• Published 24th Dec 2012
  • 4,955 Views, 138 Comments

Where They Are Joined - Cloudy Skies

At long last, the wedding bells ring for Applejack and Fluttershy. Everypony does their utmost to try to make it the best wedding ever, but as the pair discovers, it quickly becomes a question of getting married despite, rather than because of this.

  • ...

Epilogue and Author's Notes

The doors to the Apple family barn stood ajar. It was just a crack, but enough that bright light, hot air, delicious scents and upbeat music all drifted out from inside, banishing much of the winter cold. That the Apple family get-together had been merged with the delayed wedding reception hadn’t put a damper on anypony’s spirits, that was for certain; the cheer and the sheer energy was palpable. So many ponies all in one room, just to celebrate the two of them.

She’d been a little apprehensive of this moment when they sat down to write the invitations. She’d felt uneasy about it when things started to go askew. When she realized much of what she’d said and done could be called untruthful, tantamount to lies, she’d dreaded it.

Now, Applejack felt ready.

It was easy to imagine Fluttershy felt something of the same. The notoriously shy pegasus usually considered anything more than two ponies a crowd, but for the moment, she stood at Applejack’s side smiling contentedly as the pair waited. Separate, they had their reasons for fearing this. Together, they were indomitable.

“I wonder what is taking them so long,” Fluttershy said, scanning the skies.

“You cold? I can head right over to the farmhouse and get you a scarf. I ain't surprised Rarity's late, but no idea what's keeping the rest.”

“Oh, not at all. If you’re cold, I’m sure we could just head inside. I don’t think it matters that much.”

Applejack grinned and shook her head. “I ain’t usually much for tradition, but the exception’s when it’s Apple family tradition. Guests of honor arrive last. Gives the others a chance to get a head start on the cider so we won’t look as silly as they do or something.”

“I, um, that’s lovely, I think?” Fluttershy said, giggling. “Oh, I think I see—”

It was about as far as she got in the time between Applejack and Fluttershy noticing the ponies on approach, and a pink and blue blur not so much landing as it impacted by the door. When the snow settled—a depressing majority of it on Applejack’s body—Pinkie Pie hopped off Rainbow Dash’s back.

While Rainbow Dash was busy catching her breath, the pink pony beamed. She didn’t merely look happy, nor did she simply put on the bright smiles of Pinkie Pie’s that made the world a better place. The earth mare practically glowed, and Applejack half feared the snow would all melt and flood Ponyville.

“Hi ‘Shy! Hi Applejack!” Pinkie said, bouncing up and down so fast she was almost a blur. “Sorry we’re late but we had to do something, or, well, we always do something, but this was a super special something!”

“Hey you two.” Applejack squinted. There was something shiny dangling from one of Pinkie’s ears, but with her frantic movement it was hard to make out exactly what. At her side, Fluttershy gasped and covered her muzzle.

“Is that—”

Sure enough, from one of Pinkie Pie’s ears dangled an ornate cloud earring, complete with tri-colored lightning bolt. Applejack’s eyes widened just as Fluttershy wrapped a wing around her back and pulled her close.

“You’re gettin’ hitched? You ain’t supposed to wear’em right off the bat. Kind of ruins the point,” she said, trying to keep the laughter back. She knew she was grinning like an idiot despite it all, and Pinkie Pie grinned right back.

“Yeah, well, waiting sucks,” Dash said, finally finding her breath and stepping up to Pinkie Pie’s side. “And if people don’t like it, they can go suck a lemon.” She flicked her tail.

“Plus, they’re super shiny! Now we get cake, too, and I can’t wait to tell your mom! She’s gonna be a grandmother!” Pinkie squealed.

What?” Dash all but screamed—or at least, she tried, but Pinkie grabbed her in a crushing hug that bore her to the ground in a cascade of feathers and snow.

“Oh don’t think that I haven’t noticed that tummy of yours, Dashie, or the way you keep craving sweets,” Pinkie said, nuzzling Dash’s belly. In response, the pegasus went beet red and slack-jawed at the same time.

“We live in a bakery,” she said, squirming to try to get free. “A bake—wait, what? I haven’t put on any weight, have I?”

Fluttershy leaned against Applejack and smiled as she calmly picked up the conversational reins again. “I don’t think we can really complain about what ponies should and shouldn’t do with their weddings, anyway,” she said, though it was hard to tell exactly who she addressed.

“Right you are about that, sugar,” Applejack said, scratching at her own snout before leaning over the two-pony pile before her. “Anyway. Finally wore her down, Pinkie?”

Pinkie squeaked, dragged down into the snow just as she was about to reply. A moment later, Dash stood up and brushed herself off. Now, for the first time, Applejack could clearly see the matching balloon-trio earring in her ear. When she saw her looking, Dash tilted the ear forwards, either with pride or in challenge.

“Hey, I said we could just get another pet alligator or whatever, but if this is what she wants,” she said. Pinkie popped up beneath her, neatly interrupting her by lifting Dash up on her back and twisting her head around to look at the pegasus from beneath.

“Oh totally! But you were the one who asked—”

“Anyway! Sorry about being late and all. We should probably head on inside, huh? Let’s go, Pinks!”

