• Published 2nd Nov 2017
  • 5,406 Views, 485 Comments

No Hugs for Sugar Crush - FerociousCreation



If a bat pony offered you a hug, would you accept it? Apparently, Mineral Water would not hesitate to deny Sugar Crush one.

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Blinding Beauty

It was strange to see Sugar Crush act skittish as she and Mineral Water approached the Chocolate Palace. A trio of three mares mingled about the entrance, sitting at a table with an umbrella propped open. Mineral Water looked to his nervous friend, amused by the change of character. “There they are,” Sugar Crush pointed a hoof.

“Grab their attention,” Mineral Water suggested.

“No way! They might run us down!” Sugar Crush leered at her friend, “You should have seen how they approached me when I told them about your Crystal Coat.”

“Have you seen a stampede of foals charging into your store to try and get the first batch of freshly baked cookies?” Mineral Water countered. “Because before, when I was a much worse workaholic, I used to make a lot more product than I do today. I have displayed my soaps, shampoos, lotion, and other things in one of the beauty shops here in the Crystal Empire. And when Dark Friday, Hearts and Hooves, Hearth's Warming Eve, and other holidays came about, mares would charge into the store like dueling jousters.”

“Goodness!” Sugar Crush shuttered.

“And let’s just say the shops I've placed my products in needed to be sure their worker’s comp was in order. Employees can get hurt by excited customers.”

“I myself like to feel pretty and clean,” Sugar Crush admitted, “but why go the extra length to act so… crazy?”

The stallion couldn’t help but make a quip at his friend, “Why do you go the extra length to try and hug me?”

Sugar Crush’s ears fell back, “One subject at a time, please…”

“Might as well change it,” Mineral Water smirked. But his conversation was interrupted by the arrival of him at the Chocolate Palace.

One of the mares sitting at the table noticed Sugar Crush. “You are back!” She looked to Mineral Water and asked, “Are you the one who made your bat friend here look like a crystal pony?” The comment made Sugar Crush change her mood from nervous to insulted, and the mare took notice of the thestral’s stare. “What’s with the look?”

Mineral Water turned to see Sugar Crush’s angry slit pupils. He was about to ask what the matter was, but the thestral bluntly said, “I need to get to work, Mineral Water.” Sugar Crush pushed the door hard with her hoof, the bell ringing louder than it should. He was about to pursue, but Mineral Water needed to take a few orders. “Alright, who’s first?” His first mistake was not choosing one of the three mares personally and the ponies began to fight over who places the first order of Crystal Coat. Mineral Water was considering being just as scared for fussy mares as Sugar Crush was.

***

If Mineral Water had made the bet that one mare would buy two bottles of his Crystal Coat, he would have lost. But Sugar Crush would have lost with her "no pony would by anything" bet as well. The harsh afternoon orange began to hurt the stallion’s eyes as he finished writing down the last order on his clipboard: three orders of Crystal Coats for 360 bits. “You can send your pay order to this address, Ms. Rose Luck,” Mineral Water said as he hooved a business card to the customer. “After the payment is made, your order will be shipped to you within three business days.”

“Thank you!” the mare beamed. “I can’t wait to tell my friends around Ponyville about you!”

Mineral Water gave a friendly nod, “It would be grateful if you did.” Both shook hooves before the cheerful pony strutted off into the city. Tourists were prime subjects for making an easy sale, even if something is expensive. Thankfully, all three mares were the same fish. Mineral Water scanned over the orders, happy for the successful business. He chuckled at how the first customer tried to swoo him to get her order at a friendly discount. Of course, if Mineral Water was a stallion to be easily charmed, the other two would have played a similar game.

Mineral Water’s stomach gave a little grumble, the noise loud and bubbly. He figured he may want Sugar Crush to pay him back for the Crystal Coat with a few cookies. Mineral Water clutched his clipboard close as he entered the Chocolate Palace. The setting sun glared into the store, the light’s reflection bouncing off the trays in the display case.

