Sweetie Belle felt the crisp New Year’s breeze wash over her as she trotted over to Sweet Apple Acres. Her necklace was gently chiming in the icy breeze, making a mindless melody that made her smile. Scootaloo was flying above her, corkscrewing her way to the house. Appleboom had invited them over to help prepare Sweet Apple Acres for the New Year’s celebration. Sweetie Belle was still ecstatic about her present, and even more so that Show Tail had only gotten Scootaloo a book. Granted, it was The History of the WonderBolts but it was still a book. And it was Scootaloo... She let her mind wander the rest of the way.
By the time they got to the house, Sweetie Belle could barely feel her nose. She was glad to be ushered in by Applejack, and even more so to receive some hot cider. Once she and Scootaloo warmed up, Applejack put them to work decorating and cleaning alongside Applebloom. Mayor Mare had recently asked the Apple Family to host the New Year’s celebration, and after the great success of the Winter Solstice, they were unsure if they could compare. However, the entire town had spent the days after whining, pleading and poking at Granny Smith and any Apple Family member around. Finally, Granny Smith crumbled and hissed a rather dusty agreement. The town’s push to have them on the ground was not without reason.
They simply did not want to have to rush back to get the cider, hard or otherwise.
Scootaloo was hanging the brilliant Pinkie Pie patented light up party streamers on all the doors. That gave Sweetie Belle and Applebloom the opportunity to whisper in off handed tones without much difficulty. As they swept the floor Applebloom began to prod at Sweetie Belle.
“So, he gave you that necklace huh? Must be nice. Snails got me a new bow. It’s blue with silver threads in it. It’s so nice… But I hafta ask, do you think he likes ya now?”
Sweetie Belle paused to think about the right answer to that. They were friends, without a doubt. To say that he viewed her as a love interest would be too much. He was still blatantly in love with Scootaloo. His wings still fluttered at the very mention of her, a permasmile would grace his features, and his ears would wiggle in delight. It seemed as if his very idea of happiness revolved around her and her very existence. That, and Show Tail still asked Sweetie Belle how to win her pegasus friend. Sweetie Belle’s ears fell. Applebloom nudged her with her rump in an attempt to bring her back to the world. The movements made her necklace chime pathetically as she questioned its value.
Had she really put so much meaning into a little bit of glass and metal? Sweetie Belle forced her eyes shut for a moment to gather composure. This was something that she was supposed to avoid. That something, as annoying as it was, was also a cause of joy. The few times she had seen him since the Solstice had been wonderful. They had spent time by the freezing river, making music on their own time, of their own time. She felt as if she could truly sing with him, and during that time the chime of the windblown bell was a perfect melody.
Now, it was only a tune of melancholy.
“Oh Sweetie Belle, you really should cheer up! At least Scootaloo doesn't like him back!” Applebloom nodded in a vain attempt to cheer her friend up. Sweetie Belle smiled weakly, glad Applebloom was at least trying to make her smile. There were just some things that he did Sweetie Belle couldn't understand, and she hoped that maybe one day he would understand her feelings.
“I’m gonna try to do it!” Show Tail yelped, voice cracking sharply. He covered his mouth with his hooves and coughed a bit. “What do you guys think?” He continued in a lower voice, eyes shifting about his surroundings. Snips raised an eyebrow at him curiously. They were all going home from an early morning play in the fresh snow to discuss last minute plans of New Years.
The teenager puffed up his chest to make himself look important, imposing his height upon his friends. Snips and Snails only chucked. They had gotten to know Show Tail over the past few months of their friendship, and his attempts of looking important normally just won laughs. They looked at him with as much respect their snickering faces could hold.
“I am going to give Scootaloo a bring in the New Year’s kiss!”
“You're going to go what?” Snail yelped, nearly falling over in shock. This was indeed a time to panic. If he had been reading the body language of his darling Applebloom correctly, this was a problem. He quickly reeled the data in his head. He silently thanked his slow nature, which allowed him to think fast with the plethora of data he collected by simply listening. The look that Applebloom gave Sweetie Belle as she walked out of the town hall a few days ago when Show Tail was talking to Scootaloo planted the seed. Yes, this was enough. It just had to take a while to grow and bloom.
