• Member Since 24th Mar, 2014
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Vivid Syntax

Convention Runner, Statistician, and lover of all things Soarburn


While preparing for a sad celebration, Fashion Plate and Rivet reminisce about a lifetime of happiness.

Winner of the 2022 M/M Shipping Contest!

Best read online for proper formatting.

Cover art by Bright Sight. Thanks to Bright Sight and Rillegas08 for pre-reading.

Chapters (7)
Comments ( 30 )

Fun read dude, nice to see you around again.

Happy to be back and writing again now that I've got a handle on parenting. Come back tomorrow for chapter 2!

congratulation on parenthood, and looking forward to it.

Because for you, just this once, I could be early.

And I have a feeling there will be only a second time that our character is early.

Stay tuned to find out. :raritywink:

Right here and now, because the next chapter is up! :scootangel:

This might just take the number 3 spot for my favorite FIMfictions. It's so good even if it is two chapters atm

That's high praise! I hope you continue to enjoy it.

Mix-up #10 · Dec 7th, 2022 · · 2 · Learn ·

Nice chapter dude keep it up.

Thanks, Mix-up! There's still plenty more to enjoy. :heart:

exceptional as always! fun and bittersweet :) feel some sort of dread because of hints of what’s to come…

i also see that your comment section is getting showered with dislikes. screw them!

Thank you! And I think the downvotes are a charity thing for the contest or something. Not quite sure, but either way, I don't let it get me down. :twilightsmile:

fuck. man… you killed me. just superb

Thank you for reading, Dertox. I'm glad you found it meaningful. :heart:

That was a hell of an amazing story.

gosh, this is deadly! masterful work!

"I worked construction for forty-three years. I can manage a hole."
"And how!" Fashion Plate leaned out of the cart and slapped his husband’s flank.

Rivet straightened up and blushed. "Heh. Still got it."

ahaha, very nice! 

Chk-bvvd. The machine spat out a picture, and Fashion Plate grabbed it with a free hoof.

do love that Equestria is a place where Polaroids can exist alongside quills and chariots and it all still feels right

"We'll see how that picture comes out. You'll have absolute Tartarus to pay if you warp it. Lemme get my readers." Fashion Plate reached for the tiny saddle bag at his side, but he flinched as his neck twinged.

honestly just really appreciating these little mentions of age. just the inherent beauty of a long life lived well together

Rarity had invited me to her spring show at Carousel Boutique. She still hosts those, that absolute queen! No idea how she finds the time, but she’s always said it’s important to highlight the little ponies out there who are still aiming to make it big. Wise words! A young stallion named Pistachio absolutely dazzled my eyes out with his debut. I was practically on top of the world thinking about how much fashion there was to discover in the hidden nooks and crannies of Equestria.

and this voice! so Fashion Plate, with the punctuating exclamations. love it!

I hadn't even made it a block when I bumped into a wooden saw horse painted orange and white.

it is funny that they are still called sawhorses in a world of sapient horses. augh i love the cartoon horse civilization

My lens had found the most handsome stallion I'd ever laid eyes on. His legs looked like they were made of steel, his face struck me with his rugged charm, and his barrel had that little paunch that makes the stallions go uhnf!

You were there, too, if I recall.



ahaha perfect! and just loving the sheer contrast between the two characters so far

And oh, you looked so good doing it that I couldn’t possibly stop! "Yes! Authority! Focus! You have no time for this! Punish me, foreman!" I admit, a few of the pictures were less than stellar, because I was distracted by that gorgeous, dirt-caked chest.

oh this is just wonderful, absolutely love Fashion Plate

You casually picked up your hard hat, and my thoughts raced. I saw images of you giving me the cold shoulder and leaving me to beat myself up for being an impetuous colt.

