Actions

Work Header

Please, Say I'm Dreaming?

Work Text:

I stir awake, groaning. My ears are ringing, my head throbbing, like I've gone a round with Zaraki or just finished a fight with Aizen or Bach, but I know for a fact I haven't done either of those things recently. In fact I'm pretty damn sure that all I did was go to sleep, on a perfectly normal night. No fights, no alcohol, no current villainous overlord trying to destroy Soul Society. Just me, and my wonderful bed.

So why the fuck have I got the hangover from hell?

I shift, prying my eyes open, but the world is a dizzying swirl of color that makes me sick to my stomach. I quickly close them again, breathing hard through my mouth to try and lessen the nausea. I'm lying in some kind of a field, the grass under me - at least it smells like grass - poking into my skin. All over actually, what the hell? I don't make a habit of running around naked, there are way too many perverts in Soul Society for that.

"Doctor!" someone shouts, and I wince as it lances directly into my head. Yeah, I agree. Get me Isane, and then she can tell me why my head is trying to split itself open. Either I've got some serious memory loss from an injury, or something seriously fucked up has happened.

There's a sharp dinging noise, getting closer with every moment, before whatever is making the noise is dropped directly beside my head. I feel the thud of it through my skull, a noise of pain escaping through my lips along with the next exhale, and I wish to god someone would shut whatever the hell it is off. Each cheery 'ding!' spikes directly into my throbbing head like someone is stabbing me, and I don't fucking appreciate it.

"Let's see," someone near me says, a male, with an accent I can't place. "Temporal displacement, extreme disorientation from forced transformation, just leaking with time energy... yep! He's just like the others."

"What is that?" a woman asks, the obnoxious device still dinging away near my head. If I could move my head more than an inch without feeling like it was getting torn apart, I'd crush the damn thing myself. "Six this week?"

"Well, seven. Well, eight if you count the dog."

I crack my eyes open, the colors just a little more focused this time, and look up. The figure above me makes no sense to my muddled brain. Skin, a light brown color, and with darker brown hair sticking out above his blue eyes, and between... pointed ears?

"What the fuck?" I breathe out, eyes clenching shut again. My vision must be seriously fucked up, there's no way in hell that I just saw what I think I did.

"Oh! Let me fix that for you." The dinging machine shuts off, before there's the distinct whine of something electrical, the warbling, high-pitched noise driving into my head with all the subtlety of a jackhammer to my aching skull. Is he trying to fucking kill me? Because I'd swear that's what he's doing. The terrible feeling does ease some, lessening with each passing moment, till I can breathe again without fear of throwing up. "Now, this might be a little strange," he warns, as my eyes open again, my vision now clear.

He's absolutely fucking right. I scramble away from him, it, immediately falling heavily on my side as my arms and legs move in ways that are completely unfamiliar. Something beneath me bends in a way it isn't supposed to, and I suck in a breath in pain. What the hell? My arms and legs are all accounted for, I can feel them, so what the hell did I just crush under myself that hurt so badly? I jerk my head around, and it feels odd, but I don't really register it, and my gaze lands on one half outstretched wing, feathers a light orange-yellow color, lying against soft fur of the same color, and in front of legs ending in hooves.

That's when I begin to really panic.

"Woah," the man, who is a fucking horse, tries to comfort me, one hoofed foreleg rising as though in supplication. "It's alright, kid."

"Alright?" I gasp out, "What fucking part of this is alright?"

"Now, if you could just listen to me," he protests, and I struggle to my feet, all four of them, legs shaking beneath me as I try and balance on the unfamiliar limbs. I can feel my wings pressed tight against my sides, and I take a shaking step backwards before almost immediately tripping over my own limbs and falling back to the grass. I take in several deep breaths, trying to force myself to calm down, feeling the tremble in too many limbs as I shut my eyes against the world.

This can't be real, can it? This has to be some kind of fucked up dream, or something like that. There is no fucking way that I've been turned into a horse, right? ... Oh god, I'm a horse. I'm a horse with fucking wings, and another horse is talking to me, and when did my life get quite this fucked up? Some weird things have happened to me, but this absolutely takes the cake. What the fuck?!

