• Published 29th Jan 2013
  • 7,917 Views, 378 Comments

Melting Snow - Storm butt



Life isn't interesting for Caramel, as nothing interesting ever happens. Friends were rare. By that he means rarely a reality. He had adjusted to this routine and reached a somewhat comfortable spot in life. Then along came Big Macintosh.

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Unexpected

Disclaimer: I do not own My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. It belongs to The Hub, Hasbro, Studio B, and Lauren Faust. I do not own any of these characters in any way or how, nor do I claim ownership to the pony franchise. These characters are simply my toys.

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"Life's a show, and we all play our part.”
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Melting Snow
Chapter 1: Unexpected

The small plastic bottle felt oddly smooth in the steed’s tan-colored hooves. His eyes gazed to the words, yet refused to read them, for he had already memorized them long ago. The stallion simply began to fumble with the lid, feeling the grooves in the firm plastic dig into his fur. He began to shift his backside on the leather stool he was planted on, feeling the gaze of the colt across from him sink into his body.

“Are they the same as usual, Sage?” Caramel asked. He plopped a small white dot into his hoof, his gaze appearing somewhat distant. “They look a little different,” His voice was raspy, as if he hadn’t spoken in quite some time. He looked past the unicorn and to the cabinets filled with nothing but medical supplies and needles and tools he couldn't even begin to name. Everything in the room was too white, too spotless... just too clean.

“No, they’re the same as always,” Replied the tan unicorn, letting a sigh pass his lips as he held out a glass of water to the pony before him. “Here, if you take it now you can have another before bed tonight.” Caramel looked at it for several moments before grasping the chilled glass in his hoof, downing the pill along with the cool liquid. His gaze quickly returned to the doctor before him, glancing at his similar brown bangs and blue eyes.

“Alright,” The stallion mumbled. He watched as Sage’s horn glowed a dim yellow, lifting up a stethoscope to his ears, bringing the cold and flat metal object to the stallion’s chest. Caramel could feel his body jump at just how icy the metal was as it pressed to his fur. A hoof was held on his back to keep him from falling backward as he let himself slowly breathe in and out.

“I think that cold of yours cleared up nicely,” The doctor mumbled, letting a small smile of relief flood his face for only a moment before returning to a stern look. “And your heart is still beating normally, that’s a good sign.”

Caramel began to gently chew on the inside of his cheek, somewhere in the back of his mind he realized his hind legs were beginning to feel numb from sitting for such a long time. He twisted his face into a look on discomfort as Sage continued to prod around his chest, pushing and pressing in random locations as he breathed in and out. As many times as he had been through this same interaction, he still found himself puzzled by how one could turn sick from a strange breath.

Sage began to bring down the stethoscope from his brother’s chest, at the same time he reached up a hoof to adjust his white lab coat. He looked up into Caramel’s face, giving off a small smirk that seemed rather genuine. “Alrighty then, I think we’re just about done.”

Caramel blinked a few times, looking into the doctor’s features that mirrored his own He glanced at the horn on Sage’s forehead, looking at the horn lodged into his forehead. That was the only real difference in their appearance, aside from weight. Caramel's belly stuck out more, his body much rounder than the thin doctor before him. Caramel looked down to his own cutie mark and saw three blue horseshoes before glancing to his brothers. Sage had a rather intricate heart monitor on his flank.

“Okay,” Caramel mumbled in reply, his voice flat. He glanced out toward the window of the hospital, the once blue skies seemed to begin clouding sea of gray clouds. He briefly considered the possibility of snow clouds, it was around the time of year where Cloudsdale sent out the low hanging clouds. He chewed on his cheek once more.

Sage’s eyesight followed, seeing those same clouds in the sky. “It might rain,” He mumbled to himself. His voice began to rise as he turned back toward Caramel. “Do you want to stay here ‘till I finish up?” He asked. “It’ll only be a few more hours, then we can walk home together, I’m sure I can get a spare room for you to rest in for a while.”

Caramel held his breath as those words escaped Sage’s mouth. He began to tighten a grip around his body with his own upper legs. His eyes glanced to everything in the small room. The counter filled with rubber gloves and needles and other things he couldn’t begin to understand, to the white and bare walls that seemed rather unwelcoming. He quickly shook his head. “Y-You know I hate it here,” The stallion stuttered out.

Sage’s face turned into a frown as he reached out, letting his hoof rest on Caramel’s flank before gently patting. Caramel slowly but surely unclenched his legs from around his chest, turning his face from Sage, not from anger nor discomfort, but from simple embarrassment.

“I could always walk you home and hurry back?” The tan stallion suggested.

