Hey, this is pure shipping. But give it a shot; you might just like it.
Let me know if you want to see any situations occur as I continue the story.
Disclaimer: I do not own My Little Ponies or any of the characters or places therein.
The sun barely bled through the curtains of the window and Ditzy groaned and rolled over away from the painful rays. Ditzy opened her eyes and blinked them a few times to clear away the drowsiness. She reached out with her hoof and looked at the clock next to the bed. The red-letters were blurry and she squinted hard to make them out. Did it say 5:30 or 6:30? She groaned and rolled out of bed.
Her job started at seven and she couldn't afford to be late again. Either she'd be there right on time or an hour early and she would get some sleep in the break-room. Being a mailpony required long hours and it made Ditzy depressed when she thought about the years she had put into the job. But to her knowledge, she wasn't good at much else. Ditzy made her way to the bathroom to wash up and brush her teeth. She shivered slightly in the cold air of her room.
It was mid-winter in Ponyville; the coldest time of year. Most, if not all of her small town would still be asleep. Ponyville was a predominantly agricultural community, so winter-time was a lazy time. A time for family, friends and cuddling by fires with handsome colts. Ditzy's family lived all over Equestria and rarely visited. Her few friends were busy most of the time, if not out of town on a vacation. Ditzy had never been on one; a mailpony didn't make many bits. As for colts…Ditzy sighed sadly and turned the shower faucet off. She had a colt in mind, but she was too nervous. Too afraid of rejection. Besides she was Ditzy Doo, or Derpy Hooves when the mares thought she was out of ear-shot. She wasn't pretty in her opinion and she tended to forget things. The unicorn at the dress store put every mare in town to shame with her beauty, but Ditzy had never been anything special. Who would notice a wall-eyed pony like Ditzy in a crowd?
Ditzy quickly brushed her gold-yellow mane and dressed in her usual heavy clothing. As a mailpony, she was outside most of the day. She hated her job this time of year, but she needed the bits. She wore a heavy purple jacket, four heavy snowboots, a simple grey scarf and a hat to keep her ears warm. It was heavy and made flying more difficult, but it was better than freezing to death. Her clothes were worn and she knew before the year was over, she'd need to somehow get enough bits to afford new winter clothes. She glanced at the clock. Work started in fifteen minutes!...or an hour and fifteen minutes! Either way, she had to hurry. Ditzy dashed to her small kitchen and found two apples. She would have preferred a muffin or two, maybe even a cup of tea. But she was in a hurry. Ditzy dashed to her front door, took a deep breath to prepare against the cold, and opened it.
As expected the air was freezing and she instantly started to shiver. The wind blew swirls of fresh snow off the ground, giving Ponyville a desolate wasteland feel. Ditzy put one hoof in front of the other and powered through the snow flurries. It was too early to start flying; she would need all her strength to make her deliveries today. As she walked through town, Ditzy noticed the streets were empty and the sun was just beginning to bleed over the horizon. Carrot Top's vegetable market was closed and the blinds of her house were shut. For a moment Ditzy played with the idea of trotting to Sugar Cube Corner to see if either of the Cakes were up. Or, if luck was on her side, that hyper pink pony. Ditzy had treated herself to a box of muffins baked by the always happy pony several months ago. Although it had been a stretch for her budget, it was so worth it. Just the thought of those apple, coffee, blueberry, strawberry or chocolate muffins made her mouth water and her stomach grumble. But the banana-nut had been her favorite.
Ditzy passed the Carousel Boutique and sighed. She had spent hours looked at the beautiful dresses in the window and wished one day she could afford one. Ditzy had started putting a few bits aside each week for just such a treat, but it would be a very long time. The wind rose again and Ditzy was knocked into a snow-pile. She lay there for a few heartbeats as her cold-numbed mind processed what had happened. Ditzy pushed herself to her feet and picked up the apples she had dropped. Freezing and covered in melting snow, Ditzy trudged on through the winter chill to her work.
