• Published 25th Jul 2017
  • 1,801 Views, 27 Comments

Bitter Sweet Tidings - Nico-Stone Rupan



Bitter Honey and Gretchen offer up little ways to help heal their fractured families for the holiday season.

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Bitter Sweet Tidings

Author's Note:

As if it isn't obvious, I wrote the first draft of this last December. I scrapped it in the midst of my depression hiatus (hiatus is over, depression far from it :pinkiesad2:). So for this holy day of July 25th, I decided to polish up and post it to try to make up for lost time.

With an evil gleam in her eye, Gretchen collected her ammo and scanned the area for potential targets. So many options. Finally, she settled on an old woman hobbling along within range. Perfect.

Gretchen locked on, took aim, and –

"You know, it's not too late to call up Santa to cancel his delivery to our house," Gilda said.

Gretchen huffed and dropped the snowball.

Gilda and her four-year-old daughter were walking through Canterlot City on their way home from a trip to the supermarket. Gretchen always hated to go shopping anywhere. It was so boring for her to wait around while the grown-ups wandered around aimlessly searching for things to buy, or even worse, unexpectedly run into somebody they knew and proceed to talk about nothing for forever. It was no wonder Gretchen tried to keep herself entertained by coming up with mischief to pull.

Gilda reached into the grocery bag she was carrying. "Listen, promise not to be a little brat until we get home..." She pulled out and presented her with a small, chocolate Santa. "... and I'll let you have a treat right now."

Gretchen's eyes widened with desire. "Gimme!"

Gilda gave her a look. "Promise first."

"Fine," Gretchen groaned. "I promise not to be a brat, now gimmie!"

Gilda handed her the chocolate. A greedy grin crossed Gretchen's face. Just when she was about to rip the foil off and scarf St. Nick down, she suddenly felt her mother's hand reach around her shoulder. She was quickly shoved right behind her legs.

"What's going on?" Gretchen asked as she peaked around her mother.

Right in their path, she saw an older man who from the look on his face definitely did not seem pleased to have ran into them.

"Gilda," he flatly greeted.

"Asshole," Gilda flatly greeted back.

"So, how's the company you stole from me doing?" he asked, glaring at her.

Gilda smirked. "Cutting you out after giving me full legal ownership wasn't stealing. I prefer to think that it was a tough, but necessary business decision. Production has never been better thanks to your incompetence being gone."

For a moment, it appeared like the older man was about to angrily respond to that statement, however he quickly stifled himself. Instead, he asked with an eye roll, "And how's, you know, what's-his-name doing?"

Gilda put a finger up to her chin in mock thought. "Let's see. He's still a devoted husband, affectionate father, doesn't smack anyone around." She nodded. "Pretty much the exact opposite of a certain someone."

The older man's gaze went down to the little one. "So that's Gretchen, huh? She looks just like you when you were that age."

Gilda's eyes filled up with fury. "Well, there's one difference, actually. She doesn't have any bruises from you, and as long as I can help it, she never will." She turned and grabbed Gretchen's hand. "Let's go, baby."

Gilda took off. Of course, not barely a second later, did she feel a void within her grip. She stopped and lifted her hand up to find it clutching nothing but an empty mitt. Whipping around, she was horrified to see Gretchen running back towards the older man.

"Gretchen!" Gilda called.

Ignoring her mother, Gretchen ran right up to him. The older man peered down at her with some curiosity. Gretchen then held up the chocolate Santa. He blinked in confusion.

"Merry Christmas, Grampa."

The surprised older man looked up at Gilda, who looked at him. Then, inexplicably, for maybe no other reason than the spur of the moment, a small smile was shared between father and daughter. Neither one of them could remember when was the last time something like that had happened.

Not wanting to offend his granddaughter, the older man took the Santa, accepting the gift.

"Merry Christmas, Gretchen," he said. "Merry Christmas, Gilda."

With that, he walked off.

Gilda bent down to scoop Gretchen up with her free arm. "I'll say this, girl. If you weren't such a terror most of the time, you would make a pretty good dove of peace."

Gretchen rolled her eyes. "I'm going to get that chocolate Santa replaced, right?"

Gilda laughed and kissed her daughter on the cheek. "Way to ruin it, sweetie..."

****************

"Now that's just poppycock liberal nonsense."

Sour Sweet shot an annoyed glance at her guest. "Niban, all I said was that I think my coffee needs a little more cream."

Niban Person chuckled trollishly. "Oh, sorry. Silly me. It's just that so much pinko BS spews out of your mouth, it isn't easy to detect the sensible statements anymore."

