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 “Hey brony, you should go talk to her.”

“No I…I don’t want to.”

“But you talk about her all the time. Don’t you want to?”

“Well yeah, but, she’d never like a pony like me. It’s enough just to get to see her once in a while.”

The two male ponies were having a little chat during their work. It was Winter Wrap Up day again, and everything was running smoothly with their new coordinator, Twilight Sparkle keeping everypony on task. The two ponies were clearing the snow from the fields in clean, straight lines. The fist pony had an orange-tinted, light brown coat with soft brown mane and tail. He sported a cutie mark with three blue horseshoes astride his flank. Named Caramel, he was working next to his good friend Blues. Blues was a similar-sized pony, slightly larger than most of the female ponies but still smaller than the big stallions like Big Macintosh.  Blues was, as anypony would suspect, blue in color. He had a nice light blue for the main body, with a slightly darker shade for his mane and tail. His cutie mark consisted of four eighth notes also colored blue.

The snow clearing was mind-numbing manual work, so the ponies needed to talk to help pass the time. That’s why it was always best to be able to work next to a friend. Shared interests and stories to tell helped the ponies take their minds off the work and made the day almost enjoyable. During this Winter Wrap Up, they were discussing Blues’ crush: Pinkie Pie.

“Why do you always say things like that? You’re an interesting pony and a good friend. Why wouldn’t she like you?” Caramel asked his dejected friend.

“Can’t you see? She’s a party girl, always having a good time. She makes friends so easily. I bet she’s got twenty ponies who want to be with her all the time. Heck, she represents one of the Elements of Harmony and saved Equestria from Nightmare Moon!” Blues said, extolling the virtues of his obsession, “I’m just a simple earth pony. What right do I have to be with someone like her?”

“It’s not about ‘right’, or anything like that.” Caramel responded, trying to break his friend’s self-defeating attitude. “If you like her, let her know about it.”

“I guess…maybe when the Wrap Up’s done.” Blues said.

“Why do you like her so much anyway?” Caramel asked suddenly, “You always talk about her, but I haven’t even seen you two interact at all.”

“It’s kind of a long story.” Blues said.

Caramel chuckled, “We’ve got tons of snow to clear, brony.” He said, “Time is one thing I’ve got plenty of today. Let’s hear it.”

“Well….” Blues began. “It was Winter Wrap Up day last year when I first really met her. I mean, she works as the Cakes’ shop, and throws city-wide parties quite a bit so everypony knows who she is, at least. What I mean is, the first time I really got a chance to see who she really was was last year. Okay, bad start. Let me try again.”

“Haha, it’s alright, Blues.” Caramel said, laughing at his friend’s discomfort. “Just tell me however you want to. I promise not to judge too harshly.”

“Ha, thanks.” Blues replied, trying to laugh off his nervousness a bit. Even though Caramel was his best friend, it was difficult for him to talk about himself. Blues mostly kept quiet at times when other ponies may want to talk your ear off. “Anyway, you remember how Twilight tried to be a snow-clearer last year?”

“Yeah, I remember. She caused that huge avalanche and canceled out all our work. We had to clear the fields twice because of her.”

“Well, before that, when she was really rolling fast, her plow tossed up a ton of snow in my face. It’s not the best feeling, and annoyed me at the time. I thought, ‘what a jerk. We’re all out here working, why you gotta pull some crap like that?’ Then I just thought, ‘well, I guess that’s just how life is sometimes, no need to get angry about it. Just another thing that went wrong today.’ Just got to sort of, you know, silently take the bad things, right?”

“Yeah, that’s just like you, Blue.” Caramel said, “Never complaining, even when things go bad. I do think you bottle stuff up too much though. It’s not good for a pony to keep everything inside.”

“I guess you’re right.” Blues replied, realizing his friend had again called him “Blue” instead of “Blues”. He knew it was a harmless nickname, but it still saddened him to know that even his friends thought of him as just a blue pony, always down in the dumps, depressing to be with. “Anyway, that’s just to set up that my day was already going bad. Just after I cleaned myself off, she hit the side of that hill and the whole avalanche covered up the fields again, and I got buried in snow...again.”

“Yeah, I remember,” Caramel said. “I got hit by that too.”

“Well, after that, Applejack went off and we had no leadership at all.”

“I remember, I was here with you.” Caramel said, starting to get bored with the shared memories. Where was the juicy stuff? When was the point of this story coming?

