Birds of a Feather

by IcarusFics

Chapter 5

Previous Chapter

Light filtered in through the open window and a fresh morning breeze carried in the scent of dew on grass. I yawned, enjoying the warmness of Gilda next to me and the sensation of the light breeze against my feathers. It was a fresh breeze, the kind of breeze you feel after being stuck in a stuffy room for hours, or just after a warm shower. I knew that it had to end and life had to continue eventually, but for the moment, I was enjoying the fact that Gilda was curled up around me and had a foreleg draped over me. I felt her stir and her body shudder as she yawned widely.

“Hey, Gil. Sleep well?” I slurred groggily, my body and mind still in the process of waking up.

“Hmm. Not too bad.” She hummed with a surprising singsong tinge to her voice.

“You got any idea what you wanna do today?”

“Not really. I could walk you through some basic flight exercises if you want. We don't have to do anything big, but it's a good idea to start learning the technique before trying for the real deal.”

“Sounds…” I yawned again. “Sounds good to me.” I lay my head down once more, trying to get a little bit of extra rest in before I had to get up. Gilda seemed happy to comply and hugged me closer.

After about fifteen minutes more, I decided I wanted to get up and forced myself out of Gilda’s grip, sitting up and blinking rapidly to get the sleepy feeling out of my head quicker. Gilda sat up eventually and began to do the same as I had done.

“I'm kinda hungry.” She murmured, punctuated not long after by a growl coming from her stomach.

“Oh jeez, you really are. Come on, let's get some food.”

After we finally pulled ourselves out of our bed and made our way toward the kitchen, we found a small dragon looking thing cooking french toast and wearing an apron. The little guy was humming away when we walked in and turned a around when he heard us walk in.

“Morning!” He said cheerily. “Don't worry, Twilight already filled me in with what's going on, so I won't freak out like I did last time.”

“Uh… good?” I said, a little confused. I walked over to a table in the centre of the room and sat down. The Dragon laid out two plates of French Toast in front of us and smiled happily.

“Bon apetit! Just be happy I didn't burn it this time.” He smiled before laying out two more plates. A few seconds later, Twilight walked into the room and sat down at one of the seats. She absent mindedly began eating her piece of toast, seemingly oblivious to our presence.”

“Morning, Twi.”

The unicorn jumped a little and dropped her fork onto the table.

“O-oh! Hey, girls. I kinda didn't realize you were there. Heh, sorry.”

“Yeah.” Gilda chuckled. “We noticed.”

“So, I see you've met my number one assistant, Spike?”

“The dragon? Yeah, he kinda made us breakfast.”

“What breakfast?”

“Uhh… the one in front of you?”

“What? Oh, silly me.” She shook her head. “Still half asleep. So what do you have planned for today?”

“Well, I was gonna see if Rainbow Dash wanted to help me teach Sky some flying basics. The doctor said the splint and bandages can come off today, but it's probably not gonna be in full working order for a few days yet.”

“Sounds good to me. I was gonna go meet up with Applejack and Rarity and inform them of the situation so they're not shocked you've returned. Fluttershy is still out of town until later today, but I'll be sure to let her know as well. If you wanted to, we could meet up for lunch after you have some lessons and after I talk to Rarity and AJ?”

“That sounds pretty good to me.”

“Yeah, sounds sweet. But before that, I'm gonna devour the fuck out of this toast. Going almost a week without properly cooked food is not something I'd like to do again.” Gilda licked her lips before diving into her meal.

After breakfast, Gilda and I asked Twilight to fetch Dash again before traveling ourselves to the space beneath her cloud home where she was waiting for us.

“Hey nerds, you ready to learn how to fly?”

“Only one nerd here dash, and only one pony. Unfortunately, they're one in the same.” Gilda quipped and shot Dash a smirk.

“Yeah, yeah. At least I can fly.”

“Ooh, cheap shit, Dash. Anyway, I was thinking that we'd show Sky some basic exercises and techniques before getting her up in the air. Last time she was further than one meter off the ground, she was kinds falling to her death, so I don't wanna push this too far.”

