Art credit goes to Xieril, who is really cool and broke me from my angry funk after I failed to draw my own idea. I owe you, bud.
Previously, on MAQ:
You finally decided on your Contract terms with Leifjka, now nicknamed "Leafy", and brought her back with you. You landed in the field the ritual took place in, evidence of the fight before you stepped into the portal half buried beneath a field of grass. As Leifjka marveled at the wild surroundings, no doubt feeling at home, you inspected the leftovers of the ritual.
Discovering nothing amiss, other than a strange unsettling feeling of how long you thought you'd been gone, the two of you headed into town. Nervousness held you from showing Leifjka around; Your more immediate concern was for Rarity and Sweetie.
But when you arrived at Rarities, she seemed to have no knowledge of the case you'd been working on so far. Sweetie was at work as well, despite having told you before she'd have the next day off. So you'd been in there for a while…..right?
You only realized how wrong you were when Rarity showed you her calendar. In reality, you're one week in the past.
The emerald stallion contacted you through Leifjka, explaining he "missed" when placing you back in your time. He assured that the vagueness of the events would hold, but the specifics might change. As such, you should be ready for anything.
Your mind wandered to Brynn and Cobalt as you walked Leifjka to your home and office. Perhaps they didn't know this would happen?
But when Leifjka pointed out a familiar drawing of a clock with an escaping hand on your desk, you knew otherwise.
Somehow, he knew.
Perhaps this time around, you'll be able to get some more concise answers.
But there's also the matter of Leifjka needing to reunite with her forest. And you only have 2 weeks to do it before the Contract has to be renewed or extended. And who knows what that could entail….
Time is ticking normally now. The question becomes: What will you do with it?
It's a bright and shining Monday afternoon; A whole three days before your initial case assignment from Cherry. You think.
You scratch your head with a hoof as you ponder time travel very briefly, setting down the drawing of the strange clock in the process.
Looking up from your desk, you see Leifjka, or "Leafy", spinning in the chair across from you. She giggles softly, occasionally kicking the floor with a hoof to keep herself spinning.
She's easily amused, it would seem.
You can't help but smile as she continues to entertain herself. And to think you share a mental link with the mare, now.
Sighing softly you turn your thoughts to what to do next. If your timeline calculus is correct, you still have two days before the crime occurs, and on the third day you'll get a case from Cherry. You can't quite recall what you did these days before the case the last time you were in them.
Guess that means you can do whatever. Right? >What do?
>>595119 >>595120 >>595121 You open one of the drawers in your desk, rifling through mounds of paperwork and several charts in a search for your map of Equestria. Leafy stops spinning in her chair, taking interest as you rummage through your desk.
"Hah, gotcha!" you say softly as you pull the folded up map of the kingdom from your desk. You clear out some space from the desk top, pushing papers and pens to the side and onto the floor as you unfold the map and place it between yourself and Leafy.
"So. Let's see if we can't figure out where your forest is."
Leafy smiles widely as she leans forward to look at the map, placing her hooves carefully on the edge closest to her. She gasps as she looks at the map.
"So much land. And so diverse! The forests were all I really knew. You mean to say there's a land made of ice? And one of hot dirt?"
This might be more difficult than you thought.
"Yes. But that's not important right now. Right now we need to find your forest, right?"
She nods, focused completely on your words.
"Okay," you continue, "So. What did you call your forest? It had a name, yeah?"
"Yes," she says, "Metsan Elavien was its name. At least, that's what we called it after I received my…gift."
You're taken aback by the sudden foreign words.
"Metsan. Elavien." she repeats, slowly, her accent slowly fading as she speaks, "A forest between large plains and mountains on the horizon. Where a great number of creatures made their homes alongside us. Wolves made of wood were the only real danger, aside from storms."
You look around the map for this 'Metsan', but, as you figured, you don't find it.
"The name must have changed since your time," you say softly as you rap your hooves against your desk, thinking, "I wonder if anyone has a ledger or something to document old names of things."
"I would recognize it on sight or by feeling," Leafy says quickly, "We could go out and inspect nearby forests!"
>>595124 Leafy's idea sounds like an adventure of sorts.
You open the big bottom drawer of your desk that you keep your bag in, pulling the bag of supplies out for inspection.
