• Published 17th Nov 2014
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You Are Normal Too - Never2muchpinkie



When mother and daughter get into a fight over a misunderstanding their reconciliation leads to the reveal of Dinky's father, a cruel stallion who broke Derpy's heart. Can Derpy put her past regrets behind to find love and romance in the present?

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Chapter 11: Public declaration of love.

Dinky gently hummed to herself, happily moving up and down on the chair in front of the mirror. Today was the big day. The six month anniversary of her mom and Doctor Hooves.

Derpy giggled. “Come on, munchkin,” she said, laughing. “Settle down so I can do your mane.”

“Sorry, mom,” she said, laughing back. “I’m just excited.” She made herself sit still, but she only stayed that way for a few seconds before she began kicking her hooves, a bright smile on her face.

“Sheesh, Dinky. I feel like you’re more excited about this than I am.” Taking a spray bottle she spritzed Dinky’s mane a few times before running it through with a comb over and over until it laid flat, and then she combed it backwards and put a hair band in it. “Are you sure I can’t tempt you with the one that has bunny ears on it?”

“No way!” Dinky said, snickering.

“Awww, but you would look so adorable in it!”

“No!”

“Killjoy.” She put a few hairclips in Dinky’s mane that had flower tops. Next she put a little bit of blush on both of her cheeks. “There you go. Now you look so pretty!”

“My turn!” said Dinky.

“Yes, dear. Your turn.” She rolled her eyes with a smirk, saying, “Oh, brother. Here we go. Maybe I should get Rarity to do it.”

“Hey!” Dinky replied, playfully mad. “I can do it.”

“Alright.”

With a little bit of work Dinky began to comb her mom’s mane in the same style as hers. She took a little longer because she wasn’t as experienced but in the end she managed to get it to look right after a few little errors. Along with the blush she carefully put some eye shadow on her mom’s eyelids.

Going to the bed both of them picked up the dresses they had worn to Berry Punch’s wedding. They each picked up a necklace of several different kinds of flowers, placing them around each other’s necks.

When that was finished Dinky sat on her mom’s lap and looked at the two of them in the mirror. “Heh heh. We almost look like twins!”

“Well, you are my daughter, after all.”

“We look really good, don’t we?”

“Irresistible and lovely, my little darling. You should watch out. You might catch the eye of an interested colt on your way to the restaurant.”

“Yuck!” Dinky said, sticking out her tongue in disgust, but then giving a big toothy smile. “Well, I know you’re gonna have the highest standards for any colt who is interested in me.”

“You bet I will.”

“Besides, this night is all about you and Doctor Hooves. I think it’s going to be fun to go to a fancy restaurant.”

“You better behave yourself in there, Dinky. It isn’t often we get to do high-class things like this.”

“I know, Mom. I will. I wouldn’t want to ruin your date. This is a big night for you two. Half a year already. It feels like it’s gone so fast.”

“Same here.” Derpy felt a tender tear come down her face as she looked at the two of them in the mirror. She almost never had a chance to fancy herself up. That sort of thing was reserved only for special occasions like this one. “Thank you, Dinky. I couldn’t have done all this without you.”

Dinky moved her head back, nuzzling her mom’s chest a little. “Hey, give yourself some credit. He never would have noticed you if you weren’t pretty and smart and amazing and a good pony. I think you two are perfect together.”

“I appreciate it, Dinky, but you’re gonna mess up your mane if you keep doing that. We want to make a good impression when we get there.”

“Oh, right. Sorry.”

Derpy grabbed the hairbrush as she pushed her daughter forward a little, combing her mane back into place. “There we go. Perfect again.” She looked at the clock. “He should be here soon.”

As if on cue they heard the sound of knocking on the front door.

“Well, Dinky, let’s go blow him away.”

Dinky gave a mischievous giggle. “One last finishing touch first.”

“What’s that?” she replied.

