• Published 29th Jun 2012
  • 3,205 Views, 375 Comments

Fallout: Equestria - Wasteland Bouquet - Cascadejackal

There's a lot of stories in the Equestrian Wasteland, and they all need to be told.

  • ...

Hearth Warming, Hive Style

---Hearth's Warming, Hive Style---

I breathed out slowly, pretending I was a dragon as my breath formed a billowing cloud in the chilly air. All around me, the Stable continued its hustle and bustle, same as it had for the last few months, only now with a noticable chill in the atrium air and a lot more clothing, all the flutterponies dressed up in festive clothes. Fluffy coats and jackets were everywhere as I looked around, almost as common as the pompom hats that damn near everypony seemed to have.

Me? I had the best pom-pom hat, all orange, red and yellow and so warm it was like having a pheonix on my head! Which is what Rose said it looked like, but what does she know?

Speaking of Rose... I craned my head to see her scurrying about by the big stage at the far end of the atrium, bundled up in duster and socks against the cold as she hauled things to and fro under the direction of the Overmare, while above us all Ibis was helping the more pegasus-inclinded flutterponies manouver clouds into position at the high ceiling, the airborne herd watched over and directed by the Regent, creepy bug pony that she was.

Satisfied that things were going according to plan, I turned back to my own job: helping setup the refreshments... and stealing a couple of cookies when nopony was looking.

The Hearth's Warming play was... not what I'd expected. Nope. Turns out flutterponies call it Day of First Sharing, the day some ancient Queen used a big crystal to protect her subjects and some wandering ponies from windigos. Then, the flutterponies and normal ponies put aside their differences, standing together against the cold, empowering the crystal and the Queen to banish the windigos from the Badlands forever.

According to the story, those ponies traveled onwards when the snows finally melted, but they were given a piece of the crystal to remember their bond with the flutterponies and their queen.

Neat story, but I liked the Equestrian version more.

"Did you see me, Lily?" Rose asked pronking happily through the crowd towards where me and Ibis had been watching the play from, still wearing her costume. "Was I a good windigo? Huh? Was I?" Being a naturally pale sort, all her costume was was a dusting of white powder to make her mane match her coat. She left little poofs with every jump.

Rolling my eyes, I swiped good-naturedly at Rose, trying to stop her constant bouncing. "Yes, Rose. You were a good windigo. Would you stay still already?!"

"Nope!" With a big smile, Rose just kept on pronking in circles around us, avoiding my attempts to grab her and leaving little clouds behind the whole time.

Ibis chuckled at the two of us. "Hey, you're gonna miss the big finale." He raised his claw to point at the stage, where the Stable's leaders were wrapping up their announcements and indicating to the pegasi above. Sure enough, the flyers gave their clouds a few kicks, and first snowflakes began their gentle descent downwards.

Around us, flutterponies joined hooves, friends, families and Stable-fellows alike. Following their example, I sat down and offered my hooves with a smile, Rose taking one, Ibis the other, and when the carols started we all joined in, singing our joy with the odd family we'd been welcomed into so readily.

Love and Friendship aren't dead in the wasteland. You just have to look a little harder, and in some unexpected places.

Yawning, I leaned on Ibis as we walked, the party having finally wrapped up so late into the night it was almost the next day. "Where did Rose get to?" I asked sleepily, Rose having vanished a few minutes before we left ourselves.

Ibis shrugged. "She said she had to get our present ready."

"Huh." Surprised, I blinked. "She already gave us our presents, though."

He shrugged again. "Apparently, it's a special one."

"Huh. What do you think it is?"

We started guessing as we wandered through the Stable, saying goodnight to the flutterponies we passed on the way down to our own quarters, but we couldn't come up with anything really guessy. We were both worn out from the long day, after all. So, when we finally arrived, I was looking forward to going to bed and getting some snuggles in.

"Rose," I called out as we passed through the curtain door and into our living room, "Where are you?"

"I'm in here," came the reply from the bedroom. "Lily, Ibis, come and unwrap your present!"

"What kind of present takes two of us to unwrap?" Ibis wondered out loud as he wandered toward the curtain keeping our sleeping area private. Shrugging, I trailed behind him, only to bump into his backside when he stopped suddenly.

"Oof!" Would you warn me next time, you big... oh." My grumbling trailed off as I pushed past him and into our room. "That present, I guess."

It was Rose. On our bed, wearing just long, stripey, red-and-green socks on all four hooves... and ribbons. Two of them. On in her mane, the other at the base of her tail. They both had bells and mistletoe on them, too.

"So..." Rose said softly, looking at us through half-closed eyes, drawing circles on the bedsheets with her sock-clad hoof. "Are you going to unwrap me?"

Ibis and I just exchanged a look before we both pounced for the bed together.

The bells were certainly ringing that night.

Author's Note:

Not canon, folks! Just a special chapter for you all!:pinkiehappy:

It's 4am on Christmas Day, I can't sleep and I finally don't have anything else that needs doing before morning, so here's a new chapter to celebrate another year with you all. Wishing all of you all the best, days of joy and happiness, and neat things under the tree this year!:twilightsmile: