A/N: Life is nothing but the word lie with a consonant thrown in the middle. It takes dreams to see the truth within.
Chapter Nex: The 1,000th Fic
A lone figure sat in front of a brightly lit computer screen, the glistening light reflecting off black-rimmed glasses. His name was Christopher Sampson, a third year at the University of Florida working towards his bachelor degree in animation.
In all his twenty-two years of life, Christopher had never known the sweet tang of a girl's lips against his. He'd never felt the warmth of a girls body against his. Going one step further, he'd never had a girlfriend. In his mind, he didn't care so much. He'd seen plenty of those two-legged, longhaired vixens in action and none of them caught his attention in a way that could be called endearing or sexual.
That's not to say Chris was ugly or anything, quite the opposite. He was a nice height, had flyaway away brown hair, and five o'clock stubble that was in no way intentional. He had a good smile, a nice, if somewhat introverted demeanor, and was relatively slow to anger.
It was more of a choice not to interact with others of the opposite sex, a choice that his friends were desperately trying to turn around for him. His roommate, Duncan, was constantly trying to get him to go here, to mingle there, talk to this person, laugh at this joke, and call this girl back because she seemed the 'right' one for him.
Chris didn't care for a world outside of his passion.
Chris was a brony.
It wasn't a fact that he tried to hide but he didn't go out of his way to tell others either. If the topic came up, it came up; if it didn't, then they didn't need to know. Just by setting foot into his and Duncan's room would let anyone know their standing. Where Duncan's half, the 'strong' right half, was decorated in memorabilia from just about every single sport imaginable, Chris's side was in stark contrast.
His bedsheets were pink with a picture of Pinkie Pie's smiling face over the front; he had posters of the mane six strung up like streamers; his computer he'd personally 'ponified' with decals, wallpaper, and even little avatars of the pony's that played over his screen. Surrounding his computer were little figurines, only four though as his whole collection had to be put in storage for fear of leaking into Duncan's side.
Odd as it sounds, Chris preferred interacting with what could never talk back than actually going out and talking to other people, other humans. He found that with his pony idols the laughs and smiles came easier. There was never any disappointment, never any pain.
Rainbow Dash never gawked at the jagged scar that ran over his neckline.
Pinkie Pie never questioned why his mother tried to kill him all those years ago.
Rarity was too much of a lady to ponder why his dad took pleasure in beating him just for smiling.
Fluttershy, being too timid, never asked why he had been locked within the basement a good majority of his life and fed scrapes like an animal.
Applejack couldn't care less that Chris had virtually raised himself since he could walk. She was always just trying to get him to eat apples, which were his favorite fruit.
And Twilight Sparkle, being the adorkable brainiac that she was, already knew the reason as to why he had to visit the hospital every month for a check-up concerning the fractures in his spine.
No, Chris could lose himself to imagination here. He loved Equestria, loved all the ponies within that magical world that was so close yet so far away. Twilight Sparkle and the rest had invaded his very dreams—but he didn't mind so much. Whenever they appeared, whatever nightmare he'd previously been having was instantly pushed aside, bucked by Applejack's strong legs while Fluttershy led him into the wondrous light that was ponyville where he would laugh, and run, and play, and smile.
Those pony's had saved his life. He loved them. He owed them far more than he owed anyone here on earth. All around him he saw faux smiles and heard laughs that made the back of his teeth itch. Why was everyone so...so human? It hurt to see the world spiraling into this maw of despair where people stabbed other people in the back just to ascend, where people laughed at other's misfortune while offering nothing, where those with all gave to none.
Chris had shut himself off to that part of the world. He only wanted happiness, he felt he deserved happiness, and My Little Ponies granted him such a kindness where others only shunned him. They welcomed him with open hooves and heartfelt smiles that soothed his worries, eased his stress, and nulled the pain.
His fingers tick-tacked over the keyboard, a small smile playing over his lips as he inched closer and closer to a goal that many of his brony friends around the world were waiting for.
His 1,000th fanfic.
While Chris attended college and studied animation with hopes of one day making a show that displayed the happiness equal to or greater than that of My Little Pony, he also had another side. A side that feverishly loved to write stories, and not just any stories, but fanfics concerning his only source of sunshine.
To date, he'd written over nine hundred and ninety-nine stories concerning his object of affection, posting them on virtually every fanfiction site he could find. Everything was slow going until around story ten or twelve when he wrote the hit called Sparkle Around the World. It told the comedic, if somewhat tragic, tale of Twilight Sparkle as she found herself in the human world after a backfired spell, trying desperately to find her way back; she traveled far and wide, changing hearts and assisting wherever she could, cutely oblivious to her growing popularity.