I feel, and hear, another horse approach, and something touches my shoulder. I snap my eyes open, jerking my head up with a snarl out of instinct, but it comes out as a huff of breath, and the completely unfamiliar feeling of my fucking pointed ears pinning back against my skull shocks me out of any kind of real combat reaction. The horse above me, touching my shoulder with one of her hooves, is a very pale yellow, with a mane and tail that are a deep pinkish-red, with streaks of a lighter shade mixed in. She's got a rose on her... is hindquarters the right word? Flank?

"My name's Rose," she says softly, withdrawing her hoof, "what's yours?"

"Ichigo," I answer cautiously, and she sinks down beside me, hoofed legs folding beneath her.

"That's the Doctor, over there. He's rather terrible at anything social," the so-called Doctor makes a sharp noise of protest, "but if you can listen, I can explain what's happened to you." She pauses for a moment as I stare at her, my breath coming in fast bursts. "Can you listen?" she asks gently.

I hesitate, but nod after a few moments. "I think so."

"Right," she says, with a small grin, "so here's the basics. There's all these universes, and they're sorta, pressed against one another. They're supposed to be all sealed off, but thanks to something strange, this one has poked holes into a bunch of other worlds, and it's dragging things through. We're trying to fix it, but in the meantime we've got dozens of people displaced from their home universes, just like you. From what I got out of his," she nods her head over at the Doctor, who is loading the dinging machine into bags hooked over his middle, "technical jargon, this universe doesn't have humans, for some reason it can't, so when humans get sucked through they get forcibly turned into one of this universe's main life forms."

"Horses?" I ask, incredulously, and she does some approximation of a shrug.

"Ponies, is the word they use. You've got subsections of them too, Earth ponies, that's the Doctor and me, Pegasi, which have wings, and Unicorns, which have horns and can use magic. You, on the other hand, came through as what they call an Alicorn. It's an extremely rare type, with wings and a horn." A horn? I've got a god damn horn, too? This day just gets better and fucking better. "There's only four of them, as far as we've been able to tell, in the entire Kingdom of Equestria."

"I've never seen anything like it," the Doctor comments, and I look over at him, "we've had all three kinds come through, but never an Alicorn before. The Alicorns that are native to this universe are extremely powerful, you must be as well for the universe to have translated your being into that form." Well, I guess. I mean, I'm powerful enough that I'm trapped in Soul Society, with constant power limiters so I don't harm anyone beneath me. I guess that had to come over here somehow.

"How do I get home?" I ask, quietly.

"Well, that's kind of the awkward part," he says with a wince. "You don't." My heart stops. "I haven't found a way to return anyone to their actual universes yet, but I'm fairly confident that when I do fix this, everyone should snap back to where they belong. I'm just," he gives a soft cough, "not sure how long that will take me."

I'm stuck here? I've not only been turned into a horse, a pony, but there's no way back? I'm just trapped here, for however long it takes for him to fix whatever problem is happening? If he fixes it? What kind of guarantee is that?!

"So," Rose cuts in, "until we do fix it, we've set up a refugee camp. For everyone to learn the language, the customs, and eventually settle into their society. In case," she glances up at the Doctor with worried eyes, "in case we all get stuck here." There's fuel for panic. I've got friends, family, my division to care for. What the hell am I going to do if I get stuck here for the rest of my life? "It's not likely, but we'll make the most of it if we have to."

"You're not from here either?" I ask, and she shakes her head.

"Totally different world. I'm human, yeah, but he's an alien. Time Lords, they're called, big, old, powerful race." I guess that explains the golden hourglass on the Doctor's flank. "Trust me, if anyone can fix this, it'll be him. Come on, let's get you on your hooves." She stands, pretty gracefully, and I cringe at the thought of trying to get back up. I've got no idea how to work these legs, and I've also just come to the scary conclusion that I don't have hands. What the fuck do I do without hands, and fingers?! Oh, fuck. "It takes some getting used to, but I promise it's not as hard as it feels at first. Come on."

I take in a deep breath, closing my eyes for a second, before slowly gathering all four legs under me. I pause for a moment, bracing, before extending, surprisingly making it to standing without trouble. My legs are trembling faintly, I'm trembling faintly, but at least I'm standing. I'm a little taller, and bigger, than Rose is, but not quite as tall as the Doctor. I raise my head, feeling my wings give a small flex against my back, and Rose smiles.

"Good, now let's get back to the camp."


