She means well

by Cackling Moron

Chapter 1: But she really shouldn't keep letting herself in

But she really shouldn't keep letting herself in

I'm very sleepy right now, and that's likely played a significant part in the direction this took.

But you know what? I don't even care. Fluffy fluff fluff.


But she really shouldn't keep letting herself in

Another tedious day. At least it’s over and at least I’m home.

Though of course the first thing I notice when I got home is that someone else is also in my home. I can hear them. Great. They’re clattering around in the kitchen, the room where I obviously keep my valuables. So that’d be inelegant and idiosyncratic housebreakers, too. Double great. Maybe they’re after my kettle.

Should probably call the police. Probably. That’d be the clever thing and I’m a clever boy, right? They always told me so. So that’s what I move to do, hand moving to my pocket.

I pause though when I hear a very familiar voice drifting my way.

“Where is the whisk? I had the whisk here, where’s it gone? Did you take the whisk? Why would - oh, here it is!”

I know that voice.

It’s the horse again.

All at once I relax. That tracks. Would explain the lack of forced entry. Her of the secret doors and sliding doors and other door-related bollocks. Her of the forever sneaking in somehow to make a nuisance of herself. Her of the warm, soft, comfortable sides and snuggly wings.

Not that I particularly noticed either of those last two.

Well that was a relief, in a strange way. This was at least a form of home invasion I was familiar with. Dumping my bag and shucking my jacket I proceed directly to the kitchen in which I find two horses this time. That’s a one-hundred percent increase in horses, by my maths, which would make me three-hundred percent done.

My day just keeps getting better.

The new one looks a lot like the one I’m used to, albeit darker and with twinkly magic hair as opposed to shiny magic hair (these distinctions are important). She’s also noticeably smaller. Do those drawings on their rears mean anything? You know what, I don’t even care.

Leaning on the doorframe I folded my arms, giving them some time to notice I was there judging them silently. They did not however, too busy whispering to one another. This gave me some further time to see what a mess they’d managed to make of my kitchen.

Mean it hadn’t exactly been great when I’d left this morning but now, yeesh. Thanks, horses.

“Ahem,” I said at length, making both of them jump - always gratifying. The horse I was familiar with (my horse) dropped the whisk she’d been magically manipulating and the other horse (the new horse) nearly clonked her head on the cupboard she’d been snuffling around in. Both whirled to face me, getting entangled briefly.

Turns out that my horse’s ability to maneuver around my place was countered by the presence of the new horse. Who knew?

“Hello there,” I said once they’d both turned around fully and got unstuck from another. I nodded hello as well to both, which was an acceptable level of politeness. The new horse nodded back but said nothing, while my horse beamed as though she hadn’t made a horrible mess of my kitchen.

“Hello!” she said brightly. “I wanted to make you something by way of apology for, ah, eating all of those buns, so I decided to make a cake!”

This she said while grinning at me in a way that seemed calculated to make it difficult to be annoyed with her.

It worked, too. It was difficult to be annoyed with her. But not impossible.

And she had indeed eaten all my buns, and not just the ones I’d had on the plate. Following her last visit I had woken to find myself sans horse (which was what I’d expected) and also sans every last hot cross bun in the fridge (which I hadn’t expected).

Also had a feeling she’d helped herself to some of the biscuits on her way out, too, but it wasn’t like I kept a running count of those so I couldn’t be sure. Just a feeling.

Still, had to admit it was a touching gesture. In theory at least. The practise - what I could see of it - looked like it was leaving a little to be desired. In my experience ingredients were meant to go in bowls, not around the bowls.

“Very nice of you,” I said. “And how is it going?”

She looked around, surveying the same mess I’d just cast my eye over. If she was disheartened by it it didn’t show.

“I feel I have made a strong start, although not without issues I’ll admit. It has been some time since I have made a cake myself however and I am perhaps a little out of practise. It’s why I volunteered my sister to help,” she said, tilting her head a little in the direction of the new horse, who rolled her eyes.

My horse then leaned in and brought up a wing to whisper behind:

“She hasn’t been much help.”

The new horse - having heard this, obviously - huffed and turned her nose up.

“It is hardly our fault that the kitchen is ill-equipped. And your instructions have been poorly delivered and are often contradictory,” she said, again with the huffing. My horse was just grinning.

“I’ll admit that I might mumble a bit when I’m concentrating,” she said.

That would make communicating instructions difficult.

Also, did the new horse just say my kitchen was ill-equipped? That’s true but she shouldn’t say it. If I had feelings they’d have been hurt.

“Nice to know you’re thinking of me, at least,” I said.

“Buns that irresistibly delectable stick with a mare,” she said with a waggle of her eyebrows.

Tee-hee. Buns.

“Sister, did you put the eggs into this?” The new horse asked, peering into the biggest available bowl, the one that seemed to have actually had more put into it than around it, likely just because it presented a bigger target. My horse’s turn to huff.

“Of course I put the eggs into it!”

“Those eggs?” I asked, pointing to some eggs on the side that had not been put into anything.

