Original Sin -By NocturneD
The reception went off without a hitch.
Most ponies from all over Equestria came to the joyous celebration of two ponies joining in eternal union. I danced with my bride, gave her a kiss and danced some more. Everything was going great as we raced to the carriage. My sister and her friends waiting there to send us off. I can't imagine a better night. I looked at my bride and asked her if she was ready to depart. She told me to wait just one more second as she threw her bouquet. One of sister's friends caught it and we finally drove off in our carriage into the night for our future to unravel.
And we lived happily ever after...
Stupid pause button...
Yeah. Back up a moment there. By at this time you should already have an idea who I am. If not, my name is Shining Armor. Captain of the royal guard. Well former to be exact. And looking at newly weds that drove off into the night, they are only going to be met with uncertainty, heart break and even mistrust. Yeah it's going to be one of those stories where a happy marriage turns sour. Or what even was a happy marriage to begin with. A lot of you are asking how could this all be an illusion? Well, easy. It's an illusion. I really can't dive into it with accuracy because a lot of it is something is surprising even to myself.
Well. Allow me to tell you my story. My wife Mi Amore Cadenza and I have been having a fallout. What you saw that night was only the fraction of our problems. I knew Cadance pretty much throughout my childhood but would never imagine ever tying the knot with her. She used to be Twilight's foal sitter but every pony knew she was a relative of Princess Celestia, niece if you did not know. She was all sweet, innocent, kind, pretty and easy on the eyes. She had charm I admit, but I was not interested in her. I had friends of my own that held my interests, we did so much together and it was all perfect. I had excellent grades and knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. A teacher. I mean, both my parents have a field in education. I had a knack with helping Twilight with her homework. Hey it easy back then. I showed her easy tricks to memorization and it proved me right when she ran home holding up a paper with a gold star on it. I was so proud of her and kept helping her until she finally got accepted into the school for gifted unicorns. You can pretty much ask Twilight when she got the flier for the school she was pretty excited but really... Back then, she was crying she did not want to go. She never made a lot of friends or if any if I recall. She hated places she was not familiar with and she was little known to have little accidents when she got scared. Used to tote her stuffed animal Smarty Pants everywhere with her but then would have to give it up when she finally came of age. I don't remember where exactly she got that thing but whatever helps her sleep at night. I can admit, Twilight an over thinker can also not think and rush into a situation guns ho without thinking. That is what she usually gets into trouble for. But sometimes I think she does not learn. She was the bridge between me and Cadance.
But back to Cadance and I. And sometimes I wished I never crossed that bridge. Back then, I really did not like her. She was over almost every day because Twilight had no friends. Mom would be teaching history at The Star-Swirl private school. Dad was a professor at Canterlot university teaching a variety of things. Neither of them were home most of the time and Cadance was there to answer the call whenever I had to go out. Ugh. She was annoying back then. Before you judge me. Please just listen, if you don't like what you hear then you're free to leave but I'm only telling you this because of your curiosity. Ever since that night I crossed the line of no return. The marriage would only fall apart because of the conflict of interest between my career of a guard and Cadance, being a princess of love I guess. She had duties such as going to high class parties, speak at charities, cut ribbons to open new buildings and parks. We pretty much almost never see each other. That's one thing.
The other thing was the lack of communication. Cadance was never home when I got the night off finally so, I pretty much just go over the bills, do some shopping, clean the house and play video games. I had my share of rough nights where fellow guards and I would go down to the pub and have a few drinks, go home and flop down on the bed. Being captain is not easy, never intended it was. It drained me physically, mentally, even emotionally. I don't know who decided that captain had to do almost everything but surely they don't know what a captain is supposed to do. Don't get me wrong, I have an opportunity to be a teacher by pulling my guards into a classroom to give them presentations but I'm wondering now a days the guard is just accepting any pony. The changelings had no trouble taking down my guards despite all the superior training they got from me and my superiors, it was disgusting that they would fall easily. But I had my fair share of great soldiers but those were one out of twenty that deserved to be promoted.
If there were any time I could spend with Cadance. Work would always call telling me of an emergency and that it was mandatory for me to go. Whatever feelings Cadance had, they would instantly flush down the toilet once I told her that work needed me more than ever. She would pout and I would try to make her promises that I can only keep about half the time. For a chance to make this relationship work, there had to be trust, intimacy and communication. There was none of that. Do I feel bad about it? Yes. Do I want to work it out? Yes. Do I want to keep the relationship a float? ... ye...era... Yeah I admit I trailed off on that last one but there was such a conflict of interest that it was nearly impossible to think of Cadance as a wife and was just more of a random pony I just so happen to be sharing a house with. Yes, she's a knock out and how lucky I am to have her. It's... just that back then, she was really annoying and I wanted nothing to do with her. So what changed you ask?
You're not going to believe me but... you know how Cadance is the princess of love? Having the ability to play match maker with random ponies? Most of her spells are affection spells. Look, I'm not trying to make this a conspiracy but Cadance is a pony that can get whatever stallion she wants with her magic or probably without. Call me lucky if you want but... I missed two years and half of my life devoted just for her. Just to chase her to the ends of the world just to see her graceful appearance. That talk about me wanting to be a teacher was thrown aside because I don't know what came over me that made me join the royal guard. But I did. A sudden change in career just in the flip of the hat? I disappointed a lot of my friends. Especially Rain... Who I will probably never see again.
I was engaged to another pony before I married Cadance. Her name was Rain. A majestic blue pegasus with her coat matching the sky, her hair matching the clouds . And her eyes, like the sun. She was a tomboy and loved hanging out with my friends and I. She felt like she was one of us. Got our sense of humor. Never really got offended by anything. She had her faults which made her perfect. Though she came from a broken home of an uncaring mom and an alcoholic step-dad.I only met them a few times for dinner and they really do not seem bad but then again, they are out in the open. Her step-dad would sometimes offer me a beer I figure just to be a good host. Of course I was under age at the time and just to make him happy I drank a little.
Rain and I were close, very close. A relationship like ours went through all the goods and bads but we made it work. She was probably one of the first youngest recruits for the Wonder Bolts. She did phenomenal with her tight moves and sharp turn a bouts. She was like an angel... who sort of like had rockets for wings. The more I saw her perform, the more I knew she was happy with herself. Her step-dad actually stopped drinking just to see her fly, her mom stopped playing bingo and poker with her friends to see her as well. This made her happy. But what really made her dreams come true is when she finished one of the last air shows for the season... I greeted her with flowers like the past shows I went to. And got down on one knee and held out a velvet box. I saved just about enough for whatever I could afford with a mix of savings and working odd jobs. She was a tough girl, never cried about anything... Until then. She accepted my proposal and every pony was happy.
Well... that would not last long. Rain from then on was in high spirits, she really did not know Cadance that well and I figured she would like to make friends with other girls. What better than with the princess of love? Well... Let's just say, Cadance did not take a shine to Rain for some odd reason. I did not know it was jealousy back then but hey what did I care? I was getting married to Rain and my teaching career is finally going to be the real deal. Down the line, Rain would come to me and tell me these stories saying Cadance tried throwing a few insults at her. We both just laughed it off and figured Cadance was just being snooty because she was a princess. I would go up to tell Cadance that if she had a problem, she can be civilized about it and talk to us if she was ever bothered. Well... Let's just say that sort of became a problem. Cadance would not let up, Rain had nerves of steel and was a real champ for not putting up with the snootiness, but me... I really did not like it. I told Cadance to knock it off time and time again... Well that's when everything went hazy...
Well before I knew it. I was no longer engaged to Rain and was to Cadance. Rain was crushed by my decision and would go off to join the Wonder Bolts full time on all of their tours across all of Equestria. She was too good for me anyway... I betrayed her... What was meant for her, went to Cadance. Soon, news spread all over that Mi Amore Cadenza was getting married to a royal guard. My head really hurt at random times but whatever Cadance said, I followed her no question. Strange... I don't remember proposing to her or breaking it off with Rain. Almost like... oh no she didn't... Please say she did not do what I thought she did.
Sort of felt like waking up one day you remember being single then somehow find out you have kids, a wife, a bigger house, a dog. I blindly followed the princess of love by joining the guard just to get closer to her. I tried going back to talk to Rain but, she would not answer any of my calls. And before I know it I was bonding with the princess. A lot changed. Right in the blink of an eye. I missed Rain. I screwed up my chances. But I had a duty, being part of the guard I put in one hundred percent. Well what they told me was one hundred percent. I rose in the ranks. But... this was not me. I did not want any of this. I wanted to be a teacher! NOT A GUARD! WHY? Well... I stuck with it. I made good money, I had the respect of my peers and fellow guards. I was doing outstanding from what they told me. Saying I was lucky to have quite a catch for a fiance.
Well... I sucked it up and tried to spend time with Cadance. Probably the only time I could do so up until we got married. I learned a lot about her through communication, something we lacked later. I dreaded when I heard her name, I felt sick when they would mention I was lucky. But I made the most of it. Giving her flowers and candy. Before I knew it, the relationship was better between the two of us. She really loved me, but for me that was a question I needed to true to myself. Here I had a princess who wanted me to be by her side for as long I can walk. Alicorns can last a real long time, I'm just a mortal so... Don't know what she possessed her to pick a mortal. Soon enough, I was charmed from time to time and would finally see what made her lovely. Too bad she was not like this when she was younger. I would defend her left and right... Even turning on my own sister... That was really hard for me.
So came the big day. I was sure of myself. Cadance was the one for me. We proved it to Chrysalis the changeling queen. I was then a full time captain. I was married to a princess. I had more rights to the royal family possessions that would make Twilight jealous. So life was good. No really I was not. I was put under so much stress that my performance suffered because of it, my superiors questioned me even sternly told me to pick up the ball. I do not know what it was but I was not performing like I was told during the two and a half years I was blindly following Cadance. The recruits were more than a handful, undisciplined, rude, no respect. Then there were the drills, I was quadrupling over time shifts just to make sure they got into the groove. I don't know what happened but... I think the real Shining Armor is finally coming back and it was showing. I was really more of a brainy type of pony than a physical one, yeah I'm tall but I don't really like sports. I barely even recognized the pony in the mirror before me.
Well... The moment you were waiting for. Cadance and I were squabbling over how I was never around when she was. I told her I had to work and asked what she was expecting. She kept yelling at me how she feels embarrassed to go to parties by herself. I told her I hated the parties we are usually invited to go to. It's all the same, try to mingle with other successful ponies just to look down on the less fortunate. Why do we even go to these parties? To feel superior? To feel welcome? I hated these parties Cadance made me go to. So, up until last month I told her to stop asking me to go because I hated those parties and refused to go. She of course would tell me to go make my own dinner. Is that supposed to be a threat? Because Cadance can't cook. Yeah, shocking huh? Whenever she goes out she leaves a package of defrosted hotdogs in the sink. Best dinner ever. No really. She tries to cook up something and it usually sucks. Probably the reason why she always wants to go to parties and go out to restaurants.
I felt pretty bad for arguing so I decided to go out and get her a present. Thing was, everything seemed tasteless and Cadance probably already has a forty dresses and a dozen shoes. Flowers were played out. Had a lot of jewelry. But that's the stuff she liked so why not? While I was up and around I met Rarity, one of Twilight's friends skulking around the business district. She saw me and waved. I could go for a friendly conversation. So we grabbed something to eat and talked about what she was doing in Canterlot. She told me that she was looking for some property to buy so she could move her business. She was always an uptown girl if you knew Rarity and it really showed. She had high class taste but was very generous that it would not deviate from her. She was calm, very well spoken and loved the feel of what Canterlot gives off. For me, I really have not noticed since I grew up here. It was just one of those places that did well that others, okay maybe the castle has something to do with it. But other than that nothing.
Rarity and I talked for a long while. She asked how Cadance was doing. I said, "Fine. Just fine." But she detected the subtle in my voice when I answered. She stared at me and knew something was wrong.
"Darling is something wrong?" She tilted her head and blinked. Rather cute how she did it.
I scratched the back of my neck, "Eh. Cadance and I have been disagreeing with a lot of things and we're not together all the time."
"Oh I'm sorry to hear that. So why are you out?" She asked.
"Was hoping to find her a gift to make it up to her." I admitted.
"Like what exactly? Maybe I can help?" She put her hoofs under her chin and listened to everything I had to say with interest.
"Well. She likes the typical dresses, jewels, shoes." I listed off, "Was hoping to find something different but really that's all I can think of." I grinned, "Maybe some cook books? Or some silver ware."
Rarity gasped, "Captain. A lady does not like getting working utensils as gifts."
"Oh really?" I frowned. "Guess the dress might have to do."
"Oh a dress would do nicely. Fit for a party." She smiled.
"Uh..." I rubbed the back of my neck, "Since... uh I was wondering since you did Cadance's wedding dress could you uh..."
She smiled, "Say no more."
"I mea... I mean I'll pay you I just don't want to take advantage of the situation." I was hesitant at first.
"Well I need the publicity if I want to start here." She giggled, "But I would be honored. Anything you want the dress to look like?"
"Uh..." I had no idea, "Maybe something appropriate for any type of party. Not too fancy, not too dull, not too spicy."
"But all around?" She asked.
"Yeah." I nodded.
"You know her dress size?" She asked.
My mind went blank and I shook my head to tell her no.
She just chuckled lightly, "Oh don't worry darling I still have her measurements on file back at the shop."
I wiped my forehead from the sweat. "Phew..."
"You really been out of touch with Mi Amore Cadenza?" She asked, her eyes shifted to sincere and caring.
I nodded and tilted my seat back, "Yeah... Almost like we're complete strangers."
"Oh I'm sorry about that." She apologized. "Did you two try talking things over?"
I smirked, "Try to but either work calls me back or she's never home."
"Oh." She blinked. "Ever try taking a personal day off?"
"Yeah. But then that ends up blowing up in my face to find out Cadance would not be home either." I told her.
"What is she busy with?" Rarity asked.
"Well a number of things. She has princess duty and also has to keep up in appearance in matters." I answered trying to number off things.
"Oh dear. She's been quite busy as well." Rarity blinked.
"Yeah." I played around with the salt shaker for a bit, "By the way. Thanks for taking up my order for the dress." I gave her the info she needed as she said she had a marvelous idea. She said something about wanting to make a set. Dress, shoes, purse, muff, mink fur, all that junk. I agreed to pay her for each piece but she told me that it was going to take awhile for each piece to come out. She would mail me each piece, but I told her to mail it to me to my castle mail delivery and not my house to avoid Cadance from ever finding out. It was genius. Once everything comes I can give it to her and maybe set things right. If not well... I'm out eight hundred bits plus tax. Within each week for the past month Rarity would send each piece through the mail, but to my surprise she had this little trademark of spraying perfume all over her boutique boxes. That stuff has such a strong smell if it gets on your body then you're going to be smelling of olives, strawberries and wine all day. I would hope in the shower once I got home to get rid of the smell but I think Cadance is raising an eyebrow at this.
That one week that would change everything. Cadance and I were invited to Ponyville for a party and to stay for a week, go figure I could not get it off. So Cadance being sore about it leaves for Ponyville. Good, now hopefully I can sneak the stuff into the house and hide it. The set is almost complete. Sadly, I still have to work but the next day I get to leave early to maybe get some cleaning and shopping done. Or just catch up on some lost sleep. More likely grade papers. Night one... That night pretty much went as expected. The recruits were acting stupid again. I went over drills and handed back tests. I went home to prepare for the next day and had a nice meal I made by myself.
The next day, did not go over so smoothly. I came in to greet the day. The other captains welcomed me with a salute as I did to them as well. We talked but I noticed captain Silver Dagger kept smiling and chuckling at me. Usually we never see eye to eye on things but still respect each other. Often it was always his squad against mine in training drills. Captain Biggs and Captain Wedge just kept looking at each other then back to me almost like I should know something. Captain Steel kept silent and sipped his coffee. I grabbed one too and just minded my business. Our female captain Sky Dancer with a sympathetic look, usually she's tough on her squad and kept it real but.
"So Shining Armor. How is the princess doing?" She asked.
"Fine. Just fine." I answered, then sipped my coffee. "She's out of town to visit my sister and her friends in Ponyville."
The other captains looked at each other, almost giving me a sorry look. Or wanted to tell me something.
"What?" I asked.
"Uh..." Captain Biggs trailed off.
"Well we saw the latest issue of..." Captain Wedge stopped himself.
Just then major Gold Wings walked up to us. "Look alive my ponies." We all saluted the major.
"At ease. Today is going to be another training drill. We don't want another Changeling attack on our hoofs and I know you have been pushing your squads really hard." He looked at me then Dagger, "Some of you need a bit more work on strategy but doing well in other areas."
He put on a stern look, "But reports from our recon squad have been reporting sightings of new breeds of Changeling. Something different from the types you fought here in Canterlot before."
This brought my blood to a boil, but I kept it suppressed. I hated Changeling creatures ever since the day I got married. "Any descriptions major Gold Wings?"
"Three to be exact. One of them has been dubbed Scythes as to be more of a praying mantis shaped Changeling. Stands almost upright with huge claws to use as a weapon and for defense. Second one called Scorpio for obvious reasons, just a regular Changeling with pincers and a scorpion like tail where the tail should be." He took a deep breath, "Last one is more of an improved version of the worker and grunts you all fought. Bigger, meaner, faster, clicker, harder to put down. They can't feel pain, they can't be reasoned with as what our recon described. Apparently, the Changeling colony have training sessions of their own."
"Amazing..." Captain Biggs said aloud. We all looked at him like he was nuts.
"Yes. Dazzling captain Biggs." Gold Wings chuckled, "This closes the recon report. No other news has been found yet so continue your training with your squads. I want to see improvements."
"Yes sir!" We saluted him.
"Be off then." Gold Wings excused then.
I went back to my squad and started the training exercises. We did pretty well with princess Celestia and major watching over us, guess none of them wanted to goof up in front of the princess. Good for them. I called for a break and congratulated the team. Lunch was provided and I smelled the aroma. Normally guard food was often complained about tasting like garbage but it was a lot better what Cadance makes...
Some pony cue the drum symbols to ring.
