It was late in the afternoon when Rarity finally allowed Ditzy Doo to leave for her date. The air was crisp and the mailpony found it a refreshing change from the perfume-laced air of the Carousel Boutique. Ditzy's new boots crunched the snow under her hoof and she shivered slightly at the sound. She knew it was cold; her breath froze in the air and the sun hung ponderously on the horizon. The few ever-green trees that dotted Ponyville swayed gently in the wind. And yet, the mailpony felt none of it.

In part that was thanks to her new winter outfit. Rarity had truly gone all out, fashioning a stunning full length winter coat, a new pair of boots, and even a pearl white scarf. For sentimental reasons, Ditzy had asked if Rarity could repair her old winter clothes. This new outfit was, after all, for special occasions. Ditzy would come back later in the week for her old clothes. Tonight though, she had plans. The very thought of what she had planned warmed her more than anything.

Her mind was filled with scenarios and fantasies. She had three different confessional speeches memorized, each proclaiming her love for Caramel. She had recited them endlessly to her new friends, after of course Rarity had written them. The fashion unicorn had even planned in meticulous detail how Ditzy should carry herself, when to bat her eyelashes, how to leave her mouth ever so slightly open and kissable. It had gone to ridiculous lengths. Thankfully Applejack had stepped in, ushering the mailpony out the door before she grew too nervous.

There was an eagerness to Ditzy's flight when she took to the sky. The last rays of the sun warmed her skin nicely, and her stone gray fur seemed to glow. A few ponies watched her as she flew; words were whispered and a few colts found themselves on the receiving end of jealous, angry glares from their marefriends. Ditzy Doo looked down at the town, noticing the double-takes of colts and stallions and even a few mares. For the first time in her life, Ditzy felt beautiful. She felt wanted, desired.

Caramel would be hers.

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Tree Sap glanced out the frost covered window of her diner. It was going to be a beautiful night, she could tell. Ever since the return of Princess Luna, the night stars seemed to sparkle brighter. The day had been long and Tree Sap's body was tired. She stretched a knot in her shoulder and sighed. Her thoughts drifted to Ditzy Doo. Tree Sap had always known there was something between her and Caramel; even months before Ditzy Doo herself had realized it.

Tree Sap smiled. It looked like she was going to be collecting on that bet she made with RainDrops. At least, she hoped she would. Ditzy deserved it; Caramel deserved it. And Tree Sap had seen a breath-taking ocean blue dress in the window at the Carousel Boutique that she planned to get with her winnings. RainDrops needed to return from her honeymoon.

A shining form caught Tree Sap's sullen gaze. It was like perfect marble catching the sunlight and Tree Sap gasped. She would know that pony anywhere. Ditzy was like an angel of fire and grace in the sky. She was gorgeous. Caramel would be like pudding in her hooves. Tree Sap wished RainDrops could see this. Ditzy Doo was off to get her colt.

It seemed like every pony was finding somepony to be with…Tree Sap sighed sadly, suddenly feeling very alone. Friends were one thing, a truly great thing; but nothing compared to the warmth and comfort a romantic companion could bring.

The door opened with a rush of cold air and a pony quickly closed it behind him. His coat was a shadow-grey and he shook out his black mane. His soft blue eyes found Tree Sap and she gulped, suddenly very nervous and blushing. His handsome features were not lost on the pony, nor the jade-green of his four-leaf clover cutie mark.

"Cold out there." He said, then noticed the rest of the diner was empty, "Oh sorry, are you still open? I can go somewhere else if need be…?" Truth be told, she had closed over an hour ago and she had simply forgotten to lock the door or turn off the lights as she cleaned. But she would never tell him that; not until years later that is.

"No, no, please come in." Tree Sap smiled at him, "Welcome to the Maple Stack. I'm Tree Sap and I'll be helping you tonight."

"Great! I'm starving!" He nodded his head gently, "I'm Clover. My friends call me Lucky, though."

Oh Tree Sap thought to herself, smiling things are looking up for me.

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"Be sure to shut off all the lights." Mrs. Stamp said as she put on her dirt brown jacket and soft black hat. Caramel sighed for what felt like that hundredth time since he returned from the bakery.

"I know I know." He said, taking a very deliberate step towards the front door, blocking Mrs. Stamp from returning to the back rooms. He adored his boss for her dry wit and careful generosity, but like all old ponies, she never knew when to just shut up and leave. He had been trying to get her to go home for twenty minutes. If he was going to be…romantic…with Ditzy, he didn't want her hanging around, spying, or worse, offering advice.

