Forbidden Fruit

By NocturneD

note: The final chapter.

ooo

Ten months ago...

I boarded the train to Canterlot early in the morning. I had some business to take care of and I figured I should confront it head on instead of writing a letter. I rehearsed the scenario many times in my head and expected some different outcomes. Hopefully, the one I want comes to full circle and finally can set all this to rest.

The ride to Canterlot went alright except for a few delays. Nothing really worth mentioning, my trip put me an at least a half hour behind schedule. I did not plan on staying long either as I was going to be taking another train ride home. So if I was going to do this, I have to remain focused. No matter how terrible this goes, I'm cutting those last few strings that still tie me into guilt.

Back in Ponyville, I left the library fully to Twilight's care and finally turned things back over to her. She was once again in charge of her own library, her own home and hopefully she can see how to make it a more enjoyable place for the other ponies to come and visit. Pinkie Pie became Almata's foal sitter while I can't take care of my little colt, well most of the time she was as the others love playing with him. Fluttershy's petting zoo was doing alright and raked in some extra money where she could afford some more items for her animal habitat. Almata loved watching the ducks waddle, throwing bread crumbs to watch them eat. Though, one of the ducks honked at him and he came waddling back to me scared and wanted to be picked up. Rainbow Dash would stop by at times with Sprite to have fun with each other while Shining Armor was back taking classes at the university.

The Apple family... They are truly a wonderful family. They helped me in my time of need and really assisted with my recovery. Apple Bloom and her friends are still trying to get their cutie marks while Apple Jack was still herself. Good and reliable. Big Macintosh, really took the father role serious and spent every chance he could get to play with Almata. Whenever I needed rest, he came in to take over. He would ask me about my day and even gave me a hoof rub. Just the sight of seeing Almata cuddling to Macintosh's back, really shows potential that a giant has a big heart. I would eventually move in, even helped make extensions to the Apple family home.

Just peering back what happened over in the few months... Really showed that I did not need to be living a life as a glamorous princess in Canterlot, nor the Crystal kingdom. I'm happy, much more lively in Ponyville as there is always a celebration going on. I loved it, team work and fun. No longer being hounded at or given the stink eye, now they care for my opinion on matters. It felt great.

So now, I'm sitting here at one of Canterlot's expensive and fanciest cafe. I brought something and hope it won't destroy things further. Shining Armor came before I did and was sitting down across from me. My did he change his appearance. Barely recognize him as he was wearing a blue work shirt and had glasses on, along with hair tied back to keep it from flopping over his face. Still, he was Shining Armor, just with a new goal in mind. Slowly, my appearance changed over the months as well, whatever fancy clothes I had was traded in for denim and expensive jewelry for a bolo tie and hat to cover up my braided hair. The waiter took our orders then left and we started the conversation off slowly.

I took a deep breath then prepared for whatever happens, "Shining Armor, I felt like I had to tell this you face to face."

He sat there with a straight face. As if he prepared for what I was about to say. Again I spoke, "About your proposal back at the hospital. I apologize for not getting back to it as soon as I could. It really... It really made me think on what and where I want to go with my life." I pulled out an envelope with a familiar treasure that I would awe over when I first got it. I laid it on the table, but I was not finished yet. "Shining..."

"Yes Cadence?" He asked. The tension was leering as I saw his hoof tapping his end of the table, should I guess nervously?

"I'm very sorry... for everything. I'm sorry what I did to you and Rain. Sorry for Sprite growing up the first couple of years without a father..." My face slowly grew sadder, "And I'm really sorry... for not being faithful to you."

Normally I would be balling my eyes out at this point but there was no point anymore. Still I was saddened over my past self, she would have never gotten over this. She would have jumped at the chance to get back together with the stallion right in front of me no matter what. Her little world, a dark void. Nothing left, all she had was Shining Armor. A scared little mess she was, but I'm sorry my past self. Those days are over and its time to let go.

Love is often portrayed as the best feeling in the world. No wrong could ever come from it, but they're wrong. Sometimes love can be blind and it can hurt if you devote and put all your feelings into one pony. Love can also lead to your downfall which would always seem like the end of the world... At first... but it does not have to be.

"And... I'm sorry but... I can't be your wife again." I let my magic slide the envelope back in front of my former husband. By now the waiter finally brought our drinks and food, though neither of us really felt like eating. "You're really a good stallion Shining Armor and any mare is lucky to have you. Its just... It can't be me."

Shining Armor sighed as he levitated the envelope in front of his own face. I was waiting for an outburst or him to begging session, but it never came. Deep down, I knew he fought with his demons and came out a better pony. Finally had goal in his life that did not need a selfish princess like myself to screw him up and send him down a long deep detour.

To my surprise, he did not shout or try to beg for me to just nodded his head slowly then formed a little smile, looked up at me, "Well... I'm glad you thought about it." Another deep sigh, "And I'm glad you at least considered it. It's just I figured a year apart would have done us some good but the damage was already done."

