Sweetie Crush

by Ceehoff

Chapter IX

Sweetie Crush

Written and drawn by Ceehoff

"Sweetie Belle! Wake up! You're going to be late for school!" Sweetie Belle's mother barked from downstairs, voice muffled behind the filly's bedroom door.

Ugh, that loud, obnoxious voice... Go away... Leave her be. She did not want to go to school. Not after what happened last night. The memory of Connor yelling at her never left her mind. She could not forget it. It just kept goring her conscious mercilessly and left it to bleed to death overnight. What was to look forward to today? Connor was mad at her for her giving the "sensitive ear" or at least that was what she thought she was doing. What good was it to try to keep an iron shield beside you if that iron shield was less than willing to protect you? She would be exposed as a snail without its shell.

"Sweetie Belle, let's move!!"

"Ugh, nuuuuuuumph..." she moaned as she buried her head deeper into her pillow. Her pillow smelled musty from the tears that she expelled as she cried herself to sleep. Her cheeks were crusty from dried tears.

Suddenly, the door swung open and the blanket was yanked off, summoning a vast gust of cold air to cripple the little filly's body into a violent shiver.

"Sweetie Belle, get up now! You're going to be late for school!" her mother barked.

Before the little filly could say anything, her mother left her alone in her room, proving her point that she did not have time to linger for scolding.

Sweetie Belle swore that she must have woken up in hell. The cold air stripped off the warmness that used to clothe her and slithered up her spine, causing her to shudder violently.

"This day is going to kill me. Hopefully, soon," she muttered as she lifted her lead-heavy body from her soft mattress. How cruel it was to be stripped of something so comfortable from somepony so tired and troubled. It was like taking away an oxygen tank from an elderly pony.

Her eyes creaked open, but squinted again, because of the bright light from the overhanging lamp. Pretty cruel of her mother, flipping on the light spontaneously and without warning like that.

Cold, sad, heart-broken, eyes hurting... Could this day get any worse?


"Connor?" Sweetie Belle asked meekly. "Don't you want to walk closer next to me?"

"No," the colt muttered tastelessly. "I'm fine right here..."

"Are you sure?"

"I'm sure..."

"Oh... okay..."

She stared at her dreamboat as he walked about a pony and a half's length away from her like she smelled of garbage covered in cow dung in a garlic bottling factory. She hung her head, blankly looking at the path she was walking upon in front of her. Even though it was not cold because it was still summertime, she shivered. She felt bare to the air that brushed past her. Without Connor walking directly beside her, she could feel the bad omens leaking in. She wanted to walk directly beside him, but every time she would inch closer to him, he would only inch farther away from her. Couldn't her see her feeling so lost, exposed, and sad? Why couldn't he walk up next to her and comfort her? She was in dire need of him, but he was still too disappointed and mad at her to come closer to her.

It felt like it took ages for them to reach the school building.

"Well... here you are," Connor said in a less-than-lively tone.

Sweetie Belle turned to the colt to give him a smile, but his eyes would not meet hers. She stood patiently, waiting for him to turn and look at her, but the colt lifted a hoof, waving toward the school.

"Go... You're going to be late," he spoke again.

Realizing that he did not wish to look at her, her smile turned into a sad frown. She climbed up the one step slowly like a guilty puppy. She turned around. She had to make sure of something.


He did not respond, but laid eyes on her for only one second before looking back down again.

"Do you still like me?"

"Sweetie Belle, just go..."

The answer the colt had given made the filly's eyes moisten. He did not even answer her question. Not a lying "yes," or an honest "no". He did not even care to think about it. That was what hurt the most. Her lip nearly quivering, she dragged herself through the doors of the school building. The doors shut behind her, further separating her from the colt of her dreams.

"Good morning, Sweetie Belle!" Cheerilee greeted her. "How's your morning?"

Through the window, the filly saw Connor slowly walking away from the school building. He did not even look back.

"Just... peachy," she squeaked, hardly keeping her tears back.

"Wonderful! Hurry up and get seated. Today, we are going to learn about the Gods of Ancient Pegasopolis." She turned to the rest of the class. "First, we'll start off with Apondite, the goddess of love."

Sweetie Belle's forehead landed on the desk with a thud.


Chirp! Chirp! Chirp!

A sparrow landed atop of a tree branch. It ruffled its feathers, trying to shake off unwanted dust from between its feathers. It combed its feathers with his beak, smoothing them out. It took a deep breath and began to warble handsomely. It swayed its torso back and forth, keeping itself in rhythm. Judging by the slow, yet upbeat speed, it was singing a waltz.

