“You think we oughta go check up on Pinkie a lil’?” said Applejack, worriedly. “Ah think she’s gittin’ a little outta sorts.”
“Out of her mind, more like!” scoffed Rainbow Dash. “I’ve known her for years. When she gets stubborn like that, you don’t want to get in her way. I’ll go and check on her later.”
“Uhh… you sure?” said Applejack. “She proper run off in a huff. That pony’s really upset.”
“Right,” said Dash. “That’s exactly why I’m going to let her calm down. Don’t you remember what Pinkie’s like sometimes? If she thinks something’s wrong, look out!”
“Eyup,” said Big Macintosh. “Seen her run off like that before. On that night when Fluttershy slept with all th’ farm ponies.”
Hina turned curiously to him, and behind her, Applejack, Dash, and Rarity waved frantically for him to stop talking.
“Who is Fluttershy?” asked the Kirin. Big Macintosh gulped.
“A friend,” he said, and he shut his mouth.
“Oh, that’s good,” said Hina. “Ponies should have friends! Ponies should have friends, and cozy evenings by the fire. And delicious snacks. And singing and dancing and all the fine things in life!”
The ponies looked at each other. “Uhh…” said Applejack. “Singin’? I got to say, if it’s singin’ you want we ought to bring Pinkie Pie back and settle her down a bit…”
“Not a good idea,” said Dash. “Do you remember when she thought you broke…” and her voice dropped to a whisper… “a Pinkie Promise?”
Applejack awkwardly got up, brushing herself off with her hat and then brushing the dirt off the hat. She’d hit the dirt instantly, as a pure reflex action. “Don’t SAY such things, Rainbow!”
Hina was looking on, in dismay. “You’re afraid of the cranky pink pony mare! Is she the evil that threatens this fine town? Did I miss a chance to smite her for justice?”
“Smite PINKIE?” squeaked Rainbow Dash. “No way! Uh-huh, don’t even think it, no smiting!”
“So, no singin’ cause no Pinkie,” said Applejack hastily. “We kin have a cozy evening by the fire, at least when it’s evening! We Apples would be happy to make you some delicious snacks. And, uh, uh, you want dancing? We’ll dance for ya, no trouble! Ah am mostly used to dancin’ with Rainbow, I admit, but I would dance with you. Or we’ll get you Braeburn, he can dance up a storm!”
Dash took up the thread, so long as it led away from smiting Pinkie Pie. “I can dance too! I can dance in the air, heck I can dance ON a storm! Top that!”
Hina smiled at her. “I’m a Kirin, little mare. I can dance on a rainbow.”
Applejack rolled her eyes in advance. Dash didn’t let her down.
“Ooooh,” she said. “I’ve never heard it called that. Why wait?”
“That ain’t what she meant, sugarcube,” chided Applejack. “I think she means the real thing.”
“I’m the realest thing around!” boasted Dash. She waggled her eyebrows at Hina. “How do you want me?”
“Rainbow!” giggled Rarity. “I’m almost sure she’s confining herself to stallions. At least, she’s not going to play our magic-bit games, she doesn’t like those toys. Obviously our Kirin means her extensive control over atmosphere magic. She’s not talking about you, naughty thing!”
Hina blinked. “You know about us? Yes, I am here for stallions. Atmosphere magic? How did you know that?”
The white unicorn pouted. “I was merely trying to find a better way to put it: you’ll remember Twilight, who rather rudely classified you as a mist demon. Doesn’t atmosphere magic sound more nice than mist demon? I’m sure she meant no harm.” Rarity considered this. “Not much, anyhow. Might I ask why you didn’t act hostile toward Pinkie, or Twilight? I think it matters, if you’re speaking of smiting evil. I’m with Applejack: please don’t do any such thing around here.”
“Yeah!” said Applejack. “That there’s a good question. If you’re an evil-sensin’ mist demon out for smitin’ evilness, firstly we tole you there ain’t no evil here, and secondly how come we can get obstreperous around you and not git our asses smote? Answer me that, missy.”
Hina’s eyes were wide, and she backed off a pace, unaccustomed to such authoritativeness. “Rarity explained it well. We don’t talk about that among the common ponies! It would frighten them!”
Applejack lifted her chin. “Frighten us? Well, now you GOT to tell. What’s atmosphere magic?”
Hina’s lip quivered. “Our sense of evil is not directional! A Kirin’s duty is to defend all that’s living. It is no beacon! A place develops a sort of atmosphere. Ponyville hints at the foulest stink of evilness. But we see this in actions!” She hung her head. “Pray do not tell the ponies. Not those from Neighpon. They depend on us so much…”
“Huh,” said Applejack, tilting her head to the side. “You don’t say! So, you got a lot of responsibility, but you’re fretful because you don’t feel equal to it? This is a vacation away from all that?”
Hina nodded… and then, squeaked in surprise, for the orange earth pony mare had pounced and was giving her a fervent, earnest hug.
“Ah know just how you feel,” said Applejack. “You may not believe it, but I been there. Don’t you worry. You’re safe here and you don’t have to do a thing. Ain’t that right, Rarity?”
The fashionable unicorn nodded, her eyes glistening with emotion. “Poor darling! Consider us a refuge. So, I was right, then? Your magic has to do with sensing the moral atmosphere of a location, rather than pointing like a compass at evildoers?” She made a face. “I am not sure whether I should bring you home, in that case. At best it would be atmospherically confusing, at worst it might make you ill…”
Hina was hugging Applejack right back. “Sweet little pony! Surely you’re the soul of good. Preserve my secret!”
“Course I will!” vowed Applejack. “So… I guess since it’s all about vibes an’ feelings, when you said you dance on rainbows it must be a metterforical thing, huh?”
Hina blinked. “Not at all. They have to be wet. Which is easy to arrange.”
“Woohoo!” cheered Rainbow Dash. “I’ll say. Coming right up in ten s…”
“Dashie!” snapped Applejack, without even looking. “Put that hoof back this instant!”
“How’d you know where my hoof was, without looking?”
“MOMMM!” whined Northern Spy, pouting fiercely. “Not again!”
“Was I wrong?” said Applejack.
Hina boggled. “Please do not quarrel! I’ll make one for you. It will be just a moment.”
Stepping away from Applejack, she concentrated, and that mysterious bent-back horn lit up from inside, scintillating with luminous magic. Unlike unicorn and alicorn magic, it glowed in all colors, and not a pony could tear their eyes away from the spectacle: a reaction clearly expected by the Kirin, if her smug little smirk meant anything.
