• Published 27th Oct 2012
  • 11,132 Views, 567 Comments

Happily Ever After - GentlemanJ



One day, even the hardest of soldiers hangs up his gun to find a chance at happiness.

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Epilogue

Epilogue

Rarity had butterflies in her stomach. The good kinds, mind you. The very good kinds. Though it had only been a week since the Gala night, what with all the madness and mayhem that had occurred since, it had felt more like a lifetime. Nevertheless, some memories burn brightly even after a lifetime, sparking smiles and churning insides whenever they’re recalled.

She’d kissed him. The thought brought a flush to her cheeks - a potent mix of both pleasure and embarrassment - and quickened her step as she raced down the halls of the royal palace. How could she have been so forward, so bold? Why, it was simply unladylike. Not that she regretted it, mind you, but still.

Face burning like the sun, the young lady had immediately run off before the marshal could blink; not one of her more graceful exits, to be sure. Rarity knew that she wanted to, daresay even needed to talk more with Graves. After all, a man like him would probably chalk it up to a whim of circumstance, a byproduct of adrenaline and excitement. Of course, her intent was much more serious than that, but the intoxicating giddiness of the moment had made explaining it quite impossible. Thus, she ran, fully intent on returning once the tornado in her stomach had died down and the smile on her lips wasn't quite so uncontrollable any more. The chance, however, had never come.

Just hours later, a pair of guardsmen had brought her and her friends to Princess Celestia where they heard the news: Graves had been hurt, and even with the best doctors in Canterlot, the Princess wasn’t sure whether he would last the night.

She hadn’t heard much after that point, but she then again, with that bit of news, what more was there to say?

Dawn came. The marshal still lived, but it was tenuous at best. For the next four days, the situation remained unchanged: Graves still held on by a hair’s breadth as his friends waited. Rarity waited.

Then, on the dawn of the fifth day, Graves had awoke. It was being called astonishing, astounding, amazing, and even absurd, but the fact remained that the grey-eyed soldier had miraculously pulled through. Fluttershy cried, Pinkie Pie partied, and Rainbow Dash set off so many sonic rainbooms, the structural integrity of the ballroom repairs had been compromised. The effect on Rarity had been much more subtle, but just as, if not more intense. The icy claw that had constricted her heart melted away. For the first time in days, she could breathe again.

Nobody had been able to go and visit, not even Twilight despite her begging of the Princess or her pleading with her brother. Graves was to undergo forty-eight hours of constant surveillance to make sure he was actually in as good of health as he appeared, rather understandable considering he had done the medical equivalent of coming back from four days of being as good as stone-cold dead. If he passed the examination, then they could visit.

Which brought us to now as Rarity practically flew down the halls of the East Wing towards the marshal's quarters. At another time, she might have wondered why Twilight had been so adamant about letting her go on her own first and actually bodily blocked Pinkie Pie from joining her. Another time, because her heart was pounding louder and louder with each step that she took as her thoughts whirled away like typhoon winds.

How should she greet him? What would she say? Oh hey there, glad to see you’re not dead? Should she bring up the Gala? How would he react? Would he even remember? She could hardly blame him if he’d forgotten in light of his near death experiences. She hoped he wouldn't, but you never knew...

With a start, the young lady found herself in front of door twenty six, the room where Graves was staying. If her heart had been racing before, it was going at a full-blown Wonderbolts speed run pace by now. Taking a deep breath, she raised her hand to knock-

-and paused as she heard voices coming through the door.

“You sure this is what you want?” The booming voice was gruff and unfamiliar; it didn’t seem too pleased. “I know the Princess said you could make any request, but-”

“I told you, I’m sure.” That was Graves, his rough, baritone rumble as strong and solid as ever. “Is there anything else?”

“Plenty,” the first voice spoke again, the displeasure in its tone now obvious as it petered out into a sigh. “But I can’t stop you. Celestia knows I wish I could, but I can’t, so... take care.”

The door swung open and a massive man with slate grey hair and beard stepped out. He looked down at Rarity, who could only stare back in wide-eyed amazement at meeting such a humongous person.

“You here to see Graves?” he asked. She nodded mutely. Who was this man? And what had they been talking about?

Whoever he was, he didn’t answer. He simply nodded slowly and held the door open for the young lady to enter.

*****

The room was small, with just enough space for a chest of drawers, washstand, and a narrow bed. It was to the last that Rarity’s eyes flew, because sitting on it, chin resting on folded hands, was her grey-eyed marshal. She smiled, a big, uncontrollable smile that was probably more an ear-to-ear grin than anything else.

