My Little Cloney – The Cutie-Mark Atrocities.
Author: The Magic Rat
Rating: PG if you really squint hard at it…
Pairings: Cid/Vincent, Cloud/Reno, Rufus/Reeve.
Word Count: 6494
Website – Ex Libris: http://www.winter-wood.net/ex-libris/index.html
Live Journal: http://delaese.livejournal.com/profile
Disclaimer: All Final Fantasy Seven characters, places and situations are the property of Square Soft/Square Enix and are used without permission and without intent of plagiarism or profit. Copyright for My Little Pony – Friendship is Magic is with Hasbro Toys and are used without permission and without intent of plagiarism or profit. Copyright for all stories and original characters such as Badger the Roadie is with the author, and may not be published, copied, distributed or archived without the author's prior written consent.
Summary: The FFVII crew have landed on Equestria, and just like cocoa and tuna fish they are not mixing well…
Author's notes: Special belated cheer-day fic for Dethklokbabe!
Music listened to during the writing of this fic – Weird Al.
Oh, and - Anyone who takes this seriously deserves to.
They'd crashed. Cloud wasn't sure where or how, but he did know he had to get to his feet and look for the others. He knew he was hurt, and as he slowly moved his limbs, trying to get himself sorted and upright, he could tell something was broken. He would have to find his Heal materia and mend it…
Then someone was there, touching him. "Hol' on thar, sugar. That was quite a spill you took outta that thar contraption…"
Spill nothing. That was a full-blown violent projection. The Highwind had simply lost power and plummeted. He could still hear Cid screaming for them to all brace. He didn't know what happened. The sky had gone a strange shade of pastel blue and then…
And then they hit.
He managed to push himself up, but something wasn't right. He wasn't moving properly. It was as if somehow his physiology was not what he was used to. C'mon, Cloud, open your eyes…
He blinked, managing to get his eyes opened, and found himself staring at the ground. And… something else. Hooves. Black… shiny hooves. Uh… wasn't he supposed to have… like… hands…?
Someone was speaking to him, gently encouraging…
"Take it easy now, don't be movin' too fast. You took a mighty bad fall."
He raised his head, and stared at the… what the hell was that thing? It was kind of a Creamsicle orange, with a straw hat and a cream-yellow mane. It had enormous green eyes, and… looked a lot like an incredibly cutesy-fied pony with a round head and a little blunt muzzle.
Damn. He must have hit harder than he thought.
He slowly looked from the orange pony to his black hooves. Yes… they were hooves. Definitely hooves. Ohhhh…. This was not boding well….
"Where am I?" he asked.
"Whyyy shoot! Yer jus' outside Ponyville! The name's Apple Jack! What's yer name?"
"Pleased to meet you Cloud!" She then proceeded to defy all known logic regarding hooved animals by grasping his hoof and shaking it. Apparently these appendages had some sort of unexplained prehensile quality. Hojo would have been fascinated. Fortunately he was dead and the little orange hillbilly would never know the horror of meeting him. Apple Jack kept talking as Cloud tried to figure out how to function with four limbs.
"Say, yer gonna be might popular with the fillies! We don't git too many new stallions 'round here. HEY! Where's yer cutie mark?"
She peered invasively close at his butt, and he was suddenly painfully aware that not only did he have four feet, he seemed to be lacking pants as well.
A nightmare. This had to be a nightmare. What was in those muffins Yuffie made?
"Yer a might bit old to not have yer cutie mark!" she declared.
"Cutie mark?" he asked warily.
She showed him her flank, which bore an insignia of three red apples. "All ponies have a cutie mark! Least… the grown-up ones do. Yer the first growed-up stallion I ever met without one! Well that's okay, I like you anyway."
Terrific. He was here five minutes and he was already an outcast.
"I can't think about that now. I have to find my friends. They could be hurt."
"Hold on thar partner, you need to rest. Yer hurtin' bad. I'll go look for yer friends. They won't be hard to find. I'll just look for anyone I ain't seen before!"
She galloped off in a cloud of dust.
"Makes sense," Cloud mumbled, then looked around. "Well Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore."
No, they most certainly were not. This was a strange land of simple flowing lines, bright pastel colours, and… anthropomorphic ponies. And, apparently, anyone who came here became a pony themselves.
This was gonna make riding a motorcycle just a tad difficult.