It was a face full of pity, sadness, sympathy, and a mish-mosh of other things that he couldn't identify. They all led to the same route of sad. His mind then combed through the files of Sweetie Belle’s face. It looked as if it were in pain, like she was sick. However, later on that night, they were dancing together like the best friends they were. So it wasn't Scootaloo. It had to be Show Tail. It had to be something Tails did. Snails facehoofed. Sweetie Belle liked him. No wonder he had such a foul feeling.
“Snails. What are you doing? He’s going to make his big move, and you seem to be upset!” Snips scrunched up his nose. Snails searched his mind for something to say. Anything at all.
“Duuuuh... Good luck on kissing your filly!” he sputtered out. The others shook their heads. Snails would have a long way to go it seemed. “How are you... going to do this?”
“I have a possible plan!” Show Tail grinned devilishly, rubbing his hooves together. “There’s a Pegasus only party right above Sweet Apple Acres where the main party will be. I can try to talk to her in a small space, instead of in the swarm of the whole town. I just hope Rainbow Dash isn't there though. She’s a vicious trainer. I have no interest in flying like that!” Show Tail sat back on his stoop to pout. He hated being forced to do completely pointless things. He was pondering on how to get out of it when the hair on the back of his neck stood on end, even though his warm layers.
“My son! It’s time for you to study a bit before we head out to New Years!” Pica explained grandly.
He grit his teeth. Pica seemed to have mastered the art of ill-timed entrances. She was grinning in her typical motherly way, the way that made him shrink back in terror. She wasted no time extending a shining white wing to smack him on the head hard enough to make him cry out.
“Learning is less painful, don't you agree boys? I would suggest that you two leave, before my poor son has to go too long without learning. Isn’t that right my sweet colt?” Pica’s smile spread even wider, demonically curling at the sides.
Show Tail knew that smile. He dreaded that smile. That smile always came with pain. Show Tail muttered a quick prayer that Snips and Snails were still there, but they had long scampered away from the nightmare incarnate. He wasted no time in marching inside, trying his best to stay calm. He entered the living room, and began to ask question why she was so angry.
“Aunt Pica, did I get too many answers wrong again?” His answer was a whopping smack to the head. He hissed in pain as the belligerent pegasus neared him.
Cider. Extremely hard cider. The smell permeated the air, making him almost sick. Pica was drunk out of her mind, probably in her attempt to ‘celebrate’. She staggered over to the colt, that ever demonic smile growing wider and wider. He was sure her face would rip if she kept it up. Taking flight was his only way to escape her. He flared his wings in an attempt to scare the drunken mare, but only received a hearty and dumb laugh.
“You're... so stupid, you know that?! Worthless little... thing! New Year’s... Is supposta be wonderful. But... you're so stupid you RUIN it. Ruin ruin RUIN. Why can't YOU be USEFUL.” She rushed forward, pulling him to her body. By this point, the crazed mare was sobbing, shaking her head wildly. “I thought I loved you enough! Taught you better! BETTER! And here you go and insult me! Insult me! You disgusting foal! You can't even make mama... happy! Happy!”
Show Tail was trying his best to stay still. Pica did not drink often, but when she did, she had a lot. Her alcohol induced madness was nothing new. He knew what would come next. She slowly began to calm down, sniffling in frustration before holding him closer and cooing sweet nothings and apologies.
“Mama is so sorry... Will baby ever forgive her...? My son... My darling son... Mama just got mad... She’s so silly...”
Show Tail gulped down air, the precious thing he had lacked under her weight. Pica’s hugs were bone crushing, and she was sobbing all over him. He forced his eyes closed, trying to dull the pain by thinking of soothing and happy things. A far away tuneless chime...
“I know what’ll get your mind off him! Hey Applejack!” Applebloom called her sister over from lugging a barrel of their hardest cider upstairs. She trotted over to the fillies making decorations, taking a seat in between them.
“Yes Applebloom? Ah kinda gotta get ready for company; you know who’s coming over to...”
“Can ya tell us all about your first crush? It would be nice to help pass the time insteada just making all these popcorn necklaces by ourselves!” Apple Bloom nudged her sister till she finally agreed out of annoyance.
