Anti-Nightmare Party, Go!
IC date: Autumn 58
OOC date: November 16
Location: Dream-Daze's House
PCs: Makuru Spearmint Dragonheart Snapdragon Dream-Daze
NPCs: N/A
GM: Applejack

Just a couple hours after Makuru brought up the idea of a slumber party, the interior of Dreamy's house has undergone a swift transformation. Namely the living room. Which has been given a boat-load more pillows! Pillows, blankets, and cleared of most of the breakables, save the wall of music boxes. This has a table set up next to it, where treats are supposed to go. There's already one plate of rice treats and a bowl of punch! And another box near all the blankets and cushions, with 'Toy Box' scribbled on the side. What more could a foal want?

In the middle of all this, Dreamy sits, poised, tense, like a cat waiting to pounce on a bird it's watched all day. Staring at her door with big ol' amber eyes. The faintest sound of puppyish whimpering could maybe be heard. Friends are coming! She can just sense it!

The first guest to arrive is Makuru! FOr the moment he is accompanied by a zebra mare. His saddlebags are stuffed with stars only know what and a plate of cookies is balanced on his back.

"You don't be any trouble for Dreamy's parents, alright, Little Maku?" the mare says as she bends down and nuzzles his cheek. "Your papa won't be happy if he has to pick you up early~"

"I won't, momma!" the colt replies. "We're gonna be real careful when we're playing games and everything!" He nuzzles his mother back and then trots up to the door. "I'll see you tomorrow, momma! Thanks again for the cookies!" A final wave is given to the mare before she walks away and Makuru knocks on the door of the townhouse.

Before the door can close, it bowls open again, this time with a pair of rather unexpected foals. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!" Dragonheart sprints into the house with Snapdragon in tow, dives into the pillows, and vanishes under a pile of blankets.

Knocking! Dream-Daze is on the ball, throwing the door open with a grand gesture of hooves and the sound of a fanfare. Tah-dah! "Welcome!" the little filly greets the zebra colt, arms held open all welcomingly. Which, naturally, leaves the door open for two party crashers to come streaming in for the pillow pile too! "Eep! W..well there's three! Three friends! That makes for a good party, right?" She peers curiously at the pile of pillows and cushions where the two louder foals disappeared into.

A cream-and-cinnamon unicorn is accompanying the last guest to arrive, her hoofbeats guiding the little mint-colored colt along. And nagging. Just a little bit.

"You be good, now." "Yes, ma'am." "Mind your manners." Sigh. "Yes, ma'am." "Don't get underhoof." Eye roll. "Yes, ma'am." "You should offer to cook them something!" "Moooooom!" There's only so much parental nagging a little colt can take!

The mare chuckles. "Alright, go on then. About three feet, two degrees to the left, open halfway." Spearmint nods and scampers for the door and the voices. "Thanks, mom!"
The zebra mare pauses at the sight of the unicorn and her son, a smile gracing her lips. She waits patiently for Spearmint to be delivered and then nickers softly to get her attention. "Your son is at the party, too, Cinnamon?" she lilts. "Have you made plans with Inkwell for the evening already? If you haven't, Bamidele and I would be happy to have you over~"
Cinnamon looks up, and chuckles. "Oh? We may just have to take you up on that, Kira." She waits for Spearmint to reach the door safely - not a long wait, luckily - before trotting over to join the zebra.

Kirabo gives Cinnamon's flank a light whip with her tail and walks off into the evening with the unicorn, humming to herself~

Makuru stumbles to the side when a pair of foals blast past him and into the house. "Wha!?" he shouts, quickly attempting to regain his balance and keep the plate of cookies from toppling. "Woah! Okay! Okay, we're good." He gives Dreamy an awkward smile then he, too, looks at the pile of cushions. "Dragonheart? Snapdragon? Was that you? I know your purple butts anywhere…" He moves into the living room and carefully sets his plate of cookies on the ground before shrugging off his saddlebags against the wall.

Dragonheart pokes her head out from under the pillows, looking around frantically. "Raaa, fight no good bad pony gonna hide here okay bye!" She ducks back under again.

Ah there's Spearmint! Dreamy beams her brightest grin yet! She practically bounces around from cushion to cushion, giggling as the 'party' seems to have a +1 to it. "Dragonheart~ Snapdragon~ Makuru~ Spearmint~ Yay friends! Welcome to my home! Please get comfy, cozy, have a snack, get a drink!" As she bounces around, Dreamy throws hugs around every foal she can get her legs around! With Spearmint getting the last hug. Hug! "Glad you all could make it!"

