Cheerilee's pen lands on the final question of the last math quiz from the previous week, her eyes flicking from the gracefully written solution to her answer key laying beside it. Placing a red check next to the question's number, she quickly tallies up Diamond Tiara's points to a total of 15.5/17, circling her score of 91% and after a moment's thought drawing a small, smiley sunflower next to it. Then with a happy flourish she flips it onto the rest of the graded quizzes, the satisfying thump of her hoof muffled by the obstructing sheets.
Leaning back from the table, she stretches, her gaze roaming the inside of her home lit by the afternoon sunlight streaming in through a pair of living room windows onto a diverse collection of flowering plants sitting atop a row of cabinets. Another dimmer beam filters through a small, circular side window placed between two sets of two shelves on her right, the first pair leading from the window towards the front of her house while the second pair of shelves overhang a dark yet somehow luminous green loveseat tantalizingly placed only a few feet from her table. A weak glare reflects off the wall to her left, most of it having been covered with thin-framed photos of the friends she had made in Ponyville. Stray rays diverted by the hanging memories make their way past her through two partially opened doors to the darkened kitchen and bedroom behind her. Letting out a weary sigh, she sits forward again, tidying up the newly graded pile into a neat stack before turning her attention to all that remains of her collected homework: a short essay.
Wheels: Why They Are Awesome
Her elation at her near completion rapidly dims once she starts to read, lips pursing while she expertly corrects a myriad of errors with surgical precision. However, in the middle of the second page she comes to a halt, repeatedly scanning a particularly long and utterly confusing sentence. After two minutes tick past, she admits defeat, opting to simply underline the offending words and place a pair of question marks in the margin. Continuing on to the next sentence her pen stops again, the first four words the only ones seeming to make any sense.
As I stated above,
A groan rumbles in her throat as she allows her head to fall to the tabletop, Snails' essay failing to provide any cushioning.
"It's open!" Cheerilee calls out, her voice muffled by the hard wood of the table. Her ears prick as the doorknob turns, familiar heavy hoofsteps making their way over to her.
"So, how's the gradin' goin'?" a stallion's deep voice asks.
Cheerilee sighs in response, looking up at her visitor only to find her view blocked by Snails' essay sticking to her forehead courtesy of the large, but extremely necessary, amount of red ink added to it.
Big Mac chuckles, "That well, huh?"
Cheerilee unsticks the sheet from her face, placing it back on the table, "Do you mind if I finish this up? It's literally the last thing I need to do."
Big Mac shakes his head, setting down his lumpy saddlebags and taking a seat on the couch, "Take yer time. Easier ta have fun when there isn't more work hangin' over yer head fer afterwards."
"Thanks," Cheerilee replies, returning her focus to the essay. A few minutes later she caps her pen, wearing a mask of frowning disappointment as she holds up the graded paper, "You need to work on your sentence structure, Mister Apple; I could barely read parts of this."
Big Mac lays a hoof on his forehead, swooning at the sight of the red-scarred sheets and disapproving teacher, "Ah'm sorry, Miss-whoa!"
Bumping into the far hoofrest he wobbles for a split second before toppling, gravity bringing the back of his head into sudden contact with the floor.
Cheerilee exhales sharply, holding back laughter, "Are you alright?"
The rest of Big Mac's body follows his head to the ground, eliciting a second thump, "Eeyup."
Getting to his hooves, he glances at the reddened homework again, "That ain't Applebloom's, is it?"
Cheerilee shakes her head, "No, and it's actually not as bad as it looks. It was submitted early so I could read through it and give some feedback, so I graded a bit harder than I normally do."
Big Mac blinks, "Huh. Well, it's good to have that kind a' motivation at least, 'specially at their age."
"I agree, though I wish they'd remember half the things I tell them to fix," Cheerilee grumbles. Her eyes cross for a moment as she looks towards the red smudge on her forehead, "Anyway… I'm going to go clean up before we head out. It should only take a minute."
Big Mac tilts his head thoughtfully, "Ah dunno, Ah think it looks rather nice on you."
"Oh ha ha," Cheerilee replies, rolling her eyes as she heads into her bedroom. True to her word, she reappears after one minute – red mark removed, mane combed, and a faint yet sharp scent hanging about her.
Big Mac sniffs the air, "Oranges?"
"Nope!" Cheerilee mimes air quotes, "'Tropical Citrus'!"
Big Mac stares at her blankly, "So… oranges?"
Cheerilee sighs, "Yeah, pretty much."
