Starlight in a Broken Vessel

by the-pieman

Chapter 121

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Chapter 121

“Well sure Anne. What do ya wanna talk about?”

“Uhm, so... y’know how we’re kinda... alone?” the harpy looks at me, her face unreadable.

“Yeah, aside from a few other pegasi couples and triples that are on their own clouds.” I say, pointing at a few groups that are a little ways below us but still out of earshot. “So aside from them, what’s your point?”

She shakes her head. “No, not up here. I mean, in general. Anthony... you’re the only human guy alive now.” She looks at me, and I feel an uncomfortable sensation pass along my spine.

“So... your point is?”

She shifts a little on the cloud, razor-tipped bronze claws sinking to the fluffy material. “I don’t know if it’s that you’re the only guy I know now, but I- I think... uhm, that is-” she blushes hard, and hides herself completely in her wings. “mumblemumblemumble” Her voice is quieter than Fluttershy’s.

“Come again?” I have a feeling of what she said, but I want her to be brave enough to say it. I’m not into the ‘blush at the word love’ type. I have standards.

I think I mumblemumble.”

I sigh. She needs help. “Look, I give it a 60-40 chance you’re trying to say you like-like me, but I’m not gonna accept it unless you say it, alright?”

Anne gulps, then slowly moves her wings away from herself. She looks at me with trepidation in her eyes, and gulps again. “I- I... IthinkIreallylikeyou!” Aaand back into her wings she goes.

“Thank you. Seriously, I’m not that dense, I can tell that you liked me, but seriously... did saying so hurt? I’m not mad or upset or anything.”

Anne slowly peeks out of her wings, eyes peeking from between the gaps in her huge feathers. “I- I, uhm... I’ve never b- been good at talking to p-people I l- l- like.”

“Heh, same here, that’s why all possibilities are immediately dropped in the friendzone. I’ve had, like, ten girls who were potential girlfriends, but none of them tried to say anything.”

“R- really? B- but... you don’t look like a geek.”

I start to laugh at that, and say that I do, and that’s when I realize I really don’t anymore. Nearly three years of staying out in the sun so much and working hard just to keep from being bored have left me tanned and actually kinda muscular. I’ll probably never have a real bodybuilder’s physique, but I certainly look athletic now.

“Yeah well, don’t forget what they say about books and covers. I’m still the guy who’ll run off to the arcade and completely dominate the high score on any machine there. Who has time for girls?”

Anne looks utterly crestfallen at the comment. “S-sorry...” I realize that my comment may have been taken wrong.

“What I meant was, I’m not going to go chasing after someone I like. If they like me, they have to say something. I’ve never had a girlfriend in my life. Ever. I’m not against the idea, just no girls have asked me... well, unless you count random mares but I don’t count them.”

Anne perks up. “S- so... do you like me?” She looks really unsure of herself. Honestly, minus the bird-bits, she’s got a figure plenty of women back home would kill for. Like, killing-spree-in-a-schoolhouse. But then, she’s also pretty darn short. Myrna’s got a similar form, but differently distributed. And Myrna’s kinda, well, a snake. And gigantic.

“Well sure. Heck, I like most people. The difference is, do you like me more? I’ve gone down that road before, I’m not gonna attach myself unless I know for sure something’s gonna stick. And first, that requires the girl wanting it just as much, if not more so than me.”

“W- wait, I thought you said you n- never had a girlfriend before?”

“I was unaware the feeling wasn’t mutual until I found out later. Turns out she was just being abnormally friendly for some reason. Anyway, it ended with me just... leaving. I never saw her again. I was like twelve at the time, just for reference.”

Anne’s smile returns, and she chuckles. “Well, uhm... d- do you like me, then? I know I’m a geek too, but...”

“Well sure. Problem is, I’m dealing with something similar with Myrna. What would change if we became ‘official’ anyway?” I ask, making air quotes. “Seriously, what’s the big difference? What would a standard couple do that a pair of really good friends ca-” I’m cut off by Anne literally pushing me to the blanket with a tackle-kiss combination. She’s pressed against me in ways that are not helping my concentration in the slightest.

Holy hell, this is... not as new a feeling as I’d expect. I mean, granted I’ve already gave up my first kiss, but still... something seems... familiar about this but it’s nothing like with Pinkie! I don’t even know what to do!

Thankfully, I suppose, she seems to know what to do. And she seems awfully intimate with the layout of my mouth, leading to a really long kiss. I’m pretty sure that if I needed to breath as much, I’d be getting light headed. After several long, very enjoyable moments come to a close, she slowly withdraws, panting.

I sit up on the blanket, grinning. “Well that was something new. You sure you’ve never kissed someone before?”

She blushes harder. “I’ve never kissed anyone else before.”