But you were a gentlestallion. You placed the hat back on your head, looked me in the eye, and gave me a soft nod. "Thank you. That feels nice to hear." Your head cocked to the side like a bluebird lost in thought. "I appreciate a stallion that can get to the point." You reached for my hoof, brought it to your lips, and kissed it. "And you're pretty 'hot, hot, hot' yourself."

augh, i love this world! and that is the thing about fashion ponies, isn’t it? they are not afraid to point out what is beautiful in the world, and combined with Fashion Plate’s sheltered mindset, no consideration for propriety. and it is refreshing!

A pink mare cheered from across the site, "Yeah, Rivet! Get it!"

Trellis has never been subtle.

love her already

The hungry grin and tantalizing glimmer in your eye made my legs weak. I pulled back, blinked, and shook my head. "Oh, you whimsical sprite! It's actually–"

"Sparkles. I know." You winked and walked back into the noise.

ehehe very nice

Because for you, just this once, I could be early.

that’s how you know it’s love at first sight!

Fashion Plate shook his head in mock disapproval. “You’ll get it one of these days, love. Just try to figure it out before the eulogy.”

Rivet swallowed. “I promise I will,” he mumbled. After a pause that felt a fraction of a moment too long, he nodded back at the cart. “So. Show me.”

ooh, love the subtle slip in there. love slow reveals of the full context of an in medias res situation!

Rivet bowed his head so that his mane could brush against his husband’s face. “I wanted–” He cleared his throat and blinked away a tear. He took a breath. “I wanted you to know how much I’ve learned from you, even from those early years, and how much I still treasure it.”

and what a perfect way to express this, augh. this was just beautiful

Housing market the way it was, I have no idea how you found a place for us so quickly. I’d kept telling you I could sleep on your couch if your bed was too small. But you didn’t like that. You wanted us to be together every night, and if that meant packing up and moving all your fancy glass awards, it would be worth it. Or rather, you had enough friends and colleagues who could do it for you.


ahaha perfect response from Fashion Plate

You’d already half-decorated the place by the time I arrived, too. Nothing too much, but enough to make it feel like ours. That abstract art square with our coat colors and cutie marks was my favorite, because… hm…

See, we would go through a lot of ponies in my line of work. They think it’s easy: just move stuff from one pile to another. But you had to be invested, and your attitude on day one pretty much set you up for the rest of your time on the site, be it long or short. And seeing that you’d already gotten art of us, well, it told me you’d bought in.

honestly just love this. ponies do seem to decorate with their coat colors and cutie marks in mind in general, and so of course Fashion Plate would express his commitment to Rivet that way! also i love the colorful horses

You were so coy. “Huh, must be a gift from the landlords.” You looked all around and tapped your chin. “How odd that it seems to make a trail to the bedroom.”

ahaha just love this guy

Course, the world doesn’t stop for love. We both had work the next morning. You had to run through plans for the autumn holiday preview, and I had to report to a dig site for an excavation project before dawn. Tearing myself away from you felt like pulling velcro, and it seemed criminal to shower away that breezy, sweaty smell of yours, but we did what we had to.

ugh that is the worst, isn’t it? the world can be so cruel sometimes!

What kept me going was thinking about seeing you again. I wanted to walk in, flop on top of you, and not get up until our stomachs grumbled.

augh so true

“Sorry, love! It’s going to be a late night. I grabbed a Cobb salad and a side of fortified oats for you, and there’s some ice cream in the freezer. I figured you could use a recharge on your protein~. Not fancy, but I want our first big meal here to be together! We’ll try again tomorrow.”

love that this is a recharge of proteins in pony world, and of course the “~” is necessary!

I’d get a groggy kiss here or there, but the whole week, I felt like a starving colt looking into the window of a candy store.

and, oof! but doesn’t it make actually entering the candy store so much sweeter when it happens, in this metaphor?

I frowned. “You had a rough week, too?”

Your ears folded down, and you mumbled, “I don’t want to talk about it.”

augh pony sadness is extra heartbreaking because of the folding ears thing

As tired as we were, we stayed up until three or so, feeding each other, catching up… And for the first time that week, I felt like our relationship could really work.

and i just love to see it! 

Nope! Still atrocious!