“Fine. But only cause Ah know that if I don’t, Ah’ll regret it. Now where do Ah begin...?”
After Ah just got my cutie mark, Ah was quite a happy filly. Ah had finally found myself. Ah was going back to school and had a smile on my face that didn't seem to go away. I could finally rub my cutie mark in the face of those hoity toity priss fillies that had picked on me for being a blank flank. Ah was happy to the point that Ah was bucking as hard as Big Macintosh, and you know how he almost always dents the tree...
But anyway, one day in September, the teacher comes up to me with the biggest trouble maker in the whole school. A navy blue colt with green eyes, a gold mane and a smirk that was bred to cause problems. His cutie mark was a white gavel and his name was Vinny McColt. He didn't even look me in the eye, which to me is a huge sign of disrespect. The teacher was telling me some nonsense on teaching him something useful. I was too busy having a fillyfit over this colt.
Who was he to not even look me in the eye? That was just plain rude.
He finally snorted at me and looked at me like a buncha rotten apples. Ah had never been so insulted in Ponyville in all my life. Ah could feel mahself aching to buck him in the face, but the teacher was right there. All Ah remember hearing her say was that Ah was supposed to teach that colt applebucking.
How was Ah going to sully the art a applebucking by teaching this foal how to do it? Ah felt the right to downright refuse. He wasn't worthy of it, and the nasty stinkeye he was giving me wasn't exactly incentive.
“Applejack, you are the most reliable of ponies in this school. I’m sure you can shape him up into something wonderful”
That’s what she told me. So Ah had to take that colt home with me and introduce him to the family. Applebloom was such a littun that she probably doesn't even remember him. Big Macintosh didn't like him one bit. He kept on trying to pick a fight with him, making fun of his cutie mark and generally being well... a real jerk. Lucky for us, Big Mac is a calm ol' pony, and just brushed him off for apple bucking.
We went out into the fields every day, Vinny doing his best to live up to his cutie mark by judging me and calling me all sorts of names. He seemed to love calling me a hillfilly. Hillfilly. Hillfilly. Never by my actual name. In fact, ah can remember the first applebucking lesson.
“Now you see here, you put ya legs up like that... and then you hit tha' very center of the tree...”
“You’re such a stupid little hillfilly. Can't you talk like normal ponies?”
Ah resisted bucking him in the face.
Ah guess that after a while, after a few bumps on the head by apples, he kinda started being nicer to me. He had no choice really, after seeing me bucking a few trees, he kinda started being nice. He still called me hillfilly. But Ah quickly figured that he kinda had a crush on me when Ah got my hat from Granny. He kinda just... shuffled around, bucking all the trees wrong and generally just hurting himself. Ah couldn't stand it at all. Ah was supposed to help him build up character, not build up scars. You wouldn't believe him that day. He was like a whole ‘nother pony.
“You don't look as ugly as usual you... stupid hillfilly. Stupid hillfilly!” He then bucked a tree so hard he just collapsed. It was that moment there that I realized that Vinny had gotten a crush on me. Ah didn't know how. Maybe it was amidst all the applebucking, watching me do it, all the talking, all the scolding, or maybe befriending Big Macintosh. But Ah realized in that flustered colt’s actions that no matter how much of a jerk he was, he had feelings.
Ah found those feelings... cute.
Ah didn't understand what was going on, but Ah found myself playing with the hat whenever he was around, my heart pumping faster than ever. Ah’d gotten a crush on Vinny. Apple Bloom was the only one that Ah could trust with those feelings. And she was just a youngin’... A ‘course, Ah still had to pretend Ah didn't like him. Ah couldn't let anypony know Ah was crushing on the school’s worst colt. Ah tried to smother it and hide it, but then one day my hat blew away in the wind while we were walking to the farm in the pre-summer heat.
We chased after it till it landed by the school’s number one bully. She sneered at us and put the hat on her head. Why, Ah can't remember seeing a madder colt in all my life. He rushed at her with the force only a school year of applebucking could give a colt. He smashed into her so hard she went flying, which is pretty funny when you're hitting a pegasus. He got my hat back, sneering at her with success.
“That’s my hillfilly’s hat!”
Ah’ve never been happier to be called a hillfilly in my life.
It didn't last too long. It was all taken away... One fall day, Ah was busy bucking and told him that Ah’d meet him by the barn entrance. I had no idea that the hired aides were unloading hay from the loft. Ah had no idea... One of the bales... landed on him. It did more damage than I ever thought a bale could do. He dodged most of it, but a leg still got stuck. He was crippled. And it was all mah fault. Ah remembered them hauling him up, taking away my crippled crush. He did say one thing before he left though.
“I didn't mean to call you hillfilly AppleJack...”
Ah couldn't believe it. He actually called me by my name, for the first time ever. Even to this day, Ah think about it every now and then. Ah never did take kindly to being called a hillfill till Ah met him. He made me view it as a good thing after a while. He called me that... with love. It was nice Ah visited him till he moved, due to Ponyville being ‘too dangerous.’ Ah didn't even get to kiss him goodbye...
Applebloom swallowed the bit of popcorn in her mouth with dismay. She had no idea that her sister had that kind of story behind her. She nudged her sniffling sister in an attempt to bring her out of her funk.
She glared over in the general direction of Scootaloo’s laughs and cries. Sweetie Belle huffed, standing up and marching over to the filly who was yelping about some madness. Sweetie Belle wasn't surprised to see Rainbow Dash flying in.
“Hey Applejack! I’m back for New Years! I just had to be back at Ponyville, since I had to miss Solstice for a Wonderbolts show. Hey, what’s with you?” Rainbow trotted over to one of her best friends, worried about the look of despair that was leaving her face. Apple Jack snapped back to life, smiling nervously. She sputtered a bit, lost on what to say. Her ears perked up as an idea came to mind.
“Say Rainbow, as long as you're here, why don't you tell these little fillies the story of your first crush? You know that they won’t be little fillies for long, and well, Ah just told mine! Ain’t that right my little ponies?” Applebloom nodded, smirking at the exasperated Scootaloo. It was obvious that she did not want to hear this mushy stuff, even it was about Rainbow Dash. She opened her mouth to protest, but was stopped by Sweetie Belle punching her lightly.
“You should listen, since she is after all, your idol. Learn more about her.” Sweetie Belle smiled, knowing that she had sold the idea to Scootaloo. The orange filly sat by the table obediently, looking at Rainbow Dash with the sweetest look the she could muster. Rainbow sighed in exasperation. She saw no way out of this. She had intended to brag a bit to Apple Jack about her amazing Wonderbolt adventures, about all the mares and stallions she had met and all the tricks she had learned. Not tell a mushy story. However, with her little idol looking at her, she couldn't bring herself to say no.
“Fine, I’ll tell the story, if I can remember the stupid thing...”
When I was a filly, I had a crush on the leader of the Wonderbolts. Not the Wonderbolts you know today, I mean the old Wonderbolts, Spitfire’s father, Fire Breeze. He was the fastest flier in all of Equestria! I really did admire him. His flaming mane, his sleek wings, his slender... Oh I’m getting off track, aren't I?
The point is he was the stallion of my dreams. Of course I knew better than that.He was just somepony I happened to like. Now, like most other pegasi, I went to basic flight school. It was there I remember my happiest days. In Cloudsdale, school is different. We have longer hours. We learn the same stuff earth ponies do on weekdays, and weather stuff on Saturdays. But every day, there were flight lessons after school. It was there all the classes would come together as one big mass. It was then I met the two ponies I had a crush on.
Yes, I said two.
The first one was a filly names Star Crash. She was the best... Second best, only to me! Ok... She was the best, and a bigger Wonderbolt fan than me! She had no interest in being one of them though; she just wanted to be as good as they were. For a filly, she really was. She was so pretty too. She had pretty blue eyes, orange hair and was a pure white. The prettiest white I’ve ever seen! Her cutie mark was a lightning bolt, but not like mine. It was branching lightning, the dangerous one that’s still in the clouds. She was a very obedient and shy filly though, which normally I would hate, but with her, I loved it. She’s the reason I was able to become good friends with Fluttershy. I spent most of my days with her after flight lessons. We were the best, after all.
