22w, 1dNew Side Story: The Call of Duty 7 comments · 142 views
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“Sunshine, Sunshine,” We jumped up and down, stamping our hooves.
“Ladybugs awake.” We crouched down and covered our eyes.
“Clap your hooves….” Clap, clap… “and do a little shake!” I turned around and shook my tail bumping into Twilight and causing her to topple over. She burst out laughing, and so did I.
“Why’d you shake your butt?” she asked in-between giggles. We had worked out all of the actions to our hoof-clap song except the last one which I improvised on.
“Duh! Cuz its fun!” I laughed.
“You’re so weird!” my studious little filly charge accused me and I rolled my eyes.
It had been four days since I started foal sitting for my aunt Celestia’s royal advisors’ filly, Twilight Sparkle, a somewhat strange but endearing child who was more interested in reading books than playing around with other ponies. She wanted to become adept in magic so I spent some of our time together showing her simple magic spells along with encouraging her to come out of her shell and have fun once in awhile.
I taught her how to concentrate her magic to make it possible to move around her little notebook which she could only pick up before. I showed her how to manipulate smaller and more intricate things like the stem of a daffodil without breaking the flower off, and even how to make a small spark with her horn. She caught on quickly and I was impressed, but what she still had trouble with was being a regular little kid. She said she didn’t need other fillies or colts to play with, she just wanted to read her books. I understood that, and sometimes as we sat along the hills by her house I let her read while I watched out for her. I wasn’t going to totally deny her what she loved. But I still wondered if she had ever had a friend.
That day I decided to take Twilight around the town with me for something different to do instead of playing out in the field. We still hadn’t moved up to playing in a playground yet so I wasn’t sure what she was like around other ponies, but she never wanted to go, and I figured I shouldn’t push her too hard. Still, she seemed interested in this trip into town, and eagerly followed me as we walked through the cobblestone streets of Canterlot.
I loved it there. Most ponies didn’t know who I was unless I was with some sort of entourage of royal guards and my aunt Celestia, so I could wonder around without worrying about being mobbed or worst of all having a bunch of ponies bowing to me. That just made me feel really uncomfortable, and I definitely didn’t want to get Twilight caught up in something like that.
We headed toward a whimsically decorated sweet shop with a roof made to look like a cup of pudding, apparently based on the historical earth pony clan chancellor who helped unite Equestria. I had been there before on my rare time on my own since coming to Canterlot and I loved it. They had the most delicious pudding as their specialty, and could draw pictures in the foam of cappuccinos, along with walls and walls of candy that quickly captivated little Twilight’s attention.
The sweet shop was owned by a pleasant middle-aged unicorn couple incidentally called the Puddings, who were always friendly and offered samples of their sweets readily. It was a warm and inviting place filled with the delicious smells of baking bread and sweet hot chocolate, but today the Puddings seemed to be having some sort of disagreement. They were arguing about whether or not to sell the recipe for their specialty pudding to a mass production company to make more bits. Mr. Pudding was for and Mrs. Pudding was vehemently against this idea, saying it was their shop’s special pudding and they couldn’t just release it to everypony because it would ruin the distinctiveness of their signature dish. Mr. Pudding was worried about competing with other larger sweet shops and cafes, and was trying to create security for the couple in their older age.
Hearing their raised voices as I entered the store with Twilight seemed to destroy the atmosphere of the place and I felt bad. Really bad. I had a hard time with angry or sorrowful emotions. It had always plagued me since I was a little foal. It wasn’t until I realized my talent for spreading positive emotions like joy and love also meant I was sensitive to the ponies’ emotions around me and being around negative ones made me feel sick. It made me feel slightly nauseous, dizzy and faint, and that was not pleasant inside a pastry shop with the sickly sweet smells of baked goods and candies all around me. I glanced over to Twilight who was drooling over a cupcake and grimaced as I swayed on my hooves. This wasn’t good. I had promised her I would buy her something from the shop, but if I didn’t get out of there soon she was going to have a sleeping foal sitter.
Suffering these effects in excess was how I would decide to use my gift to help bring love back into a pony’s heart. I didn’t just do it for a simple bickering, or to two ponies with no compatibility, or no desire to work out their differences. Otherwise I would probably be drained all the time. There had to be some sort of meaning to casting my spell and seeing this lovely couple fighting over that which made their store special to me and each other was a perfect candidate.
“Hey, Twilight, come over here for a minute.” I called to her, swallowing a wave of nausea, but trying not to let her know I was ill.
“Whoa, what’s wrong? You don’t look so good.” She caught on right away of course, never mind she was the most oblivious filly ever. I just put a hoof to my lips and waved her over.