I'm so fucking sick of this world, and I've only been here for maybe an hour. My head feels weird with the added weight of the horn, I keep stepping on my tail, my mane - unsurprisingly the same orange, but with thin streaks of black just like my new tail - gets in my eyes, my wings are weird and I can't figure out how to do damn well anything with them, and I've tripped over my own legs not once, not twice, but nine fucking times just walking to the camp. I can feel my ears pinned back against my head, which is held low, broadcasting how pissed off I am to everyone near me.

The Doctor gives a small cough, the camp - actually a collection of closely clustered buildings - looming ahead of us, and I turn my gaze to him. "Now, before we head in there, there are some things you should know. This world doesn't just change your outer appearance, it changes everything about you upon transfer. Apart from your memories, you are a pony. So you might find yourself reacting... well, strangely might be a good way of putting it."

"What does that mean?" I ask sharply, in no mood for anything short of an exit out of this god forsaken universe, let alone any kind of wordplay.

"Well, um... I..."

"What he's saying," Rose interrupts, "is that your body has been hardwired to be a pony, and while you're here your mind is also slowly being changed. You'll start thinking like one, and then you're going to find yourself reacting like one. You might find yourself doing a lot of things you don't understand, and that's why. Also, and there's no good way to put this, you're going to start finding some ponies attractive."

I stop dead in my tracks, legs locking. "What?" I demand in a hiss. Oh, no. I don't fucking think so.

"There's no way around it," Rose says with a shrug and a wince. "Whatever tastes you had from your world have been carried over and... adapted. It's, awkward, but you'll get used to it. No other choice, I'm afraid. It won't be so bad."

Oh fuck no. I'm drawing the line at this bullshit, right here. I might get stuck here, I might be trapped in this awful form, but I am not, going to be fucking any horses. That is something that I'm not alright with, in any universe, even if I'm the same shape. Fuck, no. I'll be a virgin my whole god damn life if I have to, this shit is not happening.

The Doctor and Rose have resumed their trip towards the camp, and I unglue my legs from the grass, following them at a slower pace. I am so not looking forward to this. They stop to let me catch up, before stepping forward with me into the camp itself. It's twelve buildings, each with two stories, varying in size, with two or three more at the edge, half-built. The roads between are dirt, grass covering any area not ground down, with wooden tables set up, framed by benches. There are a number of ponies at the tables, a rainbow of different colors, and more wandering around or flying above.

"We have thirty-eight displaced," Rose explains, "not including you. For the time being, we're sharing housing. At the moment it's three or four to a home, depending. You'll be sorted into one of the few that still has room. We're building new ones as quickly as possible, but, well, people are just coming in too fast."

"Would you fit him in?" the Doctor asks, distractedly, and she nods. I watch him go with narrowed eyes, following Rose across the dirt and grass to one of the smallest buildings.

A unicorn pony about my size, but a little slimmer, meets us at the door, calm grey eyes flicking over me. He's got a short black mane and tail, over a light blue coat, and there's an open notebook on his flank. I should figure out what the hell those mean. "New arrival?" he asks in a cool voice, and Rose nods. He sighs. "One moment." He half turns, back into the home, and his horn glows almost the same shade as his coat. A moment later a clipboard comes floating out, wreathed in the same color glow, alongside a pen. "Your full name?" he asks.

"Kurosaki Ichigo."

"Ah," he says, pen tapping at one side of the piece of paper, "you're Japanese?"

"Yeah," I answer, gratefully, "that's right."

His grey eyes flick up to me for a moment, a small smile on his muzzle. "I am as well. Different universes, I imagine." His eyes drift down the paper, and he gives a small sound of displeasure. "We've got room in houses four and twelve. The most comfortable will be twelve, we just finished that one and it has room for five, but only three current occupants. We're running out of homes fast, Rose, we'll need to ask the princesses for more workers."

"Princesses?" I ask, and he nods, writing something down on the paper.

"Princesses Celestia, Luna, Cadence, and Twilight, they rule Equestria. They're Alicorns, like you." He drops the clipboard a few inches, looking back up at us. "There, you're signed into house twelve. Rose will get you settled in. I was one of the first here, so if you need anything please stop by. My doors are always open."

He steps back, the clipboard and pen disappearing back inside the home, and Rose nudges my shoulder. "Come on, let's go meet your roommates, hm?"