A big, bright rainbow arched up from the ground and leapt skyward, radiant with color. The sun was setting, but it didn’t seem to matter: the rainbow cast light that blended into a pearly white radiance that seemed to come from everywhere.
Hina reared, kicking her delicate cloven hooves, and jumped up onto the rainbow, trotting upwards at a steep angle. Applejack’s eyes widened in awe. Rarity squeed faintly at the lovely colors and the elegance of the magical creature lashing her curious tail and parading her beauty across the arch of light.
“Oh yeah?” said Rainbow Dash. “Two can play at that game!”
She soared up into the glorious sunset, and kicked down a tuft of cloud, aiming it to the side of the Kirin’s rainbow. Having done this, Rainbow pranced atop the cloud. “Aw yeah! That’s right! Uh-huh! Shaking my dance thing!”
Hina scampered higher, twirling upon her rainbow. Rainbow punted her cloud higher still. “I can dance on clouds!”
Hearing that, Hina made a great leap, and she landed on Rainbow’s cloud and gave her a hug. “I can dance on your cloud, too!”
She jumped back, smirking madly, batting her amazing eyelashes in challenge. Rainbow rose to the challenge, for values of ‘rose’ rotated one hundred and eighty degrees.
“Yeah, well I can WAAUGH!”
She’d jumped onto the rainbow the Kirin was standing smugly on, meaning to use her pegasus magic to do likewise, and she’d fallen right through instantly. It was only ten feet or so before she’d caught herself with her powerful wings, and she hovered, forelegs crossed and an expression fit to sour milk on her little blue face.
Far below, Northern Spy and Applejack rolled on the grass with laughter. “She got you!” called Applejack merrily.
“This mist is far too delicate for you to stand on,” said Hina. “Nice try, though!”
Rainbow glared up at her, though all the same she was smiling a wicked little Dashie-smile. “Oh, so you think you’re better at AIR than me?”
“Not everypony can command the weather this way,” replied Hina-rin, crossing her forehooves and looking down at Rainbow tolerantly.
For a moment, Rainbow’s smile just grew naughtier.
In a flicker of blue motion, Rainbow Dash had burst from her position sculling wind in mid-air. She’d blasted through her own cloud quicker than the eye could see, then down again, across, and lastly straight up the path of the rainbow the Kirin had made. Being a construction of mist and light, it exploded in the turbulence of shattered air, and instantly went out, as Hina screamed and kicked at the sudden nothingness under her hooves.
Her horn lit up frantically, but before she’d dropped three feet Rainbow was back, in pony rather than misty form. Hina-rin lay curled up on her back like a foal, in Rainbow Dash’s rescuing forelegs. Powerful pegasus wings sculled the air once more, and the mischievous smirk was on Dash’s face and not the Kirin’s.
“Nice try,” said Rainbow Dash.
“Rainbow Dash!” cried Rarity. “Stop that roughhousing and bring our guest down this instant!”
“Aw!” said Dash, but she obediently flew back to ground. “Hey, you’re light! Like, incredibly light, even lighter than a pegasus! How come?”
She plunked Hina onto the grass, and the ruffled Kirin sprang to her hooves, pouting. “We’re creatures of mist and air,” replied Hina.
“Sooooo,” teased Dash, “would that make you… a lightweight?”
For a moment, Hina’s pout grew poutier.
A dark cloud surged into existence above the Kirin’s head, though it seemed just the shell of a cloud unfolding like a ripple in a pond, and it expanded crackling with energy and then vanished in a tiny bolt of lightning that zapped Rainbow Dash’s naughty rump.
“Now are we even?” asked Hina, smirking. “Pegasi aren’t the only ones with weather control.”
Dash’s eyes were huge and adorable as she stared at the smirking Kirin. For a moment, she couldn’t even react, she was so startled. Then…
“And on that note,” suggested Applejack, “it’s time we headed home for dinner like good lil’ ponies. I’m not real sure how we’re gonna stretch Granny’s apple turnip cakes to account for a visitor, but…”
“Awww, man!” protested Dash. “Are we really having that again?”
Applejack gave her mate a stern look. “Granny tries hard! She was just experimentin’, or maybe she forgot what she was makin’ yesterday and got all muddled. It ain’t goin’ to waste, and if y’all had eaten your dinner properly yesterday there wouldn’t BE no leftovers, so come along, there’s salted oat clusters for dessert to encourage you.”
Dash rolled her eyes and began to trot obediently after Applejack, as did Northern Spy, but the remaining Apple had other ideas.
“Eenope,” said Big Macintosh solemnly.
“What?” said Applejack, glancing around in surprise.
“You go on,” rumbled Big Macintosh, as Hina’s ear turned his way again. “Ah reckon I will take Miss Hina out to dinner. That’s good manners for such a fancy visitor.”
Applejack’s ears were back in disbelief. “That’s how you treat a visitor? Skippin’ out on Granny’s apple turnip cakes?”
“Wull…” muttered Big Macintosh, “visitors.”
Beside him, Marble Pie couldn’t look up to meet anypony’s eyes, and she was blushing a cheerful red. Big Macintosh shyly avoided looking at her, in turn. Hina, the Kirin, studied them both in apparent delight. Applejack’s ear flicked, fretfully. Mac and Marble hadn’t said a word to each other, not a word, but for all that she had a sneaky feeling even a lasso wouldn’t drag them apart.
“Dang,” she said. “All right, Big Macintosh. You have fun, you hear?” She snorted, but without real anger. “Proper ambassador, you are. Master of entertainments. You’re excused, though Celestia help you if our Apple Bloom don’t approve of this ‘un.”
Hina smiled. “Don’t be sad, dear earth pony. I will eat your apple turnip cakes another day.”
“Gosh, I hope not,” said Applejack earnestly. “Granny tries hard, and next time we’ll hide the turnips when she’s in th’ kitchen and we won’t have no, what you say, recurrences.”
“Can I go to dinner with…” began Dash.
“No!” snapped Applejack. “So help me, Rainbow Dash, if you don’t help me and Spy and Granny eat them repulsive mistakes of things, I will whup you with the end of a lasso rope. Ah was kinda hoping Big Macintosh would do his share, but he musta eaten twice what the rest of us ate yesterday, and I can’t fault him for weaseling out this time. Come on.”
