(Starring Shining Armor and Princess Cadence)
During the night of the crescent moon, a single carriage left the gates of Canterlot, largest city and capital of the Kingdom of Equestria. Now, normally this would not be such a strange occurrence as many carriages seem to enter and exit the metropolis at will. However, this very carriage had something, or rather someponies, which were of great importance on that particular night. A while ago, the entire city was witness to one of the most important dates of the year; more important than perhaps Winter Wrap-Up or Hearth's Warming: the wedding of Captain Shining Armor and Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, (or Cadence, as she liked to be called). However, it had also been a day of crisis as hordes of demonic changelings from the deepest part of Tartarus laid siege to Canterlot. Their queen, Chrysalis, had trapped Cadence under the Royal Palace and assumed her form, deceiving Shining Armor and the entire populace. With the stallion entranced and the barrier protecting the city from attack weakened, the changelings cut a swath of destruction throughout the capital.
But, their filth was expelled far away from Equestria thanks to the power born from the love that the two lovers shared. They soon became joined in the bonds of matrimony under the watchful eyes of the Goddess. Now, they were both together in the Royal Carriage, waiting to arrive to their destination, far into the countryside.
As the carriage rolled along the dirt road leading towards the country around the capital, the pink alicorn bride stared out the window and into the expansive terrain of rolling hills that seemed to go on for miles. For most of her life, she had seen the land from her tower back in the Royal Palace; never had she gotten the chance to see it so close. Now here she was, staring out into the beautiful countryside that was basked in the light of Luna's moon and sitting next to the stallion of her dreams.
Speaking of dreamy stallions, she thought. Cadence looked to her side to see the Captain of the Royal Guard; the one who had been entrusted to protect the country with his last breath, the one who had captured her heart, was silently sleeping. She giggled at the sight, but she could not fault him. The events of the day had been really strenuous for him, so it was in his right that he take a moment to rest. Smiling at the sight before her, Cadence slowly cuddled up to his side so as to not wake him up. She slowly rubbed her cheek against the soft fabric of his uniform, relishing in the warm feeling generated by Shining Armor's body heat. The mare was just about to go to sleep as well when she felt the soft hoof of her husband on her shoulder.
She looked up and saw that Armor was awake and smiling down on her. She smiled back as she craned her neck up to plant a small kiss on his lips. "You were sleeping," she said, nuzzling his neck.
His response came in the form of a yawn. "I'm sorry," he apologized, stroking her beautiful mane with his hoof, "I'm just a little tired."
"Don't apologize; you've been through a lot today. You deserve a little nap and besides," she kissed him on the cheek, "you're kind of cute when you sleep."
The white coated stallion chuckled at the compliment. "Really?" he began, "because you look cute all the time."
"Oh Shining, you always were the romantic one," she joked, "anyways, where exactly are we going?" The ride seemed to have been going for what seemed like hours, with no end in sight. She wasn't one to question somepony she loved, but she decided that a little clarification wouldn't hurt.
Shining Armor merely hugged her closer to him. "Someplace really nice," he answered, "picked by Celestia herself."
The alicorn snuggled closer, enjoying the close contact with her love. For a while, they were silent, merely enjoying each other's presence. "You think Twilight is still mad about us?" she asked, breaking the silence.
"Nah," was his answer, "Twilie was pretty happy when she learned that her BBBFF was getting married to the world's greatest foalsitter to have ever lived."
She giggled; "Well, it's great to know that I have both the world's greatest husband, as well as the greatest sister ever." Just as she finished, a long yawn escaped her mouth. "How much farther is it?" she inquired again.
"Won't be too long now. Close your eyes, I'll wake you up when we get there." Cadence decided to take him up on his offer, seeing as she was also exhausted from the ordeal at the palace. The pink alicorn laid down on the seat, placing her head upon his lap. She closed her eyes and immediately fell asleep. Her mind replayed what had transpired hours before, (minus the incident with the changelings), when she and Shining were no longer united as friends, but as husband and wife. She thought back to when he first proposed to her last Hearts and Hooves Day. He had been so nervous, always fumbling his lines and almost dropping the engagement ring.
Looking back, she knew that she had made the greatest decision of her life by saying yes.
After what seemed to be only a few minutes, Cadence was awoken by her husband nudging her softly. "Cadence, honey," he whispered into her ear, "we're here. Wake up."