Looks like stuff from before traveled through time with you, though you don't remember having it during your interview with Leafy or the emerald stallion.
#Items - Airhorn - Rope - Bandages/small Medical Kit - Trail mix bags, something like 3 small ones - A candy bar - A canteen full of water - 2 Flares
You also have a closet with a good number of basic survival items here in your home.
>>595125 >>595126 "Town Hall or the Library might have records of things that suffer name changes," you muse aloud, getting Leafy's attention, "We could always ask the elderly around town for tips as well."
"Great!" Leafy exclaims, happily bounding from her seat, "I can't wait to meet your town. Will there be an introduction ceremony? Perhaps a feast of some sort? What kind of customs do you have in this town anyway?"
Leafy continues to chatter, half to herself, as you get your bag and hat on and prepare to depart. Whether it's for a walk to the woods or just a stroll around town.
>Library >Town Hall >Sugarcube Corner >Rarity's Boutique >RGIA building >Head towards the Everfree >Other
>>595140 >Distant relative that's just visiting and we're showing her the place might not be good enough I was thinking this could be her cover story for Ponyville in general, but what if we told Sweetie Belle the truth? That way she might be able to trust us a little more.
It'll all sound crazy, but… we don't have a lot of options here. She'll just have to trust us. Maybe if we mention some knowledge of the future? Like, we'll tell her when Rarity's mannequin will be stolen, but that she has to keep it a secret. Do you think she might believe us then?
>>595142 Yikes. We mindgames all up in this bitch. I forgot we have no idea what's going to happen, or what Brynn is planning. >Or we could be dramatic as fuck and be Sweetie, please you have to trust us on this one. This might just be our best plan.
>>595135 >>595136 >>595138 >>595139 "On second thought, let's introduce you to some important ponies around town. That way nopony gets the wrong idea or anything."
Leafy covers her mouth with a hoof as she laughs.
"Yes, that might be for the best. You said you had a mate already. I wouldn't want anyone to think I was her replacement."
You feel your cheeks heat up a bit at Sweetie being called your 'mate'.
"That is, unless you have a change of heart later," Leafy says as she slowly winks one eye, batting her long eyelashes as she does so.
The two of you are out the door and heading into town in a flash, your conscience driving you to find Sweetie. >Find Sweetie >Head to Sugarcube Corner/Pinkie >Head to Rarities Boutique >Head to the school
>>595145 >"That is, unless you have a change of heart later," Leafy says as she slowly winks one eye, batting her long eyelashes as she does so. HARLOT FIND SWEETIE BELLE IMMEDIATELY WE SHALL NOT BE CORRUPTED BY THE SUCCUBUS
>>595148 We should tell the truth, but we should also have a contingency plan for if Sweetie thinks we're crazy.
I vote we play it off as a joke and assure her the "official" story (friend/relative from out of town) is actually the case and that we were just pulling her leg.
We should also settle on what kind of relative Leafy should be. If we say she's merely an old friend (emphasis on that we were platonic friends) then it would strain belief a little less, depending on how well Sweetie Belle knows our family. It would also give us less room to fuck up if we're put into a corner and asked how many times removed our "cousin" is. If we tell Sweetie Belle we're related, that may compromise our future potential for threesomes. Just saying.
>>595156 Complications could ensue from that. What if she's in existance while we're having a walk at the Everfree, and Fluttershy or somebody sees? Rumors could spread, and then we would HAVE to convince Sweetie that yes, we have just become soulbound to a druidic pony spirit from ancient times and were then sent back in time while trying to stop the summoning of a different pony spirit, which was going to possess one of Rarity's mannequins and… I don't know, kill everybody.
The two of you head to the school; The last location Rarity said Sweetie should be at today.
"She works at a nursery?" Leafy asks upon seeing the small horde of children outside on the playground as the two of you reach the school, "I assume you chose her for her talents of child raising, then?"
"That's not even close," you say quickly, "She's helping Miss Cheerilee take care of the students for summer activities and such. They're learning important stuff while having fun."
"They're still children," Leafy says with a smile, "Even teaching a child skills is a form of raising one."
You sigh, realizing this might be a futile argument. Best to table it for later.
The two of you walk into the schoolhouse, finding the halls all but empty. All the students must be outside playing.
Even so, you can hear laughter and light chatter coming from the main classroom ahead.
