Her smile doesn’t stop as she speaks.
“No, no. No, no, no, no.” She shakes her head. “Nope. No. No, no, no. No! You’re not. You’re not one of them. No, no, no.”
I put a forehoof on her shoulder and she yanks the shoulder back. “No! No, can’t. No.” Hoof on her shoulder, brushing it. “Not you. Tried to protect you. Not you. Can’t be you. Must be a joke. Funny.” She laughs a little, smile wide. “No, no. No.”
“I love you, Bon-Bon,” I say again, looking into her eyes. “I’ve always, always loved you. From the moment I first saw you. I can’t bear to see you hurt yourself like this, work yourself to the bone just to sustain our isolation.”
“Is that what this’s all about? Working?” She pushes the papers aside. “No more work. Nothing. Please. Don’t do this.”
“And I can’t lie to you like this. I can’t keep lying to you like this, like I always have. I love you more than anypony else. I love you more than myself.”
She looks down at her hooves, and then up to me.
And then she pushes me aside, pushes the door open—and she just runs.
I run down the stairs and come face-to-face with the filly she’s apparently had someone to choose to work the register. “Where did Bon-Bon go?”
She shrugs, her chicken-like wings fluttering a bit. “I dunno. Outside, I guess.” A snicker. “Why? Lover’s quarrel?”
And with that, I run out of the front. The dust cloud in the distance tells me that Bon-Bon’s gone towards the north; I can’t hope to keep up with her, but I try anyway, the town proper coming towards me, ponies turning to look as I run past them. Where would Bon-Bon go?
“Where’re you going, Lyra?”
“What do you want, Pinkie Pie?” My voice isn’t nearly as venomous as I intend it to be. “I’ve had enough of your advice.” That’s better.
“What’re you talking about?” She cocks her head to the side. “I thought you were having your honeymoon! I Pinkie Promised!”
“You didn’t give me any more advice in my sleep?”
“Nope!” she says, looking at me strange. “You should go see Doctor Stables if you’re seeing things, Lyra! Well, unless you’re seeing Doctor Stables, in which case there wouldn’t be anything wrong with you, but if you are seeing Doctor Stables, that means there is something wrong with you, unless you’re seeing Doctor Stables, not that there’s anything wrong with...”
I filter out the rest of her speech as I realise the immediate implication, and find myself questioning my mental competence. No time for rumination, now. “I’m sorry for being so rude. Look, I’m looking for Bon-Bon. She ran off around here.”
“Oooh, you had a lover’s quarrel? That’d explain why she was in such a hurry. She went, uh—” She seems confused for a bit. “To the park? I think.”
“Thank you so much, Pinkie Pie.” I rush off towards the park. Where in the park would she—
I am there within minutes; as I approach the bench, I hear sobs. Beautiful, heart-wracking sobs. I walk up towards her.
She doesn’t seem to notice me.
“Bon-Bon, I’m sorry. But it’s who I am.”
“That’s what that whore said, too.” She shifts over, so that I may not see her face.
“Is that all I am? I’m the same as her?”
She doesn’t answer. I approach, my hooves clopping on the grass.
“I love you, Bon-Bon. I’ll never leave you.”
“She said that all the time. ‘I’ll never leave you, Bonnie. You’re my little foal.’ Baloney. Left us to rot.” She taps at the bench, keeping her glare away from me.
“You can’t blame me for what she did. Is that all I am to you? A copy of her?”
“No.” She shakes her head a bit, her voice hesitant. “No, you’re not her. You’re better than she ever was.” Her voice hesitant, but unmoving.
I approach further. “I’ll stay with you forever, Bon-Bon.”
She seems to stop breathing for a moment, and then she looks towards me, tears coming from the sides of her beautiful, enormous eyes. “Really?”
I nod, smiling as I come next to her and sit in that way, the light of the morning sun filling the world as I lean in towards her. “Really.” And then I hold her, and she does not resist.
And then, I reach in for a kiss.
And then, I feel a hoof in my mouth.
“Mmphf?” I look at her, uncomprehending. Her other hoof dries her tears as she looks into my eyes.
“I’m, uh, okay with you, uh, liking me. But I’m really not, uh, gay. But, don’t be, uh, sad. You can be my wingpony or something! Hornpony? Uh—oh, sorry.” She pulls the hoof from my mouth. “You’re a great friend and all, my best friend, and I really want you to keep staying with me. But I’m really not attracted to you in, uh, that way.”
I look at her for about three seconds, unmoving.
And then the only thing I can possibly say, the only thing I can possibly think, comes out.
“Are you bucking kidding me?”
Wait, that wasn’t me. I look behind and see a pink head popping out from a shrub. She puts her hooves over her mouth and promptly jumps from it and runs off into the distance, her tail flying high as she goes as fast as I've ever seen anypony go.
And I say what I mean to.
“I love you, Bon-Bon. No matter what.”
She smiles weakly. “What’s that thing you always said to your friends, back in college? ‘Se philo’?”
I nod. “Kai eraoimin.”
She nods back.
And with the understanding that the gesture is not the same to me as it is to her, we hug.
And I'm okay with that.