• Published 10th Jan 2013
  • 2,266 Views, 92 Comments

Hearts, Hooves and Hands - shira



Relationships are tough. Cultural barriers make it even harder. Hiro and Lumi have it about as tough as it gets as far as relationships go, but when you have something special it's often worth the extra effort

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What-Friend!?

The sky above Canterlot was almost perfectly clear; barely any clouds in the sky and Celestia’s noonday sun shone brightly down on the city. It was the perfect spring day, with a slight, crisp breeze carrying the sounds of birds chirping and the bustle of the city throughout the streets. The type of day that nopony could be down or depressed during. All around, ponies were going here and there, meeting for lunch, chatting with friends, enjoying the amazing weather... and being a total nervous wreck.

Okay, almost nopony.

Walking along the cobblestone streets of the Western District in Canterlot was a light lavender unicorn with three yellow shooting stars as a cutie mark. However, she was distracted enough that the perfect day was lost on her. Braided golden blond mane barely moving as she walked mechanically along in a straight line, looking as though she was marching to her own execution rather than to spend the afternoon with friends. Well friends plus one. It was worrying about that plus one that ruined her sleep last night and put her in such a state today.

Contrary to expectations, Luminescence’s nervousness came from, of all things, love. Love had found her a couple of months ago. Yet in all that time, she had never shared this with those close to her. The reason for this, you see, was that her love wasn’t exactly...traditional. It made her incredibly nervous just thinking of everypony’s possible reactions.

“It’s ok Lumi,” Luminescence told herself with forced conviction. “You’re just worrying about nothing. Everypony will meet and there won’t be any problems. Yeah...it’ll all go smoothly. Right?”

Her words rang hollow to her own ears. By Tartarus, she didn’t know why she was even trying to cheer herself up like that. She tried to maintain a confident posture, but all her head could do was droop and her eyes found the pavement more and more interesting as she walked.

This wasn’t just a simple meeting with her friends however, she was introducing them to the love of her life. What complicated it was that she had waited almost two months to tell them. She had no clue how they’d react. Would they be angry at her for hiding him? Would Curiosity freak out when she met him? Things could go so right...or so horribly wrong.

Luminescence started to walk herself through the plan, Ok. When I get to the fountain and meet Curiosity and Dew Drop I’ll apologize to them for not telling them about everything these past two months. Then I’ll tell them as much as I can before we get to the cafe, then they can just meet him. We can move right on to greetings, everyone can be friends. It’ll be perfect.

Or so she hoped...

“Oh Celestia, please, let this work out.” She prayed quietly as she rounded the corner and came face to face with the fountain in the center of town with the giant sculptures of the Princesses. Putting on a brave face, she took a deep breath and perked her head back up. Slowly releasing the breath she scanned the crowd for her friends and soon enough saw them. Dew Drop was the first of the two she caught sight of.

Dew Drop, just ‘Dew’ to her friends, was an ever-energetic sea green pegasus with a short cropped, amazingly sky blue mane that was surprisingly tame, compared to its owner. Her cutie mark matched her job pretty well, given that she was a ‘fluidics engineer’ for Canterlot, a raincloud with a cheery rainbow arching from one end to the other. Her job essentially meant she spent a lot of time making sure water, snow and rainbow allotments were doled out properly to the areas that needed them the most. Dew Drop was also the only close friend of Luminescence’s who was married, quite happily at that, to one of the palace guards. Before she found him, Luminescence would sometimes feel a twinge of jealousy deep inside when she saw Dew Drop and Nimbus together, something she was not proud of.

Luminescence’s other friend, Curiosity, formally Curiosity de Carrousel, was the sole heir to the Carrousel Duchy. The white unicorn was deeply involved in the fashion industry despite her elevated position and as such usually wore something that accented her ruby colored wavy mane and pink eyes. Her white, sparkling, single diamond cutie mark barely marred her coat, as if not daring to ruin perfection. Today was no exception as she wore a fancy bonnet with a deep blue color with accenting flowers and baubles.

Curiosity was part of the Equestrian nobility thanks to the hard work and exploits of her great-grandmother. However Curiosity was, unfortunately, not as well versed in the generosity that her ancestor was so well known for, but she had improved with the help of her friends.

Currently the two were talking, or Dew Drop was talking and Curiosity was pretending to care. She often pretended to care in that way that only the excessively wealthy can, though she was hiding her disinterest with her large bonnet. Luminescence recently surmised that Dew Drop actually knew this and carried on just to annoy the high-society unicorn.

Luminescence trotted towards them, putting on her bravest expression, but she faltered as she prepared to call out to her friends. Her worries returned so suddenly she found herself hesitating, wondering if putting this off a bit more might not be a better idea.

