn’t his looks that had captivated the great DJ. Nor was it an enormous horsecock, for he didn’t have that. It was all right, mind you: nothing to sneer at, but hardly a record-setter.
It was simply this: Hasu came from Shido, in the Nairiku-bu province of Neighpon. He lived there still, and was returning from a business trip to Chowa. One more day, and he’d have returned to Shido, unknowing.
And that was where Vinyl Scratch came from.
Vinyl snuggled him, and he hugged back warmly. His eyes had gone very wide behind his little glasses when he finally recognized Vinyl behind her DJ Pon-3 shades, and after the gig he’d shyly made his way to the stage where Pon-3 was holding court among a gaggle of starstruck ponies panting for her attention, or indeed attentions.
She’d stared, frowning, at him for ten seconds before lighting up like a Hearth’s Warming decoration and squealing “HASUUU!” and pouncing him. From that moment on, the hapless starfucker ponies were doomed to just wander off in pairs and threes, because Vinyl Scratch had glommed onto some sort of old nerdpony and wouldn’t even let go.
It wasn’t even a sexy glom, at first: Vinyl had a million questions about back home, which Hasu was delighted to answer. Things were well in Shido, and Vinyl hugged him again and again in delight, hearing how her other old friends were thriving.
The blushing and grinning began on both sides when Hasu’s body responded, noticeably, to the rubbing, nuzzling presence of an affectionate, excited mare.
They’d fucked, back in the day. It hadn’t seemed like a big deal at the time, though it’d been nice. He’d been fixated on his reading, indeed had become a bookseller in Shido. She had been chosen by the Kirin… and had then pursued her destiny. Neither had thought twice about their parting of the ways.
As Hasu’s modest horsecock pressed against Vinyl’s belly, it brought with it intense memories of a simpler time… and he’d been entirely willing to revisit the old times.
“Trust me, it’ll be a thousand times better,” teased Vinyl. “I’ve been doing exercises for years. I can’t wait to show you! I’m kind of amazing now, you’ll see. Uh, I mean feel.”
“You’re silly,” replied Hasu, with a snuggle.
“No, seriously,” retorted Hasu. He touched his nose to hers, peered over the little glasses. “Vinyl, nothing you do could be better than you already are. I was a virgin colt when you led me off to the quiet place in the orchard, west of town. I didn’t know what to do, and you helped, but the special thing was this: you were so happy. I know I can’t have had much skill, but it felt so good… and I could tell in my bones that it made you feel good too. We shared that.”
Vinyl’s eyes widened, drinking him in.
“Ever after,” said Hasu, “I’ve had a piece of that freedom. I can tell by how you are now, that you’ve never lost it. Heck, you’re proud to show me what you’ve learned! Sounds great, let’s do it. But know this: you were always more than enough, and thinking about you has always made me feel good.”
Her lip quivered, and then she’d smushed it against his in a fervent kiss.
“Me too,” she insisted. “I mean, I wasn’t a virgin, it’s not like that, but DUDE you know I always think back on it with like total fondness, I want you to know that, not even making it up even though I’ve had like miles of dick since then…”
Hasu chuckled. “Well, I don’t have miles of dick, Vinyl. Same old Vinyl, lusty filly!”
“Same old Hasu, everything’s funny!” retorted Vinyl, her eyes dancing.
“Would you like another foot or so, milady?” teased Hase. “Every little bit helps.”
“I’m gonna give you the works,” promised Vinyl. “And you know what? I’m gonna love it, you have no idea how good it felt to see you again. Oh my GAWWWD Hasu, seriously!”
“Oh my GAWWWWD Vinyl Scratch,” he said, and winked from behind the little glasses… for that was what he’d said so many years ago, when she’d propositioned him. And she’d said it back, mimicking his little saying, and added, “I’m going to make you mean that when you say it to me!”
And so she had, and even picked up the curious phrase.
“But right now I gotta check on something,” she said, turning aside.
Hasu didn’t even blink. “Of course. What’s up?”
“Besides you?” teased Vinyl. “Put that on hold, I still want it. There was some trouble with my roadie and my opening act, before the show. I want to be sure they’re not fighting. I’d lend you to her, but she’s acting funny and I’m selfish and want you all to myself.”
He chuckled. “Granted.”