Makuru tilts his head curiously at Dragonheart. She's doing a lot better at words since the last time he saw her! "There aren't any no good bad ponies to fight here, Dragonheart," he coos at the filly. "There are only cookies. Would you like one?" The plate is pushed towards the pillow pile. And then there are hugs! He gives Dreamy a big hug right back because one hug is never enough. "I wouldn't miss it! Freezey had to, though, her papa needed help at home tonight." He tactfully leaves it at that.

Snapdragon's dived right on into the pillow pile too! But he doesn't look quite as strung up as Dragonheart is. He's just looking… a little confused. But Makuru's words perk him right on back up! "Cookie! Cookie cookie cookie cookie cookie!" He bounces on a pillow. Then blinks. Looks down at the pillow. Bounces again. "Watis watis watis?!"

Spearmint pauses by the door as he is hugged. He looks even more confused than Snapdragon, suddenly! He blinks. Twice. Twitches an ear. Twitches his nose. "Uh…" hm. His head tilts sloooowly to one side. "…Who's… talking? I don't know that voice. Is there somepony new? Hi! I… sorry, I thought we were at Dreamy's house. I must've gotten mixed up."

"It's a pillow," Makuru explains to Snapdragon. "Pillow. Pihl-oh." The strange reaction from Spearmint to Dreamy's words makes Makuru glance over his shoulder. "Huh? What do you mean? It's just Dreamy." Pause. Gears turn. "Wait, you mean she's /talking/? I thought she was in my head again!"

Dragonheart pokes her head up and hisses at Snapdragon, trying to grab at him before he gets kidnapped again. "Pillow!" she repeats. Let's be honest, she didn't know htat word before, but she acts like she did. GUH. PILLOW. DUH.

Dreamy blinks. One ear twitches, then the other, and she lets Spearmint go to bounce on back towards the pillows. "Oh pshaw. This? It's kind of a recent development." She passes the pillows, to the table! "So who want's punch? Goes well with the cookies!"

"Pillllloooooww. Pillow. Pillow pillow pillow." Bouncebouncebounce flop. Snapdragon, apparently, likes pillows. He blinks up at Makuru now, eyes big. "Cookie?"

Spearmint does far less bouncing, but he does wander slowly inside. "…Oh," he says, slowly. "…You can talk now? That… that's great!" He doesn't sound the slightest bit disappointed at all, nope. Of course he doesn't. That would be terrible and horrible and make him a very bad friend, and he'd never want to be that! "I, uh… congratulations! You've got a real pretty voice." He blushes faintly, feeling immediately like that was probably a strange thing to say. Whoops.

Dragonheart squints at Dream-Daze from under her pillow cover, looking for all the world like a suspicious cat. "Why you talk? Make the thinky bubble go now!" she demands.

"I know, right?" the zebra agrees. "It's really pretty, she could be a singer or something~" Makuru then returns his attention to the not-as-ferals and pushes the plate of cookies another few inches closer to the pillow pile. "Hey, it's rude to tell a unicorn to use their magic willy nilly," he chides with a small frown. Snapdragon gets a much friendlier, "Go on! Have one! They're pumpkin spice. I dunno what the spice is but it goes really good with pumpkin."

Compliment! Dream-Daze blushes in her blue cheeks, turning them purple for a moment. "Awww, thank you! I was kind of surprised by it myself! It would have been horrible to get a voice and find out that it was, y'know, awful." Her horn lights up, dunking cups in the punch, filling several up. Four of them total start floating over her head as she trots back, finding a cushion near where Snapdragon's bouncing and Dragonheart's hiding. Cups float over to each of the foals! A cup per kid, with the one for Spearmint hovering close enough to smell. Hopefully he gets the hint.

When Dragonheart pipes up about thoughtbubbles, Dreamy wrinkles her nose. "Aw c'mon… I got a voice, why would I wanna do that? Have a cookie~ And a drink!"

Dragonheart wrinkles her nose and hisses. Apparently she didn't like that answer. "Gotta bad pony go fight it bad. Gonna stay here, protect bruvver, chew its face off!!"

Makuru thinks on this. "Do you wanna chew on a cookie while you're waiting for the bad pony?"

Dreamy's brow furrows. "Hey now, there's no bad ponies here." Lips curling into a pout, she floats another cup of punch over to herself to sip on. Sip~ "..But you can stay here as long as you like! I hardly ever get friends over. Let alone to stay the night!"

