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Snowfall and Pathfinder in The Greatest Adventure Part One: Marriage at the Grand Celestial! (Open- OOC signup)

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Pathfinder's heartbeat was so fast she was pretty sure it was getting ready to leave her chest and fly away into the atmosphere. She hadn't paid any attention at all in school but she was mostly sure she needed that heart of hers. She believed she needed it for living, but she KNEW she needed it for love. Wasn't that where the love came from? She was pretty sure that was why everypony who was involved in lovemaking had heart cutie marks. And why all those Hearts and Hooves Day Cards had hearts on them. It all made sense to her. You needed them to live and you needed them to love, so Pathfinder clutched her breast tightly to keep her heart from flying away. She needed to live and she needed to love lots today because today was the most exciting day of the past month, and definitely the most exciting day of her loving life!

She was getting married! Hootcha wootcha whhaaaa? Yeah, exactly! Pathfinder didn't consider herself the type to wanna place her roots anywhere, get tied down outside of an adventure, but how could she say N-O to the Snowie-O? Well technically she had been the one proposing to the Snowie Pony, but really it wasn't like she had a choice. She was beautiful and kind and super awesome at pretty much anything, and if you didn't want somepony like that as your partner then you were very screwy in the head-region. It didn't hurt that she also loved Daring Do! In fact, if she didn't, THAT would be what hurt. And it'd hurt tremendously, because no lover of Pathfinder's could honestly be a non-fan of Daring Do. Snowfall was like a pony made in some factory made just to appeal to her.

Not that everything was super dandy. She was in a dress. A dress! A nice little wedding dress for a nice little pony? Uggh. She needed to be wearing something more free flowing and super cool. Instead she was in a dress of pure white- LIES- and it was super long and frilly. At least her wings were free enough, otherwise she'd freeeaaaaakkkkk out. Being contained in a cage of lace and sequin was a lot less cool than one made out of strong metal bars. She could get out of the second without trouble but if she broke through the dress...well, she was sure Snowy would be upset. And that was almost as bad as being eaten by a giant worm, which at least she could adventure to find and get out of. Can't adventure a wife, now can you?

She had just adventured the previous night to get all the adventure out of her, after all. Small cave outside of Stalliongrad, magic stuff and things and trap and monsters and totally awesomesauce. Now she wouldn't be thinking of the Gilded Caves of the Griffon Grifters just outside of the outside of the city while she was wedding her honey doodle dandy at the Grand Celestial in downtown Stalliongrad, the top of which could look straight at those caves! Oh well. Maybe they could go there for the honeymoon. Now talk about a wedding worthy of all the attention it was getting! Princesses and paparazzi, magicians and performers, heroes and villains, all of them were showing up. It was bound to be the best wedding in all of wedding land.

Pathfinder sighed as she placed her hoof on the door to her little changing room slash waiting room thingie. She just wanted to go out there, kiss her wife, snugggle and woggle and dance in some cake while Trixie lit the place on fire with awesome magic. SO EXCITING WEDDING TIME.

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"Is that really what you're going to wear?" sounded the inescapable nag of Snowfall's mother as the young CEO stood facing a large mirror.

 

"Now you have a problem with my choice of fashion as well, mother?" Snow commented indifferently. Her choice in dress was far from the typical. It was a modern design, sleek and elegant with none of the frills or trail one might see on the standard wedding dress. it was also hardly the usual color. Rather than a pure white, it was a deep, dark violet. Her mane was done up in a braided bun with a violet flower pinned to the corner of her mane. She wore no veil.

 

"Honestly, at this point, the least you could do is make yourself look the part of the proper bride," Crystal Snowflake barked, her face scrunching up in the process. She was well dressed for the occasion as well, clad in long red gown and adorned with many large jewels.

 

Snow just laughed. "You know I loathe to wear white, mother. It just doesn't suit me at all.You should just be grateful I didn't show up in my first option, wearing a stallion's tuxedo," she said. She had strongly considered this exact thing, until her designer had shown her the plan for her current dress and it had won her over. "Besides, wouldn't it look strange if we both wore white up there? Pathfinder will look the part. It's very likely the dress I chose for her is of the same sort you'd have seen me wear if you had your way. "

 

"You are your father's heir. No one is going to be looking at her. They are here to look at you," Crystal scoffed, indignant. "Honestly, dear, it is as if you want for your own wedding to be a farce."

 

Snowfall sighed and shook her head. "What I'm doing here is compromising, mother. It's about what you want and about what Pathfinder wants. If it was about what I wanted, I'd avoid all this needless pageantry all together and just have a quiet peaceful ceremony somewhere away from so much unneeded attention."

 

"I thought you were more sensible than that. An event like this is an uncommon opportunity to restrengthen new and important bonds for the company and its future."

 

Snowfall closed her eyes and breathed in. "Of course, mother. And I'll be sure to be nice to all the partners and investors you invited. You don't need to worry about that..." she said, successfully containing her frustration.

 

"It's not your behavior I'm worried about here, child," Crystal replied coldly. Snowfall shot her a flat look.

 

"If you really think my bride to be is going to embarrass you, why did you invite so many people?" she said. "Or better yet, why did you agree to come yourself?"

 

"That is no way to talk to your mother, Snowfall," the older mare said dismissively. Snowfall just grumbled in irritation.

 

She closed her eyes again and thought of Pathfinder. Her mother was putting a damper on things, and honestly the whole idea of grandiose weddings was off-putting to her, but for the meaning of what was about to proceed, for how her and pathfinder would be bound together in love, she could push all the small irritations aside and find a sense of joy... as well as an anxiety. There was still a part of her that filled commitment, and for it, she supposed in part she was thankful for her mother and her nagging as it gave her something to focus on while waiting for the wedding to begin. Without that, at this point it's very likely she'd have melted into a puddle of nerves at this point.

 

Whatever the case, she hoped that the wedding would begin soon. She wanted nothing more than to see Pathfinder in her gown.

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As soon as Crystal snowflake was out of earshot, Presteza stepped over Snowflake. "Wow... and I thought my Mum could be a stick in the mud." the freckled mare said with a slight grimace on her face before looking to her friend, "Don' worry about what she says. Ya look wonderful, Snowfall... Gotta say though; seein' ya in a tux would be kinda neat..." she chuckled to herself. After the ordeal the two unicorns had found themselves in some time ago they found they had rekindled an old friendship. When Pressy was a foal she was often taken care of by a younger snowfall, who could have guessed it took a dragon kidnapping the two of them for them to meet once more.

 

Presteza was positively thrilled when she'd recieved her invitation, not so much that she was invited, but by the fact that two friends of hers were getting married. Pathfinder had met Presteza on an adventure to a floating city once, there they even got to fight a giant monster made of living stone that was able to fly! From how Pathfinder looked when Pressy entered this place, she had to say the Daring Do fanfilly didn't look half as excited then as she did now.

 

In preparation for this event, the cream colored painter had made sure to wear a very nice and lovely formal dress as well as a brooch with her own cutie mark's design upon it. To be honest, this dress was far from her favorite as it covered up all of hind quarters, legs, and needed her tail to be pushed in... such a pain, but hey, if it could make Snowfall and pathy's special day better, she could bare it.

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More and more these days changelings were becoming a regular occurrence at Equestrian weddings.  Of course, given how much love was in the air at these things, free for the taking, they had probably always been there, but now ponies were beginning to see them undisguised!  If you asked Kahz the reason for this change in fashion, he would probably answer that they'd come into fashion after their big debut at the first truly Royal Wedding in ages!

 

At least, that was what he had spent the past 15 minutes explaining to the rather beefy-looking stallions standing as guards over the doorways.  "I've been invited by the bride herself, and what's more, I happen to know that there were specific and stated orders from the Bride's mother that this wedding was going to be the event of the season.  Do you really want to be the pony who goes up to her and explains that she can't have what Princes and Princesses have at their weddings?  Well, do you!?"  The diminutive lovebug was hovering at this point, bringing himself up to eye level with the bouncer, who was beginning to be taken aback by the sheer volume and velocity of words coming from the sort of creature that he'd heretofore thought of as a dumb drone.

 

Seeing the wavering in his opponent's eyes, Kahz went for the clincher.  "If I'm not wanted here, of course, there are always oher venues I can play at.  I hear there's a rather sweet little ceremony between two donkeys that I could lend my services to in a small country town.  Wouldn't look good for your boss to kick me there, you know?  Come off as classist and speciest, in front of Princess Celestia, no less!  Don't want to make her look bad, do you?"

