“Sweetie Belle, darling, you know that today is the Spring Equinox, and we have to clean up winter. You're going to help me make nests, heavens willing Ditzy doesn't go the wrong way. She’s such a lovely little mail mare, but she has no sense of direction.” Rarity put a scarf on her little sister, still gaily chatting away before pulling her into a tight hug. The filly squirmed around for a moment. She didn't understand this sudden show of affection. “Sweetie Belle, my darling sister. You haven't spoken of or to that little colt since you came home in near tears New Year’s. You should really talk to him again... I’m so sorry... I didn't know that you would develop such feelings for him. You're such a little filly...”
Sweetie Belle snuggled into her sister’s warmth, relaxing. She really needed the hug. Ever since she had been stupid enough (in her opinion) to kiss the colt on that night, he had been different. To the point that they had stopped seeing each other. She clung to her sister to give her the love she needed, resisting the urge to never let go. Rarity put her sister down, kissing her on the forehead.
“Dear, I may be a bit particular at times, and can be a downright monster, but you must remember that I love you. And as a sister, I am always here for you. Now come along, we have to get to making the nests my dear sister.” Rarity led her out the door with a smile. “And dear, you know, maybe, just maybe, if you're good, I might ask Mom and Dad to allow you to just... live with me.”
Sweetie Belle now had a reason to be happier.
Sweetie Belle had a smile on her face, the chime of her bell necklace matching her mood. She was glad that Rarity was finally allowing her to be of some help. She kept herself busy tying ribbons through the nests, listening to her sister and the other ponies talk. She was happy. There was no other way to describe it.
“Belle, I need to talk to you.”
Sweetie Belle turned around and looked up at the sky to see golden eyes looking down on her pitifully.
“Go away Tails.”
“But Belle!” he huffed, nudging her with his hoof. Sweetie Belle growled. She now had a new sympathy for Rarity when she was working. She was tempted to stab him with her horn, but she knew that would probably encourage him to be more irritating. She finally glared up at him.
“What do you want?”
He hovered behind her, speaking into her ear in a hushed whisper that made her blush. She tried to concentrate on the baskets, and not the low murmur in her ear. She felt her face heat up at his warm breath tickling. And this was his attempt of being discreet.
“I’m sorry for New Year’s. I’m sorry I made you feel that way about me. I didn't mean it. But Sweetie Belle, I need you.”
She could feel her heart beat faster and her brain scream that she was being stupid again. Sweetie Belle exhaled slowly, sitting up straight as the colt continued.
“You’re the only filly I can really talk to about Scoots anyway. Snails already has a filly, and Snips is... not very good at them...”
Her brain was laughing at her... She looked him in the eye with a look of disbelief she had picked up from Rarity. She had obviously done it correctly due to his raised eyebrow of confusion. She smirked, quite pleased with herself by pulling off one of her sister’s signature moves. Moving in with her sounded better than ever.
“Show Tail, please go away. I need to work.” He grunted and whined, brushing her with his wing.
“But I need you, Belle!” He hissed again, bothering her with the feathers even more. She was about to stab him with her horn when Scootaloo swooped down with a stern look on her face. She quickly scolded the pegasus for shirking his duties. She gave Sweetie Belle a smile before booting the pegasus back to the sky. Rarity raised an eyebrow and waved her sister off to get more hay from the barn.
“But Rarity, Big Macintosh is bringing..."
"You will go talk to him because you like him, and he needs your help. Maybe you can turn it to your little filly favor. “Rarity waved a hoof around. Sweetie Belle puffed up her cheeks and shuffled off in the direction of Sweet Apple Acres without another word. Rarity nodded to herself and smiled at the black wobbling streak in the sky that followed her little sister.
"Honestly, if you yell at me to talk to Fall Leaf, why not talk to that foal..."
“Belle, I need to talk to you, and I’m not leaving until we do!”
Sweetie Belle cringed at him yelling, dashing into the barn without thinking. She dived into a pile of hay, scrambling to hide. She wasn't surprised to hear him laughing at her attempt to disappear. She tumbled out, sitting back the hay stack with a pout. He wobbled in flight next to her before plopping down.
“Why do always run away from me, Belle? I wanted to talk to you! I’m having a really hard time.”
