Somepony New: Domestic Bliss

[This is a fragment which I eventually decided to stick on the end of Somepony New. — DS]

Desert Brush spat out the quill. “Do you think Celestia would go for a line of flavored writing utensils?”

“You’d have to explain the concept to her first,” Twilight Sparkle said. “It’s not like she’s ever had to write this way, so she probably has no idea what a quill tastes like.”

“There are times,” muttered Brush, “that I wish I didn’t.”

“You don’t have to,” said Twilight. “I’ve seen you write with a hoof, and somehow it’s perfectly legible.” She levitated the paper on which he was practicing. “This is on the level of an eight-year-old colt, at best.”

Brush grinned. “For six weeks of practice, that’s not bad. I mean, it’s a lot faster than the first time I had to learn to write.”

“Maybe so. But why make things difficult for yourself when you don’t have to?”

“I’m an earth pony. It’s in our DNA.”

Twilight laughed. “You’ve only been an earth pony for a couple of months.”

“Yeah, but earth ponies don’t write like humans with a bad case of muscle cramps. Earth ponies hold the quill between their teeth.” He bent forward and bit the quill savagely, then spat it back out. “No matter how bad it tastes.”

“Why does it matter?” Twilight asked.

“If we’re ever at some fancy eatery in Canterlot, I am not sticking a hoof on the table just to sign the check. I have some manners.”

“I make most of the bits around here. You should probably let me sign the check.”

Brush burst out laughing. “Twenty or thirty years ago, we would have called that a Statement of Emasculation.” And then, more seriously: “Uh, you don’t do that sort of thing here, do you?”

“Are you kidding?” said Twilight. “We need every stallion we can get. We have so few.”

Once again, Brush laughed. “For what? Mares can breed without ’em.”

“They can,” Twilight replied, “but it’s more complicated, and it almost always produces a filly. Eventually we’d run out of colts entirely.”

“Back where I come from,” said Brush, “there are females who would consider that a Good Thing.”

Twilight frowned. “Don’t they know about the necessity of maintaining biodiversity?”

“Humans are not about biodiversity. Humans are about power: who has it, and why don’t I have it?” He smiled. “There are lots of things about that place I don’t miss in the slightest.”

“Well, I’m glad you’re here,” Twilight said. “But I still don’t get why you don’t want to be seen hoofwriting. It’s not against the law or anything.”

“Same reason I wouldn’t want to be writing with jaw action in that other place. I thrive on being inconspicuous.” Brush grinned. “And fortunately, my marefriend doesn’t believe in blowing her own horn either.”

The young unicorn was shocked. “What?”

Realization was slow in coming, but it did finally come, and Brush facehoofed. “Oops. Poor choice of idiom.”

“Which means what?” Twilight demanded.

“In the human context, it describes an individual so desperate for attention that she would actually announce her presence with a trumpet fanfare, if there happened to be a trumpet within reach.”

“Sort of like the Great and Powerful Trixie, only more so?”

Brush nodded. “Same general principle: Look at me! I never was any good at that sort of thing, and eventually I got comfortable staying in the background. Generic Earth Pony, that’s me.”

“Well, you’re special to me,” said Twilight.

Brush smiled. “Now all we need is a trumpet.”

“I have,” Twilight said, “my own horn.”

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