“Before I spotted you, I’m sure I saw Big Macintosh balling some pony out in the field. If he went home with her… gah!”
Vinyl jumped back. She’d stepped around the side of the PA speaker, only to discover that Big Macintosh himself was hiding behind it.
“What happened, Big Macintosh? Is something wrong?”
“Wrong?” blurted Big Macintosh. “Ah’m tryin’ to make my mind up between wrong and wronger and wrongest!”
Vinyl heaved a sigh. “Talk to me. What’s up? Do we have to skip town again?”
“That’s jes’ it,” moaned Big Macintosh. “Ah’m afraid the wrongest thing might be, we don’t!”
Vinyl boggled. She took a deep breath, glancing at Hasu, turning again to her recalcitrant roadie. “Okay, spill it.”
Big Macintosh gulped, a look of pitiable distress on his face, and tried to gather his cumbersome, plodding ideas.
“I reckon I ought to be practicin’ on unicorns to feed up my Kirin love for when I finally find her, but I did a dumb thing, like even dumber than fuckin’ pegasus mares. I done fucked an earth pony mare, right over there. And that can’t be right ’cos I ought to be the best I kin be at makin’ unicorns squirt, no offence since I know you got upset over bein’ a big failure pony at that, but it jes’ goes to show I gotta do better than you, but I don’t mean on you ‘cos you don’t do th’ road crew though I gotta wonder if I’d been there mebbe I coulda helped, to get you to squirt enough that is, but the thing is, I been fuckin’ a passel of ponies and sometimes gittin’ chased out of town by Kirin, but I proper knocked this pony over and there ain’t no Kirin comin’ to help her. An’ they came to help all the unicorns and pegasuses an’ such. Miss Vinyl, don’t the Kirin love earth ponies the same as the fancy magic ponies? ‘Cos there ain’t no Kirin helpin’ the mare I fucked, an’ she fell right over. An’ then the little bitty fillies keep wantin’ to wreck themselves on my dick.”
He stared, plainitively, at his boss.
She stared back at him as if he’d repeatedly kicked her in the head, until Hasu gently touched her withers. Her jaw had dropped, and it would take a while before she could even begin to think about reeling it in. Where the fuck would she even start?
Kicking HIM in the head repeatedly would not help the tour. And it would bring Kirin, for legitimate reasons and not his mad kaleidoscope of demented and insulting notions.
“Hold that thought,” she ordered. “I need to go check on Octavia.”
And then she was off, with Hasu running to keep up, then catching her. “Vinyl! Sweet! What is this madness?”
She paused, tearfully. “Exactly! Shut up, just shut up, I gotta find my opening act. Maybe she can talk sense into him? I can’t even, I so totally can’t even…”
“That wasn’t nice,” said Hasu darkly. “Aside from saying horrible things about Kirin, what he suggested about you…”
“Ya THINK?” wailed Scratch. “Shut up shut up, I need Octavia, I can always count on Octavia to be an oasis of sanity no matter how strange things get. I know she was going to scout around for food we could take on the road, she probably went back to our cart…”
Vinyl slowed, fell silent. The cart was there, and in a sense food was there, but the manner of consuming it seemed unusual.
Octavia was just behind the cart and hadn’t heard them. She was somewhat distracted. The manner of her distraction was also unusual. She took the form of a tripod-pony: five-legged, with two forelegs down between her two hindlegs positioning a third leg where legs did not normally go.
It was leg-sized, but it was actually a titanic daikon radish. Octavia, shaking, balanced atop it, dead-centered against her pussy, and leaned harder and harder upon the thing.
Her mane was ragged, her eyes clamped shut as she focussed her attention on the appallingly unforgiving intrusion into her tender femaleness, and sought to balance her full weight upon it. Hasu grabbed Vinyl in alarm, recognizing the scope of Octavia’s problem, his mouth in a comical down-turn of dismay. He began to take a breath to speak, but then froze in total horror.
Octavia’s weight was bountiful. Mare flesh could not long resist the pressure she wilfully imposed upon herself. There was an almost audible creaking as the blunt end of the daikon radish pried Octavia open. Gravity did its terrifying work, and Hasu clung to Vinyl in horror as the lovely, brilliant cellist sank down onto her massive vegetable, her tail thrashing in obvious agony, her teeth gritting, her whole body shuddering and quaking incoherently as inch after inch of radish torturously penetrated her…
Octavia, reeling in pain, came to rest with her butt against the grass, the entire huge radish rammed up her tortured vagina. She lifted her head, and screamed.