Its singing came to a hiatus when another chirp was heard from a tree sitting about fifty feet near it. The owner of the foreign chirping shot out of the tree and sat itself on the same branch. Its feathers were a lot less ruffled than the first owner of the branch, and its color was a brighter hue. It hopped up next to the other bird, and they exchanged a banter of lively singing. The brighter bird ruffled its feathers and inched itself near the other bird. The other bird did the same. They inched toward each other until their fluffy torsos met. They nuzzled each other, sighing happily.

Until a rock was hurled upward directly between them...

"Thank you sooo much for rubbing it in my face, you stupid birds!" Connor shouted, shaking his curled hoof. "While you're at it, why don't you just defocate on me??"


Plop! Plap!


"You don't know sarcasm when you hear it, do you? Geezus..."

He shook his head furiously, flinging off the birds' spiteful feces. Then, he resumed to sit on the bench, going over in his head on how idiotic he was that day he kissed Lily behind Fluttershy's back. He knew fully well that he was in a relationship. Why did he do it?

"Me and my stupid hormones..." he mumbled to himself.

Then, his inner demons thought they would poke some fun at him. They shoved haunting, ethereal memories into his brain, reminding him how Lily's lips felt on his... Her expression, which was stunned at first, but turned relaxed and enchanted... The satisfied and content moan escaping her throat as she kissed him back... Fluttershy's crying face when she found out the truth...

"Oh, Goooood! Get out of my head! Get out, get out, get out! Get out, damn it!" he growled, pressing hard on his forehead with his hooves. "Why do you torture me so?! Screw you! Screw all of you!"

"Hi, Connor!"

He gasped, jerking toward the voice.

"Lily!" he exclaimed, startled by her coincidental appearance.

She was standing directly in front of him, which sent a chill down his spine. Was she sitting there the whole time when he was having his little mental breakdown session?

"How are you?" she smiled.

"I'm... doing just great," he said through his teeth.

"Oh, good!" she said, nodding. "That's good!" Nothing else came out after that.

"...And you??" Connor asked, continuing the conversation.

"Hmm? Oh! I'm doing great. Mm-hmm," she nodded again.

"Mmyeah. That's good," the colt nodded back.

Nothing else. Two ponies sat awkwardly in front of each other, silently competing each other for finding something else to say.

"Umm, Connor? Can I tell you something?" Lily finally spoke.


She set her saddlebag down by the bench and hoisted her fanny up to sit next to him. Just when she sat, she pushed against the bottom seat of the bench, rocking herself like an impatient foal desperately wanting to play.

"I... never really got to thank you for what you did yesterday. For consoling me."

Oh, God. He knew she was going to say that.

"No problem..." he sighed. "Wait, I thought you already did."

"Did I?" she chuckled. "Well, to be honest, I don't remember."

"Huh... Now that you mention it, I don't remember either."

"It must have slipped my mind. Silly me!" the blonde-haired mare laughed.

"Haaa ha ha," he laughed gingerly.

Their chuckles died down before Lily spoke again.

"Well, just in case I didn't, I just want to thank you. It was really nice of you."

"Meh, don't mention it..."

"I mean, it was really nice of you. Really."

"Seriously, don't mention it. Just don't..."

"Really nice," she repeated, leaning in closer to Connor, who was backing away in discomfort.

Then, silence happened again. Seeing that she was making him feel uncomfortable, the pink flower pony leaned back, giving him some space. She casually looked up into the sky and sighed.

"Lovely day out, she said. "I just love how the small clouds look against the blue sky. It reminds me of the white lilies that grow amongst the patch of my baby blues. I've been meaning to remove them from the patch, but they just looked so spritely and lovely."

"Mm-hmm," the colt nodded.

"Do you enjoy flowers?" she asked.


"Do you have a favorite flower?"

"I don't really have a favorite."

"You don't? What about roses? Tulips? Lilies?"

His ear twitched toward her. The way she mentioned "lilies" like that caught his attention. His eyes shifted, looking at Lily, whose twinkling eyes were pleading for an answer.

So, that's how it's going to go, he thought as he sighed. He needed to let her know that his act of "kindness" was a mistake.

"Lily," the colt said. "There's something I need to tell you..."

"Yes, I know..." she cut him off, nodding modestly.

"Y-you do?"

"Yes. You're in love with me."

"Yea-- Wait, what??"

"I'm going to come clean with you, Connor," she said, leaning in inch closer to him, looking into his eyes. "I'm in love with you, too."

"Wh--? D'er--!"

"That moment when you hugged me, when you kissed me, I felt like I've just woken up from a horrible nightmare by an angel pony. What you did, it felt like somepony actually cared for me. Like somepony actually loved me for me, unlike my previous coltfriend," she said, tossing her head around to gaze hopefully into the sky. "I've never felt so happy and relieved in my life!"