"Oh no. No." I shook my head, stupid what he said sure, "I'm sorry but really we made no attempt to try and make things right... And... what you did with Rarity that night really broke the camels back. Let alone if you really wanted for me to come back, you would have came down to Ponyville more than once or twice to see Almata... Hell your lieutenant came down to visit Almata more than you did and he barely can get a day off, sure he came with Twilight but still... "

Shining's eyes wandered for a bit then went back to me, "I'll admit it. It was stupid of me to do that and I know you're never going to forgive me for that. And I accept it that, yes it was my fault for putting the last nail in the coffin and putting it six feet under. And I tried to visit as much as I could without school interfering but I really can't just throw down everything again like I did for Sprite just for Al." It was awkward enough, "I'm just really in those situations where I can't quit anymore, too much is riding on my new career ever since the militia."

What else could I say? "And that you did. But Shining Armor... Let's just put this behind us and say... Our relationship was doomed but carried on with it, we were unhappy and sucked it up to put on an illusion wedding. That right there I thought would help as I really did love you... Still, I don't get why when you were captain you had all that..." I stopped myself, I was not going to start playing the blame game anymore. "You know what? Never mind."

"You're right." He frowned, "I thought it would help once the ceremony was over with. We had our fun but who were we kidding?" He let out another sigh, "We can only blame ourselves for this."

I agreed, "You're right."

"And now. We can take these faults and learn by them." He smiled, which surprised me because I thought he was going to be coming out of this depressed. "Like some pony I once knew said... The future is up to us on what we do to shape it. And I have my reason back home, she's three and a half and that's whats going to keep pushing me to help shape her future as well."

This new Shining Armor, totally unexpected. And yet some pony I can respect, actually scratch the new Shining Armor idea. This must be... What he was like before I pulled him away from Rain and his friends. The reason why I liked him in the first place that he was strong willed and can actually think things thoroughly. His goals are strong and... You know what. I'll leave it at that. Shining Armor took the ring back, at first not as depressed as I imagined the outcome but still, he accepted that I can't take him back. There is a whole world out there for him. We would talk about what we did the past year, showed each other photos of our kids and we had a really good time. Strange how that was actually the first time we ever had fun in awhile since after our wedding. His relationship with Rarity still was on and off at times, must have realized how I felt back then and just kept focusing on his work. He took the ring back with pride. As much as I would like to be Sprite's mother, it just can't work because of who I am now. Maybe back then, and then the same for Almata. Shining Armor accepted my decision and agreed... To stay friends. Shining Armor from that day forward would continue taking his classes and came out a better pony, he is back with his friends having fun like these used to. His family encouraging him to go that extra mile. All was forgotten, well most of it... Their title of royalty was probably the hardest thing to give up but really, Shining never cared about the title of prince. As a sign of my respect, I gave him one last kiss but on the cheek and a hug. Telling him that whatever or wherever he goes, who ever he hooks up with I will be happy for him. I will do anything I can to help him, Twilight and their friends to be happy. He put his life on the line to keep Equestria safe, but I was not his reward that was waiting for him to come home and welcome...

Grandma Io... What you gave me advice on back then... Finally happened where I can take it into affect and recollect on it.

The hardest thing about love is not because of it being a double edged sword...

It's about letting go...


About six more months would pass and the day would finally arrive. The day I finally get married to Big Macintosh. It took awhile but I sucked in my pride and asked Rarity to make me a new wedding dress, to her surprise she wondered why I would even ask her after pulling that little stunt back at the castle. Still the water is a bit uneasy between us on the matter of talking about stallions so I decided to let it go just hoping to be the better mare here. The dress she made, suited the new me as it gave off a country feel and goes well the white leather boots and hat Apple Jack made for me. Fluttershy made sure I got the best bouquet made of the flowers from her garden. Pinkie Pie unloaded a massive load of treats from her bakery while Apple Jack still did most of the catering. Pinkie again was in charge of the reception, she did such a good job on the last one it would not feel right if she did not do it again.

Twilight Sparkle... After months of finally coming back and settling in back to her library, our relationship was slowly taking a better turn. Not as easy as first but to do the little Sunshine dance with her again, it felt right. Twilight assisted by making sure everything was in order. Spike was still lovable and really helped take charge when I was still working at the library whenever I could not. The cutie mark crusaders were still trying to find their talent but every now and then they would ask me about some of those horror stories I liked to read about, so we would meet from time to time at the library to check up on those. Rainbow Dash... had finally calmed down and apologized for her actions, as well did I. She really looked up to her sister and the only thing she has left of her was her niece Sprite who was spending more and more time with her. Almost like... Rain never left her baby at all the more that I look at it. Still Rainbow had spunk, so there was a difference. By looking back the previous couple of years, I really thought I destroyed any chances of the element bearers ever coming back but somehow good fortune shined down on every pony.

The guests came, I invited every pony I knew while Big Macintosh invited all of his family and other friends. The turn out quite big, not as big as the other one but this was good. Matter of fact... I think an outdoor wedding really shines better than a cathedral what my aunts were suggesting. An outdoor wedding at Sweet Apple Acres was just perfect. Set in the right mood, had really good weather, plenty of apple trees around, a blue sky, sun shining. Everything was set in motion and I'm going to be starting a new life with my son... And his dad and family.

