It was three years after the Pies had first met Cheese Sandwich. Three years since they had hired him. Three years since Cheese had been allowed to court Pinkamena. He now had a home in Nickerlite-or at least in the hills between the town and the rock farm, built by the stallions in town, led by Igneous and Haralson. To say that Cheese had been grateful for that gesture was an understatement, and he settled into the house just fine-at least on those days where he wasn't making a delivery.
It was now a very special day, in which after a courtship and an engagement, Pinkamena and Cheese were to be wed.
Normally, a stallion like Igneous Rock was tough to crack. However, his daughter's wedding had overwhelmed him enough that he nearly missed it, even as he attended.
The ceremony was held just outside of town, in the lush green field between the train station and the first hills of the path to the Pie family home. While used for carnivals and fairs, it also held the occasional wedding, such as the very one that was happening on a beautiful sunny day.
It seemed like such a dream as the ceremony had proceeded. He had walked her down the aisle, glancing at her periodically, in awe at how lovely she had looked. She wore a simple dress with some lace and a couple of bows here and there, a thin veil, and her mane and tail had been curled for the occasion. Her pink coat had been the brightest it had ever been, and she emitted a warm glow as she drew closer to her groom.
Igneous could not believe that this sweet pink mare had once been a tiny little filly, born on a beautiful spring day, and bearing attributes of both her grandmothers, as well as her mother's blue eyes. Starting out a ball of sunshine, only for her light to be snuffed by her grandmother's deaths, and remaining that way until she allowed it to be renewed again by a lonely and timid, dusty and downhearted, but ultimately kind soul.
And now, he was allowing that soul to be his daughter's companion.
Once Pinkamena was brought to the groom and the officiant, Igneous sat with his wife, and he couldn't help but look around. He noticed Haralson giving him a congratulatory smile. He noticed Sugar and Lemon shushing their fussy three-year-old daughter. He noticed Bluejinx and Purple Prose staring ahead, listening intently to the words spoken. He noticed his sister staring dreamily at the couple. Igneous looked ahead once again, seeing the siblings of bride and groom up there, with the Pie sisters as Maids of Honor and Tomato being Best Stallion.
The words of the officiant and the vows exchanged were all a garble in his ears as he looked at just how happy Pinkamena was. Never had he seen a brighter smile from her, never had she glowed so much, and never had he seen her so pink. It was amazing how much she had changed from that somber mare three years before. He looked at Cheese, who held a glow himself, and his dimpled smile said so much. It was amazing how a simple drifter had managed to turn life upside down for the Pies-in a good way.
Once the kiss between bride and groom was initiated, Igneous wiped his eyes.
"Are you crying?"
Igneous glanced at Cloudy. He coughed and muttered, "No... I just have something in my eye."
Cloudy patted his back. "Don't lie to me, you old coot. My father did the same thing when we got married."
Igneous grunted, and looked at the newlyweds, who were smiling straight at him. They both waved, and in return, he tipped his hat and smiled back.
Later on, they were all having the reception until the train arrived so that the newlyweds could go on their wedding journey. Ponies were all spread out and talking among each other, sharing desserts and some even going up to Cheese and Pinkamena to congratulate them. Some of the mares complimented the bride on her curls, to which she responded by bobbing her head just to bounce them.
Cheese and Pinkamena looked around the field, watching as Stayman and Idared tried to feed some pie to Butterscotch with little success, Tomato and Bluejinx laughing over something, Pinkamena's sisters teaching some of the foals how to make rock candy necklaces, and Igneous talking to Haralson.
Pinkamena shook her head. "Would you believe that this very town hated my family just for living in the back of beyond, so they made up stupid tales about us?"
Cheese chuckled. "I'm just glad that they changed their tune after that fire."
Pinkamena was looking at her father and Haralson as Cheese said that. "Yeah..."
Cheese leaned toward her, noting the tone of her voice. "What's wrong?"
Pinkamena sighed. "Even though a certain pony tried to kill us... I just wish there could have been a way to stop his behavior, so that his family didn't have to suffer so much grief. Just because Haralson can laugh and talk again doesn't mean his wound has healed."
Cheese patted her back. "It's a good thing that your father is being a good friend to him. That was something he needed, and still needs."
Pinkamena smiled at her husband, whose warm smile had not waned in the past three years. She gazed into his green eyes, still as lush as a meadow and shining with kindness.
Cheese cleared his throat. "Okay, let's go get some ice cream before it melts."
Pinkamena nodded, and they headed to the table where it was being served. "I wonder what flavor it is."
Cheese tapped his chin and jokingly answered, "Rocky road?"
