• Member Since 7th Jul, 2012
  • offline last seen Dec 9th, 2022


A downright delightful fellow.


There's no place like Donut Joe's diner to unwind after a long, hard day. Good company, great coffee, and the best dang cucumber omelette in Equestria. After the week Celestia's had, she could really, really use a place to get away from it all.

Here, the regulars all know her as Sunny Skies, the unassuming workaholic mare who hasn't taken a day off in... ever. Well, today's her lucky day. Sunny's about to have one apocalyptically long holiday.

Luna's become delirious with a fever, Discord's fled the castle in terror, there's a living moon locked in Celestia's dining room, and something is very, very wrong with Equestria's sugar.

Put on a pot of coffee, folks. We've got an all-nighter on our hooves.

Holy horseapples, Sugarfree has AMAZING FANART NOW! Cover art by the wonderful StyxLady.
Crazy huge thanks to Luminary, Brawny and Eakin for pre-reading and editing this horrid thing.

Chapters (15)
Comments ( 792 )

inb4 feature lawlz

Reads well. Hope the romance isn't too rushed.

So Gilda works for Joe, Celestia is stressed to no end and Luna had gone nutbars again... so the fate of Equestria is in the hooves and claws of a workaholic overly stressed Alicorn, a broken horned workaholic unicorn, and a griffin with issues... Concordia help us all.

Wait... what? Um.. okay I could follow the second chapter, but the first one really didn't work for me. Felt like a completely different story. Maybe it will make sense later.

Still, that cliffhanger. :rainbowlaugh:

Well, Nightmare Moon supposedly ate ponies, so I guess this makes sense, in a way.

I see a few of the tweaks you made since the draft I remember, and I think that this version definitely reads better than the one I read earlier. And yes, getting comments is pretty addictive :twilightsmile:

2658692 Not sure Gilda is an employee, just a frequent customer.

I was thrown off by the prologue - the dark tone of it all contrasted sharply with the teaser. I was half convinced that it was a setup for some elaborate joke twist at the end.

It's a hell of a staging device, though. I'm willing to stick around just to see how Gilda (oh my gosh Gilda! There isn't enough of her) and Joe and Sunny Skies manage to restore the status quo.

Also Joelestia is the greatest ship in the history of shipping. Had to throw that in there. :twilightsmile:

Yeah, it's definitely a big shift in tone. I kind of wanted people to understand the kind of week Celestia's had, though. She needs a change to tone, after all this, which is why you go to Joe's.

Yes! I ended up redoing a lot of my Gilda lines, having her frame things more in terms of risk and vulnerability. We'll see how well I can pull her off going forward.

I kind of get tired of pointing this out.

Horses can, and do, eat meat.

Many supposedly strict herbivores can and do eat meat. Squirrels, for instance. Deer have been known to eat mice and birds, especially if the calcium in their diet is deficient. And horses-- well, there are entire cultures who got their horses to live on blood and meat in order to make it across the tundra...

Meat would not necessarily cause food poisoning in a horse, in short. especially if said horse was half bat.

Marelaysian blend? Hmm, not sure if you are referring to 'pulled tea'/'teh tarik' or something else altogether? I would know, since, well, *hint hint*

Was thinking more like kopi tarik, but I get the feeling teh tarik is probably the better tasting of the two, in real life. In my head, Celestia's lived so long that she has really unusual and strong tastes, so the usual blends bore her and she frequents places that have a little more variety.

That ending did it for me.
Have to fav. :rainbowlaugh:

Taken from the Short Description:

It's falls to the city's most devoted insomniacs to find out why.

Other than that, the story's pretty nice. Looking forward to more.:pinkiesmile:


What exactly is the relationship between this and Phantom Fox's story? Is PF one of the writers who's said "Go ahead, use my approach to the characters, I don't mind," or did you approach him specifically?

2659945 haha, I think Tia would like kopi tarik? But I wouldn't call that a 'blend', per se. Heck, I wouldn't even think it exotic.

If 'Marelaysian' drinks would be exotic, I would think of something extra strange like 'Cam', AKA Coffee and Tea mixed together, or Neslo, AKA Nescafe and Milo mixed together.

Aww dammit you got me now... Looks like this is going to be more procrastination material for me! Great work on this story so far.

Nice story so far, only "problem" I could see is the sheer amount of info you dump on the reader in such a short time (though the info is delioucisly interesting ^^).


Singaporean here. =x

So, Luna's gone all bitey... Wonder what going to happen next...

2660927 Latter, but I prefer to be hush-hush on it... lah.

And I dunno', maybe Luna finally remembered she's a mare...?


Luna. What are you doing. LUNA! STOP!

Also I think she thought his butt was an actual donut...which is SLIGHTLY TERRIFYING...

Interesting. Umm...... I don't know what else to say. I'll be watching this.

Someone's hungry for donuts... and apparently is in some sort of fever induced delirium.

Gilda is now Norm.


I can imagine her with huge fangs just when she bit him.:flutterrage:

Really good descriptions and writing. I hope to see more!:pinkiesmile:

Oh heck yeah, this looks like it'll be great. Celestia's reaction next chapter is going to be glorious.

