Ponies of Interest
Chapter II: Introductions
Rating: T for cartoon violence/sadness/non-explicit M/M in future chapters
NOTES: Reese will show up in Chapter III....patience ponylovers!
Neighthan Ingram was an up-and-coming freshman pegasus from El-Pasofino, in southwestern Equestria. He was charismatic, charming, handsome and the best air racer that Hayvard had seen in decades. Neighthan made no secret that his athletic abilities had won him a scholarship to the prestigious college, admitting that "I'm a flyer, not a thinker!."
The star athlete of the Hayvard air track team was at his best when he was training. He loved the feel of the wind rushing over him as he sprinted around the speed course. When he really poured it on Neighthan resembled a fiery streak in the sky to observing eyes, the orange and yellow highlights in his mane blending with the bright red of his coat.
On this particular afternoon, Ingram had finished his regular practice runs and was lounging on a convenient cloud, drowsing in the sunshine. Giving out a huge yawn, Neighthan rolled over onto his stomach and peered down at the campus below him.
Students were hurrying back and forth to classes; gathered in groups on the common pasture and singly here and there to study. A flash of white caught the sprinter's attention. Hey...that's what's his name; Cinch....Splinch?....No.... Phynch, that's it....Harold Phynch.
Ingram had seen the studious loner going about his business from time to time. If Phynch wasn't on his way to class or a meeting with one of his professors, the colt was hock-deep in math and science textbooks. Neighthan shook his head in wonderment. He couldn't understand how another pegasus would spend all day reading and not even a little time in the air. Now that he thought of it, he'd never seen Phynch fly.
And as my Grandsire would say, "That just ain't right!"
Coming to a decision, Neighthan stood up and shook himself. He leapt off of the cloud and spiraled back down to the ground in lazy circles and landing in a grove of trees next to the light gray pony. Ingram waited until a group of fillies passed by. The last thing he wanted to deal with right now was an admiring herd of squealing hormones. He liked girls well enough he supposed, he just wasn't subject to the single-minded pursuit of them like his other filly-obsessed friends were.
Right now his concern was trying to figure out this strange pegasus. Neighthan strolled out of the trees and plunked down next to Phynch. "Hey Brainiac! How's it going?"
The other colt didn't answer, giving every appearance of being completely absorbed in his book. The track star leaned over and read the title.
"An Ancient History of Equestria's Golden Age by Alphonsus Arabiano"
Ingram rolled his eyes and elbowed Phynch in the side. "Geez, that title alone is enough to put me to sleep!"
Harold pinned his ears as the other pony nudged him, still not looking up from his book. "Do you mind? I'm trying to read."
"You're Harold, right?" Ingram plowed on, seemingly oblivious to Phynch's annoyance. "I'm Neighthan I-"
"I know who you are...every pony on campus does." Phynch spared him a sideways glance before returning his attention to the page before him. Although he gave no sign of it, inside he was surprised that the star athlete even knew his name.
Ingram laughed and Harold couldn't help but notice the openness and warmth in the sound.
"Say, why don't you fly a couple of laps with me?"
Phynch looked at him as though the sprinter had lost his mind.
Neighthan laughed again. "C'mon Brainiac! You need the exercise and I need the challenge. You're the only colt on campus I haven't flown against yet."
"That's just sound judgment on my part." Harold replied, marking his place and laying his book aside.
Step one complete! Ingram thought, even as puzzled over Phynch's words. "Wha-a-at?" he drawled.
Harold caught his gaze again and Neighthan was struck at how piercingly blue the other pony's eyes were....it felt like Phynch was staring straight into his soul.
"I've seen some of your training flights..." for some reason the bookish pony dropped his eyes, as if he were embarrassed by his words. "You're a much faster flyer than I am." Phynch looked up again, this time with a self-deprecating smile on his lips.
"I can think of much easier ways to humiliate myself than racing you."
Ingram burst out laughing and laid a hoof over the other pegasus' shoulders. His good humor was so contagious that Harold found himself laughing along with the athlete.
"I like you, Harold. Friends?" Neighthan held out a forehoof to him. Phynch regarded the other pony, finding nothing in his smile and eyes other than sincerity. Harold touched his hoof to Ingram's.
"Friends." he agreed, feeling warm all over as he joined Neighthan in another round of laughter.