• Published 20th Sep 2016
  • 2,300 Views, 25 Comments

A Husband's Intervention - Carapace



Sometimes a husband has to bite the bullet and insist that his wife take a break, especially one as busy as Cadence.

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We're Going Out

I’ve been told what a lucky son of a mule I am more times than I can count. Usually it’s while in a bar with a bunch of my fellow officers while they grumble on how I, goofy, nerdy, comic book reading Shining Armor, managed to catch the eye of Princess Cadence.

The not-so-subtle slights used to bother me, but as I looked across the Throne Room of the Crystal Palace at my loving wife, I found myself reminded yet again how right they were. She was beautiful, both physically and spiritually. From the bright smile upon her muzzle while she played peek-a-boo with Flurry, to the way her eyes lit up seeing young couples fall in love, to the way she laughed her musical laugh when Thorax did his silly faces for Flurry or Sunburst ended up a mess after he tried to feed the baby, everything about her was just heavenly. Far too beautiful for a goofball stallion like myself.

I felt my lips twitch as I watched her lean in to stage whisper conspiratorially to Flurry, then point to “Cousin Thorax” just in time for him to shapeshift into his Crystal Hoof persona and pull a stilly, cross-eyed face that sent our daughter into peals of babbling laughter. “Crysa Hoo” was one of her favorites.

But despite my Cadence’s bright smile and happy demeanor, I could tell she was tired. I’ve heard it from my fellow guards, as well as other parents, and I rather vividly remember our first few days with Flurry. Raising a foal is exhausting.

Raising a foal while ruling over a long-lost empire even more so, never mind the additional work we both had to put in to educate Thorax.

My insides twisted a little, I let my gaze linger on him a little longer so I could watch him shift into Sunburst’s form, but with swirly eyes and a much longer tongue. Spike and Twilight might’ve given their blessings, and I did say I’d welcome him, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t be a little iffy. All those nights spent with a mare who wanted to use me as some sort of love battery and father her next round of conqueror spawn didn’t exactly help. Keeping him close by was my way of making sure he was sincere.

But he’d been good. Excellent, even, ignoring one or two incidents where Cadence and I found him hovering near us with a hungry glow in his eyes. A little time and a lot of effort from my lovely wife went into teaching him to ask for love rather than simply stare and lick his fangs, and it had worked. Mostly.

He was growing as a member of our house, almost like we had another foal, really. Something I was reminded of when I noticed the tired circles around Cadence’s eyes.

I strode across the Throne Room, my jaw set. The blue felt bit pouch hanging around my neck bounced against my chest with each step, the metal clinking of gold bits mixed with a touch of perforated paper’s edge. I was on a mission, and failure wasn’t an option. My wife was tired, run ragged, and desperately in need of a night away from things. Sunburst and Thorax could handle Flurry for one night.

And my guards could handle watching Thorax for a few hours. He was barely any trouble.

Cadence looked up and met me with a tired smile. A mother’s smile to her husband, now that I think of it. The little sigh she gave both a silent request for aid and a bit of shared amusement.

I stopped two steps from the group and said, “We’re going out tonight.”

She blinked twice, like I’d walked in and started babbling in Yakish. A slow, disbelieving smile made its way across her muzzle. “Shiny,” she began, “isn’t that a little sudden? We can’t just go out without planning these days.” Cadence gave a meaningful nod toward Flurry. “Where are we even going to find a foalsitter.”

Oh, ye of little faith. I smiled right back at her. “Already talked it over with Sunburst. He’s agreed to foalsit tonight.”

Cadence started for a moment, her soulful purple eyes wide as dinner plates and mouth dropped open. She so loves to crow that she’s the romantic in our marriage and how I’m the one left gaping, but she forgets I know how to play her little games, too. After all, I learned from the best—her.

Flurry took the chance to fly up to prod her mother’s cheeks, babbling happily in her cheery baby talk. And why not? For her, it was mommy’s turn to make silly faces with “Cousin Thorax.”

Almost on cue, Thorax raised a chitinous hoof. “Um, is this a pony thing that I don’t understand? Because sitting on Flurry seems a little … mean.”

Cadence and I shared a look, both of us bit our respective lips and tried to fight back laughter. My wife’s pink coated shoulders shook in silent mirth, her mask faltered whilst I was able to hide behind my bearing.

“Keep an eye on her for us,” I clarified.

“Oh.” His ears—ear fins?—perked up. A fanged grin nearly split his muzzle. “I can do that!”