Interesting family back story for Joe, and I'm liking what you are doing with Gilda.

Have a fav and a thumb and a follow.

2659688 It's a prevalent fanon thing. If it helps, just keep in mind that these aren't Earth equines, and the same rules of nature don't necessarily apply perfectly.

And a good thing, too, or you'd have to have fics about pregnant mares having to pass themselves around to every stallion in town so their foals don't get straight-up murdered. (Please don't write a fic like that, everybody.) :pinkiesick:

Well, the transition from the last chapter to this one was quite jarring, going from Lovecraftian horror to Cheers. I take it by the fact that 'Sunny' is there at all that the worst of the situation was resolved some time between, and we're just catching her in a moment of much needed post-crisis downtime?

I'm really liking the interactions between Joe and Gilda here. She's just a semi-regular customer, so the baggage with Rainbow Dash is a separate thing, and we get to see her in a completely different context. Your take on batponies seems really interesting too, with a predator's instincts, but not a predator's diet. I always thought of them as being more like fruit bats, myself, but your way certainly brings up cool story possibilities.

*snerks* And unfortunately for Joe, he can't say his hindquarters have been ungobbled. :rainbowlaugh:

A Luna is still stuck in a medieval mindset, not very often do we see that. Serpah is going to feel real silly she when finds out the truth.

Hah, please god nobody do this

No real connection. I just figured, a lot of people in the fandom know right off the bat that Sunny Skies is just a disguised Celestia, so it would be slightly less confusing. Plus, it's an adorable name, and Phantom Fox has mentioned that he's alright with folks using it around the fandom.

Oh whoops, fixed.

hahaha yesss

I know without having to even look that someone, somewhere, has made a FiM/Cheers crossover.

Eh, I mean, again, it's not my favorite kind either. In the past, and probably in some places today, it was just a way to dress up mediocre coffee with butter and sugar. I had some at a restaurant here in Boston a while back and it wasn't bad - more importantly, it was strange, in a somewhat interesting way. It wasn't great, but it sort of was strong enough that you noticed it. With teh tarik, it tastes better, but it's more diluted. In my head, Celestia liked things with a sharp bite to it, even if it wasn't necessarily good on the whole. That said, I imagine her as being way more of a coffee drinker than a tea drinker, which might go against the show.

not the sugar! this is THE. WORST. POSSIBLE. THING!!!:raritydespair:
I've been using that line a lot lately.

She gestured wildly at Joe's rear, having no idea what to even call what her sister had just done

Flank snogging? Cutie Mark sampling?

For a moment — a half-second maybe — Joe's cutie mark seemed to flicker. Sunny couldn't be sure if it wasn't just the rabid sleep deprivation playing tricks on her, but she swore there had been something else in its place, ever so briefly. It wasn't a circle, like it usually was, it was a thinner, an egg-like horizontal oval, with a smaller circle within in. An eye maybe?

:twilightoops: Well that seems bad.

Nice throw down between Sunny and Seraph. Some of the conversation in the fight is a little confusing though, specifically in the parts where both of them are talking in the same paragraph.

She gave a shaky smile at Joe, "If it's any consolation, my sister's vivid descriptions of thine bewitching flank were not exaggerated."


Magic's gone wonky? Luna's in a delirious state? Par for the course.

But the DONUTS?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! This blasphemy will NOT go unavenged!

Oh i get it now... The moon in equestria (or at least the one in the royal dining hall) is made out of 100% uncut cocaine

... and now that I've finished the chapter I do believe that EVERYTHING is turning into cocaine... especially the sugar

I have read and I have liked. There are some oddities, but they do not detract from a dare I say delicious piece for writing. Go a bit steady though, I know from personal blundering that romance can sometimes be a bit hurried. Go mental on the descriptive, detailed build up of affection and you shall blow your readers away. Top ho old chap :twilightsmile:

"Where everypony knows your maaa-ane..."

I guess you could say they all like bananas.

Intriguing story.

I wish to see more.

Something strange is going on. We need a sugar expert. Summon the Pinkie!

Fantastic so far. MORE!

(In chapter 2 Gilda asks about Joe's "antler" ... I was confused for a bit. Was this intentional?)

Boring and impenetrable. You throw a lot of new ideas at the reader without giving them time to acclimate, your descriptions of scenes and motivations are lacking at times, or come too late, and the character interaction is stilted and slow. I literally could not wait to stop reading, which is a bad sign of any story.

2661419 For future reference, when you reply to someone, make sure it's on the same chapter. Otherwise, they don't get the notification.:twilightsmile:

The story's getting a bit confusing and silly, but very good. Keep it up!:moustache:

liked it, a bit confusing but judging from your note that will explain itself in due time.:twilightsmile:

Three chapters in and I'm already hungry for more. Huzzah!

Waaaaaait.... Sunny's sister is luna?

And now I have a craving for donuts.

Have a donut, Luna. You turn into a deliious sleepwalker when you're hungry.

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