"Umm, er..." he stammered. Oh, no, no, noooo, noooooooo!

"And remember those things you said? About that one, certain somepony coming around to meet me and love me?"


Lily turned back around and gazed at the ground in front of her. Her blushing cheeks were not as noticeable behind her pink coat of fur.

"I believe," she paused before bashfully looking at the colt sitting next to her. "...that you are that one, certain somepony."

"Oh, God..." he mumbled to himself. He said aloud, "Wait, but what makes you so sure? I mean, we haven't even dated yet."

"We didn't?? Oh, Celestia, I feel so silly. We should totally go on a date!"

Oh, God. Why did I have to bring that up? he wondered.

"So, when are you available?" she smiled.

"Uh... I... Der..."

Lily's face, full of hope, newfound love, and happiness, kept Connor's throat from speaking coherently. Her expression was just so full of hope that he did not want to ruin it by saying, "No". He already broke a mare's heart. He was not sure if he was able to do that again.

"Look, um, Lily," he said, gently pushing her away from him. "Why don't you, um, come back to me on that later? I never really got to, uhhhhhh... take a look at my schedule, so I don't really know what's going on now."

"Oh, yes! Of course."


"But when you do have the time, I'll still see you later?

"Uhhh..." he hummed, lost in guilty thought.

"Great! Really looking forward to it," she smiled brightly.

The colt could only nod weakly back.

She cleared her throat before smiling refreshingly. "Well, that felt nice getting that off of my chest. Now, we know how we feel about each other. It's refreshing, isn't it? Well, I'll see you later, Connor."

"Later..." he peeped.

Noticing how sad, meek, and unenthusiastic he looked, Lily thought she would cheer him up by giving him a quick kiss on the cheek.

"Mwah! Later!" she waved, fluttering her hoof at him before trotting happily away, excited about her new date. She thought she would shoot one last, lovey-dovey look at him before leaving. She began to hum a lively tune, which died away as she disappeared behind the corner of a building. Connor threw his head back, knocking it against the back rest of the bench, and sighed frustratedly.

"Damn it! Idiot! Idiot! Idiot!" he growled, rhythmically knocking the back of his head against the seat of the bench. "Now what am I going to do? I broke Fluttershy's heart, I made Lily fall in love with me, and I'm not even brave enough to break the truth to her! Buck! I am so pathetic!"

BONK! He threw his head back against the back rest once more.

Well, look on the bright side, one of the voices on his shoulder said. If Fluttershy's not willing to take you back, maybe you can date Lily. Look at her! She's pretty, she's cute, she's looks really nice, even though she may be a little panicky and overemotional at times. Meh, take what you can get.

No, you can't! the voice on the other shoulder said. You can't give up on Fluttershy! You two were so happy together before all of this. Remember all the fun times you had with her? Even when you were a human? They were just so precious! Are you just going to let all of that go to waste? This is true love we're talking about here! Your little stunt with Lily was just superficial love. That's not true love, if you ask me. You're going to have to tell her that you're off the hook with her. Lily's just going to have to look for another colt.

What?! How insensitive are you? Break Lily's heart, too? Is that what you want? Hell, no! You never know, Lily will make him just as happy as he was with Fluttershy. All it takes is a little time to know her. Besides, Fluttershy's probably moved on, too. She could be dating another stallion by now.

That's bull! Unlike Connor here, she wouldn't just date another stallion in such a short time. She's soft like that. You wouldn't know!

You never know, just like you don't even know what the hell you're saying.

Oh, it's like that now?

Oh, NO, it's tooootally not! Of course it is! You don't know what you're talking about! You're holding him back in the past. That's unhealthy! The guy needs to move forward!

I'm certainly am not!

You are! Why are you holding him back, huh? Why shouldn't he date Lily?

Because Fluttershy is his girl and always will be! Look at him! He's mortified! He's feeling more guilty than a puppy who flooded a house with shredded toilet paper! He knows his relationship with her was perfect and he wants to bring it back. He's not going to ruin it because of another mare.

Are you hearing this, Connor? Are you hearing this? You don't actually believe the drivel this sap is saying, right?

Name-calling, huh? Oh, REAL mature! Well, you're only thinking with your groin!

How dare you! Well, you--!

"SHUT UP!!" Connor shouted. "Just shut up! If it will make you two shut the hell up, I'm going to go to Fluttershy's and ask her for her forgiveness. If she forgives me, then I'll stay with her. If not, then I'll date Lily. There! Simple as that! Now just shut... the hell... UP!"

