• Published 10th Jan 2017
  • 1,314 Views, 16 Comments

To Warm a Mare's Heart in Two Hours - Timaeus



A tree in her living room and an intruder in her kitchen—Hurricane has a lot of explaining to do this Hearth's Warming. He only has two hours, and Platinum is counting down every second. Tick tock, Hurricane.

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Tock

Platinum found herself back out in the streets of the town of Equestria. With her scarf and cloak wrapped snug around her, she watched as her fellow carolers gradually dispersed, offering each other season’s greetings and hugs farewell. Many stopped to smile and wave at her before going on there way.

It had been an hour of singing and an hour of joy. Her voice was one of many as their troupe wandered the town, bringing songs of Hearth’s Warming, winter, and harmony to her ponies, be they earth pony, pegasus, or unicorn. They were songs old and new, traditional and silly, and each one chipped away at her heavy heart and lifted her sour mood until she couldn’t help but smile.

Towards their last songs, her voice wavered, taxed to its limit, as did several others around her. Even Hurricane, who, she discovered, possessed a soothing, bass voice that she found herself lost in from time to time, began to break down. By the end of it, she could hardly wish her newest friends a happy Hearth’s Warming.

By the time Hurricane swept off a bench for them to sit on, her cheeks ached from smiling. As she stumbled the last few steps, she found herself laughing freely and gaily.

“Some of those songs were completely ridiculous!” Beside her, she felt Hurricane’s presence as the stallion chuckled and nodded.

“Ridiculous and amazing.” Through the fabric of her cloak, Platinum felt Hurricane’s wing poke and prod around her side to the small of her back. “Though a certain, not-cute little princess didn’t seem to mind when she was belting out ‘Frosty the Snowpony’ a few minutes ago.”

“The word you’re looking for,” Platinum said, prodding him under the base of his outstretched wing, “is beautiful.” Despite the ache in her cheeks, she grinned all the same when he jumped and snapped his wing back to his side.

“You won’t hear any argument from me. Beautiful suits you.”

“Pardon?” Casting a glance to her left, she watched her companion smile into the hot cider he cradled between his hooves. Like before, his usual troublemaking, coltish quality was gone. Instead, he was warm, and warmer still when his eyes flicked to meet hers.

“Beautiful, Platinum,” he said, lifting his cider to his lips. “It’s a good word for you.”

“Oh.” A kaleidoscope of butterflies took wing in her gut, spreading a tingling feeling all the way to the tips of her hooves—where did they come from? In its wake came a warmth that stretched across her muzzle, and Platinum shook her head. Princesses did not blush, no matter how dashing the stallion, especially when that stallion was an annoying little colt at heart.

“So, better than sleeping?”

“Yes, I suppose,” Platinum said, forcing herself back to the present as she nursed her own cup of hot cider. Though the sun had long since set, the same cold that gripped her before seemed to have lost its purchase. The warmth lingering across her muzzle, combined with the cider in her hooves, brought a content swish of her tail. “I cannot get over some of those carols. If my grandfather was still alive, the shock of what caroling has become might well have given him a second heart attack.”

“In my professional opinion, I say it’s an improvement from a lot of those stuffy songs you unicorns love to sing every winter.”

“A noble part of our culture, you mean!” She scoffed, bumping shoulders with Hurricane. That drew a snicker from the stallion, one that proved infectious as Platinum lifted her cider to her lips to hide her own giggling. “But honestly now, a snowpony coming to life? Is this what happens when the three tribes put their heads together? If so, maybe we were better off on our own.”

“I still say it has its own charm to it.” Hurricane grinned as he sipped from his cider. “And it’s a lot more fun for the foals. Don’t pretend you didn’t love seeing those fillies singing their little hearts out.”

Platinum let a smile warm her muzzle as her eyes wandered to where the pair of foals in their group disappeared to with their parents. “They were quite adorable. Perhaps it isn’t all bad, then. But,” she said, swiveling about to face Hurricane, “I don’t see how this is supposed to explain anything about your behaviour or why I should let you off of the proverbial hook.”

Once more, Hurricane grinned his damnable grin and set his cider down. “Oh, but I am explaining, dear Platinum. I’m explaining everything quite clearly.”

“Are you, now?” Arching her brow, Platinum returned his grin with a wicked smirk. “Because to my eye, it feels like you’ve been trying to distract me from plucking every feather from those wings of yours by showing me a good time. First the cookies, then the caroling? Please, Hurricane, I’m not some filly with stars in her eyes.”

Hurricane wiggled his ears. “We may have to disagree on that last point. Clearly, you haven’t seen yourself with firelight caught in your eyes.”

Platinum choked on her cider. Coughing and sputtering, she scrambled to compose words as she felt butterflies dance about in her chest. “I-I—what—” She glanced up, eyes wide and heart in her throat, and caught the edge of a smirk tugging at Hurricane’s lips.

