If Today Was Your Last Day

by hawthornbunny

Chapter 1: Don't Ever Let It End

Indigo gripped the curved horn carefully in both hands, taking care not to impale herself or anyone standing near her with the tip. "This thing's almost as big as me. What animal even has a horn this big? A rhinoceros?"

"An ox," Muffins said. "I wanted to get an auroch horn, but they went extinct."

"Seems a bit impractical for drinking," Indigo said, trying to lift it safely to her mouth. A sudden kick from inside her belly made her reconsider that idea, and she lowered it again. "Why not just use a cup? They had cups in medieval times, right?"

"Because it looks cool, I guess," Bulk said, shrugging.

"I think it's meant to be impractical," Flash said, leaning back into Indigo's couch next to Muffins. "It's so you can't put it down until you've finished drinking."

"No wonder vikings died out," Indigo muttered. "It does look really cool though. I'm not sure if I'd drink from it, but it'd look awesome on the wall or something."

She laid the horn on the table and picked up a box wrapped in striped paper next, lifting it to her ear and giving it a little shake.

"You won't guess what it is," Sugarcoat said.

"I can try," Indigo said. "Is it a pregnancy test in case I get pregnant again?"

"No," Sugarcoat said. "I wouldn't bother with one unless I thought you were going to get pregnant again soon. Those things expire after a while."

"Hmmm," Indigo said. "A Do-It-Yourself circumcision kit?"

Sugarcoat shook her head. "That's for your second child."

"Is it cookies?" Lemon Zest guessed.

"It's not worth wrapping up a box of cookies. Or anything edible."

Indigo tore the paper at the bottom and pulled off the wrapping. She frowned at the box. "What the heck is 'Developmental Phrenology?'"

"It's a scientific approach to predicting a child's future personality by taking cranial measurements and charting them over their first few years," Sugarcoat explained, as Indigo took what appeared to be a pair of plastic calipers from the box. "That way, you'll be able to predict if Little Indy will grow up to be an artist, or a mathematician, or even the President."

"Huh," Indigo said. "Does it work?"

"Absolutely," Sugarcoat said. "Multiple independent scientific studies have confirmed it."

Bulk frowned. "Wasn't phrenology discredited, like a century ago?"

"That was back before anyone did any proper scientific research," Sugarcoat said. "Developmental phrenology is different. You can learn a lot more from a baby's skull than you can from an adult's because it's still in the formative stage."

"Still sounds like bullshit to me," Lemon said. "Anyone who says they can predict the future is talking out of their ass."

"Well, I guess I can give it a try," Indigo said, unfolding a complicated-looking diagram of a skull, divided into a couple of dozen labelled sections.

"What if you find out Little Indy is gonna grow up to be a murderer?" Lemon asked.

Indigo glared at her over the top of the skull chart. "Then I guess I'll make sure she doesn't kill anyone I like."

Muffins took one of the calipers from the box, holding it like a pair of chopsticks. "This reminds me of those things they use to pull the baby out," she said, clicking it as if it was a crab pincer.

Indigo suddenly felt a little queasy. "Yeah," she said, putting the chart back in the box.

Bulk gave her a concerned look. "Are you feeling all right?"

Indigo nodded. "Yeah. Just... I'm trying not to think about the birth." She gave a little shiver. "My body's fucked enough as it is. I don't know how I'm going to do it."

"It'll be fine," Bulk said. "You're not the first person to give birth with an injury. They'll help you through it."

"Yeah, they can give you tons of drugs and stuff, or a c-section if it comes to that," Lemon said.

"I don't want a c-section," Indigo said, frowning. "Or I'll really start to feel like a patchwork doll."

"My mom never had any problems getting me out," Muffins said. "She had a bad gas buildup inside her womb before the birth. That was a real baby shower..."

"There's an image I didn't need..." Indigo muttered.

"Humans have had a lot of practice at delivering babies by now," Sugarcoat said. "You'd have to be pretty unlucky for something to go wrong."