My bearing held true. I knew I mustn’t laugh. He was happy to help, no need to mock the poor colt—are they even called colts?—when he was doing me a favor. “I’ve got full confidence in you, Thorax,” I said with utmost severity, as though I were talking to one of my younger guards.

The way his chest swelled up nearly did me in. But I held strong. Instead, I turned my gaze back upon Cadence. Our eyes met. I fixed her with a winning grin, earning a huff and a roll of her eyes. But she smiled through it all.

Game, set, and match. We both knew I was about to get my way.

With a sigh and a chuckle, Cadence rose to her hooves and dotted little Flurry’s forehead with a fond kiss before putting her back in her crib. Then she gave Thorax a quick hug and muttered something only he could hear, something that made him buzz his wings and stand up a little taller. Once she finished, she turned and trotted past me, coming close enough that our sides brushed against one another and her soft, downy feathers tickled my coat.

I had to bite back a gasp. But she caught it. Her eyes lit up like it was Hearth’s Warming. Getting my way would come with consequences. “I’ll have to wash up,” she said, “I’m not going out without at least doing my mane.”

My lips felt dry all of the sudden. I ran my tongue along them, then gave a crooked smile in kind. “Plenty of time for that. Just don’t fall asleep in the tub.”

“Fall asleep? Oh, my dear, sweet Shining.” The look she shot me nearly made me go weak in the knees. She flicked me across my snout with the curls of her beautiful tricolored tail, then bumped my hip as she continued on her way. “There’s not a force in this world that could make me late for a night with you.”


It took a bit longer than expected to get Cadence actually leave Flurry for the night. She spent a good half hour or so relaying last minute instructions to Sunburst; things like when she was to go to bed, where her formula was stored, and the like. To his credit, Sunburst nodded along and confirmed her every order, even going as far as jotting them down on a piece of parchment and passing it to a bouncing, buzzing Thorax for safekeeping.

I distinctly recall lowering my head and pushing her along to the carriage in the middle of her third iteration. I love my wife dearly, but sometimes she can be a little too much like Twily.

The trip was short. The Crystal Empire was nowhere near as large as most of Equestria’s bigger modern cities, more the size of Bridleton than Manehattan, really. Our carriage rolled right up to a fancy restaurant called Crystal Delights—Cadence’s favorite place in our little domain.

The happy squeal and sunny smile made my little surprise well worth it, but sudden embrace coupled with a lingering kiss on my right cheek were bonuses I was quite content to accept. Such is the burden of marrying a beautiful mare.

Cadence threw a wing over my withers and all but dragged me out of the carriage, past a crowd of crystal ponies who scrambled to bow and greet us—naturally, we were the picture of royal dignity what with me grinning while I was pulled along by my excitable wife—as we headed inside.

Crystal Delights was, as all buildings in the city are, constructed entirely out of crystal. Its walls were a deep, cloudy white like they’d managed to capture the very snow that fell outside the Crystal Heart’s protective field, and the ceiling was a deep purple like the sky at twilight. The maitre d’ greeted us with a slight bow of his head, then guided us to our table. I didn’t even have to give our name for reservation. Not that I’d ever had to in ten-plus years of dating and married life with her.

He led us to a lone table on the balcony that looked out over the Garnet District’s glimmering rooftops. I could even see our Crystal Palace off in the distance, though the setting sun’s glare stung my eyes and forced me to look away. Sunlight glinting through a crystal rooftop seemed to hurt more than when it came off the golden towers in Canterlot. One of many things I doubt I doubted I’d ever get used to.

“Your Highnesses,” the maitre d’ said in a deep basal tone, his head bowed again, “your waiter will be with you shortly.” Without another word, he turned and strode back into the restaurant to resume his post at the door.

A cool, gentle breeze blew over the balcony, playing with Cadence’s long locks in a way that made me want to just stare for hours, like a painting that should be on display in the Royal Canterlot Art Gallery.

Cadence stared back, confused for a moment. Then she laughed. “You look like you might start drooling,” she teased, her eyes danced with mirth.

My response came just as quick. I took hold of the purple linen in my magic’s glow and slipped it out from under the cutlery. “I’ve got a linen cloth.” I gave it a little added waggle for effect before I placed it in my lap. “Any droolage will be dealt with swiftly, and with great prejudice.”

“Droolage?” Another laugh escaped her lovely lips, tickling my ears like a lyre’s tune. “I’m quite sure that isn’t a word, or else all those expensive lessons Auntie provided for me were wrong.”

