• Published 6th Jul 2012
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Cutie Mark Catastrophes - Wintergreen Diaries



Cutie Mark Crusaders find their marks and look to new horizons; taming colts for themselves.

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Cutie Mark Couples

Chapter 24: Cutie Mark Couples

For all the adventure that dwelled within young hearts, there existed also a need for rest to counterbalance the flame that burned within. Five fillies, two colts, and a young dragon filed out onto the roof of the tavern, conversing amiably amongst themselves as they spread out blankets and lay down in a circle, grateful for a chance to put up their hooves and simply take a moment of stillness. For some, like the bespectacled earth pony huddled close to a pink unicorn, the concept of friendship, or rather a healthy interpretation of it, was a curious notion not previously entertained. For others, like the pegasus filly who was once more clad in a dress that could turn the eyes of Canterlot nobles, the evening was simply a chance to kick it with old friends while getting to know the new.

Despite being some of the closest knit ponies in Ponyville, the Crusaders hadn’t really had much time to catch up. It seemed like everypony had a story to tell, and so came the story time. Always ready with a tale, Pipsqueak eagerly wove an elaborate yarn of swashbuckling daring do and near-death experiences, from the immovable Gatekeeper to the menacing Colossus of the Clouds. Drawing things to a close recounting the epic sparring match that had won the heart of his maiden and, more hesitantly, the reward for his feats, Pipsqueak bowed with a flourish amidst thunderous hoof stomping before taking a seat next to Scootaloo.

“Ouch! What was that for?” the colt asked indignantly, rubbing his foreleg where Scootaloo had lightly smacked him.

“‘She melted into my hooves and whispered sweet nothings into my ears, begging for just one more kiss?’ That’s so not what happened!” Scootaloo shot back, blushing in the moonlight while her friends had themselves a good natured laugh.

“Don’t feel bad, Scootaloo!” Applebloom piped up, quite contentedly holding onto Rumble’s hoof. “It ain’t like it’s the end o’ the world that ya figured out you’re a filly. Besides, ah think we can all agree that kissin’ is right nice.”

“Huh, easy for you to say,” Scootaloo grumbled while everyone else murmured their agreement. “You don’t have a scary older brother just waiting to drop from the sky the moment you even start thinking about getting sappy.”

“Applejack may not be able to fly, but that doesn’t mean Applebloom doesn’t have to worry,” Sweetie Belle piped up. “Applejack was just as bad as Storm at first, right Applebloom?”

“Shoot, there were times when ah thought fer sure it was all over,” the filly replied. “Still, ah think she’s startin’ t’ realize that Rumble is just the sweetest thing ever. Ain’t that right?”

“Uh huh!”

“Cut it out, you two,” Scootaloo pleaded, pulling a face before grinning widely. “Don’t you have something non-mushy to talk about? At least Pipsqueak’s story had zombies.”

“Shoot, ah’ve got one better than zombies!” Applebloom exclaimed, leaping upright. “Y’all probably ain’t heard about that absolute disaster that was our family dinner. I ain’t seen anythin’ get so crazy in all mah life, an’ ah’ve seen some crazy! It made Granny Smith look like she had all her apples in the basket!”

“Well, tell us already!” Ruby squealed, leaning forward excitedly.

“All right, this happened just yesterday, so if ah cry a little, that’s why,” Applebloom cautioned amidst her laughter, donning a wry grin. “Ever seen a drunken stallion turned mare try an’ get pervy with yer guest of honor? No? Ah didn’t think so! It all started when we had Rumble’s family over fer a little get together...” While perhaps not as riveting as mortal peril and the risk of cannibalization, Applebloom soon had the group weeping tears as they clutched their sides and fought for air.

“Y’all just don’t have a lick o’ sympathy,” Applebloom pouted, looking around at her breathless friends. “It was horrible, y’all! Watchin’ yer gender confused cousin get pervy with another stallion just ain’t mah definition of a good time!”

“That’s what the glue is for!” Ruby squealed, kicking her hooves in the air.

“All right, fine! Ah guess it was pretty funny,” Applebloom conceded, sharing a chuckle with Rumble as she sat down beside him. “Ah don’t think ah’ll ever forget it as long as ah live. Granny comin’ out o’ the closet with Thunderlane an’ Flitter, bein’ asked if... somethin’...”

“You got some cider out of it though, right?” Sweetie Belle chimed in, recovering sooner than Spike who lay snickering on the deck. “That must have been a nice treat. Rarity won’t let me near the cider. She says I’ll make a mess.”

“Oh, ponies do make a mess come mornin’,” Applebloom said solemnly, shooting a wink at Rumble.

“I didn’t mean to!” the hapless colt defended.

“Didn’t mean to... what?” Silver Spoon inquired, wiping a tear from her eye before returning her glasses. Applebloom looked at Rumble, smirked, and then back to the group.

“Let’s just say Rumble can’t hold ‘is liquor an’ leave it at that,” Applebloom chuckled softly, throwing her hooves around her apprentice and holding him close. “So Silver Spoon... you an’ Ruby, huh? Ah’ve got t’ hear how that came about.”

“Oh, it’s simple, actually,” Silver Spoon replied calmly. “We spent an afternoon bathing together, and she simply couldn’t resist me.” Caught completely unawares and in the middle of a deep draft of Silver’s finest rainbow fruit juice, Ruby sprayed her drink from mouth and nostril alike at her friend’s the declaration. Sputtering, the flabbergasted unicorn turned her dripping muzzle and gaping mouth gape towards Silver Spoon, characteristically smug and feigning innocence. “What? I didn’t mind.”

“We didn’t take a bath together!” Ruby half shouted, half cried, wiping a hoof across her moistened snout.

“I never said we did. Why, were you thinking about it?” Silver Spoon retorted with a giggle. “We may have to ask your mo-”

“No! We aren’t bathing!”