"Fine then, prove they don't exist," Lyra challenges, narrowing her eyes at the pony sitting beside her.
Bon Bon rubs her temples, "That's not how this works, Lyra. You're the one saying something exists, so you're the one who needs to prove it."
Lyra throws her hooves into the air, "But I-"
The hanging door bell at Sugarcube Corner's entrance interrupts her, ringing lightly after getting smacked by the opening door.
Lyra waves one of her raised hooves at the newcomers, "Hi Big Mac! Hi Cheerilee! You're late!"
Bon Bon prods Lyra's side, pointing to the Cutie Mark Crusaders resting at the table next to them, "Shh, do you want to wake them up?"
"I mean, they've slept through everything so far," Fluttershy points out, the pegasus sitting opposite Lyra and Bon Bon. "I doubt talking a little bit louder than normal will wake them up."
"Hi girls," Cheerilee says, walking with Big Mac from the register towards their table a few bits lighter, but many calories heavier. Setting down their saddlebags next to their spots and their chosen plates of sweets in front of them, they turn to their friends, "Did we miss anything?"
"Yes, you did," Lyra taps the table with a hoof. "Princess Twilight is hiding the existence of humans."
Bon Bon rolls her eyes exasperatedly, "No she's not, Lyra."
"Yes she is!" Lyra insists, "I heard her talking about fingers the other day! Fingers, Bon Bon. And do you know what has fingers?"
"…Minotaurs?" Fluttershy asks hesitantly as Lyra's horn glows to life.
Ignoring Fluttershy's more logical answer, Lyra pulls a large, worn book from one of her saddlebags, flipping it open to a bookmark and pointing, "Humans do! And according to this their hair grants good luck, they can heal any injury with just a touch, and drinking their blood makes the drinker immortal."
"Immortal like, say, an Alicorn," Lyra continues, glancing among her friends conspiratorially. "Not to mention how lucky Twilight and her friends are that everything they're involved in seems to just work out in the end. And do you know where I found this? In Twilight's house."
Lyra folds her forehooves and smiles smugly at her friends, backed up by her gathered evidence.
"So what yer sayin' is that a library has a book on mythical creatures?" Big Mac asks, unimpressed.
Lyra glares at him, "They aren't mythical."
Big Mac shrugs, "Well, maybe they are, maybe they aren't. But this," he pulls a bottle of cider from his saddlebag, "is definitely real."
Lyra hesitates as Big Mac distributes the cider he brought, however after a few seconds she gives in to temptation and begrudgingly accepts the offered beverage.
Big Mac takes a swig from his bottle, "Though, speakin' a' mythical creatures, Ah heard a bunch a' folks talkin' about vamponies on my way into town."
"That's because there was a vampony attack last night," Fluttershy replies, sipping her cider.
Lyra sullenly stares at the drink in front of her, "Oh fine, humans don't exist, but vamponies? They're totally real."
"Oh, sorry, I didn't mean – I'm sure humans exist somewhere, Lyra," Fluttershy says sympathetically. "It's just that one of the ponies they took to the hospital was definitely a vampony."
Four pairs of ears perk up at her words, Bon Bon and Cheerilee sitting straighter.
"The nurses asked for me to come in since the vampony was injured and I know a lot about bats, and she looked full grown with the wings and teeth and everything," Fluttershy adds after eating a cookie from the plate in front of her. "Actually I was too scared to go in at first, but Twilight showed up a few minutes after I did and we went in together."
Big Mac glances around the shop, then out the front window, "Huh. The town's still in one piece too, least as far as I've seen."
Fluttershy nods, "She took it fairly well."
Lyra places her elbows on the table, hooves coming together in front of her muzzle while she stares off into the distance, "Did she now… "
Bon Bon pushes Lyra's hooves back to the table, "Lyra, Twilight isn't a vampony."
"But Bon Bon~" Lyra protests, "her name is Twilight and I hear she constantly stays up all night doing 'research' and she spends entire days in that abandoned castle in the Everfree Forest that's haunted by the pony of shadows!"
"The Princess of Books hanging out in an ancient library isn't that strange," Bon Bon counters. "And so she has a night-y name and stays up late a lot, wouldn't that make Princess Luna a vampony too?"
Lyra gasps, "I bet Luna turned Twilight when Twilight fought Luna when Luna was Nightmare Moon! Or maybe Twilight's always been a vampony and she actually went to 'defeat' Nightmare Moon in order to free her vampiric master!"
Fluttershy's brow furrows, "Um… that's… not what actually happened. Also the vampony in the hospital was a living creature just like you and me."