I sat next to my lieutenant of my squad, second in command Ghendi. A quiet fellow but simply not like the other guards he can get a bit funny at times with over reactions when we prank him. Not as bulky as the others but don't let that fool you, he's very swift. Fast. Can think on his hoofs and very calculative, does not quite use Canterlot type weaponry for his arsenal as he's more of an eastern type warrior. Samurai sword for one instead of the usual Canterlot blade. He's a white unicorn like me and has dark long hair with blue tints. Only thing I know about his family, he has an older brother who is also in the guard as a lieutenant colonel. A very respected officer. An honor to have his younger brother serving under me. Then there is the youngest of the family Ghendi likes to show pictures to me that his little brother is learning magic and might be attending the gifted school for unicorns. I of course encouraged him and agreed that the little guy should. I only met him a few times and he was considered to be a ring bearer at the wedding but... somehow Spike was put in the role at the last minute. Poor little guy. Don't get me wrong, Spike is a good kid too but I think Ghendi's little brother was more up for the part. Maybe he got scared.
"Another fine day captain." Ghendi finished his meal and laid the napkin over his tray. "Should we go over the weapon training again and maybe finish it up with some sparring?"
"Indeed lieutenant." I replied also finishing my meal. "A great suggestion."
"Oh dude the captain is going to be pissed." One of the privates said to another. Apparently sharing some sort of book or magazine.
"Man poor guy. Puts up with a lot and yet his wife goes off and does this." Again the privates down the other side of the table were whispering, but I could hear them just fine.
This caught my lieutenant's attention as he rose up from his seat to wander over to the privates. He looked over their shoulder and grabbed the magazine. "Sorry private. I know you have needs but we're still on duty to look at smut..." He looked at the magazine and flipped through some pages that the privates were looking at. My curiosity rose. His mouth hung open in disbelief then looked at me, he stuffed the magazine back down to the private's hoofs.
"What's so secretive?" I asked.
"Oh uh... Nothing captain." Ghendi shook his head. "Just a dirty magazine."
Whatever it was, I felt a bit in the mood today to maybe look at some naughty pictures. "Ah come on lieutenant let the captain see. Wife is out of town so she won't mind."
The privates all around the table looked at each other. Some of them breathed through their teeth and others turned their heads. What could be so bad about this magazine? Was it raunchy? Was it vile? Well, I had my time at looking at naughty books back then, dad used to have a stack of them in his closet.
I ordered Ghendi to bring the magazine over, "Lieutenant that's an order." I said sternly.
Ghendi sighed and levitated the magazine over to me with his magic.
I read the cover, "Scandal in Ponyville?" This really got my mind going, I turned the pages to find some pretty wild pictures of a party let alone an old picture of my wife was on the cover. I was expecting maybe the mayor of Ponyville doing something she should not have been. I flipped a couple more pages and... to my horror...
"Cadance the princess of love spreads..." I'm not going to finish that sentence. There must have been three or four pages of photos of my wife doing horrible things that no wife should ever do. Worst of all, in some pictures she was being mounted by a big red stallion. In the picture it showed her face as she looked like she was enjoying being bucked silly. Oh my.. Celestia I'm going to be sick.
I threw the magazine down and covered my mouth. "What the...?" Is the only thing I could mutter let alone scream out loud. In a fit of rage I overturned the table thrashing the trays of food all over the ground. The privates only stood there, my lieutenant trying to calm me down.
"Captain this is not the best place to ven..." He tried to tell me.
"WHAT IN THE BUCKS NAME DOES SHE THINK SHE IS DOING?" I hollered. "THINKS SHE CAN JUST BUCK ANY PONY SHE WANTS AND ME NOT KNOW? THIS IS WHAT SHE'S PROBABLY DOING ALL THE TIME!"
And that's what I thought for awhile. Cadance just cheated on me, I looked at the date of the photos and it was from last night. My world came crashing down, I know I said the marriage was not going smoothly in the first place and how I had my doubts about Cadance. But I wanted to make the most of it. Not even a few months into the stupid marriage and already I find this out. Oh yeah, say its my fault for over working. Say its my fault that Cadance and I could not find time. Say its my fault that I'm physically drained from working all the time.
For two and a half years I devoted to Cadance blindly following her. I'm not getting those back. Wasted... My rage was so terrible that the other captains had to come along and try to calm me down, Ghendi was so loyal he tried everything. Reasoning with me not to go to Ponyville and break the stallion's neck and tell Cadance that it was over. I did not care. My rage went on. Gold Wing arrived and demanded me to stop, I just shouted. Celestia was behind him.
"What is going on here?" Celestia walked around Gold Wing.
I stopped. My eyes narrowed at the sun princess.
“Captain Shining Armor. I hope there is a reason for this tantrum." The princess frowned in my direction.
I nodded once. Then furiously again, "Oh yeah. There is." I took the magazine and walked up to the princess. Every pony watching me what I was about to do. I shoved the magazine into her chest, she gasped and looked in disbelief at what I done. I did not care anymore and walked away but not before saying, "If this is how things are done in the royal family then I'm disgusted with you princess."
"Captain!" Ghendi pleaded, "Don't let this cloud your judgment! There has to be an explanation to this!"
"What's there to explain? My wife bucked another stallion and some pony actually took pictures!" I hollered, then laughed in disbelief to prove a point, "That's the explanation! She took our vows and threw them away!"
Celestia I knew was reading the article. Her mouth and eyes widened in disbelief that her precious niece could do such a thing. Her blood must be boiling because she spent a fortune on the wedding, I know that because the bill is on file in her study. I'm not paying it, Cadance is the one that did the deed.
Gold Wings started to walk after me, "For this outburst captain Shining Armor consider yourself suspended for the rest of the week until Monday!"
"Oh good for me!" I hollered back. I opened up the large barrack door and slammed it with all my might. I found myself packing some of my stuff to take home for the day. Another guard was reading the same magazine and was obviously getting his jollies off of Cadance getting her flank slammed. I grabbed it and stared at him with fury in my eyes. He coward back and I left the castle to hopefully blow off some steam. If anything where to happen to me, Ghendi knew what he had to do and be in control of the squad until I came back.
I furiously opened the door to my house and slammed it. I laid out everything on the kitchen table. I walked over to the answering machine... "Thirty seven messages?"
I hit the play button.
"Hey this is Silver Spear. I just heard the news, sorry that it did not go so well. If you need some pony to talk to just call me back."
"Oh dear. I'm sorry to hear about this Shining Armor. You're a good pony and I hope this works out for you. Remember call me, Red Rose."
"Dear Celestia sakes man what happened to you two? Call me."
"Hey Shining Armor. This is Chugs. If you want to go out for a drink just ask. We'll talk."
"Honey this is your mother. I just heard the terrible news, if you and Cadance are fighting and need a place to stay don't worry. You're father and I will let you stay with us."
"Shining Armor what the heck did you do? This is obviously your fault! You drove her to this!"
"Cadance was always a bitch man. Need some pony to talk to, call me."
"Would you like to increase the size of your horn?"
At this point. I just let the messages keep coming. I never returned any of those calls except for my mom's and surprisingly Rarity's. I had a lot of emotional support from friends who stopped over later that day. Ghendi stopped over to talk, I apologized to him for being a level headed idiot but it still hurt knowing that you spent almost three years of your life devoted to one pony to just end up with punch to the face. Ghendi cooked me dinner to cheer me up and I graciously accepted, had a couple of beers. A lot of the neighbors stopped by with food to show their support. Well I did not have to worry about food for the next couple of days. But still this would not fill the void in my soul. It hurt... it seriously did. I was going to try to get this back on track with a gift and a promise but... It was too late. I gave Ghendi some encouragement to the substitute role for the rest of the week. I have been working too hard and need this week off. He was not sure at first but I gave him a nod. He smiled and bid me a good day. That's when I received a letter from Twilight and read the details.
The next day... I waited by the kitchen table reading various letters from magazine editors wanting our story. Reporters asking for meetings for pretty much the same. Princess Celestia wrote out a letter to Cadance and even sent the bill. To hell with it, Celestia can take that bill and shove up her flank hole. I had my phone with me with various videos of Cadance coming through of her over and over again calling me a stick in the mud.
Just then the front door opened. I heard hoofs pit patting onto the hard wood floor and there was Cadance. She put some stuff she bought from Ponyville and set them on the table in front of me and sat down. I rubbed my forehead and took a deep breath. I did not look at her, I could not. I left an uncaring note in my voice...
"What are you doing home so early?" I asked.
She just said she did not want to stay for an entire week. She asked about work. I just threw the magazine in front of her with the pictures of her. Waiting for her to explain...
"Well?" I asked.
My wife just waltzed into our kitchen with stuff she bought from Ponyville. Boy did those donuts looked good along with the apples. But I have to digress. I fumbled around with some papers and the mail I received earlier going through them. I talked like I did not care what she went through and made it feel like I was on BUSY mode. Something to show that she was in trouble but nothing was brought to the table yet. She talked for a bit on how Ponyville was a nice place and I would have enjoyed it. Thing was... She was supposed to stay for an entire week. It's only been... What two or three days?
I was thinking about calling her out on her bull shit. But I did not want to just rush into things. Despite the proof being entirely against her. But inside my head, my thoughts were telling me to just burst out into anger and tell her that she was a slut. A bitch. A manipulative pony. And she complained about me sometimes? Unbelievable.
"So how was work?" She asked.
"I don't know how to explain this... Or how could it happen..." I pulled out the magazine and threw it onto the table in front of her, "When finishing drills I found my squad reading that magazine during the break. And surprised to find you on the cover." I shook my head with my arms raised, "I did not want to believe it and thought all those photos were photo shopped. Then Twilight sent me a letter explaining your behavior at a party that you went to." My head shook furiously, "You said I was stick in the mud?" I gritted my teeth, "And worse you had relations with one of her friend's brother in a barn of all places?"
That dreaded look sprawled across her face. She knew she could not get out of this. "I...I..."
I curled my lip in frustration, "You know what Cadance save it!"
"But honey let me explain!" She did her famous desperate dramatic cry, "Twilight took everything I said out of context!"
"Oh really?" I nodded. I reached for my cell phone and pulled up one of the many videos that were sent to me and pressed play.
"Pfft..." Cadance was laughing among some of the other females at the party. Drinking a good amount of cider.
"So Cadance. How is Shining Armor?" Another pony asked.
"Pfft... Shining Armor..." She laughed, "He's good I suppose."
"You suppose?" Another pony laughed, obviously she was drunk.
"So... how big is he?" Another pony asked.
"Oh I don't need to answer that." She shook her head, "He's fine... just a stick in the mud from time to time."
"I would like to lick cream off of his candy cane!" A female squealed.
"Honey his thing probably is a candy cane... it's so cute." She fell to the floor laughing.
"Perfect for Hearth's Warming Eve." She could hardly breath. All the other females laughed along side with her.
"Dumb ass is probably gay." Another pony chuckled. "Who can resist banging you girl?"
"Apparently him." Cadance laughed. "Whenever he tried to get sweet with me. Work would always call. Saying it was mandatory for him to go." She sipped her cider, "Then whenever I get home he's playing video games with the other losers..." She stiffened a laugh, "Um hello. I'm waving my flank by his head and yet he doesn't notice."
"Wow Cadance can really put that cider away!"
"That's right baby." Cadance chug the remains of her glass. "Come on give Cadance some loving." She smiled at the camera shaking her flank. The crowd cheered around her. The camera slides slightly to show Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Fluttershy watching in horror. Pinkie Pie just stood there silently acting out of character. Fluttershy did the same. Rarity put her own hoof to her mouth as her head turned to try and find Twilight Sparkle anywhere. Rainbow Dash was taking pictures with another camera.
"If you excuse me girls..." Cadance hiccuped, "I'm going to find me some swag... Hopefully... That big red one out there." She tossed the mug to the side and chanted like an amazon.
"I better tell Twilight and the others." Some pony said with a big hint of worry in her voice.
Then the video just cuts out.
That destroyed look on her face. She knew she was not going to win this. I had her cornered. Perfect.
"Honey! Please this won't happen again!" She cried. I think my brain fried from that comment. Because of how stupid that was.
"Again?" I frowned. "I NEVER WANTED IT TO HAPPEN THE FIRST TIME!" My voice raised with rage. I flipped over a chair in frustration where it made contact with a nearby wall. "You took our vows and threw them out the window!"
She tried to rest her hoofs on my shoulder to get me to calm down, "DON'T TOUCH ME!" I waved her hoof away. "I'm done Cadance! I put up with your shit we dated! I put up with your shit when we were engaged! I AM NOT PUTTING UP WITH YOUR STUPID SHIT NOW!" I paced myself away from Cadance and slammed my hoofs on the table making it shake. "I left work early today and was lucky enough I was not laughed out of the castle!"
My blood was boiling but I knew I had to calm down. "You have two choices. Either you go or I go. BECAUSE... I... WANT...OUT!"
She gritted her teeth in attempt to fight back in our verbal combat, "CELESTIA WON'T LET THIS END!"
I scoffed, "Oh believe me. She knows." I pulled the bill out from earlier, "Here's the bill for the wedding."
She looked at it. Great shock sprayed across the face. In disbelief she held the parchment to her face and mouth open wide. Her hoofs trembled.
Me being hysterical at the moment, "Have fun paying that off. I'll be back for my things." I walked off like a boss, turned my head and muttered, "Bitch." And slammed the door.
I took one last look at my house before leaving. It was a nice house. Everything was perfect. Well almost perfect. I phoned my parents and told them what happened. I just can't take being in my house anymore with Cadance filling up the place with her lies. The walk took about fifty minutes because I did not take the direct route, the trip would have been a bit shorter if I took the main road as my parents lived on another street that was marked Easy street by some. I did not want to be noticed by any pony and suddenly get mobbed in questions.
I wandered a bit more. Looking at all the happy families that walked by me as I sat down at a random bench. Probably should have decided to keep on walking but... I sort of welcomed the pity as the random ponies would stare at me. Knowing of Cadance's affair. I heard them mumbling, "Poor guy..."
"Man who saw that coming a mile away?"
"Hope it was worth it."
"Great... a multi million bit wedding just wasted."
"Bits could have been used to feed some starving ponies."
"Really thought they were perfect for eachother."
"Gee Cadance sure knows how to pick them."
"Bet she moaned like a whore..."
"Poor guy. How can that just happen?"
I must have sat on that bench for an hour. Just collecting my thoughts. Letting the gossip absorb into my brain. I felt a little dead inside. Sure I was angry but a little part of me just could not understand how I could get this far and let it explode in my face. I felt my forehead to cover my face from the crowd as they passed me by. Just seeing those happy couples almost made me want to gag. A little out of jealousy. I was mad at myself.
I probably spent that hour just feeling sorry for myself. But I had to face the worse. I got up and started walking to my parents house. The place that I was raised. The place where a warm cooked meal was always waiting for me for breakfast and dinner. A place where I can really settle in and think.
It did not take too long for mom and dad to welcome me back home. First thing that happened was mom hugging me and telling me that everything was going to be okay and I can stay however long I wanted until things got better. Dad did the same but I could tell by the sheer disappointment in his voice that he was not very enthused. And yet, I always thought he had a soft spot for Cadance.
Well the whole night was devoted to me. Mom made my favorite meal and lots of it. Dad brought out the liquor and said I could probably use a stiff drink. I explained how my day went and they just sat there and listened and ate with me. Dad gave me a slight scolding on how I reacted but pretty soon after he was done he apologized. Saying he could not blame me for being upset, but with the royal guard it seemed to be a bigger risk. Mom was just glad I was back home.
The night rolled out to be just a slight Cadance bash fest. My mom was not a big internet user but just found the videos of Cadance saying stuff about me from one of her students abusing their computer privileges earlier. She had to dismiss her entire class to leave the computer lab as she watched the video in horror over and over again. She explained; she was steaming mad, even cried in disbelief that her own daughter in law could say such things. The principal came by and excused my mother to go home and turned the class into a study hall. Dad had a similar situation as he was trying to make a presentation to his class at the university using a projector hooked up. His students were obviously not paying attention and he took one of the phones away to see what was so important. Again it was Cadance. However my dad played it professionally and continued his lesson. After class he canceled the rest of his afternoon classes and went home to get a drink but along the way he saw the magazine she was on. He bought a copy and read it, disgusted with the pictures... Well.. probably not disgusted because my dad keeps a stack of porn magazines in his closet and found those when I was only twelve.
After dinner. I took a long shower and tried to go to bed. But I just could not. Those harsh words that Cadance said. Along with those photos. Was just too much for me to bare. I walked back downstairs to see my dad sitting by himself having another drink. Just sitting on the expensive couch they splurge on getting and watching TV.
"Dad?" I walked up behind him.
He turned his head, "Oh... hey Shin. Can't sleep?"
I shook my head, "No..."
"Shock is still there huh?" He asked.
"Guess so." I lowered my head.
"Well. You're welcomed to sit here with me and have a chat with your old man if you want." He patted the seat next to me. Feeling vulnerable I did so. Was no surprise the bottle was sitting on the fine oak coffee table in front of us. "Want a glass?"
At first I was going to refuse, "Sure. Why not..."
He used his magic to make me a whiskey on the rocks and served it to me. "There you go. So anything on your mind Shin?"
I curled my lip, "What isn't on my mind." I took a sip then jerked my head back a bit from the taste.
"Yeah it's a little strong." He warned. "Son... I won't beat around the bush. Was there always trouble between you and Mi Amore?"
I shifted my shoulders as my back was to the corner of the couch, "I honestly don't know. Cadance is always off doing appearances while I work nearly five to six days a week from sunrise to sunset."
"Just a lack of communication huh?" He asked. "Makes you wonder then. Couldn't you and Cadance just decide on a day to do whatever? You know take a personal day?"
"I try to... but often it ends up something happens at the castle that needs all the captains on duty. Like the recent Changeling threat level always rising." I frowned, "Mandatory."
"But you do love Mi Amore right?" He asked.
"I thought I did..." I took a sip.
"You thought? Son you do or you don't." He frowned.
"I don't know okay." I grunted.
