• Published 6th Jan 2014
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The SweetieMash Chronicles - Justice3442



The Cutie Mark Crusaders decide they need to expand their numbers, but things quickly go awry when their first target begins sobbing on the spot. Sweetie Belle soon finds herself roped into hanging out with the young colt.

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Chapter 19: Tar, Dip, and Sandwich

The SweetieMash Chronicles

Chapter 19: Tar, Dip, and Sandwiches


Button Mash’s heart fluttered as the skateboard under his hooves rolled slightly. He slowly leaned forward and looked down, his green helmet sliding down over his eyes. Pushing the helmet back into place with a forehoof, he looked down into the skating bowl. The incline looked steep and seemed to curve back upwards far too quick for Button’s comfort. Though lamps provided the skate park with ample light, he couldn’t help but feel this was an activity better done in broad daylight. He swallowed hard and turned, shooting a fearful look to the filly standing on a scooter next to him.

“So… I just… I just roll down…” Button said.

Scootaloo nodded. “Yep!”

“And then I start doing cool tricks and stuff?”

Scootaloo nodded again. “Yeah! It’s super easy.”

“… Really?” Button said as I he looked down the ramp. “I just start doing triple spins and backflips just like that? Like in Pony Hawk’s Pro Skater?”

“I don’t know what that is, but I’m going to say ‘yes’,” Scootaloo answered. “Still, you’re a beginner, so maybe just set your sights on double spins and regular flips for now.”

From the side of a small wooden shop dubbed the ‘Snack Shack’, Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom watched the pair.

Apple Bloom stared hard at the colt who tried unsuccessfully to steady himself on the skateboard and adjust his helmet once more. “This seems like a really bad idea… Ah mean… I think we both know Button’s not really the physically active type…”

“Well… this is what Scootaloo wanted…” Sweetie Belle said in an unsure tone that showed she was every bit as pensive about the current development as Apple Bloom.

Apple Bloom raised an eyebrow. “Well, then she’s somehow crazier than you right now!”

Sweetie Belle just puffed out her lower lip. “I’m just trying to help two of my best friends! Is that so wrong?!”

Apple Bloom took one more look at Button and Scootaloo. Button’s board suddenly shot out backwards from under him as he tried once more to stand on it.

WHAAOOOFFF!

The two fillies watched as Button’s eyes began to fill with tears and he started to sniffle.

Apple Bloom nodded. “Considering present circumstances, yes. Yes, that is so wrong!”

“Hey, if you kids aren’t going to buy anything, you need to get the heck away from my stand!”

Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle tensed slightly as an off-white mare with a curly pink-and-blue mane glared at them, leaning out from the side of her candy stand.

Sweetie Belle quickly raised a forehoof to her lips. “Ssssshhhh! We’re trying to sneakily keep an eye on those two!”

“Hi, Sweetie Belle!” Button called out cheerfully as Scootaloo attempted to help him back on his skateboard.

“IGNORE ME!” Sweetie Belle cried back in a shrill tone.

Apple Bloom smashed a forehoof against her own face.

Scootaloo rolled her eyes as she continued to help Button.

“Oh… okay then…” Button said in a slightly disappointed tone.

The off-white mare began to grind her teeth.

Apple Bloom looked up at her. “What’s the sweetest thing ya got?”

The mare’s expression softened slightly and she ducked back into her stand. She quickly returned with a small bag labeled ‘Smile Dip’. “Here… I’d say it’s just flavored sugar” — the mare’s face broke out into a slightly wild smile— “but technically it’s a sugar-based compound I made that’s 600 times sweeter than regular sugar.”

Apple Bloom dove her forehooves into the brown saddle bags that sat next to the two fillies and came back up with a large hoofful of bits. “I’ll take a bucket.”

The mare’s face lit up as she reached out to collect the bits. “Yes, ma’am!”

Sweetie Belle frowned heavily at Apple Bloom. “Are you sure this is a good time to go on a sugar binge? I—”

“YES!” Apple Bloom answered forcefully.

“… You didn’t let me finish.”

“Ah didn’t think your question required any further explanation.”

“Okay, but—”

“Answer’s still ‘yes’,” Apple Bloom said.

Sweetie Belle gave a defeated sigh.

The off-white mare suddenly trotted up from behind her shack. Green saddlebags sat on her back and she held a blue-and-pink bucket by the handle in her mouth, a big chalky-white candy sticking out of it. She happily sat the bucket down in front of the girls. Sparkly and colorful dust drifted up slightly as the bucket touched the ground.

“Here you go!” the mare said cheerfully. She reached into her saddlebags with a forehoof and pulled out a scroll and a quill, placing them in front of Apple Bloom. “Please initial and sign next to the ‘X’s on this.”

Apple Bloom took the quill in her mouth as she began adding her initials and signature to the document.

“Wait, what is it?” Sweetie Belle asked.

“Oh, just a little waiver saying she acknowledges that Bon Bon Candy Incorporated cannot be held liable for any injuries or property damage incurred while under the influence of ‘Smile Dip’.” Bon Bon rolled up the scroll slightly as Apple Bloom continued to initial and sign lines.

“Wait… we’re eight…” Sweetie Belle said. “Shouldn’t we get our parents to sign—”

Apple Bloom let the quill fall out of her mouth and glared at Sweetie Belle. “My parents are dead!”

Sweetie Belle flinched and gave Apple Bloom an apologetic look. “Sorry, I didn’t mean—”

“And done!” Bon Bon said cheerfully as she rolled up the scroll, stuffed it back into her saddlebag, and retrieved her quill. “Have fun, kids!”

Sweetie Belle let out an exasperated sigh as Bon Bon trotted back behind her snack stand. She turned towards Apple Bloom. “Can you please at least hold off on going all sugar-crazy until we’re done with the skate park?”

“We’ll see…” Apple Bloom said.

In front of the skate bowl, Button and Scootaloo still struggled to steady the colt on top of the skateboard.

