As little Graves pushed open the door and exited Rarity’s boutique, it was by only a very, very thin hair that he managed to keep in his temper. His tiny, impotent, childish, temper-tantrum temper.
After being shanghaied by the girls, he’d spent the rest of the morning being dressed up in all sorts of outfits like some sort of living, pint-sized doll. The tiny overalls had been mortifying, the miniature sailor-suit had been worse, and when they’d stuffed him into what could only be described as pantaloons with a matching bonnet, he’d almost died of mortification.
Thank Celestia for small favors though, as during that period of suffering, Rarity had managed to whip up a decent outfit. In fact, it was very much like a small version of his normal clothes: charcoal pinstripe vest with matching slacks and tiny boots. She’d even made him a little hat to go with it.
These clothes were the only reason he put up with what happened next.
“Oh, don’t you just look positively precious!” the violet-haired seamstress cooed. Unable to contain her excitement, she scooped up the little marshal and squeezed him tightly like a teddy bear, albeit one that struggled with all the tenacity of a hooked marlin.
“Rarity, please, put me down!” he squirmed, his face turning a brilliant shade of crimson as he ran through a multitude of emotions: just because he looked like a kid didn’t mean he was one, and certain pleasant aspects of the situation made themselves very apparent through his morass of frustration and ire.
“Aw, lighten up there, little feller,” Applejack chuckled as she came by and tweaked his nose. “You should be nicer to girls: they’ll like you more when you’re older.”
“I don’t want to be nice, and I don’t want to be liked,” he protested in his awful, high-pitched voice. “I want to be put down on my own two feet and treated like the adult you both know I am. I am not a child, so don't treat me like one.”
Rarity and Applejack exchanged a momentary look of surprise. Then the pretty seamstress just squealed in delight and squeezed him even harder.
“I’m sorry, I can’t help it,” she giggled. “You are just far too cute!”
Silently, Graves wondered if crimes committed in his current state would get him charged as a minor.
“Psh, I still don’t see what the big deal is,” Rainbow Dash quipped as she, Fluttershy, and Pinkie came outside to join them. “I mean, he just got smaller, it’s no big deal.”
“Thank you,” Graves sighed, grateful that someone was speaking sense, even if it was Rainbow Dash. This may have been premature, however, as the cyan clad flyer soon began snorting with laughter.
“Yeah, it’s no big deal, because… he’s such a tiny little munchkin!” As she burst out laughing, the other girls just rolled their eyes and ignored it: it’s the only thing you could really do with such a bad pun.
“So anyway, Little G,” Pinkie Pie smiled brightly, “what do you want to do now that you’re a little kid again?”
“First, I’d like to stand on my own, if it’s not too much trouble," Graves scowled.
With a nod from Pinkie Pie, Rarity sighed and reluctantly set the marshal on the ground. However, as soon as his feet set, he was immediately scooped up again, only this time by Fluttershy, who grinned from ear to ear as she, too squeezed the little boy. Just for a moment.
“Oh. Heh heh. Sorry,” she whispered with an embarrassed blush as she caught the marshal’s flat stare. Even as a child, he managed to pull it off quite well, and the shy young lady quickly set him down.
“Thank you,” he said, giving his clothes an irritable jerk as he straightened himself up with as much dignity as a six year oldish child could. Which is to say, not very much at all.
“Well now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s go do something fun!” Pinkie Pie squealed in glee as she grabbed the little boy’s hand and started out. Despite his small size, the mini marshal put up some good resistance as he dug his heels into the ground.
“No thanks,” he grunted, fighting tooth and nail for every inch of ground given. “I… appreciate the thought, but I’d… rather… not.”
Pinkie Pie let go of his hand so suddenly that Graves actually fell on his butt when she did. The distance was immediately closed as the curly-maned girl rushed in to loom over him, eyes wide with shock.
“What do you mean you’d rather not?!” she gasped. “You’ve just been given a chance to relive your childhood! Relive! Your childhood!”
“… Yeah, so?”
Few people had ever seen Pinkie Pie genuinely angry and Graves was not one of them. Nevertheless, he got a good idea of what it must have been like as the usually giggling girl now glared down at him with eyes that flashed like an angry kraken's.
“Now you listen here, buster,” she said as she bodily hauled up the little boy by the scruff of his neck. “You’ve just gotten a chance to repeat the best days of your life with five amazingly awesome, new big sisters, and I am not, I repeat not going to let you miss out on this opportunity!”
“Er... You’re not?”