Octavia fell over, twitching, her eyes rolling back in her head as she surrendered to continuous orgasm.
Hasu and Vinyl Scratch stared at each other, appalled.
“Just… can’t… even…” moaned Vinyl, and clung to her old friend desperately.
He frowned, thinking.
“What can I do to help?” he whispered, over the orgiastic moans of Octavia clenching on her stout radish in the grass nearby.
Scratch glanced up at him, shocked, as if she’d just realized something.
Some way to the east, a peculiar creature made its way to a cave in the side of a mountain. It was a relatively insigificant mountain compared to the amazing mountain range that faced them, but it did offer some shelter, and getting out of sight was important. Scouting pegasi could be anywhere.
The Weird Monster made camp for the night, flying into the cave with multi-colored wings and landing in a heap of three pegasi and a unicorn. They hadn’t needed to fight again, and that was a mercy: this costume seemed much worse than the last. It had more decorations on it and was fuzzier, but without some tailoring it wouldn’t allow the Weird Monster to spit out a flailing pegasus filly by way of self-defense, and the heavier material risked muffling Sweetie Belle’s deadly squeaks.
It didn’t matter. They’d found shelter, and concealment.
“It’s fucking cold!” griped Scootaloo.
“Yeah, sorry, it’s a hiding place!” retorted Rainbow Dash. “That’s because it’s part of the way up these mountains. We can be nice and warm if we stay down where the ponies are and let them catch us!”
“Nooo!” wailed Sweetie Belle. “They’re so fierce, I’m scared! They totally tried to kill the other costume we were in! Please let us stay here?”
“Of course we are,” said Flight Lightning. “Good find, Dash. These must be the mountains Sweetie told us about, huh?”
“Must be,” said Dash. “The capital city, Choad, is past this mountain range. I was looking out the eye-holes, and this has to be it.”
“Are we gonna fly over the mountains?” asked Scootaloo.
“Shyeah right!” scoffed Dash. “Not in that costume! Probably not at all. Those are insanely high mountains! It’s not just really cold, like even worse the higher you go, but the air gets bad. It’s all thin and doesn’t work very well. Once I tried to see how high up I could get by rainbooming vertically, and it was a really REALLY bad idea, okay? The air got all fucked up and there was this blue line around the world and then I was trying to breathe but it hurt and I started to pass out… it really sucked, I didn’t try that one twice. These mountains might not be as high as that, but they’re obviously bad news. All snow and rock and shit. Nothing can live up there.”
“But then what are we gonna do?” wailed Scootaloo.
“Hey, easy, sport,” said Rainbow Dash, blinking at the sudden burst of angst. “We go around, of course. That’s what ya do when you hit a mountain range so bad you’d die if you tried to fly over it. And I’m telling you, there aren’t many mountain ranges like that. I’m actually glad I got to see this one, it’s severely badass. What’s got you so upset?”
Scootaloo’s lip quivered, even when Flight Lightning’s eyes narrowed to see it. She wouldn’t look at her Mom, or at Rainbow Dash, but she did speak.
“M… my Dad’s out there.”
“Oh, for pony’s sake, Scoot…” began Flight Lightning.
“No, listen!” begged Scootaloo. Tears were in her eyes. “It’s so hard. We’re, like, here because my Dad d… didn’t want to be with me, with us, anymore. He came to this place, and he’s chasing Big Macintosh, and Sweetie thinks they’ll end up in Chowa the capital because they’re performers and like star musicians and stuff and…”
“Scootaloo, so help me…” gritted Flight Lightning.
Looking guiltily at her Mom, Scootaloo toned it down a notch, by sheer force of will. She didn’t blubber, her lip did not quiver… but she insisted on finishing the thought that so haunted her.
“What if Dad tries to go over the mountains, and he dies?”
Her answer wasn’t in words. Rainbow Dash reached over, and hugged her. Scootaloo stood it for a few seconds, and then sobbed and buried her face in Dash’s chest, weeping as silently as she could.
Dash kept an eye on Flight Lightning, who looked pissed, and gave what comfort she could.