“Completely wrong,” I replied gravely. “It’s totally a word.”

“Oh? What proof do you have, Prince-Captain Armor?”

“As much proof as you do of there being anything resembling attraction between Twily and—”

My menu leapt off the table and whacked me over the head several times, a blur of cerulean and purple filled my vision. I laughed and hastily threw up a curved shield to protect myself from her assault. “All right! All right! I give!”

The assault ceased. My menu floated slowly to rest on the table, Cadence’s beautiful purple eyes were narrowed indignantly, but with a subtle edge of amusement. When it came to my sister’s love life—or lack thereof—she loved our little game of denials and firm insistence. No matter what she said.

“There is so!” she shot back. The left corner of her mouth twitched, but she managed to fight back a smile. “And once my informant—”

“Spike would tell me before you,” I reminded. “Pseudo-brother thing.”

My informant,” Cadence reiterated. I let her have it this time, though not without a hint of smugness creeping into my smile. She caught it, and pinned her ears as she leaned forward and thumped a hoof on the table. “He will come through for me. Then you’ll see! You’ll all see!”

Too easy. I reached across and patted the back of her hoof. “Of course we will, sweetie. Until then, dinner.” I levitated my menu and opened it to the first page just as the waitress, a perky young thing with a glimmering turquoise coat and curly yellow mane, all but pranced up to our table.

Literally, pranced. Somepony was excited to serve us.

“Hello! Welcome to Crystal Delights!” she greeted in a bubbly tone as she floated a pencil and notepad into view. “My name is Turquoise Glimmer and I’ll be your waitress tonight!”

Or she was just perky as all get out. Good. A happy waitress would give Cadence some good vibes, and maybe a little more of that liveliness she had before starting her juggling act. Celestia knows she could use the energy.

I skimmed over the menu absentmindedly while Cadence gave her order. We’d come here often enough that both of us knew what we wanted, but I felt I should at least look like I was considering a change in routine. Naturally, no such change happened. I ordered my usual ginger soda and linguini marinara with steamed vegetables and pretended I didn’t see Cadence roll her eyes as she shared a little joke with the young waitress.

Instead I just feinged interest in a crystal sculpture that looked suspiciously like Spike. Cadence could laugh and tease and unwind to her heart’s content. The night was for her benefit, not mine.

Turquoise Glimmer jotted down our orders with a flourish, then scampered off to relay them to the kitchen, leaving us alone again. I scarcely had the chance to blink and begin conversation again before another young mare trotted over with our drink orders.

Crystal Delights’ service was unparalleled in our city. I’d even go as far as saying it could compete against some of Canterlot’s higher end establishments. Out of Celestia and Luna’s earshot, of course. They might do something silly like try to coax the staff away and into their employ.

“Flurry is starting to stabilize with her magic,” Cadence began, cutting through my musings. “Sunburst mentioned wanting to see if we could lighten up the spells around her crib for a while, just to see.”

I raised a brow, our daughter’s last not-so-little incident leapt to mind. “I’m doubling my shield spell on our ceiling, then. I’d rather not wake up having to duck falling crystal because she sneezed.”

She fixed me with a tired smile. “Auntie Celestia warned us her magic would be strong.”

“I know. I’m just taking necessary precautions.” After a beat, I added, “Jokes aside, I’ll talk with Sunburst and see if we can put up a bit of warding just to protect from her bigger blasts. Not enough to bounce them, mind. Maybe just soften the blow enough that we don’t have a new skylight.”

Cadence snorted and brought a hoof to her forehead. “You’re terrible. Absolutely terrible.” She shook her head, then placed her hoof on the table and folded it neatly over the other. Her eyes locked with mine. “It was awful nice of you to let Thorax watch her with Sunburst.”

“I could hardly stop him. He lives in the palace with us.”

Her smile widened almost knowingly. “You know what I mean. You like him.”

“He’s a decent colt—changeling—changeling colt.” That seemed diplomatic enough. Both were true. “I don’t exactly trust him completely, but Spike vouched for him, so he gets a chance. Even if it can be difficult some days.”

She sighed and nodded along, her smile fell. “Trust but verify, as it were. Can’t say I don’t agree.” Blinking, she tilted her head. “Is that why you asked him to stay in either natural form or as Crystal Hoof? So you could track him?”

That wasn’t quite the path I wanted our talk to go. She was supposed to be relaxing, not discussing our pet project. Or my security with respect to said project for that matter. Still, I nodded once. “Among other things, yes,” I admitted. “It also makes it easier for my guards to dismiss any rumors of him causing trouble if we can definitively point to where he was at a given time. It’s as much for his protection as it is ours.”