Sour let out of frustrated sigh, pinched the bridge of her nose, and recited the mental mantra, Don't punch out the mother-in-law, don't punch out the mother-in-law, don't punch out the mother-in-law...

Bitter Honey paused her progress on her drawing, partly to look over to check on her elders and partly to allow a hand twitch to come and go. She didn't want anything to ruin this particular work if she wanted to help out her mama and grandmama.

For as far back as Bitter's four-year-old brain could remember, the two of them had always been at each other's throats. They argued about anything and everything, especially about worldviews. However, to their credit, they still got together every once in a while for coffee and such. At least they were trying to get along.

They usually failed quite quickly, though...

"By the way, I saw the most adorable little dress in town the other day," Niban said with an excited grin. "It would look so lovely on Bitter Honey! I was thinking it would be wonderful idea if I bought it and took to show her off at my church's Christmas service."

Sour crossed her arms. "If Bitter ever gains an interest in religion, your son and I will happily take her to whichever church, temple, synagogue, or mosque she would wish to attend."

Her mother-in-law scoffed. "Don't you think it's meaningless for her to be celebrating a holiday without knowing the real reason for the season?"

Sour shrugged. "No more meaningless than her to be blindly following a faith just because an authority figure told her to."

Niban narrowed her eyes. "Socialist snowflake."

Sour narrowed hers as well. "Alt-right Nazi."

Niban shot up. "Gun rights!"

Sour shot up as well. "Gay rights!"

Niban banged the table. "FAKE NEWS!!!"

Sour banged it as well. "PUSSY GRABBING!!!"

"Ahem."

The two adults broke their death stare and peered down to see a small, diplomatic face.

"Wanna see my new drawing?" Bitter asked sweetly.

Not even waiting to receive an answer, Bitter pulled the piece of paper from behind her back and lifted it up for her elders to see. The finely-detailed scene depicted was of Bitter herself ice skating while holding hands and being flanked by her mama and grandmama on each side. Everyone had a big smile as they enjoyed their fun together. A random rainbow was even above their heads.

Sour and Niban studied the piece of art. Instantaneously, smiles emerged which matched the ones in the drawing.

"Would you look at that?" Niban gushed. "Isn't our little girl so talented?"

"Oh, yes she is!" Sour bent down to hug Bitter. "The best darn artist I know."

"So, can we go ice skating for real?" Bitter asked hopefully.

Sour bent back up and turned to Niban. "I'm up for it. You up for it?"

Niban nodded. "Of course, and hey, why don't we eat at the new Italian place on Sombra Boulevard afterwards?"

Sour perked up. "A new Italian place? Why haven't I heard anything about this?"

"Don't worry, I'll hook you up," Niban chuckled, giving her daughter-in-law a wink.

After dressing warmly and fetching some ice skates, Sour and Niban each took Bitter by the hand and went out the door. Thus, Bitter brokered the most significant Christmas truce since 1914. However, just as it was in 1914, politics never die which meant Sour and Niban were destined to become enemies again soon after. For the time being, though, they could enjoy their common ground in the form of their love for a toddler with above average for her age artistic skills.

****************

"Are you girls ready yet?" Second Person called.

"No and we'll NEVER be ready!" Gretchen roared from the hallway.

Bitter Honey was heard giggling. "Come on, Gretchen!"

Suddenly, right before the eyes of every adult at the Christmas party, Bitter dragged Gretchen into the open. Both girls were dressed in green elf costumes, complete with candy cane striped stockings, plastic pointed ears, as well as red circular blushes painted upon their cheeks. Of course, you could barely see the painted blushes on Gretchen because of the genuine one she had grown.

The adult crowd erupted in a wave of 'D'awwwww!'s and camera flashes.

Gretchen shook her head in frustration. "The things we do to put a smile on these dumb grown-ups' faces."

Bitter giggled and gave her best friend a side hug. "But it's worth it, though!"

Gretchen growled and spun around. From everyone else's point of view, it was just her being bashful. What they couldn't see was Gretchen smiling faintly and quietly admitting, "Yeah, it is."

THE END

Comments ( 27 )

nothing brings family together more than fighting over politics at least in my house hold.

Anyway another amazing feel good story in the lives of Second Person and Sour Sweet.

Well, Sour talked about two of the things you never discuss with people.
Gretchen and Bitter are just so adorable.

Hope you start feeling better. *hug* have a fluttershy cheering you on. :yay: "yay"

"Niban" lol clever.
So does that imply something of Seconds ancestry?