Hina waved an elegant hoof. “Would that I were two Kirin! Oh, to accompany all of you at once! But my guidance may be needed later on. Kirin have many duties. Some are most happy.”
“Oh, yeah?” said Applejack. “Guidance, you say?”
Hina nodded, with a gentle, secret smile. “Of… the inexperienced.”
Applejack glanced at Big Macintosh, who blushed and couldn’t meet her increasingly amused eye.
“You jes’ go on believing that,” she said. “And don’t you turn your back a-winkin or the experience will be all yours!”
Rainbow Dash snickered. Hina lifted her chin. “Honestly? That seems unlikely. I have a sense of innocent pony hearts.”
“You might find other organs git involved too,” said Applejack wryly. “Well… you have fun now! Ah warned you.” Then, she blinked.
“What is it, babe?” said Rainbow Dash.
“Oh!” said Applejack. “Uh… warnin’! I warned you, miss Hina-rin, so you go on and have a nice dinner and so forth. We’ll be on our way. Straight home, uh-huh, not like we got any other warnings to deliver or things to take care of.”
Rarity’s pupils shrank to pinpoints, and she said, “Ah hah! Indeed, my dear Applejack. It’s time for us to head to our respective homes, not that those will need much preparing to welcome the jewel upon the pillow of hospitality that is a visiting Kirin, wise in the ways of atmosphere!”
“That’s right,” said Applejack, her ears laid back. “Why, she probably never even heard of sharpened pointy spurs or them crazy harness thingys!”
Rarity grimaced dreadfully, wrenching it into a pretty smile by sheer willpower. “Ah hah hah hah! Who has ever heard of such entertainments?”
Rainbow Dash was grinning. “Funny you should ask…”
Suddenly, both Rarity and Applejack were staring at her, their eyes pleading. “Sugarcube,” said Applejack, “of course we haven’t. And it’s not like you have any old friends to visit who’d be interested in all this?” Seeing the signs of inconvenient Dash-headedness in Rainbow’s puzzled stare, Applejack gulped. “I’ll just BAT you’ll come straight home for Granny’s apple turnip cakes…”
Rainbow’s eyes widened, as if Planet Rainbow had been clonked on the back of the head by Planet Obvious. She gulped. “Yeah! I’ll get right on it. Which is to say I’ll head right home. I just gotta run an errand first.”
“PIE now!” said Applejack, waving and grinning. “Run all them errands!”
“I pink you’ll enjoy Granny’s apple turnip cakes, darling!” added Rarity, her eyes wild and jittery.
Dash stared for a moment. Then, she gave a twitch.
“Bleah!” she said with great conviction, grinned, and zipped off in the general direction of the Everfree Forest—or at least the outskirts of it.
“What’s the matter with you ponies?” complained Northern Spy. “You’re talking crazy!”
“Nothin’ crazy about Granny’s apple turnip cakes that eatin’ won’t fix!” said Applejack loyally. “Which is to say yeah, she really spit her bit on that one, but it’s grub. Big Macintosh, you enjoy yourself with our visitors! Don’t feel like you gotta rush home or nothin’, give us some… Ah mean, take your time!”
Big Macintosh nodded. “Eyup.” Extending a gentle hoof, he coaxed Marble Pie to turn and head down the road. “This way, ma’am.”
“Mm-hm,” said Marble, and off they went, Marble at first hesitant, and then pressing to his side as she walked.
Hina watched them go, while the remaining ponies held their breaths, and then the Kirin reared and kicked the air ebulliently.
“I guarantee pony joy!” she said. “Look at them! They will find their happiness. It’s so beautiful!”
She trotted off, magic fetlocks twirling like banners decorating her bouncy progress, and soon she was nestling up against Big Macintosh’s other side as the little group headed for Ponyville’s finest restaraunt.
Rarity winced. “I’ve some cleaning to do. To be perfectly honest, Derpy’s been wanting the place tidied up for months, but I selfishly cling to certain valuables.”
“Valuables?” said Applejack, lifting an eyebrow.
“It’s so hard to find a whip with really perfect balance and flick…” whispered Rarity quietly.
“Can I have it?” said Northern Spy.
Applejack choked. “Aw hell no! Jes’ for that you get an extra turnip. Come on!”
They trotted busily off in their respective directions, both Applejack and Rarity looking back at the little contrail that was Rainbow’s path to Fluttershy’s cottage.
Fluttershy could tell things weren’t too serious: her zebras were still rhyming.
When Zecora and Dursaa were really upset, the rhyming stopped and they fell back on what they called their Elder speech, solemnly talking out their troubles with great patience and at a very slow pace. Fluttershy considered herself to be patient, but it was nothing to the glacial pace of a troubled zebra. Things hadn’t become that serious.
On the other hand, the polyamorous lover of multiple zebras could encounter other challenges that might go unnoticed elsewhere. There was rhyming and then there was rhyming. Once, Fluttershy had been blithely innocent of the subtleties of zebra protocol. She’d recognized that the strange Everfree Forest herb-doctor mare, Zecora, rhymed her words—but not much more than that.
Now, Fluttershy looked on unhappily as Zecora, who loved her, got elegaic.
It was all Dursaa’s influence, of course. Before Dursaa had professed his love for her, Zecora’s relationship with her had been far less formal, even though it had contained unrequited desire on Zecora’s part. And then they’d all shacked up together in Fluttershy’s cottage by the Everfree, and her zebras got competitive about who took the job of being lover to a sometimes-fretful vampony most seriously, and things got elegaic to the point that Fluttershy had to administer wing spankings more than once.
Elegaic meter had never troubled her life before Dursaa. It was defined as a line of dactylic hexameter followed by a line of dactylic pentameter, sometimes enjambed, which meant running it all together into a big lump of yadada yadada yadada yadada. Zecora had always rhymed more loosely and easily, but when Dursaa got serious and romantic he tended to get elegaic unless Fluttershy quickly sat on him, preferably on his face. And when Zecora was confronted with a zebra stallion—one she and Fluttershy shared, to be sure, but still—who spouted love poetry in so serious a form, she was first taken aback and then gradually began to up her game until she, too, got elegaic.
