Disclaimer: The Kross Kings do not own Naruto or My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

Why We Fall

1: And So The Story Begins

The peaceful land of Equestria, a land dominated by equine and other quadrupeds. It was a quaint place, where the three species of equine, or ponies as they called themselves, lived in harmony.

Unicorns, equine granted a solitary horn that protruded from their head, were granted talent with magic. They used their magic to make their lives, and the lives of the ponies around them, easier. Unicorns were more prone to be haughty and assured in their worth, and thus most lived their lives in higher circles, but there were a few exceptions, those who preferred the simpler life of a small town.

Pegasi, the plural form of a Pegasus, were ponies with feathered wings that normally matched the coloration of their coats. They had a unique magic that allowed them to make clouds and weather alike fall under their control. Pegasi often flew from one place to the next, acting as transport for mail or ponies alike, or they primarily used their talents with cloud manipulation to craft a set schedule for the weather.

Then, finally, there were the 'regular' ponies, those without any extra limbs or forehead accessories. These equine were dubbed "Earth" Ponies, due to being 'limited' to the ground. However, even though they lacked flight and excessive skill in magic, they were just as, if not more, important as the two other species. Most Earth ponies were granted immense strength, speed and stamina, and, true to their name, were more in tune with the earth around them. They were excellent farmers, able to work the soil, the fields, the bushes and the trees far better than their brethren.

However, not all Earth Ponies were farmers. Some worked simple shops, some were high class, some were tax collectors, but there was a small sect of mares and stallions who swore to protect Equestria's borders from threats beyond the land.

These were the Ponies of the Stonehenge, the strong, silent and mysterious guardians of Equestria. The Stonehenge Ponies were once regular Earth ponies, but time away from ritualistic lifestyles of peace had caused these equine to develop unique traits and abilities. Soon enough, the distance between Stonehenge and the rest of Equestria led the warrior breed to fall into tomes of legends. The secret protectors became the shadows they embraced, lost to a world of magic, now nothing more than mere myths.

That is, until today.

Hooves clacked along the dirt road towards the nearby town.

A crayola orange-coat shimmered in mid-morning sun while a shaggy mane and matching tail of wheat gold shifted back and forth with each motion of powerful legs. The legs belonged to a stallion, whose eyes, a cerulean blue, had bags beneath them, as if he'd not slept well for quite some time. The sun was kept out of his exhausted eyes by a navy band that was wrapped around his head. The had a metal plate sewn into it, and carve into the plate was a spiral that gradually turned into a leaf. A muted rumble made the stallion stop and look down at his stomach.

"Yeah, I'm hungry, too. Thanks for the reminder." The gruff, but young voice said to his protesting organ. He was tired, hungry and nearly his last legs. His navy saddlebags, each marked with an orange triskelion, just like the black one that adorned his flank, hung over the sides of his growling stomach and concealed it from view. Unfortunately, they did little for the noise it made.

With the notion of food in mind, the stallion began to pick up some speed as he strolled into a town. He paused momentarily as he looked at the sign outside the town, which read simply: Welcome to Ponyville!

"Ponyville. Hm, that's kind of an odd name." The stallion tilted his head to the side and squinted his eyes.

He lost interest with sign and looked towards the bustling little town that seemed to be full of life and cheer. The sight made him smile, and his smile stretched the whisker-like marks that blessed his face.

So much better than...home. The stallion shook his head quickly and looked around as he slowly began to walk through the town. He needed to find a place where he could get some food. He trotted over to a grey coated mare wearing a bowtie and tapped her shoulder. "S'cuse me, miss, d'you know where I can get some lunch?"

The sophisticated mare looked at him curiously, unable to recognize him. The stallion expected this to happen, it was bound to in a small town like this. Finally, after she seemed to register his question she smiled politely back at him.

"Oh yes, the café is actually right down the main street and to the left. You shan't miss it." The pony instructed and pointed towards the building in question.

