• Published 15th Feb 2012
  • 14,041 Views, 606 Comments

Tears in the Snow - Wintergreen Diaries



Twilight sees a vision after casting a spell to see the future and ends up saving a mysterious colt.

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Warmth

Chapter 6: Warmth

Eventually, somepony fixed the music and the festivities resumed. Applejack was in a sour mood for the rest of the night, shooting angry glances at Cerulean and muttering under her breath. Twilight and Cerulean did their best to dispel any confusion over the incident, though a few of the more chatty ponies continued to spread rumors about Twilight's passionate new coltfriend. The rest of the party was nothing short of awkward for the two ponies, both putting a little distance between themselves and pointedly avoiding each other for the sake of appearances. Cerulean could all but feel the animosity being directed at him from a certain vexed earth pony that had yet again caught him at one of his more suggestive moments, unintentional or not, and it maintained steady levels until things began to wind down.

The party came to an end around eleven. Cerulean, feeling guilty for once again putting a stain on Twilight's reputation, offered to walk her home. She hesitated, watching the last few ponies leave before nodding once and beginning the short journey. Cerulean wanted to say something to break the uneasy silence, but couldn't think of anything. Even though it wasn't any fault of theirs, he still felt personally responsible and wanted to fix it.

"Twilight?" he started, voice faltering. She turned and looked at him. "I'm sorry. That's twice now I've ended up putting you in a situation that wasn't what it appeared." Cerulean turned his head away, awaiting a response. He raised his head as the face of a giggling purple mare appeared in front of his.

"That's why you're so quiet?" she laughed, smiling. Cerulean stopped as the moonlight lit up her eyes. Mesmerized by the sight, he said nothing and simply stared at her, the highlights in her mane seeming almost luminescent, emitting an almost ethereal glow. "Hello? Anypony in there?" Her face was now only an inch or two away, and he was forced to confront his feelings for what they were, as the assurance of the thought extracted itself from the tangled mess of emotions dwelling within.

"You're beautiful," Cerulean whispered. Twilight drew back, mouth slightly agape, have braced herself for sarcastic teasing rather than a statement of honest attraction. Cerulean shook his head in an attempt to break the spell she was weaving on his heart, and coughed nervously. Why in Celestia's name did I say that? The only possible reaction to something like that after only knowing a pony for a day would be to frighten them away. Way to go, me. He sighed, slammed a hoof to his forehead, then looked up at Twilight to notice that she was staring intently at him. His stomach churned, the sudden nausea causing him to flinch as he braced himself for whatever came next.

Twilight, unaware of his discomfort, was just as enraptured as he had been a moment before. His brilliant white mane was shining as bright as the moon, as if the stars had funneled all of their light into this one stallion. And his eyes... She felt like she would never tire of looking at them as they shone a dazzling aquamarine. Twilight made a mental note to personally thank Luna for causing such a magnificent scene to unfold. "I'm sorry. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable." Cerulean's voice snapped her back to reality. Twilight immediately noted the anxiety in his face and scarmbled to find something reassuring to say, struggling to tame the amorous thoughts that swirled around her mind.

"Don't be," Twilight said softly, walking over and lifting his head so they were looking eye to eye. "I've never been told I'm beautiful before, so it was a little... shocking to hear, is all." Cerulean's eyes grew wide.

“What is this great travesty I hear? I mean, I’ve noticed that there are a disproportionate number of females to males in this town, but never?”

"Honestly, I've never really concerned myself with romance or fashion," Twilight said with a rueful smile. "But that was really nice to hear. Thank you, Cerulean." She didn't look the least bit perturbed by his words, unless you can call beaming ear to ear upset. Cerulean breathed a sigh of relief, and returned the grin.

"I'm glad I didn't frighten you."

"Didn't I say something before about it taking more than that to scare me away?" she said teasingly. Twilight immediately regretted it, as Ceruleans smile faded into a vacant expression that clearly indicated his mind was no longer on the present.

"As somepony who has been utterly abandoned before, you'll forgive me for worrying," he whispered, closing his eyes and turning away. He half opened his eyes as Twilight's fore-hoof wrapped around his neck, drawing him close. To his relief she didn't ask what he meant, choosing instead to hold him in silence. Cerulean closed his eyes as they began to moisten, determined not to cry, when that unexplainable sensation rose once more in his chest. He could feel a warmth emanating from the mare who held him, not just on a physical level, but something else.

"You know," Twilight started, "you've only been here for a day. But I still consider you a close friend. I don't know what's gone on in your past, and when you're ready, we can talk about it. But even if that never happens, I will try my best to show you the magic of true friendship." Her words seemed to pierce through all the carefully erected barriers around his heart. He returned her embrace and said nothing, knowing he was likely break down if he tried.

Applejack, who had been secretly trailing them at a distance, stepped out from behind some bushes and made her way towards the pair, who instantly extricated themselves from each other and began to think of a way to explain the situation.

"I reckon I owe you another apology, Cerulean," she said, scuffing the ground with a hoof, temporarily derailing both ponies thoughts. After the initial shock wore off, Cerulean cleared his throat and sniffed.