 

"N-no, of course not!"  The guard gulped, and stepped aside to let the changeling pass into the back entrance, where the performers had to go through.  "Just... don't make any trouble, OK?"

 

"Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a cupcake in my- OW!"  He never got that right; it was always too valuable an opportunity to put ponies at their ease.  True to form, the bouncer laughed as Kahz left, hauling his guitar with him.

 

What a place this was!  Even behind stage, the whole venue was soaked in swank!  You could practically feel the class in the air, along with the love.  

 

Actually... there was a conflict between the two scents.  Oh, the couple themselves were strong, but they were surrounded by ponies not quite in the spirit of things.  Not exactly a promising harvest, but they didn't reckon on the golden tones of the Hive's biggest male musician!  Which in no case was saying much, but hey, you took what you could get.

 

He had to admit, though, he was very much surprised when Pathfinder had delivered the invitation to him, not the least because she'd managed to infiltrate the Changeling Kingdom's security to do so.  And their last meeting had not been exactly congenial.  Still, if the pegasus wanted to let bygones be bygones, he was more than willing to accommodate her!

 

Setting down his instrument, Kahz looked about at his fellow performers, spotting a somewhat-familiar looking unicorn mare in a robe and wizard hat.  "Well, hello."  He sauntered over to her, putting on a smile that was off-puttingly charming, given who was wearing it.  "And here I thought we'd never grace each other with our presences; glad to see I was proven wrong."

 

 

Presuming a bit that Trixie's here, but I knew she was invited, and would be with the performers, so... yeah.

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Trixie was bemused by the ostentatious appearance of the wedding hall and reception area thus far.  It was more fitting of the nobility of Canterlot than for somepony like Pathfinder.  Obviously this Snowfall pony was in the bits, either through business or through family, not that it mattered.  It was to laugh that such a pony would want to marry the cockamamie self-styled explorer; maybe this Snowfall was bored with her aristocratic life and that is why she was going through with this.  Trixie’s imagination was running away with the possibilities, she couldn’t wait to meet the bride and find out what was really running through her mind.

 

Trixie herself showed up in her usual performance ensemble of a long purple cape, replete with complimentary, colorful stars, held together by a turquoise gem brooch; atop her head was a large matching pointed hat.  As much as she liked her usual outfit, Trixie was thoughtful enough to pack along a beautiful dress for the actual wedding ceremony, and astute enough not to wear it in Whooves’ dirty, smoky, self-propelled wagon; her usual attire was for the magnificent show she were to perform as part of the entertainment at the reception, entertainment in which Pathfinder had promised she would be well-compensated.

 

She looked about the colorful group of characters gathering, no doubt hired as part of the entertainment.  It was quite the crowd, enough that she had managed to lose track of her “plus one”, Whooves himself.  Knowing that pony he was off to the bar already ordering two banana daiquiris, both for him!  Still, no matter how tipsy he may get, it was worth dragging him along just for his reaction upon having to see Pathfinder again.

 

As she moved towards the front to peek at the bar in hopes of spotting her erstwhile companion, Trixie was suddenly accosted by the most unlikely of creatures a pony would expect to be out in the open at some pony’s wedding, a changeling!   As if that wasn’t shocking enough, it appeared to know who she was!  Normally Trixie would assume it was because her fame was far and wide in Equestria, but this creature wasn’t of Equestria but of the foreboding Badlands beyond!  Worse, it was trying to be alluring!  Was it after her love?!?

 

Fortunately Trixie had grown in her magic thanks to her many adventures with Whooves, which allowed for more formidable tricks under her hat!  “Halt right there creature! You shall not pass!  Nor shall you take the precious love of the Amorous and Tender Trixie!!”  The azure unicorn tilted her hat upwards and with a purple flash from her horn, the dangerous monster was now incased in a translucent purple sphere of magical energy.  “Someone summon the local gendarme, the Bold and Heroic Trixie has captured a Changeling trying to infiltrate the wedding!!”  Not even Pathfinder deserved her love stolen from her!

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Doctor Whooves was had plans.  There was this lovely little nexus up near the crystal shores that was just starting into the rainbow season, where the sun was just at the right angle to make everything sing.  He hadn't checked that area for a while.  Then, of course, there was the budding diplomatic activities with the Caribou and Yaks of the North.  That just begged for his attention to make sure no foul ancient dark magicks ... or foul young new dark magicks ... were influencing the diplomatic talks.

Where was he instead?  At a wedding.  Not that he minded weddings.  But this one was a wedding for a particular adventurer fangirl.  Admittedly, she managed to stumble through her own adventures well enough, but usually while instigating disasters left and right.  He'd normally never have come ... if she'd even have invited him ... but Trixie had insisted.  He grumbled and finished off the first of his banana daiquiris, which always made him feel better.

At least he'd gotten his suit tailored in time, this time.  He perched the remaining two daiquiris on a small tray on his back, and went trotting off to find Trixie and share the wealth.

Well, this was a pleasant surprise!  Trixie had found something interesting to do while they were here!  Though of course, she'd handled it in completely the wrong way.  Well, his own recent adventures where he'd been briefly granted Trixie's powers had left him with the perfect counter to this particular situation.

He came up next to Trixie, licked his hoof, and pressed it to the tip of her glowing horn, completely disrupting her magic spell.  Then he put his foreleg around her shoulders while his other forehoof pressed a banana daiquiri into her hoof.  "Trixie, my dear, while I do approve of you finding this exotic chap, he is no doubt the perfect expert to help me with a particular research problem I've been running into, I do believe your approach is a bit off."  He tapped his hoof to the side of his muzzle.  "The Changelings you have to worry about are the ones who *don't* come up to you and introduce themselves as themselves, aye?  Just a brief rule of toe."

And with that, he had left her to be, giving up his precious banana daiquiri to press it into the Changeling's hooves.  "And my good sir, so *glad* to meet you!  Just the pony I needed to talk to!  You see, I have these flameless fireworks that I've recently discovered a trigger for, and I simply cannot figure out how to set them off reliably.  You'll help me, won't you?"
 

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This dress was a prison and Pathfinder was an inmate who couldn't break free from it's lacey, frilly design. Who needed guards when you had that trailing thing and who needed solitary confinement when you could just take solace in the fact that Pathfinder felt like she was as mobile as a statue. She was all about this whole marriage thing but she would rather not look so silly! Why did ponies wear dresses like this to weddings? It made her think that the old adage that marriage was a prison was referring simply to the dress. Did you have to wear the dress while you were married? Was divorce when you took the dress off? It was very weird and confusing. And tight. Very tight. And very white and that meant she couldn't get it dirty which meant no adventure, and no adventure was the worst prison of all.

The fact that she had friends coming to this shindig was the only reason she wasn't freaking out. She'd have rather gotten married in a waterfall, alone with Snowy. But no, most waterfalls didn't have seats for people to watch the ceremony and Snowy insisted on more formal settings for their love to be exposed. Well, wasn't it already exposed? Tabloids had covered it all. It was too hot. And stuffy. And her room was stuffy. She wanted to leave it but she couldn't until she was called upon, so all she could do was fidget. And fidget she did. She stomped on the edges and the frills and nudged and bit the top of the hem an this and that and gaaaah. This dress was gonna drive her bonkers mad! Then she would be crazed and Snowy would be embarrassed...no, Pathfinder had to be on her best behavior. Any behavior, really.

Uggh, She wanted out. She could hear some commotion out there but there wasn't a way for her to see, the door not having a handy dandy peephole for her to poke her inquisitive eye through. Hopefully a dragon was showing up and she would be called upon to fight it. Until then, all she could do was waste away in Nonadventureville. Well, at least she could imagine how much fun Snowfall was having. She was a mare who loved this sort of thing! All the formality and the high society stuff, Snowy acted like she hated it but she didn't hate it. It just bored her. It consumed too much of her time. But she didn't hate it. If she did, she would have gotten married in the woods or an ancient temple. She probably looked beautiful She always did. Yep. Yep. Riiiight like that...

 

SHE WANTED OUT OF THIS ROOM AND OUT OF THIS DRESS ALREADY!
“Get this show on the road already! Gah!”

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“Get this show on the road already! Gah!”

 

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“Quiet down, missy!” cried out an amused voice from the doorway into Pathfinder’s chamber; “See, this is why I said that ya’ shoulda’ tied the knot in Pegasus instead of havin' all this fancy time-wastin' stuff, ha ha ha!” The adventurer would have found in the doorway a middle-aged griffon wearing a cheap rent-a-tux along with his usual yellow hat, with a plastic cup clutched in one of his talons. That griffon: none other than good ole’ Uncle Falco! Even though Pathy had no choice but to go through with the expensive dresses and elaborate receptions, there was no way in the world that the pawnshop owner would miss his honorary niece's wedding day.

 

“You know,” Falco’s demeanor unexpectedly turned more into what could be loosely described as heartfelt; “I may be a griffon with horrible fashion sense, but even I can tell that yer lookin’ wonderful today.” Part of Falco’s mind also thought that in some respects, Pathfinder looked absolutely out-of-character with that dress of hers. But the griffon knew better than to say such thoughts out loud, especially if the explorer’s bride would think otherwise. For now, it was best just to make sure that Pathfinder didn’t do anything too rash before she met her destiny at the altar. Hopefully, Falco could get through the day without shedding tears of joy in the process.

 

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Out where everyone else was waiting, one stallion would most definitely not shed tears of any kind. If it were up to Dr. Merlot, he wouldn’t have even bothered attending the wedding of his most hated nuisance and one of his ex-marefriends. In the end, he only decided to come here today out of pity for Snowfall’s mom, the highly respectable Crystal Snowflake, who must have been grievously suffering over this embarrassing ordeal. To add further insult to Merlot, the quack doctor Whooves and that sham magician Trixie were both there too; two additional ponies that the gentlecolt learned to despise. At least this was only one day; Merlot would be back in Manehattan before he knew it.....

Edited by Bellosh101
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“Halt right there creature! You shall not pass!  Nor shall you take the precious love of the Amorous and Tender Trixie!!”  The azure unicorn tilted her hat upwards and with a purple flash from her horn, the dangerous monster was now incased in a translucent purple sphere of magical energy.  “Someone summon the local gendarme, the Bold and Heroic Trixie has captured a Changeling trying to infiltrate the wedding!!”

 

*Welp. OK, admittedly, upon reflection, I suppose that would be the natural response.*  It seemed that living among his fellow changelings in Chrysalis' Hive had spoiled Kahz, insofar as becoming a mare's stallion was concerned.  So few actually offered anything like genuine affection or likability that it didn't take all that much effort to win a smile or laugh.  Your average pony, on the other hand, would take a little more work.  Time to give the old silver tongue a wagging...

 

"Oh, well, I don't know if you can call it infiltration when the bride to be hoof-delivers your invitation."  Kahz produced the rectangle of cardboard in question with a casual laugh, for all Equestria as if a skilled magician had not trapped him in a magical bubble.  That was the key, never let on that you were nervous or afraid.  It held true equally for covert ops, leadership, and asking mares out on dates.  "I wasn't sure if I was going to come, but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to see you.  Had to see that the rumors were true, you know?"  He gave a little wink to the unicorn.  Normally it wasn't a good idea to press on after a clear rejection, but since he was trapped, he couldn't really walk away.  Might as well take advantage of the situation, right?

 

 

He came up next to Trixie, licked his hoof, and pressed it to the tip of her glowing horn, completely disrupting her magic spell.  Then he put his foreleg around her shoulders while his other forehoof pressed a banana daiquiri into her hoof.  "Trixie, my dear, while I do approve of you finding this exotic chap, he is no doubt the perfect expert to help me with a particular research problem I've been running into, I do believe your approach is a bit off."  He tapped his hoof to the side of his muzzle.  "The Changelings you have to worry about are the ones who *don't* come up to you and introduce themselves as themselves, aye?  Just a brief rule of toe."

And with that, he had left her to be, giving up his precious banana daiquiri to press it into the Changeling's hooves.  "And my good sir, so *glad* to meet you!  Just the pony I needed to talk to!  You see, I have these flameless fireworks that I've recently discovered a trigger for, and I simply cannot figure out how to set them off reliably.  You'll help me, won't you?"

 

And that was an entirely unexpected reaction to a sudden changeling in one's midst. Just went to show, you never could tell with these ponies.  Kahz' exit from magical imprisoning was a most undignified collapse upon the floor; but he sprang up with undaunted energy, dusting himself off and retrieving his guitar, only to suddenly find himself juggling it and a Banana daiquiri at the same time!

 

Not about to let somepony else conquer him with his own favorite 'overwhelm with forward momentum' tactic, Kahz took a gulp from the frozen drink to buy himself a second or two to recover his nerves, before counter-charging the eccentric doctor's motor mouth.  "Boy, I hate to think what your country's academies have come to if I look like a scholar to you!  Unless you've developed pyrotechnics triggered by the Power of Love or Rock and Roll, there's not really much I can contribute to your work.  But I do have to congratulate you on your enlightened attitude, these daiquiris are delicious!  Made with love, and I ought to know."

 

Another gulp of fruity goodness.  He had to admit, this 'doctor' knew what he was talking about!  "But what about you, eh?  What brings the great genius here?  Need to give the brain a break eh?  Float away on a sea of sentiment?  Never could cry at weddings myself; I consider it rude.  After all, if a chef prepared a lovely meal for you, would tears be complimentary?"

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Although Trixie listened to the Changeling's explanation for being at the wedding and even briefly contemplated releasing him, as his words did make sense, all of that went away the moment he gave a flirtatious wink.  She knew it!  Such arrogance!  Openly attempting to steal Trixie's deep reservoir of amorous love with trifle coquetry!!  "How dare you!"

In her anger, Trixie's magic bubble tightened around the Changeling as it morphed into a series of tight, bright purple rings squeezing his forelegs and wings to his sides.  These last couple years she had learned much in dealing with magical creatures and was more than ready to dispatch this contemptible sleaze!   Not that she would actually injure him, but perhaps magically flinging him a great distance or sealing him up someplace isolated for the duration was called for.  The former sounded more fun even if the latter was more reasonable, in either case surely she will be praised for her justice and bravery!

Before she could decide which course of action to take, Trixie suddenly found her spell broken by the most trivial method one could use on a unicorn, if one could get close enough, tapping the tip of the horn with a moist hoof.  Trixie shivered uncontrollably at the feeling, it always felt a little icky when it happened and was always successful in causing disruption of unicorn magic.

Trixie jumped backwards and wildly brushed at the tip of her now wet horn, "ew, ew, ewwwwwwwww!!"  Whooves!! Of course it was Whooves!!  Before she could protest, she found a banana daiquiri shoved into her fore hooves along with an explanation why the Changeling wasn't a danger that she grudgingly accepted made sense.   She rolled her eyes in clear annoyance, "Fiiiiine!  You could have simply told the Great and Powerful Trixie this without having to resort to such crass and…" shiver, "wet methods!"  She turned to the Changeling, "The Merciful and Benevolent Trixie has decide to heed the advice of her faithful assistant and allow you a reprieve, but Trixie shall be keeping watch!"

Her general cautionness turned to bemusement when Kahz called Whooves 'a great genius', Trixie couldn't help but snicker at that.  "Whaaa?  Him?  Trixie's assistant?  Great Genius?  Clever, sure, inventive, well he does invent stuff, not sure if it's useful stuff, but he does invent stuff, but great genius?  You talk as if he is world renowned or something.  You sure you are not trying to get a love snack through inflating his ego?  It is pretty large as is."

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Doctor Whooves blinked at Trixie's description.  Him?  An assistant?  He laughed, shook his head.  "I apologize for my companion.  She can get a bit over enthusiastic.  Not surprised you were drawn to her - never met anypony who loves themselves as much as she does.  Not at all modest and unassuming like myself.  Though funny you should mention that... they are, in fact powered by - wait!  Great Whickering Stallions, did you say the drink was mixed with love!?"  He pulled a bright ball of static energy, a flameless firework, from his pocket, and dunked it without preamble into Kahz's drink.  he frowned, peering over to watch from a few inches away ... ... ... "Well, blast.  Perhaps it's not enough of a concentrate... "  He pulled the firework out of the drink, shook it off (luckily liquids tended not to stick to explosions frozen in time), and tucked it back into his pocket.  

"Yes, yes, these are activated by the power of love, in fact!"  Doctor Whooves led Kahz off, completely ignoring Trixie's tendency to run off at the mouth.  "See, I think it has to do with the way I made these... I have this device that bring time forward to you ... but if I borrow time *entirely* from a firework in progress, it just... stops.  Right in the middle of its first burst!  But since love surpasses time and space, it pierces the containment, and suddenly the firework is happening again!  But I can't seem to reliably trigger them, even when I perform acts which all my research points to being related to intense acts of love!"

