Right Out of the Gate

Characters go out together

(This work contains characters owned by Hasbro. This is a fan work, not for profit. No copyright infringement is intended.)

It was a bright, sunny day in Ponyville, and Domerin LorHooves was getting ready for his date. It had been some time since he’d gone out with anypony, and he’d never gone out with a foreign dignitary, but it seemed fate had opened a door for him.

Things had been mostly quiet since his arrival in Ponyville, but that had changed when the special envoy from the Crystal Kingdom had arrived several weeks ago. The glimmering ambassador, Gilded Crescent, hadn’t overly impressed him at first. Politics concerned him little, but the stallion’s charm, and wit, had quickly caught his attention. He hadn’t been able to ignore the not so subtle flirting, either. He’d been further impressed, but slightly embarrassed, when Gilded Crescent had asked him out on a date, right in front of the princess. She’d just given him a knowing wink and given them some space. He’d accepted with little resistance.

They’d decided to meet up over the weekend and go to the Sweet Shamrock cafe for sandwiches. He’d wisely suggested skipping Sugarcube Corner. The staff there were a little boisterous for his taste, and he didn’t want to run the envoy off on their first date. Something quiet, and relaxing, would be perfect so they could get to know each other better.

They met just outside the castle. Gilded Crescent was missing the stately robes he usually wore. The sun glinted off his golden crystal coat, making him stand out. His cutie mark, a downward jade-colored crescent moon, was plain for all to see. Even without his robes, nothing about the stallion could be called plain.

“Ah, Domerin, it’s good to see you.”

“And you, envoy.”

The stallion gave a good-natured smile. “Just Crescent, if you please. No need to be formal. This is our first date, after all.”

“Ah, yes, Crescent. I have to admit, I’m surprised you asked me out.” He waved his hoof, indicating the way, and they began walking.

“How could I not? Your dedication impresses me. I’ve noticed you’ve got quite the charm and sense of humor too. It’s nice to see not all guards are so dour.” He winked, but seemed to be gently teasing.

“T-thank you.” He didn’t think he was all that funny, but was flattered the envoy thought so. “I can’t say I’m unhappy that you think I’m charming. Most ponies probably see me as dour.”

“Ponies who don’t look under what they see on the surface. Believe me, I see a lot of that.”

They hadn’t gone far before their path was suddenly waylaid, a great cloud of dust coming up in front of them. They both coughed, and instinctively Domerin stepped in front of Crescent. As the dust cleared he looked down into the faces of three young ponies.

“Domerin!” A trio of high-pitched voices called out. It was Sweetie Bell, Apple Bloom, and Scootaloo. He’d met them his share of times, mostly in the castle.

“You’ve gotta help us!” One called.

“It’s life’r death!” Another added.

“Hurry! Please!” The last voice entreated.

Both adults blinked down at the three for a moment, before Domerin found his voice. “Hold it a moment fillies. Try and get your breath back, then tell me what happened.” He glanced back at his companion. “Sorry about this.”

Crescent only smiled, seeming untroubled. The three fillies took a few moments, before launching into their story. It seemed a very important item from their headquarters had gone missing, and they needed help to find it.

“I don’t mean to be rude, girls, but I’m in the middle of something right now. Wouldn’t one of your sisters be better to help?” Usually he wouldn’t have minded, but he didn’t want to cut out on Crescent before they’d even gotten to the cafe. An envoy’s time was precious.

A trio of big, sad eyes looked up at him imploringly, and he felt his resolve shake. Before he had a chance to speak, Crescent stepped forward. He lowered himself down, so he could look at the three, a kind look on his face. “We’ll help you. Why don’t you let us know where to look?”

Domerin was surprised, thinking such a thing would have been beneath someone like Crescent. The fillies all jumped for joy, and described what they were missing. Then they split up, the adults taking the search along the back streets, with Domerin leading the way.

“I’m really sorry about this,” he said, looking over at the smaller stallion. “They’re very sweet fillies.”

“It’s quite all right. I’m sure this won’t take long. You seem to know your way around well,” Gilded Crescent said. “How long have you been here?”

“About half a year, I think. Princess Celestia appointed me as extra guard to Twilight Sparkle.”