You have Leafy wait beside the door as you head in first.
The classroom has a few students playing board games, drawing, coloring, or playing with varying arts and crafts. They seem happy and active, many showing drawings to one another and laughing as they have fun.
Miss Cheerilee sits at the head desk, helping to color a poster with a filly beside her.
Sweetie is sitting among the ones building arts and crafts with popsicle sticks and play-dough.
Miss Cheerilee looks up as you enter, smiling broadly and looking from you to Sweetie, who hasn't noticed you yet.
Miss Cheerilee looks back to you, then nods toward the door and tilts her head.
You think she's silently asking if you want to have Sweetie come into the hallway. Maybe so you can surprise her? >Nod and head back into the hallway >Just head over to Sweetie >Other [Player choice]
>>595159 Yes, hallway is good. We should be discreet. Maybe find a closet for optimum sneakiness. Worst comes to worse, Cheerilee thinks we're sneaking a smooch from our Sweetie during work hours, and there'd be less chances of a wandering kid in the hall overhearing us.
"Well, that was fast," Leafy says with a look of surprise, "Did she not want to see you?"
"What? No, I'm hoping to surprise her," you whisper as hoofsteps approach, drowning out the slight moan of foals disappointed in Sweetie's departure.
"Now, now; I'll be right back," Sweetie says in a sing-song voice that makes you smile, "Miss Cheerilee just says I have a visitor and-"
Sweetie steps into the hallway, looking over her shoulder and talking to the students. She looks just as pretty as ever.
"Oooh," you hear Leafy's voice in your head say softly, "I can see why you're intent to stay with her."
"Puff!" Sweetie says enthusiastically, voice threatening to crack as she spots you, a happy look of surprise on her face as her eyes twinkle in delight. Without a second thought she darts forward, wrapping her hooves around your neck in a hug with a giggle.
You return the hug in earnest, despite Leafy's giggling in your head.
Sweetie surprises you with a peck on the cheek, a light "Mwah!" coming from her as she steps back from you and asks:
"What are you doing here? I thought you'd be busy with work." She looks past you at Leafy, a brief look of suspicion mixed with curiosity crossing her pretty face before she bursts into a big smile. "Hi! I didn't see you there, sorry. Wouldn't have made you watch that if I had," she says with an apologetic laugh.
"Oh, I don't mind," Leafy says with a grin, "Far be it from me to get between a stallion and his mare."
Sweetie grins as she blushes, and kicks the ground bashfully at Leafy's words.
When she finds her words again, she asks the same question as before:
"So, Puff, what are you doing here? Not that I mind the pleasant surprise." >Player choice
>>595164 Ok. This is going to sound crazy, but this is Leafy. She's the spirit of a mare from a long time ago, and thanks to… work stuff she and I are kind of telepathically linked. She wants to find the forest where she used to live, I think it might be the Everfree.
Anyway. I'm going to be telling everybody else in Ponyville that she's an old pen-pal of ours, but I wanted you to know the truth.
I'm sorry it sounds nuts. Can you believe me?
We should have Leafy disappear and reappear a few times as well, to demonstrate how she's a spirit. I think if we have that we can convince her.
>"Far be it from me to get between a stallion and his mare." NOTHING SEXUAL ABOUT THAT
>>595169 >>595166 >>595165 "Well I wanted you to meet my friend here," you say, motioning to Leafy, "Her name's Leifjka. She's a friend of mine who's in town, so I'm showing her around. I will be for a while, so I wanted to introduce the two of you."
"Well, the pleasure is mine," Leafy says, bowing deeply to Sweetie Belle.
"P-Please, you don't have to do that," Sweetie says as she looks at you, uncertain what to do in response. "But I'm glad to meet you as well!"
The two smile at each other for a moment, before you ask Sweetie if you can meet with her sometime after she's done with work today. To speak in private.
"Of course! You know I'm staying with Rarity, so just meet me at the boutique around dinner time. I'm sure Rarity won't mind." >Accept >Can we meet somewhere else? [Name place]
>>595175 >implying Rarity knows magic on anything approaching the level Twilight does Dubious. She makes dresses and finds rocks. She may be best, but she's not the best at magic. Does Sweetie still live with her parents, or Rarity? There's gotta be somewhere more private that would work. >>595174 I read your book, you scamp. Nothing gets past me!
