A dash over a year after Kerous’ futile attempt to destroy the world, Equestria has almost fully accepted the arrival of another alicorn. One who, despite never showing it, was infinitely more powerful than both of the celestial princesses combined. Though many couldn’t believe that he had died to come back the very next night, he was there, and in the flesh. And very much alive.
Cantor was a simple pony with simple ambitions and one rule to live by: Protect. Although he wasn't the bravest of ponies, still being relatively scared of the dark, the young stallion set aside his abundance of free time to better the lives of everyone and everything he possibly could.
Actually, this is a lie. He first and foremost spent all day dreaming up innovative methods of getting himself hurt, and encouraging a choir of 'I told you so's from all but one of his friends, who encouraged the act in the first place. Regardless, through all the bumps and bruises, and the occasional dismemberment, he was happy, and content with a life that could ever be spoiled.
The hype about Cantor quickly dimmed within the first two weeks of his return, yet nopony forgot what he had accomplished, especially with the stone statue of him in Canterlot gardens. He made requests for a stained window instead, and despite his best efforts of persuasion, which in no way reflected pestering, Celestia's answer remained a firm 'No', and the statue quickly became part of the landscape, along with other prestigious ponies of the past. Making the frequently inappropriate stallion feel very out of place.
The study of extra-terrestrial worlds had begun to peak Celestia's interest to the highest extent in recent times. She made a point of saying how she was certain of life outside of Equestria, but now that the possibility for finding out for definite was visible thanks to a one-of-a-kind telescope on the outskirts of Ponyville, she had initiated a deep space programme, which Cantor eagerly took the offered position of being captain of an exploration and research team to the new planet. As for Cantor himself, he simply couldn’t wait to zoom out into space to see close up the very object he had observed many times through Twilight’s high powered observatory that he had made many months ago. And though the official launch date was five months away, Cantor was counting down the weeks like a foal waiting for his birthday.
Time, as always, flew by in Equestria, but one thing he was sure of was that he and Twilight were scheduled for a very long and happy life together, readying themselves for years and years of peace and happiness. With the occasional dismemberment...
The lavender mare had taken Cantor’s gift of the observatory straight to heart, doing exactly as he had said and transformed the little telescope into her legacy, filling the walls with her beauty and in the quick year, she had already crammed a bookshelf and a half with her endless recordings from beyond the stars. A simple explanation was in order: astronomy, second only to the give and take of knowledge, was Twilight’s largest hobbyist passion, and no matter how much she had discovered, there always seemed to be something just over the horizon that caught her eye, often the cause for several pages of information about the curious lights Twilight found, none of which shining as brightly as her.
Both Cantor and Twilight still kept finding out so much about each other that they both found absolutely fascinating. Cantor discovered Twilight was quite the experienced painter, often sitting for hours in front of her observatory, overlooking the mystical horizon at the deep purple sky through stunning purple eyes and painting. Hours of sitting there on the grass next to Cantor, watching the moon journey across the infinitely vast expanse of sky, flicking a small brush over a large Canvas, creating picture-perfect landscapes to hang on her observatory walls. Cantor could sit forever and watch Twilight paint. And in fact, he did. The alicorn would snuggle close to Twilight, wrapping an enormous wing around her like a huge feathery blanket, watching her many masterpieces come to life right before his deep amber eyes.
After some time, Cantor had urged the young mare to show the books to Celestia, explaining how her new literary expertise would carry Equestria far to new fantasies and wonderful worlds waiting to be explored. Twilight Sparkle and her friends still kept up their weekly friendship reports – and now, seeing as how they had all found love somewhere along the line, their hearts were open to all the beauty in the world, and their content souls added much to it.
It was early Summer in Equestria, and the weather was gradually becoming warmer. The hot and lazy days were in view and everypony in town was eagerly waiting to use their new pools which had been installed by Ponyville’s favourite alicorn. The acts of magical prowess explained to want-to-be wizards all throughout the world, who travel for months to get a glimpse at the one who could supposedly introduce new matter to the universe from thin air, with the words "I dunno, I just do it, I guess..." Earning him a bad rapport with a large faction of powerful, scorned unicorns.
Today was scheduled to be a mildly sunny day, with a light shower towards the end of the afternoon. The pale morning glow shone through Twilight’s closed windows, throwing large squares of light onto the wooden floor below. The new spring chicks resting in their wicker nests could be heard chirping in uproar every now and then as one of their parents returned with food in their beaks. The day had begun perfect – much like every day in Equestria really… Cantor had awoken to find Twilight already staring at him, her eyes half – lidded and an enchanting expression worn upon her face. Not for the first time, Cantor woke up smiling, barely able to utter “Morning” before Twilight wrapped her lips around his. It was more of a life than he could ever ask for, and he was sure that if there was heaven on Earth, Twilight Sparkle would be his sanctuary.
As Cantor had promised, nothing had changed; things had only got better. He still told Twilight Sparkle that he loved her every day without fail and every day, she would blush profusely and say the same to him. And now, as Twilight Sparkle always did every morning with Cantor before she got to work, sitting on her small sofa with a cup of tea resting on the table and a magically prepared breakfast beside it, something was obviously on her mind. It was bothering her, and whenever that happened, (albeit rarely), the white alicorn made it his duty to find out what it was so that he could fix it.
After taking a shallow sip from his cup, Cantor turned to the uncomfortable purple unicorn and asked with expectant eyes: “Something on your mind, Twi?”
The young mare quickly shook her head, her straight mane whipping about her face as she picked up a buttered crumpet with her magic and took a feeble bite. She finished it a lot sooner than she had expected and upon swallowing, turned to face her stallion who was still burning into her eyes. She sighed a little as a response, knowing that once this particular stallion had you in this kind of eye contact, your mind was as good as his.
“What?” She asked, raising both eyebrows, the warm, creamy taste of butter still evident in her mouth.
“Oh, please, Twilight…” Cantor began, smiling warmly in the humble morning light. “I’ve known you for over two years… I know when something’s bothering you…”
“Well…” Twilight started, her eyes shifting from her plate back to those paralyzing amber eyes, hotter than fire and more attractive than gravity. “Do you remember… last weekend?” She questioned, her cheeks becoming rosy with fillyish remembrance.
Cantor’s smile widened from content to amused. “Oh, yes…” He started, taking on a light blush of his own. “I remember ‘last weekend’, Twilight…” He said with a chuckle.
“I um…” The mare began, her eyes fixated on Cantor’s, unable to break away, but also unable to shake her apprehension. “I don’t want to say… I don’t know how you’ll feel…” She finished, her eyes trembling from fright. Cantor saw this and placed a reassuring hoof on her shoulder.
“Twilight… whatever it is, you know I’ll be fine with it.” He stated, giving the mare the courage she needed to say exactly what she wanted to say in the most blunt, basic and easiest way she knew how.
“Cantor…” Twilight started, taking Cantor’s sturdy hoof in her own and grasping it tightly as she looked deep into her stallion’s eyes and finished: