A Smile Only For You

by Never2muchpinkie

Chapter 1: A smile only for you

The tracks roll by beneath us. The train rattles on its way. The brief joy I felt fades away.

I look down at the assortment of candy necklaces around my neck, tokens of friendship from Pinkie Pie’s friends. In my saddle bag lay all of the necklaces she’s sent me over the years. Although I want to be happy I can’t. True happiness escapes me.

It’s all a distant memory now, but I could still remember that one glorious moment loud and clear. Looking out the window without really seeing the scenery pass by I thought back to how it all began, what I had gained and what I had lost.

Years ago I spent all my time on the farm. Day by day, month by month, we harvested the rocks in the various fields around our rock farm. It was my whole life, outside of caring for my siblings. From the very beginning Pinkie Pie was different than the rest of us. Our family was comprised of white, gray, and brown. Pinkie was pink. I suppose I should have known back then that things would change drastically, but I just continued with my work, studying what I could and making sure my siblings were safe when my parents were busy.

There came that special day, years later, which would change all of us in some way or another. One of my other sisters, Marble Pie, came running out to me, looking very odd and beckoning me to come with her.

I only came to realize it was odd because I didn’t know what it meant to smile from your heart, or to smile at all. When I came to the silo I could barely believe my eyes. My other sister, my mom, and my dad were all bursting with passion and emotion.

At the heart of it all was Pinkie Pie. Her mane was all puffed up like cotton candy, her eyes bright and shining as she ran over and hugged me, encouraging me to join in on the festivities.

I felt something awaken inside me. Something I’d never felt before: joy. A sudden rightness in the world; a fulfilling of something that I hadn’t even known I was missing. My mouth curled up into a smile, and we partied most of the day away.

It was a strange time. The work was still the same, but it felt much more fulfilling than usual. We all found much more passion in our jobs, exchanging smiles and love. Pinkie was a great mediator for problems, always being her bright, cheerful new self, and her mood was contagious. So much happiness and joy I’d never felt, and even when I had to work the harder jobs and be apart from her I’d still feel myself smiling just from the new memories we’d been sharing.

And then… came the worst day of my life. Pinkie left home. Eager to share happiness and friendship to as many ponies as possible, to let them experience the same feelings we all had been sharing together, she elected to go to Ponyville and find her place there.

We didn’t try to dissuade her. We all encouraged her to go, telling her to come and visit whenever she missed us. We had no fear or worries back then. We thought it was the best thing in the world at the time.

She found a place to stay with a pair of bakers, and it was enough to know she had a happy home to stay in while she was gone.

As the days passed, however, we felt the light leaving us. Pinkie’s feelings were infectious, spreading to each of us while she was around. She was a rainbow, raining love upon our farm. She was a shining sun, warm and comforting. She was a stark contrast to the grim realities of the world, and just looking at how she took bad things with a laugh and a smile just made all of us feel that no matter how hard things got we’d all be okay.

And then she was gone…

The things that she taught us, which had seemed so simple when she was around, became infinitely more difficult. The calm, cool heads that allowed us to easily let things go grew hotheaded. The hope that filled us up like a balloon full of helium deflated, leaving only the world as it was.

All I had left was a pile of rocks. There were days when I’d cry like crazy because I missed her so bad. There were days that I yelled and snapped at my parents, throwing a tantrum in frustration. I learned that those kinds of outbursts were unacceptable when there was work to be done.

The close-knit family we all had and shared had been held together by Pinkie Pie, and without her as our thread we all drifted apart. I bear her no anger for leaving. She was much too important to live her life on a rock farm. Other ponies deserved to learn the lessons that she had to teach. However, I can’t help but feel regregt when I think of what we all used to share, the six of us. She gave us a glimmer of optimism, a spark of light in a dark world. She taught us hope, and by letting her go it tore us all apart.

Everything she gave to us, that gave us an idea of a better future, that shook us out of our apathy, that helped us rise higher than we ever could have believed, now only remained as a bitter memory. Not of her, never of her. Pinkie was an innocent angel, and she never would have left if she knew what the results would have been. She was like an exotic bird, too bright and wonderful to be left caged and unknown to the world. I truly do love her with all of my heart, and I always wish her the best where she is. Although at times I wished she would return I know it’s not meant to be.