The Apple family's cousins had come all the way from Appleloosa, to start the cue down my isle they started to play with their instruments. Walking down the isle with red carpeting under my hooves as the cutie mark crusaders threw flowers down on my path. Sure, they say second weddings are not as special as the first but we sometimes make mistakes and deserve to share the day with our special some pony. On my right, the Apple family and friends. To my left, my friends and family. Straight up ahead, Macintosh in what I guess would be a western version of a tux. Looked great on him. He had his best pony; Caramel who now trots with a limp by Mac's side. Then next to him was Mac's cousin Braeburn and then past him another cousin. For my maids of honor, who better to retake the roles with Apple Jack, Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy? The mayor was going to perform the marriage this time while aunt Celestia sat peacefully in her seat next to Luna and grandma Io who was still tearing up for joy. She missed my first wedding and never really forgave herself but this time, she could finally see it.

I finally made it to the end of the red carpet strip and took my place. I gave one last good look around to see all the smiling ponies who made it. I even saw little Sprite sitting in between Rainbow Dash and Shining Armor, waving at me. I waved back at the little cutie then focused my attention to Macintosh and greeted him with a warm smile as he returned the favor. Just looking at him now, still intensifies my feelings for him. All that time ago, he was just a shy and gentle stallion but really he steps up to the plate like any honorable pony. No question about it, he honors me and worships the ground I walk on.

"I would like to thank every pony for coming to this joyous occasion. Not everyday that a princess gets married to one of our own town ponies." We all chuckled and she continued, "None the less. Dearly beloved, we are gathered today to witness the holy matrimony in joining Macintosh Apple and Mi Amore Cadenza." And so the Mayor went on and on from her little script. Heh.

The mayor looked at Macintosh, "Macintosh D. Apple, will you have princess Mi Amore Cadenza to be your wedded wife? Will you love her, honor her, comfort her, in sickness and in health and forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto her, so long as you may live?"

Macintosh looked at me, his charming green eyes glistened in the light. How much I love seeing those, "I will."

The mayor then focused onto me, "Mi Amore Cadenza, will you have Macintosh Apple to be your wedded husband? Will you submit to him, serve him, love him, keep him, in sickness and in health and forsaking all others, keep yourself only onto him, so long as you may live?"

My head titled as my eyes started to water a little, I was going to wipe them but Macintosh beat me to the punch by using his handkerchief to wipe my cheeks. I heard some awes in the crowd. I nodded and giggled to maintain myself, "I will."

"The rings please." The mayor ordered. Caramel brought out the rings from his pocket, he let out a small grunt from his injury but pulled through. Wincing in pain slightly as he gave Macintosh the rings. The mayor instructed us to place the rings on each other after our vows were made. "Do you Cadence take this ring as a pledge of sincerity Macintosh's vows?"

"I do." I smiled.

She looked at Macintosh, "Do you Macintosh take this ring as a pledge of sincerity to Cadence's vows?"

Macintosh formed a wide smile, took a deep breath and said in his lovable accent, "I..do."

"Now as in the power of Ponyville law. I now pronounce you mare and colt. You may now kiss the bride." The mayor smiled.

This is where time stops for me. I stepped closer as Mac did as well. Craned my neck up as he looked down at me. That sweet lovable red face of his. Slowly, I pressed my lips to his and felt every inch of love put into it. I slowly put my arms around his neck to hold on as he put his arms around my waist to pull me in. I heard cheering from some of the girls and Apple family. This kiss... The magic put into it, I loved every bit of it. This is what I wanted for so long. Almost like the stars themselves were looking down on us, call it cheesy if you read the romance novels. Screw it, my wedding day and it was heaven. We finally separated as the mayor was ready to announce us as whole.

"Ladies and gentlecolts, I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Apple!" The mayor announced. The crowd stood up and erupted in cheers and screams. Macintosh and I whizzed down the red carpet as the guests chanted. The reception was not far as it was going to take place mostly around and inside one of the barns. Pinkie Pie has again out done herself with the streamers, balloons, cakes. Then Apple Jack with her family catering, oh my goodness everything looked so good. Every pony were handed out bubble blowers to blow at Macintosh and I and... well maybe a few setbacks with bubbles not working but still was fun.

We had our dancing and the music was blaring. We had drinks and fun. Though, the most important thing about tonight was our happiness. Macintosh and I were finally one. I felt a tug on my sleeve and looked down to see, our son trying to get my attention. "Hi there cutie." I smiled, I used my magic to scoop him up and hugged him. Correction, the three of us are now one. The two ponies in my life right here with me, how could this get any better?

Within the hour I met more of the Apple family that made it in and boy howdy. Heh. I picked up some Apple family sayings. Boy howdy do they seem fun and a lot of them were the life of the party and... Oh dear Celestia... Grandma please stop shaking your flank its really embarrassing. NO WAIT Gra... Too late... She got some stallions giving her compliments.

*Sigh*

The festivities continued as we rocked and cheered. Danced and ate the food. Took pictures of each other doing hilarious poses. We finally cut the cake and boy did that go fast. Thanks to the combined efforts of Pinkie and aunt Celestia. Though not before Mac and I smashed cake some cake into each others faces. Little Almata got to lick some off our faces, another picture for the memory book.

