• Published 20th Mar 2014
  • 5,262 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?

  • ...

Of Stallions and Mares

Author's Note:

Yeah! Another chapter done. And I thought last chapter had a lot of dialogue. Anyway, I decided to go for some relationship building between the different characters this time. I hope you enjoy the chapter, it was pretty fun to write. Comments are always appreciated. Thanks for reading!

"Good morning Twilight!" Pinkie Pie pranced into Twilight's library, a broad smile on her face. She looked around at the mountain of books strew across the floor, scanning for her friend. "Twilight? You didn't get lost in there did ya?"

The alicorn poked her head around a particularly large stack of spell books. "What is it now Pinkie?"

"Well, I wanted to plan a party with Cheese. But, it's a special party so I needed a special book. I hopped on over before I went to Cheese's place."

Twilight sighed. She loved her friend dearly, but lately Pinkie seemed obsessed with spending time with Cheese. "Pinkie, Cheese won't be home today. He's gone to help Applejack."

"But, he's only been out of the hospital three days, he'll hurt his leg again."

"Don't worry about it. Applejack's not going to let him strain his leg. I think she said something about designing a chicken coop."

"A chicken coop? That's not very fun."

"Well, maybe not to you, but Applejack said Cheese was pretty excited about it."

"Maybe I should go help?"

"Pinkie!" Twilight strode forward to where Pinkie stood. "Ever since Cheese came to Ponyville, you've been so desperate to spend time with him. I know you have a connection, being party ponies and all. But, don't you think you ought to take a break?"

"Why? I'm not tired."

"That's not what I mean Pinkie. What I'm saying is, maybe you've been spending too much time together. You may be having fun, but think about Cheese. I'm sure he needs some alone time."

Pinkie's ears drooped. "But I thought he liked spending time with me."

"I'm sure he does, but everypony needs to be left alone now and again. You're not his only friend in Ponyville, remember? Besides, he's a stallion."

"What's that got to do with anything?"

Twilight sighed, Pinkie was being unusually dense today. "Stallions aren't like mares Pinkie. Take it from me. Shining Armor loved spending time with me when I was a filly, but there were times he wanted his space. You've got to give them a little extra breathing room, especially if you aren't related. Having a mare around him all the time, might make him feel a bit awkward, you know?"

"Oh." Pinkie looked let down. "I wouldn't want Cheese to feel awkward."

"There you have it. Take the day off and spend some time for yourself."

Pinkie turned around and started to walk slowly to the door.

"Hold up Pinkie! If you don't have any other plans, why don't you help me reorganize the library. I can help you find that book you were looking for."

"You're reorganizing again? Didn't you do that last month?"

"Yes, but I've developed a more efficient system. Besides, Spike's gem hunting today, I'll be all alone. What do you say? We can talk all day, make some hot coca, and have some girl time."

Pinkie pranced back over. "Okey dokey Twilight. But can we make cupcakes instead?"

"That's just 'bout the best plan I've ever seen fer a chicken coop."

Applejack, Big Mac, and Cheese sat around the Apple family dining room table. They were looking over a set of blueprints Cheese had drawn up. The meticulous drawings had measurements and little details neatly and clearly written, so that anypony could understand them.

"I like the idea fer the hinged back. Would make chores a heck of a lot easier. But, will it be difficult ta build? Me an Big Mac aint exactly professionals."

"Oh it'll be easy. I can show you how. Big Mac should be able to fit it on no problem."

"What do you say big brother? Up fer the challenge?"

"Eeeup." Big Mac scooped up the plans and walked outside to get started.

"Thanks a million fer yer help Cheese. I didn't 'spect you ta be so handy round the farm."

"I'm not really. It's just what I've picked up from books and a few odd jobs."

"Well, wherever you learnt it, I'm right grateful to you. You mentioned you wanted my advice 'bout somthin'?"

Cheese nodded. "You see, ever since I've come to Ponyville, Pinkie has been helping me out. She's been so kind and patient with my problems. I wanted to do something for her for a change. I'm not good at much, besides party planning and building. So, I thought I'd make her something nice out of wood. Can you think of anything Pinkie might need?"

"Hmmm, that's a bit tricky. Let me think on that a spell." Applejack put her hoof to her forehead and closed her eyes in concentration.

There was a thud as the door swung open to reveal Applebloom. The filly was absolutely covered in what looked like jam. She moved to her sister. "Applejack! I need yer help."

"What in tarnation did you do this time Applebloom?"

"Me, Scoots, an Sweetie Belle were workin' on our jam makin' cutie marks. We had a bit of a problem, an now we're covered!"