“Scootaloo… I’m still not sure this is a good idea… I can’t even stand on this thing!”

“Button, you’re supposed to leave one hoof on the ground until you’re ready to go!”

“OH! Now I get it!” Button said happily as placed a back hoof on the ground. “Much better.”

“Great,” Scootaloo said. “Now just push off with that leg.”

Oh… okay then… here I go…” Button said as he glanced down the incline again.

“…”

“…”

“Button, you have to actually move forward!” Scootaloo cried.

Right… !” Button looked down again. “And you’re sure this is sa—”

“WOULD YOU JUST GO ALREADY?!” Scootaloo snapped.

Button recoiled slightly then stared down the incline one last time. “Alright… here I go…” Button slowly gave a push with his back leg, causing his skateboard to roll forward about an inch.

Button frowned. “Is it… Is it broken?”

Scootaloo rolled her eyes and sighed. “Here, let me help…” She placed a forehoof on the back of Button’s skateboard and pushed it hard.

Button tensed as his skateboard lurched forward. It hit the sudden dip and both colt and board were soon speeding down the incline.

Button gave out an alarmed and extended “AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!” as the board he was on cruised downward. The skateboard reached the bottom of the pit, then began rolling uphill.

AAAAAHHHHEEEEEY! This isn’t so bad!” Button cried. “Wheeee! This is kind of f—”

The skate boarded reached the top of the incline on the other side, and for a brief moment both skateboard and colt hung in the air…

“—uuuAAAHHH—!”

… before falling down towards the skate bowl.

‘THUD!’

OW!

‘SMACK!’

AAAAAH!

‘BANG!’

OhHhHhHhHh…

Scootaloo poked her head over the side to see Button lying in a heap, his helmet sitting crooked over his eyes. “Er… You okay, Button?” she asked.

Ehhh…Hhheehhh… hheeehhh… sniff… WHOUAAAAAHAAAAHAAAHAAA…!

“Oh no!” Sweetie Belle cried.

Apple Bloom cocked an eyebrow and stared at Sweetie Belle. “How tha heck did none a’ ya’ll see this comin’?!”

Scootaloo trudged up to Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom. “So… uh… that didn’t go so well.”

“… WHOUAAAAHOUAAAAHOUAAAAAAHOUAAAWHOUAAAHOUAAAHOUAAAAAAAA… !”

“Ya think?” Apple Bloom said with no small amount of sarcasm. She pulled out the large white candy stick from her bucket and licked the bits of colorful sweet dust from it. Her pupils dilated slightly. “Hey! Did it suddenly just get a heck of a lot brighter here?”

Scootaloo stared at Apple Bloom briefly, blinked a few times, then looked at Sweetie Belle. “Maybe you should go to him. He always calms down when you help him.”

“No!” Sweetie Belle cried. “I can’t interfere! I’d never forgive myself if I sabotaged your special night! This is supposed to be a night you two will always remember!”

Scootaloo glanced behind her again.

“…WHOUAAAAHOUAAAAHOUAAAAAA… I THINK I’VE GONE BLIND! WHOUAAAAHOUAAAA…!”

Scootaloo shook her head. “Oh, I’m sure we’ll both always remember this.”

Apple Bloom sighed, roughly placing her candy stick back in the bucket. “Ah’ll help him! You two just sort out… whatever it is this all is…” Apple Bloom trudged off towards the skate bowl.

“Sweetie Belle,” Scootaloo said, “I’m glad you... you know… want to be a true friend to Button and I, but this clearly isn’t working out!”

“But what if this is your one true shot at happiness?!” Sweetie Belle cried.

Scootaloo glanced behind her again.

“…WHOUAAAAHOUAAAAHOUAAAAAA… I CAN’T SEE! I CAN’T SEE! …WHOUAAAAHOUAAAA…!”

“Then I guess I’m pretty bucked,” Scootaloo answered.

“Scootaloo!” Sweetie Belle cried. “You’re not taking this seriously!”

“I am taking this seriously!” Scootaloo cried. “But… I’m not sure Button and I have a lot in common, is all!”

“Button!” Apple Bloom cried. “Yer helmet just slipped in front of yer face!”

“…WHOUAAAAHOUAAA… Oh, hey! I can see again! Thanks Apple Bloom!”

“… That’s it!” Sweetie Belle cried.

Scootaloo sighed. “What’s it?”

“We need to figure out what you and Button have in common and base your date around that!”

“But I just said we don’t have a lot in common!”

“Then we need to find something you two don’t know you have in common!”

Scootaloo paused and thought about this. “Wait… so like… Something Button and I both really like doing, but don’t know we like doing? Kinda like how the three of us spend every day thinking of things that maybe we’re good at despite never having tried them before in an attempt to get our cutie marks?”

Sweetie Belle nodded. “Yeah! Exactly like that!”

Huh…” Scootaloo said as she trailed off. Her eyes suddenly widened as if she was realizing something for the first time. “Okay… Sweetie Belle? I’m gonna be honest with you here…”

Yeaaaah…?” Sweetie Belle replied in an unsure tone.

“So far tonight has been like… a complete disaster! Just total and utter failure…”

Sweetie Belle frowned. “Yeah… I know…”

Scootaloo continued. “When you suggested this new idea, I realized something.”

Sweetie Belle’s ears flopped around her head and looked at Scootaloo with a concerned look.

“We’ve totally been going about this the wrong way!” Scootaloo cried.

“What do you mean?” Sweetie Belle said.

“Hey girls,” Apple Bloom said as she turned the corner. “I got Button out of the pit and…” Apple Bloom trailed off as she noticed the serious expressions on her friends’ faces.

“I mean, you’re right!” Scootaloo said with a smile. “There’s gotta be something out there Button and I both like doing! We just have to find out what that is.”

Sweetie Belle’s face lit up. “Yes!”