Next came the bouquet toss, every eligible mare stepped into the line of fire as I tossed my bouquet. So many girls fought over it, think I saw some tackling involved oh dear. The bouquet got thrown up again and again trying to escape the fight. And in the end... it landed unexpectedly in Rainbow Dash's hoofs. Every pony had their eyes on her, expecting her to throw it back but for some reason. She just shifted her shoulders and accepted. Every pony clopped and cheered for her and I think she might have some pony in mind now. I won't spoil it for you as you can figure it out easily. Sprite came running up to her auntie to congratulate her with a hug that Rainbow happily returned.

So much fun was had. Had our crazy moments where even Derpy bashed a giant hole in the side of the barn by accident. It was a joyous occasion that Apple Jack let it slide, a little but still had fun. Again I talked with some more guests to see if they were enjoying themselves though a few guests stood out that I was itching to talk to. One in particular was my cousin Vega as he was getting a bit too friendly with one of my brides maids, so I dived in to save Fluttershy from his suave attacks on her. Big Mac joined my side to get to know some of my other relatives.

I pulled cousin Vega to the side. My has he grew the last time I saw him as I looked up at him. An orange alicorn with blood red hair and blue eyes, dressed very respectfully for the occasion. "Hey cousin." He smirked.

"Already taking picks out of my brides maids?" I chuckled.

"Hey, how can I pass up these beauties?" He laughed. He winked at Fluttershy who was just a few steps back, my how can that shy little pony blush like that?

I shook my head and just laughed, "Still the same mare chaser." I smiled and thanked him, "Thank you so much for coming, I really hoped my family would come this time."

"Yeah." His eyes wandered as he saw Bon Bon and Lyra pass by in some tight dresses but I put my hoof to his cheek and pull him back to look at me. "Hey I wouldn't miss your big day." He liked a lot of mares but he knows when the draw the line so I can trust him.

I gave him a kiss on the cheek, "Thanks. It means a lot."

He raised his hoof to shake with Macintosh, "It's good seeing you too Mac. Just... Promise to take care of Mi Amore."

"I will Mr. Vega." Mac chuckled.

"Ah you seem like a nice guy anyway. Heard you manned up and rose to the challenge for Mi Amore." Vega brought up and patted Macintosh on his shoulder, "And I really appreciate it." He tilted his head, "Oh Mi Amore? Uh... Sorry for giving you such a hard time as you foal sat me back then and... put gum in your hair... and tried to run away... and... uh."

I just shook my head and smiled again, "It's water under a bridge. Now go out and do your stuff." He was like a little kid in a candy store with all these mares around, "But you see that purple mare over there?"

He whistled, "Yeah. Former sister in law? She a bit you know? Still pissed off?"

I sighed. "Not quite as much anymore. And she's getting married so hoofs off of her okay?"

Mac smirked, "Also the orange blonde pony." Mac chuckled.

He nodded, "Sure cousin. I'll behave."

"No you won't." I laughed and hugged him, "Thanks for coming though."

"Anytime." He patted me on the back, I let him go as I wandered to find my other cousin who I finally got to met again for so long.

"Cousin Gigawatt?" I asked.

A tall thin grey male alicorn turned his head to me. His blue eyes glanced at my form as he turned his entire body around to greet me, "Cadence?" He blinked then let out a chuckle, "Wow its been so long since I seen you. By the way congrats on the baby. I just ran into the little guy and gave him a present, hoped he likes plastic squirt guns."

Shaking my head at the possibility of my son playing with squirt guns. I was astonished and still proud to see Watt. "You yourself were a little bolt of electricity back then when I foal sat for you back then. Still..." I gave him a hug as a thank you, "Thank you for coming out and asking."

"Hey, I need to start learning all about my relatives when I rule one day." He smiled as a greenish blue unicorn with blue hair tied in a pony tail came trotting up to us, she was about my size and she had a good body balance between a beauty and a warrior. "Cadence, Macintosh this is my fiancee Aquamarie."

"A pleasure." Aquamarie bowed. Then rose back up again as Mac kissed her raised hoof to be a gentle colt, "Oh my.."

"No no, the pleasure is mine." I laughed. "I heard quite a bit about you from my grandma. Says you're her number one student."

"Oh queen Io is really a sweet heart. Its an honor learning under her. She taught me so much about magic." Aqua smiled, "She told me quite a bit about you during our lessons."

"She did?" I blinked.

"Yeah saying how you were always responsible and civil. She's really proud of you." Aqua explained.

"Oh shucks." I blushed, "And I'm happy for the two of you and wish you the very best."

"We wish you luck Cadence." Gigawatt raised his wine glass to praise me, "For you have many happy years with Mac Daddy."

"It's Mac." Macintosh corrected him.

"Sorry." We laughed then went about our business.

"Your cousins seem pretty nice." Mac observed.

"Oh, those two might seem wild but they have big hearts. Almost like the brothers I never had growing up." A little smile went across my face as I explained. For the next half hour we went around talking to and thank our guests for showing up. Talked about what our plans were for the future and all.

