My Friend

by Jonathan "KnightMysterio" Spires

All characters not my own are copyrighted to Hasbro and any relevant companies. All original characters copyrighted to me, so do not use without permission.

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Part 1: What the Future Holds

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Who am I?

A simple owl, nothing more. Wiser than most birds. Clever enough to keep my hunts to the night, so my mistress is not offended by my predations.

I serve as assistant to a unicorn who... well, to put this politely, she's a bit on the neurotic side. Obsessed with schedules, keeping things in exact order, leaving nothing out of place.

I still remember the day she broke down completely after realizing she missed a perceived 'due date' with her friendship reports. And I still profess that I am surprised this didn't happen sooner. I may not have known her for that long, but I pride myself on getting a good sense of ponies right off.

But still, it's not my place to judge.

It is only my place to serve.

My duties are simple: take down messages when the infant dragon is resting, organize books, and sometimes dust. I provide feathers for quills when needed, and I keep the place free of mice when needed.

Simple tasks. But I treasure them. Because I treasure my lady.

Which is why I worry for her so much.

She never embraces the now. She is always scheduling, always trying to to keep the future in hand. I do nothing because it is not my place, but nopony can control the future.

And then there was the aforementioned mess with the doll.

I nearly molted all my feathers off, I was so worried for her.

But she persevered. She grew stronger, each mistake teaching her a new lesson that made her greater and greater. She's changed so much since she came here, become so strong, so wonderful...

So much has she changed that I'm ashamed to admit my reaction when she came home an alicorn was to worry.

She comes so close to breaking under pressure every time something goes wrong, or not according to the schedules she's planned out... what will happen now, with her power grown so greatly?

Ngh...

I really shouldn't worry so much. I really shouldn't.

But I cannot help it. I love her. She is my friend.

And no matter what the future holds, I will stand by her.

Come what may.

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Part 2: Hard Work is Good!

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Hurray! Morning!

Up first! Up with the sun! Good morning, Princess Celestia!

Master's not up yet...

Up! Upupupupupupupupupup!

HURRAY! You're up!

Let's go! Work to do! Ooh! Food first, can't forget the food!

Omnomnomnomnom delicious! Wha... bad dog? *whimper* Ooh, wait. Ate too fast again, that's why master is mad. I'll do better next time. (Probably not, but a good way to think!)

HURRAY! Work!

Gotta move the cattle today! Let's go, move 'em up, move 'em out! RAWHIDE! (Hee.) Gotta move, gotta go! Let's go! Master needs you to move! WAIT! Not that way! Where are you going... STAMPEDE!

Another snake! (Stupid snake!) Deal with it later, gotta move, gotta go!

Go back! Go back, go away! Don't go this way, go that way! Go! Gogogogogogogogogogogogogo!

HURRAY! Success! Job well done, have a nice drink! Master gives me apples for doing a good job! Tasty!

HURRAY! More things to do! Ah... no, wait, it's the tree kicking work. I can't help with that. Phooey.

Go into town, see all my friends! See nice mister owl! HURRAY! See the burning birdy that sometimes visits little purple thing! HURRAY! See the flying shell thingy! AMAZING! I never knew shell thingies could fly!

OOH! Even more hurray! It's the KITTY!

I like kitties! They are nice and fluffy and make funny noises! Let's play, kitty! You like the run up the tree game, right?

YEP! You do! You're always willing to play it with me!

Job well done! Go back, check on Master!

YAY! Work to do! Little Master gives me baskets she made, and bigger Master put apples in them! HURRAY! I can do work!

Hard work is good! It makes me happy! Because that means I'm helping!

And I like helping. Master likes to help. She sometimes helps too much, though, and gets tired.

No matter. I have to be there for her!

Because she's my Master.

Because she's my friend. And I'll always be there for her! Even when I'm not actually there.

It's a dog's life. And I couldn't be happier!

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Part 3: Surrounded by Idiots

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I swear I want to murder that dog sometimes. The first thing she does every time she sees me is try to chase me up a tree. That is NO way for a lady to behave!

Honestly. Doesn't that dog have any sense of propriety?

Meh, no matter. She looses interest quickly and moves on, giving me a chance to climb back down.