Caramel shook his head yet again. “You have more patients, don’t you?” He asked, in truth not expecting an answer. “I’ll just get you in trouble... Besides, I’m not a little foal anymore.”

Sage gave a small chuckle. “I know, I know, Cara. Alright, just try to make it home quickly.” As his laughter faded, he began to walk to the table, grabbing a few of Caramel’s things. He handed his brother a scarf that had patches of both ruby red and charcoal black scattered across. As Caramel begin to wrap the scarf around his neck, he watched as Sage held a large book in his legs. He opened it and begin to flip from the first page to the point where Caramel had left off, flashes of colors passed both stallion’s eyes as the pages fell. “Almost done with this one?” He asked, not bothering to glance up. “Want me to try and buy you a new one on the way home?”

Caramel could feel his face flush a light shade of pink. “Y-You don’t have too,” He said in a hushed tone, not sure if he wanted his brother to hear his words. "I mean it's not like it's vital or anything... I could get one myself if you give me a few bits."

“Listen, I’m going to buy some food on the way home anyways, I’ll get one just in case,” Sage said, handing the book back to Caramel, who quickly snatched it back and held it against his chest. Sage frowned for just a moment, but it quickly returned to a smile.

Caramel slid his body off of the stool, standing on all fours once more. He placed the paper book on his back as he fiddled with his scarf once more. Sage looked at him for quite some time before letting himself speak. “If it gets too cold before I’m back, you can start a fire, alright? There's plenty of wood already inside the house. If you fall asleep on the rug again I'm gonna be mad, though. Don't think I won't take away your favorite rug."

The tan stallion nodded. “I know, I know.” Caramel brushed off the words by waving a hoof before his eyes. Sage sighed before trotting forward, putting a hoof around Caramel’s neck in a quick hug before pulling away.

“Be safe,” Sage said in a firm, solid tone.

"Geez, I'll be fine." Caramel felt his cheeks tint pink. He turned away from Sage quickly and trotted up to the door of the exam room. He gave one final glance back at Sage, but couldn't bring himself to smile. Just being in the hospital made his skin crawl. He slipped out the door as fast as he could and continued holding his breath when it closed behind him. Walking into a bustling hallway in a hospital that smelled of medicine and disease wasn't exactly pleasant. As he placed a hoof against his temple, he began to think of laying next to the warm fire in his brother’s home. That would be nice, just to sleep for awhile in that warmth. He opened his eyes once more, beginning to trot forward in a silence. Eyes on the crowd staring at him made his skin crawl.

As the tan steed trudged forward through the small crowd of ponies in the hospital, he began to cast his gaze down. His mind began to wander as he simply wanted an escape route from the building causing a deep knot in his belly. Too many eyes, too many sick ponies.

The stallion felt himself be forcefully stopped as his head rammed into a body. Caramel felt his body freeze as his face rubbed against well-built muscles. He glanced up to see bandages attached to a red body. As he glanced up further, having to tilt his head rather far back in order to see the pony before him, he saw a rather large stallion look down at him blankly, his green eyes seemingly piercing. He was so very big, big enough in fact that his overpowering muscles seemed to fit rather well on his body and not stand out.

"Howdy." The workhorse stated. His face was covered in little white speckles of freckles. He didn't open his mouth to speak again, but simply looked down at Caramel. He tilted his head slowly when Caramel took a slow, gingerly step backwards. Caramel felt a nurse in a white coat rush past him when she bumped into his side, forcing him to stumble a bit in place.

"I just ran into you," Caramel stated.

"Eeyup." The other replied. His face was stone and eyes icy... Caramel felt frozen under their gaze.

"I uh... Wait, I mean..." Caramel realized his cheeks were flushing, he quickly snapped out of his trance as he began to stutter. “I’m s-sorry!” He stopped before squeezing his eyes shut, quickly trotting past the stallion, his legs on the verge of running.

The small pony wanted to be home rather badly at this point.

"Bye," The red stallion called out.

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Caramel swore for just one moment before the first icy drop of rain came hurtling down on his nose that his breath became visible in the cold air around him. His mind briefly wondered in that split second the chances of it being cold enough for snow. He always thought of the snow as pretty to look at, despite his brother constantly reminding him how miserable it made treks through the snow to and from work.

However as that single drop of rain landed on his nose, he began to realize just how much he truly dreaded the rain. Rain was cold, rain was wet, rain soaked through his fur and gave him an awful cold. Cloudsdale always had lousy rain schedules. Far too sudden and unannounced.