Apple Bloom’s eyes went unfocused and she stared off into space. “Girls? The snack bar is selling somethin’ called ‘sugar tar’… I dunno what it is exactly, but between that and the bucket of super sugar, I should be well and distracted from the sheer what-the-heckery of what’s goin’ on here.” Apple Bloom then walked out in front of the booth.

“I’ll get another waiver~!” Bon Bon sang out.

Button slowly walked up to the group of fillies. “Uh… Scootaloo… Sweetie Bel—?”

“IGNORE ME!” Sweetie Belle squeaked out as she quickly hid behind the snack bar.

Button whimpered slightly as he watched Sweetie Belle ‘disappear’ behind the ‘Snack Shack’.

“Yeah, Button?” Scootaloo said.

Button turned towards Scootaloo. “Erum… I don’t think the skate park is really working out…” Button trailed off and as he eyes went wide. “But… I mean… we can stay here all night if it means not going back to Greasy Pizza’s…”

Scootaloo shook her head and smiled. “That’s okay Button! We’re going to try something else we might like!”

“Cool! … What’s that?”

That’s what we’re going to find out!”


“I think the date is going a lot better…” Sweetie Belle whispered as she glanced from behind a leafy tree. Several dozen yards away, Button Mash and Scootaloo strolled down a path surrounded on either side by lamps, benches, trees, and shrubs.

“Ah think ah know what color infinity is…” Apple Bloom answered as she stood behind a bush and stared directly up into the night sky. The blacks of her pupils had almost completely swallowed the fiery orange of her irises like a black hole slowly pulling in everything around it.

“… Apple Bloom, how much of that stuff have you had?”

Apple Bloom glared at Sweetie Belle. “Get off mah case, mom!”

Sweetie Belle frowned. “I just need your… are you crying?!”

“… I jus’ made myself sad!” Apple Bloom said as tears began to stream from her eyes.

“Oh, Apple Bloom...” Sweetie Belle said in a sympathetic tone. “Maybe we just need to get your mind off your parents.”

“Oh, I know!” Apple Bloom said in an oddly chipper tone. She held up a small canister that was labeled ‘SUGAR TAR!’ in a bold, dynamic-looking font almost as if the words were shocked with a lightning bolt. Next to the logo in a yellow action balloon, the label advertised a ‘FREE REUSABLE SPOON!’ in bold red font.

“Are you sure that’s a good idea, Apple Bloom?” Sweetie Belle asked in a concerned tone. “I mean… we opened that up already and agreed that it might actually just be tar made from sugar…”

“Anythin’ to fill the empty void left by mah dead parents!” Apple Bloom announced in a chipper tone as she unscrewed the canister, and pulled out a small metal spoon. The spoon was coated in a thick sticky black substance that stretched from the canister to the utensil as Apple Bloom brought it to her mouth.

Sweetie Belle cringed slightly. “Okay but… I’m not sure eating something that might be literally tar is a good—”

“Woh gwosh!” Apple Bloom cried as she laboriously chewed the substance that now coated her teeth. “Awh wa woong! Wish is mwuch woose thwan thwinkin’ ‘bout mwy dwead parwents!”

Sweetie Belle sighed. “You’d think we’d have laws regarding what could be served to ponies or something…”


Mayor Mare set down the quill in her mouth on her desk. “Come in.”

The door to Mayor Mare’s office opened gently as Twilight Sparkle trotted in. “Mayor Mare?”

Mayor Mare smiled and sat up, nodding at Twilight. “Hello Princess Twilight Sparkle, always a pleasure to have you in my office…” She frowned. “I hope nothing too serious has happened.”

Twilight shook her head. “No, no emergencies…” Twilight giggled nervously. “I just had to deal with a little situation…”

Mayor Mare gave Twilight a serious look. “Situation? Please continue.”

Twilight nodded. “You see… I just had to help wash out Spike’s mouth because he tried a product called ‘Sweet Foam…’”

Mayor Mare winced. “Go on…”

“Well… it’s just I’ve been living in Ponyville for a while, and something has been bugging me…”

Mayor Mare nodded. “Go ahead…”

“Well, some of the… erfood stuff ponies sell here don’t seem to be strictly fit for pony consumption… Shouldn’t there be laws around that?”

Mayor Mare gave Twilight a serious look. “I assure you it’s on my and the city council’s ‘to-do list’. It’s just that we’re so busy discussing rebuilding the city and homes after the latest Equestria crisis or something wandered out from the Everfree forest to lay waste to the city each meeting that we rarely have time to get to the… erm… less-than-pressing matters.”

Twilight’s eyes unfocused slightly as she stared off into empty space. “… Fair enough.”


“So we just… walk…?” Button asked as his eyes wandered to a tree where the familiar face of a white unicorn filly poked out from.

Sweetie Belle cried a quick, alarmed “Aie!” and hid behind the tree.

“I think we’re supposed to talk to each other, too…” Scootaloo said as she trotted alongside Button.

“… I thought we were doing that already.”

“No… like… about our feelings…”

“Oh… Okay… Guess I’ll start…” Button wrinkled his brow slightly. “I’m nervous because I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do right now…”

Scootaloo sighed. “Yeah… me too… Let’s try talking about what we see.”

“… What, like ‘I spy’?”

“No… like… uh….” Scootaloo stopped walking and pointed at a bush that seemed to be moaning. “Gee… the park’s plants sure are noisy tonight.”

“Woh Cewestia!” the bush cried out. “Wit’s stwuck to mwy thwoat!”

Uh…” Button Mash trailed off slightly as he stared the ‘talking bush’, then turned to the tree and smiled. “This is a beautiful tree.”

Scootaloo stared at the tree. “… It looks like all the other trees in the park.”

Button shook his head. “No, I think there’s something special about this particular tree.”

From the other side of the tree’s trunk, Sweetie Belle raised her forehooves in front of her mouth as her cheeks began to turn pink.

“… Button?” Scootaloo said.

Button continued. “… I think this tree would win a beauty contest if it competed against other trees.”

A tiny, happy squeak escaped Sweetie Belle’s muffled mouth.

“Button!”

“Yeah, Scootaloo?”

“I’m bored.”

Button nodded. “Me too.”

“Let’s go.”

“We’re gone.”

Sweetie Belle poked her head out and watched as Button and Scootaloo trotted away. Her cheeks were still red as she focused her attention on Button Mash. “Apple Bush—I mean—Apple Bloom? I think I may have made a terrible mistake.”

“Gwolly!” The Apple Bloom cried. “Wah thwink thwa spwoon wis stwuck too!”

Sweetie Belle nodded grimly. “You’re right, Apple Bloom. I’ve come too far to just abort because I’m scared of what might happen! I’ve got to see this through to the end… for their sake!”

“Nwo, sweriouswly! Wah cwan’t gwet thwis spwoon wout wof mwy mowuth! Awh twink mwy hwoof wis stwuck, too!”


Sweetie Belle whimpered to herself as she stared out into a pond, lit mostly by the stars and crescent moon that reflected in the calm water. With a miserable expression, she focused her attention on a small green canoe sitting in the middle of the pond.

“Thanks fer getting’ that spoon out of mah mouth, Sweetie Belle,” Apple Bloom said from besides Sweetie Belle. “I’d offer to get some of the twigs and stuff out of your mane, but I think ya might want to stay clear of my hooves until I get all the tar off.” Apple Bloom raised her forehooves in front of her face; they were coated in the black Sugar Tar plus sticks, leaves, and pebbles that had gotten stuck to the sticky substance.

Sweetie Belle merely grunted a reply.

Apple Bloom lowered her hooves, stared out at the boat, then back at Sweetie Belle. “Ya know… ya can prob’ly still jus’ tell Button how you feel…”

Sweetie Belle glared at Apple Bloom. “And ruin the special moment those two are having right now?”

Apple Bloom turned towards the boat and her eyelids fell slightly. “Ah’m not sure either considers being stuck in a boat with the other one ‘special’… At this point, Ah think they’re probably figurin’ out what they’re supposed to do.”

“Or they realized they actually like each other…” Sweetie Belle said grumpily.

“Wasn’t that kinda the point?” Apple Bloom asked.

“Yes… no… I don’t….” Sweetie Belle let out a heavy sigh. “Look… I didn’t want to be forced into confessing to Button, alright? This date seemed like the only way to avoid that. But… I mean… I thought this date thing was guaranteed to crash and burn!”

Apple Bloom gave Sweetie Belle a suspicious look. “If that’s true, why’d you push Scootaloo so hard to keep it up?”

“I felt bad, okay?!” Sweetie Bell cried. “I mean… it felt so dishonest putting her on a date that I hoped would be a disaster… I had to convince her to give it her all and treat it like a real date! At least if it didn’t work out, then I wouldn’t feel like I set Scootaloo up to fail.”

“Well… are you ready to tell Button how you feel now?”

Sweetie Belle sighed and shook her head, leaves and twigs fell out of her messy mane. She turning back to the two foals who continued to sit and chat, their boat drifting gently in the pond. “If I confessed now, it’d feel like I manipulated things even worse… I mean… after Greasy's and the skate park, I’m sure Button’s desperate to get out of this…” She frowned as she continued to stare at the boat. “Or at least… he probably was…

Apple Bloom went quiet for a bit as she thought this over. “… Would a stick full of Smile Dip make ya feel better?” Apple Bloom asked.

“Apple Bloom! This is serious!” Sweetie Belle cried shrilly.

“Ah am serious!” Apple Bloom shot back as she held up her partially dissolved candy stick, glittery sugar dust of all colors sticking to it. “This here super sugar powder has made this night a lot more tolerable.” With that, Apple Bloom placed the candy stick into her mouth causing her pupils to turn into massive black sinkholes that swallowed her fiery orange irises. “Yes, there we go… That’s much better…”

“Apple Bloom, I really think you should stop eating that… it stains your mouth a different color every time you—”

Apple Bloom raised a forehoof to her lips. “Shhhhhhhh!” she shushed forcefully. “Ah can’t hear the Moon Princess’s twin!” she said, pointing out to the moon’s reflection on the water.

Sweetie Belle looked out into the pond in annoyance as she slumped to her stomach. “I wonder what they’re talking about…”

“So we just… sit in a boat?” Button asked as he stared at Scootaloo.

“Er I think we talk about our feelings or what we see and junk…” Scootaloo answered.

“So… just like the park?”

Scootaloo sighed. “Yep.”

“Except we’re in a boat?”

“… Yeah…”

“And stuck out here… with each other…”

“… I knooooow!” Scootaloo bemoaned. “Maybe we should just go back and forget the whole, crazy date thi—”

The water next to the boat suddenly bubbled and Button Mash and Scootaloo cried out in alarm as a snorkel followed by a stallion with an orange coat, curly-brown mane covered in seaweed, and emerald eyes suddenly emerged from the water. The stallion spit his snorkel out. “DID SOMEPONY SAY CRAZY DATE?! I LOVE CRAZY DATES!” the stallion declared as fish flopped out of his massive tangles of hair.

Button began to shudder uncontrollably as he stared up at the unexpected visitor.

Scootaloo managed to regain enough sense to start stammering out a response. “Who… who…”

“Name’s Cheese Sandwich!” the pony replied, happily gesturing to himself. “And crazy date planning is my specialty… After party planning, singing, accordion playing, song composing, party tank constr—”

Scootaloo held up a hoof. “Okay, but why were you in the pond?”

“Oh, I’ve been waiting underwater for a few hours trying figure out what rhymes with ‘plankton’. But this sounds much more important!”

Scootaloo frowned. “It’s really no—”

Cheese Sandwich suddenly leaned forward and gave the foals a giant smile.

Button cried again in alarm as he tried to push himself further back into the small boat.

“I know just the song that’s guaranteed to get you two to cozy up to one another!”

Scootaloo’s eyes widened. “But we don’t—”

Cheese Sandwich suddenly leaned back. “Way back when I was just a little bitty colt living in a box…

-o~ Sometime later… ~o-

“… Saddlequerque, Saddlequerque, Saddlequerque, Saddlequerque… Saddlequerquuuuuueeeeeee~!”

Cheese Sandwich smiled as he finished his song and nodded to the rubber chicken with a large red ‘2’ on it’s chest which was set limply on top of a drum set. The drum set was precariously balanced on a small, yellow canoe that was upside down in the water.

“Nice work, Boneless 2,” Cheese Sandwich said. He looked past the drums to an electric guitar which also balanced on the boat, teetering up and down as a rubber chicken with a big red ‘3’ on it rested on the guitar’s neck. He frowned at the second rubber chicken. “Boneless 3? You’re still coming in a little early…”

Button Mash simply stared off into a vast expanse of empty space, he had long since stopped focusing on the terrifying stallion or trying to make sense of the song which has seemed to have started a long, long time ago. “I don’t… I don’t know what just happened…”

“WHEN DID YOU EVEN GET A BOAT?!” Scootaloo cried as she leaned against the edge of her and Button’s canoe and motioned out to Cheese Sandwich’s boat with her forehooves. “HOW WERE THOSE RUBBER CHICKENS PLAYING INSTRUMENTS?!”

“… Scootaloo?” Button said softly as he tugged gently on of Scootaloo’s wings.

Scootaloo took a calming breath and looked down at Button. “… Yeah, Button?”

“I’m scared.”

“Me too.”

“Hold me?”

“Only if you hold me back.”

Cheese Sandwich smiled down at the two trembling foals as they wrapped their legs around each other and stared up at him in terror. “Works every time!” he said. He reached for Boneless 2 and Boneless 3, then dipped his rubber chickens into the water and began to paddle away. “Come on, Bonelesses… I think we’ve earned ourselves a jar of victory mayonnaise.”

Sweetie Belle’s jaw unhinged as she watched Button Mash and Scootaloo hold each other tightly. She let out a sorrowful squeak and shook her head. “No… I knew this might happen… I have… I have to see this through…” She turned to Apple Bloom who was also staring out into the water. “Right, Apple Bloom?”

“Alright, ah think that’s enough Smile Dip for me,” Apple Bloom declared as she pushed the bucket away from her. “Either this stuff is messin’ with mah head or that song was about sauerkraut, snorkels and butt molecules and lasted twelve minutes…”


Sweetie Belle swallowed as she and Apple Bloom stared out from a bush. Several dozen yards away, Button Mash and Scootaloo had returned from their boat and had opted to simply standing next to the pond and stare up at the sky.

“This is bad…” Sweetie Belle uttered.

“Yer tellin’ me!” Apple Bloom cried as she examined her hooves that had picked up even more random twigs, leaves, and pebbles. “We’ve been in so many bushes, we’re gonna be pulling sticks and tiny leaves out of our mane for weeks!” Apple Bloom looked up at her ripped bow which sported a number of twigs poking out, colorful stains, and one big sticky black mass that caused it sag on one side. She frowned. “I’m gonna need a new bow, too…”

“No, I mean those two!” Sweetie Belle said motioning out to Scootaloo and Button with forehoof which was also caked in black goo, twigs, leaves, and pebbles. “They’re getting along and basking in each other’s presence!” she announced in a high pitch.

Apple Bloom squinted her eyes as she looked at the two foals. “Are ya sure they’re not just traumatized beyond words at this point? Ah mean… I’m pretty close to that mahself, and I haven’t even had to do all the crazy things those two have.”

“No!” Sweetie Belle said. “They’re falling for each other! I just know it!” Sweetie Belle raised her forehooves to her cheeks. “Oh, this was a big mistake! It should be me standing next to Button!”

Apple Bloom rolled her eyes. “Ya think?”

“Oh this is so, so bad!” Sweetie Belle said. “What if they like, like, like each other?!” Sweetie Belle grabbed Apple Bloom’s blow and pulled her face close to her own. “What if they—” Sweetie Belle swallowed “—love each other?”

With no small degree of effort, Apple Bloom pulled Sweetie Belle’s hooves away from her bow. The bow ripped as some of the sticky goo on Sweetie Belle’s hooves held as best it could to the tattered pink accessory. Apple Bloom took a half step back. “Yer jumping to a pretty big conclusion there.”

“No wait…” Sweetie Belle said with a smile. “I know what to do… I just need to wait for the perfect time to confess!”

Apple Bloom scrunched her lips up in concern. “Ah’m afraid to ask… But when that would be?”

“Right after the priest says ‘speak now, or forever hold your peace’.”

Apple Bloom furrowed her brow slightly, and then her eyes went wide. “… Yer gonna wait until Scootaloo and Button’s weddin’ before you say something… That’s just…” Apple Bloom peered closely at Sweetie Belle’s face, noting her pupils were massive. “Did you take a lick off the Smile Dip stick?”

Sweetie Belle pointed a accusing forehoof at Apple Bloom. “You said it would make me feel better!”

“Oh… well… Did it?”

“I just imagined Scootaloo and Button Mash getting married! What do you think?!”

Away from the bushes and by the pond, things were much quieter. Almost silent, save for the occasional bickering of two far-off fillies.

“You okay…?” Scootaloo asked Button Mash in a concerned voice. “You’ve just been standing there saying nothing for like… a while now…”

Button continued to stare up at the sky, but replied as if all he was waiting for was simply waiting to be asked. “Scootaloo… don’t take this the wrong way, but… This was all somehow worse than going out crusading with you three…”

Ugh… I know,” Scootaloo said. “I mean… erm… Looking back, I had some not so great ideas that probably helped led to that. So… I’m sorry for that…”

Button looked at Scootaloo and smiled. “At least there’s no weird stallion with rubber chickens trying to set the mood this time.”

Cheese Sandwich suddenly emerged from the bushes a few feet from Button and Sweetie. “DID SOMEONE SAY ‘WEIRD STALLION WITH RUB—”

AAAAHHHHH!” Button screamed in alarm.

