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Cousin Sweetie Belle

By OniiChansFables
Created: 21st October 2020 04:02:55 PM
Modified: 16th February 2021 06:11:39 PM

  1. >Be Anon
  2. >15 years old, and is a sophomore in the upcoming Academic Year
  3. >You're the friendly, yet a bit awkward and is known as a loner in school though you have some friends, though not that close
  4. >It's summer, and your family brought you along to Equestria for a surprise family clan reunion, e.g. from your mother's side
  5. >Which also coincided with the occasion that you're transferring to Canterlot High, and you're moving to a new house
  6. >The reason for it is because your Dad, working as a contractor, got a job in Equestria, and he might have mentioned that his contract may last a few years
  7. >Apparently the reunion is taking place at Aunt Cookie Crumbles' home, and right in front of them is the house your folks are moving to
  8. >Which means you get to see Uncle Magnum, and your cousins Rarity and Sweetie Belle
  9. >You haven't seen or talked to them for 5 years
  10. >You remember Rarity as this fashion-obsessed posh freak, and Sweetie Belle as basically your own sister
  11. >Last time you hung out with her was 5 years ago, when she introduced you to her Cutie Mark Crusader friends
  12. >You had a lot of fun back then, so you were a bit sad when you went back home, and never had any contact with her since
  13. >Your parents just allowed you to have a cellphone when you were 11
  14. >And then it was one of those flip-flop phones
  15. >Last year, you just earned enough to get yourself a new touchscreen phone
  16. >But other than that, you're a bit nervous when you arrived at the house
  17. >You recognize your relatives, and even greet some of them
  18. >And there's Rarity, still always managing to stand out from the crowd with her fancy dresses
  19. >Though her boastfulness is outweighed by her sharing her dresses with some of your cousins
  20. >But then, at the porch of the house, you see Sweetie Belle
  21. >Not much of a woman yet like her sister, yet she's grown up now
  22. >Her hair's longer now, and she seems to be wearing light make-up, yet she's still wearing that pink headband she's wearing all these years
  23. >You gulp and dust yourself as you approach her
  24. >Her hair's longer now, and she seems to be wearing light make-up, yet she's still wearing that pink headband she's wearing all these years
  25. >You gulp and dust yourself as you approach her
  26. >You feel like the whole world silences as you get to her
  27. >She looks uninterested in general, and you're afraid what she would react upon seeing you
  28. >As she looks around, and her eyes meets yours, her face went from gloomy to bloomy
  29. >"ANON!"
  30. >She called your name out from the top of her lungs, and runs towards you
  31. >Unprepared in this unexpected turn of events, you just stood in place, feeling a bit numb, bumping into you as she hugs you
  32. >The force of the impact causes you two to fall down on the ground, with Sweetie Belle right on top of you
  33. "Ow."
  34. >She stands up on all fours, and looks at you , still with beaming eyes
  35. >"Hey Anon!"
  36. >You dust yourself as she helps you up
  37. "Are you okay? You look a little down."
  38. >"I was looking for you! I was worried that you're not going to show up. Anyways, how are you? I haven't heard from you in ages!"
  39. "I've been busy with...stuff."
  40. >"Really? Come on, you could've at least used Facebook or Twitter to contact me!"
  41. "I don't really use social media that much.I have few friends, but nothing really close, so I think having an internet profile for me is redundant."
  42. >"Hmm, come to think of it, I'm friends with Uncle and Aunt on FB, and I don't see you having an account."
  43. "Well, I'm not on Facebook or Twitter, for that matter..."
  44. >"Oh? So what do you have then?"
  45. >You reel for a bit, and take a slightly deep breath
  46. "My....Myspace..."
  47. >An awkward pause passes by, before Sweetie Belle bursts into laughter
  48. >That sweet, innocent sound you haven't heard in 5 years
  49. >You feel your heart flutter, and your gut filled with flies of butter
  50. >No wait, butterflies. Get it together, man
  51. >"Oh man, you crack me up. We have Spotify or SoundCloud for that now!"
  52. "Well, as I said, I don't use social media that much."
  53. >She puts her hands on your shoulders
  54. >"Trust me when i say this. We're in high school now, and you're going to need the internet to help you out in your studies. And now that I've found out that you don't have either Facebook and Twitter, i think it's mandatory that i make you one."
  55. >You just nod
  56. "Sure..."
  57. >"Hmm...you don't sound too sure..."
  58. "N-no, i am...i mean, if it's for you, i guess I'll do it."
  59. >"Great! We'll get to it later on. Your folks are going to sleep over here for tonight, right?"
  60. "Uh yeah...uhm, actually, Sweetie Belle."
  61. >"Yeah?"
  62. "We're moving in next week, by that house in front of yours."
  63. >"Wait, really?!"
  64. >Her grip on you tightens
  65. "Yeah...my parents are also going to transfer me to Canterlot High."
  66. >Upon hearing 'transfer' she squealed and hugged you
  67. >She might have grown, but man her voice still sounds the same
  68. >That or maybe it's just her squeal
  69. >"Oh, you're hot."
  70. >Pardon? Well, you do exercise sometimes, but you don't lif--
  71. >"Are you sick or something?"
  72. "No..."
  73. >Oh. She meant kind of 'hot'
  74. >"You look a bit red though...even redder than I remember."
  75. >You didn't notice that you've been blushing the whole time ever since you two have been talking
  76. "I guess it's just the weather."
  77. >"I guess so. Summer's pretty intense this year, isn't it?" she says, while looking up at the sky
  78. "Yyyyyeah...."
  79. >She then takes your hand
  80. >"Come on, let's go greet the folks!"
  81. >Still feeling numb, you let her drag you around, greeting your relatives
  82. >Of course you meet and greet your 5 aunts, and 5 uncles, and especially the pictures of your grandparents placed on a table
  83. >Bless them wherever they are now
  84. >But your focus is entirely placed on Sweetie Belle, glancing at her every time she greets a relative
  85. >You can't get enough of her sweet smile, and you feel like you deserve to see it, it's been 5 years, dammit
  86. >Lastly, after greeting Uncle Magnum and Aunt Cookie, she takes you to Rarity, who was resting on the porch Sweetie Belle was standing by earlier
  87. >"Hey Rarity! You remember Anon?"
  88. >She turns to you, in a relatively fancy way, as she always does, and greet you two with a smile
  89. >"Oh of course, Sweetie Belle! I was supposed to greet him but you were dragging poor Anonymous all around the place! And I also remember how close you two were. Seeing you two run around feels so nostalgic! So, Anonymous, darling, how are you?"
  90. "I'm doing great...I uh, play the guitar now. Not that I'm in a band or something, but I'm doing pretty well."
  91. >"Not in a band, you say? My friends are currently looking for new members in ours!"
  92. "Uh, sure? Let me...think about it"
  93. >"Rarity! I just wanted Anon to say hi to you, not recruit him into anything."
  94. >"Kidding, kidding! Of course, Sweetie Belle practically has the all the time in the world to hang out with you. You don't know how much she missed you!"
  95. >You glance at Sweetie Belle, who slightly blushed as she scratched the back of her head and smiled
  96. >"Alright, see you later then sis!"
  97. >"Whua? But i want to talk to him a bit longer!"
  98. >"Well we're about to greet our other cousins! We just greeted the adults first."
  99. "There's no saying no to her hu--whoa!"
  100. >Sweetie Belle dragged you again, towards the younger ones playing nearby
  101. >She rounded them all up, and they turned into you
  102. >Ok, being looked and stared at by little kids is a bit unnerving
  103. >"Hey guys! Remember Anon? He's our cousin from overseas!"
  104. >Probably not. Though some of them, who you last saw when they were toddlers, might have remembered you, you've just met most of them
  105. >"Come on guys, don't be shy!"
  106. >They all approached you, and seemed to be shy at first, but they later took a liking to you
  107. >You got to know each of them, and even got close to the eldest one, Corsair, a 13 year old who says that he's also a guitar player
  108. >You had fun with them, you even got to do a guitar duet with Corsair, when Sweetie Belle borrowed Uncle Magnum's guitar to you
  109. >Later on, after some more wandering around with Sweetie Belle, watching a family tribute video that you swear lasted hours, the event seemed to end by dinner time, which is outside the house, by the front lawn
  110. >The tables are arranged for each family, yours was beside Sweetie Belle's family
  111. >Your seat is placed in parallel to hers, and as you sit down she turns her seat to you
  112. >"Hey Anon! Wait until we get to dessert!"
  113. >You were about to reply, but Rarity swept her back, telling her to "Talk to Anon later, we're having dinner"
  114. >Sweetie looked at you and smiled before turning her seat back to the table
  115. >In the middle of the meal, your dad pats your shoulder
  116. >"So Anon, did you have fun today?"
  117. "Definitely. Everyone seems pretty nice, and my younger cousins seem to like me. I loved it."
  118. >"And Sweetie Belle?"
  119. "Hmm? Oh...well..."
  120. >You were happy, but you can't seem to describe it to your dad in words
  121. >Your mom interrupted with a giggle
  122. >"Come on hun, of course Anon enjoyed his time with Sweetie Belle. As we know, when they were kids they were inseparable. And now that we're neighbors, they probably will still be."
  123. "Yeah..."
  124. >"Even so, " your Dad says, in a more stiff tone "You're 15 now, and you're nearing manhood. At least i want you to have guy friends here, because if you hang out with Sweetie, you're also hanging out with her friends, who mostly are girls."
  125. "Heh, don't worry about me dad. I'll be fine on my own. Speaking of which, what school am i going to again?"
  126. >"Canterlot High. Your Aunt Cookie told me it's one of the best schools in Equestria, so you'll do great in there." Your mom says
  127. "Ah, okay."
  128. >"Focus on your studies, okay? Don't dwell much on your time on playing the guitar." Your dad adds
  129. >To which you answer him with a mock salute
  130. "Yes, sir..."
  131. >Dinner goes on normally, and after you're done, Sweetie Belle suddenly grabbed your arm
  132. >"Anon! Come on!"
  133. >You look at your parents, who nods to Sweetie Belle, basically giving her the approval to drags you into their house, and into the dining room
  134. >Later on, the adults catch up
  135. >You already see your cousins in there, with cups and spoons ready
  136. >"Anon, can you help me out here? Get to the fridge, and take out the ice cream."
  137. "Ice cream?"