"Gee, it's a good thing I'm such a lucky person, then," Indigo said, with a roll of her eyes.

Just then, the doorbell rang. "Sandalwood," Sugarcoat said, slipping out into the hall to go answer it. She unlatched the door and pulled it open.

"Greetings," Sweet Leaf said.

Sugarcoat blinked, staring the girl up and down. "What the fuck?"

"I am here to celebrate the imminent birth of Indigo's child," Sweet Leaf explained.

"So how fucking cool is Twilight Sparkle, right?" Sunny Flare said, appearing from behind Sweet Leaf and grinning earnestly. "Can you believe it? I swear, that girl is going to become a supervillain or something. In you go, Sweet Leaf."

"The fuck?" Indigo said, as Sweet Leaf stepped into the front room. "Sweet Leaf! You're... all right?"

"Greetings, Indigo. Yes," Sweet Leaf said. "I am well."

"Ta-da!" Sunny said, striking a dramatic pose. "I'm also doing great, but, you know, whatever."

"But... how can you be out of the hospital?" Lemon asked Sweet Leaf. "I checked yesterday and you were still in a coma! There's no way they would have let you out so soon."

"Yeah, about that..." Sunny began. "Did you know that Twilight Sparkle is really good with robotics and stuff?"

"Didn't you?" Sugarcoat interjected. "We've known her for years."

"Yeah, but she always hid out in that closet. I never knew she was actually building robots and shit in there. Anyway, check this out! Sweet Leaf, take your hat off and turn around."

Sweet Leaf immediately complied, doffing her sun hat and neatly swivelling on one foot to present the back of her head to the others. Her butch cut had grown out a little since the accident, but not enough to hide the dense metal casing jutting out from the back of her skull. A few lines of LEDs blinked on and off in unreadable patterns.

"Oh my god..." Lemon gasped.

"That's what I said!" Sunny said. She rapped on the metal plating with a knuckle. "Isn't this cool? There's a CPU in there that's handling most of her brain functions now. She can walk and talk and dance and everything!"

"Sunny, what the actual fuck?" Lemon said, gaping. "What the hell do you think you're doing?"

"Hey, I didn't do it, all right? As if they'd trust me to do brain surgery..." Sunny muttered. "I just asked if I could, you know, take her to a party."

"And they let you?"

"Well, they didn't say no," Sunny said. "Look, I'm not being dumb, okay? I've been keeping a very close eye on her. Both eyes. I don't want her to get hurt again." She fixed Lemon with a stern glare. "Sweet Leaf, you can turn around now," she added.

Lemon watched, feeling a pit in her stomach as Sweet Leaf faced them once more. "This is... this is really fucked up."

"Oh come on," Sunny said, waving a hand dismissively. "It's the future. You can't live in the Middle Ages forever. See, Flash and Muffins don't care."

"We're from Canterlot High," Flash said, shrugging.

"I always wanted to meet a Terminator..." Muffins said, getting up from the couch. "Sweet Leaf, what are your directives?"

"I am Sweet Leaf, daughter of Clover Leaf and lover of Sour Sweet," Sweet Leaf said, calmly. "My current objective is to attend Indigo's baby shower and celebrate the imminent end of her gestation period."

"Ooh," Muffins said, impressed. "Can you shoot laser beams from your eyes?"

"That functionality is not available," Sweet Leaf replied.

Sunny dropped a couple of bags on the floor and extracted a colorful bundle from one. "Indy, these are for you. Well, for Little Indy, I mean." She unrolled the bundle to reveal a collection of tiny nightgowns and dresses in various colors and prints. "I still have loads of fabric left, I could make a ton more if you need them."

"Awww," Indigo said, lifting up one of the soft dresses and holding it upright. "They look really nice. Thanks."

"Any time," Sunny said, taking Muffin's vacated seat. "How close are we? It's got to be soon, right?"