Huffing, she turned her nose up to the sky. “Aimless flattery is unbecoming of you, Commander,” she said, ignoring the lingering blush no doubt staining her pristine white fur a bright, cherry red. Silently, she thanked the dark of night hiding her flushing muzzle from view. When her heart slowed to a more trustworthy, steady rhythm, she shot Hurricane a pointed glare out of the corner of her eye. “And it proves my point. Distracting me with honeyed words and a pleasant evening does not explain anything. Your time is running out, and I plan to collect when it’s finally up.”

For his part, Hurricane chuckled, drawing a frown from Platinum. “I know better than to correct a mare in matters of romance.” Shaking his head, he leaned his weight against her side. “Besides, you know you love it even if I am trying to distract you, which I’m not. I am explaining everything. You don’t see it yet, but you will soon.”

Rolling her eyes, Platinum did her best not to let her mind stray to the feeling of his coat against hers. “Fine, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. What’s next in your grand explanation?”

“I was thinking we could find someplace to get out of the cold. It should get clearer from there.” Wiggling his ears, he hopped off the bench and offered his foreleg, ever the gentlestallion. “Just follow me and you’ll get it. Besides, I still have a good hour.”

“Actually,” Platinum said, sliding off the bench and, after a second’s consideration, took his offered foreleg, “you have just over forty minutes.” She sniffed. “I suggest you make good use of your time.”

“Well, then.” Mischief danced behind his eyes, lighting them up bright and brilliant in the cool night air. “I suppose we’d better run!”

“Better wha—Hurricane!”

Platinum’s shrill shriek rang through the town as Hurricane leapt forward, his foreleg looped around her own, and pulled her after him. Both cups of cider fell to the ground as the two took off at a full gallop down the street.

While she did her best to keep her balance, Platinum found herself disoriented as they kicked up snow in their wake. Puffs of powder all but blinded her, leaving the hoof wrapped around her own her only guide as she ducked her head and prayed that Hurricane would not come to a sudden stop. If he did, then a new, shrill scream may fill the night air.

Though tempted to dig her hooves into the snow and demand they stop, she held her tongue and trusted the stallion to take charge. Being dragged about town, while in no way an acceptable mode of transport for royalty, sent a thrill tingling up and down the length of her spine. Her heart beat in time with the crunch of their hooves, and Platinum felt herself smile—another reason to keep her head down lest Hurricane see her enjoying herself.

Then again, why not give him that little bit of satisfaction? Insufferable as he could be, there was no denying that he deserved that much. Block-headed, arrogant, and proud to the point of pain all described Commander Hurricane, but tonight, so did warm, compassionate, thoughtful, and, dare she say it, fun.

So, Platinum kept her mouth shut and fumbled her hooves through the snow-laden streets of town, resigned to let Hurricane finish his ‘explanation’. And, as she found him slowing his pace to match hers, she realized with only a little surprise that she felt content to be on his foreleg for as long as he would have her.

A few minutes longer, they slowed from a gallop, to a trot, to at last a slow canter. Heaving to catch her breath, Platinum showed no shame in leaning against Hurricane as he offered his side for support.

“I’m a little surprised,” he said, his voice just above a murmur. With his hoof still wrapped around hers, he led her around a street corner. “I thought for sure you’d throw more of a fit. That wasn’t exactly polite of me, was it?”

Platinum’s hooves wobbled as she glanced at her companion. Between gasping breaths, she said, “Benefit of the doubt.” She held her head high, collecting her composure and looking at the barn Hurricane steered them towards. “I think you’ve earned it.”

“Really?” As expected, a note of satisfaction crept into his voice. “You’re not even curious where I’m taking you?”

“Would you really rather be spending your precious remaining time explaining your explanation?” Platinum arched her brow, smirking at the way Hurricane blinked. “You’ve been doing a stand-up job so far. Don’t tell me you’re getting nervous?”

“Nervous?” Through the fabric of her cloak, she felt his feathers ruffle and shake by her side. “I don’t know the meaning of the word.”

“Now, why doesn’t that surprise me? As for where we’re going, I thought you made that part fairly obvious.” She stilled her hoofsteps, pausing to gesture at the structure before them. “You have clearly taken me to a barn.”

“So I have. Care to guess why?”

Wrinkling her muzzle, Platinum eyed the barn up and down. It was nothing special, at least not on the outside. Big, tall, and made of wood, just like every other barn they made to house crops, hay, and whatever else they needed for agricultural exploits. Then, perking her ears up, Platinum took a step closer. “Is that music?”

“More than just music, my Princess,” Hurricane said, offering his foreleg once more. “Would you like to find out?”

A muffled rising of laughter and cheering caught her ear from within, and Platinum smiled, curtsied, and looped her foreleg around Hurricane’s. “How could any mare resist? Lead on, Commander.”

Grinning, he did exactly that. Without any visible effort, he pulled the barn door open enough for the two of them to slip in. Before Platinum took her first step inside, a wave of warmth rolled over her, smothering her with mouthwatering scents of roasted vegetables, freshly-baked breads, and the undeniable goodness of sweets and goodies for foals and adults alike. While Hurricane closed the door behind them, she stared slack-jawed at what waited for them inside.