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As her mother wandered off in a huff, Snowfall let out a deep sigh. She seriously hoped she never became as difficult at that. It was and always had been exhausting to endure that mare and her demands. Luckily it was a much less vexing individual who approached her next.
 
It was a mare called Presteza, an old acquaintance recently turned friend. She was daughter of Duchess Silver Belle of Trottingham, a family connection. Snow had been childhood friends with the mare's brother and had with him looked after a very young Presteza on a number of occasions. Snow had lost touch with them both as she was made to study more and more, however, until, by the time of her father's disappearance the bonds of childhood had been all but forgotten. It was only a recent, bizarre twist of fate which reunited them as adults. A dragon had kidnapped the both of them and thrown them into a cage together. It had been a surreal thing when Snow had realized who her fellow prisoner was, but she was very glad for the rare chance to call Presteza her friend anew.
 
"You have no idea..." Snow laughed bitterly at the comment about her mother. She gave a more cheerful giggle when the mare mentioned how she'd look good in a tux. "My mother would have a had a fit. Pathfinder though... I think she'd rather see me like this." She smiled warmly. "And that's way more important."
 
Snow turned herself and took a moment to look Presteza over. "You look really nice yourself, Presteza. I love the brooch," she said, smiling. "Thanks so much for coming today."

 
Crystal Snowflake scoffed as she exited her daughter's dressing room. She looked around the hall, noting how guests and entertainment were beginning to arrive more gradually. She wasn't sure how to feel. On one hand, she was glad to see so many fine and well dressed guests come but that it was to see her daughter marry that pony left her plainly irritated. She would try her best to be a good hosts. She smiled at each of the guests she passed and thanked them for coming.
 
Her eyes lit up a little when she spied in the crowd a pony who looked as annoyed and confused about what he was doing there as she was. It was her old friend Dr. Merlot, a pony she had once tried to set Snowfall up with and whom she had also once been set on a blind date with. He was charming, handsome and had a reputation which demanded respect. He was everything Pathfinder wasn't and for it Crystal couldn't deny that she did have a particular warm spot for him. She approached him tentatively.
 
"Ah, Dr. Merlot! It's been far too long!" she greeted him with energy. "Though she told me she had invited you, I honestly had doubts that you might come today,," she said. "My child, she wasn't exactly fair to you after all, and a stallion of your esteem must surely be busier than to put his time toward an occasion such as this."

Gilda the griffon gave a low grumble as she stepped ahead. She was having a hard time believing where she was. Everything for the wedding was so fancy and expensive looking. It was kind of unreal. She had kind of not entirely believed it when pathfinder had told her she was dating the head of some huge, important company, but here was the proof. She was a little uneasy, afraid to touch anything. She was, however, glad to be there.
 
Pathfinder was a completely ridiculous fool. Becoming involved with her, it had cost Gilda several months of time and good health as she was made to languish in an underground prison. Despite that, however, Gilda had come to think of Pathfinder as a friend, though it was probably only recently where she would have admitted it outright. It was, after all, only recently when she had realized that having and making friends was something important to her.
 
She had smiled pretty wide when she received her invitation to the wedding. She didn't know the other mare at all, save from what Pathfinder said of her, but she was just happy that, after so many days fearing that that silly pegasus was on her last legs, something genuinely positive was being allowed to happen in Pathfinder's life. She deserved it after all she had been through, and Gilda had definitely been quick to make time in her schedule of selling scones and working to revitalize Griffonstone to head to Stalliongrad for the event.
 
Now that she was there, however, she felt a certain awkwardness for it all. She felt just a little out of place, kind of like she would making a friend all over again and the fancy surroundings didn't help the griffon who, wore nothing and looked about the same as she ever did. That wasn't going to stop her from offering Pathfinder her congratulations.
 
When she found her way to Pathfinder's dressing chamber, there was another griffon there with her. Gilda didn't know the guy, but seeing him she felt a little better. She might not have dressed herself for the event, but at least she hadn't put on some trashy, cheap suite like this dude.
 
Her eyes didn't stay with him long though, for they found Pathfinder and were forced to stay there. Gilda laughed long and hard, pointing her talon. She didn't know what to expect, but it certainly wasn't Pathfinder in some frilly, white dress. "You look ridiculous!" she declared between laughs. "Is this for real?"
 
She calmed down slowly and realized maybe that wasn't exactly the best way to greet a friend on her wedding day. "What I mean is... hey. Long time no see, pon--... I mean, Pathfinder," she clumsily blurted out.

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"How dare you!"

 

Double rejection, ouch.  Kahz might have been able to write off the first reaction as merely the natural response to a species not noted for a lack of hostility towards Equine kind.  From the constricting force of his magical prison, however, the changeling was pretty sure that this reaction stemmed from personal rejection.  *Oh well, it had been worth a shot.*

 

But, he wasn't a bitter sort, or one to take rejection hard.  After all, you always had better odds when you moved on to another mare rather than trying to convince one who was just not interested in you.  No point in being a jerk about it, that only made everypony less likely to give you the time of day.  After Whooves graciously released him from bondage, Kahz gave a mock salute to the magician.  "Right you are, Trixie, I won't push the issue any farther.  As for reputations... well, we generally don't get to hear about most ponies back at home by name unless they're the adventuring sort.  That's why I'm here, actually; Pathfinder and I met when she payed the Kingdom a little visit.  Kind of surprised she didn't hold grudges at the welcome, but I won't complain.  No objections to it all ending in peace and love, if we can manage it."

 

That took care of how he knew of Whooves; regardless of whether the stallion was a genius, considered in the absolute sense, relative to the average adventurer he was an intellectual powerhouse.  Particularly if Pathfinder were to be taken as a fair sample.  No one could deny the mare had courage and physical expertise aplenty, but it was pretty clear to most present that Snowfall would be providing the brains of the outfit going forward.

 

Speaking of brains, it seemed time for Kahz to task his own.  This he did while getting his guitar in tune, turning over the problem of love-activated fireworks in his mind as his magic turned over the string-tightening keys.  "Well... it might be a matter of kind as well as degree.  The love of a craftspony for their craft and customers isn't the same as the love of a mother for offspring... or for a lover of their mate."  He looked curiously between the magician mare and the scientist stallion, but his specialized senses couldn't detect any telltale signs.  Ah well, one couple was enough for a wedding.  "So... if they only work at weddings, that's probably the reason.  If it's a matter of stimulating enough love, though..."  The little 'ling grinned, strumming a chord to test the tuning.  "Never let it be said I didn't sing for my supper, I ain't no thief of love!"

 

Among the many guests on the invite list, one in particular was never known for being unfashionably early.  Even so, given how many had arrived in front of him, it might have crossed the hostess' mind to doubt whether Prince Blueblood would show up at all.  After all, his own connection with the family was a relatively recent one, and despite thoughts to the contrary among socialite circles, his position did not oblige him to show up at every high society wedding.  As a point of fact, he generally avoided them if he could, as the association of the occasion always put certain matrons in mind of "setting up" potential connections with an available specimen of royalty...

 

That just fear aside, however, Blueblood was planning to show up at Snowfall's wedding.  After all, the CEO had been willing to pledge a substantial founder's investment, of both resources and time, into IMAGINE, which thanks to her help had transitioned from a half-baked idea in the brain of a repentant drunk to a serious organization that stood ready to actually make the world a better place.  Thus, his attendance was assured... except for one little issue.

 

"Announcing, His Royal Highness, Prince-"  The herald, puffed up with pride and dignity at being given the duty and privilege of announcing so high a title (regardless of the reputation of the attached pony), was irritated to find himself interrupted by the frantic whispering of a servant sent ahead.  After ten second's consulting, however, the herald's irritation gave way to surprise, and not a little amusement.  With effort, he straightened his face and back, resuming his announcement.  "Correction, Her Royal Highness, Princess Bluebelle!"

 

That was sufficient to make everypony present sit up and take notice.  There in the entrance to greet their attracted gazes was a mare that, objectively considered, was worth gazing at.  She was a unicorn, with alabaster coat and golden mane groomed to a shining impeccability.  Eschewing the ostentatious dress usually worn by royalty on such occasion, she had dressed in a stylishly minimalistic manner, with only a tailor-cut dark red jacket and pale cream scarf.  Granted, she possessed a figure that would have put a paper bag on many a fashion designer's Fall line, but that was neither her nor there.

