• Published 27th Apr 2014
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Friendship Harder: Collected Microfiction - KwirkyJ

Collection of stories too short to publish individually. There is ostensibly no consistent underlying theme.

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No, We're Outta Bear Claws! [Comedy]

Donut Joe smiled as he set the parcel on the counter.

"Here you go, Miss Rarity. Two dozen. Some glazed, some frosted and sprinkled — extra sprinkles for the little guy — some jelly-filled, some Bavarian Cream-filled, some apple fritters, and a bear claw. If you don’t mind me asking, who’s getting the bear claw?"

Rarity laughed.

"Oh, that will go to Pinkie Pie. Fluttershy always orders one, but she never can bring herself to eat them."

"Heh, those are some great friends you have, Miss Rarity. Crazy, sure, but great friends."

"You don’t have to tell me, Mister Joe. How how much will that be?"

"Nothing," he said, waving his hoof. "They’re on the house."

Rarity started.

"That’s very generous of you Joe, but I insist I pay for these. You have a business to manage!"

"And I insist that you don’t owe a bit. Thanks to your suggestion about wearing a tux, I’ve gotten a higher-class clientele!" He gestured to the tuxedo bib and bow-tie around his neck. He leaned a bit closer and winked. "It’s not real, of course, it’s still too messy back here for that."

Rarity chuckled again, looking away slightly.

"Well, that’s very generous of you to say so, Mister Joe, but I must pay a fair price for these."

"Please, Miss Rarity, take them. My way of saying thanks."

"I can’t, really—"

"As a gift, Miss Rarity. Please."

"No, I couldn’t possibly…"

Rarity stopped, suddenly. Her eyes flicked to Donut Joe, to the box of donuts, and back to Donut Joe again. He simply stood there, smiling gently.

Joe was suddenly very aware of the look Rarity was giving him. The counter-top between them suddenly felt very small.

"Miss Rarity? Is something the matter?"

"I…" Rarity looked directly into his eyes with what seemed some difficulty. "Mister Joe, I… That is…"

"Did I say something wrong?"

Joe thought, is she blushing under that white fur?

Rarity shook her head slightly, seeming to start over.

"Mister Joe, when you say, ‘gift’…"

"They’re on the house, yours. My pleasure." Joe didn’t understand why she was making such a great deal out of this.

Rarity collected herself, taking a breath.

"Joe, there’s… Well, there’s a tradition surrounding gift-giving, do you know?"

He chuckled.

"Birthdays, Hearth-Warming, and Heart-and-Hooves and anniversaries for the lucky ones."

"Yes," Rarity said, gently, "and there’s another one. About gifts related directly to your Cutie Mark?"

"Can’t say that I know that one, Miss Rarity."

Rarity seemed to be unsure weather to be relieved or disappointed.

"Is… Is there a problem, Miss Rarity?"

"Donut Joe, I suppose it is a tradition that has fallen out of favour, but there was at one time a very romantic tradition surrounding such gifts. Gifts in the form of one’s Cutie Mark, that is. In a case such as this—" she gestured to the box of donuts "—it might be taken that you would have been interested in… well…"

Rarity trailed off, leaving the rest of the sentence to echo unsaid in the otherwise empty shop. It was quite deafening.

Donut Joe felt an intense plume of heat erupt in his cheeks.

"Would you… like to sit down?" Rarity offered.

Joe’s hindquarters abruptly encountered the tiles. He was very suddenly looking everywhere but at Rarity.

"You didn’t know…" Rarity said, trying to be helpful. "Well, it IS an old tradition. Very old. I’d be surprised if more than a handful of all but the most sophisticated ponies are aware of it."

Joe gulped. He looked down at his Cutie Mark: a frosted and sprinkled donut.

Joe lived in Canterlot, the pinnacle of government and culture in all of Equestria. He worked in Canterlot, making and selling donuts. His tux appearance had brought in a lot of new, ‘sophisticated’ customers.

And Joe was a very generous pony.

"That…" Joe said, in between opening and closing his jaw a few times. "That might explain my mountain of mail last Hearts-and-Hooves day."

Rarity stared at him.

"Oh, my."

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