• Published 7th Aug 2015
  • 1,227 Views, 67 Comments

Civilization: The World on your Hooves - SterlingC

Button Mash starts a new kind of game he never intended to play. One that forces him to start from almost nothing. Thankfully, he's not alone.

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Chapter 8: Beauty and the Gamer

Author's Note:

May have accidentally pressed "Unpublish" while on my phone, so sorry if you guys are seeing this chapter republished again.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Sweetie Belle hasn’t it? Well, it certainly felt like it. After you complete your turn in the ‘Total War Series’, you get to see the other empires making their own moves to strengthen their own positions in the world. Now that Button Mash has completed his turn with Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, let us see what Sweetie Belle’s been up to before and during her encounter with Button Mash on a sunny Sunday afternoon…

Sweetie Belle rolled and tumbled on her bed on a Saturday afternoon that was rapidly fading. She wrestled with herself and all the thoughts that swirled through her mind. All of her thoughts were closely linked to the one colt who wiggled into her life: Button Mash.

“Why is it me who has to befriend him first?! Why can’t it be the other Crusaders?! They’re the ones who are judging him so badly over just a milkshake shenanigan! I know he’s weird, but he’s still a nice colt!” Sweetie Belle grunted.

“What about the other colts?! Maybe they like video games like him! I’ve never even SEEN anypony play video games, let alone PLAY one! What makes it worse is that the princess from his new game looks just like me, or so he says! What’s THAT supposed to mean?!” Sweetie Belle shouted, her frustrations beginning to overflow.

“Ugggghhh!!! Can things get any worse for me?!” Sweetie Belle’s frustration grew, now screaming with her head on her pillow and punching it as hard as she could.

Near Sweetie Belle’s room, Rarity was hard at work in her workshop on her latest orders from Sapphire Shores of Manehattan. Her recent successes with Sapphire Shores’ outfits, largely thanks to Sweetie Belle’s addition of a dolphin, gave her a lucrative fashion deal for a whole series of dresses for the upcoming season.

Her work was soon interrupted when she heard loud screams coming directly from Sweetie Belle’s room. Worried about her well-being, Rarity rushed out of her workshop, through the upstairs hallways, and into Sweetie Belle’s room. Rarity immediately ran to Sweetie Belle’s side, placing her hooves around her back and gently patting her.

“Hush, hush Sweetie Belle… I’m here now dear…” Sweetie Belle’s pouts and grunts soon became laydowns and tears.

“Now Sweetie Belle… what happened?” Rarity asked with as sisterly a voice she could. Sweetie Belle slowly looked up towards Rarity with the saddest face she could muster.

“It’s just… Button Mash…” Sweetie Belle struggled to speak her struggles within the tears she felt in her eyes and the confusion she felt in her heart and mind.

“Has Button Mash made fun of you dear?” Rarity calmly asked.

“No… In fact, he looks like a really good friend. But…” Sweetie Belle paused.

“But what darling?” Rarity asked with increasing concern.

“It’s just… on Friday, The other Crusaders and I were enjoying a shake at Sugarcube Corner, and Button Mash wailed when he felt a brain freeze…” Sweetie Belle began to compose herself, despite the tears that fell down her wet eyes. Sweetie Belle gave out a sniffle before she continued.

“Then Applebloom and Scootaloo started grunting at him and making fun of him after Button Mash screamed out…” Sweetie Belle gave out another sniffle.

“I’m scared that they’ll make fun of me and Button… and that they’ll cut me off for being friends with him. I even had a scary dream about it…” Sweetie Belle raised out her hooves and gave Rarity a warm embrace, to which Rarity gave back as warmly as she could.

“Oh Sweetie… your friends won’t abandon you like that… All three of you were considered misfits before you met each other,” Rarity spoke in an assuring tone. Sweetie Belle hugged Rarity tighter as Rarity uttered her words of comfort.

“Sweetie Belle… they just need time to get used to him. They will get used to him in time. In the meantime, you can keep being his friend and standing up for him when he needs it,” Rarity continued with her advice. Sweetie Belle smiled. Her sister knew how to give advice.

“Thanks sis,” Sweetie Belle snuggled with Rarity.

“That’s what sisters are for dear,” Rarity snuggled Sweetie Belle back.

