One Year Later

by SwiftBolt

Chapter 1: Chapter the Only

Chapter the Only

The bright red pony on the screen jumped up and slammed his hoof into the brick block, releasing a red and white mushroom. The pony ran after it and caught it only a step away from the endless pit before him. He skipped over it with ease before continuing down the red brick road. “What do you think that looks like?” A voice asked, taking Button’s concentration off the game.

“Huh?” Button responded.

“The cloud, what do you think it looks like?” she asked again. He looked down at Sweetie Belle, her head resting firmly on Button’s stomach as she looked up to the sky.

“Which cloud?”

“The one right there, passing over the sun.”

“It looks like… a dog.”

“A dog?”

“Yea, look.” He traced the outline of the cloud with his hoof. “There’s the head, the ears, the body, the four legs, and the tail.”

Sweetie Belle tilted her head to the left and then the other way. Button let out a little giggle. “What’s so funny?” she asked.

“Nothing, you’re just tickling me with your mane.”

“Really?” She shook her head, rubbing it all across Button’s underside while he tried to keep a straight face. Sweetie flipped herself over, landing her hooves on top of Button and staring him in the face. She gave him an evil grin.

“Please don’t,” he said, letting out a little chuckle. Sweetie Belle began to quickly run her hooves around Button’s stomach, making him cry with a roar of laughter. Button tried to pry her hooves off, only making her hooves faster and Button’s laugh harder. He rolled himself over, his laughter continuing.

Sweetie Belle fell back on top of him, giving a small giggle of her own and wrapping her forehooves around him. “I hate you,” Button said jokingly, between the dying laughs. He grabbed the JoyBoy that had been thrown during Sweetie Belle’s initial assault and continued to play his game.

“What are you playing?” Sweetie Belle asked, putting her head beside Button’s.

“Super Pony Brothers,” he spoke with unblinking eyes.

“Oh, cool.” Sweetie Belle leaned closer to the device. “What level are you on?”

“The last one, I just need to get past this… one… ghost… and …” Button tapped the buttons as fast as his little hooves allowed. The sprite on the screen hoped over the white blob and opened the door, turning the screen black. Button let out a cheer and threw his forelegs up, knocking Sweetie Belle off his back. She landed on the grass below with a thud and stared at Button, wearing a disappointed look on her face.

“What now?” she asked, rolling herself back onto her hooves.

“Now I have to jump over the final boss, touch the ax that breaks the bridge, send the final boss falling into his own pit of lava, save the mare and earn my reward.” Button’s eyes never moved from the screen.

“What’s the reward?” Sweetie Belle spoke in a monotone voice.

“It’s a kiss from the most beautiful mare in the entire mushroom kingdom.”

Sweetie Belle looked down at the colt and let out a small sigh before clearing her throat and pointing a hoof at her face. Button turned his head toward the pony standing above him. “Oh,” he stuttered “well… you see... I didn’t… I mean… this isn’t… I mean… you aren’t… I mean-” the JoyBoy’s screen lit up the final stage of the game “-oh look, the game!” Button shot his eyes back down towards the device.

Sweetie Belle took a step to her side, blocking the sunlight from hitting the device. “Sweetie Belle!” Button pulled his hooves off the game and look back up at her.

“You know, Button,” she sighed, “when you invited me to come hang out with you” – She pointed at the JoyBoy – “this wasn’t what I was expecting.”

Button didn’t say a word. He looked back and forth between Sweetie Belle and the JoyBoy. An awkward silence filled the air around them.  Several minutes passed, the two ponies didn’t move and didn’t speak. Sweetie Belle was the first to break the silence. “I think-” she wiped a hoof across her face, drying her eyes “-I’ll just go.”

Sweetie Belle walked away from the colt sitting beneath her and slowly down the hill. Button sat in silence and listened to every hoofstep that the small filly took. “Wait,” he cried out, scooping the JoyBoy towards his saddlebags. He sprinted until he was beside the depressed pony. She gave him a small grunt and continued on her way.

The two ponies walked beside each other, one looking into the other’s eyes and the other looking down at the dirt path. As Sweetie Belle walked, she kicked little clumps of dirt on the road and watched as they broke apart. Button’s eyes never looked away, gluing his eyes to her as he glued his eyes to the screen of a JoyBoy. He scooted himself closer to Sweetie Belle before speaking.