Dash hopped off Pinkie Pie and sailed over to the door, nudging it open, only to pause when she realized Pinkie wasn’t following.

“Are you embarrassed?” Pinkie asked. A deliciously simple question. Dash did not so much as bat an eyelid.

“No. I just think this sappy stuff is silly. Come on.”

Pinkie Pie planted her tush on the ground and crossed her forelegs. Applejack took a single demonstrative step back, for a second fearing that she’d have to bear witness to some sort of terrible argument or some such. Fluttershy bit her lower lip.

Rainbow Dash sighed, splayed her ears and half spread her wings.

“Come on, snugglebutt?” she said, looking very much like she wanted to be anywhere else doing anything else.

“Okie-dokie-lokie!” Pinkie Pie said, up and bouncing past them, the couple disappearing inside. Applejack stared through the gap, her eyes lingering until she found Big Macintosh on the other side. The stoic stallion nodded at her and gave the door a tug ‘lest the winter chill ruin the party, and they left it at that.

“Makes you wonder,” Applejack said, once more letting her eyes wander. She was sure she could spot two shapes moving further down the road, approaching at a leisurely walk.

“Sorry?” Fluttershy tilted her head.

“Oh, it’s just that, well, I like to think I’m a fairly dependable and reliable pony, most of the time.” Applejack hummed and leaned down to rub her forehead. “Don't mean to boast and I won’t say I'm quiet, but I don’t make a fuss ‘lest there’s a reason.”

“I think almost everypony would agree to that,” Fluttershy said, brow knit for a second before she offered a smile, rubbing her cheek against Applejack’s neck. The farm pony closed her eyes and leaned back, grinning still.

“And if you don’t mind me saying, and I mean this in the best possible way, you might just be the sweetest and most gentle pony in all of Equestria,” Applejack said, throwing a foreleg around her mare’s withers.

“I—I don’t know about that, but that’s very nice of you. Um, but why?”

“If the two of us managed to make a bigger mess this whole wedding business than a dozen pegasi in a kitchen, it makes you wonder what Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash’ll cook up, s’all.”

Fluttershy laughed. It wasn’t anything that could be covered up as a giggle, but a full laugh that echoed Applejack’s own for a good few seconds before she reached up to cover her mouth—only to set to laughing again.

“Oh goodness, you shouldn’t say such things,” Fluttershy said, prodding her in the side, but she smiled still. “I can’t wait to be there, no matter what they decide.”

“Me too, sugarcube, of course.” Applejack chuckled. No sooner had she spoken than did the distant sounds of conversation betray the identities of the two ponies wandering up the well-trodden snowy path to Sweet Apple Acres.

“I understand that you, ah, tried your best.” Rarity’s voice drifted over the farmyard.

“I’m glad you noticed! I’ve seen all the things you can do with makeup, and I thought I’d try my hoof at it,” Twilight said.

“Ah. Yes.” Rarity cleared her throat. The two unicorns finally strode into view, and when Applejack saw what they were discussing, her face ached from the effort of not laughing, grinning or even smiling.

Rarity nodded at Applejack and Fluttershy in passing, flashing a brief smile. “My point is—hullo, dears—that sometimes, less is more.”

“That’s a common—or, well, no, that’s actually a very uncommon mathematical misconception,” Twilight said, tilting her head. “I applied every single technique related to makeup that I could find.”

“Precisely,” Rarity sighed, one of the corners of her mouth turned upwards in a lopsided smile as she regarded the rather catastrophically colorful and messy landscape that was Twilight’s face. Testament to what the two had fostered ever since the wedding, her face barely twitched at all.

“I’m flattered, but do let me take you to the restroom and give you a few pointers before we join the party in full,” Rarity said as the two brushed past. The sounds of song and music were louder by far with the barn door open again.

Applejack snickered. “If that ain’t love, I don’t know what is.”

“I think it’s sweet!” Fluttershy said, folding her wings. For a second, the party washed over them from the other side of the threshold, and neither of them spoke, but there was really rather little to detain them, now.

“Are you scared?”

Applejack had expected they were words she herself would speak, but they belonged to Fluttershy. The earth mare simply shook her head and nudged her hat back on her head.

“Nah. We’ve had our moment, haven’t we? If they want to celebrate us, I say we let them, but I’ve got what I wanted.” She leaned over to nuzzle one of Fluttershy’s ears, careful not to touch the delicate earring.

Fluttershy closed her eyes for a moment and twitched her ears, the tip of one of her wings running along Applejack’s back before she nodded and set them moving.

“Me too.”

And they lived happily ever after, consarn it. Damn, I've waited a long time to say that.

Hi. First, I want to say thank you for reading. Thank you both for reading Where They Are Joined, and also again for taking the time to read these author's notes. Well, unless this is the last sentence you bother reading because you just caught on to the fact that the story is over. That leaves you with one out of two thanks, you silly person. Before I thank other special ponies and talk about stuff, let me talk about this continuity:

If this is the first story you've read in this continuity, and if you're at all curious, this is the third story in a very loose series starting with Where Earth Meets Sky. WEMS is also an AppleShy story, loosely followed by Where Your Heart Is (which is PinkieDash). I've taken care to make each story stand on its own four legs, but they do reference each other and such. Feel free to check them out if you need more AppleShy or PinkieDash in your life.