It lasted over three hundred chapters, was completed in a span of two years, and had generated a fandom all its own. By the end of its legendary run, the story had garnered over five million hits and an untold amount of reviews; fans from all over the world sent him gifts and donations thanking him for crafting such a loving story that, in someway or another, had an impact on their very lives.
Chris had been overwhelmed as he watched what started out as a one shot blast off into this internationally known piece of literature. His email, usually barren, started seeing two thousand messages a day from people commissioning him to write epilogues and give extensive details to what happened after Twilight had found her way home. At one point, he found himself shaking hands with Lauren Faust and other creators of the show, each expressing how they enjoyed his work. They wanted his permission to make an animation out of it, to turn his dream into a movie for all to see.
Chris refused. He had his reasons, and while most of his fans were highly disappointed he stated that the idea was not completely gone. Just on hold. On hold until he completed one of his own personal dreams. He told the shows creators that after he finished his 1,000th fic he would be back, clear-headed and ready to give Sparkle Around the World his complete and undivided attention. At that time, he'd simply had too many ideas jumping around in his head and became afraid that they would somehow find their way into a story that was best left to its roots.
So he returned home and turned those extra ideas into fics that, one after another, became successes.
That was four years ago. My Little Pony was entering its seventh season, the fanbase as enthusiastic and prosperous as ever. It was mind-bending when Christopher learned that a charity group named directly after his story had been started up, raising close to a million dollars each year. To this day, Chris still received a weekly phone call from the shows directors asking when he would be done. The usual answer had always been, "Soon". But just a couple days prior when the obligatory call came through, his roommate picked up the phone and said, "He needs one more week, then he'll be done." Christopher remembered crying as the director got off the phone to elated yells from the ones eavesdropping on their conversation.
Yes...it was almost done, this latest story, this last story. After this, he would be helping them turn Sparkle Around the World into the best movie/mini-series it could be, then possibly go on to turn more of his work into canon as well. He would be busy. Too busy to write at his leisure anymore. That both elated and hurt him emotionally, so much so that when he came to the sobering conclusion he withdrew from the world for two days.
Coaxed out of his depression by mental projections of the mane six, he soon realized that this wasn't the end. This was only the beginning, the beginning to something grand, something that he never saw himself doing when he thought back to the hell he'd been raised in.
Popularity, for reasons that still confounded him, put the misguided notion within people's mind that they just had to throw themselves at whatever happened to be hot at the moment. With his raise to fame, Chris was accosted by a fresh storm of fake smiles, fake hugs, and fake words of thanks, all of it a ploy to share his limelight, share in that taste of fame.
They could have it. He didn't want it. He only wanted to keep doing what made him smile.
The door to his room suddenly opened and, standing in the lit entryway, was his roommate Duncan, a guy who was kind of on the short side with a shaved head and many ear piercings. Christopher looked up, adjusting his glasses with a finger, and saw an entourage of no less than ten people in Duncan's shadow.
Chris said nothing, only shaking his head once before returning to his computer. He was one page away from being done. His dream was so close that his eyes stung with the urge to cry.
Not yet...not yet.
"Oi, Cutie Mark Chris!" called Duncan to guffaws from his friends, using a nickname that Chris had earned around the campus.
Christopher cringed. Cutie Mark Chris. That name had followed him for a good majority of his life, beginning as an insult that was spewed while being chased around the house by his mother wielding a machete. He couldn't remember what he had done wrong back then. He'd only showed her a picture of the two of them holding hands with Rainbow Dash when she suddenly flew into a rage and tried to kill him. From there, the name continued to be used while others beat him, kicked him, called him a freak, and spit at him.
When he rose to fame, he found it amazing how it quickly flipped to a term of endearment and watched with wide-eyes as those who persecuted him only months ago came running with open arms, embracing him and saying they were sorry and wanted to be friends.
He wanted to snap on Duncan but he was one of the rare 'true' friends he had and couldn't find the strength. He listened only partially while Duncan entered the room and went on about this party that everyone was throwing for him, in celebration of his 1,000th fanfic.
Chris's immediate reaction was no. The very idea of being around so many fake smiles and being forced to make conversation with people who used to laugh at him and his lifestyle was almost enough to make him vomit. No. No way. Not now. He had a story that needed to get done.
Duncan tried again, choosing the 'friend' bait, appealing to the fact that he had taken up for Chris where no one else had when he fist came to the university.
"C'mon, man, it's just one little party!" he encouraged, throwing an arm around Chris's shoulder while simultaneously moving his hands away from the keyboard. "Think of it like your swan party. After this, you'll on your way to fame and stardom, buddy! No time for the small fry anymore."
Chris fixed Duncan with a look of annoyance and explained that he didn't care about fame, or stardom, or who was a small or large fry. He only wanted to keep smiling.
