Chapter 17

The sun streamed through the flap of the makeshift tent. The golden rays promised a great day, as in consolation for the storm the night before. The sun's rays were golden and Aaron hated it. Wherever he seemed to turn the rays would strike him in the eyes. Eventually he stood up, groaning, and started to exit the cart. The back of his head was throbbing ever so slightly. He turned back around and using telekinesis pulled something out from beneath the floorboards.

He smiled as he saw a glass bottle surrounded by a familiar vermilion aurora. He floated it towards him, when a sharp pain rammed through the back half of his brain. The sudden pain caused his magic to stutter out and the bottle began to fall. It twisted in the air and approached a sleeping Reece. Aaron grabbed at it with his magic as it neared Reece.

Aaron let out a small cry as it neared Reece's sleeping figure. It hung above Reece's head, surrounded by Aaron's magic. Aaron let out a sigh of relief as he floated the bottle over to him and into the grasp of his hoof. The bottle felt good in is hoof he smiled and said to himself, "Like holding your favorite lady."

He spun the bottle in his hooves and admired the label, "Ol' Jack you have yet to let me down." Aaron lifted the bottle to his lips and took a draft of the whiskey. The touch on his tongue was the same as all first tastes of a new bottle, heavy and hearty.

Aaron pulled open the flap of their makeshift tent and grimaced at the brightness. The trees they had sought refuge in were bathed in the golden light of early morning. Among the Oaken shields, were birds not yet fleeing the safety of the trees in search of breakfast.

The birds' chirps rang in Aaron's head as he clamored out of the cart. With a slight thump, Aaron shakily landed on the ground, keeping a hoof to the bottle. The chill of the early morning air and the warmth of the rays confused his senses for a moment and a shiver went down his spine.

Aaron shook his head, his ruffled, rust colored mane heavily hitting the sides of his face. He tilted the bottle against his lips and took another sip.

As he brought the bottle away from his lips he heard Spades say, "A bit early for that isn't it?"

With a smile Aaron replied, "Ah you just say that because this is the latest I've woken up in a while." Spades looked at him and laughed. When Aaron didn't laugh with him, his smile faded.

Aaron looked over the little camp Spades had raised while the others slept. Spades sat on a log that seemed rotted to the core, when Spades gestured to a spot next to him Aaron shook his head preferring to stay standing. Spades stirred something in a metal pot over the fire.

Aaron leaned over to look into the pot and the aroma wafted up. He took a sniff and was pleasantly surprised to find that he quite enjoyed the smell: What was in the pot looked even more appealing than it smelled. A thick brown soup with chunks of potato and carrots caused Aaron's mouth to water.

"Where'd you learn to cook?" Aaron asked. Spades smiled, as he thought to the happy memories. "One of my moms was a cook at a four star restaurant in Canterlot."

"One of…? Oh ok." Aaron shrugged and asked, "What are they like?"

Eyeing him suspiciously, Spades asked Aaron, "Why do you want to know?"

"Know a pony's motive, know a pony's soul," Aaron said. Aaron then laughed and continued, "No reason." Aaron smiled and shrugged. Spades looked away and put a large helping of the stew into a wooden bowl. He took a few bites, smiled and said, "My moms are great. When I was young, one of my moms, Cai, I just called them both mom, was a chef at a four star restaurant; I couldn't go to work with her so I went to work with my other mom Becky, she was an architect, absolutely loved her job.

They were always minding their manners, taking shit from anyone with a title, all for me. They wanted the best for me and they worked hard to get me into a place where I could excel, the best schools, the best clothes, but I was a trouble maker. Not the bully, but the Anti-hero. I was the one who TP'd the school, when they moved to remove recess. I had a bad habit of picking fights with the noble ponies' sons and flirting with all the noble girls.

After all that work, by them for me, I couldn't tell whether they were more proud or more disappointed when I got my mark. I think in the long run their happy that I found a thing that I like to do."

"There's got to be a story behind getting a mark for being a card shark. Care to share?" Aaron asked.

Spades shook his head, "If I tell all my stories at once, you'll never want me to talk again. How about you care to share your early life, other than the depressing bit?"

"I was born, haven't died yet, the end." Aaron said rolling the now empty bottle in his hooves. "That's about it, in the grand scheme of things."

"Come on," Spades probed, "You wanted details about my life, tell me about yours."

"No thanks." Aaron slid the bottle he'd been rolling, behind him and asked, "Can you pass me some stew? We'll have to be moving before to long."

"Sure. We'll need to make it to a town soon though, were running out of supplies."

Flash blinked a few times in the early morning light. He rested a hoof on his eyes and smiled at the dreams of the night before. His mind had run wild and everything was of his own design, and at his side was…

He opened his eyes and shouted as he saw an alligator staring back. His hooves shot out and he fell in a jumble to the floor. He breathed a sigh of relief as he registered the alligator as Gummy. He put a hoof on the alligator's head. "Gave me quite the scare, didn't yah?"

The thump Flash had made had resonated through the house. Pinkie worriedly poked her head into the room. Seeing Flash on the floor she rushed in, but seeing that he was fine she slowed down. Still with an edge of worry in her voice she asked, "What happened?"

Flash waved it off and rolled to his hooves and stood up. "Nothing, I just wanted to wake up with a bang."

"Well come on, breakfast is almost ready," Pinkie said as she walked into the kitchen.

As Flash moved to follow, he hung in the archway and looked back at his bed. His brows knitted in concentration as he tried to remember who and what was in my dream. He asked himself, "Who was it?" As he left the room a giggle rang through his head, like a soundtrack to his forgetfulness.

A/N Summary of the part below: Sorry I got sidetracked, watch for new stories of mine, one called "Snow Fall" and the other one "I don't have a title but I'm working on it" and feel free to criticize

Sorry for the ridiculous wait for those that care, several things came up, like a wedding (Not mine I assure you, so don't worry ladies), the discovery of PONYMON, by the way incredibly ingenious. Not to make excuses but I've been letting this one simmer on the backburners while I work on some other bits. Two actual different stories along with this one, they're all in my one universe, because the world doesn't revolve around the six, even though the cameras do. They will be called, "Snow Fall", based around the alicorn wars, and I don't have a name for the other, but a few chapters for the other one that's about the best pony's (Trixie) and co.'s adventure, it will provide a nice source of the world. This work will be around this pace until those are caught up so I can finish them at the same time. So watch for my new tid bits they might be better than this, hopefully, because improvement is always good, and so is criticism, so please let it fly.