"Thanks!" He was about to leave, but paused before he turned back to the nice mare with a sheepish smile on his face. "Sorry, I forgot to ask your name. I'm Naruto."

"Octavia. Welcome to Ponyville, Mr. Naruto." The mare, Octavia, smiled a bit more genuinely. Then, as if it knew when a friendship was either going to begin or not, Naruto's stomach let out a deep rumble.

"I...apologise. It has a mind of its own, I swear." Naruto flushed. He felt more than a little embarrassed. Octavia merely giggled and trotted off. After he waved a hoof to her in gratitude and farewell, Naruto looked down and glared at his stomach. "You have the worst timing in history. Nice going."

All he received in response was another, unapologetic and far more demanding rumble.

And she was pretty cute, too. Naruto thought somberly and headed towards the direction he had been given. Oh well, at least he was going to get one of his primary needs fulfilled today.

"Ah, that's exactly what I needed." Naruto sighed out as he walked out of the quaint cafe. He may have overdone it on the dandelion pizza, but at least his stomach would be quiet for a good while now. It wasn't as good as ramen, but a close second. "Now, maybe I can score a bed for the night somewhere. There's gotta be a hotel or something in this town considering it's proximity to Canterlot."

Naruto's musings were suddenly interrupted by a frantic shout of, "Incoming!"

A moment later and he found himself sprawled along the ground with the mass of another pony atop of him. Naruto groaned in pain before he shoved the pony off of his body. Once got himself back on his hooves and fixed his jostled headband, Naruto gave a stink eye to the smart stallion that decided to use him as a landing pad.

Magenta eyes blinked up at him - Naruto felt childishly smug being taller than average - and a sheepish laugh escaped the mare. She had a long rainbow-colored mane and tail that surprisingly contrasted well with her cyan coat. On her flank was a lightning bolt that was nearly identical in color to her mane.

"That hurt." Naruto simply stated. Not really, he could take some punishment. But still, the mare was super rude by crashing into him. She rose to her hooves, just a half-head shy of reaching his height, the mare laughed awkwardly.

"Sorry bout that buddy," she said with a smile. "Was working on a trick, but it sort of misfired when it came to the landing."

"Misfired...yeah, it misfired all right. All over my back." Naruto realized what he said and silently prayed to the Alicorn of the Sun that the words would fly over the mare's head.

"Yeah... Sorry, didn't mean to hit you with all of my awesome." The mare shrugged. Well, at least she didn't catch the potential innuendo bomb he dropped. Naruto's nostrils flared a little once he realized what she said. The pegasus obviously didn't care for his potential injuries.

"Oh, yeah, it's okay," he said. I only heard a little crack in my spine is all. Naruto was still new in town, so there was no reason to create an issue. "No problem, Miss...?"

"Rainbow Dash!" The mare answered a large smile. She closed her eyes and posed on her hind legs. "Soon to be member of the Wonderbolts."

"...Really? Lovely." He returned with a drawl. He shook his head and tried to reign in his temper. "Naruto."

"Hm, weird name." Naruto's eye twitched at her evaluation. He blinked when Rainbow Dash poked him in the snout. "You've really got to learn to watch where you're going buddy. Seriously, I would have landed that trick if you moved a smidge to the left when I shouted."

...Oh, she did not just imply that this was his fault. With another twitch of his eye, Naruto said, "Well, maybe if you were a better flyer, you wouldn't have landed on another pony."

Silence filled the air. Ponies that were walking by stopped and turned to the two. Pegasi poked their heads over the edges of clouds. One primarily pink pony with a darker pink mane poked her head out from the bushes she planned to jump out of, her eyes wide.

"Oh snap!" the pink pony exclaimed. She cupped her hooves around her mouth. "Somepony just called out Rainbow Dash! Everybody, to the shelters!"

A good portion of the observers followed the pink pony's lead.