"Who are you talking to?" asked a nearby stallion with a brown mane and coat.

The self-arguing colt snapped awake, staring at him like deer in headlights. "Uh... just... rehearsing for... a play."

The stallion's face twisted, eyeing Connor suspiciously.

"What??" Connor threw his arms up.

"And everypony thought I was crazy. Bloody hell..."



"Time for recess!" Cheerilee warbled.

Cheering, all the foals that were in the classroom stormed out of the building all at once like a stampede of bulls.

Except for one, who was sluggishly dragging her hooves over the ground, heading toward the door.

"Sweetie Belle? Are you okay?" the schoolteacher asked, tilting her head.

"I'm fine..." the filly replied through her sad expression.

"Is something wrong?"

"I don't want to talk about it," the little unicorn moped.

"Well, whenever you feel like you do, just come to me. I'm here to help," the magenta mare said with a friendly and bright smile.

"Good luck with that..." Sweetie Belle mumbled.

The depressed filly resumed her way out the door with Cheerilee looking after her in worry, smile disappearing. The door swung open again, this time revealing a pink, tiara-wearing filly, deviously looking behind herself to look upon the grieving unicorn. A wide, trouble-seeking smile cracked across her cheeks. Sweetie Belle will pay for the things she said about her in that love note to her dreamboat. Just as she saw the magenta mare look at her, her devious smile disappeared, snapping into action.

"Oh, Miss Cheerilee! What's bothering you?" she feigned concern.

"Oh, don't worry too much about me, Diamond Tiara," the teacher replied. "It's just... Sweetie Belle. She's looking so sad lately."

"Oh, yes. That," the filly rolled her eyes like she had noticed it many times before. "The poor little filly. Love does strange things to frail ponies like her."


"Oh!" she gasped. "I've said too much."

"What's going on? What about love?"

Diamond Tiara sighed in defeat. "I suppose I might as well tell you."

"What's going on with her?"

"She's in love, Miss Cheerilee. Sweetie Belle... is in love!"

The teacher cooed like a high school filly. "Ohhhhhh! With who?" she asked leaning closer to the bearer of news.

"Oh, you are going to love this! Here's a hint: he's not in this class."

"He's not?"

"But, he comes here on a daily basis."


"And here's another hint: he's a little older."

"Oh! Well, it is pretty natural for somepony to fall in love with somepony who's older than you."

"Can you guess?" Diamond Tiara smiled slyly.

"Hmmm... Well, I give up!" Cheerilee coyly grinned. "Who is it?"

The tiara-wearing pony stifled a cutesy squeal as she handed her the sheet of crayon-scribbled notebook paper.

"What's this?"

"A crayon drawing she drew along with a love note on the back. I know it's so deceiving and nosy to pick up something like this up, but it just so precious!"

Raising an eyebrow in interest, Cheerilee looked at the neat color drawing. At first, she passed by it like it nothing, but then her expression widened when she saw the colt she had drawn, who was taller, had tan fur, and...

Her mouth opened wide as she formed a huge smile. The shadows in the forming dimples in her cheeks had darkened.

"Is this..?"

"Yes! It's Connor!"

"Awwwwwwww!" Cheerilee cooed like a little schoolfilly. "That is so adorable!"

"Isn't it?? It's such a shame that she is keeping this a secret. We should announce this!"

"Oh, goodness, no, Diamond Tiara! She's going to be really upset if we announce this."

"She won't once we tell her that nothing is wrong with falling for an older pony. You said for yourself that it's natural. Succeed, and she won't feel so sad anymore. She'll feel proud and happy! Isn't that what you want?"

"You know what? You're right, Diamond Tiara! The happier she is, the better. When do you want this to be announced?"

"Right after recess, when everypony is in the classroom."

"Very well!" Cheerilee smiled brightly. "Oh, is this because you want to amend for all the things you did to her, and you want to be her friend?"

"Of course!" she fibbed through her smile.

"Very considerate of you, Diamond Tiara! I'm glad that you are going all this way to help her and yourself."

"It's nothing... Really..." she smiled evilly.


"Well... Here goes nothing," Connor said to himself.

Fluttershy's cottage stood on the small hill, ornate with birdhouses, kennels, and all sorts of shelters for small animals. The windows of the house, which strangely reminded him of eyes, stared into guilty conscience. It was as if they were saying, "What are you doing here?", "Well, look who's come crawling back!", "Tell me, is your plan of reuniting with Fluttershy even worth this trip? You know she will say, 'no'.", "If I were you, I'd turn back the way I came, you back-stabber."

However, he plowed past the voices, defying them. He would confess to her and convince her to take him back, whatever it takes. He would not run away. Fate depended on her answer alone.