“Why not? You’re both fillies,” Spike interjected.

“Yeah, but we’re... she’s... and we’d...” Ruby stammered, no longer requiring a blanket to keep warm.

“You’d... what now?” Applebloom inquired, tilting her head to the side.

“Nothing! We wouldn’t anything because we wouldn’t bathe together!” the flustered pink filly declared with absolute finality.

“Yet,” Silver Spoon slipped in, growing slightly confused as Ruby affirmed her suggestion with an emphatic nod.

“Right, yet, cause- Wait, no! Spoony!”

“Yes, Pinchy?” Silver Spoon replied sweetly, batting her eyelashes. “Is there something you... wished to talk about?” Whirling around in a huff, Ruby turned her back to the aggravating bundle of adorableness behind her and folded her hooves across her chest.

“Sheesh, and I thought we knew how to bicker,” Spike whispered to Sweetie Belle, who immediately brought both hooves to her muzzle to stifle a laugh. “Seriously, they could give lessons.”

“Totally! But look, they sure make up fast,” Sweetie Belle whispered in reply, drawing Spike’s attention back to the two. They were murmuring softly back and forth, and after a few moments, the pink filly slowly leaned in to Silver Spoon’s waiting embrace. Spike threw a claw around Sweetie Belle’s shoulders as she did the same, and soon the two were laughing like nothing had happened, because really, nothing had. That was just the way the two worked. “Ok, so after you two bathed, what next?” Sweetie Belle began again, eager to hear the rest.

“See what you started,” Ruby teased, playfully shoving Silver Spoon a little.

“Now now, it’s not proper for a coltfriend to-”

“I’m not the coltfriend!”

“Oh, but Pinchy...” Silver Spoon said softly, looking back with pleading eyes.

“See what I have to deal with?” Ruby said, throwing up her hooves in mostly mock exasperation. “This was my afternoon. Lots and lots of this.”

“Anypony else think Ruby’s been bitten the hardest by the love bug?” Scootaloo snickered, raising a hoof.

“What? No way,” Applebloom denied, looking back. “Everypony knows it’s you, Scootaloo.”

“Pffff! As if,” the filly defended. “You don’t see me hanging all over Pipsqueak, do you?”

“Yer holdin’ his hoof right now.”

“Am not!” Scootaloo yelped, swiftly pulling away her hoof, shuddering for a moment at the sudden loss of warmth, and then slowly offered it once more to the good captain. “Ok, so I’m holding his hoof. Ruby and Silver Spoon are, like, whispering and stuff.”

“Yer in a dress.”

“So?”

“Ya don’t wear dresses.”

“Yeah, I do.”

“Only when ya dance, an’ only after Sweetie Belle begs ya fer half a day an’ buys you a milkshake, cotton candy, a dozen cupcakes, an’-”

“Would you two be quiet?” Sweetie Belle interrupted, pointing back towards Ruby. “I wanna hear the story! Oh, and that’s a really pretty dress, Scootaloo. You should wear them more often.”

“Oh, um... thanks, I guess,” Scootaloo murmured, sitting back down. With no further distractions, Ruby began to tell her tale of how she went from romantically disinterested to head over hooves in a day, but a gentle tap on Scootaloo’s shoulder bid her turn and peer at the colt beside her.

“Scootaloo?” Pipsqueak began in a soft voice. “You know earlier, when we were trotting to the tavern... was there a giant spider on my head?”

“You are so random, Pipsqueak,” the filly laughed, though she stifled her mirth as she noticed that the colt looked a touch anxious. “No, captain, there was no monster munching on your mane today. Why, did you feel something wiggling?”

“No, I didn’t feel anything strange, but on the way over here, well... all of those other ponies looked like they wanted to stomp on me,” he replied, causing Scootaloo to draw closer.

“Ugh... ignore them,” Scootaloo muttered with a groan, pulling a face in disgust. “They’re just jealous that they’re not as awesome as you.”

“...really?” Pipsqueak asked, mystified.

“Well, yeah! I mean, they all wanna by my special somepony after they realized how pretty I can be,” Scootaloo explained, sounding slightly vain. “But... they’re all disqualified, and you wanna know why?” Still perplexed by all the respect Scootaloo had for him, Pipsqueak couldn’t help but smile and nod. “You realized it first.” The colt’s eyes grew wide with wonder at her words, a soft blush taking them both as they beheld one another.

“Pirates... search all over for treasure. They spend weeks, sometimes even months at sea, all for the hopes of finding wealth and riches, but even when they find it, they keep looking for more and more. They keep searching because they haven’t found the perfect treasure.”

“Okay?” Scootaloo murmured, not quite catching the colt’s meaning.

“You said that I noticed first,” Pipsqueak said, fidgeting with his hooves as he took aim on a filly’s heart and lit the fuse. “Well, that’s because pirates have an eye for treasure, and I’ve... found something too beautiful to look away.” Scootaloo simply wasn’t prepared to be blindsided by such romanticism, and her immediate reaction startled everypony else much the same as she tackled Pipsqueak onto the deck and give him a very gracious smooch.

“Uh... yeah, I think they win,” Ruby stated, nonplussed.

“Great Auntie Applesauce... Ah knew that filly was havin’ trouble lettin’ out her girly side, but ah think the dam just broke!” Applebloom declared, shaking her head. “That’s what she gets fer holdin’ back so long, ah suppose.” Thankfully oblivious to the murmurs of her friends, Scootaloo continued along her path right up until the sound of an adult nearby caused the filly to spook.

“Goodness, lad. Let the poor lass breathe!” Leaping back with a yelp and hastily throwing a blanket about her shoulders to hide her wings, Scootaloo made little stammering noises as Gale roared with laughter. “Ye be gettin’ bold, Scootaloo. Ye best be thankin’ yer stars that it was me that came up those steps an’ not yer brother!”