This particular story, though, would not have existed if not for three specific people. Granted, there are probably a lot of other people whose existence was required for this fic to be; I don't think I'd have been in a position to write this if not for Mr. Tesla, or grandfather Google (gdocs is crack, help).

Point is: Thank you. Thank you, Kits, Corma and TAW. Without these three titans, these three literary juggernauts, I would be in a ditch somewhere around the first few paragraphs covered in vanilla sauce, crying and singing bawdy songs for which I do not have the voice. These guys're the best at pointing out what works and what doesn't, at catching the stupids, and pointing out when I incorrectly use the word "daub" instead of "dab" as I have for the past two fics. As a bonus, Kits is an artist, and has provided cover art for every single damn one of these three fics. Kits, you're a champ. Go check his DeviantArt out.

Finally? Well, this is "the end". The WEMS-continuity has seen three (and a half) fics, and ever since I finished the first fic, I knew I wanted to write a pony wedding. At times, it's been an almost uncomfortable urge to "finish" things and give the ponies the conclusion I wanted, and at other times, I've been giddy with the anticipation of writing some of these scenes. WTAJ was a treat to write, laden with so many confrontations as it was.

As always, please leave a comment if you'd like to tell me something you liked-or-didn't. I answer every single mail I get at cloudyskieswrites@gmail.com , too. It's always helpful to know what people thought. If I learn of something you thought worked, that's useful information for my next fics. If I'm told of something you didn't like, and why, I can consider whether that's something I need to watch out for next time I write.

Again, thank you for reading. Onwards!

Comments ( 62 )

A pitch perfect conclusion to a truly fantabulous series. Huzzah.

Hmm. Well, twas a fun story. Ended a bit quicker then I expected.

I still absolutely adore Where Earth Meets Sky. The AppleShy moments are adorable, and I just love the scene where Rainbow is stalking AJ. The first time I read it I was laughing throughout the whole thing (might have made a comment back then as well, don't remember). Also some great character development between AJ and Rainbow.

Where Your Heart Is perhaps didn't have as many moments that really stood out to me as WEMS had. Probably mainly Dashie's mother, she was a fun character. But it was a fun read.

Where They Are Joined is probably my least favourite of the three. Which just means I like the other two better. I still had a lot of fun reading it. Feel a bit sorry for the rest of AJ's immediate family. It does seem a bit unlike her to not at least wait for Granny Smith, Applebloom and Big Mac before doing the ceremony. I was expecting that their friends took care of that, but it was apparently only Celestia and Luna. If they can be there, why not GS, AB and BM? I don't know, it seems rather OoC for AJ. But that is just my opinion.

Pinkie and Rainbow were fun, especially in the epilogue.

Rarity and Twilight... That is difficult. I can't quite recall if there were any hints in WYHI. I feel fairly confident in saying there weren't any in WEMS. And its not bad. Its handled well. But... Any single fic where all of the mane six find a partner in one of the others of the mane six, especially without any love triangles, is a bit... It is just so improbable. One or two fics try to explain why this happens, which can make it a bit better. But like I said, I think its handled well and it was fun to read. I don't think I would want it gone or anything. I also don't think it would hurt the story in any way if it wasn't there, although I'd probably would miss it now that I have read it. But yeah... What are the odds, you know? All of them are gay (fine, might not even be such a thing as gay in Equestria), all of them fall in love with one of the bearers, and somehow even in three pairs without any issues. Eh, I don't know. It doesn't matter that much, but I always feel its just a bit to easy.

All in all, I am somewhat sad to see the whole thing ending. I was very glad to see a third story in this universe, and I did enjoy it plenty. Looking forward to whatever you come up with next, I'm sure.

1898381 I think I could write cuddles like that forever, so it's a match, yay!

It's an interesting comment regarding Dash and AJ, really. I mean, WEMS and WTAJ - the stories in this continuity that aren't WYHI - are very much centered around three ponies, fitting WEMS' original artwork. They're stories about Fluttershy's relationship with AJ and Dash, even, if you want to look at it like that, so having someone poke at the Applejack/Rainbow Dash angle is very interesting. I can't claim that it was a concentrated effort to do just this, but I guess my take on it is simply that perhaps exactly because they are such good friends, and what with them both being rather loud ponies, they clash more often than most. It makes sense that this transfers over here?

You say it's not necessarily a flaw, and I'm not 100% convinced either way myself, hah. All the same, it's really an interesting observation.

1902275 Would you believe that I honestly didn't mean it like that? I mean, sometimes I write things that are a little hotter than this, but these stories of mine have always been 100% innocent. Sorry!

1903866 Aw, thank you very much! You're very kind to say so, and I really am glad to hear that AJ's motivations worked for you. I was afraid that some would be unsympathetic, I really was. What works for me doesn't always work for others and all. As far as the others, well, I won't comment too much more for fear of spoiling.

>I love that this lack of communication on the subject was easily resolved by Fluttershy finally working up the courage to ask what's wrong.

Yeah, that was kind of the premise: The story wouldn't at all work with another pairing. No other pony is as stubborn and reserved as AJ, and none others would pine over a simple question for as long as Flutters. Sure, you could construct scenarios where they might, but having Dash and Flutters interact to bring this all about was half of the reason I wrote this. I love writing them.