...I really wonder how Twilight does it sometimes. She's brilliant! And Fluttershy, always so peaceful. I envy them their peace of mind.

While I?

I have to live with a nincompoop.

Oh, I love her well enough. But she's so much of a flake! My pony, she feeds me and bathes me, as a proper servant should. But she also tosses me around like I'm one of her silly claw sharpener sheets sometimes. And then there's the melodrama...

And then there's her sister. She's even MORE of a twit. I'm lucky I still have fur after the last time she took care of me on her own.

Why? Why do I love these fools? I suffer as much as I am pampered, and it's just not fair! It's no way a cat should live. It's .

...No, no, I know why I love them.

For all her flakiness, I've seen my pony do things of such incredible kindness, incredible generosity, that even I, a cat, was impressed. And for all the fact that she uses me as a pincushion at times, or uses me as a model for those wasteful shaped claw sharpener sheets, she still treats me with the respect and care and love I know I deserve.

It's... odd.

A cat's not supposed to feel admiration. Ponies are supposed to admire us.

But I cannot help but admire her. Even in her lowest moments, she maintains her generous heart. She maintains the elegance worthy of a cat like me.

She's... well, if you'll excuse the pun, she's a true Rarity.

And she's mine.

Rarity, she's my pony. And I love her.

...No, that doesn't sound right. What's the phrase?

She's my... servant? No, that's not right either.

Oh come on, Opal. You should know this.

Oh! Wait, I know. I know. And such a lovely word it is.

She's my friend. And I will adore her forever.

(That doesn't excuse her nitwit sister, though. YOU DO NOT USE GLITTER GLUE ON CATS!)

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Part 4: Not Tough Enough

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All right you mooks, listen up!

Firstly, SHADDUP about the thing with the salad sundae! That thing was gorgeous!

...

All right, all right, it was mean. But forgive a bunny his lapse, all right? I do care for her. I just... I just wish she would assert herself more often.

I've SEEN the strength she has! I KNOW she's tough! She didn't need that horn-headed doofus's help to become assertive! And it didn't work anyway, it just made her a jerk! That's not tough, that's being a bully! I should know, I've done it enough before she took me in.

...Yeah, you guessed it. My name's an ironic one. And when she first found me, I had bitten off more than I could chew. I got into a fight with a bigger rabbit and was clawed up and left for dead...

...Huh? You don't think bunnies can fight? Pft. Shows what you know. These claws, these legs, they ain't for show. Plus there's a reason Opal leaves me alone.

...Yeah, the physics-defying pink mutant just showed up at random and told me to tell you to go watch a movie called Watership Down. She says it'll prove my point, so go watch it and learn that we bunnies is badass!

Anyway. She took me in, nursed me back to health... and she got me to behave. You just... you just can't really DO bad things around her. She gets all sad and pouty and that soul crushing sound she makes when she cries...

*sighs* I backslide from time to time, I admit. But I love her. She healed me, showed me a better life. And I swore I'd do anything for her.

Which is why I get so mad with everypony that's mean with her. She doesn't deserve any of it! She's too good for that! She deserves to be better treated!

It's just...

I don't know. I just don't know what to do with her sometimes!

Sometimes she's tough and assertive in a passive-aggressive way, and on worse days...

...I have seen her jump in fright at her own shadow.

Not really a moment to be proud of.

*sighs*

It doesn't really matter.

I know she's not tough enough.

I know she's weak.

But that's why I and the other five have to be there for her.

That's why I will never abandon her.

After all, she's my friend. And what kinda friend would I be if I abandoned her?

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Part 5: Taking it Slow

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I'm honestly surprised she ended up choosing me.

I mean, yes, I saved her from the ravine, but the falcon won the race. It only makes sense, after all, if you slow down and think about it.

That's the advantage turtles have. Slow we may be, but that's just because we like to think.

Not that I'm complaining, mind you! I was starting to believe I'd never have a master, and then I get her, one of the fastest fliers in Equestria!

And to top it off, she has her unicorn friend rig me up a device so I can fly alongside her, cast a spell on me so I can stay in her cloud house in the sky!

Can you imagine? A turtle in the sky?

And life's been so fast-paced for me ever since, I really haven't had time to slow down and think!