8322032

So does that imply something of Seconds ancestry?

Maybe :duck:

8321598
On the bright side it always makes for an interesting holiday :rainbowlaugh:

Her mother-in-law scoffed. "Don't you think it's meaningless for her to be celebrating a holiday without knowing the real reason for the season?"

Ejem...
s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/fc/c1/83/fcc183fb654f4ea37f0f45f2e7964d37.jpg

Just your average atheist doing what we love most: ruining Christian traditions and eating babies :raritywink:

Dammit, I just got my teeth cleaned...Now I'm gonna have cavities for sure!

CSC

Niban narrowed her eyes. "Socialist snowflake."

Sour narrowed hers as well. "Alt-right Nazi."

Niban shot up. "Gun rights!"

Sour shot up as well. "Gay rights!"

Niban banged the table. "FAKE NEWS!!!"

Sour banged it as well. "PUSSY GRABBING!!!"

Fuck your politics!! :flutterrage: Both of you!! :flutterrage: (Sincerely, a former Bernie supporter.)


Also, this was cute, this was very cute. :twilightsmile:

(P.S.; fuck the two party system.)

I haven't started reading your stories yet (I really want to), but the cover art for this story is really amazing! Judging from the blue heart at the bottom, it looks like Sour Sweet finally got her Cool UR!

decaf.kouhi.me/lovelive/images/archive/8/83/20160706033426%21Eli_cool_ur418_t.jpg

Now all she needs is one more, and she'll have more than I do!

Comment posted by Neonrainbow123 deleted Jul 27th, 2017

Is sour still with second?

8326356
Of course, why do you ask?

8326365
Because I heard from him for awhile

8326366

Because I heard from him for awhile

Do you mean you haven't heard from Second? He had a line in this story at the end. The previous story, titled "Second Impact" focused entirely on him.

8326369
Oh alright great! Hope you keep second person in all stories.

Sour narrowed hers as well. "Alt-right Nazi."

Would this line indicate that Sour Sweet is either a part of, or a sympathizer of Antifa and/or SJW's in general? I apologize if I'm misinterpreting that line, it's just that this exact thing is used by SJW's and Antifa towards those that they don't like. It'd be cool if we could see Sour Sweet's and Second Person's political views at some point.

8328512
Personally, I would love to bring more politics and other divisive subjects into my stories, but I don't like the comment section becoming a warzone of arguing and trolling either. Most of the time I attempt to just sprinkle and balance that kind of stuff around.

But yes, without labels and such, both Sour and Second are of the left side of the political spectrum. In past stories, Sour was a radical, blogging feminist (later losing the radical part). Ron Jeremy Pony's version of my storyline has gone much further than I've ever done, though. Sour and even Sunny Flare are confirmed pro-choice in one of his stories, for example.

Huh. Thought Sour and Second's mom was on good terms.

Ah, the uncomfortable feeling of trying to get people to get along despite their politics. I'm familiar with that. Thankfully, my family usually leaves such matters off the table, save for preaching to the choir. Friends, on the other hand...

Well, it's usually manageable.

Thanks for some lovely Christmas-in-July cuteness.

bitter gets hand twitches too i know how that feels it sucks donkey dick

CSC

8328512

Also, Niban sounds more like an establishment conservative rather than Alt Right.

8322483
And that's why nobody invites you to the Christmas party.

I'd like to think Bitter Honey would be into M*A*S*H when she's older like how Sour Sweet was with Hogen's Heroes.

Niban narrowed her eyes. "Socialist snowflake."

Sour narrowed hers as well. "Alt-right Nazi."

Niban shot up. "Gun rights!"

Sour shot up as well. "Gay rights!"

Niban banged the table. "FAKE NEWS!!!"

Sour banged it as well. "PUSSY GRABBING!!!"

Me: WE SHOULD REALLY JUST START FROM SCRATCH AS ALL THE FOUNDING FATHERS WOULD SAY IF THEY WERE STILL ALIVE!

:pinkiegasp::rainbowhuh::applejackconfused::facehoof::raritydespair::fluttershysad:

Sorry, just adding my two cents.

holy day of July 25th

oh wow, I didn't know my birthday was so special :rainbowlaugh:

Don't punch out the mother-in-law, don't punch out the mother-in-law, don't punch out the mother-in-law...

If a scene ever needed to be animated, it's this one!

I'm happy to see that Gilda is such a loving parent and would do anything for Gretchen.

And finally, Bitter and Gretchen at the end in their little holiday dresses was pure Sugar!

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