>>595210 Look at it from her perspective, though She uses her forest powers to leave us in a bad situation She trades our soul to the demon guy for her freedom She moves to Ponyville and bonds with Sweetie using information she stole by taking advantage of the psychic link
Just how far does the link go, anyway can she read everything that's going through our mind right now
>>595214 You know what's even less cool? First Raisin Quest. First Death. Shit was traumatizing for me man. Because of us all the CMC were dead. Before we died there was a chasm. Sudden;y Sweetie disappeared. Forgot what happened to AB and Scoots but I still remember what happened to Raisin. She fell down the chasm. And at the bottom you can guess what we saw in our last seconds.
>>595220 Fuck you for spoiling that, fuck me for reading it, and fuck that makes me want to read Raisin Quest for some fucked up reason. Raisin flashes back to before she died every time, right? Shit, now I have to know if they lived. Welp, not sleeping tonight, it looks like
The gnarled and twisted branches of The Everfree come into view on the horizon as soon as you leave the outskirts of town, the dark, barren branches seemingly clawing at the early evening sky. It always seems a little darker over The Everfree, no matter the time of day. Even so, it seems especially sinister tonight.
"What is that?" Leafy asks nervously, stopping and pointing to the forest in the distance.
"That is The Everfree," you reply, "A forest unable to be controlled by magic and filled with a variety of dangers."
"Timberwolves, cockatrice, manticores, poison joke," you say, remembering the dangers Sweetie and a few others have told you about, "And I'm sure there's other stuff in there that ponies have been fortunate enough not to encounter."
She doesn't reply.
"Let's go," you whisper encouragingly, leading the way closer to the edge of the forest.
When you reach the forest itself, Leafy walks ahead of you toward the treeline. She stops a few feet from one of the blackened trunks, looking left and right slowly, taking in the state of the forest.
"What….happened….." she says, voice wavering as she turns and looks back at you. Tears in her eyes sparkle in the evening light, "This forest is…." she shakes her head, "No. It was, my home."
You walk forward to stand beside her as she turns to face the forest again. She takes a few steps forward and places a hoof on the trunk of the tree closest to her as she closes her eyes and casts her head down. She sniffles as the first tears fall to the ground. Tiny purple flowers immediately blossom where her tears land as she weeps for the fate of her land.
"The trees," she whispers between sobs, "They….thought I was crushed. During the storm."
She collapses against the tree, grief stricken.
"They thought they killed me!" She cries, "My forest….." She sniffles again as you approach to comfort her.
"No…." she says softly, slowly picking herself up off the ground, still leaning against the tree, "This is not my forest. It was, once, but as it is now…." she shakes her head, finally standing on her own hooves after what felt like hours.
You're torn between running to her side to ask what's up and getting as far away from her as possible.
Ash rains down around Leafy as she closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. You can't tell from where you stand, but she seems to be shaking.
"The forest is corrupt. The trees have gone mad in my absence. They've tarnished the land, the animals, and in turn themselves."
The ash finally stops falling, what little that doesn't lie on the ground around Leafy having been carried off by the wind. It's strange, to have ash in the air without the smell of burning with it. The very absence makes your skin crawl.
Leafy opens her eyes, but continues to stare at the ground. Her eyes are normal, save for still being reddened from crying.
Slowly, you approach her, to see what she's looking at.
Where the blackened tree once stood, now a small, green sapling sits. Small leaves and wiry limbs poking out from the ash around it.
>>595241 I don't even know why I remembered that. I completely blocked that memory. Since it happened I have managed to just keep it gone, forgotten. Not even when I saw raisin quest mentioned I didn't think of it. And now that I've seen that post it popped back into my head and it slowly getting to me.
I just don't know. And holy shit I can't fucking deal with it. At all. Like fuck I just can't. The next quest I finally joined was Aspirant's Rariquest and that made me give all quests a chance again.
>>595247 >We can't burn the entire fucking forest one tree at a time. Why not? Extend the contract to last until we're satisfied with the state of the forest. Slowly work our way in from the outside, purifying the trees and plants day by day. Just like clearing a normal garden of weeds.