"Hang on." She got up and trotted to a cabinet, pulling out a heavy earthenware jar. Applebloom grinned and took it. She left the room, trailing jam as she went. Seeing Cheese's quizzical stare, Applejack turned to Cheese. "That was the Apple family all-purpose goop remover. It'll take any sticky stuff you got an wipe it clean."

"Impressive. Would you give me the recipe? I always have the worst time cleaning up after a party."

"Can't it's an Apple family secret. But I'll give you some if you want."

"That'd be great."

"I shoulda' got a picture of Applebloom all covered fer the album." Applejack perked up and grinned at Cheese. "I know what you can make Pinkie Pie. She's always runnin' round makin' scrapbooks and photo albums. I think she could really use another bookshelf for them all. It don't have ta be a big one. I know fer a fact she'd be tickled. I've even got some scrap wood round back you can use."

"Wonderful." Cheese pulled out a new sheet of paper and started scribbling rapidly. He loved to build, and designing came naturally to him. In no time at all, he had filled out his plan. "Do you think Pinkie will like it Applejack?"

Applejack could not help but stare at the drawing. Cheese had somehow managed to capture everything about Pinkie in an everyday object like a bookshelf. She could not believe it.

"Too simple? Maybe I should just-"

"-No! No, it's perfect the way it is Cheese. Just perfect."

"Well, I'd better get started then. It might take me a while to carve the details in. Where's the wood?"

"Round back. I'll fetch it. Just meet me in the yard."

"Pinkie, that book is about Star Blaze not Star Swirl." Twilight corrected Pinkie for what felt like the tenth time that morning.

"Sorry Twilight. I don't know what's wrong. Too many books?"

Twilight sighed. "How about we have those cupcakes now?"

"Oooh, sounds great!" Together they sat at Twilight's table and savored the chocolaty cupcakes.

"Say Pinkie, what's bothering you?"

"What do you mean Twilight? Everything is okey dokey."

"Then why have you been so distracted? Even I can tell your mind is wandering."

"Gosh Twilight, I'm sorry. Guess I have been thinking about other stuff."

"Well?" Twilight leaned in eagerly.

"Just…" For the first time in her life, Pinkie found herself at a loss for words.

"Just what?"

"What did you mean when you said stallions are different than mares? I mean, you know about Shining Armor, but what about other stallions? Are they all different in the same way?"

"Of course they're not all the same Pinkie. But they are different from mares." Twilight's lilac eyes lit up in shock. "Come to think of it, I don't know what makes them different." She raced to a pile of books and started thumbing through a large tome. If there was one thing Twilight could not stand, it was having another pony point out that she was lacking knowledge.

"If you don't know Twilight, why don't we ask them?"

"Pinkie, you can't just ask them. Geeze, they won't be able to describe it to us. It's best done through observation…That's it!"

"What's it Twilight?"

"We'll do some field research, and find out what makes stallion's tick."

"Oh, like what you did when you watched my Pinkie sense?"

"Yes, but this time, we won't be noticed. Well?"

"Sounds fun Twilight. But are you sure the stallions won't mind."

"Oh they won't care. Let's get started!" Twilight grabbed a notebook and her distinctive safari hat. The pair pranced out of the library in high spirits.

"Argh this leg!" Cheese had accepted defeat and resorted to lying on the ground to work on his project. He was attempting to steady the finished boards enough to nail them in place. They kept slipping, and he was growing increasingly frustrated. With a clatter, he dropped the hammer from his mouth and glowered at the shelf.

"Want some help?" A big, apple red stallion looked down at Cheese.

"Thanks Big Mac." Together, the stallions worked to assemble the boards.

Cheese grinned at Big Mac. For some unfathomable reason, the older stallion made him nervous. Get a grip Cheese. It's not like he's screaming at you. Cheese started to stand, winced, then fell to the ground. Argh, this leg.

"You okay?" Big Mac helped hoist the shaking stallion to his hooves. He never was one for words, but he knew when a pony needed to hear them. "You sure you're not pushin' yourself?"

"I'm fine." Cheese felt his face flush with embarrassment. "I just can't get use to this injury. It's bad enough I can't plan parties, now I can't even do a simple project. I'll I've done since I came to Ponyville is get in the way." He picked up the can of paint and glanced at the in-progress chicken coop Big Mac was working on. "Looks good. Are the plans easy enough to follow?"

"Eeeup." Big Mac turned and trotted into the house without a backward glance.

Cheese rolled his eyes. Why does he always respond with a yes or no answer? Is it so much to ask for a touch more conversation? He busied himself priming the wood. The mindless nature of his task left his mind free to drift. Why am I nervous around him? It's not like I haven't spoken to other stallions before. Well…I never exactly knew another stallion long enough to have meaningful conversation. Now that I have Pinkie and the girls to talk to, maybe I ought to learn to talk to him too.