"Would you like to repeat that?" Rainbow Dash asked while she got right into Naruto's face. The orange stallion's eyes narrowed. Oh, did he hit a nerve? Well, then it was time to hit it again. Perhaps it was a bit childish, but this mare was asking for it.

"Did I stutter?" Naruto asked as their foreheads pressed against each other. "Or are your ears still jammed up by the clouds?"

"...Are you calling me-?" Rainbow Dash grit out.

"A slowpoke airhead? Maybe I am," Naruto said. He grinned. "What are you gonna do about it?"

"It. Is. On." The rainbow-maned mare narrowed her eyes and jabbed him in the chest with her hoof. "You. Me. Race. Now."

Naruto smirked. "Really? I wouldn't want to bruise your shallow ego."

"My ego is anything but shallow!" Rainbow Dash growled.

"Hmm..." Naruto pulled away and tapped his hoof on his chin while he thought. "I could use an after lunch work out."

"I'll do more than give you a workout, buddy." Rainbow Dash smirked. "What'd you got to say to that?"

"Just six words." Naruto craned his head down to smile at her eye level. "Get ready to eat my dust."

Both Ponies stood behind a line drawn in the ground. Rainbow Dash scraped at the dirt with her hoof and steam snorted from her nostrils. She was more than ready to race; her hindquarters were up, her legs were bent, and her wings flared out.

Naruto just stood behind the line, calm and relaxed. His tail swished from one side to the next, each time the tip of his tail got a little closer to a small ring that stuck out of one of his saddlebags. The fact he still wore them irked the rainbow themed pony.

"Are you getting ready for tea or a race?" Rainbow Dash asked with a scowl.

"If I had to be honest, I could go either way right now." Naruto

A brown stallion with an hourglass on his flank held up a race flag. "Racers! On your marks!"

Rainbow Dash's body coiled and her wings raised slightly. Naruto's tail slipped into the ring that stuck out of his right saddlebag.

"Get set!"

The mare's nostrils flared as she beat her wings a few times. Naruto subtly pulled a small object from his bag and spun it around lazily.


Rainbow Dash shot off of towards her goal at a decently average speed. She was going to put this smug stallion in his place, she was going to show him he wasn't even close to be as fast as her 'slow' setting. An object zipped past her as she sped towards Sugar Cube Corner, but she paid it no mind. A grin crossed her face when she realized that the stallion hadn't started to move. She was going to win so easily, the stallion hadn't even started to trot yet!

She skidded across the finish line on her landing and she let out a laugh.

"Ha! Take that blondie!" Rainbow Dash smirked and looked over at the starting line. She frowned and blinked a few times. She was sure that she hadn't heard him start to run.

"Take what?" The new stallion's voice asked from behind her. Rainbow Dash turned around to see him spinning what looked like a fancy knife by a ring with his tail while he leaned against Sugar Cube Corner. "Man, you took your sweet time."

"What? How? When? Huh?" Rainbow Dash's mind tried to compute what happened as she kept looking back and forth between where the stallion was now and where he had been. She left him in the dust! She was sure of it!

"Maybe if you were a little faster you would've been able to win," Naruto said simply. He tossed the knife up and tilted his flank so that it would land ringed-end first into his right saddlebag. Rainbow Dash grumbled and her magenta eyes narrowed while she gave him a keen once over. The stare unnerved Naruto and he arched a brow.

"Can I help you?" Naruto asked as the pegasus began to invade his personal space. He twisted away from Rainbow Dash before she could poke him in the side. "Hey!"

"How did you do that?" The pegasus asked firmly.

"Do what? Win?"


"Well, I guess it's only fair to tell you." Naruto muttered as he looked around. Ponies had gone back to doing their daily business with the excitement of a race over. He leaned in and covered the side of his mouth with his hoof. Rainbow Dash leaned in eagerly, her ear twitching in anticipation. "The way I won is...a secret."

Naruto snickered when the mare's face fell and she gave him an annoyed pout. His attention went to his saddlebags when he heard the sound of fabric ripping. He watched, wide eyed, as the left bag fell to the ground. The right bag soon followed.