Twilight Sparkle had been fascinated, and informed Fluttershy that most of the yadada could be swapped out for a blah blah, at least before the fifth rhythmic foot. The technical words were swapping dactyls out for spondees, but Fluttershy tended to think of it as yadada, rather crankily. The trouble was, when the zebras got elegaic at her it was a sign of great seriousness, nearly to the stage of Elder Speech. They didn’t seem to go for the spondees, possibly because the yadada-nature of their rhyme connoted the seriousness of their intent. It was the nearest thing to keeping up the dactylic hexameter throughout, which was called epic poetry and reserved, in Zebra lands, only for speeches by the Elders of a town to the entire community.
And Zecora was getting elegaic, the next thing to Elder Speech, and Fluttershy was afraid she knew already what the topic was going to be. Lines of doggerel were easily rebuffed. The more formal iambic pentameters carried more weight but could still be brushed off. Zecora seemed unwilling to be brushed off, and the implications of her rhyming kept getting more and more serious, to the point that her pleas started to resemble epic poetry.
Admittedly, her subject was epic, but that was the whole problem.
“Fluttershy, long I have pleaded to share with you touches erotic. Yet you deny me the gift of a loving exotic…”
Fluttershy’s eyes narrowed. “Zecora, if you’re going where I think you’re going with this…”
Zecora’s eyes flashed. “Dursaa and I go to everywhere in your sweet vampony body! It’s where you’re going or NOT going that seems so naughty!”
“Me, naughty?” squeaked Fluttershy, offended. “You know what I like, and what I don’t like! How dare you say I’m naughty?”
Dursaa chuckled. Fluttershy glared at him, and he subsided. Unlike most zebra stallions, he was content to serve his mares and devote himself to their care. He also had a pretty good idea of what Zecora was up to.
Zecora drew a breath. “If you’re not naughty, then what are you doing with double the zebra? How can you revel in us, yet my joy’s anathema?”
Fluttershy tightened her lips. “It’s pronounced uh-neth-um-uh, Zecora, and cut it out…”
Zecora stamped a petulant hoof. “I have been practicing, Fluttershy! Both with our Dursaa and even, with cunning carvings preparing my pussy for Heaven…”
“Oh no!” squeaked Fluttershy. “Stop it, stop right now, no more yadada yadada! You WHAT? You’re preparing with WHAT?”
Zecora turned red-and-black, as Dursaa snickered gently at her. She took another breath, staring into space and composing her thoughts.
“No,” said Fluttershy. “I’ll Stare you if you won’t tell the truth. Sex is not that important and you’re being greedy and selfish and positively stallion-headed, in a peculiar way. Take it down a notch and I’ll give you a kiss and we’ll talk more reasonably, okay?”
Zecora heaved a sigh. “Oh, Fluttershy, forgive my pleadings, do! I only want to have some fun with you!”
Fluttershy trotted over and gave her a kiss, as promised. Then, she narrowed her eyes. “Show me.”
“Show you what, Flutter-butt?” replied Zecora, with hasty informality.
“I know what you’re up to,” accused Fluttershy. “Cunning carvings? Show me it! Show me the dildo you’re using. You could be doing yourself injury, trying to chase your insane dream!”
“By no means is her hope an insane dream,” said Dursaa in his deep, soothing voice. “Lest you forget, that thing we both have seen.”
“And I still regret it!” cried Fluttershy. “I should never have shown you what happens when I use one of those awful magic bits! It’s gross and awful and I can’t see what you see in it!”
Dursaa chuckled. Zecora rolled her eyes.
“We both have deemed your penis huge and fair,” retorted Zecora. “If you don’t like it… hide it in a mare!” She stuck out her tongue, rebelliously.
“It would hurt you,” insisted Fluttershy.
“Oh, yeah? Woo-hoo!” countered Zecora.
As Fluttershy glared at her devoted zebra mare lover, Dursaa lifted his chin, a thoughtful look on his face. When he spoke again, he’d gone elegaic.
“Fluttershy, how much of this is you thinking your penis is icky… and how much is knowing you using it would upset Pinkie?”
Fluttershy’s jaw dropped, in shock.
Dursaa studied her. “Though you surround yourself daily with stallions both real and untrue, I think you relish the way Pinkie Pie looks at you.”
He quit being elegaic, but the damage was done. Zecora read the defensiveness in Fluttershy’s eyes. “It’s true! The gift that you’re depriving me, is what poor Pinkie cannot bear to see!”
“Don’t say that!” pleaded Fluttershy. “I’m doing everything I can! Don’t you understand that Pinkie’s my ex? I still love her but it just doesn’t work, and we have two foals to raise together! Okay, it’s Rock Candy that has most of Pinkie in him, but little Dursaa junior, her spirit is part of him as well!”
“It’s my sorrow, and her shame,” said Dursaa darkly, “she can’t love them both the same.”
Fluttershy drooped. “No, she kind of doesn’t. But she tries! I think she tries? She tried ever so hard to stop him from just saying ‘da’, even though that was his only word! I still remember how mad she was when his second word was ‘daddy’ and she wanted it to be ‘ma’. Um. That didn’t help, huh?”
Dursaa frowned, sadly, but didn’t say anything. He’d been so happy that day, and had always been sweet and nurturing to little Dursaa, the only baby zebra ever to be born with stripey pegasus wings. He’d earned his ‘daddy’ and hadn’t deserved the fit Pinkie’d thrown, as if it’d been a personal insult to Fluttershy.
Zecora trotted over, and hugged Fluttershy close. “We all love Pinkie Pie, that much is true. But she cannot define the truth of you!”
“But she just wants me to be her perfect straight mare,” said Fluttershy forlornly. “She doesn’t ask anything of me, not anything at all.”
Dursaa twitched, but didn’t speak. Zecora spotted it, and stuck out her lower lip. “That’s a matter for debate. Not out loud, at any rate!”
Fluttershy sniffled. “But… I’m a mare to her. It’s like, to her, I’m not even a vampegasus at all. She’s crazy for straight mares, and she hates dicks. It’s like… a sacrilege or something. Never mind that I’m a horrible undead thing really. I’ll always be the perfect straight pegasus mare to Pinkie! How can I describe what that feels like?”
Zecora frowned… and got elegaic.
“Fluttershy, you have a family loving your genuine nature. While your flirtations with Pinkie were no misadventure: we love you from your bat wings to your magical camouflage tail…”
Zecora drew a breath, her eyes worried. “She loves a fantasy. Which of those dreams shall prevail?”