I follow her away, watching until the black-maned unicorn disappears back into his home, leaving the door open. She goes to the last in the collection of houses, beside the half-built ones, and knocks briefly on the door with one hoof before pushing it open. It must just be a latch, more like a gate than a door, or there's no way that would work. She steps inside.

"Anyone home?" she calls out, as I look around. It's a large living room, sparsely furnished, but at least finished, with an attached kitchen, a door that leads somewhere, and a winding stair. "Most of our residents stay home, or in the area outside, but a few are well integrated enough to have jobs outside our community. We also have a training area a little bit away, for learning how to use wings, magic, etc."

The door on the ground floor opens, and a pony exits, moving with grace as he swings the door shut behind himself with magic. I go rigid. No, you're joking, right? He's got a coat of white, a sharp horn jutting from his forehead, with a smooth, short brown mane and a longer tail of the same color, dark brown eyes slightly narrowed. His flank has an oval mirror on it, the light blue the only other color against his white fur. His horn glows briefly with violet light from shutting the door, before he turns to us. The moment those eyes swing to us, before he even speaks, I just know.

Aizen.

I gather myself, leaping at him past Rose and ignoring her startled cry, before one of my legs tangles in the others and I go down hard, right in front of him. My head hits the wooden floor with a defining 'smack' as I go down, and after a moment of silence the unicorn above me gives a deep chuckle that I can absolutely confirm is Aizen's. I shake my head and look up, glaring at him.

"Ah, Kurosaki. You too, hm?"

He reaches forward with a hoof, and I don't have the concentration or practice to get my legs under me again before he's tilting my head up, the edge of his hoof pressing into my throat. Even in this form he's bigger than me, thicker and stronger looking, and given his casual use of magic he must have been here for a while before I got dragged in. But then, why wasn't Soul Society in an uproar? Did no one notice him vanishing, or is this whole fiasco messing with time too? Oh god, I don't even want to think about what the hell could have happened if we're getting pulled here out of random points in our universe.

"You two know each other then," Rose says, a hint of unease in her voice.

I wrench away from Aizen, carefully getting to my hooves so I don't collapse on my face again, and he smirks. "Yes, we're from the same universe. No worries, Rose dear, I can show Kurosaki around."

"Oh, I don't think so," I snap, and then something grabs me by my two back legs and drags me into the air, so I'm hanging upside down. I yelp, fighting the hold, wings flapping behind me as I panic at the sudden change, and dimly I catch sight of the violet glow around my ankles. Motherfucker.

"Remember," Rose says, "no fighting. We're all too out of our element to be fighting each other here, this is only a sanctuary so long as it's respected as such." I hear the door close, and real panic starts to set in. Oh, shit, tell me she didn't just leave me alone with one of my biggest enemies, totally fucking helpless?

"Relax," Aizen murmurs, as though he can read my mind, and he crosses the room to the kitchen with a sure, graceful stride. I get dragged along with him, swinging back and forth in the air as I fight, and I stay on the opposite side of the counter separating the two parts of us as he circles it. He turns on what looks suspiciously like a normal kitchen stove with his magic, flames heating what I'd swear is a tea kettle.

"Let me go!" I snarl, the blood rushing to my head making me dizzy.

He shakes his head, looking over the counter at me. "When you relax, I will. She is right, after all, for the moment there is no point in fighting." I stop fighting, staring at him in confusion, and he smirks again. "When I know whether or not I will be stuck here, then I will make plans. For now, my best bet is to prepare myself to live a life in this world, just in case, and just the same as everyone else. There is no sense in making enemies, not right now, especially not with anyone from my universe."

"Why not?" I demand, as he retrieves a mug from within one of the cupboards and what I'm pretty sure is tea from another, all without moving. Fuck, magic is useful. I'll need to learn that as soon as I can.

He removes the kettle from the stove and fills the cup with first the water then the tea bag, before flicking the stove off and circling back around the counter. "Think for a moment, Kurosaki? If that's not too difficult for you." I want to strangle him, but hanging upside down, my options are just a little limited. "If we are stuck here for the rest of our lives, who is to say those will not be very long lives? The two of us were not normal humans to begin with, we were only souls after all, but immortal. It is difficult to say how that has crossed over into this world's rules. I would rather not spend the rest of my perhaps centuries long existence here, without anyone who could understand where I had come from. Understand now?"