He was so lost in thought, he nearly walked into the closed door. Thank God he stopped; he would not carry on if he made himself look like a brain-dead fool. He took a deep breath and rehearsed in his head on what he was going to say to her. He lifted a hoof to knock on the door.

Before he could make the first stroke, it had already opened. At the foot of the open door was Angel, who was tapping his furry foot against the hard-wood floor.

"Hey, Angel," he greeted the rabbit less than he used to. "Hey, um, is Fluttershy--?"

Then, the scrappy rabbit kicked Connor around and landed a foot of iron against his rump, sending him flying into the pond just outside her cottage. He slammed the door behind him.

The colt rose menacingly from the pond with a lily pad over his eyes. He spat out a steady stream of pond water until he spat out a small fish.

"I hate that rabbit..." he growled. Then, he thrashed out of the pond and shook himself dry. "I'm not going to let some punk furball get in the way of me and Fluttershy."

Then, he trotted behind the cottage, approached the small garden patch of vegetables, and yanked out a large, juicy carrot. He galloped back to the front and snapped off a tree branch from one of the trees. He plucked a long, stringy blade of grass from one of the bushels directly next to the pond. He fastened one end to the end of the stick and the other around the trunk of the carrot.

He knocked on the door again and quickly hid in the bushes in front of the cottage. Again, Angel opened the door, but as he opened it he swung his foot, expecting that it was Connor again. Instead, he kicked thin air. He flipped backwards and landed on his back. He grumbled, scolding himself for looking like an idiot, until a rich scent grabbed his nose. He sprang up like a spring when he recognized the smell. He eyed the huge, juicy carrot floating in front of him. He leaned closer, sniffing at its fleshy surface.

"Come on... Come and get the carrot... Come on and eat the stupid carrot, you mangy flea sack..." Connor whispered.

Seeing that Angel was entranced by the floating treat, he swung the carrot further away from him. The rabbit followed it, trumping like a zombie. Then, Connor stretched his foot out, pulling himself out of the bushes. He slowly and carefully shifted his hooves into the opening. Now, all he had to do was drop the carrot, and...

After a white blur, the door slammed shut on his hind hoof.

"AHHHHHHHHH!!!" he yelled in pain. "Owwwhoohoooooo!"

Connor noticed the stick felt lighter between his teeth. The carrot was gone. After tugging, he finally freed his hoof, red and throbbing in pain. Through the window, he saw Angel feasting on the huge carrot. Seeing Connor looking at him from the outside, he flicked his paw into the air and raised his...

"That... little... bastard!"

He knocked on the door. Angel swung it open, ready to kick the stubborn colt's groin, until a sack came down on top of him. Connor tugged at the string, zipping the lip of the sack shut, and threw the sack away from the cottage. He scrambled in and shut the door behind him, sighing in relief and victory.

"HA!! How 'bout that, you little sack of sh..."


He heard hooves clatter up the stairs behind him, followed by a door slamming shut.

"Fluttershy!" he exclaimed, running up the stairs after her.

After flying up the stairs, he slid in front of the closed door.

"Fluttershy!" he said. "I want to talk to you!"

"No!" her tearful voice sounded from behind the door.

"Please, Fluttershy! Just listen to me!"

"No! Go away!" she cried. "You have done enough! Just leave me alone! Please!"

"I came to apologize!"

"Apologize about what? That you're now in love with Lily?? Well, apology accepted! Now, go away!"

"No, I want to apologize for what I did! Please, I want to talk to you!"

"Just go... away!"

Connor's expression calmed. "Fine. If you're not going to talk, then I will."

"I won't listen!" she tearfully cried.

"Fluttershy, don't be like that! Please, don't!"

"I will be who I want to be! Alone!" she squeaked in angry tears.

"Fluttershy--!" he kept himself from getting frustrated. "I love you... I love you so much. That's why I've come here, to apologize. I want to be with you! Only you! I don't want to be with Lily! I want to be with you!"

"If you love me so much, then why did you do it? I thought we had something special... I thought we were... were--! Oh, never mind! It doesn't matter now! Our love was a sham!" she bawled.

"Don't say that, Fluttershy! Darling, please!"

"It is!! It is a sham! If you loved me so much, you would have known better than to kiss that pony behind my back! If it were not for Sweetie Belle, I wouldn't have known this from the start!"

"Fluttershy, please! I-- Wait... What did you say? What about Sweetie Belle?" his brows furrowed in concern. Since when did Sweetie Belle have a part in this?

"She told me everything! She came by yesterday and showed me the evidence! You thought you could get away with it, didn't you? Well, you didn't!"