"Only thing you're guilty of is worrying about a friend Well, that and eavesdropping. And stalking, if those leaves in your hair came from the scrub over yonder." Applejack gave lopsided smile before continuing.

"Ah haven't really been fair t' ya. It's clear to me there's more to this than I was seein'," she chuckled. "An’ yes, ah am worried about you an' Twi. Ah've been a touch overprotective, ah will admit." She stopped a moment, deep in thought. "In truth, ah find it hard to trust colts at all, an' when it comes to my friends bein' involved it gets even worse." She fixed Cerulean with a stern look, who did his best to meet her gaze without flinching. "I'll be straight with ya, ah still don't trust you, Cerulean. Ah know what happened at the party was likely an accident, but ah can't help bein’ skeptical, 'specially with Twilight involved. So promise me that you ain't gonna do something I'll 'ave t' make you regret."

"Well, we didn't exactly meet under ideal conditions," Cerulean laughed nervously. Applejack's eyes remained fixed on his as he spoke, judging the truthfulness behind the words. "In fact, I don't think it possibly could have been a worse introduction. I give you my word that I won't... do anything to Twilight. And I will do my best to act in a way that will ease your concerns. I wouldn't want to lose you as a friend, either." As far as Applejack could tell, his somber words held no deceit. She stared a moment longer before sighing, allowing herself a slight smile. Perhaps he would stay at two strikes, and for his safety, she hoped he would.

"Much obliged." Applejack tipped her hat and turned to leave. "You take care Cerulean, Twilight. See ya later!" She cantered off, leaving Twilight and Cerulean alone once more as she receded into the veil of night

"She's very faithful, isn't she..." Cerulean mumbled, more to himself than anypony else. Twilight heard, and nodded.

"She can be extremely stubborn sometimes, but she's always there for her friends when they need her," Twilight replied. Her expression then became indignant. "I can't believe she was following us! Honestly, that mare... can’t even trust me to be with a stallion for a day." She ceased fuming as Cerulean placed a hoof on her shoulder, reminding her to recall Applejack's first memory of him. Twilight sighed, resuming their walk. It was only a few minutes before they were at the door to her house. A note was hastily stuck to the door, hanging at a crazy angle, which read,

"Twilight,

Spending the night at Rarity's, see you in the morning!

- Spike"

"Well, I guess this is where we part ways," Cerulean said, a hint of reluctance in his words.

"Where are you going to stay?" Twilight asked, slightly concerned. Cerulean shrugged.

"I don't really have a place to stay, but as I mentioned, I've been homeless a while now; I'm sure I'll find somewhere quiet to sleep." Twilight waited for him to laugh, but it appeared he was being serious. Cerulean gave start as his body was suddenly enshrouded with a purple aura which lifted him from the ground, through the front door, and into the main room. He was about to protest, but the look that Twilight greeted him with screamed "How could you even suggest that?" as she stood over him.

"There is no way I'm letting you sleep on the streets." Her no-nonsense tone made it very clear that resistance was futile, and he should simply accept her hospitality. Twilight saw the reluctance in Cerulean's eyes, and grew exasperated with the hesitant pony. "Stop... worrying!"

"Am I really that transparent?" he replied, managing a smile. Twilight returned the expression and adopted a softer tone.

"Honestly," she said winking, "it's not like you're my coltfriend."

“You’d... even consider that?” Dear Celestia, where’d that come from? Calling her beautiful the first day we’re together isn’t bad enough, I clearly feel the need to dig myself deeper. That’s just... that blush is too cute.

“What? Well, what I meant was... um... I don’t want you worrying about what my friends think.” Apologizing at this point would only draw more attention to an uncomfortable topic of conversations, so Cerulean caved and sat down on the couch. It wasn't very large, not even enough space to stretch out fully, but it was comfortable enough. Truth be told, he wasn't worried so much about her friends, but his magic causing trouble. Twilight had made it clear that argument would be about as effective as cutting diamonds with a cheese grater, so he made himself comfortable and returned his gaze to his generous host.

"Thank you for your hospitality, most honourable Twilight," he proclaimed in a regal voice, waving a hoof in a wide arc leading to a bow. Twilight stifled her laugh, pretending instead to ignore him. He watched her disappear upstairs, not sure what has happening until he saw a bed lowered down by magic into the center of the room. He couldn't remember the last time he had had the luxury of sleeping in a bed, and Twilight couldn’t help but chuckle a bit as he regarded the simple gift with awe.

"You can sleep here. My bed is upstairs, so this will dispel any suspicions of... that kind of thing," she said, not making eye contact. The corners of Cerulean's mouth slowly curled into an evil grin, sliding off the couch and standing a hoof length away.

"You're blushing."

"I am not!" Twilight refuted, attempting to hide her face further.

"It's rather adorable, you shouldn't try to hide it," he whispered as he snuck up beside her. Twilight was torn between smacking him playfully or thanking him for the compliment. In the end she did neither, muttering "Good night," and quickly trotting upstairs. "Twilight?" She turned and looked back, Cerulean standing at the base of the stairs. His ears drooped, and he hung his head low. "I'm sorry if I upset you."