Things I hadn't considered. If this race of ponies lives like humans, how did our being souls translate over? Do we still have all the same abilities, power, anything? Are we even capable of living normal lives among this race? Fuck, I hate soul searching questions. I really, really, hope that this fucking terrible situation gets fixed before I have to figure any of these questions out.

"Yeah," I answer, nodding as much as I can like this. "Will you put me down now?" I ask grumpily, and his smirk twists a little wider.

"Are you going to attack me?" he counters, and I scowl.

"No," I answer grudgingly. I'd like to, but damn it he's right.

"Alright then," Aizen agrees, and I cringe, bracing to get dropped onto my head. To my surprise, his horn glows a little brighter, and I feel myself getting slowly spun, before he carefully sets me down on all four legs. I wobble, but manage to keep my balance after his magic dims and releases me. He picks up his cup, the steam almost invisible under his power's glow, and starts past me. "Shall we talk, dear?" he mocks, his tail flicking across my face as he passes.

I jerk, almost falling over, at the sting of it, and turn to glare at him. He only quirks an eyebrow, setting his cup on the low table between the two black couches, the three items of furniture all that decorates the entire living room. He climbs onto one, lying down with his legs tucked under him, as if a cat. He looks perfectly at ease, and I slowly head over to him. I debate for a moment, before deciding to try to imitate him on the opposite couch. I end up more sprawled out than his neat position, and I nearly trip trying to get up the foot or so, but I manage it. I keep my head up, watching him warily.

"So," he starts softly, "now that we've covered the important bits. Mainly, that there's no point in us fighting, what else would you like to know?"

I pause. So many questions, what do I even start with? The other people who've been dragged here, what he knows of the working of this world, what's going on with the Doctor, or maybe how the hell he expects us to do anything but fight?

"How long have you been here?" I ask, finally.

"Two and a half months," he answers, and my eyes widen. "I was one of the first pulled through, I simply decided to move to this home when it became available a week ago. I assume you just arrived?" I nod, and his eyes close for a moment. "I will not lie to you and tell you that you'll forget your misgivings, but you will grow accustomed to them. It's not so terrible a place, once you get used to it." He smirks, raising the cup to his lips and taking a small smirk. "Of course, you will have it harder than most."

"What do you mean?" I ask, when he doesn't elaborate.

"Well, you are an Alicorn. I imagine that was the best this universe could do to translate your, frankly absurd, power. You will have to learn not only how to use your new body, but in addition you will also have to learn how to fly, and how to use the magic your horn will give you. You have at least twice as much to learn as any other person that gets torn into this universe. That is, of course, not taking into account the language, both spoken and written, as well as the cultural norms."

Oh, that's just great. "What if I don't want to learn at all?" I push out through gritted teeth, glaring at him, and he takes a second sip of tea.

"Then you're an idiot," he states calmly, and I flinch a little in surprise. He tilts his head, cup settling back on the low wooden table between us. "You may be stuck in this universe forever, Kurosaki, are you truly not going to learn to use either of the gifts it gave you to survive here? Your talent is there, plain on your flank. It's a sword," I glance down, getting my first unobstructed look at the indicated area, and there is actually a sword there, the blade is undoubtedly Zangetsu, "and it's there for everyone to see. Who would accept a fighter that cannot fight? That would be rather, how shall I put this? Pathetic."

"My talent?" I ask questioningly, craning my neck to see the small picture in my fur better.

"It's how this world works," Aizen explains with what seems like infinite patience. "Each person, each pony, has something that they are both exceedingly good at, and will enjoy doing. Their 'talent'. When they discover what that is, their mark appears to show it. It's a rather more straightforward system than our universe, though some marks are more obtuse than others. You are a warrior, Kurosaki, that is what you will always be. Everyone can see it, so that is what will be expected of you. If we are stuck here you will be forced to accept it, but I'd recommend trying to learn before that happens."

"I don't get a choice in this?" I demand, and he gives a soft sound of amusement.

"Of course you do, and if you choose to remain ignorant that is indeed your decision. I am simply informing you of what the inhabitants of this world will think. For the moment, the Doctor has a vessel parked here that is telepathically translating languages for us." My eyes widen, and he raises the cup once again. "But when he fixes this and leaves, or as soon as you step out of its range, everyone else will be speaking a different language. That isn't exactly conducive to communication, is it?"