"Alright. Alright." He eased back, "No need to get a little hostile."
"Sorry..." I apologized.
He patted my knee, "It's alright Shin. It's a difficult time in your life."
Damn right it is... I explained more to my father, he just patiently listened to what I had to say.
And then said, "Shin... I'm not going to tell you the things you want to hear but this is something you and Cadance are going to have to figure out on your own. But I want you to be honest with yourself. If you really love Cadance then you'll forgive her... But if you feel that she is does not deserve forgiveness then that is between you and her. If you want a divorce, then alright." He wrapped his arm around me, "I'll support you either way. Your mother and I just want you to be happy."
I fiddled with my half empty glass, "That's the thing... this whole marriage left me confused where I wanted to break it off a couple of times."
"And why didn't you?" He asked.
"I don't know... I think I was blindly following Cadance for the past two to three years but up until a certain part I think I snapped back to reality... I had a lot going for me so I decided to go for it..." I confessed.
He just raised an eyebrow, "Shin... it would have been better if you broke it off with Cadance instead of going through with it. But you stuck it up like a stallion so I admire that." He shifted his glass to me, "But I'm disappointed. You weren't being honest with yourself..."
"Dad... it's a bit deeper than that." I told him.
"Deeper than the rabbit hole huh?" He chuckled.
"I mean... It's like we rushed into it." I again told him.
"Rushed in?" He asked.
"I don't know... It just feels like I just woke up one day and found out that I had a really good job and a wife when I remembered earlier that I had another fiance and had a crappy job at the Food King." I tried to make it easier.
He narrowed his eyes, "Think you been watching too many Twilight Zone episodes..."
"No..." I shook my head, "But I need to ask... What happened to Rain?"
"Rain?" He raised an eyebrow. "Your former fiancee?"
I shook my head while bringing my glass to my mouth.
"Oh right. Rain. Well... I remembered you breaking off the engagement with her." He told me.
"Well... I figured that much." I frowned.
"Why do you want to know?" He asked.
"Because I don't remember a thing... I think because I was following Cadance I might have hurt her." I responded, sincerely.
"Oh... Well." He rubbed the back of his head. "Well Rain was a nice girl. Your mom and I thought she was an interesting pony and had a good set of goals she had in mind. You and her were almost inseparable and loved each other very much. You worked a bunch of odd jobs saving up for a ring for her as you were attending the university at the time with her and proposed. She said yes and made us very proud... You two agreed to wait until you graduated but... A year down the line... Cadance would start visiting and make speeches for the classes... but.. well let's say Cadance was very popular because of her status." He took another swig of whiskey. "All the males wanted her, the girls wanted to be her. But for some reason you did too... So... the same semester you dropped out and signed up to be a royal guard. Rain tried to make you reconsider but... you would not listen. She said you were almost in a determined yet possessed state. She ran to us and begged for us to talk to you. We tried to and... Again you would not reconsider. You kept saying you wanted to serve and be loyal to royalty."
"So... it just happened like that?" I asked. "And to Rain?"
"Well... Rain would try to contact you but you would never answer. So... one day, she gave us an envelop and told us goodbye. Inside, was the engagement ring you worked so hard for to buy for her. Poor girl... Guess that was the final nail in coffin for her. Came from an ignorant family yet she was the only bright one. I heard she became a Wonder Bolt and teaching fillies and colts how to fly at one of their summer camps. Only reason why we liked Cadance is that she was a princess and basically Twilight's foal sitter. Honestly thought she an upgrade... okay that was bad."
"Is she still there?" I asked. I gritted my teeth at my father saying that.
"You plan on crawling back to her?" He asked me.
I did not want to answer that. Did I want to crawl back to her? I dropped out because of Cadance? I gave up on my education just to be with her?
"Hey whatever you want to do, it's fine with me Shin." He took the last few drops of his whiskey and placed the glass down on the coffee table. "You'll always have my support.
"No matter what?" I held out my hoof.
"No matter what." He gave me a hoof pump. We both chuckled. Before I knew it, my glass was empty.
"Want another?" He raised the whiskey bottle.
"Hit me." I chuckled.
Guess you could say we bonded that night with Mr. Whiskey.
"Anything else about Rain dad? Did she say anything else?" I asked. Must have three shots already.
My dad, four. "Well..." He rubbed his eyes, "She was pretty upset and wanted to tell us something, that's when she gave us the engagement ring back. But when she was going to tell us, she just cried and flew off. She never came back to class either. Like your whole group of friends just split apart after you joined and stopped talking to them. Rain sometimes still talks to us and we have little chats..."
I let out a sigh, "I had it all..." I looked up at the plain white tall ceiling. Just staring at nothing. My dad just played with his glass. He set it down and let out a small burp and excused himself. But something in his story had me curious about Rain, she was going to tell my folks something.
"If you want... She still teaches flying lessons at the Wonder Bolt hall downtown." My dad rubbed his eyes clean awake. "But tonight... Just try to sleep on it. Remember, your mom and I will support you no matter what decision you make. But a word of advice, the media is going to have a field day with this so just keep your head low and don't say anything you'll regret later. Often it can be used against you, like that magazine and video of Cadance."
"So... what about the wedding gifts?" I looked at him.
"Well... Most of your relatives are pretty saddened by Cadance's actions. Only some of them demanded their gifts back but really, wedding gifts are supposed to be you know... gifts... no strings attached. But if you feel that is right to give back the gifts then do so to clear your conscience. Just remember what they bought you." He explained, not very enthused though.
"Oh I got a list don't worry." He scratched my nose.
He smiled and turned to go up back upstairs but then stopped mid way, "Oh... you don't mind if Twilight and her friend stay here also for the next couple of days right? Twilight is supposed to help her friend finalize some papers for her new store. You remember Rarity right?"
"Oh yeah?" I perked up, "It's fine."
He nodded then climbed the rest of the stairs.
That chandelier my uncle Light and aunt Radiance bought for us is going to be a bitch to get down from the ceiling... Guess I was going to need to ask for help from my old friends. And that was not going to be easy. Especially if I'm going to face Rain...
Guess I'll have a few more shots then go to bed... I got the bottle back out. Yet the thought was still killing me inside...
Man that pony shaped maple syrup bottle sitting on the kitchen counter looked hot...
"You would never cheat on me would you Miss Butterworth?" I asked the bottle. I looked at the box of Quaker Oats next to the bottle, "Back...off... she's mine..."
Tomorrow was not going to be easy getting up... I better stop...
note: Hmm. Just a bit of a slight spoiler, there are original characters in this story and I decided to add more family members. But don't worry, they won't steal the spotlight and their appearances will be as little as cameos.
Waking up the following morning was awkward enough being passed out on the couch. I woke to the sound of pots and pans and smell of breakfast. Ah. Just like old times. The entire family sitting peacefully...well almost peacefully at the table enjoying the taste of pancakes, waffles or eggs and toast. Man that does sound good right about now.
Slowly I opened my eyes. To reveal the rays of the sun peering into the room. I let out a yawn and rose from the sofa. My head really was bumping. Right in front of me was dad's expensive whiskey bottle nearly down to the bottom, reminder to self buy dad a new bottle. I walked to the kitchen to find my parents there of course. Dad reading the paper, mom whipping something up.
"Good morning everypony." I coughed then rubbed my eyelids.
"Good morning Shin." My dad lowered the paper to greet me, then instantly flipped the paper back up to his face.
"Yes good morning honey." Mom turned away from the stove, "I'm making French toast with scrambled eggs. Hope you're hungry." She smiled and turned back the stove.
My head was still bumping. I walked over to the medicine shelf and looked for some head pain relief. Oh man they must have twelve different bottles. AM. PM. Gel caps, regular. Guess they won't mind me taking a few gel caps. I popped two of them in my mouth and drank it down with some water. Then refilled it with orange juice and sat down next to dad. Mom slid my plate in front of me and boy did it look good. I looked for the syrup bottle. Hmm... Strange.. Where did it go?
Suddenly the doorbell rang. Mom answered it while I enjoyed my breakfast, oh boy she made a lot. With the familiar voice of my little sister Twilight filling the room. She was always welcomed. Behind her was her friend Rarity and the baby dragon Spike. With a warm hello we all sat down together and enjoyed a pretty short but sweet conversation. Not really feeling like talking about old times right about now. But what I noticed with Rarity, other than showing up in a nice outfit she was carrying a couple boxes with her. I hope those are not what I think they are.
Twilight explained that she was going to help Rarity finalize some paper work for the new building she had her eye on. My mother carried the conversation on and insisted on going with them, Spike tagged along. Dad told me that he was going to take the day off and just clean up his study. I was asked if I was going to be okay, I just told him not to worry. I was just going to walk around town and try to enjoy whatever little vacation I had left.
Funny how I spend those days. But despite still feeling betrayed and torn, I decided to go catch up with some old friends. It was not easy trying to find ponies you used to hang out with before you were enchanted by a princess. Even if I could find one of them that would be fine. Still the public whispered to their friends around my presence, nothing very sincere. Just calling me and Cadance showboating idiots. And somewhat I agree to that. Maybe this was not a good idea after all. But before I knew it some ponies started taking pictures of me. Oh great. Those photographers that are willing to get a picture even if it killed them. Well look on, you see nothing but me wearing a hoody and trying to over wearing sunglasses. I gave them their little show by not giving them anything to work with. I just walked casually minding my own business. Hopefully they would give up but they were pretty pesty.
I looked across the street to find a Food King. Oh good. I owe dad a new bottle of whiskey. Hopefully they have his brand then again its a middle class store where any pony can shop, even the half wits snobs. I ducked inside and got a basket, might pick up a few more things but let's concentrate on that bottle shall we? About twenty minutes into my shopping trip my basket was already filled with unnecessary things. Candy. Syrup. A cereal I thought was discontinued a long time ago. My own headache pills. Soda. The whiskey was apparently bought from another liquor store so, drats to that. I just tossed a name brand into the basket and was preparing to walk to the frozen food section to pick up some ice cream.
"Need any help sir?" An employee asked.
"Ah no I'm jus..." I looked at the employee, a tall earth pony with gray fur and darkish brown hair stood there waiting for an answer. "Nac?"
The employee squinted his eyes, "Uh... Sir?" He tilted his head. "Something wrong?"
I shook my head, "No no. Nac remember me Shining Armor? We were in school together and even went to college."
He nodded and smirked, "Ah yeah." We brohoof and chuckled. "So what brings you here?"
I frowned, "Eh. I'm on vacation for a while and uh staying with my folks."
"Sounds good. Sounds Good." he nodded. "So how are things with the royal guard?"
I let out a sigh, "Fine. Just fine."
"Doesn't sound fine when you did that." Nac smirked.
I was not happy still but I figured I should tell him, "It's complicated. If you read the magazine you'll figure out why."
"Oh right. Right." He frowned, "Royal guard and marriage was not working out huh?"
I shook my head negatively, "There was just some complications. That's all." I grabbed a carton of chocolate and vanilla mix.
"Well. I'm sorry it came to that then." Nac apologized. I knew this stallion pretty well back in grade school. Was pretty much the quiet type and was picked on verbally by some other classmates. He would sometimes sit by himself at lunch because kids were cruel back then. Girls would go "Ew" at him, some boy so would just taunt him. He was not the best looking colt but then years later girls started noticing him better. He was always a private pony and never talked unless asked, or to throw his two cents in. But often was told to shut up. Not me, we had some things in common like collecting cards and trading them. Probably around high school he had better recognition but still remained quiet. Was rather a shy pony as well. But was always dependable if you needed help with an assignment or needed moving stuff also had an interest in computers.
"Nah. Cadance and I were on the rocks for awhile..." I admitted.
"Well. Again sorry to hear that. At least you're doing better than me." Nac sighed.
"Not so sure lately anymore myself. Work has been hammering me down lately." I chuckled. "Was thinking about quitting."
"That must pay well." He sighed, "But if what you said is true then there is some balance to that."
"Yeah." I looked down at my basket and thought it was full enough, "Well nice talking to you again... wa.. wait."
"Huh?" He tilted his head in question.
"Um. Cadance and I are separated for now and..."
"So she's available?" He chuckled.
I narrowed my eyes at him. He frowned and apologized, "Sorry... Sorry. What's up?"
I asked, "Well. I need help moving some stuff from my house into my parents place and was wondering."
"When do you want to do it?" He asked.
"Later in the afternoon if possible. I asked a neighbor if I could use his moving truck and said it was okay." I explained.
"Yeah sure." He agreed. "I get off in an hour anyway."
"Great." I clopped my hoofs together. "Just meet me at this address and bring any pony who is willing to help. I'll pay if you want."
"Sure. I'll get the gang back together they're not too far." He smiled.
I paid for my stuff and left to go back home. Mom was still gone with Twilight, Rarity and Spike. Dad was in his office and I presented him with a brand new bottle. He appreciated it and I asked him if he was willing to help with the move. He asked if I was sure I wanted this, I just told him it would make me feel better. And with that he agreed to help along with some of the neighbors.
I approached the home that belonged to Cadance and myself. Waited until every pony my dad and I asked to come. I phoned my lieutenant Ghendi earlier to see if he was willing to take the day off and help. He agreed and made it down in time. To my surprise, Nac showed up with about ten ponies. Ten familiar faces. Joel, Grace, Cid, Lancer, Hammer Time, Gold Eyes, Splinter, Crow, Teddy, Sweet Heart. Wow. How much I wanted to catch up with them but the time was not quite appropriate as I would be explaining that I would taking my stuff and share of the wedding gifts out of the house. Dad showed up with the neighbors and brought the moving truck.
I called Cadence earlier that I was coming to get my stuff back. She was not in the mood to talk but said take my crap and go as she put it. "Take your crap and go then! See if I care!" She cried over the phone. For what we were about to do seemed a bit extreme but I decided I did not want to have anything to do with Cadance anymore. I was convinced from her outbursts and locking herself away, I wanted my life back. I wanted nothing else from her. Dad opened up the back of the moving truck and moved the ramp in place. I unlocked the front door and gave a list to every pony on what to do take and ask me to make sure. From time to time I would pass the kitchen doorway to find Cadance just sitting at the kitchen table with her face buried in her arms. And every time she did look up she just put on an ignorant look wondering why am I not out fast enough? Through and through it must have taken three to four hours total to nab everything that was mine or was a gift from my side of the family.
Everything was either disassembled and loaded onto the truck. I thanked every pony but had some unfinished business inside. Dad made sure that everything was checked off. Though this drew some unwanted attention from the press, I let it slide. Yes Equestria. Know that I'm moving out and going on with my life.
I walked back inside to tell Cadance thanks for her cooperation. But as before, she was in no mood to talk. She was facing the window that overlooked the backyard. I walked up beside her to see the sun was getting close to set. A long time ago this would be considered romantic but right now it was just another plain sunset.
"Thanks for your cooperation Cadance." I simply told her. Not happily, nor mad. Just ordinary. She said nothing.
I took this as my cue to leave. I turned and stopped suddenly in the living room. I took one look around the once somewhat happy home. A bit sad now. Almost like some pony died here, the same gravity that held the room as depressing.
"Shining Armor?" I heard Cadence asked from the doorway.
"Yeah?" I turned my head.
"Do you... Do you forgive me? Still love me?" Probably was not the smartest question to ask once I just looted my own stuff from my own house.
I just sighed and walked out the door. Closing it behind me. I heard crying behind that door but just kept walking. I gave the house one last look. Then turned to see my old school chums waiting for me. I gave them a heavy thank you and paid them each fifty bits, some of them waved my offer and we're just glad I was talking to them again. We had so much catching up to do. But still I felt a little guilty about the stuff. Shining Armor... It was now or never. Put your hoof down and walk away... Come on... It's easy... One hoof forward... Then another... Come on... Move... It's not hard... Who am I kidding I still felt guilty. Was not until my dad grabbed me and pulled me into the truck as we drove away. My friends waving, they knew where I was staying now. It felt great talking to them again. They did say they were sorry for the news but glad I was back. Might take awhile to get their full trust back but hey, as long as they are talking to me.
Ghendi stopped by the house again and helped move the boxes and stuff into the house as I instructed. Mom was sure surprised once she saw all the gifts I managed to retrieve back. The chandelier was definitely one of the hardest things to get back, but other stuff not so bad. Twilight, with a sad look on her face just watched as we started unpacking. I knew how much she loved Cadence and looked up to her, but things do not always work out for the best. She had high hopes for us but ended up just smashing them. Rarity and Spike handled a few small boxes. Dad was pretty much by my side during the move while Ghendi helped Twilight with the organizing of what goes where. Even name tagging each gift that was to go back to what relative. From our brother Vanishing Star to our great great aunt Nova.
Finally all of it was done. A lot of them went into the basement just so we had room to walk upstairs. I admit, there was a lot of stuff. Everything was finished. Mom had prepared dinner and we all sat down to eat. She makes the best spaghetti this side of Canterlot. I ate normally, Rarity was next to me while Spike was on the other side of her. Twilight sat across from me with Ghendi next to her, calmly eating quietly. But if I knew those two they were... Well, I looked under the table and they were touching hoofs. I gently kicked Ghendi in the knee to watch it, not that I did not trust him but hey it's my sister he was getting with. For all I knew they were seeing each other for a year but knew each other pretty well from childhood. Same age practically. My parents were just chatting up with Rarity about her plans for the store. As in good news, she got the building she wanted. For a fun occasion my parents broke out the champaign to congratulate Rarity, not happy on my end but sure why not. For a brighter future as we raised our glasses and gently clanged them together. I had two glasses, mom and dad two as well, Twilight barely finished hers, Rarity and Ghendi only had one. Spike was stuck with juice. Poor guy... But not until you're older.
Half past ten o'clock Twilight and Spike were already in bed. Mom just bid me a good night, dad let out a yawn and considered turning in as well. Ghendi left an hour ago, Twilight saw him to the door and bid him a great night. Pretty cute actually. I was sitting down stairs in the family room again. Rarity joined the seat next to me, we still had some champagne out but I was trying to control myself. Last night was not a good night to start any problems.