Ah, well. Maybe in another half-century.

and of course the wine is terrible, perfect! just makes the memory that much sweeter

“Together,” Rivet repeated.

and, oof. slowly piecing together what’s happening here. am i going to be crying by the end of this?

Fashion Plate smiled. “Oh, you adorable, dramatic puppy!” He moved even closer, their sides pressed together, and he gave Rivet a peck on the cheek. “These are the happy times. I get to spend it with you, sweetie. You’re doing everything right, and this is exactly what I wanted.”

Rivet shook out his mane. He looked up and tried to force a smile, but it quickly collapsed. Everything felt tight, but he was afraid of what would happen if he let that tension go.

and augh, i am feeling that very tension right now when reading this

I cursed myself for the last-minute touches of makeup I’d added that morning, because I could feel it streaking around my eyes. “Any word on the cake? Ugh!” I pranced in place. “If it’s not here by the time Rivet and I have our First Look pictures, then everypony will be able to tell I was distracted. Photo Finish is a master, but she’s not a miracle worker!”

augh just love the prancing in place! can definitely picture it. and of course Photo Finish would be the photographer here

Trellis shoved her hoof in my mouth.

Like I said, not subtle.

yay, favorite secondary character’s back

Trellis continued. “I want you to know it, too. Look outside. If there are ponies there, flip to– oh, crap! Sorry! Wasn’t supposed to read that.”

I snickered, and I felt you tense up the way you do whenever you stifle a laugh. To your credit, I didn’t hear your voice.

ahaha, augh, just love these little bits of plans not going perfectly but that just adding to the charm in the end

Even though Trellis was speaking, I could hear your voice in hers. “Everyone is here for us, Sparkles. They all see what we’ve known for so long now: we love each other, and we’re meant to be together. Times will be hard…” At that moment, you hugged my barrel. “But even if we’re separated, know that I’m here with you, right behind you, watching and cheering you on the whole way. And I always will be.”

damn, Rivet is so good at knowing what to say! and saying it in a note is an echo of the trick with the layered blankets from earlier, just a great throughline

You looked just as stunning as the day we met. That clean, black suit fit you perfectly, and the subtle square pattern of the fabric wove together like bricks on the sturdiest building in the city. And you still had your stubble. You insisted on keeping it, just so you could feel a little more like yourself.

perfectly Rivet

You smiled at me, Rivet, and even then, before our vows, I knew I’d never have to worry about being alone again.

augh this is going to stab me in the heart later i just know it

Rivet cocked an eye at his husband. “Except the napkins that were the wrong color.”

“A joyous surprise!” Fashion Plate responded, throwing a hoof into the air. “The silver complimented the palette, anyway.”

“Ha! One surprise of many. Were they all joyous?”

“Every single one!”

“Even when my cousin bit yours during the bouquet toss?”

“Day one attitude, love.” He tapped Rivet on the nose. “I shouldn’t have to remind you.”

perfect callback, as well as Fashion Plate doing his short exclamation thing

A wry smile curled on Rivet’s face, and he responded in a big, bassy voice, “I like!”


Plots and that is the truth!”

Rivet  grabbed Fashion Plate’s hooves and spun him around, dipping him as the  blue unicorn sang, “You other stallions find it uncouth!”

ehehe what a great ponification, and luckily Polaroids are also a thing in this Equestria!

They side-shuffled towards each other, their tails thrashing and their legs shaking to maximize the jiggle of their butts.

perfect sentence

Rivet’s mind reeled in a way it hadn’t for years. He gave in to his instincts, which Fashion Plate was all too gleeful to stoke. And despite the creakiness of their bones and the limitations of their bodies, they bonded again, just like they had on their wedding night.

and augh, just love this! what are old people but young people trapped in the bodies of old people? i certainly hope i have their kind of spirit (and relationship) at their age…

Fashion Plate moaned as words rolled out of his mouth like marbles. “Gwuh… Who says earth ponies aren’t magic? I’m going to be sore for a month.”

hehehe nice

“Heh heh. Honey, we just made love at our secret honeymoon spot half a century later. It’s a pretty damn good story on its own.”