Sweetie Belle huffed, sitting up. She had half a mind to yell at him. He had no right to talk to him out of nowhere. She didn't deserve this kind of treatment. She took a moment to look the colt over. Show Tail looked genuinely upset, and was begging for her to listen. She could hear her brain laughing at her already, but her heart wouldn't let her leave. She had to listen to him. At least this time she could get some answers.
“I’ll listen to you. If you tell me why you can fly so fast. And everything else. If you want me to help, I need you to tell me everything that you won’t tell Scootaloo.”
Show Tail sighed, his ears drooping in response. She stared him down, trying her best not to allow her heart to be swayed by the somber look in his eyes. He obviously did not want to share, but her curiosity was getting the best of her, and she really needed to know more. Her affection and concern for him would have to beat his reluctance down. She pouted a bit to make her point, and the colt sat up. He suddenly flung himself onto her, nuzzling into her chest. Sweetie Belle felt her entire body heat up as he snuggled into her. She swallowed hard, her body frozen by the sudden show of affection.
“I don't want to tell... But I need you to help me... So... At least let me get comfortable, alright?” She nodded stiffly, eventually allowing her body to melt into the warmth of the colt. “So... let me begin in Ponyville.”
I came to Ponyville after I nearly cracked my skull open from falling off a tree. I couldn't fly at that point. All I wanted to do then was find out my talent. My family always gave me that typical ‘you’ll find it when you find it’, but I wanted it as soon as possible. It wasn't that my parents didn't care about me... It was just... I wanted to be like them, you know? They were good at something. My mom is an earth pony nurse, and my dad is the weather commander of all Manehattan. I was busy getting myself into trouble with my mates and my mother was sick and tired of bandaging me up so much. I was one of the last few to get my mark, and my crusading would always end up with me in pain and bandages. My father would come home at nights from weather patrol and simply ask my mother what she had bandaged up today. They loved me, they told me that always, but my mom was tired of patching me up. She always wanted me to be safe.
That’s how I got to live with Pica. She was the closest relative that my family kept in contact with. My father told her all about my crusading and she suggested that I live with her. Pica lived here, in Ponyville, a place that both my parents could reach easily. Ponyville was quieter, safer, and a whole bunch of other things Pica told them. My father knew that Aunt Pica was lonely. He sent me off without another word.
I hated it at first. Aunt Pica turned out to be totally different than what I was expecting. She home schooled me in many different topics, hoping to give me a cutie mark. Something to do with math or science or something ‘useful’. That’s what she told me. I had to be useful in the world, and to do that, I had to be good at math, or at least chemistry or something. So I studied really hard, and I was still horrible with math. She always hit me with her wings when I got too many problems wrong, which was often. I was only somewhat good at the sciences, enough to keep her somewhat happy. As much as I didn't like the home-schooling, she was still very... motherly. She insisted that I called her ‘mother’ or mommy or something like that. Of course I refused at first, till she finally begged me into it. I still call her mother at home. She allows me to call her Aunt Pica only outside. It was so strange...
I spent my nights during that year sneaking out. I forced myself to learn how to fly and learned how to cook since Pica wasn't all that stellar at it. I missed home and Pica was strange. My parents sent me letters all the time, but I couldn't tell them about Aunt Pica. She was really lonely and I knew that. I hate upsetting other ponies, so I decided that just flying away would be better. After I taught myself to fly, I spent my nights just... flying around Ponyville as quickly as possible. For hours and hours and hours on end. My wings are as strong as somepony five years older than me or something like that. But I quickly realized why there was a train to Manehattan. Not even Dash could make that flight in one night. It was too far. I tried so many times, but I never even made it a quarter of the way before crashing and having to fly back to Pica’s. So I was left alone in the house to study all that time.
When summer came, Pica finally let me out of the house. I was able to play, but I had missed out on the school year. I had no friends. So I just flew in the meadow till one fine day, Snips and Sails smacked me with whatever it was, and they were my first friends. They were quite nice to me, and they were quick to let me join them. It was with them I found my cutie mark. That’s how I crashed into those barrels and liked the noise. That’s how I learned that music was my talent in that instant.
When I got my cutie mark, everything got worse. Pica hated music and artists, for some reason. After she learned about my mark, she enrolled me in regular classes to see me less. She told me herself...
