Coming Out Of My Cage (2024)

Katrina stayed where he was, viewing the scenery of the town out of a window in the waiting room until Twilight and Spike came back. The mare had what looked like a boot on her back hoof and some sort of cast on her front leg that kept it suspended in the air as she hobbled toward him. It was a sight to see, he had to admit, and he found himself glad that he helped her despite his reluctance to head through the portal.

“It feels and looks worse than it is,” Twilight commented as she approached. “Doctor Horse said I should be back on my hooves with a few days of rest. I should be fine.”

“If you say so,” Katrina and Spike both responded doubtfully, neither really believing her as the former glanced over to her again. “What are you gonna do until then?” Katrina asked, somehow keeping himself from laughing at the idea of a horse named Doctor Horse.

“Well, it’s a good thing today’s Friday, otherwise I don’t know what I would do,” she told him. “But the students at my school can skip a day of classes while I rest. Besides, it gives me more time to plan new material and catch up on some of the reading I’ve been missing out on! I’ve been waiting to read A Brief History of Interdimensional Travel: Volume Four for a while now.”

“I will admit, that sounds like quite the book,” he replied, his tone having a bit of joking sarcasm in it. “Ah, did you need my help getting back to your castle, or, like, helping you around and stuff the next few days?”

“I’m not looking for a reason to stay here longer,” he told himself. “I’m just helping her because if I hadn’t run away, she probably wouldn’t have fallen off that ladder. It’s not about anything else.”

Well, maybe it was partly the fact that he greatly enjoyed how he felt, but that was more a side benefit than it was an actual reason to stay here. Even if he did know how badly it would hurt when he had to change back again...

“I’m gonna have my friends help me this weekend,” she explained, getting a glare from the dragon before she added, “And my number one assistant, Spike. I actually sent them each a letter asking that they meet me at my castle. But if you could help me walk there again, that’d be great. I’m sure they’d love to meet you.”

“Um, sure. No trouble. I think I know how to get there.” He let her lean on his shoulder as the three of them walked back, Katrina still carefully watching the ponies he saw to make sure they weren’t looking his way or pointing him out.

“Hey, I was wondering,” he asked as the trio of them walked. “What’s going to happen to my house?”

“What do you mean?” Twilight responded casually.

“Well, I was thinking about this eminent domain business,” he continued, “and I was just wondering, is my house going to be taken away from me at some point?”

“Huh? Oh, no, not at all,” she assured him. “Well, there’s a small chance of that, but it’s quite unlikely. If that were the case, however, you’d get a notice months in advance. But that likelihood is low enough that you shouldn’t be worried about it. We’re talking about a less than one percent chance.”

“I’m sure that’s the same odds I’d have of having a portal to another world built into my house,” he couldn’t help but think. “Or being born and having to feel the way I do about myself.”

“So then why build it in my house?”

“That’s so we can see what humans are like and how to proceed with interacting with Earth. And honestly, it’s better to have it somewhere private so that way we don’t have a mass migration of people to Equestria or vice versa. Legally speaking, we’re not set up to just let anypony through. You yourself are considered a guest to Equestria, but that’s not something Princess Celestia can bestow to a million ponies all entering at once. Better to handle one creature at a time for now.”

“Oh, okay.” He didn’t really understand what she said or think of it as much of an explanation, but decided to just leave it be for now. With as nice as he felt about himself being in this world, he decided it wouldn’t be a good idea to ruin it thinking about whatever legal things this side was doing. Katrina would enjoy his time for now and worry about what might happen in the future later.

Eventually, without any incident, the three of them made it back to the castle, walking back into the library where several other ponies now were.

“Oh my word! You look dreadful, Twilight, dear!” one of them said in a british sounding accent, rushing up to them and pushing Katrina out of the way. He stumbled back and painfully stepped on his tail as she said. “What in the world happened to you?”

“Just a little accident,” she explained, waving a hoof dismissively then wincing as a result. “I was just poking around with that worldgate I was working on. Turns out though there’s a lot more to it than just walking through a door, and I hurt myself in the process.”

Katrina couldn’t help but smile at that. For him, it was just as simple as walking through a door. Although he guessed for him it was complicated in other ways, namely his flank and tail and his lack of hands and acknowledgments creeping up on him that he didn’t want to have to make. Regardless, he decided to keep his comments to himself.

“What was it?” another pony asked, one with a bright blue coat and rainbow colored mane, flying around in the air quickly as she did so. “Some creature trying to break into Equestria and take over, right? Where are they? I wanna fight them!”

“Nothing like that, Rainbow Dash,” Twilight giggled. “I fell down a ladder.”

“Oh. Well, that’s not nearly as exciting,” she said disappointedly, settling herself back on the ground. “How did you fall down a ladder?”

“It was just me being clumsy,” she admitted, displaying a bit of embarrassment. “Turns out I wasn’t as prepared for being changed into a human as I should’ve been. Luckily Katrina here was there to help me out and get me to Ponyville General.”

Suddenly, all eyes in the room were on him, and he found himself taking a step back, yelping as he stepped on his tail again. He really didn’t like having people look at him, even if it would’ve been for a different reason now. While before it was the feeling that someone would point him out and realize just how horrible he looked, now it was that someone would point him out and accuse him of not being what his body currently showed. Still, being anxious about being called out was a million times better than the weight of dysphoria he carried on the other side.

“Yer a mighty fine mare for helpin’ our friend out, miss,” someone said in a country accent, making their way up to him. “The name’s Applejack, but y’all can call me AJ.”

“I’m Katrina,” he responded in kind, feeling both very shy and very self conscious. “And, um, it was no trouble.” He held out a hoof to shake, but only fell down on his stomach as a result, giving an annoyed grunt.

“Aw, nonsense,” she told him as she helped him back up. “Anypony who’s willin’ ta go out of their way like that ta help somepony else is a friend of mine.”

“Especially somepony I’ve never met before like you!” another pony suddenly jumped in, a pink one with a very curly mane. “I mean, once I saw you, I just knew I had to throw a party for you because I’ve never seen you before, and if I haven’t seen you before then that must mean you’re new to Ponyville and if you are new then you probably haven’t had a chance to make friends with anypony and if my name is Pinkie Pie I could never let a pony go without-”

“That’s fine,” he interrupted, cutting her off before he lost track of what she was saying. “I don’t- you don’t need to throw me a party. I mean, all I did was help walk Twilight to the hospital. It wasn’t anything spectacular.”

“Oh, this isn’t the kind of party you’d want to pass on,” Rainbow Dash told him. “Pinkie Pie’s parties are a can’t miss event. It’s not something you can just not show up to.”

“I- I wouldn’t even have anything to wear…” Katrina said, doing his best to try and get out of it. “I mean, I- I can’t go to a party without an outfit, right?” he asked hopefully. He felt sick just thinking about going to a place where so many people would be looking at him, especially a party thrown for him specifically.

“Oh, well I’m sure you have something, dear,” someone else jumped in, the white unicorn with brilliant purple hair. “Not that it’s necessary for this sort of event, but surely you have a dress of some kind in your closet, right? Even one?”

Katrina shook his head, somehow embarrassed that he couldn’t say he did. He could somehow feel Twilight moving in to comment, and gave her a look that told her to refrain from doing so.

“Oh, now that just won’t do,” the white unicorn told him. “A mare can’t go without at least one dress in her closet. What would you say to me sewing a nice dress for you, Miss Katrina? It’s what you deserve after that heroic deed today.”

“Ah, I d-don’t… umm…” he got out shyly, trying not to smile at the idea.

“It’s what Rarity does,” Rainbow Dash jumped in. “She even made one for me, and while I don’t really like dresses, I have to admit, it is pretty cool.”

“I- I don’t…” he stuttered, unable to keep himself from smiling happily with glee at the thought. “Y-you don’t h-have to do that if you don’t w-want to…” He enjoyed the idea of having a dress made for him, but even more than that was the fact that she offered in the first place. It was incredibly uplifting to know that they saw him as he wanted to be, as he was right then.

“I mean, I wasn’t- I barely even did anything… you… really don’t have to…”

“Oh, think nothing of it at all, dear,” Rarity assured him with a smile. “It would be my pleasure. In fact, I do believe I know the perfect color scheme! A nice, dark green dress with a bright yellow collar would contrast well against your purple coat and golden mane. Think of it as my gift to you.”

“This is… this is… a little bit overwhelming,” Katrina said, taking deep breaths as he took a step backward. “You’re- this is way too nice of you. I really don’t deserve all of this…”

“Well, of course, you do, dear,” Rarity told him, taking a few steps closer to him. “A nice young lady like you? Of course, you deserve nice things.”

“Breathe,” Katrina told himself as he closed his eyes, emotion starting to well up inside of him. “Don’t cry. I don’t want to cry in front of these people. Just take a minute to breathe.”

“Thank you all,” he said after a few moments of silence to collect himself. “It was very nice to meet all of you, and I appreciate you wanting to do nice things for me. I, uh, I have to go now though…” he told them, as much as he loathed saying it. “I’ll try and check in on you later Twilight, okay?”

“I’ll be here,” she said as she glanced into his eyes for a moment before looking away. “Oh! And next time you’re here, remind me to tell you about that compensation you’re supposed to receive. It’s best to get that out of the way sooner rather than later.”

“I’ll remember that,” he assured her. “I do have to go now though. I…” He closed his eyes again for a moment, taking a breath before saying, “I would really love to come back though, if that’s okay.”

It was the understatement of a lifetime. He couldn’t imagine a scenario where he wouldn’t want to come back. But he didn’t want to get emotional in front of all these people, and needed some time to collect his thoughts as well. Not to mention, he did have friends on the other side that he enjoyed, too, even if being there physically hurt him.

“But I do have to go now,” he continued, swallowing. “I’ll see you all later.”

“Okie dokie lokie!” Pinkie Pie cheered. “See ya later, Katrina! I’ll make sure to throw you the best party ever!”

“I’ll also make sure to have that dress in your hooves the next time I see you,” Rarity told him. “You can count on it being absolutely lovely on you, that much is certain.”

“I- okay,” he quickly agreed, smiling widely once again at the thought of it as his heart swelled. “Thank you,” he said, carefully lifting up a hoof to wave goodbye. “You’re all very nice. Thank you.”

Next Chapter: (8) Fight InsideEstimated time remaining: 3 Hours, 52 Minutes Return to Story Description

Coming Out Of My Cage (2024)
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