>>595251 One that would be strange. Two The forest, according to the map, is pretty goddamn big and Three it's full of animals and I don't think her incendiary vision could save us if multiple animals attack
>>595247 >>595248 >>595249 You approach Leafy slowly, telling her she can't burn down the entire forest. Especially not one tree at a time.
"No. You're right." She says softly, "I just…couldn't control myself. I'm sorry."
She pauses, before looking to you with a frown. "I think that violates our Contract, since I was supposed to tell you before I did anything." She turns fully and genuflects toward you, casting her head down as she kneels and says:
"If you wish to void the Contract now, I would understand."
>>595253 No, let's not be hasty now. I can understand getting emotional, and there's no harm done. We can see what we can do about the forest if something can be done, but I'm not sure. Let's do >>595255
>>595252 >One that would be strange. Pfft. We're spiritually bonded with a dead druid from ages past after meeting the grim reaper. Strange shmange. >Two The forest, according to the map, is pretty goddamn big Yup, it'd be an undertaking. Maybe years. But wouldn't it be worth it? >Three it's full of animals and I don't think her incendiary vision could save us if multiple animals attack And I imagine others would agree that removing the dangerous corrupt forest next to the populated town is a valuable endeavour, too. We know of Twilight, I'm sure we could petition Celestia for some aid through her.
>>595253 If we've got time before meeting Sweetie, let's try and gather some info about the history of the forest–consulting Spike, Granny Smith, or Zecora. Probably not the latter because it risks us getting into trouble along the way.
>>595257 That's a bit more of a long term goal, I think, even if we decide to persue it. Let's handle our everyday affairs first. >>595258 Actually, I think Zecora would be a pretty good idea. She LIVES in the Everfree, and probably knows more about it than even Twilight or Granny, judging from her alchemical prowess. We should definitely ask her about the forest, and why it is like it is.
>>595254 >>595255 >>595256 "Woah, hey, not so fast," you say, moving to help Leafy to her hooves, "I don't think that's necessary."
Leafy stands with your assistance, though you notice she's shaking rather hard right now. The magic she just wrought must've taken a lot of energy out of her.
"Are you sure?" she asks quietly, looking at you with sad eyes on the verge of tears again, "I didn't even mean to destroy the tree like that. I just…thought about how angry it had become, how full of sadness and loathing and how I had to do something about it. But I was angry too. Angry of how selfish it was: Demanding I enter the forest alone, saying I was the only one worthy of being here."
"But…I don't want to live among the ruins of what was once my home," she whimpers, tears rolling down her cheeks, "I can't listen to their moans and greedy cries! I worry what I'll do. I just….I….." she closes her eyes, biting her lip as she continues to cry.
>>595262 >Actually, meeting the pony zebra that's chosen to make her forest home seems like a good idea for getting Leafa-chan's spirits back up. >Do we know the way, though?
You aren't overly familiar with how to get to Zecora's hut inside the Everfree. And with the hour growing late in the day, perhaps tonight isn't the best time. You can always get directions from anyone who's gone there before, or maybe get someone to guide you there.
>>595264 1. hug the spiritpony 2. go back to the office and wait for Sweetie 3. see Fluttershy or Spike in the morning and ask the way to Zecora's hut. Maybe we can get Fluttershy to escort us if she isn't too scared of Leafy.
You carefully place your hooves around Leafy in a gentle, comforting hug.
She stiffens as you touch her. It's only then that you think about how long it's been since she's actually been touched. You recall in the other world that when she hugged you, the feeling of your embrace was somewhat…muted, at best.
Your thoughts on the matter dissolve as she returns the hug, her hooves coming up to embrace you firmly as she buries her face into your shoulder and continues to cry.
It doesn't go on for very long. After her bout of crying earlier, she doesn't have much left in her, and after a few minutes the tears have stopped. She sniffles as she tries to steady her breathing again, though the occasional dry sob heaves through her small frame and makes her nuzzle into the hug a little bit more.
"Thank you," she whispers, "And I'm sorry. Here I am making a mess on your shoulder after blowing up a tree." She scoffs as she releases you and you let go of her. Wiping at her eyes with her hooves, she smiles gently. "I'll make it up to you, somehow."
"Don't worry about that," you say softly, "Let's just…head back to my house. I'll meet Sweetie and you can get some rest. Sound good?"
Leafy nods as the two of you smile at one another and turn to leave.