“Where?” My horse asked, twisting in place and - with an errant swish of magical tail - knocking the eggs onto the floor, where they cracked.


“Oh, those eggs,” my horse said, looking a little crestfallen.

Poor horse. I gave her a pat which seemed to mollify her a little bit. I too knew what it was to try and fail. It’s why I usually never bothered getting started. She had though, she had tried, which made her tops in my book.

Made her a good egg, heh.

“Don’t worry about it,” I said. “Here’s a suggestion: You two get out of my kitchen and go sit down. I’ll deal with this and I’ll get cake. How’s that sound?”

My horse pouted at me. A pout from a weird magical horse is no joke, but I stood my ground.

“But the point was I’d make you a cake!” She protested.

True, but still. Stood my ground some more.

“Well let’s just say you owe me two now. Right now though it’s either this or no cake at all, and that way we all suffer. I mean, you are going to be coming back again without warning, right?” I asked.

It looked like she was going to argue this point before realising that to do so would be to lie, so she bit her tongue and opened and closed her mouth a bit before finally saying:


As I thought.

“Then just bring a cake you made earlier when you do. Hell, just cheat like I’m about to. Buy one and tell me you nailed it on your first try, I’ll believe you. I’ll lavish you with praise. For now though you and your sister here can just sit while I go and get a cake and then come back and we can all eat cake. That work for you?”

Born salesman, me. Could sell water to the wet.

“I suppose...given the circumstances...that that is acceptable…” she said, clearly still unhappy with how things had shaken out, only for her resolve to then stiffen. “I will make it up to you, though! I will make up for devouring your delicious buns!”

The other horse grunted to herself and shook her head. I might have chuckled.

“I expect so. But yes, off you go, I’ll take it from here.”

With this I made shooing gestures, which might have been - hah - over-egging the pudding but it seemed to get the point across. They departed the kitchen, my horse leading the way with the new horse following closely behind.

Watching two magical horses bickering with one another as they got stuck both trying to fit through a narrow doorway at the same time was a unique pleasure, I’ll admit, and a mental image I shall treasure for some time.

I then turned around again. My kitchen was going to need a thorough going over. Guess I know what I’m doing tomorrow, then.

Did quickly wipe up the eggs though, not a good idea to leave eggs lying around on the floor. That’s a recipe for disaster. Or a sticky mess that’d be hard to scrape off, depending on how things shake out. And who wants to tread on eggshells?

My poor eggs. Could have made an omelette with those and now they’re all broken.

With that done though I slung my coat back on and headed on out to the shops. Not far, and by the time I got there they were still open and, indeed, still had cake on offer. What an age to be alive. I grabbed one that looked satisfyingly drizzled and festooned, purchased it, and headed on back.

When I got back, I found them both in my lounge struggling to fit onto my sofa while also struggling with each other on my sofa. There was a lot of grunting and shoving of hooves in faces. Crowns were askew. Dignity was notable in its absence.

“You two haven’t been fighting the whole time, have you?” I asked after a few seconds of standing and watching them. When they heard me, they both froze mid-shoving-hoof-in-face and turned to look at me.

I got the impression this wasn’t something they were in the habit of letting anyone else see them do. Having been caught they didn’t seem sure what the best step to take next was. At length, they clearly both decided that the best step to take next was to disentangle, slowly.

“We were comfortable,” my horse said, pointedly, glaring at the new horse. “Until somepony started pushing. For no reason!”

“No reason! Sister! You sat on my head!” The new horse protested.

A human sofa apparently not really made to accommodate two reasonably large, magical horses. Or else she’d just done it on purpose. Which I could also imagine.

“It was very comfortable,” my horse said to me as though divulging a trade secret.

I hoped she took her princessy duties more seriously than all this. I suppose she did invade my home specifically to blow off steam, mind, or so she’d told me. And it was pretty funny.

Or so I thought.

“I have cake,” I said, by way of changing the subject, holding my freshly-purchased cake aloft. The two horses both gazed at it in wonder. Or so I liked to think. “Going to go and carve us all some generous slices. When I get back ideally I’d like the seating arrangement sorted out because I’ll be wanting to sit down as well.”

Didn’t wait for an answer, I had cake to cut up.

For me - a grown, semi-muscular man - this was not a hard thing to do, so it wasn’t very long before I was back in the lounge, juggling three plates of cake. And there in the lounge was a fresh horse, this one was little.

Another one? Seriously, how were they getting in?

“Hello!” The little horse said brightly on seeing me enter.

“Hello,” I said to the little horse.

Things were starting to get real crowded in here.

“How many more of you are we expecting?” I asked my horse as I passed out plates of cake to my guests.

I’d carved off three slices in the expectation of having one myself but now I had three guests that way of dividing the desserts had been scuppered - my slice went to the little horse, who clearly hadn’t expected cake but clearly wasn’t going to turn it down.

“Oh no, this should be it,” said my horse, patting an empty spot on the sofa. Well, ‘spot’. More like half a spot. Her and her sister had squeezed themselves up against the arms and the slim gap left between them was apparently where my horse thought I could sit.