LEAVE!” Scootaloo commanded.

“Alright, fine!” Cheese Sandwich said, his expression suddenly turning serious. “Just remember… if you ever need a pony to sing a polka version of whatever is popular at the time, say my name three times.”

“… And you’ll… you’ll appear?” Button asked in a fearful tone.

Cheese Sandwich shook his head. “Probably not unless I’m actually right there, but it’s possible I’ll sense your need and start playing a song wherever I happen to be.”

“Oh… alright…” Button said in a confused tone.

Scootaloo sighed as Cheese Sandwich gathered his snorkel and trudged back into the pond, the water quickly raising up above his head as he trotted further and further into the small body of water.

Scootaloo let out another groan. “Finally!”

Button nodded. “Yep! Alone at last.”

“What?!” Scootaloo said in surprise.

“Yeah… This is nice…” Button said calmly as he went back to looking up at the stars.

“… It is?” Scootaloo said as she felt her face go hot.

Button nodded. “This is the first time tonight everything’s been quiet…”

Scootaloo relaxed slightly and stared up at the sky, realizing that even the arguing from the bushes had ceased. “Huh… you’re right… It’s been one crazy night.”

Button Mash let out a small chuckle. “Heh… Well… at least I got to try a few things I never would have done if you hadn’t taken me out.”

Scootaloo turned to Button, surprise having just completed a massive, multi-novel length saga across her face. “You couldn’t… you… you actually had fun!?”

Button frowned. “Well… not fun exactly… but, I mean…” Button turned and gave Scootaloo a serious look. “If it weren’t for Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, and you… I’d still just be playing video games instead of playing outside or even talking to anypony else, still.”

Scootaloo chuckled slightly. “Alright… well… can’t argue with you there. Still… I mean… it’s been pretty bad tonight…”

“Maybe…” Button said trailing off slightly. He smiled warmly at Scootaloo. “But I don’t think I’d have noticed how pretty the stars were if it weren’t for everything else that happened.”

Scootaloo simply stared back at Button. “Uh… Gee… I’m not sure what to say…”

Button shook his head and went back to staring at the stars. “It’s alright… You don’t have to say anything.”

Scootaloo stared at Button for a moment, feeling her cheeks go warm as the young colt with a fiery-brown mane stared up at the sky. Slowly, she too looked up at the stars.

For a while, neither foal said anything. Both simply sat and enjoyed the quietness of the night as the stars twinkled above them.

“Uh… Scootaloo…?” Button said in a hushed tone.

“Ye… yeah?” Scootaloo said as she slowly lowered her head and found herself staring into Button’s amber eyes.

Button leaned forward towards Scootaloo. So close in fact that she could feel his hot breath on her face. She tensed her body as her heart began to pound in her chest. She locked her lilac eyes with Button’s.

From the bushes Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom stared at the two foals. Their hearts also raced as they watched Button edge closer and closer to Scootaloo.

Button suddenly broke eye contact and stared up into the sky. “… I kinda wish you were somepony else right now… Is that bad?”

From the bushes, there was a rustling as Sweetie Belle fell over onto her back and rested a forehoof against her heart.

Scootaloo managed a small smile. “No, that’s fine Button…” Scootaloo rubbed the back of her head with a forehoof. “I… uh… figured this was a longshot… but… erm… I guess it was nice to see that for myself. You know?”

Button looked towards Scootaloo and smiled. “… Friends?”

Scootaloo leaned over and wrapped her forearms around Button. “Friends.”

Button paused for a moment, then returned the hug.

From the bushes, Apple Bloom leaned over Sweetie Belle and smiled. “Ya doing alright down there?”

“Wow… I… I can’t believe how relieved I feel right now!”

Apple Bloom smiled and extended a hoof, Sweetie Belle accepted it and soon she was back on her hooves.

“So… We’re done with this date thing, right?”

“Oh my gosh, yes!” Sweetie Belle said. She glanced down at her chest. “I don’t think my heart could take any more of this tonight!”

“Yo! The white unicorn who is really bad at hiding.”

Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom up towards Scootaloo, who stood a few feet away.

Scootaloo pointed behind her with a forehoof towards Button Mash. “Go walk Button home. I think he’d like to spend some time with you.”

“Really?!” Sweetie Belle said, her face lighting up.

Scootaloo nodded. “Yeah, but uh…” She looked Sweetie Belle up and down. “Maybe avoid hugging him tonight… I don’t think Button’s psyche can take having whatever is stuck to you getting on him at this point.”

Sweetie Belle nodded happily and walked out of the bush, more leaves and twigs getting stuck on her hooves as she happily trotted towards Button Mash.

Scootaloo watched her leave then turned towards Apple Bloom. “Alright… seriously… What the heck is that black stuff you two have all over your hooves?!”

Apple Bloom sighed heavily. “Sugar Tar…”

“… What?”

“It’s like a candy…” Apple Bloom answered. “Like a candy tar… that you spoon into your mouth.”

Scootaloo stared at Apple Bloom for a beat. “… Why would anypony put something with the word ‘tar’ in it in their mouth?!”

“Hi, Button!” Sweetie Belle said happily as she approached.

“Hi, Sweetie Belle,” Button said. “Is it okay to talk to you now?”

“Yep!” Sweetie Belle answered. “I was uh… just… busy… earlier…”

“… Okay!” Button said with a cheerful smile. “Erm… Sweetie Belle?”

“Yeah, Button?”

“You’re like… covered in dirt and leaves… and there’s a spoon stuck to your hoof…”

Sweetie Belle sighed. “Yeah… I know…”

Apple Bloom and Scootaloo watched as Sweetie Belle and Button Mash trotted off back towards Ponyville, happily chatting away as if the last several hours were nothing more than a distant memory to the both of them.

Scootaloo glanced at Apple Bloom. “So, you enjoy the show?”