“Hi.”

Inwardly, she kicked herself. Hard. Really, that was the best she could come up with? Hi?

Graves looked up, his eyes flat and impassive like a pair of river smoothed stones.

“Oh, it’s you,” he said, his voice as expressionless as his eyes. Rarity blinked.

“Why, yes it is,” she continued, his response taking her a bit by surprise. “I see you’ve made quite the recovery. I’m glad.”

“I see.”

Silence ensued. There had been silences between them before and considering how pithy the marshal could be with his words at times, it was certainly nothing new. But something about this one, the way it hung in the air like a dense cloud of acrid smoke, was decidedly different. It felt wrong.

“So, why are you here?” Graves asked, pushing up to his feet as he moved to the dresser and opened it. “Do you have business with me?”

“Business?” Rarity repeated in shock at the coolness in his voice. “Why would I need business to come to see you? I was worried sick about you.”

“Shouldn’t have been,” he stated flatly as he filled his bag with what few belongings he had. “S'you can seen, I'm fine. Anything else?”

The young lady could only stare. This wasn’t right. This wasn’t how things were supposed to go at all.

“Graves, what’s wrong?” she asked, concern lacing every word. “You’re behaving very oddly. Are you sure you’re feeling well?”

“I feel fine,” he replied, now not even looking at her as he shouldered up his bag and spell gun. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go.”

“Go?” Rarity repeated yet again, simply unable to comprehend the marshal’s drastic change in behavior. “But surely you can rest a little longer, can’t you? It’s not like Ponyville is under attack or anythin-”

“I’m not going back to Ponyville.”

His words were quiet, but compared to the deafening silence that followed, he may as well have shouted. Rarity started, her sapphire eyes the size of saucers. Graves stared back, his gunmetal greys cold, hard, and unblinking.

“You’re... not going back?” she gaped. “But why?”

“Have a new assignment,” he flatly stated as he moved for the door. “Note on the dresser there's for everyone I don't see. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to-”

The marshal moved, but found his path was now blocked by the violet-haired girl. If she was still in shock, she hid it well, because from the way her eyes flashed like blue fire, it was clear the foremost thoughts in her mind were of a very heated, and very displeased nature.

“Alright mister, out with it,” she said, her voice as incensed as her look. “What is going on? I know you've had a very trying week here, what with nearly dying and all, but that is still no excuse for your simply appalling behavior.” Graves tried to step around but Rarity held fast, even going so far as to extend her arms to block the door; she was not finished with him yet and he wasn't going anywhere till she was done.

“Is it this new assignment?” she pressed on. “Are you upset that you have to leave? If you are, I’m sure Twilight could speak to the Princess and get you moved back-”

“Why would I be upset?” Graves asked, his voice calm yet as sharper than any sword. “I asked for it.”

Rarity openly stared, completely and utterly dumbfounded.

“You... you requested it?” The disbelief in her voice rang loud and clear. “Why on earth would you request to leave? I thought you liked it in Ponyville.”

“I did,” he nodded. “And now it's time to move on, so if you’ll excuse me...” He moved for the door again, but Rarity stopped him once more, hands gripping the stone frame as if her life depended on it. As if his life depended on it.

“So that’s it?” she asked, her voice still firm, but growing weaker as tendrils of worry ate through her determination. “After all this time, you’re just going to up and leave without so much as a goodbye?”

“That’s how it’s always been,” he said, his eyes as cold and barren as a frozen tundra. “You knew I’d leave eventually, so don’t act all surprised now.” The young lady flinched at the words, so harsh and cruel, they could have been used in place of a scourge. But she couldn’t give up, not like this.

“Yes, I did know,” she acquiesced, the admittance burning bitter on her tongue as she pushed forward. “I also know that things have changed. You have friends now, people who care about you and who you care about in return. You’re not that cold, distant person you used to be. You’re different. Or at least,” she trailed off slowly, “I thought you were.”

The marshal looked down at her, his face expressionless and emotionless, as if stone and steel had replaced flesh and bone.

“Well then,” he said, his voice a rough, gravelly rumble. “Guess you don’t know me that well after all.” Reaching out, he took hold of Rarity’s wrist. She flinched upon contact, but the touch was surprisingly gentle. Moving her arm aside, Graves walked by, no longer even looking at her as he stepped into the hall and turned to go.