“Hey, so, I was thinking that-” Sweetie Belle pushed Button away, not giving as much as a glance towards the colt. He sighed before placing his hoof on her shoulder, stopping her movement.

“Sweetie Belle,” he spoke with a soft voice, “can I tell you something?”

Sweetie Belle gave Button a small glance, pushing his hoof off. “Go ahead.”

“I know that… well, that I’m an awful coltfriend, but you have to know… I never really had many friends before I came here to Ponyville and when I asked you to be my fillyfriend, I didn’t really know what that meant.” Button stopped Sweetie Belle, picking up her forehooves with his. “But I knew that I wanted to be with you. Be more than a friend with you. But, even after a year, I still have no idea what that means. So, Sweetie Belle, I promise to you here and now that I will try my hardest to be the best coltfriend that any pony could ask for.”

Sweetie Belle looked up from the dirt and into Button’s eyes. “You’re forgiven for being such a bad friend, but I’m just… not really in the mood to hang out. I’m just going to go home,” she spoke, her voice filled with both sadness and anger. She pulled her hooves away from Button and started to trot away.

“Well, can I at least walk you there?” Button asked.

Sweetie Belle paused, giving him a judgmental look. “I guess.”

It was only a short walk from where they stood, just outside Sugarcube Corner, to the Carousel Boutique. But for Button, the walk alongside a quiet Sweetie Belle was torture. She may not have been the most energetic pony in all of Ponyville, but between them, she was the one who would always start the conversations. The quiet side of Sweetie Belle didn’t just make Button feel like a bad friend, it made him feel off. It made him feel like there was some kind of scale of the universe and it had just suddenly tilted after being balanced for an eternity.

The torturous walk came to a close when the two ponies reached the purple door of the building. Button locked eyes with Sweetie Belle and gave her a small wave before starting to walk off. He didn’t get very far before he was interrupted by the sound of Sweetie Belle’s voice. “Button,” she spoke, breaking the long silence, “I know that you don’t like to plan ahead, but could you, just this once… for me, plan for tomorrow.”

With those words leaving her mouth, the young pony disappeared behind the door, leaving Button to walk home alone. “What does that mean?” Button asked himself.

Button didn’t live far from Sweetie Belle, making the walk short, which was nice. The path Button took to school passed right by the boutique and right by Sweetie Belle. Button would always walk with her on the way to school. It gave the two ponies a little time to talk or just to be with each other, which was also nice.

“Button!” A tan mare stuck a trowel into the dirt and made her way over to Button.

“Hi, Mom.”

“So, how was your playdate?” she asked, ruffling Button’s mane.

“It was… alright.”

She shot Button a concerned look. “Button, is everything okay?”

“Yes... I mean… no… I mean… what’s tomorrow?”

“Tomorrow?” -  She placed a hoof against her chin - “Isn’t that the 27th?”

Button stood in silence, his mind far away from home. His mother placed a hoof on his head and forced eye contact between the two ponies. “Why do you ask?”

“Well, when I walked Sweetie Belle home, she told me to think about tomorrow. But I don’t remember what’s so special about-” Button’s eyes shot open and he let out a gasp. He started to walk in circles and mumble to himself.

His mother placed both her hooves on the colt, bringing him to a halt. “Sweetie, what’s wrong?”

“Don’t you remember?”

“Does it make me a bad mother if I say no?”

“It’s our Anniversary!”

“Button, Mother’s Day was over a month ago.”

“No, it’s not our anniversary.”

“Then what are you talking about, Button?”

“Sweetie Belle, Mom.”

“You and Sweetie Belle are celebrating your anniversary tomorrow?”

“Yes, and I’ve completely forgotten about it.”

“Well,” she giggled, “whenever your father forgets our anniversary, his punishment is that he has to take me out to a nice restaurant. A couple years ago, he took me to this really nice-”

“Mom, this is serious!”

“I’m being serious! You should take her on a nice date, and tell her that you planned it from the start. It’ll be a nice surprise and I’ll let you lie on this one occasion.”

Button let out a sigh of frustration. “Mom, have you seen Chip?”

“Have I seen who?”

“Chip, you know, your other son.”