“Just don’t spare the details when you tell it.” He turned his head to look back at Rivet. “And put Snowplow in his place while you’re at it. He’s always going on about how he and Sugar Swirl like to get sooooo crazy, but it just ends up being fuzzy hoofcuffs or some nonsense. And not to kinkshame, but please, walk the walk if you want to brag that much.”

ahaha that is so great

Rivet squeezed him tight. “You got it, Sparkles. I’ll tell everypony you were a wild sex freak all the way to the end.”

“See if you can fit it on my tombstone.” He mimed a wide arc in front of him. “Put it beneath ‘cultural icon’ and ‘loving husband and father,’ but keep it above ‘celebrated philanthropist.’”

“Haha! Is that how your priorities shake out?”

“Presentation, darling!” He flashed a smile. “You want to sneak it in to catch the normies off guard.”

damn so true, Fashion Plate really knows how to have a tombstone

With a little more time, Rivet grabbed the quilt, a second blanket, some water, the camera, and a few snacks. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Fashion Plate puffing and shivering, and twice, he had to stop himself from running back sobbing.

oh yeah i am going to be a mess by the end of this

I remember I kept mumbling stupid ideas like, “Do new fathers smoke cigars? It’s tradition, right? I don’t want to take up smoking, Sparkles. That would be bad for the baby. Do you think our foal will be mad at me if I don’t smoke a cigar when they’re born?”

this is such a silly anxiety but i’d be an anxious mess too about this! just a really great heartwarming sitcom-esque line

“I’ve put it first so many times. Before you, even!” You finally looked at me. “What if I can’t put it down for our foal?”

augh yeah, totally see Fashion Plate having this worry

Even as a newborn colt, we knew how strong he’d grow up to be. He made a little “Mm” sound, like he was agreeing with us, and we knew we’d be okay.

and augh, such a perfectly heartwarming sequence! i can only speak from the perspective of someone who is not a parent, but wow there is something here that feels so vivid and true that i’d be surprised if it were not written based on some similar experience. it really made the magic of becoming a parent feel real to me

Your mother and my parents were all angels during those first few weeks.

If angels were pushy know-it-alls with opinions about everything.

oh, parents-in-law! not that i’d know, but i can imagine!

Forge’s cries stabbed through my heart, but I had nothing left. I told myself he was in much, much more capable hooves. After all, they were experts who knew what the fuck they were doing, and I’d just screw it up if I tried to walk down there again. After all, I couldn’t do something as simple as put a bucket of nails away.

and oof, this whole sequence, too! i can just feel how overwhelming this is for Rivet, to have multiple grandparents doing this 

Looking at Forge squirming, uncomfortable… All those feelings of failure came rushing back, and I wanted to cry again.

and oof, i can only imagine how awful that feels. Fashion Plate was right to get so mad!

Your head shook. “I don’t know. Imagine I came up with a stunningly perfect metaphor about your job.”
I sniffed. “Like a foreman with formal training but no on-site experience?”

augh love this exchange

Fancy big-city unicorn or not, I realized I was looking at the strongest pony in all of Equestria, somepony that would take care of me when I was at my lowest, no matter how sleep-deprived we both were. And I smiled.

and this is so true! augh they are so wonderful for each other, and this story is showing that in the best of ways

“I wanted to see it, but he said that it’s not a memorial piece if he finishes it before I–” He saw Rivet’s ears drop and his eyes water. “If he finishes too early before the big show.”

augh my heart

“It’s just…” He sucked in a dramatic breath and buried his face in Rivet’s shoulder. “I can’t believe they all turned out straight,” he mock-sobbed. He looked up at Rivet with big, glassy puppy eyes. “Oh, my love! Where did we go wrong!?”

ahaha, love this

“We got to have it all, love. Even right now. I can’t imagine a more beautiful way to spend one of my last–”
“Don’t say it.”

well tears are forming in my eyes. augh.