Her eyes lit up. The smile returned to her face. “You’re really looking out for him, aren’t you?”

“In a sense, sure.” I shrugged. “Like I said, decent colt, if a bit innocent and lacking in social graces. But I can’t really blame him for that given his circumstances.”

That garnered a short giggle fit. Cadence covered her mouth, a rosy hue colored her cheeks as she whispered, “He caught us on the couch the other night.”

On the couch? Why would that—oh. I feigned a cough and looked away, ignoring the burn in my cheeks as best as I could. “And?”

“He came up to me the next day and asked—snrrrk!” She unfurled her wings and fluffed up her feathers. Her eyes danced with naked glee. “He asked if you were hungry for a sip of love.”

My cheeks burned so hot, I daresay they could rival Spike’s messenger fire. I feigned another cough. “A-And? What did you tell him?”

“I told him you weren’t trying to feed, but that you were eager to give me some—”

“Cadence!” I yelped, my voice several octaves higher than normal.

She cast all sense of propriety aside, threw back her head and laughed like she would back when we first started dating, back when I was just a brace-faced colt with a stammer and a few too many Ogres and Oubliettes sessions to fit in with the popular crowd. On one hoof, it was nice to see her laugh like that again after watching her run around willy-nilly. On the other, if somepony heard that my pride would never recover.

My poor pride had been kicked around far too much dating her. My wife, lovely though she was, so delighted in making me squirm, and took every liberty she could until I figured things out and gave a little back.

“Oh, Shiny!” Cadence crooned in between giggles. “Oh, I needed that! You should see the look on your face!” She took a deep breath and shook her head. “I didn’t tell him that. I just told him we were having a bit of couples’ time, and that he should knock before entering from now on. He … well, he didn’t quite understand, but he gave his word.”

A nagging little voice in the back of my head reminded me that changelings were made to lie. I bit my lip, unsure of how to broach the subject. Thorax made mention of a few things about his kind, very interesting, in fact. Namely how promises held real power if they were given properly.

As if reading my thoughts, she said, “Thorax promised. On his eggshell and name.”

On his eggshell and name. He’d doubled-down on it to spare us some rather embarrassing moments in the future.

Another point in his favor. But that raised another question. One I was fervently hoping to avoid. “Do I need to have the—uh—talk with him?” I winced at my tone, but didn’t correct myself. A root canal sounded more appealing.

“We’ll sit down and see if that was a part of changeling education, then go from there.” Cadence’s ears twitched. She gave a little gasp, then said, “That reminds me!”

“Of?”

An almost businesslike look crossed her face. Like when we decided what colors to paint the bedroom in our old Canterlot home. “I don’t mind us helping him along with certain things,” she said, “but we don’t exactly have time to teach him everything. We don’t even know what he does know, or how far along he was before the invasion separated him from the hive.”

Ah. I knew where this conversation was headed. “You want him to go to school.”

“I think it would help. Don’t you?”

I drummed my hooves on the tabletop and took a sip of my soda, savoring the bite of ginger while I mulled it over. Truth be told, I hadn’t expected the subject to come up until Flurry hit three or four. It never even crossed my mind with respect to Thorax.

Honestly, I wasn’t entirely comfortable thinking about it without him present. Nothing against him, but Thorax wasn’t our colt. He’s only our ward so we could keep a look out for him.

“That’s a conversation we’ll need to have with him,” I said as diplomatically as possible. “Requiring him to remain in certain forms, live under our roof, and abide by our laws are things done for mutual protection and respect. I don’t want to force him into something if he doesn’t need it.”

Cadence smiled. “Fair enough. Thank you, Shining.” She sighed in content and sipped at a cup of tea, pausing to savor the taste. “This is really nice,” she muttered just loud enough for me to hear. “Being together like this, without anything to worry about. I’m glad you pulled me away for a little bit.”

Excellent. “I thought you could use a break.”

“You thought right.” She opened her eyes and fixed me with a smoldering look, a coy smile I knew all too well spread across her gorgeous features. “This is a lot like when we were back in Canterlot.”

I definitely knew that look. Was it getting hotter? Or was that just me? I squirmed in place, but nodded. Where in the world was Turquoise with our food? “Y-Yeah,” I replied. “Kind of figured we could get back to that. I mean, we have Sunburst and Thorax to look after Flurry if we want to take a night for ourselves every now and then.”