“Neither do I.” I added. “To be honest, I'm pretty excited to be learning how to fly using my own wings, but I'm still pretty unsure about this shit.”

“Only one way to find out.” Dash grinned and flew toward us. “Let's get to work.”

“So now that your wings are spread, slowly bring them down towards your hind paws.” Gilda described the action to me as best as possible and I tried my hardest to replicate it. I slowly flapped downwards, feeling the air catch in my feathers and force me forward and upward slightly. I wasn't pushing fast enough to actually gain any lift, but the amount of push that this slow flap gave me hinted toward what I could achieve.

“Good! Now as you raise your wings up, tuck them closer to yourself. This eliminates the upward drag.”

I followed along and found myself able to replicate what she requested vaguely easily.

“Woah.” I smiled as I felt myself becoming more and more used to manipulating my wing muscles. “You know, you're a lot more intelligent than you let on, Gil.”

“Hey! I never said I wasn't smart, I'm just not a huge egghead like Dash and Twilight.”

“I heard that!” Rainbow called out from her napping spot on a cloud nearby.

Gilda laughed before continuing.

“Now, practice doing this faster and faster. The faster you get, the more lift you'll get and the faster you'll go.”

I did as she said and after a while, I felt myself much more comfortable with flapping faster.

“You're doing great, Sky. Now, angle the flaps forward and backward to change between generating forward and upward lift. You'll want to angle it back almost as far as possible if you're gonna want to hover.”

I tried as she described and soon enough found myself hovering about ten centimeters off the ground. I hovered for a few seconds before losing balance and falling, landing back on my paws.

“Holy crap.” What I had done started to sink in. “I just flew.”

“Pretty amazing, huh?”

“Pretty awesome, more like!” Dash called out.

We practiced for another hour or so, alternating between Dash and Gilda teaching me what they knew. I had just managed to fly forward about ten meters before I saw Twilight approach, flanked by an orange pony wearing a Stetson and a white unicorn with a perfectly styled mane.

“Hey, Sky!” Twilight called to me. “How's the flying lessons going?”

“Not too bad. Managed to get a pretty good hang of the basics.”

“That's wonderful. Anyway, these are two of my other friends, Rarity,” She said, motioning to the unicorn. “And Applejack.”

“Howdy!” Applejack greeted me with a shake of the hand. Err, hoof. Claw. Whatever.

“Hello, Sky!” Rarity said. “You really must let me try a few of my new styles on you. I never have had the chance to sow for a Griffon before, and from what I've heard, you seem much more open to the idea of trying on dresses than Gilda.”

“You got that right.” Gilda mock gagged before smiling.

“M-me? In… a dress.” I blushed at the thought. I wouldn't lie, the Idea of me in a pretty dress sounded kinda good for some reason.

“I kinda want to take you up on that, Rarity.”

“Splendid!” She clapped her hooves together. “If you like, we can go to my boutique after we've had lunch?”

“Sure. Sounds great.”

“So where would you like to go for lunch?” Twilight asked.

“Well, me and Gilda are completely new to this place, so why don't you show us where you like to eat?”

“Well I believe that the new Hayburger serves a fish burger, so we could go there if you like.”

“Sounds good to me.” I smiled and we headed off for lunch.

“So Sky, what did you do before ya came to Equestria?” Applejack asked with half a bite of burger still in her mouth.

“I worked at a zoo.”

“A zoo, eh? Ah'm sure you'll get along with Fluttershy just fine then. She loves her little critters, heh.”

“Eheheh, yeah…” I neglected to mention that I didn't actually like animals at all when I worked there. Who knows, maybe I'd enjoy spending time around the animals in this world more.

“Ah run the little farm just outside of town, Sweet Apple Acres. I know you don't really have a place to stay, so if if’n ya like, Ah can set you up in the granny flat we built out back last fall. We originally built it fer Granny Smith, but she wasn't to keen on it. Said it was like puttin’ her in a nursing home. Given that you n’ Gilda work for yer keep, Ah’ll pay ya a few bits too.”

