Uncommon Dazzling Ships 234 members · 411 stories
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forbloodysummer
Group Admin

Each month we will be spotlighting one pairing, or suggesting a writing prompt. As you may have seen on the main page, this month's area of focus is Aria x Limestone.

We’re going to have to try something a little different with this one. Normally when doing these pairing prompts we include a link to a well-regarded example of the ship. But the simple fact is that in this case there isn’t one. Hopeful_Ink_Hoof is the first person I know of to have thought of the ship, including it in his story Brains and Brawlers. But it’s just one scene there, amidst a long tale of Twilight x Gilda.

So, in the absence of anything more dedicated, I had to write one myself! I was planning to include this as a much later chapter in an ongoing story, but that’s probably several years away, so I figured I'd post it now anyway. It's set a few days after the battle in Rainbow Rocks, when Aria is feeling rather despondent over losing her voice.

Metal teeth the size of cars tore into the hillside from below, the bucket they lined being followed by another, and another: an endless cycle each lifting away tons of chalk and dumping it onto the conveyor belt. The scale of the devastation as the bucket wheel swept from side to side had to be seen to be believed, but up in the cockpit the titanic forces involved barely registered, awe at the colossal machine having long since faded past even the point of just being statistics on volumes of material handled per hour. Even the screaming industrial metal through her headphones faded into the background despite its volume.

That was just her life, that moment no different to the previous seven hours of her day, and they much the same as the four years before that. Since she’d fitted air conditioning in the cockpit to stop it becoming a greenhouse during summer, she barely even noticed the seasons passing.

The touch of a button halted the turning of the superstructure, and another began the lowering of the bucket arm for the next pass in the opposite direction. She rubbed a hand over her ear, soothing where the headphones were pushing against her piercings as usual. She couldn’t take the stupid things out or they’d seal up; the only solution really was to install proper speakers in the cockpit instead. But her dad would be in the cockpit running the machine anytime she wasn’t, and there was hardly room for two in there, so she’d have to do it while on the job, and that was risky and would take a while.

She ran an eye over the next strata of rock while the wheel arm lowered towards it, checking for any visible irregularities which might damage the buckets and take her hours to fix. It all looked clear, so– Wait! Was that a person on the ridgeline? Her hand lashed out towards the emergency shutdown button, but hovered above it while she leaned forwards in her seat and peered out, trying to be sure.

Definitely a person. She let out a sigh as she stabbed her finger at the emergency shutdown, and then a growl when the vast machine halted as requested, quickly spooling down the cutting wheel. What kind of idiot goes wandering near the path of a bucket wheel excavator? Trying to work here!

The halfwit showed no sign of moving as the bucket wheel ground to a stop, like they had no idea the money they were costing every second they stood there. She screwed her eyes shut for an exasperated second, then pulled off her headphones and grabbed her orange hard hat from behind her, jamming it on her head. They are getting a piece of my mind. And if they’re gone by the time I get down there, it’ll be even worse for them. Pulling herself out of her seat, she opened the cockpit door and stomped down the walkway beyond.

Two minutes later her heavy boots hit the dirt, loose stones crunching under her feet. Without a pause she strode around to the front of the machine, letting out a fresh growl when coming around the front corner of it revealed the idiot to still be standing in the same place. She stalked up the sloping rock towards them, picking her way easily after years of practice.

The details drawing closer revealed about the cretin were not those she expected. First there was the hair: two enormous pony falls reaching down to the waist, and being silhouetted in the afternoon sun made the colours hard to make out. In fact the image looked rather lonely, outlined with hair and long coat swaying loose on the windswept ridgeline. Any sympathy was short-lived, though, as the realisation sunk in that not only had work been halted for a idiot, it had been stopped for an idiot cybergoth; the worst kind of social plague. If they mention a single word about EBM or that other feel-good drivel they listen to, then that’s it: I’m turning the excavator back on and taking out the whole hillside with them still on it.

“Hey!” she barked as she closed the distance, “you got a death wish or something?”