“Wait right here.” She ran from the room. About twenty seconds later she came back, holding a small bottle.

“What’s that, Dinky?”

“I’ve been saving up my allowance because I want this night to go perfect for you. I got you some really nice smelling perfume. I’m sorry it doesn’t smell like muffins, though.” She snickered.

“Perfume?” Derpy said, surprised. She hadn’t even considered that. “Aw, Dinky. That money is for YOU, to get what YOU want.”

“And I WANT to make you happy! The guy at the shop was so nice. When I told him I wanted to get something nice for my mommy’s special date he gave me a twenty five percent discount on it. Being young and adorable does have its perk, you know.” She did a fancy mane sweep and posed before breaking off into hysterical giggles.

Derpy couldn’t help joining in. “You’re the best, Dinky.” Walking over to the filly she took the bottle, opening it and giving it a quick sniff before spritzing herself a few times. After only a few seconds a soft, flowery aroma filled up the room. Derpy took a deep sniff of it, and it made her feel calm and relaxed. “Wow,” she said dreamily. “This smells wonderful.”

“Why wouldn’t it smell great? Did you think I was gonna give you “aroma of outhouse” or something?”

“Point taken, muffin. Now, let us go. He’s waiting.”

The two of them walked downstairs, opening the front door.

When Doctor Hooves opened the front door his jaw dropped as she saw how beautiful the pair looked, the flowers he was carrying dropping out of his hoof. He caught the aroma of daffodils and roses, and inhaled it eagerly. “Wow…” He shook his head slowly. “Derpy. I… I don’t know what to say. You… you look so beautiful tonight. Beyond my wildest dreams.”

Derpy blushed deeply, grinning at him. “Thank you.” She looked him up and down, seeing him wearing a tuxedo that covered the front half of his body and a small top hat. “You don’t look too bad yourself.”

He continued staring at her, enraptured by her beauty, until he realized how rude he was being. Giving a nervous giggle he said, “I’m sorry.”

Derpy’s face was beet red, but she still couldn’t suppress her smile. “I’m flattered,” she said as she gave him a light kiss, “that I’m so beautiful you can’t keep your eyes off me. I worked hard for this look.”

“And I helped!” Dinky said joyfully, jumping up and down a few times.

Doctor Hooves patted her head. “Well, how could I forget about you, Dinky? You look just as beautiful as your mother. Give or take a few years and you’ll have to be beating colts off left and right.”

Dinky shrugged. “I’ll just tell them my mom won’t allow me to date until I graduate high school.”

“High school?” Derpy said sternly. “More like never! I’ll lock you in the basement until you’re an old hag and no one will want you.”

“Yeah, okay. Suuuure, Mom.” Dinky rolled her eyes before chuckling. The other two joined in.

When they stopped Doctor Hooves took one of Derpy’s hooves and lifted it up, giving it a kiss. “This is going to be a great night. I can just feel it.”

“Well, I think it’s great that I get to try fancy dining for once. I can’t wait to see the selection. I bet it’s gonna be out of this world.”

“I sure hope so.”

“So what tastes good there?” she asked as she headed toward the door and the two of them went outside, Dinky following behind them.

“Well, I’m not too sure. I rarely go out to fancy dinners myself. I just want this to be a really special occasion for a very special mare.”

“I’ve got you by my side,” Derpy said, nuzzling his face with hers. “That already makes this a very special occasion.”

He grinned at her. “Flattery will get you nowhere.”

“Fine, then.” She gave him a peck on the cheek. “How about that?”

He grinned. “Well, that will certainly get you one back.” He pecked her on the cheek.

The three of them arrived at the restaurant a few minutes later. They went up to the pony at the entrance. “Hello,” said the Doctor, “I have a reservation for Hooves.”

The pony looked down at the list. “Very good, sir,” he said in a dignified tone. “Follow me.”

“Whoa!” said Dinky, taking in the restaurant. It looked completely spotless, full of ponies of class and status. Potted plants were scattered around, along with statues, a fountain, paintings, and beautifully colored walls. A band was playing soft, classical music in the corner.

“Mind your enthusiasm, Dinky,” whispered Derpy. “We don’t want them to think we’re simple already.”

“Oh, right,” she responded. Putting on a regal voice she said, “What a charming little establishment, mother dear.”

Derpy had to put her hoof over her mouth to stifle a laugh. When the moment passed she said, “Quite, Dinky.”

The three of them all took a seat at the table. “Your waiter will be here shortly,” said the pony, giving a bow of the head before taking his leave.

As they were going through the menu another pony put a platter of bread and butter on their table.

“That looks good,” said Dinky, beginning to butter some bread.

“Don’t fill up on that,” said Derpy. “You’ll ruin your appetite.”

“Aw, I’m only having one piece.”

“I know, but this is our first time at a fancy restaurant. We should make the most of it.” She blushed and said in a quieter voice, “Especially with how much this is going to cost him.”

“I heard that,” said Doctor Hooves.

Derpy squeaked a little, blushing deeper. “I… I didn’t mean…”

“Derpy, Derpy, Derpy,” he said, shaking his head. “Stop worrying about the price tag so much. You and your daughter are worth every bit. Alright?”

“Okay.”

Dinky looked at her menu, an eyebrow going up. “Um, Mom?”

“Yes, Dinky?”

“Can you read this? Is this really our language?”

“It’s a fancy restaurant, Dinky. I’m not surprised their menus would be a little, um… fancied up.” She could barely read the writing herself. The letters were written with so many flourishes and embellishments they were almost unrecognizable.

Doctor Hooves felt himself sweating. They were already hitting a snag. He wanted everything to go right today. He had something really special planned later, and he wanted Derpy to be in the best of moods first.

When the waiter finally came the three of them were still more or less lost on what foods they were actually serving.

“Good afternoon,” said the gray earth pony. He was wearing a tuxedo shirt and a monocle in his eye. “Have you decided yet?”

Not wanting to look like idiots they each decided to just pick something at random.

As the waiter walked away Derpy said, “I wonder what I just ordered.”

“Same here,” said Dinky.

“Me three,” said Doctor Hooves. “Maybe fine dining isn’t our thing.”

“Well, we’re here now so let’s make the best of it. I’m so hungry I could eat just about anything.”

A short while later the waiter returned with their drinks. Dinky looked at it, wishing it was a strawberry shake like she always got at the Hay Burger. But this wasn’t about her tonight, so she wouldn’t complain.

The three of them mostly just stared at each other while they waited for their dinner’s to arrive. A part of them still wondered what kind of food they were about to have, but mostly they felt a bit diminished by the high class settings. They had no idea of what to talk about that fit that kind of establishment so an awkward silence reigned over the table.

They all felt relieved when the food finally arrived. The waiter set down three plates for them, bowing his head before saying, “Enjoy your meal.”

Derpy saw that she had gotten what looked like spaghetti and a salad. She could certainly deal with that. Picking up her fork she twirled it around, taking a bite. “Mmm!” she said in delight. “This is delicious! The best spaghetti I’ve ever had.”

Doctor Hooves gave a sigh of relief. So far so good. He began to pick at his own meal, finding it to his satisfaction as well.

Dinky saw her mom and Doctor Hooves were enjoying their meals. She looked down at her own plate and looked at the bowl of what looked like some really thick, goopy soup. The smell wasn’t very appetizing, and she found herself just staring at it.

She didn’t look up until their waiter returned a few minutes later. “Excuse me, young miss, but is something wrong with your soup?”

Dinky looked up at him, then towards her mom and Doctor Hooves. They were both halfway done with their meals, and now they were staring at her. She didn’t want to waste food, and especially when Doctor Hooves was going out of his way to pay for her as well.