“So when you went off with Big Macintosh, the rest of us decided to…take a little break. At least, that’s what we told ourselves, it was more of a work stoppage. We were tired from the work already, and we all pretty much just gave up at that point.”

“So while I was getting chewed out, you were all slacking off? Nice!” Caramel said. Blues thought his friend would be upset, but he seemed pleased that the other ponies weren’t exactly dedicated to the Winter Wrap Up task either. “So then what happened?”

“I was cold, wet from the snow, and still had the whole field to clear. I was upset at the world, and just wanted to go off and disappear for a while, maybe get back to the fields after a couple hours. I wandered over to the lakes and saw her there. It was Pinkie Pie, skating so gracefully over the ice. She looked like an angel, making sweeping turns, blazing up and down the ice, jumping, turning, floating over the frozen water. Her form was gorgeous, her smile infectious. I couldn’t help but admire the skill she showed. It was like the ice allowed itself to be traversed by only the worthy, and she was the only one capable of dancing upon it.”

“Wow, you’ve got it bad.” Caramel said, “You thought all that of her, just from watching her skate?”

“It wasn’t just the skating.” Blues said ardently, his voice gaining force to defend his love, “It was what happened after. I watched her for what seemed like forever. I’m sure it was just a moment or two, but I wished it had been forever. Just coming off a perfect triple-axel, she turned and noticed me. Apparently I had begun clapping without noticing it. She was already pink, since that’s just what color she is, but I thought I could see her blush slightly. She got off the ice and walked over to me, clumsier now that her skates had no clean sheets to glide across. She came up to me and said almost sheepishly, ‘Do you like my skating?’ ‘Of course! It was beautiful’ I got out before I began sneezing from the cold. ‘Oh, you poor pony!’ she said, ‘You’re practical buried in snow. You must be so cold. Here, have this. I brought it from the store, it’s really good!’ She let have a drink from her thermos. It was the sweetest, most marvelous hot chocolate I ever tasted. After a few gulps, I stopped and let her replace the lid.”

“And then you made out?” Caramel said with a broad smile, giving his friend a good-natured ribbing.

“Hey, this is meaningful to me. You could show some support.” Blues said, annoyed that his friend was cracking jokes while Blues was pouring out his feelings to him.

“You’re right, I’m sorry. What happened next?” Caramel said, understanding the meaning this story had to his friend. “Did she ask your name or anything?”

“No, and my cutie mark was still covered by the snow, so I’m not even sure she knew it was me. Regardless, after I’d had the hot chocolate, she said she had to get back to scoring the ice so it would melt properly. I told her I understood and should get back to my job too. We turned and went off our separate ways, but still had that one perfect moment together. Well, I have it at least. I doubt it really meant anything at all to her.” Blues said, finishing up his story.

“Brony, you’ve really got to tell her. At least go talk to her or something. I mean, she works right at the Sugar Cube Corner, right? You could just mention it sometime when you’re buying a cake. Or, she throws parties all the time. Just go to one and start chatting with her.” Caramel said, giving Blues some suggestions on ways to approach Pinkie Pie.

“Maybe,” Blues said, still upset that they were so very different. “Maybe, after the snow’s cleared up. We should have some extra time this year, with Twilight Sparkle directing things.”

“That’s a great idea, I’ll go with you, if you want.”

“I’m not sure I’ll do it.” Blues said, “Let me think about it some more.”

“Sure thing.” Caramel responded. “Just be sure to talk to her, okay?”

“Yeah” Blues agreed, and returned his focus to clearing the snow. ‘She’s still just so different’ Blues though, straining his muscles against the stubborn plow attached to his shoulders. ‘Maybe that’s why I like her so much? She’s everything I wish I was. But she’s too special. There’s no way. It’s better how it is. She’s happy how she is, and I’m happy that she’s happy.’

Plowing the snow down in the field, neither Caramel nor Blues noticed the ponies up on the hill above watching them work. Twilight Sparkle stood at the crest, admiring the progress that her organization had brought to Winter Wrap Up. Next to her stood her friend, Pinkie Pie, already finished with the ice-scoring for that year. They stood there talking, and Pinkie Pie raised her hoof toward where Blues and Caramel were busy clearing the snow.

“And he never talked to you about it again or asked you on a date or anything?” Twilight Sparkle asked, amazed at the story her friend had just relayed.

“No, nothing. I’m not sure why. Maybe he’s just shy?” Pinkie Pie replied.

“Well you’ve got to tell him how you feel!” Twilight implored.