“And that’s... pretty much it.” He nuzzled into her chest again, breathing softly enough to tickle her skin. Sweetie Belle swallowed hard as the colt seemed to pull her closer. She couldn't think of a thing to say to him after that. She had no idea that Pica was so hard on him. He burrowed his face into her, his warm breath added on to her embarrassment fueled heat. “Now... will you help me?”
“Sure...” She said slowly. How could anypony say no after that? “Ask away.”
“Do you know what fillies like?” He looked up at her. “Like... most fillies? I know Scootaloo isn't...”
“Most fillies like...” Sweetie Belle tapped her hoof to her chin. Scootaloo may have been Scootaloo, but there were just some undeniable things fillies liked. She pouted, her legs kicking and digging in the hay as she pondered. Her mind went to the movies that she and Rarity had indulged in. “Fillies like nice things. Like doing what they like and hugging and kissing.” Sweetie Belle waved a hoof around, not sure of what to say.
Show Tail took a moment to process what she had just said. He exhaled into her chest, gears turning. Sweetie Belle’s warmth suddenly made the cogs and wheels grind to an abrupt halt. He got off the filly, turning her to him and nuzzling her nose like he had so many times before. He forced his mind to function even though its track was being diverted in a way he’d never experienced before. He looked Sweetie Belle in the eye before swallowing hard as he crashed his lips into hers.
His ears and wings flicked up at the pleasantly warm tingle her lips gave him. It reminded him of how he felt all those times that he had pressed his nose against hers but a billion times better. Maybe closer to infinity. Show Tail exhaled slowly, his curiosity making him linger far longer than he should have. He sat back, looking down at the filly feeling strange and tingly in weird and suspicious places, his face hot and flushed.
“Was that... nice?” He asked tentatively. Sweetie Belle sat up, biting on her lip slowly. She looked Show Tail, blinking as slowly as possible. She nodded, unable to speak. Show Tail hopped to his hooves, taking flight. He looked down at Sweetie Belle. “I... Have to thank you for teaching me. Yeah, teaching me. Thank you for your help.” He flew out of the barn, barely avoiding the frame.
Sweetie Belle stared after him, unsure of what to think. Her lips felt like they were on fire, more so than the rest of her body. Her first kiss had been taken by a clumsy colt that didn't think of much more of her than a magazine for advice. And yet she couldn't have been happier. It lasted only for a moment before she realized that those lips only had desire for one filly. Scootaloo. She sighed, sliding off the stack as quickly as possible. She had to get away from there, the place made her feel a stew of emotions.
Why did Scootaloo get the affections that she so desperately wanted? Scootaloo didn't even want it. She didn't deserve it. She... Sweetie Belle caught herself ranting, taking a moment to calm herself. Getting angry at her friend wouldn't solve anything. It wouldn't make him like her, and it would surely ruin any chance in the future. She grumbled to herself, unsure what to think. All she had been feeling lately was utter confusion.
With that swirling in her mind, Sweetie Belle couldn't bring herself to see her sister just yet. She aimlessly wandered the streets, avoiding anypony possible. She was quite pleased with her invisible status until a voice called out to her as she passed town hall.
“Sweetie Belle! What are you doing over here? Shouldn't you be helping Rarity?”
Twilight Sparkle was trotting up, half stern half curious. Sweetie Belle blinked, the sound of Twilight’s voice flying over her head and quickly returning to smack her. She smiled at the mare, doing her best to keep her previous melancholy hidden. Twilight ushered her to the town hall steps, petting her on the head and mentioning that she had seen how shad she was. Sweetie Belle could feel a lecture coming up.
“Twilight? Can you do me a favor? Can you tell me what your first crush was like? I’m curious. And I don't think that I’ll be able to work if I don't!” Sweetie Belle forced her sweetest smile on her face. Maybe Twilight would have some insight on how to deal with the other gender. Sweetie Belle knew that Twilight Sparkle may not be the most social of ponies, but she couldn't possibly be made of stone. Twilight sighed.
“Since you seem so interested, fine. But only if you promise to go back to work.” Twilight smiled weakly, closing her eyes as she put on her best voice.
When I was thirteen in the school for young unicorns, I didn't have many friends. I was by myself most days. I didn't mind. I spent my time in the library, hiding in the shelves and burrowing my face in books and reading away. That was how I stumbled upon the works of Octavius Port. I had read all six of his books on advanced transformation and teleportation at least twice in the first month of the school year. The books had said that he recently began working there, and needless to say, my own excitement drove me to look for him. I never found him on the roster of teachers, much to my dismay.