He walked to the display case like he did the day before. And just like the day before, Mineral Water looked at the chocolate chip cookies. Sugar Crush was not at the front counter, and the store's eating area was clear of ponies, leaving Mineral Water alone at the front of the shop. Maybe Sugar Crush was in the back baking more sweets. Mineral Water rang the bell at the cash register, immediately summoning the thestral to the front. And when he saw her wearing a pair of shades, the stallion couldn’t help but laugh.

Sugar Crush brandished her sharp teeth as she flushed, “What’s so funny!”

“Why in Equestria are you wearing those?” Mineral Water asked. “It’s not that bright and you are indoors.”

“Maybe I want to have a change in style,” Sugar Crush said, but the excuse was not convincing in the slightest.

The stallion could not keep a straight face and continued to laugh at the thestral. “Please, take those off. You look silly with those on in here.” Sugar Crush was hesitant on taking the shades off but did so only to not be laughed at. The moment the apparel was removed, the thestral squinted her eyes shut. “Is… something wrong, Sugar Crush?”

“Yes, there is,” she grumbled. “You see, I am a thestral; a nocturnal creature. My eyes are very sensitive to light, especially during the sunset.”

“But you weren’t wearing shades yesterday.”

Sugar Crush tried to open her eyes, but only managed to part them ever so slightly before closing them. “That’s because your Crystal Coat is blinding me!”

A pang of worry shook the stallion, “Did you get some of it in your eyes?” Mineral Water started to chew on his lip, and muttered to himself, “Is this a side effect to my wash…?”

“No, thankfully,” Sugar Crush answered. Mineral Water was relieved his friend was not beginning to become blind, but it did make him wonder if it wasn’t soap in her eyes…

“Then how is my Crystal Coat blinding you?” Mineral Water asked.

The mare’s ears fell back, “Because the sunlight is reflecting off my body, shining right in my face. In other words, I am having the literal effect of blinding beauty.” It was too hard for Mineral Water to try and sympathize with Sugar Crush, thus resumed his laughing.

“I- haha- I s-so s-s-sorry- hahaha!” Mineral Water had to hide his face during the fit of laughter in his arm. But he knew his friend was not pleased in the slightest and Mineral tried to stop.

“Hey, Mineral Water,” said Sugar Crush, her voice not as irritated as before, “I have made a fresh batch of cookies. You want to try one?”

The stallion looked to the thestral, the sunglasses propped on her face. Mineral Water cleared his throat, fighting another smirk wiggling on his face. “Sure,” he chuckled. Sugar Crush made for the kitchen, leaving the stallion alone for a few seconds before returning to him. In her hoof was a white cookie on a napkin with cream at the baked treat’s center. Bits of strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, and mango spotted the sweet in a random discord of colors. The smell stimulated Mineral Water’s mouth and he began to salivate. “Mmm, that looks good.”

“Thank you,” Sugar Crush nodded. She walked around the counter and stood before Mineral Water. He was expecting Sugar Crush to hoof the cookie over to him, but the mare remained stagnant. Her black shades reflected Mineral Water’s confused expression. He was getting a strange sense of deja vu.

“What… is the cookie called?” Mineral Water asked.

In one swift move, Sugar Crush crammed the cookie into Mineral Water’s mouth, along with the napkin. “Fruit Punch,” she grinned. Sugar Crush’s tail hit Mineral Water’s arm as she spun around and exited into the kitchen.

The taste of the napkin was like dry sand, souring the flavors of the fruits and cookie. Mineral Water grumbled with a twitch in his eye. Why Sugar Crush had to go to far lengths to get back at him for laughing at her silly shades didn’t seem fair. Mineral Water didn’t want to have a laugh at Sugar Crush on purpose. Some things cannot be helped.

Mineral Water pulled the paper towel from his mouth and tossed it in the trash. With its disgusting flavor no longer bothering his tongue, the stallion was finally able to enjoy his fruit punch cookie. He rang the bell to summon the thestral just as he swallowed. Sure enough, Sugar Crush came forth, the shades removed. She wasn’t squinting anymore because the sun had hidden behind a building. “How was the cookie?” Sugar Crush swayed, acting as innocent as a shameless thestral could.

