What's in a Name?

by IcarusFics

Chapter 24: Chapter Twenty One

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Author's Notes:

Hey everyone! I'm sorry I've been so slow to produce chapters for my stories as of late. I've been hit with another huge bout of depression that has been very hard to shake off. I've been even unable to properly progress with the game project I'm being paid to work on because of how hard a hit my motivation has taken. Thank you all for sticking with this story despite my inability to regularly update it.

Lily lead me through the crowd with a confident smile on her face. Or at least, it was far more confident than my smile. My smile was shaky, nervous, and most definitely not sincere. I shut my eyes tightly and let Lily lead me through the party slowly. A quiet whimper escaped my mouth as I brushed lightly against one of the ponies in the crowd.

I didn't know how much of this I could take. Being around all these ponies was causing a memory from my past to surface, but every time, I pushed it away. I didn't want to think of my human life at all right now, not while I was already stressed enough.

Ponies were staring. They knew what had happened to me and they still showed up. To mock us? To see the freaks? Were their smiles nothing but masks hiding their disgust?

There were so many faces all around us. They were all looking at me. Even when looking at Lily, their gaze was burning into me. What were they thinking? About driving us out of town?

Or were they here to tease? To make fun of? To ostracize us for being who we were? They were. They were all laughing at me.

I pulled myself closer to Lily and shut my eyes, trying to forget the ponies around me and focus on the mare I loved. I focused on her warmth, her touch, the feeling of her coat against-


And her voice brought me back to reality. I looked up at my marefriend, who had an extremely worried expression on her face.

“Are you okay?”

“N-no.” I said, still shaking slightly.

“Okay, we need to get you out of here.” She took me by the hoof and led me back through the crowd and toward the door of the castle. “Excuse me. Pardon. Sorry, excuse me.” Lily said to random ponies as we brushed by them.

Before I knew it, I heard the swing of the doors and a fresh breeze on my face. The smell of the town brought a calming feeling that washed over me as Lily and I came to a stop.

“Honey?” Lily lightly placed her hoof under my jaw and lifted my view up to her face. “Are you okay?”

I nodded silently, averting my gaze as to not look her in the eyes.

“I’m sorry Rose, I didn’t want to have to pull you away, but I could sense a panic attack coming from you. Please, Rose, tell me what I can do to help.”

“I… I don’t know if you can help me.” I said dejectedly.

“There has to be something I can do.”

“Well, you’re here, I guess…”


“I’m… I’m sorry, I’m just unnatural. I’m a weirdo.”

“No you’re not. You’re my beautiful marefriend and I love you. Rose, I know it’s hard, but you have to tell me. You have to tell me what’s wrong. This isn’t like you, I’ve been to parties with you before, at least I’ve been to parties in Equestria with you before, and you were never this… Afraid.”

I pulled my gaze from her again and gulped, a feeling of fear and guilt rising quickly in my throat.

“It’s… It’s dumb, I’m just… stupid.”

“No you’re not, Rose. You’re an incredible mare, you just don’t see it in yourself. You can trust me to never judge you or look down on you, okay?”

“O-Okay…” I sniffed, my eyes now starting to water and my nose blocked. “It was… Back when I was Alex. It’s stupid, but… I always hated crowds. I was used to them from being in school, but this one time, a group of friends invited me to a metal concert…”

“C’mon guys, we gotta get right up at the front!” Joel called out to me and a few other of my school friends. I said nothing as our group followed behind our “leader” as we made our way through the crowd. There were so many people here and I could feel my heart racing as a slight panic rose in my chest.

“Oh man, I am so psyched for this shit! It’s been years since these guys have been here, I can’t believe we got tickets.”

“Yeah, only because Alex managed to snag them up before they got sold out. They all went in a day!”

“Thanks, dude!” A friend of mine slapped my back playfully and I shot him a nervous grin. I continued on in silence as my panic slowly rose, getting closer and closer to front of the stage. I wasn’t even a huge fan of the band performing, I just knew that all my friends were into them, and had gotten them all tickets. It had cost me a bit, but if it meant they wouldn’t abandon me, I didn’t care.

As we finally reached the front, my panic had started to lower. Hey, this wasn’t too bad! Sure, there were a lot of people around, but it’s not like I had to worry about being embarrassed. I would very likely see none of these people again, besides my friends.

Suddenly, my eardrums were assaulted by an immense sound as a spotlight shone down on the band's drummer. Immediately, the crowd began to shift and sway, pulling me along with it. I tried to pull away, but the way behind me was blocked completely by jumping fans. I swung my head around, looking for any of the friends I had entered the crowd with, but they were nowhere to be seen.

