• Published 11th Feb 2015
  • 363 Views, 7 Comments

Third Gear OSS: Sharing Hearts Is Magic - BNuts

It's the first Heart's and Hooves Day since the Crystal Heart was restored, and possible couples across Equestria are taking advantage of the day!

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In the Morning: Dawn Shadow and Thirdson Gearhead

Gearhead flew at high speed and high altitude, his twin-core Alicorn Engine leaving its double-tail trail of turquoise particle behind him. The Engine was made of two mid-sized cones that housed seven pure gemstone rings, each narrower than the last until you got to the last one, which was itself a cone. The rings spun, generating the energy Gearhead needed for flight and defense, and even the twin-core's weapon system, which had not been a feature of his single-core prototype.

It was, of course, possible for Gearhead to fly faster than he was going now, but that would take the use of his full-armour stabilizer, which when docked and fully deployed around the Engine, nearly tripled his size. The armour and arms would be vastly inappropriate for the date he was going on this Hearts and Hooves Day, so he left the full-armour behind in favour of the mini-stabilizer. It still had pylons that docked directly to the Engine's cores, but it was much smaller, so while the speed and power boost was also smaller than with the full-armour, Gearhead still flew faster than he did with just the Alicorn Engine. And he was eager to see Dawn again.

Dawn Shadow was the second-born daughter of the Third Conclave of Flowing Shadows, the ancient Unicorn House that lived near Hoofington in Western Equestria. She had a pale blonde coat, a white flowing mane, and stunning amethyst eyes, but what Gearhead cared about most was her limitless compassion, and how she did not seem to care that he was an Earth Pony, or even how unusual he was.

Gearhead had grown up nearby, at Verdant Fields. In order to learn enough about his powers to gain control over them, he went to study first at the Library of the Azure Wing, and then at the Hidden Library where the proud Unicorns of the Conclave learned their magic. Every Unicorn who saw him, or even heard of him, approached the brown-coated, rust-red maned Earth Pony to ask about his power, his odd shoes, and why he was studying magic -- all except for Dawn, and her big brother Dusk. These two, who would become two of the most powerful magi of their generation within the Conclave, only cared about approaching Gearhead as a friend.

They had studied magic together -- Dusk, Dawn, Gearhead, and anypony who cared to join them -- helping each other understand the different facets and procedures involved in spellcasting with their different perspectives. What they had not known then was how deep Discord's involvement in their lives went, even before he had gotten loose again, and Gearhead confronted him directly with the Elemental Six. It was Discord who was responsible for planting the seeds that made it impossible for Gearhead to farm, while he gained instead a power that needed near-constant study to control.

As for Dawn, an affinity for Light and Wind Magic was practically unheard of within the Conclave of Flowing Shadows before her. As the name implied, they tended to specialize in Dark/Shadow and Water/Ice Magic, the same types of magic with which Dusk, with his jet-black coat, dark blue mane, and dark purple eyes, was so proficient. Although Dawn was practically the opposite of what was to be expected of a Shadow Conclave Unicorn, she was not shunned or avoided. Her family still gave her their unconditional support, and probably would have even if she had not proven to be as powerful as she was. It was this unconditional love that Dawn passed forward to the others in her lives. It was like a light living within her, and it seemed to shine on all that surrounded her.

Gearhead spotted the hillock where he and Dawn had agreed to meet, and went into a controlled dive to get in close before he landed. He used the Heads-Up Display in his flight glasses to zoom in. Even in the pre-dawn darkness, he could see that the mare had not yet arrived, but that was okay. As he got close, Gearhead flipped his body so he was leading with his tail. He swiveled the cones on their actuators where they were mounted to the harness at his shoulders, so he maintained full control as he oriented himself. While they were pointed at the ground to slow him down for a few seconds, he had them pointing out to the sides for his final landing.

As soon as he was on solid ground, Gearhead put the Engines into Standby Mode, and then shrugged out of the harness before propping his glasses up on his forehead. Then he turned to watch the sun rise and wait under the shimmering aurora from Crystal City. Princess Celestia seldom disappointed, raising the sun exactly on time -- and since Gearhead awakened before the dawn most days, he ought to know. But this morning another phenomenal sight appeared at the same time to make even the sun seem dim by comparison. Gearhead had to nod his head quickly to knock his glasses back into place to avoid being blinded.

Dawn seemed to fly out of the sun, and she came to land right in front of Gearhead. "Too much?" She asked. With her ears folded shyly down, a slight blush to her cheeks, and the gesture of nervously pawing at the ground, it was definitely too much for Gearhead. He didn't know whether to laugh or just fall over, but his glasses fell off his face just with the effort to suppress it all. "Hey, don't laugh!"

"But Dawn, you're just too cute, even when you're making an entrance!" She was one of the only ponies around whom Gearhead felt comfortable enough to speak using contractions. Usually he was too focused on expressing his modestly, and even thought without them. It was his easiest, and to some his most annoying, mark of being the Black Sheep, the only Verdant who could not farm at all.