I drop my head, letting it lower to rest on the fabric of the couch, and give a frustrated huff of breath. "No," I admit. "Do you have any idea why it picked us?"

"A theory," Aizen says softly, "but little more. From what I've learned of others that have been pulled through, the majority of us seem to have been important in our worlds. Participants in great battles, those who changed the fate of our world somehow. There are a couple of exceptions, but those are the majority of our tales. I would guess that for some reason, this universe is focusing on those important to their own worlds. Why? I have no idea."

"So I should expect Bach to come hurtling through a portal any day now?" I ask grumpily, half-joking, and Aizen smirks. How the hell I know that expression is a smirk, I've got no fucking clue.

"It is entirely possible. But fairly unlikely, I think. The chances that the two of us ended up here were... small, to say the least. All the universes to pick from, and it chose two from the same one? Either our universe is more volatile than most, or we were exceedingly unlucky." I'm going to go with that second one. Though, our universe does seem to be kind of a never-ending fight. "As far as I am aware, we are the only ones that share a universe."

Great, what a fucking joy. The only ones to share a universe, and it had to be me and Aizen. This world's got a nasty sense of humor.

"How do I live here?" I ask quietly, desperately, as I close my eyes, and Aizen makes a noise that I could almost mistake as sympathetic.

"Live each day on its own," he answers, equally quietly, "and expect mental breakdowns."


Five more people come through in the next two weeks, the last three in a single day, and if life wasn't hectic before, it damn well is now. While before you could occasionally find Rose or the Doctor standing around somewhere, talking, these days the only time either of them is seen is running from one place to another, or guiding a new and usually either pissed or groggy pony back to our camp. The houses get cramped, and to my utter despair a mandate from Rose shoves Aizen and me into the same room.

There's a second bed, at the least, but I pretty much don't sleep for the next three days. Granted, I wasn't sleeping well to begin with. Wings are damn uncomfortable to sleep with, and the horn gets in the way of rolling over, which I do automatically in my sleep. Aizen, the fucking bastard, doesn't seem to have any problems with it. He didn't have any reaction to our forced room sharing except a smirk, and I was expecting... I don't know exactly what, but something absolutely terrible. But instead, he's pretty much left me alone.

Alright, so he mocks, and teases, but he hasn't been cruel about it. When I'm genuinely at the edge of a breakdown, which I've skirted a couple of times, he does back off. Everyone here seems to recognize the signs of an impending mental break, I guess they've seen it quite a few times.

The learning isn't as bad as I thought it might be. I can sort of hover, even if I don't know how to land, but with the exception of levitating small objects for short periods, my magic is almost useless. Just like reiatsu, and the art of kido, my control is pretty much nonexistent. Though I've got this sneaking suspicion that if I master magic here, it'll mostly carry over back to my world. Wouldn't that surprise people?

Mostly it's the language that's giving me problems. Aizen's taken up teaching me it, since we have to leave the range of the Doctor's ship - the TARDIS - to stop the words translating automatically. Once we're out of that area, all the languages revert, and suddenly everyone is speaking something else. I've heard Japanese, English, German, and a few instances of what I'm pretty sure is a totally alien language. And that's just who happens to be around.

Things could definitely be worse, but that doesn't mean things are pleasant either.

"Wake up," comes a voice, and I groggily blink my eyes open. Aizen is watching me from across the room, lying on his bed, and the pale tint to the light streaming in our window tells me that it's still way too early for me to consider getting up.

"It's barely dawn," I grumble, squinting over at him as my ears tilt back in minor irritation. "What do you want?"

He smirks, head laid down. He's already groomed, perfectly put together as always, and lying over his blankets. "The Doctor's running his test, remember?"

My head snaps up, and I all but fall out of the bed in my rush to get out of it, my legs getting tangled in the blanket over me. I hit the ground hard, but manage to disentangle myself as he chuckles, getting to my hooves with only a little trouble. I can mostly get around without problems now, though if I try running occasionally I still crash and burn. "What are you waiting for?" I demand as I stand there, waiting.