Sticking her spoon into the bowl she said, “Not at all. Just, um… waiting until it cooled.” She jammed the spoon in her mouth and swallowed without a thought.

“Dinky, are you alright?” said Derpy. Her daughter had a look of disgust on her features, and she began dry-heaving.

“Young miss, are you ill?” As he saw the filly put a hoof over her mouth he felt a sense of dread. “Young mi-AHH!”

***

Twenty minutes later the trio left the restaurant. Dinky was holding her stomach as she walked. “That… was the worst, most horrible thing I ever tasted in my life,” she said with a groan.

“Well, I hope you’re feeling at least a little better,” said Derpy, holding onto Dinky.

Dinky looked up at her mom, tears forming in her eyes. “I’m sorry, mom. I didn’t mean to ruin your date.”

“It’s not your fault you couldn’t stomach that stuff. Besides, it wasn’t ALL bad. The look on that waiter’s face when you upchucked all over him was priceless.” She giggled.

Dinky tried to laugh too, but she was still feeling a little queasy. “I’ll be alright, but I doubt they’re ever gonna let us in there again.”

“Well, maybe that’s for the best. It certainly wasn’t as glamorous as I thought it would be. I guess we are just simple folks after all. Let’s go home and get out of these dresses, and then we can go to the Hay Burger. I think it’s appropriate. It is where I had my first official date, after all.”

Dinky perked up a little. “I could sure go for a nice shake right now to get the taste of that garbage out of my mouth.

“Doctor, are you up for it?”

“I guess so,” he said with a sigh. “I just wanted everything to go perfect today, and I ruined it!”

“Don’t say that,” said Dinky. “You and mom both had delicious dinners. I was the only one that got a dud.”

“Well, it’s not your fault either. Maybe if we could have actually understood the menu better you could have gotten something you enjoyed too.”

“At least they didn’t charge you for my meal.”

Doctor Hooves sadly plodded along, wondering if his plans were ruined already. How was he supposed to put his scheme into motion now? If he wanted any chance of it working Derpy had to be in the best of moods, but now she was worried about her child and thinking about how much of a simple pony she was.

Arriving at Derpy’s house the two females went inside. Doctor Hooves waited outside, sitting against the wall of the house. They were going to the Hay Burger. There was still time to salvage their date. Yes, there was nothing to be worried about.

Mother and daughter came out of the house a few minutes later, and Doctor Hooves got to his hooves. They had taken off the dresses and makeup, but kept their hairstyles. “Better now?” he asked, trying to sound cheery.

“NO!” said Dinky. “I want my shake. I need to wash that awful goop down with something delicious, so can we hurry up?”

“Oh, sure,” Doctor Hooves replied, snickering a little. “Fine, then. How about a brisk trot to the restaurant? Let’s get that blood pumping.”

“Sounds fine to me,” said Derpy. “Nothing wrong with a little exercise.”

Dinky nodded. “Let’s do it.” She took off running, Derpy and Doctor Hooves not far behind.

The three of them all kept pace with each other, their heart rates going up as the memories of the restaurant washed away. By the time they arrived all three of them were panting and a little sweaty but they felt so alive.

Dinky finally got her shake, and began to spoon it down gratefully. “Mmmmmm! Now that hits the spot.”

Derpy wasn’t feeling that hungry, having finished most of her meal at the restaurant , so she just got a shake as well. The Doctor followed suit. Each of them got a different flavor. Dinky got strawberry, Derpy got vanilla, and the Doctor got chocolate.

As Derpy spooned bits of ice cream into her mouth she looked over at Doctor Hooves, a dreamy smile on her face. “You know, I don’t care one bit about the 'fancy' life. I don’t see what’s so special about it. What’s the most important thing to me is being happy, and for that the only 'things' I need aren’t things at all. They’re my two most favorite ponies in the whole world: you and Dinky.