  138. >"Duh! For dessert!"
  139. >You know, you've just noticed that she's a bit energetic today. You just do what you're told, and you take out 5--
  140. >Whoa, 5 1 gallon ice cream buckets of multiple flavors
  141. >Strawberry, Chocolate, Milk, Bubblegum and Green Tea
  142. >Your eyes widen, and so did your cousins
  143. >After placing them on the table and opening them up, you go to Sweetie Belle
  144. "Aren't we a little old for ice cream?"
  145. >"What are you talking about? We're never too old for ice cream. Also, i got something for you."
  146. >Amidst the adults helping the young ones get some ice cream, Sweetie Belle goes to another compartment of the fridge and takes out a half-liter bucket (or is it called cup?) of a white ice cream
  147. >"Try this out, Anon. I bet you'll like it!"
  148. >Jasmine Flower Flavor
  149. >Huh, you didn't know some people make this
  150. "Are you sure it's good?"
  151. >"Yeah, i ate an ice cream cone when i bought it. You know, to sort of, taste-test it?"
  152. >"It's a new flavor, and is extremely rare, so since I've heard that you're coming to this reunion, I thought I'd buy some for you. Also, it's pretty expensive."
  153. "Really? Aw gee...you didn't have to."
  154. >You open up the lid. It smells good
  155. >"Well i wanted to! It's supposed to mark a summer memory for you from me, but then again, you're moving in at the house at the front, so..."
  156. >You look back at her with a smile, and forgot what you want to say
  157. >You and Sweetie Belle, with a sweet smile of her own, look at each others eyes, before Sweetie blushed and looks away
  158. >She puts her hands behind her back, and she leans her hips on the chair beside her
  159. >"Are we going to stare at each other and let your ice cream melt or..."
  160. "OH! Yeah! Sorry,i got distracted."
  161. >She giggles
  162. >"By what?"
  163. "Uh, i think we could share, if you want some."
  164. >"Oh, don't worry about that."
  165. >She walks back to the fridge and gets another bucket
  166. >"I got my own."
  167. "Eh...never mind."
  168. >You take a spoonful of ice cream and eat it as she approaches you
  169. >It takes a second for you to get used to the flavor
  170. >It tastes sweet, there's a bit of a rolling, bitter-sweet tinge at the top of your mouth, and somehow, you can smell the scent of the flower. It's exotic, but it tastes great overall
  171. [spoiler]I swear that kind of feeling makes more sense to me. It's like eating an avocado, if you want to imagine the flavor of it[/spoiler]
  172. "Mmm. Love it! Thanks, Sweetie Belle!"
  173. >"You're welcome, Anon! Now come on, the kids will get all the toppings."
  174. "You also have toppings? Neat."
  175. >Sweetie Belle choose sprinkles and blueberry sauce, complete with whole blueberries as she scooped some on her cup, with an additional scoop from the strawberry ice cream
  176. >You chose some chocolate bits and also some sprinkles
  177. >Afterwards you two head to the porch and had another chat
  178. "Oh yeah, how are your friends? The Cutie Mark Crusaders, wasn't it?"
  179. >"Scootaloo and Applebloom? Oh, they're doing great! We still hang out ALL the time. Even on the treehouse!"
  180. "The treehouse?"
  181. >"The CMC's headquarters? Come on Anon, I've brought you there multiple times, you should be able to remember!"
  182. "Treehouse...oh yeah. The one near Applebloom's house? By their farm?"
  183. >"Yes, exactly!"
  184. "Good to know it's still there."
  185. >"We renovated it a few times with her big brother's help. Oh, speaking of which, we even had a new member. Babs Seed, Applebloom's cousin"
  186. "Hmm, I don't recall knowing her."
  187. >"Oh, that was because we met her a year after you and your folks stopped...visiting..."
  188. "Ah...right. Sorry."
  189. >"Oh, it's fine. Though she does come hang out with us sometimes. She's actually coming here in 2 weeks."
  190. "I see."
  191. >"....want to know why?"
  192. "...do...tell?"
  193. >"We're going to the beach! That's the real plan I have for our lost time hanging out!"
  194. "To the beach?"
  195. >"Mhm! You, Me, Applebloom, Scootaloo and Babs Seed. Just like the good old times!"
  196. "S-sure! I'd love to! But wait, doesn't that make me like...the only guy in your trip?"
  197. >She smiles but rolls her eyes, then puts her hand on your shoulder
  198. >"Anon, don't worry about it. I'm actually doing you a favor, surrounding you with cute girls. Isn't that what you boys want?"
  199. "Not if you're a known womanizer, I think."
  200. >"Whatever. But still, don't be shy! Do i really need to remind you again that it's been 5 years?"
  201. "Alright, alright! I'll come to your girly beach trip, and wear a swimsuit and play volleyball and other girl stuff."
  202. >"Gee Anon, i didn't know you're so cold." She says while softly shoves you with her shoulder
  203. "Are you sure it's not the ice cream?"
  204. >She glints her eyes, and smirks, then shoves you again two more times
  205. "Wohohoa, watch it, i almost dropped my cup!"
  206. >"I hope not, that's expensive. Oh! If you drop that, you'll get to wear a swimsuit!"
  207. "Heck. No."
  208. >"Oh YOU will!"
  209. >She begins pushing you
  210. "Woah, woah, hey!"
  211. >You stand up, and back off a bit
  212. "Over my dead body, couz!"
  213. >"Well then prepare yourself!"
  214. >She lounges at you, but you dodge, still carrying your ice cream
  215. "You'll have to be faster than that!"
  216. >"Gah! Get back here Anon!"
  217. >She began to chase you around, giggling and laughing as she fails to even grab you everytime she gets too close
  218. [spoiler]Forgot to tell that before she chases Anon around, she puts her ice cream aside at the porch[/spoiler]
  219. >After a few minutes of her chasing you, she stops by the porch, exhausted, and gestures her arms in a "time-out"
  220. "Well? Had enough"
  221. >She smiles as she catches your breath
  222. >"You're [pant] fast [pant] "
  223. "You know, it's not ideal to run out of stamina that fast when we're going to the beach."
  224. >"Whatever...i'll get myself a drink. Don't you dare EAT my ice cream!"
  225. >You raise your hands up
  226. "I won't if you don't hurry up. This flavor is fantastic!"
  227. >"Hmph!"
  228. >As she muttered, she raised her chin up and flips her vibrant, long hair as she turned around.
  229. >You just giggle to yourself as you take another spoon
  230. >A beach trip, huh? You wonder if she told her folks about it, or if she'll tell your parents about it
  231. >Just going with her and her friends isn't that bad. Not too many people to worry about
  232. >She comes back with a cup of water on her hand
  233. "What's up? Are you alright now?"
  234. >"Yeah. The guys are having fun inside."
  235. "Have you told our parents that we're going?"
  236. >"Hmm? Oh, my parents does. And thanks for reminding me, i haven't told Uncle and Auntie yet. Maybe later?"
  237. "Alright, sure."
  238. >You two went back and sit by the porch, and continue talking
  239. >At around 10:30 PM, everyone set up their tents, while the dads set up the large tent for the kids to sleep in
  240. >Which includes you and Sweetie Belle. Rarity has her own tent, and its...too fancy for your taste
  241. >Seriously, there's gems and frills on it, it looks more like a miniature carnival tent
  242. >But Sweetie Belle calling your name takes your attention from it
  243. >She's calling you from inside the huge tent
  244. >You grab your stuff and went inside
  245. >It was divided in two "rooms" by a polyester wall, one side for the boys, and the other for the girls
  246. >On the left most side of it was an inverted u-shaped zipper door, where Sweetie Belle points out is your respective positions in the tent
  247. >When you put your stuff down, you notice that, if there was no wall, the boys and girls will lie down, heads pointing at each other
  248. [spoiler]There's a proper word for this but i can't remember it[/spoiler]
  249. >The adults tell the kids to go to sleep, and they reluctantly do so. Or at least, they tried to.
  250. >You greet Sweetie a good night, but she doesn't answer
  251. >Instead, she gives you her cellphone, and something written on the text message draft
  252. >SB: "One more thing, can i ask for your phone number?"
  253. "Hmm...you should've jus--
  254. >You were interrupted by Sweetie Belle shushing you
  255. >She reaches her hand through the zipper door, seemingly trying to ask for her phone, which you hand over anyways
  256. >She reaches it back to you, and this time, it says
  257. >SB: "If we talk we might disturb the kids"
  258. >You wrinkle your eyebrows, then look at the boys
  259. >They're all either on their phone or portable game console, in addition to earphones
  260. >Corsair, who's beside you, looks at you and gives you that "something wrong?" look
  261. >You show her the text on the phone, to which he also looks at the boys
  262. >He rolls his eyes and smile, and writes something on his phone
  263. >Cor: "Hardly a problem lol"
  264. >You smirk at his remark as he returns his attention to his phone
  265. >In a short glance you see him watching a Secondhand Serenade song tutorial
  266. >You grab your own phone and you write your number to Sweetie Belle's contacts
  267. >You return her phone, and you send her a message
  268. A: "Boop"
  269. >You then hear something vibrating, and it seems to be Sweetie's phone
  270. >To at least comply with her "keep quiet" request, you set your phone to silent and disable the vibration
  271. >She replies to you with a "^u^" followed by
  272. >SB: "R u busy tomorrow?"
  273. A: "The moving truck's coming tomorrow, and will help out with stuff. Other than that, no"
  274. >SB: "K then. Was going to ask u to go shopping with me, but maybe at the day after tomorrow"
  275. A: "Actually the word 4 that is 'overmorrow' "
  276. >SB: "Smartass. Nighty then, sweet prince"
  277. A: "Night, couz"
  278.  
  279. >The next day, everyone packed up their stuff, and began to head home
  280. >Not you and your folks though, as it seems you'll get busy early as the moving truck just arrived
  281. >You greet goodbye to Corsair with a fist bump, and you exchanged numbers earlier
  282. >Uncle Magnum jokingly cries and begs your mom and dad to not go, putting them in a hug
  283. >Sometimes you forget how big of a guy he is
  284. >Your mom just wriggles around telling him that they'll just be at the front of their house
  285. [spoiler]Anon's mom is Magnum's biological sister[/spoiler]
  286. >Sweetie Belle approaches you and waves goodbye to Corsair as well, and looks at the truck
  287. >"Hmm, it's quite big, but doesn't look like it has a lot of stuff."
