Cadence woke up aching all over, as if her body was weakened from the dream as well as her soul. She gazed fondly at Shining Armour's sleeping form, his hoof still wrapped around her waist. The sun streamed in the window, a liquid stream of golden light which warmed and soothed Cadence along with her compassionate coltfriend. She gently ran a hoof through his tousled mane, lovingly smoothing the soft blue strands, and Shiny opened his eyes sleepily, yawning.
"Morning, Sweetheart," Cadence said softly, kissing his nose. He smiled, eyes bleary from sleep, and rubbed his head with his hoof, mussing his already tangled mane even more. "Thanks for keeping an eye on me last night. These nightmares are just awful."
"S'okay. I still love you, so you're alright."
"Love you too, Shiny." Cadence layed back down, closing her eyes and enjoying the early morning peace.
"I have a special day planned for us, remember? Are you still up for it?"
Cadence smiled, eyes still closed, and replied, "Of course I am. A little nightmare couldn't stop me from spending time with you." But she wondered, could it? The dreams were getting more and more disturbing, and coming more and more frequently. She hardly went a night without at least one. But she had to stay strong. They were only dreams, and she was stronger than they.
"Come on then," Shining Armour prodded her side gently, urging her to get up. "Let's get moving then, we have to make the reservation."
The pair walked along a quiet street to a pretty little restaurant, where a pale pink and yellow mare served them a delicious brunch in a secluded corner of the patio. They talked quietly, laughing every so often, at times simply sitting in silence, each enjoying the others company, but engrossed in their own thoughts.
Eventually, the waitress came back to take away their plates, and Shining Armour left a hoof-full of bits on the table. They left hoof in hoof, and the waitress watched them, a contented smile on her face. How she loved seeing the little pony couples come and go, it was a nice change from the ordi--
Just then, the cook came out. he was a dusty cream colored earth pony with an orange, curly mane. He elbowed the waitress, eyes glowing warningly, and a single thought-line was pushed into her head. Stop. You know your duty.
Cadence and Shining Armour walked along the beach, picking up shells now and again. Shiny had a towel on his back, waiting for the perfect place to sit, but at the moment both were content to simply walk down the water's edge and enjoy the pleasant day.
Cadence walked halfway in the water, trailing her hooves in the tiny, lapping waves, her head turned to see her coltfriend. "This is amazing, Shiny. I'm so glad we have some time together before you have to go to Canterlot and work again."
"I know, Cade. This is a beautiful spot, isn't it? Twilight and I used to come here sometimes when we were little. I'll show you show you her favourite spot. Come on!" With that he trotted forward, picking up the pace as he showed the way to a little cave with pure white sand and the slight echo of waves lingering in it.
"This is beautiful," Cadence breathed, looking about her. The walls of the cave were a bluish gray, and light oozed through in seemingly impossible manner. "But, where is the light coming from?"
"I don't know, Princess," Shining Armour used the term 'Princess' as an affectionate nickname, but still, it made Cadence scowl at him and shove his leg playfully. "But Twily always just said it was magic, and, because she found it, and we don't have any other explanation, I guess I just went along with it."
Cadence nodded thoughtfully, but remained silent.
It was already near noon, and Shining Armour still had a few surprises. He had a packed lunch of sandwiches stashed in his saddlebag, among a few other things. They ate at the cave, enjoying the peaceful sound of the waves. Then they packed up, and the happy pair found a sunny spot on the beach to curl up together. Cadence opened a book she had been meaning to read for at least a month, and Shining Armour tucked himself into the little niche in front of her stomach and took a nap.
It was just the beginning of sunset when he woke up. His marefriend had left her book face down in the sand, and was down at the water's edge, looking for shells, probably, and humming something he'd heard her sing to Twilight to put her to sleep. It was a sweet song, about how the day was over now, and how peaceful everything was. Her pure, sweet voice put him into a state of bliss, and he thought dreamily of how lucky he was to have her. He pushed himself out of the sand, and joined the mare he so loved in the shallow water.
"Hey," he said softly, kissing the pink ear which stuck out from her mane. "What's up?"
"It's nice here, don't you think? Thanks for showing me."
"Any time, Princess. But before we go home, I've got something very important to tell you."
"Spit it out. I'm listening."
"Well--this may come as a shock to you, but, well, I don't want you to be my marefriend anymore." Cadence leaped at him, eyes blazing with hurt and fury.
"Hold your tears, Cadey. What I'm trying to say is that I don't want a marefriend, I want you to be my wife, instead. So, Princess darling, will you marry me?"
By this time, Shining Armour held out a beautiful silver ring in a cloud of pink magic, and Cadence threw her arms around him, kissing him until they both had to stop for breath.
"Oh, Shiny, of course I will. But why ever did you ask in such a bizarre way?"
"I don't know, Cadey, I guess I was nervous. But still, won't you take the ring?" With eyes full of love and care, he gently slid the shining ring onto her horn, and they kissed again, tenderly, before they walked back to the carriage.
The creatures in the water hissed, malevolently, and dipped back down to alert their kin.