They sat there for a moment. Not fretting, or starting a fight, because Fluttershy’s zebra lovers knew her inside and out. They knew the troubled feelings that haunted their darling, they knew the family history that’d produced a foal who (in theory) had to be shared between zebra and Sugarcube Corner households, and moreover they had patience to put mere ponies to shame. Zebras knew how to sit with bad feelings and problems and not freak out, letting the situation develop and getting a full sense of things before acting.
It was a great source of strength for Fluttershy, who balanced apparent frailty with dreadful vampiric power and spent most of her time fearful, if not of others then of herself. Her zebras were like rocks, so very stable and calm, except that Zecora wanted Fluttershy to take a magic bit and be like a rock in quite a different way. She seemed very sure of herself as she studied Fluttershy. There would be no hurrying, but something in the set of her jaw betrayed her very zebralike determination: one way or another, she was going to end up with a Fluttershy dicking. Any normal pony would be wrecked on the end of such a horrific unnatural appendage, but Zecora was a zebra mare, large and roomy compared to a pony. Fluttershy had been present when Zecora and Dursaa made love, and knew the truth of that. Still, she hesitated. Leaving aside the way it’d horrify Pinkie Pie, could it really be safe for Zecora?
The silent meditation was broken with a bang and a whoosh. The bang was Fluttershy’s door, and the whoosh was Rainbow Dash, and Rainbow wasn’t good at patience at all.
“Oh, hi! Listen, I need to talk to Fluttershy for a moment, it’s super important, okay?”
Dursaa blinked. “Talk away, horse blue-jay.”
“Hey!” squawked Dash, her voice going even harsher with outrage. “You saying I’m like a noisy bird?”
“Don’t answer that,” said Fluttershy hastily, for both zebras had smirked. “What’s the matter, Rainbow?”
“Oh, nothing! At least it should be nothing. But I needed to come here as fast as I possibly could, and warn you. We’ve got like a demon hunter in town!”
Two zebras and one vampegasus blinked in surprise.
“I’m not a demon,” said Fluttershy. “I’m a vampire. That’s not a demon, is it?”
“No, I mean it’s a Kirin!” said Dash. “It’s trying to destroy evil!”
Dursaa and Zecora looked alarmed, but Fluttershy clung to her personal truths and stuck out her lower lip stubbornly. “I’m not evil. Princess Celestia told me so.”
Rainbow’s eyes were wide and earnest. “I know you’re not evil! We love you, Fluttershy! Just… don’t go out, okay? I don’t think she can spot you from a distance. She doesn’t have a sense of direction, I mean evil-direction…”
“I’m NOT EVIL!” squealed Fluttershy.
“No, I mean, the Kirin says she can sense something in Ponyville that’s evil and scary!”
Both Dursaa and Zecora began to move toward Fluttershy, to hug and comfort her. Both simultaneously whinnied and cowered back at what happened next.
Pinkie’s eyes were wide and a bit crazy. Her smile was huge and glittering, as was the mirror she was in. Not appearing as an image in the mirror, no… Pinkie Pie had stuck her head through the mirror without breaking it, hooves against the frame, as if it was one big open window for her to use.
“I know Fluttiesluttiebuttie isn’t evil!” she cried. “Cos I’m keeping an eye on her!”
Dash had shrieked and zipped around behind the zebras at the sudden pink onslaught. Fluttershy cringed back for a moment, and then rallied.
“PINKIE PIE! Don’t do scary things with my mirrors!” she demanded.
Pinkie drooped a bit, still framed in the mirror.
“Awwww…” she said, and then she ducked down out of sight. Two pegasi and two zebras stampeded the mirror to see where she’d gone. They saw only their own panicky visages. Pinkie Pie was gone.
While Zecora and Dursaa hugged each other in alarm at the uncanny creepiness, Rainbow Dash took to the air. “Pinkie! I gotta talk to you too, this isn’t the way to chill out the Kirin! Pinkieeee! Where’d she go?” And before Fluttershy could say anything, Rainbow Dash had flown off as fast as she could, hunting down her spooky and weird earth pony friend.
Fluttershy glared at the mirror. It was simply too much. Yes, dear Pinkie was part of the family always and forever… but still!
She glanced at Dursaa and Zecora, and saw how Zecora interposed her body between Dursaa and the mirror, still glaring fretfully at it though she tried to appear unconcerned. It was so typical: her massive zebra stallion, masculine yet with that secret tenderness and sensitivity, and her lesbian zebra mare, as always prepared to take a bit or take control and command the situation. It was Zecora who sheltered Dursaa from the danger, but either of them would’ve done the same for her, in a zebra heartbeat. Ironic, when her vampiric heart didn’t need to beat, and when her vampiric form could withstand abuse that would obliterate both faithful zebras instantly.
Of course, they were quick to remind her that her heart didn’t need to beat in order to love. Pinkie’d reminded her of that too, and even Princess Celestia insisted on it. Though things hadn’t worked out well with Pinkie, Fluttershy did know that she could love. She chose to, daily, the better to resist her vampire nature.
And Pinkie didn’t mean any harm… Fluttershy was nearly sure of that. On the other hand, it rankled that Pinkie was keeping an eye on her. It was hard to love somebody when they didn’t trust you. Worse, Fluttershy was alone with her zebra harem for a reason. It was Pinkie’s night to have Rock Candy and little Dursaa stay over. Fluttershy trusted Pinkie with them, because the alternative was unthinkable, but didn’t expect Pinkie to be randomly appearing in mirrors while she was supposed to be looking after the colts. And that smile—if only she didn’t have to smile in that disturbing way! Fluttershy felt she, the unwilling vampire, ought to at least have a monopoly on disturbing smiles, but even she wanted to hide sometimes when Pinkie got too intense.
She squeaked. Zecora’d walked over to nuzzle her neck. “These visitors distress your head. Shall all of us retreat to bed?”
“Will Pinkie appear out of something else unnatural?” said Dursaa, and his voice trembled a little. It always shook him up whenever Pinkie violated laws of nature and physics.
Fluttershy glanced sharply over. Her husband (the natural stallion one, not the magic-bit one) was so upset he’d lost his rhyming. Things had gone far enough.
“I’ll fix that,” she vowed.
Zecora, too, regarded him lovingly. Ever since he’d revealed his inner horsewife, she’d warmed to him, and had rather taken a role as his husband as well—for all that she enjoyed being tenderly screwed by his massive zebra cock. She nodded. “Dearest, we’ll take care of you. But Fluttershy, what shall you do?”