Also I did take a second to appreciate just how weird horses looked sitting like people on a sofa. Just not right at all. Mean I know they’re magical and all but still, just looks odd.

My horse was still patting that empty spot, rather more insistently now, fixing me with a look that was both soft and gentle while also being stern and commanding. Not sure how she was managing to pull that off but I sure wasn’t going to push my luck with the magical horse princess - I am but a man.

So I sat.

Well, mostly. It wasn’t so much sitting down as slotting in. Snug would be the word, or perhaps sandwiched. Squashed. Squashed ‘twixt magical horses. My horse seemed very happy about this and wasted little time wiggling about and snuggling right up into me. The new horse did not, and continued to do her level best to keep as close to the arm of the sofa as possible. I could not blame her.

A white, fluffy wing somehow managed to wend itself around me. I looked at it, then looked at its owner, who was nibbling on cake and not catching my eye.

“What’s this?” I said, prodding the wing.

“It’s more comfortable this way,” she said quickly.

“I think you’re just trying to get a rise out of me. Like with the hiding the feathers.”

“I don’t do that! Won’t do that. Anymore.”

Somehow I did not believe her, and the way she was biting her lip to keep from laughing kind of suggested she didn’t think I believed her either. Not that I would call her out on this. Think she knew that, too.

“Hmm. How’s the cake?” I asked instead. She took another nibble.

“Very nice, thank you,” she said.

“That’s alright.”

All around me cake was being eaten. I was not eating cake. Could probably have got up to get myself some but there was a wing around me, I was wedged and, frankly, I don’t think I even really wanted cake at this point. So there I sat.

“I liked reading your books,” said the little horse.

Took me a second or two to connect the dots there - blame how tired I was. This must have been the ‘friend’ my horse had mentioned loaning my books to (without my permission). Guess she does exist! Fancy that.

“So I heard. Help yourself to more, if you want. I’ve read all of them,” I said, gesturing vaguely to the bookshelf. This, it seemed, was all the permission the little horse needed as she dashed over with obvious glee and started scanning spines.

It looked like she was making to pull down my copy of The Great Big Book of Horrible Things. That is not light reading. Not for magical horses, at least.

“Uh, maybe skip that one, eh? For now. Go along a couple. That silvery-grey one. Yeah, Information is Beautiful, that’s the one. The numbers are marginally more cheerful in that one,” I said.

For as cheerful as numbers can ever be said to be.

Apparently grateful for my recommendation she duly levitated the book in question down and got stuck into it at once, settling down on the floor in front of the sofa to do it.

Is this what my evening is going to be? Three horses in my lounge?

...guess it could be worse.

I yawned forcefully, out of nowhere.

“Oh dear,” I said as a result of this, feeling myself starting to crash.

My horse tightened that wing of hers around me, pulling me a bit closer. Don’t think I didn’t notice that, horse. I don’t care how warm and soft you are, this is taking liberties. And sure I’m not doing anything about it, but still. I’m noticing it. That’s what I’m doing about it.

“Long day?” She asked.

“Long week, boring day. Just a little worn out. I’m fine,” I said, doing my best to keep my eyes open. Right then, my best wasn’t very good.

“You poor thing! Come here.”

There followed a brief but alarming amount of shifting about in not a lot of space, coupled with me being unduly manhandled. The practical upshot of all this (which only lasted a handful of seconds, if that) was me against resting more-or-less on top of my horse, who was now at a sufficient angle to allow this.

Why I put up with this sort of thing I do not know...

“I’m not falling asleep on you again,” I said, falling asleep on her almost immediately.

Just so warm...

“Of course you’re not,” she said, giving my hair a surprisingly gentle ruffle with a hoof.

“I mean it. If I start falling asleep on your sister prod me or something, please?” I asked the new horse, craning my neck to look back at her, still sitting primly at the other end of the sofa.

“I am not getting involved,” she said, eating cake with weaponised delicacy and being the picture-perfect image of above it all.

In foggy-headed desperation I had to turn to the little horse, she who still had her nose buried in the book, plainly engrossed and delighted.

“Hey,” I said, reaching out to nudge her with a foot. “Hey, please, don’t let me fall asleep. She gets some weird kick out of it.”

Before the little horse could reply, my horse put a leg around me and squeezed, squashing anything further I might have said out of me.

“That’s just the tiredness talking, shh,” she said, and I could tell she was smiling. The indulgent kind. The kind of smile you get when you know you’re getting away with something you want to do.

“What is - “ I yawned here and so I had to start over. “What is wrong with you? Is she always like this?”

I didn’t get an answer to this question as neither of the other horses said anything, and as my eyes had decided to close I couldn’t see if any significant looks had been exchanged either. So I had no idea if she was always like this.

“Shh, shh…” my horse said, very softly now.

Fuck it. She’s weird but she’s comfy.

“I’m going to...you...a lot of cakes...going to come to your house…see how...you like it...” I burbled.

Kind of lost the thread there.

It had sounded very assertive in my head. Really.

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