"Hey, uh Cheese? You want ta have some cider?"

Cheese jumped with shock, and turned to see the muscular stallion holding two mugs of cider in his hoof. "Huh?"

"You want ta relax a bit?"

"Sure…" Of all the things Cheese expected big mac to do, bringing him cider was not one of them. They walked over to a particularly large apple tree and reclined in the shade. Somehow, Cheese found himself growing nervous again. To his great relief, Big Mac was the first to speak.

"Sorry 'bout this. I just don't have many other stallions ta talk ta. When I heard you were workin' 'ere today I thought it'd be fun. You know?"

"Yeah, me too. I don't really stay in one place too long, so I rarely get the opportunity for conversation. What's on your mind?"

Big Mac sat, frowning at the ground. Cheese began to wonder if their talk was going to end before it began. Then, "Cheerilee…"

"Come again?"

The big stallion flushed an even deeper shade of red, looking away from Cheese. "I wanted advice, 'bout Cheerilee."

"Who?" Cheese certainly could not remember every pony he had met, and Ponyville had a lot of ponies.

"She's this mare, perdy thing too. A teacher at the school. She's got this mane like…like new apple blossoms an a coat like lavender in the fields. We've sort of been getting' along. Did you hear the story from Pinkie?"

"No, I'm sorry I haven't."

"Well, guess I'll have ta tell it ta you." Then, much to Cheese's outright consternation, Big Mac began to describe the Hearts and Hooves Day Fiasco. The burly stallion was not very articulate, but Cheese could tell he cared deeply for the mare, despite what transpired.

"Hmmm. That does make it difficult for you two. Have you spoken much since then?"

"Eeeup. But it don't go nowhere. Just feels like I'm buckin' the same apple tree over an over."

Cheese stared Big Mac in the eyes. "Well, do you want it to go somewhere?"


"Then there's your answer. I'm certain a wonderful mare like Cheerilee would love to go on a date with you. Just ask her."

"But it ain't that easy. I get all, fumble lipped."

"Hmmm. Well, why don't you use a prop?"

"What in tarnation is that?"

"A prop, you know, an excuse. Say, for example a party. I tell you what, the next party that comes to town, you casually bring up going together with Cheerilee. I'm sure she won't say no. If you play your cards right, and she has a good time, ask her to go do something else with you."

"Something else?"

"Yeah, it can be anything, but try to keep it simple. Maybe, a walk around the park or an ice cream at the shop? Just think of something you both enjoy doing, it'll come to you."

Big Mac nodded, a grin spreading across his face. "You know, I think that might work. I'll sure give it a try. But what 'bout you?"


"You know, you an Pinkie?"

Cheese choked on his cider. "No! No! You've got it all wrong Big Mac. Pinkie and I are just friends."

Big Mac looked skeptically at the buckskin stallion, "Eeeup…"

"Ugh! Why isn't he doing anything?"

"Maybe we need to surprise him with cake."

"Pinkie, the whole point of this is staying anonymous. Remember?"

"Oh, right. I just thought he could use some cake."

The mares were huddled under a thick shrub, eyes fixed on the stallion in the meadow. The stallion in question was a hulking, snow white pegasus with tiny wings. He was lying in the meadow, smiling as he sniffed the flowers.

"What are we waiting for Twilight?"

"Nothing, we're observing a stallion in his natural habitat."

"But he's a pegasus. Isn't his natural habitat, I don't know, the sky?"

Twilight rolled her eyes at her friend. She had a point though. They had been staring at Bulk Biceps for an hour now, and had turned up nothing of interest, other than his fear of butterflies. "All right, let's move on. Maybe we can watch Caramel interact with his mare friend?"

"Oooh, sounds good."

The pair snuck away and began to trot back to Ponyville.

"Say Twilight, why do stallions like Caramel act different around mares anywho?"

"Oh I don't know. Maybe because mares act different around them."

Pinkie stopped, eyes wide. "You mean we act different around stallions? I always try to treat everypony the same. Oh no, you don't think I've been treating Cheese different do you?"

"Pinkie! I wasn't talking about friends. I meant, when they like a stallion, mares treat them differently."

"But I like Cheese."

"I know you do, but you like him as a friend. This is a different kind of liking. You know, the kind that says you want to kiss each other, get married, and have foals kind of like."

"Oh, that's what you meant." Pinkie looked even more perplexed than ever. "Do you think I'll know it when I feel it?"

"Hmmm, I don't know. My mother always said I would know for absolute certain. Don't worry about it Pinkie, you've got a few years before you need to worry about that."