“I want to show you something.” I turned toward the shopkeepers who still hadn’t let up with their disagreement, and the filly followed my gaze.
I closed my eyes and opened myself up to the negative emotions, letting them freely flow into me, causing pain and sickness for a bit, but I had to do this to be able to create positive emotions to replace them. The next part of the spell I didn’t like to let anypony know about, but I would briefly be shown one special memory from the ponies I was working with and I would coax that memory to grow to help them remember the love they shared and repair the damage in their hearts.
For the Puddings I was shown a young Mrs. Pudding sitting at a table in a candle-lit kitchen, a clear plate in front of her and a warm and content smile on her face. Then Mr. Pudding entered carrying two bowls of the familiar caramel coloured special pudding in his magic and set them down in front of the mare.
“For you, my love. A special dessert created just for a very special mare.” Mr. Pudding grinned with love in his eyes, and took a place across the table from his sweetheart. Returning the loving smile the young Mrs. Pudding lifted a spoonful of the dish to her lips and tasted it, immediately eliciting a delighted sound of approval.
“Mmmm, it’s delicious!” She exclaimed, causing the stallion to blush. “What did you do to make it crispy and golden on top?”
“That is burnt caramel. I sort of created it unexpectedly. An accident with a torch light spell.” Mr. Pudding replied, sheepishly.
“It’s the best pudding I’ve ever had.” Mrs. Pudding said, nuzzling him.
“That’s because I filled it with my love for you, my dear Crème Brûlée.”
That was where the memory ended, and satisfied, I gently coaxed the recollection and the emotions it represented over to the feuding couple in a discreet show of a small heart that split into two and circled both unicorns before joining together in front of them and completing the spell.
Immediately I was free from the ill feelings the negative emotions had brought on me, and I watched proudly as my magic did its work.
Both ponies stopped arguing and blinked, staring into each other’s eyes. Mrs. Pudding was the first to speak.
“Oh my, I forgot…”
“That pudding, I created it for you…” Mr. Pudding continued, lost in his wife’s eyes.
“Yes….it was a representation of our love. And the name…”
“I named it for you, my love.” Mr. Pudding finished and the two nuzzled, tenderly. “I don’t know how I ever could have thought of selling it.”
I smiled, glad to see them no longer fighting and pleased with my results. Sometimes I hated that spell, like I said, but this time I was grateful to have it. One day when I got older I would be able to better tolerate the unpleasant physical effects and hone my skill into something truly blessed. For now, I just enjoyed seeing two ponies find love.
I glanced over to Twilight and giggled to see her staring at the now happy couple with her eyes and mouth wide open. She noticed me laughing and turned to me.
“What did you- what…huh?” she stammered, but I just smirked, unwilling to explain it in front of the Puddings.
“Hello Mr. and Mrs. Pudding, how are you today?” I greeted the unicorn bakers, keeping my involvement in their renewed happiness to myself. It was better that way.
“Why hello, Cadance, it’s nice to see you again. Will you be having some crème brûlé today?” Mr. Pudding asked, smiling at me, but glancing to his wife as he mentioned their special dish. Mr. Pudding had a cream coloured coat, and white mane and tail, looking like the vanilla flavour of his namesake, while Mrs. Pudding was a caramel-cream dapple colour, with a light brown mane with darker ‘burnt’ highlights.
“No, thank you, I think I’ll just be buying something for the little unicorn I’m foalsitting for today.” Looking over to Twilight again I saw a wrapped up bar of chocolate on the floor near her hoofs which I assumed she had dropped when she was surprised by my little trick. “Is that what you wanted, Twilight?” I asked.
“Wha- Ba- Huh?” was all she could say, and I suppressed another giggle before picking up the chocolate in my magic and giving it to Mr. Pudding to check out.
After paying and saying goodbye, I hustled the paralyzed filly out of the store where we sat at the sweet shop café tables and I explained to her what had happened.
“It’s my special talent, Twilight. I can help two ponies find love, or in this case, repair the love already in their hearts.”
“That’s so cool! I’ve never met a unicorn who could do that, I didn’t think a unicorn could do that! You’re amazing!” the lavender filly squealed and I blushed, enjoying the usually aloof child’s praise.
“Can you show me how you did that, huh, huh, huh?” she asked, eagerly, hopping up and down at the table.
“No, honey, I don’t really know how I do it. It’s just something I can do.” I explained, vaguely.