Not even my old trusty librarian could help me find him. One day I was sitting on the bottom shelf after a week of fruitless searching. I was reading one of his books, ‘The Introduction to Advanced Teleportation’ when somepony found me in my secret place. I didn't give him much thought, thinking it was the old librarian coming to give me another stack of books.
I looked up to see a much younger stallion watching me in confusion. He had obviously never seen me before. He was older than me by a good deal without a doubt. His fur was a light blue that looked well kept, and a slicked back mane that made his black tie look even more official. He raised an eyebrow at me in a way that made me blush, and his black eyes were piercing behind his glasses. I felt that I had seen him before, but I couldn't put my hoof on it. He was looking at me in disbelief, and smile broke out on his face.
“Such a little filly reading my book! I’m impressed. Do you understand it?”
There was Octavius Port, right in front of me, and my heart was racing. I was talking to the very man that I had written all the books I had been obsessing for the past month. And he was talking to me. I forced myself to regain composure before shaking my head. I had to reign in my fanpony urges. I was determined to make this a fruitful relationship.
I didn't expect to... get a crush on him. It just happened. I had been spending most of my time with him, learning magic, becoming better along with my classes. I learned more from him than my teachers some times. I always used to ask him why he wasn't a professor. He said that all that rigidness wasn't for him, that he wanted to delve deeper into the subject without being restrained with work. I admired that about him so much. He was a clever and smart free spirit. There was nothing bad I could find in him. And that was how I came to love him.
He was... ten years older than me. I knew that it was wrong, but I couldn't help myself. He was just... so perfect to me. I became enamored with him. He tried to fend me off, but I was persistent.
Then one day, the day after my birthday, I came up to him in my most beautiful outfit, after reading so many books on romance, sure that I would win him over.
“Twilight. I have something to tell you.”
“Yes Octavius?” I was so excited, hoping that he would tell me that he loved me, cared about me, something. Just anything other than what he said next.
“I’m getting married! The wedding is on a Saturday, and I would love my pupil and her family to be there.” The smile he had on his face when he said it. It was glowing. I felt pain in my heart for the first time in my life. I didn't understand what was wrong with me. I knew all along that I was too young, those months, those preciousmonths; did they mean nothing to him? I really couldn't believe that I had put my heart into a stallion so much older than me. My heart was crushed, to say the least. I had put all my eggs into one basket, and they were falling. I couldn't bear it. I put up a strong front, saying how happy I was and that I couldn't wait to go, but I think that he knew that deep down I was hurting. He kissed me on the top of my head, something I didn't expect of him at all. The smile he gave me made me realize that he did indeed care for me. I knew what I had to do.
I attended the wedding a two months later, a changed filly. I had pushed myself to get over the first stallion I had ever brought myself to like. The first stallion that I had ever let in, or even got into my heart. It had been a painful two months, full of unlikely tears, eating and a few other unsightly things. That was the only way I could allow myself to walk into that wedding with any form of dignity. For some reason, even though he was getting married... I was happy for him, but I knew that part of me was angry. It stayed angry. It pushed me to study and become what I am.
“Wow Twilight...” Sweetie Belle bit her lip, unsure of what to say.
“It’s alright Sweetie Belle. You just go back to work, after all, that was the deal. No more about it. I hoped that helped. Now I have to go see if... Spike is working. ” She smiled before leaving so quickly that Sweetie Belle had to question. She sat on the steps of the town hall alone, eyes trained on the sky. A certain black blur was catching her attention. The clumsy golden and black streak in the sky seemed more so than ever, crashing into pegasi every few minutes. He would chuckle, say sorry and fly off into another one. He didn't seem to be paying much attention to anything.
Sweetie Belle shuffled in her spot, her face heating up and her lips tingling once again. She couldn't keep her eyes off him, no matter how hard her brain attempted to tear her away. her brain reeled all those romance movies in her head, knowing very well that this high would lead to a crash, a sickening crash. Love seemed to always end with that. None of the crushes she had listened to had ended well in the least. Their first loves had all seemed to hurt them. Sweetie Belle forced her eyes shut, a sudden wave of fear washing over her. What if she ended up the same way? Grown up and hurting on the inside because of somepony that hurt their feelings.