Garlands strung from the rafters hung high above, decorated with red ribbons and holly berries. Below them, ponies from all across town, earth, pegasus, and unicorn alike, filled the barn floor. As Platinum gaped, they ate, talked, laughed, and sang together. The booming laugh of a stallion drowned out the higher-pitched giggling of foals running under and between the legs of their parents and townsfolk.

A long buffet table was set up at the far end of the barn in front of a tall, broad spruce tree, decorated in much the same way as the one propped up in her living room. Tinsel, wrapped around the branches of the tree, glinted in the light of the crackling hearth and other brightly coloured baubles and ornaments shimmered as the light danced off of them. A star, hewn out of the crystal they found in the mountains east of their settlement, perched on the top of the tree, completing the picture.

And, what caught Platinum’s attention the most, was the cluster of ponies dancing in the middle of it all. Pegasi with unicorns, earth ponies with pegasi, and unicorns with earth ponies filled the circle created by everypony else who cheered and stomped their hooves in time with the music while the dancers twirled and spun together. A small collection of musicians stood off to the side, bouncing with the rhythm and flow of the music they created.

“What is all of this?”

“It’s a party, my pretty Platypus,” Hurricane said from behind her. A set of strong hooves, his hooves, snaked around her torso and fiddled with the clasp of her cloak. Once it came undone, he pulled it off of her and stood by her side, both her cloak and his own draped over his back. He glanced around the barn, grin growing, before he reached out and prodded her with the tip of a primary. “A Hearth’s Warming party, to be precise.”

Before she could retort, delivering a verbal stinger readied on the tip of her tongue, a familiar voice called out to them. A second later, Smart Cookie’s creamy white-furred hooves wrapped around her. “You made it! Hurricane said you’d try, but you two were starting to make me think you weren’t coming!”

“Oh, well, ah, I wasn’t entirely sure we would be coming, either.” Wrapping her hooves around Cookie’s shoulders, she returned the embrace. She flicked her eyes over shoulder and fixed Hurricane with a look to which he grinned and shrugged at. “Regardless,” she said, holding her friend out at hoof’s length and brushing her forest-green bangs away from her face, “I am glad we could make it. We haven’t missed too much, have we?”

Cookie smiled and jerked her head to the circle of dancing ponies. “Are you kidding? We’ve only been going on for an hour or two, now.” Chuckling, she stepped around Platinum to trade hoof-bumps with Hurricane. “Puddinghead insisted that we keep the party going until sunrise if we can. You’re both more than welcome to stay for however long you like.”

“As good as that sounds, I’m afraid we don’t have much time to linger,” Hurricane said, sidling up to Platinum. “We’re on a bit of a tight schedule. We’ll stay long enough to warm up a little, dance a song or two, and then we’ll probably have to skedaddle.”

“Oh.” A small frown marred Cookie’s muzzle before she shook her head, her smile back in place. “Well, I’m happy to see the two of you. The least I can do is take your cloaks and wish you both a happy Hearth’s Warming!”

“Thank you, Cookie.” Returning her smile, Platinum exchanged another brief hug with her before she took their cloaks from Hurricane’s back. “And a happy Hearth’s Warming to you, too.”

“Hope you enjoy, Platinum.” With a sudden scowl, Cookie prodded Hurricane’s side. “And you behave yourself, you hear me? If you’re planning on dancing with a princess, treat her right.”

“As if I wouldn’t?” Returning the poke, Hurricane stood tall, his neck straight as his wing flicked to half-cover Platinum’s withers. Though she arched her brow, the stallion’s focus was on their friend, whose teal eyes flashed dangerously. “I know how to treat a mare properly. Worry not, little earth pony.”

Cookie sniffed and sauntered away. “Fine, but remember, if I hear that you’ve done anything typical of you, then I won’t hesitate to drop a pumpkin on your feathery, overstuffed head.”

Once she was out of earshot, Hurricane turned and smirked at Platinum. “We have such delightful friends, don’t we? Now, I think a dance is in order. That little bit of banter cost us some precious time.”

Platinum arched her other brow, pointedly looking from Hurricane to his wing lying over her back. When his smirk grew to show teeth, she rolled her eyes. “And suddenly you’re concerned about the time?” Lighting her horn, she lifted his wing off and took a couple steps to the side. “Given your demonstrated time management skills this evening, I wonder how long a ‘song or two’ might last.”

“Well,” Hurricane said, sidestepping to close the distance again, “for your information, caroling was only supposed to last for a little while.”

Platinum tilted her head to the side, but didn’t move to step away. “Was it? It certainly didn’t seem that way.”

“That’s only because a certain princess looked like she was having a lot of fun.” His grin softened, and she felt his wing brush over the small of her back, though it didn’t linger. “I didn’t have the heart to shatter your smile, however momentarily.”