“Holy crap, AJ. That's really nice of you.” Dash said.

“What do you think, Gil?” I looked to my side at the Griffon who had already devoured her burger.

“Sure. Thanks a lot for the hospitality, I really didn't expect this much of of a welcome seeing as all I did when I was here first was be shitty to you guys.”

“Gilda, Ah can tell when someone is lyin’ to me, and the second Ah saw you, I could see how truly sorry you were.”

“But I didn't even apologize to you directly.”

“Actions speak more than words, Gil.”

“Jeez… Thanks everyone. For real.”

“It's no problem at all.” Rarity smiled and daintily bit from her meal.

“I’m just glad to have one of my best friends back.” Dash grinned.

“Yes, you should have seen her!” Rarity exclaimed dramatically. “She was moping around for days after you stormed off from the party! I've never seen her that down before.”

Dash laughed and rubbed the back of her neck nervously.

“Anyway, if everyone else is finished, I believe Sky and I had some business to attend to.” Rarity giggled happily and we began to move to the entrance.

“Oh Sky, Ah’ll come get ya from the boutique in a few hours to show ya the farm!” Applejack called out as we left and I nodded in response, waving on claw to the group.

“So, this is where I live and work, Carousel Boutique!”

“Woah. Fancy.” I stared around the extravagant shop front, observing all of the pony shaped mannequins with clothes of various types on display.

“It is? I thought it was quite humble, honestly.”

“No, this is pretty fancy. I mean, fancy for me. All of the clothing stores I've ever been to have been filled to the brim with boring mass produced clothing, so it's probably much fancier seeming to me.”

“Well, regardless, it works for me and I have many happy customers coming in and out every day. One of the advantages of being in a small town is that there's hardly any competition.” She giggled as we walked through to the back of the store.

“This is my workshop!”

The room was filled to the brim with scraps of fabric, half finished outfits and sheets of paper with sketches all over them.

“I know it's messy, but it's a sought of organized chaos, so to speak. So, what kind of dress would you like made?”

“I dunno, really. Maybe something that I could wear out for a date with Gilda? Was thinking of maybe taking her out somewhere for dinner tomorrow once we've gotten a little more settled in.”

“Ah, my favourite type of dress to make! Now, would you like it to be sleek, or puffy?”

A few minutes later and Rarity had sketched up a simple picture of a Griffon wearing a silver dress. It perfectly showed of the more lithe parts of the body and left room to show off the main attraction, the wings. It was perfect.

“Holy crap, Rarity. That's amazing!”

“I'm glad you like it.” She said while levitating a yellow tape around my body, taking various measurements for the dress. I sat in relative silence and let her take the measurements, only moving when she asked me to so she could measure other parts of my body. As she was measuring, a small white pony unicorn walked in. She had a pastel violet and pink mane and a coat just as white as Rarity

“Hey, sis!” She squeaked out.

“Hello, Sweetie! This is Sky, she's a friend of Gilda’s.” Rarity paused her work to introduce us. “Sky, this is my little sister, Sweetiebelle.”

“Gilda, isn't she that really mean Griffon lady that was here a while ago?”

“Yes, well she's had a… How would you say it, a reformation of types. She came here with Sky yesterday and apologized for how she treated us all. Dash forgives her and so do we.”

“Oh. Cool. So anyway, can Scootaloo and Applebloom come over for a sleepover tonight? Please, please, please?”

“Absolutely, just clean your room first.”

“Yaaay!” Two other young girls popped out from around the corner and they all cheered in unison, sprinting down the hall and up the stairs.

“One of these days, I'll say no, and they'll have to all go home. They're so used to me saying yes, that they come over anyway.” Rarity made small talk as she took the last of the measurements.

“And we’re all done! If you wanted to go wait in the front room, I'll bring you some tea and we can wait for Applejack to arrive together. I should have the dress made by tomorrow and I'll come drop It off at Sweet Apple Acres for you.”