Her musings were interrupted by the excited voice of Dew Drop, “Oh, Hey! It’s Lumi! Hey Lumi! Over here!” Dew Drop left in mid-discussion with Curiosity and flew over to the faltering unicorn. Before Luminescence could even get a word in edgewise, she got pulled up in a big hug that lifted the two of them off the ground for a few seconds.

“H-Hey Dew Drop, good to see you.” Luminescence spoke, nervous smile on her face but genuinely happy to see her friend. Dew Drop’s presence did cause a sense of relief to flood through her. It was hard to be down around Dew Drop.

Dew Drop blinked, suddenly looking confused at Luminescence for a moment, “Huh? Ohhh, I see somepony’s being a nervous nelly again!” Dew Drop giggled as she put Luminescence down and poked at the purple pony.

Luminescence felt her stomach do a roll and dip to the left, Curse that pony and her perfect pegasus perception. “H-How could you tell?” She asked head and body drooping in defeat. She couldn’t fool Dew Drop for a second

“You only call me by my full name when you’re worrying about silly things.” Dew Drop said with a giggle.

“She’s right you know darling.” Curiosity confirmed as she trotted up to the duo. “We have known you long enough to tell when you are being...overwrought. I assure you that this is much ado about nothing. We are your friends. We know something’s been...distracting you for a while and this sneaking and hiding just doesn’t suit you.”

“Yeah, you’re really good at magic Lumi, buuuut your sneakiness could use some work.” Dew Drop added helpfully.

Luminescence sighed in defeat. Sneaking? Okay, I admit I haven’t exactly been forward but still...I was just afraid of how everypony would react. But...they’re right, I haven’t been fair to them. They’re my friends and they deserve to know! Though how am I going to explain it to Curi. She...might not take it so well.

“I...you’re right of course. I wanted both of you to meet me today so I could explain what...I’ve been doing these last couple of months. You see-”

“You’ve fallen madly in love and you’re finally ready to share that with us.” Curiosity interrupted with just the slightest hints of a smirk on her face.

“Right, I figured that it’s fi-” the gears in Luminescence’s head suddenly ground to a halt at the revelation that her big surprise wasn’t actually that much of a surprise. “How...How...”

“Lumi, dear, there are only a couple of things that could have caused you to act so out of character. Well that, and you might have not noticed it, but you often spaced out with the most dreamy expression on your face. Then my dear bookworm friend suddenly asking about fashion advice. ‘How would I make myself look more presentable,’ was what you asked me. Really it was the natural assumption,” Curiosity stated as one might read off the weather report. “That and you’re really not very goo-urk,” an unladylike noise escaped from Curiosity as Dew Drop thrust a hoof into her side.

“What Curry meant to say,” at the use of her other nickname, the white unicorn gave Dew Drop a withering glare, “was that we’ve been friends for years. We know when something’s up with you and we’re here when you need us. So of course we’d notice when things were off with you.” Dew Drop finished smoothly.

Curiosity opened her mouth to give Dew Drop a piece of her mind but stopped when she noticed the sappy grin and unshed tears welling up in Luminescence’s eyes and let her unspoken rebuke die on her lips. “Thanks guys, that means a lot to me.” Luminescence said softly, wiping her eyes quickly. “I’m so sorry, I should have told you both sooner. I guess I was being a bit foalish.”

“Well jus-” Dew Drop didn’t get any further then that when a spell jerked her back a meter by her tail. The spell aura was oddly the same color as the type of magic that Curiosity used.

“Yes, well, all is forgiven,” Curiosity continued for Dew Drop almost without missing a beat. This earned her a dirty glare from the perturbed pegasus. The unicorn ignored it casually, “It’s the least we could do since we’re all friends. So, out with it darling! You wanted us to go to lunch, so I imagine it’s because you’re ready to tell us all the juicy details?” Curiosity asked enthusiastically.

“Well,” Luminescence started again, showing a slightly strained smile again, “I was going to tell you all about it...and then I figured all four of us could have lunch together. Would save us som-”

“Ohhh we get to actually meet the stallion who stole your heart then!?” Curiosity asked, hooves tapping together with barely restrained enthusiasm.

“Er, well, that is to say,” stalling, doing everything in her power to dodge the question Luminescence wracked her brain trying to come up with either an excuse or an explanation. She didn’t want to explain before they could meet him. Especially not to Curiosity. “Oh right!” Luminescence exclaimed suddenly as she turned to the large tower overlooking the square. “We’ve got to hurry up, we don’t want to-”

“Make him wait? Of course not! Come along Dew, we’ve got places to be.” Ignoring the barely hidden anxious expression on Luminescence’s face as Curiosity gestured for her to lead the way.