1904664 Thank you! I hope you enjoy the last bits, too!

1905452 I believe Rainbow Dash would sympathize with your exact words.

1905939 My lips are sealed!

1906247 A lady never faints, she simply takes unintended delicate naps.

1908513 Ooh, what'dya predict? Curious!

1911198 I shall, of course, say nothing, but the last bits're up!

1914766 Silly, Fluttershy and Applejack aren't Irish.

1914785 1914830 Thank you very much!

1915166 I can sympathize with the end being a bit quick, but I suspect some of it may be due to poor planning around chapterization for my part. The ch5-6 split feels a lot more natural without pause to me, so I'm sorry for that.

I can of course sympathize with people calling favorites between these three; I know many have said they prefer WYHI over WEMS, too. I certainly don't take this as damning critique, but it's interesting to know! Now, as far as you specific comments regarding the Apple family, I can see where you're coming from, certainly. The factors that led to me not having them be there for it was mostly because of what Applejack herself says; It was their day. That doesn't mean Applejack didn't want them to be there, but it's my take on why she didn't protest. However, in hindsight, I think I could have made that more clear.

A line from Applejack about having all her friends, but also seeing the huge void - how many weren't there - and then recognizing she'd see them soon enough, that today belong to Fluttershy and her - that would've gone a long way, I think. All too often I leave these things in my head when I'd profit far more from having a nod to it in the fic. When I decide to write such a "nod", I often come off as too subtle, too.

Far as the RariLight goes, I'm not even going to try to defend my actions. You confirm what I feared, and what was the reason I didn't (as you correctly state) foreshadow this in WEMS and WYHI; pairing all the six can easily feel artificial. You thread pretty lightly, but I think you'd be justified in being far more harsh here. The reason I say I'm not even going to defend it is because I knew this, and I even agree - I just honestly decided to pull out all the stops and go out with a bang. A little silliness and a little fun as a trade for credibility that's already questionable with 2/3 pairs shipped? Why the heck not!

Thank you for your comment!

So you went ahead and completed the mane 6 ship cirlce, huh. Honestly, I'm pretty sure the story would have worked without it, but I'm still glad you did it, because that little scene with the flowers was too adorable. So was anything PinkieDash here. In fact, I'm now going to reread "Where your Heart is", which is in my humble opinion your best work of this trilogy. That isn't to say this story was bad, because it really wasn't. I greatly enyoed reading it in one sitting to chapter five to then discover you had uploaded Chapter 6 while I was reading. Yeah, as I said, great story, great characterisation, great feels.

As a bonus, Kits is an artist, and has provided cover art for every single damn one of these three fics.

And even the forth fic you don't acknowledge :P

1915280 Yeah, it was pretty much a "Why the hell not" type of thing, really. As I mentioned in another comment here, it was a tradeoff; it ruins some of what little credibility was left, but I'll happily take that trade because of the cute scenes. Thanks for reading!

1915674 No idea what you're talking about sir.

1915781 It's one of the (few) advantages of an "established" series I guess. I get to write cute little scenes like that without having to build up to them, hah. Thank you for reading and for leaving a comment!

Oh man now I really want to see what Dash's moms reaction would be. She was funny before and seemed to like Pinkie but what a bomb to drop! Lol another great story and a good wrap up to the series.

And here we are.

Well. I'm a sucker for any story where the moral is that honesty is the best policy because nothing is ever as big of a deal as you think. I'm also a sucker for Pinkie and Dash being ridiculous. And Applejack's eventual motivations also hit a particular soft spot of mine. Plus... Cloudy Skies. So really, I had no choice but to love this fic. So despite the fact that it desperately needs more Best Pony (:raritywink:), it was still excellent. Well done as usual.

If you really must know, I must report liking both WYHI and WEMS better, mostly due to higher silliness content and lower entirely-too-believable tension and stress and fear. That's a sort of compliment, you notice - I believed this too hard to be entirely happy about it. So while I say it was excellent (and it was), I didn't enjoy reading it in the same sense as the other two.

I was thinking adoption. My bad. Also I'd be more worried about Fluttershy's wrath.

Yes, darling. Less is more.

Happy ponies being happy. A great end to a great quadrilogy.

There's always just a slight bit of sadness when I reach the end of one of your stories, if only because now I need to wait for a new one. I've been leaving a few comments on individual chapters, and my overall thoughts are very positive. The characterization was spot-on, as usual, and there was some truly adorable fluff throughout as well, which is probably my favorite to read. I personally really liked what you did with the slight RariLight, though I can concede to the comments about it being pretty unlikely that the mane 6 pairs off perfectly neatly. Twi played it exactly like I would expect her to, not the slightest bit smooth, but really cute because of her general ham-fistedness. That actually makes me curious as to what the pairing(s) in your next fic might be. I think you could certainly flesh out RariLight (not necessarily within this continuity) if you devoted a fic, or maybe even a TwiPie fic *nudge nudge*. However I would actually be pretty surprised if you were willing to reveal it so soon, so I'll definitely understand if you want to keep it quiet. I think whatever pairing you choose, you'll do a good job. You write all of the mane 6 really well. I'm looking forward to the next journey!