As Rarity sat next to me she pulled out a few boxes and told me to open them. Only if I wanted to still. I knew what these were and opened them. And no surprise, the last few pieces to Cadence's dress.
"Miss Rarity..." I looked at her.
"Yes Armor darling? Are they not to your specifications?" She blinked.
"Oh... Oh yes they are it's just..." I puckered my lower lip sadly, "It's just a shame that I'm considering on separating for good..."
"Oh dear..." She lightly gasped.
"Don't worry I'll still pay you... It's just I... well Cadence said some...things..." I rubbed the back of my head.
"Oh my what did she say?" She had a conscious look to her, like she really cared. Then she shook her head, "I mean if you don't want to tell that's fine."
"No... it's okay. When I went back to the house to get my stuff back Cadence was not in the best of moods. Every time I passed her, her expression was either angry, guilty or even sad. But most of the time she was grumbling like she did not want to see me again.. But... before that." I kept scratching my head, "I confronted her about the magazine and video the other day. I chewed her out and told her I wanted out..."
"Oh dear." She hung on. "Maybe she was just trying to say what she wanted to?" I just looked at her and drank more of the champagne, she quickly apologized, "Sorry that was out of line."
"Just... what happened at that party anyway?" I asked.
"Well..." She set her glass down, "She was the star of the party after all because it was to welcome her to Ponyville. We were all having fun dancing, talking and drinking. Pinkie really went all out." Rarity explained, but I knew it was a bit painful for her to tell me the details.
"Rarity... Just be honest with me please." I looked into her blue eyes. I had to admit, they were the nicest eyes I have ever seen since Rain.
She nodded, "Well. Cadence was having fun and the ponies were around her having fun. She was having cider and somehow left the party. Guess every pony needs a break from that level of partying. She went outside and was having a conversation with Big Mac as he was doing work on his farm, he's very loyal to his family and works a lot. Poor guy never really socializes other than saying “Yup” or “Nope”, when asked anything. But some reason whenever we saw her she was with Big Mac. At this point she got a hold of the alcoholic cider and downed those."
"And at that point that's when the video was made?" I asked.
"Video?" She raised an eyebrow. I pulled out my cell phone again and showed her the exact video I was asking about. She could not deny it because there were a few shots of her in it. "Oh dear... I was not aware that Rainbow filmed the reactions of us as well."
"So Rainbow Dash recorded this?" I asked while stopping the video. She nodded.
"And what were you doing exactly?" I asked, "From looking at this you looked disgusted what was going on."
Sadly she lowered her head and nodded, "Yes. Well. She's a princess and she deserves to have fun but... When that was filmed that is when it got a bit unnerving hearing her say that, she said more stuff before the video started but..."
"Well can't say that I approve of something like this being filmed but I'm glad I found out of about it that makes a strong case against her." I told her, easing myself letting my back slide in the corner of the couch. "Really hurts you know. You try your best to impress every pony and it just blows up in your face little by little."
"And the pony who you think would have your back is the one that makes the dominoes fall." Rarity said. Her expression was indeed sympathetic, even her eyes. "Sorry... I was out of line."
"No..." I assured her, "I just question this whole relationship as a whole."
"Do you love her?" She asked.
I must have thought about this for at least a minute and not given her an answer straight away.
"I do...n't know." I shook my head.
The boutique box with Rarity's logo and theme still laid in my lap. "I'm sorry that you made this entire dress for nothing."
She managed a meek smile, "Just keep it. Maybe things will work out better in the end."
"I don't know..." I slid further down the couch.
I pulled out the engagement ring my parents gave me back during dinner and held it out in front of myself. The sweat and hard work that went into this ring, meant for another mare. I was unsure.
"My darling what a cute ring." Rarity inched closer. "This was not Cadance's was it?"
"No. This was meant for a girlfriend a long time ago her name is Rain, we pretty much grew up together." I put the ring on the coffee table. "We were both in college and she said yes. We were very close, always sharing with each other. Sneaking into her dorm room, then she would return the favor sometimes. We did everything together... but then somehow I hurt her... I dropped out and signed up to be a guard much to my family and friends disapproval and... well the rest is history." As much as I hated telling that story, it always somehow comes out.
"Does she still live around here?" She asked.
"Well from what I heard she does and works at the Wonder Bolt training camp for young foals helping them on learning to fly. " I smirked. "She always liked kids."
"That's very sweet of her." Rarity smiled. "You ever talk to her still?"
I shook my head sadly, "Not ever since I enlisted... She would try to contact me but I'd never return her calls or letters until she finally had it... She gave this ring back to my parents and wanted to tell them something... But just flew off. Guess she was disgusted with me and no longer wanted to be reminded of how much I hurt her. I deserve it if she does not want to ever talk to me..."
"Now come on darling. I'm sure you can give her a surprise visit." Rarity inched closer to me,
"Chances are she might still care about you if she heard about this whole Cadence thing. Should have by now it's everywhere."
"What if she does not forgive me?" I asked. Still a bit aching at the idea.
"No pony says you ever have to try to get back together with her. At least try to give her peace at mind that you were sorry." She nodded her head as she explained, "And if she does not forgive you then, at least she will know that you tried and can move on."
I chuckled. She was right. I have to at least apologize to make this right. And if she wants to be sour with me then I will at least have the memory for at least try to make things right. I looked at the bottle of champagne and was about to pour another glass but it felt light. Oh great, I drank another of mom and dad's booze to its entirety. I put the bottle down and apologized. Rarity said it was alright she had two glasses already. She said good night and kissed me on the cheek. Why she did that I have no idea, but it felt nice. Really soothing like an angel telling that everything was going to be alright. I was going to go see Rain the next day.
"Oh by the way darling... Your couch is really sticky..." She told me.
I dug my hoof into the couch cushion and found the syrup bottle with the cap open. Well mystery solved then.
A little bit about this chapter in particular. Yes it's helping to establish the character Rain to finally appear maybe in the next chapter. But also there are cameos of characters from my other stories. If you caught Vanishing Star then yay, but just to say that this story is not in canon with The Vanishing Star so characters from that are slightly altered as you can see with Ghendi. Nac is technically a disgruntled employee that I made up and can sort of see myself in him but he's appearance might be limited and will just cameo for the rest of the story. Characters like Sweet Heart, Teddy and Lancer are from generation two. Also good job to anyone who saw the Biggs and Wedge reference. Yay!
After catching up with some of my old friends I hope to rebuild the bridges of our friendship soon. I called them out for breakfast despite after doing another round of drinking the previous night and you all know I suffer from some pretty bad headaches if I push myself too hard. The meet ups turned up better than I thought. I was worried that my old friends would not even want to deal with me but in turn they did throw out some stories of me ditching them for Cadance. I apologized. I thought they were just going to just tell me off, but they just sat there and said it was alright. They still wanted me to be their friend still. My heart lifted and I felt like I could take on anything. Surely this was a start of a great day.
Until I mentioned I wanted to see Rain. My old friends Teddy and Lancer just looked at me. Blinking. I asked if I said anything wrong. But in truth, they recalled me hurting Rain pretty bad for leaving her for Cadance. They used to be angry over it and wanted to bash my head in but now that I'm here to confront them I took their little chew outs, well if you can them that. Something from a few years ago does not have the same effect today. They were angry then, not as much now. I must have apologized a million times. But they lifted up a sympathetic heart and forgave me. I did not deserve it and I knew it, but I took it.
Lancer mentioned Rain lives in an apartment complex near the Wonder Bolt camp. Seems fitting as that is where they told me she worked and got the address. I paid for every ponies meal and set off the complex. I was bombarded with photographers. Them also announcing possible headline titles such as Shining Armor now a civilian or traded in fancy armor and clothes for a leather jacket and sunglasses. Seems rather fitting. My hair was not as fancy anymore and who possibly gives a damn? Some ponies said they could barely recognize between my royal guard self and current self. But with the photographers and media, they'll make that connection saying I was worsening by the day.
After taking a trolley to the other side of town and walking a block or two. I finally arrived at the Wonder Cloud apartment complex. Some weird feeling in the pit of my stomach had me going thinking Rain made some bad choices after I left her and was trying to survive in a ditch hole. But looking at this place. Wow. About four stories tall, excellent condition. Everything kept up to code. Very good assortment of flowers around, the owner must really take pride in their complex. I saw a small playground in the front area near the main office. Must allow kids I figured. Well the setting is welcoming so I guess they have nothing against kids.
I walked into the front office. No surprise no pony was at the front desk. I rang the bell and out from the back came a very overweight female pony with glasses. Smacking her lips while fixing her thick glasses as she oozed out of the back room. She kept chewing on something and man it was gross just focusing on her mouth area.
"What can I do for ya?" She talked in an annoying south side Manehatten accent.
"I need to know if a miss Rain Storm lives here?" I asked.
She kept on chewing whatever in her mouth. Made me almost want to gag. "Let's see... Rain you said?" She pulled out what appeared to be a clipboard with a list of clients. "What's your business?"
I asked, "What?"
"Delivering something? Family member? Something I could put in sign in sheet." She explained.
"Oh. Friend. Friend." I nodded.
"Let me buzz her in to see if she's home." She turned her wide body around to get on a PA system. "Room three zero four this is Mrs. Blaub." How fitting for a name. She spoke into the microphone again, "Room three zero four you in dear?"
Within five seconds I heard stumbling from the other end. "Yes I'm here Mrs. Blaub you need something?" That voice... I knew it was her.
"Oh good to hear you again dear." She smiled, "I got a gentle colt down here asking to see you. A mister..." She looked back to me. "What's your name?"
"Eh. Shining Armor." I answered.
"A Mr. Shining Armor honey. Just wants to visit you. Do you want me to send him up or come down here?" She asked.
A few seconds of silence cursed the microphone. I was nervous to what her answer was going to be. Would it be negative?
"Yeah I'll be down." The voice said.
"Alright dear. He'll be waiting." The large pony turned back to me with a sign up sheet, "I just need your signature for safety reasons and to keep things in check sir." With that I signed my name on the sign in sheet. "Just to keep track of new ponies who come in and out." Seems fair. I turned around and sat in a really uncomfortable single chair. My eyes scanned the magazine rack of last months editions of Carriage Weekly, Nintenpony Power, MAD and an assortment of other readings.
Just then the front door opened and... she walked in. The same pale silver haired blue pegasus I scuffed a long time ago. Cutie mark of a few drops of rain, just like in her name. She was just as great as I remembered her. Though I wondered if I managed to meet her at a bad time.
The fat pony pointed me out, "You got a gentle colt here for you."
"Thanks Mrs. Blaub." She smiled and thanked the large pony as she oozed back into the back room. She turned to me with a blank expression. "So..." That was all she could say. I admit this was awkward meeting her.
"Hello." I smiled, "I was back in town and figured I get to know the old gang agai..."
"Mmhmm." She crossed her forelegs. "Sure you did."
"I... Uh... You see..." I was lost what to say next. She did not appear too angry. But not in the brights of moods. Okay she was expressionless waiting for my next move. Slowly she was inspecting me. Knowing of my nervous twitch.
"Just came for a visit?" She smirked and then walked over to me.
"Uh yes." I nodded.
She shifted her shoulders. "Alright. Sounds cool."
"Wait what?" I asked in disbelief. Here I thought she was going to come down with a frying pan and try to hit me with it or try to beat me down.
She turned her head to face me. She walked over and punched me in the shoulder playfully, "Come on. You said you wanted to catch up with some friends." Was she mad inside? Did not appear to be but maybe two and half years of pent up rage might be resting inside.
She lead me up to her apartment. Nothing to fancy from looking on the outside as her place was on the third floor. I noticed some toys left out. She apologized saying the the neighbor kids sometimes leave their toys out and don't bother picking them up until something happens. I stretched my legs over a couple of dolls, some blocks and a tricycle. Rather cute but having kids this high up sounds pretty risky. I walked inside. Pretty normal place. Modern. A Wonder Bolt's salary really comes into mind once I saw that flat screen television standing on the podium on the other side of the room. Nice black leather couch. Some paintings. Pictures of other Wonderbolt related things. A few other pieces of furniture. A nice wide kitchen. From what I saw I think was two bedrooms and one bathroom of all places. Pictures of males I did soon come across while walking along the wall to see. Then again, I would not be surprised if she moved on and started dating again. She deserved better.
We sat down in her living room finally. She served me some ice tea and got herself a glass as well. One of my favorite beverages besides powerade. I started the conversation off simply by asking how she was doing and let her talk. After all, I owed it to her. Want to know what she's been up to. In a calm expression like I remembered she would usually be she would tell me what she did the past two years.
"So. College was not working out for me as I went to work full time for a friend's uncle who happened to be a Wonder Bolt. Started off by just cleaning up and secretary work." She set her ice tea down. Her expression changed as she looked at me, "Then within a good years time I worked with the kids who would sign up for the training camp. We get ponies of all ages from child to young adult. I competed in some races and only won a few out of the twenty I was in. Then I went back to training the kids after let's say an accident that prevented me from flying to quickly and carelessly."
"Uh huh. Two years of being an instructor. How's that?" I asked.
She eased back into the sofa, "Great actually. Just to see those eager faces wanting to fly and them being thankful in the end." She cupped her own chin and smiled, "I must have taught so many ponies to fly that I lost track. The children would sometimes come by and bring me deserts their parents whipped up."
"They really loved you that much huh?" I rested my hoof on my cheek as support on the sofa arm.
She rolled her eyes playfully, "Yes. The experience really helped and I loved them equally in return."
"Anything you don't like about the job?" I asked.
She frowned. As if she really thought about this one, "Not a whole lot. Just some co-workers that like to taunt but other than that it's a great job. It pays well, I can flex my hours, I can afford most things, can afford food, hot water, electricity, utilities."
"So I take it you're doing alright for yourself?" I asked again with a smirk. I'm glad she was doing alright.
"Oh yes." She nodded. "How about yourself. How's what's her face doing?"
"Cadance...? I..." I choked a bit, surprised she did not remember the name. "Well... Should be well known now that Cadance and I are..."
"Separated at the moment?" She blinked. Nor did she look opinionated at the news. "Well sometimes its good for couples to spend some time away." Alright. I knew she was playing dumb.
"Yeah we decided to spend some time away from each other. So far we needed it... Badly..." I frowned, "She uh... She um.." I stumbled.
"Shin... Don't play alright?" She told me plainly. "The magazine... The videos..."
"You saw them too huh?" I sighed.
"Who hasn't?" She frowned.
"You going to rub it in saying I was stupid for going with her?" My frown went deeper.
She shifted her shoulders. "I would... But word around the water cooler says that you heard enough of the gossip."
I put my hoofs over my eyes and moaned, "Where did this all go wrong?"
"I dunno. That's something you have to answer for yourself." She frowned.
I moved my hoofs away from my eyes and just glanced at her. That was so typical of her. "You're pretty neutral with this after what Cadance did huh?"
"Shin..." She looked into my eyes. "I gave her a chance to be friends with us. I respected her, I let her hang with us, to get to know us. I knew under all that sugar plum exterior she was a good pony who just wanted to have some friends around her own age. Whatever little insult she threw, I knew she would be sorry about it. When she got hurt, she winced. She felt sad, she would show it." She sighed. "Next thing I noticed... months later you drop out and sign up to be a guard."
I felt ungrateful when she got to that part. "Look Rain about that..."
Her head hung low. Her voice sounding groggy, "Just... We took her in..."
I could not excuse that. Rain was the one who tried to keep reaching out to Cadance during her time at the university and we all know where that went down. I hated it. I hated reliving that moment. "I know... and I... Left..."
She lifted her head. Her face, pained but yet trying to manage. "If you wanted to break it off then why couldn't you just say so? Instead of running off like that?"
"Because I was not thinking." I grunted. Really that was the only excuse I could give. Would she buy the whole hypnosis story?
Her face remained that way...
"Why?" She shook her head.
"She's the princess of love? Her magic is based on affection spells?" I tried to say.
"Even so..." Her face saddened, "I tried to make you snap out of it. Our friends tried to convince you to stay. Your own parents tried to make you wake up."
I lowered my head this time.
"What do you want me to say?" I asked. "Sorry? Because I am..." I waved my hoof lightly, "I can apologize a thousand times and I feel like it won't be enough."
She shook her head. "Three years almost... Do you have any idea how lonely it was? Going through the things I had to do?" Her voice started to crack. "What's worse is that the necklace my mother gave me... I let you take it to your relative to fix and before I know it the princess has it around her neck on her wedding day!"
"Wha...?" I tried to think back. I did remember Rain was given some sort of necklace was a present on her birthday about five years or so ago. Was nice with the gold finish and played music. Was even old it was a family heirloom passed down from generation to generation in her family. Great. The one thing I forgot to take during the move out. Or did Cadance even have that thing on? I remembered she had a lot of jewelry. "Look... if I can get it back will it make things alright?"
Her eyes trailed off, "As much as I want it back to give to my own daughter one day... I would very much like it back... but if you can't..." She looked down and sighed, "It's just a material possession... I can live without it..." She nodded, "I lived without it for years..."
That would be my next priority. To set this right.
I just sighed. "Might be possible. I just don't know about Cadance anymore."
Rain was not even looking at me, "You were so in love with her back then... What brought this on?"
I have no idea. The fact is that I married a pony that I sort of knew and did not knew at the same time. I woke up months prior to the wedding to discover I ranked pretty high on the guard listing and was being paid well. And engaged to another pony. I did what I could to get off but work prevented me from leaving the castle and constant threats from afar kept me on guard. How do you get your life back from that? Before I knew it, I was getting to know Cadance little by little. I just can't believe it. A pony I barely knew less than talked to was getting married to me. I should be happy. Every pony was happy... But not every pony. The wedding invitations were a dead giveaway as Cadance and I sorted through them. Some of them she was not very happy on seeing the RSVP messages as some of my friends wrote some insults by crossing her name out and writing Princess Whore, princess Cunt, Thief, Bitch, Streetwalker, Liar... Yeah you can guess who those are from. She did cry and I just threw the RSVP letters away out of anger. For a while I was getting irritated that Cadance was getting mocked by a minority wondering how they could say such things about her. You all know the rest of the story. Got married and lived somewhat unhappily ever after.