He heard the sound of hooves, and turned his head. Pony or not, he knew Barret when he saw him. He was a gigantic brown-black animal with three legs and one really impressive mechanical one. He walked up to Cloud and sat down. For a long time, neither said anything. Then finally Barret spoke.
"This is all Hojo's fault."
"How can this be Hojo's fault?" asked Cloud.
"I dunno, but I'm gonna find a way to blame him anyway. How you feeling?"
"Think I broke a rib. As long as my genetic engineering is still intact I should be fine. How's your gun-arm?"
Barret raised the foreleg and fired. Out came a veritable explosion of multi-hued bubbles.
"Pretty," said Cloud.
"Pretty useless. Don't forget we were chasing Sephiroth, and if he's here too we're gonna need a lot more than bubbles to defeat him."
"I hope he's not here," said Cloud, looking around at the softly moulded scenery. "I don't think these creatures are equipped to handle his level of crazy."
As he spoke, his eyes drifted to Barret's hind quarters. Barret's ears flattened. "An' just why are you starin' at my butt?"
"I was just looking to see if you had a cutie mark."
"Apparently it's a sign of adulthood here."
Barret stood up and examined his flanks. "Well lookit that! I do! It's a miner's pick and a piece of coal. Heh. That's me all right. What's yours?"
"I don't have one."
Cloud sighed. "At least tell me I don't look like a dork."
"Yer a little black pony with a gold mane that looks like someone tried to comb it with a weed-whacker. How do I look?'
"Like a big brown Percheron with a cute little blunt muzzle and huge eyes."
Barret sat down in a puff of dust and chuckled quietly.
"What's so funny?" asked Cloud.
"I'm tryin' to picture Highwind as a pony."
Cloud managed a smile. "Yeah that'll be good. Poor Vincent though. His self-esteem is already in the bucket."
"Aw it might be okay. I mean… how bad can it be?"
Cloud and Barret stared at each other.
"He's never gonna come out of the casket again is he?" said Barret.
A shrill voice announced the appearance of a bright pink pony with three balloons on her flank. Barret and Cloud watched in trepidation as the animal excitedly hopped up and down while speaking rapid-fire at them.
"I never seen you before so I was totally surprised to see you that was the most excited I've ever BEEN except for that one time I met Twilight and I was all like "HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUH" but then I got over it and now YOU'RE here and I can't believe it there's like two totally new stallions I never seen before and did you ever wonder why glue was sticky because on my way over here I sat in some well I didn't really sit it was sort of like tripped and…"
Barret and Cloud watched her bounce and prattle. Finally Cloud came to a conclusion.
"We're in Hell."
Slowly, they gathered, following the paths of destruction left by the death of the Highwind to the little valley where Cloud and Barret were waiting. Tifa was the first to arrive; now a sleek white filly with long brown mane and tail and a cutie mark of a stalk of barley and a beer stein. With her was Nanaki, who… still looked like Nanaki. Well at least someone would be fighting in a familiar form. Following after them were three ponies, all matching shades of silvery grey, one very large, one much smaller with a more spectacular mane, and a third with a shorter mane and carrying a small carton the size of a shoebox and tied up with biohazard tape. They had matching cutie marks of shattering glass. Subdued, they sat down near Cloud and Barret, the large one snuffling.
"Don't cry, Loz," said Yazoo softly.
For once, Loz refused to be placated. "Why not? I'M A PONY!"
"I vote with Loz," said Barret. "I think now is the perfect time to cry."
The pink pony, who apparently went by the moniker Pinkie Pie, immediately honed in on Kadaj.
"What's in the box?" she asked brightly.
"Mother's severed head," he intoned. Then he held up the box as if listening. "What's that, Mother?" He listened, then looked at Pinkie. "Mother says hello."
As Pinkie slowly backed away from the psycho, Cloud looked to the Silver Trio. "So I suppose now on top of dealing with Sephiroth, we have to deal with you three as well."
"No," said Yazoo. "We just want to leave. Mother says pastels make her break out."
"That's ridiculous," said Tifa. "How can anyone be allergic to a colour?"
Kadaj opened the box. Inside was something that looked like a Disney remake of the Godfather covered with large splotches. As Pinkie Pie fled screaming into the distance, Tifa looked at the head in a box.