"...Oh, come on!"

"Ha! Serves you right!"

"It was fine before you slammed into...me..." Naruto trailed off. The sound he heard wasn't his spine. Narrowed annoyed blue eyes glared into amused magenta. "You broke my saddlebags."

"What? No I didn't," Rainbow Dash said with a frown. "Maybe you just wore them out too much."

"I take care of my things, especially these, they were a gift from my...old friend." Naruto's voice softened and his eyes stared off into the distance.

Rainbow Dash's smile fell slightly. Suddenly feeling a little bad for his predicament, she gave his shoulder an awkward pat. "Hey, uh, buddy. I know a pony who can fix it up for you."

Naruto instantly perked up. "Really?"

"Yeah, come on," Rainbow Dash said with a jerk of her head. Naruto picked up the two parts in his saddlebags with his mouth.

Naruto looked at the Carousel Boutique, which really did look like a carousel, and how colorful it was. The sheer...frill of it all made him drop his saddlebags from his in shock.

"Wow, I can only wonder what kind of Pony works here." He mumbled.

Rainbow Dash leaned over to him. "Let me do the talking, Rarity can be a bit...Rarity."

"What does that mean?" Naruto asked, his brows furrowed together after he picked up his two saddlebags.

"Trust me, you don't want to know." The mare said as she trotted up and knocked her hoof against the door.

"Just a minute~!" A sophisticated voice sang out and a moment later the door opened to show a snow white unicorn with a styled purple mane and a trio of diamonds as her cutie mark. The mare's eyes lit u when they landed on the cyan pegasus. "Oh, Rainbow Dash! Come to finally try on a dress?"

"Please, you wish." The Pegasus snorted before she pointed her hoof at Naruto. "This guy needs some help, his saddlebags ripped to due certain unforeseen circumstances that can't really be blamed on anypony."

"You slammed into him after you tried another one of your silly tricks, didn't you?" Rarity asked with a smile. Rainbow Dash glared at Rarity, who ignored the look, sighed and looked to the tall stallion apologetically. "I apologize for Rainbow Dash, she can be quite...brash with new Ponies. I, on the other hoof, welcome you to Ponyville and, more importantly, to Carousel Boutique!"

Well, she's certainly nice. Naruto thought with a small smile. He dropped his saddlebags again and ducked his head in a light bow. "Pleased to meet you, Miss Rarity."

Rainbow Dash gave him a dry look. "You certainly change your tune quickly."

"You used me as a landing pad, she didn't."

"I said 'Incoming'!" Rainbow Dash grumbled.

"Most likely at the last second." Rarity rolled her eyes. "That would certainly leave a sour impression."

"So, can you help him or what, Rare?" Rainbow Dash redirected quickly, looking a bit embarrassed.

With a dazzling smile, Rarity nodded. "Of course I can! If you could bring it along, I'll take a look at it and try to work my magic."

"So what's the standard fee for a repair job?" He asked curiously while he balanced the bags on his back. It would be rude and time consuming to keep dropping them just to speak.

"Oh, please, darling!" Rarity waved her hoof nonchalantly, a small smile on her face. "For such a small thing such as this, it's free of charge."

The stallion stood perplexed. "That's...very generous of you."

Rarity waved it off with a coy laugh. "Dear, it's a simply repair of the strap from what I see. Not even ten minutes for someone like me. It would be ever so rude to charge you on your first day in Ponyville."

"I really stand out, huh?" Naruto asked her.

"Well, this is a small town. Everypony knows each other, so it's obvious you're new here." The seamstress' horn lit up and levitated the saddlebags to rest on her work table. She leaned in and inspected the item, the strap especially. "Hm...My, what a sturdy material. It's certainly taken punishment from the elements and then some. I would assume you've travelled a lot with all these faded marks and the patch work on it."

More than slightly impressed by her skills of deduction, Naruto blinked. "Spot on."