"I guess…" Pinkie did not know why, but Twilight's words made her sad. Their friendship was special, what would happen if they all had special someponies? Would they stop being friends? I don't want to lose my friends! "Twilight, we'll always be friends right?"

Twilight chuckled. "Of course Pinkie. That's a silly question. Why do you ask?"

"No reason." Pinkie's chest felt strangely tight, like something was driving a wedge into it. All she knew, is that she was not having fun anymore. "Hey, Twilight? I think I'm going to go home."

"But why? It's only three o'clock. What about our investigation?"

"I don't think it's right to spy on ponies. Besides, I don't feel so good."

Twilight put a hoof gently on Pinkie's back. "You're right. I hope you feel better soon."

Pinkie snuggled up to her friend with a big hug. "Thanks. I'll see you tomorrow!"

Twilight watched as her friend bounced back to Sugar Cube Corner. Great, now who's going to help reorganize the library?

"Done!" Cheese stood back to admire his work. It was not very large, but he felt confident that Pinkie would love it. He had carefully carved Pinkie's cutie mark into the sides of the bookshelf. Using his tools, he had engraved the word 'friends' into the font of the case. Though the shelf was simple, he managed to give little embellishments here and there. The paint color was an obvious choice, pink.

"Wow. That looks great Cheese."


The siblings stood next to cheese in the yard, looking over the project. Applejack beamed at Cheese, "It's right near perfect for her. How'd you get it done so fast?"

"Oh, I'm used to working fast. I have to when I plan parties."

"How 'bout we take it over to Pinkie? You mind drivin' the cart Big Mac?"

"Nope." Big Mac effortlessly lifted the shelf onto his cart. He grinned at Cheese and the pair set off towards Ponyville, Cheese riding in the cart. After a time, Big Mac turned to Cheese. "Say, why do you travel 'round so much?"

"Well, I'm just following my Cheesie Sense. It sort of tells me where to go, for parties and such. I don't know how it works myself." Come to think of it, I haven't felt my Cheesie sense since the day of the cake-a-ganza. Is it broken?

"Why don't you settle down? It'd be easier on you."

"Guess it would. But, I've been traveling since I was a colt. I guess it comes naturally to me."

"Hmmm." Big Mac didn't say anything for the rest of their trip. In no time at all, they arrived in Ponyville. It was supper time and every pony was at home, enjoying a good meal.

Cheese felt a little bad at disturbing the Cakes but, decided to knock anyway. There were hoof steps, then the door opened. Mr. Cake smiled at Cheese. "Well, how do you do Cheese? Sorry, we're eating dinner at the moment."

"I apologize for bothering you. I just wanted to borrow Pinkie for a bit." He motioned to Big Mac and the wagon. "We've got a little surprise for her."

"Allrighty then." Mr. Cake turned inside the shop. "Pinkie, Cheese and Big Mac want a word."

Pinkie hopped happily to the door and went out to join the stallions. Cheese grinned at her. "Hey Pinkie. Did you have a good day?"

"Yup-adoodles Cheesie. Me and Twilight had some girl time."

Cheese chuckled. "Big Mac and I had something similar. I made you something."

"Oooh, something for me?" Pinkie hopped with glee.

Big mac carefully lifted the shelf from the cart.

Pinkie grinned and pranced around the shelf. "It's amazing Cheese. Did you carve all those details yourself?"

"Yeah, I did."

"That's wonderful! You must be a mind reader cause this is just what I needed. Now I can put up all the scrapbooks I have lying around. Thank you so much Cheesie." She gasped. "I didn't make you anything."

Cheese laughed. There she goes again. "Pinkie, I made this to thank you for all the help you've been giving me. You don't have to make me anything in return. Got it?"

"Okey dokey."

Big Mac helped carry the shelf to Pinkie's room while Cheese chatted with the Cakes. He never realized what nice folks the Cakes were. Just from their short conversation, he could tell that they loved their family and Pinkie very much.

The pair said their goodbyes and made their way back to the outskirts of town.

"Thanks for all your help Big Mac. I really do appreciate it."

"Eeeup." Big Mac flushed and looked down. "An thanks fer the advice Cheese."

"Sure anytime." He waved goodbye to his friend. At least Cheese hoped he could call the loveable stallion that. Slowly he walked into his tent, wishing his leg would feel better soon. Laying on the cold ground, he found himself longing for a bed for the first time since he left home.

Big Mac's words rang in his head. Why am I a wanderer? Would it be better to settle down somewhere? I can't think of any place I want to settle in other than here. No! There is no way I'm staying here. This is Pinkie's town, and she's its party pony. What on earth would a town do with two party ponies anyway?

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