I had no real drive to leave, or to tell Pinkie how we all really felt. I didn’t want to disturb her harmony. The notes she sent me were full of so much life and joy, telling of friends she had made, adventures she’d been up to, ponies she’d helped, those that she had made smile. Although the notes kept coming I had to start ripping them up to avoid the temptation to read them. It was too much for me. It only brought forth all the memories of what our family used to share.

I didn’t want to feel that glaring hole anymore. I began to push my emotions away, sealing them away in a tightly locked box so that I wouldn’t hurt anymore. I dedicated myself to my work, spending far more time than was necessary out there, pummeling rocks almost to the point of exhaustion, hoping that if I simply wiped myself out I wouldn’t feel the burning ache in my soul, of wanting my sister back so badly that I thought I might break in two if I kept thinking about it.

Life grew increasingly dull, and without Pinkie’s notes to bring a little cheer to my world I had strikingly little to strive for. Although we would exchange candy necklaces from time to time, and she’d come to visit the rock farm on occasion, it no longer meant much to me. I defied and denied the feelings that wanted to come out, knowing they’d only be temporary.

In a bit of desperation for something that wouldn’t judge me I made my own pet: Boulder. I could talk to him on my level, on my own time, and he never got mad or upset or yelled. He wasn’t much for responding, but just the feeling that there was someone, or something, to listen to me was enough to get me by.

I realized that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life on the farm. I felt my other little sisters were old enough to fend for themselves. I began to study hard to prepare myself for a job, enrolling in a class to study about rocks and geology.

With a long time away from home, and visits from Pinkie, approaching I thought it appropriate to visit Pinkie before my big trip. Although I promised myself I wouldn’t let myself get emotional at the thought of the distance that would be between us it was ultimately out of my hooves.

When she tried to get me to socialize and become friends with her friends things didn’t work out too well. In a last ditch attempt to bridge the gap between us she set up a crazy obstacle course comprising all our prominent interests.

As she demonstrated it she wound up on a large pile of shaky rocks. Halfway up she got her hoof caught in between a few rocks, and a huge boulder that had been hanging precariously up at the top shifted toward her. As she screamed for help I felt something stir inside me. Beyond words, beyond thoughts, I found myself moving faster than I ever had before, flying toward my sister and pummeling that rock into dust, refusing to let anything taint my sister.

Like before she had awoken feelings that I’d long forgotten about: passion, fear, terror, worry, concern, anger, hatred, protectiveness.

I scolded her for her reckless actions, not wanting to see her hurt. I could see that things weren’t going to work out. I left Ponyville to head back to the rock farm until my trip. Pinkie came with me. I didn’t have the heart to tell her no.

When we got there we saw her friends had gotten there ahead of us, renewing their offer of friendship on the basis that what we had in common was how much all of us loved my sister. I accepted their offer, because I saw that all of them were willing to protect Pinkie while I was away.

They all made me a candy necklace, and me and Pinkie exchanged ours. Twilight inquired as to why I hadn’t eaten any of the necklaces and were just storing them away. I told her that I didn’t care much for candy, and as I looked over at my sister I felt an outpouring of affection for her that I couldn’t suppress, telling Twilight that I loved Pinkie Pie. Seeing her devouring the necklace I gave her made me see that she wasn’t traumatized from her near-death experience. She was still innocent, and ready to spread joy to others.

And now here I sit, alone, that feeling of joy and hope and contentment that had finally sparked inside me again diminishing.

Once again, through no fault of her own, Pinkie gave me something beautiful, and then took it away. Although I want to cry my eyes are dry. Although I want to scream I’m silent. Although I want to feel agony and pain and despair I feel nothing.

Now all that remains is emptiness, and a smile saved only for you.

Author's Notes:

This, like my recent Fluttershy one-shot, is an unofficial sequel to "How a Pie became a Cake," playing off the version of a younger Maud I created for that story, who hadn't yet gotten full control of her emotions.

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