• Published 21st Feb 2014
  • 5,755 Views, 68 Comments

Dulcet - shortskirtsandexplosions

Not long after Fluttershy sat in for me with the Ponytones, Rarity asks me out to a fancy dinner. How do I learn to speak up and tell her that I'm only interested in Cheerilee?

  • ...


I hear their voices dripping around the corner of the marketplace, and my heart instantly flutters. It can only be them—what other reason would fate have to arrange a bass tone and a falsetto tone together under the same morning sky?

"I... I-I don't know what to say, Big Mac!" Cheerilee stammers, and yet somehow manages to sound no less melodic than ever. "I'd be lying if I said I've never imagined us spending an afternoon together, but now that you've gone out and asked me... well... I-I really don't know! I mean... I-I suppose we could do anything!"


"Well, anything that you'd be comfortable doing, of c-course." She turns to smile at the large stallion walking closely with her across the street. "I mean, you're so quiet spoken, and th-this must seem so sudden for you. We could... uhm... we could just hang out by Sweet Apple Acres if you prefer—"

"Actually, I was thinkin'..." Big Mac takes a deep, deep breath of confidence as he and Cheerilee march right past the outdoor cafe... and past me. "You've talked time and time again about figure skatin' and how much you love it."

Cheerilee's voice positively sings, a dulcet tone born out of love and joy. "You remembered! Oh, and here I thought I was only rambling on and on those last few times we talked."

"I remember a lot, Cheerilee," he says. "A lot more than you think, I reckon." He smiles with a coy wink. "Let's go to the ice rink, and I can tell you about some of the stuff I love doin'."

"Oh! Oh... s-sure thing! That would be delightful!" She gulps and smiles wider. "I've always wondered what you've h-had to say, Big Mac." She pretends to trot along, but inevitably performs a tiny acrobatic leap between each hoofstep. "Hmmm-mmm-Squee! I-I can't believe it! We're actually going out on a... on a..."

"Date?" he says, his freckled face aimed at her.

"Oh. Yes. Yes, I do believe we can call it that," she says, though their voices are getting fainter, softer, beyond the reach of my delicate ears. "Only... if you want to, that is."

"Cheerilee, darlin', I'd love nothing more..." And they're gone.

My breath is both lonesome and proud in the warm morning light. I levitate my mug of coffee from the table spread blueprints of a long-abandoned dress design and simply swirl it below my muzzle, enjoying the aroma... but not the silence.

A waitress wanders by from cleaning off another patio table. "More sugar for your coffee, miss?" she asks with a bright smile.

"Oh, positively!" I lean back with no small amount of elegance and levitate the mug towards her so she that can oblige. I watch as the rich cream pours into the coffee, dissolving into black, fading away like the glittering nights of last evening. "After all." I sigh. "You can never be too sweet..."

Author's Note:

On the night that I spontaneously wrote "Random Dash," I had first asked Props over Steam for a quick one shot idea. This is what he gave me:

Rarity treats Big Mac to a fancy dinner thanking him for his tolerance of Fluttershys singing debut. Big mac is really nervous about the encounter, and ends up making all kinds of mistakes. he thinks he's making a fool of himself, but Rarity finds his nervousness adorable. He finally admits that he thinks it's a romantic date, and that he's interested in cheerilee, but he didn't want to turn down a lady like rarity. Big mac is the main character. Make up an ending yourself.

I probably should have written it that night instead. But, better late than never...

Comments ( 46 )

I'm curious as to why I'm getting notifications that you posted a new story when I'm not following you.


when I'm not following you

You should fix this. :derpytongue2:


No, I'm actually rather curious as to why I keep getting notifications about new SS&E stories despite repeatedly checking and finding that I have absolutely no reason to be receiving those notifications.

3977973 I have absolutely no idea, I was just being cheeky. You should fire a PM to knighty, he might know.

3977973 If you haven't already, maybe try following and unfollowing again?


I've tried following/unfollowing him.

Somehow, I just keep getting these unwanted notifications.


Yeah, I think I'll do that. Or I'll have Peppy talk to Xaq.