“No way, okay, kiddo? Braeburn’s way smarter than that. There’s no telling where those mountain passes lead, could be avalanches, snow, and you know he’s a cowpony, right? Since when does he go and play in snow? More than that, since when does Braeburn go anywhere straight? Of course he’s going to go around! That’s way sneakier to do and you know it!”
Scootaloo sniffled. “You think so?”
“I know it,” asserted Rainbow Dash. “Even we aren’t going to try and go over. That’s crazy, nothing sane would be up there. Now, I get that Big Macintosh is being crazy but he’s a big softie, he’s gonna go around too. And there’s no way Braeburn would be up there.”
Scootaloo still looked tragic. Rainbow Dash cast about for more to say, and found it.
“And you’re wrong, you know. You said Braeburn didn’t want you. It’s not like that. He got caught up in his feelings about Big Macintosh, we’re all sure about that. It was obvious. Well, you can call that love, and maybe he does, but there’s all kinds of love. I’ve had most of them so I know. I know how Braeburn feels, because there was a time when I thought I’d lost Applejack, and… that wasn’t good. I totally understand how Braeburn feels.”
Scootaloo sniffled, unconsoled. Flight Lightning glowered, tense as a knot, saying nothing.
“But,” said Dash, “love is also what you do for others and with others. It’s made up of all the little dumb personal stuff which adds up to a big romantic thing, and it can’t be resisted. I don’t mean just the big desperate stuff that Braeburn’s feeling. That’s distracted him from what the rest of love is. And if Big Macintosh is after the Kirin, he’s lost sight of it too. Hey, check it out: we’re used to saying Big Macintosh’s whole name. Why? Because he doesn’t like it if we just say Mac, he says, ‘Ah don’t have many syllables, leave me th’ ones in mah name’. Right? And we do, we’re used to it. That’s love.”
Rainbow Dash hugged Scootaloo, and kept talking. “We have to find Braeburn, and show him the shape of his world. He’ll snap out of it. He’s got to, or it’ll become this line of lovelorn ponies chasing the ones they can’t have! And we need to find Big Macintosh and show HIM the shape of his world too, because he’s an idiot!”
“Are you done?” said Flight Lightning.
“Are you mad?” said Scootaloo to her, miserably.
“Don’t worry about it,” said Flight Lightning, not meeting her eye. “It’s been a fucking long day. I’m not mad. It’s just hard.”
“Scootaloo?” said Sweetie Belle gently. She gave Flight Lightning a dirty look, and began leading Scootaloo off to a corner of the cave. “Come cuddle, Scootaloo.”
Rainbow Dash was looking critically at Flight Lightning. “Yeah… Sweetie? Around that corner. It’s safe, I don’t smell anything in here but rocks and cold and snow. Give us some space, please.”
“You’re going to need it!” sniffed Sweetie Belle. Without further argument, she led Scootaloo around the corner, her own terror and dismay forgotten once she could comfort her special somepony.
Dash continued to gaze at Flight Lightning. After the younger mares were out of sight, she said, “They’re gone.”
“Thanks,” said Flight Lightning.
“Am I reading too much into this?”
“How much do you need a hug of your own, Lightning?”
“Very badly,” said Flight Lightning, in the exact same clipped and dispassionate tone.
“You got it.”
With that, Rainbow Dash scooched over, and hugged her tense pegasus companion, who stared angrily at nothing.
“Soooo…” began Dash quietly. “Which thing did she say that caused this?”
Flight Lightning’s glare worsened. “Oh, I could kill her. So not fair.”
“Yeah, but say it. C’mon, Flight. This is, like, old Flight Lightning behavior. Spit it out, don’t just sit there hating.”
“Yeah,” said Flight Lightning. “She s… said t… said…”
Rainbow Dash cuddled her a little closer.
“Said… he didn’t wanna be with meeeee…”
Flight Lightning broke, in total, grim silence. Her words trailed off, her eyes swam with tears, and she turned to Rainbow Dash and clung like a drowning mare, desperately tight. Dash hugged back, real hard, and marveled at her journeying companion: veteran Weather Patrol, tough as nails, single mother for so many years, and then Flight Lightning was herself lost to love. Having found Braeburn again, she’d been obsessed and with the help of many other ponies had brought the notorious outlaw back to Ponyville, to lavish with affection and rather wild family life, a boyfriend and a father to the foal he’d planted in her.