That sounded rather odd, but I’m not gonna worry about it. If she has an ex she’s trying to hide, that’s fine with me. “So, how competitive are you?”

“Uh, well, I suppose not very... B- before I, uh, came here, I was mostly just a computer person. I didn’t have too many friends that weren’t online.”

“Well, don’t forget you have competition. Myrna’s already taken me out on a date... kinda. I’m not sure if I’m going to make a snap decision, but if you think I’m worth it, you and Myrna are gonna have to be a bit competitive. But still friends. If one of you hurts the other, you both lose.”

Anne nods, still mostly laying atop me. Her metallic hair tickles a little as it drapes down her shoulders and a little onto my face. “I- I guess I should probably talk to her, then...” Anne says, curling up next to me, laying on my arm. I’m confident I can pull my arm under her, but she’s pretty snuggly.

Though, I can’t really see why she didn’t have many friends. You’d think she would, with her looks. Even if half of them were faking it, people tend to gravitate towards girls like her.

“But we don’t have to tell her right now, do we?” I ask. This is pretty nice. She shakes her head, which also works like a nuzzle. A huge bronze wing covers me like a blanket. The sky above is a solid, beautiful blue, and the sun is only about two-thirds of the way across the sky.

Slowly, the sun works its way across the sky, and several of the pegasus couples and triples are snuggled down for what are likely naps. Or more. Wanting to get moving again, I ask Anne to carry me down, if only so that I can stretch my legs without danger of falling off. There’s a short period of time where I’m just gliding down from the cloud, Anne gripping my shoulders with her razor-sharp claws without giving me so much as a scratch. There’s some chatter and giggles directed our way as we touch down, and a few earth pony and pegasus groups sport gleeful looks, to the point that I can’t see Anne anymore, her wallflower tendencies in full swing, obfuscating her from everyone’s senses.

I turn to the ponies. “If you think we boned, you have some really dirty minds... and think about who’s saying that.”

Only a couple ponies look abashed, while the rest just keep giggling and giving us looks. Sighing, I give up and get moving, the vague sensation of being followed the only indicator that Anne is coming with me.

“Don’t worry. Holidays like these mess with their heads, this could happen tomorrow and I doubt any of them would even bat an eye. I have plans for Halloween though. I missed last year being in Wunderland, but I think I’ll have to make up for that.”

Eventually, I find where Myrna has been converted into a little foal’s ride, with the little ponies being helped up to her back, and then sliding down like she was a jungle gym slide. Myrna didn’t seem to mind, and was flipping the foals at the last moment with a flick of her tail, causing the squealing little pony to do a full somersault into a big pile of hay.

“You know, if I could do that, I’d be rich in three days.”

“Pfft, you’d probably accidentally send them into walls and stuff.” Myrna teases back, sticking her tongue out at me. She blows a raspberry with all eight-or-so inches of tongue, giving me an impromptu shower.

“Well, glad to see neither of you are going to turn into prissy girly-girls later on.” I say as I wipe the snake slobber off of me. “That’s, like, the worst kind of girl possible.”

Myrna just chuckles. “So, where’s Anne? You didn’t decide to bury her or something, did you?”

“Why would I bury her? Granted she could stand to grow a few feet, but I’m not sure if she’s capable of breathing underground. She’s right here by the way... well, as far as I know.”

Slowly, Anne fades back into view, a few feet away. She’s perched on the back of a bench again, claws dug into the wood a little.

“So yeah. I’ve decided today is the day I make it official: You both have a chance to end up with me. Winner is the one who shows that she likes me the most and is competitive enough for me to want to keep her... without going to insane lengths. As I told Anne, you both have an equal chance, but you both get tossed if either of you end up hurt. I like tough girls, not mean girls. Or wimps.”

Myrna gives Anne an appraising look, and the harpy ducks her head a little.

“Although I guess if you don’t want to, you can just quit. Winning me over won’t be as easy as lifting rocks for a living.”

Myrna gives me a hard look. “No, I’m fine with a little... competition.” She grins widely, the corners of her mouth almost literally touching her ears. The faintly gleaming points of her teeth show through the gap between her lips. Anne gulps, but straightens her back.

“Alright. I guess we tally up the current score, and then the games begin so to speak.” I think over what’s happened so far. “You know what, you two can compare each other’s times with me. I don’t want to seem biased in any direction. Though I will say that so far, one of you is definitely winning.” To be honest, they’re both on pretty much the same level, but I just want to see what happens. Ohhh I am such a jerk, but this ought to be good.

Both of them immediately straighten a little, and I see glares get passed back and forth. This may not be survivable, but it’ll certainly be fun. However, it doesn’t really help my serious problem.

Next Chapter: Chapter 122 Estimated time remaining: 17 Hours, 34 Minutes

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