“I think he’ll come to me when he’s ready.” Pinkie Pie said. “Until then, I’ll keep practicing my skating and waiting for him.”

Singing the Blues: Part Deux

The blue pony stood in front of the shop. “I can do this. I can do this.” He said out loud to himself, looking at the brightly colored door. “I….I can’t do this.” He said finally and turned around to leave. ‘It’s a nice day,’ he thought to himself. ‘Maybe I can just walk around and enjoy the new greenery for a while?’

“Whoa there, pony. Now’s not the time to get cold feet. We finished winter over two weeks ago.” The light brown pony said to his friend, amused at his own little joke. “Now you march yourself in there and ask her out.”

“But…what if she says no?”

“Then you’ve got your answer. It’s better than never knowing, isn’t it?”

“Not knowing lets me still have hope.”

The brown pony sighed. He’d been trying to get his friend, Blues, to let another pony know about the crush Blues had had on her for over a year. Constant encouragement for the last week had finally gotten Blues as far as the door for the Sugarcube Corner, Ponyville’s number one confectionary shop. Now all he needed was one more shove to get him through the door and then to confess to Pinkie Pie.

“Then you love hope more than her, huh?”

“That’s not it at all. I told you before, Caramel, she’s happy how she is. I shouldn’t try to mess up her life. Somepony like me’s no good for parties and wild adventures with friends. I’d just hold her back.”

“But you are good enough for me?” Caramel said, hoping a little guilt trip might do the trick. “Pinkie Pie is too perfect, so I guess I’d better just hang out with lowly Caramel. He’s enough of a loser for me? Is that what you mean?”

“Come on, that’s not what I meant either. It’s just…”

“It’s just you’re scared.” Caramel interrupted, “I know you. You’re stuck in this rut where you think only bad things can happen to you. I’ve seen enough of them happen myself, like when those moving ponies destroyed most of your furniture, but you need to realize everypony deserves a shot at happiness, and this is yours. So go in there and take your shot!”

“Alright! I’ll do it! Thanks, brony.” Blues said before lifting himself up from his standard moping posture. Head held high, shoulders straight, flank proudly displaying his blue eighth notes, Blues nudged the swinging doors to the Sugarcube Corner open and walked confidently into the room saying: “Miss, there’s something I’ve got to tell you.”

“Oh, and what’s that?”

This was not the voice he expected. Staring back at him from behind the counter was not his intended target, Pinkie Pie, lovable embodiment of friendship. No, instead poor Blues had begun to confess his love for the preeminent baker of Ponyville, Mrs. Cake. Instantly embarrassed at his guffaw, Blues blushed slightly and nearly recoiled in shame. He quickly recovered his composure and said, “Your muffins are the best I’ve ever tasted. I was wondering if you’d made a fresh batch lately?”

“Why of course, Blues.” She said happily. “It’s always nice to get a compliment from a fan. I made this batch of blueberry muffins not more than an hour ago. Well, Mr. Cake did the actual baking but it is my recipe. I’ve had to cover the counter today since Pinkie Pie needed the day off.”

“Oh?” Blues replied a little too anxiously, “Do you know where she went? Did she have plans with…erm…somepony today?”

“I don’t think it was plans,” Mrs. Cake answered, “She said she and her friends needed to go to the Everfree forest right away. Apparently a Sea Serpent they know was having trouble, and they had to go help him. I never do know when that girl was have some emergency she needs to skedaddle off for. But she does so well with the customers when she’s here, and she always has a good reason to miss work.”

“I see,” Blues said, relieved that Pinkie wasn’t off with some stallion she’d met during her travels. “Well, anyway, how much for the muffins?”

“How about three gold pieces?” Mrs. Cake said.

“Sounds perfect, thank you.” Blues replied, leaving the coins on the counter. After carefully grabbing the muffing bag with his mouth, the earth pony walked back out the door.

“So, how’d it go?” Caramel asked as soon as his friend appeared. “You weren’t in there very long, so…”
“rrry grph mrrrphhhnns!” Blues said, still holding his bag.

“What? I didn’t understand that at all.”

“rrro” Blues said, and set his muffins on the ground. “I got muffins!” he said again, smiling.

“But what about Pinkie Pie?” Caramel asked, exasperated.

“Oh, she wasn’t there. I guess it just wasn’t to be.” Blues said, glad that the ordeal of trying to get into contact with her was over.