My reaction at the ending.

You know there was one point in the "date" where if Rarity had poisoned Mac, it would have worked in a literary sense.

Rarity is such a busybody.

But yes I think Cheerilee and Mac make a good match.

Though, to be honest, I've always wanted to aim for being a 'duchess' someday. It's a lot like Twilight's position, with all of the glamor but considerably less trivial responsibilities.

Given that dukes were originally war leaders, I now have a mental image of General Rarity leading the charge against some vaguely defined enemy force.
And it is glorious. :raritystarry:

Horseapples, if only words were like plows and sentences like apple fields. "Consarnit... I ain't all that good with words..."

Well, if he thinks like he talks, he could probably forge a plow out of that irony.

And the ending... well, it put a nice capstone on everything, but it almost felt superfluous. Still, thank you for this, skirts. A very sweet story from an often underutilized perspective. :twilightsmile:

That's adorable. :rainbowkiss:

D'awwwww...this was a sweet story.:twilightsmile:

It was a sweet ending.

If you've previously followed him, you'll get the push notification (or whatever you want to call it) on the bottom right, even if you aren't following him currently. That's how it works for me at any rate. Unless it shows up on your feed. I've no idea in that case.

Amazingly well written and entertaining story, like always! Your work always makes me smile. :raritywink:

This was excellent. My only complaint about it is the French. You've made several mistakes.


Needs to be written as "Rareté" and

Les madame attend.

roughly translates to "The ladies wait", plural and badly conjugated. I would rephrase that as "Madame vous attend."

Globally though, this was very fun to read.

Gawd, skirts, that was about the cutest thing I've ever read out of you. Bravo, so glad to see this random idea realized so well.

I think I'll have to take a shot of insulin after this; thanks for that.

I swear to god, dude, I'll never understand how you can pump out so many stories and have so many of them be so enjoyable. It's unnatural. This one, in particular, was really cute. I loved the glimpse into Big Mac's thought processes; the rather active, frequently eloquent mind behind the silent exterior. The characterizations were solid, the pacing almost perfect, the tone light as a feather.

Do I detect a note of melancholy in Rarity at the end? I almost wonder if, at some level, it was a date, and Rarity simply played it off when she realized Mac wasn't interested. Or maybe I'm just misreading it. Or - entirely possible - it was left intentionally vague. I dunno.

Either way, I really enjoyed this one.

I really enjoyed this story. It was sweet and to the point, combining a charming premise with strong characterization. Stories based heavily on dialogue exchanges are tricky things, but I'd say you pulled it off splendidly. In particular, Rarity sounded like Rarity when I read her words in my mind. It's rather easy to forget that she's the type of person who picks her words carefully. A dramatic personality is not an excuse for vacuous speech; if you want to emulate a well-spoken character, you must pay attention to their diction and vocabulary all well as their behavior. As much as this story was about Big Mac, Rarity, as usual, stole the show -- and that's a good thing in my book. :raritywink:

Speaking of wording, I feel compelled in nitpicking this sentence:

She giggles airily. "I must admit, you are at your most adorable when you are nervous like this. I suppose it's one of life's odd little ironies, that a stallion so large, dashing, and debonair would fidget like a little colt over bequeathing a lady like me a corsage..."

"Bequeath" is one of those words whose definition has become quite fuzzy in modern parlance. I know Rarity means that Big Mac is gifting her a corsage, but "bequeath" is defined by a deceased individual leaving behind a personal estate or property to a beneficiary by legal will. "Bestowing" would be the word to use here, I think, for it captures Rarity's careful vocabulary.

I otherwise have no other substantive criticisms to offer. Once again, this was a wonderful read.

Did what it had to do and didn't overstay its welcome.

It was an enjoyable enough read.

This was so nice.
Well done, sir.


I really, really enjoyed this one, Skirts. The 1st person present tense was perfectly executed. You really captured Big Mac, which is not really an easy thing. He speaks so little—because the writers have decided that LOL NO ONE LETS BIG MAC TALK!!! is a good running gag, for some reason—so what's left is to infer. We see from his "talk" with Pinkie Pie in Pinkie Apple Pie that he is a bit philosophical, the whole "still waters run deep" thing. His nervousness really came through in the writing, and the subtle shift from plain to poetic when he was speaking of Cheerilee was very fun.