 

For the briefest instant, the fixed gaze of the crowd upon her froze the mare like a lighthouse beam upon a peryton.  That instant soon passed, however, as 'Bluebelle' settled her nerves and proceeded into the vendor hall.  And the regal manner in which she walked, as well as the compass rose cutie marks upon her flanks, left no doubt in the audience's mind; this was the former Prince known as Blueblood.

 

The Princess paid no heed to the whispers of surprise and speculation to her right or to her left; instead making straight for her fellow IMAGINE founder.  "Ah, there you are miss Snowfall!  It has been too long since I last saw you.  Oh, and Lady Presteza!"  Bluebelle gave the customary degree of bowing to the both of them; the formality serving as a buttress to nerves that were not quite at their steadiest.  "I would have been the first to congratulate you, but I was delayed by... circumstances."  She followed the pairs' eyes over her 'new look,' smiling ruefully.  "Yes, I know.  It's, ah, a long story.  Bit of an... accident, you might say, not related to that little... incident in Los Pegasus, if you'll recall?"  She looked at Presteza, who had indeed once experienced a sudden and unexpected shift in gender.  "I'll give the details after the ceremony.  Suffice it to say... I wasn't planning to upstage you and Pathfinder today, but I didn't want to skip out on today altogether."

 

Bluebelle gave the pegasus an apologetic smile, hoping that her feathers weren't too ruffled by the unforeseen circumstances.  She'd heard many a horror story about what happened to those who annoyed brides on their wedding day...

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 Oh no! There was a ghost in the door that responded to Pathfinder. What a weird thing! Cool though. Ghosts made Pathfinder sad a little when they were clearly sentient to some degree and nice. Made Pathfinder think of some nice pony who wasn't allowed to move on. Ghosts needed to be angry and vengeful so they could be enemies in an adventure! But wait a minute...nah, that was the voice of Falco, a super cool griffon pawn merchant slash self-styled and allowed uncle! He was one of the few creatures who looked at her lifestyle in a positive manner. That said a whole heck of a lo more about how lame most others were, but thanks to him she was able to afford so many of her adventures by pawning off the finds from her other adventures! It seemed rather obvious, but you'd be shocked how many ponies and griffons didn't find ancient gemstones that once held powerful magic and now just sat there looking pretty to be worth their time. But Falco did and that was why he was pretty darn cool!

“Hey there! I thought you wouldn't show up, what with the long distance ad you being so OLD! How ya doin'?” Pathfinder leapt at Falco, embracing him in a big, big hug- before falling back due to the dress. This thing was getting in the way of everything! Why didn't Snowfall want to get married in a dark cave crackling with electricity or above a den of bugbears? “Thanks for the compliment Falco, but this isn't my scene at all! I'm used to dangerous delves in dark, dank caves and excited tussles in jungles against enemies seeking to destroy Equestria, or flying high in the sky while avoiding sentient lightning coming from accursed cities glowing with sickly green energy from massed changeling hordes inside trying to connect the Heart of the Horde to Maredrid's enchanted energy!” Pathfinder blurted out, getting way too excited as she went over recent events. She calmed down, making sure not to ruffle the dress. “Frankly, I feel-

“You look ridiculous!”

Followed by a familiar guffaw
 

“Is this for real?!”

“-Yeah, I feel like that!” Pathfinder said way, way too loud. Half because she agreed and half because Gilda was here! Yay Gilda, yaaaaay! Pathfinder had adventured many times with many fellow adventure buddies, but none of them really compared to the intensity and fun times of Gilda. Together they had braved dangers and horrors that would have broken lesser ponies and griffs. But they weren't lesser, they were morer, and together they had gotten away with several relics and probably a rap sheet in Talinopolis seven notebooks long kept secret only because they had been tangled up in some illegal scheme by the razorclaws. Or something like that, parts of it were a blur. But a good blur, like the good blur Gilda would see as Pathfinder launched towards her for a tight hug.

“It's really really really really really really good to see you Gilda! I was worried you were going to get eaten by a dragonbou or something. Hmm, that does sound pretty good. I wanna see one! Anyway, I'm glad you could make it. This dress is pretty silly, isn't it? At least it has room for my wings!” Pathfinder shot her wings out and rubbed Gilda's face with them because she could, “see? Totally super healed. Told you no prison was going to keep me down! How is the Gilly Gilfstepherson doing? Find a nice bird to be with, or how about a dragon? We could make this a double wedding ya know. Or we could go hunt for hidden Gems of Power underneath the city after I consummate the marriage tonight! Whatcha think?”

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Just going to close his eyes for fifteen minutes, Java thought! He’ll be up in time for the wedding, he thought! Well that fifteen minutes turned out to be a lot more than just fifteen minutes! Oh how much of an idiot he was! He promissed Pressy that he’d show up to the wedding on time! He spent all night working on the wedding gift, that he had tuckered out what remaining reserves of energy he had left! And when he took a nap… he practically fell asleep! So much for showing up on time!

Heck! He would have pissed the wedding completely if it wasn’t for Sine’s yowling to try and wake him up! Such a good cat for watching out for him. He’ll have to get her something extra special once this is all over with. But first he’ll have to get to the wedding! But how? The train would prove to be too slow. But maybe… he could call in a favor a friend owed him.

---

Yes… there was a very fine reason that Java held onto that favor for so long. The winds were beating against him as he hung from the talons of a large gray and black speckled female Griffon dressed in a flannel green beret and scarf. The earth was far below him, and were lazily scrolling by at such a height.

Though the reality was… the two were moving at a fairly blinding speed from Canterlot’s mountain, all the way to ponyvile in one sharp downwards angle. Her wings kept fluttering, building up the speed to a bit of a risky speed. Risky as in… you wouldn’t want to run into something on your way down.

If it wasn’t for the fact that the stallion spent a good portion of his life admiring and envying flying creatures… he would have been terrified of the experience. But no. Despite the fact that he was running horrendously late. And the fact that he was a deadly drop away to talking to the Storm Father about how he tried to get to a wedding… he was laughing with exhilraton.

“SO!” The Griffon began. Her gaze shifted underneath herself. “Any idea how you’re going to land!?”

The stallion’s laughter stopped. How he was going to land? Maybe… maybe she needed a reminder.

“Er Rivillia… you’re going to drop me off?”

“Yep! That was the favor you called! And I’ve obliged, sweety. Now how are you going to land?”

The stallion stared into that sadistic grin with a dumbfounded expression. He quickly realized what she meant. Their decent was now slowly drifting under the rooftops of the small town. But their speed hadn’t slown down one bit.

“Rivi… no.”

“Oh yes~”

“No! NO NO NO!”

“Oh yes yes yes! FLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY LITTLE PONY! And say hi to Pressy for me~” Rivillia cackled, releasing her friend. Not that she was a bad friend. She knew very well the little earth pony could take it. She was just a tad bit miffed she had to complete the favor in the middle of a date.

And of course, the stallions cries fell on death ears on his drop to the ground, still speeding through the air down the street as the Griffoness took off to the sky.

“RIVIYOUUNHINGEDFEATHEREDSONOVADIA-” He cut off with a sharp yelp just as his flank skidded on the ground. His body bounced back up into the air. His hooves flailing wildly in a feeble attempt to grasp hold of something. More yelps and cries sounded out of the stallion as he tumbled down the street.

Slowly but surely slowing down till one… final… hop… then-THUNK.

The front of his body had made a loving greeting to the hall’s large and heavy wooden doors. But thankfully… they seemed to have a strong enough resolve to not give to the tumbling pony. And instead stop him cold turky, and mid way on his hooves.

The doors finally slid open, letting the pony slowly slide down it’s frame till he was on his hooves. A bit wobbly… and a little disheveled but still standing.

He stumbled, taking one step in and pausing as pain shot up his leg. Wincing, now that he was starting to hurt all over. But… that was no excuse for looking like he had just lost a fight with gravity. The stallion quickly gave his body a good doggy shake.

Dust flew off of his body in a thick cloud. This left him just a little dirty… and some how with an immaculate vest. The very which vest he opened up, and pulled out a sharp looking suit jacket, and quickly slipped it over his body, and buttoned it up.

“Sorry I’m late! I… got a tad bit distracted.” He hummed. Trying to mask any signs of pain he felt.


((late post is late))

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Trixie started to fume as the Doctor talked how she was all egotistical, especially in comparison to him!  Modest?!? He wasn’t modest, Trixie understood modesty! After all she was the one once condemned to eke out the barest existence in the depths of the Everfree, what could be more modest than that?!  Why she should take her banana daiquiri and dump it right over his condescending head, if well, if it didn’t taste so good….  As she took another sip staring at Whooves and his new found Changeling friend as they walked away gabbing about whatever, she thought how lucky he should consider himself that her drink was so tasty, the jerk!  She mentally put down five bits on a personal pool as to how long it would be until she had to rescue him from the self same changeling.  Probably the first moment the foolish stallion took a moment to visit his cart.