Apple Jack caught up to us with Almata sitting on her back, with a smelly diaper. Oh dear. "Hey sugar cube. Sorry to bring this up but I can't find the changing supplies for some reason."

"Ah I got this one sugar." Macintosh chuckled, the picked up our son to put on his own back. Slowly I walked up to Almata and gave him a little kiss, "Mommy is almost finished okay sugar pie?" My son gurgled and laughed in response, oh I can never get tired of that but my attention soon gazed upon a neatly dressed Twilight Sparkle as she seemed to be having a good time. A dark haired white unicorn a bit taller than her came walking up to her.

Her smile only widened and greeted the pony with a kiss on the lips. I froze when I saw this... and admired it. Twilight was not a little filly anymore and faced her hardships hard on, she grew up. Sure she had her terrible moments but she could see past them and accept them. Now this time, she finally found herself a pony who she could really connect with, if not could stand for being who he is. Ghendi... Another pony I used to foal sat for, practically introduced him to Twilight one day when I had to two foal sitting jobs to do. They were not very to keen on each other at first but they would eventually play with each other, think he's a bit younger than her but still it was cute. He would always want to make me little presents for being like a big sister he never had, think he even had a crush on me at one point. Ghendi alway looked up to Shining Armor for his inspiration after a little scuffle happened with some local bullies, could say; he wanted to be like him and always wanted to be near him. Sadly, because of past events things did not go quite as effective as we always wanted. Still, he considered Shining Armor his superior after Shining left the militia but just not too long ago... I heard Shining give him one last order, "Make my sister happy and be a family pony... That's an order." That apparently, was his blessing. Twilight and her fiance went outside to get away from the party.

I followed then caught up to them finally who was sitting outside admiring the scenery with her fiancee on top on some of the Apple family tractor. Her head on his shoulder, sighing and taking in the beauty of the sunset out in the open. How much I loved doing this with Macintosh, how many of these he painted I lost count. One of the other barns the Apple family built in the past few months occupied a lot of extra things, namely his art as it hangs on the wall if there was not enough spots on the wall in the house.

I took a deep breath then walked up to the two, "Hey you two. How are my favorites foals?"

They turned their heads and faced me. Ghendi smiled, but for Twilight I thought at first I might have still be on her hate list. She dropped down from the tractor to face me and brushed herself off. "Doing pretty good actually." Twilight smirked.

"Well I'm glad to hear." Then, slowly a tear drop fell dribbled down her cheek. "Twilight?"

"Oh... sorry..." Twilight wiped her eyes clean.

"Is something wrong?" I asked, I placed my hoofs on her shoulders to assure her that I was here for her.

"No..." She sniffed, "I'm happy for you that's all... Just..."

"Yes?" I asked.

"Just feels... like I'm losing a sister." She sniffed again.

I was touched. "Sweetie... you're not losing a sister. If anything, the family is just getting bigger."

"What do you mean?" She blinked slowly, "We're not longer in laws."

"Sweetie. Your family always welcomed me, even assured I was family. And even if things went differently that one hoped, I still consider you my sister."

No longer she tried to fight it back, this was the Twilight I missed. If you were already counting how many times I said I hugged some pony then add this for another few coming your way. Seriously, the little purple unicorn that would always come to me if she had a problem whenever I was available.

"It's alright sweetie." I rested my chin on her head as I let her cry it out, "I know you were upset and you had a right to be.

"No... no I was being selfish putting my own desires first." She tried to bring up.

"Of course not, you're just looking out for your brother." I let out a sigh, "But Twilight, happy endings only happen if both sides can work out their differences. Shining and I could not, please Twilight... You go find your happily ever after..." I winked at Ghendi, who only blushed in response as he heaved off the machine.

"I will sister." Twilight gave me one more hug for assurance.

"Good girl." I chuckled, then looked up at Ghendi who wrapped his arm around Twilight to see if she was fine. He wiped her cheeks clean with a handkerchief from his tux.

"Now Ghendi..." I grinned.

"Yes... big sis?" He smiled. Oh how I enjoyed it when he used to call me that whenever I foal sat for him. Memories of flooded back as he was just a little colt playing ninja in his house and I tried play hide and seek. Then he'd sneak up on me and poke me with a plastic sword and says I'm dead. True... But I turned the tides by tackling him and tickling him until he nearly laughed too hard to submit. Though, the little ninja would always watch Shining Armor in a distance, watching him train and work hard. A real good role model for him, but accidents happen when poor little Ghendi lost an arm and a leg in an accident. Left him unable to walk properly, such a sad way for an active child to go through. Until he met up with Vanishing Star and got prosthetics and granted him a second chance to test his abilities and continue his life. To see him walking around again, made me cry for joy. And now, to see two of my best foals to sit going to get married, it really brought more joy to this day.

I gasped in surprise, finally he was thinking of not being a drone. "You have to promise me that you're going to do your best to make Twilight happy and protect her. Be there for her. Take care of her when she is sick, never be too busy for her, all of that." I looked at Twilight, "And Twilight the same goes for you."

They both nodded and said in unison, "We will." Cute...