  288. "We kind of left some things at our old house, my grandparents from my dad's side says they'll come check it out sometimes. It's near a bingo hall where they always play."
  289. >"Hmm, alright. So, you want me to help you out with stuff?"
  290. >You shake your head
  291. "Nah, it's mostly just boys stuff. I'll handle it myself. Besides, Rarity seemed to offer her help to my mom, who wants to make the house a bit more, palatable, according to Rarity."
  292. >"Oh..."
  293. >She bowed her head, and looks like she's about to sulk
  294. >You can't determine if she's serious or she's somehow trying to make you change your mind
  295. >Man, if she wasn't that cute, you wouldn't think of the above sentence
  296. "Alright, you can help out with moving some stuff, but I'll arrange them."
  297. >She pops out to that beaming expression again, and you two head to your new house
  298. >It's quite bizarre, to you at least
  299. >It has 3 floors, the top being the rooftop
  300. >The second floor has two balconies, and the ground floor has a small separate building that houses the garage
  301. >It's not too big, but it's not too small either
  302. >It's somewhere between the middle
  303. >"Let's go Anon!"
  304. >Sweetie leads the way
  305. "Wait up! I thought that's supposed to be my house!"
  306. >You then took notice of the wall/fence, which is composed of a gate, the vehicle gate, a 3-foot tall concrete base and a custom-designed metal fence, colored brown, though there's visible wear and tear on them
  307. >Behind the wall is a lawn, which seems to need some trimming soon, and it's about half the size of your Aunt and Uncle's front lawn
  308. >You enter the door, which doorknob is one of those old ones with a carved design, including a lever-like doorknob with a crafty design
  309. >The moving truck guys move quick, there's already multiple boxes placed around the living room, which is quite roomy
  310. >You look behind you, and outside you see your dad meet up with one of the moving guys who was holding papers for him to sign
  311. >Then you notice Sweetie Belle wandering around, she looks amazed at the size of the room
  312. >"Woah...you can set up a classroom here."
  313. "I guess so...hold on. I got a question, I hope it's not too weird, but you've never been in here? I mean, since they were your neighbors, I thought maybe you knew each other."
  314. >"Oh, I knew them. They're a middle-aged couple, who had to move into the South after they purchased some farmland there. They're kind and polite, but I don't exactly go to their house to hang out."
  315. "Fair enough."
  316. >"Hey, Anon, check this out!"
  317. >Your dad calls out to you, followed by your mom, Rarity, aunt and uncle who were chatting on their way to the house
  318. >"The 2nd floor apparently has 2 large rooms, one could be yours, and it could be much larger than your old room!"
  319. "Really? How big?"
  320. >"Quite big. You and Sweetie Belle can go check it out."
  321. >"Alright! Let's go!" Sweetie Belle exclaims
  322. "Oi, wait up!"
  323. >You two race upstairs, and look for your future bedroom
  324. >After you took the last step, on the right is a restroom, and in front of the stairs are two doors, on the left and right
  325. >You remember that you told the moving guy with signing papers that if there's a bedroom-like room with its own restroom
  326. >You lead Sweetie Belle to the room on the left, and inside, you see another door, which is exactly that - a bathroom, complete with a shower, as well as some windows and a sliding door that leads to the balcony
  327. >You quickly look at the boxes inside the room, and bingo! It's yours, and boy is it big
  328. "Perfect!"
  329. >"Wow, you have your own bathroom AND your own balcony!"
  330. "Diplomacy is a beautiful thing, dear cousin. Now come on, help me out."
  331. >"Okie dokie!"
  332. >You point her to take out the stuff from the boxes that contain some necessities
  333. >Your clock, a desk lamp, and various tablatures
  334. >You get to the box at the other side of the room which contain some of your more personal belongings
  335. >Gaming magazines, comic books and some CD's of your favorite bands
  336. >Secondhand Serenade, Alesana, Pierce the Veil and others
  337. >Last but not the least, the ones that gave you the keys to kingdom of manhood
  338. >3 of your nicely hidden Playboy magazines, hidden inside a paper wrap
  339. >You put it back inside, just in case
  340. >You and Sweetie then place them on the slightly dusty desk on the window
  341. >After that, you head to a large box, which contains your guitar in its case, some spare parts, and that brand-new extendable portable bench you asked your dad to buy
  342. >Sweetie Bell peers over, and looks curiously at the bench
  343. >"What's a bench doing there?"
  344. "When I play the guitar, sometimes there's this place that I call a uh....let's say it's called a 'sweet spot'. At my place, it's somewhere in the park, or somewhere in school, where the setting feels right, and it gives me a soothing mind to play music for a long time."
  345. >"Really?"
  346. "Yeah. I wanted a portable one so I could bring it anywhere."
  347. >"How will you bring it though? Wouldn't it be a bit cumbersome?"
  348. "Oh, it has its own bag, and it's quite convenient because it's like a sling bag."
  349. >"Uh...the girly one?"
  350. "What? No!"
  351. >You bring it out for her to see (pic related)
  352. >"Oh, those ones."
  353. "Pretty neat, huh?"
  354. >"Mhm! Maybe I can help you look around for that sweet spot you're looking for. I practically know the town like the back of my hand."
  355. "That...would be wonderful."
  356. >She beams that sweet beautiful smile of hers, as she turns around and goes to look for another box to open
  357. >You laid out the bench, and set it up
  358. >"Shall i open up this one, Anon?"
  359. "Sure, help yourself"
  360. >You reply without looking at her, as you gaze upon the rather cool-looking bench, and it seems to be made out of composite materials
  361. >Then, you hear something, awful
  362. >A paper wrap being torn
  363. >And the second you turn around, Sweetie Belle gasps
  364. "H-hold up!"
  365. >She turns to you, and you see her with the paper wrap with the Playboy magazines it was holding
  366. >It wasn't torn enough to see the full detail, but it was enough for her to see the title
  367. >"The box was open, and i saw it inside...I thought it was..."
  368. "It's...it's a classified material!"
  369. >You didn't write 'do not open' because your parents would be too suspicious in case they were the ones who found it
  370. >"What do you mean 'classified'? I know what this is!"
  371. "Well...it's mine! Give it back!"
  372. >"N-no!" she says, holding it back away from you
  373. >"This is...it's not like you, Anon!"
  374. "Sweetie Belle, I'm a growing man, and....I have my needs."
  375. >"Needs? What can you possibly need from a...men's magazine?!"
  376. "Boy stuff! I mean, you wouldn't understand..."
  377. >She sighs, and puts it back inside
  378. >"I know some boys in school who foolishly bring them to school but, you too Anon?"
  379. "Hey, i don't bring it to school. And my parents don't know about it. They MUST not."
  380. >"Hmph."
  381. >You two stand in awkward silence, looking away from each other,as you scratch the back of your head, and Sweetie fidgeting with her fingers
  382. >"I'm sorry. I realize that it's a private item, but also I'm just surprised that you're also into this kind of stuff..."
  383. "We're....we're growing up, after all. I can't help it."
  384. >"B-but..."
  385. >You turn your eyes to her, and you notice that she's starting to blush
  386. >"N-now that...you're here, and I....I'm here...I don't...think you need it anymore..."
  387. >What
  388. "Come again?"
  389. >She's fully red now, and looks at you
  390. >"N-never mind! Let's just...forget that this happened, alright?"
  391. "...agreed!"
  392. >You reply, but you crack your voice
  393. >You wince, and notice Sweetie Belle slowly tip-toeing to the door
  394. >"I'll...check the folks downstairs."
  395. "...sure."
  396. >She opens and closes the door in a snap
  397. >Your spine tingled at the sudden bang, but you hear Sweetie say "sorry" through the door
  398. >You just stood there for a moment, trying to process what happened, then what to do next
  399. >You shake your head, and instead arranged your stuff
  400. >Sometime later, you answer the knock on the door, and you are greeted by some of the moving guys, who's lifting your platform bed
  401. >"Is this your room, kid?"
  402. >You nod to him, and you point them to place it beside the window
  403. >Another pair comes in, this time, carrying your bed
  404. >"Is that all your stuff, Mr. Anonymous?"
  405. "That's all of it. Thanks!"
  406. >"You're welcome."
  407. >They all exit the room, and you take a good look around you
  408. >Everything seems to be in place, you think to yourself, but you head to the last unopened box
  409. >It contains your laptop and other related gadgetry
  410. >There's also the desktop computer, but it's mainly for family use, and you guess it would be placed downstairs
  411. >You see Sweetie and your folks arrange some stuff downstairs
  412. >Apparently they wanted to help your parents out, and it's a good thing because there's a lot of decorative stuff they're moving around
  413. >Which is weird, since you did remember your mom telling you that you are only going to bring necessary stuff, and leave behind the unnecessary ones
  414. >Hell, she even has that complete set of porcelain mermaid collection, and it's already arranged in a cupboard, courtesy of Rarity who's vocally admiring them
  415. >You clearly remember your mom and dad arguing about bringing it though
  416. >As your dad and uncle arrange the sofas, you see Sweetie Belle arranging your family portraits on a high table beside them
  417. >You approach her awkwardly
  418. >It feels like you're meeting her after 5 years all over again
  419. "Yo....sup?"
  420. >She turns around, and smiles before looking back at the pictures
  421. >"Hey. I was just arranging these pictures."
  422. >She points to the one where you had your last family reunion, which was about 5 years ago
  423. "Oh...good. Do you, uh, need any help?"
  424. >She shakes her head
  425. "Also, about earl--"
  426. >"I'm fine. You should help dad and uncle with the sofas, though."
  427. "....ok then. Talk to you later?"
  428. >"Sure."       
  429. >Ok, you guess she's still somewhat disappointed
  430. >She didn't even look at you at the last statement
  431. >But you do help your uncle and dad move around stuff, and you do this until afternoon, around 5 PM, to be exact
  432. >Sweetie Belle, Rarity, your Aunt and Uncle bid farewell to your folks on the front door as they head back home
  433. >Not before Sweetie Belle turns around to you
  434. >"Oh, yeah, Anon, are you still good for tomorrow?"
  435. >Looks like her mood as improved, which made you nod rather excitedly
  436. "Of course!"