 

Well she wasn’t going to let Whooves ruin her experience at the wedding; after all she was sure she would get more than enough satisfaction when he had to talk to and surely dance with Pathfinder! Now that would be most amusing to see given how the stallion’s face always contorted whenever the subject of the eccentric adventurer pegasus came up.  Speaking of Pathfinder, Trixie wonder where she was held up at.  Trixie didn’t know much about weddings but she did know the old belief about the engaged not seeing each other beforehoof, but she was curious, would Pathfinder dress like stallion, or would she wear a dress?  A big frilly dress?  Oh if she only brought a camera!

 

Trixie pondered whether it was a good time to change into her formal wear for the wedding, as her usual outfit that she currently donned was really for the show she was to perform during the reception; it seemed as good of a time as any.  She was about to step out to Whooves cart when she heard the announcement of a Princess Bluebelle.  Who?!  Trixie never heard of a princess named Bluebell, as far as she knew there were only four true princesses, alicorns, in existence, a sore subject of sorts given Twilight Sparkle was now counted among them.  Of course some nobles were known to use the title of prince or princess, although they were never alicorns, and were only considered “royalty” in local regions their families hailed from due to old traditions from back in the pre-Equestria days.  This appeared to be the case once Trixie got a good look at the white unicorn with golden locks.    Still nobility was nobility, and far more important, this one was really cute!  Who was she though?  The name was still completely unfamiliar; Trixie would have to investigate further, once she changed of course!

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The freckled mare giggled softly and smiled, "Oh this old thing? It's just a hoof-me-down from me mum." The cream coated mare gently tapped the brooch on her chest and then loked back up at Snow, "Anythin' fer a friend..." there was a short pause and an awkward shuffle of Presteza's hooves, "I'd hug ya, but I don't wanna wrinkle yer dress up" she admitted with a chuckle. Pressy put a hoof to her chin, "hm... How long have you been with Pathfinder? if ya don't mind me askin' I mean." 

 

The mare strolled over to the door and peaked outside to take a look at the arrival of her new coltfriend entering. She giggled softly at his appearance, "Oh looks like ya might get ta meet my special somepony!" The mare said cheerfully before gesturing to the stallion who just so recently made his entrance.

 

The mare blinked once or twice at the correction of the announcement and then chuckled softly once Bluebelle arrived and approached her and snowfall. She let her eyes wander over Bluebelle and had to try not to let her jaw drop at this majestic specimen of the mare. She knew it was originally blueblood but heck she painted herself when she'd experienced that gendershift in las pegasus. "Gotta say Bluebelle, ya make  one cute mare! Mind if I paint you sometime later while ya look like this?"

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Pathfinder blurted out, getting way too excited as she went over recent events. She calmed down, making sure not to ruffle the dress. “Frankly, I feel-

“You look ridiculous!”

“-Yeah, I feel like that!” Pathfinder said way, way too loud.

 

Well, it sounded like Pathfinder’s newest guest indeed had the guts to voice the obvious; that the adventurer simply looked unlike herself while wearing a dress. Falco could easily picture his honorary niece ripping that thing off once all the festivities were over and she could be free to fly around as she pleased. Chuckling to himself, Falco started to make his way out of the room to let Pathy have time with the younger, less-tactful griffon. “You’ll do fine today, kiddo. If ya' get bored, gimme' a holler and I’ll round up somethin’ dangerous to spice things up a little. Boy, wouldn’t that be the best weddin’ ever, he ha ha ha ha.....!!!” Satisfied with his joke, the pawn shop owner waved farewell (but not goodbye) as he returned to congregate with the other guests.

 

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"Ah, Dr. Merlot! It's been far too long!" she greeted him with energy. "Though she told me she had invited you, I honestly had doubts that you might come today,," she said."My child, she wasn't exactly fair to you after all, and a stallion of your esteem must surely be busier than to put his time toward an occasion such as this."

 

Dr. Merlot couldn’t help but smile back as he was graced by the presence of Crystal Snowflake, Snowfall’s suffering mother. Coincidently, the gentlecolt had also doubted whether the elder lady would bother attending this wedding; Merlot wouldn’t have blamed her had Mrs. Snowflake protested her daughter’s insolence by refusing to come here. As it were however, at least the two snobs could share their misery together on this supposedly wonderful day.

 

However, there was no room for sentimentality just yet, as Mrs. Snowflake put Merlot on to the spot as to why he decided to come. Unauthentic as he was, the archaeologist couldn’t bring himself to mention that he felt he had a responsibility to make the occasion more bearable for his fellow member of the Equestrian elite. But never fear; Merlot possessed an airtight excuse! “Hm hm hm hm hm,” he deviously grinned; “You’d be surprised by how many... business partnerships of mine were formed just by attending weddings like these. In my line of work, any opportunity to meet potential clients should never-”

 

A herald interrupted Merlot before he could finish, signaling the arrival of “Princess Bluebelle”. The good doctor gasped at the regal sight before him; “Sacrebleu! So the rumors are true!” Merlot spent enough time in high society to easily recognize Blueblood when he saw him, even when “he” was now a “she”. No matter; “Bluebelle” would just be yet another troublesome pony that Merlot would have to put up with for the next few hours.

Edited by Bellosh101
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Snowfall gave a pleasant giggle at Presteza's display of modesty and then smiled at her question.

 

"Several moons now. It's gone by in such a blur, it's honestly hard for me to keep track... all I know it's been the best time in my life," she said pleasantly. "And the unbelievable thing is that it all started via one of those mail-in matchmaking services. It had just been a stray wind which pushed me toward even filing out the form--not wanting to see who mother would try and set me up with after Merlot and really having no clue how to find anyone on my own. That this is where it lead... it's kind of overwhelming..."

 

Snowfall let out a sigh. She wasn't about to get cold hooves. She loved Pathfinder with all her heart and knew that she did. After all that time though it seemed commitment still rather scared her. Even if it was Pathfinder, marriage was such a big step. Under all the fancy dress and everything else, she just felt a weakness in her stomach when she thought about where it was that she was.

 

Luckily, another sudden announcement gave her something else to focus on. Princess Bluebelle. Snowfall had heard the rumors, but hadn't known what to believe. Here, however was the proof. snowfall studied the mare, very much impressed by what she saw and gave a laugh.

 

"Presteza is right. It's definitely an improvement... though I dare say you could have dressed up a bit more," Snowfall teased warmly. She hadn't ever been entirely sure what to make of IMAGINE cohort. The admirable core was buried in less enviable traits. Because of that, she supposed, this sudden transformation was just deeply amusing.

 

"My apology for not being able to get together with you for IMAGINE of late, but I've needless to say had a lot going on. Then again, it's pretty clear that so have you," she laughed more firmly than before. "I do hope my material contributions at least have continued to be of use."

 

B0E0E6; border: 1px solid; border-radius: 4px; line-height: 1.6; padding: 10px;">Crystal Snowflake nodded at the stallion's words. "Indeed, indeed, such an event really can't be missed. No matter what the reason for it, a mingling on this level is an opportunity! If the right ponies are coming, it pays to be there."

 

She smirked a little and then looked toward him. "Speaking of which, ever since our meeting in Manehattan I have been giving continued thought to financing an expedition. That chattering fool my daughter is marrying... it's easy to want to disregard everything that comes out of her as gibberish... but when I force myself to listen at time, when I look over the barely literate scratching she sends my daughter... I see hints of things, things which there are no record of and which very well might be worth unearthing. Now, there's one in particular I--"

 

Crystal's words were interrupted by the announcement of Bluebelle and Metlot's subsequent exclamation.

 

"I suppose it is..." she said somewhat dismissively. "You know, the word is that it's a magical accident... but I don't see how that could be. If it was just a magical mishap, are we to honestly expect that dearest Aunt Celestia would have no recourse to correct such a thing?"

 

"At least I hope that is so. It's speaks better of the royals in Canterlot if we simply had a prince who wanted to be a princess as opposed to the lot of them together not being able to fix a single error," she concluded with a huff.

 

Gilda had expected the hug, but that didn't mean she was ready for it. She squirmed awkwardly, waiting for the pony to let go of her and shut up. She honestly didn't know who was worse, Pathfinder or Pinkie when it came to these things.