A little, wry smile quirked Fluttershy’s dainty lips. “Something that Pinkie Pie will never, ever watch. That’s what. Upstairs!”
Zecora stared for a moment, uncomprehending, and then her eyes widened in amazement and she made a little squee.
“Go on,” urged Fluttershy. “But I insist on seeing that dildo you’ve been using!”
Zecora was already clattering upstairs in a storm of stripey hooves. Dursaa followed, and Fluttershy trotted after them, feeling an odd combination of fretful and excited. She had no wish to do the stallioning, never had: but Zecora’s delight was irresistible. It’d always been a fantasy of hers to get topped by Fluttershy, and finally it was happening—if, that is, the act was truly practical. Zecora was brave, and larger than a typical pony mare, but she was no vampire and boasted no undead regenerative powers.
By the time Fluttershy got to the bedroom, Zecora had already dug out her special toy, one Fluttershy had never seen. Shy’s eyes widened in dismay. It was a monstrous object. Zecora couldn’t even hold it in her teeth and had to wrestle it along with her forelegs: it was a massive, ebon, wooden cone.
“Zecora!” scolded Fluttershy. “That’s not good for you! That’s scary!”
“You don’t like this that you see?” challenged Zecora. “Then substitute the Flutter-D!” She stuck out her tongue playfully.
Dursaa was smirking. Fluttershy turned to him. “She actually uses this?”
He nodded solemnly. “It’s a cinch. Every inch.”
Zecora turned to him, her ears laid back. “A what? A cinch? Dursaa, have you gone mad? Do you not remember…”
“Shh,” cautioned Dursaa, and Zecora realised what he’d been doing. When she looked back at Fluttershy, she understood why.
Their vampire pegasus bridled, her adorably sulky look on full display, and ‘oh hell no’ written in every sign of expression and posture. Zecora gulped.
“Darling mare, please forgive my selfish importune cravings for dicking. I never meant it to be something you found so sickening…”
“Don’t yadada at me!” squeaked Fluttershy. “It’s just… are you sure? How could you do that, it’s not even shiny! What if you got splinters? It’s like that wooden thing you wanted me to strap on, but even bigger!”
The zebras glanced at each other, and both dropped into Elder Speech immediately.
“There are no splinters,” soothed Zecora. “Yes, this too is carved, like a mask or tool…”
“She really wants this,” rumbled Dursaa. “Yes, she struggled, but I swear she forced the full width into herself, and was not harmed.”
“It is like exercise,” said Zecora. “It is worth it, it is like practice…”
“She loves you, Fluttershy,” urged Dursaa, and Zecora blushed red-and-black. He continued, “Our Zecora has always wished this consummation.”
Fluttershy pouted. “I’m NOT a stallion. It’s silly.”
Dursaa regarded her levelly. “We know that. Were you a mare, strapping on a wooden object to enter Zecora with the tender marely touch for which she longs, her loins would yet burn for you…”
“YOU have the tender marely touch,” accused Fluttershy.
Dursaa didn’t deny this, or become offended—even though the charge was stark heresy to traditional Zebra culture. Instead, he merely became gentler. “I’m there for both of you, and of this tenderness we’ve learned. We ask just this: give it a try, it’s time you took a turn.”
“Or you can wait around for Pinkie Pie to stick her head into our window without opening it,” said Zecora in Elder speech, not looking up. Then, she met Fluttershy’s eyes. “Please. It would be such an honor.”
Fluttershy still pouted, but her eyes had softened. “I do love you, Zecora. And you, Dursaa. It’s just… phoo! Promise you’ll never tell anypony?”
“We promise!” said Zecora, her face lighting up.
“Especially not Rainbow Dash? She’d take it as some kind of challenge. And she isn’t as big as you,” said Fluttershy, “but that’s not even the point!”
“We won’t tell Rainbow Dash,” promised the two zebras, in chorus.
“Or Rarity?” demanded Fluttershy. “I might tell her when we’re alone at the spa. I might not even tell her. It’s not like it’s my big fetish myself, so she can’t worm it out of me, and if I’m not too guilty or sad about it she won’t figure it out that way. Promise?”
“We won’t tell Rarity!” promised the expectant zebras.
“Or Pinkie Pie?” said Fluttershy, and both stripy ears laid back, and they looked at each other in chagrin.
Dursaa gulped. “We will not tell. We wish her well. But though we both want peace…”
Zecora continued, “She keeps an eye and lurks and spies and we can’t make her cease!”
Fluttershy’s eyes went very wide, seeing the unhappy, defensive faces of her beloved zebra lovers. They told a story in embattled, stripey frowns, in laid-back ears, in the very unwillingness the zebras had to even raise the issue.
It had never occurred to Fluttershy that Pinkie might have been appearing, in her creepy Pinkie Powers way, to the zebras when she herself wasn’t there to see it. She’d certainly popped up in the mirror and given them a fright. Zebras didn’t like the uncanny, and Pinkie had said in passing that it bugged them, as if it was funny to her.
Fluttershy lifted her head, and bared her cute little vampire fangs in outrage. “When does she do this?”
“Not often…” protested Zecora. “We should not complain.”
“When Rock Candy is our guest,” said Dursaa placatingly, “that’s the time that she finds best…”
Fluttershy shut her eyes, shaking her head sadly. Pinkie! So jealous of the male that took her perfect straight mare away. Further distressed by Zecora’s joining the little herd… but Zecora had always loved her, always, even back when Pinkie thought the zebra herb doctor an Evil Enchantress. Pinkie’d had a chance with Zecora and seemed to have blown it, tried too hard. She still had Cloud Chaser, who’d been special to Pinkie from long ago. She had Rainbow Dash, though it was hard to tell how much of that was Dash just bodysexing anything not nailed down. And yet, Pinkie seemed to want everything. And now, she was spying on the defenseless zebras and freaking them out with her weird spookiness, on purpose?
“Fluttershy?” said Zecora worriedly.
Fluttershy set her jaw. “Give me that magic bit. Do it now.”
“I’m back!” called Rainbow Dash.
“Wee-hoo!” cheered Applejack. “Come on in and have an apple turnip!”
Dash cringed. “Really? I thought it was those horrible cakes. And I hoped you ponies had finished them off already.”
“We’ve decided they ain’t properly apple anything at all,” said Applejack, “so they’re a new kind of turnip, an apple turnip. Turple apnip.”