“This is where it all began: You and me; my desire to begin changing. All of it started here, on our first official date together. If you hadn’t invited us to that Apple charity event, and if Dinky hadn’t used her little silver tongue to convince me to go, I might have still been lonely and miserable.

“Close your eyes, Doctor. I want to give you something.”

He complied, eager for his reward. He pushed his head up, waiting for her kiss. He squealed like a filly when he felt something ice cold on his nose. Opening his eyes he saw a nice glob of ice cream sitting on his snout.

Derpy laughed her head off. “Oh, boy! I can’t believe you fell for that AGAIN! I thought you would have learned after the last time I got you. I mean, it was right here in this very restaurant.” She wiped away the tears that had formed from laughing so hard.

Doctor Hooves dipped his spoon into his own shake, flicking a spoonful at her. It landed near the top of her snout, near her eyes.

Dinky was having trouble not bursting out loud. “You two are acting like children! How many times did you tell me not to play with my fo-AH!” Dinky recoiled a bit as a glob of ice cream hit her in the forehead.

“Oh, lighten up, Dinky,” said Derpy with a huge smile. “I’m having fun.”

Dinky grabbed her spoon, ready to get into a food battle right there if that’s what her mom wanted, but she changed her mind. She didn’t want to waste her shake. It was too delicious. Grabbing a napkin she wiped her forehead off. “The next thing I know the two of you are going to jump into the ball pit again.” With a loud slurp she drank the melted portion of her shake.

“I might be up for that,” said Derpy with a wicked grin. “But first things first.” Leaning over she kissed Doctor Hooves before sucking the ice cream off his snout.

It was certainly an odd sensation, and he backed off after a second before returning the favor to her, making her laugh.

“Ah, it’s so much fun being here. Who cares about those uptight 'fancy' establishments? I’d rather be able to play around with my two favorite ponies.” Leaning over to both sides she gave both Dinky and Doctor Hooves a kiss.

“Here, here,” said Dinky. “I never wanna eat there again. I’ll take a shake any day over whatever was in that soup.” She gave her mom a kiss. “I love you too, mom.”

“Sad to say, but I guess I agree too,” said Doctor Hooves. “Sometimes the simple things are best. Fine dining doesn’t seem to be our thing.”

He began laughing. “I got a good idea.”

“What’s that?” asked Derpy.

He dipped his spoon in his shake, pushing a spoonful toward Derpy’s mouth. “Come on. Open up for the choo-choo train,” he said in a baby voice.

“Excuse me?” she said, in a fake offended voice.

“If you’re going to act like a child I’m gonna treat you like a child. Now open up for your num-num’s.”

“Nyeh!” Derpy cried out, whining like a foal as she moved her head from side to side. “No! I no want it.”

Dinky buried her head in her hooves, blushing like crazy and hoping nobody was looking, but at the same time she couldn’t help laughing at how ridiculous the two of them could be when they were together. “Oh, come on!” she finally said. “What kind of kid would refuse ice cream?”

Derpy moved her eyes over to Dinky. “Spoilsport,” she said with a giggle before opening her mouth and eating the spoonful. “Your turn.” She dipped her own spoon into her shake and he ate his without any fanfare.

As he swallowed he jerked with surprise as Derpy kissed him hard on the lips again. “So wasteful,” she said happily. “Leaving all that yumminess behind.”

He smiled coyly at her. “I think you left a few spots behind as well. I better take care of that.” He began kissing her cheeks before winding up at her mouth.

When they broke apart the two of them just looked into each other’s eyes lovingly. Taking his hoof in hers Derpy said in a serious voice, “Thank you, Doctor. I know the beginning was a bit of a disaster, but I’m really having a lot of fun just being here with you. Thank you for being so patient with me.”

“Of course,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but here either.” The two of them met lips one more time. This time it wasn’t about desire or passion or fun, but simply out of sheer affection for each other.

“Awww,” Dinky said quietly, warm tears coming down her eyes as she saw the two of them. She just loved to see her mom happy.