“Very true!” she purred, running her tongue over her lips. “Perhaps we can enlist them to keep an eye on her a little longer tonight so we’re not interrupted when we retire.”

It was definitely me. Specifically, my face. Years of teasing didn’t help me build up any sort of immunity against her wiles. If anything, it just showed her where the right keys were so she could play me at her leisure like a piano. Cadence might as well have been Arthur Rubinstallion, in that respect.

I tried to fake a cough and hide my grin behind my cup, but to no avail. She knew she had me dancing to her tune.

A distraction was needed, and I had just the thing for it. In a flash of pink, I pulled open my bit purse and gently wrapped a tendril of magic around the two tickets held within, my eyes flitted to the elegant cursive title for an instant. I slid them across the table until they brushed against her golden shoes. “I got these for you,” I half-mumbled. “The show is next Friday. Thought you might like to go.”

Cadence looked took the tickets and read over the title. Her eyes lit up, she let out a happy squeal and waggled her ears. “The Thief and the Princess?” She looked up and met my gaze, her eyes sparkled like the very crystal of our city.

I smiled in return. “I thought you might like to go see one of your silly romances.”

“You get a pass on that for now.” A familiar light shone in her eyes. Mischief, playfulness, and love all danced together. She leaned across the table and planted a soft kiss on my nose, then moved to whisper something that made me feel like someone set my entire face aflame.

It was a small mercy when Turquoise showed up with a tray of food held aloft in her magic’s pale yellow glow. It meant Cadence had to sit down and behave long enough for us to eat our meals. If only just.


I tried not to count my blessings during the ride home, though not for lack of effort on Cadence’s part to make me start. The entire trip was spent wrapped snug under her wing while she nuzzled my cheek and tried to kiss every square inch of my face, neck, and chin all the while whispering sweet nothings.

As it turned out, shy, awkward, nerdy, teenage me was still alive and well beneath all the muscle and vinegar I try to put on in front of my guards. They must never know. Especially not that she could make me writhe when she nipped at my ears. Or that I was incredibly ticklish if she ran her feathers along my ribs.

Never.

All teasing aside, she was happy. And as we walked through the Crystal Palace and strode down the hall to the Royal Suite, with her wing still wrapped around my withers and her head laid upon my shoulder, I could feel a little more … well, bounce in her step. My Cadence enjoyed the few hours of relaxation she was afforded, a well-deserved reprieve for any mother.

I pushed open the door to our suite and was greeted by something rather strange. I heard our daughter’s babbling laughter and then noticed Sunburst frantically flipping through about six different spell books at once. Curious, I shared a look with Cadence, then stepped inside to see what was going on.

Cadence burst into a fit of giggles. Thorax was sitting back on his haunches in the middle of our suite, a look of sincere, naked confusion upon his face—well, naked save for the alicorn foal latched to his snout with all six of her tiny limbs.

Words failed me. About a thousand different questions flitted through my mind at blinding speed, but I just couldn’t pick one.

“Just give me a moment, Thorax!” Sunburst blustered. He fretted and moaned as he snapped a book shut. “I’ll find a way to remove her gently so you don’t lose any of your carapace—I just need to find a way to counter her grip.”

“Okay,” Thorax replied, his voice muffled by my daughter’s tail. He blew a breath out through his nose, sending her into peals of babyish laughter. Purely by chance, he glanced left and noticed us.

For a moment there was silence save for Sunburst turning a page and the laughter of the two beautiful mares in my life. Then, Thorax tilted his head. A move that didn’t even phase little Flurry. “Is this normal?” he asked. “Do pony foals normally latch onto your face at bedtime?”

What? I blinked and sucked in my lips. He couldn’t be serious.

And yet his eyes held no trace of humor. “I hope I’m not being rude about your culture or anything,” he continued, “but this seems oddly inefficient.”

Mustn’t laugh. Mustn’t laugh. Must. Not. Laugh. I drew in a deep breath through my teeth and hissed out the corner of my mouth, “Whose turn is it to teach him?”

“Yours,” Cadence tittered, planting a kiss right on my lips. She released me from her embrace and turned toward our bedroom, but stopped after just a step. Slowly, she turned to fix me with a half lidded look. “Don’t take too long,” she purred. “I still expect you to finish up the last portion of our date.”

My ears perked up almost of their own will. I licked my lips I watched her saunter through the door and out of sight, my eyes locked firmly on her swaying hips. All those comments on what a lucky son of a mule I was ran through my head.