A flutter of Platinum’s heart stole the words from her breath. Chewing on the corner of her lip, she flicked her tail to the side and made an effort to train her eyes on the string band and crowd of ponies in the middle of the barn. “I believe you said something about a dance?”

“Why, yes, I did.” The rustling of feathers drew Platinum’s gaze back to Hurricane in time to watch him bow and offer his foreleg. “If you are so inclined, might I have this dance, Princess?”

The violins stopped, and ponies around them stomped their hooves in applause, offering the perfect opportunity to step in before the next song.

As the musicians turned the pages of their sheet music, Platinum curtsied. “It would be my pleasure, Commander.” She took Hurricane’s offered foreleg and fell in line with him as they crossed the barn floor. Hay muffled their hoofsteps, and she couldn’t help a wicked little grin. “You don’t strike me as much of a dancer, you know.”

“Don’t I?”

“Not in the slightest. Somepony as big and strong as you are—you are a military pony, through and through. I, on the other hoof, have been taught how to dance since I could walk.” She giggled and batted her eyelashes. “I hope you won’t be embarrassing yourself too badly tonight. I know how precious your pride is to you.”

As Hurricane perked his ears up, the musicians brought their bows to their instruments. “Pegasi, for your information, are among the world’s best dancers.” With practiced ease, he stood on his hind legs, giving her a hoof up in the process. He held her hoof in his own while the other settled on her waist. “Prepare to be thoroughly swept off of your hooves, dear Platinum.”

“Big words from such a ...” Platinum scrunched up her muzzle as she trailed off. The firmness of Hurricane’s shoulder did not yield when she squeezed, prompting her to look up and down his frame. Toned flanks gave way to a sleek, smooth, and dark-furred barrel. Just underneath, she could see the rippling of muscle, a testament to his years of military training and practice.

And, a not-so-small part of Platinum noted, a testament she was only too happy to admire up close.

Then, higher up, came the broad shoulders her hoof rested on and, what demanded the most attention, his wings. They were large, imposing when flared, and wide enough to encase a pony entirely and pull them close against his chest, a particular trail of thought her treacherous mind was only too happy to explore.

“Such a what?”

Hurricane’s voice, low and rumbling like far-off thunder, jolted Platinum’s mind back to proper, more ladylike places of thought. Blinking, she found herself staring at his chest and, after glancing up to meet his eyes and satisfied smirk, felt a wave of heat wash over her muzzle. What was she going to call him? An oaf?

“I-I, well, um—” Clearing her throat, Platinum straightened her stance and put on her best game face, though found herself unable to quite meet Hurricane’s eyes. “Yes, well, nevermind. Actions speak louder than words.”

As if on cue, the musicians started to play. First, Hurricane, Platinum, and the other dancers around them, stepped apart to bow and curtsy to their partners. Then, when the violins joined the cellos, they began.

With effortless grace, Hurricane led her across the dancefloor, moving in time with the music. They moved together, matching each other’s steps, his hoof a constant and steady presence on the small of her back. It was easy to let him guide her through the dance, twirling when he raised his hoof only to be pulled back with a tug on her foreleg.

His wings, partially unfurled as they were, flapped every now and then, helping the two keep their balance as they spun, danced, and promenaded around their fellow dancers. He flashed a winning smile, and Platinum couldn’t help but laugh as an expanding warmth ballooning in her chest made her feel as light as a feather. Though she knew her hooves tapped and stepped over the floor, she barely registered the feeling of hay underhoof or the twirling of those around her.

In that moment, she felt weightless in Hurricane’s forelegs. When he made to lift her, he did so with ease, and another laugh, free and gay, peeled from her lips.

Actions, she thought as he led her into another twirl, certainly do speak louder than words.

A surprise, to be certain, but, as Platinum placed her hoof on his chest, she wondered if perhaps it shouldn’t be so surprising at all. Since the day she met him, she knew three things about the mighty commander of the pegasi: he was arrogant and brash; he was prideful to a fault; and he would fight tooth and nail for his ponies. Tonight had shown a different side to him, one she had only caught glimpses of in months past.

The pony that held her may have been arrogant and as prideful as they come, but he was every ounce thoughtful and caring as he was intolerable. In fact, after tonight, might even be tolerable—quite tolerable. Underneath the armor he wore as cold and dark as a winter’s night sky, he was, in a word, warm.

Or, Platinum considered as the music began its rise to a crescendo, perhaps she was warm. Deep in her chest her heart beat in a staccato rhythm, sending waves of heat racing up her muzzle and cheeks. As they spun together, she felt Hurricane’s hoof on her back pull her in close so that their coats rubbed together.

The faint scent of ozone tickled her nose. Leaning into his touch as they reached the song’s finale, she found her head tucked neatly under his chin. Rude as it was to look at somepony’s chest while dancing, she could not bring herself to look up and meet his eyes. When she tried, she only got as far as his lips and the grin he wore before an icy centre in the ballooning warmth in her chest dragged her head back down.