  437. >She smiles, then catches up to her folks
  438. >That night, your folks ordered some delivered takeout since your mom was a bit tired for cooking after moving stuff all day
  439. >To which your dad whispered to you "Yeah right, those porcelains sure are heavy."
  440. >You two snickered, as your mom raised her eyebrow wondering what you two are laughing about
  441. >In the middle of dinner, your mom asks you
  442. >"So Anon, did something happen between you and Sweetie Belle earlier?"
  443. "Huh? No...? Why'd you ask?"
  444. >"When you two helped out at the sala and the kitchen, you didn't seem to 'talk' to each other."
  445. >She did the quotation gesture when she said 'talk'
  446. "Maybe because, we're busy?"
  447. >"I think you know what i meant, dear."
  448. >"If you can't resolve an argument with a family member, then you're not ready for a boyfriend-girlfriend type of relationship soon." Your dad adds
  449. "Wh-what?"
  450. >"Well, we're in a new town, aren't we? And you're moving in a new school. Once school starts, you might...you know."
  451. "Dad, didn't you tell me to focus on my studies first?"
  452. >"Hey, i'm just trying to enlighten the mood, specifically, yours. Even though she looked like she's fine when she asked you out."
  453. "It's...it's not helping. And as you said, she asked me out for tomorrow.I guess things are fine."
  454. >Your dad sighs, in a way that says 'i tried', as mom puts a hand on his shoulder
  455. >"You ;guess'? So, is there nothing really wrong between you two earlier?"
  456. >You kept eating, but you think of what to say
  457. >You can't exactly tell them that she found out your adult magazines
  458. >Not in the middle of dinner, oh no no no
  459. >And knowing mom, you can't just deny yourself out of this one
  460. >You stop for a moment, and say
  461. "Well, i uh...showed her some of my stuff in my room, had a little chat on catching up, and I kind of..."
  462. >Your mom slowly leans her head forward, eager on what you'll say next
  463. "I kind of told her that the changes I had was for the best. I may not even be the same person she used to know."
  464. "She kind of took it personally and might've disappointed her? I don't know."
  465. >"I understand then, dear. But once you two go hanging out tomorrow, make sure you talk to her about it."
  466. "Will do, mom."
  467. >The rest of the evening went to fixing the beds for you and your folks
  468. >You heard your mom ask your dad 'where's the wifi' from across the room but you hear him say you'll install the house's internet tomorrow, so she'll have to hook up to your pocket wifi
  469. >You loudly told them 'got you covered, Ma!' from your room and she thanked you afterwards
  470. >As you snugged into your bed with a softness factor of 96% comf, you grab your phone and browse the net
  471. >But then you remembered Sweetie Belle
  472. >Is she still mad at you, despite asking you out?
  473. >It bothered you for a while before you decided to text her
  474. A: "Sweetie, u there?"
  475. >You wait for a while
  476. SB: "Yah? ¬_¬"
  477. A: "R u still mad?"
  478. SB: "Maybe ¬_¬"
  479. SB: "Just a lil upset =| "
  480. >.....
  481. A: "How so?"
  482. SB: "¯\_()_/¯"
  483. A: "wat"
  484. SB: "Com find out tom."
  485. >.....
  486. A: "If i treat you out tomorrow after shopping, will u be happy?"
  487. SB: "OuO yah"
  488. SB: "I'd luv it! >u<"
  489. A: "Ok...night then?"
  490. SB: "Nighty XOXO. 9 AM, ok?"
  491. A: "Ok. Gud nyt"
  492. >Well, that went well
  493. >Though it was rather weird that she's in a happier mood than earlier
  494. >With your conscious clear, you went to sleep
  495. >And of course you'll still talk to her about the 'incident' tomorrow
  496.  
  497. >The next day, you head to Sweetie Belle's house at the exact time
  498. >She comes out of her house, wearing a lilac sando under a white vest, and a pink skirt with purple leggings
  499. >Quite contemporary to your grey Alesana's The Emptiness t-shirt, and denim jeans
  500. >She's also wearing a small, frilly, kind of cute backpack that matches her hair color
  501. >Although, she looks a bit...shallowly cheerful
  502. >"Hey Anon, did i make you wait?"
  503. "Not really. I just kind of got here."
  504. >"Sweet. Mom! We're leaving!"
  505. >"Have fun, you two!" Aunt Cookie says from inside the house
  506. >She holds your arm, though she doesn't drag you, out to the sidewalk
  507. "Are we going to walk there?"
  508. >"No, we'll have to get to a bus stop to get there."
  509. >Once you arrived at said bus stop and get on one, she takes 2 tickets for Canterlot Mall, and you expect a pretty long ride there
  510. >And it sort of was. Some folks glance at you, seemingly knowing that you're a new face in town
  511. >Once you arrive, she holds your hand again as you stand in front of the mall entrance
  512. >"It's a big mall, isn't it?"
  513. "...for you, I guess."
  514. >"Oh? Have you even been to bigger ones?"
  515. "Yeah. The one near my old town is where I bought my guitar."
  516. >"Right...let's go."
  517. >You were expecting her to drag you in, but she surprisingly goes ahead.
  518. >She's also has her hands behind her back, with the right hand holding the left forearm
  519. >You look around, and you see some couples also doing that 'drag you around as he/she holds your hand' thing
  520. >Maybe she's shy? You are cousins after all, though...
  521. >You follow her lead, until you arrived at the center of the mall at the 2nd floor, and see that she's lead you to a beach store
  522. >Where the highlighted items on the window are discounted swimwear and other novelties like goggles and snorkels
  523. >Oh, maybe she's a bit shy because she might buy a donut floatie! She's not that much of a good swimmer, from what you can best remember
  524. >She then turns to you
  525. >"Are you coming in?"
  526. >You nod, and you two went in
  527.  
  528. >The first isle has the floatsie stuff, but before you jokingly try and pick the flowery one right beside you, she tugs your shirt, and with a really blushed look
  529. >"Uhm, Anon...can you wait here for a while?"
  530. "Sure, i guess. I'll go pick out a donut float for you"
  531. >You answer with a snicker
  532. >She gives you a nervous smile, then fidgets her hair before she runs off
  533. "Don't trip down or...something"
  534. >Oh hey they do have a donut floatie that actually looks like a donut
  535. >And there's one with a bite mark too
  536. >You think that maybe you should buy some sunblock
  537. >As for swimsuits, maybe your same old swimming trunks would do
  538. >It still fits you anyways
  539. >About a minute later, Sweetie returns to you and seems to be hiding something behind her back
  540. >But by the left side of her hip, you can see a clothes hanger and you see...a swimsuit?
  541. >"Can you, uh...come with me to the fitting room?"
  542. >You furrow your eyebrows
  543. >Oh
  544. >OH
  545. >She wants to try out a swimsuit!?
  546. >Oh gosh, just the other day you've just accepted that she's grown
  547. >But you're not expecting to...oh boy
  548. >"Anon?"
  549. >You're now blushing too
  550. "Uhm...can't you decide for yourself?"
  551. >"I want to know if it l-looks okay on me. And... i want you to say if it does."
  552. >You gulp
  553. "Sure..."
  554. >You awkwardly follow her to the fitting room, and you stop by the thick curtain as she gets inside
  555. >You tap your right foot, fidgeting as she gets dressed
  556. >Now that you think of it, you did get a glance on the swimsuit, and you're worried that it might be a bit small on her
  557. >Which would make her features...
  558. >Oh b-boy...
  559. >"Uh, Anon?"
  560. >She peeks her head out from the curtain, and her face is even redder
  561. >"Can you...come inside?"
  562. >You're stunned
  563. >This might be the first time you'll see a girl in her swimsuit up close
  564. >But it just has to be Sweetie Belle
  565. >Your sweet, cheerful, innocent cousin
  566. >And you emphasize the word 'cousin'
  567. >Before you step forwards though
  568. >"Oh, hey Sweetie Belle!"
  569. >She darts her eyes to the person talking, and you turn to her as well
  570. >"Scootaloo!!! Perfect timing! Get over here!"
  571. >Scootaloo approaches, holding a bag with the purchased items
  572. >"OwO, who's this? Your boyfriend?"
  573. >"D'oh, you've met before! Anonymous,Scootaloo,Scootaloo,Anonymous. He's my cousin now GET IN HERE!"
  574. >She pulls Scootaloo in
  575. >You were left with your mouth open, trying to process what just happened
  576. >You just scratch your head, and wait for the two to go out
  577. >A few minutes, they went out, with Scootaloo snickering and Sweetie Belle still blushing with an angry look at Scootaloo, and back to her normal clothes
  578. >"So, you've finally come back, huh Anon?"
  579. "Yeah...how are you, Scootaloo?"
  580. >"I'm doing fine these days. When were you here last time? Was it uhm..."
  581. "5 years ago."
  582. >"Yeah, right. Man, you missed a lot of stuff."
  583. "I know."
  584. >"So,i guess i can figure out why you two are here."
  585. >"Don't rub it in."
  586. >Sweetie says while gritting her teeth
  587. >"Heh, sorry. Anyways, i was here to buy a snorkel and goggle set before they run out. Items on sale in this mall get bought quick!"
  588. >"Well, it is summer..."
  589. >"But Anon, you're either lucky, or unfortunate. The swimsuit Swee--"
  590. >"That can wait for the beach, thank you! Now do you have something else to do?"
  591. >Scootaloo gasps
  592. >"Oh, yeah! I only got back here because i forgot to buy the goggles and snorkel and my folks are about to go! See you two soon!"
  593. >She then runs off, leaving you two alone
  594. >An awkward silence passes by again, before Sweetie leaves your side
  595. >"I'll go...purchase this."
  596. "Ok...want to eat later? M-my treat."
  597. >She smiles and nods once, as she heads to the register
  598. >Afterwards, you look for a good place to eat in the mall, with Sweetie Belle holding by your shirt, with her head down, still blushing
  599.  
  600. >Minutes come by as you two continue your search, but so far, everything you see are mostly generic fast food outlets.
  601. >You think to yourself that it would be nice to treat her to at least one of them, but you figure that they're so common, Sweetie Belle and her friends must have been eating here often
  602. >You look at her, still blushing and holding your shirt
  603. >But, she was also looking at you, and as she noticed you she quickly averted her gaze
  604. >She's been like that for a while, and you decide to lighten her up for a bit
  605. "Uh, Sweetie Belle?"
