A Wild Pony in Equestria
A Ranma ½ - My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic crossover fanfict by Tangent
Pre-reading and editing assistance by:
DISCLAIMER: 'Ranma ½' and all characters therein belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogagukan, Kitty and Viz Video. 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' and all characters therein belong to Hasbro. This fanfict has been produced for my own enjoyment and to pass on without profit. Other characters that come into play in this fanfict may or may not be pulled from other sources (including other fanficts, RPGs, manga, anime, literature, or possibly even *GASP* American comic books!).
CHAPTER SEVEN: Forging Bonds…
Ranma woke up gradually as she felt the body she was snuggled up to gently stirring. Back in Nerima, when she had been human, predominantly male, and had a life full of unwanted complications, this would have been cause for alarm. Now it just meant that Big Sister Fluttershy was also in the process of waking up.
Ranma, or rather, Wild Apple as her new honorary family had renamed her, just lay there for a moment as she wondered at the incongruity of her current situation. She hadn't been particularly attached to the name Wild Pony anyway, other than as a translation of her human name from her former life. Here she was on another world, no longer human in either form, and even further separated from her old life by however long she had been trapped as a statue, and yet she felt closer to her new friends, to Fluttershy, the Apples, and everyone… no, everypony else she had met here than she ever had with anypony else from before except perhaps Uchan. Heck, the Apples and especially Fluttershy felt more like family than her own parents ever did.
Wild idly wondered if her father… if anyone… from her old life was even still alive. How long had she been a statue anyway? Three years at least as a minimum, just going from when Fluttershy had first found her in the forest. Before that? She vaguely recalled several days going by faster and faster until the cycle of day and night just fused together one gigantic mind-numbing blur. So maybe a month or so, or perhaps hundreds or even thousands of years. There just wasn't anyway of knowing.
Well, Fluttershy was now attempting to discretely slip out of bed without disturbing her, so Wild cast aside her morning musings, stretched, and yawned before hopping out of bed herself.
"Oh, I'm sorry, Wild" Fluttershy apologized in her normal quiet manner. "I didn't mean to wake you…"
"Don't worry about it, Flutterchan. I was already waking up anyway."
Nothing more was said as the two helped each other make the bed before leaving the room. Then, as they entered the hallway, a thought occurred to Fluttershy…
Twilight Sparkle looked at her meager checklist, being far more used to a structured schedule, set deadlines, and access to the research resources of both the Royal Palace and the Canterlot Academy for Gifted Unicorns. Back in Canterlot, she had been able to set a personal schedule up to a month in advance without having to worry too much about having to make any adjustments to which classes she would be attending on any particular day.
Unfortunately, being Princess Celestia's personal protégé, her academy schedule had born little resemblance to those of her fellow students, as her studies had to fit in with the Princess's itinerary*. The final result of which had been a labyrinthine academic record of ever changing classes, semi-independent studies, and seemingly random tests that had ultimately ended up hiding the fact that she had technically exceeded the requirements for graduating (with high honors) slightly more than a year and a half ago.
*Twilight Sparkle did have a regular lab study group, consisting of Moondancer, Lyra Heartstrings, Minuette, Twinkleshine, and Lemon Hearts, and they could kinda-sorta be considered friends of a sort. Maybe. Acquaintances at the very least. They even socialized sometimes!**
**This usually entailed either Minuette or Lyra getting the idea to go out somewhere as a group, with both Twilight and Moondancer being dragged along with the others.
All that was missing, really, was the ceremony and the diploma, although she had been informed that one would be written up for her just as soon as they tracked down every study course for which she qualified as having completed.
Twilight took some comfort in the fact that she retained her place as Princess Celestia's personal student, although she had been informed that she was now technically a journeypony mage rather than her previous classification as an apprentice.
This had come as some surprise to Twilight as she hadn't really given much thought to what her studies were leading her towards as far as her eventual career was concerned.
Now that she thought about it, she was now a mage, journeypony or otherwise, living in a tree that had a library in it.
Twilight face-hoofed as she realized that she had become a living cliché.
A knock at the door interrupted her train of thought, and Twilight headed for the library's entrance, grateful for the interruption to her introspection. "Oh, hello, Rarity! What brings you by today? Looking for a good book?"