This feeling she recognized. She felt it one year ago, deep in her core as her world became snow and ice. She felt it an eternity ago when she first climbed the dais to her throne and had to face the court and her ponies as their princess.

But what would she have to fear from looking in Hurricane’s eyes?

As the music reached its finale, Platinum lost her footing. Stumbling over her hooves, her balance wavered and she felt herself begin to fall to the floor.

Until, that was, the hoof around her back tightened its grip and felt another wrap around her shoulders, halting her fall. Though the music stopped and they had stopped moving, Platinum felt as though the world still spun around her. Panting for breath, the one thing holding her steady was the coiled, solid strength of the legs that held her.

Despite herself, she felt the beginnings of a good and proper swoon overcome her.

“Told you I’d sweep you off your hooves,” Hurricane said, his breath hot against her fur. His chuckle gently shook her, and she at last met his eyes.

Oh, my.

The gleam of mischief and twinkle found in all troublemaking colts had vanished from his eyes. In its place was a steadily burning warmth, one that she had only seen exchanged by very few ponies in her life. Her question answered, she opened her mouth to reply, but found her throat dry. “I—yes,” she managed as her legs turned to jelly, melting under the warmth she felt coming off of Hurricane in waves. “I suppose you did.”

Platinum almost missed the feeling of his hooves around her as he helped bring her to her haunches. “Would you care for another?” he asked while she tried to stop her knees from shaking.

“I—um—” The heat soon became unbearable, lighting her cheeks aflame while simultaneously suffocating her. As the ponies around her ambled out of the circle to make room for new dancers, she licked her lips, gazes now locked to Hurricane’s shimmering teal eyes. “I-I think I need some air!”

Hurricane’s brow furrowed. “Is everything alright?”

“Oh, yes, perfectly fine!” She shook her head, dispelling further unladylike thoughts, and stretched her lips in a smile. “Thank you, Hurricane. That was, well, entirely lovely. I’m just going to step outside for a minute. Please, excuse me.”

Before he had a chance to respond, Platinum ducked her head and tripped over her hooves in her hasted scuttle to the barn door. Chilly, winter wind kissed her mane and sent shivers down her frame as she slipped out the heavy wooden door. With a flash of her horn and force of will, she cleared a spot in the grass for her to sit and collect her thoughts. Her skin crawled as the warmth from the barn was swept away by a gentle gust of wind.

At the very least, her thoughts began to clear as she sank to her haunches on her patch of grass. Letting out a chattering breath, she rubbed her hooves up and down her forelegs and wrapped her tail around her flanks, trying to retain as much heat as she could. No longer flushed and flustered, another blow of the breeze made her sorely miss a warm body next to hers as the seconds ticked by.

She twitched as the wind, biting through her coat, brought with it a snowflake that landed on the tip of her snout. Looking up, she saw that snow was indeed falling once more, bringing a fresh winter’s dusting to the unshoveled and blanketed town.

The realization that she should have perhaps brought with her a blanket or her cloak set in as blew a long breath into her hooves. Her minute had passed, and she knew Hurricane would soon be looking for her. That thought and the freezing snow and wind should have been enough to bring her retreat to the warmth inside. But, as snowflakes fell, landing on her fur and catching in her mane, she did not budge.

That same icy feeling, holding resolute in her heart, kept her rooted to the spot. She caught a glimpse of Hurricane’s thoughts through his eyes. The very image made her cheeks burn, however much she wished it was only from the cold.

She knew what waited for her inside, and a dozen questions buzzed in her mind. Did she really see what she thought she saw? What would she say if she did? What if she didn’t?

More importantly, why did a creeping suspicion that she wanted to see what she thought she saw cause butterflies in her stomach to take wing?

“Come now, Platinum,” she whispered to herself, watching her breath fog in the air. “You’re never going to find out by hiding out here like a little filly.”

The barn door creaked open behind her, and she froze. From inside, she heard the music and laughter of ponies. Hooves crunched in the snow, and Platinum kept her head down, waiting for them to pass.

Then, when the sound of hooves got nearer, she perked her ears up. Before she could turn to see who approached her, a wing draped around her withers and pulled her against a warm, solid body.

Platinum glanced up and found Hurricane smiling back at her. “My apologies, Princess,” he said, fluffing his feathers to shield more of her from the wind and snow. “I didn’t mean to make you wait so long, but I thought it would be rude of us to leave without saying goodbye to our hosts.”

The warmth his wing provided thwarted her best efforts to scowl, and Platinum relented to nestling in closer. “L-leaving?” she asked, willing her teeth not to chatter. “So soon?”

“My time’s just about up, isn’t it? That’s why you’ve been out here for so long, right? To wait for me so that we could move on?” His wing shook her as he flashed a broad, winning smile. “Surely you weren’t flustered from a little dancing?”

As enamouring as that smile may have been, Platinum found the strength to turn her nose up to the air and snort. “Certainly not! As I said, I just wanted some air.”