The other crush was a colt named Tornado Tizzy. The Tizzies were a decently respected family in Cloudsdale, with the oddest and most glorious wings. His wings looked more like bat wings than anything. Even though he had those curious wings, he was still hooves down the worst flier I have ever seen, unless you add Show Tail to the mix. Show Tail’s the worst.
He could stay aloft, and he had speed, but he was basically like Show Tail, all speed, no flight. He was a light grey and always had a damp and misty coat from clouds. Which he constantly fell through. He hung out with us though, to learn how to fly. We taught him the best that we could, but it seemed that we could never teach that silly colt much of anything.
Somehow, with all that flying and crashing into me, I got a crush on him. He was so... confident. Even if he wasn't a good flier, he accepted it, you know? His cutie mark was of a speeding raincloud. Though he had very little coordination, he was hands down faster than most of us in a straight race. He beat all of us. Asking him to turn though, would result in lots of injured ponies. He knew that he was a bad flier, but he was clever. He was proud of his smarts and played to his strengths. I loved that about him.
Of course, it didn't take me long to realize that I couldn't have them both... I looked only to Fire Breeze for advice. It told me to pick the pony that agreed to me more. So I went with Star Crash. It went something like this.
“I know already Rainy. You don't even have to ask. I’d love to be yours.”
I suppose I was a happy filly. Tornado Tizzy didn't seem to pay it much mind, even as we snuggled in front of him. It became evident a bit later that he was peeved. I had to ask. One day, in the middle of flight practice, I pulled him behind a cloud. This was the only time I had to speak to him.
“Listen Tornado, I can see that you're jeal...”
He snorted at me, glaring at Star Crash below us.
“You’re just part of her...ha... ha... harem of fillies, Bowie. She likes a bunch of them, and you're just one of them.”
I didn't believe him. The only thing that kept me from bucking him in the face was that I knew he couldn't fly right. Who was he to ruin my happiness by saying my girl was just adding me to his collection? I couldn't tell you how angry I was.
“You're just jealous!” I screamed before rushing off. I didn't like the idea one bit. I wasn't going to break up with my first fillyfriend because some colt says that she’s been flirting. I wasn't that stupid, or so I thought. I stopped hanging out with Tornado and stuck only with Star. Tornado kept trying to convince me that she was interested in other fillies, but the thought was too much.
It took him dragging me by the wings to see her actually trying to flirt with Fluttershy to make me realize that she wasn't all I had hoped. Tornado was right, and he had been right for some time. I had wasted two months of my life on her.
In my life, since my father cheated on my mother, I always thought that stallions were the ones to be wary of, that mares would never let me down. Turns out I was wrong, and that I couldn't really trust any pony. I was happy to have Tornado with me though. He gave me a kiss on the cheek and a smile.
The kind of smile that you needed after finding out something really bad. I was happy though. Happy that he told me. It made me realize that sometimes; you really have to trust your friends, and at least give them a chance to explain. Tornado remained my friend. Star, I completely ditched. I didn't take kindly to my girlfriend flirting with other fillies, especially one of my other friends.
“I have a feeling that Tornado likes me. We wrote to each other when I moved here, and I’ve been seeing a lot of him in Canterlot thanks to being a Bolt. He’s become one of Luna’s chariot drivers and guards. Seems he can fly after all.” Rainbow Dash nodded firmly, to reassure that she was done. Sweetie Belle could see that Scootaloo was trying to hold back some faces of revulsion. She never was a fan of mushy things, even if it had to do with Rainbow. Scootaloo blew a slow raspberry. Rainbow Dash chuckled with a smile, her face flushed after mentioning Tornado.
“So, where’s Show Tail at Scootaloo?” Rainbow’s face was only of concern for her haphazard student. Scootaloo’s tossed her head, in a vague disgust that was more than what she held for the ‘mushy story’.
“Why do we need him? He’s the worst flier in Equestria.” Scootaloo flapped her wings to make her point, floating a few feet in the air. She smirked, a haughty look dominating her face. “You should really be working on someone who can actually fly.” Rainbow was laughing at her show, but Sweetie Belle felt something different. She glanced over at Applebloom.
“Applebloom. I don't think she likes him.” Sweetie Belle hissed under her breath.
“She’s just jealous that Rainbow is paying more attention to Show Tail’s flight and not hers. And you of all ponies should know, he can't fly. I’ve seen him over Ponyville, and he has no coordination if he goes too fast.” Applebloom shuddered. “I saw him crash into a tree when he tried to make a u-turn. The tree was two houses away.”
Sweetie Belle couldn't help but laugh at that.
“Come on now though, let’s help finish up the house Sweetie Belle, before we end up eating all the popcorn for the decorations.” She nudged Sweetie Belle, who was merrily chomping some of the popcorn. Sweetie Belle blushed and went back to carefully gluing on the popcorn. At least she could have the satisfaction of helping to make this New Year’s amazing.
“Tails?” Snips was surprised to see the pegasus trotting up to him. Snips and Snails and most of the entire town had gathered at Sweet Apple Acres for drinking, fun, company, and drinking. The majority of the adults were tipsy, and the foals had all the non-alcoholic cider they could drink. The yard and barn were brilliantly decorated with popcorn strings, streamers, and all sort of Pinkie Pie-delivered oddities. It really was a party atmosphere.
The large cloud of pegasi above them made it even more festive. They were having their own personal party, and causing a gentle flurry to float down to the ground. Every single pegasi in town was attending, save for the young one trotting up to his friends.
“I got kicked off.” The colt said, not single drop of emotion in his voice. Tails tilted his head.
“Don't you mean out?”
“No, I mean off. Those bullies saw me trying to talk to Scootaloo and literally kicked me off the flurry cloud.” He slumped against the side of the barn and pouted. There really was nothing else he could do. If he went back up there, he would just get his face shoved through the cloud again. He couldn't go home. Pica was sleeping by the couch where he had left her, snoring soundly after she had cried herself to sleep. She would wake up, hungover and bitter, drink the Hangover tea he had left, and go back to sleep in her own bedroom.
Show Tail knew if he disrupted this ‘sacred ceremony’ she would cry on him all over again and add more bruises. He flicked his ear as a heavy snowflake fell on it, looking up at Snips. He gave Show Tail a look of pity before dragging him off to the middle of the party.
“Come on, you need some fun. The rest of us are over here.”
Show Tail grunted something unintelligible. He wanted to be in the cloud above, talking to his beautiful angel, the one that he had so fallen so deeply in love with. At least, what he felt was love. She was just so pretty, he reasoned. How could it not be love? His father had told him so many times that he loved his mother because she was so beautiful, that everything about her was so beautiful. Scootaloo was just the same way, her bright smile and her wonderful purple eyes. He knew he didn't much like her attitude at times, and how she never seemed to slow down, but those could be ignored for love he figured.
After all, what was love but sacrifice? Even if he couldn't stand her overly cocky habits, general forcefulness, and a whole slew of things, he couldn't let that hold him back. Love was meant to be sacrifice.
“Hey Tails, what are you doing grounded?”
His ears perked up at Sweetie Belle’s voice. Of anypony in the world, she could cheer him up. She spun towards him clumsily, lacking the grace of his angel. But who was he to turn down the company of a swan. She was panting from all the dancing she had been doing with the rest of the foals and still had a smile to present to him even though she looked near exhausted.
“You've been having fun Belle? I kinda didn't want to be at that party anyway. Too many pegasi...”
“You got kicked out, didn't you.”
“Off, not out.”
Show Tail stared at Sweetie Belle for a moment.
Am I really that easy to read? Or maybe Sweetie Belle just knows me that well. I have been spending a lot of time with her, with Scootaloo seeming to...
“Your right ear twitches when you lie. I’ve come to notice things about ponies.” She inhaled deeply before waving a hoof in the general direction of the school foals. “Come on and dance, since you're down here.”
“No thanks... I’m kinda bummed. I think I’ll just sit this out.”
Sweetie Belle shrugged, still smiling. “When you feel better, you better come out and dance! Have some cider. It’s really good!”
She’s trying so hard to put me in a good mood. I feel bad... But I can't help it. My New Year plan is ruined... Everypony keeps coming up to me to cheer me up, but I don't want to. I want to mope.