“Button Mash is coming over tomorrow afternoon Rarity. Will that be fine with you?” Sweetie Belle gently asked, her tears slowing fading from Rarity’s sisterly love.

“Certainly dear. You can have fun with him as long as you two don’t distract me too much from my work. I still have to finish off my new dresses for Sapphire Shores,” Rarity assured Sweetie Belle.

“Thanks sis,” Sweetie Belle smiled and nodded.

“You’re welcome dear. Now I’ll get our dinners ready soon. Come down when you’re ready dear,” Rarity nuzzled Sweetie Belle again, trotting out of her room and preparing for dinner. As Rarity trotted out of the room, Sweetie Belle uttered to herself,

“I can’t wait to see you again tomorrow Button Mash…”

Button Mash still couldn’t believe it was already Sunday afternoon. He spent much of the morning enjoying the virtual reality console named the Ponyculus. All throughout his journey to Carousel Boutique, Button Mash mimicked the swordspony who he acted out as, slashing upon Changeling after Changeling in the mystical world that looked very much like Equestria.

“Woosh, woosh, ha! Take that you Changeling scum!” Button Mash uttered to himself as he trotted along, flailing his hooves around in a hyperactive fit. The other ponies looked upon him with awkward stares and indignation for causing a ruckus, but Button Mash didn’t care. He was simply having too much fun with his imagination.

Button Mash arrived at Carousel Boutique, which he empathically called, “Princess Peachy Keen’s Castle”, after the pony the plumber stallion whose heart he chased in one Changeling castle after another in ‘Plumber Stallion 3’. For him, it was the fortress of the lovely princess Sweetie Belle, the pony he wanted to befriend and endear.

Something about Sweetie Belle was different from the moment they met. She wasn’t like Diamond Tiara at all with her seemingly lack of enthusiasm with his video games. Nor was she like Silver Spoon in that her outer beauty matched her seemingly bright inner self, much like the Princess he sought to save in his new video game. Silver Spoon was certainly nicer than Diamond Tiara from first appearances, but there was something special about that belle. Whenever he thought about it, he shrugged the thoughts away and got back to either his imagination or his games.

In the middle of his imagination, Button Mash neglected the fact he was trotting right to the Boutique’s front door, slamming on the door head on. Button Mash lay on the floor, groaning at the headache that was fast growing.

In the Carousel Boutique, Sweetie Belle was just finishing up with some housecleaning with Rarity, making way for enough room for Button Mash and his antics. Suddenly, both ponies heard a loud thud that came from their front door.

“Oh Sweetie Belle! I think that’s Button Mash! Go get the door! I’ll finish cleaning up the fitting rooms!” Rarity called out to Sweetie Belle. Sweetie Belle ran to the front door and pushed it open just as quickly as she ran to the door. Sweetie Belle looked around the entrance for any sign of Button Mash, but she couldn’t see any. That was until she heard a groan on the sidewalk and looked downward.

“Button Mash!” Sweetie Belle rushed to Button Mash’s side. “I'm really, really sorry for bumping you out of the door like that!” Sweetie gasped in fear. She saw Button Mash laying down on the floor belly up, which only compounded her fears.

But then, Button Mash slowly turned his head upwards. He slowly looked up to the white filly with a weak smile on his face.

“It’s alright Sweetie Belle… I’ll be fine…” Button Mash uttered. Sweetie Belle quickly pulled Button Mash up from the ground as Button Mash raised his hoof upward.

“Are you alright now?” Sweetie Belle brushed Button Mash’s, wiping off any dust that Button Mash had on his back.

“Yeah, I’m fine Princess,” Button Mash replied dreamily. After realizing what he said, Button Mash quickly closed his mouth. Sweetie Belle awkwardly giggled in response, suddenly feeling shy and light-headed.

“Well that’s good…” Sweetie Belle shuffled her hoof around, unsure of what to say. To break the awkward silence growing on the two ponies, Sweetie Belle quickly asked Button Mash,

“Well, do you wanna head in and show me your games?” Sweetie Belle trotted towards Carousel Boutique, inviting Button Mash along.

“Oh yeah! Sure! I’ve almost defeated ‘Plumber Stallion 3’! You’ll get the see the Princess today since I’m at the final stage, ready to face the Changeling King!” Button Mash’s mood quickly shot upward, mimicking the signature jumps the world famous red plumber pony was known for as he made his way into Carousel Boutique.