“But he needs you, and you’ll need him.” Fashion Plate let his eyes close. “Friends were hard to come by in his line of work, and he certainly doesn’t know about queer relationships.” He took a second to catch his breath. “But what he does know is the grieving process. You’ll mentor each other.”

and this really makes me think of the “Networking!” from earlier, applied to this most tragically romantic of situations. Fashion Plate is truly himself even beyond his own death, including giving Rivet all that he can

Glamor levitated her parasol above her with her magic. “Daddy, can you make Forge stop yelling?” The way she carried herself, even at that age, already practically screamed ‘modeling career.’ I would have worried more about her getting sunburned and having it show through her periwinkle coat and caramel-colored mane, but she had that covered. “This is supposed to be a relaxing vacation.”

as always, love how pony names happen to always perfectly describe the ponies they become. and this definitely feels like Fashion Plate’s daughter!

Spotlight and Forge squealed with delight, and even Glamor raced to the bed to tear through her glitter-laced luggage. In the chaos, you cut in, “But I’ll tackle anypony who tries to leave this room without sunscreen.”

i would question why ponies would even need sunscreen with their coats and all but Rarity does use it in canon!

And yet, you weren’t leaving him without guidance: you’d shown him that it was okay to approach a stranger, strike up a conversation, and enjoy whatever fleeting time you had with them. It wasn’t even manipulative. You were a role model. At that moment, I was convinced you could handle even the whiniest prima donna in the fashion world.

i was wondering how much impact the children would have on the story in the end, given that they were introduced only in the middle, but wow, you really knocked it out of the park in this one! just amazing how the little details like Spotlight’s medication really go a long way in making this feel like just one slice of an actual family life with all its depth and richness. and in the end how it is all  and this, all the while bearing his own father’s death.  what an amazing father and pony Rivet is

You’re a great father, Rivet, and a wonderful husband. But you need a reminder every once in a while, too, just like everypony else. So, remember: if you can keep your eyes on what’s in front of you, you’ll be okay. You need only remember to choose happiness.

just so beautiful. i can’t imagine the pain that Rivet is going to go through

Rivet sighed. He kissed his husband’s ear. “Anything for you, Sparkles.”

i had to pause here to collect myself emotionally, and wipe the tears from my eyes. it just hit me what the purpose of them telling all of these stories to each other is, and it’s just so beautiful and heartbreaking.

“Indeed I do!” You jerked your head towards the cab driver. “But let’s not weird out the normies, love. Not until after we pay him, at least.”

The cabbie’s ears swiveled forward.

ah of course this is how ponies would signal that they are purposefully not eavesdropping! augh love these horses

I looked again. That cabbie had a lot of words for me, but he was still trying to unhitch himself.

and again, that pony drivers move their carts by hitching them to themselves!

I’m… sorry to interrupt.

It’s no problem, Sparkles. What’s wrong?

I… I think it’s happening.

and of course, the story has to end. and augh. emotions again. just like the story itself is ending, and the time that i have with Rivet and Fashion Plate, which i don’t want to end!

“And you said yes.”

the perfect line, the perfect last story to end it on.

i don’t even know what to say. i cried a lot during and after reading this, and had to stare at a wall and breathe slowly for a while before being able to type these very words. 

in my writing and my reading, i am drawn to the complicated romances: clashing personalities, high-stakes situations, tragic ironies, that kind of thing. so many great ideas and sweeping arcs to come together at just the right time and way for an impactful emotional climax!

but this story, there are no complications here. just two stallions who are truly right for each other, and who lived ordinary and peaceful lives that were full of love in an ordinary way. and ended in the most ordinary of ways. 

and it destroyed me, outdoing so many of the amazing stories i’ve read, and certainly all of mine. there is a light here that you’ve truly captured. a love of life and a love of love that is inspiring, all from the pairing of the most background of background ponies. the story of Rivet and Fashion Plate is going to stay with me for a long time, and i cannot thank you enough for it.

May we all be half as blessed or lucky. Cheers!

Thank you so much for giving it a read. :heart:

Comment posted by homer simpson deleted November 24th

Thanks for checking in, and I hope you liked the story!

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