What's in a Name?

by IcarusFics

Chapter 1: Chapter One

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Every pony knows about the naming dreams. As a tiny little bundle of cells and magic begins to form in the prospective mother's womb, a certain recurring dream passes through her mind. It is always a quite simple dream, usually focusing on objects, places, colors, times of day, largely simple stuff that appears for extended periods of time during the dream. As the dreams continue to occur, it inevitably causes the mother to form certain words around those things in her mind. For example, if one were to dream of pumpkins, surrounded by growing plants, it is possible for the two words that the mother imagines to be something like “Pumpkin Sprout” or “Pumpkin Seed”. These dreams are well known as naming dreams, and those words that form are usually used as the name of the new foal.

No pony exactly knows where the magic comes from, but it’s rumored that the foal itself sends this dream to the mother subconsciously, thus causing the name to pertain to its destiny and talent. How else would ponies be named after something related to their talent?

Look at me, getting ahead of myself. We're not here to talk about the magic of foal birth, in both the literal and figurative manner. What we’re here to talk about is my naming dream. Although, I must admit, mine was a little… Different than others. You see, when I had my dream, I was a human. And a dude. Probably should point that out.


I jolted awake in my bed, sweat dripping from my brow. I sat, shirtless, in my bed, panting from the weird dream I had experienced. Seriously? The same dream again? What was this, the sixth time? I wiped myself down and tried to calm down, my heartbeat slowing and my breathing returning to normal.

My cat, Simon, leapt onto the bed and mewled pitifully. He had the same grumpy look on his face that he always did, the look that said “Feed me. I yearn for sustenance.”

I chuckled and picked up the mangy tabby up before moving him off the bed and onto the floor. I pulled myself up and out of bed, a few joints popping as I stretched outward. A small mew reminded me of my cat's insatiable hunger and I trudged out of my room toward the kitchen. I sleepily pulled out the box of cat food and poured it out into his bowl, not bothering with a measure. I'm sure he'd live if I fed him a little bit too much, and I most definitely wasn't feeding the fatso too little. He purred appreciatively and rubbed his head against my hand before digging into his breakfast.

Breakfast… Mmmm, sounds good right now. I swung open the fridge and started searching for something to eat. There wasn't much in there besides milk, eggs, some bacon, and leftovers from last night's meal. I huffed, disappointed at what I had as a selection and decided on bacon and eggs. Before pulling the eggs and bacon out to cook, I quickly scribbled down a big “EVERYTHING” on my shopping list

Before long, my bacon and eggs were done and I browsed through my phone for jobs while I ate. Retail assistant? Fuck, they want years of experience. Cashier? Experience. Trainee barista? Three years of experience. What the hell? Cut me a break, will you?

I locked my phone and slid it into my pocket, done with my job search for today. I finished my breakfast and after a two second cleanup, I decided to make myself a coffee and sit on the balcony.

I opened the shitty sliding door to the tiny balcony and leant up against the rail, staring down at the city below. I kinda liked doing this on early winters mornings, sipping my coffee and staring out at the street below. Almost made me feel like I was in some movie. The young, handsome protagonist, who lives his boring life, day after day, except one day, *insert movie plot here*. I laughed at the daydream. Movies aren't real. “Protagonists” don't exist. My life was was a boring monotony. Maybe I'd get a job, a wife, whatever, but after that, I'd go back to the same old boring monotony, now just with different wallpaper.

It's not really healthy to think like this, is it? If I had a shrink or something to talk to, then they'd probably prescribe me with various heavy doses of anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, anti-everything drugs. Honestly, a lobotomy might do me some good. Wouldn't have to worry about these nightmares, at least.

I finished my coffee and walked inside, picking up my phone and sitting down on my couch. As I sat, Simon joined me and curled up into a little ball on my lap. I silently “D’awwww’d” at the sight and then went back to my phone.

News was pretty much what I had come to expect. A bunch of increasingly stupid people vying for leadership of our great and glorious nation, the most recent celebrity scandal, various stupid and inconsequential articles that flooded every news site. Surely there must be something worthwhile to report about, right? Surely, a terror threat, a missing plane, zombies, a whole bunch of people disappearing around the world… Wait, what was that last one?

Gah, nevermind. Just some clickbait bullshit. I put down my phone and yawned, glancing down at the clock as I stretched back. Shit, 10 am? Had I really been doing nothing for the last two hours? As I finished yawning, I heard a quiet buzz coming from the cushion next to me. I picked up my phone and saw the name and face of one of my friends pop up on the screen. Jack. Great, what did he want?