“I-I already am,” Scootaloo muttered, blushing furiously. “Is there something you needed, Gale? We’re kinda, you know... busy.”

“As much as it pains me t’ pull the good captain away from ‘is lover, I must. Pipsqueak? Would ye come with me? We’ve somethin’ important t’ discuss.”

“Uh... sure?” Pipsqueak said, still slightly dizzy as he pulled himself upright. “I’m not in trouble for kissing Scootaloo, am I?”

“Good heavens, lad, ye’d have an earful from me fer refusin’ a bonny lass like Scootaloo somethin’ so simple as a kiss!” Gale exclaimed in mock horror. “Nay, ye did well, but we must be goin’.”

“Wait, Gale!” Scootaloo called out as the two made for the stairs. “He’s coming back, right?”

“Steady, lass. Ye’ll have his hooves again soon enough.” Shooting Scootaloo a wink, Pipsqueak plodded down the stairs with his commodore, sticking close as they waded through the sea of hungry ponies milling about the tavern. They hadn’t even made it to their destination before Pipsqueak bolted ahead, hopping up on the bench across from a green mare that was every bit as pleased to see him as he was her.

“Ahoy, Cloudburn!” Pipsqueak exclaimed, catching himself and his manners as she smiled back. “‘scuse me. How are you tonight, ma’am?”

“Well, he almost got it right,” she chortled as Gale took a seat beside her.

“Aye, he was close,” the stallion agreed, slipping a hoof around his mare and beaming bright while Pipsqueak tried to figure out what exactly he was close to. “Should we win the lad’s favor in this, the final battle, he’ll have plenty o’ time to perfect his greeting.”

“Gale, you’re being confusing,” Pipsqueak stated plainly, though he couldn’t help but be infected by the radiant aura of elation emanating from the couple beaming back. “You both look really happy about something.”

“Lad, what if I told ye that there was one pony with the power to grant these pegasi their deepest wish?”

“That’s simple!” Pipsqueak exclaimed, leaping upright. “I’d say we should go, all three of us, to see this pony right away! Then, we’d do whatever it took to make him grant your wishes! I don’t know what I could do to help, but... I’d try! I’d even give my boots if I had to!”

“Yer boots, ye say?” Gale chuckled, squeezing Cloudburn a little tighter. “Ye answer well, lad. I’m honored that ye would give up somethin’ so precious fer us, but that won’t be necessary.”

“Oh... well, that’s good to hear. I like my boots!” Pipsqueak declared, wriggling around in the tattered fashion disasters. “So, who is this pony? And what’s your wish?”

“He’s like a genie,” Cloudburn whispered, trembling with anticipation. Gale nodded, unable to help but feel nervous as he gazed into lucid brown eyes that burned with the fires of life.

“Aye, and it’s time t’ make our wish,” he said softly, looking upon his student that he hoped would be something much more by the end of the evening. “There’s... somethin’ I’d like t’ ask of ye, Pipsqueak. It ain’t somethin’ small, either, an’ it’s somethin’ only ye can give.”

“Me?” the colt questioned, as awed as he was perplexed. The stallion seated across the way matched the colors of his fearless commodore, but looked nothing like the confident scallywag that had taken him under his damaged wing. It’s... he’s just like me. I’ve never seen Gale anything other than awesome, but right now... I just want to give him a hug. The more the colt looked into the unassuming stallion’s eyes, the more he became convinced that whatever Gale asked, if he could give, he would.

“I don’t know how I can help, but if it will make you happy again, I’ll do my best.”

“I’d...” Gale whispered, choking on the words. Pipsqueak felt his breath catch as the strongest stallion he knew bowed his head and visibly shivered before lifting misty eyes to try once more. “After seein’ ye with Scootaloo, I... think ye’ve realized that there are some treasures no bits can buy.” Cloudburn drew closer, feeling every ounce of her stallion’s fear and longing, for they were hers as well. “Cloudburn is precious t’ me, an’ if it were just me an’ her for the rest o’ our days, then we... we could learn to be content... But there’s one more thing that we both wish for, an’... an’ it’s somethin’ special. A... a royal treasure.”

“You want something of Luna’s?” Pipsqueak asked in innocence, not having any idea how true his words really were. “If I didn’t know any better, commodore, I’d say ye were frightened... commodore?” There was a moment or two of tense silence before Gale simply nodded, lifting his eyes to those of a colt dear to his heart. “You... you are?”

“Aye, just a wee bit, Pipsqueak,” the stallion conceded without a fight, catching the colt off guard. “Pipsqueak, I ask ye not as yer commodore, but a stallion who’s found something that cannot be taken, only given. I’d... I’d like ye... would...”

“Gale?” On the verge of tears, the stallion lifted his gaze once more to find Pipsqueak had moved from his seat to stand beside the commodore’s bench. Rearing on his hind legs and planting his front hooves on the bench to keep his balance, the colt leaned as close as he could manage and peered up at a pony for whom he’d gladly face his fears, if only to bring a smile back. “You’ve already taught me a lot, and I don’t think I’d have been able to face my fears if you hadn’t noticed me. There’s still a lot I need to know, but... I’d like to help you, too.” Sliding from the bench and nearly collapsing beside the colt, Gale stretched out his hooves and held him close as the first tears began to roll, and it wasn’t until little hooves hugged back that he found the strength to ask.

“Would ye... let me call you me son?” Nearly into his teens, Pipsqueak had given up on ever hearing those words, but with a single question the longing for a home swept over the colt from head to hoof. Trembling as his heart threatened to break through his chest, Pipsqueak couldn’t dam the fluent joy that sprang to his eyes as a family, his family, was joined together for the first time.

“I’ll... I’ll be your son if you... wouldn’t mind if I called you father?”