"Oh by the way Twilight." I forgot to mention, "Tell Spike that Pony Rangers Samurai is going to have another season. Can't wait to watch it with him."

"I'll remember to tell him." Twilight laughed.

I still like to spend time with Spike as I'll sometimes wander over to the library to catch an episode or two of Pony rangers or some cheap monster movies with him while Twilight was still running things. I still remember when I told him I was going to be moving out out of the library, how much it broke his heart that day. When you took care of a little dragon that was basically your closet friend and almost considered a brother or even a son at times, its hard to see him tear up. Not after what we've been through on all those lonely scary nights. Coming to live in a town that basically housed the ponies that first witnessed your horrible mistakes and hating you for them. Not little Spike, he was with me every step of the way. Even did his best to run my errands when I was sick. I don't even know how I would even tell him if I decided to go back to the crystal kingdom if I chose that. He was not my dragon to keep, but I love him. And when he came out and said he really liked me, I really was not surprised. Though I acted like I did and felt a little humble and nostalgic inside. I had many colts crush on me after I foal sat for them, but for a dragon that was new. I told him not to worry as one day he'll meet a nice dragon that will be his wife, or pony knowing how screwed up society is these days. But here's the thing with dragons as they age very slowly, I told Spike if I was ever heart broken again I would definitely give him a chance... when he's older. I don't plan on giving up my happiness for a long while as I'm happy with my new life right now. Should have seen the reassuring smile on his face as he wiped his eyes, then started to laugh like a child. I gave him a little kiss on his forehead and told him if he needed anything, I'll be there for him.

It was really sweet to see all of my guests having a good time. Until I saw Shining Armor standing outside with his back to the wall of the barn. Slowly, I backed away as I saw Rainbow Dash enter the frame and I hid within a nearby bush to see what was going on. From what I gathered, Rainbow Dash was secretly never on board with Shining Armor and me being together because of Sprite and her sister; Rain. She was also the one who took the pictures of me at my worst but in the end, she really sent herself into a guilt trip after it lead up to her sister's death. Always blaming herself but wanted to set things right by being with Sprite all the time, a way for easing her conscience. She loved Sprite so much, it was the only thing that was left of Rain. I felt horrible as well, never thinking what my double edged sword could have caused and I wanted Shining Armor for my own gain. I was no worse than Rainbow Dash as she confronted me that day saying she loathed me. Saying if I were to ever find out that Shining Armor had a child I would instantly want it to pass off as my own. I let Dash's vocal assault continue until she realized what she was saying was... hurting herself.

Shining Armor went through enough because of all of this. For all the things Dash caused, she never meant for things to turn out the way they did. She tried over and over again over the months that her sister was pregnant, to contact him and bring him home. Hoping it would set him straight. After his family and friends failed, Rainbow Dash never did. She would go back every few weeks to try and slap some sense into him because of my spell. Only to fly away in defeat and try again some other time. Things got hazy between Shining and Rainbow between the whole fiasco but things really calmed down after the militia did its job. Rainbow only came out with a few scratches, but held onto Sprite as long as she can to make sure she was one hundred percent okay. From what I heard, she went up to the changeling queen and said, "Get away from her you BITCH", and then punched the queen so hard it broke her jaw. That was love ladies and colts. Love for a niece and aunt to have... Or maybe daughter and mother. Shining let Rainbow take care of Sprite whenever he could not and believe me, college is always demanding projects and papers done all the time. Summer fast approached and he decided to take the summer off to spend some time where it really counts. With the little lady in his life, his baby girl.

I listened in...

"Rainbow Dash..." Shining said gently and a bit of gladness in his voice.

"...Shining Armor." Rainbow replied back in the same fashion.

Shining just stood there with a goofy grin on his face. Watching Rainbow mumble and wonder what was his deal.

"H..Hey! Come on! Don't just stand there." She was flustered as her cheeks reddened and fumbled with her words, "You know... Say something."

Just seeing Rainbow Dash like this was really sweet and enjoyable. A girl like her never seems like she can be into this sort of thing but in a way still wants it.

Shining stepped forward and smiled, "It's okay."

She gulped and tried to quickly say, "I'm... I'm holding you r...responsible!" Dash backed away slowly, her face only reddened even more, "You... You're like the charming prince that came to my rescue." This was not easy for her as you can see. Come on Dash, you deserve a little happiness in your life don't you? Do I need to zap you two with a love spell? Nah, nah I rarely use this spell anymore... It really is like a double edged sword as some ponies say.

Her grunted and shook her head fiercely. Her face was still red and still made her look embarrassed. "You gotta be real cool, and real sweet, no matter how demanding or needy I am!"

I stuck my head out of the bush at this point, waiting for Shining's response. I saw caring eyes from him this time instead of fun ones. He chose his next few words... "I'll make you happy."

She nodded, then let out a sigh of relief, "Kay... I'll promise... To keep you happy too."

At this point, you are probably wondering what the heck just happened. I guess Shining Armor was really as noble as most ponies claim him to be, I don't know the entire story between him and Dash but... If this were to help each other out and Sprite. Then I'm all for it. Shining Armor, even though I betrayed you horribly, you deserve happiness and not sulking away. Go forth and be happy. Huh... Rather ironic that Shining is now with the sister of his former fiance isn't it?