“Oh, you mean Mr. Lazy Bones?” She pointed a hoof towards the house “He’s on the sofa, playing some video games.”

Button dashed for the door and pushed it open, letting it smash against the doorstop. “Oh, Button,” his mother called out, “tell your brother he still has to clean his room.”

An average sized stallion sat slouched back against the couch, his hooves dangling past the edge. A controller lay on top of him, with his forehooves resting on top of it. His maroon eyes fixated on the screen. Button bolted in through the doorway and planted himself in front of the screen. “Down in front,” Button’s brother commanded, giving his brother a wave of his hoof.

“I need your help,” Button pleaded.

Button’s Brother let out a disgruntled sigh, pressing a button on the controller and throwing it to the side. He sat upright on the couch and cleared his throat. “What?”

“I need help with a girl.”

“Now I see why you came to me. Continue.”

“Well, tomorrow is our anniversary and I feel that I should make it really special. I just… I just don’t know what she wants.”

“I assume that Mom already gave you the story of when Dad forgot their anniversary?”

“Yea, well… she tried.”

“So I take it you don’t want to go to a fancy restaurant?”

“Well… I mean… I wouldn’t mind it, but I want to make it special for the two of us.”

“So you’re really looking for a gift more than a plan?”

“Umm... I guess so.”

“Okay, here’s what I have to say-” He began to guide Button out of the room with one of his hooves “-Mares are like snowflakes, there are no two identical. Siblings are like parasprites, annoying and should be kept out of the house.” With those words, Button’s brother shoved Button out of the room and slammed the door closed behind him.

Button brought himself back up and began to slam his hooves against the door. “Come on,” Button cried, “I need your help.”

Button slid down the door until his chin met with the carpet. After a moment, the door swung open, revealing Button’s brother. “Alright, I’ll help you as long as you agree not to annoy me until I finished the campaign of this game, deal?”

Button grabbed his brother’s hoof and shook. “Deal.”

“Okay, what I said wasn’t completely untrue, mares are like snowflakes. So, without getting to know Sweetie Belle, I can’t really give you any specifics on what to give her. But, I can give you a general area.”

“What is it?”

“Whoa, this isn’t a one-time thing. I’m going to teach you this so that next time, you won’t come interrupting my game session for help. So we’re going to take this slowly.” Button’s brother stepped into full view of the colt. “First lesson, repeat after me, the most special items can’t be bought.”

“The most special items can’t be bought.”

“They must be felt.”

“They must be felt.”

“Good, any questions?”

“So I have to make her feel an item?”

“No, Button, that’s completely redundant. I’m saying that while flowers might be nice, they aren’t going to last forever. The best gifts that you can give or receive are experiences that last a lifetime.”

“So I have to do something so crazy that she’ll never forget it?”

“Well, kind of, it should be more romantic than crazy.”

“What do you think I should I do?”

“Button, I don’t know Sweetie Belle like you know Sweetie Belle, what do you think she would like?”

“Maybe… maybe she would like… I don’t know. Can you give me an example of something you did or something?”

Button’s brother placed a hoof on his forehead and took a deep breath. “Button, don’t think about what I’ve done. I’m not you, and you aren’t me, you’re your own pony. What I would do if I were you is I would think of an important milestone in relationships that you two haven’t reached yet.”

“Is that what’s in the drawer labeled ‘important FF stuff’?”

“No” – Button’s brother quickly covered Button’s mouth and leaned in close – “I don’t know how you know about that drawer but you can never tell Mom about it and you can never go inside of it, understand? Blink twice if you understand me.”

Button blinked twice and the older pony let go of Button’s head. “There,” Button’s brother mumbled, “I helped you, know leave me to finish my game.”

Button nodded and watched as his brother disappeared behind the oak door. He walked across the hall, into his own room and sat himself on his bed. He pulled a notebook and a pencil out of the saddlebags that hung from a hook on the inside of the door. He gripped the pencil in his mouth and began to scribble down ideas for Sweetie Belle’s present. For every item that he noted down, he came up with a reason as to why Sweetie Belle wouldn’t like it.

By the time that Celestia’s sun had fallen below view, several pages filled with lead markings of frustrations were strewn about the young colt room as he sat on his bed scratching his head. “Come on, Button,” he spoke to himself, “you know Sweetie Belle, what does she like?”