Only that got the idiot to notice her, despite the noisy strides she was taking up the stone slope. She – definitely a female idiot, which the hair had suggested but getting closer had confirmed – stopped staring into space and blinked, focusing but without much apparent awareness.

“Maybe,” she said, her voice rough but quiet enough that it was almost lost amongst the wind.

“Well you came to the right place.” Without pausing her stride, she closed the distance between them and grabbed the strange girl by the front of her jacket, lifting her off the ground. “Gaze into the eyes of Limestone Pie.”

“They’re very pretty, but you’re not really my type.”

Why would a siren who dreams of taking over the world be interested in someone who's never even had the ambition to leave her own farm? What would someone fiercely protective of her sisters see in someone with a callous disregard for her own? To me, these two seem an instant match, and we desperately need more stories exploring that! Maybe Limestone is the only good-aligned character abrasive enough for Aria to stomach. Maybe Aria, sick to death of the Reformation Community Service she's been assigned to on Applejack's farm, admires Limestone as someone who manages to work hard and support her family but also not bang on about that incessantly. Maybe Limestone tries to follow Maud's lead of picking a romantic partner no one else can stand, and Aria comes top in the 'Nope!' poll results. Could you imagine their first attempt at a date, if they were matched on the Equestria Girls equivalent of Tinder?

Cute artwork provided by awesomeasiwannabe, with the piece further up being two pictures by Ta-Na, which I combined. May they inspire you to come up with a delightful new tale of the Hammer and the Anvil.

If this is a ship you like the sound of, this thread is probably a good place to discuss it. I joined this group not just to see all the unusual siren ships in one place, but to encourage others to write more of them, so if you're thinking of writing an Aria x Limestone story or have one in the works already, by all means let us know in the thread below. Or just discuss the ship: what you like about it and why, what problems you've encountered with it before, what scenarios you can envision for the two of them. Just talking about it like that can inspire others with new story ideas, some of which might get written down, at which point we all benefit :twilightsmile:

forbloodysummer
Group Admin

6812879 One further thought, though - we don't see much of either of these characters in canon, so a lot of their personality has to be extrapolated or invented, and that sometimes leads to them being fitted to existing character archetypes.

So before anyone uses that accursed 'T' word, I'd urge you to read this blog on the subject.

Since it was brought up, and if anyone is curious without wanting to look for the scene in the story: the relationship is... caustic. Potentially toxic. Keep in mind, it was written long before we saw the softer, more caring side of Limestone in The Maud Couple, so the only information she had was that she was angry, threatened everyone, was protective of Holder's Boulder, and could even annoy Pinkie.

While it was never written, the idea is that the two met at random, started insulting each other, then ended up sleeping together. Both like each other, but neither know how to express it properly. So, they basically argue and insult each other, but somehow know it comes from affection. Kind of a situation where "Not only can this person put up with my s*!t, but toss it right back at me as well," is the thinking.

I lack confidence in my skill to write it properly, but think it could be an interesting story, or at least a starting point. Two girls, who start out insulting each other and hate f*(king, develop more serious feeling for each other, but neither knows how to express it properly. So their stuck between their natural coarse attitudes and wanting to express their feeling in a more healthy manner.

forbloodysummer
Group Admin

6812987 That is a story I would love to see written! Strangely, I've seen something like this in real life a couple of times. These are only anecdotal examples, of course, but two different friends of mine have gone from one relationship to another without ever seeming to care all that much, always calling the shots because the other person is more invested in it than they are. And eventually they each met someone who pushed back just as hard, and gave as good as they got. And, in both cases, wedding bells followed soon after. So yeah, sometimes the only person an arsehole can connect with is a bigger arsehole (you can swear openly in the group if you like, by the way, rather than censoring it with asterisks, it's no problem).

I guess the climax of a story like that is where the relationship openly transitions from casual, angry interactions into committing to each other. Like if one of them has to move away or something, and suggests that the other should be delighted by that. Then you get the 'I think you should stay. Here. With me' conversation.

That scene in The Maud Couple was definitely the highlight of the episode! The thing I really like about it is that it doesn't actually do much to make Limestone nicer, but it does demonstrate that she understands ponies (she just doesn't like them).

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