Putting the sapling surrounded by ash behind you as you walk to meet Sweetie.
Leafy doesn't say anything the whole trip back. No doubt she's trying to mentally digest what's happened to her forest, her reaction, and how to fix things. Or if she even can. But, for now at least, she's away from it and can maybe relax.
You arrive back to your home/office, unlocking the door and heading inside as you flick on the lights. Sweetie wasn't waiting outside, so hopefully she hasn't come by quite yet.
"Hey, Puff," Leafy says softly, tiredness coating every word thickly, "Where's a bed?"
"Upstairs," you say with a slight grin.
"Thanks," she replies, yawning wearily before heading toward the small staircase across the room. "Today was…something."
That's an understatement if you've ever heard one.
Leifjka heads up the stairs just before there's a knock at your door.
You open the door to reveal the expected Sweetie Belle, who carries a small basket draped with a white cloth.
She smiles, nearly skipping as you step aside to let her in. The smell of sweet pastries wafts in the air as she passes, and your stomach growls in response. The sound makes Sweetie giggle, and she heads to the small dining table and pair of chairs next to your stove and kitchen counter on the side of the room opposite your staircase. She puts pastries and other treats on the table while you shut the door and join her.
>>595273 >>595274 >>595275 You give Sweetie a kiss on the cheek as you join her beside the table, earning a surprised squeak from your special somepony before she returns the favor.
The two of you sit and enjoy a warm, if sugary, meal together. Sitting side by side, Sweetie humming a tune, and the two of you occasionally bumping together and Sweetie leaning her head on you when she's finished. Times like these make you wish you'd invested in a couch.
"So," Sweetie says after a time of just leaning on your shoulder, "What did you want to talk to me about?"
You sigh. There's so much to say but really, how much of it is even believable?
"I think my job finally got me in over my head, Sweetie," you say softly.
"What's wrong?" she asks, pulling back from leaning on your shoulder and turning you to look at her. Those big, green eyes stare at you in concern, moving slightly as though searching for signs of whatever ails you. >Tell Sweetie the truth >[Player choice of what is told and what isn't]
"Please," Sweetie says softly, "If it's bothering you, how ridiculous can it be?"
She has a point.
So you tell her everything. From how Cherry gave you a case about a theft from Rarity's, how it lead to you encountering some strange stuff, the ritual, the Contract, who Leafy really is, how she just sort of blew up a tree by looking at it, how nothing really seems to make sense out of all this but you're just rolling with it because what else can you do……
When you're finally finished, you breathe a sigh of relief. Getting it all out there really helps.
Sweetie leans in and holds you in a firm hug as she says: "I believe you."
You're taken aback. Really? She believes you? The time traveling, magic, all the random crap? She believes that?
"Of course," she says softly, "I can tell when you're being honest." She laughs a little, "We've only been together for what, seven years? If you haven't lied to me yet, why would I think you're lying now. And it's clear it's stressing you out. How could I not believe you're being honest, and want support?"
You return the hug to your marvelous special somepony. Whatever you did to deserve her, you aren't certain. But you're more than glad she's here for you.
She looks up at you as she loosens her hug, and pushes up to kiss you on the lips. Her soft, tender kiss makes your heart melt as you push back gently. Gentle smacks sound in the otherwise silent room, until she plants one final, firm one on you and nuzzles your chest.
"I love you," she says softly, "And I'll always be here for you."
>>595288 >We're already sharing our mind, sharing a bed hardly seems that extreme Both mind and body are dedicated to another, and not for sharing without her say-so. Mind was kind of an accident, and it's too late to avoid now: body however we're keeping to ourselves.
Best option to me seems to dig out some extra pillows and blankets and set up a soft warm pile to curl up and sleep in.
>>595296 >You return the hug to your marvelous special somepony. Whatever you did to deserve her, you aren't certain. But you're more than glad she's here for you. > >She looks up at you as she loosens her hug, and pushes up to kiss you on the lips. Her soft, tender kiss makes your heart melt as you push back gently. Gentle smacks sound in the otherwise silent room, until she plants one final, firm one on you and nuzzles your chest. > >"I love you," she says softly, "And I'll always be here for you."
NIGAS FUCK YOU WE AIN'T TOUCHING THAT BED CHAIR, FLOOR, GRASS OUTSIDE
>>595303 Not him, but what's the problem if Sweetie's there too?