“Here we are! The final stage! The evil Changeling King!” Button Mash pointed his hoof to his portable Gamecolt. It had already been almost half an hour of Button Mash jumping over one enemy after another. Sure the jumping was fun at first to watch, but Sweetie Belle was struggling not to yawn because it seemed like he was doing the same thing over and over again when he said he was already near the end of the game. It was a relief for him to finally get to the end of the game…

“Ooh! Ooh! Take that you Changeling King! Eat my fireballs! I’ll give you a conker yet!” Button Mash screamed at his Gamecolt screen as he pushed as many buttons as he could to move the plumber around. Just when it seemed like he would fail, he managed to conk on the King enough to grab a hammer and cut the bridge that the plumber and the King fought.

“Yeah!!! I won!!!!” Button Mash exclaimed as Sweetie Belle perked up the screen! Finally! She could see the princess the plumber long sought to save! The princess slowly came into view. As the plumber trotted towards his princess, Sweetie Belle’s eyes perked up. She really did look like her! She was a mare white as snow with a purple mane that looked smoother than silk and fluffier than a cloud.

“Wow… You were right Button Mash… she really does look like me…” Sweetie Belle commented with a single blink. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to be complimented like that by Button Mash. It was just weird to see how similar she looked was all!

“Yeah… She’s very pretty isn’t she Sweetie Belle? Like you too,” Button Mash chuckled. Sweetie Belle awkwardly chuckled back, trying to think of anything through which she could change the topic. Button Mash was a sweet pony, but Sweetie Belle couldn’t believe that she could be falling for the handsome colt this soon! Sweetie Belle quickly shook her head before she came up with a question of her own.

“Hey Button Mash… Umm… Do you like to use your imagination?” Sweetie Belle stumbled through her words, not typical of a pony who was very comfortable singing in front of other ponies from time to time. Button Mash suddenly beamed up.

“Yes! I love using my imagination! In fact, I was trying to act like a knight in shining armor who slashes off all the changelings one by one to save his fellow citizens from undue harm!” Sweetie Belle’s face turned upwards again. She too was an imaginative pony. While Applebloom and Scootaloo loved roleplaying, Button Mash looked like he took it to the next level.

“Great! Can I be your sidekick?!” Sweetie Belle giggled. Finally, a chance for Button Mash to not only move away from his GameColt, but also for her to truly test her imaginative prowess.

“Sure! I’ll be the swordspony, and you can be the archer for stealth!” Button Mash proudly declared.

“Sweet!” Sweetie Belle squeaked happily. Finally, a change of pace.

The two ponies spent the next two hours playing as archer and swordspony, slashing every changing they encountered and ambushing any other groups with Sweetie Belle’s bows and arrows. All around, screams of “Take that!” and “Down you go!” were chanted by both ponies. Up at Rarity’s workshop, the noise was tolerable, if only because Sweetie Belle was being a good friend to somepony who needed friends after just moving in from Manehattan.

Eventually Button Mash and Sweetie Belle tumbled on top of each other, giving out loud, hearty laughs at all the fun they were having. They were having so much fun that they left the living room a mess. Carpets and desks were topped over and shifted around, pillows were thrown out of place from the couches they were placed on, and some of Rarity’s mannequins were tipped over alongside the rest of the trinkets that both ponies used for their adventures.

“Wow Button Mash! I’ve never had this much fun roleplaying in my life!” Sweetie Belle squeaked again with a happy giggle.

“Me neither! I’ve had lots of videogaming friends back in Manehattan, but none of them were ever great at roleplaying!” Button Mash chuckled, feeling Sweetie Belle’s weight on top of his back.

“Now Sweetie Belle… I think you need to get off me.” Sweetie Belle blushed before she sheepishly got off his back.

“Hehe… sorry about that Button Mash.” Sweetie Belle apologized. Sweetie Belle looked around the room, shocked at the mess the two ponies made.

“Ummm… Button Mash… we need to clean up this area, lest we want Rarity to kill us both…” Sweetie Belle continued. “You don’t want to see Rarity angry. Trust me.” Sweetie Belle clarified as Button Mash gave a brief, serious nod.