“That sounds great, Rarity.”

“So, Sky.” Rarity said as she poured a dark steaming liquid into my cup. “Tell me about Gilda. I hardly know a thing about her, and you seem to know her quite well.”

“Well, she definitely likes to take risks. I mean, she saved me even though it meant damaging her wings. She also kinda initiated the whole… Relationship thing. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm glad it happened, but it was very fast.”

“Ah, how romantic. Love at first sight?”

“Not exactly. Maybe once she saw me as a Griffon, yeah, but not before that. I was a guy before and she's not exactly attracted to guys.”

“O-Oh, I see.”

“Yeah. She's also a lot nicer than she lets off. She really regrets how she acted toward you all and I know that she's changed. That willingness to change is partly why I fell for her so easily as well.”

“Well, if Applejack believes her, then so do I. She's always had a knack for telling when ponies are being honest.”

“Somepony say mah name?” A voice came from behind us and we turned to see Applejack walking in with Gilda in tow. I stood up and walked toward Gilda, pecking her on the cheek when I arrived, earning me a blush back.

“Yes, we were just talking and having some tea, waiting for you to arrive. Would you like some too?” Rarity offered a cup to Applejack.

“Er, no thanks, Rares. You two lovebirds ready to head of?” Applejack asked.

“Yep.” I smiled.

“Yeah, just don't call us lovebirds.” Gilda answered with vague disgust on her face.

Applejack chuckled and continued out the door.

“C’mon then, Ah can't wait for you to meet mah family!”

It was a short walk and in no time, we arrived at Sweet Apple Acres. A pleasant scent of apples wafted through the air as we walked through a gate to the farm. The farmhouse was charmingly rustic and was the kind of farm you'd imagine from a storybook. Bales of hay and farm tools were strewn about the yard and a large red pony with a yoke around his neck was lifting large buckets of apples onto the cart.

“Hey Mac, this is Gilda and Sky, the Griffons Ah was telling you about before.”

“Eeyup.” He said and got back to lifting the buckets.

“Big Macintosh is mah big brother.” Applejack said we got closer to the farmhouse. “He'll be showing you what jobs to do throughout the day. I'll give you a few days to settle in before getting you to help out.”

We walked in the front door and Applejack called out from the bottom of the stairs.

“Applebloom! Come down and greet the girls!”

“Uh, did you say Applebloom? I think I saw her at Rarity’s. She's gone over there for a sleepover.”

“She has? Gosh darn that filly. She better’ve told Granny she was going, cos Ah sure as heck didn't know.”

“Eh, what's that?” An ancient looking pony with a green coat wobbled her way in.

“Granny! Did Applebloom tell ya she was going for a sleepover tonight.”

“Yes! She did! Or, uh, I think she did. What were ya askin’ again?”

“Ugh, nevermind. Granny, this is Gilda and Sky, they're gonna be staying in the flat we built for you and helpin’ out on the farm.”

“Good! Always nice to have a few more workin’ hooves around here! Err, paws. Whatever you girls have.”

“So,” Applejack said. “Wanna go check out yer flat?”

We walked out the back of the house and saw a very small looking flat attached to the back of the farmhouse. It must have only been maybe two rooms, max.

“Here it is. Ah know it's a bit cozy, but it'll do ya for the time being.” Applejack said as she pushed the front door open. Inside was a very small living room with a basic kitchen and two doors to the back.

“The door on the right is the bedroom and the door on the left is the bathroom. Ah’ll let you two explore, Ah got a few jobs to do before the stores shut. Dinner is at six!” She shouted and closed the door, leaving us to check out the flat alone.

“So…” Gilda said, looking around the room nervously. “Will I get to see you in that dress any time soon?”

I giggled and walked over to the small couch to sit down.

“Only if you're good.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“Depends. Who can truly say what is good?”

“...You lost me.”

"But you'll have to be even better to get me out of it..."

