• Published 20th Mar 2014
  • 5,256 Views, 558 Comments

What Changes May Come - Bluegrass Brooke



Cheese Sandwich returns to Ponyvillle and discovers his love for Pinkie. To his surprise, she loves him back! Will he and Pinkie be willing to accept the changes and challenges that follow?

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Well...It Could Be Worse

Author's Note:

So, here it is. I've never been so nervous about getting a chapter right before. Talk about pressure! I ended up writing a lot in order to convey all the emotions I wanted to (and to milk the situation for all it's worth). I really hope I captured the characters in a believable light and made an interesting tale. Let me know how I did.

A note for those of you expecting this story to be a confess, kiss, marry in three chapters kind of story I'm sorry to disappoint. My goal in writing this is to make an honest-to-goodness slice of life. A true slice of life story moves slow, relying on the character's individual emotions/struggles/relationships to tell the story instead of action-packed elements around every corner. That is my inspiration for writing this story so no, I'm not going to get to the confession in the first few chapters. Be patient, draw back on the reins and enjoy the ride.

Cheese had never been one to question the words of a lady but this was one of those times. Now, as he balanced on the rickety ladder, he began to wonder. Pinkie had insisted that to complete her next order she needed a special mold the Cakes kept stored in the attic. Unfortunately, the aforementioned attic was only accessible by climbing in from the outside of the shop.

“Are you quite certain this is stable? I could just go and fetch my ladder from the cannon!”

“Ah, don’t be silly Cheesie! It’s super-duper safe. I’ve used it like 11 times already.” The pink mare pranced around the ground looking up at Cheese. “But, if you want, I can go up and get it.”

“No, no, I’ll find it.” There was no way in all of Equestria he was letting Pinkie up here. And to think she had gone up 11 times already. She was fearless to be sure. Cautiously, he clambered into the dusty attic. It only took a few minutes to find the mold and he happily began his descent.

As he neared the middle, one of the rotting rungs broke free. Cheese felt a sickening lurch as he tumbled to the earth. He closed his eyes, bracing for the impact. Blessedly he landed on something soft. With an apprehensive shudder, he opened his eyes to discover he was sitting in a large pile of pink confetti. He turned to see the source, his own party cannon and Pinkie staring back at him.

“Oh my goodness! Are you okay Cheesie?”

“Somehow…” He stared at Pinkie, dumbstruck by her timeliness. “How did you-”

“-Oh that was easy as pie! Since you were so worried about the ladder I thought I’d go get yours. So, I went lickety split to replace it. But, when I got there you were already coming down. Then I saw you fall, and I was super worried so I grabbed the cannon and made a big confetti pillow for you to land on.”

Pinkie had said all this in a rush and the situation slowly began to sink in on Cheese. He started to laugh, “That was brilliant Pinkie! You really are the best party pony around. I would never have thought that fast.” He lept up and danced around Pinkie excitedly, eyes shining with glee. “Thank you Pinkie!”

“You’re welcome Cheesie. But, I think we need to get back to work. Those sweets aren’t going to make themselves. Would you mind picking up the confetti?”

“Not at all. I’ll be right behind you.”

“Okey dokey lokey!” Pinkie hopped into the shop humming happily.

Cheese trotted quickly to the cannon and kicked it. In an instant, the confetti whooshed back into the barrel and the yard was clean once more. He stared, amazed that his packing up attempt had worked. For the past month he had not been able to use the cannon’s vacuum function properly. And yet, the skill had come back to him just as easy as always. Was it Pinkie’s special brand of magic again?

Cheese was no stranger to part time jobs. In fact, he spent most of his free time working at whatever odd stores would hire him. Unfortunately for him, his exuberant nature made most employers cringe and he was promptly fired for a “lack of professionalism”. Cheese did not let that bother him however, and still enjoyed working for as long as they would have him.

As he joined Pinkie in the kitchen, he could not help but stare at all the wondrous objects on display. The tools of the sweet trade were truly amazing, and Cheese had to admire the loving care they received. He trotted over to the mixer where Pinkie was prepping the latest sweet.

“Watcha making Pinkie?”