“It was alright but not as good as you wearing your shades,” Mineral Water jabbed. Sugar Crush’s ears fell back, giving a very irritated stare back at Mineral Water. “I’m joking!” The stallion batted a hoof, “I wasn’t trying to laugh as much as I did.” Mineral Water straightened his lips into a controlled smile. “You do shine in the light like a true crystal pony.”

Sugar Crush’s ears were still pinned down, but the complement got her to smile. “Aww, that’s sweet of you to say.”

“Speaking of sweet,” Mineral Water started, “I did love the Fruit Punch cookie, aside from the unnecessary jab and napkin in my mouth.” Sugar Crush giggled a little at her little act of mischief but kept any possible comments to herself. “The slight sour from the fruits complimented well with the sweet custard cream, as well as how each fruit mended well with one another, creating a unique flavor. I did taste, and felt the fruit punch.”

“The ‘punch’ aspect of my treat has an added side effect to ponies who laugh at me,” Sugar Crush said, her swaying stopped. “By the way, have you tried my s'mores cookie? I want to hear your thoughts on it.”

Mineral Water sat at the nearest table and turned the chair to face Sugar Crush. He placed the clipboard down, no longer needing to tend to it. “It was okay.”

“As in…”

“It was average,” Mineral Water said.

Sugar Crush’s brows writhed into a concerned bend, the lack of criticism not sitting well with her. “What was wrong with it? Was there not a good balance of flavor?”

“It was average,” Mineral Water repeated.

“Why was it average!” Sugar Crush complained, her hooves gripping on the cash register. “Was the chocolate too strong? Not enough marshmallows? Too many marshmallows? Tell me the truth!” The bits in the cash register jingled as the thestral shook it in a frustrated fit. “Tell me!”

“Calm down, Sugar Crush. I will tell you the truth.” Sugar Crush’s slit pupils expanded and her fluffy ears twitched. “It's not average.”

“Then what is it!” Sugar Crush cried.

“I don't know,” Mineral Water admitted. “I haven't even tried it.”

In a sad flop, the mare hugged the cash register, brows in an upset fold. “Why are you teasing me?” Despite Mineral Water’s act of making fun of Sugar Crush to get back at her, the stallion couldn't help but feel he went a little too far. Mineral stood up and walked over to the opening behind the counter and display of sweets.

“Hey, Sugar Crush,” Mineral Water started, “I was not trying to hurt your feelings.”

“I know.” Sugar Crush’s wings fanned out and the mare’s sad frown was quickly replaced with a sinister grin. Speed was in her legs as the thestral charged the crystal pony. Mineral Water had the option to make a dive toward the dining area, but Sugar Crush’s wingspan was too wide. He may get caught in her leathery appendage. And another option at Mineral Water’s disposal was a much simpler and easier solution. The chair he was sitting in before came to mind, so Mineral Water used it as his beacon. His horn called for the seat, and in one quick flash, the crystal pony was sitting in it.

Sugar Crush smashed into the wall, her head arched upward and spine bent in what Mineral Water could obviously tell was quite uncomfortable. “If you keep acting rash, you are going to keep hurting yourself.”

“You are hurting my feelings because you won’t let me hug you,” Sugar Crush complained as she slowly got back on all fours. She hobbled a little, still aching from the collision with the wall. “Can you tell me why you won’t allow me to give you a hug at least?”

Mineral Water stilled himself, Nebula’s light blue-violet face flashing behind his eyelids. “I have my reasons.”

A sad stallion entered Sugar Crush’s slit pupils when she noticed a sudden change in atmosphere. A sharp tooth bit down on her tongue as the thestral knew such a question won’t be answered just yet. Bringing it up won’t help his mood and insisting may agitate other emotions to surface. Sugar Crush did have a strong sense that Nebula was related to his mood swings, and being a thestral obviously didn’t help as it reminded Mineral Water of his old friend. She needed to think of a way to avoid bringing up sad memories. Her ear twitched as an idea came forth.