"...You didn't." With that, she flashed Cerulean a brief smile before disappearing from view. Twilight climbed into bed but sleep was the farthest thing from her mind. Her heart was swirling with dormant emotions she didn't know existed, seemingly pulling her a million directions at once. Her stomach felt like it had been filled with butterflies that were racing a derby with no final lap. On one hoof, Cerulean's kind words caused a wellspring of joy and happiness, on the other hand they frightened and confused her. She pulled the pillow over her head and tried to empty her mind, with little success. Cerulean stood at the base of the steps for a long while, pondering the situation.

I'm never this forward. Hay, I normally can't even small talk well, so why... Suddenly thoughts of Twilight flooded his mind. Her smile, her hair, the way she walked, even her scent bombarded his senses. Ok ok, I know why, but... Cerulean had felt attraction before, as there were plenty of pretty mares at the university. This was different. There was something he couldn't place, some force that just seemed to draw him to her. He silently chided himself for thinking such things. "After all, it's only been a day," he said softly, earnestly hoping his mind would take the hint. He didn't want to have his hopes dashed again, or more importantly, hurt the mare that had already given him more than he would ever ask for. Heaving a sigh, he climbed into bed and immediately thanked Twilight in his mind for forcing him to stay, though it likely wouldn't last the night. He doubted even a cloud could be as soft as the bed in which he lay, and he was soon fast asleep.

The endless expanse of snow stretched as far as the eye could see. Cerulean shivered as the storm raged all around him, his body coated with snow, coat scratched from the relentless torrent of sleet. He shivered violently, unable to even think of controlling the tremors that wracked his body. Cerulean peered into the white void, never seeing anything but an endless sea of white, a tiny tendril of blue flame still clutched to his chest.

After thirty minutes of trying unsuccessfully to fall asleep, Twilight groaned and sat up. She quietly walked down the steps, glancing at Cerulean as he slept, not noticing the thin layer of ice and snow that had formed around him. She grabbed a glass with her magic and filled the cup some water from a pitcher on the table. She took a large swig, draining half the contents, giving a small gasp as she resumed breathing before raising the glass to finish. A sudden moan from the main room caused her to freeze with the glass halfway to her lips, listening intently. Another sound came, like a gasp of pain, and she immediately feared the worst.

Setting the cup down, she cautiously made her way towards Cerulean and stopped, listening again. Cerulean let out a whimper as he shivered violently. Twilight approached and noticed a layer of snow surrounding him. She brushed away as much as she could without waking him and waited. As if to confirm her fears, he gave another shudder and, as he did so, his horn glowed faintly, causing a flurry of snow and chilling wind to swirl around him. She placed a hoof on his shoulder and shuddered, his skin was as again as cold as the ice itself.

Little droplets of sweat that had formed on his brow, frozen by his below normal body temperature while his eyes were screwed shut as if in great pain. Twilight shook him lightly in an attempt to wake him, but he moaned and curled into the foetal position.

"Cerulean? Cerulean, please wake up," she pleaded, her voice not seeming to reach him. Her mind scrambled to come up with a solution. In an act of desperation, she cast the still incomplete premonition spell, again with no immediate result. As soon as her vision returned to normal, she ran to the kitchen and filled a bowl with hot water while checking the cupboards for a wash cloth. She quickly returned and placed warm rag upon his head, only to watch it drain of warmth and freeze. Shaking off her shock, she ran upstairs and grabbed all the spare blankets she had and piled them atop Cerulean. She waited for a time, each minute feeling like an hour as she hoped to see an improvement, but after ten minutes and no sign of any change, she became frantic.

Her mind raced until coming to rest on the only solution she could find. She brushed away the newly formed snow and pulled back the blankets, sidling in behind Cerulean. She gave a sharp gasp as his ice cold flesh made contact with hers, causing her to shiver violently. Slowly, she wrapped him in her arms and drew him close, burying her muzzle into his mane. Her body shook in unison with his as they shivered, snow gently lighting on her legs and neck. A single snowflake touched her cheek, slowly melting and running down her chin. "I'm not going to let you suffer alone," she whispered, pulling him closer. He may have been abandoned in the past, but Twilight wasn’t going to add her name to the list. If his magic really was born of the heart, then the pain that he must bare to cause a reaction like this... was beyond her ability to fathom.

Cerulean's eyes opened wide as he was suddenly coated in purple flames. He stared at the blue flame in his hoof. It began to grow, slowly coaxed to life by the warmth of the flames swirling around his body. The tempest continued to rage, but the flames repelled the snow and wind. Life coursed through his body. He stopped shivering as the fire flooded him from the inside out, melting the snow he was partially buried under. He clutched his hoof to his heart, allowing the comforting blaze to slowly breathe life into his frozen limbs.

Twilight felt warmth return to Cerulean's body as the shivers subsided, his moans quieting into soft snores. "Thank Celestia," she whispered, levitating the mass of blankets off and replaced them, choosing a few of the least frozen ones. She attempted to adjust her position, and as she moved she felt Cerulean press himself against her. “Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere, Cerulean. Just rest.” She smiled warmly and drew him close once more, quickly falling into a contented slumber.

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