"Huh," she said. "Well that's a new one on me."
Kadaj closed the box. Cloud slapped a hoof over his face. "Look, we have to get ourselves gathered and get out of here. I don't think the inhabitants of this little realm are accustomed to our level of 'disturbed'."
"Cloud's right," said Barret. "We could be having an adverse effect on all these little animals!"
"We certainly had an adverse effect on that one," said Yazoo, watching Pinkie disappear over the horizon.
"It was rude," said Tifa. "You should never react to someone's mother that way."
"YEAH!" agreed Loz.
Cloud and Barret exchanged glances, but let the topic lie. "Anyone have a phone?" he asked.
No one did. However Nanaki did have an idea.
"I could see if I could track the others by scent."
"Okay, but be careful," said Cloud. "We have no idea how these ponies will react to you."
Nanaki ran off in search of the others, while Cloud, Barret, Tifa, and the Silver Triplets waited.
"I'm hungry," said Barret. "Wonder what ponies eat?"
"Grass, apples, oats, other stuff," said Cloud.
"No hamburgers I guess."
"No I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest that a race of sentient ponies probably doesn't eat meat," said Tifa. "Geeze I wish the others would show up, I want to get out of here before we make a mess."
"Speak of the devil," said Barret. "Think I hear Highwind now."
They did hear Cid; he sounded possibly the angriest they'd ever heard, but nothing he was saying made any sense. They heard him long before they say him; the collection of nonsensical noises and childish cuss-words getting closer. Finally he stormed up; a large mean-looking blue and brown pony with his ever-present flight goggles in place, his flanks emblazoned with a crossed wing and glaive, and followed meekly by a black and red pony with a mane like something out of a pony hair-dresser's worst nightmare. His flank was perhaps the least "cute" of the cutie marks thus seen – a death's head mask. Vincent sat down as Cid found a place not far away to sulk.
"What set Highwind off?" asked Barret.
The red eyes gleamed like murder in Vincent's black pony-face. "Something about the magic of this realm won't allow him to swear, and the beer all turned into apple juice. And worse – all his cigarettes turned into peppermints. Think of it – Cid Highwind…. Completely without nicotine."
They looked towards the muttering, twitching, animal siting a short distance away with his back to them.
"Well…" said Tifa softly, "Tobacco is a natural plant. Maybe it… grows wild here."
"We better hope something does," said Barret. "'Cause I ain't facing off with no man goin' cold turkey."
Vincent looked around. "So much colour and sunlight…"
"It's giving Mother hives," said Kadaj.
"It's… happy," said Vincent morosely. "And we seem to be lacking any…. definitive male and female parts."
"I for one was rather glad since nobody has pants at the moment," said Tifa.
Vincent looked at her. "Cid Highwind with no tobacco, booze, or sex."
Tifa eeped. "We're doomed."
"Let's just… not bother him," said Barret. "But hey, at least he has wings. Vincent you have them too."
Vincent looked at his scarlet-tipped wings. "I wonder if they work? They're pretty small."
"I wonder why some of us have them and some of us don't?" asked Cloud.
"It must be another aspect of the magic of this place," said Tifa. "Anyway, who are we missing? We've got me, Cloud, Barret, Cid, Vincent, Nanaki went off to get the rest of the group… hey I wonder who that is?"
A white pony with a red mane, his face and one leg swathed in bandages, walked up, trailed by a pony of blue and black with a distinctive black unicorn horn.
"Someone please tell me I'm drunk," said Rufus.
"We wish," said Barret. "What are you doin' here?"
"As far as we can tell," said Reeve, waving his head as he tried to look at his own unicorn horn, "when Cloud was fighting Sephiroth they somehow managed to rupture the liminals between our two worlds. The Turks are here too."
Cloud looked at Reeve's flank. He had crossed wizard-wands. Rufus Shinra had a rather disturbing mark of a two-faced pony mask. He looked at his own flank. Nope. Still no cutie mark.
The Turks were next to arrive; four black ponies with hooves trimmed in white. Tseng's mane was long and straight, Elena's was long and blonde, Reno's was a thick wild mass, and Rude… had no mane at all. But he had somehow managed to keep his shades. All four Turks had the same cutie mark; bound lightning, a sign of unity and power.
"So what's the game plan?" asked Tseng.
