Could I ask you to stay?

by Sir Hat

Chapter 1: No

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"If we met again..."


I dropped down to one knee. "If we spent more time together..."

Amber shook her head, her antlers sparking slightly. "Frankie, don't." Her voice was soft, her tone low. "Please."

I swallowed hard and looked up to her. I lifted her hoof up with one hand, spreading her pads apart with my index finger. Her coat was warm, her pads dotted with damp snow. "If I could take back what I said..."

Amber tried to pull her hoof away. She tugged once, forcing my fingers apart but keeping her hoof on my fingertips. "Frank, please...don't."

I took a deep breath and looked past her, unable to face her. The thick collection of trees that sat behind her walled us in. The stripped branches felt like they were holding us in place in the damp clearing surrounded by snow. "If I was like you..."

Amber leaned forward and jammed her forehead against my own. "Frank...it's not going to happen."

"If you weren't leaving..." I stared deep into her rust hued eyes. The deep black centers glistened slightly in the pale morning light. Her mouth parted only at the center, forming the smallest pouting frown I could imagine. Her eyes were drawn down, eyebrows peeked upward near the center. Ears laid back. Body loose. Legs shaking in the cold winter morning. "Could I ask you to stay?"

Amber shook her head. Her antlers patted my temples as she did. "Frank, no." She leaned forward and planted the top of her muzzle against my shoulder. "Why...why would you ask me something like that?"

I felt my stomach twist a single notch. I put my arms around the back of her neck, holding her against me. I could feel the tip of her ear against my thumb. "I'm sorry. I needed an answer." I pulled her tight and pressed my eyes against her neck.

Amber huffed sharply. "I come to say goodbye, and you ask me that!" She started the shriek towards the end of her words. "I can't believe you!"

I felt my eyes burn roughly. "I'm sorry."

"You're not even a pony! You're not supposed to be here!" She pushed against my shoulder with her chest. "I can't go to Canterlot! You know I can't!"

I took a single quick breath and shifted my knee to the side. "I'm sorry!"

Amber whimpered softly. "Frank...how am I supposed to answer that?" She pulled back and looked at me, dead on, unblinking. Her black nose burned slightly pink. Her soft cream and washed out red coat wore well on her. "Frank...why would you ask me such a stupid question?"

I swallowed hard. "I just had to know--"

"You already knew!" she screamed. She took a deep breath and screamed right in my face. "Frank! You knew the moment you asked me to come say goodbye!" She stopped and donned a deep frown. "No, you can't ask me to stay." She shook her head gently. A few tears dripped down from the corner of her eyes. "You can't ask me something you know the answer to." She jammed her eyes shut and forced her head into the nook of my shoulder. "...You have to make things so complicated." She pressed a hoof against my thigh. "You have to be such a stupid asshole!" She nuzzled my arm. The loud rustling sent a shiver down my spine. "Such an idiot, Frankie."

I dug my fingers into her coat and watched her tail wiggle. "I didn't know--"

Amber yanked her head back, knocking the back of my head with her short antlers. "Well you should have!" She poked me in the chest with her hoof. "What did you think I would say!?"


"Then you're an idiot!" She shoved me hard with both hooves. I stumbled back and fell to my ass. "Honestly!"

I tried to stand up. Amber shoved me back down and onto my back. She stood over me. "I was gonna go home...." She laid down against my chest. "I was gonna get a dog when I got back!" She stared down at me, her rust colored eyes forcing me to look away. "I was gonna start a family.... And you come, and you ask me to stay." She huffed loudly. "You took my family away...." She laid down with the side of her muzzle across my lips. "You'd better replace it...."

I slid my hands over Amber's sides. They came to a stop along her back and dug in. "I promise I'll work harder."

"Frank, shut up."

"I'll make up for what I said." I squeezed her against me, burying my mouth in her neck. "I promise I'll make it better."

"Frank, shut up!"

I closed my eyes and held her tight. "I'll take you anywhere! I promise! Please, just stay with me and I'll follow you anywhere."

Amber leaned her head up and looked down at me. "Frank-" She ducked down and kissed my forehead. "-Canterlot is fine. But they'll--"

"They'll treat you fine." I  pulled her head down until she rested flat against me. "If they don't, I'll make them."

Amber sighed loudly. "You can't make ponies do what they don't want to."

"Then we'll move." I sat upright. Amber sat calmly on my lap, her back hooves splayed out while her forelegs kept her stable. "Equestria's a big place! And you name a place, I'll go with you!"

Amber leaned against me. "The Tsardom?"

I took a deep breath. "You need me to change, you need me to be like you, to be a pony, a griffon, you tell me and I'll do it."

Amber sighed loudly. "Frank, I need you to be you." She forced my chin up with her nose. "Now, take me home." She sniffled softly. "I think we're gonna get sick." Her antlers started to glow as she levitated a scarf from her saddlebags. "I was gonna give this to you." She wrapped it around her neck, covering herself up to her chin. "I think I'm going to need it more if we're staying out in Canterlot.... Stupid cold."

I slowly got to my feet. I cradled Amber's rear in my right arm and held her to my chest with my left. Her forelegs dug into my wrist. "I'll go--"

"Home. Frank, take me home." She sighed and pressed her forehead against my neck, her antlers jutting off against my shoulder. "Ponies don't trim their horns, do they?" She huffed and turned her head down, poking my cheek with her antlers. "They'd better learn." Next Chapter: Mints Estimated time remaining: 17 Minutes

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