When they broke apart Derpy had a few tender tears coming down her own eyes. “Thank you,” she said again, rubbing his cheek. “I mean it from the bottom of my heart.”

“You’re welcome,” he said, rubbing her cheek as well. “I also mean that from the bottom of my heart. That’s why… I can’t wait anymore.”

“Wait for what?” she asked, her head tilting.

“I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity, and now is the best time. If I let this chance pass me by I don’t know when the next one will be.”

“What are you talking about?”

Doctor Hooves stared at Derpy, his mind churning and his heart burning. He was more scared than he had ever been in his life, but the date was almost over, and Derpy was clearly in a great mood. If he didn’t do this now who knew when the next opportunity would come.

He jumped up onto the table, summoning up all the courage he had as he put his hooves over his mouth and yelled out, “Attention! Attention, everyone! I have an important announcement to make!”

Derpy felt a bit confused, wondering what he was up to. The twenty or so customers in the restaurant all turned to look at him.

Mumbled whisperings went through the crowd as he jumped down.

He felt his face getting hot. He felt the sweat forming on his body. But most of all he could feel the stare of Derpy, curiosity on her face just like the other ponies.

“Miss Derpy,” he started, “there is something important I need to discuss with you.”

“Now?” she asked, her eyes going to the crowd. “Can’t it wait until we’re alone? Why are you putting us under a spotlight?”

“Because I can’t wait anymore!” he said strongly as emotion colored his voice. “That’s why it has to be right here, and that’s why it has to be right now!”

Derpy looked around at the crowd of ponies again, feeling uncomfortable at all of them. “Why are you making a big production out of this?” she said, gulping. “If there was something you needed to say to me it isn’t the town’s business.”

“There is a reason I had to do it in a crowd. A very important reason.”

“And what would that be?” She sounded annoyed, but she was more anxious about where all of this was headed.

“So that I can’t escape.”

“What does that mean?”

“I’m not like Shooting Star. I don’t have a bunch of money and influence and power to hide behind to escape the consequences of my deeds. I’m just an ordinary pony, so everything I say here today needs to be said in front of witnesses, so that you know I’m telling the truth. If it got out that I lied and I broke your heart I would become the most hated pony in town.”

Derpy glanced around at the crowd of ponies again, seeing even the employees behind the counter as well as the children were all looking at her and him. “W-well, just get to the point, then! I don’t want to be part of a public display!”

“I know that, Derpy, and I’m sorry for it, but this was the only way I could think of… to show you just how sincere I am.”

She saw a tear come down his face, and for some reason it started to pull her attention away from the crowd and onto him. There was obviously something big he wanted to say, but she couldn’t imagine what.

“I’ve been with you for six months today. Six months. And just like you’ve said to me these have been the happiest months of my life. We’ve gotten very close over the past half year. I’ve shared your pain and gotten to know all the things that plague your heart. We’ve had spats and disagreements, but we’ve always come back together.

“You like to tell me that I can’t understand what you’ve gone through, because I haven’t experienced it myself. I have to agree with you on that… at least until last week.” A few more tears came down his face.

“When you had that nightmare where your ex came to take you back and then revealed it was only a cruel joke to hurt you a second time you were so freaked out you told me you wanted nothing more to do with me as a coltfriend. I can’t even describe that pain in words. It was like my soul was being crushed from the inside out. I was a mess the next few days. I could barely sleep. Unlike you I didn’t have a sweet little girl to distract myself with, so all I was left with was me and my sadness over the thought of losing you.

“When you came to me and told me about your dream and how a part of you still felt love for him I was mad, until you told me you still wanted us to be together. I was very happy about that, but it was also a very sobering moment, because I knew that at any time, at any point, you could leave me, and there would be nothing I could do to stop it. Because it is your life, and it is your choice.