A truly awful sound came somewhere deep in Caramel’s throat as a second drop of rain landed on his ear. The groan he made sounded like one of true, nonequivalent annoyance. After taking a quick glance in by lifting his head, he shot his head behind him, looking down the long and barren pathway filled with twists and turns. He knew that even if he wanted to either bolt home or back to the hospital, he would end up getting soaked either way.

A third followed by a fourth drop landed on his back. Caramel began to feel a sense of desperation well up in his chest by this point as he began to whip his head around in any which direction. He realized that the pathway back to ponyville was even further away than home. He scanned his surroundings before him. As he squinted his eyes, he spotted a rather large evergreen tree no more than thirty feet from him.

The stallion felt several drops hit his body. After giving off a quick shrug, he decided it would at least shield him from most of the rain. His legs began to pick up the pace as his body began to sprint toward the tree, the downpour now picking up.

It was almost as if the moment his body was given shelter did the massive amounts of rain begin to rapidly fall from the sky, already forming small puddles in the grass around him. Caramel gave off a sigh of disappointment, realizing that by the time the rain would reduce to enough of a drizzle for him to hurry home that the pathway itself would be filled with mud.

Caramel quickly shook his head, reaching behind him to pull his belongings from his back before he let himself plop down on the dry grass below him. He blinked several times, watching the rain slam onto the hard land. A mixture of the smell of mud and morning dew filled his nose as he breathed in. For as much as he hated the rain, he had to admit the smell was rather attractive.

The tan stallion slowly moved his attention from the outside world, reaching his hoof down to pick up the large book. The laminated plastic felt rather smooth in his hooves as he slowly opened the book. He let loose a whinny from his lips at he stared at the page. He reached his hoof back down to the ground, slowly unzipping something without looking, his hoof fumbling around for a few moments. As he brought it back, he looked at the colored pencil in his hoof. His face twisted as he thought if red was a good color to continue on... he supposed orange was indeed close to red.

Caramel shrugged before placing pencil to paper, drawing broad strokes and often scribbling. He continued like this for what in his mind seemed like a rather long time. He let his mind wander once more, sticking out his tongue as his scribbling increased.

“Uh... Howdy?” The sound of a sudden voice came as such a shock to the small earth pony that he pushed his pencil against the paper with enough force to snap it against the page, leaving a red indentation in the page.

Caramel shot his head up, his breath suddenly increasing with worry as he looked upward. His eyes scanned the owner of the voice before him, seeing a large and red stallion with bandages on his side. It clicked rather quickly in his mind that he had seen this stallion somewhere rather recently... the one he bumped into earlier, wasn’t it?

The tan stallion continued to blankly stare at the red steed before him. It was yet another shock when the mouth of the other opened yet again. “Mind if Ah sit next ta ya? Name's Big Macintosh.” The words came from his mouth. “‘It's mighty wet out here.”

The thick southern accent that came from the other's mouth registered in Caramel’s mind as he spoke. Not only that, but his eyes finally noticed the water dripping from his dark red fur that he remembered being a shade or two lighter before.

"Ah don't bite," Mac stated. It was in that moment that Caramel realized he hadn't said anything for a good ten seconds.

"O-Oh, right! Of course!" Caramel spat out quickly and slapped a hoof onto his face to hide his blush.

"Thank ya kindly." Mac looked like he began to smile as he trotted forward, but Caramel lowered his head in embarrassment. He could hear a thump on the ground halfway around the tree’s cover. Caramel dared to take a quick glance at the steed next to him. He was large, so very large in comparison to him. He wasn't able to recall if he had ever seen a stallion at such great mass before. As his eyes glanced down, he spotted a large patch of green on the other’s flank. It looked like and apple cut right through the middle. As his eyes continued to move further down, Caramel spotted that the stallion’s hooves looked a tad strange. He could see the actual hoof, there was no fur around the area, it ceased growing a few inches upward.

"Ngnn," A sound of annoyance that came from the workhorse made Caramel lose his train of thought. He looked over to Big Macintosh, who was quietly rubbing his hoof on his bandaged side. His bandages were soaking wet. Caramel opened his mouth a few times and tried to find his voice, though nothing in him let him speak. He looked down to his own hooves and began to fiddle with them.

"B-Bandages aren't a good thing to get wet!" Caramel didn't mean to shout the words, but they came out loud. He forced courage deep into his gut enough to look over to Mac, who was staring at him with a blank expression. He turned his head slowly in question. "I... I mean... if it's a cut or stitches or surgery or something... I mean... s-sorry, it's none of my business."

"It's mostly healed." Mac blinked his eyes. "Just soppy feelin'." It was true, his fur was simply dripping. Caramel scooted over slowly and hesitantly held out his hoof before pressing it down against Mac's leg. It really was wet, his fur thick and course so it absorbed more water.