 

It was clear that Pathfinder was thrilled to see her and as the words spilled from out of her mouth to prove it, Gilda couldn't help but smile herself. Sure, everything she said was pretty much nonsense and Gilda didn't really know where to begin with any of it so as Pathfinder finally let her breathe she just took the opportunity to sigh deeply.

 

"Glad to see those wings looking strong again," she eventually said with an approving nod, thinking back on so many pained, miserable memories.

 

"As for me... I've slowed down. Taking a bit of a different route these days. Other than almost falling into a bottomless abyss while trying to recover a lost golden idol, there really hasn't been any of our kind of fun for a while now..." she admitted with a laugh.

 

"I was pretty beat after all we went through... and let's face it, not really eager to stay in the Republic. Went back to my old roost in Griffonstone to lie low with my gramps a bit... which wasn't really any less gloomy a place to head than the Pit in retrospect... but, things changed there," Gilda spoke, finding it very awkward to put her little emotional journey into words. "I was forced to come to terms with certain parts of myself I'd have rather denied. As a result, I think I've hung up my trick flying hat for good. Now I spend my time baking scones and... uh working to repair the sense of community in Griffonstone... which I'm sure sounds plenty ridiculous and boring."

 

She hid her blushing face in a talon and looked away. "I know. Probably doesn't even sound like the same me... but eh... I guess nothing stays the same. I mean, here you are getting married. That's pretty crazy too."

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The vices that are hardest for a pony to conquer are those closest to virtue, and among these is vanity.  Vanity, indeed, might almost be called a mirror image of humility, as it highly esteems the opinions of others, and sharpens one's awareness of them.  Blueblood, born vain as any in the nobility, was always highly conscious of how other ponies saw him, and neither the recent changes in his character nor in his gender had robbed him of that sensibility.

 

Indeed, Bluebelle's vestigial vanity was getting quite the stroke today.  She could feel the eyes of the attendees on her; some with shock, as they had deduced who she was and from whence she had come.  More, however, with admiration.  A satiric author had once written of a universal law that said whenever a stallion found himself turned, either by disguise or by magic, into a mare, that the mare he became was invariably attractive.  Whether or no this was a sound narrative or physical law, Bluebelle did nothing to falsify it.

 

Thus, as Trixie and others admired from afar, the Princess found herself among a couple of mares who were quite vocal about their opinions.

 

"Gotta say Bluebelle, ya make  one cute mare! Mind if I paint you sometime later while ya look like this?"

 

Ah, Presteza, always looking for a chance to practice her art.  Well, never let it be said that House Blueblood/belle skimped in it's patronage of the arts!  "I wouldn't mind; quite the contrary, in fact!  I've no idea of how long this particular transformation will last, so one had best immortalize it while one can."  As troubled as the once-Prince had found the transformation, she had to admit, from a purely objective perspective, that to allow such beauty as hers to vanish through a fluke of magic was simply an unforgivable aesthetic tragedy!

 

And Snowfall's reaction was, if anything, confirmation of this opinion: "Presteza is right. It's definitely an improvement... though I dare say you could have dressed up a bit more."

 

A lady does not snort, and therefore what Princess Bluebelle responded with was not a snort.  Similar, true, but more delicate.  "I'll admit, the date rather snuck up on me.  Really, though, it would be best to err on the side of under-dressing.  It is the height of vulgarity at a wedding to attract more attention than than the brides."  She looked around, once again seeing the vanity-bolstering sea of eyes around her.  So much for avoiding vulgarity.  Turning back, she smiled and shrugged.  "Well, I did my best."

 

The light bandinage gave way to slightly more serious discussions, on IMAGINE and related business.  "Understood.  I've been trying to build our staff currently, and I've also engaged in preliminary discussions with the caribou..."  Memories of a raucous party in Whitescar, in which Prince Blueblood had been prominently featured as strung up like today's laundry between the antlers of the caribou High King flooded her mind.  "It... went as well as I could have hoped."

 

Best to go with that.  She would have remarked further, were it not for a commotion audible near the front of the building.  Actually, 'commotion' was a mild word for it.  Great crashing cacophony would be the more accurate term.  Even before turning around, Bluebelle could venture a guess as to its cause...

 

“Sorry I’m late! I… got a tad bit distracted.”

 

Yep, Java.  Of all the ponies in the world, the former Prince was most curious about the reaction of her friend to this change, and most anxious.  Given their history, she knew that of all ponies, he could push her buttons to aggravation the best, if he chose not to behave himself.  It was, perhaps, an unfair fear, but that was what vanity did to you.  You basked in praise, and cowered before humiliation...

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The stallion quickly glanced to the pony whom was waiting patiently at the door. The stallion was quite the professional, only raising a brow to him as he waited. Java blushed as he quickly dipped a hoof into his suit’s jacket and pulled out his inventation. When he presented it to the stallion, the greeter’s eyes turned down to the inventation, then looked up with an expectant glance. One light dip towards the first portion of his name. Voronoi

Java, in turn quickly pronounced it out after slipping the inventation back into his jacket, “Vah-rah-nai.

 

The gentlebuck gave a polite nod then turned to the audience. His voice ringing out over Java’s head as he made his way confidently into the crowd.

“Voronoi Fractal has arrived!”

 

Java offered a friendly smile to the crowd that looked to him. He didn’t see too many faces that he recognized. Which could be a good thing. It just simply means new friends! Possibly anyways. He was sort of just invited as a plus one, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t allowed to be friendly.

 

But first thing’s first. The stallion made a quick detour to the table stacked with presents. What terrible wedding guest did not bring the brides a wedding gift? Or in Java’s case, two.

Once again, he opened up his suit and reached inside. With one hoof, he pulled out a large bottle of vintage wine, properly bottled, labled, and aged. It was a selected vintage that came from his family’s own cellar. The natural cool temperature underground kept the climate fixed. Sadly, it was not personally selected. He had to get his mother’s help in the matter. The stallion, though noble in birth, has absolutely no grasp of higher society exquisites. But surprisingly the duchess, his warrior-esque mother, had a tongue for wine. Who knew?

 

But the gifting of a fine wine was a tradition his family held to for each wedding they attend. There was little meaning behind it. And often the ponies just make something up. But the reality actually was, it was something the night more interesting for the couple when it’s over.

 

And for the second gift? The stallion had pulled a sizable box, wrapped and tied with a bow from his pocket. A box so large -much like the bottle- shouldn’t have been able to fit inside the jacket without tearing it apart. It was easily the size of his head when he finally held it out in the open and set it down next to the wine.

 

The stallion then turned with a satisfied nod and smiled, and sauntered across the room to join his love. “Ah! Sorry I’m late Pressy,” the stallion hummed softly. Once he was in range, he gave the mare a hug, and kiss on the cheek before turning to the other mares with a smile. His gaze scanning over them as he spoke. “Er, I believe this is the first time we’ve met! I’m Voronoi Fractal. But… please just call me Java. It’s much eas-“

He came to a halt after his eyes settled on a white mare. His maw stuck in place mid speech without another word being uttered from it. Then, it closed. The stallion’s head tilted with a confused expression on his muzzle.

 

There was something… odd about this particular mare. His memory was usually great with common faces. A single name, description, or an image would give him the key he’d need to quickly jump to their personal little mental file. And then list every single detail about them. Name, where they live, occupation, etc.

And for some reason… his brain kept telling him that it’s Blueblood. Was it?!

The stallion pursed his lips together in confusion. His eyes danced up and down the mare’s body. Other than the curves of a mare’s body… he stood roughly the same height. The even brush strokes on the coat were signs of some pony that spent a lot of time holding up appearances. The posture was nearly identical. Even the… dreadful look he was receiving from her.

 

“… Blueblood?” The stallion asked, his tone taking an uncharacteristically higher tone out of curiosity. He gauged the response he received, then allowed his eyes to widen in surprise.

It really was him! Or… her! Whichever! This is just incredible! Oh how Java could never envy another pony so much right now! Here before him is a stallion that can rock both genders with the same daily routine! Or maybe… Blueblood was just naturally suited to be a mare instead of a stallion? That is an interesting thought.

 

“Bloody tartarus, friend. I don’t know what to say! I mean… it’s either a twisted predicament. But you look good!” The stallion then paused for a moment in thought. The prince was a pony of perfection. So… did that mean he just openly came onto the buck? This is so confusing right now.