"Actually, Twilight, I just happened to be passing by your tree on the way to the spa and thought it would be polite to ask if you wanted to come along. My treat!"
"Sure!" Twilight agreed cheerfully, happy for the first time that her schedule for the day was wide open. "Can Spike come along?"
"Certainly, if he wishes to," Rarity agreed readily. "I'm sure Aloe and Lotus will just adore the little cutie!"
"Spike!" Twilight called out back into the library. "We've been invited to go along to the spa with Rarity! Would you like to come along?"
"Sure thing!" the tiny purple dragon replied from upstairs. "I'll be right down!"
In short order, the group was heading down the street.
"Now Wild," Fluttershy addressed the flopping, vaguely pony-shaped bundle of rope in the back of the apple cart, "you know we're only doing this because we care for you and want you to make a full recovery, right?"
"Mpsa spa! Grrli! Lmme go!"
"Ah wouldn't o' had ta bind ya up lahk a catapiller if'n ya just stayed hog-tied," Applejack teased the bouncing bundle of rope with the red tail sticking out of it. "And we wouldn't o' had ta do that neither if'n ya hadn't run off the moment Granny reminded ya of yer appointment! Big Mac an' Ah missed breakfast 'cause o' you!"
"Eyup!" the somewhat disgruntled large red stallion agreed as he hauled the cart.
"Ya better be sorry, Makin' yer big sister worry about ya like that. Now Ah ain't inta any o' that frau frau stuff neither, but if'n it'll make ya feel better, Ah'll go in with you an' Fluttershy, then we c'n git something' ta eat in town."
"Thanks again for letting me hang at your place, Dash," Gilda commented as she helped clean up after breakfast.
"Not a problem, Gilda," the polychrome pegasus waved her off as she checked her icebox. "Though if you plan to stay for more than a few days, I might have to ask you to pitch in for supplies. Ponyville has a good stock of general pony staples, what with all three tribes living here, but most of our protein products are plant based.
"Bleh. I've tried beans, Dash. I'd rather eat vermin if beans are my only other choice."
"There are other types of protein producing plants besides beans, Gilda. Knowing you though, I bet you'd like something more challenging. If that's the case, Ghastly Gorge has a colony of Quarry Eels, if you're willing to fly that far."
"Yerg… I think I'd rather try the bean thing again. Or maybe those other plants you were talking about. Quarry Eels may be a good fight, but they taste horrible if they aren't prepped right. What about regular hunting?"
"Heck if I know. Just check in with the Town Hall and ask there. Even if they say no, you can always look up the township charter and restrict your hunting to past the borders. It's not like Ponyville has any neighboring towns close by. Just try to avoid hunting anywhere near Fluttershy's place. She really cares about animals."
"Gotcha," Gilda nodded. "Fluttershy… She's that timid one I made an ass of myself roaring at yesterday, isn't she? She and that Wild character never did show back up."
"At least Applejack let us know that Pinkie Pie saw them heading back to Sweet Apple Acres, so we didn't get stuck waiting out in the cold for them for hours. That would've been so uncool."
"Eh, I was fine with the no-show, actually. Facing down that Wild Apple character was kinda unnerving, if you know what I mean. I don't mean any disrespect, but I ain't never seen a pony give off vibes like a freaking apex predator before! For a while there, I thought I was done for!"
"Wild's… Well, I guess saying that she's different is fair enough. At least she and Fluttershy are good for each other." At Gilda's raised brow, Rainbow Dash continued. "They've been sort of like sisters since Wild got out of the hospital. Fluttershy's the kind and gentle older one, while Wild is the rough and tumble younger one - they kinda balance each other out, y'know?"
"I get ya. So… What're we goin' to do today?"
"I have an early morning therapy session at the spa. I'm still on minimum flight restriction until my next doctor appointment. Rarity says I should try their full treatment at least once, if only to see if I like it. I'm not sure if I like the idea of someone else filing my hooves though…"
"Is this Rarity pony cool?"
"She offered me a job if I end up losing my place on the local weather team."
"Eh, cool enough for me, I guess. What kind of job is she offering?"
"Model, actually," Rainbow admitted hesitantly. "She designs and makes clothes."
Gilda snerked, barely holding back a giggling fit (and not all that well either). "Hoo… Sorry 'bout that, Dash. I'm just having trouble seeing you as the type of pony who's 'always in fashion.'"