And yet, with that thought gnawing at her mind, her eyes opened back up to greedily take in the sight of the uncoordinated colt. His flight made him look like the ponfication of puberty, awkward and lanky. There were many other colts in the sky from school that could probably fly with more skill with only one wing. More attractive ones. But her heart had set on that stupid and dense little colt that flitted after Scootaloo’s every movement with less coordination than ever before. Something else was distracting him, that much she could tell. Was it too much to hope that she was it?
She trotted out into the square, her eyes slyly trained on the sky. There she saw her colt. Her colt? She stopped herself mid-thought, another blush working her way onto her cheeks. Since when did he become a stallion to her, or hers for that matter? Sweetie Belle’s monologue was interrupted by a horrible crash that could wake the dead. She looked ahead to see a familiar gold and black lump slumped against a side of the wall of a house. He stumbled to his hooves, shaking off the snow on him. He winced up at Scootaloo, who scoffed as if disgusted before flying higher. Sweetie Belle trotted over to him, dodging the snow he shook off.
“Show Tail, I know you're a bad flier, but you hit a house.”
“I was just flying and something and stuff. I wasn't looking where I was going!”
“Obviously. You were so busy trying to get Scootaloo’s attention that you hit a house I bet.”
“No! I was um looking at the ground and well I saw something interesting, but not that interesting! It wasn't too interesting! It was somewhat interesting! It was pretty! Not too pretty! But uh...”
Sweetie Belle couldn't help but burst out in laughter at him. He was embarrassed, for some heaven given reason. She smiled at him, her mind totally forgetting what had occurred earlier. She placed a hoof on his shoulder to silence him.
“Tails, relax. What was so interesting?” He stood frozen for a moment before shaking his head and taking to the sky. Sweetie Belle shrugged, watching him jet off as quickly as possible. She didn't bother to put any thought into it. She had to return to Rarity and help her the best a sister could.
I’m so happy that you still send me a birthday card every year. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve been rather scared to open your letters. I know that my birthday was a few days ago, but I’ve finally pulled myself together. Fall Leaf, how are you doing? I’m still here in Ponyville. I’ve gotten myself my own little place, the Carousel Boutique. Wonderful place, wonderful business.
I have to ask what you’ve been doing lately. I suppose you’ve gotten married, had a foal or two, which sounds lovely. You always were quite the stallion, so it wouldn't surprise a mare in the least.
“Rarity, he could still be single.”
“I know! But I don't want to seem like I'm still clinging on! I want to applaud that lucky bi...” Rarity shook herself off, turning to Sweetie Belle with a smile. “And you will tell me what happened between you two. You should expect me to be like this. Friendship is magic. I wonder what love is then...” Rarity had a visible blush on her face as she continued to write. “Well Sweetie Belle? My darling little sister? What did he want?”
“He wanted help on how to be good with fillies. Then he decided to kiss me and see what it’s like...” Sweetie Belle cringed at the ear-splitting scream Rarity emitted. She hadn't expected that at all. Rarity soon hugged her as tightly as possible, laughing. She was asking so many questions that Sweetie Belle couldn't understand one. But she couldn't help but smile at her sister’s excitement. At least somepony had to be. Rarity finally put her down her little sister, giggling.
"So what was it like?" She asked, raising her eyebrows coyly. Sweetie Belle flushed, the memory returning and
"It... was nice. It made me feel warm."
Rarity's hair seemed to poof up a few inches in response to that. Her head turned to her little sister in such a way it looked almost detached. Sweetie Belle fell back, a bit scared at that response. Rarity’s lip trembled as she spoke.
“Did... mother ever tell you how foals are made?” The pure white pony blanched even more at the slow shake of her sister’s head. Rarity placed a hoof on her forehead. There was no time to delay. If Sweetie Belle was going to move in with her then she best start acting like both a sister and a guardian. Rarity calmed herself, repeating in her mind that it was going to be alright if she went about this correctly.
“Now Sweetie Belle, when a mare and a stallion love each other very much...” Rarity cringed at the absurdity of her own statement before awkwardly yelping, “Be careful with your horn!” Sweetie Belle flinched at the outburst, staring at her out of place sister like an alien. Rarity sighed, biting her lip.
“Let me tell you about... unicorns.”