“Nope!” “Come on Little G! It’s time you live it up a little!” And with that, Pinkie Pie tucked him under one arm as if he were a loaf of bread and ran off towards town. The other girls, with absolutely no idea what was going on, had no choice but to run after her.
“So… why are we here?” Graves asked warily as he eyed his new surroundings. The six of them were now seated at the Sweetwater Café with Graves planted firmly between Applejack and Rainbow Dash to keep him from running off. They’d done a pretty good job, but it had really been Pinkie Pie’s threat of calling in a booster seat and strapping him in that kept him firmly in his place.
“You, Little G,” Pinkie Pie replied, her usual good humor now restored, “are about to see all of your childish fantasies come true.”
As if waiting for his cue, the moment these words were uttered, the fancy waiter with the fancy mustache glided over and set a covered tray before the little boy. Then, with a flourish worthy of a Canterlot royal banquet, he removed the lid and revealed a truly marvelous sight to behold that brought forth a collective gasp of awe.
“It’s beautiful,” Fluttershy whispered.
“It’s fantastic,” Rarity gushed.
“It’s amazin’,” Applejack gaped.
“It’s so... awesome,” Rainbow Dash squeed with a tear in her shimmering eye.
“Yes yes, it’s all of those and more,” Pinkie Pie nodded with an almost reverent voice. “Behold, I give you to the Ultimate Triple Decker, Super Banana Nut Fudge Sundae Deluxe Supreme. Two pounds of rich, vanilla ice cream layered with a full pint of chocolate fudge, six whole bananas, seven kinds of nuts, and no less than six inches of whipped cream, all topped off with a single, perfect cherry.”
“It’s… huge,” Graves murmured as he actually had to look up from his seat to get a good look at the dessert. In fact, he doubted he could see over the top even if he stood on the chair. Tiptoes included.
“Not for long,” the pink one grinned as she handed him a spoon. “Dig in.”
“… Say what?”
“Go ahead, Little G,” she giggled. “It’s every little kid's dream to eat as much ice cream as they want. So don’t hold back and chow down!”
“But, I don’t even… like…” Graves couldn’t finish the sentence and had to swallow as his mouth began to water like the World's End Falls at the sight. When he’d treated Sweetie Belle to something similar, if maybe only a third as large, the mere sight of so much sugar had set his teeth on edge. This time, he was a child, with the complete physiology, mindset, and desires of a child, and regardless of what he knew in his head should be the case…
“You know you want to,” Pinkie Pie grinned wickedly as she placed the spoon in his hand. “Search your feelings. You know this to be true.”
The mini marshal looked to the sundae, then back to Pinkie Pie, then back to the sundae...
With an almost bestial savagery, Graves jumped up and literally assaulted the daunting dessert. Wielding the spoon like a weapon of war, the little boy devastated the massive mound of ice cream with the force of a hurricane powered by a pack of dragons and connected to a miniature black hole.
Five minutes. That’s how long it took for Graves to finish. Every. Last. Bite.
With a contented sigh, the mini marshal leaned settled back in his chair, an almost blissful smile spreading across his chocolate-stained face.
“So, did you enjoy it?” Pinkie Pie asked with a knowing grin.
“Uh huh.” The little boy didn’t even have it in him to deny it: he was far too happy to do anything like that.
“Oh dear, it looks like you’ve made quite a mess, haven’t you?” Fluttershy tutted gently as she leaned in to wipe off his face. This, however, brought the marshal to his senses as he quickly fended off the demure girl’s napkin laden hand.
“Don’t worry, I got this,” he hastily said, just a bit embarrassed at having been caught so off guard. Fluttershy just giggled and wiped him down anyway.
“So now that we’ve got the munchies out of the way, what’s next?” Rainbow Dash asked, stifling a laugh as she watched Fluttershy fuss over Graves like a mother hen.
“Well, I figured now that we’ve got him all hopped up on sugar, it’s time to let him cut loose and run around a bit,” Pinkie Pie beamed. “And that, Applejack, is where you come in.”
“Me? What do you need me fer?” the blond cowgirl asked in surprise.
“You mean you don’t remember?” her curly-maned friend returned with equal surprise. “I wanted to show Little G here that game we always used to play when we were itty-bitty little sillies. You know, the one where we had to get Big Macintosh to come and help us out?”
“Wait a sec,” Applejack replied, a glimmer of excitement flashing in her eyes, “are you talkin’ about the one with the haystack and the hoofin’ it over and everythin’?”
“That’s the one,” the giggly girl grinned. “You think our little friend here would enjoy it?”
“Oh, I know he will,” the freckled cowgirl chuckled as she looked over at the fidgety child next to her. “I think he’ll like it just fine.”