“Yo, Jack. What’s up.”

“Hey man, I need your help.” A feminine voice spoke out from the other side.

“Oh, uh, hey miss. You Jack’s lady friend?”

“What? No!”

“Oh, so you’re a friend? Sister?”

“No and no! I’m… Jesus fucking christ, Alex, it’s me! It’s Jack!”

I let out a little laugh.

“Oh, I see. So is this your way of coming out to me? Proud of you, man.”

“Shut the fuck up, Alex! I’m not coming out to you! Please, just… Just come over, okay? I need your help.”

I scratched my chin, feeling the day old stubble. I looked down at myself and realized just how filthy I was.

“Uh, do you mind if I get cleaned up a little first?”

“Fine, yes, but please hurry. I’m freaking out over here.”

“Be over asap.”

I hung up and put my phone down before standing up and groggily walking to the bathroom. What the hell was going on? Was Jack sick? Was that why he sounded like that? I shook my head and began to shave, watching the light shadow of stubble disappear. I took my clothes off and washed myself quickly, before throwing some fresh clothes on.

I stepped out the door and into the Brisk morning Breeze. Luckily, it was only the very beginning of winter, otherwise I would have been freezing. My windcheater and longsleeve shirt was good enough for today and I began my short walk over to Jack’s apartment. I sighed happily as the fresh air filled my lungs. It was mixed in a little with the strange city smelling air that was always present, but the Breeze was just right this morning and mostly canceled out the stale city smell.

I felt like doing Jack a favor and dropped by the coffee shop half way between mine and his. I ordered him a coffee just the way he liked it and bought one for myself as well. I had my shitty coffee before, and I knew I would regret having two, but the coffee at that place was too good to resist.

I pushed down the buzzer to Jack’s apartment and after a short while, heard a voice speak out.

“He-hello?” A voice, similar to what jack had sounded like before spoke out, but now it was very clear he was trying to make his voice as low as possible.

“Hey nerd, buzz me in. I have coffee.”

There was a small pause before I heard the buzzer go off and I pushed the door to the apartment block open. As I reached his door I knocked lightly before waiting for a response. At first I heard nothing, then what sounded like footsteps, and finally, a large crashing sound as a few glasses and mugs seemingly shattered on the floor.

“Sorry!” The girly voice called out.


“Gimme a second! Sorry, sorry!” I could hear her call out as sounds of glass being swept up from behind the door.

All of a sudden, the door swung open… And no-one was there. I leant in and glanced around the room, unable to see anyone.

“Jack?” I called out.

“Here, dumbass.” I heard the voice again.

I looked around the room and stepped forward only for my foot to bump against something soft that let out a little “Eep!” As I hit it. I looked down and saw a little pink cartoon horse plush toy. Or at least, it would have looked exactly like a plush toy if it weren’t for the fact that it was moving. And scowling at me.

“H-holy fuck.”

“Yeah, asshole. I’m a fucking tiny horse.”


She rolled her eyes and tried to pull herself up to her hooves only to fall down, letting out another cute “Eep” as she did.

“Do you want some help?” I offered, only for her to look up at me and scowl again.

“Just… Just get in and close the door. I don’t want anyone seeing me like… Like this.”

I quickly moved into his (her?) apartment and closed the door behind me. Luckily I did close the door when I did as I saw an old lady step out of her home just the door shut. Turning around, I watched as the little Jack-horse stumbled forward, hooves slipping around on the tile floor. That explains the shattering glass before.

“Shit… I do hope you plan on explaining this stuff, right?”

She turned around with a look of worry on her face before continuing on to the living room and sitting on the couch. I apprehensively followed, still looking around the room to see anything out of place, but there was nothing different to what was usually here. Well, besides the fluffy horse thing. I sat down on the couch next to her and stiffly handed her the coffee. She muttered a quiet thanks and took it with both hooves, placing it on the coffee table and taking small sips.

“So.” I broke the silence. “Mind telling me what’s going on?”

“Alex, please… I don’t know what’s going on.” She nervously rubbed her hooves together.

“How can you not know what’s happened to you? You don’t just wake up, am horse!”

“Well I did! I don’t know how it happened, it just did, okay?” She shouted, before lowering her voice down to an almost whisper.