"Oh, you've must have seen many things in your travels." Rarity looked excited as she placed her glasses on her nose and used her magic to summon a needle and thread. The needle seemed to move along the broken strap and stitched itself masterfully. The unicorn continued to talk as if she wasn't working. "Have you ever been to Canterlot?"

Memories flooded through the stallion's head and Naruto nodded. "A few times, yeah. Even met the Princess."

"Oh boy," Rainbow Dash said with a sigh. She propped her head up on her hoof and leaned against the work station. The pegasus gave the stallion a sour look. "Way to get her started."

"What?" Naruto asked.

"Oh, très magnifique!" The unicorn looked ready to swoon as she pressed her hooves together over her chest. "Oh, what I would give to go to Canterlot! The parties, the dresses, the ponies..."

"Uh...Miss? I think my bag's strap is done." Naruto stared at the intricate design that had been sewn into his saddlebags with more than mild surprise. It wasn't every day that the skyline of Canterlot was sewn into one of his things. Huh, it even had the rooftops shingled. Impressive.

"Equestria to Rarity!" Rainbow Dash broke the unicorn from her daydream. She pointed a hoof at the saddlebag. "Take a look at your 'work'."

Rarity did so and immediately became flustered. "Oh my!" she said, looking sheepish as she looked at Naruto, "I'm so sorry, my dear. I was lost in my own little world it seems."

"It's no problem, really." Naruto chuckled and reached for the bags, only for them to be lifted away by magic.

"Non! No, I mean, this, this is something I would do on one of my works," Rarity said, a flush on her cheeks. "I cannot allow you to take it when it clashes with the simplistic yet effective style that it has going for it."

"...Well, you are the expert." Naruto let out a light sigh. "How long will it take?"

"Oh, just a week. I swear."

"A week?!" Naruto repeated. Rainbow Dash snickered at his gaping maw. The stallion faltered. "It's fine, really-!"

"No! I insist, you'll have it in a week. No sooner and no later." Rarity promised as she set the bag off to the side. "I have other projects to work on and this is, it's simply embarrassing to let it back out into the world."

"Fine...I was planning to just stop in town for food." Naruto groaned and let his head thump against the tabletop. "Great, now where am I going to stay for a week? I can feel my bits flying away already…"

Rainbow Dash grinned as she placed a hoof on her chest. "No worries, Naruto, I've got you covered."

"You covering me did this in the first place." Naruto drawled. Rarity tittered at the way he phrased it while Rainbow Dash spluttered.

"Anyway!" The Pegasus cleared her throat and glared at the snickering unicorn before she gave Naruto her attention once more. "I got a few friends over at Sweet Apple Acres. They can hold you up with a room, but you'd have to be willing to get your hooves dirty."

"I don't know." Naruto hummed in thought. If it came down to it, he was okay with doing some physical labor in exchange for a place to stay, but he had a few bad experiences on a farm when he was a colt.

"Well, if you're in no hurry, might I suggest a small trim of your mane?" Rarity asked with a small smile. A pair of scissors and a comb floated up beside her as she stared at his shaggy, unkempt mane. "I'll offer you a good discount. The least I could do for you, darling."

"...Wait up, Dash!" However, no one was touching his mane. Naruto bolted out of the Boutique as fast as he could and soon fell in step with the cyan mare. She sent him a cheeky grin that made him frown a little.

"I knew you'd see it my way."

"I'm telling you, the Apples are, like, super cool. My friend, Applejack, runs the farm with her family," Rainbow Dash said as she floated next to Naruto while he walked the long trail to the farmhouse.

"And you're sure they're not going to mind you dumping a random stranger on their doorstep?" The dubious stallion asked.

"Nah!" Rainbow Dash rolled onto her back and flew beside Naruto, waving her hoof through the air. "Like I said, they're totally cool."

"...You and I may have different definitions for the word 'cool'," Naruto said dryly.