The post-office was small, as befitting a town of Ponyville's size. Still it was as organized and up-to-date at the grand offices in Canterlot or Manehatten. Ditzy approached the building slowly, keeping her head down and wings pressed tightly to her body; anything to save some heat. The windows were dark and no smoke rose from the chimney in the roof. Ditzy approached the door with mounting dread and tried the door knob. It was locked.
"Oh…horseapples." Ditzy swore under her breath. It hadn't been 6:30 she had seen; it had been 5:30. Still, thankfully she always carried a spare key in her saddlebag…which Ditzy realized she had left on the counter in her kitchen. She had been in such a rush she had forgotten…oh, Celestia damn it.
"Double horseapples." She wasn't panicking but she was worried. It was below freezing and the only thing she could do was make the painfully long, lonely and cold journey back to her house. Ditzy shivered; the snow covering her had melted and drenched her to the bone. And the wind refused to give up and a fresh layer of snow was just beginning to fall. She could tell; it was going to be one of those days.
Just as she was about to start walking, she heard a voice on the wind. Ditzy looked around, straining to keep her eyes focused on a blurry figure approaching through the storm.
As the figure drew closer, Ditzy's worries all but vanished and a small smile played on her lips. The colt before her was breathing hard, his breath freezing into wisps in the cold air. His mane was a mess; obviously he had just woken up. His fur was a mild brown to compliment his rich dark brown mane. Under his winter-coat Ditzy knew his flank bore three beautiful blue horseshoes. His name was Caramel, and he was Ditzy's closest friend. She could tell he had been galloping hard and carried something in a saddlebag. Had he sprinted all the way from Sweet Apple Acres?
The two had been working together at the mail office for almost two years now. True he was of the Apple clan and like them had a tendency to be fanatical about farming. But unlike the majority of the Apple family, Caramel hadn't been born with a green-hoof. He tried; sweet Celestia, Ditzy knew he was one of the hardest working ponies in all of Ponyville. It's just he was…forgetful. Like Ditzy herself, Caramel tended to lose things or misplace them. And like Ditzy he did it enough to warrant a reputation but never enough to be punished or yelled at. Nopony would dare say it, as the Apple family was as close and loving as any family in Equestia, but Caramel often said his cousins seemed glad he had a job outside the farm. So during the winter season and late fall he worked full time at the mail office as the front desk clerk.
To Ditzy he was a blessing from Celestia herself. The two had formed a natural bond and complimented each other perfectly. It seemed that every time Ditzy forgot something, Caramel would remember it and vice versa. It was a sixth sense, and one neither pony could explain. Their uncanny connection was part of the reason Ponyville was perfectly happy to let them be mailponies. Most mistakes were fixed within minutes, if not seconds. Ponyville wasn't that big anyway. The more level-headed ponies knew it wasn't a big deal if a letter got delivered to the wrong address. Every pony knew every other pony and on the extremely rare occasion Caramel and Ditzy both forgot the same thing, the parties involved fixed it with little to no inconvenience.
As a result of their work, Ditzy's annual evaluations were up and she had received a much needed raise last spring. It still wasn't a lot of bits, but it helped and Ditzy knew it was because of Caramel that she had it.
"Why…um...what are you doing here?" She asked after a moment, her voice shaking in the cold. She blinked her eyes and tried to stay focused on him. Her eyes had a tendency to wander and many ponies thought it a reflection of her intelligence. Sure Ditzy wasn't as bright as that librarian unicorn, but she had passed all her classes' solidly in school and was every bit as bright as the next pony. She just…forgot somethings sometimes. But for Caramel, by Celestia, she would try to focus.
"A' uh…a' woke up early ta' get a head start on work." He managed between gasping for air, "Ya' know it's only six in the morning, right?" He smiled gently at her bashful appearance, "Forgot ya' keys again, Ditz?" The grey Pegasus hung her head in mock shame and pleaded with her eyes for him to open the door. Caramel smiled and gladly unlocked the mail office.