“Okay, fine. So you’re not fucking with me, right? You’re actually Jack? Not some animatronic that he’s using to play a prank on me?”

“No, I’m not an animatronic. Yes, I am really Jack, and no, this is not a joke.”

“You’re a… Horse.”


“And a girl.”

“...Yes. At least, I’m 90% sure I am. I’m not looking down there until I absolutely have to.”

I breathed out heavily and leant back on the couch. This was for real, wasn’t it? It wasn’t a dream? I pinched myself to test, and yep. Not a dream.

“So…” I said, twiddling my thumbs. “What do you want me to do about it?”

She looked at me, shocked. “Look man, I don’t expect you to fix it, okay? I called you because you’re a good friend and I was panicking! What did you expect me to do, go on with my day!?”

“Well, no… I just… I guess I can help you, I just don’t know how.”

“Thanks. I’m sorry for shouting at you, I’m just super fucking scared. I just… I needed a friend. And I’m out of food.”

I chuckled and pushed myself up.

“Who knew I’d be doing errands for a tiny little pony. Not too much of a bother, I gotta grab some food for my apartment too, so I’ll get you some when I’m out. How long did you want me to hang around for?”

“Hang around…? Uh… I was kinda hoping I could come over to yours for a while. Until this wears off or something.”

“Stay at mine? Dude, there’s hardly enough space for me and Simon, let alone another pet.”

“Hey! I’m not a pet!”

I brought my hands up in defense.

“Hey, sorry, didn’t mean to offend. What I meant is that you’re pet size, and until you turn back, you won’t really be able to do any of your own cooking, washing, cleaning, etcetera.”

“Uh, I think I can clean like this. Maybe? I dunno, I don’t really eat much besides hot pockets and frozen pizza’s, so as long as you don’t mind maybe putting them in the microwave for me, I’ll be fine.”

I looked at Jack and sighed. As much as I enjoyed messing with her, it definitely wasn’t the time to do it now. She looked legitimately distressed, and rightly so. I could only imagine what I would be like if I had my body ripped away from me.

“Okay, you can stay.”

“Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you!” She leapt forward and threw her hooves around me, pulling me into a hug. Before I could really even react, she pulled away and looked ahead nervously.

“Uh, sorry. I don’t know what came over me.” She mumbled out. “Thanks for letting me stay, Alex. It really means a lot to me.”

“No problem, no stress.” I smiled at her. It really wasn’t very much like Jack to act like that when he was still… Well, when she was actually a he. I assumed that it probably had something to do with turning into a horse, and I could definitely see myself acting a little uncharacteristically if I was suddenly a little pony thing.

“So, there anything you want to bring with you before we head off?” I said, breaking the awkward silence.

“Yeah, my laptop, phone, and… Uh… My... hairpin.” She trailed off quietly at the end.

“Your what? Speak up, man.”

“My… Hairpin.”

“Hairpin? I didn’t know you had a hairpin.”

“It’s my mum's, okay? Not really mine. It’s the last thing I have left from her, so don’t make fun of me.”

“Hey, no worries man, just didn’t know you had one.”

“Thanks. It’s on top of the shelf in my room, if you could grab that while I get the rest of my stuff, that’d be great.”

I grinned and gave Jack a thumbs up before lifting myself off the couch and heading toward her room. I had been in this house enough times that I knew the cupboard she was talking about and opened it up, finding a small jewelry box up the top. I pulled it down and opened it up, revealing a beautiful, white, flower shaped pin. It was made of white gold and enamel with thin metal stamens in the center, tipped with yellow gemstones. Wow, this pin really was incredible. Even if Jack bought it for herself, I wouldn’t make fun of her. I wonder…

As I walked out of Jack’s room, I found her packing a few electronics and books into a duffle bag double the size of herself. I snuck up behind her and as she lifted her head up, I reached downward and pinned the flower on her head.

“H-hey!” She looked up at me. “What did you do?”

“Oh, nothing. Just made you look pretty.”

“Wh-what the hell are you talking about?” She said with a blush, bringing a hoof up to her hair and finding the hair pin.

“Alex, why did you put the pin in my hair? I-I don’t want to wear it, I just want to keep it.”

“Nope.” I folded my arms. “It’s a condition of staying at my house. You wear the cute pin, or you live on the streets.”

“A-Alex! Are you serious?”