"And be sure to check that there is enough firewood for tomorrow." She said, "If not, there-"

"-is more firewood outback in the shack." Caramel interrupted her. This was his third winter at the post office for Celestia's sake! He was the assistant manager! Granted the only other employee, Ditzy, was the executive delivery agent, but still! Fancy titles meant more bits so far as Caramel could tell. Caramel saw that Mrs. Stamp was about to continue, and cut her off.

"And the key is on the mantel over the fireplace. And I'll put it back when I is done. And I'll be sure to close the shutters, but leave the pet-door open for an' animals what are looking for a warm place t' sleep."

"They do get so cold this time of year." Mrs. Stamp commented. She took a deep breath at the front door, "Ok, let's go over the list one more time. Be sure-"

"Mrs. Stamp!" Caramel said firmly, silencing her, "I can do this. I won't let ya' down, I promise."

"I know you won't my boy." She smiled at him. She leaned forward and whispered, "And so help me, if you break Ditzy Doo's heart, NightMare Moon herself with quiver in fear when I finish with you." Normally Caramel would be scared senseless, but he knew and she knew that he would never, ever, hurt Ditzy Doo. Instead of backing down, he smiled knowingly at the older pony.

"Go home Mrs. Stamp. Have some spiced tea and a ginger snap." The older pony smiled back at him and winked once before leaving. Caramel put his back to the front door as he closed his and sighed. Thank Celestia!

He took a moment to compose himself and walked back to break rooms. He stopped by the fire and put a few more logs on it. He wanted the office cozy warm. He had hung a cast-iron pot over the fire and filled it with the red delicious apple cider. Caramel turned to the food he had bought; hopefully Ditzy Doo would understand how much her happiness meant to him. He would do anything to see her smile.

The front door creaked open again and Caramel sighed. Oh sweet Celestia, if Mrs. Stamp had come back to list more closing activities he would scream! Caramel walked back to the office front.

"Mrs. Stamp, I told ya' I can…" His words died in his throat as he saw who it was that had just come in.

"Ditzy?" Caramel breathed, his words almost lost in his awe, "Is…is that you?"

Ditzy stepped out into the light, a timid yet seductive smile on her face. Her old jacket was gone. In its place was a sleek, form fitting purple winter coat. Golden lace trimmed the sleeves and spiraled intricately over her chest. The zipper, polished silver in color, sported a single flawless diamond that sparkled like a star. The mailpony's makeup was flawless, her lips a soft pink and a dark grey eye-shadow gave her a lustful look. Her golden hair was smoothed and combed over one eye and her tail was braided. The Pegasus' wings were trimmed with jewelry. A single silver loop adorned with two white pearls hung from one wing, while the other was studded with flakes of gold. She approached slowly, each step timed to perfection. Her front two hooves housed in shining ruby shoes. She was breath-taking; every inch the Goddess Rarity had promised.

The mailpony stepped closer, but her left hoof slipped. She had never walked in heels before. A quick flap on her wings kept her from falling over. Ditzy quickly righted herself and smoothed out her jacket. Hopefully her hair was not messed up.

"Hello Caramel." She spoke the words in a low, sultry voice. She took a step towards him; One. Another step, this one she also almost slipped on but caught herself; Two. Her third step brought her face-to-face with Caramel. She saw the look in his eyes and for a second, she faltered. Instead of the barely controlled lust she had hoped for, she saw only concern and unease. He was staring at her, watching her movements carefully.

"Ditzy, I-" She put a hoof to his lips.

"Shush." She whispered and stepped past him; three. Ditzy gulped quickly; now for the coup de grace. Her wing flicked up, brushing his nose. The perfume Rarity had insisted she wear took the desired effect. Caramel hissed and inhaled deeply, momentarily lost in her flowery scent. He closed his eyes and shuddered. Ditzy almost squealed with glee, but she kept her composure. Rarity had told her she would have this effect on him. Ditzy was so excited that when she took her next step, her wing still brushing against Caramel, she lost her balance.

Ditzy yelled out as the floor came rushing up to meet her. A heartbeat before slamming face first into the hard floor a pair of strong arms wrapped around her. Ditzy looked up into Caramel's worried blue eyes and all confidence drained from the mare's body. Her eyes crossed and she frowned.

"Ditzy!" Caramel called out.

"Let me try that again." She said quickly, her heart pounding. She stood quickly and stepped away from him. She repositioned herself a few steps away from the bewildered Caramel. This time when she stepped, her heel caught a small hole in the floor and it broke. Ditzy stumbled again, screaming in anger and shock. Lightning quick Caramel had her in his strong farmer arms.

"Ditzy!" He called out, "What are ya'll doin? Ya'll ok? Why are ya' fallin all over the place?"

Ditzy shook her head sadly and let Caramel help her back to her hooves.