“Oh, lad... whenever ye wish.” Where there is a father, so also should there be a mother. Joining her stallion in shedding tears of jubilation, Cloudburn wrapped them both in her hooves, spreading her wings around her family as if to ward away any and every worry and care. Fate had dealt them both a horrid hand of cards, but whether by fortune or sleight of hoof, they held in their hooves a treasure blessed by a princess, and nothing would ever take that away, least of all the dark figure who watched from across the way.

Any trepidation that had troubled the bystander’s heart at letting go was washed away by the sight of two ponies enjoying a treasure she hadn’t really lost, but simply shared. Unwilling to be left out, Luna swept across the room amidst gasps of shock and enfolded the family within her wings, shrouding them from the stares and whispers of ponies who couldn’t know the beauty of what they were witness to.

I had feared I would not be able to let go, but it seems... my dear sister was right yet again. There is nothing but peace within my heart: peace, and joy for these, my dear friends. “This makes twice thou hast moved me to tears, Gale,” Luna whispered, laughing quietly along with the stallion. “Should you make a habit of this, I may yet have need of those leeches.”

“Ach, they’re not so bad after a little smooth talkin’,” he said softly, lifting his gaze as the alicorns massive wings receded.

“Miss Luna?” Pipsqueak piped up, wiping his snout on the back of a hoof.

“What is it, my dear colt?” Luna said softly, dipping her muzzle down so she could meet the colt at his level.

“Now that I have a mother, you’re... not gonna stop coming to visit, are you?” he asked, looking up with pleading eyes. “Please don’t stop coming. You’re still my favorite princess.” It was the comforted who sheltered the comforter as Luna swept the colt into her hooves and wept openly. It wasn’t much, but tattered wings spread around that princess of the night as she too found the desires of her heart granted by a kind and caring colt.

“Gale, you heartbreaker,” a voice piped up from behind, causing the stallion a wearied grin. “Making the princess cry? You cad.”

“Storm, not now... can’t ye see we’re busy weepin’ like babes?” Gale said with a light shake of his head.

“May I ask what’s the occasion?”

“With Luna’s blessing, I’ve found a son.” Sarcasm and all that remained of trite jibes disappeared as Storm’s eyes grew wide. More than any of Gale’s other friends, he knew just how deeply the wounded stallion before him wished to be a father, and he wasn’t about to ruin the moment with further jokes.

“Gale, that’s... that’s awesome,” Storm said softly, placing a hoof on the stallion’s back. “So... when do I get to meet your kid?” Taken aback as Gale roared with laughter, much to Luna and Cloudburn’s confusion, the stallion shook his head and grinned with fiendish glee at the question.

“Luna, if ye please, allow me son t’ say hello.”

“If I must,” she said with a smile, sniffling as she gave the colt one last squeeze before allowing him to stand. Storm stared blankly at Pipsqueak as he trotted over and took his place beside Gale.

“You don’t mean...”

“I’ve believe ye’ve met Pipsqueak, aye?”

“You do mean.”

“Oh, aye!”

“No, this is not ok!”

“Watch it, Storm!” Cloudburn snapped back, instantly defensive. “I’m not about to let anypony get between us!”

“I’m not worried about Pipsqueak, I’m worried about Scootaloo!” Storm yelled back, growing frantic. “Cloudburn, you remember how it was back in Cloudspire, right? If it weren’t for the fact that Gale was denser than your average brick when it came to mares, they’d have been all over him! Scootaloo is already head over hooves for Pipsqueak, but with Gale as his father, it... he’ll...” Cloudburn simply grinned at the stallion as he sank to a sitting position. “...it’s over.”

“Don’t worry, lad,” Gale quipped, giving the stallion a well-natured shove. “He’s an honourable young colt. I’ll make sure he treats yer sister right.”

“I bet they’ve already kissed!” Storm wailed dramatically, his features falling further as his facetious statement was confirmed with a grin. “...they have, haven’t they?”

“Aye, twas a thing o’ beauty,” Gale confirmed with a chuckle before turning towards his respectfully silent son. “Pipsqueak? Yer friends are waitin’ for ye, as is yerr lass,” Gale reminded the nonplussed colt. “Go an’ have fun, lad. I’ll take care o’ this one,” he concluded, giving Storm a hearty pat on the back.

“Ok, um... father?” Pipsqueak responded hesitantly. “Father’s ok, right? Or should I say commodore?”

“Father is fine, son.”

“This is great. I’ve got a father, and a mother, and... and a princess!” the colt exclaimed, rearing in his excitement. “Luna, would you like to come meet my friends? We’re telling stories!”

“I would be delighted to join!” she replied eagerly, grateful for her inclusion. She stood and followed Pipsqueak a few steps before coming to an abrupt halt and peering over her shoulder with a wink. “Oh, and Storm? I do hope I won’t hear any tales of you disturbing my favorite colt from his pursuit of happiness. I would find such news most vexing.”

“Ye don’t want t’ tangle with that one, lad,” Gale said sagely. “The Canterlot dungeon ain’t the most accommodating place t’ lay yer head.”

“Gale, can I ask you something?” Storm calmly replied after a few moments of silence.

“Aye?”

“Can I trust Pipsqueak?” Taking a moment to accepted yet another jubilant embrace from his faithful fillyfriend, Gale turned his attention once more to his lifelong friend as he stood. “Scootaloo is really taken by him. She’s been energetic, emotional, and even more worrisome, girly, and it all started with Pipsqueak. Aside from being a few straws short of a hay bale, he hasn’t given me any reason to doubt his character, but... I guess I’d just like to hear it from you.”