  606. >"Yeah?" she answered, still looking away from you
  607. "Is there any place you want to eat? I mean, there's a lot to choose from and I don't want to make a wrong choice"
  608. >"Hmm..."
  609. >She stops, and ponders for a moment, before she looks at you
  610. >"Surprise me?"
  611. "I don't think that would...work well. As i just said."
  612. >"Oh...how about that one?"
  613. >You look at it as she pointed
  614. "A cafe?"
  615. >"I think it's a new shop in the mall. It only opened at the end of the school year."
  616. "Have you been here?"
  617. >She shakes her head
  618. "Alright, cafe it is then."
  619. >You hold her hand, and you felt her shake for a bit
  620. >You lead her inside the cafe known as 'Doughy Delights'
  621. >It has a nice interior, with wooden floorboards, and a large amount of red on the seats, along with slightly yellowish lights illuminating the shop
  622. >It's almost empty though, except for the 3 other couples inside
  623. >A waiter greets you two with a warm smile
  624. >"Good Morning, ma'am, sir! Welcome to Doughy Delights!"
  625. >Sweetie Belle responds with a soft "Thank you" as you greet him back with a smile
  626. >You take her to a seat by the right and front of the cafe, as the waiter gives you two greeting card-sized menus
  627. >"You two lovebirds call me when you've picked something to order, alright?"
  628. >Slightly taken aback by the statement, you two quickly turn to the waiter
  629. >"Oh, w-we're cousins!"
  630. "Oh no, we're cousins!"
  631. >You then look at each other, followed by a giggle and a chuckle
  632. >The waiter covered his mouth in surprise
  633. >"Oh! You're cousins! Gosh, I'm so, so sorry!"
  634. "It's fine, I guess."
  635. >"Right. I'll be right back at you two."
  636. >The waiter leaves and looks at the cashier, holding up his hand in a letter C gesture
  637. >You notice that the cashier looked surprised and seemed to write a check on something
  638. >Your attention goes back to Sweetie Belle, who's still blushing, but she's also smiling
  639. >You sigh
  640. "Sorry about that. I kinda saw that one coming."
  641. >"Me too. Couples usually come eat at this kind of place, right?"
  642. "Yeah. So, what would you like?"
  643. >She scans the menu, and she must've seen something she likes
  644. >Her eyes beamed with joy, and she's pointing the item on the menu to you
  645. "Angel food cake?"
  646. >She nods her head cheerily
  647. >"I tasted one in Sugarcube Corner near our school, and I loved it!"
  648. >To you, it seemed a bit pricey, but at least it cheered her up
  649. >You settle down for something a bit cheap
  650. >Apple Cake, that'll do
  651. >You call the waiter
  652. "Waiter! An Apple Cake and Angel Food Cake, please!"
  653. >"Got it! Coming right up!"
  654.  
  655. >"Oh, and the drinks?"
  656. "Just water for me."
  657. >"Can i have an iced latte?"
  658. >"Got it. That'll be $42, sir."
  659. >You gave him an ok, and pay him $50
  660. >"I'll be right back with the change."
  661. >"Why water?"
  662. "I'm not used to any kind of fancy beverages in cafes. I think they're too expensive."
  663. >"Mhm..."
  664. >It took no longer than 2 and a half minutes for your cake and drinks to arrive
  665. >Both cakes were about one slice each from a 5" diameter whole cake
  666. >Sweetie's Angel Food Cake was topped with white vanilla frosting, with 2 pieces of strawberry and blueberry on top
  667. >Your Apple Cake looks more simple, but it's topped with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream
  668. >"Here's your receipt, and your change, sir" he adds, as you take the receipt and $8 change
  669. >"Enjoy!"
  670. "Thanks."
  671. >The waiter buzzes off
  672. >Sweetie Belle took a bite from her cake
  673. >"MMmmh, so good."
  674. >She seems to be enjoying it, and it makes you smile for a bit
  675. >After all, she looks much prettier when she's happy
  676. >But then, you remember what your mom told you
  677. >You have to talk to her about yesterday
  678. >You don't really know how upset she was, despite with her warming up to you today
  679. >But given that you almost saw your cousin in a swimsuit
  680. >Your maturing, sweet, cheerful, innocent ... wait, I think i've done this line before
  681. >But you get the idea
  682. >That added another awkward moment between you two, and she wasn't really as talkative on the way to this cafe
  683. >You let yourselves finish your meal for a while before asking her about it
  684.  
  685. "So, Sweetie Belle, about yesterday."
  686. >"Uh-huh?" she says, looking at you while drinking her latte
  687. "Do you...remember the uh..."
  688. >She blinks a few times, before putting down the cup down
  689. >"The Playboy magazines? Wh-What about it?"
  690. >She's slowly blushing again
  691. "Are you...still upset about it?"
  692. >"Oh. Uhm...not exactly. But now that you asked..."
  693. >She shifts on her seat to a more serious-looking posture
  694. >"This may or may not sound weird. But I guess it WILL be weird."
  695. "Go on...?"
  696. >"I'm sort of..."
  697. >She also makes some hand gestures, trying to look for the right words to say
  698. >"...glad? Glad that you're somehow interested in...that stuff."
  699. >She puts her arms down on the table and gives you a worried look
  700. >You stare at her in silence, before you realize that she wants to hear your say on it
  701. "...okayyyy I g-guess?"
  702. >She snorts, then turns aside, covering her face
  703. >"This is soooo awkward."
  704. "Can i, uh, ask why? I mean...I don't really get it."
  705. >She takes a deep breath, and then turns back to you
  706. >"The swimsuit. I uh...hmm..."
  707. >"I think i...give me a sec."
  708. >You scratch your chin
  709. >"Ok ok ok ok!" she says while shaking her hands
  710. >She takes another deep breath, yet she's fully blushing now
  711. >"I'm sort of glad because, it's sort of perfect timing for me, and I assumed that you're interested with looking at women in bikinis, because I want you to tell me how good I'll look in a swimsuit, hence I brought you here to the mall, since I think you know how to tell a girl how she looks in a swimsuit. But in that moment, I also realized that not only am I going to ask someone of how I'll look in a swimsuit, I was going to ask a BOY, of all people, to tell me how I look in it. And especially because it's you, Anon."
  712. "....mhm?"
  713. >You add with a slow nod
  714. >She puts her hand on her chin, pondering
  715. >Then she shakes her head
  716. >"No, I don't mean 'especially you' , I meant...I meant that because you're interested with those kinds of women now, I thought you'd compare me to them andyouwon'tthinki'mthatprettyinabikiniandi'llprobablyendupembarrassed"
  717. >She turns away, hands covering her face
  718. >You put your hand behind your ear
  719. "Wh-what was that? The last part?"
  720. >She looks at you again, and takes another deep breath
  721. >"I don't think you'd find me that pretty in a bikini swimsuit."
  722. "Wait, that's what you're worried about?"
  723. >She clasps her hands, then shifts her shoulders up and down
  724. [spoiler]Not at the same time, eg left goes up, right goes down. There's a proper word for this but i can't find it[/spoiler]
  725. >"Yeah...that's why I told you that you might not need those magazines anymore because...you can see how I look instead, but, I don't want to get my hopes up if you compared me to a woman like the ones in the magazine."
  726. "Oh...ok then."
  727. >You scratch your head. You don't really know how to respond to all that
  728. >You think for a moment, while Sweetie Belle fidgets
  729. "It's a...whole different category, really. The women in those magazines, they're not the type of women that I'm reallt into, if that's what you're thinking. Sure, they're hot and sexy. But I don't think you should compare yourself to them. And I don't think i should compare you to anyone, at all."
  730. >Sweetie Belle stops fidgeting, and gives you a hopeful look
  731. "Look, as a boy, seeing a woman or a girl in a swimsuit is really 'thrilling'. That is, if they're IN a magazine."
  732. >"Is that how you feel when you look at those mags?"
  733. "Y.....yeah, let's say it's like that. But the point is, seeing a girl in her swimsuit in personal, is a whole different...uh, experience."
  734. >You feel like you're shaking
  735. >She leans her head down a bit while looking at you straight in the eye, eager on what you'll say
  736. "If! If...if I did see you in you in a swimsuit, and you ask me what you look like. I would most definitely say that you look absolutely beautiful in less than a heartbeat."
  737. >Less than a heartbeat? A bit dramatic, but now YOU'RE the one who's blushing wildly
  738. >"R-really?" she asks, with a smile forming up on her face
  739. "Of course. I mean, it's because you're really...beautiful."
  740. >If you were a steam engine, you'd be releasing a lot of steam from your head right now
  741. >As well as Sweetie Belle
  742. >"Gee, Anon...you really think so?"
  743. "Yes. Without a doubt."
  744. >You inadvertently hold her hands, but it did assure your statement
  745. >What followed, was probably the warmest smile you've ever seen from anyone
  746. >"That was the sweetest thing anyone said to me. Thank you."
  747. >You feel butterflies flying in your gut
  748. >You two stayed like this for what seemed to be an eternity
  749. >Holding hands, gazing deep into each others eyes, exchanging smiles
  750. >You also didn't notice that you lean your heads closer to each other
  751. >But the moment is sort of ruined when you heard a customer sneeze, snapping you two back to reality
  752. >Sweetie Belle snorts, looking down on the table
  753. "[sigh] Really?"
  754. >She looks back up to you, and gives you a soft kiss on the lips
  755. >No wait, that felt like your cheek
  756. >Yes, cheek
  757. >She then giggles, and nudges a fist on your shoulder
  758. >"Really, that took the worry out of me. I'm glad you clarified it."
  759. "Y-you're welcome...and I'll be looking forward to...seeing you in a swimsuit."
  760. >"Don't be too excited. It's only 2 weeks from now."
  761. "Oh, right."
  762. >"So...shall we go on now?"
  763. "...yeah."
  764. >She holds your hand, grabs her bag,and leads you to the door.
  765. >"Come again next time!" the waiter says, as he and the cashier waves goodbye to you
  766. >You two wave back, and as you exit the cafe, she wraps her arm to yours
  767. "So, is there anything else you want to buy?"
  768. >"Hmm...maybe if we take a look around more. It's a big mall, after all."
  769. "Very well. Don't complain to me if your legs get tired."
  770. >She giggles again, and inches closer to you as you walk around the mall.
  771.  
  772. "Is there anything else you want to buy?"
  773. >"Not really. I don't want to overspend buying unnecessary stuff."