Whew, another story to chalk of my read list. 83 others to go.

I think I liked WEMS the most of the three, closely followed by WTAJ. You are one of the few authors that can convey emotions brilliantly. I noticed that especially with Fluttershy, but with Applejack as well. There were a few moments where I could feel the emotional battle in Fluttershy between fear and bravery, such as when she was gathering the courage to propose. I also love how she becomes more and more brave throughout the whole series.

While I secretly hope for another story that delves in upon the relationship between Rarity and Twilight, I have to realize that this universe is over.
That's okay, I have full confidence in that your next project will be at least 80% as awesome as this one. Another adventure story, perhaps?

1917393 Hehe, thank you, but the idea was really for this to be a The End. I'd like to try my hoof at something involving foals one day, maybe, but the main problem with this continuity - one I haven't spoken of often - is that it's so far split off from canon now. All stories do that, at least as I write them; the second you say "once upon a time", canon is set. For this exact reason, WTAJ - despite its publishing date - is a mid-S2 fic.

Most readers won't mind. It took me a long time before I realized that readers don't worry about canon compatibility that much, so long as certain checkpoints are observed. That's very handy. It means that my older stories, like Within and Without, aren't necessarily judged because they're written based on S1 canon.

It annoys me a lot as an author, though. While people haven't complained a lot about characterization, I notice that I'm not writing Fluttershy as I'd like to, I write an amalgation of "WEMS' Fluttershy" - who is different - and the canon "stronger" Fluttershy. Again, it's a minor thing, and it doesn't have to be a problem, but it means I can't pull on events from Hurricane Fluttershy etc. It's one of the (many) reasons I want to write more AppleShy in a different continuity, unchained from WEMS: the characters have changed.

Sorry for the very, very extended answer. I'll probably make a note about this in a blogpost. It just made me think!

1917441 I hear you! I'd love to do more of Mrs. Rainbow Dash's Mom, I really do. Writing more in this continuity is unlikely (for reasons in the reply right above this one), but I am 99% sure Hurricane Flare has become my personal headcanon and is ready to be used for my next FlutterDash fic. It'll actually be twice as fun next time around, I suspect, because I'm not gonna make a big spectacle about it. She'll just be there.

1917480 It actually surprises me how often stories written just for romance, d'aws and hugs end up both having a strong moral and reflecting on some aspect of my own life. I think the fics of mine that I am the most fond of (read: might consider "best") are the ones that are written as a direct reaction to my own feelings.

No, I'm not getting married. Just, you know. They say "write what you know", and I think it's only now that I realize what they actually mean by that.

I'm actually surprised to hear you consider this the most serious of the three, because I feel it's far and away the silliest. Then again, those aren't mutually exclusive, so... I think I agree.

1917488 Or magic! Lots of the fics that do foals decide to just magic it somehow. I used to think it silly - and I actually kind of still do - but it's an option and it deserves consideration! I used to take myself more seriously, to the point where I'd never even think to do something so "silly", but, eh. It's a challenge to make these things feel believable, and I like challenge!

1919027 Trilogy. Where's my liarjack emoticon?

That picture cracked me the hell up though, haha. Thank you very much for reading!

1919029 Thank you for reading, and for leaving a comment! Hopefully, you won't have to wait too long. I'm still trying to decide on what to write next. As it's probably neither a huge-long adventure nor a sequel I have a lot of emotions tied to, it should be faster than the last, but I learned the hard way not to make promises.

You are very kind though, and I'm glad you enjoyed this story! I've already commented on the whole 2+2+2 thing, but I just wanted to say that TwiPie is definitively one of the (many) ships I plan and want to do, eventually, and I've been working on RariLight ideas too. I haven't done enough Rarity ships!

1920012 83? Seriously? I think that's the exact length of mine at the time of writing, haha. That's uncanny. Thank you very much for reading, and thank you for your thoughts! You won't believe how much fun I had with a license to write Flutteremotions like this. I think I need to give the poor girl a bit of rest now though.

>While I secretly hope for another story that delves in upon the relationship between Rarity and Twilight, I have to realize that this universe is over.

RariLight in the future? Definitively. Different angle though!

>That's okay, I have full confidence in that your next project will be at least 80% as awesome as this one. Another adventure story, perhaps?

It's tradition for me to do an adventure after every season, but I hope to do one more not-terribly-long story before the season ends. Hope I can pull it off in time!

1920307 IT'S CANON! It may even get some fan art, the next time I feel like doing... content of that nature.



That's very handy. It means that my older stories, like Within and Without, aren't necessarily judged because they're written based on S1 canon.

I still maintain that rewriting Luna's speech mannerisms in that fic to S2-Nightmare Night Luna, would be hilarious for all those involved.

Hammy Luna is often best Luna! Ahahaha.

1920344 [Within and Without spoilers follow!]

Luna's was not even a full hoofbreadth from Twilight's face. She smelled faintly of rain. Twilight was paralyzed, trapped, and scrabbled to eject some words. She felt utterly pathetic where she lay, tears streaking her face. Her voice cracked. "Why don't you... what do I have to do to earn your respect? I just want to help. Why are you-"

"WE HAVE ALWAYS RESPECTED THEE, TWILIGHT SPARKLE," Luna roared, blasting Twilight's mane away from her face and thumping her head against the mill's stone floor. "WE RESPECT THEE AND THY CHOICES-

...This has potential.