Actually wait, why does Leafy need a bed anyways? She can just poof into nonexistance, can't she? >>595305 >"Let's kick Rarity's door down" GOD DAMMIT THAT WAS A JOKE, A JOKE I HATE YOU FOR BRINGING THAT UP AGAIN, I'D ALMOST FORGOTTEN
>>595300 >>595301 "I love you too, Sweetie," you reply as you hold her close. You wish you could make time stop, at moments like this. But sadly, the hour grows late, and Sweetie yawns. The two of you break off the hug after a final kiss.
Sweetie gets up from the chair as you get up and clear some of the trash from your dinner to the waste basket next to the stove.
"Where is she now?" Sweetie asks as she packs the leftovers from Sugarcube Corner into the basket she brought with her.
"Upstairs, sleeping in my bed," you reply, motioning to the staircase.
"What about you? Where are you going to sleep tonight?"
Sweetie sighs, but smiles at you.
"You need to think ahead more, Mr. Detective. Don't tell me you think you're going to sleep in the same bed as her."
"What? Of course not. And, y'know, I'm not sure what else to do with her. She was tired when we got back, she's got nowhere to stay, and I can't just leave her alone."
"You could always have her stay with us," Sweetie suggests, "Rarity will probably be okay with it."
"Maybe," you reply. Something about that seems….less than ideal.
"Well, what are you going to do tonight? You don't want to leave her here, or I'd say just come to the boutique with me."
You sit, stewing over the idea for a while until Sweetie asks, "I've got an idea. Do you have some spare sheets and a pillow?"
You do. You head upstairs, into your room, quietly walking through the darkened room and to the closet that houses your extra set of sheets and some pillows given to you by Rarity some time ago. You fumble around, pulling the items out, occasionally casting a look at the bed with Leafy in it. The light from the hall casts a dull light across the bed: Enough to illuminate the worn out pony who sleeps in your normal resting space. Her mane is in shambles, and you think she's drooling slightly.
Quite the opposite from her normally rather pretty appearance.
It's a funny mental image for the trip back downstairs, where Sweetie waits patiently.
"Got 'em," you say softly, dropping the spare linens and pillows on the ground, "Guess I can sleep on the floor, yeah."
"Better idea," Sweetie says, her horn lighting up as she lifts the pillows and sheets from the floor. She hums softly as she also grabs the kitchen chairs and they slowly start to space themselves out, sheets layering with pillows on the chairs, until everything settles and Sweetie releases it from her magical grip.
"Ta-da!" she says happily, pointing at a small makeshift linen and pillow fort/bed, "I haven't made one of these in ages. But you never really forget after you get it right! Now you can sleep without lights bugging you, and in some kind of comfort. Even if you are on the floor, technically."
"Have I mentioned how much I love you?" you say appreciatively.
"Yes, but I'd like to hear it more if you don't mind," Sweetie says with a grin.
You show her to the door, the two of you kissing one final time before she heads out and is merrily on her way to the boutique.
You have the energy to yawn, turn out the light, and crawl into the soft pillow fort made by your special somepony. It's mere moments after your head hits the pillow that you're out like the lights.
Tonight's dreams are of blackened trees amidst a firestorm; A familiar mare standing in the center as she weeps. And something in the forest glimmering, just out of reach.
>>595312 Thanks for playing along everyone. I'm sorry if the quest seems all scatterbrained and maybe not what you expected so far. The pieces will fall into place eventually. We just gotta get there first I guess. I'm hoping I didn't make this idea too long overall. Ugh. Insecurities.
Either way, thanks again. I hope it was enjoyable. I'm gonna call it for now since it's a clean breaking point. Hope to see you next week.
I'm going to do a thing in the Quest Talk thread, where if you pose questions directed at characters that are presently considered "in your party" (Leifjka, right now) I'll answer them in character in that thread. This way you can get backstory from that without us eating up actual quest time.
It'll be up to you guys to use that to your advantage, since it may end up with clues and stuff.
>>595312 >pillow fort How adorably Sweetie of her. >>595313 Oh, stop it, you. Even if I did expect "L.A. Noire with ponies," that's more on my stupid assumptions than it is on you. I'm totally along for the ride with this one. You're doing great, this was a good session.