"Hey, for your information, buddy, I'm one of the coolest mares in Ponyville! I know what's cool." The mare huffed.

"Yeah, I'm sure."

That simple statement began a long, drawn out opinion-filled argument over what was and wasn't 'cool'. Thankfully, it kept them occupied during their trip, and before they knew it, the two ponies had made it to the farm. They approached a barn-like house, quaint and simple in design, something Naruto thought looked very comfortable.

Rainbow Dash landed on her hooves and knocked on the door. "Hey! AJ! You in?"

The door opened and were greeted with a bright smile by a little yellow earth filly. She had a deep red mane with a matching tail and a bright bow tied in it. "Rainbow Dash!"

"Sup, Applebloom. Is your sister around?" Rainbow asked, peeking her head into the house and looking around.

"Nope!" The filly shook her head. "She's off visiting one of our relatives, helpin' out with their chores on the farm cuz of a storm that caught them off guard."

Rainbow Dash leaned over to Naruto, "The Apple's family is humongously huge, she could be anywhere in Equestria right now."

Naruto gave the mare a confused look. "...Okay. I needed to know that because...?"

Rainbow Dash, ignoring Naruto's reaction (or lack thereof) to her words, refocused her attention on Applebloom. "So where's Big Mac? I got a part-timer here for you guys to hire if you can put him up for a few nights while he waits for his stuff to get fixed."

The little filly 'inspected' Naruto with squinted eyes. She looked him up and down for a brief moment before she put a hoof on the side of her mouth and whispered loudly to Rainbow Dash, "He don't look very bright."

"He has ears." Naruto told the little filly sourly. His intelligence was always a target back home, and right now he wasn't in the mood to get the same treatment from a filly who'd barely lived half as long as he did. He craned his head down and met the filly's sheepish gaze evenly. "And he doesn't like it when little fillies talk behind his back...especially when they do it right in front of him."

"Eh-he-he...Sorry, mister." Applebloom looked back at Rainbow Dash. "At least he uses more silly-ables than Big Mac."

"...'Silly-ables'?" Naruto repeated with a raised brow.

"She's still in school, cut her some slack." Rainbow Dash defended the young filly, who nodded in agreement, before she looked back down at Applebloom. "So, can you go get Big Mac?"

"Sure! He's just out back. I'll be back faster than you can say cranberry applesauce!" Applebloom said as she galloped into the house and hollered out for this 'Big Mac'.

"She's a little rude." Naruto mumbled.

"In her defense, you do look like you rolled around in a desert." Rainbow Dash pointed out with a smirk.

"Hey, sand baths are very relaxing!" Naruto countered sternly. Her eyes continued to sparkle with amusement and the stallion pointedly looked away. "And there isn't exactly plumbing out on the road, so forgive me, Princess Dash for my appearance."

"Meh, I'll try."

It was a few minutes later that Applebloom returned with a stallion just a tad taller than Naruto by a small margin. The stallion was a burgundy red and had a wheat stock in his mouth. Like Naruto, the stallion had a single accessory to make him stand out a little more than he already did, and that was a simple yuke that was settled around his neck.

...Well, I can now see why he's called 'Big' Mac. Naruto thought, impressed with his fellow stallion's height. There were only a few back home that barely even passed Naruto's height.

"Hello, Rainbow Dash." The stallion greeted with a drawl. Naruto met a few ponies like the one before him, they seemed slow to those outside their social circles, but held an aura of wisdom to them. That and it was usually the really smart ones who knew how to work hard and lounge harder.

"Hey, Big Mac!" Rainbow Dash smiled, and nudged Naruto. The stallion gave her a bewildered look and she gestured back at the farmer. Naruto, still a bit lost, merely raised a brow. He sucked in a gasp when was kicked sharply in the hind leg, which made him stumble forward. The "This is Naruto, and he wants to know if he can work he for a week of food and board?"