“Storm, I know Scootaloo means the world to ye, but I think ye already know he’s harmless.” Storm hung his head and laughed lightly, nodding. “Give the lad some time. An’ talk t’ yer mother!” Gale chided, throwing his hoof in the air for effect. “The lass knows her stuff. If anythin’, the fact that she’s not worried should be more comfortin’ than anything this stallion could offer ye.”

“You’re right, of course,” Storm conceded without misgivings. “I’m happy for you, Gale. I know that you’ll raise a fine colt, both you and Cloudburn. I guess... I should count my little sis lucky.”

“Wahaha~!” The murmur of the tavern quieted the wake of such a triumphant shout, and Storm barely had time to step aside as a white unicorn with stylish lavender mane raced passed him with a picture held aloft. While Rarity held herself to a certain standard of refinement, her natural exuberance often left her manners by the wayside in the face of something that caught her fancy.

Oh, this is simply too wonderful! I’ll have to make sure and thank Twilight again for capturing Sweetie Belle’s special moment on film! Pausing at the base of the stairs, she gazed starry eyed at the scene in the picture, feeling her heart melt all over again. Oh, Sweetie Belle... what could possibly be more wonderful than this? Well, I suppose it would be even more exciting should I be recieving a kiss myself, but this is no time to be selfish!

“Sweetie Belle! I-” Rarity began, making it only two stairs up before hastily retreating and standing to the side as a groaning bundle of orange feathers came to a rest at the base of the stairs. “Goodness, are you alright? You aren’t hurt, are you?”

“Just my pride,” Freefall moaned, sitting upright. “...and my face, and wings, and flanks, and... whoa,” he paused, actually taking a look. “You’re, um... really... kinda...” A jingle sounded behind him, snapping the stallion back to reality. “Not my fillyfriend! Yeah, that!”

“No, that is quite correct,” Rarity agreed, lifting her gaze to the quiet mare standing behind him. “Good evening, Bangles. Are you well?”

“I am, thank you,” she replied, flashing the mare a brief smile before stooping down beside Freefall. “Come on, let’s get you to a bench.” Watching the two go, Rarity couldn’t help but wonder how that stallion, who she’d heard was rumored to have knocked himself senseless on multiple occasions out of sheer nervousness in dealing with the opposite gender, could have a significant other when she, a lady of refinement and generosity, was hardly noticed among the ponies in Ponyville.

Well, none of the suitable ones, anyways... Right, Sweetie Belle! Rushing up the stairs and spotting her sister so adorably snuggled next to Spike, Rarity dismissed her manners despite the presence of royalty and all but tackled her sister.

“What the... Rarity, what gives?” Sweetie Belle squealed, barely able to breathe as her sister squeezed her tight.

“What gives? Why, this, of course!” she declared, holding the picture up for her to see.

“Hey this is...” Sweetie Belle began, her jaw dropping as she beheld her very own flushed cheeks, captured forever within a photo.

“Oooh, Sweetie Belle, I’m so jealous of you!” Rarity swooned, snatching the picture away and showing it to Spike. He looked at it a moment, glanced over at Sweetie Belle, and then back at Rarity with a smug grin. “This is the most magnificent gesture I’ve ever- Luna!” Rarity gasped, offering a quick bow, “how rude of me!”

“Worry not, Ra-” Luna began, hard pressed to keep from laughing as she was cut off.

“I cannot believe my manners!” Rarity interjected, throwing a hoof over her eyes. “After all, you should have been the first to see!” Luna grinned as the full grown mare skipped like a filly and eagerly held the photo aloft, chatting all the while. Shrugging as all eyes turned to her, Sweetie Belle turned to Spike who looked far too pleased with himself, and was currently giving Rumble a high hoof.

“Spike?” Sweetie Belle said sweetly, offering a smile as he turned towards her.

“Yeah?”

“You didn’t tell me that Twilight took a picture of us!” the filly exclaimed, slightly put off that she hadn’t been alerted.

“You didn’t ask,” he defended, folding his arms across his chest. “Besides, it was her fee for moving the piano. It seemed harmless enough...”

“Harmless? My sister’s gone crazy!” Sweetie Belle retorted, pointing at her giggly sibling. So far gone was Rarity that she paid the comment not the slightest heed, continuing to educate Luna on all the reasons why her little sister’s kiss was absolutely perfect.

“Really, I had no idea Spike was such a romantic! It must have been terribly hard to get a song written in such short time, but I daresay it worked like a charm! And just look at the lighting!” she continued, “it’s absolutely spectacular! Such vivid hues of vermillion and fuschia... it’s so beautiful that I-” Interrupting herself with a massive gasp, Rarity stared vacantly into the distance with Tom eyes before rending the night with a piercing squeal.

“Idea~! Oh, I could make a whole new line with this! I’ve not a moment to lose!” Zipping out of sight, the photograph slowly fluttered towards the ground, only to be shrouded in a light blue aura just before it touched down. “Oh, right!” Rarity called out, poking her head up from the stairs. “I just wished to give you my sincerest congratulations. Colts like Spike are far too few, so make sure that you treat him well.” Eager to bring her vision to life before the inspiration was lost, Rarity had just made it out of the tavern when a perky pony called out after her, threatening the immediate cessation of any and all hopes of progress.

“Rarity? Where’re you going?” Pinkie asked, cantering over with a look of abject confusion. “All of our friends are inside. Don’t you wanna stick around?”

“As divine as a mug or two of Silver’s cider sound right now, I’m afraid I’ve something urgent to attend to back at the boutique,” Rarity explained, unable to stow her excitement. “You see, I was admiring the colors in this photograph.” Pinkie Pie looked intently at the picture and grinned.

“Awww, that’s adorable!” she chortled, giving a little hop. “It looks like my super duper gem cake really did the trick! They look so cute, all snuggled up close... tasting each other.”