I really didn’t know how I did it. One day I had just become so overwhelmed by the negative emotions of feuding members of the royal court that instead of running away like I usually did to counteract the physical effects, I felt my horn react and suddenly I was thrown off my hoofs by the agony of having all their anger and conflicting emotions flow into me. Seeing me incapacitated the nobleponies stopped fighting and came to see if I was OK, and I was able to relax again. As I struggled to catch my breath I saw their most pleasant memory together and I guided it to them, not knowing what else to do with it. I was amazed to see their eyes suddenly light up and they all apologized and hugged. I knew instinctively that it had been my magic that had done that.
After that, I was ecstatic to see the appearance of the teal coloured heart shaped gem within gold lace on my flank, but nopony knew what had happened to me or to the royal court ponies until my mother wrote to Princess Celestia who suggested that my special talent was helping ponies find love, something she had seen a similar version of in ancient times, and I was very proud. But I didn’t know how I did it, or why I did it, or why I had to be so sensitive to ponies’ emotions. It was the mystery of powerful magic, my aunt said, and something I would need to learn to control so it didn’t continue to overwhelm me.
“Aww…” Twilight whined and I rolled my eyes, passing her the chocolate bar which lit up her face again, and she bit into it happily. “You’re still the coolest unicorn ever to be able to do that though. Maybe you could do it to my parents when they fight.” She spoke again, between mouthfuls and I frowned, not thinking her gentle parents to be the type to argue much.
“I’m sorry, do your parents fight a lot?” I asked, sympathetically, but not picking up on any strong emotions from her.
“Sometimes. Well...only when they’re worried about me or my big brother. He does lots of scary things, so they worry about him a lot.” she murmured, her eyes shifting down as she spoke about her older brother. She had said she missed him the other night, I wondered where he was.
“What does he do that is so scary?”
“He’s in training to be a member of the royal guard and protect Princess Celestia.” She paused, and then grinned. “You’re a princess! He could protect you too!” she cried, happily, but I grimaced. I didn’t need any more ponies protecting me. “Which reminds me, if you’re a princess, how come no pony seems to know who you are?”
“Because I don’t want them too.” I replied, simply.
“What? Why not? It must be awesome to be a princess!” she protested, standing up on her haunches and stomping her front hoofs on the table.
“Not all the time, Twilight…” I said somewhat sadly, but I brightened up as I thought of something. “But I can show you what it’s like.”
“You can?!” Twilight exclaimed.
“Follow me.” I stood up, telekinetically removed my hair tie so my mane hung down around my shoulders, spread my wings out, lifted my head high and started to trot through the town in a regal march I’d been taught how to do back in my own region that would make my aunt Celestia proud. I glanced behind me and saw little Twilight following my every move and I suppressed a giggle.
“It’s the princess!”
“Princess Celestia? Where?”
“No, the young Princess Mi Amore Cadenza from Istalia.”
“The only other alicorn? Oh my goodness.”
Soon I heard the whispering and outright chattering of the ponies around me, and I kept up my graceful little march feeling somewhat proud of my lineage as I was able to take advantage of it to show off for Twilight, and to walk around the town without guards or my aunt with me. Ponies bowed around me and I smirked enjoying this little play.
“Who is the little filly?” I heard somepony say and I almost lost my dignified look as I wondered what they were going to assume about me having a little unknown unicorn behind me.
“I’ve never seen her. Does Istalia have another princess?”
“Shh, don’t let them know you’re uninformed. Just bow.” Nobleponies made me crack up.
I continued marching, holding my head higher and not looking at all where I was going, which might be why my aunt Celestia always kept her guard ponies with her when she did this little procession, not for the vanity I usually tried not to indulge in.
And then suddenly I banged into a brick wall. At least, I thought it was a brick wall. I stumbled backwards almost toppling on to Twilight but I was able to catch myself, and I looked up into a pair of the deepest cerulean eyes I had ever seen. They were kind eyes, bright and full of concern. They belonged to a large, snow white unicorn colt who looked down at me, his mane an electric blue, long and wild, more rugged and handsome then any pampered royal I had seen.
Embarrassed by my mistake I felt my face grow hot in a blush and backed up mumbling an apology, until I realized the colt was staring at me too, and so was his large procession of younger unicorns behind him who were also laughing and pointing. I wanted to crawl in a hole and die.
“I’m sorry, are you alright?” Hearing the colt’s deep voice made me revise my initial impression that he was my age, and I felt even more flustered. I had rarely if ever been around colts near my age, and banging into this gentle and handsome one by doing my stupid march was not helping my limited confidence.
“Big brother!” Twilight suddenly cried and bounded over to the unicorn colt, pushing me away and gluing herself to his front leg.