Rarity froze, her mind and body grinding to a complete halt. This wasn't happening. This wasn't how it was supposed to be! Spinning around quickly, almost violently, the violet-haired beauty dashed into the hall, her thoughts scrambling for something, anything she could do to stem this inevitable tide.

“Graves!” she called out, the keening edge of desperation cutting harshly through the air. “That night at the Gala, in the tower... Didn't that mean something to you? Didn't you feel... anything?” Her breath caught in her throat. This was her last card. Her final play. Would it work? Would the marshal respond?

The footsteps halted. For a moment, he stood there, his shoulders sagging under a weight that would have made mountains seemed a feather. Slowly, he raised a hand and gave a single wave.

“Have a good life... Miss Rarity.”

Without turning, without stopping, the iron-eyed soldier pulled down his hat and simply… walked away.

**********

To Be Continued...

The Journey of Graves will continue in the ninth story: A Long, Winding Road

Comments ( 138 )

Graves, you vacant-headed moron.

Holy crap.

If there isn't another one I will shoot myself.

What in the actual fuck just happened?

Explain, author!

Whisky-Tango-Foxtrot, Over? :fluttercry:

1806457

Seconded. What in god's name just happened?!?

I...Uhh....WHAT!!! Okay I understand the emotional turmoil he is going through and the pain he must be feeling but this is just so......
Argh :flutterrage: I want to be mad but I can't because I understand the natural progression of the story.:raritycry: I want to be hopeful for a better ending. I know this will more than likely work out at some point but the crushing despair this gives me just makes me want to kick something. Other than that, well written story, good character development and wonderful imagery. I look forward to the next story and hope this pit in my stomach will go away before I head out for the night.

1806491 Woah o.o So, basically, all that's left is to sort out what's real and not real.... :twilightoops: this will be interesting. :3

If this is the end, I understand. Sometimes, duty is stronger than anything else a man can feel. But if there is another story with him and Rarity, I might just have to kiss you.

1806459 I believe that makes two! :flutterrage: What the heck?! I mean sure he dreamed up an entire life with Rarity, but that doesn't mean the kiss during the Gala didn't happen! Seriously Graves get your head double-checked cause I think those effects from the Hearts Desire overdose are kicking in :pinkiegasp:

hold it right there .. you don't think we will let you get away with this ending? the next story better already in work and it better has an real happy end or ... i'll cry :applecry: :fluttercry:

t.s.: graves you damm idiot :raritydespair:

The fuck?

“And not it's time to move on, so if you’ll excuse me...”

now

So wait, from what point was he comatose?

Please don't tell me that this is the end.:raritydespair::fluttercry::raritycry::applecry:

…Ah. So you took this path. I see where you're going with this…BUT WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO TAKE THIS PLOTLINE? WHYYYY!!!!!

I know, right? I was like; "Why did you have to end it this way? Don't torment your readers like this" and GJ was like…WHYY, GJ!! IT'S SO SAAAAD!!!:pinkiesad2:

*Double take* What in the…SEE!? EVEN PINKIE IS SAD NOW!

Uhhh, NO. :flutterrage: You are not going to just end it here.

And not just because I want it to not end here, but because I know that YOU don't want it to end here. You said it yourself that you wanted to make an awesome character to ship with Rarity, and I have to say that you succeeded.

But right now, Graves is acting like a selfish little bastard who's afraid that loving anything will break him. I know that you're not just going to leave him like that.

Also, I posted this on the last chapter, but I think it fits here too:

1806493>>1806459>>1806516
Well, He had to give up the perfect life with Rarity, and…well. I guess the trauma killed something inside of him. Now he can't even look at rarity without remembering what he had to sacrifice.

sure hope that theres more

1806565 The entire story except this chapter and the ending of the previous one.
Oh, and :flutterrage: MOAR!!

As an addendum to what I said earlier: if Graves continues down this path as is, then he'll just become a cold, dead, lonely void that doesn't love anybody.

:fluttercry: WHAT DID YOU DO? HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO MEEEEEEE!!!!! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH:applecry::raritycry::raritydespair:

.......... i can't form very coherent thoughts right now so im gonna go read one of the happiest stories i can find so i can get rid of the desire to kick Graves in the head.
PLEASE tell me there is gonna be another one and things don't end this badly.
until then i will patiently await future installments and hope for a happy ending eventually.

graves you condesending bastered go eat crayons.:twilightangry2:
9th story?:duck:

Well, I think I'll be that guy right now and say: WELL DONE! Absolutely brilliant.