“Yes, er... that’s one way of looking at it, I suppose,” Rarity mused, unable to keep from herself from smiling at her friend’s somewhat skewed interpretation of love. “Anyways, I couldn’t help but notice the gorgeous colors lighting the sky, and a simply ravishing dress design came to me. I would love to stay and drink, but I really must be going.”

“Okie dokie loki!” With the party mare’s blessing and the fires of creativity burning bright, Rarity adopted a quick trot and slipped into her boutique. After flipping on the lights and allowing her eyes to adjust, she went right to it, sketching out draft after draft of possible designs juxtaposed to lengths of ribbons arrayed in all the splendid colors of the setting sun. From pale lavender to vivid magenta, vermillion, crimson, and gold, Rarity felt the joy of dressmaking welling within her chest. Shuffling the papers, she continued to compare, edit, and blend until a sudden knock upon her door caused her to blink.

Now who in Equestria would be coming by so late? Wait, no, don’t tell me... “...the door is open, Pinkie.”

“Wheee~! Wow, Rarity, how’d you know it was me?” Pinkie squealed, giving the door a hearty shove and traipsing in with a serving dish balanced upon her buoyant mane.

“Call it a hunch,” she replied, growing curious. “What’ve you got there?”

“Well, you said that you wanted some tasty cider, but you also wanted to make dresses! Since you can’t be two places at once, and it’d be kinda difficult to make dresses at the tavern, I thought I’d bring you a little something to wet your whistle!” Pinkie explained, bowing her head and offering Rarity a mug.

“Oh! That’s... very sweet of you, Pinkie,” Rarity said slowly, wrapping one of the two mugs in her aura and bringing it to her lips. Despite Pinkie’s transit, it still tasted like it was cool from the tap, and Rarity took a deep draft, relishing the sweet taste as it trickled down her throat. She was about to go for another when she noticed she was being watched, and it gave her pause.

You’re a confusing mare, Pinkie, but you’re really quite caring. A little eccentric, perhaps, but that can easily be overlooked. “Thank you very much for bringing me a drink, Pinkie. It really was quite refreshing,” Rarity said with a smile. “I know that it’s not the most enthralling pass time for one as vivacious as yourself, but-”

“Vivawhat?”

“Vivacious. Animated? Highly energetic?”

“Ooooh...” Pinkie murmured, adopting a studious look. “See, I thought it meant ‘live delicious’ in Mexicoltian, and I was gonna be like ‘well, DUH, Rarity! I always live delicious!’ Arrriba~!” Rarity let a hoof cover her face for a moment as the mare whooped and giggled, but it was more to cover a smile that didn’t need to be hidden.

“While I have no piñata, what I was going to say is that if you’d like to stay while I work, I certainly wouldn’t refuse the company.” Perhaps the mare was simply maturing, or she wasn’t feeling quite herself, but either way, Rarity was surprised at the tame response to her invitation. Pinkie didn’t answer at first, but rather looked down at her cup, paused, and then took a small sip.

“I’d... like to stay,” she said softly, offering a timid smile. “I’ll do my very best not to get in your way, okay?”

“You know,” Rarity began, setting down her nearly empty mug, “my biggest concern was getting the designs from my head and onto paper before they left. I’ve managed that, and I even have the colors all picked out, so how about we do something else, just the two of us?”

“Omigosh, can we really?” Pinkie squealed, springing to life.

Ah, there it is. That’s our Pinkie. “Why, certainly! We are friends, you and I. You know... I’ve been dying to see what I can do with your mane... would you let me try my hoof at it?”

“You can try me with all four hooves if you want!”

“Eh, that won’t be necessary.”

“Oh well! Can’t say I didn’t ask,” Pinkie snickered, hopping circles around the fashionista. “I’ve gotta warn you though, the last time I tried brushing my mane, I lost my brush. Oh, and if you feel a pinch, that’s probably Gummy. He likes to hide in there a lot.”

“Well, if he should rear his head, then he’ll be fabulized as well.”

“Fabuwhat? Rarity, you’re talking like me!”

“Oh, am I? I hadn’t noticed,” Rarity said dismissively. Good heavens, she’s right! Not that it is necessarily a bad thing, but... gracious, I hadn’t realized. Oh well, first things first! There will be time to contemplate my vocabulary later! Leading Pinkie Pie back into a lavish washroom complete with jacuzzi tub, walk-in changing room, and an opulent mirror, Rarity sat Pinkie down and took just one more moment to appreciate her friend’s ever present radiance before getting on her game face. “Now then, prepare yourself, frizzy mane! It... is... on!”


Back upon the roof of the tavern, the ponies had continued to pay tribute to their princess with song, dance, and story. Luna treasured her time there, a momentary reprieve from the nightly grind of castle life, but as dearly as she wished she could stay, her responsibilities as a princess took precedence. Telling herself “just a few more minutes” provided another hour of entertainment, but as she marked the position of the moon, now high in the sky, she reluctantly prepared for her departure and stood.

“It seems that all of my little friends have excitable siblings,” Luna mused, looking around at the host of young ponies with a smile. “I’m afraid I must be going, but do continue sharing in one another’s friendship. May the stars shine brightly upon all of you this night. And you, my little prince,” Luna paused, pulling Pipsqueak into a warm embrace, “behave thyself. I will see you again soon.”

“On my honor, I’ll make you proud!” Pipsqueak affirmed, watching as the princess melted into the night. There was one more story to tell, and the group quieted as Sweetie Belle and Spike each told their tale in parts. With every added stop and each failed effort, from Lyra’s house to Octavia’s overzealous spirit of competition, Sweetie Belle felt her appreciation for the music that still rang in her ears and heart grow ever deeper. It soon came time for her to speak, though most of her friends already knew her side of things. From telling her friends of their plans to gather at the tavern to searching herself for words that needed to be said, her afternoon had stretched on for what seemed like an eternity, but every painful second was validated within moments of her reunion with the one holding her hoof.

