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IceStorm

Retracing Old Hoofsteps. (ATTN: Alvida, PM to join)

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Ice Storm felt the slight nuzzle from her cheek. The reaction was initially for her to snuggle closer into the embrace that she was held in. The nuzzle caused her to stir a bit remembering the events of yesterday and she smiled as her eyes fluttered open. They either fell asleep and forgot about the blankets entirely from the warmth of each other or they got tossed some how during the night, but the first thing that Ice noticed with her eyes was the set of turquoise eyes staring back at her. She gave a small smile and gave Raven a small kiss on her nose. "Morning cutie," she said snuggling a bit closer, paying no mind to the audible crinkle from her overnight protection, which much to her happiness, didn't leak. That definitely wouldn't have been how she wanted to start their first morning waking up together.

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Raven blushed at Ice's affection, a soft smile on her face. She could actually feel the warm fuzzy feeling she had taken to calling love welling up inside of her as she held Ice. Sadly, it couldn't last. "Morning, my icy treat. Listen, I still need to do some stuff, like find a location for the lab, and see what's already known so we can minimize time spent studying properties that are already known... I would love to lay here with you till Luna graces us with the night, but I don't think the library is open at night." She spoke softly, amusement in her voice at how bad she was at actually being romantic...

 

Though, come to think of it, yesterday she had done alright, and she had just been herself. Maybe she should just do that. Yeah, that sounded good. Having made up her mind, she gave Ice a soft kiss, before pulling away. "Is... is there anything you need to do... before I hop in the shower?" She wanted to avoid any embarrassment with Ice's... issue, so she decided to give her a chance to deal with it.

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Ice smiled at the little pet name that Raven called her. She told her that she still had some stuff that she needed to do today, like finding a location for her lab and to see what is already known about the crystals so they weren't wasting time discovering properties that were already known. When she added that she would love to lay here with her until Luna's night graced them, she didn't think the library would be open at night. "I'll come with you. After all, two sets of hooves are better than one when it comes to this kinda stuff, and it lets me spend more time with you," she said with a nuzzle and a return of the kiss that Raven gave to her before asking if there was anything that she needed to do before Raven showered. Ice shook her head.

 

"Nah, I'll be fine for a bit longer. It's not the best thing in the world, but easy enough to deal with. Besides, you let me shower first in your room, it's only fair that you get the first shower in mine," she said with a smile. Most ponies might be embarrassed about something like this, and Ice would admit she was at first, but Raven's reaction last night and everything that followed more than made up for it. It was actually hard to find herself being embarrassed around Raven. Something that she came to enjoy rather well as her grasp on the pony loosened so that she could shower.

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Raven smiled at the suggestion. "That does sound like a good idea. I'm not even one hundred percent sure what I'm looking for anyway." She said as she stood and fully stretched. After letting out an adorable sleepy yawn, she trotted into the bathroom.

 

She got the water flowing, an act that took longer than normal for her due to the fact the water seemed to be colder than she expected. It was weird, though maybe it was just her body's natural response to spending so much time with Ice. Either way, when she finished and opened the door, great billowing clouds of steam rolled into Ice's hotel room, almost like a sauna...

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Ice Storm smiled and nodded as Raven made her way into the shower. She heard the shower start running and she sighed. This was definitely more than she was expecting to find here in the Crystal Empire on her trip. She definitely wasn't complaining though. The way everything had pulled itself together made her happy. She simply laid in the bed without a care in the world. The door was locked and the window was closed so the only pony that would even see her like this anyway was Raven, and she didn't mind. Raven was understanding, sweet, and loving. It made her swell with pride a bit. There could be no denying... things might have moved a touch fast, but at the same time, there was a connection there. There was feelings that formed that Ice wasn't initially prepared for, but again. She wasn't complaining. She was actually so lost in thought that she forgot about the condition that she was in for a moment, and she didn't care.

 

She then heard the water turn off and she smiled a bit and shifted in the bed. When the door opened, she watched Raven come out of the bathroom and seemed to almost be escorted out by a cloud. Steam rolled out of the bathroom around her, much like it usually does after she takes a shower and she smiled, standing up and walking over to her with a squishy crinkle before nuzzling her. "And you said I was a scene coming out of the shower hot stuff," she said playfully bumping against her as she walked by and. She removed her overnight protection with a few quick pulls on the tabs before balling it up and letting it fall into the trash. "I won't take too long," she smiled as she stepped into the washroom and turned the water back on. It was still plenty warm for her. and while in the shower, she started wondering how she could make things even better for the two of them.