"Next month," Indigo said, hesitantly. "But shut up, I'm trying not to think about it."

"That's going to be difficult if we keep giving you baby-related presents," Sugarcoat said.

"Shut up, Sugarcoat."

"Hey Sweet Leaf, how fast can you - gyaah!" Muffins yelled, as Sweet Leaf's arm shot out and gripped her wrist tightly. "Owowowowow!"

"Oh, yeah, be careful, she defends herself," Sunny said. "Sweet Leaf, could you let her go?"

"Muffins is hostile," Sweet Leaf said, gazing impassively at the girl struggling in her grip.

"No, she isn't. She's like the opposite of that," Sunny said, lifting her arm and tapping a few panels on her wrist bracelet display. Sweet Leaf gave a brief jerk and her hand released, allowing Muffins to back away.

"Ow..." Muffins moaned, clutching her sore wrist to her chest. "That's brutal..."

"Okay, now I'm a bit worried," Indigo said. "If she's attacking people..."

"She's not. It's just self-defense," Sunny said, raising her hands dismissively. "That's kinda why I'm doing this. The more data I collect, the better we can fine-tune her."

"She's not a freaking robot!" Lemon fumed. "You can't just 'reprogram' her to however you want!"

"Technically she's a cyborg," Sugarcoat noted.

"Shut the fuck up, Sugarcoat!"

"Okay look, Lemon, just chill," Bulk said. "Let's not make this a drama, okay? Indy doesn't need the stress right now."

Lemon huffed. "Fine."

"Yeah, let's watch a movie," Indigo said.

"Okay, so there's one thing I don't get, right?" Indigo said. "Terminators are supposed to blend in like humans so that they can get up close and assassinate people, right? So how comes they don't know how to behave like people?"

"I think it's because Skynet doesn't understand what it's like to be human," Bulk said.

"But then why would it go to all the trouble of making the Terminators look human and give them, like, human blood and skin and everything if it can't program them right?"

"I agree with Indigo's assessment," Sweet Leaf said, blinking slowly as the T-800 rammed the T-X's head into a toilet. "The robots in this movie lack the compassion and magnificence of the humble human soul."

"I thought they were cyborgs," Lemon said.

"No," Sugarcoat said. "Well, actually they're kind of reverse cyborgs. Robot on the inside with human parts grafted on."

"That's not how a particle accelerator works!" Muffins yelled angrily, jumping up and shaking her fist at the screen. "Come on!"

"Jeez, chill," Flash said, pulling her back down.

"Sorry," Muffins muttered. "It just really pisses me off..."

The doorbell rang at that moment. "About time," Sugarcoat muttered, sliding off of her chair to go answer it. She pulled the door open.

"Hiiii!" Sour Sweet said, beaming at her.

Sugarcoat frowned. "You know, at this point I can't even say I'm surprised."

"Well, fucking hello to you too," Sour said.

"You're done with the hospital, then?"

"Yeah," Sour nodded. "Well, at least until they figure out where I am." She frowned. "Can I, like, come in, or what?" She strode in without waiting for an answer.

"Surprise!" Sour said, stepping into the front room. "Did you miss me? I'm going to guess the answer's no, since none of you fuckers came to visit, like, even once in the past month."

"Sour?" Indigo and Lemon both exclaimed at the same time.

"What are you doing here?" Lemon asked, looking worried.

"She escaped," Sugarcoat muttered.

"Oh, don't be dramatic," Sour snorted. "I'm not on the run. I'll call the hospital in a bit and tell them where I am. I just wanted to see you girls one last time, you know? You're all fucking off to who knows where, so I might never get another chance."

Indigo looked concerned. "Won't you get in trouble?"

"Yeah," Sour said, shrugging. She picked up the drinking horn and began idly poking the tip with her palm. "Sorry I couldn't get you anything."

"That's okay," Indigo said. "I'm sorry I haven't been to see you more often..."