"I’ve strained my brain over and over until it hurts, trying to figure out a way to help you get over what ails you, but in the end I could only come up with one thing. And that’s why I’m here today. That’s why I’ve been a nervous wreck all throughout the night: because everything was leading up to this moment.

“I’m scared, Derpy. I love you! I love you so much! And I don’t want to lose you. I know you feel the same. I know you’re scared too. So… so why don’t we just stop being scared?”

“You talk like it’s so easy!” Derpy sniffed, a few tears coming down her eyes now. “I’ve tried! I’ve done my best with what I have. What more do you want from me? I can’t do any more. I thought you understood that.”

“Still, I’d like to try. I’m hoping that with a single question… I can put an end to both our fears.”

“What?” Derpy said emotionally. “What could you possibly ask that could help me now?” She threw her hooves around the sides of her head. “I can’t take anymore. Just ask your stupid question.”

Doctor Hooves lifted his hoof, going to the pocket of his tuxedo. “Miss Derpy?”

“What? What is it?”

Pulling his hoof out of his jacket he took out a small box. Leaning down on one of his back legs he opened the box, revealing a ring with a topaz jewel in it. “Will you marry me?”

A gasp went throughout the crowd. Dinky just blinked in surprise.

Derpy’s eyes went wide, her hooves falling from her face, then her back half falling to the ground, unable to keep upright. That was the last thing she expected today. “Do…d-d-d-d-do you r-really mean that?” she asked in a croaky voice.

“Yes! That’s why I had to do this in the crowd. Right here and now I’m pledging myself to you. I promise you all I have. I will always strive to make you happy and give you the best life ever. And if I ever fail to live up to my vows there’s a whole crowd of witnesses who can ensure I won’t get away with it.

“Derpy, I’m not the best with words, but I want you! I want you and no one else. You scared me. You’ve made me feel more afraid than anything else I’ve ever felt in my life. The thought of you leaving me is terrifying, because no mare has captured my heart like you.”

Tears came down his eyes again. “The thought of you being all alone again hurts, because I want to be there to fill up that void in your heart. The thought of you returning to the ex who abandoned you when you were pregnant hurts, because I don’t think he could ever make you happy like I could. When I began to think of you finding happiness with another stallion, laughing and joking and doing the things we used do… that’s when I felt I finally understood… understood just a little bit of how it felt when you were dumped. I don’t want any other mare for my own. I want you, and only you.

“I never cared that your eyes don’t point the same way, or that you’re a little clumsy. We all have our faults and make mistakes. It’s a part of being a pony. However, you’re perfect in my eyes. You’re beautiful and smart and charming and a hard worker and a fantastic mother. You’re modest and honest and strive hard to do what you can to make a good life for your daughter. You have all the traits I’d ever want in my dream mare, so here I am, offering my heart to you in front of everyone.” He lifted the box with the ring up a little higher. “Please, Derpy. Let us both put the past and our fears to rest. Will you be mine, and make me the happiest stallion in Equestria?”

Derpy turned away, walking a few steps before stopping. “I certainly wasn’t expecting this on our anniversary. You make a grand gesture after getting everyone’s attention on you, doing something to make yourself look like a great stallion? This reminds me just like when I first met HIM.” She stomped her hoof on the ground. “Why do there have to be so many darn parallels between you and Shooting Star?”

“Derpy, I’m not doing this for attention, or to make myself look good! I told you already that I’m doing this in front of everyone so I can’t escape from my pledge. Anything I say in private I could deny later on if I ever broke your heart. Not that I want to in the first place, but you don’t know that.

“You’re afraid of me and of love somewhere in your heart because he abandoned you when you needed him the most. He told you to your face he was only using you and then left you when he had no further use for you. That’s why you’re so reluctant to trust me. That’s why you’re so scared to give yourself completely to me.