 

But… Java had been in this situation. On a night of drinking with a lunar princess, he woke up in the morning transformed into a mare with a mane so long he had eventually cut it with a knife to keep herself from repeatedly stumbling over the mane. He did look good as a mare… but the change felt so weird… especially when it came to personality. Sure it was funny when it was just him. But,  Java had never known the prince for being capable of taking a joke. Nor was this really a joke. So perhaps support is in order?

 

“Er… that is to say you made the best of a bad situation. Or… is it good? I don’t know, this seems a bit natural on you.”

 

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Doctor Whooves looked to Kahz, listening intently.  "Types of love, you say?" he drew out a notepad and pencil, fascinated by the concept.  "Could you, by chance, list these 'types of love' for me, and do they differ by wavelength, or just by intensity?  how do they relate to each other, and is it possible to convert one sort to another? Scientifically speaking, of course."  His demeanor fairly quivered with an eagerness to learn more about this fascinating subject - and thus advance his studies!

 

Whooves looked curiously at the changeling tuning his guitar.  "Does music have something to do with love?  Because I have a recorder that seems to help things along just a little... I say!  Do you wish an accompaniment?"  He grinned excitedly.

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Celestia was one of the more sought after officiators of weddings, after all, she was the most well recognized leader of Equestria, having reigned for well over a thousand years. However, she rarely accepted them, this one however a rather persistent request came from some of her old acquaintance Crystal Snowflake from Stalliongrad. Apparently her daughter was to be married, and she was for some reason concerned about the wedding. It was not until Celestia had heard of whom her partner would be that she actually accepted. Pathfinder, whom was a rather interesting mare was an adventurer who seemed to have a knack for getting into trouble. At the very least it was a wedding that Celestia would not want to miss, and changeling invasions aside, it was unlikely that Celestia would get cocooned again officiating this wedding.

 

Celestia finally arrived at The Grand Celestial Hall, ready for almost anything. She naturally came through the back door, outside of public view. Surely most ponies attending knew who was officiating, but avoiding paparazzi and crowds was probably for the best until the actual wedding was under way. She asked one of the staff where Snowfall was, and upon being directed to her private chambers, separate from her partner's of course, she entered. "Greetings Snowfall, it has been too long. You look fantastic as always. Are you ready for your big day?"

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Merlot could only tsk tsk as Crystal Snowflake theorized why Prince Blueblood hadn’t returned to his normal self by now. “You’d be surprised by how impotent the Canterlot royals can be. Why, even after I’ve beseeched Princess Celestia to finally deal with my... thief problem, her blasted royal guards have done nothing but investigate the matter. I won’t be surprised if Blueblood is stuck in his current form for a very long time.”

 

Sick of sounding like a whiner, the good doctor grinned as he switched the subject over to more profitable matters; “But let us not drown ourselves in misery right now. Tell me Mrs. Snowflake; you were mentioning how there one particular thing worth unearthing?”

 

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Just as Princess Celestia was a popular choice in Equestria for wedding officiation requests, Princess Cadence received her fair share of them as well from the citizens of the Crystal Empire. Just like her adopted aunt, Cadence rarely accepted such others. Actually, the Crystal Princess had never presided over a wedding in her entire life. That was until when she received word from her close acquaintance Snowfall, that she was finally set to marry the love of her life, a Daring Do fan who lived out her adventuring fantasies. Based on personal experience, Cadence could not deny the appeal of a passionate pony with an exciting life who stayed fanatically loyal to someone and wanted to bring them happiness at every possibly opportunity.

Cadence and Snowfall had met one another numerous times throughout the years; the princess developing more and more respect for the Stallian businesspony with each encounter. In fact, the Empire couldn’t have revitalized its infrastructure and introduce the Crystal Train to the world without the expertise provided by Northern Storm Industries. With those things in mind, Cadence just couldn’t bring herself to deny the request of a mare who generously provided aid to her realm.

Despite her inexperience with wedding officiating, Princess Cadence felt confident as she waltzed through the secluded back door of the Grand Celestial Hall. Having read countless love stories featuring set-piece weddings throughout her youth, and having been married in a grand royal celebration herself, the Love Princess imagined being able to perform her duties even with a hoof tied around her back. Even though the alicorn had good reason to believe that most of the guests knew she’d be officiating, she found it prudent to avoid as much of the crowds as she could, at least for now.

In no time flat, Cadence found her way into Snowfall’s private chambers, only to find another familiar pony inside. “P-Princess Celestia!” the pink alicorn exclaimed in mild shock; “I didn’t think you would be attending this wedding too!” Cadence quickly shifted focus over to the bride, giving Snowfall a friendly hug (making sure to mind the wedding dress) while shamelessly gushing; “And look at you Snowfall; you look absolutely beautiful. Oh, I’m so glad you and Pathfinder finally get to be married today. ”

Stepping back away from her acquaintance, Princess Cadence declared; “When you’re all set Snowfall, give the word and I’ll get all the guests seated.”
Edited by Bellosh101
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Trixie had been mistaken in thinking that Kahz's compliments of the good Doctor Whooves had been anything but sincere.  Like most changelings, he always considered the practical effects of any kind words that he might happen to say, but that kindness behind them was the genuine article.  Like he would always tell his Hive-mates, "You can't get real dividends with fake currency."  And as love was the main medium for exchange and value in the Changeling Kingdom, they all knew what he meant.

 

Still, academia rated below pretty mares on his interest list, so it was only when he confirmed that Trixie was not going to pay any close attention to him that he started to pay close attention to the Doctor.  He had to laugh, honestly, at the way in which the stallion went about it.  "Hey, take it easy..."  Kahz chuckled in a relaxed manner, checking his tuning with a few chords.  "Love ain't something you put under a microscope."

 

He strummed a few more times, humming a melody as he worked out his playlist... "You got, of course, your romantic type.  Then there's familial love, and the love between friends.  Those two are similar, but not quite the same to each other.  Last of the general type's the... well, general type.  It's the love in 'Peace and Love,' general good-feeling in the air towards others.  Could probably just live off that in a small town here."

 

"As for how they differ... well, it's kind of like color.  You got three dimensions: hue, saturation, intensity.  The four types are general hues, and they can also differ in how strongly a pony feels it, and how much effort they put into making it live.  And music..."  He went into an extended riff, demonstrating that he was all tuned up and ready to go.  "You just sit back and watch me work the magic.  Better than any lecture!"  The diminutive changeling concluded with a wink.

 

There were two reasons that Princess Bluebelle had been awaiting Java's assessment of her change with some anxiety.  The first was simply that if anypony was going to rag about her accident, it would probably be him.  So far, she'd been careful about whom she let know.  Trusted staff, her honor guard, and now-fellow Princesses.  Java was actually the first male friend who would get the news.

 

Which led into the second reason, a somewhat more positive one, actually.  She knew him to be attracted to both genders, and to have acknowledged admiration, at least, for how Prince Blueblood looked.  Deep Down, she trusted his judgment as to how the change had affected her looks.  True, Snowfall had said she looked better, but then Snowfall demonstrably had a preference for mares...

 

“Bloody tartarus, friend. I don’t know what to say! I mean… it’s either a twisted predicament. But you look good!  Er… that is to say you made the best of a bad situation. Or… is it good? I don’t know, this seems a bit natural on you."

 

Well... he wasn't ragging, at least.  Bluebelle was sufficiently relieved to smile sweetly and laugh at his compliments.  "'Natural' looks are almost always the result of long hours of effort.  But I'm glad you appreciate it; this is the first time I've, well, gone public with the new look."  No matter what change he went through, Blueblood would always try to look his best.  Both Beauty and Vanity, one might say, were more than skin-deep.

 

Still, the whole change of gender had ended up not being too large a shake-up of his old daily routine.  Almost none at all, save a little work in re-pH-balancing her new regimen of soaps, shampoos, and conditioners.  Add to that a little practice in walking and carrying herself, and you could hardly tell that Bluebelle had been a mare for less than six weeks.

 

That, of course, raised a whole bunch of issues that would have to be dealt with later.  For now, she was just relieved to still be able to talk easily with her old friends.  "So, I gather you came here on Pressy's plus one?  I think you might find that this wedding might give her ideas-"

 

At this point, she was interrupted by the arrival of Princess Celestia, shortly followed by Cadence.  "Oh, Auntie!  I didn't know you were officiating."  The new Princess had already told her auntie Celestia about what happened, and shared a very nice spa day as well.  And Cadence... wait, had Bluebelle told Cadence?  A troubling look crossed her brow.  No... she hadn't.  Oh dear.  That meant either the alicorn of love had gotten the news from the rumor mill, or was just about to have it dropped on her...

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