"Pfft," Sour hissed, waving the horn dismissively. "You've got your own shit to worry about. But I thought at least one of you guys would stop by..." She levelled a glare toward the couch. Then, she froze, her mouth dropping open.

"Sweet Leaf," she breathed.

"Hello, my love," Sweet Leaf said, rising smoothly from the couch. "I'm very happy to see you."

"Oy vey," Sugarcoat muttered under her breath.

"You're looking... better," Sour said. "Hey, you've got a bit of a blinky thing going on back there," she said, gesturing at the back of her skull.

"Isn't it awesome?" Sunny said, beaming. "It's like a neural repeater or something."

"Sticking right out of the back of her brain there. It looks like it's synchronized to your arm thingy." Sour observed, giving a sickly grin. "Funny how that thing keeps causing trouble, huh?"

Sunny frowned. "Huh? What do you mean?"

"Sour..." Indigo said, suddenly. "Can I have my drinking horn back, please?"

Sour handed it to Indigo without looking at her. "So fucking her life up once wasn't enough for you, was it?" she asked.

Sunny wilted. "Sour... come on, you're jumping right to conclusions. I'm doing this to help Sweet Leaf."

"Of course you are," Sour said, eyeing her with a disgusted look. "Because you'd never fuck with someone for your own amusement, would you?"

Sunny gasped. "What the... I'm not using her as a... as a sex bot! That's sick! I'm not even into girls!"

Sour blinked. "What? That wasn't what I meant. I mean, you always hack into other people's shit and fuck them over."

"Oh," Sunny said. "Well yeah, fine, I did have to brute-force the neural interface a bit to get it to work with my devices, but that's... whooagh!" She screamed as Sour's fist ploughed toward her face. There was a loud crack.

Sunny blinked and opened her eyes to see the back of Sweet Leaf's hand, which was closed around Sour's pale fist.

"I cannot allow you to harm Sunny Flare, my love." Sweet Leaf said, gazing passively at a shocked-looking Sour.

"Sweetie..." Sour grunted, pushing even harder. Sweet Leaf responded by tightening her grip, causing Sour to muffle a scream.

"That's enough," Bulk said, trying to interpose himself between the two girls, but he didn't get the chance. Sour lunged for Sunny with her free arm, but the swing went nowhere, as she suddenly she found herself pushed bodily upward from the ground; the next moment, she crashed back-first onto the lounge table, which collapsed.

"Fuck!" Indigo screeched. "No, no, no, you can't do that! Not in here!"

"Please don't fight, my love," Sour Sweet asked politely. "It would be terrible if you were hurt."

Sour beamed at her. "God, you're the best, you know that?"

"Thank you, my love."

"I am still going to tear Sunny's fucking arms off and stick them in a meat grinder, though," Sour added, launching herself at Sunny. There was a whirl of color as Sweet Leaf intercepted her, followed by a terrible bang and crash of glass as Sour exited the house via the front window.

"Stop her, you fucking idiot!" Lemon screamed at Sunny, as Indigo let out a long series of expletives and hobbled for the front door.

"She's keeping me alive!" Sunny protested, but she began frantically tapping at her wrist device, trying to gain control.

Another commotion ensued as Sweet Leaf vaulted the broken table and tackled Sour Sweet while she tried to climb back in, the cyborg girl neatly rolling in mid-air to land in a neat crouch outside, while simultaneously flinging Sour into the front gate with a loud clang.

"Ugh, I hate this virtual machine shit..." Sunny grumbled, her eyes scanning through an incomprehensible mess of letters and numbers. "Okay, here we go."

"Lasers activated," came Sweet Leaf's voice.


"Maybe 'Klaatu barada nikto' would work," Sugarcoat offered.

"Fuck off, Sugarcoat." Sunny grunted, rushing out the front door, tailed by Lemon. The smash of something hitting a car door quite hard echoed in the street.

Flash stood as Bulk grabbed his phone and left to follow Indigo. "Should we go with?"