"After thinking about things I knew that there was only one way that I could earn your complete trust, and that was to publicly show my commitment to you in front of everyone to prove to you that I’m not a phony. I’m not going to run away from this. I want us to be together forever, and I don’t want to see you with another stallion. I don’t want to share your love with another guy. I want it all for myself. In the same way I know you feel much like I do. You don’t want me to leave you either. We’re both afraid, and I can’t bear the thought of a life without you by my side.

“I don’t care what anyone says. You’re not worthless. You’re not ugly or stupid. You’re not weak. You’re not a freak. You’re beautiful, and I want to show how much I love you every day. Please be mine, and I’ll never let you regret it.”

Derpy still wouldn’t look at him. His heart was going a mile a minute as he waited for her response.

Dinky held onto Doctor Hooves. This was what the past half-year had led up to. Now her mom could be happy all the time. She knew the Doctor was perfect for her mom.

Seconds passed by, and now everyone was looking at Derpy, eager for her response.

“No,” came the quiet voice of Derpy.

“N-no?” Doctor Hooves said, his heart sinking.

“Isn’t that exactly what you said to me a few days ago, when I was begging you for love and affection and you just walked away?”

Doctor Hooves winced. “Yes, Derpy, but that was because-”

“I’m speaking!” she said, interrupting him. “After I took things out on you because of a nightmare I told you we were breaking up, but a few days later I wanted to make things right between us. Even though I was a little scared of you I still wanted our reunion to be special. I wanted you to still love me, and I wanted to do something romantic with you. I was enjoying myself a lot, but you pulled away. You left me when I wanted you to stay, when I wanted to continue what we were doing.”

Dinky couldn’t understand what her mom was going on about. Her mom had been grateful before that he had stopped, and now she was flip-flopping. Either way, she didn’t like where this was going.

Doctor Hooves felt his heart breaking. Not only was she turning him down it sounded like she was about to dump him on top of it.

Derpy finally turned her head, tears pouring down her eyes, a warm smile on her face. “I never did thank you for that, did I?”

“Huh?” came his confused response.

Turning her body to face him she began walking back towards him. “It was your perfect opportunity. I was weak… I was vulnerable… I wasn’t thinking right. I was throwing myself at you and eager to push our relationship further than we had before. You were the one with the good sense to pull away and tell me no. You didn’t just give in to your own body like I was doing. You knew me better than I did. All it would have taken was to give in. With a few choice words and a few kisses on my most sensitive spots I would have melted in your hooves and probably done anything you wanted.

“It was your best chance. If what you wanted was to take advantage of me you sure did a terrible job of taking such a prime opportunity. So I guess there are only two possibilities. Either you’re overly cautious… or maybe you truly are the stallion I’ve dreamed of my whole life. Everything I’ve ever wanted I’ve found in you. You make me feel safe. You’re patient with my wacky mind and my hectic life. You’re loving without ever pushing things or making me uncomfortable. I saw it as your friend, and even more as your girlfriend. Time and time again you’ve proven yourself to me, and that was the biggest one of all.

“I thought it was what I wanted at that point, but it really wasn’t. I was being foolish, and you stopped me because you knew I’d regret it later. You didn’t just give in to me, because you knew it wasn’t the right time for it.”

Standing in front of him now she placed a kiss on his forehead. “To think… t-t-to think that one day a mare like ME would ever get married.”

“Derpy!” he said happily, finally perking up again. “Do you really mean it?”

Putting her hoof down she lifted up the ring, placing it around her neck. “Yes! Yes, I do. I love you, Doctor Hooves, and I’m honored to be your fiancé.”

He got up quickly, happy tears coming down his face as the two of them hugged.

Cheers went out through the crowd, all of them stomping their hooves on the ground.

Derpy began sobbing. “I-I-I’m going to be a bride!”

Doctor Hooves couldn’t contain it either. He was sobbing too. “And I’m going to be a husband!”

Dinky could barely see through the tears. Finally! Finally her mom was heading towards the true happiness she had always deserved. She put her hoof over her heart, joy radiating through her being. “Way to go, Doctor! You finally did it.”

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