Lyra points, "Clearly Fluttershy is in on it too."
Bon Bon lets out a long suffering groan, dropping her head into her hooves.
Lyra giggles, patting Bon Bon's shoulder with one hoof while popping a donut hole into her mouth with the other. Quick as a snake, Bon Bon's head shoots over to her plate, devouring another of Lyra's holes.
Lyra levitates one of Bon Bon's mini-cupcakes over and licks off the frosting in retaliation, maintaining eye contact while she slowly runs her tongue over the cupcake's now slick surface. Bon Bon watches her through narrowed eyes, following Lyra's tongue as it repeatedly flicks over a small bump in the dough.
Big Mac laughs.
Cheerilee steals a bite of his cheesecake.
Big Mac stands abruptly, towering wide eyed and speechless over his dessert-stealing marefriend.
Cheerilee withdraws to her plate, "Um… sorry?"
Taking advantage of her lowered guard, he swipes some of her fudge. However, before she can launch a counterstrike, Lyra attempts to spear another piece of fudge with a straw, Cheerilee only barely managing to intercept her with a fork.
In the meantime, Fluttershy encircles her plate with her hooves and wings, munching on her cookies warily while she watches the pair dual.
"We're really sorry about the mess," Fluttershy apologizes, glancing between the disaster zone left behind from their sugar-fueled battle and Mrs. Cake. Crumbs cover the table and a few feet of the floor surrounding it, a dark smear of fudge drawn part way around the table's edge with a thick white line of cheesecake crossing the trail of fudge at one end. Even further away, a half eaten cookie sits on the table between the somehow still sleeping Cutie Mark Crusaders, stray crumbs from its aerial pass resting atop Scootaloo's mane.
Mrs. Cake smiles patiently, "Believe me dearie, it's fine; Pinkie Pie makes a bigger mess on an almost daily basis. In fact just earlier today she managed to coat exactly one third of the kitchen in caramel."
"We can help you clean it up," Bon Bon offers. "Our mess, I mean."
Mrs. Cake shakes her head, "Thank you, but there's no need. I'll have it sparkling again in five minutes on my own anyway."
"Still," Bon Bon hedges, "if we can help you finish faster… "
Mrs. Cake waves her concern away, "Really, it's fine. Besides, if ponies heard I was making customers clean up their own leftovers, why I'd never make another sale again."
Bon Bon opens her mouth to speak once more, but before she can say anything Lyra groans, "By Celestia's beard, Bon Bon, she said it's fine. What do you want her to do, buck you out the door?"
Bon Bon lowers her head, a blush tinting her cheeks, "Right, sorry, we'll get out of your mane."
Picking up their saddlebags, the group finally takes their leave, stopping a few feet clear of the entrance.
"Alright, where to now?" Big Mac asks.
Lyra's hoof shoots into the air, "I vote bowling!"
"We could head over to my cottage and play with the animals," Fluttershy suggests hopefully.
"Hmm… " Bon Bon shrugs, "No preference, I'm up for anything."
"Bowling sounds like fun," Cheerilee says after weighing the options. "It's been a while since I've bowled."
"Me too," Big Mac agrees. "Ah've never actually been bowling before, ta be honest."
"As it has been spoken, so shall it be," Lyra declares solemnly, marching off in the direction of the bowling alley. "Onward, my friends!"
Reaching the end of the recently renamed Twilight Sparkle Avenue, Cheerilee, Big Mac, Bon Bon, Lyra, and Fluttershy enter an open area containing Boomerang Bowling at its center.
Bon Bon pauses, cocking an ear after only a few steps, "Does anypony else hear that?"
Lyra continues trotting forward, "Nope!"
"Ah hear somethin'," Big Mac says, stopping to listen as well.
"And now, the Clever and Illusive Trixie requires a volunteer!"
Though shops block her view, Fluttershy looks in the direction of the familiar speaker, "Oh dear."
Quickly making their way towards the source of the voice, they come upon a small crowd one road over. A worn wooden stage rises at its center, Trixie standing proudly next to a nervous Snips.
Trixie locks eyes with him, "Now, Trixie needs you to stand very still."
Snips glances at the rapt crowd, then back to her, "O-Okay."
Without any further explanation, Trixie struts to one end of the stage and pirouettes to face him, rearing as a spark of light purple magic travels up the groove of her horn. As soon as it reaches the tip, her hooves slam onto the stage, triggering an ominous rumble of thunder despite the mostly clear sky. Snips takes a step back, eyes widening at the sight of three more Trixies gracefully stepping out of the original.