"No, stay, keep an eye on the house," Bulk replied. "I need to stop Indy before she does anything stupid..." He hurried out, leaving only the sounds of fighting echoing in from outside and the movie still playing on TV.

"Would you love me if I was a sex bot?" Muffins asked Flash.

Flash shrugged. "Yeah, probably."

"Ding dong," Sandalwood said, glass crunching under his feet as he walking in through the open front door. "Man, if I knew baby showers were this fun, I would have got here sooner. What the hell happened?"

"Humanity just got wiped out by a rogue AI," Muffins said sadly.

"Bummer," Sandalwood said. "Why is that naked photo chick beating up a mental patient?"

"Eh... reasons," Flash said. An intense beam of light suddenly swung past the window, turning the neighborhood neon green for a few moments.

"Jesus fuck, I'm on fire!"

"Ah, magic demons, gotcha," Sandalwood said, taking a small bag of weed out of his pocket. "It's been a while since the last one. Who summoned it?"

"It's not quite like that," Flash said, before shooting Sandalwood a disapproving glare. "Dude, don't smoke in here. Come on, you just got here. Indigo will flip when she finds out."

"She's already flipped," Sandalwood observed, keeping one eye on the commotion outside. "Looks like she's having a baby."

"You'd better be joking..." Flash said, as Sandalwood smirked and continued to prepare his joint. "Wanker."

"Is Coatie here?"

"She's out there, I think."

"Hmmm, I don't see her," Sandalwood said, squinting at the continuing battle, where Sour had improvised a melee weapon from a discarded bicycle frame.

"Sweet Leaf! You must stop this at once! I gave you your augments to help humanity!"

"Your girlfriend just showed up though, Flash," Sandalwood said, lighting up the end of his joint.

"It's not her," Flash groaned. "It's the other one."

"You sure about that?" Sandalwood asked, continuing to prepare his joint. "She's got the whole sparkly horse thing going on."

"Yeah, they both do that now," Flash said. Another flash of green silhouetted Sandalwood in the doorway, followed by a shattering sound from the other end of the street.

"Oh hey, your ex is here too," Sandalwood added. "The whole rainbow gang just turned up. Also, the mental patient is beating up the magic horse girl that isn't your girlfriend." He puffed on his joint thoughtfully. "Who are we supposed to be rooting for?"

"I really think I should go out and help them," Flash said worriedly. "Muffins, you gonna be okay?"

"Go show 'em who's boss," said Muffins, giving him a peck on the cheek before he ran out to join the fray.

"Ten bucks says he gets mind raped," said Sandalwood, carefully sliding his joint behind his ear before dropping onto the couch. He picked up the TV remote and began flicking through channels. "Where the fuck is Sugarcoat?"

"Perhaps maybe you should tell them how you feel about it?"

Sugarcoat gingerly stroked the polecat that had curled in a warm lump on her lap. She still wasn't used to the rather strange sensation of feeling touch through a fingerless limb. It felt off, somehow, like touching a funnybone. "People don't take me seriously when I talk about my feelings. They think I'm just trying to get attention."

Fluttershy nodded thoughtfully, the pegasus mare cradling a cup of herbal tea in her hooves as she leaned back in her cushioned armchair. "But they're your friends. I'm sure if you explain it to them, tell them how it makes you feel, they'll understand. It might be hard for them to accept that they've been hurting you, but you can't hold something like this back. Telling them is the only way forward I'm afraid."

Sugarcoat frowned. "I think they do know how I feel and they just don't care."

Fluttershy hmmed. "That can't be right. They wouldn't be mean to you on purpose."

"They beat me up sometimes."

"Oh dear," Fluttershy said.

"I guess maybe sometimes I do deserve it," Sugarcoat admitted. "I can be mean sometimes."

"Nopony deserves to be hurt," Fluttershy said. "Especially not just for being themselves." She extended a hoof out to what Sugarcoat had believed to be a low-hanging indoor birdfeeder; however, what emerged were a couple of adorable gray squirrels. They quickly spiralled down Fluttershy's foreleg, leapt to Sugarcoat's armchair, and proceeded to clamber up her back.