Was it a bit cheesy? Yes, but it's a romance story, and to quote Cadance in one of my fics, "Love is cheesy." It can be very difficult to portray complicated emotions like attraction and love in type without reaching the level of melodrama, but you pulled it off great.

All in all, I found this to be a sweet, endearing, and thoroughly enjoyable little story. Great job, Glorious Leader. :ajsmug:

Also, Skirts doing a ship fic... That ISN'T AppleDash?! Is... is that legal? :derpytongue2:

Leading the charge against a giant crab, of course.

gotta say, this was great! i love it when people turn episodes into things like this! ^-^ might just be my mind but still!

Thoroughly enjoyed this fic, and it has actually inspired me to do something I have been putting off for a long time.

I enjoyed the story, although I felt cheerilee's dialogue was a bit off. Just don't see her has stuttering

I demand Rarity find happiness now! :flutterrage:

But yeah, this story was rather sweet. I really enjoyed the way Big Mac struggled throughout the time at the restaurant. And the fact that Rarity decided to help him work up the nerve by telling him to imagine she was Cheerilee during the dance was great.

I really though Mac was gonna realize that he should say what he was thinking to Cheerilee when he told her how he felt about her. Because he really had a sweet speech going on there. :twilightsmile:

Jeez Skirts, this was surprisingly fantastic AND completely unexpected. A dangerously cute non-Appledash ship-ish-fic with a slight bittersweet ending penned by you? Who'd a thunked it.

I imagine she mostly runs around in a barely controlled panic until some arterial spray gets on her uniform, at which she goes on a rampage until she collapses and her command staff manage to remove her bloodied uniform and replace it with a clean one.

Rarity X Mac really doesn't fit, even though I've seen some were they got together. Well some fans just see the impossible, I guess. Cheerelie X Mac does work better, not that I really care about ships.

Every story I read from you is awesome, and that reminds me that I need to read the back log of your stories I've bookmarked. Always looking forward to the next one.

That... was beautiful.

Friendshipping is always just as nice as the actual romance in a story. :raritywink:

Absolutely wunderbar - such a sweet story and can't help think ms generousity had it planned from the start.

Oh, and Grosse Pomme is best pony!

As Rarity sips her coffee "Why the breakie datie eyeballs? Rarity":pinkiesmile: "Another one bites the lust?"
"Oh Pinkie Pie ,Why is it you show up so manic in my depression?":raritydespair:
"lucky I quess":pinkiehappy: "Oh, Ya know Spikes looking for you?"
"My Spikey Wikey?" :duck: "How could it work between a mare like myself & My Gentledrake?"
"Easy like fish in a barrel and a stickof dinamite!":pinkiegasp:
"Oh Pinkie that bad?":raritydespair:
"No sillie fillie pants, That easy!":pinkiehappy:

Such a nice story Bravo, 11 /10:twilightsheepish:

Wonder what Apple Bloom thinks of this?

This was a very lovely and very smart little short story. I enjoyed it a lot, thank you.:twilightsmile:

Hi there. I hope you don't mind that I didn't ask permission first, but I loved this story so much, I've put together an audio version.

Comment posted by Swan Song deleted Jul 3rd, 2016

Just listened to Scribber's production of your tale. Excellent tone for Big Mac's rambling self-doubt that runs through his head non-stop. Many of us have had conversations in our head like that...I'm fairly sure they sounded like that as well. Pretty much every character was spot on, fun and entertaining. Well done!

Also great that it wasn't the ship I thought it was...instead it was the ship that made a heck of a lot more sense. :pinkiehappy:

Though the last line was corny as all get out, I still loved it. What can I say? I'm a romantic. :twilightblush:

I wholeheartedly agree with Novel-idea… a most wonderful story!

Go BM! That's Big Mac, not....whatever! And props to Rarity for helping the young man find his confidence! Yay for fluff!!!!:eeyup:

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