“Oh no, that’s not going to cut it.” Caramel said, “If she wasn’t there, then we come back tomorrow and tell her then.”

“Fate just wasn’t on my side,” Blues said, silently adding to himself that it never was, “If she’d not here that means we weren’t meant to be together.”

“You’re going to make your own fate, my friend.” Caramel said, still intent on helping his friend face his crush. “We’ll come back tomorrow, like I said, and you’ll tell her then.”

“Why are you so adamant about this?” Blues asked, surprised at Caramel’s insistence. Normally Caramel would agree with Blues if something didn’t work out for him. But in this, for some reason, Caramel would not let Blues surrender to fate.

“I had a crush myself once.” Caramel began, “And I’ll never forgive myself for not letting her know it. The confidence she showed in herself was intoxicating, but now I’ll never see her again. I lost my chance when she got run out of town. I won’t let you lose that chance. You tried today, but it didn’t work. Still, it’s not like she said ‘no’ so you’re back to where you were this morning. You’ve got to try again tomorrow.”

“I guess so, Caramel.” Blues said, understanding somewhat his friend’s dilemma. ‘How would I feel if Pinkie went on a trip and never returned?’ Blues thought, ‘especially if I never told her how I feel?’

“I do need to let her know, you’re right.” Blues said firmly. “But I can do it on my own now. You don’t need to walk me to the store tomorrow. I’ll come on my own, I promise.”

“I’m a bit worried you won’t show.” Caramel began, “But you’ve always been a good friend, and I know I can trust a promise you’ve made. Alright brony, good luck. I’m rooting for you.”

Caramel turned and began trotting back to his home. He lived only a few blocks from the Sugarcube Corner, and wanted to get home before the scheduled rain storm that afternoon. He looked overhead and noticed the pegasus ponies up above gathering some dark clouds together. He knew they were efficient at their work, and the storm would start soon. As his house came into view, he went over the conversation he’d had with Blues during Winter Wrap Up.

“You can’t tell her, not a word.” Blues had said after telling Caramel about the day he fell head over hooves for Pinkie Pie.

“Yeah, sure.” Caramel had replied dismissively.

“No, I’m serious. I’d be so embarrassed if she knew I was telling other ponies about the moment we shared. You can’t say a single word to her about it.”

Caramel stopped short in realization at the exact words his friend had said that day. An idea began forming in his head, an idea to help his hapless friend. He began to smile broadly as his thoughts took shape into a definite plan. “Yes!” He said aloud, “This will work out perfectly!” He continued smiling and rose his face to the sky to laugh, but the sky had other plans. The brown earth pony soon found himself soaked in a matter of seconds as the scheduled downpour began right on time. ‘Shoot’ he thought as he finished the short journey to his home, ‘Now I’m drenched. Oh well, it was worth it. It truly is a great plan.’

The next day, Blues awoke early, just as Princess Celestia was beginning to raise the Sun and bring to Equestria the gift of another bright day. He took extra care in everything he did that morning, from dunking his face in the trough of water to clean it, to slowly and thoughtfully chewing his breakfast of scrumptious blueberry muffin. As he chewed continuously, Blues reflected on his plan for today. “This is it,” he told himself, “No going back now.”

Having finished his breakfast, Blues picked up his trombone and started to play. True to his name, the melody was sorrowful, yet played with the purity of tone that comes only from years of practice. He had not particular song to work on, no new piece of music in mind. It had been months since he’d composed anything new. He simply played every morning out of habit, something to occupy his time when the Apple farm didn’t need his help. Once he had enough songs, he’d promised himself he would put on a show for all of Ponyville, but he knew that day was still far off.

After playing to his heart’s content, Blues cleaned the spit out of his trombone, properly oiled his slide, and placed his instrument carefully back on its stand. He was shocked to realize that the Sun was already high in the sky. He had lost track of the time while absorbed in his music. ‘It’s alright,’ he thought, ‘she’ll be there all day. No big deal.’

Regardless, Blues set off on his important errand right away. He didn’t want to waste any time. “If all goes well,” he said while opening his door, “maybe she’ll be free tonight!” The thought occupied his mind all the way to the Sugarcube Corner, keeping him so lost in thought he barely noticed the ponies wishing him good day as he passed by. He arrived at the store and froze: what were all these ponies doing here?

At least, that’s what Blues thought. In reality, there were no more than half a dozen ponies in the store when he arrived. It was right around lunch time, and they probably wanted a small treat to finish off their noon-time meal. ‘I can’t do this with everypony watching.’ He thought. ‘Then what if she says no? They’ll all know! All of Ponyville will talk about how I tried to date Pinkie Pie. I’ll be a laughing stock! What do I do? What do I do?’