“Well, I was going to get these lemon cupcakes baked. But, I’ve also got to get these chocolate bunnies started-” Pinkie nodded to the molds Cheese had liberated from the attic, “-I feel as stretched as laughy taffy!”

“Well, the cupcakes have a recipe don’t they? Why don’t you let me make them and you can work on the bunnies?”

“Okay but are you really, really sure you can handle them? I mean I don’t want to leave you all alone for your first day on the job. Cupcakes can be tricky you know. It took me weeks to get the lemony ones right. The Cakes would scold me.”

Cheese snorted with exasperation. “Of course I can make cupcakes Pinkie! I’m a party pony after all. Trust me on this one okay?” With that he gently pushed Pinkie out of the way and started on the cupcakes. Honestly, I didn’t think she could be so stubborn.

“Well okey dokey then but let me know if you need anything.”

Cheese nodded absent mindedly back as he focused on the mix. They worked in awkward silence for a time and he began to become very self-conscious as he slipped the cakes in the oven. Did I make her angry? I only wanted to let her know I could be helpful. Maybe I’m just cranky? Oh my gosh, I hope I’m not turning into a wet blanket! I don’t want her to think that!

“Oh no!”

“What?” Cheese cantered over to where Pinkie was working. Chocolate was strewn all over the counter and flecked Pinkie’s mane. He watched her glare at the mold she was working on, paintbrush held in her teeth. She dropped it on the counter and sighed.

“It’s no use Cheesie. I can’t get Mr. Bunny’s bowtie to come out right. It looks awful and the Major is counting on me to get these bunnies done for her niece’s birthday. What am I going to do?”

Stepping forward Cheese examined the bowtie. Each bunny’s details had to be painted on the mold with colored chocolate before they could be filled. Cheese knew from experience the process could be really frustrating. He grimaced at the red bowtie which at the moment more closely resembled a fuzzy boa. “That’s easy enough to fix Pinkie. Let me try.”

Taking the paintbrush from the counter, Cheese began to fill in the mold. Pinkie leaned forward, carefully observing his work. He dropped the paintbrush and picked up a second one, “There, now add a little yellow and-”

“-And it becomes a Hawaiian shirt! What a great idea Cheesie! I’ll help too.” With renewed energy Pinkie grabbed the second mold and started painting away. “What if we make the bunnies have a big island vacation?”

Cheese beamed back at Pinkie, “And use lickerish for the trees?”

“And big pieces of green laughy taffy for leaves.”

“And brown sugar for sand.”

“Ooh, ooh and gumdrops for beach balls!”

Together the ponies animatedly started to work on their creation. Cheese began to forget all about his troubles the past few months. All that mattered now was that he was spending time with Pinkie. But how much did he really know about her? Sure, she was his inspiration and a great party planner but what else?

“Say Pinkie, I was wondering. What do you like to do, you know apart from being a party planner and baker?”

Pinkie’s eyes shone with excitement. “Oooh lots of things! For one, I love to practice my instruments and play with gummy. You know my pet alligator. But my favorite thing ever is to go on adventures with my friends!”

“Adventures? You mean like fighting bad guys kind of adventures?”

“Well, not usually but sometimes! I love everything about my friends, so of course any time I spend with them is super special! Like, this one time we all went to the Everfree Forest and ran into poison joke. It made us all really ridiculous. My tongue was SUPER long and Fluttershy had this really deep voice!”

“Wow!" Cheese chuckled. "That sounds pretty funny."

"Yeah, but you're missing the really funny part..."

The next few minutes Cheese listened to Pinkie tell of her many misadventures with her friends. He had never realized all that the group went through together and now understood why they seemed so close. It was great to hear Pinkie talk, her voice was like the best kind of music.

“So Cheese-” Pinkie leaned in towards cheese as he added the final touches to the palm trees. “-What kind of adventures do you have with your friends?”

“My…my friends?” Cheese flushed crimson, taken aback by Pinkie’s abrupt change of pace. Then, without understanding why, a chill swept over his body. Not the wonderful kind of cold you get after eating ice cream or popsicles. No, it was the awful, nasty sort of chill he remembered getting as a colt back in Manehattan and it was one he never wanted to feel again.