"Wait until we're all together an' git the fudge outta here," said Barret. "HEY! How come I said 'fudge'?"
"No swearing, remember?" said Tifa. "No swearing, booze, cigarettes, or sex."
Cid made a noise of pure hysteria. Vincent rose to his four hooves and went to his side, nuzzling him.
"At least there's still homosexuality," said Rufus.
"Technically there's no homosexuality if there's no sex," said Elena.
"Well there must be sex!" said Reno. "How do they make more ponies if there's no sex?!"
"Uh… we actually don't know how they make more ponies," said Tifa. "There don't seem to be any… um… naughty bits."
"I'm going to scream," announced Rufus. "Yes, yes, I am definitely going to scream. Or faint. Or both."
Cloud recognized a familiar orange and yellow form approaching fast, followed by five other ponies. "Well here comes Apple Jack. I met her earlier. Maybe she can tell us what's going on."
"Ask her how they reproduce," said Reno.
"Cloud don't you dare!" said Tifa.
"I will!" said Elena.
"WHAT?! This could be important, we might be here a while!"
"Let's just wait until we see how things go first," said Cloud. "We might not be here long enough for it to be an issue."
Apple Jack came running up, Nanaki at her side, her five companions behind her. The only one Cloud recognized was Pinkie Pie, and she was staring at Kadaj with… well… the sort of look people tended to give one after he introduced them to a head in a box.
"I went and got my friends to help you…. Oh. Looks like y'all found each other without mah help after all."
"Everyone but Yuffie," said Cloud. "Have you seen her? She's… short and obnoxious and loud."
"And a thief?" queried Apple Jack.
"She's in the Ponyville jail. She should be honoured. We never had need of one until she came to town. We had to build it special in her honour!"
"The Yuffie Kisaragi Memorial Jail," said Barret. "Terrific."
"Oh, but we did find this, though," said a yellow pony with a very soft voice, a long flowing mane of pink and eyes the most amazing shade of teal. "Poor little thing. It was just lying among the wreckage! I don't think it's hurt, but… it's acting very strangely."
She held up a grey rat wearing a wizard's hat and a blue cape, waving a wand. It was clearly drunk off its rodent ass, and had a stick in its mouth in lieu of its usual cigar.
"Pregnant!" it intoned dangerously with a drunken slur. "Yer allllllll HIC! pregnant."
"Well that explains the abrupt crash into the Land of Pony," muttered Cloud.
"It's fine," said Reno. "It always acts like that. Just… put it someplace where it won't get stepped on. We might need it to get home."
"Maybe I could give it a bath. It does seem a little… well…"
"Wallowing in smoked oysters has that effect," said Rufus.
"I was wonderin' what that smell was," said Apple Jack as the rodent hiccupped. "No problem! Fluttershy can fix up any critter! Can't you, sugar-cube?"
Fluttershy was sniffing the hiccupping rodent dubiously. "Well…maybe…"
A scruffy blue Pegasus with a rainbow mane and tail sniffed at the rat. "Uh… I think even Fluttershy needs a live rat to heal."
"Pregnant!" threatened the rat, twisting slowly back and forth by the end of its tail.
The ponies stared at the dangling monstrosity for a brief while, then Apple Jack shook her head. "Well anyway, these are mah friends, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Twilight Sparkle, and… I think you met Pinkie Pie."
"Mother quite liked her," said Kadaj. "It's so rare she meets someone whose company she enjoys. Would you like to meet her?"
Apple Jack was just about to say she would when Yazoo interrupted, probably realizing they were going to need the help of these odd creatures to get home and making them meet a head in a box wasn't going to help.
"Perhaps later," said Yazoo. "Mother needs her rest, she's… very old."
Something in the box made a thumping noise. Pinkie hid. Meanwhile Rarity was eyeing Vincent.
"Oh my dear how simply awful! That nasty old crash has ruined your hair! Here, let me help…"
"You… really don't wanna do that," said Tifa.
"Oh no no no it's no trouble at all, why this will just take a…"
Rarity uttered a blood curdling scream as several spiders and a bat flew out of Vincent's mane.
"Told you," said Tifa. "And I should warn you – the knots never come out. No matter what you do."
"Well then… far be it from me to… upset an established 'look'," said Rarity, slowly backing away.
"I told you they were weird," said Pinkie in a stage-whisper to Twilight.