“Of course you did.”

“And it’s quite musty in that barn. I don’t know how anypony can breathe in there for longer than a few minutes.”

“Naturally.”

“Though,” Platinum started, allowing herself a small smile as she rubbed shoulders with Hurricane, “I must commend you on your finesse and grace. Nopony’s danced with me like that in, well, ever.”

“You’re quite the dancer, too. Now, as nice as it is to at last have you underwing,” he said with a wiggle of his ears, “there is one last part to my explanation, and I think I can squeeze it in right under the wire.”

Only partially surprised by herself, Platinum sighed. Leaving the comfort of his wing, even for her cloak, was not an appealing thought to consider. “I suppose you nearly are out of time, aren’t you?” She fiddled with a few frozen blades of grass and felt her wandering hoof bump into his own. “I assume you’re going to keep what’s to come a surprise?”

Hurricane chuckled, and Platinum felt his hoof wrap around hers, a gesture she didn’t shy away from. “You know me too well. Would it help if I said it was something much simpler?”

Platinum hummed, drinking in the warmth from his body as she rested her head on his shoulder. “I suppose I could live.” Then, blinking, she sat up and cleared her throat. “Just let me go back in and get my cloak.”

Grin sharpening and eyes twinkling, Hurricane pulled her flush against her side. “Do you really need it?”

A quiet gasp escaped from Platinum’s lips. The space between them vanished, and once more she smelled the lingering bite of ozone around his fur as she fought the urge to lean into it and bathe in its warmth. She looked up at him and couldn’t stop herself from smiling. Presumptuous, cheeky, overconfident, insolent—Hurricane in a nutshell. “How very forward of you.”

“It’s the pegasus way,” he said, flicking his tail over hers. “And, forgive me, but you don’t seem particularly upset by it.”

“I suppose I’m not, am I?” Platinum let out a small, girlish giggle and fluttered her lashes at her—the pegasus. Not hers, not quite yet, a notion that brought a skip to the beating of her heart. “Do you really think you can keep me warm with just your wing?”

This time, Hurricane hummed in thought. He scratched his chin and then, with a sharpened smile, said, “Perhaps I can distract you from the cold by singing your praises?”

A laugh bubbled up from Platinum’s chest. Vanity, while not her finest quality, was something even the most humble of mares liked to indulge in. “Well, then, this I simply must hear. Lead on, Hurricane, and do tell in great detail all of the things that make me wonderful.”

“Wonderful?” Hurricane asked, wrapping his wing tight around Platinum’s barrel as they stood and started to walk at a slow, leisurely pace. “I don’t think that’s a strong enough word.”

“It’s not?”

Hurricane shook his head, smiling softly as the wind blew his mane out of his face. “No, I don’t think so. I have a better one. It’s one that struck me the first time I saw you after the first Hearth’s Warming last year.”

Despite her better judgement, she pouted. “It’s rude to keep a lady in suspense.”

“It’s something I noticed as soon as we stepped out of that cave and into the sunlight,” Hurricane continued, ruffling his feathers over Platinum’s back. “It was like I could see clearly for the first time in years. When I looked at Clover, Cookie, and Puddinghead, I didn’t see my enemies. And when I stumbled over to Pansy’s side, I didn’t see another soldier. I saw them as what they were—other ponies, and my friends.”

Platinum furrowed her brow, but nodded. “I had a similar revelation, and felt all the more foolish for the way I conducted myself.” A question chewed away at her thoughts, and she likewise chewed her lip before collecting the courage to ask, “And what did you see when you saw me?”

“I saw a lot of things. I’m not too sure where to start.” A low, smoldering heat glowed behind Hurricane’s eyes when he turned to look at her. “I saw the way the sunlight caught and made your coat glimmer. I saw how your smile brightened up the world, finally free from the grey and dreary winter. Simply put, Platinum, I saw you for what you were.”

Heat crept up Platinum’s neck, spreading across her muzzle as she tried to work her suddenly dry mouth. Her hooves fumbled in the snow, and she was grateful for the strength of the wing around her to keep her upright and walking. A thousand thoughts raced through her head, and Hurricane seemed content to walk in silence, his damnable smile ever-present.

Their steps slowed to a stop at the base of a spruce tree standing tall on a hill near the edge of town. Hurricane guided her to sit under the lowest hanging branches where not as much snow had collected. While he stared out to the distance, Platinum looked down at her hooves, a hair’s breadth away from his.

“And,” she started when she found the words, “what did you see?”

“Hmm?”

“When you looked at me.” Shaking her mane from her eyes, Platinum lifted her head and focused her gaze on the side of Hurricane’s head. “When you looked at me that day, what exactly did you see?”

“Oh, that.” With a shake of his head, Hurricane chuckled. “I thought that was obvious. I saw you, Platinum, and you are radiant.”