  774. >You whip out a smirk at her
  775. "What, like the donut floatie?"
  776. >She wrinkles her eyebrows and pouts
  777. >"Hmph. You meanie."
  778. >Since she was already close to you, when she shoves you with her shoulder, you almost trip yourself
  779. "Agh!"
  780. >"Woah! Careful!"
  781. >She quickly pulls you back to her side
  782. "Geez, I should be the one saying that."
  783. >"Well you're being a meanie! I can swim very well now, you know?"
  784. "Uh-huh...my memory implies otherwise."
  785. >"You jerk! That was years ago!"
  786. "Yeah, you ran to Rarity because you were afraid of the water."
  787. >"And you laughed at me all day for it!"
  788. "Huh? No I didn't. I just giggled."
  789. >"No, you were really laughing your ass off. I hated you for it."
  790. "Well, i uh..."
  791. >You sigh
  792. "Ok, ok. Look, no matter what really happened, I'm sorry, alright? I just...don't see you as a good swimmer."
  793. >"Really? Alright then, how about this."
  794. >She steps in front of you and faces you
  795. >"There's an island that's near the beach we're going to. It's a known hang-out place for experienced swimmers. And, I'm challenging you to a race there."
  796. "Hmm...that sounds good. Alright, I accept your challenge. What's in it for me?"
  797. >"I'll think about it."
  798. "Come on Sweetie Belle, the stakes should be made when you challenge someone."
  799. >"I'll THINK about it, don't worry! It won't be anything embarrassing, I promise."
  800. "Okay then. So, let me ask again. Do you want to buy anything else?"
  801. >She ponders, then goes back to your side, holding your hand tight
  802. >She shakes her head, and gazes into your eyes
  803. >"I think I got everything I need right here."
  804. >Her smile stuns your for a moment, but you at least reply her with your own smile
  805. >You two began to walk again, but sometimes give glances to each other
  806. >You walk like this until something takes Sweetie Belle's attention, and points at it
  807. >"Look, Anon! There's a music store over there. Do you want to check it out?"
  808. >You look at it. It's called 'Playlist Central'.
  809. >"Sure. Why not?"
  810. >You head inside, with hands still holding
  811. >It's quite packed, though most of the people are wandering by the 'newly released albums' isle
  812. >You and Sweetie head to where there's less people, which is by the isle with older albums, musical instruments and some magazine racks
  813. >Sweetie Belle lets go as she looks at some guitars
  814. >You almost didn't notice her, as one rack picks up your interest
  815. >It was a tablature that features FM Static, We The Kings and Hale
  816. >You've been practicing FM Static's songs for a while, and you've only started to listen to We The Kings, so you pick it up
  817. >It's being sold a discounted price, since the tablature was rather old, given by the date of release
  818. >"Oh, Anon?"
  819. "Yeah?"
  820. >You look at Sweetie Belle, who's holding out a tablature that exclusively features Taylor Swift's songs, but mostly the older ones, as shown by the song contents listed on the cover page
  821. >It's also being sold at a discounted price
  822. >"Can you buy this for me?
  823. >It prompts you a giggle
  824. "Taylor Swift?"
  825. >"What about it? I loved her earlier songs."
  826. "You're not going to make me play 'Tay-Tay' songs."
  827. >"Why not?"
  828. "I just don't find her songs that relatable to me. It's very...girly."
  829. >"Well, First of all, I'm a girl. Second, I didn't want to ask you to play them for me. I'm actually thinking of going to try them out myself sometime."
  830. >You raise your eyebrow
  831. "You also play the guitar?"
  832. >"Kind of. Last year the school held up a Battle of the Bands program but we didn't really win at the end. But when you and Corsair did that duet on the reunion, I thought you two looked pretty cool. And also that you seem to prefer using tablatures, because I saw your stuff and there's a lot of it."
  833. "So, do you want me to teach you?"
  834. >"If it's fine with you. Is it?"
  835. "Hmm, let me think about it."
  836. >"Oh come on! Look, I'll accept this as an apology for you laughing at me because I couldn't swim back then!"
  837. "What?"
  838. >"At least buy this, for me?"
  839. >She gives you those puppy dog eyes and a wide smile
  840. >On one hand, It'll make her happy. On the other hand, you're going to play Taylor Swift songs
  841. [spoiler] Funnily enough, I used to hate Taylor because she's too girly, but then something happened and now i'm 'in love with her'. She's basically my waifu [/spoiler]
  842. >Man, the things you have to do for family
  843. "Oh, alright. But it's just because I'll teach you how to play a guitar properly."
  844. >"Yes! Thanks Anon!"
  845. >She gives you a hug, then holds your hand, leading you to the cashier, who looks like the walrus guy from Mythbusters, especially the beard and glasses
  846. >The cashier raises his eyebrow when he sees the tablatures
  847. >"You know you could just look around online, right?"
  848. "It's more of a personal preference."
  849. >"Ok then. At least they'll finally be bought. These two have been here for 8 years."
  850. >"8 years? Wow..."
  851. "They don't look dusty or anything."
  852. >"It gets re-wrapped when it's been placed in storage, but during summer we sell them with a discount just in case some people get interested in buying it."
  853. >"Fair enough..."
  854. >"That'll be $40, but since we have a Buy 1 Get 1 promo this week, it'll now be $30."
  855. "Sweet. Thanks!"
  856. >"I hope you and your girlfriend enjoy."
  857. "Oh, she's not my..."
  858. >"Oh, sorry. 'Friends' am I right?"
  859. >Sweetie lets out a giggle
  860. >"We're cousins."
  861. >"...oh. That was...awkward."
  862. >"But thanks, anyway!"
  863. >After you purchase the tabs, Sweetie Belle holds your hand again and takes you to the exit
  864. "So, when do you want to begin playing the guitar?"
  865. >"I'm....thinking about it. I mean, maybe right away, since the summer's just starting."
  866. >You look at your phone to check the date, but the time gets your attention.
  867. "Huh. It's only 1:08."
  868. >1 o' clock? It's still quite early, isn't it?"
  869. "Yeah. Do you want to continue looking around the mall?"
  870. >She lets go of your hand, then crumples her hand into fist and slams it on her palm
  871. >"Sun hat and sunblock. Darn, almost forgot about it."
  872. "Is that all?"
  873. >"Yeah. And now that I said that it's still early, I guess after we buy those we could head to the park. You know, to look for your 'sweet spot' for playing the guitar? Although I think i know just the right place."
  874. >"Cool. What are we waiting for? Let's go!"
  875. >This time, you take the lead, holding Sweetie Belle by her hand
  876. >After buying a white sunhat and some sunblock, you order some take-out for lunch from Jollibee because McDonalds, KFC etc. are quite packed
  877. [spoiler]I've been to a Jollibee in California, it's like McDonalds but it's from the Philippines. They taste quite the same[/spoiler]
  878. >Outside the mall, Sweetie Belle flags a taxi down, which took you to the park
  879. >Once you've arrived, you take a good look around it
  880. >It's fairly big, there's some kids playing, some couples and families walking about, and there's even a baseball field across the street at the east side of the park. And besides some small gazebos and benches, there's also a small food court at the far south side of the park
  881. >"It's big, isn't it?"
  882. "It's a lot bigger than the one in my old town."
  883. >"Come on, let's head over there!"
  884. >She points to a huge tree by the west side of the park. It's in a middle of a grassy field, and the wide reach of its leaves makes it give a lot of shade
  885. >As you arrive, she sits down beside it
  886. >"Pretty cool, huh?"
  887. >You sit down beside her
  888. "Yeah...it's a bit strange though, it's got a lot of shade, yet there's no other people in here."
  889. >Sweetie Belle shrugs
  890. >"It's a mystery to me too. I think it's us Crusaders are the ones who always hang out under the tree. Everyday after school ends, sometimes we'll hang out here."
  891. "I see. I mean, just by the shade, I'd also hang out here often. And, I think this qualifies as a 'sweet spot'."
  892. >"But you do have to watch out for kids playing in the park, sometimes they just pass by it."
  893. "I'm used to kids. They don't really interrupt my guitar sessions."
  894. >"Whatever you say then."
  895. >She takes a deep breath as a breeze comes by
  896. >It makes you feel cozy and cool, and then you notice Sweetie Belle stand up, reach her arms out and do a slow twirl, as she looks up and closes her eyes, savoring the feeling
  897. >For a moment, you felt like time slowed down as Sweetie Belle is accompanied by a symphony of leaves and the breeze, leaving you in awe of her adorable little dance
  898. [spoiler] Somehow the idea came from the intro of this song www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWcOrXlS1AA [/spoiler]
  899. >You're left with your mouth slightly open (like pic related) as she stops her spin, looking at you with her sweet, warm smile
  900. >"Sorry, I got caught in the moment." she says, giggling as she sat down
  901. "Wow. That was...cute."
  902. >"Hmm?"
  903. "That was...really cute."
  904. >"Are you mocking me?"
  905. "I mean it! It's really cute. Do you do that often?"
  906. >"Usually, when I'm alone, when no one's around. It's kind of embarrassing, actually."
  907. "So I'm the first person to witness your little dance?"
  908. >"I guess so. But then again..."
  909. >She puts her hand down, unknowingly touching yours as she looks at you, blushing
  910. >"You're you, Anon, so I don't really mind."
  911. >Somehow, you hold her hand back by instinct as you two went into another semi-awkward stare down
  912. >And once again, you didn't notice that you lean your heads closer to each other
  913. >Your noses touched
  914. >Your breathing intensifies
  915. >Sweetie Belle closes her eyes, as you did too
  916. >Is this it? You're finally going to kiss her. But...
  917. >Your trail of thoughts became derailed as you heard your stomach grumble
  918. >You open your eyes, and you two immediately pulled back
  919. >"Oh! Uh...are you hungry?"
  920. "I-I guess so..."
  921. >"Yeah...let's eat."
  922. >You let out a chuckle, as she looks at you
  923. >"What's so funny?" she says in an upbeat voice, while smiling
  924. "Hehe...nothin'. Let's just eat."
  925. >"Okayy..." she replies, accompanied by a short giggle.
  926.  
  927. >After lunch, you two wandered around the park, and ended up at the food court
  928. >There wasn't anything unusual though, most of the stalls there are selling hotdogs, tacos, burgers, you name it.