Snapdragon reeeeaches forward and snatches a cookie, stuffing it into his mouth. "Punkin!" he states through the crumbly mouthful. "Punkin cookie spize cookie punkin punkin cookie spize!" It may be a long night.

Spearmint does indeed notice the punch, and reaches out a hoof to take it with a small, "Thanks." He sips at it thoughtfully.

Makuru seems to be on Snapdragon's good side now! Huttah! His hooves wrap around the cup of juice and lift it to his lips happily. "So what all games did you get together, Dreamy?" Sssssip. "Ooh, that's good punch. Did your parents make it or is it from the market?"

Dragonheart watches the cookie-eating with no small measure of jealousy. She narrows her eyes … and then crawls out to headbutt Snapdragon and take his cookie. "Punkin cookie spize SHARE." Which would mean more if she didn't take the whole thing.

Makuru has the biggest frown for Dragonheart. THE BIGGEST. >:(

Snapdragon blinks and gives a little whine of protest. He was nomming that cookie! But he grumbles, and pouts at his sister a bit, and slinks out to snatch another cookie. This one is immediately shoved into his mouth. He's not taking any chances.

"I made it!" the little unicorn chirps, once more with no small amount of pride, which promptly breaks down into giggles as the feral twins fight over cookies. "Awww. Hey there's enough for both of you. Probably enough cookies to give us all stomachaches~" Sip. "Oh you know. Games! Pin the tail on the pony, Twister, all that fun kind of stuff. Friend stuff! Oh, oh, and… I figured maybe since you're all my friends, I'd offer to protect your dreams tonight!" The biggest smile crosses the filly's muzzle. "That's… That's good, right?"

Dragonheart munches on her cookie triumphantly, promptly ignoring Makuru's glare. Whatever! I got a cookie!

The young zebra is impressed. "Wow!" he exclaims. "You've gotta teach me how to make it later, this is too good to let you keep to yourself." He then proceeds to do something completely stupid and walks away from the ferals and the plate of cookies. He'll never see those delicious baked goods again. "I could go for some party games! Pin the tail on the pony sounds really fun. Just… no 'truth or dare', alright?" And as for dream protection? The biggest grin! "Thanks, Dreamy! You're a life saver. It's nice having a friend like you."

That last comment is what makes Dreamy smile the biggest. She's pretty much floating after that. All through the games, little filly giggles ring out. Pony games that Spearmint can even play without being at too much of a disadvantage! Before anyone knows it, it's bedtime. Bedtime for foals, to get cozy in the masses of blankets and pillows, with Dreamy turning into a filly burrito amid her other foalish friends. "Okay, so… Just.. Try to sleep. And my magic will take care of the rest, okay? I'll make sure it's a good dream. Just get comfy, and relax…"

Even Dragonheart tries to participate eventually, and she even catches on pretty fast! Feral they may be, but the twins ain't dumb. Eventually, though, she's sleepy and settled onto a pillow close to her brother, trying to keep herself awake despite instructions otherwise. … Not that it worksfor very long…

Snapdragon has no such hesitations when it comes to sleeping! He curls up, and nuzzles into the blankets, and is snoring softly before too long. Zzzz~

Spearmint takes a little longer. He's trying very hard not to think about bugs. Or being giant. Or how weird it is for Dreamy to be talking and /not/ giving him mental flashes of what's going on around them. Perhaps one of those slightly more than the others. But he too eventually is too tired to keep his eyes open.

Makuru hasn't slept more than ten hours in the last seven days and is more than happy to conk out when invited. His sleeping posture is atrocious, lying on his back half-wrapped in blankets with his legs splayed in all directions. One of his hind hooves rests on top of Spearmint's midsection. Hopefully he doesn't kick in his sleep.

As sleep comes to the group of slumber-party foals, Dreamy's horn glows. She glances from pony to pony, making sure they're all trying to get to sleep. Then she glances up at the hall mirror, where a faint pair of amber eyes peek back at the cuddly foal scene. Dreamy grins at the mirror, her own amber eyes sliding shut.

A new world opens up before the foals. They're all standing in a ballroom. A fancy ballroom, vast and spacious, scattered around the edges with tables and cushions. There are regal ponies at many of these tables, elegantly dressed, happily talking with one another. The castle itself appears to be made out of candy. Cookies. Gingerbread, with frosting and candy pieces decorating in fancy patterns across every pillar, every stained-glass-sugar window. Even the floor seems to be a giant piece of polished jawbreaker! A fancy ballroom in Candy Castle! Each of the foals has been given a fancy outfit to wear. They may be made out of licorice.