I took a moment to confirm each and every one while I wrestled with the urge to leave Sunburst and Thorax to their own devices so I could thoroughly enjoy my good fortune. Not an easy task as I noticed Cadence raise her tail enough to flirt with decency, just enough to give me a teasing glimpse of her shapely thighs. She met my eyes again and licked her lips before slipping out of sight.

“Um, Shining?” Thorax’s muffled voice cut through my appreciation of the feminine form. “Am I supposed to let Flurry fall asleep on my face? I don’t remember Cadence doing that, but I might’ve looked away during that part.”

Ah, yes. Duty called. Which meant my husbandly duties would have to go on hold for a moment. With a sigh and a grin far too big for the situation, I trotted over to help free our changeling ward from my daughter’s clutches.

A quarter-hour later, I was in my bedroom with my lovely, happy wife, giving my very best effort to distract her from all her stress and motherly duties for the rest of the night.

The sleepy alicorn dotting kisses and licks on my chest after we finished suggested my services were quite appreciated, and would indeed be required later. As always, I am happy to offer my assistance. Why not? It makes her happy just like when things weren’t so hectic.

I really am a lucky son of a mule.

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Comments ( 24 )

That was short and sweet.

Edit: I've decided to come back for a more in-depth review of the story, because why not.

I loved the interactions between Princess Cadance and Shining Armor, which flowed naturally and showed us the depth of their relationship and how they deeply cared for one another. I don't particularly see Thorax as an Equestrian equivalent of a child, but still.

The way you started and ended the story with the same theme was a nice touch, too. It's not something we see very often.

Taking all bets on Twilight's alleged crush!

I've got five bits on Applejack and a cool ten on Starlight.

JMP

Fantastic story. Really funny, really well-written. A great one-shot

Aww... Just loved the interactions between Cadance and her husband. They really felt natural. And Thorax as a adopted child? I can totally see that now.

7580387 Ahhh, so cute! I love these little explorations of romance, and I liked how the subject of educating Thorax about Equestrian society was woven into this.

And on another note, I'd like to put down a spread bet, five bits each way on Starlight, Rainbow Dash, and at an outside chance, Spitfire.

7580387
I'll put twenty bits on Caramel. Long shots mean huge paydays.

7580387 Call me predictable, but I'm going with Flash Sentry.

And by the way, "Turquoise Glimmer"? Any relation?

Cute little story :twilightsmile: that maked me to think, Are you going to make a new chapter of the shield's protector? :rainbowhuh:

Oh right. Even with the Unicorn aspect of her powers suppressed Flurry still has her Earth Pony strength. If said strength is on par with the other abilities she displayed during the S6 premier I'm surprised Thorax's skull is still intact.

7580387
Put me down for ten bits on Big Mac, and another ten on Rainbow.

Ah this was nice. Just a nice happy and fluffy little story. Great job.

-BFBL

I was a little surprised that Shining Armor and Cadance ha e been together 10 years now but that didn't detract from the story. It's cute though, just a nice little thing. I like the familial interplay and that you didn't go for a lot of cliches in the restaurant scene. Just really cute ZOMG.

I thought the whole 'Thorax as child' was a bit weird, if amusing. Whyever such a thought?

7581798

I can only speak marginally on ZOMG's behalf having preread and idea-bounced with him, but when he appeared on screen, Thorax acted very much like a child/foal with Spike. That, and when he shapeshifted into 'Crystal Hoof', he turned into a foal. This implies to me at least that he is a young changebug who still has much to learn.

It was good!

Great success!

One of many things I doubt I doubted I’d ever get used to.

some doubling up here?
Son of a Mule!
img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2016-09/17/0/enhanced/buzzfeed-prod-web02/grid-cell-15414-1474086918-4.jpg

"Lucky son of a mule" is a bizarre turn of phrase, what with hybrid sterility and all. Perhaps the luck factor is its very existence? According to Wikipedia, there were 60 cases of fertile mules documented between 1527 and 2002.

I like the idea of them kinda-sorta adopting Thorax. He does seem to be fairly young. Not a child, but a teen. One that deserves a loving family.

7580387
7580394
7580456
I'll put 20 bits on Moondancer. Seriously just look like she adore Twily. :twilightblush:

7580394

I'd have Rarity down as being Cadences inside source. There's no way she's give up the chance to gossip with royalty!

So nice to get a glimpse of Shining and Cadence's life in the Crystal Empire, and narrated by Shining himself! :twilightsmile:

What a cute little story between couples:heart:

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