His eyes flick up, his version of rolling his eyes, as he lifts his head. "Relax, Ichigo. Either it will work, or it won't. Us being there won't affect things." He arches, like a cat, and my gaze sweeps over him. Muscles flex under the coat of white fur, and his tail flicks to one side as he gives a soft sound of pleasure at the stretch.

My wings snap up.

What?

I whip my head around, staring at my suddenly stiff wings as they stick up and out. I try and close them down, to absolutely no avail, and I start panicking just a little. What the fuck is going on? This has never happened before, nothing even remotely like this has happened! Are they stuck, do I have some kind of pony lockjaw? What the hell?!

"Now that's interesting," Aizen says in a purr, and I turn to look back at him. He steps off the bed, oblivious to or more likely ignoring my panic, looking past me at my wings. I stand stiffly, trembling faintly, as he circles to my side.

"What the fuck is going on?" I ask sharply, my demand for an answer only sort of undermined by the way my voice cracks. "Do you know?"

He makes a soft noise of amusement and steps a little closer to my right wing, head lowering a little to examine it. "Well, to put it simply..." I don't see the warning signs fast enough to stop his teeth closing over my wing, and I give a yelp that turns to a ragged cry as I collapse to the floor, twitching, at the feel of his teeth scraping over my flesh and feathers. "Yes," he finishes, releasing my wing. I shudder, panting, and can only summon the slightest anger past the sharp arousal burning through me. What the fuck? "I believe the slang for the term," Aizen says coolly, amusement in his voice, "is 'wing boner'."

He chuckles as I lie there, trying to pull together enough self control to get my hooves under me. "You bastard," I gasp out, and he leans down, speaking into one of my ears.

"I'm flattered," he says softly, "really. How fascinating to know you consider me attractive." I give a sound of protest as he steps towards my wing, teeth once more closing over the edge of the limb.

It's like some god awful perverse blowjob, and all I can do is shake and clench my teeth together, strangled noises escaping my throat. He lets go eventually, and I tremble as he circles around me. Oh god, no, no more. This is so wrong, and I don't know what the hell I'm going to do if he starts in on my other wing. I cringe as he leans down, eyes squeezing shut, and he chuckles.

"When you're capable of standing," he whispers in my ear, "I'll be outside."

I hear the door shut, and after a moment I manage to turn my head, eyes wide. Sure enough, he's gone, and I have to seriously fight the urge to scream curses after him. I try, once more, to close my wings, but nothing happens. I stifle a sound of frustration, closing my eyes and clenching my teeth. That's not fair.

I spend what feels like a small eternity trembling on the wooden floor, but eventually I manage to get enough control of my legs to get my hooves under me, and to shakily stand. My wings stay stubbornly up, but after a few minutes I give it up as a lost cause and head outside. My stride is stiff, my head hanging low in a mixture of anger and embarrassment, but thankfully no one is paying any real attention to me. Pretty much our entire community is gathered around the blue box in the center of the rest area; the area with all the benches and tables. It's the Doctor's ship, I know that much. It doesn't make much sense, it looks way too small to be anything close to a time traveling spaceship, but honestly, over the last two weeks, I've had too much else to do to give even a single fuck how the spaceship works, or doesn't.

I see Aizen in the crowd, his white coat obvious in the crowd, and carefully circle around to a different section. I don't want to be anywhere near the bastard, not right now. I slip between two other male ponies, one an earth pony and one a pegasus. The earth pony is a dark brown, with a lighter brown mane and tail, and light blue eyes. His mark is a vivid blue swirl, but I couldn't say what it's supposed to represent. The pegasus is a light tan, with a wild black mane and tail, and dark golden eyes. He's got what I'm pretty sure is a pair of roller skates on his flank. Both of them I've seen before, but never talked to. The pegasus takes one look at me, with my wings still sticking up, and grins, winking.

"Yeah," he says in a voice that sounds young to me, fairly high-pitched, "that sucks, doesn't it?"

Somehow, knowing that I'm not the only one having problems with it, makes it easier for me to accept. I nod, trying again to flatten them down, with no success. "How the fuck do I get rid of them?" I ask him, glaring over my shoulder at the offending limbs.

"It's like a boner," he says cheerfully, "just think of something really nasty."

Oh. I guess that makes sense.

Well, I've had my fair share of experiences with ill timed erections, time to call on the one thing that never fails to make them go away. My dad, and that damn poster. I wince at just the mental image, and, to my utter relief, my wings give a small flinch and loosen, allowing me to fold them back against me.