He pulled out a new piece of paper and began to jot down all the things that Sweetie Belle liked. The list stretched on past the first side of the paper and almost filled the other. Button looked down at his work and gave a satisfied grunt before ripping out a blank sheet of paper from his notebook. For almost an hour, Button continued to write down ideas, each one seeming better than the last. As Button’s mother called him down for dinner, he finished circling the last few words he had written on that sheet, the perfect gift for Sweetie Belle.

He swiped the piece of paper into his mouth and sprinted down the stairs towards the kitchen. “Mom,” he cried out, entering the doorway.

“Yes?” She placed several plates on her head and began to walk towards the dining table.

Button held the piece of paper in front of her. “Is this a good idea for a gift?”

His mother continued to stare at the words as she tilted her head and let the plates slide onto the table. “Umm… why don’t you ask your brother? I’m sure he’ll give you a better answer.”

Just as the words left her mouth, Button’s brother walked into the room and took a seat at the table. Button hopped up onto the seat next to him and gestured towards the sheet of paper.

Button’s brother glanced over at the sheet. He took a moment to read through it before answering. “Is this your plan for your anniversary?”

Button nodded

“Well, I can see why Mom sent you to me. As for your idea-” he paused “- yeah, I guess that would work. Nice pick of location as well, quite romantic.”

Button’s mother took the seat across from the two stallions. “He sure is growing up!” Her voice sounded both happy and painful simultaneously.

“Yea,” – Button’s brother gave him a nudge - “and in all the right places. Well, at least in the mare department.”

Button sat up against a tree, hiding from the sun in the cool shade. Sweetie Belle rested her head on top of him, wrapping her hooves the colt. She buried her face deep into Button’s fur and he placed a hoof on the back of her head. “This is nice,” she whispered, “just you and me. Don’t you think?”

“Yea, but you forgot to mention how beautiful the day is.” He looked over the horizon at vast, green hills around the two ponies.

“What, is my face not enough beauty for you?” She let out a little giggled and pushed herself away from Button’s underside. The two ponies locked eyes and give each other a sweet smile.

“I’m a stallion. You know we can never have too much beauty.” The two of them shared a moment of laughter before Sweetie Belle spoke again.

“Button, can you grab me something from my saddlebags?”

“Sure” - Button dug his hoof into the bags that rested beside him on the tree - “What is it?”

“It’s a small, blue box. It should there somewhere.”

“Found it.” Button pulled out a blue box with a white bow on top, a little note taped on gave a happy anniversary message. “Is it a present?”

“Yeah and it’s for you. Did you… did you forget?”

“Nah,” Button laughed, “I’m just messing with you.”

“Oh, good, open your gift then.”

Button’s hooves tore through the wrapping paper, revealing a box with a gold armored pony on the front. “Long Patrol: The Final Stand, how did you get this?”

“It took a long time, but I know how much you wanted that game, so I tracked it down for you.”

“Wow… I… thank you. I don’t think that my gift can compete with this.”

“Oh, you didn’t have to get me anything.”

“Well, after this, how could I not?”

“Oh, alright, what is it?”

“Well, it isn’t exactly a physical thing that I can place in your hooves, it more like a-”

“Wait-” Sweetie Belle sprung to her hooves “-are you telling me that I spent a good part of five months tracking down a game, only to not get a gift in return?”

“Well… it’s still a gift… it just isn’t as physical.”

“I can’t believe you Button, I always do these nice things for you and you never even put effort into our relationship. You are officially the worst coltfriend ever.”

Sweetie Belle stormed off, letting the dirt she kicked up land on Button’s face.

Button’s body sprang upright on the bed as the young colt gasped for a breath. He placed a hoof near to his heart, feeling its rapid beat. As his breathing slowed, he glanced over to the clock on the wall. The bright green lights that encompassed the numbers made it hard to look at in the darkness of the room. Button managed to make out the time. “4:40-” He moved both hands onto his forehead and began to massage it “-great.”

Button slid off his bed and quietly made his way to the door and opened it. He leaned his head out, seeing nothing but the empty hallway outside. He left his room, using the light from his clock to walk down the stairs without making a sound. He entered the doorway to the kitchen, only to be greeted with darkness. Button flicked a switch and a single, dim light turned on over the countertop. He moved a chair away from the dining table and placed it against the work area before climbing on top of it.