"You're cold..." Caramel mumbled. He took a quick glance back to the steed. He didn’t seem angry, or even that cold, despite the small frown on his face. His face was simply blank of any emotion. Caramel quickly reached his hooves up to his neck, taking off the red and black scarf in all its twists and tangles before holding it out to the stallion. “H-Here.” He managed to stutter out, turning his head away. “You look cold, and I’m all dry now,” He trailed off, feeling like a complete and utter idiot.

Much to his surprise however, he felt the scarf be pulled from his hoof. He turned his head, hoping his fur would hide hide his blush as he looked at the stallion once more. Much to his shock, his expression had significantly changed. His once emotionless eyes were now filled with a sudden warmth and affection. His frown had turned into a smile, not an overbearing one that was blatantly forced and fake, but a small and grateful one that seemed genuine. “Thank ya’ kindly... erm...”

Caramel’s blush was no longer hidden behind fur, he knew this was a positive fact. “C-Caramel.” He stuttered.

“Thank ya kindly, Caramel.” The steed nodded, as if adding the name to a list in his mind. “Name’s Big Macintosh.” He didn’t say any more, simply turned and removed the horse collar from his neck, making a rather loud thud against the earth as he began tying the scarf around himself.

Caramel turned from Big Macintosh, letting his face sizzle down. As his eyes focused, he saw the book on the ground before him, which he quickly closed in an obvious, quick motion, flipping it over to the back and letting out a rather exasperated breath.

He could sense Big Mac staring at him, and as he turned to look he could almost see a question mark above the red steed’s head. His head was cocked and eyes now locked on the book the tan stallion tried so desperately to hide.

“Drawin’ somethin’?” The words came from Big Macintosh.

The tan earth pony didn’t speak, simply shook his head, sliding the book out of Big Macintosh’s sight, behind his back and against the tree. He felt his body give off a slight tremble. He began to wonder why he was so embarrassed, for he wasn’t usually this jumpy, even around strangers. “N-No, it was only...” His voice kept stuttering, and he kept wanting to shrink into himself. He simply trailed off, hoping Big Macintosh wouldn’t bring attention to it any more.

Caramel could feel eyes on his body, he was being examined the same way he did to the workhorse, however the large steed didn’t seem to be too discreet about it. He could feel his own tail began flicking as he grew worried for no real reason, simply anxiety.

“Ya’ were at the hospital?” Big Mac asked. Caramel could feel his hair stand on end as he looked at the other. Had he really remembered being bumped into? Caramel opened his mouth to apologize, however he chose to follow the steed’s eyesight, realizing it wasn’t on him, but his things. He looked at the bottle of medicine, holding in a sigh of relief.

“Y-Yeah,” He began. “I-I go there every few weeks. My brother is one of the top doctors there, so our medical expenses are cheap. B-But I think that’s because he takes the money from his own paycheck so...” Caramel stopped, realizing he was rambling about things nopony in their right mind would care about while the other had hardly said a single word. “So... how about you?” He mumbled dumbly, nodding toward Big Macintosh’s bandages.

“Injury,” Big Macintosh answered easily. "Got hurt real bad buckin' apples. It's better now, though." Caramel began to wish he had answered that easily.

“That so?” The stallion asked.

“Eeyup.” Big Macintosh replied, still keeping those warm eyes locked onto Caramel. The tan pony couldn’t explain it, but those eyes calmed down his nerves a little every time he caught a glimpse of them. He dodged his eyes around in his skull, reddening once more. He began to feel a little funny...

Big Macintosh's face suddenly went back to a blank expression as he briefly paused, turning his head upward toward the sky. Caramel followed his gaze, realizing the background noise of splattering raindrops in puddles had finally ceased. Caramel twitched one of his ears before taking a quick glance to Big Macintosh. "I... I uh..."

He saw Big Mac's blank expression turn to him. Caramel lowered his gaze, quickly shaking his head as he swooped up both his medicine and book in hoof. "I have to go..." He spat out. He quickly got to his hooves, throwing his supplies on back before trotting off in a similar manor as the first time he ran into the steed. "Sorry for bothering you."

"Ya didn't..." Big Macintosh reached out his hoof, beginning to open his mouth before realizing Caramel may not stop even if he called out. He blinked a few times before holding the scarf in hoof, staring at it's patches for several moments.

"Caramel... huh?" He asked himself aloud.

Author's Note:

So, here we go I suppose! The first chapter of a new story that I really enjoyed writing!
And it's Caramac, and I also am ungodly excited for it!