I walked back inside and passed the children. Checking on them to see if they were having fun. Indeed they were with the party games planned, I recognized most of the kids as Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo, then there is a few more like Peppermint Twist along with Rumble and Ditzy, Feather Weight too. Among some other children that came with the guests that traveled from Canterlot and farther than that. Ohhh, now the girls are trying to pamper Ghendi's little brother; Synn for kisses. I intervened and joined in on the games. Almata was trying to eat crayons again so I stopped him. *Sigh* He'll grow out of it, I hope...

The night was about to close finally. Just one more act to follow and that was the last dance. For Big Mac and I, took the center of the dance floor. Letting the silique fill the room, gentle music playing from the band I hired. I felt like I was dancing on a cloud, being with my special pony. Looking into his big green shiny eyes, I was at peace. I wished this could last forever but alas the real world needs us. Just a few more moments. Resting my head on his shoulder, finally the ugliness of my past can no longer weigh me down anymore. Macintosh, thank you so much. If I would have meet you sooner, then maybe we did not have to make it seem like I was a broken doll you helped put back together. Thank you. I'll love you forever until the day I finally die. Which sadly for an alicorn won't be soon. The only bad thought that ever plagued my mind is because what I am, I have to make this count. So Cadence... Enjoy every second you have with this pony while you can. You're going to witness him grow older, slower then finally retire while you're still the same on the outside. Enjoy it while his time is still on this planet. Thank you... So much... My knight in shining armor. You might have not saved me from a dragon but you saved me from myself...

The song finally ended, how much I wanted to stay like this. Our bonds, never will diminish. I leaned my neck upwards to give Macintosh a big loving kiss. To him, as well. That big lug of mine, a great kisser. I still see the star filled sky and myself flying through space whenever I do this.

"For many more years." I said gently.

"And even more." He whispered to me.

We turned to our audience as their looks showed kindness, admiration and love. Sadly, the night was getting closer to its end. The day I wanted was going to finally pass. Just then, I noticed some of the ponies walked up onto the stage behind us. I was curious to see why Ghendi and Twilight Sparkle would go up there, along with her friends and a few other ponies. Quickly Twilight took the microphone.

"Hello every pony!" Twilight said over the phone, "Um... This is awkward but... Well anyway, I want to congratulate my sister Cadence on her marriage to big Mac. I want to extend my hoof to the entire Apple family for thanks for making us one huge family." A smile graced my face, with a quick peek I saw one on Mac's face as well. "Um... the last time I had a microphone I sang a song called Love is Bloom and well... While its a great song for a joyous occasion. I didn't feel like it was going to par with the level of this reception..." I heard a few gasps in the audience, "No no. I got something better every pony. It really took us awhile to pick a song too and my fiancee Ghendi picked this one because... um..."

"I'll cut to the chase. I was at karokee one night with Shining Armor and the boys singing while piss drunk and having some laughs." Ghendi extended his neck to talk into the phone and a lot of ponies laughed, "Got to excuse me because I only sang half of this until I got sick and made a mess." Again some ponies laughed, I could only chuckle from his rash explanation. "So this is going to be a group effort because I forgot half of the words. This song is called Burning Love by Elvis."

Oh boy... here we go.

"Hit it Redwood! Go for it Rinoa!" Twilight shouted with glee. A tall thin red earth pony with blondish spike hair raised his arm for a ready signal. A pink earth pony with purple hair took her place at the electric keyboard, again signaling for a ready go. Rarity, Fluttershy and Rainbow dash took crowded around another microphone stand while Apple Jack and Pinkie Pie raced up next to Twilight. The music started playing.

Ghendi took a deep breath,

Lord almighty,

I feel my temperature rising

Higher higher

Its burning through to my soul

To my surprise he sounded pretty good and continued as some of the crowd started to cheer. Just then Rarity, Fluttershy and Dash cut in.

Baby Baby Baby

Your gonna set me on fire

My brain is flaming

I don't know which way to go

This time, Twilight finally came in,

Your kisses lift me higher

Like the sweet song of a choir

You light my morning sky

With burning love

Now with a group effort, they gave each other parts to sing... oh just shut up and listen.

Ooh, ooh, ooh,

I feel my temperature rising

Help me, Im flaming

I must be a hundred and nine

Burning, burning, burning

And nothing can cool me

I just might turn into smoke

But I feel fine

Cause your kisses lift me higher

Like a sweet song of a choir

And you light my morning sky

With burning love

Its coming closer

The flames are reaching my body

Please wont you help me

I feel like Im slipping away

Its hard to breath

And my chest is a-heaving

Cause your kisses lift me higher

Like a sweet song of a choir

And you light my morning sky

With burning love

Lord almighty,

Im burning a hole where I lay

Cause your kisses lift me higher

Like the sweet song of a choir

You light my morning sky

With burning love

With burning love

Ah, ah, burning love

Im just a hunk, a hunk of burning love

Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love

I watched as Ghendi and Twilight faced each other, practically laughing and singing out their lyrics with fun and love. So much fun these two had over the years, no longer little foals, just two adults having fun. Apple Jack and Pinkie Pie sharing their microphone as Pinkie supported it with her hoof, Apple Jack really sweating as she put so much power into her parts. Dash, Fluttershy and Rarity performed really well as chorus.

Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love

Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love

Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love

Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love

The song finally finished and there was so much energy put into it. I was honored by the song as it really felt honorable and touched me, saying I could rise above the ashes and start again. And how, these girls put aside their differences just to honor Mac and I. I watched as the girls and band gave each other hoof pumps to thank each other and say good job. What I saw up there, was a friendship renewed and deeper bonds made. All my guests, shouting at the top of their lungs as the song finished. This day went off without a hitch.

The party finally ended. After a long day, some of the Apple family were going to volunteer to clean up. We bid good night to our guests and thanks for the gifts. Though one guest in particular... Sprite was walking next to her father; Shining Armor out of the building. He gave me one last look, then smiled. "You two take care of each other okay? Don't make the same mistake I did." How grown up, then he shook hoofs with Macintosh for peace between them finally. Rainbow Dash slowly walked up next to Shining Armor and then he put his arm around her as they walked away from the barn. Sprite turned and looked back at us with a big grin hinting there might be something between Dash and Armor. I just winked at her, giving her hope.

So. That just left us. Apple Bloom was going to spend the night with Sweetie Belle over her house anyway, Granny Smith wanted to go to bed early. Apple Jack volunteered to take care of Almata for the week while Mac and I were in Las Pegasus for our honeymoon. As worried as I was, I gave Apple Jack every number I knew incase Almata ever got sick or hurt. She just told me to go have fun. I just gave one more kiss to my baby boy before I left for our plane. Oohh... To hear his little whining that he didn't want me to go, it just made me want to run back and hold him some more...

It was a lengthy trip but we finally made it. First we checked into our hotel, and took advantage of the luxuries. After our little fun, Big Mac said he had to step out for a second to go get something for me. Being all giddy I waited in our room. A bit of time passed and I was a little naughty and wanted to peek. So I walked into the kitchen area and... found a broom stuck in the garbage disposal of the sink.

"What in the hell?" I looked at the sink. "Did Macintosh do this?"

Just then the doorbell rang. I took my attention away from the sink to go answer the door. And there, Macintosh stood there in the silliest get up I could ever describe. Denim shorts, dog tags, and a ball cap on his head. He had a tool belt around his waist.

He chewed on a piece of straw and played a little game with me, "I heard your sink might need fixin ma'am."

I just shook my head and played along then giggled, "Oh yes. My sink is broke and I don't know what is wrong with it."

I lead him to the sink with the obvious problem. "Hmmm..." he looked at the broom and tapped on it. "Yup... Just as I thought. You got a broom stuck in the disposal."

I gasped, "Oh no. Can you fix it?"

He nodded, then gripped the broom with his teeth and pulled it out. I gasped again, "Oh my... A strong handy pony like yourself helping little me... Does it ever get lonely for you Mr. Plumber?" I started to rub circles into his chest with my hoof.

"Oh a little..." He chuckled. "Now about your bill."

"Oh no. The bill... Do you accept cash? Credit? Or me?" I smirked.

With no hurry he lifted me up and raced to the bedroom. "Oh my! I'm going to be ravaged by a strong plumber." And surprisingly, this one was good looking. Not like all the other ones with their crack hanging out.

He plopped me onto the bed. I bounced up an laughed as he balanced himself on top of me. My arm was just out of reach of the lamp switch but with my magic, no problem.

"I think I'll take you as payment." He chuckled.

I gave a sexy little smirk...

"Come on... Give Cadence some lovin..."

*CLICK*

The end...

Note: DONE! DONE! DONE! PHEW! I want to say its an honor entertaining you people for reading this but there is only one more to go. The credits. I worked long and hard on this chapter, maybe can use a few edits but trust me it was worth it. Also, you might remember some of the ponies with odd names from my other stories like Ghendi, Redwood, Aquamarie, Gigawatt. Hey gotta cameo somewhere. Credits next chapter as my thanks. All to need now is to work on Original Sin, the side story to this piece.

Burning Love, was sung by Elvis Presley but the cover version I was thinking for was by Wynonna Judd, please look her up for the song. She's really good. Was that a good ending? Bad ending? Could use some work? I'll get to you later but right now, enjoy.

IMPORTANT 10/24/12: Well, this came off as a bit of a surprise even for myself as I wrote it. I had some people say things seemed forced and I can somewhat agree. If anything, I will tell you two of them are with the character of Rain. Along with the whole sudden Shining Armor x Rainbow Dash surprise at the end, some were still rooting for Shining x Rarity and I felt like I even I wanted that to happen. So, I will keep count from now on and maybe even edit that part. I know its sudden because I finally got the ending out and it seems a bit rushed. The one thing I will ask. Do you want me to go back and take out the Rainbow Dash x Shining Armor and put Rarity x Shining Armor back in? I will completely understand if you guys want either one. Who knows maybe Original Sin might have an alternate ending. So what do you people want? Shining Armor with Rarity or Rainbow Dash?