“What can I do for you?”

The voice interrupted Blues’ internal lament. He looked up from the floor at which he was staring and saw none other than Pinkie Pie smiling at him from across the counter. He then realized he had walked into the Sugarcube Corner, made it a few feet from the shop counter which doubled as a display case, and had stopped to stare at the floor. The other patrons were busy examining the confectionaries on display, or selecting a few choice sweets to bag up and buy. He was the only one standing still, doing nothing.

“Are you okay?” She asked, starting to get a little bit worried. Why wouldn’t he say anything?

“Um…yes….I…….” He stammered. He was trying to think up some excuse, but the kind face showing concern from across the counter had made it hard for him to think of anything usefully to say. He eventually decided on trying saying “You’re beautiful,” but it came out of his mouth as: “Two cupcakes.”

“Oh, ok.” The worker replied, reaching under the counter and pointer her hoof at the choices they had. “This one is chocolate with white frosting, and this one over here is white with white frosting. OH! And this one has chocolate frosting, but white frosting on the inside and this one has sprinkles! But this one over here.” She said, pointing toward a solitary cupcake near the far edge of the display. “Is my favorite. It’s a white cupcake, but made with blue dye and blue frosting. I think it’s just perfect, don’t you? I made it myself.”

“Yeah, I’ll take that one.” He said, thinking how strange it was to have a cupcake like that in the store. “And um....the one with sprinkles, please.”

“Okie dokie! So, is the second cupcake for someone special?” She asked, bagging them up and handing the cupcakes to Blues.

“No, no. Just one for my friend.”

“I’m sure she’ll love it!” Pinkie Pie said with a huge, though oddly strained, smile.

“She? Oh, no, it’s for Caramel. So, um…how much?”

“Oh, right. One gold piece, please.”

“There you are,” Blues said, putting the coin on the counter. He turned to leave, but had a sudden, unexpected burst of courage. Despite the other customers, and despite his fears, Blues turned quickly around and approached the counter again.

“Is there something else?” Pinkie asked, still with that friendly smile of hers.

“Yes, actually. Pinkie Pie, I was wondering if you…”

“Excuse me, miss?” A voice called from across the room. “I can’t seem to reach this cake up here. Can you come help me get it down?” It was an older mare, straining to reach a delicious looking white-frosted cake out on the store floor. “It’s my dear daughter’s birthday today and she always talks about how wonderful your cakes are. I’m sure she’ll just love this one.”

Pinkie Pie smiled again and said, “I’ll be right back” before heading off to help the elderly mare. Blues sighed and watched Pinkie work for just a moment. He saw her carefully lift the cake and start to bring it to the back room to be boxed up and handed out. He smiled ruefully and walked outside. The sun beat down on his defeated back. “Just when I think I’m gonna do it.” He said silently, “The Ponyverse always steps in and stops me.”

“So, how’d it go?”

Blues turned back toward the shop and saw Caramel leaning on its wall. His friend’s creamy brown coat blending in nicely with the pastel colors of the store. “I thought you promised you wouldn’t be here.” Blues said indignantly after setting his bag on the ground.

“You said I didn’t have to come. You never said I couldn’t come on my own, which I have.” Caramel said, happy to have followed the wording of his friend’s request but not the spirit. “So how’d it go?”

Blues sighed heavily, “Not well. I ended up buying cupcakes. Here, one’s for you.” He opened up the bag with his mouth and nudged it toward his friend with his hoof.

“I figured as much.” Caramel said, walking to the offered gift.

“Then why did you send me in to fail?”

“You had to know. So how exactly did she say it? Was it just a no or…..what’s that?” Caramel asked, seeing the cupcakes inside Blue’s bag.

“Cupcakes. I think one has sprinkles. You are always telling me how much you like sprinkles.”

“Not that one. This other one.” Caramel said, balancing the all-blue cupcake on his outstretched hoof.

“That’s the other one. Pinkie said she made it, so I thought I should buy it. Looks good, doesn’t it?”

“Looks good? Don’t you see wha….never mind. You just made me absolutely sure of what I should to do.” Caramel replied, once again stopping mid-sentence to change what he was saying.

“What is it you have to do?” Blues asked.

“Um, nothing, don’t worry about it. I just need to do my best brony a favor.” Caramel said.