“I really couldn’t believe what I was hearing when he started to play,” Sweetie Belle said softly, stealing a smitten glance at the blushing dragon beside her. “It was like... he’d put what I couldn’t say with words into music, and then all at once, I just... couldn’t help but sing.”

“Shoot, that’s about the most romantic thing ah’ve ever heard of that doesn’t involve glue!” Applebloom cheered, looking confused as the circle erupted into laughter. “What’s the matter with y’all? Spike deserves some kind o’ award after goin’ through all that, right?”

“Uh huh!” her supportive echo replied. “Hey, you should totally sing it for us!”

“Yeah! Come on, Sweetie Belle!” Scootaloo seconded, leaping upright. “I’ll even dance. Please?”

“Sure, I’ll sing it! But, um... Spike, do you think you could-”

“Already on it!” he called out, rushing downstairs and out of sight.

“Shucks, ah guess ah better pitch in too,” Applebloom chuckled. “Rarity would have a fit if y’all gave a performance lookin’ like that.”

“What? I’m in a dress!” Scootaloo replied with mild annoyance. “What’s it take to please you, huh?”

“Yer mane’s outta order, yer dress is all wrinkled, an’ both of you have grass in yer hair. Now, come on, let’s get you tidied up. Rumble, would ya like to help?” It was a silly question, and the colt eagerly lent his hoof helping Applebloom with her living beautification project. Manes were cleaned and straightened, a dress hastily de-wrinkled, and with a lavender flash, an ebony beast landed in the center of the roof. Gathering together, everypony took their seats in eager anticipation of the moving melody that was to come. Scootaloo stood beside Sweetie Belle while Spike took his place on the pianist’s stool, and after receiving nods from both, the diva addressed her cherished crowd.

“I think we can all agree that this has been one crazy week,” Sweetie Belle started, looking each of her friends in the eyes. “From zombies, to glue, to disgusting fridges, we’ve all had our share of adventures, and I know I’m not alone when I say that relationships are a lot of work. But... as we move forward as couples, and as friends, let’s not forget the bonds already forged as we try and build new ones. Each and every one of you are... lovely to me.”

They sang until their throats ran dry, danced until they could hardly lift their hooves, and then danced some more. Laughter became a greater chorus than the crickets as they teased, pried, laughed and cried tears of mirth, lifting their sweet melody of friendship to the heavens. As the end of their time drew nigh, a hoarse dragon coughed a little to clear his throat, dispelling the silence as the group lay back, watching the stars.

“Hey, everypony? I was just thinkin’... with how crazy this week ended up, doesn’t it make you wonder what next week is gonna be like?” Friend looked to friend, but it was a straightforward farm filly that summed things up for everypony.

“Sure, things got a touch outta hoof here an’ there,” Applebloom began, snuggling up closer to Rumble as she smiled. “Even still, ah had a lot of fun. Sharin’ a night with everypony here tonight is one o’ mah best memories, an’ if it takes a little crazy t’ make another... well, ah don’t know about the rest of y’all, but ah can hardly wait.” With a unanimous cheer from spent voices, it was declared to be official: the past week had been the greatest week of their lives, and it was just waiting to be topped by the next. Gathering together for one last hurrah before they said their farewells, seven hooves and one claw came together in friendship.

“Cutie Mark Crusaders: Couples! Yay!”

Comments ( 89 )

Happy Hearts and Hooves Day, everypony! Have the last two chapters! I'll be making a rather huge and hopefully informative blog post sometime in the next day or two to let you all know what's next on my list. Thanks for reading!:twilightsmile:

That was well worth the wait and I am sad to see such a work of art finished, as the Journey was much more fun, I am looking forward to more storyies Cerulean1313, continue to amaze me :pinkiehappy:

WHY CAN'T I UPVOTE THIS TWICE?! Seriously, I can honestly say this is the best fic on FiMFiction, no questions asked. Words don't do it justice

Welp, this one huge monster os amazingness is finally over, eh? It's been the best of rides and I will be looking forward to more from you, my dear Cerulean.:twilightsmile:

2122418

I agree with you Cerulean did an amzing job at capturing the innocence and romance of the Characters, i have read these like 10 times each :pinkiehappy: and i can not wait to see what he has in store for us next:rainbowdetermined2:

makes me wish I could go back to my childhood, so I could experience this kind of stuff. I never had a real childhood.

At first
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followed by
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And then
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t2.gstatic.com/images=tbn:ANd9GcQWu76T_fWTjY1iLRagQb8rLkBU8_qH2Q45Ctqz8hU7WOpZtIEj

2122289 As much as I want this to continue, it had to end some time. And what a place to end it!! And what a day to end it!!!
Not that I care about that, the single life for me!!

So whose next, and when will Pinkie realise she's not in to mares, as you have informed us that they will all be getting stallions?

Before I start reading:

FUCK YEAH, SPIKEBELLE

This was FANTASTIC!

Best story ive ever read

I don't need the blog-post to see what's next. PinkieXoc with a lot of sad Rarity in it. In Flutter's story she already almost broke and I'm afraid it will really happen now. Did almost expect a short sad scene with Pinkie and Rarity together at the end.

This was a very good story, a good part of your project. I really enjoyed all of the troubles they kept making/running into, and it only added to the entertainment value. I honestly haven't seen much of these pairings before, and reading this made me like them. You brought them together in and slow, and it's great that you did that, including all the conflicts that you put in. Well done.

This is one of the most satisfying endings to a story I've ever read.

Thank you for a fantastic story Cerulean.:pinkiehappy:

The adoption scene melted my heart so much!

-Mis

Damn, the adoption there might have been the most touching scene in the entire story. :pinkiesad2::pinkiehappy:

Nice, I had a feeling Luna might be there as well.