The three of them soon joined the other ponies on the bustling streets of Canterlot. Being nearly noon the streets were packed and the girls had to thread their way through the crowds on their way to the center of the district. Well known for its exoitc food and plethora of restaurants servicing all the travelers that pass through the main city gates.

While the main road from the fountain was bordered by shops and quaint multi-story, whitewashed houses. Turning off the main road caused the constant stream of ponies to thin out a bit and soon simple houses were replaced with more extravagant and colorful designs, each more ludicrous than the next as if in some sort of mysterious competition to outdo the other.

Luminescence noticed all of this. She was trying to focus on anything that would potentially alleviate the sinking sensation in the pit of her stomach. It was working until Dew Drop rekindled the conversation, “So, Lumi, why did you wait so long to tell us about this? You’ve been awfully nervous this whole time. I mean we’re your best friends and all. You can always be honest with us.”

Dew’s innocent question put Luminescence on the spot again, “Well...you see...” She purposely drew out her response, wracking her brain, trying to figure out what to say. “Our relationship...isn’t strictly...traditional.”

“Not traditional?” Dew asked back. “You mean...like...your coltfriend is actually your marefriend?” The pegasus pondered promptly. Taking only an instant for the words to sink in Luminescence stumbled and started sputtering, trying to find words for a denial. “Because you know that we don’t care about things like that. As long as you’re happy.”

“Oh my,” Curiosity added, eyes shining as her imagination began to run wild, “It’s like something right out of a romance novel. Such a powerful love that transcends everything!”

“Wh-What?! No, he’s not a mare! Why would you think that? Oh no. What if he thinks that of me now?!” Luminescence asked without taking a breath between the rattled off questions, her eyes widening as she frantically looked back and forth at her friends.

“Well, from your reaction I take it that was a miss.” Curiosity said, faux disappointment heavy in her voice.

Picking up on Curiosity’s cue Dew Drop joined in with a mischievous grin, “Well, we know that it’s a ‘he’ but, not traditional. So what about...” hovering over to Lumi with a sly smile and rubbing her forehooves, “seeing a married stallion!”

“Oh the scandal! How will I ever explain this?” Throwing a forearm to her head she mock fainted into the waiting arms of Dew Drop. The two of them proceeded to turn the drama up to 11, “What will I ever do Lady Dew Drop?”

The commotion was starting to attract the attention of bystanders. Many stopped what they were doing and began to whisper amongst themselves. This did absolutely nothing to discourage Luminescence’s friends, much to the light lavender pony’s mounting embarrassment. To top it off, Dew Drop switched over to her ‘bad’ Trottingham accent, declaring, “We must remain steadfast Lady Curiosity! It matters not that the fair Luminescence has fallen into ill repute, we must stand behind her. Though our position in high society may falter!”

Luminescence’s eyes bulged and her jaw dropped to the pavement. She could do nothing but stare at her friends in dumbfounded shock as she tried her damndest to make her mouth work again. “No...wait, what!? What are you two talking about? He’s not mar...” Luminescence trails off as her friends begin to snicker and her shocked expression fades into one of annoyance. “Oh very funny. Ha ha ha.”

While they hadn’t drawn a large crowd, the nearby onlookers were giving a variety of looks at the three mares ranging from highly amused to almost scandalized. “You have to admit Lumi,” Dew Drop said with a massive grin plastered on her face, “you walked right into that.”

“You two...are, ugh!” Luminescence said, beseeching the heavens for some sort of aid.

“Oh Luminescence darling,” Curiosity said as she trotted over to Luminescence and put a foreleg over her withers, “you’ve got to learn to relax a little. Also that’s just a little bit of payback for not telling your friends something so important for so long.”

The three continued onward, leaving behind the whispering crowd as they turned the corner and Luminescence sulked a little bit, head lowered.

“Well if all you’re going to say is that it’s ‘not traditional’ you have to forgive our imaginations for running a bit wild. All teasing aside, why don’t you tell us about him?” Curiosity prompted.

“Yeah!” Dew Drop added gaining a few meters in altitude, “Why don’t you tell us how you two met!”

“Well, we actually met in one of my classes. My last semester there,”

“Aaaah, go figure, our Luminescence falls for a fellow student.” Curiosity sighs at the lack of anything juicy to latch on to.

“Well...not...exactly...” Luminescence said haltingly.

“What’cha mean?” Dew Drop asks, coming in close and landing on the ground.

“He was...kind of...my teacher,” she admits head drooping down more, just waiting for Curiosity’s reaction.

“Ooooooh, your teacher? How romantic!” Curiosity’s voice rose at least 2 octaves and her eyes lit up like stars as her mind went into overdrive. “No wonder you were afraid to share it. You couldn’t let your forbidden love come out and hurt his career. Ooh ooh ooh! This is like a novel I read last year. Luminescence, dear you have to tell me al-” Curiosity cut herself off as she took a withering glare from Luminescence. “Sorry.”

With a huge sigh and lifting her head up Luminescence looked like she was about to lecture Curiosity when Dew Drop cut in with a puzzled look on her face, “But Lumi! All of your...oh!” The look of confusion dissolved from her face and was replaced by a grin so wide it made her eyes squint in adorable little half moons.

Curiosity and Luminescence both turned their heads to look at their friend and in perfect unison asked, “Oh?”

“Oh!” Dew Drop answered and pranced a bit ahead of them.

“...You’ve known her longer than I have Lumi, has she always been like this?” Curiosity inquired.

“As long as I’ve known her, that’s for sure. I think it’s a family thing.” Luminescence explained, still looking perplexed.

As the three girls turned the last corner the street opened up a bit. On one side was a beautiful park, with plenty of open space for ponies to play in, enjoy a picnic or even a nap in the sun. The other was a solid, wall to wall shops, restaurants and cafes. Thank Celestia we’re almost there. I don’t know how much longer I could hold off their questions without losing Curi to some delusions that I’m having some sort of illicit affair with one of my teachers. Then again, I kind of am.

Before letting herself get caught up in a long, internal debate about the nature of their relationship Luminescence chose to distract herself, “We’re almost there, it’s the cafe at the far right end of Misty Drive.”

Dew Drop trotted along with them, showing no significant reaction to Luminescence’s announcement. Her grin, if possible, grew even wider.

“Well, I suppose I won’t have to speculate much longer,” Curiosity said. “As much as I’m still a little annoyed that you felt you couldn’t tell us about something like this, I do appreciate the situation.”

Not as much as you think Curi. Please don’t hate me for this! Luminescence fretted to herself.

“Oooh I think we’re here girls” Dew Drop said as they approached the cafe.

“Wait a minute, this is Cafe Le Verger. I remember reading about this place...” Curiosity let her words die off as she raised a hoof and tapped her chin in deep thought. Suddenly her eyes shot open and she stopped just a couple pony-lengths before the entrance. “We’re in the western district...near the gate station and the old foreign quarter...this is where all of the hu-”

Curiosity’s eyes shot up and her head jerked to stare at Luminescence, mouth still forming the sound as it died on her lips. Nervousness assaulting her, Luminescence gave her best grin as she started to sweat.

Curiosity jerked her head to look at the tables outside the restaurant and took in the situation. About a dozen fancy iron tables were placed partially underneath a blue and white striped awning, but separated enough that nothing was crowded. About half the tables were full of ponies, chatting, enjoying some drinks or lunch. A couple of tables had mixed groups of ponies and humans.

It was the one table that had a lone human and three empty chairs that caught Curiosity’s attention. Taking a good, long look at the human Curiosity noted that he seemed about average height for a member of his species with short black hair, almond eyes and slightly tanned skin. He was wearing what she recognized to be semi-formal shirt and pants, but it was the jacket that caught her attention. It was the uniform jacket of a professor at the magical university that Luna ran.

He had not noticed the trio yet and was scanning the crowd for someone. Curiosity felt a horrible sinking sensation in her stomach as his head turned towards them. When he laid eyes on Lumi his face brightened up and a smile graced his features as he raised an arm and waved at the trio, “Hey, Lumi! I have a table for us already.”

Dew Drop said something but it was lost on Curiosity due to her shock and Luminescence due to her focusing so much on Curiosity.

Curiosity’s head jerked back to look at Luminescence, her mouth agape and eyes shone with complete disbelief. “Your...coltfriend...” She found it hard to form the words that her mind was giving to her.

Luminescence just grinned nervously at Curiosity and said, “He’s more like...my boyfriend...”

Author's Note:

There, my first story published. Only took everyone poking me for, what, half a year? This was originally designed to be a one-shot but the story kind of came alive and now I'm taking it further.

Feel free to savage me with criticisms and comments. It's the only way I'll get better.

Huge thanks to BrilliantPoint and Demon Eyes Laharl for getting suckered agreeing to be my editors and spending days going over this with me. Thanks also goes out to N64Fan (even if he hates this), Rokas and the_panic; the authors who pushed me to do this. It's all your faults! :heart:

Finally a message from BrilliantPoint: As his editor I found it appropriate to force Shira to use Curry as a second nickname for Curiosity when he kept writing her nickname Curi as Curry after he had some Chicken Tikka Masala.