“I thought I was your best brony.” Blues replied.

“And so you are. Listen, thanks for the cupcake. I just remembered something I need to do today.” Caramel said and began to trot off, taking the sprinkled cupcake with him. He quickly swallowed the cupcake whole, and regurgitated the wrapper. He threw the wrapper in a nearby rubbish bin, and turned his head back toward Blues. His friend had just sat down at a table outside the store, his back facing Caramel. Once he was sure Blues wouldn’t be looking his way, Caramel practically galloped off to the library.

Blues, meanwhile, had spent a few moments contemplating his cupcake at a table outside the Sugarcube Corner. Why was Caramel so upset by it? Blues didn’t know. Sure the cupcake was completely blue, like himself, but that didn’t really mean anything. It was almost certainly just a coincidence. Blues shrugged, deciding that its color wasn’t really what mattered and consumed his purchase. ‘It’s good’ He thought to himself. ‘Maybe a bit too much sugar, but I guess some ponies like it that way.’

Satisfied with his snack, but still forlorn about his inability to talk properly with Pinkie Pie, Blues decided not to head home immediately. He instead meandered through Ponyville, checking out the stalls in the square. He saw a few ponies he knew, and struck up a conversation about the particularly violent storm yesterday afternoon with Cherry at her stand. He walked to one of Ponyville’s many ponds and watched Fluttershy feed the ducks for a while. Blues finally headed for home as the shadows were growing long on the ground. He entered his house just as Princess Luna was pulling the moon above the horizon. ‘That’s pretty funny.’ He thought, ‘Starting the day with Celestia, and ending it with Luna. Well, thanks for the day, Princesses’

He hadn’t been in his home more than a few minutes when he heard a knock at his door. ‘Who could be here at this hour?’ He thought before calling out, “coming!”

He opened the door and saw the city’s resident mailmare, Derpy Hooves with an envelope in her mouth. “Special late-night mailing for Mr. Blues! You are him, yes? Good!” She said with surprising clarity, considering the envelope never fell from her clenched teeth.

“Um, yes. That’s me.” Blues said, surprised. He had never heard of Derpy delivering this late. She was almost always done with her route by mid-morning. That way she could get to her second job moving furniture for the afternoon. Besides, he had already got his mail from the mailbox on his way in. Maybe the post office had initiated a new, later service?

“Here, take! I was told is very special, not to forget or let Blues not take it. So take!” She was adamant, but unnecessarily so, as Blues took the letter from her. “Thank you and good night!” Derpy said and immediately turned and flew off back toward the Ponyville post office.

The envelope was a distinctive bright pink. Every pony in Ponyville knew exactly what such an envelope meant, they were invited to a patented Pinkie Pie party, usually one involving the entire town. Written happily across the front was simply “Blues” in bright blue letters, slightly offset to create a more festive appearance. He opened the back of the envelope and was showered in a puff of confetti. He opened the neatly folded piece of paper and read the contents:

You are cordially invited to a surprise party for Twilight Sparkle tomorrow night. Come to the Sugarcube Corner just as the moon starts to rise. She led us all on another successful adventure yesterday and I’m throwing a party to thank her. But don’t let her know because then it wouldn’t be a surprise, silly! So *shhhhhh*

‘Huh’ Blues thought, reading over the letter twice to make sure of its contents. He even turned the envelope back over and looked at his name on the front just to be sure. ‘Why would I be invited to something like this? I barely even know Twilight.’ He sat and pondered the strange invitation, then decided: ‘Everypony’s probably got one. That’s just like Pinkie, getting the whole town involved in celebrating Twlight. That will be great.

He turned to the other letter he had gotten that day. It was from Big Macintosh. Apparently some of the new apple tree seedlings up at the farm had been picked by Fluttershy to feed some of her animal friends. Thusly, the farm requested Blues’ help to replant a large crop of trees tomorrow morning. It would be a good chance for Blues to make a little more money, which was good considering his increased expenses while trying to talk to Pinkie Pie. ‘I should think of an excuse to go there without buying anything.’ He thought, chuckling to himself. ‘Oh well, maybe I’ll think of something tomorrow.’

Blues brushed his teeth before going to bed, thinking as he often did how much easier so many tasks would be if he were a unicorn. ‘Clumsy hooves always getting in the way.’ He thought, struggling with the brush. ‘Such is my lot in life. It’s certainly not as bad as it could be. Just think, I could have only three hooves! Then how would I balance?’ Blues was getting better at this recently, reprimanding his own negative thinking by imagining scenarios that would be worse than what was happening to him. ‘Besides, I’ve got a nice warm bed to sleep in.’ He thought while drifting into a peaceful sleep.