She slowly opened her eyes, blinking them a couple of times to eliminate any blurriness. She lifted her head of his lap and looked outside the window. Indeed, the landscape was completely still, merely waiting like a sleeping giant. The driver unhooked himself from the reigns of the carriage and made his way to Princess Cadence's side. He opened the door and offered a hoof to help her down, but she refused, stating that she can get out just fine. As she exited the carriage, the mare stretched out her limbs, earning a satisfying CRACK in return. When she turned around, she saw for the first time what their journey had led up to.
It was a medium sized cottage, complete with a brick chimney at the back. On the front door, there was a golden ornament that had been formed into the shape of a heart, a symbol that was appropriate for its new tenants. But, aside from that minor detail, the house was rather plain looking, looking just like any normal house in the country.
Cadence trotted up to Armor's side, still looking at the cottage. "What is this place?" she asked her husband.
"It's where we're spending our honeymoon," he answered, "you don't like it?" The stallion looked at her with eyes filled with worry, hoping that his wife wasn't put off by the house's plainness. She knew that he felt that, being a part of the royal line of alicorns, she would have preferred a more ornate structure similar to the mansions of the nobleponies.
"Like it? No," she began, "Love it? YES!" She wrapped her forelegs around the unicorn's neck, planting a warm kiss on his cheek. "Any place where I am at your side is perfect," she said lovingly. She observed his face turn red from her compliment.
The inside of the cottage was just as humble as the exterior. The main room contained a couch and a wooden coffee table. At the very end of the room, there was a brick fireplace with the symbol of the Kingdom, The Golden Sun and Moon, emblazoned above it. But, what really drew the most attention was the roof of the building itself. Cadence couldn't see it from the outside so well, but inside, she was able to get a better look. Above them was a large glass window that offered an unobstructed panorama of the night sky. Its shape was that of dome, similar to the basilicas of Veneighce. Light from the moon poured into the room through the panes, basking it in a sort of majestic and ethereal glow.
The pink alicorn was completely astounded by the beauty of it all. "It's…it's magnificent," she gasped, "Princess Celestia sure has excellent tastes."
Shining Armor chuckled. "She didn't think we needed something so fancy for our honeymoon," he explained, "so, she had this built this just for us."
Cadence turned her head towards him; "The Princess planned this?" she inquired.
"Well, the skylight was Luna's idea," he responded, "she thought the light from the moon would make the room look much better. I think it's safe to say that she was right." He point towards to the couch at the center of the room; "Make yourself comfortable, while I get a fire going."
Cadence obliged him and lied down the full length of the couch, getting rid of any leftover stiffness from the ride to the cottage. As she stretched, she was surprised by how comfortable the couch was; like the fluffy clouds that dotted the sky. Had she been alone, she would have probably just fallen asleep on the divine piece of furniture, but she was courteous as to not fall asleep while her husband was in the room. The mare looked over at the fireplace and saw the blue maned beauty lighting a pile of wood with a flame spell. The resulting fire began to warm up the entire room almost instantaneously, which made the interior feel all the more cozy. Cadence moved a bit to make some space for her stallion after he finished lighting the hearth.
However, she noticed that he wasn't making a move to sit down next to her. Instead, he held his right hoof out towards her. "What is it?" asked Cadence, a bit confused by the gesture.
"I'd like for us to dance," he explained, "just like at the reception."
"Again?" she inquired. He merely nodded and gave that cute, irresistible smile that she came to cherish so much. She repeated the gesture, giving him her hoof, which he kissed gently. They made their way to the front of the fireplace where there was enough room for their dance. She rested her head upon his muscular shoulder while he did the same. They soon began their nighttime waltz with the light from the fire reflecting off their bodies. The two were fumbling a first, trying to find a perfect rhythm without the assistance of music; almost falling down to the floor in the process. But, the couple managed to find a beat that suited them fine; a slow, methodical pace that allowed them to savor the moment. As they swayed to the sound of the imaginary song, both were completely numb from the world outside. It was as quiet as it could be; the only sounds being the crackling of the flames and the soft clopping of their hooves on the wooden floor.
Their tango in the firelight soon ended with both lovers staring into each other's eyes. Neither of them said anything, but they knew what they were expected to do this particular night. Slowly, Cadence made her way back to the couch, slightly swaying her hips as she did so, with Shining Armor following in close suit. She laid down on her back and pulled the stallion on top of her, sealing their lips in a passionate kiss. While he was distracted, she used her magic to undo the buttons on his uniform, eager to feel the soft coat underneath. Their tongues played with each other, neither one vying for dominance, but instead acting as equals. She pulled him closer with her forelegs, deepening their already feverous kiss.