Ditzy quickly made her way inside and made a b-line for the fireplace. It wasn't standard to have a fireplace in a mail office, but it was far enough away from the work to not be an issue. Together Ditzy and Caramel carried several logs to the fireplace in a pleasant silence.
"Oh, um a' also brought these." Caramel unhooked the saddlebag he carried and took out two large thermoses. Ditzy eyed the containers and shivered in the cold. A low rumbled echoed through the empty office and Ditzy glanced at an embarrassed Caramel. "a' guess a' forgot to bring anythin' ta' eat though."
"Apples!" Ditzy beamed happily and produced her two apples from the pockets of her coat. She knew there had been a reason for taking two instead of her usual one. Caramel and Ditzy chuckled nervously and tried to glance anywhere but at each other. The fire they had started was just beginning to catch but it would be awhile before the entire office was warm. Ditzy shivered as her wet clothing seeped into her bones. Caramel noticed.
"Ditz, ya'll is shivering. Were ya' outside that long?" His eyes were wide with concern. Ditzy blushed at this; he cared so much.
"Uh no. Not really." She managed through the blush on her cheeks, "I uh…I fell in the snow. I'm cold."
"Come on, let's get ya'll out of those wet clothes fer' you catch ya' death and get something warm in ya'." Caramel took a few steps and quickly turned around, his face blushing madly, "a' uh, didn't mean uh…that. A'…uh…oh hayseed." Ditzy was blushing madly and had to take several deep breaths to calm her racing heart.
"I know what you meant." She said after a moment and took off her soaking wet coat. Next she took off her boots and scarf and laid them a few feet from the fire to dry. Caramel tried to keep his eyes off her tight flank and gulped as she involuntarily swayed her hips as she walked. Ditzy kept her head low to avoid Caramel seeing her blush as she approached him and sat carefully on the couch in front of the fire.
"So…" Ditzy said after an uncomfortable silence, "What did you bring?"
"a' um…oh right!" Caramel unscrewed the caps of the thermoses and set one on the ground next to Ditzy. The Pegasus nearly gasped in delight at the steam rising from inside and she could smell fresh chocolate.
"Hot chocolate" Caramel beamed with pride, "Made fresh n' everythin'."
"With…with peppermint?" She asked cautiously. It was her favorite drink but she didn't want to upset Caramel if he had forgotten. The smile he gave her sent her heart racing. How could a single pony be so…perfect?
"For ya' Ditz? Of course." He reached into his saddlebag one last time, "Aaaannnndddd" He produced a small bag of Cloudsdale brand marshmallows. No ponies but the Pegasus ponies knew how to make marshmallows right, and the best were made in Cloudsdale. Ditzy squealed in delight.
"You got Cloudsdale marshmallows? Just for me?" She asked. She had to look away to keep her eyes from tearing up. He was such a sweet colt.
"Well a' wasn't 'bout to give ya' the whole bag but ya' can have half if a' get one of them apples." He said with a playful grin. Ditzy scooted one of them over with her nose and smiled shyly.
"Really?" She asked after pouring herself a cup of the steaming drink and dropping a few marshmallows in, "All this just for one apple?"
"It wasn't just for a' apple." Caramel muttered under his breath. Ditzy blushed at this but chose to respond. The wind howled outside the office and Ditzy took a reflexive sip of her drink. It warmed her entire body and see sighed happily. Trust Caramel to make the pre-dawn hours bearable. Ditzy smiled a dreamy, cross-eyed smile and rested her head on one of the couch arms.
"Woke up mighty early there Ditz." Caramel took the empty cup from the Pegasus pony and set it on the floor, "Ya'll can have more when ya' get some sleep." His words were so soft, so comforting. A few moments passed and the warmth of the fire and Caramel's delicious peppermint hot chocolate took its toll on Ditzy's numbed, tired mind. She was asleep within seconds.
Let me know if you think this is worth continuing.