Pinkamena gave her a funny look.
"It's chocolate ice cream with marshmallows and almonds. It's really good, I promise!" Cheese chuckled and quietly sang, "I love rocky road..."
Pinkamena shook her head. "You goofball. But I highly doubt it's that elaborate of a flavor; it'd probably be vanilla or strawberry or something." She glanced away for a brief moment in thought. "Now that I think of it, Rocky Road does sound like a good name for a foal."
Cheese flushed red. "Pinkie... we just got married. It's a little early to come up with a foal name when you're not even pregnant."
Pinkamena gave him a suggestive smirk, winked at him, and then trotted all the way to the ice cream table. Cheese stood there, absolutely flustered, his face warm from the implied message that he had just received. He pulled on the collar of his shirt, and he could have sworn steam came out.
Tomato came walking up to him. "Hey, bro."
Cheese turned to him and shouted, "It's ice cream!"
Tomato blinked and raised an eyebrow. "All right then. Hi, Ice Cream."
Cheese facehoofed. "Oh, no no no no, see, Pinkamena and I were just having a conversation about rocky road."
"Oh, that? Well, has she ever tried it?"
"She hasn't even heard of it!" Cheese plopped onto the grass and muttered, "Honeymoon bucket list item #1: Get her to try rocky road ice cream."
Tomato shook his head. "Oookay. Have fun with your dramatics over ice cream."
Cheese glanced at him and narrowed his eyes. "I am not being dramatic."
Pinkamena had turned around to find Cheese in conversation with his brother, and decided to just let them talk. Eating her ice cream, she was surprised when her father came walking up to her.
"Oh, hey, Pa," she said. "Are you here for ice cream?"
Igneous shook his head. "Nah, I'm not big on sweets. I'm just here to talk to you."
Pinkmena took another lick of her ice cream. "That's good, too."
Igneous rubbed the back of his head. "Listen, Pinkamena... this day... this wedding... I'm just in awe about the whole thing."
Pinkamena blinked. "You are?"
Igneous nodded. "It amazes me to think that the tiny newborn filly that I had held, bestowed names from her grandmothers onto her, and watched her first steps is now all grown up. You've found a good stallion, and now he's your husband. Hm, that means he's my son-in-law... anyway, Pinkamena, I think the greatest miracle is just to see your sweet and cheery smile again, even if it took a long time to get there. Your stubborn old father certainly needed to see it, even if he had to be shoved out of his comfort zone. Let me just say that I'm proud to be your father."
Pinkamena just smiled, set aside her ice cream, and threw her front legs around her father's neck for a hug. Igneous returned it with a few pats on the back.
Pinkamena sighed. "I love you, Pa."
Igneous drew back and smiled at her. "I love you, too, sweetheart." He leaned forward and kissed her forehead. "Now, make sure that husband of yours doesn't get into trouble." He looked back and raised an eyebrow at Cheese and Tomato throwing clumps of dirt at each other, laughing as they did so. "I get the feeling their mother would have a fit upon seeing their dirty clothes..."
Pinkamena rolled her eyes. "I met her; she would."
Cheese and Pinkamena waved to their friends and family as the train departed. They sat at the caboose, watching as the town shrank in the growing distance. They took a whiff of the pine scent that was beginning to fill the air, and watched the trees buzz on by.
"So long, Nickerlite," Pinkamena said. "I'm off to see new places."
Cheese chuckled. "Those 'new places' are going to be old news for me."
Pinkamena smirked. "Well, you better get to showing me around soon. I may have delivered rocks to some neighboring towns, but you've gone farther and seen more. So be sure to point out some of the neat things we see."
Cheese put a hoof on hers and drew close enough for their muzzles to touch. "You don't have to ask me twice."
Pinkamena giggled, and they kissed once again. The same sweet taste filled their mouths again, the same warmth arose in their bodies, their hearts pounded, and it only increased as they deepened it. Cheese gently touched her face with his free hoof, and Pinkamena put her free hoof on his shoulder. They felt like they could hold their kiss forever, and even if they couldn't, they had free reign to do it again and again.
They broke the kiss and hugged. Cheese sighed and looked up at the sky, thankful for the day his life had changed.
The day when he met the rock farmer's daughters.
A/N: And that concludes my fanfic, peoples!
Whew! And what a ride it was. What started out as a simple idea turned into quite the fanfic, don't you think?
But, anyway, I would like to thank all of you readers for all the encouragement you gave to keep me going. You made writing this thing worthwhile, and I'm glad to have stuck through to the end!
So, now, I must bid you adieu, until my next fan fiction.