The time at the farm the next day had passed all too quickly. Big Macintosh and Blues had been the designated plow pullers, with Caramel behind Blues and Golden Delicious, a fellow Apple Family member, behind Big Macintosh planting the new seeds. The work was a great way for Blues to keep his mind off of Pinkie, and Caramel surprisingly had all sorts of things to talk about that didn’t include Blues’ personal life. The ponies broke for lunch almost before Blues noticed he had worked up a good sweat under the brightly shining sun.

The apple farm was famous for its bountiful lunches. It was easy to forget how large the Apple Family really was until one sat down to eat with them. Apple Fritter, Apple Bumpkin, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, and all the other ponies gathered around one long table was truly a sight to see. The great size of the farm kept one from noticing how numerous they were at times, but having everypony together in one place was almost overwhelming.

After lunch, Blues and Caramel returned to their work silently, and finished up around mid-afternoon. After they’d collected that day’s wages from Applejack, Caramel turned to his friend and said, “So, you excited about that big party tonight?”

“Shhh, keep your voice down.” Blues said concerned. “Everypony knows Applejack and Twilight are good friends. She could be here at any time. But yes, I guess I am. It sure is nice of Pinkie to let Twilight know she’s appreciated, isn’t it?”

“It sure is nice of her.” Caramel repeated with a smile. “Well, I’m gonna head home and wash up before the party. I suggest you do too. A day at the farm sure doesn’t help your scent.”

“Ha! You’re no rose yourself.” Blues said, grinning and tapping Caramel lightly on the shoulder in a mock-kick.

“Fair enough.” Caramel replied. “Well, see you later.”

Blues trotted home in high spirits. He always enjoyed a full day of work, when it wasn’t forced on him, anyway. It made him feel like he had a solid purpose, and like he was doing something worthwhile. It didn’t hurt that the Apple Family was always so gracious and thanked him quite a bit whenever they asked him to help there. It was a very nice family farm, and he had become something like friends with Big Macintosh, even if they didn’t really spend time together outside of farm work.

After arriving home, Blues quickly cleaned off the dirt accumulated from the day and did everything he could think of to make himself presentable. He finished his preparations and looked outside. The Sun was still up, but definitely on its downward approach. He couldn’t decide what to do to kill the time before the party. He didn’t feel like practicing more, he had woken up early to play some before going to the farm. He didn’t want to walk about Ponyville like yesterday, ‘The other ponies might think I’m some sort of busybody if I’m always in town with nothing to do’ He thought.

Eventually, Blues had taken up so much time trying to decide what to do, that it was time to leave for the party. He left his house and started walking to the Sugarcube Corner, arriving just as the last rays of light were peaking over the houses of Ponyville. He didn’t see any other ponies going into the store as he walked. ‘I suppose I am a bit early,’ He reasoned, ‘and the store did close a while ago. Maybe the others are coming later?’

Blues nudged his snout against the door. It opened freely and displayed the front of the shop almost completely enveloped in darkness. Music from an unseen viola player quietly filled the room with a calm, almost romantic atmosphere. In the far corner of the darkened room was a single, small, circular table. It had a red felt table cloth extending to the ground. Illuminating the table were two tall lit candles, and two chairs were set up opposite each other with a fine while porcelain plate in front of each of them. Sitting in the far chair was Pinkie Pie, smiling shyly at Blues as he entered.

“Where’s everypony else?” Blues asked, still not comprehending the atmosphere created by this romantic setting.

“It’s just us.” Pinkie said. “Isn’t that what you wanted?”

“Well yeah but, I got this letter that said there was a party here tonight.”

“You’re at the party, silly filly,” Pinkie said, with a short giggle. “A party for two.”

“Oh.” Blues said. He started to blush as he approached the table. His eyes adjusting to the darkness, he saw Spike providing the music from the corner of his eye. His face was almost beet red by the time he sat down opposite Pinkie Pie. This was a moment he had dreamed about for such a long time. Thousands of words swirled around in his head. He had so much to say to her, but he felt like if he tried to say anything, the words would come out all at once as a big, incoherent mess.