Now. I'm sitting with Rain again. I should feel fine but something was getting at me. Guilt maybe? We talked and talked like we used to but it just felt empty. Usually we would snuggle close but something was preventing me from doing so. Confusion and uncertainty. Hell I did not even know if she found a stallion friend and started over. Even if she does not what am I supposed to do about it? What about Cadance? I'm still married to her after all.
But Rain just insisted, "Do you love her?"
I did not give an answer.
"Seriously... Within the two years there had to be something." She told me.
I just slid into the couch further, "Maybe there is. Maybe there isn't."
"So you just went ahead and married thinking that there was something?" She asked.
"It's confusing..." I admitted.
She just shook her head, "Look. I'm not trying to force you back into accepting her because I thought you were happy with her. I want you to be sure of yourself before you'll make any regrets."
"I do..." I just looked at her.
"Please..." She looked away. "You're married..."
"And?" I was not trying to imply an affair but to her that was certain.
"What do you mean AND?" She got a bit defensive. "Shining Armor. I hope you don't plan on just coming back into my life just in hopes to continue ways like they used to."
My face fell.
"I'm sorry but... I moved on. We all moved on since you left for the guard." She said sternly.
"Is it wrong to be curious then? Just to see how things were going then?" I asked.
"N..no." She stammered. "But Shin. As much as you hurt me, I don't want you hurting yourself with high expectations of things just going back to the way they were." Again she looked away, "Cadance screwed up big time... and if you want to be the great husband in mind then you can look into your heart about it. Give her the chance to explain herself."
She had a point, I did nothing but yelled at her and wanted nothing to do with her. For what she did, I hated her. I was willing to give her a chance after I came to sudden realization that my life was never going to be the same again. And then this happened.
"Well... I guess I'll be going then." I hoisted myself up from the couch. "It was nice talking to you. Would you like to meet up for lunch tomorrow or sometime?"
"Eh..." She grinned, "I got training tomorrow."
"How about the next day?" I asked.
"Maybe..." She blinked.
"So yes... No?" I used my hoofs as a scale.
She put her hoofs on her hips, "Come back this weekend. I have the Saturday open."
I nodded, "Alright." I smiled. I turned to leave but then stopped, "By the way... my parents mentioned something about sometime after I joined you came to them with an envelop."
"Yes I remember." She nodded.
"But then you flew away before you could tell them something..." I explained. "What did you want to say?"
She looked at me. "It... Doesn't matter anymore."
"What does not matter anymore?" I asked.
"Nothing..." She said.
"Come on." I insisted.
"Nothing." She repeated.
"Seriously... Rain." I walked up to her and looked into her eyes. "If it was something important back then and it made you fly off crying I want to know."
She sighed, "Can it wait until Saturday?"
"Does it have to?" I asked.
"It would be better because of the day off." She grinned.
"I'd still prefer if you tell me now though." I insisted. "Because..." I sighed, "I know it hurts to relive those days..."
I hear sudden little pamper of small clopping from one of the rooms just to stop behind Rain. I turned my head to look behind her and saw... a light blue filly with blue hair along with two adorable blue eyes. I stared down at the filly with curiosity, "Hello?" I greeted gently. The filly hide behind Rain more. "She's cute..." My face showed that I adored the little one but my heart sank with the thought of this belonging to a stallion. Who might be one of the occupants of that room, sleeping alongside Rain at night while the filly was in the other room.
"I'm sorry honey did mommy wake you?" Rain turned to the filly. The filly just stared. Made sense as she seemed like she did just wake up. The filly only nodded while a piece of blanket was clenched in her little mouth. With a big scoop with her powerful wing the filly was cradled and brought up to my view. "Sprite... this is a friend of mommy's. His name is Shining Armor and he works for the princess of Equestria." The hint in her voice is that she was trying to play me up as something great. Was sweet of her but it did not really fit.
"Hello there." I inched closer to the filly. "Sprite is a very nice name."
She only covered herself with her blanket. Poor thing was afraid of me. Only within seconds she would try to pull down the blanket to peak if I was still there. I was curious. Everything on her was blue, even her eyes. She really rivaled my own father in the blue department who I thought was the bluest thing on this side of Equestria. I know what you're thinking. This was the thing that Rain was trying to tell my parents about. Well. That is only half true. Sprite let out a small coo as she touched my snout with her little hoofs. I let her. Get a feeling.
"She's adorable." I chuckled. "Her father must be very proud of this little cutie."
Rain smiled. "Oh... I bet he is."
I picked her up. A bit nervous at first and so was she. I'm a giant to the little sprite.
"So..." I asked. "How old is this little angel?"
"She's three." Rain replied. "Three wonderful years with this little sprite. My life had meaning again..." She gently rubbed Spite's hair.
"I..." I frowned, "Is...she...?"
Rain nodded. "Yes. She is... yours."
My eyes widened. At first I was filled with uncertainty but the more I cradled Sprite. I knew she took after her mother with the sudden wings I felt. So tiny. I asked if she speaks. Rain just told me she was shy around other ponies. She was just so cute as I patted her head to set her down. But something felt weird.
"Rain? Does... Sprite have a bump on her head?" I asked.
Rain sighed. "There's another thing you need to know." She inched closer to Sprite's hair and brushed a little aside. A small bump turned out to be a still growing chubby small horn.
"She's an alicorn?" I almost shrieked.
"Well..." Rain rubbed the back of her neck, "The doctors said it was a hormone imbalance during the pregnancy that is... pretty rare. So she's not quite officially one."
"So... the horn is for show then?" I raised an eyebrow.
"I don't know..." She lowered her head. "Said it might work if she had the proper training. And I really don't know a lot of talented unicorns besides your family."
Then it hit me.
"Does my family know about Sprite?" I asked.
"Just your folks..." She smiled nervously.
We're going to have a long talk mom and dad.
"Oh man I don't want to leave her." I smirked. A lot of pride was running through me. "I got to tell my crew about the good news!"
"Um... about that." Rain grabbed me before I could think about leaving. "Since... you're still married to Cadance I really don't want her getting wind of this."
"Why not?" I blinked.
Her head lowered, "I... just can't let her take anything else away from me. The necklace... You..." She was about the put on the water works, but she was tough. "How do I know she won't want Sprite and try to pass it off as her own secret love child?"
"That's ridiculous." I chuckled, "There's no way Sprite will be taken from you. Let alone can even pass off as a secret love child between me and her."
Her face saddened.
Cadance has pulled some low blows and it made sense. Sprite was in the shape of an alicorn... but in name only. I have no idea if the horn even works. Her little wings can flap though. I can see where Rain was coming from. And I had to be careful around what I said to any pony.
"Does every pony know about her though?" I asked.
"That she exists sure. But not every pony know she's an alicorn." Rain scooped Sprite up with her own arms and moved her hair back into place.
"But you're living in secret." I replied.
"Not entirely... I just don't want Cadance getting wind of her." She snuggled Sprite with her snout.
"Who knows... that magic she used on you might be casted on Sprite..." She hugged Sprite closely. "I'll just die..."
And with that... I decided to leave this a secret...
I visited every day before the big party at the castle... Getting in whatever visitations I can... I bought Sprite toys. Took her to the park. Fed her ice cream. Gave her a bath. Things were starting to look up. I introduced her to my sister Twilight and her friend. I also introduced her to Ghendi who just adored her. Though she tried to eat his tail. Mom and dad admitted taking care of Sprite whenever Rain could not. I even asked why this was not even brought up during the wedding. They simply just replied. To keep her safe. I was going to make my decision on if I should stay with Cadance or not.
But things started to turn sour... And somehow, Sprite being an alicorn in name only got out with pictures on magazines. A lot of mystery was talked about and I tried to help protect the interest in Sprite. I was asked for interviews as pictures showed that I was entering Rain's apartment and playing with Sprite outside when suddenly some of her hair would flap exposing her horn. Rain would be approached at her job being asked questions over and over again disturbing her sessions with the children she taught. I just don't understand how this happened. But soon, magazine titles started to show their worst. Claiming I might have been having an affair the whole time when I was with the princess. Love child exposed.
Well... the day of the party. I was going to convince Rain so we can clear the air with every pony on how Sprite came to be. But... she packed up her bags and told me to buck off. She said she knew she could not trust me in keeping Sprite a secret once she started getting letters from the kingdom asking her to bring Sprite. One especially from Celestia. Though worded nicely, she offered to take in Sprite and give her the things she needed. But Rain knew this was another ploy to get another thing stripped away from her. Or at least feared it would be. I tried over and over to at least let the princesses see Sprite for positive purposes. I vowed to not let anything happen... But... I tried chasing her down but with Sprite on her back I really had to hustle. Rain slapped me, told me I was a good for nothing. Said I was still working for Cadance to rip everything away from her. She told me to just go back to Cadance. She did not want to look at me anymore. She did not want to hear from me anymore. She said she would move if she had to and hopefully never come back. And all she ever wanted to do... was to show that she did not need a stallion weighing her down to achieve and that she did... She raised a filly by herself and had help when she needed it from friends but to me... it was dreaded.
Before I knew it... Rain placed a restraining order on me telling me not to come anywhere between five hundred feet of her and Sprite. It crushed me. It killed me... My parents were devastated when they heard the news. The grand daughter they were help raising was gone. I just wondered... How did this all get out?
Guess I'm a curse... My friends still talked to me but were still as distant. It was that hour. I did not even want to go. Hell this all happened the same day. How can you gain something you missed out on for so long and just have it taken away from you?
I tried not to think about it. I can't afford to make myself into a bigger wreck and I had to get on my superiors better side again in hope to back into the groove. So I escorted my sister and her friend to the party. We ate, drank, socialized. Well I could not concentrate. I felt dead inside. But I kept smiling. Twilight and Rarity remained at my side. Twilight would sneak off to chat with Ghendi. I kept somewhat of a close eye on those two while Rarity just chatted my ear off. I did not mind it. Normally girls like this would annoy me but not Rarity. Everything about her seemed endearing. But still my world seemed empty.
By at this time... Cadance herself walked up to me. Looking. Fit... Or beautiful.
"Shining Armor?" She paused in front of me.
I put a plain look on my face, "Oh... Hey. Enjoying the party?"
"Er... Yes sort of." She rubbed her elbow.
I don't know why. I lost everything in just so few days. I took a swig of my drink, "So how's it like back in the castle?"
"Fine... Just fine." She frowned sadly, "So how have you been?"
"Well... being captain put a lot of strain on me and my performance started to suffer." I remarked, this was not easy to admit but my record was not looking good as it used to or what was left of it. I did anything to change the subject and not wanted Cadance to ask about my daughter or if she even knew.
"But you were happy being captain were you not?" She asked pretty desperately.
"To be honest... At first it sounded great but the job was far too demanding." I admitted. "I was thinking about quitting."
"I'm... sorry to hear that." She apologized. She looked very sincere.
"Yeah but look where all this got me." I scoffed.
"Surely you liked something about the job." She asked. I knew she was trying to make me stay.
"I like the teaching aspect." I said. "A real challenge and something I can sink my teeth into."
"You would make a great teacher." She said.
She buttered me up. But after losing Sprite for a very short time. I just felt empty. But I knew what
I wanted. I wanted to dedicate my life to getting Rain to see that I'm sorry and want to be in Sprite's life. But... Rain wanted me to never see her again... She told me to go back to Cadance and just continue life as a guard. Cadance brought up the question if we could get back together. I just shook my head in disagreement. Easily letting her down. Telling her that, that we took it too quickly. Her response was typical. Crying... I tried to ease her down. But it did not do any good. She was spouting that I wanted a divorce but I tried to quiet her down.
My sister came to my rescue. She was not in the best of moods. When she found out that Cadance cheated. It devastated her as well. To her Cadance could do no wrong. Or so we thought. It did not take too long for Twilight to hear my story. She really liked Sprite as that was the first time she felt the joy of being an aunt. She tried helping me to get Rain to see that the world outside is inviting. But with Cadance doing what she did back then. She was really angry about it. To take some pony away from another just like that because of jealousy and wanting. I swear...
Twilight laid down the verbal assault on Cadance calling her a whore and all sorts of other names. I tried to get her to stand down but she did nothing. Princess Celestia herself would intervene and scold Twilight. She just stormed off. Celestia demanded my sister see her in the study. Oh man. I would have to sneak away to help her later. But Cadance... was crying still. Still crying. I felt terrible. Almost sorry that a princess of love represented the fairy tale style of love but yet could not find it herself... She was beautiful don't get me wrong... But I was angry. Angry at myself... I ruined a life... wait... not one but two... I was not there for Rain or Sprite... I was mad at myself because I could not break away from the spell earlier. I was angry...
Just then a red stallion walked up to Cadance and offered her a hanky. She said his name. Big Macintosh. A very familiar name. With the sudden urge I gritted my teeth as I asked his name... He replied truthfully that it was his name and I rewarded him with a punch to the face... I said some things... The red stallion stood up again and brushed off my assault like it was nothing. I was so full of rage. It would not be long until we threw down.
I lost everything... My life... My baby... Daddy is sorry...
You were actually warming up to me...
I knew you were shy but you finally said "daddy..."
I won't go much into the fight that I started but it was brutal. I made some pretty harsh accusations. Said some things I should have not said. Twilight must have been experiencing some problems with the princess because she was acting pretty harsh lately. Can't blame her, she finally knew shew as an aunt then no longer one for about a couple of days. That joy stripped away. I think that was her boiling point once I showed her the letter from Celestia herself. Here I was fighting with a random pony I hardly even know. And for what? My mind wants to tell me for my honor and Cadence's sake. But my heart is telling me something different. Screwy yes. Ever have that feeling for something that used to be yours then some pony else had a better use for it then you did? Would that not bother you? Oh who am I kidding. I really sunk to a new low. I was drinking a bit before I even came to this stupid party. To help my nerves but even that got the best of me.
I swung at Big Mac. He would return the favor. Man he punch like a freight train! We must have exchanged about a hundred blows to each others faces and ribs. My anger just kept on going. I would have had something if Cadence did not sleep with this big inbreed hick. We threw each other on tables. Guards and guests alike tried to stop us by pulling us apart but we weren't having it. I really hated his guts. Rain told me to go crawling back to Cadence. I did not want to. But now I'm just not sure.
Out of nowhere Ghendi tried to restrain me with him shouting, "Captain this is not necessary!"
I growled, "Get off of me lieutenant!"
"No way!" He growled back. "Captain please this is not like you!"
I shook him off and delivered a punch to his face. At this time I heard my sister and her friends gasp for such an attack made on one of my most trusted followers. He landed flat on his back holding his jaw. But my rage still kept going. I went back to Big Mac and kept punching him and ramming him into things. I used my magic to form a barrier every now and then but man the barrier really rattles with Mac punches it.
Again I tried to be restrain but this time by other guards, "HOOFS OFF!" I roared. "I'm your captain!"
"Not anymore Shining Armor!" They grunted. I raged further and slammed them together.
"STOP!" I heard Cadence cry. But still I fought with Mac.
"I SAID STOP!" She cried harder.
"Really this is getting out of hoof here!" Apple Jack shouted.
"PLEASE STOP!" Cadence made her last desperate cry for help.
Just then the doors exploded open. Princess Celestia and herself with princess Luna standing in the doorway. Celestia used her magic to separate Big Mac and I and held us in place. She could destroy us anytime she wanted to. My heart was racing as I kept quiet to await her next command. She pointed to the each of us. "YOU! YOU! YOU! YOU! AND ESPECIALLY YOU TWILIGHT SPARKLE!" She heaved, "IN MY STUDY NOW! I AM NOT REPEATING MYSELF!" She walked up to Cadence who was still crying, Celestia was not too pleased either way, "WE ARE SETTLING THIS NOW YOUNG LADY!" She turned to the guests, "FOR THE REST OF YOU THE PARTY IS OVER! GOOD DAY!"
And with that. The guests left. Some mumbling, others talking how terrible the party was anyway. Great. I gave the press another thing to write about us. Everything was a mess. I looked around with some of the guests trading glances with me, their faces in disapproval. Scoffing at me. Scoffing at Cadence. Scoffing at Big Mac. I hated myself. I really embarrassed the hell out of Twilight in front of every pony, even the princess. Worst yet. I hit my guards that I taught myself. Spent time with.
Right now. Cadence was just staring at me and Big Mac. She had her fancy handkerchief with her. I was bleeding. Big Mac was bleeding. I don't know what possessed me to think she would come over to my direction. Hoping that she had some decency and felt really sorry she would come over. Oh man do my sides hurt. But she did something I never thought she would do.
She threw down her handkerchief in between us. Told us, "I'm tired of playing around. I'm tired of being scorned because I made a stupid mistake!" She tried to hold back her tears, "NO MORE! Clean yourselves up!" She turned around and walked the other direction. More likely to the study to wait our fates. Man did I really screw up.
Not only that. I'm sure my superiors are going to want to chew me out. My sister came along side of me and started cleaning the blood away from my face. It hurt. It hurt a lot deeper when your life went crashing down. Rarity then soon followed wiping the blood away from my eyes.
"... I hate myself..." I muttered.
"Shhh..." Rarity tried to ensure me. "A lot has happened in the past couple of days."
I did not want to hear it. I really made an ass out of myself. "Guess I can say goodbye to my position now."
"Will you just stop?" Twilight grunted, "You're going to be under the princess's hoof soon and have to explain yourself. Worse yet your marriage with Cadence is on the line."
"Twilight." Rarity glared, "You're going to be under the hoof as well because of how you acted as well."
"Twilight shook her head slowly with a scowl, "I just don't care anymore. I'm done. This was all fine until princess Celestia asked for Sprite."
"But surely she just wanted to take a look at the child." Rarity assumed.
"Maybe she does. Maybe she doesn't." Twilight grunted. "There is only so many known alicorns in Equestria and some that I met."
"What are you implying Twilight?" Rarity scoffed.
"Reason why Rain freaked and left my brother to sulk is because Sprite is an alicorn in name only and Cadence is an alicorn also married to my brother. See the hint?" Twilight grunted.