"Then make me smile and do this one last thing!" pleaded Duncan.
In the end, Chris stood from his computer, defeated and highly agitated but Duncan was his friend. He may not have been a brony, and thus didn't quite understand Chris's commitment, but he had helped Chris through some rough patches. He owed him at least this much before they parted ways.
Only one page away...I guess it can wait.
The door to dormitory room 89 closed with a snap, leaving the only source of light to come from Christopher's computer screen.
A screen that began to warp as something bright and cyan-colored pushed its way through, crossing borders and dimensions until it tumbled out and onto the floor.
"Ouch! Dang it, Pinkie, I said don't push so hard!"
A giggle echoed around the room and suddenly, a pink something was forcing its way into the real world, landing on all four hooves next to their friend. "You were taking forrrreverrrr—I thought you got stuck!" she laughed.
Rainbow Dash sighed as she gazed around the room, beaming at the many posters and wallpaper displaying her awesome face. "Sweet, I'm all over the place!"
"Yeah, but I'm a bedsheet!" Pinkie Pie exclaimed, leaping onto Christopher's bed, sporting a smile to match the knitted one. She started rolling around. "Mmmm, I'm sooo soft and warm, I could lay on me forever!"
Shaking her head, Rainbow Dash approached Christohpher's computer table, sighting his very last fanfiction. She snickered as she read certain parts, particularly the parts concerning her and her totally rad display of abilities. Then her rose-colored pupils drifted down to all the sticky notes Christopher had written just before leaving. They were the answers being given while Duncan pleaded with him to come enjoy one last party.
A small frown touched the rainbow pegasus. She remembered the first time Princess Celestia had allowed her and other five to visit Christopher. Not in person, but on just the other side of his screen where it acted like a two-way mirror. She, along with Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Fluttershy, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie were overjoyed to meet the person who had brought a brighter light to their world with his fantastic tales of their adventures.
They watched as he typed, thinking it another story, but their happiness soon turned to sorrow when they realized that Christopher...that he lost the ability to speak when he was younger. Rainbow Dash in particular was crushed to learn that it was the picture of her that had sent his mother into a rage causing her to cut him in the throat. The trauma ruptured his larynx and left him mute.
They remembered the tears he shed, that they themselves shed as his pain washed over them. A lonely child only wanting to experience the fleeting concept known as happiness and love.
Rainbow Dash continued to journey back and forth between her world and just behind Christopher's screen, mostly because she loved watching him write, watching as his lips parted in a laugh that she would never be able to hear, and mostly because she had grown fond of Chris as a person.
His story's touched the hearts of millions over the world, taught lessons of kindness, of forgiveness and friendship. Everypony found it amazing that such rich lessons could be taught from one who was denied them all his life.
Princess Celestia wanted to fix that.
Upon hearing that he planned to write 1,000 stories concerning them, she decreed that he would be the first in what would hopefully span into a wide movement of allowing those of the pure-hearted into their world. There was no better way they could think of to celebrate all he'd done for them, for this world and theirs, other than welcoming him with open arms and warm smiles.
Rainbow Dash's eyes began to glisten with tears and she uttered a soft laugh as she reached out a hoof to one sticky note in particular that was stuck to Christopher's computer. "Come back soon, Chris," she urged softly as Pinkie Pie joined her side, nuzzling her in the neck. "Come back soon and finish….The princess said she'd heal you, make you be able to talk. I know that'd make you happy, and then you'd be able to come live with us. You'd be a pony, like us, and then—and then you'd find happiness...and love," she added tentatively, allowing herself a small sliver of hope.
Pinkie Pie nodded enthusiastically. "Yeah! And the party—don't forget the party! I've been planning his for almost two years now! It's gonna be the party of the decade—no, the century—everyone'll be talking about this one for years to come!" she exclaimed happily.
Rainbow Dash nodded at her friend as she felt something behind her chest ping with an almost ringing vibration. That was the call. Time for them to go back. Go back and wait with baited breath until he placed that last period to burst out and tell him the good news.
Following her friend as she disappeared through the screen once more, Rainbow Dash paused, turning her gaze back to that one sticky note. She smiled at it, a single tear escaping. "Hurry and come back and I will. I swear it…."
The room was empty again yet faint spectrums of cyan and pink remained, illuminating the notes all around Christopher's computer table. There was one that stuck out from the rest, one that had been written using every color of the rainbow. It was stained with watermarks and the handwriting was very jagged, but Christopher had been reduced to tears when the doctors told him he would never speak again. His only possessions at the time were a box of crayons and he used it to write his very first message. All of his hopes and dreams...he condensed them into a single line:
Fly me over the clouds, Rainbow Dash.