“The Princess herself? Most ponies would have been crowing about a personal assignment from Celestia. You don’t sound upset about being sent here. Doesn’t everypony want to be in Canterlot?”

“I’m not the sort to brag. If this is where the Princess thinks I can help best, then that’s where I’ll go.” Domerin shrugged to the last. “It doesn’t really bother me. Someponies consider leaving Canterlot like exile, but I’m happy to be here. Life is slower, but it’s anything but dull.”

“I feel similar.” His companion was looking over at him, a little smile on his muzzle. “I got laughs when Princess Cadence appointed here, but why should I be upset? I’ve found this place to be very welcoming. No appointment is lesser, when it comes to relations. Besides, I’m happy I got a chance to meet you.”

“Likewise. And I promise we’ll get to have lunch at some point,” he said with a sheepish look, drawing a laugh from his companion.

They weren’t searching for too long before the trio of fillies found them again, their badge of office in hand. “We, uh, we found it in the bottom of Apple Bloom’s bag,” Scootaloo explained. Domerin tried not to look annoyed at the waste of time, but at least the girls were happy. “Thanks for helping Domerin! You’re the best!” A chorus of thank yous ran out.

“That was very kind of you.” Crescent waved to the fillies as they galloped off, and he smiled at Domerin in a way that made his heart flutter.

“It’s what anyone would do. It’s right to help all ponies, not just royalty.” Not every pony thought that way, but he tried always to live by that code. “Why don’t we head to the cafe? We can still beat the lunch rush.”

They made their way out, hitting the market, passing by the Apple Family fruit stall. They hadn’t fully passed it when Applejack waved at him. He knew her better than the young fillies from earlier, so he stopped when she called to him, though he almost instantly regretted it. “Domerin! Could ya lend me a hand with somethin’? Big McIntosh is sick and I need a hand haulin’ this here load back up to the farm. If you’d be so obliged.”

“I’m sorry, Applejack,” he said, trying to be gentle, “I’m out with someone right now.”

Disappointment showed on Applejack’s face, but it didn’t seem like she was going to push. He didn’t feel quite so bad turning her down. Before she could say anything Crescent stepped in.

“It’s all right, Domerin. We’d be happy to help.”

He shot the envoy an unsure look, wondering if he was just trying to be polite. “Are you sure? The farm is pretty out of the way. You don’t have to feel obligated.”

Crescent shook his head. “I can’t say no to someone who needs help. We’re here, and capable, so why not lend a hand?”

Domerin considered, but finally nodded, worried that Crescent would get tired of all this at any moment and walk away in a huff. Applejack looked pleased and since Domerin was the strongest they hitched the wagon to him so he could pull. He wasn’t as strong as Big McIntosh, but the load wasn’t bad. He had to admit it was a lovely day out too.

“You must know a lot of ponies,” Crescent remarked, as they made their way out of town.

“Not as many as I did back in Canterlot. You might be surprised, but I’m not exactly the most social of ponies. I try to be helpful, and the ponies here are friendly, so it’s not too hard to get to know them.”

“Still, I doubt so many would be asking you for help if they didn’t know you were reliable.” Crescent paused a moment, then added, with a mischievous grin, “Or that you just can’t say no.” He laughed, and Domerin couldn’t help but laugh too.

“You know my secret. I’m doomed!”

They were making good time, at least until they hit the lowlands. There had been rain the past few days and the track was muddy. At one point the wagon got stuck, and pull as Domerin might he couldn’t get it loose on his own. Applejack got behind the wagon to push and, to his horror, Crescent did as well. The three of them stressed and strained, but eventually the wagon came loose and they could continue on. All three of them were covered hooves to ears in mud so thick he could hardly see the gleam of Crescent’s coat.

Despite Applejack and Crescent’s apparent good moods, Domerin wanted to hang his head in shame. This was supposed to be a nice day out for the two of them, and now the envoy had been sent on a wild goose chase, and tracked through the mud. He was mostly silent until they got to the farm, and Applejack offered the pump so they could shower down. A little water and Crescent sparkled again with renewed vigor. With profuse thanks Applejack promised to return the favor some day.

As they headed back Domerin was somewhat tense, not understanding why Crescent hadn’t told him off yet. Perhaps he was just trying to be nice and would then never speak to him again once they got back to town. Crescent seemed to notice his mood, and for the moment didn’t press, letting them walk along in silence.