The sound was deafening as more instruments began to join in and the band started their set. The panicked feeling rose in my throat once more and I knew that I had to get out of there. I tried to move backwards again, still with no success as the crowd began to push and shove each other around. Bodies pressed up against me, crushing the air out of my already hyperventilating lungs and I felt a wave of numbness and nausea hit me. My vision darkened for a moment and I felt like I had almost passed out.

By the time my sight had returned to me, I was on the floor, feet stomping all around me. I shouted in pain as my leg was stepped on by someone in the crowd. I struggled to push myself to my feet when another booted foot slammed into the back of my head. I fell forward, scraping my face on the grass beneath me as another foot hit me, and another. I screamed at the top of my lungs, covering my head to protect it from the barrage of shoes.

All of a sudden, I felt a hand loop under my arm and rip me up off the ground. I turned to thank whoever had helped me up when the crowd surged forward once again. I gasped for air, the heat and the mass of the crowd around me bringing even more panic up in me. I couldn’t take it anymore.

I turned around and shoved my way through as hard as I could, very few people parting willingly to let me escape. After what seemed like half an hour, I reached the edge of the crowd and sprinted as hard as I could away from it. I came to an eventual stop next to a drink stand and collapsed against it, panting hard and fast.

I covered my face with my hands and let myself cry, the shock of what had happened finally wearing off. I rubbed my eyes and looked up, trying to catch a glance of any familiar face I could, but there was no-one but complete strangers giving me weird looks. I planted my face back into my hands and cried again.

No-one was coming to help me. No-one cared.


“I’m sorry.”

“You have nothing to be sorry for.” She placed a hoof on my cheek and wiped away the tear rolling down.

“I told you it was s-stupid. I’m stupid.” I shook my head away from her hoof and she lowered it apprehensively.

“No, you’re not stupid. If I had known about this, I never would have made you go into that party.”

“I am stupid. I let something that happened years ago affect me so much! Why can’t I just… get over myself?” I shouted a little louder than I had intended, more tears pouring down my cheeks.

“Because it was traumatic. Because you felt abandoned when you needed a friend.” Lily said, pulling me into a tight hug.

“Why does nopony care about me!?” I wailed loudly, my tears soaking into Lily’s coat as they had done countless times before.

“You do have ponies who care about you, Rose. I care about you. Lyra cares about you. Bon Bon cares. Heck, this entire party was made for us! Well, us and Luna, but you know what I mean. They came here for you.”

I sniffled as I squinted my eyes, squeezing more tears out of them.

“No they didn’t… They came here to laugh at me. The freaky zombie.”

“They did not.” Lily pulled from the hug slightly and placed her forehead to mine, the tips of our muzzles touching. “All of the ponies in there care. They care about you. This party is to celebrate you coming back into all of their lives after they thought you were dead! How great is that? An entire town of ponies that care.”

“A-Are you sure? Sure that they’re not here to m-make fun of me?”

“I’m sure. Did you see the smiles on all of their faces as we entered the castle?”

“N-No… I was kinda… Closing my eyes.”

Lily giggled and placed a soft kiss on my muzzle before pulling away and looking directly into my eyes.

“Then you’ll have to take my word for it. They care about you, they’re not here to laugh at you.”

“Th-Thank you.”

“It’s fine. I do it because I love you, Rose.”

“I l-love you too, Lily.”

“Are you ready to go back in? Or do you need a few more minutes.”

“J-Just a few minutes.” I took a deep breath in and out.

“Or if you’d like, we don’t have to go back in at all. I can just tell them that the pregnancy is stressing you out a little and you needed to rest.”

“No, it’s… It’s fine. I can do this. I just need to calm myself down a little before we go back in.”

“Only if you’re sure.” Lily said as she lead me toward a nearby bench. We sat down together and held our hooves together softly. I rested my head on my marefriend’s shoulder and sighed deeply.

The night air was cool, despite the days being hotter in Equestria than it was on earth currently. Was it one of the warmer seasons? The days in Equestria didn’t seem to coincide exactly with earth, so it was definitely possible that it was summer rather than winter. A strong breeze brushed past me and I shivered slightly, instinctively pulling myself closer to Lily.

“You okay, honey?”

“Yeah, j-just nervous still.”

“Just take as long as you need, beautiful.”


I felt more calm wash over me as Lily’s body heat began to warm me up a little. Her soft fur pressing against me, the rise and fall of her barrel, everything about her just calmed my nerves.

“I-I think I’m ready to go back in now.” I said to Lily, slowly lifting my head from her shoulder.

“Are you sure? We can go in whenever you feel ready.”

“I’m ready.” I nodded as confidently as possible. “I know that this isn’t like back then, and the ponies here do actually care about me, but it’s… Still scary.”