"Sweetie B--... Showed y--..."

"Yes, she did!"

His eyes opened wide in disbelief. Without saying another word, he galloped down the stairs. His eyes shifted around the living room, until they came across the small coffee table. He walked slowly up to it. What he saw laying on top of it made his stomach wrench in nausea.

Crisp, polaroid photos laid on the table, each photo of him with Lily that very day. Eyeing scanning them frantically, he pushed each one off the top of the other. He saw the image of him holding her shoulders, looking her intently in the eye. He saw the image just like the previous one, only with his head closer to hers. He saw the image of him hugging her. He saw the image of her hugging him back. Finally, he saw the image of the kiss, which made him nearly throw up.

So, he was not alone...

Then, he noticed something off in one picture. There was an image of a white saddlebag with a green strap and a brass buckle. Written on the side of it was in marker.

"Sweetie Belle..." he read.

After that, he grew silent...

He looked at the small clock placed on top of the fireplace. It was nearly the time for Sweetie Belle to be done with school. He took the photos and slowly walked back up the stairs to talk to Fluttershy.

"Fluttershy..." he said calmly. "I have to go now, but I just want to say something. I know that I have screwed up. Forgive me or not, I will still love you. You still will be my little pony. Even my best friend... Thought that you should know."

He got up on his hooves, walked down the stairs, and out the door.

He walked up to the thrashing sack, and loosened the string to let the scrappy rabbit out. Just before the rabbit was going to sock him in the groin, the colt responded quickly by lending him another juicy carrot.

"Sorry about that, Angel..."

The rabbit still socked him before he took the carrot. Although, it was not quite so hard, it still had him yelp in pain.

"Okay, I deserved that..." he grunted.

He walked away from the cottage and toward the school.

He had to give her a little talk.



"Okay, my little ponies! Time for class! Come inside!" the magenta schoolteacher called.

The little foals hardly ever groaned or moaned about playtime being over, because they knew that class was just as fun with Miss Cheerilee.

"Truffles," she said to a small, grey, tubby colt. "Would you do the honor of leading the line?"

"Would I?? Sure thing, Miss Cheerilee!" he replied. He puffed his chest out and stood in his place, hearing a mixture of beating hooves behind him.

Sweetie Belle was the last to join the line, dragging her hooves over the ground, sighing in depression. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo were standing two ponies in front of her.

"All right, that's it!" Scootaloo griped to her yellow pony friend. "She's been like this for more than two days! Even after her sickness!"

"I hafta agree with ya, Scoot," Apple Bloom replied. "This has gone lawng enough. We're gonna have a talk with her after school. We'll git to the bottom of this once and fer all."

"Okay, here we go!" Truffles exclaimed. He marched like a soldier into the building.

Nearby, Cheerilee was looking over them, making sure that everypony was present. Her eyes came across Diamond Tiara's who was about to walk past her. They exchanged winks, signaling the start of their little announcement. When Sweetie Belle passed, Cheerilee snapped back to her poker face, so the little unicorn would not suspect anything. However, her vision was so focused on the ground that the schoolteacher thought twice about acting suspicious. She took no chances, though. When everypony was inside chattering away happily, the kind and sweet teacher walked back over to her desk.

"Attention, class!" she said. "Right now, I just to go over some things really quick."

The entire class (except for Sweetie Belle) sat up straight, paying attention. Cheerilee snuck a look at the white unicorn before beginning.

She folded her hoofs together. "Do you all remember the Shakespony classic, 'Poneo and Muliet'?"



Yeah! We just finished reading that a week ago."

The teacher smiled. "Great! What did you all learn from that? Refresh my memory."

"Oh! Oh! Ohohohohoh! Me! Me! Miss Cheerilee! Miss Cheerilee!"

"Yes, Noi?"

"That it doesn't matter where you come from or who you are when there is true love!" the filly smiled.

"Well done, Noi! That is absolutely correct," the teacher smiled, proud to have raised such fine students. "Looks, race, and color do not limit true love. Poneo Montaque from the pony clan knew that Muliet Capulette from the mule clan was different, but he didn't let that stop him from loving her. They loved each other very much. Everypony here has his Muliet nor she has her Poneo. For those who don't have one now, you will soon enough. Truffles?"

"Yes, Miss Cheerilee?" the small, tubby, grey colt replied.

"Do you have a true love?"

"Yes, I do!"

"Would you care to tell us who it is?"

"D'awww, gosh! I dunno," he chuckled bashfully. "It's a secret."

"Does she love you back?"

"I'm sure she does," he grinned confidently.

"Aww! Well, I wish you two the best of luck!"