"We Trixies thought you were told to stand still," the quartet of magicians reprimands him haughtily, speaking in eerie unison.
Snips gulps, "Sorry."
Walking to either side, the Trixies encircle him, each of their horns simultaneously emitting a glowing, pure white ball of energy to hover in the air above them. Thin beams of multi-colored light shoot out of the floating orbs in every direction, the Trixies' horns glowing brighter. All at once the beams from the four orbs focus themselves on Snips, surrounding him in a brilliant halo for a split second before vanishing in a blinding flash.
Snips rubs his eyes along with the rest of the crowd, "W-What happened?"
Snails gapes his friend, "Whoa… dude, look at yourself!"
Snips does so, gasping as he sees his sparkling mane and crystalline body, "Dude, I'm a crystal pony!"
The crowd 'oohs' and 'aahs', but after a minute and a half Trixie's magic gives out, the illusion fading first from his hooves then working its way across the rest of his body.
Snips prods his tail to no avail, "Aww… "
Trixie sits heavily, her leg trembling as she wipes sweat from her forehead before looking out at the muttering crowd. Behind her, somepony cheers. From that pony approval quickly spreads through all assembled until the entire crowd is stamping their hooves and cheering.
Trixie beams and bows, then bows again, Snips taking the opportunity to hop off the stage and out of the spotlight, "Thank you everypony, and remember to spread word of Trixie's return! Trixie will be performing again this evening at sunset!"
Her show now over, the crowd begins to dissipate, ponies chatting happily amongst themselves as they walk away. Looking out at her former audience, Trixie sees one pony winding her way against the tide however, another four following in her wake.
Walking over to the edge of her stage, she looks down at the mare standing below her, "Is there something Trixie can do for you? Trixie will not be performing any more tricks until the next show."
One of the mares standing behind the first waves, "Hi Trixie!"
Trixie blinks, waving slowly in response, "Hello… um… whoever you are."
"Oh yeah, we've never met have we? I'm Lyra," the second mare smiles, pointing to herself and her companions in turn, "and this is Bon Bon, Big Mac, Fluttershy, and Cheerilee."
"I see." Trixie returns her attention to Cheerilee, "So you wished to ask something of the Clever and Illusive Trixie?"
Cheerilee nods, "I was wondering, seeing as you're not demeaning everypony around you or trying to take over the town anymore, would you be willing to perform at the schoolhouse sometime this coming week?"
A faint sneer descends upon Trixie's face, "Are you sure you can afford-"
She cuts herself off with a sigh, "What Trixie meant to say, is that she does not have the spare bits to be performing for free."
Lyra looks around, confused, "Isn't that kind of what you're doing right now though? I mean you're out in the middle of the street and I don't see any place to buy tickets for your next show. Oh! Is this one of those things were you do tricks and we're supposed to put bits in your hat?"
Trixie glares at Lyra, "No, Trixie will have you know she eloquently convinced Mayor Mare to give her another chance. Trixie is not getting paid much, but repairing Trixie's reputation is more than worth it and the bits should still be enough for Trixie to get to the next town."
"So our taxes are paying for your performances," Bon Bon deadpans.
"In any case, I wasn't planning on asking you to work for free," Cheerilee interjects forcefully. "We were about to head over to the bowling alley; if you like, we can try to work something out over a game or two."
Trixie stares blankly at the five ponies opposite her, "You… wish for Trixie to join you? And you're all okay with that?"
Big Mac grunts noncommittally.
"I guess… " Fluttershy murmurs.
"It kind of works out, actually," Bon Bon says with a shrug. "Anypony up for some three on three, best out of three?"
Lyra's hoof shoots into the air, "I am~!"
Regaining her confidence, Trixie stands taller and nods, "Very well, Trixie will join you in your game and listen to your proposal."
Immediately after entering the bowling alley, Lyra makes a beeline to the cashier, "Hey Sunny, do you have my thing?"
Sunny Smiles looks up from her game of Sudoku, "I'm… sorry? You'll have to be a bit more specific."
"My custom bowling ball," Lyra clarifies. "I ordered it two weeks ago, should be for 'Lyra Heartstrings'."
Sunny stares at the ceiling, tapping her chin thoughtfully, "Hmmm… no idea. I'll go check, just a minute."
Lyra prances in place while Sunny first searches under the counter, then the shelves behind her.
"You said 'Lyra Heartstrings'?" Sunny queries.