“I know. I’ll be with you the whole time, okay? I’ll never leave your side, my love. Never.”

“Th-Thank you.” I smiled weakly at her and she beamed a bright grin back. Seeing that, I couldn’t help but widen my own smile a little.

The castle doors swung open again and I stepped inside with Lily next to me. I breathed in deeply and slowly again, trying to calm my racing heart. I was beginning to have second thoughts when Lily placed a kiss on my cheek. I looked at her appreciatively and returned her kiss.

This time, Lily didn’t lead me, we walked side by side through the crowd. A few ponies waved at me or said “Hi” as I passed and I nervously waved back. Maybe… Maybe Lily was right. These ponies weren’t laughing or jeering at me, and any pony that was laughing was clearly just having a good time with their friends. I recognized even more ponies in the crowd than I had before and even muttered a soft hello to those I remembered the names of.

“Rose! Lily! Over here!” I heard a familiar voice called from across the room and I turned my head to see Lyra bouncing up and down with a huge smile on her face. We walked over toward our friend together just as Bon Bon also returned to her marefriend.

“Lyra, will you stop jumping up and down like that? You’ve got a foal in there with you now.” Bon Bon said, placing a hoof on her withers, causing her to stop. She turned to us with a smile. “Ah, the party mares finally show their faces.”

“S-Sorry, I was just…” I started, trailing off as I tried to think of an excuse.

“She was just feeling a little ill and we went outside to take a breather.”

“Y-Yeah, that.” I smiled sheepishly and silently thanked Lily with a nuzzle. “So, uh… You two having a good time?”

“I would be having a better time if I could have something boozey to drink, but the punch isn’t too bad either.” Lyra smiled widely. “And parties are always better with friends, so I’m happy you’re here.”

“I’m also happy to see you, girls. I’m glad you’re feeling better now, Rose.” Bon Bon offered a similar, yet much less exaggerated smile than her marefriend had. “I hope the party is to your liking. Pinkie and Daisy have been planning this for weeks.”

“I-It’s good.” I nodded in acknowledgement. “S-Sorry I haven’t been around for all of it.”

“No, it’s completely fine, Rose. Lyra keeps on exhausting herself by being way too active, even though she’s- Lyra! Stop bouncing!”

“But Bonnie, I can see Luna chatting up Twilight!”

“Wait, what?” I spun around and caught a glance of Luna laughing at something with Twilight standing right next to her.

“She is not chatting her up, Lyra.” Bon Bon said, placing a hoof on her forehead and shaking her head. “Two single mares can have a conversation without it being “Chatting up”.”

“Did you not hear Luna’s Freudian slip before? She’s clearly looking for another mare in her life, and Twilight’s the perfect match! They both love the stars, they both are princesses, they’re both night owls, it’s a match made in heaven!”

“We are not doing this again. Last time, you had a board covered in interconnecting wires with the entire villages “Perfect matches”.”

“I promised I wouldn’t do that again! Regardless, those two are made for eachother. C’mon, Rose, you know Luna better than we do. What do you say?”

“U-Uh, I’m not sure I’m the best pony to be asking about that kind of stuff, but I guess Luna has been feeling a little lonely recently. She may very well be looking for a partner.”

“See!? I told you so!” Lyra stuck her tongue out playfully at a very unimpressed looking Bon Bon. “Let’s take a bet! Fifty bits says that Luna falls for Twilight!”

“I am not making a bet with you.”

“Then it’s settled! If Luna woos Princess Twi, then you have to give me fifty bits!”

“I am not doing this. I am making an active decision to refuse that bet, Lyra.”

“Awww, you’re no fun.”

“I’ll bet on that.” Lily piped up.

“Please, don’t encourage her.” Bon Bon said with a defeated tone.

“Too late!” Lily smiled and held her hoof out to Lyra. “Fifty bits says that it’s Twilight that woos Luna, not the other way around.”

Lyra took her hoof and shook it.

“You gotta a deal, little missy!”

Bon Bon said nothing but laid her face in her hoof once more.

After Bon Bon and Lyra had excused themselves to talk with a few other ponies, Lily and I wandered the party a bit. I felt a genuine smile spread across my face as the proper realization hit me that these ponies did in fact have no problem with me. My horrid dreams a while back of the entire town chasing us with pitchforks was nowhere near what the reception we got was like.

I still didn’t take charge in any conversations, leaving it mostly to Lily and the ponies we were talking to, but I didn’t feel the overwhelming sense of fear and dread I had before when talking to ponies. Most ponies were just interested in how I had been, how the foal was coming along, what I had been doing while I was on earth. None of them started screaming at my presence, and there wasn’t a single pitchfork to be seen.