Radiant, certainly one way to describe the way Platinum’s cheeks felt under the blush that burned over her muzzle. She opened and closed her mouth even as Hurricane’s tail entwined with her own. “I-I had no idea.”

“Speaking of radiant,” he murmured into her ear. “Look. The last part of my explanation, as promised.”

Platinum let him lift her chin and she gasped. “Oh. Oh, my.”

Snow fell softly on the vista of their town, covered in a blanket of white that sparkled like a cascade of diamonds in the gentle light of the moon that bled through the clouds overhead. Warm, inviting lights shone in the windows of cottages, where families gathered around the warmth of their hearths, surrounded by their loved ones.

It was a breathtaking sight, and again Platinum felt her words fail her. A year ago, the sight of snow falling brought with it a sense of gloom and misery. Now, with Hurricane at her side, it created a warm, fuzzy feeling that filled her from her horn to her hooftips.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?”

Platinum nodded, only partially registering the feeling of Hurricane’s wing slipping off of her back.

“Was it worth the time?”

Again, she nodded. “This is wonderful. No, more than that, I think.” Tearing her gaze away from the picture-perfect scene, she shifted her eyes to Hurricane and offered him the warmest, most loving smile she could conjure. “It’s simply divine.”

“I’m glad you think so.” The same kind of warmth Platinum tried to convey came rolling off of Hurricane in waves. His smile softened and his eyes glowed, drawing her in deeper. “But,” he said right as she started to lean in, “there’s one more surprise.”

“There is?” Giggling softly, Platinum tilted her head to the side to better catch the light in her eyes. “And what would that be?”

“Something you’d never see coming.”

“I think I have an idea.”

“Trust me, you don’t.” Mischief flickered behind his eyes, making them flash a brilliant teal and freezing the blood flushing Platinum’s face a bright red. “Remember, I do this out of love.”

Platinum opened her mouth, but his last words made her pause. “What?”

Hesitating proved to be a critical mistake. His grin warped into a smirk, one that she had seen all too often. He delivered a swift kick to the tree and danced away right before a mound of snow fell, shaken loose from the branches above her. She didn’t even have a chance to scream.

In an instant, Platinum’s world turned on its head from full of warmth and love to white, cold, and emotionally stunned as snow fell around her, covering her coat and mane. Sputtering, she shook her shoulders, dislodging what snow she could as the shock froze her thoughts.

Then, just as quickly, a burning flame flickered to life in her heart and grew as realization set in with the freezing cold. “Of all of the—” Fur bristling, Platinum jumped to her hooves. She gnashed her teeth and charged magic into her horn. “You blundering, arrogant, infuriating oaf! Everything I thought was wrong! I thought we were having a moment!”

She brushed the snow out of her face, and nearly fell back on her haunches when she found Hurricane standing before her, just as close as he was a moment ago. He darted forward, and Platinum’s thoughts ground to a halt when he lifted her chin and caught her lips in a kiss.

Electric tingles danced up and down the length of her spine and, after the anger boiling her blood was suddenly snuffed out, she fluttered her eyes closed and leaned into the kiss. She felt his hoof brush along her cheek and he pulled away much too soon for her tastes. He nuzzled his way up her jawline, making her hooves tremble. “Oh, trust me,” he whispered into her ear, “we are.”

“You ...” Head swimming, Platinum swayed on the spot. She couldn’t help but coo when Hurricane nuzzled into her mane.

“And,” he added, grazing his teeth along the edge of her ear, “if you can catch me, I might even let you do the kissing next time.”

With one last quick, fleeting peck on her lips, Hurricane flashed her one of his winning, damnable, and handsome smiles before kicking off from the ground. Snow stirred around her as he beat his wings and took off, cackling into the night sky.

Platinum, for her part, stood rooted to the spot. Too much flowed through her mind for her to process moving her hooves. All she could do was stand, staring at where Hurricane had been, replaying the feeling of his lips moving against hers over and over again. A thousand details, from the way his feathers rustled when he kissed her to the light dusting of snow that stuck to his mane, filtered through her head. It was all for nought, though, as the pounding of her heart drowned all of those thoughts out.

One thought held its ground over her heart, one that made her knees shake.

She wanted more.

And, as snow melt trickled down her neck, another thought squeezed through and demanded her attention.

Hurricane dropped snow on her, kissed her, and fled.

That got her hooves working again.

Flushed from her neck to the tips of her ears, Platinum whirled around. She scanned the night sky, her horn bright and alive with magic that begged to be released. Sure enough, she spotted him circling a street away. Snorting, a growl built up in the back of her throat before she took off, plowing through the snow, her eyes fixed on her handsome, rugged, delightful, and doomed pegasus.

Hurricane!

Her voice echoed down the empty streets. Hurricane spun around mid loop-de-loop, hovered in place, and then took off again as Platinum neared him. “Come and get me, Platypus!”

His laughter filled the night, beckoning Platinum to follow, and follow she would. And, once she caught him and had him properly pinned using whatever means necessary, she would exact her vengeance.