"Yup," Lyra confirms.
Sunny picks up a bowling ball from the lowest shelf and brings it over the counter, white swirls spread across its dark brown surface as if the craftspony had frozen a sphere of coffee just after adding cream, "Here you go. That'll be 30 bits."
Lyra happily levitates a small bag of bits over to Sunny, the latter emptying the coins into a register while the former pulls something from her saddlebags.
"Really?" Bon Bon asks as she and the others catch up.
"Yes!" Lyra declares with a grin, deftly adjusting the flexible rods sticking out of her contraption with her magic.
Trixie examines Lyra's device, "Trixie is curious, what is that?"
"It's a hand," Lyra replies, pushing three fingers into the holes in her bowling ball.
Trixie glances from the hand to Lyra, then back at the hand, "Trixie has never heard of such a thing before."
Lyra grips her ball with the hand, swinging them around experimentally, "Humans have them."
Trixie sighs, "Trixie has never heard of a 'human' before either."
Lyra shrugs, "I'm not surprised, they do live in another dimension."
Trixie gives her a flat look, "Trixie suddenly finds herself losing interest in both humans and their hands."
"Nopony ever believes me," Lyra grumbles.
"Stop! No more talking about humans! We're here to bowl." Bon Bon walks up to Sunny Smiles, hoofing over some additional bits, "Six players, three games, two lanes."
Sunny drops the additional bits into the register, pushing two buttons beneath the counter and giving them one of her signature smiles, "Alright, you'll be on lanes three and four. Have fun!"
Meeting up at their lanes after choosing their bowling balls, Lyra wraps a leg around Bon Bon, "Dibs!"
Cheerilee giggles, moving alongside Big Mac to stand across the return rack from the other couple. Trixie quickly follows her potential employer, leaving Fluttershy to side with Lyra and Bon Bon. Their teams determined, they glance amongst themselves, waiting for somepony to go first.
Trixie sighs, stepping forward once it becomes apparent neither Big Mac nor Cheerilee are going to allow themselves to go before the other, "Trixie will go first."
Taking her completely red ball from the rack, she tosses it down lane four, hitting exactly half way between the center pin and the pin to its right. The ball bowls through all obstacles in its path, every single pin falling by the time it smacks into the back of the lane.
"Nice shot," Bon Bon compliments, doing a double take when she looks back at the pins to find them standing again without the help of the pinsetter. She squints at the unperturbed pins, "Wait… what?"
"Trixie realized after her last visit to Ponyville that, on her own, Trixie would never be able to match Twilight Sparkle's raw power. However," Trixie proudly levitates her unthrown bowling ball, "Trixie has been practicing her illusion magic and precision. Trixie has found she is actually quite good at it."
Dropping her bowling ball onto her hoof, she rolls it down the lane again to get another strike. The other five watch the pins expectantly, but this time the pinsetter descends, placing another ten pins on the lane.
"That one was real," Trixie states smugly as she trots over to the scoresheet, adding her name to the paper and placing a big X under the first column.
Big Mac picks up his bowling ball, holding it delicately in his hooves as he looks down the lane.
"You can do it, Big Mac!" Cheerilee calls out behind him.
Closing his eyes, he takes a deep breath, reopening them to gaze calmly at the remaining pins.
One down, nine up. Come on now, McIntosh Apple, you can do this!
Stepping forward, he takes his second shot, his ball just barely staying out of the gutter to hit the left-most pin.
Cheerilee jumps from her seat to hug him, "I knew you could do it!"
Trixie punches the air, "Yes! Trixie wins again!"
She glances around sheepishly, "Trixie means, we win again."
Big Mac adds his final point to the scoresheet, tallying up the results.
Bon Bon: 100
He chuckles, "Eenope, it was pretty much you."
Lyra waggles a finger in front of Bon Bon's face, "And you thought this was a silly idea."
Bon Bon rolls her eyes, "It still is a silly idea, it just happened to work."
After dropping their scoresheets in the trash and, with the exception of Lyra, putting their bowling balls back where they found them, the six stop in the open area outside the bowling alley.
Trixie turns to the rest of the group, "Trixie would like to thank you all for inviting Trixie along, and while Trixie has had fun, Trixie needs to get ready for her next show."
"Good luck," Cheerilee replies. "I'll see you at the school on Tuesday?"
"Trixie will be there!" Trixie declares, vanishing in a puff of dense purple smoke.
Once the smoke clears, Lyra, Bon Bon, Big Mac, Cheerilee, and Fluttershy look around, however no trace of Trixie is to be found.