Eventually, we had made our way across the room to where Luna and Twilight were still happily chatting away, seemingly blissfully unaware of the rest of the party going on around them. As we approached, Luna turned and saw us, offering a friendly smile.

“Lily, Rose! I’m so glad you’re here. I was just telling Twilight what a wonderful help you’ve been in helping me get to where I am now!”

“I-I’m sure you could done it without me…” I scratched the back of my neck with a nervous smile.

“Well, from what I’ve heard, you’ve been a massive help to Princess Luna!” Twilight said as she walked closer to us. “Ever since Luna came back from the moon, she’s been quite reclusive, but you two have brought out a side of Luna I thought I’d never see! It’s so nice having another princess to be able to talk to. Celestia still talks with me every once in awhile, but we’re both so busy with our duties that we hardly ever have the time.”

“Twilight speaks the truth. I was quite reclusive before you two helped me.”

“And I must agree, her mane looks very flattering like that.” Twilight nodded assuredly, ushering a small blush from Luna. I looked to Lily, who was now smiling a little wider than usual, most likely because of the bet she had just made. I shook my head before turning back to Luna.

“You two seem to be getting along well.”

“When Luna said that she was moving to Ponyville, I knew I wanted to be one of the first friends she made.” Twilight said with a nod.

“Twilight was the one who saved me from the Nightmare. I almost feel as if I would be doing her a disservice if I didn’t try to reach out to her.” Luna said, turning to Twilight and blushing once more.

“So, now that we’re here, Luna, what are your plans?” I asked her.

“Now that we’re in Ponyville? Hmmm, well getting a job would be the first step. I’d rather not have a pony chose me over others simply because I am a princess, but I guess I don’t really have a choice in the matter. I considered using a disguise to pretend I was a normal pony, but lying like that would be impossible for me to uphold.”

“Well, I believe the cakes are looking for another kitchen hand. Pinkie’s been inexplicably absent again, so they’re looking for another pony to pick up the slack. What do you say?”

“Hmmm…” The princess hummed contemplatively, bringing an idle hoof to her jaw. “I can’t say I ever imagined myself doing that before, but I’d be happy to try my hoof and see if it’s right for me.” She nodded, satisfied with her answer.

“Perfect! I’ll let the cakes know you’re interested, just don’t be surprised if they instantly accept your application. Anyone would love the publicity of having a princess work at their store.”

“Thank you for your help, Twilight. I really do appreciate you taking the effort to help me.”

“It’s my pleasure!” Twilight beamed at the now blushing princess.

I glanced over at Lily, who was smiling just as wide as Twilight was.

“So, my love, how was the party?” Lily playfully nudged me as we walked together back home. We had decided to leave a little earlier than most of the other party goers, and were now trotting side by side through the moonlit town. I breathed in and out and smiled up at my marefriend.

“It was nice. I’m really sorry for how I was before, I didn’t mean to freak out and panic like that.”

“Hey, don’t worry. Really, it’s not your fault you felt like that. Everyone has their fears, I guess I just need to understand you better.”

“Understand me better? You know me more than anyone else does. It’s not your fault that I try to avoid my problems rather than talking about them.” I said, rolling my eyes at my own stupidity. “I’m the one with the problem.”

“It’s not a “Problem”, it’s just a part of who you are. I’m hardly perfect, but I don’t view all my flaws as downsides. They’re just parts of what makes me who I am.”

“Yeah, you can say that when your flaws are “panics easily” and “beautiful beyond reason”.” I joked, nuzzling Lily’s side as we turned the corner. Off in the distance, I could see the familiar sight of our new house approaching. Or, I guess, our old house.

As we approached the door, I felt a calm spread over me. I knew that I had ended up having a good time at the party, but I wasn’t afraid to admit to myself that I was an introvert. I pushed the door open and we walked in together, flicking a switch to turn on the lights in the room. I breathed out a relieved sigh as we walked over to our couch and sat down together.

“Gotta say, it’s a lot easier to move around when you’re regular sized for the world you live in. I’ll miss a lot about earth, but I am not gonna miss having to struggle to get up on the couch.” Lily laughed, nuzzling up to me as we settled onto the couch.

“I think I’m gonna miss having a massive bed the most. You know firsthand how much I can writhe around in my sleep.”

“Waking up to a mouthful of hoof is just what I’ve grown to love from being with you.”

I laughed before we settled into a comfortable silence, just enjoying each other's presence. I sighed softly, looking around our home from the relaxation of the couch. It was extremely barebones right now, a box on the floor seemingly where all of our photo’s and decorations had been stored.

“Hey, do you think tomorrow we can-” I started looking up at my now snoring marefriend. I giggled softly, resting my head against her slowly rising chest before I let my own eyes flutter shut.

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What's in a Name?

Mature Rated Fiction

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