When they finally parted, Cadence opened her eyes with a smile plastered on her muzzle, which promptly disappeared the minutes she saw his face. He wore a completely uncharacteristic look that seemed like a mix between shame and anger.
"Shining, my love, what is the matter?" she asked worriedly. She could not understand why the newlywed stallion looked this way on this most special night.
He vigorously shook his head and contorted his face into a smile that could not fool even the most gullible of ponies. "Nothing honey," he answered, "I'm perfectly fine."
Unsurprisingly, Cadence was not convinced by his dishonesty; "Darling," she said in a strict tone, "I have known you for most of my life. I have always known you to be an honest pony, always talking about your feelings and such. So you will understand, as my husband and friend, that I, for just one moment, do not believe you."
"I'm not hiding anything," he insisted, but the hard look coming from the alicorn's eyes forced him to relent. He sighed as he straightened himself on the couch and hanged his head in what looked like shame. The mare's gaze immediately softened as she lifted herself up and wrapped her forelegs around his shoulders in an attempt to console him.
"I'm a foal," he cursed, "a no good, lousy, idiot foal." Cadence felt her heart sink into a bottomless pit as he forced out those words. Never had she heard somepony as confident and happy as Shining Armor utter such demeaning words about himself.
"Why do you say that?" she implored, worried about the well being of her stallion.
He sighed once again and buried his face in his hooves. "I should have known it wasn't you that I believed to be my fiancée," he muttered, recalling the day's events, "but that witch, that evil spawn of Tartarus; her deception was too convincing. If only I was stronger, then maybe we would have had the wedding as planned and Canterlot wouldn't have been damaged. Some Captain I am, allowing himself to be tricked by a demon and allow his city to be attacked?"
As he continued to call out his faults, Cadence saw his eyes glazing over as if he were about to burst into tears. She felt her eyes water up as little droplets began to cascade down her cheeks. "It wasn't your fault," she said, trying to keep the sadness out of her voice, "she had everypony fooled, even the Princesses."
"But I should have known," he retorted, looking at her straight in the eyes, "I should have saved you from the caverns. What kind of groom can't protect his own bride from evil creatures." He looked back towards the floor; "I don't deserve you."
She had heard enough; Cadence was not going to let her husband continue talking like that. "Stop it!" she cried, "stop saying such nonsense."
"No buts! If I felt that you didn't deserve me, then I would have never accepted your proposal; but I did, didn't I? I love you Shining Armor, I love you more than anything else in this world. You bring me so much happiness during my darkest hours; you complete me in more ways than one; you are the light of my life. If anything, I don't deserve such a loving and beautiful husband." The tears were falling off her face in full force now, powered by the tirade she delivered. He merely looked at her with those beautiful blue eyes of his. "Please, my love," she concluded, "please don't belittle yourself like that. I love you and I will never stop loving you."
He continued staring at her with that blank stare that he had maintained. But, a smirk began to form on his lips, then a grin, and finally a fully fledged smile. "You know," he said, "you look very beautiful when you're angry."
Cadence was both astounded and angered by his sudden change in behavior, but that did not stop her from tackling him and mashing her lips against his. This kiss was much more passionate than the last one with Cadence dominating the much stronger unicorn. She used her magic to finally remove the red clothing from his body, exposing the stallion's muscular breast. She also removed her wedding dress that his sister's friend had made specifically for her. The alicorn began to move her lips down his neck before being stopped by Shining Armor's hooves lifting her head to face him.
"Wouldn't this be much more comfortable on a nice soft bed?" he offered, gesturing to the door that was behind the couch. She quickly got up and made her to the door, shooting him a look that said, "you better get in there or else." He followed her into the bedroom, locking the door as a precaution.
In the darkness of the room, the two lovers enjoyed a night of caresses, kisses, and pure, unyielding bliss.
The two newlyweds looked into each other's eyes as the heat from their bodies began dying down. Their marriage had been finally consummated under the all seeing eye of the Goddess. They said nothing; they didn't have to. Between them, a silent promise was formed from the pureness of their love, a promise that they would always honor, even when the cruel passage of time took him away from her.
We will always be together