1920357 I've oft toyed with the idea of that when it comes to Luna's part in the comic. Perhaps a separate release of pages, one serious, and one silly. I am glad you see it my way! Ahahahaha.

“No. I just think this sappy stuff is silly. Come on.”

Dash really should have known better, Pinkie loves silly stuff. :facehoof:

I think I've got something in my eye.

IT WAS FEELS! :raritycry:

This was a lovely capstone to a wonderful series of fics. I am sorry to see it end, but you do have sound reasoning for making this the last story in this continuity. Canon does, as ever, march on.

I see a lot of people naming WEMS or WYHI as their favorite entry in the series (and maybe a few playful jabs at The One Fic that is Definitely Not Part of This Series), and rating this at second best in the continuity. I think I can see some of their reasoning for it, but for me, this is my favorite entry.

In a few ways, this was a very different sort of story from the first two. In the first two, you start with two ponies that are not romantically involved, and end with a couple. In this, the characters already have a strong romantic relationship at the beginning. It can be a real challenge to have meaningful character growth in a story where there isn't a whole lot of change in the way the protagonists feel about each other from beginning to end. I think you met that challenge quite well. You could almost call this not a ship-fic at all; the focus of the story is not really on AJ and Fluttershy's relationship to each other, but on how they deal with everypony around them, and in the end, coming to the realization of what they really want. Their love, while certainly strong and beautifully portrayed, is not really the driving force of the plot like it was in WEMS. It is sort of a part of the setting; a background assumption upon which the rest of the story is built.

I can really identify with AJ and Fluttershy; a lot of this story reminded me of my own wedding. My spouse and I didn't end up running off like they did, but at a certain point we did throw our hands up and say, "You guys can handle all the craziness if you want, we're just here to get married."

I like the little hints of world-building you sneak in there with the wedding traditions of the different pony tribes. Little touches like that make the whole setting feel more complete.

Great job, I enjoyed reading your work immensely, and I eagerly look forward to the next thing you write!

Ah, another beautiful story from the illustrious Cloudy. Bravo, good sir! :moustache:

HiddenBrony here(had to update my username because FiMFic wouldn't stop yelling at me), and I've finished your story here. I keep looking at it, reading some certain parts of it, and leaning back and dwelling on it. For however much I love your writing, however much I love this ship, and however much fun you make a reader have while reading this...

I didn't enjoy this.


....as much. Let me be clear here, this is a good story and I did like it, but it pales in comparison to the previous two(and a half) chapters of your saga here. And I know exactly why, which is a surprise to me. Your first two stories were a bit more magical, they were in a world you couldn't have seen anywhere else. Applejack's fun run in WEMS was an amazing piece of character building. Fluttershy keeping pace but being entirely out of breath was fun and adorable. Pinkie Pie's adventure to find Rainbow Dash was amusing, amazing, and epic in scope.

This didn't have any of that. For lack of a better way of saying it, this felt like something I would have written(having written the entire subject myself, I didn't go this route, but regardless). It didn't have that extra Cloudy magic I've come to expect from you. Fluttershy felt, at times, more wooden and I had major difficulty matching her dialogue to her voice(Rarity, on the other hand, was brilliant).

I'm not saying this is bad. This is still extraordinarily good when placed in comparison to other fanfic, but your other two stories were still extraordinarily good when placed next to any fiction. This is simply good. Great, maybe. There is a lot of respect for the characters here that I love, even though I may not agree with some directions you went with.

You did good Cloudy. I'm just a crotchety old brony.

I know others have commented on this and you have given a reply, but I really didn't like the RariLight shipping. It really does feel like Pair the Spares. The individual moments that they had together were very sweet. I am absolutely certain that you could pull off their relationship with the proper setting. I don't think you could give them enough time to develop without looking like you were cutting into the time for the wedding.

I would list off what I thought you did well, but I don't feel like recounting everything else that was in this fic. I couldn't find any discontinuity between this and the previous two stories so good job on that.

“Come on, snugglebutt?

That was just hilarious!

In some respects, I'm sad to see the WEMS continuity end. But damn if it didn't go out on a high.

Well that was a nice and elegant story. It was also wrapped up in a fun way.

1920484 Dash is still a rookie at Pinkie Pie. I don't think it's possible to progress much further than that, sadly.

1920842 Thank you very much for reading, first off! I think the whole "debate" about which fic is better is very much because they're stories with very different traits and focuses (foci?), so it's very understandable. I don't want to really name my own favorite, but I will say I'm very happy to hear from someone who actually liked WTAJ best, too--to see that it's not entirely one-sided.

Well, two-sided, with three facets. Gah.

You're objectively correct in that this isn't a story about the relationship itself, and it's only in hindsight that I realize what a big deal that is. It's probably why this was so hard for me to write; I've always enjoyed fresh starts and the first love the most. Many people seem to be getting a little tired of stories that start from scratch, but I've never felt that way. If there's a push to move towards writing stories that are slice of life-y blurbs, I've never managed to get on board with that. It made this a bit of a challenge. If you felt I succeeded, I'm very, very happy with that.