Everyone else is going WTF mate? I was sad that THIS might actually be the last installment of Graves. But NOPE! :scootangel:
This is only the end of season 1. I'm happy about that.

1806457 I allready have my gun against my head.

1806872 Next on Journey of the Graves: Will the mane six concince Graves to come back? Will D 'help' Graves again? How will Rarity deal with a broken heart? And will Graves stop being an idiot? Find out, in season 2 ooooooooofffff: JOURNEY OF THE GRAVES!:pinkiecrazy:

Oh, you clever writer, you.

As if you'd end the series here. Anyway, the Heart's Desire was a nice touch, I did not see that coming. I was beginning to think he had been captured and dragged off by the changelings after being shot, especially after the desperation of the 'Rarity' in his mind to keep him there. Also curious why Discord would visit him. I can see him enjoying the chaos within Graves mind as he came to the truth, but something tells me there's more at stake than that. He has an angle here and I doubt that's the last time we hear from him.

Can't wait to see where you go from here, though if I were to predict anything I'd say Rarity has some questing/searching in her future.

1806925 1) Come back? Can't say. 2) Probably, 3) Yes 4) Eventually... Or he will die. :pinkiecrazy:

Nope. I don't believe it.

Everybody's favourite marshall will be back. There will be more tension between him and Rarity and new things will be discovered next time. I'm only saying that because if you end it like this I'm going to make it my mission in life to track you down and force you to write a happy ending for those two.

What? What? What?! Well that's one way to end a season he better have a damn good reason on the letter. I just can't believe this he just walks out like a bastard, like a stupid dick. Poor Rarity she finally finds the man of her dreams spills her heart out and he just walks out. Dick move Graves, dick move.

Okay, the only possible explanation for Graves's sudden switch in character is Discord. It's still unclear why Discord decided to help Graves all we know is that if Discord is involved that's bad. So maybe when he chose the door to the "Real" world and plunged the dagger into his heart he killed his love for Rarity so now he's back to be a stone cold bastard. Or at least that's what I hope. Since it would make sense for Discord to do this. Oh here's happy man who found the love of his life, lets fuck him over. Since almost dying wasn't enough apparently. Discord!

OK! I demand an explanation here! WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING GRAVES??!!

Noooooooooooo! Well I didn't see that one coming. way to thron.w in the shock factor.

If there isn't another story, I will dislike and delete all your stories from my favorites, and I will also stop following you. Ending it here would be cruel to your audience, and a very pathetic conclusion that lacks any catharsis. But you wouldn't do a thing like that, now would you? :twilightsmile:

Comment posted by SGZone deleted Dec 16th, 2012

....Discord corrupted him, didn't he? Made him choose between his love life or a soldier's one....and of course he chose soldier's, because of a dreamt up love life.

If there isn't more and a good ending to all of this I'm gonna run towards the nearest living thing, and kill it. :pinkiecrazy:

This sudden turn of events saddens me so.:fluttercry:

Heart's Desire. Fitting. I'm not surprised it was something like that.

1806617 Nailed it there man.

Something very deep inside burned on there and he wants something to lash out at. Nothing resonable within reach to lash out at and so we have what happened here.

Dammit Graves, you idiot! But, I suppose I can see how the trauma he went through in the dream is impacting him.

Why is everyone flipping tables in the comments? There's no way the author would end the series at this point.

so when he killed himself in his dream that was like a metaphor for killing his feelings, which in turn let him escape from his coma and also makes him want to go back to being all distant and stuff?
img.ngfiles.com/store/KenStar-1.jpg

Well...
See...
I...
Hmmm....

No comment.

...what.

Well didn't see that one coming. *sigh* Graves why you so stupid!!! :facehoof:

Odds Bodkins, This can't be the end Mistress Melody it just can't. He can't let it end like this.

I....yeah.....um....loss for words here. As always it's well written but that ending…ouch.

Wow that was intense, a great piece of work this one. Many manly tears were shed, :raritycry:
I can't wait for the next installment.

Fuck? Fuck! FUCK?! :flutterrage:

Fuck fuckin dah fuck shafuck fuk duck fucker fuckles fucklin fucklesburg!!! Kafuckin ruck puck fuck tittlewuck give a dog a bone! Drufuckilly fuckinstien McFucker! KUFUCKA!




This better not be the end!



Dammit!

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