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Raven blushed, a soft smile on her face even with Ice's teasing. "I... I'm not sure why, it just seemed like the water wouldn't heat up... I shall count the seconds we are apart, and each shall feel like an eternity." She said as Ice passed, her tone jovial. Once Ice was in the bathroom however, she found herself really counting the time, missing Ice more with each minute. Sure, they may not know much about each other, but Raven felt it, the energy that danced between them. 

 

It left her feeling weak in the knees every time she thought of Ice. She needed to think of something, of things to shower her love with, to show Ice how much she cared... it was tough, but it left her feeling like she was floating...

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The shower didn't last too long. In fact the longer she took in the shower the more she thought about last night, and how close she'd become with her new friend. She smiled and lost herself in thought a bit and let the water flow over her. Evening felt perfect as she came back to her senses and shut off the water. She grabbed a towel and quickly dried off everything except her main and tail and came back into the room.


She gave Raven a soft smile before moving up to her and lightly pouncing her in a hug. “So, where to first, and how long was I in there for,” she giggled happily before licking the side of her cheek. To say that she was in a good mood would be the largest understatement of the year. In fact, she hadn't felt this good in a long while.

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Raven smiled widely as she rolled with the pounce, holding Ice close to her. "Though it felt as if an eternity, it was only fifteen minutes." She spoke, doing her best to put on a noble air, something she had never been good at. However she ended up breaking down in laughter. "Well, I think we should get some breakfast, I don't think the library has snacks, after all." 

 

Raven lightly booped Ice on the nose, before drawing her in for a kiss. Afterwards, she released her hold on Ice, and stood. "I'm ready when you are."

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Ice couldn't help but laugh right along with Raven from the faux accent that she dawned when she told her how long she had been in the bathroom. She told her that while it was only about fifteen minutes, it felt like an eternity. When she suggested going to get breakfast, Ice nodded. She felt Raven pull her in for a kiss and she giggled and returned it in kind. "I think breakfast is a great idea. We should find a place in town that has good pancakes! I am really in the mood for some pancakes! Warm, buttery, fluffy pancakes with strawberry syrup, ooh that sounds so yummy right now," she giggled a bit as her mouth watered a bit as she stood up. 

 

She giggled and she twisted the door and started to head outside. The weather was pleasantly cool and the sun was out in the crisp morning sky. She took a deep breath and smiled as her mane and tail chilled quickly in the air from it still being wet and she did a little twirl. "Oh, I love weather like this. So crisp and cool, and so perfect. I could really see myself opening up a shop up here," she giggled a bit and waited for her friend.

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Raven shivered as she stepped out into the cool air, though after a few seconds, it felt no colder than it had yesterday. Maybe it was just water on her coat that finally evaporated. "You know, I read once that ice cream sells more often durring the winter... Wonder if that would effect things around here." She said, a soft smile gracing her face. It seemed she always had the smile on her face, at least, ever since she and Ice had become friends. She nodded at some of the other ponies in the street as she spoke again. "Pancakes sound wonderful, though I have to wonder if they would have something like a waffle, or donuts... I could go for something with cinnamon..." She picked a direction and headed down that way, pausing for Ice to catch up...

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Ice nodded as Raven mentioned that ice cream usually sold better in the winter. So she wonders if that would have a similar impact here. “Probably. My two stores in Seaddle are actually two of my most profitable. I can imagine that it would be the same way here. It's and avenue worth exploring. Perhaps I should look for some property while I'm here. After all, I'm well enough of that I can drop some bits on a property with ease. If it doesn't work, I can always sell it,” she smiled as her tummy rumbled. The mention of cinnamon and donuts not helping matters.


She caught up quickly with her marefriend and befit long, the scent of sweetness came across her nose. A very familiar scent… the scent of… “PANCAKES!!” She exclaimed gleefully add they rounded the street corner perhaps a bit louder than she was intending. It was very obvious that when she want in commander mode she was quite excitable.