Apple Bloom shook her head. “Not really… it was like being too close to a carriage crash and getting hit with wood and splinters and stuff…” She gave Scootaloo a serious look. “What I’m more worried about is you… Ya looked like you had a moment there with Button and then he shot you down.”

Scootaloo grinned pensively. “Well, you know… I gave it my best shot… Guess we weren’t meant to be after all…”

Apple Bloom leaned forward and examined Scootaloo’s face carefully.

Scootaloo leaned back and clamped her mouth shut as she nervously avoided eye contact with Apple Bloom.

Apple Bloom smirked. “You sabotaged your own date with Button, didn’t you?”

Scootaloo relaxed her body and looked back at Apple Bloom. “Oh my Celestia! Of COURSE I sabotaged our date! Who in their right mind takes anypony to Greasy Pizza’s if they’ve already been there once?! And Button at a skate park!? How could it not end in tears?”

Apple Bloom giggled. “Okay, but what about everything else?”

Scootaloo sighed and shook her head. “Sweetie Belle was dead set on us having a date that wasn’t a complete and utter meltdown… I figured everything else would just flop and I’d be done with it.” Scootaloo stared up at the sky. “He did have me scared a bit when we were stargazing, though…”

“Okay, but why try to make it go bad?”

“Do you even have to ask?!” Scootaloo cried. “He and Sweetie Belle are crazy in like for one another! Emphasis on crazy! I needed this date to fail and fail hard so Sweetie Belle would get it out of her head that there was even a remote chance Button and I could be together!”

Apple Bloom raised an eyebrow. “Alright, but Greasy Pizza’s? That’s like dealin’ with a mess of fruit bats by settin’ the orchard on fire.”

“Hey, I tried to make sure he wasn’t too traumatized!” Scootaloo retorted. “I just think scary things kind of follow Button around, you know?”

Apple Bloom giggled. “Like us?”

Scootaloo sighed. “Like us…” She shook her head. “Only Button could think we’re doing him a favor by hanging around with him.”

Apple Bloom smiled and nodded, but her face suddenly turned serious. “Speaking of favors, do ya mind helping scrub all this sugar dust and tar offa’ me? I mean… I really don’t want to have to explain everythin’ that lead up to me eating ‘Sugar Tar’ being a good idea at the time.”

Scootaloo nodded. “Sure, Apple Bloom. Maybe Sweetie Belle will swing by the treehouse later.”


“Hey, Scootaloo! Hey, Apple Bloom!” Sweetie Belle called out as she trotted up to the two fillies. Apple Bloom sat in half a barrel that was filled with soapy water. Scootaloo stood next to her, holding a scrub brush in both her forehooves and vigorously trying to scrub the thick mass off black goo off one of Apple Bloom’s forehooves.

“Howdy, Sweetie Belle!” Apple Bloom said cheerfully as she raised a hoof, still covered in tar, and waved.

“Hey… Sweetie… Belle…” Scootaloo said as she scrubbed Apple Bloom’s hoof with all her might. “A little help?”

Sweetie Belle smiled as her horn glowed green, a glow that soon matched the brush’s handle that continued to scrub Apple Bloom’s hoof.

Scootaloo let out a relieved sigh as she stepped away from the half-barrel that served as a wash tub.

Apple Bloom smiled at Sweetie Belle. “How’d you get washed up so quickly anyhow?”

“Oh, well…”


“Oh Sweetie Belle, you have to play!” Button Mash pleaded as he and Sweetie Belle trotted past the thatch-roofed homes of Ponyville.

“I don’t know…” Sweetie Belle said as she stared up at the moon. “It’s getting pretty late… I mean… my parents or Rarity might start to get worried…” Sweetie Belle looked down at her hooves. “Plus I think your mom’s not just going to let me up into your room with all this gunk on me.”

Button puffed out his lower lip. “But I wanted to play with you aaallll day!” he whined.

Sweetie Belle sighed. “Yeah, me too…” she admitted as she and Button made it up to his house’s front door.

Button’s face lit up. “So you’ll play then!” he said as he raised a forehoof to the doorknob.

Sweetie Belle gave Button a little grin. “Well… maybe just a little bit… if your mom says its okay…”

“Oh you’re going to love this new game, Sweetie Belle!” Button said as he pushed open the doors to his house. “It’s got—”

“Hey, there’s my little guy!”

“Hey, squirt.”

Button’s eyes shot open wide as he turned and looked into the house. Down the long hallway and in the living room, a dark-brown earth pony with a spiky black mane, amber eyes, and a bushy mustache smiled wide at Button. Across from him a light reddish-brown teenaged colt with a short, black mane gave Button the smallest hints of a smile.

“DAD! GIBSON!”

Sweetie Belle watched as Button suddenly broke into a gallop. The reddish-brown colt leaned back as Button got up to speed.

“WAIT!” the dark-brown earth pony cried. “BUTTON SLOW—AAAAAAAHHHHH!

There was a crash as Button propelled himself like a shot into the stallion.

“Button!” Love Tap said in a chastising tone. “I know you’re excited to see your father, but no running in the house!”

“Sorry mom!”

“I’m… happy to see you too… son…” a woozy voice said.

“Geez, I’m just glad you were here, Dad,” Gibson said. “That little squirt always screws up my hair when he tackles me.”

Sweetie Belle smiled sadly to herself and turned.

“Sweetie Belle?” Love Tap called out.

Sweetie Belle looked back up to see Love Tap staring at her from down the hallway.

“Could you wait there a second, please?” Love Tap asked sweetly.

Sweetie Belle simply nodded.

Love Tap smiled at Sweetie Belle as she began trotting up to her.

Sweetie Belle looked up at Love Tap as she approached. “Button’s dad and brother are back?”

Love Tap nodded. “Yes, they decided to surprise us by coming back unannounced.” Love Tap chuckled and shook her head as she stood in front of Sweetie Belle. “I should have never encouraged Chip to try being spontaneous…”

Sweetie Belle smiled as she looked past Love Tap. “I’m glad… Button seems so happy.”