"No…no Caramel I'm not ok." She looked down at her clothes, felt the layers of make-up on her face, her product filled mane and suddenly she felt like a clown. "I spent so long practicing…I just wanted…" she looked up at Caramel and remembered the look he had given Rarity earlier.

"Who was I kidding?" She almost spat and pulled away from him. Her gaze found the spread of food Caramel had prepared. "Oh Celestia…"

Displayed on the table were over a dozen muffins, half of which were banana-nut. There was also a carrot cake, cinnamon rolls and a box of chocolate treats. She could smell fresh apple cider and somehow she knew Caramel had traveled all the way to Sweet Apple Acres to get it. Suddenly Ditzy felt even worse; everything Caramel had been in charge of had turned out perfectly. Ditzy's only task was to look beautiful for him and she had tripped twice and almost broke her nose on the floor.

"You did all of this?" She turned to him, "For me?"

"Of course." Caramel stated as if it was obvious, "It's what ya' wanted, right?" The sadness in her eyes caused Caramel's heart to start pounding.

"I…I just wanted to look good…just once I wanted to be beautiful." Ditzy said, "That's all I had to do! But I messed it up! I…I'm derpy!" She turned to him, "I'm just…just a…a Derpy Hooves!"

Caramel wasted no time in pulling her into a tight embrace and she cried into his shoulder. Ever since she had been a foal, the hurtful nickname had stuck with her. Today, just now, she felt like she deserved the mocking moniker. Her tears tore through the makeup she wore and left unattractive, wet dark grey streaks of color down her fur. A few moments passed and Ditzy's sobs subsided and she was reduced to hiccups.

"Ditzy ya'll are always beautiful." He whispered in her ear. She looked up at him and laughed bitterly.

"Look at me." She said, "Rarity Unicorn spent all day doing my makeup and fixing my mane…teaching me to walk…making this" she motioned to her new clothes. "I messed this up."

"Ditzy, what did ya'll mess up?" Caramel asked, "Ya'll are here, with me…in my arms." These last words were whispered, and if Ditzy had heard him she gave no sign.

"I…I was going to seduce you." She said, ashamed, and looked away, "Rarity taught me how…I wanted you to notice me."

"I notice ya' every day." The farmer's heart was pounding in his chest.

"No, I meant notice notice." She gulped, there was no turning back now, "As in…more than just friends notice." Caramel was shocked for a moment. Never had he imagined she would feel the same about him. A slow, soft smile found its way to his lips.

"So did I." Ditzy had no time to register his words before his lips found hers. Caramel had no idea where this sudden bravery came from, but he wasn't about to question it. Ditzy went stiff for a moment before sighing and relaxing into Caramel's lips. All the dreams, fantasies and imagined scenarios Ditzy had of Caramel and hers first kiss failed to encapsulate even half of what she felt. Time blissfully went by before Caramel pulled away. He gave the mailpony a toothy grin which she eagerly returned.

"Even looking this way?" she asked, "You still…notice me?"

"Ditzy." He sighed and she filled with ice, fear gripping her, "You don't have to wear all this…froufrou silliness." He walked over to a cup of water and dipped a cloth in it. Ditzy went ramrod stiff when he walked back. Using his mouth to hold the cloth, Caramel wiped away the tear stains and smeared makeup. He brushed the cloth gently over her eyelids, down her cheek and over her lips. When he was finished there, he let the cloth fall to the ground and gave her a quick second kiss. When he was finished, Caramel took a step back and looked at her. Ditzy sat down on the floor, keeping her head down but her eyes up to judge Caramel's reactions.

"There's the pony I notice." He said with a smile. Ditzy blushed madly but managed to look up.

"Really?" She asked, her eyes crossing again. Caramel merely smiled at her and nodded. She lunged at him, knocking him to the ground and capturing his lips in a burning kiss. Caramel wrapped his arms around his mare and pulled her tight against his chest. When the need for air was too great, Ditzy pulled away and rested her head on Caramel.

"…I love you." She whispered.

"I love ya' too Ditzy Doo." Caramel responded instantly. Ditzy shivered at the words rumbled from his chest and she sighed happily. Minutes passed as the two laid on the ground, lost in their embrace. As the clock ticked by, a new sound was heard. Ditzy blushed as her stomach gave a loud rumble.

"Hungry there Ditz?" Caramel asked and she nodded her head sheepishly, "Well, what can I get for ya'?"

"Muffins!"

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This is the last chapter for this fic.

But I do have a question for you, reader: Should my next MLP fic be a AppleJack/Soarin fic or a Twilight/OC fic? I plan on doing both eventually, but I'd like to know which should be first.

Thanks for reading!