“Hey, Twiley!” The colt exclaimed, happily, nuzzling her mane with his hoof and grinning.
“Hey, Shining Armor has a marefriend!” One of the rambunctious kids behind him called out, laughing with his buddies.
“She’s not my marefriend, she’s my sister, guys.” He told the group, giving them a chastising look.
“Not her,” The lead colt started. “Her!” he pointed to me and I crouched down, wishing I had been able to master the teleport spell so I could get out of there.
Suddenly the elder colt was in front of me offering me a hoof.
“Sorry, they’re a bunch of numbskulls.” He said, glancing over at the colts who grinned and made faces. “You’re not hurt are you?”
“No, I-I’m OK. T-thank you.” I stammered, taking a hold of his hoof and stood up, feeling lightheaded suddenly, my face seeming to burn in a blush. To my horror, he seemed to be blushing too.
“He’s blushing, guys!” The kids snickered, and because I had somehow gotten lost in them, I saw his eye twitch and he whipped around and stomped over to the colts.
“Stand at attention, soldiers!” he shouted and the group hurriedly scrambled into a line and saluted, some still grinning and chortling. “At ease.” They relaxed, but the elder continued to eye them. “That still means no talking.” He commanded, singling out the laughing ones who hastened back at attention. Then he trotted back over to us, glancing behind every now and then.
I was speechless. Those colts had been the brattiest of brats and he said one word and they all followed him. He was like one of the royal guard, but still just a kid like me. Twilight had said her brother was in training for the royal guard, but I didn't understand why he was commanding a group of rambunctious colts. He was good at it though.
“Sorry, they won’t bother us now.” The colt I now knew was Twilight’s older brother smiled. Of course, he just had to be the older brother of the filly I was sitting for.
“Shining, this is Cadance. She’s my new foalsitter.” Twilight explained, excitedly, smiling up at the colt. The look of admiration in her eyes showed me more than my emotion sensitivity could that she adored her older brother, and from what I remembered her saying she hadn’t seen him for awhile.
“H-hello.” I said shakily.
“And she’s not just any pony, she’s a-“ Twilight started to say but I panicked and stuffed the rest of the chocolate bar in her mouth before she could say who I was. I don’t know why I did that. For some reason at that moment I did not want this kind colt to know I was a princess or an alicorn for that matter. I didn’t want him to think of me as special at all.
Twilight tried to protest, but I gave her a pleading look and she focused on chewing the chocolate. Oblivious filly may not be so oblivious.
“Heh, heh, my little sister always likes her sweets.” Twilight’s brother grinned. “It’s nice to meet you, Cadance. My name is Shining Armor. Thanks for looking after Twiley.” It touched me to see that he seemed to care just as much about little Twilight as she did him, and although I still felt shy and stupid I managed to smile back.
“When are you coming home?” Twilight had finished the chocolate I stuffed in her mouth, but seemed to get the hint I didn’t want her talking about me, or just didn’t care anymore as she asked this all important question.
“I’ll come home Friday night for the weekend. Then we can go stargazing if you’re still awake.” Shining Armor winked at us, figuring I must know how much of a night owl his sister was. I think my coat must have turned red by now.
“I’ll be awake, I’ll be awake!” the filly shouted, bouncing around him.
“Great, I’ll see you soon, Twiley.” He smiled at her as she continued her little dance.
“You have to go now?” she whined.
“Sorry, sis, I gotta keep those guys in line if I want to learn to become a real captain someday.” He said, sympathetically, giving her a nuzzle.
“It’s nice to meet you, Cadance. Make sure my sis doesn’t drown in those books she’s always reading.” He smiled and then with a wave of his hoof he walked back to the somewhat still orderly group of colts.
I let out a breath of air I didn’t even know I had been holding in and looked over to Twilight who was looking down at the ground sadly.
“Don’t worry, Twilight. He said he’ll be home soon.” I reassured her with a bit of a flutter in my heart at thinking that the strong and handsome unicorn would be in the same house as me in only two days. I hoped their parents came home before then.
“He’s gonna be away all summer though. We’ve never been apart this long.” She sniffled, and still feeling shaky I tried to pat her mane to comfort her. To my surprise though she came over to me and hugged onto my other front leg. I sat down on my haunches and put my hooves around her feeling tender to have her feel comfortable enough to hug me now after all we seemed to have been through.
“I’m glad I still have you though.” She cuddled closer to me, and I smiled, feeling tears in my eyes as I held on to the once placid small filly, and watched as her beautiful older brother lead his group of little soldiers off into the distance.