He set himself down against a tree, watching his friends dance and drink and generally enjoy themselves. He couldn't bring himself to to it. His night had been ruined by one stupid pegasus with an attitude. Everypony kept coming over to him, dusting the fluffy snowflakes off his mane, saying kindly things and generally trying to raise his spirits. As the clock ticked closer and closer to midnight, the colt slumped further and further down the tree. By 11:50, he was laying on the ground with his head buried under his hooves.
“Sweetie Belle, why don't you go over and cheer the poor colt up? He’s been moping in that corner for an hour or two, and the poor thing is such a dreadful drain on the party atmosphere.” Rarity was tipsy, that much Sweetie Belle knew. Her slight sway, clouded eyes, and sickly sweet smile could only mean that she was buzzed. Sweetie Belle, perhaps influenced by the smell of liquor everywhere, found herself walking towards the dejected colt.
“Tails.” Sweetie Belle plopped down next to him, a stern look on her face. “You've been sulking in this corner all night. Don't you think that you should go have some fun? The New Year is soon.”
Show Tail ‘harumphed’. He obviously didn't want to be cheered up, aggravating the filly even more. She couldn't stand seeing the colt like this, especially with the thought of how his crush really felt about him on the back-burner of her mind. He needed some serious cheering up, and fast. It was 11:55 and she couldn't have him start the year in misery. She bit her lip, looking around at the party goes and trying to think.
“I tried... to ask Scootaloo for a New Year’s kiss, like the big ponies do. But then I got kicked off the cloud. If I go back, they’ll just do it again. Trust me, I tried going back. This is a horrible holiday.” He sat up, stretching his feathery wings. He gave them a few flaps to work out the soreness, blowing snow in Sweetie Belle. She cringed at it hitting her face, sputtering. Show Tail began to apologize, the young filly puffing up her cheeks.
Sweetie Belle didn't need to hear that he was going to kiss her. Scootaloo didn't even like him, and most likely wouldn't have kissed him anyway. Sweetie Belle had half a mind to tell the colt the truth, months of frustration boiling her blood. She snapped out of it when she felt his wings brushing against her face. They were soft, feathery and wiping the snow off her face.
“I’m sorry Sweetie Belle… I… just really wanted to try, you know? I like her. And…” He continued to mutter under his breath as he continued to dry her face off. She blushed, completely calmed from her rage earlier. He chuckled, cupping her face the best he could with his wing. A smile had formed. “Thanks so much for cheering me up this time Belle. I can always try again another day. I just wish…” Show Tail groaned in exasperation, looking up at the huge clock that was the party’s centerpiece. He dropped his wings to his side, sitting up as the countdown for the last ten seconds of the year started. Show Tail paid no attention to the filly sitting next to him at that. The drunken attempts to countdown by most of the ponies in town were far too entertaining to not join in.
Sweetie Belle looked up at the colt beside her, her cheeks still warm for his tenderness. She felt compelled to do something. Something dramatic, outrageous, wonderful. Something that her sister would do. Besides faint. Her time was running out, she had to think fast, and only one thing could come to mind.
Sweetie Belle found herself leaning up, unable to rebel. She had to, she was so close. She pressed her lips against his cheek for what felt like an eternity, the words ‘Happy New Years’ blaring in her ears. She had closed her eyes, but she could feel his cheeks heat up, his body tense and his breath hitch. She could imagine that his ears were flared up in embarrassment, or maybe disgust.
I bet he’ll hate me now… That was too dramatic! I… he’s upset. Because I’m no Scootaloo… I never will be. Why do I even…
Sweetie Belle dashed off without another word, her necklace chiming violently with her fleeing body. Show Tail stared after her, flicking his tail in the show. He was stuck in a limbo, body both willing and resisting movement as the filly retreated. Nopony seemed to pay her much mind, too busy swigging down cider to even bother. His throat felt dry and his cheeks tingled. He felt horrible.
She… ran away? I guess she feels bad for me… Great. Pity kiss. She just pities me. What kind of a friendship is that?
Show Tail looked up at the huge cloud looming above him the full of snow driving pegasi. A surge of contempt ran through his veins, making his wings flare out in response to the heightened emotion. The pegasi of this town were going to drive him mad. Maybe he already was.