I hope your wedding involved at least a few less disappointments, or that if it did, that it also featured some rock solid friends, too!

1920999 Thank you ever so much!

1923695 Goldurnit, fixing. Thanks.

1923720 Okay, now I have to know, what kind of problems did your username cause? Curious!

Really though, thank you for taking the time to read, and thank you for leaving your thoughts! I understand that people will have different preferences within the continuity, I just wish that there was more I could say than that. I mean, I deeply appreciate your candor, and it's of course useful--as is all feedback--but it's a little hard to act on "not enough magical moments" or such.

In a sense, I see your point regardless of this, because the run in WEMS and certain bits of WYHI are very close to my heart. WTAJ, by its nature, is lacking in the pseudo-adventurey bits that are full of discovery and first love. What replaces these declarations and discoveries are the confrontations. WTAJ for me is, in large part, the moments where Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash square off, and the talk between FS and AJ. To me, they fill the same slot, but I understand it might not be the same to everyone.

That's not me trying to dismiss your words, nor will I accept you dismissing your own words with your last sentence there, I'm just saying that I understand how you might feel that way, I just wish I could say more in response. I don't think it's quite as simple as saying it's preference, it's just a very different story. When I get around to re-reading this, I'm gonna keep an eye on FS' dialogue to see to which degree I agree with your comment there.

1926184 Simply put, if I were intending to be very "serious", I'd have skipped the incredibly violent curve of their relationship development at the end and just kept it at some really subtle cute little moments, but yeah, as you say I've said (there's a sentence), it really was just a "why the hell not" thing. It's a point of critique to which my response is pretty much "I know, I know, tee hee" and then prance away laughing, hah.

Thank you ever so much for reading and commenting!

1926261 I hope it doesn't disappoint!

1927966 I'm very glad you think so; it is a little melancholy for me, too, but it's not like I'm writing The End anyway. If I do change my mind, I have the freedom to do so, hah. Thanks, though!

1932541 Thanks! I'm glad!

1937819 Oh, don't worry--we both got everything we wanted out of our wedding! :raritywink:

I'm not ashamed to say i cried for them, i still am now. That has got to be the sweetest thing I've read to date. From their fight when i shed tears for their own, and received a well placed buck to the feels, to the very last scene as they nuzzled each others ears, i had tears running down my face.

I hereby congratulate you Cloudy, you are a truly great writer! Congratulations!

PS I want MOAR!

Oh, goddesses the feels! There were so many feels!
There are not enough ways to express my joy for having read this! Its already a favorite, and I'm already following you! What else can i do?

I know! I shall give you your own little place on my profile where this fic and its relatives... well... not all of them... :twilightblush:
Ahem. Anyway, a place where they can be displayed in all their sheer awesomeness for anypony to see!

It's scary how compelling this is considering how little actually happened. There is a lot of thinking and talking, but not a whole lot of doing. I'm having a hard time reading it as AppleShy and not PinkieDash. The other two seem to have far more adorable little shipping moments than Applejack and Fluttershy do. But I guess that's to be expected seeing as how they don't have any conflict. Not that I'm complaining. The only possible complaint I could think to lodge is, maybe, that everything is a little too perfect. Particularly, with Twilight and Rarity getting together too. Ah well, I don't think I'd have wanted it to end any other way.

Congratulations on being awesome.

1940738 I'm glad you liked it! That's really all I would ever hope for, and I can't, wouldn't and won't ask for anything else, silly. You're very kind, though; not sure it deserves this level of attention, but it's a lovely gesture!

1943238 Reading shipfics, living on the wild side, eh? I have a friend who's into paragliding. She doesn't know shit.

1943499 I can see how PinkieDash may come off as equally or even more prominent; the AppleShy bits here weren't about external action (something PinkieDash practically generates). As you say, little happened. WEMS is a step up in this regard, but I find that for these two ponies, it can be plenty enough to have they focus on something simple and internal.

If you're looking for AppleShy (friendship, not shipping, though), I think Lost and Found has that in spades, hah. And if I (okay, when) I write another AppleShy ship fic, I'll probably make it far more upbeat or at least more action-y. I hope to vary!

The whole "too perfect" thing is spot on, but also intended. You're certainly not the first to comment on the RariLight being a bit over the top, and you're very much correct. I don't think I'll apologize for it, but I do recognize it's probably overkill for most.

Thank you ever so much for reading!

And yet another fantastic Fic.

It’s just wonderful to have a writer consistently putting out well written and entertaining stories.

I don’t think you have a single fic on Equestria Daily that isn’t in my “favorites” category.

As always, I look forward to your next works.


And it ends. I'm a bit sad to see this trilogy go, but it was a fun, memorable ride, and went out on a high note. I guess I don't have a whole lot to say about this story, but I did really enjoy it. The wedding was as heartwarming as I'd hoped, the character interaction was sheer brilliance as usual, and the whole thing just generally kept me smiling throughout. RariLight... I initially didn't like the idea of it being included here, but it grew on me. For this story, at least, cute can take precedence over plausible. The world needs more of that ship, anyway.

1961327 The flip side of consistency is of course stagnancy, but I hope I can avoid that! That's of course me saying thank you in a very roundabout way, but there it is. Thanks!