  929. >But what caught your eye, or, Sweetie Belle's eye, was an arcade shop that was across the street
  930. >"Hey, that's new!"
  931. "What is it?"
  932. >"There's an arcade over there! I've never even heard of it!"
  933. "Maybe because it's new? I mean..."
  934. >You point to a slightly weathered banner that says it newly opened about 5 days ago
  935. >"Oh...so, do you want to check it out?"
  936. "I haven't played in arcade for a while now. Let's check it out!"
  937. >You two head to the arcade, and as you went in, you were greeted with chatter and sounds from various arcade games
  938. >The area's rather small, but it has a lot of games and people in it
  939. >You look around, occasionally saying 'excuse me' as you walk through the crowded sections of the room, until you see an unoccupied House of the Dead arcade console
  940. >In addition to that, it's the remastered version
  941. >You look at Sweetie Belle, who was temptingly looking at one of the nearby claw games
  942. >Specifically, one with the cutesy-style stuffed rabbits, where most of it is a white rabbit, except for one that has pink fur, with the belly, foot pad and nose colored purple
  943. >Which seems to be the same color as Sweetie Belle's hair
  944. "Sweetie Belle?"
  945. >It took about a second for her to respond to you
  946. >"Yeah? Oh, have you found a game to play?"
  947. >You point at it with your thumb
  948. "'The House of the Dead', a zombie game. It has a 2-Player option, so maybe we can play it together."
  949. >"Okay."
  950. >She sounded unenthusiastic with that reply
  951. >You head to the token exchanger, which has a rather long line
  952. "How many tokens should we get?"
  953. >"I guess, not too many that would end us up playing all day. I was told to be home until at least 4 PM."
  954. "How does 10 tokens each for us sound?"
  955. >"I guess..." she says, though she looks unsure
  956. "We could...try out that claw game you were looking at first."
  957. >"Huh? You noticed?"
  958. "Yeah. I mean, I understand girls' fondness for cute things, and since you're uh..."
  959. >"It's...not like that actually."
  960. "Hmm?"
  961. >"4 years ago, there was this show with cute bunnies doing girly stuff, and it was quite popular. There were 4 of them, and every girl I knew in CHS has at least collected all of them."
  962. "Even Applebloom and Scootaloo?"
  963. >"Applebloom has one, and Scootaloo does too, but she doesn't want us to tell anyone about it."
  964. "Ah...ok. So it reminded you of your own collection?"
  965. >"Eh...no...I'm missing one. The numerous one in that claw game was Snowy Belle, since she was the most popular one. And I've been dying to get the pink one for a long time but ever since the show ended, they stopped selling them before I got her."
  966. "So, who's the others?"
  967. >She blushes, and smiles nervously
  968. >"The yellow one's Butter Belle, the red one's Flower Belle and the pink one in the claw game is ... S-Sweetie Belle."
  969. >You snort
  970. "For real?"
  971. >"That's really her name! She was my favorite! And the girls find it "
  972. "Yeah, ok. I can tell by that longing gaze you gave it earlier."
  973. >"Gee Anon, you're making fun of me again!"
  974. "Maybe, but it's also kind of cute. I mean, aren't you too old for stuffed bunnies?"
  975. >"No I'm not! And besides, I want to get it just to complete my collection."
  976. "Whatever you say, kid."
  977. >"You jerk." she says while nudging you with her shoulder
  978. "But maybe it's fate that brought you here, so maybe you have a chance."
  979. >"Hmph!"
  980. >After you've purchased your tokens, you head to the claw game and watch Sweetie Belle play it
  981. >It's only one bunny, it should be easy as pie
  982. >But minutes later, it turned into a disaster
  983. >Sweetie Belle used up all of her tokens after failing to to get the bunny, she looks at you with an exasperated look
  984. >"Anon!!"
  985. "Hey, don't look at me! It's not my fault that claw's slippery!"
  986. >"It's so unfair..."
  987. "Look, let's just buy more tokens and--"
  988. >"It won't do! It's only going to be wasted if I tried again and again!"
  989. "Hey, we can't do anything about it."
  990. >"Can I borrow some of yours?"
  991. "Woah, come on now. I already treated you to a cafe and bought you that Tay-Tay tablature."
  992. >"Come on, at least give me one? Pleeeeaaaase?"
  993. >Ung
  994. >If you could only refuse to that cute voice and puppy dog eye look
  995. "Alright, but just one!"
  996. >"Yay!"
  997. >You insert a token into the slot, and grabbed the control stick
  998. "They key to this game is to get a good angle and positioning of the claw. Also, don't get mad if you lose the first time, it'll make you lose focus."
  999. >You press the 'grab' button on the top of the stick, and the claw descends
  1000. >It does grab the bunny, earning a 'squee' from Sweetie Belle
  1001. "See? That's how you--"
  1002. >But it falls down mid-way to the prize bin
  1003. "....son of a b--"
  1004. >Sweetie Belle covers your mouth with her hand
  1005. >"Don't get mad, remember?" she says, with a smuggish smile
  1006. "Ok then. This is the last one."
  1007. >You take out another token. You won't let yourself get easily defeated by this claw game
  1008. >As you put it inside the slot, Sweetie grabs your hand on the control stick
  1009. "What are you doing?"
  1010. >She's blushing a bit
  1011. >"I think it'll be more easy if we do this together. So if we win, we'll be even."
  1012. "And if we lose?"
  1013. >"Then we can be mad together."
  1014. >You look at each other for a while before focusing on the claw
  1015. "Ok. Tread it carefully..."
  1016. >"I know, I know."
  1017. "Move it a bit forward."
  1018. >"Got it."
  1019. >You can't help but notice Sweetie Belle's hand being a bit sweaty, making you lose a bit of focus. But damn, it's so soft
  1020. "Okay...aaaand...grab it."
  1021. >Both of you pushed it at the same time, though Sweetie's thumb pressed against yours. She didn't seem to notice it
  1022. >As it grabbed the bunny again, you look at Sweetie Belle, her eyes locked on the bunny
  1023. >You two then carefully navigate the claw to the prize bin and...
  1024. >"Yes!"
  1025. >Sweetie Belle quickly grabs the bunny from the prize chute, and gives it a hug
  1026. >She then looks at you with a sweet smile of hers again
  1027. >"Thanks Anon."
  1028. >You pause as you look at this adorable sight before replying
  1029. "You owe me 3 now."
  1030. >"And I can't thank you enough for it."
  1031. "Maybe...you do. Shall we play the House of the Dead now?"
  1032. >"Sure, sure!"
  1033. >She grabs your hand again, and takes you to the HotD console
  1034. >You put aside your items as you each grabbed a rifle
  1035. >You take out 2 tokens and inserted them into the slot
  1036. "Are you ready?"
  1037. >"Ready when you are."
  1038. >You both aim your rifles at the screen as the game begins
  1039.  
  1040. >As you'd expect, Sweetie Belle isn't a bit too much of a good shot
  1041. >Her shots would either go straight beside the enemy but she manages to get a lucky kill
  1042. >You also have to remind her to reload often, which distracted you at some points
  1043. >Even so, you've managed to get to the end of the first chapter, as the game's cutscene prepares you for the boss
  1044. >"Oh hey! We saved Sophie!"
  1045. >And then the boss, the Chariot, arrives, smashing through the ceiling and swipes Sophie to the side of the room
  1046. >"Woah! Where'd he come from?!"
  1047. "Don't worry, that thing has a weak spot! Try to focus your aim at it!"
  1048. >"Okay!"
  1049. >You two aim for the weak spot
  1050. >Yours hit near-perfectly, and Sweetie Belle tends to get delayed when the weak spot moves
  1051. >Nevertheless, you manage to take out its armor, showing its 2nd form
  1052. >"Eww, that's what it really looks like?" she says while taking a good look at it
  1053. "Just keep shooting!"
  1054. >A hundred shots later, you defeat the boss
  1055. >"Haha, he's dead! Did we win?"
  1056. "Not yet. There's 3 more chapters, so it's 3 more levels with 3 more bosses."
  1057. >"There's more?!"
  1058. "Hey, at the very least, we can finish this up in 30 minutes."
  1059. >"Oh, ok then."
  1060. >You watch the cutscene progress, and it ends with Sophie lying still as the scene freezes
  1061. >"Huh? Did she die?!"
  1062. "I don't know. I don't remember the story much."
  1063. >The scene then cuts to where the main characters bust through a door, and it begins with a zombie about to throw a barrel at you
  1064. >"WATCH OUT THAT GUY HAS A BARREL!"
  1065. >Sweetie Belle rapid fires her gun at the barrel, destroying it quickly
  1066. "Gee Sweetie, calm down!"
  1067. >"Ah! Beside you!"
  1068. "Your gun's empty! Reload!"
  1069. >"Gaaaah this is so intense!"
  1070. >This goes on for some time, and as you enter the sewer...
  1071. >"Eww, why do we have to go in there?"
  1072. "It's not like we're REALLY in a sewer. Now shoot!"
  1073. >"OKay--aaah!"
  1074. >From this point, she shrieks and gasps whenever there's a close-up of a zombie
  1075. >It's a bit distracting, making you lose some life points, though you replenish it as you rescue some hostages
  1076. >Moments later, you end up facing the 2nd boss, the Hangedman, with hostages holding on its feet
  1077. >|'This is as far as you go. I'll finish you here!'"
  1078. >"What's with its voice?"
  1079. >You shrug
  1080. >"The 90's was weird."
  1081. >"Oh what?!"
  1082. >The Hangedman lets go of the hostages, sending them to their doom
  1083. >"That wasn't very nice!"
  1084. "Remember, hit the weak points!"
  1085. >"With pleasure!"
  1086.  
  1087. >You two unleash a barrage of bullets on the winged monster, which stood still for a moment before it begins to move around
  1088. "Damn it, he's faster than I remember."
  1089. >"I can't....hit him!"
  1090. "Just keep shooting!"
  1091. >His sudden and unavoidable attacks took a deal out of Sweetie Belle's life points, depleting hers quickly
  1092. >"Oh no, I'm dead! Anon!"
  1093. >You quickly give her a token
  1094. "Put it in, quick!"
  1095. >As she gets back in the game, you manage to make it to the short scene where the boss flies away, giving you some room to breath
  1096. >"Where'd it go?"
  1097. "Wait for it..."