"Pinkie that's not very nice," said Twilight.
"Don't reprimand the child for being astute," said Rufus. "Well. It seems we are all gathered, save for Yuffie and we at least know where she is at the moment. Now we just need to get the ship fixed and leave."
"Aw… are you sure y'all gotta leave so soon? We only jus' met y'all!"
"We… come from another world," said Cloud quietly. "We're worried that… if we stay too long we might have an adverse effect on your world. We want to avoid that."
"Well it's gonna take you fellers weeks to fix that thar flyin' thingy of yours! May as well be friendly in the meantime!"
Loz meanwhile was creeping over to Pinkie Pie; tail up, ears erect, the epitome of pony-curiosity.
"Are you hiding? Can I hide too? This looks like fun."
As Loz stalked Pinkie, Barret looked to Cloud. "The lady's got a point, Spiky. No tellin' how long it's gonna take Highwind to get his ship fixed, even with all of us helping."
Cloud looked over at Cid, who was still sitting with his back to them, twitching and muttering to himself.
"Uh… do you happen to grow a plant around here called… tobacco?"
"Never heard of it!" said Apple Jack.
"What's wrong with him?" asked Twilight.
"He's just… a little upset right now," said Cloud, watching as Loz and Pinkie made faces at each other from under Twilight's belly. Well at least Loz seemed to be having fun, as did Pinkie.
"Did you see any other strange ponies?" asked Tseng.
"Strange how?" asked Apple Jack. "I see strange ponies all the time." She looked meaningfully at Pinkie.
"Unusual in some way," he said.
"Oh you mean like you-all? Nope! Why? You still missing someone?"
"We don't know," said Cloud. "We don't know who came into this world along with us."
"Well we ain't seen none. Just you fellers. Why? What's this friend o'yours look like?"
"Uh…. Tall, stunningly beautiful, muscular, powerful, graceful…"
"Available?" asked Rarity hopefully.
"And completely insane."
"Figures," said Twilight. "There's always a 'but' with the really handsome stallions."
"Oh, he's not dangerous I hope," said Fluttershy.
Cloud and his fellows exchanged glances. Twilight raised a pony eyebrow.
"To be frank we think he could do a lot of damage," said Rufus, "so it's imperative that if you see him you let us know. Do not approach him, none of you!"
He looked directly at Fluttershy as he said this, she seeming the most likely to try to help Sephiroth in his current condition. Rainbow Dash blew a raspberry.
"Hey if he messes with my friends I'll just kick him back to where he came from!"
She then proceeded to go into a rant about what she would do to Sephiroth if she met him, complete with sound effects and gestures. Twilight looked at Rufus.
"You think he's here?"
"We don't know. We hope not." He looked at the rat Fluttershy was holding. "In the meantime, we have to get that rat on her paws so we can fix the ship without needless complications that could result in this fic becoming a two-parter."
The ponies stared at them.
"Sure," Apple Jack said finally. "Whatever you fellers say. But it's still gonna take a while for the rat to get better, and we still don't know why your friend thar don't have his cutie mark!"
"I'm sorry," said Rufus, shaking his head. "Did you say… cutie mark?"
"It's a mark that represents who you are and what makes you special!" said Rarity. "See?"
She showed Rufus her own mark; a trio of diamonds. Rufus looked at his own butt.
"I have the Mask of Duplicity. Well that just makes sense."
Vincent looked at his own mark. "Death. That makes sense too. Cid let's see yours."
Cid sat and grumbled as Vincent nudged aside Cid's tail and looked at his mark. "A wing and a glaive. So far these are all fairly accurate."
"Everyone has one as an adult!" said Twilight. "So why doesn't Cloud?"
Reno sat down beside Cloud. "I dunno, you sorta specialize in not knowing who you are."
Cloud, for one of the few times in his life, got testy.