"Thanks," I mutter, and he nods.

"Sure, no problem."

"Alright! If everyone could listen to me for a moment!" I turn my head, looking up over the crowd to where the Doctor has climbed onto one of the picnic tables. The crowd quiets, all of our attention focused on the one person who has a chance of getting us home. "Now, I think I've figured out what's going on here, but unfortunately that only means that I can stop more people from coming through. I can reverse the tears in this world, now that I know what caused it, but I don't know if that will take all of us home to our correct universes. I think it will, but I'm not a hundred percent sure. So if everyone could step back, give the TARDIS a bit of space, with a little bit of luck all of us might just be able to go home. So, please, everyone!"

I step back as the ponies in front of me do the same, avoiding the swaying tails of the other displaced people. The Doctor jumps down, heading into his ship with Rose just a step behind him, and the door shuts. A strange sound starts up, like the heaving breaths of some rusty machine, and I share a glance with the two ponies beside me.

"Here's hoping, huh?" I ask, and the earth pony snorts.

"Oh, man, am I ready to go back to my own fucked up corner of the universe," he says with a laugh. I can hear the same sentiment repeated throughout the crowd.

The sound coming from the Doctor's ship gets louder, and as we watch it starts to fade in and out, wind rustling our manes and a blue light gathering around the area. I take a step back, squinting my eyes as the rush of wind grows in strength. The light gets brighter, blindingly so, and I shield my eyes with a hoof as it becomes impossible to look at the ship.

Oh, god, I hope this is what the Doctor intended. Because this feels like the buildup to some terrible explosion, and I can't think of much worse than dying in this fucked up alternate universe. I am so not okay with that. I accepted the idea of dying a long time ago - it was hard to avoid thinking about it when I was just a soul - but dying away from my friends, my family, my universe? Oh, fuck, no.

There's a rumbling noise, further confirming my ideas of an explosion, and the light shoots upwards, spreading over the sky in a wave of bright blue. I risk a brief glance up, and lower my hoof in shocked surprise. The light is dimmed from being spread out, and there are jagged black holes in it that look like nothing so much as gargantuas. They're slowly closing, the blue light gleaming brighter at the edges of them, and I can only assume that those must be the source of the problem that brought us all here.

I suck in a sharp, startled, breath as the earth pony beside me vanishes in a flash of bright white light, a faint trail leading upwards into one of the closing black holes. Wait, does that mean...? I slam my eyes closed as the pony directly in front of me disappears in the same manner, faint spots of black remaining when I pull them back open, blinking to try and clear the afterimage.

Please let this be it pulling us home, please, please, please.

I feel a tugging deep in my soul, and give a yelp as my world explodes in white light.


I come back to consciousness slowly, unwillingly, and to an aching pain in my temples. I stir, feeling wood beneath my cheek, and wince. Well, at least this isn't as bad as last time. I can move without feeling sick to my stomach, and my head isn't trying to split itself open so much as just informing me I've made terrible decisions. That's not so bad, really. It could be much worse.

I open my eyes, and find my vision surprisingly clear. More importantly, that my gaze is fixed on a wooden wall. My gaze swings around, and for every new thing I see I give an inward cry of joy, each sight reaffirming that I'm back in my own home in Soul Society. Wooden wall, comfortable bed - though granted I'm lying on the floor beside it - and the wooden frame of my dresser. Oh, yes.

I push myself up to sitting, and immediately look down. Fingers. I've got fingers again, and hands. Oh thank god, I'm human-shaped! Fuck, yes!

Well, that's settled that then. Fuck my duties as a captain, I am going to spend all fucking day sitting here, enjoying having limbs I can actually pick things up with, and no wings, horn, or tail. And after my day of self-reflection, and the first comfortable sleep that I'll have had in weeks, then I'll think about seeing what's happened in my absence.

Also, making sure Aizen came back with me, and is still properly locked away. If he ended up trapped in that fucked up universe, I'll spare him maybe two seconds of pity, but he's too much of a bastard for me to do anything more than that. If he came back, then so long as he's still locked up in the first division's prisons, I don't care. I'll just walk in, see if he's there, and walk straight back out.

But right now?

Fingers, toes, and a real goddamn shower.

No more, no less.