"...I reckon that he's okay if'n you're vouchin' for 'im, Dash. Still, sis should be back in a day or so, she'd give the final say." Big Mac hummed and looked Naruto over keenly. "You ever apple buck before?"

"A few times." Naruto shrugged. Big Mac pointed to a nearby tree that had a few buckets under it. The implication of a test was understood immediately. One of his old teachers was the same way: show don't tell. Naruto trotted over to the tree. He looked it over, knocked his hoof against it a few times and nodded.

Then, unexpectedly, the orange stallion reared his head back and then slammed it hard into the tree bark.

Rainbow Dash wrapped her hooves around her gut and fell to the ground while Big Mac stared at the scene and Applebloom gaped. No pony was foolish enough to ever try headbutting one of the Apples' apple trees before. Well, if they were, they soon learned why that was a bad idea.

The orange-coated stallion turned around and whistled as he trotted back to the residence of Sweet Apple Acres. As soon as he did so, all of the apples fell off the tree and landed square in the buckets, not a fruit out of place. Naruto grinned at the dumbfounded expressions that crossed the ponies' faces.

"So," he began. "Did I get the job?"

Big Mac looked like he could've swallowed his wheat stock. "I-uh, yeah. Welcome aboard, Mister Root."

"Naruto." The orange stallion corrected.

"Like I said. Root." Big Mac repeated with a small gleam in his eye. Oh, he and Big Mac were going to get along just fine. Naruto could already tell.

"That was so cool!" Applebloom squealed, jumping up and down. "How'd you do that, Mister Root?"

"You have to call me 'Naruto'." Naruto informed the filly dryly. Applebloom giggled sheepishly.

"Er, right. Sorry, Mister Naruto."

A gentle smile replaced the dry look on his face. He patted the filly on the head, and in doing so flattened her bow.

"Don't mention it. Now, as to how I did it..." Naruto paused for effect before he looked at Rainbow Dash and smiled wryly. "Well, you could say I'm just that awesome."

"Hey, just because you got lucky and won that one race doesn't mean you're more awesome than me, buck-o." Rainbow Dash firmly interjected while Big Mac chuckled. The rainbow maned mare gave the stallions and filly a sour look when they smiled back at her. She huffed at their amusement and spread her wings. "Whatever, I'll see you around, Naruto. We'll have a rematch before the week's up!"

"I'll be here, I guess." He shrugged. Naruto, Big Mac and Applebloom waved goodbye while the Pegasus shot off, doing loops in the air and performing various other tricks.

"C'mon, you've to come n' meet Granny, Mister Naruto!" Applebloom said as she grabbed one of Naruto's hooves and pulled him inside. Big Mac smiled in amusement at his little sister while she chattered up at the new probationary field-hoof. The large stallion shook his head and shut the door behind him as he went to watch his sister introduce the new stallion to their grandfather.

It's like his grandmother always said: Things were never dull in Ponyville.

A few days later, the three members of the clan Apple had become accustomed to Naruto's presence. He was a great help to McIntosh, the farm had been producing as much product, if not a bit more, with the usual second pair of hooves to help. Currently, Naruto was pulling the plow back into the shed while Big Mac took a break near the water trough.

"Mighty fine job you've been doin' fer us, Root." Big Mac complimented the orange stallion as the hired-hoof closed the toolshed. They'd gotten a lot done that day and the sun was starting to fall.

"It's the least I could do." Naruto chuckled. He tilted his head to the side and sighed as his neck gave a small crack. A hoof lifted up and began to rub the sore muscles. "By Celestia's will, how are you still holding your head up with that rusted thing?"

"Ah got used to it 'fore it was rusted."

"That makes sense." Naruto chuckled. "Anything else you need done?"

"Naw, go shower the stank off. Tell Granny Smith that Ah'll be in soon enough," Big Mac said with a glance to the full apple buckets set off to the side.

Naruto discreetly sniffed his coat as he went back into the house. "I do not stink that bad...Do I?"