"Okay everybody here who got near-mortally wounded by Sephiroth then spent five years in a tank being experimented on by a mad scientist before watching his best friend be murdered before going off on a cross-planetary epic with a couple girls who were lying to him about either themselves or him, please raise your hoof. Oh look, only one hoof up and it's mine! I'm sorry if in all that mess I did not find five minutes to stare at my own backside and think; 'Gee, if I had a mark there, what would it be and what would it say about me?' So no, I have no idea who I am. No! Wait! Yes! I know exactly who I am! I am the guy who…" Cloud began ticking things off on his hoof. "Wore the dress in Wall Market to get into the mansion to rescue Tifa, climbed a high voltage tower at Junon to get the rest of us into the city, stole the submarine despite being morbidly claustrophobic to retrieve the key of the Ancients, had to hold Zack Fair in my arms while he cried because somepony he loved… why did I say pony?... was sick and he couldn't help him, am the pony… why do I keep saying pony? Who had to sit with Sephiroth while he cried over the mission he sent Zack on, I am the pony who does all the mud-jobs… and mud is the best word I can manage on this planet… while the rest of you sit back and watch and speculate about why I have no idea who I am."
Those gathered just stared at him, then Rufus looked at Tseng.
"I'm sorry, did Strife just have a hissy-fit?"
"He did," said Tseng.
"It was adorable! Ask him to do it again!"
"HEY! How can you be so inconsiderate of his feelings? Can't you see he's upset?" demanded Apple Jack.
They all stared at her. Cloud got an evil smile, looking forward to a chance to dish back some trash.
"Apple Jack I'd like you to meet Rufus Shinra. And don't let that mask of duplicity on his flank fool you. For some people it would mean they were a bad person pretending to be good. For Rufus… he hides behind evil like a rose bush but he's got a heart of purest gold."
Rufus sighed loudly and dramatically. "Strife what have I told you about blowing my cover?"
"To not blow your cover?"
"Exactly. So why are you raining on my rose bush?"
"A pony's gotta rain somewhere."
"Speaking of rain…" Tifa looked up at the sky as the clouds began forming an odd swirl and a few stray drops began to fall.
"Hey!" said Rainbow Dash. "We didn't schedule rain for today!"
"I beg your pardon?" asked Rufus.
"The Pegasus-ponies are in charge of making weather," said Twilight. "If it's going to rain, it's because we need it and they brought in the rain clouds! But… this doesn't look like any weather we've ever seen…"
"We have," said Cloud.
"I'm gonna kick his…!" began Rainbow Dash, but Twilight stopped her.
"No! Cloud says he's dangerous!"
"So am I!"
"Look…" said Cloud, "I know him. If we leave him alone and don't challenge him, you should all be fine. He's summoning the rain because he's looking for us; he knows we'll recognize the swirl patterns and come running. If we just leave him alone for now until we're ready to take him back to our world then you will all be safe."
Pinkie Pie looked up. "Maybe he's just lonely! Maybe he just needs… A PARTY!"
Before anyone could say anything, the little pink ditz was gone. Loz pouted.
"Aw, I liked her."
"Well…" said Apple Jack, "maybe she'll be okay. You said not to challenge him, and she won't! She'll jus'… try an' cheer him up some…"
Barret looked at Cloud. "What do you think, Spiky? You know the pony better than any of us. I mean… ah you know what I mean."
"I think she'll be fine," said Cloud quietly. "She's not dangerous, she doesn't have anything he wants, she's not going to actively challenge him in any way… I mean sick as he is, Sephiroth still operates by a warrior's code. He's not likely to hurt anyone who isn't trying to hurt him."
"Yeah!" said Twilight. "Pinkie will be okay…"
"We hope," said Rainbow.
Together they gazed up at the black clouds forming a spiral in the sky.
<center>***INSERT HASBRO TOY COMMERCIAL HERE.***</center>
Sephiroth stood on a hill, summoning weather, watching as the skies blackened and swirled. He was as spectacular in this land as he had been in his own; tall and regal, solid black with silver tiger-striping all over his flanks and shoulders, his long white mane blowing in the wind. On his flank was a heraldic shield showing a shattered heart. Like a true unicorn of yore, he had cloven hooves, a lion's tail, and the beard of a goat. Like the royal ponies of this land, he had both wings and a unicorn horn. Unlike the royal ponies, his green eyes bore the cat's-eye pupil of a genetically-altered harbinger of murder.
Ah yes, the royal princess. She was aware of him, but she was staying away, uncertain how to deal with him for the time being. She was biding her time, waiting, learning. Wise pony. She would not needlessly endanger her subjects. She could feel his true power, knew he was a level of evil and destruction never before seen in this world, an evil that made even the handful of quasi-dark beasts here flee in…
GEEZE he hated having his inner monologues interrupted. It was so hard getting them back on track.