"Welcome, my friends, to my dream~" Dream-Daze calls out, approaching from one side of the ballroom, where a throne sits, also made out of gingerbread, reinforced with bits of rock candy. The little filly's decked out in a flowing ballroom gown, made perhaps out of multiple colors of taffy, sprinkled with so many sparkley candy sprinkles it isn't even funny. She's all grins, of course. "Please. Enjoy yourselves while you're here. It's a very fun place~ And it's practically nightmare-proofed!" The unicorn curtsies. "Every night is a party in a world of dreams when you can control them."

Dragonheart is in a princess dress. This is the worst dream /ever/.

Oh wait, it's made of candy. Scratch that: best dream ever! Dragonheart sets to grabbing up her dress hem and chewing on it like the savage she is.

Candy? Candy! Who doesn't like candy? Certainly not Makuru! The zebra is wearing a suit of finest fondant, half dark and half light as if he were a giant black-and-white cookie. His dreadlocks are swept back and held in a stringy ponytail by a dark red gummy ring, perhaps cherry in flavor. "Oh, wow!" he exclaims. "You're right, Dreamy, this is so cool! We oughta have sleepovers more often if you can do stuff like this!"

Behind Makuru's words there is a strange echo, unheard to the sleeping foals but perhaps not to certain… uninvited guests:

Urgh… no… not candy… I think I'm going to be sick…

Snapdragon looks confused again. But he sees Dragonheart nomming on her outfit, and, well, that seems like a good enough idea! For the time being. Until he's distracted by a pillar. He hops over to it. "Watis watis watis!" Blink. Liiiiick.

If Dreamy heard that extra odd echo, she doesn't make a fuss about it. She's twirling, the ever-flowing gown making trails around her, but never quite seeming to tangle or bunch. She giggles at Dragonheart, devouring her own fancy getup, and Snapdragon licking one of the rock-candy pilars. It tastes sweet! "I guess that's one way to enjoy yourself!" she trills, flouncing herself over to cast a foreleg around Makuru and Spearmint in kind. "This is where I spend most nights. Dancing the night away! Join me for a dance?"

Speaking of echoes. Somewhere in the back of Makuru's mind, following on the edges of the echo, another 'voice' floats up. Barely audible. As though trying to hear a sound through several layers of cotton.

Makuru! I can hear you! Please help me!

Dragonheart sidles over to her brother, petticoats in mouth. "Rock," she says to Snappy. But she turns to look around at the others. "Danf?" she asks around the licorice sweets. "Whaffa danf?"

Spearmint blinks. He's not entirely sure what's going on! But… sure, okay? "Um, I'm… not much of a dancer," he says sheepishly. "I don't think I'm very good at it. Last time I tried I ran into stuff."

Makuru is more than happy to take up Dreamy on her offer to dance! But then Spearmint has to go and start sulking about it. "Pfft, whatever, Minty," he says, deciding that a cute nickname is exactly what the green colt needs. "We're in a dream! You won't trip over anything if you don't want to." He takes a step back from the pretty blue unicorn princess and lets her hoof slide off of his back. "Go on, Dreamy, show him!" he says cheerfully. "You'll do great!"

Dreamy? What do you…? Are you feeling sick, too?

Oh right. Dreamy squints at Spearmint. "Oh! Silly… Let me help that." She spares her leg from Makuru to give Spearmint a boop on the nose! Boop~ Just like that, the colt is subjected to dreamlike images! …Or maybe that's just what eyes would be like if they worked right. The little unicorn grins. "That should help. If you can see, you can dance, right?" Because obviously it would be an awesome dream if she just fixes everything! She bats her eyes at Makuru, too. "Aw thank you! We'll take a spin, and then I'll come back for you! Or…" She bounces on her hind legs, "Maybe you should go show that little dress-nommer what a dance is! That would be cute~"

Echoes. As though they were in a different space. Sub-dream-space? Behind the scenes?

I'm not sick… I'm trapped! Dun—

SILENCE! That's enough from you… You will not ruin /this/ dream!

"Sure! I bed Miss Blossom would be super happy to see her foals learn to dance!" Makuru gives Dream Daze and Spearmint a deep bow and begins walking towards the ferals.

Trapped? Trapped where, Dreamy? You're ri—

A pulse of red flashes through Makuru's mind, flooding him with fear and horror. His hooves catch on each other and cause the zebra to trip and stumble, catching himself before he falls and staring at the ground with wide eyes. "What was that??" he pants while his nerves fight to settle down.