After such a long trek there and back, Domerin was tired and hungry, and more than anything just wanted to eat. It would be a seriously late lunch now, but luckily the cafe was in sight, just down the block.

They were halfway there when a pink form came flying out of nowhere, landing in front of them. “Why hello there Domerin! And the crystal Crescent! Hello!” It was Pinkie Pie, just the pony Domerin had been hoping to avoid. He tried to sidestep her, and pull Crescent along with him. Pinkie was too fast, and before he knew it she was holding out a lovely pink and purple wrapped package to Crescent.

“Would you like to try one of my speeecial treats?” The pink pony asked, entirely too sweetly. Domerin was annoyed at this latest blockade, but if it was only a treat it would only take a few moments.

“Why, I’d be delighted, thank you.” Crescent took the little pouch and, encouraged by the mare, began to open it. Too late, Domerin remembered what sort of sweets Pinkie liked to give out, especially to newcomers. His eyes went wide and he dove to try and swat the pouch out of Crescent’s hoof, but wasn’t fast enough.

The moment the ribbon unraveled there was a bang, and a pink glittery cloud filled the air. A thick mixture of glitter, confetti, and, inexplicably, sprinkles flew into the air, showering Crescent in a riot of color. His mane and tail were crusted with it, and he may as well have been wearing a blanket for how thick it was on his back. Crescent stared, wide eye, no doubt having been shocked by the bang. Domerin stared too, half on the ground, mouth open. This was going to be the end of everything.

“Weeee! Surprise!” Pinkie Pie was whizzing about manically, until she finally stopped dead in front of the ambassador. “Did’ya like it? Did ya, did ya?”

Domerin’s annoyance finally turned into anger. All he’d wanted this entire time was to take Crescent out for a simple, quiet meal, and the entire day had been railroaded. The glitter bomb might as well have been an assault. He was sure Crescent would pack up his bags and leave by morning. He drew himself up to his full height, stalking over to the mare, thinking to give her a piece of his mind – but stumbled when he heard Gilded Crescent’s delighted laughter.

“I loved it!” The crystal stallion declared a moment later. “How brilliant! One day you’ll have to show me how you make those. How do I look?” He turned, mugging for the ponies that had gathered around to see the carnage, and he got approving cries and some applause. Domerin’s anger deflated, only to be replaced by confusion at the envoy’s actions. Most diplomats would have been furious.

Crescent thanked Pinkie for the surprise and then made his way back over to Domerin, still looking pleased. He hadn’t even tried to wipe away the glitter. “What about you, Domerin? How do you think I look?”

“I, uh- colorful?” Was this supposed to be a trick question? He felt so lost, not sure what to say. Crescent again seemed to notice, and the stallion lightly bumped up against his shoulder, transferring some glitter onto his coat. There was a seeking look in his eyes.

“Are all our dates going to be this exciting?” The envoy asked, a slight grin touching the corner of his muzzle.

Domerin’s eyes widened, his confusion finally spilling over. “You really want to see me again after all that?” He waved his hoof, somewhat exasperated. “We went on a wild goose chase, you got covered in mud, and glitter! It’ll be dinner time soon and we didn’t even get to the cafe.”

Crescent laughed, no hint of malice in it. “Of course I do, Domerin. I haven’t had this fun a day in a long time. I got a proper welcome, we helped ponies in need, and I got to spend it with you. I can’t think of better. Besides, we probably learned more about each other than we would have over a meal, don’t you think?” He smiled up at Domerin, that mischievous glint in his jade eyes again. “Though I am rather hungry. Perhaps, if we can make it, dinner might be in order.”

Domerin was silent, taking in Crescent’s words. He’d gotten so wrapped up in the cafe itself, and worrying about offending him, that he hadn’t been able to see the fun they’d been having all along. And it did feel like he knew the other pony better now, as a result. Actions spoke louder than words. Perhaps they hadn’t stumbled right out of the gate, after all.

He smiled, feeling the tension ease out of him. “I’d like that. Though I should probably let you get washed up first. You look good in glitter, but it might not come out after awhile.”

Crescent laughed again, and they made their way back to the palace for now.