For a moment Sugarcoat was worried that their sharp claws would pierce her pony coat, but either it was tougher than it looked or the squirrels' nails weren't very sharp. Instead it was a pleasant prickling sensation as one draped itself over the crook of her elbow, the other taking up residence in her mane.

"They like you," Fluttershy said, with a soft smile.

"I like rodents," Sugarcoat said. "I have some pet rats back in my world."

"Ooh," squeaked Fluttershy, looking pleased. "What kind of rats?"

"One's a hairless rat, and the other is a genetic mutant used to conduct laboratory research into retinal dystrophy," Sugarcoat said. "At least until she got laid off."

Fluttershy pursed her lips uncertainly. "Um, okay."

Sugarcoat sighed. "I should go back." She stretched her limbs, causing the dozing polecat to vacate to the armrest of her chair. "Thanks for having me."

"It's no problem at all," Fluttershy said. "I hope you can put things right with your friends."

"It's not even going to matter soon, anyway," Sugarcoat said. "Everyone is moving on. I expect I won't even see them any more except by accident."

"Is that what you want?" Fluttershy asked, putting her empty teacup down on the table.

Sugarcoat frowned. "I don't know. I don't know if it's worth trying to keep a friendship that's just going to fall apart by itself anyway."

"I think friendship is always worth fighting for," Fluttershy said. "It sounds to me like you don't want to give up on them."

Sugarcoat gave Fluttershy her own empty cup and excused herself to go to the bathroom. The toilet confused her at first, until she realized that she could apparently just sit on it like she would as a human. An owl sat on the shower rail, watching her, and she hoped it wasn't as sentient as it looked.

Washing her hooves with the soap turned out to be as awkward as she thought it would be, and a painful bonk on her nose from a slipped bar made her abandon her efforts. She dried them off as best as she could.

"Hands are going to be filthy when I get back," she muttered to the owl, which nodded in agreement.

She returned to the front room, where Fluttershy was feeding a large pile of greens and carrots to her pet rabbit.

"Won't that make him sick?" Sugarcoat asked.

"That's what I keep telling him," Fluttershy said. "But Angel is a bit fussy when it comes to his food."

"Yeah, my boyfriend is the same," Sugarcoat noted. "Hey, actually, now I think about it. Did you ever meet a pony named Sandalwood?"

Fluttershy suddenly froze, the bowl slipping in her hooves. She tightened her grip on it. "Yes, he's... a friend of a friend."

"Green eyes, orange fur, green dreadlocks?"

"Yes, I... I met him," Fluttershy replied, her voice dropping to a whisper.

"Huh. That's good to know," Sugarcoat said. "Maybe you can introduce us some time. I mean, I guess it's not bestiality if I'm a horse too."

"I... maybe," Fluttershy said, staring at the floor. "Are you ready?"

Sugarcoat slid a hoof into her mane and retrieved a squirrel, depositing it gently onto the floor. Then she picked up the strangely well-fashioned saddlebags that the portal had provided her with on entry to this world. "I'm ready."

Fluttershy pushed the front door open for her. "I'm sorry I can't walk you back to Ponyville, but it's an easy trot. Just keep the forest on your right, and the signposts will take you the rest of the way. Make sure you don't go into the forest."

"Thanks," Sugarcoat said. She stepped out, breathing in some of the fresh Equestrian air. "I think I feel better. Thanks for listening to me."

"Remember, just be open with your friends," Fluttershy said.

"I will," Sugarcoat nodded, eyeing the rabbit that was now impatiently tugging at Fluttershy's mane and pointing at his bowl. "By the way, I think you might want to consider fumigation at some point. Your whole house kinda smells of shit."

Fluttershy huffed and rolled her eyes. "Fuck off, Sugarcoat."

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