"Well, then I might just stop trying,"

"Don't be sore, you'll get it eventually," Gearhead came up and hugged her gently. "Good morning."

"Good morning. Well then, lets see what you have planned for our date,"

"Oh, it's nothing special," Gearhead grinned. He put the Engine back on (he could not just leave it there), and Dawn teleported them into the city.

From the outset, their date really was not anything special, at least not in practice. Prior to this, Gearhead had little romantic experience at all. His most memorable dates (when he had allows himself to go on dates) consisted of taking Fluttershy to an area in the Everfree Forest that was almost entirely covered in flowers. Because of how the large flower that acted as the area's centerpiece was shaped, Fluttershy called it the Butterfly Glade. While the Pegasus mare had enjoyed just sitting there enjoying the ambiance, or taking in the scents of all the different flowers (which Gearhead still mixed up), not everypony would enjoy that sort of thing as a pass-time. And Gearhead had to admit that after years of not seeing each other at all, and then seeing each other only briefly or in passing in recent years, he knew next to nothing about Dawn's tastes.

They had breakfast at a little diner for breakfast, went to an art gallery, and saw a short show. They were all activities that were fairly standard for a date, and except for the ponies doing it, it seemed like there was nothing special about the day at all. "Alright," Dawn said with a sly expression on her face. "We've done all the things normal couples do. Now lets do something only we can do."

"Let me see..." Gearhead put hoof to chin as he pondered, or pretended to, because he already had an idea. He led Dawn outside where the sky was clear all around them, and then he turned and wrapped his legs tightly around her. The Engines cores came up form where they had been hanging like small saddlebags, oriented to both sides, and spun up, throwing their energy all around the couple. Even as Gearhead condensed it into a protective field around himself and Dawn, he started to lift off, and then they were increasing speed, and flying out over the city.

Gearhead changed his flight angle so Dawn could see the city below, and the ponies all around going about their business or pointing up at them. "Now this is how to see a whole city," Dawn said.

"You have yet to see anything, Princess." Gearhead spun them about, and Dawn gasped a little, looking up as they dove upward into the sky. There were some light clouds, so Gearhead took them between the vapours, closely enough that Dawn reached out and touched them with a hoof. And then she was spitting and huffing.

"One went up my nose!" She said, indignant. "Come on, we have to show that impertinent cloud what happens when it does that," she said, tugging at him.

"Alright, alright. Settle so I don't drop you, please."

"I'm not worried about you not catching me,"

"Of course you aren't: your father would kill me if I missed." But Gearhead came around anyway, and at Dawn's direction, cleared the clouds with a swift kick from his rear hooves, like a Pegasus on the weather team.

"Okay, I'm ready: show me more!"

"As you wish," Gearhead said, oriented them almost vertically. He watched Dawn's expression as they kept accelerating without turning, and then as he snapped both cores into position so they were oriented directly down.

"Uh-oh,"~ Dawn sang out playfully. Underneath his glasses, Gearhead winked.

And then, in a double-ring of suddenly-massive particle thrust, they jumped upward. They blasted right through magi-sound barrier after barrier, protected by Gearhead's particle field and Dawn's reflexive defensive magic. Despite that protection and the lessening of the G-forces against them, Gearhead noticed that Dawn ended up squeezing her eyes shut at some point.

"You're going to want to see this," Gearhead said as he slowed them to a near-hover.

Dawn gasped at the sight of the illuminated world spread out below them, the sparsely star-spangled void above and all around them, and the brilliant sun that seemed to split the two. "It's so beautiful!"

"But we're not here just to stare, are we? Come, lets do something nopony else can."

"I thought we already were!"

"To quote a certain Apple, 'nope!'" Gearhead wrapped his tail around Dusk's, and gently put his forehooves to hers when she held them out, and started to gently spin them both using the Engine for a little thrust here or there so they would stay floating together, still protected by that turquoise field. Dawn soon realized what they were doing, and laughed, gamely putting her own effort into their gliding, spinning movement.

"If only we had music," she said.

"Hey, I'm working on it."

Dawn had to laugh at that. "You can never let it rest, can you?"

"Of course not: there's no 'perfection,' only 'better.'"

"I'll remember that."


"For when you claim to be perfectly happy, of course!"

"What about you?"

"Oh, I'll be careful enough not to use 'perfect,'" Dawn nuzzled his ear lightly. "But I am happy you brought me here."

"Are you worried about getting back down?"

"Should I be?"

Gearhead grinned, wrapping his forelegs around Dawn tightly again. "We have this," he said, and the Engines flared brilliantly, pushing them back up toward their world.

Author's Note:

I'd originally planned for Dawn to talk Gearhead through an issue about balancing his role with his happiness, but not only is there no room, the mood's too good for me to want to spoil it.

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