"Yeah, It's not something I ever saw myself getting into, but she did offer, so I want to at least consider it seriously."
"I hear ya."
Rarity gave her new friend's outfit a critical eye as they made their way to the spa. It was essentially the same as the ensemble the lavender unicorn had worn the previous day: a scarf with alternating bands of salmon and pink, a cerulean saddle lined with white fleece, and yellow boots. The scarf and the saddle went well enough together, and both would have complimented Twilight's lavender coat and purple mane much better if worn separately, but together it just looked a tad amateurish. Like she had simply bought them in a store and never considered the overall effect when taken all together.
The yellow boots weren't helping the ensemble either, but Rarity supposed that few pony tailors knew enough about cobbling to make more than complimentary dress shoes, if even that much. It certainly wasn't something she herself had given much thought to, even though she was one of those rare few tailors who had bothered expanding her repertoire of complimentary skills that far. After all, it would be rather presumptuous to try to aspire to become one of Equestria's Premiere Fashionistas without bothering acquiring the entire minutia of abilities that would enable her to handle anything a complete ensemble might need from head to hoof. Why, she even knew how to craft slippers out of glass and crystal!*
*not that there was much call for hoofwear made from either material, but it was still a handy skill to have available and Rarity didn't regret having taken the time and effort it took to acquire the ability.**
**At least until some months later, as she was leaving the Grand galloping Galla. Rarity would change her mind again later, once she got over her crushed dreams of a whirlwind romance with Prince Blueblood.
Perhaps a set of paisley or periwinkle boots were in order to tie Twilight's current ensemble together better. They would certainly make a suitable housewarming gift without unduly embarrassing her new friend.
Now… How to get Twilight in for a fitting without being overly overt about it?
"Actually, it's Sparkle. Twilight Darling is my cousin. Unless you meant our Great Grandmother, whom she was named after…"
"I think she meant the darling as a form of address," Spike commented dryly from his seat on Twilight's saddle.
"Oh…" Twilight blushed.
"Tut tut, none of that now," Rarity gently admonished before noticing Applejack and Fluttershy riding up in a cart being pulled by an impressively large stallion with a red coat and strawberry-blond mane. "Anyway, I'd like to introduce you to some friends of mine before we head into the spa, if you don't mind?"
"Certainly!" Twilight agreed readily, as this dovetailed nicely with Princess Celestia's request that she try to make some friends while in Ponyville.
"Hey, Rarity," Applejack called out as she hopped off of the cart and began helping Big Mac unhitch himself. "Who's yer new friend?"
"This is Twilight Sparkle, our new resident librarian and archivist. She just moved into the Golden Oak Library yesterday. Twilight, these are Applejack and her brother, Big Mac, of the Apple family. They own and run Sweet Apple Acres just south of Ponyville."
"Raht pleased t' meet you!" Applejack stated as she started shaking one of the newcomer's fore hooves enthusiastically.
"Eyup," Big Mac agreed in his usual laconic manner.
"Fancy meeting you guys here!" Rainbow Dash called out as she and Gilda glided down for a landing, eliciting a nearly silent squeak of terror from Fluttershy, who had only just then worked up the nerve to peek over the edge of the cart to look at the new pony.
Gilda, for her part, felt an impending sense of doom as she spotted the mare she had vented her temper on the previous day, and looked around franticly for any sign of Wild Apple. Then she became aware of a barely perceptible weight on her back and turned her head to see the mare in question perched there, looming there with the same piercing stare cats sometimes had right before tearing something into a bazillion pieces…
"Um… Before we start anything," Gilda choked out as she tried not to panic. Or make any sudden movements that might result in spontaneously trigger her imminent messy and painful demise at the hooves of the diminutive pony already within casual striking distance. "I would like to sincerely apologize for yelling at your friend yesterday! I was grumpy and lost my temper when I should have held it, butIwouldn'thavedoneanything! Honest!"
"Wild Apple, leave the poor griffon alone," Fluttershy admonished her 'little sister' mildly. "She said she was sorry, and that's good enough for me."
"Okay, okay," Wild rolled her eyes even as she lightly hopped to the ground.