Oh, and what a vengeance it would be.

“He thinks he can play me like a fiddle, does he?” Platinum asked herself between panted breaths, smiling despite the cold and the snow. She stared after her target, flying just a little out of her magic’s reach, and let her thoughts run wild with her. “We’ll see about that, my dear Hurricane. Will you be laughing so when you’re buying dinner for the next eternity?”

Platinum laughed to herself as Hurricane led her deeper into town, feasting her eyes on the ways the muscles along his back flexed and moved with each flap of his wings. Yes, the dinners were a good start, and soon enough she would have him so tightly wrapped around her hoof that he would beg for her attention. And then, when he finally offers himself in his entirety at her leisure, would she relent. Oh, she could already taste the satisfaction and it was sweet.

Though, more immediately, she would demand her satisfaction, and she knew exactly how she would have it.

Once caught, she would have him wrap her up in those magnificent wings of his, but not until she held the perfect cup of hot chocolate in her hooves. Then, as she thawed the cold from her bones, he would hold her in his wings and hooves while whispering his apologies in her ear.

Satisfaction would be hers while she drank in his presence, buried her face in his coat, and felt his hooves rub in small circles along her back and, if he behaved himself, her flanks. Then, once he learned his lesson, she might even be so inclined as to return the favour. After all, no stallion of hers could be permitted to run wild without being disciplined.

That particular thought made Platinum’s heart skip a beat, and she pushed herself to go faster.

Hurricane’s two hours might have been up, but now she felt inclined to have him explain himself all night long.

Comments ( 14 )

FINALLY!

It was an absolute joy to preread this/pester you to put it up~

Screeeeech!

I like the chapter titles. They read so... sarcastic XD

That was absolutely adorable.

7855836

;3;

7855940

Time is a very valuable commodity, especially to a princess! Any suitor should know better than to waste his lady's time.

7856299

Thank you! I thought something fluffy and adorable would be the way to go for a Christmas present. I am glad you enjoyed :twilightsmile:

How does this not have more attention? It's wonderful!

7868254

Thank you for saying so!

As for attention, it's probably a combination of Christmas-story-posted-in-January and characters that aren't very popular. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment, and I'm glad that you liked it. :twilightsmile:

7868459 How could I not read it and love it? Personally I love stories involving the 'real' Founders and of course I'm a sucker for romance.

7868462

That makes two of us! Romance has always been a (guilty) pleasure of mine and it's by far my favourite genre to write.

I also have found myself increasingly enjoying playing with characters that aren't as "defined" in canon as the main set of characters are. We don't really know all that much about Platinum and Hurricane, really, and I really enjoy seeing the ways in which people write them. Fahrenheit, for whom I wrote this, has a really good story featuring these two and I really like how she writes their characters.

I waited WAY too long to read this. And what a fantastic read it was. The characterization of Hurricane and Platinum was flawless, unique and yet familiar. The banter was well paced and the romance was crafted like a renaissance statue. Well done, well done indeed.

P.S.
If you ever feel like, i don't know, continuing this in some way, that would be awesome.

8136725
Thank you! :twilightsmile:

I like to think I've grown a fair bit since those earlier days. My first story was posted in 2013, so I would honestly hope I've improved somewhat since then! Thank you for saying, though. That does mean a lot from someone who was there reading my earlier work.

For Commander Hurricane, the little bit on the Founders from the mlp wiki describes Hurricane as male, having been changed to a female to fit the context of the play where Rainbow Dash took on the role. Otherwise, I'm glad you enjoy him. He's a lot of fun to write. All Platinum wants is to be properly wooed, and Hurricane is ready to deliver.

This is like Love Actually level adorable here, in miniature.

“Come on, Platty!” he would say, eyes alight with mischievous delight while the tips of his wing danced down her side. “You can’t blame me for wanting to hear the pretty princess squeal like the filly she is.

Seriously. Dialogue like this needs to be regulated by a psychiatrist... and then prescribed in extremely high dosages for just about everyone.

I’m quite close to personally plucking your feathers to stuff my pillow

I may steal this at some point... :moustache:

What I loved about this story is how it captures two legendary historical characters and spins them from the original vision seen in the Hearth's Warming Pagent into something that still felt very much like Rainbow and Rarity, but remained very distinctive at the same time. They were inspired, but definitely original at the same time. That's what made it really magical. Especially Hurricane's final little act... and Platinum's plots to make sure he pays for it... forever. And just how much they'll both enjoy that payment... forever.

Eeeeeeeeee. So. Damn. Cute.

FTL

Dropped in due to a recommendation from the Seattle's Angels group and was not disappointed.

Top notch little story with good characterisations and a story that draws you in quickly and makes you wish for more as it ends.

Time to peruse your story archive.

Absolutely enjoyed reading this one! I won't go into too many details, since anything that I can possibly add has already been said by others, so I'll just thank you for posting this wonderful story, even if it took me entirely too long before I finally got around to reading it.

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