He looked out the window at the newly crafted garden. The plants and flowers could only be seen because of the light from Luna’s moon, all except for one. There were several flowers that had been tied together and placed into a bag, but they continued to illuminate. Their blue shine pierced through the thin material and shined brightly under the starlight. Button opened the drawer that sat beside him, pulling out a rubber band and sprinting outside. He tore a hole into the bag and brought out the flowers, tying them together. He walked back inside and placed them on the countertop. “I hope Mom won’t miss these.”

Button gave the staircase one last look before sliding on a coat and walking outside, flowers in his mouth. As he shut the door, Button took a moment to stare over the stars that filled the sky. There was a beauty to them that Button could not explain, a beauty of how they just seemed to be sprinkled all over, a beauty that he usually wasn’t awake enough to see.

Button spent another minute absorbing the beauty in the night before he continued down the dirt path the lead into the town. During the day, Ponyville was alive. There were ponies in every shop and on every street. But, during the night, things changed. Nopony was awake, the town didn’t just seem empty, it seemed deserted. Button passed several stores and houses before he stood beside the purple door to the Carousel Boutique. He walked around the building, around to the window into Sweetie Belle’s room.

He set the flowers down onto the ground and tapped against the glass. A moment of silent passed, not a single noise emitted from the room. Button tapped against the window, this time with more force. Another moment passed, Button reached up to tap again, but the window opened. Sweetie Belle stood on the other side. “Who’s there?” she called out.

“It’s just me, Button.”

“Button-” She rubbed her eyes “-what time is it?”

“It’s almost sunrise.”

“It’s almost sunrise? What are you doing out here and more importantly, why did you wake me up?”

“I… I couldn’t wait.”

“What couldn’t you wait for?”

“Well… I just… I need to show you.”

“Okay, just… just give me a second.”

The window slid closed and Sweetie Belle disappeared from view. Button picked the flowers up back into his mouth and moved his way back to the front door. A moment later, the young filly stepped out. She wore a big, puffy coat as well as a very annoyed face. Button pushed his head forward, letting Sweetie Belle take the flowers out of his mouth. “Are these for me?” She held the flowers under her face and smelled their scent. “They’re amazing.”

Button gave her a smile.

“Is this what couldn’t wait?”

“Well, sort of. It’s more like an opener to the real thing.”

“So what’s the real thing?”

“I have to show you.” Button grabbed Sweetie Belle’s hoof and started to lead her down another dirt path. It wasn’t long before they passed the border of the town and were soon surrounded by trees. Button led Sweetie Belle over several hills and sat down under a tree that stood upon the final one. It overlooked a small oval shaped lake.

“Is this” – Sweetie Belle released Button’s hoof and stood over the water – “what I think it is?”

Button nodded. “Yea.”

Sweetie Belle looked down at the water and up at the stars. She was filled with the same wonder that Button felt outside his home. “It’s… beautiful. I can see why this couldn’t wait.”

Button moved up beside the young filly and grabbed her hoof. “Well, it’s only part of the reason.”

“What do you mean?”

“I wanted to give you your anniversary present… and I felt that this was the right time.”

"Before the sun came up?"


“Okay, what is it?”

“Close your eyes.”

Sweetie Belle did as she was told. Button took a deep breath before placing a hoof on the side of the pony’s head. Button slightly pulled his hoof back and pushed his head towards Sweetie Belle’s. Button shut his eyes and the two pairs of lips met. He felt as Sweetie Belle started to resist but relax as she placed her hooves around him. He could feel her warm breath invade his mouth as he opened the gap between his lips. His tongue slipped into her mouth and he pulled it back, letting it run along the length of her’s. He placed his other hoof on the back of her head, pulling with both hooves and kissing her with more passion. As she let another breath flow into him, he felt a warm feeling wash over his body.

The two ponies sat with their lips locked for a minute before Button released Sweetie Belle and pulled out of the kiss. The two ponies fell back together against the tree and slid until they sat on the grass. Sweetie Belle rested her head on Button’s shoulder. “Hey, Button,” she spoke softly.


“That was an amazing gift.”

Return to Story Description


Login with