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Dante's Little Apple Surprise

by Tatsurou

Chapter 1: Watch the Teeth!

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Dante grinned widely as he walked up 13th street, the piles of dust that had been demons until they crossed his path littering the street behind him until the wind blew them away. He was right about this being a great party, and he hadn't even made it to the tower yet! With his sword slung over his shoulder and his guns in the back of his red trench coat, he was completely relaxed as he made his way forward. As he saw the statue of the God of Time and Space, he knew he could relax. Hostilities were forbidden within the vicinities of such statues, enforced by the Will of Time and Space, which brooked no opposition and had no mercy...although it did, on occasion, grant gifts of power to those who offered the essence of their fallen foes in tribute.

As he approached the statue, however, he heard the roar of one of the scythe wielding minor demons he had been fighting on his way here. "Huh," he said, grabbing his sword Rebellion by its hilt. "Pretty bold to make trouble this close to the statue." Seeing energy fluctuating around the statue before flowing in the direction of the roar, he sighed, releasing his sword. "And it's being dealt with. Pity, I was looking forward to more fun."

A loud, high pitched whinny caught his attention, followed by a meaty thunk of a heavy impact against flesh. The demon he had heard roaring earlier came flying through a nearby wall in an abandoned one story building to crash into the statue of the God, where it was instantly incinerated. Noise still echoed from inside the building, the sounds of something small scrambling around.

"Well, that could be fun," Dante said with a grin, gripping one of his handguns, Ebony, in one hand as he entered. He didn't think he'd need both. Noticing movement behind a table that had fallen on its side, he rushed over. He kicked the table aside just in time to see the tail end of something scampering into an empty box that had formerly held bottles of beer.

He kept hold of his gun, though he now held it behind his back. While being small didn't mean whatever this was wasn't dangerous, it did imply that it might not be hostile. "Come out, come out, whatever you are," he whispered, approaching the box. Seeing it shake, he kneeled down near it, reaching in with one hand to grab whatever was inside.

Feeling teeth close around his fingers, he yanked his hand out. "Yowch!" he cried out, trying to shake whatever it was off his hand. When the pain persisted, he brought Ebony up to shoot whatever it was off his hand, only for his gun to be kicked from his hand.

Ignoring the pain, he held up his hand near his face to examine whatever had hold of his fingers. When something slammed into his eye, he brought both hands up instinctively to cover his face. However, in doing so he only succeeded in braining himself with the pony latched onto his fingers...although this did have the added bonus of making the tiny creature release his fingers.

As he rubbed his fingers, he heard the creature giggling in amusement, and he turned towards it to examine it. He discovered his first impression - that it was a pony - was mostly accurate, although it was the smallest pony he'd ever seen, about the size of a house cat. The extra large head and hooves relative to the rest of the body told him it was a baby, and something about it looked feminine. She was a bright orange in color, with a blonde mane and tail, both tied in a ponytail style. Her eyes were bright green, and she had white freckles. There was also what appeared to be a branding of three red apples on each side of her rump.

He stared at the creature for a time. "...that's a little pony," he said finally.

The pony in question babbled back at him with nonsense sounds.

He blinked. "That wasn't horse noises. That sounded like baby-babble. So...you aren't an animal of Earth, whatever you are." He scratched his chin. "But you don't appear to be a threat - didn't even damage my fingers - and I'd feel bad about killing a baby in cold blood, so you're free to go wherever. I've got a party to get to." Turning, he swirled his trench coat as he prepared to leave.

As soon as he took a step away, however, the infant pony began to wail, an ungodly noise that grated on Dante's ears.

Spinning, he grabbed Ebony from the ground and pointed it at the foal, holding it millimeters from her face. "Shut up!" he roared, covering one ear with his other hand.

The foal promptly stopped crying and proceeded to nom on the barrel of the gun.

Dante stared for a while, then put his gun away after wiping the barrel. He turned to leave again, but the foal immediately began wailing again. He spun back to face her. "What?" he shouted in exasperation.

She lifted her forehooves towards him, waving them, plainly telling him to pick her up.

He blinked. "Seriously? You want to come with me?" When she nodded eagerly, waving her arms again, he sighed. "Alright. So what's your name?"

"Abaja!" the pony said happily.

"Abaja?" Dante asked, scratching his head. Glancing around, he spotted a discarded bottle which proudly declared its former contents on the label. "Applejack?" he asked.

The foal nodded eagerly, waving her forelegs at him.

"Alright," he said, grabbing a discarded jacket and quickly reworking it into a carry harness. Picking her up, he plopped the foal into it, where she could cling to his back and look over his shoulder. "Just watch the teeth, okay? I'll have enough demons trying to bite me without worrying about you. If you really want something to bite, I'll give you some food."

"Abas! Abas!"

"...apples?" he asked. When she nodded, he sighed. "Alright. I'll see if I can't find you some apples." With any luck, he thought to himself, I'll find someone else to take her or at least somewhere to stash her.

Next Chapter: Ball! Estimated time remaining: 4 Hours, 45 Minutes
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