“You okay, Applejack?” said Dash. “You’re wobbly, and not in the good way.”
“A lot you know,” sniggered Applejack. “Thank Granny for that.”
“When Northern Spy ate th’ apple bits out of all the cakes and run upstairs to bed, me an’ Granny had to finish ‘em off. So Granny, she poured a buncha cider on ‘em, and also some salt. Kind of a lot of salt. Sot of lalt,” Applejack said, and giggled.
“Cider, huh?” said Dash. Snowy Hocks, passing by, quirked an ear.
“Sore the malt, really,” suggested Applejack.
Dash grinned. “Need some help with that, babe?”
“Oh gosh yes,” said Applejack blearily. “Dang.”
Dash began to trot into Sweet Apple Acres licking her lips, but Applejack suddenly grabbed her.
“Didja… did ya warn, warn Shutterf, Fluttershy? About the Kirin, dist… dist memein’… MIST demon! The thing what’s gonna bust up all us naughty ponies, that thing!”
“Whoa, easy, Applejack!” said Dash, glancing at Snowy, who’d sidled closer to hear the dirt. “Nopony’s gonna bust up anypony around here.”
“It’s EEVIL!” blurted Applejack, wobbling in Rainbow’s embrace. “Ah mean, it’s SMITIN’ evil! Come around here to smite our poor Fluttershy and all us wicked horsies…”
“No no!” corrected Dash. “It’s not, she’s nice! She’s probably watching Big Macintosh fuck right now. If she takes him on too, she’ll be out of commission for the night, guaranteed. I warned Fluttershy. Don’t talk about Fluttershy that way, you know the farm ponies don’t like talking about her since that big night.” She glared at Snowy Hocks, who had the decency to look abashed, or at least sullen. “Come on, Applejack, let’s get you inside.”
“Oh, gosh,” said Applejack, “a real live Kirin come all the way out here to smite evil…”
“That true?” shot Snowy Hocks. “Or is she jes’ drunk off her hooves?”
Rainbow Dash glowered at Snowy. The night the farm ponies had banged Fluttershy, he’d been way too into her efforts to be abused and degraded, and Dash had seen it with her own eyes and had never quite looked at him the same way again. “More like, a Kirin came all the way out here to fuck farm pony stallions!”
Snowy cowered back a little. Dash liked that.
“No shit? Like, from Neighpon, one of them?” he said, warily.
Dash smirked. “Pro tip: don’t gangbang this one, or she’ll fuckin’ destroy you. And it’d serve you right! You should probably get some training from Braeburn about pleasing a mare before you try. Or leave it to the nice stallions, jerkface!”
Dash swept by him haughtily, and went into Sweet Apple Acres with Applejack. The door closed.
Snowy Hocks glared worriedly at the door, and trotted off toward the farm pony cabins.
Fluttershy’s teeth clamped down on the magic bit, and the mammoth horsecock thrust forth, drawing mass from some arcane plane in an abundance beyond what mortal mare could handle.
Mortal pony mare, that is. Zecora stared, her heart pounding. She’d remembered it correctly, she’d prepared, she trembled and winked as her body kicked into high gear preparing itself for mating, but still she felt not a little panic, for it was not a little mammoth horsecock.
The magic bits showed some correlations with their wielders. Fluttershy, a roomy mare who happily mated with zebra lovers, had always manifested a huge one. She’d foaled, and the changes in her body had corresponded to an expansion of the magical appendage, though she barely knew it as she’d avoided contact with the magic bits. Then she’d foaled again…
Fluttershy frowned. “I d’nt want to do it th’t way. C’nt reach.”
She wasn’t kidding. Though Zecora peered back at her, stripy butt ready to be mounted on, pussy winking anxiously and eagerly, Fluttershy couldn’t manage that. The artifical penis jutted out too far in front of her, and the base was about the size of her thigh, and the whole situation was completely impractical.
Dursaa stared, awed. “You could fly? And swoop down onto her?”
Zecora moaned, and wobbled just thinking about it. Fluttershy glowered, and stamped a forehoof.
“No! N’t l’ke th’t! M’ve over.”
Dursaa lifted an eyebrow, and coaxed Zecora to the side. Fluttershy stepped awkwardly up, hopping into the air with a quick flapping of wings, and twisted in midair. She dropped onto the lower part of the bed with a light flumph, and then let out an oof, as her absurd horsecock had not only clubbed her in the belly, but also the chest and her forehead just through force of gravity alone.
Fluttershy made a face, and rolled her eyes. “S’rry. You h’ve to m’ke do this w’y.”
Zecora and Dursaa glanced at each other.
“Gladly,” rumbled Dursaa.
Zecora let out a fillyish squee, and scampered forward, to straddle Fluttershy. And then more forward, and more forward still… she hovered over Fluttershy’s head as the gentle vampegasus pouted in exasperation, for it took that much merely to reach the head of the monstrosity stretching down to between Shy’s legs.
Dursaa’s eyebrows were questioning as he reached out with a forehoof, toward the epic horsecock. Fluttershy pouted worse, and nodded.
He reached up, first, to stroke Zecora’s trembling flank, and then his hoof reached down to tenderly lift the shocking weight of the huge phallus, and guide it toward its goal.
Zecora was panting heavily and gazing off into space, readying herself mentally, but when Dursaa swung Fluttershy’s strange new appendage up to thump her belly, Zecora squealed and nearly fell over. So huge, so heavy, so thick and wide! She knew from Dursaa that the flare could expand, so before things got out of control she leaned forward to get clear… and then, unhesitatingly, back, until the huge flat end of Fluttershy’s flare pressed her winking vagina directly.
Zecora gritted her teeth. Fluttershy, in turn, relaxed her jaw just a little… and, just like that, the cute little vampegasus was shoved fiercely downward and nearly off the bed by the pressure of an enamored, lusty zebra mare who knew she wouldn’t have much time.
Dursaa hastily shot a hind leg out, interposing himself before Fluttershy could be pushed right off the bed. His leg pressed up against Fluttershy’s cute rump, which flattened against his muscle as Zecora continued to shove…
…and, through the combined efforts of two zebras and a vampegasus, Zecora took the end of the monstrous Fluttershy cock, and it wedged tightly into her.
“Mmmmh!” said Fluttershy, her eyes shocked as she watched. Because of the geometry of the situation, she had a perfect close-up view. Zecora’s body was very pretty indeed, the beloved mare was in fine shape, but that shape happened to be ‘bulge’ rather than ‘athletic, healthy and fit’ as she usually was.