They sat in silence for a minute or two. Pinkie’s smile slowly became more strained as the silence continued. She thought Blues would be thrilled, but he looked more afraid than pleased. Her smile disappeared completely as she began to think this whole plot was a terrible idea. Maybe he didn’t really feel anything for her? What if he was already with another mare? ‘Oh Pinkie, what have you gotten yourself into?’ She thought. ‘This whole thing was stupid. He doesn’t even remem-‘

“So….do you still like skating?” Blues asked, interrupting Pinkie’s depressing train of thought.

“Why, yes. I even get to be the leader of the ice-scorers every Winter Wrap up.” She said. “Why do you ask?”

“Well, I’ve…I’ve been wanting to talk to you for a while.” Blues said, his voice quavering heavily with anxiety.

“Oh? What about?” Pinkie asked, her eyes lighting up.

“Ever since…well…you might not remember it, but it was a really nice memory for me. Do you remember last Winter Wrap Up? Just before Twilight took over and made everything run smoothly?” Blues asked.

“I do.” Pinkie said quietly, her soft voice hiding the excitement she felt.

“You probably forgot all about it, but you gave a cold, snow-covered pony a drink of your hot chocolate. It was just a little thing but, well, it meant so much to me. I’ve been thinking about your kindness to me ever since.”

“Really?” Pinkie Pie replied, still trying to hide her happiness due to Blues remembering that moment.

“Uh-huh.” Blues replied, his confidence rising with each word. “Ever since that day, I’ve been thinking about how nice it would be to spend some more time with you, get to know you better. But I kept thinking that maybe you didn’t know it was me, or wouldn’t want to be with a pony that doesn’t know so much about parties or adventures. It’s not like I can save the world or anything like you can. Besides, it was only really special to me. I don’t know why you’d care about it.”

Pinkie Pie sat in silence, looking with a mixture of sadness, joy, and pity at Blues. ‘He’s been tormented by this for so long, ‘ She thought. “Here, come with me.” Pinkie said, taking one of Blues’ hooves in two of hers and leading him out the back door of the Sugarcube Corner. Outside Blues was shocked to see a large, neat sheet of ice on the ground. Pinkie had somehow created her very own ice rink surrounded by the houses and shrubbery of Ponyville.

“How did you make this?” Blues asked.

“I had a little help from my friend.” Pinkie said, smiling. “Here, let me help you get these on.”

Eight ice skates were lying next to the rink. Pinkie helped Blues put his skates on his hooves, and slipped her own skates on quickly. She zipped onto the ice and turned to watch Blues struggle to stand up on his. “Hehehe, have you never ice skated before?” She asked.

“N-n-no” Blues said, steadying himself on the ice.

“Here, I’ll show you.” Pinkie said, skating right next to Blues. He leaned some of his weight on Pinkie Pie and did his best to keep his legs from buckling under him. “Just keep your feet under you, really.” Pinkie said, “Then you just sort of slide them along, like this. You steady? Okay, here I go.”

She left Blues’ side and skated swiftly out ahead. She did a short jump along with a full turn and a half, landing facing Blues while momentum carried her in the opposite direction. “See? Just slide along. It’s kind of like walking but not really. Oh, just keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll get the hang of it. Heh, you’re already better than Twilight Sparkle!”

Blues smiled broadly at Pinkie Pie. He never dreamed he’d be able to be with her like this. Just the two of them, alone, and having such fun. “And when you get tired of skating, we can go back inside and have a nice dinner.” Pinkie Pie continued. She was obviously more comfortable than before. Out here on the ice she was definitely in her element. “I made muffins, and got some nice daisy sandwiches from the café, and….”

Pinkie kept talking, and Blues kept listening. As the two ponies skated around the ice, they were happily oblivious to the voices whispering in the nearby bushed.

“Is it working? Are they…you know? Having fun?”

“Of course it’s working. I told you it would.”

The two conspiring ponies watched their work come to fruition out on the ice. Twilight Sparkle whispered, “It was quite the task, making an ice rink in this warm weather. But I must admit, Caramel, this certainly did bring them together. I wasn’t too sold on the idea when you told me.”

“Well, what can I say? It just came to me. But I think it’s time we left them alone, don’t you?”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

The new couple skated happily next to each other, circling the rink continuously. Pinkie often dashed ahead to show Blues a trick or two she really enjoyed, but always came right back by his side afterward. Taking one last look, Caramel and Twilight silently backed out of the bushes and walked off into the night.

“So anyway, Twilight. Do you ever think that, maybe, me and you could-”


“Well, it was worth a shot.”