"Are you implying that they could take Sprite away and try to pass it off as a secret love child between Shining and Cadence?" Rarity frowned. "That's ridiculous! How would the princess even do that? Let alone allow it?"
"Knowing how things are pulled these days. Whatever to keep this marriage afloat." Twilight frowned.
"Twilight... be reasonable." I coughed. "Put the conspiracy theories away for a moment."
"It's not a conspiracy theory!" Twilight grunted. "Why do ponies think I'm crazy?"
"Because you jump to conclusions too quickly!" I growled.
"And how many times did I turn out right?" She shot back. "Yeah I thought so."
"Twilight..." Rarity blinked. "It's over... just let it go. Shining Armor here is in enough trouble as it is already. Maybe there can be some mending tonight and things will go over easier."
"Well it's no good now. Rain and Sprite are gone and I don't have any idea where they could have went." I frowned. But Rarity kept dabbing the cloth on my face gently. "Besides there's no proof that Celestia would forcefully take Sprite away. It's just not in her character. I mean come on she's your teacher for flanks sake."
Twilight just pouted. But not in defeat. I tried to walk to the door but my legs were hurting. I had to limp from the ballroom to the halfway point where I met up with my superiors. And no surprise they were not happy. I told Rarity and Twilight to wait up ahead while I talked. Waiting to speak was Colonel Iron Hide. A very old fashioned brute but gets the job done. I can go on all about this guy and his track record. He always was a great colonel.
"Yes Colonel Iron Hide?" I saluted.
"At ease Shining Armor." He frowned. "Word has it that you had yourself a quite a week."
I let my eyes wander. "Well... Yeah. It's been pretty rough and... I... can't deny it."
He crossed his arms. "First a suspension for you and your wife to work it out. I heard that it didn't fine. But do you mind telling me..." His straight face scared me. This was the pony that always let a few things slide as long as they were excusable. But his face scowled, "Why in Equestria did you go hoof to hoof with a random stranger in the ballroom?"
"I... I..." I had no answer. Sure I could say I was defending my honor and wanted to protect Cadence's interest but it was not going to do any good.
"Shining Armor. I always thought you were full of potential but this is unlike you. You always had a clear head on things but this. This takes the cake. Since you could not get your act together the higher ups have considered you to have a demotion." He frowned. My face fell. "I'm sorry Shining Armor but clearly you are not Captain material... yet."
What else was there to say? I had to bend over and take it. "Thank you sir. I'll get my things then..."
"Don't bother. The boys have already went through your office and boxed your things. Report for reassignment by Monday." Colonel Iron Hide commanded. I saluted and thanked him but not proudly. Even if I wanted to yell at him he was still a superior officer. And a good one still. He stopped, "And Shining Armor?"
"Yeah?" I sadly looked over.
"I'm sorry its not working out for you. You and your marriage as well as finding out you had a daughter this entire time." He turned his head in disappointment. "Hopefully you can make things right before you let this sink you further in." Finally he left and rounded the corner. That was it. I was no longer captain. Surely it felt like a piece of me was being ripped away but not as hurtful as Sprite.
My sister and Rarity were waiting for me. I walked up to them and continued my way to the study area. But somehow, those two heard everything.
"I'm... I'm sorry Shining." Twilight muttered.
I sighed, "Don't be... I dug myself into this."
"Shin honey. Please, you been through a lot." Rarity eased in. "Just go in and explain your side. If the princess is not in the best of moods and you get..."
"Fired?" I grunted.
"Well... If worse comes to worse I can always use an extra pair of hoofs at my shop." She smiled weakly.
I frowned. "Thanks for the offer but maybe a demotion is what I need to get my head straight."
"Don't be ridiculous Shining you worked hard for this position." Twilight frowned.
"I'm not so sure anymore." I thought.
Still my sides ached and continued limping. Twilight and Rarity escorted me to the medical ward where no doubt Big Mac with his sister was sitting across from me as I was being treated. I did not make eye contact with him and just let the doctor and nurse look over me. Just then Bic Mac was excused and left. He took one look at me, not mad, not happy either. I just had tons of bruises and cuts. And no surprise there were other ponies there also being treated because of our fight. I felt terrible as some of them were guards who invited their families to have a good time for once. Just for a laugh, get some high quality food and have a night to remember. You all know how that turned out. No surprise, my lieutenant; Ghendi was there also and just about done being treated. With his back to the wall I noticed he was wearing a bandage over his eye. Oh no. What have I done? The other eye looked at me with uncertainty, if anything it should be betrayal. He just sat there. Glum. I was just bandaged up and got a few stitches to close my cuts. Was off on my merry way. But I took one last look in the ward. When I first entered it was silent, eyes looking at me. Some wanted to jump me and beat my head in, I would not blame them if they wanted to. Others just let my guilt wander over me. I wanted to apologize but who would listen? Not after what happened. It was better off to leave.
Halfway there I just had to ask, "Twilight..."
"Yeah?" She asked.
"Why are you mad at the princess lately?" I asked.
"Just because... Lately we've been having a fallout." She muttered.
"Is it about Sprite?" I asked.
"A bit... Also the princess has been excusing my work too easily as of lately as if she did not even read it or go over it, lately she's finding any reason just to excuse herself from me. But also about Cadence how I trusted her and loved her like she was my own sister." Twilight kept her attention ahead.
"You think you know some pony." Rarity added.
Twilight shot a glare at Rarity. "Rarity imagine a pony you looked up to and was one of the only ponies that you seem to trust." She heaved, "My mom and dad were always busy, my brothers had their own thing to go to. Cadence at least tried to make things seem fun and reading wasn't always everything."
But then her face turned scowl, "Don't you tell me that I have no idea!" She got a bit defensive. "I had an older cousin who used lived with us but decided to get married to some young up and comer fashion pony we thought was great at first. She was like a big sister too that loved my things. But in due time under her coat she was mean and nasty! She gave me a hard time saying all my designs were stupid once she finally got on the circuit. My cousin used to defend me from everything and now he doesn't anymore. Always taking her side!" She sniffed, "He always said my work was pretty and said I should make clothes. Now his wife just insults my gifts whatever I made for him, goes out and buys something similar just to rub it in my face saying whatever she buys is just as good! She even wrote a bad review about my store!His gifts would gather dust in a closet!" She shook her head, "You think that is not bad enough? It goes much deeper than that!" Her eyes watered a bit while her teeth gritted.
This was surprising. I had no idea she was dealing with this kind of thing. I would ask her for more of the story but some reason I think this one was something she rather not continue along. We all have stories that hurt us more and more the more we talk about. I had some sympathy for Rarity and some respect for her tonight. She was a lot stronger than I ever thought a pony of her stature could ever be. But there was still a bit of mystery to her.
Twilight eased back, "Rarity... I'm sorry I had no idea..."
Rarity sniffed, "No... I shouldn't have said anything." She turned her head, "Forget it."
"Really I'm..." Twilight tried to apologize.
"I said forget it." Rarity walked up to the others leaving Twilight guilty and saddened by the fact that she tried to compare her feelings over every ponies. Sure she was due to be called out sometime or later but to actually do it in front of me or even in the castle. Wow that takes guts.
Next was the moment of truth. We finally reached Celestia's study with Apple Jack and the others waiting outside. Twilight opened the door and we found Cadence already inside. No surprise. Big Mac left the ward earlier than I did so it was no surprise to find him in there before me. Twilight and I sat in between the two and awaited our fates. We exchanged glances between each other. Maybe I have been going all wrong about this. Should I stay with Cadence and just let Rain and Sprite be... Or sacrifice all of this and just go find them? Many of you are thinking why not just stay with Cadence and go find Sprite to take her back. Well, that's what Rain was fearing this entire time. To take Sprite away from her just so my daughter could live happily in the castle and forget about her... I just can't let that happen. But if I stayed with Cadence then my chances are pretty rough as well as being in a relationship that practically went nowhere. I'm already in the dog house.
Within time... The princess herself walked in and sat down behind her desk. She looked at each of us. Ready to scold us..
As expected princess Celestia was in a scowl mood. Disappointed in all of us. I just wanted this to be over as she explained what destroyed in the process. I really did not care anymore, I honestly did not even want to show up tonight for the event. What did I get? Got into a fight. A demotion. Scolding. Just to make matters worse Celestia is using her piercing gaze on Cadence and I. I knew what she wanted to ask.
But surprisingly my sister stood up to her and was no longer playing. I told her to watch what she said but she kept on making things worse for herself. That is so like her jumping into situations gun-ho without knowing the situation. But as my sister explained before we sat down, she was having some sort of fallout with the princess. I wanted to guess it was a form of rebellion as a phase. She was not a little girl anymore and I respected her independence. But the weird things she spouts sometimes. Sure she had her moments when she was right but then there were times when things blew up on her. I did notice a chance in Celestia's way of talking to my sister, was not something to raise an eyebrow at really. How they were talking to each other, it did not seem like it was mentor and student like anymore. Can't quite put my hoof on it.
Twilight tried to speak to defend me but only to get shot down by Celestia. Really did not help to open your argument with, "It's Cadence's fault. It's Big Mac's fault. Blah blah. Can't you listen to reason?" Well maybe that's not how it went exactly but it did not help with Twilight get wound up. Only for her to drop the biggest bomb shell I never wanted to hear from her. She quit. She just quit being Celestia's student. I shook my head and disbelief and tried to reason her. But she made up her mind. Celestia of course told her she was welcomed to leave whenever she wanted. That was typical of any teacher to say under a mouth filled with important words to say us to make herself mighty and all knowing. But deep down I knew she was trying to make Twilight said she had enough. If I know my sister, when she had enough of something she had enough. I don't know the entire story but something just seems off. Like Twilight was wanting to tell her something different but this is just masking it. Twilight left the room and slammed the door.
So to wrap up what happened during the little discussion. We each got a chance to say something. I remained neutral even though I was still on the fence. I wanted to leave and go pursue Rain and Sprite even if it kills me. But staying with Cadence I could actually afford anything Sprite could ever want... But that would mean that in the interest of the court system, Rain would lose Sprite no matter how much she is in the right. Sounds ridiculous right? Just because I'm part of royalty I can win cases even if I'm in the wrong as long as its nothing against the royal family. How messed up is that? Princess Celestia pulled out the official document to end the marriage. And as usual Cadence was still blubbering, she knew she messed up. She messed up on a lot of things. Did I feel sorry for her? A little bit. But not entirely to forgive her. I don't know how it was possible for a beautiful mare like her to stoop low. She could have had any stallion she wanted but she picked me. I still to this day wonder why. You already know I was with her for two and a half years. I barely remembered a thing for maybe six or eight months before the wedding day. Before you judge me saying why I did not split once I regained realization, I tried to leave. Many times, I tried to go back to my friends but they were not very happy to see me. Like I betrayed them. I betrayed Rain. I don't know if its timing but... I was convinced back then that I had no friends anymore... So I stayed in the guard and tried to make it work between me and Cadence. And for awhile... I actually believed that we were in love. So I stayed, I wanted to forget about the betrayal. Though she robbed me of my time... and my heart. I hated seeing her like this. But the problem lies in our schedules, I can't afford to take a day off with the supposed Changeling alert, constant training, meetings and training troops. Cadence was... keeping up appearances at openings and going to children hospitals to visit. All we did was demonize each other and did not even try to talk about it. But she seemed morbid about it.
Cadence was still upset. Big Mac was still in the room and I did not want to even look at him. But he told us a very moving speech about how marriage is important to the ponies where he reigns from. I'll admit, for a pony who can hit with the power of a freight train, he is pretty poetic. But, I just stared at him. Pretending to agree with his view point I just nodded and said I appreciated it. Cadence just had to go and say what he said was beautiful. Really? Really now? You want to convince every pony further that you took a sudden interest Cadence? Really? Sorry I'm bit sarcastic. Hint Hint. Celestia told him he had a big heart and since he apologized for ruining my oblivion filled marriage, he was allowed to walk off.
I read over the divorce document carefully. Pretty much I really saw one myself that is designed by royalty. But I admit I jumped the gun trying to go down the to the Canterlot bureau asking for them. They knew who I was, thought I was joking at first and wanted some other documents. Gun license, fishing license, a new license plate for my carriage, just never a divorce document. I asked for it calmly for the third time, they gave it too me and read it over. Seemed more official than what I'm seeing right now. But like I said this one in front of me was designed different. Probably because divorce among royalty is unheard of. Who has not heard of the news of Cadence getting humped these days? I swear even the Diamond Dogs must know by now. They just expect me to take it. But Cadence got her shares of the hiss. But anyway, the document said once signed by both partners and stamped by the princess herself it will be the official end of our marriage. In fair trade we are to give up half of our belongings unless an agreement could be made such as a family heirloom, personal possessions, things we are willing to part with. Though horror stories I've been told is that you get screwed over now matter what.
So to finish up the little meeting. Celestia told us to sleep on it then have a little chat with each other before we decide. In honesty, they really were hoping this would work. But for me, it looked like Cadence did not really want to sign this. I heard some ponies say I should forgive her for what she done, we should talk about this. But for what was thrown on my plate. I just can't see it happening without tinkering each others schedule. I was already demoted so that knocks off a couple of hours for the day for me. But something tells me it would just end up being the same thing over again where she won't be home or I'll be too tired to do anything.
Celestia pardoned us. As much as I had anything left for Cadence I at least opened the door for her and let Big Mac out as well with the others waiting outside. Sure staying over night at the castle is fun and has its perks. But tonight it just did not seem right for a mending things back together. There Twilight and her friends were waiting for us to explain what was up. But I kept it to myself. I did not care what Cadence wanted to say. I just told them I'll be in one of the rooms assigned to me. Go figure, I learned later it was next to Cadence's. Somehow I think Celestia was daring us to make up. But before I said good night to her, she was indeed wearing the necklace I was looking for. The one that I gave to her that belonged to Rain. I could have said something, but all I said was good night to the others. But for some reason I just did not enter my room like the others did. I just remained outside and wandered the halls. Man I could kill for a drink right about now.
There was no strict curfew in place so the guards let me walk past them. Guess Celestia figured I better watch my own ass if I knew what was good for me. I somehow ended up in another one of the courtyards. Just as fancy as the other ones, this one had a pond system set up to give it that elegant swamp theme. Not the icky kind, something you would see out of a fairy tale. Fireflies flew and buzzed around. A gentle breeze blowing through some of the plants growing. I was going to use this time to reflect back on my life but I already told you enough times that you would just moan if I did it again.
Rain had a soft spot for this sort of thing. Just looking at the sheer beauty the environment is displaying right now. We used to stay up really late and enjoy a walk together in the park. Sure we could do it in the day time but at night its like was another world. A world where the night sky brought out a new light to the things we were so used to seeing in the light. Just sitting on the bench and looking out over the lake with fireflies just like these ones buzzing about. Lighting a way of possibilities. I sighed. I missed seeing stuff like that with her. There we were so open with each other like we could say anything. Like I found out she had a half sister in her mother's previous marriage that she could never find the time to talk to anymore but still loved her. She always wanted to be strong like her and be a wonder bolt too. No doubt her half-sister hates my guts too, I did meet her a few times. Small cyan colored pegasus and a dark blue mane, magenta eyes I think or were they red? Wherever she is, I hope she's having a good life. Think she had a habit of dying her hair when she was young.
I took out my cell phone and debated with myself if I should call Rain again. At least to update her on Cadence and how much I started to rethink this whole thing. But the problem was if I wanted to sign and Cadence did not, what was I supposed to do? Have a clingy princess on my arm that is miserable and is trying to make herself look like the victim? Some of me wants to forgive her but the other half wants me to end this.
I called her earlier before I went to the party. Screw the restraining order, I had rights. But to my surprise... Another pony answered the call. Female I figured.
"Hello?" she asked.
My face went cold... "Uh. Is Rain Storm there?"
"Yeah why? Who is this?" She asked.
I won't lie. "It's Shining Armor. I just wanted to talk to her about a few things."
The line went silent. This had me worried. "Oh. Shining Armor is it?"
"Yeah. Um. Who is this?" I asked.
"Her sister." She answered in a bit annoyed tone.
I blinked. Speak of the devil. "Oh. Hey... But please this is really important."
"She's too busy washing her hair to give a flying horses ass right now." She said.
"Hey... Seriously I want to talk to her. Please." I asked her again.
I heard a conversation in the back, "Hey sis this idiot won't take no for an answer can I hang up on him?"
"Rainbow Dash just hang up on his stupid ass. I told you I never wanted to speak to him ever again!" I heard Rain yell probably from the next room over on the line.
"Well you heard the lady. She doesn't want to talk so. Chow." The pony mocked me.
"You know you were not as rude as this when you were younger, kid." I countered.
"Yeah well. Times change. Think its appropriate because of a bastard like you." She growled.
"I'm just going to call again." I grunted.
"Gimme that." I heard Rain. "Listen and Listen well. Shining Armor, you messed up. I don't want to see or hear from you again. I don't care if you get back with Cadence or not, just stay the buck away from me and Sprite! If not then I will call the police on your ass!"
"Where are you?" I grunted.
"I'm not telling. Don't even try to find me either because I'm going to be moving else where." Rain announced. Then she toned down, almost in an apologetic tone, "I'm sorry... But I don't want to Sprite to grow up in the care of royalty. No matter how great they make it out to be. She's my daughter and I'll raise her myself!"
"Rain... please..." I begged.
"I'm sorry. But I can't take you back. Not after what happened. I was stupid to let you back into my life. Because of that, Sprite is getting hounded by all these agents and representatives. I can't even walk outside without the photographers watching our every move." She explained, "That's why I decided... if this keeps up I might have to consider getting her horn removed so she can live normally."
"You can't do that!" I debated. "She has potential!"
"It's not growing naturally!" She shouted. "Its either get it removed or have it dig into her brain where she would bleed out!"
"Its either get it removed or get surgery to align it right. Which will cost a fortune!" She proclaimed.
"If its money I can try..." I tried to reason.
"For what exactly? You scrounge up the money and pay for it. You and Cadence look like saviors while I look helpless. You get more press and I'm supposed to act gracious" She claimed. "Then the ponies..."
"Is it pride on the line for you?" I asked.