Zecora whinnied wildly, stamped a hind leg, tried to clamp down though it was futile.
“It’s h’rting h’r!” protested Fluttershy.
“Nudge,” suggested Dursaa solemnly. He was stroking Zecora’s quivering rump in a reassuring way, as if he’d seen all this before. Fluttershy reminded herself that her dear Zecora was terribly fierce at times, and perhaps this was such a time. She tentatively tried to shift her hips.
Zecora squealed, tossing her mane. Her nostrils were flared, her eyes wild, but she managed a “YES!” through bared teeth and a savage grin of mingled delight and torment.
“You see? I told you,” said Dursaa. “Nudge.”
“You mean p’sh?” asked Fluttershy.
Dursaa shook his head. “Nudge, pretty mare. And hold on to your hair!”
Fluttershy tried it. There wasn’t any room inside Zecora to thrust. The monstrous stallionhood was wedged in her pelvis like a cork in a bottle. And yet, even as she nudged, Zecora jolted and ran slippery with mare-juice, her powerful hips writhing, and it got Fluttershy unstuck inside her and there still wasn’t room to move but there was room to nudge and maddened zebra mare twisted sensuously around the rigid flare that occupied her, shuddering obscenely as the titanic bulk shoved a pitiful few inches deeper, all that was possible to do, and Zecora began working her hips and the fevered mareflesh slid hotly across a sea of nerve endings that were Fluttershy’s cock-tip, and the little vampegasus under the ridiculous huge appendage jolted as if she was struck by erotic lightning and nudged again, going still harder, and Zecora let out a shriek of unearthly pleasure as she felt her body veritably creak under the strain as Fluttershy shook and shuddered with her reaction going wild and that monstrous flare visibly swelling inside Zecora until…
“mm! m! ngh!”
Zecora, caught exhaling, flung her head back and stared at the ceiling in wide-eyed shock. The cute little vampegasus noises were accompanied by a mass of horsecome that surged through the absurdly huge erection, squirted through the end where Zecora clamped it almost shut, and blasted out the head and flare to spray her womb with a shockingly voluminous drenching of semen, filling her up in just a few spasms.
“nNNGARRRHHH!” howled Zecora, her body shuddering all over as she was flung into numbingly intense orgasm, her belly filling with warm spunk as the horsecock throbbed and gushed.
Dursaa, his expression solemn and his eyes glowing, stroked the shaft of the mammoth horsecock as it pulsed with the intensity of its release.
Fluttershy’s eyes kept getting wider and wider. Zecora’s belly was visibly expanding inches from her face. She couldn’t see the bulge of her flare anymore. She’d experienced things like that on the end of Dursaa, but they hadn’t been exactly good: they’d done her great harm, but she wasn’t alive and could fix herself. Zecora couldn’t do that, at all. Zecora shrieked as her belly went taut under the pressure of all that come flooding her, visibly inflating her beyond the shape of mortal mare…
Dursaa’s hoof was prodding Fluttershy’s mouth urgently. She opened it right away, releasing the bit.
The enormous false horsecock shrank away and disappeared. Zecora emptied like a balloon filled with tapioca, a solid blast of horse-goo erupting from her pussy only to disappear almost as soon as it flooded the floor. Zecora collapsed with a wail on top of Fluttershy, who was too alarmed to complain at how she’d been abruptly squished.
“Is she okay?” squealed Fluttershy, trying to get out from under Zecora’s still-spasming body, but Dursaa put a hoof gently to her lips.
“Zebra magic,” he intoned. “Stallions flood. Mares… receive. For those moments, there is almost no limit. Not for long, mind you. Then he dismounts, and she empties. It is our way.”
Fluttershy wriggled, for Zecora wasn’t getting up. “But is she okay? Is there anything I can do?”
Dursaa’s eyes crinkled in amusement. “For now? Hold still.”
“What do you mph!” said Fluttershy, as Zecora returned to awareness and proceeded to kiss her madly, weeping with joy and pleasure, embracing her little vampegasus with weakened, trembling limbs.
“Told you,” rumbled Dursaa softly, and there was nothing more he needed to say that evening.
He moved closer, and snuggled both his mares in warm contentment. Fluttershy didn’t resist the rather limp zebra mare frenzy of snuggling, because she just snuggled right back, feeling loved. Zecora couldn’t even lift her head for two hours, so deeply was she liquefied, but it didn’t matter. Dursaa had swept them both into his strong, protective forelegs, and there was nothing more to do that evening.
Eventually they slept, and no worry troubled them, and all around Fluttershy’s cottage the atmosphere was saturated with the aura of deep devotion and bold, lusty pleasure, untainted by the shadow of evil intent.
The moon was almost gone. The hill was quiet, except for the two farm pony voices. And one of them barely counted as a voice, because voices used words.
“Do you understand what I’m tellin’ you, Hollyhock?” said Snowy.
Hollyhock glared angrily at him, tight-lipped. He still refused to speak.
“That’s a Kirin they’re talkin’ about,” said Snowy. “Do you know what a Kirin is?”
“Mm-mm,” said Hollyhock, shaking his head.
“It’s just us up here,” scolded Snowy. “Nopony’s watching. Say ‘no, Snowy, I don’t know what this thing is that’s gonna hunt me down and wreck my sorry ass’. Go on, you kin do it.”
No response. This didn’t sit well with Snowy Hocks.
“Ah told you,” said Snowy. “It’s a Kirin. Them things sense evil. You’re fucked, sonny, less’n you get right with the ol’ plan. You need me, dammit. What are you, too much of a faggot to admit it? You afraid?”
Even this didn’t get a reaction. Hollyhock glowered, his mouth tightly shut in a line of pure disapproval. He glared at his geriatric companion as if he longed to chase him away, but somehow didn’t dare anger the old horse.
“Knew it would come to this,” vowed Snowy persistently. “You’re in danger, Hollyhock, jes’ like I said. An’ there’s but one answer, ain’t there? You know what you gotta do to be safe. Don’t you understand what you mus’ do, Hollyhock?”
“An’ that is?” muttered Hollyhock, tight-lipped.
“Make me be like you. Please. We’ll fight ‘em together!” begged Snowy Hocks, piteously. But Hollyhock shook his head in anger, and before he’d caught himself, even curled his lip in distaste… revealing the long, gleaming vampire fangs.