Cheese’s ears flattened with nervous tension as he stared into Pinkie’s blue eyes. What I do with my friends? He had had met hundreds of ponies across Equestria, it was the nature of his job. Though he had a good time working with them for parties, they never kept in touch with him afterwards. Come to think of it, Pinkie is the only pony I’ve ever really connected with. I like her a lot, but if I’m being honest I’ve only known her a total of two or three days. Is that long enough to call each other friends? From what she’s been telling me, her friends spend hours a week talking to her. Does she even consider me her friend? Oh, what do I say!

“Well?” Pinkie was leaning in very close now and Cheese started to feel off balance.

“Well-” At that moment a loud timer rang and shook the pair from their staring match. “-Oh look the cupcakes are done! I’ll get them.” Cheese practically flew towards the oven and busied himself with the cakes. They might not look as amazing as some he had seen, but at least they looked edible.

Pinkie stood there a little taken aback by Cheese’s avoidance of the question. After a moment, she shook it off and trotted up to where the cupcakes were.

“Ooh, yummy. They look great Cheesie.”

“Ya think so?”

“I know so! Why don’t you decorate them and I’ll finish the bunnies?”

“All right.” Cheese could not help but be grateful for the interruption. He felt his head would explode if he had to think on Pinkie’s question any more. Come on Cheese, pull it together. It’s not like Pinkie would have made fun of you. You aren’t that shy colt anymore! You can do this.

In no time at all, he had placed the decorated cupcakes in the glass case under the counter. He looked around at the clean little dining room and smiled. He enjoyed every-day work, even if it was not as fun as throwing parties.

“Hello, any pony there? Pinkie Pie?” A young female voice called from the front of the shop.

Cheese glanced down and saw a trio of fillies walking towards the counter.

“Hello there!” Cheese gave them a toothy grin.

The palomino earth pony with a huge bow stared incredulously up at him. “Cheese Sandwich?”

“Yuparooni!”

The orange pegasus gave a knowing grin to her companion. “I told you Applebloom! I win!”

The white unicorn hopped in place. “Hey I said he’d be there too remember Scoots?”

“Yeah. Guess that means Applebloom will be buying both of our cupcakes today!”

“Hold on just a minute there Scoots, Sweetie Belle, we don’t know the whole story yet.”

“The whole story my hoof. You said there was no way he’d be working here and here he is. That means we win the bet! Play it fair Applebloom.”

“But what if he’s just visitin’?”

Scootaloo rolled her eyes and turned to Cheese who had been watching them with curiosity. “So, uh Cheese Sandwich right?”

“Right.”

“You really working at Sugarcube Corner today?”

“Correct-a-mundo little filly.”

The pegasus stuck her tongue out at Applebloom and grinned. “We’ll have three lemon cupcakes and Applebloom’s buying!”

“Okey dokey then. But what's this whole argument about?”

Sweetie Bell jumped with excitement. “Well, Applebloom heard Twilight tell Applejack that you came to Ponyville today. She told Applejack that you had lost your party planning skills and that’s why you came back.”

Applebloom gasped suddenly and looked concerned at Cheese. “That means what they said about your party planning skills being gone was true. Does that mean you’ll lose your cutie mark? Poor Cheese.”

“I’m not going to lose my cutie mark! Just where did you get that idea?”

“Well, it happened to big sis, Pinkie, Fluttershy, Applejack, Rarity, and Rainbow right before Twilight became a princess. They all got their cutie marks messed around with. Who knows, they might have lost them completely if Twi hadn’t stepped in.”

Sweetie Bell gasped, “That means Cheese really could lose his cutie mark!”

“If he does he could join the crusaders.” Scootaloo grinned at Sweetie Bell.

Cheese started to feel as though he was losing the conversation, “Crusaders? Now listen here girls-”

“Yeah! I’ll bet it’d be great having an adult around. We could try a lot more dangerous stuff. Do you think he knows base jumping?”

“Yeah or how ‘bout lion tamin’?”

“GIRLS!” Cheese glowered down at the trio. “I am NOT going to lose my cutie mark!”

The fillies looked a little put out at Cheese’s outburst. Scootaloo muttered “adults…” under her breath as they sat down at a table.

Cheese sighed with frustration. Who taught those fillies manners anyway? Sheesh, I’m not going to lose my cutie mark. He paused just inside the kitchen. Or am I? He glanced down at the cheese sandwich on his flank. It was proof, proof that he had a place in this world. It also provided the only tangible connection between him and Pinkie Pie. Without it, he really did not have any excuse coming back to Ponyville.

“Heya Cheese! What was all the shouting about?” Pinkie had materialized in front of Cheese and continued to stare in that piercing way of hers.

“Oh nothing really. Just a trio of fillies calling themselves the ‘crusaders’ giving me a hard time.”

“Really? But those fillies are super fun, well most of the time. There was this one time Applebloom had me teach her how to bake. It didn’t go too well.”

“Yeah, I don’t think they were trying to be mean. But, still, they shouldn’t even joke about that kind of stuff.”

“What kind of stuff?”

Cheese sighed and glanced down, “They said since I lost my party skills I might lose my cutie mark too.”

Pinkie gasped, “Oh my goodness! That wasn’t very nice to say was it?”

He stared once more at his cutie mark. “You don’t think I'll lose it do you?”

“No way Cheesie! You’re a super-duper- party pony after all. A little slump’s not going to change that okay? I’ll just have a little chat with those three.”

“You don’t have to-” Before Cheese could stop Pinkie, she had hopped to the front of the shop. He decided to leave the situation be for the moment and started work on the sugar cookies.

Pinkie seemed in a much better mood on her return and bounced up beside Cheese. “I talked with them and they apologized for being mean. I made them Pinkie promise not to say such mean things ever again. And no pony, I mean NO pony ever breaks one of my Pinkie promises!”

“That’s good but really Pinkie you could have just let it be.” Great, now I’m having a mare half my weight stand up for me in front of children! Cheese, you’ve really sunk to the bottom of the barrel with this one. You’re a stallion; have some pride! “I’d really rather deal with the situation myself in the future Pinkie.”

“Oh…” Pinkie seemed to deflate a little and her cheeks turned just a little more pink than normal. “Sorry I won’t be a nosy Betty next time. That’s an official Pinkie promise!”

“Thanks. Why don’t we work on these sugar cookies together? That way you can teach me the ropes.”

“Okey dokey then. Say, that reminds me-” Pinkie’s next phrase sounded softer, more unsure than Cheese had ever heard it. “-The fillies the lemon cupcakes were really tasty today. They said they were the best lemon cupcakes they’ve ever had. What did you do different Cheesie?”

Cheese wanted to kick himself. There I go again. I’m such a screw-up! I made a promise not to ever make Pinkie feel unwanted again and what is the first thing I do but show her up. Stupid Cheese! I’ve got to fix this or they’ll be two ex-party ponies in town.

“Oh that wasn’t my idea Pinkie. I just did what my Grammy always did when we made cupcakes.”

Pinkie snickered than burst out laughing.

“What’s so funny?”

“Grammy! What a super silly name. Who’s Grammy?”

“She was my Grandmother. I just called her Grammy. I never thought about it but, Grammy is a silly name isn’t it? It fits her though, she was the most fun mare ever! Everything I know about sweets I learned from her.”

Pinkie ceased laughing and cocked her head, regarding Cheese. “So, what did Grammy say about the cupcakes?”

“Well, she said the secret to a super-moist cupcake was a little doughnut filling.”

“Really? That sounds tasty!”

“Yeah, all I did was make a small batch of doughnut filling and flavor it with lemon juice. Then a put just a tiny bit in after they’re done baking. That way they don’t taste dry in the middle.”

“Amazing! I never thought to do something like that. Oooh, oooh what if we do that with the chocolaty ones?”

“That sounds wonderful Pinkie. Why don’t we try it with the next batch?”

The rest of the day flew by as the pair worked on various sweets. It had been years since Cheese enjoyed baking this much. Pinkie told great stories and he listened to her additional narratives of her life in Ponyville. He was in awe when she told about her role in the elements of harmony. Not only is she a talented party planner, but she helped save all of Equestria! Boy, I can’t even come close to her level.

In no time at all, the sun began to set and they closed up shop. With a decided clunk, Pinkie closed the cash register. “There! All done. Yeah, now we can have some fun. You know we’ll have to throw a welcome back party for you Cheese.”

“Oh, not tonight Pinkie.” Cheese had walked all night to get to Ponyville and, after a hard day’s work, he was exhausted. “Besides, didn’t the Princess tell me not to party for a while?”

“Who Twilight? Awe, she wouldn’t object to one teensy weensy little party. I know ‘cause I plan them all the time!”

“Yes well, I’m really tired tonight. And, I wanted to get something other than sweets to eat.”

“All righty then Cheesie.” Pinkie gasped which made him jump a few inches in the air. “You don’t have a place to stay do you? Ponyville doesn’t have any hotels. Oh this is awful. If you want you can stay here, we could throw a big slumber party!”

“It’ll be okay Pinkie. I have a tent in the cannon. There’s a nice meadow to set it up at on the way into town. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

With that, Cheese put on his hat and poncho and, after grabbing Boneless 2, set out the door. As he pulled the cannon back up the road, his face flushed crimson. She wanted me to stay the night! ‘Slumber party’, Does she even realize what she’s saying! Geeze, she’s a young mare with a reputation to consider. She needs to be more careful.
…………………………………………………………………………………..........................................
Pinkie stood alone in the dining room staring out the door, lost in thought. She started when she heard a thud behind her. “Gummy! Finally come down to say hi?”

She reached down and picked up the little, toothless alligator and smiled. Gummy did not like strangers and made it a point to hide upstairs whenever they came around. The little creature’s presence stirred Pinkie and she trotted over to the brick wall.

Carefully, she pulled a loose brick out to reveal a bottle of bubblegum-scented bubble bath. She stashed them around the town in case of a “bubble bath emergency” and today was definitely counted as one. She pranced upstairs and drew the bath. Ever since she could remember, bubble bathes were here best way to work out complicated situations.

Gummy was already happily swimming in the tub when Pinkie deemed it full enough. With a gleeful smile, she dived into the warm, sweet-smelling water herself. “Well Gummy, it’s been a crazy day!”

The alligator blinked and Pinkie took it as acknowledging her desire to discuss the day’s events.

“I never, ever would have guessed Cheesie to come back today. Shouldn’t my Pinkie senses have gone off? Ah well, maybe his Cheesie senses interfere with my Pinkie senses. What do you think gummy?”

Pinkie continued without further invitation from her pet. “Well, I thought the day was going to be great. I’d get to see my friend and play games with him just like before. But, it didn’t go that way Gummy-” Pinkie sniffed, a few tears forming in her eyes, “-It didn’t go that way and I don’t know why!”

“The first hour on the job I let him fall off a ladder and nearly get hurt. Oh why didn’t I listen to him in the first place! Then I made him feel like he couldn’t make sweets right. Of course he can make sweets Gummy! He’s a party pony, a party pony!”

Pinkie splashed around in frustration and blew some bubbles before continuing. “And then I asked him about his friends and he got all sad. Why? I thought he’d be super excited to talk about them. He looked like he wanted to hide from me. Maybe my smile making skills are broken too?”

“And to top it all off Gummy, I embarrassed him in front of the crusaders! I thought he’d be relieved that I took care of things for him but he was mad I’m sure of it. Argh! Are all stallions so confusing?”

“And what do after that but get jealous over the cupcakes. They’re cupcakes Pinkiana Pie, calm down! Oh, it was just like the goof off. I’m so stupid.”

Gummy floated next to Pinkie and nibbled his gums on her mane. “Thanks Gummy. But really, I need to work on making Cheese happy instead of upsetting him. I’ve never been unable to cheer a pony up, even Grumpy.”

Pinkie gasped, “What if I fail Gummy? What if Cheesie never gets his humor back and it’s all my fault. Oh my gosh! I’d never, ever forgive myself.”

“I’ll just have to try harder until I find a method that works. Thanks Gummy, you’re the best!” Pinkie lept out of the tub and dried herself off. Bubble baths really were the best way to figure out problems. Tomorrow she would get Cheese back to normal, she was sure of it.

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