“Yep.” I grinned even wider and she scowled even harder. As she was frowning, I looked down at her and saw something that I hadn’t realized before. On the side of her hips was a symbol, almost dyed into her fur. It was three flowers, almost identical to the one in her hair and was mirrored on both sides.

“Dude, you got flowers tattooed on your ass.”

She rolled her eyes.

“They’re Lilies, and I know that they’re there. It only proves that I should take this s-silly pin out.”

“Nah, I think it almost completes the picture, ya know?”

She huffed and looked away from me, continuing to lift items into the bag by her mouth. As the bag got bigger and bigger, it became more and more obvious that she wasn’t going to be able to carry it.

“You do know that bag is going to be way too heavy right?”

She froze and looked down at the bag before letting her head droop and sighing.

“Yeah… I was putting off asking you, but… Could you carry me there?”

“What, like a little baby?”

“No, asshole. Like, in the bag.”

I glanced between her and the bag. It was definitely big enough to hold her, and the amount of stuff she had put in there definitely left enough room.

“In the bag? You sure? Probably not the most comfortable ride.”

“I know, but I’m not going outside like this, and I am NOT pretending to be your pet.”

“Hey, I said nothing about it, you just assumed.”

She scowled at me, before relaxing her face and looking down sadly at the floor.

“Look, Alex… I’m really sorry that you have to do this. Trust me, If I didn’t think of you as such a great friend, and if I wasn’t in such a dire situation, I wouldn’t ask for so much. But… I am in a dire situation. I’m confused, I’m scared, and I just need a good friend who I trust to help me while I figure this stuff out.”

“Hey, I’m sorry too. I… I know I have a tendency to joke around a lot of things, and you know from experience that I do this whenever shit gets real. I do care about you, man, and I’m sorry that this crap has happened. I promise that I’ll try to joke around a little less.”

She smiled warmly and walked toward me, wrapping a hoof around my leg.

“Thanks, Alex. It means a lot.”

“Oh, yeah.” I added. “You don’t actually have to wear the pin to live at my house. That was a joke too.”

“No! Uh, I mean, I kinda… Like it.”

“Really?” I raised an eyebrow but shrugged in acceptance anyway. “Cool, no problem. So when did you wanna head off?”

“Well, I gotta drop in the payment for this month's rent, call in sick for work, and then we can go. Hopefully I don’t get fired for this, but… Honestly, there’s not much else I can do.”

“Fair enough, I wouldn’t expect your boss to believe that you’ve contracted “Acute Pony-itis.”.”

“A-cute-pony-itis? Real fucking funny.” She said sarcastically but laughed all the same.


After a short trip to the landlord's office and a very awkward phone conversation between Jack and her boss, we were on our way back to my apartment. I could feel her wiggle around and grunt every once and awhile, clearly struggling to stay comfortable in that claustrophobic environment. I tried to keep the bag as stable as possible, but unfortunately, I didn’t really have a choice when walking up the stairs. As soon as I pushed open the door, I placed the bag on the floor and unzipped it, letting Jack jump out and breath in deeply.

“Ah! Fresh air, thank jeebus!” She sniffed in heavily before stopping, now noticing my half eaten dinner from last night on the kitchen bench that I hadn’t bothered to clean up yet.

“Really, man? And you were worried about me not cleaning up. You hardly seem to do any of your own.”

“Hey! I take great pride in the miniature society I have growing in my coffee mug.”

She giggled and walked through the apartment to the couch, jumping up and sitting down. I carried the bag over to the couch for her and pulled out the basics she had brought with her, plugging her laptop into the wall and handing her the phone. She looked at it nervously before looking up at me and raising an eyebrow.

“Oh, right. Hooves.” I put the phone down.

“So what do you want for dinner?” I asked. “I don’t feel like going out shopping tonight, so we’ll grab some takeaway.”

“Hmm… How about chinese? I don’t really think I need as much food as I did before, so it won’t cost us too much.”


“Well, yeah. I’m gonna be putting money toward food and stuff.”

“Honestly, you don’t need to.”

“I’m gonna be the one eating your food, using your power, taking up your space, so I can at least put some money in.”

I sat back in admission.

“Sure, that’s fine. So, chinese take-away?”

“Sounds good man.”


I was surrounded by rushing winds, standing on top of a mountain. I knew this place, and I had had this dream before. The details of the dream were vivid and beautiful, and I was strangely lucid. Every time I had this dream in the past, I couldn’t control my actions or remember the last time I had been in the dream. I glanced over the edge of the cliff before backing up a bit. I knew what happened in these dreams. Every time, I jumped off and fell to my death. Or at least, fell until I woke up. This time, there wasn’t the drive to jump at all.