1986309 Thank you very much for reading! I really do hope to give RariLight a proper, slow (because slow is the way to go where Rarity is concerned) and deliberate fic by themselves one day.

Yay! An awesome end to an awesome trilogy! :yay:

I couldn't really get into writing this morning so I decided to sit down and read this instead (it's been waiting in my read later list for far too long). And I'm very glad that I did!

Excellent writing as usual, and I found myself easily immersed into the story. I loved the characters, especially Rainbow Dash, and the whole thing was nicely paced and very emotionally-interesting... I feel like I've said all this before :twilightblush:

Thank you for writing these stories, Cloudy Skies.

2013276 Well, thank you very much for taking the time to read'em, and thanks again for leaving a comment, too! That's a double whammy of niceness, right there.

Very glad you liked it, and I'm glad in particular you liked Dash; I think some people dislike my particular band of hard-ass Dash, hah.

Well, this is a lovely little end to the trilogy! The main conflict--of Applejack resenting her wedding being hijacked but trying to bury that resentment for Fluttershy's sake--felt very believable to me. But then, the Beloved Spouse and I had our own wedding hijacked by very enthusiastic and well-meaning loved ones, so ...

Lots to love here. Wonderful characterization all around, though I particularly enjoyed your Dash and her friendship with Fluttershy. The dual proposals was cute and nicely indicative of how in tune Applejack and Fluttershy are with one another. And the bonus Rarilight made me really, really want to read a full-length Rarlight story from you, because those two were completely adorable at the end. :twilightsmile:

If there's anything to critique here, I think that the pacing could have been tightened up a bit. The conflict is fairly low-key and internal, so quicker pacing might have avoided some feelings here and there of "nothing much is happening." But that's a very minor thing and, really, given this is slice of life romantic dramedy, a slower pace works well.

As always, thank you for writing and for sharing!

2019189 Aw, Donny-comment! Few things make me smile as much as when I see that light up in my dashboard-thinger. Thank you for reading! This makes you the second person who's said they can somewhat relate to the scenario, and I find that equal parts hilarious and terrifying. Well, unless the experience was thoroughly unpleasant, in which case I apologize.

That out of the way, I could write FlutterDash all day long. Thank you for your kind words, and--

>the bonus Rarilight made me really, really want to read a full-length Rarlight story from you, because those two were completely adorable at the end.

You have no idea how badly I want to do exactly that. But then, that is true of most Rariships. My appetite for Rarity is generally growing. RariShy may also be an inevitable result of this.


I really, really wish I could've had some detailed comments on exactly this, because it's very difficult. First, I think that given the way I write - and my stance on word economy - I'm particularly prone to pacing issues. I'm not saying I think it's a consistent theme in my writing, but I very easily sympathize when people raise the issue. Combine this with (as you say) the story being very internal, I really wonder what I could better, here.

In the story I'm currently writing, I have severe pacing concerns, and I can see where the story is getting too verbose, and where it may need extra content. I can raise these concerns, and then seek to discuss it with my pre-readers. I can't tell whether I can't do the same for WTAJ simply because it's Done(tm), or if I'm just not good enough to get a read on pacing. Some mentioned the start may be a little slow? Personally I feel that everything after the night in Canterlot may be a little fast, so I don't even know.

Oh, our wedding was mostly hilarious and actually quite lovely, I assure you. But the family hijacking ... well, it was almost sitcom levels of ridiculous. :twilightsmile:

Rarity is wonderful--she's probably #2 pony in my heart, by now--and I am all for there being more quality stories with her in the lead, shipping or otherwise.

Re: pacing, it's such a super subjective thing, but I actually thought the beginning's pacing was fine. Things got moving pretty quick by the end, too, but that also felt fine to me--it seemed appropriate given what was happening in the plot and that things were wrapping up. I thought the middle, where they're actually at the royal palace, was where things might have been condensed a bit. That might just be me, though, bear in mind.

Awww, so cute!~ :heart:

Having lived through two apocalyptic-grade weddings in my extended family in the last year, I can definitely sympathize with Applejack, who just wants to have a day only for her lovely bride and herself. Some wedding planners don't really know when it's time to stop. :twilightsheepish:

I had a great time reading this trilogy! I think it's a testament to your writing skills that I was able to easily connect with both PinkieDash and AppleShy, given that these couples are pretty far away from my usual shipping interests. If you ever get to write that RariLight story you've been hinting about, I'll be among the first to read it. :twilightsmile:

2102655 It seems that absolutely everyone in the comments here have survived similar experiences; I'm starting to think that this fic is nothing more than a description of an average wedding, hah. Thank you very much for reading and for taking the time to leave a comment!

I doubt I'll write a RariLight that's connected to these three (and a half) stories, but I definitively would like to write the ship in general.

Well thank you for writing this. And I loved it :yay::heart:.

2162868 And thank you for reading it! I'm glad!

Great story once again Cloudy. :twilightsmile:

My singular complaint would be that I wish the final duo had gotten a bit more depth aswell.

Looking forward to the next one.

2213282 It was inevitable, sadly - if I were to try to give them more depth, the fic would bloat massively. What I tell people on the subject of Third and Most Gratuitous Ship is that it was a terrible idea, inadvisable in every respect-- and that I have no regrets, haha. Thanks for reading!

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