Gilda blushed and glanced at me, annoyed.

"You are such a tease, Sky."

I laughed and beckoned Gilda over to the couch with me.

“How could I not when you're so easy to mess with? So what did you get up to while I was with Rarity?”

“Not much. Dash showed me around town more. We had some drinks at the local bar and I met a few of the ponies in the weather team. They seemed ok, but... I just… I saw re way they looked at me, Sky. Like they thought I would bite their head off. Do I really look like that?”

“No. Not to me, at least. All I can say is keep being true to yourself.”

“That's the problem! I want to be angry. I want to tell them that I'm not a bad Griffon, but doesn't doing that prove to them that I haven't changed?”

“I get what you mean, but it isn't black and white. I'd be annoyed if people judged me on stories they heard from their friends too. That doesn't make me a bad person. Griffon.”

“See, that's another thing. This town is so small that everyone knows everyone. News travels fast. I'd be surprised to find one pony in town that didn't hear about “That horrible Griffon that betrayed Rainbow Dash and all her friends.”. What, I just ignore that?”

“I know, it's unfair. It really is. I wish I could make it all better, it's just that I can't.”

“I know. I'm sorry, I don't expect you to be able to fix it for me, I just wish I could do something about it.”

“Me too. I know you've changed and that you're happier for it. Eventually, they'll forget about the old Gilda and get to know the new one.”

“I hope so. Thanks for listening to me. Again. I've never had a shoulder to lean on before. You don't know how much it means to me.”

“Yeah I do. I've never had one either, so that feeling Is definitely mutual.”

I smiled and then yawned, the days activities finally starting to take effect on my energy.

“Jeez. I didn't do that much today, but I already feel exhausted.”

“Yeah, me too. Probably should hit the hay once dinner is done.”

“Sounds like a good idea.”

Dinner time eventually came and we both went to the farmhouse. As we walked in, the smell of soup could be smelt all throughout the house. We sat down at the dinner table and were surprised to see Applebloom sitting at the table with a blank look on her face. Applejack walked in after us and was equally as surprised to see her.

“Applebloom? Ah thought you went to Rarity’s for a sleepover tonight. Why are ya here instead of having fun with your friends.”

“Me and Scootaloo had to go home. Ah think she's sick or somethin’. Ah dunno.” Applebloom said grumpily.

“Really? She seemed fine this morning, did Rarity say what was wrong.”

“Yeah, said she's got some disease Ah never heard of called “heat”. Sounds like a made up disease to me.”

“Heat?” I said. “isn't that when-” I stopped myself, realizing that this world was filled with ponies. If they were anything like the ponies from my world, they would definitely go through estrus.

“Applejack, what's heat?” Applebloom asked innocently.

“Uh, well, ya see…” Applejack was sweating bullets. “W-when a little f-filly reaches a certain age, they g-go through... heat.”

“But what is it? Do all filly’s get it? Does that mean I'm gonna get sick eventually?”

“Not exactly, Bloom. It's not so much a d-disease as it is something that happens naturally you can't avoid.”

“Is it bad? Rarity said that other ponies usually can help when you have heat. Do you think Ah could help Sweetiebelle?”

Applejack’s face turned completely white and she began stuttering even more.

“Uh, N-not exactly, B-Bloom it's only s-something ya do with yer special s-somepony. That's enough for now, Ah promise ah’ll tell ya more when yer older. Ah better have a word with Rarity about what she's filling yer heads with.”

Throughout the whole conversation, Gilda had turned stiff and was completely unmoving. I held her foreleg to get her attention, but that only seemed to make her even less responsive. I never took her for the type to get nervous around sex talk.

“You look like you've seen a ghost, Gil. What's wrong?”

This snapped her out of her stupor. She looked at me nervously, visibly sweating. What could have made her like this?

“Sky, I forgot to tell you something important.” She whispered in my ear. “Griffons have heat too.”

Author's Notes:

Not much to say. Hope you enjoyed this chapter

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Birds of a Feather

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