Dragonheart jumps back and hisses as Makuru makes Sudden Moves. The foal whirls around. "Where bad pony snake bite?! Gonna punch 'im!!"

Spearmint blinks. A few times. This is odd. And different! He gapes around for a minute, blinkblinking. He should be thrilled, but he looks a little… less than expected. It /is/ a dream. But Dreamy's never acted like him being blind is a problem before! Usually she just makes him do things anyway and they work out okay. He tilts an ear and fidgets his hooves. "I dunno if that's… why I'm not good at dancing, but, um, if you say so, Dreamy." Hey, lighten up, colt. It's a dream in a candy palace, geez.

Oh dear… Dream-Daze ducks her head, ears flicking back. "No…" She steps away from Spearmint, trotting over, taffee dress flowing behind her. "Go away, foul nightmare! Begone! You have no power here!"

The 'echo' Makuru was thinking at, even fainter than usual: lp me Mak, and then it's gone.

Dreamy, meanwhile, glares at…nothing? Nothing. Just the air, scooting down to help Makuru get back to his hooves. "There. It's gone now. Sorry, even in my dreams, the nightmares try to invade…" Her ears perk up, "But don't let that deter you from having fun! Please, my friends, relax! It's all good here. Maku, you were..going to show Dragonheart here how to dance?" A grin, and she trots over to Spearmint again. "Shall we~?"

Golden eyes remain locked on the ground, Makuru's mind desperately trying to sort out what just happened. He was— he was talking to Dreamy? Of course he was talking to Dreamy, they were going to dance. But she needed help— no, Spearmint needed help because he can't dance, right? Then why did she sound so desperate— and why does the sight of the jawbreaker floor tiles make him sick to his stomach?

Then she speaks. Dreamy. One of the Dreamys. Are there more than one? Nightmare? It's here? No, it's not, it has no power. He can't hear her anymore. It. Can't hear it. It's voice — her voice — is fading away. Replaced by Dreamy's voice. Her hoof on his back. Comforting words in his ear. Soothing. "It… it's alright, Dreamy. You're trying your hardest for us, that's more than enough." He gives the unicorn a gentle smile and a nod at her suggestion. "Come on, Dragonheart. I'm sorry for scaring you. Let's have some fun!"

An echo whispers.

Don't go! Don't leave me alone! I… I'm scared, Dreamy!

"Yes!" Dreamy agrees. "Fun! Let's have some fun! Please, friends…" The little filly snags up one of Spearmint's forelegs, tugging out to empty ballroom space to show him how to dance. With sight, no less! A rousing waltz song rises in the background to help with the dancing idea.

But Makuru, and now Dragonheart too, hear one more thing. Whatever it is lurking out past the realm of the ballroom has one more thing to say, the echo that rises not the quiet, pleading voice but the angry, threatening scratchy sound:

You will never be alone again… I will be watching you…

Dragonheart's ears perk and she bumbles backward with a squawk, hissing. "NO! I don't LIKE bad ponies! Go away and leave me and my brother ALONE!" Huh. The ferals are pretty articulate in dreams. She seems to be yelling at the jawbreaker though. Hm.

Spearmint gives a little squeak of surprise as Dreamy tugs him out, but does his best to follow the dance. He's not terrible, but he's not the best. Really, his mind's not on dancing right now. But he's gonna try!

Makuru doesn't even bat an eyelash at the voice. "Come on, Dragonheart, don't be like that~ There aren't any bad ponies here, just all of us! Here, come on, I'll show you a dance my momma taught me!" He holds a hoof out to the little feral and gives her a gentle smile that in no way hides a terrified soul who just realized he'll never sleep again.

Dragonheart still bristles…but something about the dream is disamring. She takes Makuru's hoof and sighs. "Okay… I guess."

For the rest of the night, there's dancing. And growling. And probably running and hiding and nomming on the candy and such fun! Some of it maybe even real! In the end, Dream-Daze felt it went well, sending her friends out of the Dreamland as the rays of morning sneak into the Daze household.

With her friends gone, the candy-coated filly heaves a sigh. Her visage turns dark, a hoof gestured to a stuffed toy pony guard, whom throws a switch and opens a trap door that leads down. Down. Down… Into a basement. A dungeon. At the end of the farthest row, in the farthest cell, in the darkest corner of this dungeon, Dreamy stops to peer inside. At a mirror image of herself, decked out in the same gown and everything. Neither pony says anything. One staring at the other, staring back. Eventually, Dreamy turns away, and begins to walk out of the dungeons again, a soft sigh on her lips. The dream, left to fade to the morning sun.