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With a snort, Raven broke down into giggles. After she managed to compose herself, she followed Ice, letting her excitable marefriend run forward. She couldn't help herself as a warm smile spread across her face.

 

When they arrived at a small cafe, Raven was quick in getting them a table and menus, glancing through it to find out if they sold anything with cinnamon. All she could find was cinnamon rolls,  though she supposed without the glazing...

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As the scent of pancakes drew her nearer to the cafe in question, or rather, the cafe that had now gotten her attention. She quickly heard the fit of giggles behind her and playfully stopped and liked her tongue out at Raven in an obvious playful banter. She giggled and bumped the special pony next to her. Happily they made their way into the cafe to which she heard one of the waitresses comment, “Excited about pancakes are we?” She smiled. “You came to the right place that's for sure,” the waitress added.

 

Icy blushed a little bit and smiled. “Was I really that loud?” She asked as they were seated.

 

“Darlin’ Ah'm sure the princess in the spire could have heard ya,” the waitress finished noting a visible twitch from the mare at the mention of the spire as well as a few others in the group. “Ahh… right, apologies… I'll be back for your orders soon,” she replied.


The good mood that icy was in though was dampened a bit though. At least the waitress realised what she had said afterwards and thankfully she wasn't the only pony that have her a look. Still she sighed and leaned against Raven. “I didn't think I was that loud…”

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Raven smiled softly, leaning back against Ice. "It wasn't that bad, it probably just echoed..." She gave Ice a light nuzzle as she spoke, trying to cheer her up. She knew that for Ice, more than the other patrons of the cafe, probably, the spire was a touchy subject. "I had an idea, how bout after we get done at the library, we go check out who your competition would be, if you set up a shop here?" She smiled again, as she pulled out the chair for Ice.

 

Looking at the menu, once she was seated, she couldn't really find anything that would go well with cinnamon, so instead, she decided on waffles with strawberry syrup. "You might know more about this than me... At least, the business side of it... Any idea what I might need to set up the Research foundation? I mean, the paperwork is being filed already, approved by Prince Shining Armor, who knows about our friend, by the way... It's more the hiring of ponies and such..."

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Ice Storm nodded when her marefriend mentioned that they could go check up on any competition that she would have here in the Crystal Empire. She also smiled when she told her that it wasn't really that loud, it probably just echoed. She nuzzled and rested against her. "I suppose. She must be new here. I highly doubt that many ponies here are completely over that. At the same time, I can't really hold it against her. After all, they have built a new one but it's just... not something that you bring up in a light conversation. At least I don't think it should be..." she commented. She then heard Raven ask her for some ideas on what she would need to set up a research foundation. That the paperwork was already filled out and approved by Shining Armor. It was more about hiring ponies and such.

 

"For that, you're going to what somepony with similar interests towards an end goal. You're also going to find that some will be better suited for one type of research while others work better somewhere else on another project within the facility. Mostly, should figure out what you're going to be researching from the library, and start with those focal points. Anypony that has an advanced knowledge of the crystals up here would probably also be a good place to start. Location wise, depending on the scale that you're researching and how many different projects you're planning to have operational at once," she told her. She would need some more information. Information that they would be getting from the library, before Ice could give a more definitive answer.

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Raven smiled encouragingly. "Yeah, I was planning on setting it near an old crystal mine or something, one that's not completely depleted, but one that's not too far from the Empire... Think I should put an ad out to Celestia's School? I mean, that's where most of the magic scholars and researchers that I've heard about come from..." She bit her lip, starting to get lost in thought. They'd need geological data, to get a survey team out there to make sure the data wasn't outdated... it was daunting, and if it wasn't for the end goal being so clear to Raven, she would start to panic.

 

She shook her head as the waitress came back, clearing her thoughts and blushing embarrassingly for not paying attention. "So, Ice... I know you like strawberries, run a surprisingly big chain of ice cream stores, and have the best interests of Equestria at heart... How bout while we eat, we can talk about what we like to do? I'll start! I really like to curl up with a good book, though I get the feeling that's not gonna be able to happen often in the near future..." She spoke up once again after giving the waitress their orders...