  1098. >It suddenly appeared beside your position, spooking Sweetie Belle who fires a burst at the boss, before reloading
  1099. >You notice that Sweetie's become more frantic in her shooting, but you still are able to defeat the boss minutes later, though you could say that you carried the whole fight, with Sweetie Belle dying 2 more times
  1100. >As the cutscene plays, she taps you by the shoulder
  1101. >"Anon, this was too intense! I don't know if I could be able to keep up later on."
  1102. "Just...look. Just help me at the easy parts, and maybe I could carry us in the next boss fight. I mean, you can barely shoot the Hangedman"
  1103. >"He was too quick, alright? And I know that we beat him up rather nicely, but you also had a hard time aiming for the boss."
  1104. "Hehe, maybe you're right.... do you still want to play?"
  1105. >"I'll...try my best."
  1106. "Alright. The next Chapter's coming up. Are you good?"
  1107. >She just nods, as the titlecard for the next chapter goes up
  1108. >There's the occasional "GAH!" from Sweetie Belle as you fight through the enemies, but she holds up on her own
  1109. >No more than about 7 or 8 minutes later, you reach the stage with the 3rd boss
  1110. >"That's the third boss? The big scientist guy?"
  1111. "No, but he did sort of created the zombies."
  1112. >"Oh, so what's the boss then?"
  1113. "A crab."
  1114. >Just after you said that, the crab boss, the "Hermit", shows up
  1115. >"Huh. Ok, he doesn't seem to be that scary."
  1116. "This should be easy. I remember this part, we go inside the tunnel and just shoot at its face, by the center of the screen. It shouldn't be too hard to miss."
  1117. >And indeed it was
  1118. >You finish the 3rd boss quickly, and move up to the last chapter
  1119. >"Alright! Last Chapter!"
  1120. "Don't get too excited, there's 3 bosses in this bit."
  1121. >"Wait, 3?!"
  1122. "Don't worry about it, the first one is the 1st boss, the next is the bat guy."
  1123. >"What? We're going to face him again?!"
  1124. "Don't worry, I have your back."
  1125. >And you did. You took down the Chariot (1st boss) quick, and when facing the Hangedman (2nd boss), Sweetie Belle was a bit panicked, but at least most of her shots hits the boss, and you defeat it. It still managed to kill her twice though.
  1126. >And as you arrive at the final boss stage, you check your tokens
  1127. >5 left. This should be enough, you think to yourself
  1128. >After a short dialogue with Dr.Curien, he presented the final boss, which killed him after disobeying his orders
  1129. >"Serves him right. Ok, how do we deal with the--"
  1130. >The final boss's (The Magician) profile shows up, and it says it has no weak points
  1131. >"No weak points? The heck?"
  1132. "It really has none. We just shoot him until he's dead."
  1133. >"Is he fast?"
  1134. "......"
  1135. >You shrug
  1136. >"Anon..."
  1137. >The last time you played it, it was really difficult
  1138. >He basically teleports, and throws fireballs at you which you can shoot down
  1139. >As well as slamming the fireball up your face
  1140. >You figured that with the remaining tokens, and Sweetie Belle's help, you might possibly take him down with a fight
  1141. >Or so you thought
  1142. >Sweetie Belle certainly tried her best, but like with the Hangedman, she panicked whenever the Magician teleports
  1143. >As such, she's the first one to die, even after giving her 3 tokens, and you were next, after you expended the last 2 tokens
  1144. >And you only managed to take out half of the boss' HP
  1145. >You sigh as you look at the GAME OVER sign on the screen
  1146. >"Anon...I'm sorry."
  1147. >You look to her rather sad-looking face
  1148. "It's alright, don't worry about it."
  1149. >"It isn't! I panicked! Even though I promised you that I'll help! In the end you even have to save me lots of times."
  1150. "Sweetie Belle, at least we made it to the final stage. That's amazing work in itself!"
  1151. >"I-I guess..."
  1152. "Besides, I had fun. And it was kinda silly and cute to watch you panic."
  1153. >"Can you not?" she replies with a blush
  1154. "Come to think of it, even though you panic a lot, you're quite a good shooter. Isn't this the first time you played a rail shooter game?"
  1155. >"Yeah. We used to have a classmate in school who plays different kinds of retro games, and once, he invited us and some of his friends to his house to play some games. I think I played Duck Hunt with him."
  1156. "Duck Hunt?"
  1157. >You raise your eyebrow, and chuckle
  1158. >"What? The game mechanic's the same, you just aim and shoot. Except this one's with zombies, and super zombies, not ducks."
  1159. "Ok, fair enough..."
  1160. >You look at your watch, and it took you only 34 minutes
  1161. "It's gonna be 2 PM soon. Do you want to call it a day?"
  1162. >"Hmm...I guess we should. I mean, I think we've spent too many on stuff today."
  1163. "If you say so."
  1164. >"Besides, it's not like a date or anything. I used to be taken home exactly before 4 PM on my last dates."
  1165. >A date, huh? Weirdly enough, this 'hanging out with your cousin' sure feels like one
  1166. "...you used to date someone?"
  1167. >"Yeah, Button Mash. It's the guy I played Duck Hunt with. But then, 2 years ago, he moved out to another state because of his dad's job. Like, all the way to the other side of the country. And that's where the dates stopped."
  1168. "You...never had any contact with him?"
  1169. >"We used to chat online, but last I heard from him, he's seeing someone else"
  1170. "Oh. That's a bummer."
  1171. >"Yeah. But I got over it now, so you don't need to worry about me."
  1172. >You reply with a sneer
  1173. "Okay then...at least I know that I'm not the rebound guy."
  1174. >She rolls her eyes and sneers back
  1175. >"Oh, you wish, dear cousin."
  1176. >She picks up the items you two bought, along with 'Sweetie Belle' and hands you the paper bag with the tablatures
  1177. >"Shall we go now?"
  1178. >You nod, take the bag, and lead the way to the exit
  1179. >Sweetie Belle flags a taxi down, and you two head home
  1180. >Once you arrived, you stop by the sidewalk that leads to her house
  1181. >"Hey Anon?"
  1182. "Yeah?"
  1183. >"I really had fun today."
  1184. "Me too. Though, you owe me 4 now."
  1185. >"4?"
  1186. "The 4th one was that I basically carried ourselves in HotD."
  1187. >"Hey, I found out about the arcade."
  1188. "And I got you that bunny."
  1189. >She pouts, and hugs her bunny tight
  1190. >You giggle, and as she looks grumpier, you realize one thing that just sprang up to your mind
  1191. "Sweetie Belle, come on. I'm just kidding. Look, you don't need to repay me or anything. In fact, I just realized that I actually owe you a lot of, uh, our 'lost time' hanging out with each other when we were kids in the past 5 years, and I thought today might make up for it. So uh..."
  1192. >Somehow, your face feels a bit hot, you don't know that you're now blushing
  1193. >She chuckles
  1194. "Can...can you give me moment? It's already embarrassing as it is..."
  1195. >"Oh boy, you still crack me up. I wasn't expecting you to say that, and that came out a little bit too dramatic, don't you think?"
  1196. "Yeah...and now that you mention it, this is more likely the things you say to a person you love than your relative."
  1197. >"Oh well...it still kind of works, I guess."
  1198. "Very well then...so, when do we practice playing the guitar?"
  1199. >"Mmm...I don't really have much to do tomorrow. Maybe the Crusaders will ask me to go somewhere with them...and now that Scootaloo will probably tell Applebloom that you're here, maybe you could tag along!"
  1200. "Oh? That's sounds great! I haven't even seen or heard from Applebloom yet."
  1201. >"Though the problem is it's probably not somewhere we could play the guitar."
  1202. "Nah, it's fine. We still get to hang out, so it's alright."
  1203. >"Wait, why don't we start today? I mean, it's still pretty early."
  1204. >You look at your watch, it was 3:07 PM
  1205. "Good idea. You may not become a pro at it overnight, but I could teach you an easy song."
  1206. >"Alright! I'll just put these in my room then I'll borrow my dad's guitar."
  1207. "Where do you want to practice?"
  1208. >"How about your house?"
  1209. "Well, there's some things that still needs arranging, and if we practice there, mom or dad might probably cut us off by giving me chores."
  1210. >"Hm, good point. How about our porch then? I don't think anyone in the house is busy."
  1211. "Sure, porch it is then."
  1212. >"Okay...I'll just get my dad's guitar."
  1213. "Ok. Later then!"
  1214. >You two part ways, as you head into your house
  1215. >As you enter, you see your dad assembling the family computer
  1216. >"Oh, hey son! Good news, the internet's installed and it's up and running."
  1217. "Awesome! What'chu doing?"
  1218. >"As you can see, I'm putting up the computer."
  1219. "And mom?"
  1220. >"She went out with your Aunt Cookie to buy some ingredients for dinner. So anyways, how's your shopping with Sweetie Belle?"
  1221. "Great! It was, really fun. We also played in an arcade that just opened."
  1222. >"An arcade, huh? Well don't take your cousin there everyday. Back when I was a kid, I always ended up spending all of my earnings trying to beat Pac-Man."
  1223. "That's....good to know."
  1224. >"Mhm. The good old times. Are you up in a hurry?"
  1225. "Oh, yeah. I gotta teach Sweetie Belle some tunes."
  1226. >You hold up and show him the tablature you bought
  1227. >"Very well then. Have fun, and don't stay out too late, ok?"
  1228. >You reply to him as you head to your room
  1229. "Dad, I'm just going to be across the street!"
  1230. >"Touche!"
  1231. >You went inside and grabbed a guitar
  1232. >You look for the tablature that feature Secondhand Serenade songs
  1233. >As you found it, you head back down and tell your dad that you're off
  1234. >You see Sweetie Belle at her porch, waving at you while holding her dad's guitar
  1235. >You make your way there, and sit down beside her
  1236. >"Hey."
  1237. "Hey. Are you ready?"
  1238. >She holds up the guitar to you
  1239. >"Mhm!"
  1240. >You place the tablature down in between you and Sweetie Belle, and open the page to the song 'Your Call'
  1241. >"What are we playing?"
  1242. "'Your Call', by Secondhand Serenade. It's the first song I learned, and it's super easy."
  1243. >"Okay then." She holds up the guitar, preparing to play it
  1244. "Do you want me to teach you the basics?"
  1245. >"I know how to strum some notes, but I'm a bit confused at the tuning part."
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