"Huh, she really is getting better," Lyra comments.
Fluttershy glances in the general direction of her cottage, "I need to leave now too. I was supposed to be home half an hour ago to feed the animals and I'm sure they're getting hungry."
Lyra boops Bon Bon's nose with a finger.
"We're heading home too," Bon Bon says, smiling. "This was fun though, we should do it again."
"Eeyup," Big Mac agrees, Cheerilee nodding as well.
They look to Fluttershy, the pegasus blinking back at them, "Oh, um, I guess that would be fine… as long as nopony minds me dragging down their score."
Lyra's hand rests on Fluttershy's shoulder, "You weren't that bad – you even got a strike in the last match! You just need to throw the ball hard enough to actually reach the pins more often."
Their desire to bowl once more thus established, they bid each other farewell and head their separate ways, Fluttershy to her cottage, Bon Bon and Lyra to their home in town, and Big Mac and Cheerilee towards Sweet Apple Acres. Reaching the outskirts of Ponyville, the latter hear a familiar buzzing noise, Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, and Applebloom whizzing past.
Cheerilee coughs, covering her nose against a weak yet decidedly putrid stench wafting about in their wake, "Should I be worried about what that smell is?"
"It's manure," Big Mac states calmly.
Cheerilee looks back at the Crusaders just in time to see them skid around a corner, "Should we go after them?"
Big Mac shakes his head, "Eenope. Applebloom and the rest of 'em aren't foals anymore. If they aren't gonna do anythin' bad with it, then there's no reason to go after 'em, and if they are… well they won't learn from their mistakes if we keep them from makin' any."
Cheerilee sends a final concerned glance at the corner which the CMC had vanished behind, worry creasing her brow, but nevertheless turns and trots a little faster to catch up with Big McIntosh as they continue making their way towards the farm.
Upon entering the Apple family home, Big Mac raises a hoof, "Wait here."
Setting herself down by the front door, Cheerilee waits while Big Mac steps into the kitchen, tantalizingly delicious aromas entering the way he left to waft throughout the house. Her ears prick at the sound of whispers from the other room, a loud clang of metal on metal cutting them off followed by equally loud words from Granny Smith.
"Ah don't know what it is yer whisperin' about, but it'll be ready in five minutes so hold yer horses!"
Big Mac's head pokes out from the kitchen.
Cheerilee raises an eyebrow, "Five minutes?"
"Uhh, eeyup," Big Mac replies sheepishly, withdrawing to the other room once more.
Looking around while she waits, Cheerilee's eyes fall on an umbrella leaning against the wall just next to the front door. She slowly tilts her head from side to side, a soap bubble-like sheen gently swirling across its creased purple canopy as her angle changes.
"Fine piece a' work, innit?" Granny Smith asks from beside her, startling Cheerilee out of her hypnosis. "It's one a' the oldest Apple family heirlooms, used to belong to mah great great great grandpa Apple Tree. Nopony knows how it's survived this long; some say it's blessed, others say it's haunted, even had a pair a' them Canterlot University thaumo-whatsits come by to take a look at it a couple decades ago, but they couldn't make heads or tails of it neither. But, Ah suppose listenin' to old Apple family mythology ain't the reason yer here."
She winks at Cheerilee, "You can head on in now hun, everythin's ready so long as he ain't runnin' around like a crazed turkey like he was this mornin'."
Cheerilee nods, "Thank you, Miss Smith."
Granny watches her go, turning towards the stairs to the bedrooms with a snort, "Honestly, callin' me 'Miss Smith' all formal-like. She must be just about as nervous as he is."
Cheerilee stops as soon as she sets hoof inside, eyes widening as she sees a yokeless McIntosh sitting at the kitchen table facing her. Shadows cast by a pair of large apple-shaped candles placed between their seats dance across the dimly lit room, none of the sun's evening light able to penetrate the carefully blocked windows. Plates piled high with Granny Smith's best cooking and sprinkled with rose petals create a pair of particularly lumpy silhouettes shifting and stretching in time with the two flickering flames. A light scent of cinnamon permeates the air as she continues inwards, drifting past her spot at the table to cross the candle-demarcated line and stand in front of Big Mac. Placing a hoof on his chest, she reaches up to meet his lips with her own, her tongue flicking forward just short of the heat of his body.
Breaking the kiss after a time, she glances at their meal, then back at him with lidded eyes, "I can only hope the food tastes half as good as that just did."
A deep blush creeps onto Big Mac's face, "Eeyup."