He directed his gaze to the nuisance before him. It appeared to be a pink pony wearing swim fins, umbrella hat, Groucho nose and glasses, and deely-boppers with a paper noise-maker in its mouth. There appeared to be a small toothless alligator resting on the pony's back.
Wow. His hallucinations were really getting out of control.
"Wanna know what today is?" asked the pony.
"The day I bring night, bloodshed and despair to your homeland?"
"No, silly! It's the day of your party!"
Having a blue and pink party hat with fuzzy streamers on top placed on his head did not actually do much to make Sephiroth less daunting.
"Party?" he queried.
"Yeah!" The pink hallucination began bouncing up and down.
Maybe he should go back on his meds…
"Why would I need a party?"
"Silly! Because you're all grumpy and sour and sad and you need cheering up and you know what I really like was this one time it rained chocolate milk from the sky that was AWESOME oh! And the clouds were pink cotton candy and was so GOOD and I brought my tuba so we can dance!"
The clouds above were slowly ceasing their unnatural spiraling, and the rain slowed to a soft drizzle as Sephiroth stared at the pony.
"Or I could get my one-pony band outfit that I used to scare away the parasprites! You wanna see my one-pony band outfit?"
He was still working up a response to that when she suddenly was wearing it. Yes… yes meds might well be called for as he watched a pink pony bounce up and down playing a tuba and assorted other instruments. The rain slowed to a stop.
"That is possibly the most ludicrous thing I have ever seen."
She stopped playing. "Did it cheer you up?"
He wasn't sure if it cheered him up, but it was raising distant memories; things buried and forgotten, both bitter and sweet. He didn't say anything as she tore off and somehow managed to manifest with all matter of apple-based treats. Moments later there were balloons as well.
"CUPCAKES!" she squealed gleefully.
The sky was clearing. If nothing else, Pinkie had succeeded in breaking his concentration. She offered him the apple-flavoured treat, waving it under his nose.
"Open wide for the yum-yum train!"
He stared at her. "Have you any idea who I am?"
"OH! Is this a guessing game? I LOVE GUESSING GAMES! Okay – are you animal. Vegetable or mineral?"
"I AM DEATH!"
She rolled her eyes. "You're not supposed to tell me, you're supposed to let me guess! And gee can't you come up with something happy? How about a kitty? Or a bunny? Or or or or… one of those round sour things but when you bite them they're sweet inside but they're really sticky and they get caught in your teeth hey you know that would be a good one for charades!"
Well she had his full attention, that was for sure. Then she gasped loudly and pounced on something in the grass. Moments later she was holding aloft a green gleaming ball of what appeared to be glass with a slowly flowing center of light. Her eyes became enormous.
"PREEEEEEETTY!" She showed it to him. "Look!"
"It's materia," he said.
"IT'S SO PRETTY! I'm gonna give it to Rarity and she can give it to her kitty to play with."
He walked to her side, looking down at her. She had no fear, no malice, no darkness as all. There was nothing evil within her at all and he knew it.
"Rarity might not want her kitty to have it."
"It's mastered Ice materia. Here, watch." He took the ball and aimed it at a dead tree. Moments later the blackened and rotting tree was a frozen pillar of ice glittering in the newly-returned sunlight. He gave the ball back to her. "See? I'm not sure Rarity would want her kitty to be able to turn people to ice."
"Wow….." Pinkie's eyes were huge. "So pretty…"
She'd won him, the same way Zack Fair had so very long ago. She would never know of Zack. He would never tell her. He would never touch anything so innocent with his own blackened past. She looked up at him with gigantic shining eyes filled with excitement.
"Can we look for more materia?"
"All right," he said quietly.
Pinkie Pie bounced off the hill, squeaking with excitement and singing inanely, followed by the Scourge of Nibelheim. She would never know she had saved the entire world.
<center>***INSERT HASBRO TOY COMMERCIAL HERE.***</center>
"HECK, DOO-DOO, AND ABUSE, THAT'S ALL I GET AROUND HERE!" yelled the rat in a cage, dangling in the main room of Twilight Sparkle's library home. "NOW SOMEBODY COUGH UP THE NICOTINE OR I'M GONNA START DOING THINGS THEY DON'T HAVE WORDS FOR ON THIS PLANET!"