"I already do," he sighed as he subtly glanced at a small picture of Miss Cheerilee between the sheets of his notebook.

"Anypony else? What about you, Sweetie Belle?"

The filly flinched violently at the sound of the sound of her own name. "Who? Me?? Oh, no! No, no, no! I don't have a true love."

"Are you sure?" the teacher asked slyly, though playfully.

"Yes, I'm sure! Single and proud of it!" she proclaimed as she puffed her chest out.

"Well, I think you do have true love. Everypony does! Even if it is only a little crush."

"Crush?? Who said anything about crushing? Ha ha! Haaaaa..." she chuckled nervously. She noticed the yellow pony and the orange pegasus glaring at her.

"So, who is this lucky colt?"


"Watch your voice, Sweetie Belle."

"It's nopony, I tell you! I'm as crushless as a... um... pony with no crush!"

"Are you sure you don't want to tell us?"

"Yes, I'm absolutely sure... because I'm not crushing on--!"

The door swung open, revealing a colt. At first his face was blank, but then it changed to surprised, seeing the schoolfoals still sitting at their desks. His cheeks burned a little in embarrassment. "Oh, sorry, Miss Cheerilee... Did I come too early? I thought that pickup was at--."

"Connor! Such a pleasure to see you! And just in time, too," she turned to everypony in the classroom. "There he is, everypony: Sweetie Belle's crush!"

Everypony gasped, Diamond Tiara was smiling, the two Crusaders shot Sweetie Belle a look, and the colt's eyes opened in surprise.

However, none of the emotions in the room compared to mixture of emotions Sweetie Belle was in right now. Her cheeks were burning hot pink. Then, the rest of the school foals started laughing.

Sweetie Belle saw a mixture of expressions aiming toward her: ridicule from the other foals, utter disappointment from the Crusaders, and awkward shock from Connor.

She buried her face into her forearms, tears pouring out of her eyes. How did they find out? How the hell did they find out? Unless...

"Now, now, class! There's nothing wrong with crushing on an older pony. It's only natural. I mean, I've had a crush on Charming Handsomeface when I was a foal about your age..."

However, Miss Cheerilee's voice of reason was drowned out by the piercing and heart-goring sound of the foals' laughter.

Sweetie Belle shot up from her desk, snatched her saddlebag, and ran past Connor out of the school. The colt looked onto the sniffling filly as she disappeared over the small hill.


The door slammed open.

"RARITY!!!" Sweetie Belle shrieked furiously.

Her older sister yelped in pain when she pricked the soft spot of her hoof with the needle she was using to sew a ruby onto a dress. "Sweetie Belle! How many times to I have to tell you to knock first before entering? Now I've pricked myself!"

"Sucks to your little boo-boo! You deserve it, you lying, no-good, two-faced, loose-lipped blabber!"

"Sweetie Belle! What--?"

"I can't believe this! I made you swear to not tell anypony about my crush with Connor, and you go on ahead and blab!! How dare you!!"

"I didn't tell anypony!"

"Oh, yeah?! What about Miss Cheerilee, huh?! When she was coming over here to pick up her new dress?? You told her!!"

Rarity's mind traced back to last night.


"So, are you excited for the baby shower coming up, Miss Cheerilee?" Rarity asked as she handed over the teacher's dress, ornate with pebble-sized baby blue diamonds.

"Oh, yes!" the magenta mare replied, nodding enthusiastically. "I can't believe Red Wine is going to have a baby! After months of waiting, she finally made it! I was beginning to think she was infertile."

"Well, the good thing is is that she is not. Oh, I wonder if it's going to be a boy or a girl? Maybe if it's a boy, she could call him 'Wine Cracker'. EEEeeeee!"

"Oh, that is just adorable! Maybe if it's a girl, she could name her, 'Chardonnay'. Ahhhhhh!!"

The two fully-grown mares hopped and squealed like they were little schoolfillies.

"Oh! That reminds me!" Cheerilee said. "I should give her a present. Tell you what, I think I'll give her a book of baby names. Oh, she would love that!"

"Or, we could tell her the names we picked all by ourselves. But, I am not the parent, so I'll just leave it to her. Oh!" she gasped before giggling. "I have to let you in on a secret."

"Oh?" the teacher's ears pricked up.

"Guess what? I heard from the spa twins that River Dance is going to propose to Willow at the baby shower!"

"No!" Cheerilee gasped. Then, she erupted in a joyful prance. "Oh, my goodness! He is?? Ahhhh! They are just so wonderful together!"

"Oh, I know, darling! I know!" Rarity rolled her eyes as she waved a hoof. "It is just so romantic! Oh, but you have to keep it a secret!"