I almost don't want to. It's been so exciting, being with Rainbow Dash! Always moving, always doing new tricks! I love flying so much, skidding about the air here and there with my little helicopter pack, I barely ever touch the ground anymore, save to eat and... ah... take care of other necessities.

No need to go into detail on that, I think...

But yes, I do need to stop and contemplate more.

And thanks to my new setup, I can stop and rest on the clouds.

Beautiful...

So beautiful, to see the clouds gently moving in the breeze, to see Master flitting around, a rainbow streak in the sky. To see the ponies down below moving about, doing their daily chores, going about their daily lives.

So beautiful.

So wonderful.

If only master would slow down and look, slow down and think, she'd realize just how truly beautiful this world around her is.

As beautiful as a rainbow.

But no, no, I will not force my way of thinking on her.

My master, my rainbow, she is her own mare.

And she must be free to fly.

And you know what?

I'm going to fly with her.

She deserves to have someone by her side.

And who better than her friend?

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Part 6: Rhasphody in WAKKA WAKKA WAKKA

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LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFE!

Is like a bowl of lobster bisque.

Born ferociously, and boiled down into something delicious that goes down easy if you let it.

I am one who seeks understanding.

Well, sought it anyway.

...I think I stopped when I met her.

Because with her, everything is simple and delightfully random. With her, everything is pure.

Were I a pony, I would be in love with her.

THAT is how much I adore the blessing of not-understanding she has given me.

There is so much in the world that is serious. For example: I know one day I will be too big to stay with her. The price one pays for being an alligator in a world of magic to keep you healthy.

I can either mope about it and fret, or I can adopt my beloved's philosophy, and smile smile smile.

Obviously, I choose to smile.

Oh, I cannot smile as you ponies do. But for those who understand, you can tell that I am smiling.

For why worry? Why fear the random and the unknown?

I have one of the best friends in the world, and we adore each other. I don't need to understand anything else.

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Part 7: Forever

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I am a phoenix. For me, eternity is an endless cycle of death and rebirth from my own ashes.

I was brought into my lady's life to help her understand that.

It was... a bad time. Nightmare Moon had just been vanquished. A year had passed, the sun rising and setting on schedule. Everypony was happy, and a holiday was declared.

And then the guards found the will.

On the very first Nightmare Night, the guards burst into Princess Celestia's bedchambers and stopped her from casting the spell that would rob her of her eternal youth and immortality. They hid the book the spell was in beyond even her reach, along with the knife she was planning to use to kill herself.

Yes, Princess Celestia wanted to commit suicide. The guilt over what she believed was the ultimate betrayal of her sister...

I am a phoenix. I am forever.

But the thought of ever having to experience that haunts me... There are days when I dream of having to do the same thing to a sister I never had, and those are days I am too frightened to go back to sleep for a full day afterwards...

I was brought in as an attempt to cheer her up. I was playful, and yes, I tended to be a bit of a prankster. I would mess with my handlers, hide from them... basically be a little punk.

And oh, to see the sun smile again... it was beautiful.

There was nearly a problem when I had to go through my first cycle (I was young then). The stricken look on her face when I first poked my head out of my ashes... I was worried that I had burned her.

But no, she had just had a panic attack, afraid that she had lost another friend.

(Little known fact: She reacted almost exactly like Fluttershy did when I first went through my cycle.)

Eventually she calmed down, and became philosophical about my cycle of death and rebirth. And she began to understand why a phoenix, of all the immortal animals out there, had been given to her as a pet.

All things go through a cycle like mine. A burst of vitality and life, eventually fading away to embers. But no matter how many changes one goes through, a true friendship never changes.

Embrace the good and the bad, for they are all part of the Cycle that is life. And for every bad, know that there will be a birth of new joy.

Nightmare Moon? Gone, Princess Luna returned to sanity and family.

Discord? Bested by the Elements, and then turned good by that kind Fluttershy! (I need to apologize for messing with her that first time.)

The Changelings? Gone. Give more food than they could handle and scattered to the wind. Good riddance.

King Sombra? Burned into nothingness by the light.

And now her precious student, an alicorn. A princess!

Life is good. And I will be by her side to share it with her, my wonderful friend.

Forever.