"Sorry!" said Twilight. "We don't have that here. Now are you going to be good and…?"
She suddenly found herself transformed into something that was half Great Dane, half chicken. She sighed.
"Oh, Twilight!" said Rarity. "My goodness, such a daring and cutting-edge look! Why all the ponies will be wearing it this summer! But it really does need a finishing touch to complete it."
A sunflower suddenly appeared on Twilight's head.
"Perfect!" declared Rarity.
Twilight glowered at the rat. "I didn't know rats were so much trouble!"
The rat took the twig out of its mouth. "Oh yeah? Go ask that pack of Elves in Middle Earth what I'm capable of. CANONS, BABY! I SHOOTS THEM!"
"I don't think it's right to keep her in a cage," said Fluttershy. "I think it's… a little mean."
"Best place for a varmint," said Apple Jack. "WHAT DID YA DO TO MAH BIG BROTHER?!"
"You'll find out. In the meantime tell him not to steal a rodent's hat! And if you don't have any mead or cigars then at least cough up the smoked fish."
"Oh we could never eat a little harmless fish," said Fluttershy. "How about some nice cheese?"
"Got any grapefruit? I could really go for a grapefruit."
"Oh! I think they have some at the fruit-seller's shop! I'll go look."
"Naw you stay here, I'll go get it," said Rainbow. "It will give me a chance to get out of zapping-range. Besides, Rarity and Fluttershy are the only two ponies that thing likes."
"Heck, doo-doo and abuse," grumbled the rat.
"Well, as much fun as this is, Fluttershy and I have an appointment at the spa," said Rarity. "Come along, Fluttershy. You three play nicely now!"
They departed. Apple Jack sat by the window to wait for Rainbow Dash to return, while Twilight Sparkle went through her books to see if she could find a 'Protection from Irate Rats' spell. As she read, she became aware of somebody singing quietly, juuuuust loud enough for her to hear.
"Faces filled with joy and cheer,
What a magical time of year!
Howdy-ho it's Weasel Stomping Day!
Put your Viking helmet on,
Spread that mayonnaise on the lawn!
Don't you know it's Weasel Stomping Day?
All the little girls and boys
Love that wonderful crunching noise.
You'll know what this day's about,
When you stomp a weasel's guts right out!
So come along and have a laugh!
Snap their weasely spines in half!
Grab your boots and stomp your cares away!
Hip hip hooray it's Weasel Stomping Day!"
"That's terrible!" declared Apple Jack. "Singing a song like that! How dare you sing that in from of me an' Twilight?"
"Well I couldn't have sung it in front of Fluttershy, it would have upset her," said the rat.
"She has a point," muttered Twilight.
"Right under that big ol' hat. WHAT DID YOU DO TO MAH BIG BROTHER?"
"NOTHING THAT COULDN'T BE EXPLAINED WITH A THOROUGH PERUSAL OF CANON!"
"WHAT'S THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?!"
"IT MEANS WE ALREADY ESTABLISHED THIS WORLD HAS LINKS TO OTHERS SO HE SHOULD KNOW TO CHECK TO SEE IF THAT APPLE TREE HE'S GONNA KICK IS ONE OF THE WICKED APPLE TREES FROM THE LAND OF OZ!"
"YER JUS' MEAN!"
"GO COMPLAIN TO L. FRANK BAUM, IT WAS HIS TREE!"
"ALL RIGHT, MAYBE I WILL!"
Apple Jack stormed out of the library. Twilight looked at the rat. "I'm not so sure you should have told Apple Jack where that tree came from. She's going to go find this man and… well she might not be polite."
"If she finds him I'll be shocked. So will she for that matter."
"He died about a hundred years ago."
"My point exactly." The rat put on her iPod headphones and pressed a button. Moments later it threw up the horns and began headbanging, singing; "I love Rocky Road, so won't you go and buy a half a gallon, baby…?"
Twilight stared a while to ponder how the hat stayed on, then ignored her to study, briefly thinking she had no idea what she would say in her evening letter to the princess. In the hills behind Ponyville, Pinkie Pie and her new friend looked for materia, while a group of unlikely ponies fixed their airship. Among them was a black pony with a messy blonde mane, his brand-new cutie mark on display for all to see; a marble pillar, representing who he was – the support his friends all relied on.