“Hey, Mineral Water,” Sugar Crush said as she walked behind the counter.

The stallion blinked a few times, straightening out his face. “Yes?”

Sugar Crush grabbed the tongs and began collecting a few chocolate chip cookies. “Was it around this time that you came here last afternoon.”

Mineral Water nodded, “Correct. I was in need of some fresh air and had a sweet tooth at the time.”

Sugar Crush placed six cookies into a bag just before she walked over to her friend. “Then I think it is time to celebrate,” she said, taking a seat beside Mineral Water. Before anything else could be done, Sugar Crush pressed her nose, “Pause.” She watched Mineral Water’s shoulders relax upon her statement. However, the stallion’s head turned in wonder.

“What do we need to celebrate?” Mineral Water asked.

“Why, celebrate the moment we first met,” Sugar Crush beamed. “It may be silly, I know, but sometimes it is good to remember every moment.”

Mineral Water grumbled a soft laugh, “You're too kind.”

Sugar Crush took out a chocolate chip cookie and broke it in half. “Well, I just want to show how glad I am to be your friend.”

“You are too kind,” Mineral Water repeated, his laughing a little louder than before. But Mineral Water’s laughter was short lived and he began to choke on his breathing. His brows furrowed inward and a heavy frown bore before Sugar Crush. Both eyes began to slowly close before being sealed shut but were unable to keep tears inside.

“Mineral Water!” Sugar Crush cried. Naturally, both of her arms went to reach for the sobbing stallion, but couldn’t hold him because of the rule of pause. Sugar Crush was tempted to unpause and cradle Mineral Water close, but that would only cause him to flee. The mare retracted her arms, pondering what to for her friend, yet all she did was sit and watch.

“You are too kind,” Mineral Water sniffed. Two puffy eyes stared back at Sugar Crush, the stallion mustering a hurt smile. “You are just way too kind to me my heart cannot even take it.”

“I didn’t mean to make you cry,” Sugar Crush said. The closest thing she could grab onto that was a part of Mineral Water was his hoof. She slid hers toward his, which triggered him to flinch when the hoof approached him. Instead of chasing after it, Sugar Crush left her open hoof on the table, offering it if Mineral Water ever needed it. “I’m sorry.”

Mineral Water gave a disapproving shake of the head, “You should not be. It’s just… and I am not trying to make you feel jealous or anything; you are way too similar to Nebula. Always kind. Always productive.” The stallion placed his hoof onto Sugar Crush’s own. “Always lending a hoof.” He used his free arm to clean his cheeks of tears. “Nebula is just too clear in my head. It’s been over a year since the Crystal Empire had returned to Equestria and I still cannot remove her from my brain.” Sugar Crush took a breath to again apologize, but Mineral Water cut her off, “Again, do not be sorry. I am just too sensitive about her loss.”

“Then… out of respect, may we use our one day anniversary to also remember your friend?” Sugar Crush offered. She wanted to help aid in trying to cheer him up but knew if she did anything to remind Mineral Water of Nebula, another flow of tears may be in order. However, because Nebula was on his mind, it wasn’t the worst idea Sugar Crush had had. “Since you care about her so much, it may be best to remember the happy moments with Nebula instead of just missing her. And I believe she would like that you still think about her.”

“Yes, she would,” Mineral Water nodded. He took one of the broken halves of the chocolate chip cookie Sugar Crush took out and bit it. “Happy Anniversary,” the stallion beamed.

“And Happy Best Friend Remembrance Day,” Sugar Crush smiled. The cookie half she bit into wasn’t fresh from the oven, but it was probably her best batch she had ever made.

Author's Note:

One week ago (11/2/17), I uploaded this story in an excited fit because my art commission was finished. And one week later, No Hugs has been well received by the public and I cannot be any more grateful for how my readers are enjoying it so far.

I did not expect the flurry of attention it got, even if it wasn't featured on the first day of publishing this story. Thank you so much. And now that it is out there, I have an even more clear idea of how the story is about to unfold...

Again, thanks. :heart: :twilightsmile:

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