“Ah, a naming dream. I haven’t dream walked into a naming dream since I was reformed.” A deep, strong, but distinctly female voice spoke out from behind me. I spun around and came face to face with a huge, dark blue horse with huge wings and a long, sharp looking horn sticking out of it’s head. It’s mane was absolutely mesmerising as it flowed like magic and sparkled in the sun, almost like stars. Oh shit, they were stars.

“Wh-what? Who are you?”

“Who am I?” She looked a little confused, before shaking her head. “I am Princess Luna, Keeper of the Night.”

“Princess? You’re a princess?”

“Yes, and I drift between dreams of ponies in distress. I sensed that this dream was distressing, but had no idea it would be a naming dream. Is it the health of your foal that you’re worried about? Or your future with your foal?”

“F-foal? What are you t-talking about?” I stammered out.

“Do you not know?” She asked and I shook my head. “Oh dear. This dream is a naming dream. It is the dream that pregnant mares experience before giving birth to a foal that helps form a name around your foals destiny.”

“What are you talking about, “Pregnant”?

“Oh. You really don’t know? Uh, you see, when a mare and a stallion love each other, they have the option to make love. When they do so, the mare becomes pregnant, and in nine to twelve months, they will give birth to a-”

“I know what pregnancy is! What I’m saying is that I’m a man, and I’m most certainly not a horse.”

“You’re… What?” The princess glanced at me, confused.

“I’m not a mare. I can’t get pregnant and I have no idea what this dream is! I bet it’s just all that shit yesterday with Jack. Fucking tiny pony shit.”

“Jack? Who is this “Jack”?”

“He- or well, I guess, She turned into some tiny little pony thing yesterday. She’s also a girl now, I guess. Kinda… Kinda like you. But smaller. And no horn or wings.”

The princess stood still with a contemplative frown on her face. I could tell she was deep in thought and I waved my hand in front of her.

“Hello? Princess lady?”

There was a loud pop and all of a sudden, the horse Princess was nowhere to be seen.

My mind suddenly became fuzzy again and I felt a weird sensation come over me. Almost like my consciousness was slipping away, but I wasn’t any less or more awake feeling. I began to involuntarily take some steps, turning slowly toward the cliff. As I stepped forward, I tried to reign control of my dream again, but the fogginess was becoming stronger and stronger. As my dream self approached the edge of the cliff, I closed my eyes and prepared myself for the fall that was sure to come.

My feet left the floor.

But I didn’t fall. I opened my eyes again to see myself floating, or more realistically, flying. As the last inklings of consciousness left me, I wasn’t filled with the fear that I had felt toward the end of all of these dreams. I was filled with joy.


I woke up, the smell of coffee wafting in through to the living room from the kitchen. I pushed myself up and rubbed my eyes free of any remaining gunk. I breathed in deeply, enjoying the scent of coffee just as I awoke. I sleepily looked over to the kitchen and saw Jack mixing a coffee with her mouth.

I yawned and smacked my lips loudly, trying to wake myself up. Jack turned to me from her coffee making and immediately dropped what she was doing to run over to me.

“A-alex! You’re u-up! H-hehe, uh, that’s g-great! Here’s your coffee!”

She placed the coffee on the table in front of me. I opened my mouth up to talk but a hoof shot forward and covered my mouth.

“Wait. Before you say anything, you… You gotta know that I had nothing to do with this, okay?”

“Nothing to do with what?” I said.

Or maybe, I didn’t. It definitely wasn’t me speaking.

“Jack, is someone else-” I froze. The voice was saying what I was saying. Exactly.

“Like I said, Alex. I had nothing to do with this.”

I looked down at my body and saw that my chest was covered in fur. Looking down at my limbs, I could now see that they ended in small stumps. Hooves.

“What. The. Fuck.” I said between gritted teeth. There was something weird about this voice as well. It kinda sounded different. Almost… Feminine.

Oh fuck. I pulled my legs apart and stared downward.


Author's Notes:

Honestly, not too sure where this story is going. I usually have a story skeleton written out, but i've decided to take this one in a more free form direction. Hope you all enjoy.

Next Chapter: Chapter Two Estimated time remaining: 5 Hours, 25 Minutes
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What's in a Name?

Mature Rated Fiction

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