Applejack checked the back of the cart and saw the rope haphazardly wrapped around a cord of fire logs, complete with an obviously fake 'tail' made of dry straw.
"Think it'll get away, A.J.?" Wild quipped as she trotted up next to the cart.
"How? Ergh… Y'know what? Nevermind, Ah reckon th' explanation would make mah head hurt more'n just not knowin'. Anyways, seein' as y' made yer peace with Gilda, How aboy y' go over and greet Rarity's new friend?"
"Okay," Wild Apple agreed readily enough as she approached the new unicorn. "Hello, strange pony I have never met before!" she greeted as she enthusiastically shook Twilight's other fore-hoof and watched as it too kept shaking for a short while once she let it go.
"Um… Hello to you too, I guess?" Twilight responded as she tried to get her forelimb under control.
"Now now, let's do this properly dears," Rarity interjected. "Twilight, Spike, this is Fluttershy, Wild Apple, Rainbow Dash, and… Gilda was it?"
"Yeah, that's me," the griffon confirmed distractedly, more than a little bemused at how completely the sense of dread she had been feeling just moments ago had just vanished.
"Everypony," Rarity continued, "I am quite pleased to introduce Twilight Sparkle, our new resident librarian and archivist, and her assistant, Spike the Dragon."
"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" Fluttershy let out an enthusiastic squeal as she inadvertently bowled over Twilight, Rarity, and Wild pony in her eagerness to get to the source of her excitement. "A baby dragon! How wonderful! And you talk too!"
"Don't mind us," a chestnut hoof poked out of the pile of ponies behind Fluttershy. "We're okay."
"Speak for yourself, Wild. Although I don't seem to have suffered any injuries other than to my dignity. Are you alright, Twilight?"
"I think so…"
"Then do you think you can get off of me, so I can get off of Wild? She is still recovering from her altercation with theaaAAAAAAGH!" Rarity's request was interrupted when she found herself flung into a nearby snow bank.
"Oh, I'm sorry, Wild! I didn't mean to knock you over!" Fluttershy fussed over her 'little sister.' "Much less leave you under a pile… of… eep!"
"I'm fine," Rarity called out from her pony shaped hole in the snow.
"I okay too," Twilight put in as she woozily emerged from her own pony shaped impact crater next to Rarity's.
"Huh… I wonder if the spa can handle us all…" Rainbow commented, correctly concluding that they had all arrived here for the same purpose.
"Of course they can," Rarity assured everypony. "Lotus Blossom and Aloe have handled even larger groups than this by themselves easily, and they at least should be on hand. I'll just pay the group rate for the full treatment for all of us and we'll let them take their time."
"Hold on now," Applejack protested. "We were already set to pay our own way for Wild and us…"
"Tut tut," Rarity interrupted. "It'll be cheaper and far more convenient for them to handle us as a single group. Rainbow, you and your friend are invited too, of course."
"Thanks!" Rainbow piped in cheerfully.
"Yeah, what she said," Gilda agreed in an off-talon manner.
"Well then, Ah suppose we c'n invaht y'all t' brunch afterwards," Applejack insisted. "Hayburgers okay with everypony?"
"Could we try Barley's Diner* instead?" Rainbow Dash asked. "They serve to a mixed diet, and are about the same price range as Hayburgers."
*Barley's Diner, more properly known as Barley's Diner and Delicatessen, is a small, family run business located just off of Market Square in Ponyville. Not too far from the Hayburger, actually. It is owned by Barley of course, although he is now semi-retired and his three grandchildren, Oats, Hops, and Rye pretty much run the place currently. While not exactly as fast nor as cheep as Hayburger, Barley's Diner has the distinction of being one of the few places in Ponyville capable of serving to the dietary needs of every resident and most visitors.
Barley even distributes a few local brews. Most notably Zapapplejack Whiskey** and Barley's Own.
**Granny Smith has assured Applejack several times that neither she, nor Zapapplejack Whiskey, were named after the other.
Applejack glanced at Gilda and realized that Rainbow was making a reasonable request. "Ah reckon y' got a point there, Dash. Barley's it is then, unless anypony has any objections?"
Seeing that there were no further objections, the group entered Lotus Blossom & Aloe's Spa…
Lotus Blossom poured more water over the heated rocks as the large party arranged themselves on the wooden benches of the sauna. At nine members, the group was almost too large for the room. Sure, the dragon being about colt size balanced out either the huge stallion or the griffon, but even so the patrons barely had enough room to settle themselves comfortably.