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Ice listened as she heard Raven tell her that she was wanting to get it set up near an old crystal mine. One that hadn't been depleted, but one that's not too far from the Empire. She also asked if she could put an add out to Celestia's School. That it was where she knew most scholars of magic had come from. "I think that would be a good idea. And, as long as you had a way for ponies to get out there. There are probably quite a few places just outside of the Empire in the Frozen North that would suit what you're looking for. I've ran a few expeditions out there, and a lot of the cave systems out there have crystal formations in them. They would be perfect for what you're looking for and what you're trying to do because they also house several different crystals in them. If anything, they would be a good place to start," she smiled to her friend and nuzzled her gently. The waitress came back and took their orders, to which Ice ordered the largest stack of pancakes that they had, and a strawberry soda.

 

When Raven mentioned that she knew that Ice liked strawberries, which... she wouldn't have guessed what could have given her that idea. Nope, not at all. She smiled and giggled a bit as she heard Raven also add that she also knew that she ran a surprisingly large chain of ice cream stores,  and have the best interests of Equestria at heart. She Also heard Raven say that while they eat, they should talk about what they like to do. She said that she could start, and did so by stating that she liked to curl up with a good book, adding that she didn't think that was going to be happening any time soon. "You'd be surprised. Like, I'm not planning on being constantly fighting something. Only really when I get information and we have actual threats that we need to go deal with. That said, I can get behind a good book. I love good works of fiction and fantasy. Perhaps a romance or two if they are written well enough," she smiled. "Although my absolute favorite thing to do, actually came from the time where I was homeless. And it's just simply stargazing. I love looking up at the stars and looking at all of the shapes that they make throughout Luna's sky," she added with a smile.

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Raven frowned at hearing Ice had been homeless, though it quickly faded as she turned thoughtful. "I don't expect to be fighting all the time either, but if I get accepted into the Twilight Guard, I really doubt I'll have the free time to read for entertainment. My free time will probably be spent managing the research I'm setting up, reading up on any breakthroughs they may have and helping them to decide which paths of research will be best..." 

 

After taking a bite, she let out a sigh. It was still bothering her, but she didn't want to dredge up what had to be painful memories from Ice's foalhood. "While I respect Princess Luna, and do enjoy her night for the solitude and peace it can bring, I don't think I've ever really studied the stars... I, for the longest time, mostly focused on magic, and when it wasn't that, it was the family history... There's actually a small library of journals and diaries at my home, tells alot of history, or at least, the history that required fighting... I... I think I would love to share them with you, sometime." She smiled lovingly as she finished speaking, her thoughts having successfully been derailed and put onto another track...

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Ice nodded and smiled when Raven mentioned that if she got accepted into the Twilight guard, that she doubted that she'd have much time to read for entertainment. That instead her time would be spent focused in the research. Reading up on any breakthroughs that they had, and deciding what paths to take next. She then spoke of how she respected Princess Luna, and that she did enjoy her nights for the solitude and the peace that it can bring, she never really studied the stars. That she had focused mainly on magic and when it wasn't that it was the family history. There was actually a small library of history of her family. Or at least history that was required for fighting. She added that she would love to share it with her at some point. Ice nodded again.

 

"I think that would be a great idea! I would love to hear more about the family history. I mean, I know a little bit about it from the reports that I read, but reports usually only tell things from one perspective and it's nothing like experiencing something first hoof, or hearing the history from the family themselves. there's so much more to learn when you look through the family archives," she started. "And I'll have to agree a bit, your free time would be in short supply," she giggled before nuzzling her. "After all, you'd have to spend some of it with me at least," she said playfully poking her tongue out at her marefriend. "And one of these night's I'll have to pull you outside so that we can watch the stars together. There's a lot of little things in the night sky that can go unnoticed if you don't know what to look for. Perhaps I can get Luna to let me bring you to the observatory one night. If you think the stars are nice now, wait until you see them though Equestria's most powerful telescope!" she said excitedly as the pancakes were set in front of her.

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Raven smiled once more, her thoughts turned to brighter things now, like nights spent under the stars with Ice... "That sounds lovely. A dinner under the stars, the two of us on a hill..." She let out a pleasant sigh, before playfully stealing the first bite of Ice's pancakes. Giggling a bit, she continued speaking. "Yeah... Time's gonna be stretched thin for me... But I'll make sure to make time for you..."