"I never wanted this attention you cursed me with!" She cussed me out. "We were fine until you showed up!"
I fell silent for a bit. "Can I atleast say good bye to her before you move?"
She hung up. I hated myself right now. I just wanted to die.
I sat out here for maybe an hour. Thinking about that conversation. More and more Rain got distant with me every time I tried to make an attempt of contact. Phone. Text. E-mail. Using one of Twilight's parchment letters. Tried to get some of my friends to talk to her. It was practically useless. I took out a flask I had hidden in my side pack and took a couple of swigs until.
"Um... Is that seat taken?"
I turned around to find Rarity. Still dressed her her custom made dress for the party. I'm not that much into details but it really looked nice. I quickly jumbled to put the flask away.
"Oh... Hey. What are you doing out here?" I asked.
"I was out for a stroll. Needed some fresh air after that whole tangent." She frowned.
I blinked. "Oh right. Yeah you can sit." I moved over.
She fixed up her dress to sit down next to me. It felt a bit awkward for a little but it soothed itself out.
She sighed, "Nice night huh?"
I frowned, "Well if you can get passed all the crap that happened tonight I guess." I turned my head to look at her. "Sorry... You probably don't want to hear my whine about this anymore. It's set in stone."
"Darling I know its hard but..." She paused, "Wither you choose to get back together or separate is entirely up to you. Maybe you don't have to look at this as the end... Maybe as a new beginning."
Cliche Rarity... Pretty cliche.
"Sounds all and all but you're not stuck at a crossroad where you're damned if you do and damned if you don't." I said.
She let out another sigh. Then smiled, "I marvel at the sight like this."
"What?" I asked and looked ahead. "The fireflies on the pond?"
"Yes actually. One of the great things about the night. The night is often associated with darkness which is why ponies are scared of it." She kept looking on.
"Right." I nodded, "It's just who wanders in that darkness that ponies are scared of sometimes."
"It took awhile to show that Luna's night is appreciated. But more and more ponies love the night these days. Sometimes the best things happen at night." She smiled.
"I can agree with that." I smiled. Really I can. "Want to walk around the courtyard to see more of it?" I stood up and offered my hoof. Maybe this way I can set everything out of my mind.
She looked up and me and smiled. Taking my hoof. Soon we walked on the small concrete paths laid out and admired the scenery. I don't why but Rarity was a nice form of company. We played as a little game with the pond making shapes out of water. Bubbles. Squares. Diamonds. She made a swan which was actually beautiful. Well despite it being clear the light from the water made it look like those ice sculptures. Slowly she animated it.
But I had to ask. "If you don't mind me asking lady Rarity."
"Yes?" She asked.
"What did happen with your cousin?" I looked at her. The swan splashed into the water dissolving. I quickly apologized, "I'm sorry... it's none of my business. Sorry."
With a deep breath she looked up at me, "Zircon was like a sibling to me. He pretty much lived with my family when I was younger because his parents gave up on him. He's been in troube a few times before he came to live with us. Since my dad was a guidance pony besides a football coach and a damn... Pardon my French." She giggled a bit. "But anyway... Zircon was pretty slow to open up at first but eventually did once we tried to invite him on outings. My father convinced him to make something of himself and he started to fly right. One of my first designs was a sweater and... It was around Hearth and Hooves day, I had nothing to give to him. He looked at it funny, I was convinced back then that he probably hated it."
"But he did not huh?" I asked.
She smiled and nodded, "As it turned out. From then on he wore it and loved. Said it was not too tight. Not too itchy. It was just right." She chuckled again. "So after he finally was set on a good path. He met his wife. Let's just call her Aurora because I don't want to mention her real one. It still gives me anger issues."
"At first Aurora was a nice unicorn. First impressions always make it count. It was fine for awhile as she knew I was the little fashion artist in the family. Zircon showed her all the clothes I made just trying to impress her. Aurora said she liked them. So I started making her some clothes as I learned that she was an up and coming fashion model. Her first few shows were great as she would wear something of mine just to help give me some recognition. But... once her career started taking off she grew bitter." She sighed. "The more clothes I made for her the... day I finally learned that Zircon was trying to ask her to help. She would wear some of my scarfs I made but... When audience did not give her the attention she wanted she would blame me saying I was not a genius. Saying all my clothes suck that night."
I listened further.
"So... I tried to forget about what she said and kept working on my things. Zircon announced that he proposed to Aurora and she accepted. It was a joyous occasion." Shaking her head she continued, "Then Aurora asked if I can make her a dress for her wedding. My chance at redemption for her..." She wiped her eyes a little, "So I made the dress with her specifications and showed it to her. She hated it. Told me that I had my head up my flank when I was listening to her. I tried to apologize but instead I just went back to remake it... five more times. Same result."
Wow what a picky bitch...
"The seventh time is when I finally stood up to her. Wisest one I did but in the eyes of every pony else. I was seen as the bad guy because there was a family party between the two families. She said she found the dress she wanted and bought it from another dress maker. Then I snapped. I was tired of her chewing me out when the dress was not white enough or had too many frills. Not enough frills." She was quiet for the next few seconds. "Zircon told me if I could not appreciate what Aurora wants then I should not even come to the wedding. I told him how many hours, days and weeks I spent on that stupid dress. He did not apologize, all he wanted was Aurora's happiness. A pony who used to enjoy whatever I made for him and actually treated me like a sister... I did not go to the wedding and that was enough for him to stop talking to us. He refused to believe his bride was capable of being so mean and heartless. She made Sweetie Belle quit being a flower girl because she could not handle her yelling."
"So what happened to those two?" I asked.
"Well... Zircon joined the guard but stationed else where. Him and Aurora had the harshest divorce ever after three or four years of marriage I lost count." She sighed. "Aurora showed her true colors when she could not model anymore..."
"What's she do now?" I asked.
"Adult films." She answered quickly.
"Oh..." I put on a poker face. I might have seen a tape with that name on it somewhere. "Well at least you're doing better than her."
She chuckled. "Exactly. I was going to show her that my designs were not stupid as she claimed. Practically every pony wants commissions from me."
"Well I'm glad you got a set path in life." I smirked. "I want to quit the guard and go into teaching."
She put her hoof to her chest, "Mr. Sparkle has a nice ring to it."
I smiled, "It does actually." We both chuckled.
We got to talking a bit more about ourselves. And really it just seems like I can tell her almost anything. She would listen to what I say and whatever she said I listened. The little accent she has I admit is rather intriguing. Her laugh. Her sincerity. Though when I got to talk about Rain and Sprite, she really shared her apologies and hope I find peace some day. I did try ask why Twilight was having a fallout with the princess but her guess was as good as mine. So we played with the pond water some more. She formed the swan again and I also made a swan with my magic. Letting them float around the pond with the fireflies shining off of the water surface. Then our swans touched and kissed. Then suddenly I fond my around around her shoulder. And she did not seem to mind it, I was going to pull away quickly but... It just felt right. She did not fight it. She said she could never meet the right stallion as all the good ones she claimed were either taken, married or were too stuck up. I agreed with that. Then... She admitted that she had a tiny attraction towards me. I felt flattered but still tried to keep it cool. But maybe that was not what I should be looking for. I was still married. But was pursuing another pony that did not want me. And here Rarity admitted she was attracted to me since the wedding but had to suck it up that I was married to Cadence.
We decided to turn in for the night before any pony noticed we were gone. Don't see how because half of them are sleeping. I walked back up to my room and Rarity to hers. We took one long glance at each other before we closed our doors and big each other a good night.
I laid down in my bed. Staring up at the ceiling. I could not sleep and pulled out the flask again to take a sip. There was a small knock at the door. Figures. I thought it would be Cadence trying to make one last attempt to save the marriage. But instead... it was Rarity again. I asked if she was okay. She said she just wanted to talk some more as she could not sleep either. Well I invited her in and offered her a drink from the cabinet in the far corner. I made her a sex on the beach. Yeah that one is going to make itself a pun real quick. She accepted and we looked outside from sitting on my bed. Kept talking and talking. She was really close to me at this time. I did not fight it.
But then memories of Rain saying how much she hated me. It... really got to me.
I put my hoofs on my head and really felt vulnerable right now.
"I'm sorry Rarity..." I apologized. My voice was cracking up as I tossed the flask away in a bit of rage. It was not helping the pain, it was just numbing it.
I collapsed onto the floor. She knelt down beside me.
"I'm sorry... Rain does not want to see me anymore and wants whats best for Sprite without me. She hates me... And Cadence took two and a half years away from me. I want out..." I teared up. "It's tearing me apart..."
I choked, "I just feel dead inside..."
Then she looked at me and sat down. I cried and tried to hide my face. But she put put of her hoofs to my cheeks. Her ocean blue eyes showed caring. She moved her face closer to mine. Her voice got deeper...
"Be alive with me tonight..."
The pale white unicorn's hooves reached out to me and cupped my cheeks. Demanding that I snap out of my weakened state and just look into those sweet blue eyes of hers. I was fool. Made myself to look look and gained sympathy from one of my sister's friends because of my sob story. I hated myself. A strong captain, now reduced to a blubbering mess who needs alcohol to numb the pain.
I will remember those words that Rarity said to me; "Be alive with me tonight..." Not just the words but... how she said it like she was purring. Her voice with a low purr, no doubt she was coming onto me. At first, I wanted to turn her down but then I remembered all the crap I went through. Finding out I have been living one big lie, as well as finding out I had a daughter this entire time. The mother does not want anything to do with me. To finally gain something only to be ripped away from you so quickly, you don't know what to do. It makes no sense. Let alone my own parents did not even tell me about Sprite... or did they? I don't know anymore. I should be mad but all I am now, is numbed with pain.
What happens next is I was launched into a situation where my morals come into question. I was respected among my guards and superiors, even my family and relatives no question about it. Royalty as well, Celestia praised my work even Luna gave me a compliment. Cadence was the sole reason I was here though, without her I would not have gained such a respected position but then again... I question her. What exactly did I marry? Cadence was the symbol of love, not illusion; that's Chrysalis for Celestia's sakes. Just where did all of this go wrong? How could she just pull the curtain over my head like that? Her power was said by many other ponies that she brings out the love that already exists within, I call bull on that... It's a double edged sword and no pony ever considers the bads because love is so good.
I weighed my options but I did poorly on that. I wanted revenge, I wanted out of this castle to go pursue my baby girl again. That was heaven! This was not. You look at Canterlot and first thing you see is a very well developed and preserved town, as well as it being the capital of all Equestria. Rarity always wanted to be part of Canterlot and there is no doubt about it. She saved up enough to buy a building here that would be staggering to pay monthly. Canterlot has a strict karma rule and if most of Canterlot does not like you, then you're pretty much in for a wild ride of not getting any business because of bad reviews and ponies who won't even bother giving your business a second thought. Then again, there is always a high possibility of Celestia coming in to save the day. Every pony follows Celestia, leading by example. Well... I don't know how it came to this, it just lead one thing to another. I made sure my door was locked, the lights turned off, my terrace left a jar. My guards who were still under my order were told to allow no pony past the door. I left my terrace open, hoping it would send off some sort of romance cheesiness but that's where my biggest mistake is going to happen.
"I will... my lady..." I muttered. I leaned in and kissed her. I let your imagination play out the rest as we got really close and started performing on each other. There I was, a unhappily married stallion and highly respected captain having relations with another mare. Well this next part I won't go into exact detail as she did me, I did her. I did her from behind, I did her facing her. And man... her moans were like something else. I often heard from my sister and her friends that Rarity had that shriek to her sometimes whenever she got upset or felt like be a drama queen but... Something about her when she squealed in delight and pleasure just makes me enjoy it. First she said I was a roughian but how she said it with such joy in her voice. Her saying I was a great lover but really I was just venting my pent up frustration on her marehood. I must have lost myself about three times into her. Each time, breathing harder and harder. I just had to have more of her. I loved every aspect about her, she begged me, she called to me, she loved me. Other than the well rounded huge flank and perfect large baby feeders, a little meat on her... Ka-ching, she was perfect from top to bottom along with what's on the inside. I just loved her personality, most ponies would find a personality like that would often be from a bitch but Rarity was generous. We had breaks in between our little love romp sessions sharing stories of our upbringing and adventures and found out, we loved talking to each other. I learned a lot about Rarity that night and found out she really had heart. Then again... I knew ponies like this...
I told her to lie on her stomach, she did so. I positioned myself on top of her and started thrusting. She jiggled in all the right places, she begged for more and more. I delivered, I don't know what came over me but sharing the night with Rarity, just made things seem easier. Letting myself ooze within her, she gasped and cooed. I felt a draft from the terrace window.
"Strange..." I thought, the wind must have blew it open.
I lowered myself back onto Rarity and continued pumping in and out of her. She turned her head the best she could, I did my best to reach her as she whispered little bits of encouragements into my ear. "Shining darling... Don't ever let any pony say you're scum... Or pitiful... OH!" Sorry, I thrusted. "Oh you big strong colt OH! You're perfect the way you...OHHH!" With another thrust or two, I released myself again. Still going in the slow motions, she kept moaning.
Until I heard...
"GET OFF MY HUSBAND YOU HOME WRECKING SKANK!"
I quickly turned my head to see Cadence walking out of the shadows. Eyes lit with raging fire and her teeth grinding. Quickly Rarity pulled the covers over herself to hide while I was to face the music. Well it was good while it lasted, maybe a little taste of your own medicine huh? And what luck, the necklace Rain mentioned was proudly hanging around her neck like a prize. I had to get that back.
"Oh hey Cadence." I smirked.
"Don't hey Cadence me!" She growled and started shouting, "You know how horrible I felt the past few days over what I did but here you are doing it! Slamming into Rarity's ass like she's a two bit whore!"
I refused to look at her. I simply put my hoof over the sheets, Rarity was shaking underneath them but I assured her. I would not let anything happen to her, never. I could not look at Cadence anymore, sure I felt a little bad for getting back at her but if its to make her feel horrible then bullseye. A lying bitch princess who has the power to make ponies fall in love.. Please...
"I SAID LOOK AT ME!" She demanded.
I rubbed my hoof against Rarity's back one more time before finally turning to her. I narrowed my own eyes. "You know what Cadence. There is no excuse for what you did, I don't care if you got drunk. I heard everything before you even went to that party saying I was lame and shit." I marched up to her, "Of course there's no excuse for what I even did just now. Well buck you then. We're not happy! FACE IT!"
Cadence heaved, "I WANTED TO FIX IT!" She got right up into my face, "BUT NO YOU DON'T WANT TO COOPERATE WITH ME!"
"What is there to cooperate with? I'm not letting you put that spell on me again if that's what you're planning!" I shouted back at her.
"I WOULD NEVER!" She scoffed.
"Did not stop you the first time." I replied back. "And thanks to you, I'm not getting my time back."
"OH PLEASE GIVE IT A REST!" She hollered.
"BUCK YOU STUPID WHORE!" I shot back.
"I WANT THE WHORE OUT!" Cadence demanded. Her magic aura tried to engulf Rarity, I was not going to take a chance on my wife hurting Rarity.
"DON'T YOU TOUCH HER!" I growled, soon my magic wrestled with hers in a battle of wits. A tug of war and pushing was involved but little no effort at all. I was slammed through the giant doors of my room to outside the hallway. I moaned in pain as my back really slammed into the castle walls. Oh man... That's smarts. I heard Rarity screaming for Cadence to back away, I heard pounding. Oh man I can't let Cadence do this. Immediately the guards I had stationed outside the room came to my side to help me up, I told them, "Don't worry about me, just apprehend Cadence!"
"ROGER!" The two guards saluted me then ran into the room. Only for one to get quickly thrown back out of the room while the other one howled in pain. My back twinged with the shock of pain but I did not care. Even if I was demoted, I was still a guard and I am to protect the citizens of Equestria no matter what. I galloped in there and slammed into Cadence as hard as I could. Dropping us both to the floor, I wrestled with her. I saw the anger in her eyes and I knew she could with mine. How much I wanted her to pay for everything but her magic was still miles stronger than mine because of her alicorn species.
"RARITY!" I growled. My head turned to the scared mare on the floor, "GO GET YOUR FRIENDS AND THE PRINCESS!"
"GRAHHHH!" Cadence slowly was going to over power me soon.
"GO!" I yelled and with that she did.
And so... I'll admit, Cadence used her magic to whip my ass. Slamming me into walls, the ceiling, the floor. Sure go ahead and say I deserved it, but what she did to me has to be getting at her conscience, no pony is that deceiving and can't feel guilt. As I got slammed back and forth, the more anger I felt from her. This torture, she bounded me so my arms were not free. I tried shooting off my own magic but it would fail to even hit her.
Let this end!
She screamed, "I WANTED TO SEE YOU!"
She cried as she kept mashing me up against a wall, "I wanted to say I'm sorry... WHY?!"
Think I see heaven right about now...
Whoa... I see grandpa Draco.
And grandma Lucrecia! Oh wow heaven is going to be great, I always liked her cookies.
Could you speed it up Cadence? The blood gushing out of my cracked skull isn't killing me any faster.
"CADENCE!" I knew that voice belonged to Luna, "STOP THIS AT ONCE!"
Maybe this was not a good time for her to say that? I landed on the bed but still broke it under my weight because of the height I was dropped at. Oh man I'm aching all over. I moaned in pain as I tried to get back to my hooves, I have to do this for Rain... I want that necklace back so she has something to pass onto Sprite...
"Shining Armor!" Twilight gasped, her and her friends raced to my side.
"Mi Amore Cadenza..." Luna heaved. "Thou has a lot of explaining to do!"
Cadence didn't even bat an eye, she was still enraged, "My husband slept with his sister's hussy friend! I caught them doing the deed here!"
My legs felt wobbly, but then Twilight spoke up, "Just like how we caught you doing the deed in Apple Jack's barn!"
"FOR THE MILLIONTH TIME!" Cadence shouted as she cried, "I WAS DRUNK! INTOXICATED! HAD TOO MUCH!" Silence hit the room, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO SAY IT?!"
I noticed Luna's face did not show any emotion. Something seemed off, it would be natural for a family member to race to their grieving child or niece's side and immediately take sides.