As good and generous a customer as Rarity was, perhaps it was time to have a discrete discussion about appropriate party sizes and compositions for future sessions. Fortunately, all of the spa's staff had decided to at least show up for the morning shift out of a desire to meet either Wild Apple or Rainbow Dash, both of whom actually having had scheduled appointments before they had gotten subsumed by Rarity's hospitality.
Speaking of which. "Excuse me. Miss Rainbow Dash?"
"Feather Light will be handling your wing preening later due to your recent injuries. Is that okay, or would you rather either Aloe or I to take care of your wings?"
"Nah, that's okay," Dash waved off the question, unconcerned. "I'm fine with whoever you pick."
"Very good," Lotus nodded happily before turning her head towards the red maned chestnut mare in the group. "And you are Miss Wild Apple, no?"
"I am Wild Apple, yes," came the cheeky reply, earning Wild a mild nudge in the side from Applejack.
"Aloe will be personally attending you during you during most of your first visit with us, and will be making frequent cross-references with the medical file Ponyville General Hospital sent us so we can properly gauge your rate of recovery. I am given to understand that, due to your unusual healing rate, the hospital would appreciate feedback on this matter. It is unusual, but not unheard of, for the Hospital to request feedback from us once a patient has left their care, but ultimately the decision to permit us to do so is yours."
"Sure, go ahead. I'm fine with it."
"Very good! I'll have a form prepared for you to sign later."
After their attendant left, Applejack addressed Wild Apple, "Y' had best read whatever paperwork yer given before y' sign anythin', Wild."
"Oh my, you don't think that…" Fluttershy started before trailing off.
"Nah, Ah reckon Aloe and Lotus Blossom are fair dealers, seein' as y' 'n' Rarity are regular customers an' all. It's the ponies that run th' administration end o' Ponyville General that Ah don't trust. We Apples have been burned more'n a few times over th' years because we didn't read th' fine print they gave us."
"A fair point," Rarity agreed, although this was the first time she had head of such a problem stemming from the hospital. "I'll help Rainbow Dash go over the paperwork she's already done to make sure everything is on the up and up."
"If you wouldn't mind, I would like to go over the records of the Apple family's dealings with the local hospital."
"That's nice an' all, but why would y' want t' do somethin' lahk that?"
"Well, being that I'm a journeypony mage assigned a billet in Ponyville, as well as being the resident librarian and archivist, I'm technically part of the local government. If there's a problem, I can call for a review board to go over their practices and policies."
"Why Twilight, I didn't know you were a mage!" Rarity perked up. Sure, she knew that her new friend had a government job, what with her becoming the resident librarian and archivist, but those were both fairly minor positions. Not something prestigious like being a registered mage! Not that Rarity had decided to befriend Twilight for such superficial reasons as social climbing, as she hadn't known any of this at the time, but serendipity was serendipity!
"Journeypony mage, actually," Twilight reminded everypony.
"Ah, don't let her modesty fool you," Spike piped up proudly. "Twilight Sparkle is Princess Celestia's personal student!"
"SHE IS?" Rarity exclaimed, just before fainting with a silly grin on her face.
"Now, don't y' fret none about Rarity," Applejack assured Twilight. "She was already yer friend before she knew any o' that, an' she's a good friend t' have, despite her aspirations."
"Well, Celestia did want me to try to make some friends while I was in Ponyville…" Twilight admitted, rubbing her right hoof against her upper left foreleg.
"Well, shoot Twahlaht! Ah reckon y' aint got any problems there! Why Ah bet that not one of us in this room wouldn't lahk to be yer friend, Princess Celestia or no."
"Eyup!" Big Mac nodded briefly.
"Sure thing!" Rainbow Dash agreed readily.
"Ah, whatever," Gilda put her two bits in. "If Dash is your friend, then I am too, got it?"
"I'd like to be your friend…" Fluttershy added quietly, "if you don't mind, that is…"
"What Big Sis means is that it's unanimous!" Wild Apple piped up
Twilight Sparkle could hardly contain herself for the rest of the session. This was turning out to be one of the best days ever!
END CHAPTER SEVEN…