 

She finished her food, and watched lovingly as her marefriend continued eating. Her thoughts turned from the future to the near future, namely the library. She had found some books and scrolls the other day that helped her, but most had been a dead end. Maybe with Ice's help however, and experience in the snowy terrain around here, they could find a place. As she thought about this she suddenly felt cold, a shiver or two running down her body, before it passed...

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Ice smiled as Raven seemed to like the idea of the two of them on a hill somewhere eating dinner and looking up to the stars. Raven took the moment though to snatch a bite of her pancakes. Icy didn't mind but returned the favor by stealing a kiss from her as she continued to speak. Of course she would make time for her. Ice smiled and dug into her pancakes.


As they ate, she noticed that Raven looked like she was deep in thought. She wasn't entirely sure what she was thinking bout she had some ideas. Ice herself began to think of some places that could help with what Raven was looking for. She's have to remember how, but there was some crystal caves not to far from here, less than a day's walk from the Empire. She noticed Raven shiver a bit and scooted closer. She gave her a gentle nuzzle and a smile. “You okay?”

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Raven nodded, her face unable to truly hide her discomfort. "Yeah, I'm fine... It's just a little chilly out here. I'll probably be fine when we get to the library... It's too bad I didn't pack a scarf, I was assured that it was pretty warm here..." The chill she felt soon dissipated, and Raven let out a little sigh, before laying her head on Ice's back. If she had been looking about, she would have noticed a few of the closer patrons give her a funny look for a second.

 

She smiled dreamily as she watched Ice finish eating. Raven wondered what they would do after the library. Maybe there was a different place to watch a joust at, or maybe they could find a nice place to watch the night sky... The Aurora Borealis was said to be very beautiful, though she idly thought about whether it would be more breath taking than the mare she was leaning on...

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Ice Storm couldn't help but let out a small smile when she heard Raven tell her that she was okay and that she'd be fine when they got to the library. She further stated that she was assured that it was going to be pretty warm here. She couldn't miss the opportunity. "Well, I'm sure it normally is, but you are sitting with the coolest mare around," she giggled happily making a pun at her own expense. With quick fashion she downed her pancakes, leaving the waitress to wonder where she put everything. It was fun indeed to see reactions like that and she starting thinking about what to do now. Obviously they still needed to go to the library.

 

"Ahhhh... I'm stuffed. I wonder how far the library is from here. I personally think that it's a bit warm myself actually, but that could just be because I naturally think everything hotter than freezing is a bit warm," she giggled as she stood up and stretched a bit hearing a few audible pops from her spine. "Oh, that was unexpected, but not unpleasant. I'm ready to head to the library whenever you are," she said with a smile. She would let her marefriend lead the way since she wasn't entirely sure where the library was herself. She'd never been to it before nor had she had a reason to be there before now.

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Raven giggled at Ice's poor pun, before sitting back up. She too stretched as they stood, a long sinuous one that reminded her of a cat, a thought that almost caused her to fall down laughing at how silly it was. She led the way, waiting till they were in a less crowded spot to speak. "Yeah, I suppose you are pretty cool... But to me, you're hotter than Celestia's sun..." She blushed, unable to believe that she had made it through saying that completely. She brushed against Ice, before heading once more towards the library...

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Ice couldn't help but smile as she felt the mare bounce against her again. She was indeed quite fun to be around and it made her giddy. She also couldn't help but giggle and blush a bit at the comment that she had made about herself being hotter than Celestia's sun. There wasn't many ponies around at this point as they had left the cafe and were heading in the direction, or at least what they thought was the direction of the library. Still though, she couldn't help but relish in the moment, and have a little bit of fun. "I suppose that is true, even if it's only when I'm getting out of the shower," she said playfully poking her tongue out. "Hopefully we're going the right way. I've never been to the library here so I have no idea where we're going. To be honest, I'm kinda just following you," she admitted.

 

As they walked though, she did keep an eye out. Looking for any potential buildings that could be empty. After all, if she was going to be thinking about putting a store here as well, then she'd need a decent location for it. It looked like space was fairly well limited though. there wasn't much in the way of available structures along their trip, so Ice turned her attention next to possible plots of land. Her might briefly drifted elsewhere and couldn't help but giggle a bit. She regained herself though, and just smiled. She would have to look at the archives and see what's available and what's not. That could wait though, as she promised that she would help Raven find what she needs first.

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