• Published 4th Mar 2018
  • 3,457 Views, 29 Comments

Fizzlepop's Wish - milesprower06

Hearth's Warming has come to Ponyville once again, and Fizzlepop Berrytwist has been asked to put on a fireworks show. You never know who might show up.

  • ...

A Gift

Returning from Carousel Boutique and carrying a plain white box gently but securely fastened to the back of her chestplate, Major Fizzlepop Berrytwist walked through the front doors of Princess Twilight Sparkle's castle, where the interior heating replaced the chilling gusts moving through the snow-covered hills of Ponyville. Inside, more than a dozen ponies went every which way on their assigned tasks as Pinkie Pie oversaw final preparations for tonight's Hearth's Warming Eve party. She zipped into the kitchen and came out with a tray with two steaming cups of hot chocolate, and gave Fizzlepop a smile and a wink as she made her way out to the front doors, where Thunderlane and Blossomforth were standing watch in the cold.

She made her way up the stairs and came across her Princess, Twilight Sparkle, who was reading through a pair of checklists, with Spike in tow, who was carrying half a dozen more.

"That was quick, Major. I assume she had it ready?" Twilight asked.

"There's no service quite like Rarity's. Then add on top of that, she's the E.U.P.'s armorer." Fizzlepop replied.

The Princess of Friendship was never really one for titles, having chided her friends when they first started referring to her as Princess in the days following her coronation. But that didn't mean she wasn't understanding of others who held theirs in closer regard. Fizzlepop Berrytwist was one such pony; after convincing Princess Celestia to grant the Storm King's former lieutenant clemency and transfer into her custody, a suggestion by her student Starlight Glimmer convinced her to offer her a commission as Captain of a new E.U.P. division in Ponyville. Needless to say, Fizzlepop was beside herself, and knowing she had done nothing to deserve such an opportunity, she set out to earn it. In the following weeks, she and Rainbow Dash had created an exemplary volunteer militia for the castle, Ponyville, and surrounding countryside. Months later, her thoughts began to drift back to her deeds as head of the Storm King's legions. Capper had been correct when he told her that she wasn't responsible for almost any of his conquests in the southern regions. Other than the siege of Canterlot, her guilt stemmed from what had happened to the city of Hippogriffia atop Mount Aris. With Princess Twilight's permission, she assembled an expedition to aid Queen Novo and the hippogriffs in their city's reconstruction. While she herself was rather unwelcome, the queen accepted the help of the construction team she had brought along, and after a foolhardy stunt that nearly cost Fizzlepop her life during a mercenary storm guard raid partway through the reconstruction effort, the Queen eventually became convinced of her self-sought redemption, and gave her the greatest gift of all; the healing she had left Equestria in search for; she used the Pearl of Transformation to fully restore the horn that was broken as a filly. During a ceremony a week later, Queen Novo gave her expedition full credit for the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation that she had entered into with Equestria.

So when Twilight officially gave her her first promotion to Major, she knew in no uncertain terms that she had earned her place here, and while the Princess preferred being on a first name basis with those close to her, she had no qualms about using a title to remind her Captain of the Guard of just that.

"Are you ready for tonight?" Twilight asked, levitating her checklists aside, giving her Major her complete attention. Now, Fizzlepop couldn't hide the nervousness that appeared on her face.

"I'm sure I will be. Just have to get through today's events."

"Don't worry. It'll go fine. Pinkie has everything under control. Last year went great as well. I was even able to take an hour out of making appearances to go share a good Hearth's Warming story with Starlight. It went a lot better than the start of winter that year, I'll tell you that much. By the way, thank you again for doing that favor for me and getting Captain Rainbow that out of town assignment last week. Cloudsdale just wanted to be absolutely sure."

Fizzlepop laughed.

"Yeah, well she saw right through it. She told me about her 'nuclear winter' accident last year."

"So how familiar is all this to you? I imagine you haven't seen Hearth's Warming decorations in... Well, in quite awhile, right?" Princess Twilight asked.

"Yeah, it's been quite a long time. No worries, I'm sure it'll all come back to me."

"Speaking of which, have you come up with any Hearth's Warming wishes?" Twilight asked.