2122289 Looking forward to it, whatever it may be! This was excellent, dude, such a great ending. :pinkiesmile:

From start to end there were many laughs, feels,and facehooves. Many,many facehooves, but when it is all said and done there is simply...
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In the air.

Happy Hearts and Hooves Day.

Awwwww... it's over,:fluttercry:
but this has definitely been one of my favorite fan fics of all time :twilightsmile::twistnerd::yay::scootangel::raritywink::pinkiesmile:
You sir, have made my valentines day. :rainbowkiss::raritystarry::twilightblush::pinkiehappy:
-MikaPurple:ajsmug:

Can't wait to see what you'll do next. :pinkiehappy:

I'm kind of glad this one is over. It's not that it's bad or that I don't like it, but I really liked the previous stories more than this.

Its sad to see this fic go, however that means rarity and pinkie will finally get dates,


Oddly enough, my favorite style of story is an action/adventure story with a hint of romance, yet this series holds my favorite stories ever and is undoubtably my favorite series ever

As with your other works, I enjoyed this one. That being said I felt a disturbance in the force. It seemed to me, just by how you made Pinkie and Rarity interact with each other in that single paragraph, that there is a possibility of Raripie shipping in the next story? I know that you probably won't listen to what I have to say but that has to be my least favorite shipping in the entire universe. I love your OCs and I would also love to see Rarity or Pinkie (perhaps both) shipped with brand new characters. Maybe I'm reading into this too much, but it's just a gut feeling I have. :twilightoops:

Woot! thanks those two chapters were amazing:pinkiehappy:

the fire’s of creativity burning bright

Should be fires. It's not fire's creativity, it's fires OF creativity, so since it's not possessive... Yeah. Not sure how I missed it before. Sorreh...

Mane’s were cleaned and straightened,

Should be Manes...

They sang until they’re throats ran dry,

their. <.<

Comment posted by shadownidhogg deleted Feb 15th, 2013

2123669 dude there is different ways to spell things for pony sakes damn i am tired of fucking critics i wanna back hand the lot of you'

btw mr author lovely ending lol

2123808
You do know, Trevor, as well as me, work for Cerulean. We aren't critics.

2123808 YEAH... There's different ways to spell the same words because they mean different things, like tense use, possessiveness, etc.
On a second note, I am one of Ceru's Pre-readers, making me an editor, not a critic. A critic would be analyzing the actual storyline, pointing out the flaws and good points of the story, and then going on to recommend, or not, for others to read.

So yeah, sorry, but I'm not a critic, I'm a pre-reader, and damn proud of it! If you don't like me, I could not care less.

2123808 You're right. There are right ways to spell things and wrong ways to spell things.

well, sad to see this end.
onward to the next~! :3

By my time, I still made this comment before Valentines day ended.

Well, this looks like the end of the road for yet another story in the Ceruleverse. You've got talent, man, I hope you keep using it. I haven't been around the whole time, nor have I commented on all of the chapters, but you're an awesome person and a fantastic writer. I look forwards to another story from you. Perhaps the final installment in your storyline, developing this possible RariPie we have going on here? Maybe it'll go deeper, who knows.
Now I just gotta find something to do with my own collection of random OC characters. :pinkiecrazy:

Also, I hope you've been doing well. I remember last time we talked, and I sincerely hope that you're doing fantastic.

Peace!
-Bass

fc05.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2013/044/6/7/it_s___beautiful__by_engrishman-d5urxy2.png

I can't wait for the next part. I'm sensing we're getting Raripie and Rainbow Dash's and Applejack's new foals to accompany Dawn's eccentric adorableness.

May the Grace of the Valar Protect You

Shire Folk

We need more. more I say... So new story who you gonna get together this time? Also I am gonna go back and reread your stories

2124354
Actually, they are all around 12 years old, maybe at the high end of 11 for some maybe even close to 13 for others, and spike is older than the rest, if only by a couple years or so

Comment posted by Luna-Eclipse deleted Nov 15th, 2013

START ON THE MOTHERFUCKING NEXT THING PLEASE!

2123669 Not sure how I missed those either... I blame ADD

Darn. I was hoping for one couple that would go a little too far.
Oh well. Excellent work, regardless!

2125135
Read Ceru's Blog post, otherwise I will hunt you done and smack you around for that.

2126258 I read it and I hope he finds some excitement in life to reinspire him to DO THE DAMN RARIPIE! But seriously, best wishes.

I want you to know, this is my favorite pony-related story I've ever read. This was glorious. I do hope you intend to write more, related to this story, or not.

aaaand scene

And thus, the story which got me to read the other parts of the series comes to an end.

This story (along with Past Sins) was what caused me to start reading stories not focused on the Mane 6 as I'd been doing previously.

This story made me realize that this site has a whole lot more to offer and would (in the long run) bring me to create a FimFiction account. Thank you.

If there was a 5-star system, I'd give this a 5/5.

PS. (To be added after I read the blog post)
Just read your blog so Ominous wouldn't smack me, seriously look at his Avatar. From what I can make out, it's Discord as an animé gang leader or something like that. That's scary. Anyways, I realize you need a long break (seriously, you've got it tough). So go ahead, you earned a break and I can wait.

PPS.
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I Salute You

Awww. Extremely fantastic and beautiful and OMGSOCUTE! Ahem, absolutely loved it, can't wait to see what you do next!

Please keep writing, I'll keep reading!

2123088 dawn is as bad as her daddy lol but dawn is smarter :P

2122891 lol i love how much a genius dawn is

I very much so like your writing style. It manages to be incredibly descriptive in a million different creative ways without being trite or repetitive.

Which of your stories are in the same universe as this one? I'm almost done with this and want to read more.

Excellent story my dear bard.

Thank you for the journey. Is there a spin-off or a second toom in work?

2130948
all of them except pizza pony fic

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