Love Tap smiled. “We all are…” Her smile suddenly dropped. “So… How’d it go?” Love Tap asked as she looked at Sweetie Belle with nervous eyes.

Sweetie Belle smiled slightly and shook her head. “Complete disaster… I just don’t think Scootaloo and Button Mash are a good match.”

Love Tap chuckled as her eyes relaxed. She glanced back into the living room. “Well… He seems to have bounced back quickly enough.”

Sweetie Belle frowned. “Yeah… Though I’m not sure how…” She took one last glance past Love Tap as Button excitedly looked from his father to Gibson, rattling off video game title after video game title. “Button probably wants to spend time with his dad and brother…” Sweetie Belle said with a hint of melancholy. “I should go…”

Love Tap smiled warmly at Sweetie Belle. “Not before I clean all that… whatever it is off you, you’re not!”

“But—Whoa!” Sweetie Belle uttered as Love Tap reached out for her with a hoof and placed her on top of her back.

“Sorry,” Love Tap said as she began trotting down the hallway, “but my coat is easier to clean than the carpet.”

“Let’s hope you can actually pull me off your back when we get to the bathroom then.”

Love Tap chuckled.

“… I wasn’t joking…”

“Oh…” Love Tap said in a slightly concerned tone as she began to trot up the stairs.

“Don’t you want to spend some time with your family?” Sweetie Belle asked.

“No, it’s alright… They’re not going anywhere.” Love Tap answered as she and Sweetie Belle made it to the top of the stairs. “I’ll give those three some ‘male bonding time’ this way,” Love Tap said with a smile. “Besides, Rarity would kill you if she saw you like this.”

Sweetie Belle’s eyes went wide. “Yes… yes she would.”


Scootaloo frowned. “So, no confession?”

Sweetie Belle shrugged and smiled. “Button had other things on his mind at that point.” She smiled. “I still got a hug from him once I was cleaned and dried, though.”

Apple Bloom smiled as she toweled off her wet mane. “Well, at least ya can have a guilt-free confession later.”

“I know!” Scootaloo cried. “Finally!”

Sweetie Belle giggled nervously. “Yeeeeeaaaaaah…” she said, trailing off into silence.

“…”

“…”

“…”

Apple Bloom raised an eyebrow. “You are gonna confess, aren—”

Sweetie Belle cleared her throat. “So…” she said. “Who do you think Button Mash meant when he wished Scootaloo was somepony else?”

“… What?” Apple Bloom said flatly.

Scootaloo said nothing and took a half-step back.

“I mean… It could be anypony, really!” Sweetie Belle continued as she stared up at the sky.

“WHAT?!” Apple Bloom exclaimed.

“Well, it’s obviously not me,” Scootaloo said as she took another step back.

“Well, yeah…” Sweetie Belle said. “But I mean…” She looked at Apple Bloom. “What if it’s Apple Bloom?”

“Me?!” Apple Bloom cried. “That’s crazy! We barely have anythin’ in common with each other!”

“Well maybe you two just don’t know what it is you have in common yet!” Sweetie Belle said.

Apple Bloom turned to Scootaloo with a desperate expression on her face. “Scootaloo!” she cried. “Help! WAIT COME BACK!”

“NOT MY PROBLEM!” Scootaloo shouted back as she ran away as fast as her legs would carry her.

“Wait!” Apple Bloom pleaded. “She’s crazy! You can’t just leave me with her!

Scootaloo shook her head as she galloped forward. “Sorry! I already dealt with a crazy date! I’m out!

“Hey! A Date!” Sweetie Belle said. “There’s an idea… maybe you should ask Button on a—”

Scootalooooooooooooooo!” Apple Bloom shouted.

“Nooooooooooooope!” Scootaloo called back.


Love Tap yawned as she trotted into her bedroom, closing the door behind her. She looked towards her bed and sent a loving glance to the pony who currently occupied it.

Chip looked up from the book he was reading and smiled. “Button asleep?”

Love Tap nodded as she trotted up to the bed and lifted the covers. “Out like a light.” She crawled up next to Chip. “He’s had a busy day.”

Chip nodded, setting his book next to him. “Your letters mentioned he was getting out a lot more and playing with friends… Er… was that filly one of them?”

Love Tap chuckled. “Hehehe… She’s sort of Button’s fillyfriend.”

“‘Sort of’?”

Love Tap smiled knowingly. “Remember when we were young and I used to drag you around into doing a bunch of stuff you never wanted to do just so I could hang out with you?”

Chip stared up at the ceiling briefly and tapped a forehoof against his chin. “Oh, yeah…”

Love Tap began to nuzzle her head against Chip’s. “That… exactly like that…” she murmured.

Chip smiled, nuzzling his wife back until his eyes caught something. “Honey…?”

Hmmm…?”

“Why is there a carrot on the nightstand?”

Love Tap suddenly bolted up and leaned her head past Chip, staring at the vegetable. “… Because I was going to julienne it.”

“Upstairs… in the bedroom?”

Love Tap sighed and went back to nuzzling her husband. “I think it would be better if I explain everything in the morning…”

Chip stared at the wall across from the bed. “… Is it really exactly like when you used to drag me around to things I didn’t want to do…?”

Love Tap stopped her nuzzling. “… Worse…”

Chip’s eyes opened wide. “… Oh… oh my… Tomorrow then. After coffee,” he said as he once again rubbed his head against Love Tap’s.

Love Tap giggled to herself as her husband’s mustache tickled the side of her face. “… Missed you…” she murmured quietly.

“Missed you, too…” Chip replied in a hushed tone.

Soon arms were wrapped around necks, and legs intertwined as two ponies enjoyed the feeling of the other held tightly against their bodies for the first time in months. The happy couple let their concerns over their children and misplaced vegetables drift away from their thoughts, focusing only on each other. Each finally remembered what it was to feel whole for the first time in what seemed like ages.

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