Fizzlepop didn't answer right away, as if she was honestly taken aback by the Princess' question.

"No, not really. It's been so long since I've celebrated Hearth's Warming... Not to mention with everything that's happened to me these past months... I couldn't imagine wishing for anything."

Twilight simply smiled at this response.

"That's okay, too. If you don't feel right wishing for yourself, you can make a wish for somepony else."

With that, Princess and Spike were on their way, continuing their checking of the party preparations, leaving Fizzlepop to continue her walk to the east wing of the castle.

Even in the face of everything she had accomplished in the preceding months, there were times and occasions the past still loomed over her like a shadow. After the ceremony and her promotion, Major Speartip advised her to limit her activities around the city, and she didn't really need to ask why. Even though the Staff of Sacanas and the continuation of the Friendship Festival made the destruction in Canterlot short-lived, her actions were unfortunately burned into the memories of the hundreds upon hundreds of Canterlot citizens she had captured, and Princess Celestia as well as Major Speartip surmised that not all would probably be willing to forgive as quickly as they had. So heeding their warning, after a celebratory dinner in the castle's dining hall, Major Fizzlepop immediately returned down into Equestria's central valleys.

Fortunately for her, Ponyville was a different story. The town's populace had been distant spectators to the invasion of Canterlot, instead of having front row seats, so when Princess Twilight introduced her as the Captain of Ponyville's E.U.P. division, she was more or less welcomed warmly as she began her search for volunteers. She had become enough of a friendly face in Ponyville, that Princess Twilight had convinced her to be this evening's entertainment; she agreed to put on a fireworks display from the balcony of the castle.

Honestly, even though it was just approaching noon, today's duties were the only thing keeping the nerves from getting to her so far, and the first thing on her itinerary today was delivering this package. She trotted up to the third door on the left in the east wing hallway, and knocked on the bedroom door of the pony who had started her on this path; one Starlight Glimmer.

After a few moments, she heard approaching hoofsteps on the other side of the door, the door glowed and opened, and there stood the heliotrope unicorn, who greeted her with a smile.

"Good morning, Major Fizzlepop. What can I do for you?" Starlight asked.

Fizzlepop smiled back, and offered her the ribbon-wrapped box.

"Happy Hearth's Warming, Starlight." She said, taking the box in her magic and levitating it over to her.

"Major, you didn't have to get me anything." Starlight said politely, though she honestly wasn't expecting anything.

"Actually, Starlight. This is something I personally consider to be long overdue." Fizzlepop began, as her magic aura was replaced with Starlight's.

With the box in her magical grasp, Starlight untied the ribbon, removed the top, and her bottom jaw began to drop as she looked inside.

"The timing was convenient for a gift, but it's anything but. You deserve this."

Starlight's magic aura expanded to the neatly folded garment inside the box, and she lifted it out to reveal an exquisite silk mage's robe, patterned similar to the Ponyville E.U.P. armor pieces.

"It's a traditional Canterlot hooded mage's robe styled in the Ponyville E.U.P. colors. The silk outer layer has an armis enchantment that makes it just as tough as our platemail. The wool lining on the inside has a calor enchantment that protects down to minus thirty centigrade. Lastly, the epaulettes on the shoulders pretty much make it official."

Fizzlepop's words drew Starlight's attention to the shoulders, each of which had the Ponyville E.U.P. emblem embroidered, and a single silver bar underneath each; the rank of Lieutenant. She looked back up at Fizzlepop, now with tears pricking her eyes.

"I... I don't know what to say, other than... I'm honored." Starlight replied, her voice quivering as she fought to keep her tears from spilling over. Fizzlepop smiled warmly at her.

"It's been a long time coming, if anything. Everything I've accomplished these past months... It started first and foremost with you, your idea."

Starlight unfurled the robe completely, and her view was momentarily obstructed as she put it on. By the time her head was through the hood, she heard galloping hoofsteps quickly approaching from down the hall.

Commander Thunderlane came skidding to a halt to prevent colliding with the Major.

"Major!" Thunderlane greeted, hastily coming to attention and saluting, and nodding to Starlight.

"What it is, Commander?" Fizzlepop asked.