As the sun began to sink under the edge of the horizon for Ponyville, the evening found a lone orange coated earth pony on the approach to Sweet Apple Acres. A mare, to be precise, with a golden mane and tail, each bound together by a red band. A stetson hat sat on her head and three red apples adorned her flank. Draped over her back was a simple

Applejack yawned as she made her way home from the train station. It had been a long week helping out her cousin Apple Sherbet, but they got those apple trees all set for the coming season. Now, she could go home, rest a little and spend some time with her family. She just hoped that Big Mac didn't over do it while she was gone. Last time he overexerted himself it had taken a good two weeks before their profits balanced out.

She opened the door and let her saddlebag fall to the side.

"Ah'm home, everypony!" she hollered.

"Heya sis!" Lil' Applebloom rushed up to her with a hug, one that was readily returned.

"There's my baby sister." Applejack rubbed her cheek against Applebloom with a smile on her face. "So, where's Big Mac at?"

"Outside workin' the fields, last I saw. You made it just in time, Granny's got the skillet on!" The filly prattled in excitement.

"That's mighty good, Applebloom. Ah'm just going to hit the shower first. Travelin' by train for a good two days does that to ya." Applejack smiled as she rested her trusty hat on the hook in the kitchen and strolled towards the restroom. Applebloom smiled and trotted off to inform her grandmother and brother that their sister had returned.

As she approached her desired location, Applejack was hit by the scent of soap. Upon opening the door, she found herself nearly blinded by steam and her ears heard running water. Her green eyes squinted shut and she coughed at the overabundance of steam in the air, which elected a response.

"Applebloom! How many times do Mac and I have to tell you to knock before you come into the bathroom?!"

Applejack was certain that was definitely a male's voice that yelled at her. Her eyes cracked open and the mare felt her mouth go dry at what she saw. Water rushed down a coat a hue or so darker than her own, and beneath the fur coat were firm muscles that twitched gently with each subtle movement. Applejack's eyes began to thoroughly examine the strange body, roaming over a broad torso, powerful legs and briefly lingered on a strange cutie mark that adorned a toned flank. Then, the farming mare's mind caught up with the situation.

A drenched orange stallion she'd never seen before was in her home. More specifically, it was an unknown stallion that was in her bathroom. And, to get even more specific, it was a stranger that was using her shower.

So, she reacted accordingly.

She screamed.

It was shrill. It was loud. It was ear-shattering, if not window-shattering.

It was a stereotypical mare's scream.

Frankly, a small part of Applejack was shocked that it came from her mouth.

The scream drew in the rest of the Apple family. The sight they found had Big Mac covering Applebloom's eyes and Granny Smith gaining a broad smile on her face.

The stallion looked at her, wincing blue meeting wide green. The stallion looked away to examine their surroundings, then to the rest of her family, and finally back at the very surprised mare.

"...You must be Applejack." All she could do was give a weak nod. The stallion cracked a small smile. "The name's Naruto. Nice to meet you."

Bonesboy15: So there it is! The revival you've all been wait-Okay some of you have been waiting for. Again, I'd like to remind you that I'm not a brony, so, really, all I've to go on is my memory of those first few eps, and what I've 'learned' from various fics.

Engineer4Ever: Now, I have no hate for MLP, but I'm not a Brony either. Though I will admit that the shows tickle my fancy at some of the pop culture and references in it. Plus, it's got a freaking The Dude pony! And Weird Al starred in it, seriously, that's awesome.

Bonesboy15: Weird Al does a lot of animation stuff. So, really, there's not much of a geek out for me there. However, The Dude will be brought in a lot sooner than you'd expect. Why? ...The Dude abides.

Engineer4Ever: You watch Pinkie Pride then you tell me it wasn't awesome with Weird Al, that goof off was classic...and the only one I've ever seen.

Bonesboy15: Can't beat Weird Al as Isaac Newton. ERB FTW.

Kross Kings: Now, you know what we want you to do.