And then, all at once, Braeburn had thrown over that whole life and gone in mad pursuit of his own romantic obsession, abandoning all the other forms of love that had flooded his life.
And in this cold and empty cave, listening to her daughter sniffle the unthinkable, Flight Lightning’s heart had broken into jagged shards, and nothing was left her but bitterness and pain.
And… Rainbow Dash, who had hunted outlaw ponies before.
“Listen,” she said intensely to Flight, who shuddered in her silent emotional agonies. “That’s wrong. You’re not a kid, listen. You know that’s bullshit.”
“Fuck… fuck… Dash, he kicked his house down…”
“Didn’t kick you, did he?” retorted Dash. “I mean it, listen. You should understand, you and me both know how that kind of thing goes. Just because he’s lost his stupid mind doesn’t mean anything. You knew all the time, if Big Macintosh ran away, Braeburn would flip. What did you do, when Braeburn ran? Same fucking thing. I would do the same for Applejack. You can’t go by that kind of dramatic stuff. Give him a chance to remember who he is. He isn’t giving himself that chance.”
“He isn’t?” muttered Flight Lightning, into Dash’s chest, locked in a tight hug.
“We’re gonna get them all back,” vowed Dash. “Do you believe me?”
Flight opened an eye. It was tearful, yet still angry. “You fucking cirrus-brain, Dash.”
“Do you believe me?”
Flight heaved a big, quavery sigh. “Yeah. Yeah, I believe you.”
“Because it’s true?”
“Because you’re just the cirrus-brain to do it,” said Flight Lightning.
Dash hugged her again, kissed the tears away from her eyes. “Because you’re gonna help me. Aren’t you?”
Dash shook her. “Aren’t you? I can’t do it alone. I have you, right? Full on, bad-ass, no prisoners Flight Lightning?”
Flight Lightning gave Rainbow Dash a glare, one that adequately expressed the cruelty of Dash demanding a heroic performance from a broken-hearted, despairing mare who’d been rejected by the idiot fool love of her life. It was a hell of a glare, one to terrify weaker ponies.
The corner of her mouth twitched up, and Dash’s heart sang to see it.
“Fuck yes, I’m going to help you.”
Flight Lightning snuggled up, and allowed her fellow badass pegasus pony to cuddle her to sleep.
As Dash herself drifted off for the night, she repeated it to herself like a mantra…
“We’re gonna get them back.”
“Oh, hello, Big Macintosh. Ready for bed?” said Octavia.
“Ah reckon,” said Big Macintosh. “Miss Vinyl around? I think I ought ta apologize for somethin’. Seems I upset her.”
“She probably went to bed,” said Octavia. “I didn’t see her, since the gig.”
“Din’t see you,” suggested Big Macintosh. “Did ya find somethin’ to do?”
“Oh yes,” said Octavia with satisfaction. “What a lovely country! I did some shopping. And I blew off a little steam, and then I had to do more shopping as I’d been naughty. Fortunately, there was a Kirin to help.”
“Whut?” blurted Big Macintosh. “Ain’t no Kirin! Least I din’t see no Kirin!”
“Have you ever seen a daikon radish?” replied Octavia.
“If you had, you’d know why I needed to see a Kirin,” replied Octavia, with satisfaction. “My, yes. I’m sure Scratchie will be pleased to hear it. She really was right all along, and though I find I can’t disrupt the source of my muse, still ingenuity finds workarounds. The poor Kirin was cross with me, but never mind that.”
“Ah was afraid they’d be cross with me!” said Big Macintosh.
“It was worth it,” said Octavia. “The next gig is SO important, and I feel much better. I’m sure it will be a great… what is this?”
They’d got back to the cart. The spot where Vinyl liked to sleep was there.
Vinyl was not.
Her decks were not.
However, a small envelope was.
Big Macintosh and Octavia stared with alarm at each other. Hoof trembling, staring at the space where Vinyl’s decks should have been, Octavia opened the envelope and revealed a note. The two read it, side by side.
It said, in shaky, upset hornwriting, “What the serious fuck guys SERIOUSLY!”
With two days left to journey around the mountains and get to Chowa for the big final gig… Vinyl Scratch was gone!