Well, let’s get cleaning then! Where’s the broom?! It’s time the Gamer and the Belle had a new mission: to clean up the living room!” Button Mash trotted off to find a broom, while Sweetie Belle sheepishly giggled again. The more time she spent with Button Mash, the more intriguing and interesting he became, both with his looks and his quirkiness…

Button Mash and Sweetie Belle were busy sweeping away all the mess they had created. Now that the time for fun and games was over, Sweetie Belle finally had the chance to know Button Mash some more. One topic struck out to Sweetie Belle in particular, other than his blank flank.

“So Button Mash… where’s your dad? I noticed that only you and your mom moved from Manehattan.” As soon as Sweetie Belle uttered dad, Button Mash’s face immediately turned sour. Giving out a deep sigh, Button Mash responded meekly,

“I… I don’t really wanna talk about that right now… ok?” Button Mash turned back to Sweetie Belle with a frown. Sweetie Belle, not wanting to see Button Mash look down, decided to press him a little more, hoping that he’d tell and give her a chance to comfort him.

“Why… did something happen to your dad?” Sweetie Belle replied as meekly as she could. That only put Button Mash in a rage she’d never seen before from the young colt.

“SWEETIE BELLE, I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT OK?!” Button Mash snapped back at Sweetie Belle, quickly closing his mouth after just realizing what he did.

“Ohh… I’m sorry. I’ll leave it be then.” Sweetie Belle meekly apologized, turning back to continue sweeping the floors and picking up any debris that lay on the floor. After a few minutes of complete silence between them, Button Mash turned his head to Sweetie Belle, sighed, and apologized back.

“Listen… I’m really sorry about how I snapped at you a few minutes ago.” Button Mash frowned and gave out another sigh. Sweetie Belle turned her head around and replied with a weak smile.

“It’s ok Button Mash. I’m sorry for pressing you too. I didn’t know you didn’t want to think about your dad.” Sweetie Belle turned towards Button Mash and gave him a side hug.

“But if you ever need somepony to talk to, you can talk to me anytime.” Sweetie Belle smiled warmly to him with reassurance. Button Mash smiled back to Sweetie Belle and replied with gratitude,

“Thanks a lot Sweetie Belle. I’ll be sure to remember that. Maybe I’ll tell you more, but I just don’t feel ready for that yet. I hope you understand.” Button Mash sighed again, but Sweetie Belle nodded.

“Alright then. Let’s finish cleaning up then.” Button Mash nodded back before giving Sweetie Belle a side hug of his own.

Once the two ponies finished their comforting spree, the two ponies completed their sweeping and cleaning in a jiffy, just before Rarity trotted down to check on the two ponies.

“So how are things coming along you two?” Rarity smiled, not noticing that the two ponies had played around in the living room at all because of how neat the room was made.

“It was great! We roleplayed as knight and archer, taking down entire changeling divisions with our swords and bows!” Sweetie Belle jumped alongside Button Mash.

“It was a lot of fun Ms. Rarity! Thanks a lot for having me over!” Button Mash jumped excitedly as well. Rarity giggled.

“You can just call me Rarity dear. I’m glad you two had fun though!” Rarity clapped her hooves.

“I had a lot of fun, but my mom wants me home for dinner, so I’ll have to get going now…” Button Mash told Rarity. Rarity gave a nod.

“Well we can’t have you staying here too long then! I wouldn’t want Love Tap to get worried about you dear!” Rarity patted Button Mash’s propeller beanie with her hooves.

“Yeah...” Button Mash affirmed before turning his head to Sweetie Belle. “Anyway, dear princess, I must be off to my homeland again. Shall I entertain your presence soon?” Button Mash spoke with as refined voice as he could. Sweetie Belle giggled again.

“Yes sweet prince! Come back anytime you want!” Sweetie Belle declared happily as Button Mash opened the door and trotted out with a declarative good-bye wave.

“See you later Sweetie!” Button Mash smiled as he trotted away.

“See you later Button Mash!” Sweetie Belle giggled as she waved until Button Mash was no longer in sight beyond the horizon. Turning back to the Boutique, Rarity smiled at Sweetie Belle.

“Now, was it worth it to make a new friend like Button Mash, darling?” Sweetie Belle giggled happily.

“It is Rarity. It is.” Sweetie Belle declared proudly and happily as the door to Carousel Boutique was closed.

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