"I will! Don't want to spoil any surprises, do we?"

"Absolutely not," the white unicorn huffed. "It would be so inappropriate. Oh, dear!"


"If you are going to be at this certain baby shower, you've got to look your best! Come along, darling, we'll fix you right up!"

"Er, Rarity, I don't really need a makeov--."

"Shush, shush, shushushushushush! Don't say another word, dearie! Now, where is that blush?"


"I can't believe you would do something so low like that, Rarity! I can't believe you! Some sister you are!"

Rarity flinched back in hurt. Then, she fumed. "Well, maybe I should have..."

"You just did!"

"I didn't! But, if I did, then it would serve you right!"

"What th--?! What did I do to you?!"

"You have just been acting so impatient and cruel around me. All you ever think about is Connor. Connor, Connor, Connor! What about me?? I'm your older sister!"


"'So?'?? 'So?'?? I'm the one who you are supposed to be looking up to! I'm the one who you're supposed to pay attention to!"

"How am I supposed to look up to my older sister if all she does is put me down? You never do anything nice for me! You never do anything for me! You never help me when I need help! After all that, you expect me to respect you?? That's unfair!"

"Now, Sweetie Belle--!"

"Don't even try to deny it! You know everything I say is true! You never do anything for me! All you care about is yourself! Connor, on the other hoof does! He likes me, he plays with me, he helps me with my homework, everything that you fail to do! Come to think of it, now I wish he was my older brother! I wish I had him for an older sibling than you! Any sibling other than you sounds really dandy right now!"

Rarity felt an invisible spear gore through her feeling as her eyes welled up with angry tears. "Well don't you know how hard it is to keep a job? How to run a job? It's hard! It's taking a lot out of me nowadays! I want to spend more time with you, but my schedule would hardly allow me!"

"Maybe if you would spend less time at the spa, then would have more time!"

"I know, Sweetie Belle! I know!"

"Then why still do it?? Don't you even care about me?"

"I still do!"

"No, you don't!"

"Yes, I do!"

"No, you don't!"

"Yes, I do!!" Rarity shrieked loudly, nearly cracking a window. "You remember the time we spent at the Sisterhooves Social? Right after that?"

"Duhhh, no," Sweetie Belle sarcastically replied.

"After that moment, I have realized how important and precious you are to me. I have made a vow to be a better sister and show you more affection, because I was afraid I would lose you forever. I recanted my wish to see you gone. Don't you see, Sweetie Belle? I have been trying my very best to take the time for you other than work, but it just overwhelms me. I haven't forgotten about you, Sweetie Belle, but you have forgotten about me since Connor showed up! You are more enthusiastic about him than you are with me! In fact, when I volunteered to walk you to school the day he fell ill, you just griped and moaned, while I did my best to be there for you, as my little sister. Don't you see? I still care for you! I have been trying my best, but it just overwhelms me. I can change! Forgive me. I still care for you..." Rarity tearily said.

"Well, guess what?" Sweetie Belle said. "You have just broken your own oath. Especially, since you blabbed about my secret to Miss Cheerilee. We are through, non-sister! Through!"

"How dare you?!" the mare's voice was shaken by tears. "Is this how you respond to somepony who asks for your forgiveness?? Well, fine! Go! Out of my sight!"

"Gladly! Good-bye!"

Sweetie Belle slammed the door behind her as she stormed out of the boutique. Rarity ran up to her room and jumped into her bed, crying.

The filly huffed as she turned away from the front door, until she ran into Connor, who was standing in front of her. His presence was soothing, but his expression made her feel lost in emotion. She did not know how to feel.

Flicking out the photos, Connor laid them on the ground in front of her. "That's your saddlebag, isn't it?"

Leaning her head close to the photos, she squinted. Indeed, it was her white bag with the brass buckle and green shoulder strap.

"I.. Uh... Yes," she hung her head.

"You set me up..."

"N-no! I... I..."

"How could you?"

"I... I love you..."

"So, you seek out to hurt others just because you love me?"

She said nothing.

Connor picked up from there. "Guess what? One of those ponies you hurt happens to be me, too."

The filly's eye were filling to the brim with tears.

"I'm gonna go... Alone..." he mumbled.

Sweetie Belle's voice was cut off by her own guilt as she reached to him.

"And another thing..." he said with his back turned. "Apple Bloom and Scootaloo... They told me to tell you that you're out of the Cutie Mark Crusaders. That's karma, isn't it?"

He walked away, each step separating himself from the teary-eyed unicorn filly.



He was out of her sight.

Her dripping tears stained the dirt ground.

She was alone...

For good...

To be continued...