"I wanted to come in and speak to Shining Armor. Hopefully convince him that I can be a better wife b-but I c-come into see him..." She was breaking down even more, "I see him having relations with his sister's friend. We argued and I'm sick of it!"
"You... intoxicated?" Luna raised an eyebrow.
"What?" Twilight looked up at the night princess.
"Well the Apple Cider is pretty strong stuff yur majesty." Apple Jack brought up.
"And alcohol once ingested without food can really do a number on one's actions." Twilight added.
"Alicorns like my sister and I can't get intoxicated." Luna came out and said it. Every pony froze, Cadence just stared at us. She fell to the floor, tears streaming down her face.
"Alicorns can't get drunk so easily..."
I'm going to let that sink in...
Before I go any further I want to let you know is that this is one of the last things that broke the camels back for me. For what I did was unforgivable and I really did not give it a second thought, I cheated on my wife to pay her back for making a mockery of me and saying things behind my back. Don't hate me yet but while I was doing the deed with Rarity damaging my own marriage further, I actually did have a quick thought. Was I any better? Even if I rushed into marriage, I rushed to get out of it just as soon as I heard the news of Cadence performing adultery. I got too caught up in the moment that I actually started to slow down, felt pretty much guilty for yelling at her and not being the husband that every pony wanted. I was supposed to love and honor her until death but... marriage is a big question itself these days. It was supposed to mean something between two ponies to cherish and spend their lives together.. Unlike ponies around here who get married one year then divorce the next, sadly... It was going that way for me.
That little drunk act, is not going to fly anymore. While what the moon princess said shocked all of us, I pretty much took whatever I can get for ammunition in this quarrel. The pony that was my wife, Cadence just sat there with her hoofs to her face. Bawling as her little game was up. Before you call me cruel and selfish I want to let you know that the magazine that I fumbled around with earlier with Cadence's picture on it. Cadence was indeed having relation with another pony in a barn but upon further inspection...
It was probably around the second day of our three day separation. I was sitting at the kitchen table trying to get my bearings together. Simply trying to put the whole affair away and out of my head. I was sitting alone and barely noticed that it was getting late. It did no good though, I tried taking Rain's advice into consideration. First try was no good because I was looking at the stupid magazine that started making me go downhill.
Four pages worth of Cadence. If these were photos for me given by her then I would have loved them but a lot of these seemed off. Not too much later there was a knock at the door. I got up and answered it, surprised to see my lieutenant.
"Good evening captain. I just wanted to stop by and just deliver the last of the small items from your house." The dark haired stallion greeted me with a smile and a salute.
However I really can't be in a world of happiness right now. I just frowned but kept a friendly tone, "I've been doing somewhat alright." I mumbled. "You can stop saluting now. You're basically in my parents home." He lifted a few smaller boxes he gathered from my house and put them on one of the couches inside with his magic.
"Oh... Oh right." He put his hoof down from his head. Ghendi... Ghendi what am I going to do with you? Loyal and plays by the rules yet does it in his own style. Always creative, yet can have hilarious freak outs here and there. Often the other captains would poke fun at him because of his stature then Ghendi would always overreact by lifting the others up and start swinging them around. That's of course when I have to come into the picture and scold him in front of the higher ups but when they leave I give him a pat on the back. A little hot headed he can be at times and I am the one usually pulling him off of the others. Yeah, because the other day he was trying to calm me down which is rather quite a switch.
I invited him in, fixed him up some tea that I would have made for myself earlier but oh well. I probably needed the company to get through this. My sister and parents always wanted me to be surrounded by loved ones and friends, which is good but really the only one that would make me sometimes feel better was my wife. Even that became... Unsatisfactory. Just... What happened? How could this all go wrong?
Going back through all the events in my mind was not easy because... half of them were missing. My memory was pretty fuzzy during my days as a private up to months prior to my wedding. It was just black. I remember Rain of course, being happy together. Coming up with words from the heart just for her, she was my angel. We practically grew up together, did everything together and what else...? We were almost in every class together. Went to the dance together, graduated together. What made it perfect was that she accepted my proposal to be my wife one day. Now those days are gone.
Waking up being promoted to captain. Like I stepped into an episode of the Twilight Zone. How could I just lose almost three years then just suddenly wake up? I was not frozen or put in some stasis, I was put under an affection spell. Many of you know that I kept bringing that up, how could I be so sure? Well how else do you lose three years without any recollection? Well... despite being a perfect drone, I was under a spell. Just I wonder... How did princess Celestia allow this? Did she even know it? No matter anymore...
"Sorry..." Ghendi apologized after a loud slurp he made from his tea. He set down his cup on the table with his magic and looked back at me. "Well, I better give my statement about the squad since your absence. We did well in weapons training, bows and arrows still need to be worked on, rifle training did surprisingly well. Sparing could use some work, Iron Hide has pulled us all in about an update on another changeling type but apparently some pony forgot the notes. Squad was unfortunate to have clean up duty after losing at paint ball but hey they ga..."
"Ghendi?" I asked.
"Yeah Shining?" That's good. He knew I hated it when he called me captain when we're not working. Here were practically friends, almost brothers even because of his family's history with mine.
"You don't have to discuss work with me. Just do your best and until I get back things should go back to normal. You just got off, just take a load off." I eased the discussion but then I slouched a bit.
"You're right..." He put his legs up on the counter and relaxed.
"Okay that's taking too much of a load off." I pushed his hooves off the table slightly, "You know my mom has a rule of no dirty hooves."
"Momma's boy." He sneered.
"Alright joke time is over." I playfully swatted at him. I perked up a little, "I... Just have a... personal question for you. If you don't mind me asking. I mean..."
"Yeah?" His own head perked up.
I sighed. "What would you do... If you were in my horse shoes?"
"As in?" He shifted his shoulders in question, "If my wife cheated on me?"
I frowned, "Yeah... I want to know what have you would have said to Cadence if you don't mind me asking."
He crossed his forearms and leaded back in the chair, "Well... what did you say to her?"
I sighed, my head fell down to look at the floor, "I practically yelled at her. Told her I was sick of her bullshit saying I was not there for her when obviously she's practically not home either. So in a nutshell I called her a bitch, did not want anything to do with her and just left her there crying."
Ghendi just looked at me. He had a bit of history with Cadence as she was even his foal sitter when he was practically a toddler. He never really had any sisters of his own and always considered her one whenever they were together back then. Now its just simple friendship as now she would take care of his little brother; Synn at times. That's why, telling him this dead on probably was not the best decision but had to be asked.
"If she was my wife?" He asked.
"Yeah, let's pretend you were me when you found that out." I told him.
With a little blush coming from his white cheeks he stumbled, "Well... I uh..."
"Ghendi... I asked if she were to cheat on you, not what you would do to her in bed." I frowned.
I cupped his own chin with his hoof. I left him to think for a minute until he finally came up with something. "Well... I don't know exactly... Maybe I would have just got up and left to cool off."
I shook my head. Completely stupid why I have not just thought of that myself. "Just got up and left? Without saying anything?"
"Well... I would admit, I'd be mad as hell too. More in a state of disbelief if I were to confront her." He scratched the back of his head. His expression then saddened, "Maybe even I'd be too scared to ask her if it was true and learn what I did wrong. Scared she might leave, tell me what she wanted and how I couldn't measure up." His yellow eyes slowly inched into my direction, "I take it that it was a lot worse than what you said earlier?"
I nodded, "A bit... I might have said some things and told her I was done."
"Like legitimate done?" He asked. "Or done as in; done for right now?"
I sighed, put my hooves over my eyes, "I don't know..."
"Can I ask you something Shining?" Ghendi asked.
"I suppose..." My hooves still over my eyes.
"You're scared of your own wife aren't you?" He frowned.
"What?" I asked suddenly. I tried to hide my embarrassment, "Don't be stupid I can't be scared of my own wife."
Ghendi's eyes wandered, "Well... It is odd that you two keep missing each other through out the day. Even on your days off, you think you could put down the controller just to give her some more attention. Give her a hug, kiss her, sit on the couch with her, read a book together... Something!"
"I'm not scared of my own wife..." I frowned. "I asked what you would do if y..."
"And I did." He frowned. "You asked what I would do if I were in your horse shoes."
Immediately I stopped, thought back, "Guess I'm a lousy husband... but could you see it from my point of view? Two to three years wasted and turning your back on your friends? Leaving a former fiancee heartbroken. Probably worse wondering if she even wants to even look at me."
"Well..." Ghendi leaned back into his chair again, "Then there is a big decision to be made, you could just go find your former fiancee and give her closure."
"Give her closure huh?" I repeated. "Well... the least I could do for... just walking off on our friendship and engagement like that." Still I wonder, what made her cry so hard to make her just leave before she could tell my parents. It bothered me ever since I came home.
"Shin?" Ghendi asked. "If you don't mind me asking."
I lowered my head and let it rest on my forearms as I still sat on the chair backwards, "Go ahead..."
"Why did we just take half of your stuff out of your house?" He raised an eyebrow, "I mean... seems rather excessive."
"Why?" My eyes wandered, "I just can't stay in that place... Not anymore..."
Ghendi remained quiet. I knew he was going to disagree with me. For a pony who admired me growing up ever since he was a tike, he had a good head on his shoulders. Just wished he was not such a hot head at times. But, inside I knew he was disappointed in me. Say I could not face my problems like a stallion or even give anything a chance anymore. I'm sorry... I just don't want to go back to that but if things could work out... then yeah I'll go back and face it. Little did I know what was really going to happen the next day.
"So are you going to really send all the gifts back?" He asked.
I sighed, "Only if its over with Cadence and I." Then I wanted to ask him one last thing, "Ghendi... just... how did Cadence finally get the spell off of me?"
His face fell and with a deep sigh, "You're not going to like this..."
And he was right... I didn't like it.
And the fighting went on, the accusations, everything. Cadence made her threats, I made mine. Twilight much to my dismay butted in one too many times, Cadence kept trying to dive for Rarity, I would catch her and sling her back to the floor.
"YOU WHORE! I'LL KILL YOU!" Cadence growled.
I tried holding her down, "CADENCE KNOCK IT OFF!"
"YOU KNOCK IT OFF! I WANTED TO MAKE THIS WORK!" Cadence cried as she yelled more. "I'M SORRY! I WANTED TO OWN UP TO MY MISTAKES BUT YOU JUST WON'T LISTEN!"
"BECAUSE I'M TIRED OF THE LIES!" I screamed. "I'M TIRED OF YOU TRYING TO SWEEP EVERYTHING UNDER THE RUG!"
"I DID NO SUCH THING!" She growled at me. "I GOT DRUNK! I'M A YOUNG ALICORN THAT STILL CAN! I TOLD YOU I'M SORRY!"
"IT'S OVER CADENCE!" I shouted.
"DAMN IT! I LOVE YOU!" Cadence bawled. "But if you want to keep bucking around with other mares then fine! I don't want to see you ever again!"
"Well..." I finally eased myself from on top of her. "That makes two of us..."
"I did everything because...because I loved you so much. I'm sorry!" She hiccuped.
"If you loved me then you would have not put me into a drone state." I frowned.
"I'm sorry!" She hiccuped, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!"
"Oh I know you are..." I looked at her dead in her watery eyes, "But why am I not playing along anymore? Because you put a spell on me, you robbed me three years of my life and because of that... I missed the first three years of my daughter's life..." She froze, startled because of the bombshell, "That's right... I just found out a couple days ago and she is the reason why I want out."
"A daughter..." She repeated, "A daughter? A DAUGHTER?!"
"Yeah... and because of princess Celestia took notice. Rain freaked and ran off with my baby girl. My heart and soul was ripped away from me." I said sternly, "You can order the superiors to take away my position... I won't care. Nothing is in compare of me losing my baby girl. Sure living in a castle sometimes is great, but living in a house with a happy family to fill it and a heart big enough... That's what I want. Not a kingdom where husbands and wives only marry to bring power together for more land or power... You know why there are no divorces between royalty? Because they lose power and the alignment, they're scared of losing everything and don't want to make enemies."
"A daughter?" She was apparently stuck on this.
"Yes Cadence... A daughter. I want to pursue Rain and our daughter. I want to give her the chance I missed out on three years ago. I want to take her to school. I want to pay for her braces. Give her advice. Hell its scary but I want to be walking her down the isle when she gets married..." I explained. "But you... Cadence... Is why I'm saying, I don't want this anymore. I can't sink any lower and if I lose my baby girl... then my world is black and has no meaning anymore. She is my purpose now. I have no idea who took pictures of her to expose her in those magazines but if I ever find him or her, I will beat them with every inch of them."
"W...wh...why?" Cadence heaved. "Why can't we pursue this together!"
"Rain forgives you for all the crap you done... but if you ever were to take our baby girl away so you could just make her OUR daughter. Then she would be at wits end... And that's what I don't want to do... And oh... by the way..." I looked at her necklace and ripped it off of her neck as she yelped. "This is Rain's as well... And if you know any better Cadence... You'll leave this alone and let me do this... Royalty has screwed me over for the last time..."
It felt like forever until princess Luna finally ordered us back to our rooms and sealed the doors with her nocturnal magic so we could not interact with each other. I couldn't sleep. I was angry still, my room was still a mess from the fight earlier that night. I just looked out my window as Luna put a barrier around that too so we could not leave. The sun finally came up. The sun always was so beautiful, but only when you had some pony to watch it with you to cherish. Rain and I used to stay up all night on our vacations then finally go to sleep after the sun came up... I wanted to share that with my daughter... The court yard bellow, seemed to take on a different form as the light pours in. The morning do drops falling off the leafs and other plants. Birds chirping...
I made my decision... Whether you think I went off the deep end because of a child. All I can say is... you have no idea for what is going to drive me into deep fear. Rain and Sprite are out there somewhere and more and more I hear about the changelings becoming stronger...
And so that ends... My so called perfect life with my perfect wife in my perfect life. I only had a few regrets when signing that paper. Cadence was sorry but I was so full headed to even consider it. I really was scum for making matters worse. Rarity and I would not stick together for very long as her business would take off. Could say she never really had time for me anymore. I offered her some money I got from the divorce to help her out a little but she refused it, saying she is willing to take a chance. She was scared at first, figuring her name would be dragged through the mud and be labeled the home wrecking skank but to my surprise... The publicity helped her. It honestly did, first the posh ponies were going to tear her head off but turned impressed by her stuff. I worked for her a little while going to college. Twilight was attending the same classes I was as she wanted to go for the same thing, awkward to have your little sister with you all the time but it works.
Still... sometimes at night I wonder if I made the right decision. And my heard fell one day, when I heard the changelings attacking different cities all around Equestria. No pony was doing anything about it... I hated seeing on the news another city has fallen. I raced back to the castle and swallowed my pride. I begged the guard to form a dispatch as... I was tipped off one day that Rain was in one of the areas reported. No pony took my side. I tried and tried. Still I was at wits end. Reenlisting wouldn't help. So I took a stance and told every pony who wanted to fight the changelings and help the ponies in need, then throw off their helmets and come with me. Funny thing was... My sister was the first one to join as she was trying to calm me down through the entire thing, I guess sitting down and reading books and papers all day really was not my thing. Why she joined, because she cared for her friend Rainbow Dash who was also said to be in that attacked area. As much as I wanted to thrash that little bitch, it was my duty to protect. Then... I saw my former lieutenant throw off his helmet and joined my side, then Biggs... Then Wedge... Then their squad, then my squad. More soldiers were willing to drop their status to go out and protect what really matters. We're not only here to protect Canterlot... I took an oath a long time ago, maybe one I don't remember taking but I was willing to protect all of Equestria no matter what. Problem was we had no funding and only carried stuff that we brought from home. Let's just say, my cause raised some attention and got the funding we needed, maybe not from the best of interest. But it was something...
Day after day my militia and I ventured across Equestria with our new toys... Heavy built tanks, attack vehicles, high powered weapons and other goodies that would make GI Joe jealous. I can't really say I trust my new boss Sheen Lorenzo, as he made us wave his flag and call ourselves the Black Suns. But mark my words changelings. If you harm one little hair on my baby girl, I swear I will burn every hive you have. I will stomp across Equestria and let it burn and make sure you regret the day you were hatched. This little locket that I ripped from Cadence's neck, belongs to Rain. And I will make sure that she gets it back to pass down to Sprite.
Hold on... Daddy is coming...
And wherever life takes me. I will promise you, that I will never leave you alone. I have made my mistakes in the past but I want to own up to them. I want to see you grow up, I want to take you to school, I want to show you that I care, I want to walk you down the isle of your own wedding, I want you to be by my side as I lie down in my death bed. You were always my little treasure. For the short time I found out about you, you seemed like you were a lot more.
And to my former wife Cadence... I just want to say. I'm sorry... Even for what you did, it still angered me. Especially what you had to do rid me of the effects of the potion and understand you had to do some... unspeakable things. Yes Cadence... I know you had to sleep with one of my most trusted guards to break the spell. I might have taken too long to forgive you for even that, but you did it because you wanted the real me. You wanted to love the real me. To let me have my freedom. To do what you had to do Cadence, must have really haunted you. worrying that I would find out about it just like the little affair you had in the barn. But with that, it was a cry for help... A cry that I was unappreciative for what you done for me.
And I want to admit something...
I really was scared of my wife...
Note: Now, I want to come off and say. I'm sorry but this story is fun while it lasted. I'm not quitting on it, I'm just shelving it for now as I just think that the Forbidden Fruit universe was really meant for Cadence and her only. I only did Shining Armor's to get his side of the story and pretty much I figured the hard way is that he is pretty much just living it up like Cadence, having his own fits and weaknesses. As well as what I planned for what to happen next. Just seemed like it would not fit right in this universe. Cadence's story was about her trying to gain the trust back while this was intended for Shining to risk his neck and save Equestria from the menace that threatens it.
Alot of you have questions and I will try to answer them the best I can. But for right now, this story is complete and might get a sequel in the future. This story was also not attracting the attention like Forbidden Fruit was which was a little disappointing because I would often get that Original Sin is more liked because it took a chance to do something else. Again I apologize.