A Rose By Any Other Name…

by Nico-Stone Rupan

Chapter 1: A Rose By Any Other Name...

Author's Notes:

Many thanks to Kul for producing the amazing cover art specifically for this fic.

As always, when Sour Sweet’s dialogue is presented in italics she’s sweet, in bold she’s sour, and in plain type she’s normal.

Sour Sweet could be a simple girl sometimes. When you had asked what she wanted to do on Valentine’s Day, she lazily replied, “Eh, just show up at my house.” When you asked what kind of gift she would like to receive, she cantankerously responded, “Is that how you get girls to like you? By bribing them?” You wonder if she was aware that she had quoted Doctor McCoy with that last one.

On your way to her residence, you stop at a store to buy a small, heart-shaped box with five chocolates within. You have to get her at least a little something, after all.

You make it to her door, knock, and are soon graced with the pretty face of your beloved.

“Sweets for my Sour?” you ask, presenting the box.

What have I told you about making dumb word plays with my name?” Sour Sweet scolds. “Seriously, you’re always like, ‘Ooh, how’s my Sour ‘n Sweet ‘n Pretty today?’ I can’t even flash you my undies anymore without hearing, ‘Oh, what a Sour Sweet gesture!’ You might as well go write crap FANFICTION with that kind of lousy sense of humor!

“Alright, if you’re going to be that way…” you tease, pulling back the box away from her.

No, no! Gimme, gimme!” she shouts like a little kid, instantly grabbing it. “Curse my chocolate weakness…

You then go in for a kiss. It’s just the simple meeting of the lips, as usual. Thanks to her anxieties, Sour Sweet hasn’t been up for the inclusion of the tongue just yet.

Yes, Sour Sweet could be a simple girl. However that simpleness can have a downside: boredom. At the end of the day, the two of you feel that everything that could be done had already been done. You binge-watched every good show there is to stream, played every board and video game in the house, and you had already gone to all the big movies currently playing in theaters, so that was out anyway. All there is left to do is to lie about in Sour Sweet’s room. She's on her bed, staring up at the ceiling, while you spin around in the chair at her computer desk.

You finally hear Sour Sweet let out an aggravated sigh, then a sudden, “Tell me that you love me.

“You know I do.”


“Alright, alright!” you chuckle. “I love you, Sour Sweet.”

Sour Sweet sighs once again, this time very contently.

“Tell me that you love me,” you say back.

There are several moments of utter silence before you finally have to look over to her. She’s idly inspecting her nails with a slight smirk on her face.

“Sour Sweet, tell me that you love me.”

She then takes out her cellphone and begins humming a happy tune as if she doesn’t hear you. You can’t help but to laugh at her teasing. However, her joking refusal to tell you that she loves you suddenly triggers a memory to resurface in your mind. One of a day you’ve tried to forget.

“This isn’t the first time I've been denied an ‘I love you’ from you,” you comment to yourself out loud.

You immediately regret doing that as Sour Sweet perks up and drops her act to look over at you. “What’s that supposed to mean?

“Oh, it’s nothing, really,” you nervously claim.

An empty chocolate box hits you in the head.

Tell me what you meant or next I’m throwing a SHOE!

You sigh in defeat. “Alright. Do you remember Valentine’s Day last year?”



It’s no secret that Valentine’s Day is Dean Cadance’s absolute favorite holiday. That was why she had gone to great pains to try to convince Principal Cinch to decorate Crystal Prep Academy for the occasion every single year since joining the staff. Finally, Cinch caved in oh so very slightly and allowed Cadance to choose one and ONLY one special thing to do for the day. However, there would still be absolutely NO decorations. Cinch felt they would only be a distraction from the students’ studies… not to mention an eyesore for her.

What the one special thing Cadance decided on doing was to allow the students to pay for a single rose for a special somebody in the coming weeks before Valentine’s Day. Then, on the big day, they would be passed out completely anonymously. Cadance was sure that the whole rest of the day would be filled with nothing but romantic excitement as the students tried to figure out who had bought them their rose.

It was fourth period when the distribution finally began. Frosty Orange was the one assigned to go from classroom to classroom to deliver everyone their roses. You were busy staring dreamily from over Trenderhoof’s shoulder at the back of ( your then-just-a-crush ) Sour Sweet’s head when she came in and began reading from a list of names.

You had considered buying a rose for Sour Sweet. You chickened out, of course. It may have been just as well. If Sour Sweet had gotten one, she’d more than likely assume that it was just a prank and rip apart the entire Academy to find who was responsible.

Just then, something you didn’t expect happened. Your name was called out. Frosty Orange hurried over and presented you with your rose. With your jaw slacked in disbelief, you gently took it.

You held the rose out to admire it. A bright red cluster of petals attached to a long slender stem, which sported a single leaf and a few thorns. It was gorgeous. It truly has to be admired how appropriately chosen the rose was to symbolize love long ago. Its pleasant appearance represents how beautiful and ideal it can be. However, at the very same time, it serves as a warning of how superficial it can get if you go by appearance alone. In addition, the thorns exhibit the fact that love can be painful.

“Got a rose, did you?”

You glanced up to see Trenderhoof looking back at you. Being the shy guy you were, you simply nodded.

“How exciting,” Trenderhoof stated with a strange smirk. “Got any idea who it could be from?”

You shook your head and then looked around the room. None of the girls seemed to be offering you any kind of giveaway looks.

“Well, while you’re trying to figure out that little mystery, you mind if I borrow the blue pen again?” Trenderhoof asked.

For a student at a prestigious and rigorous school such as CPA, Trenderhoof always seemed unprepared for class. He never had anything to write with. You, on the other hand, carried around three writing utensils always at the ready: a black pen, a blue pen, and a No. 2 pencil. The pencil was for taking tests, the black pen you had always preferred to use for note-taking, which left the blue pen available for lending every fourth period.

You retrieved and handed it over.

“Thank you very much,” Trenderhoof said. He grew that strange smirk again. It was as if it was a knowing one. “You know, it could have been anybody who bought you that rose.”

Your excitement suddenly began to rise. It could have been anybody! Who was to say that it wasn’t any of the more desired girls at CPA even? A catalog of popular names flipped through your mind. It could have been a stunning model like Fleur de Lis, a wealthy socialite like Sunny Flare, a sports star like Indigo Zap, a schizophrenic bully like Sour Sw –

Your eyes bugged out and your mouth gaped wide. Wait, THAT wasn’t possible, was it? Could have… Sour Sweet bought it for you? Your pulse began quickening at the thought.

Maybe Sour Sweet knew that you had a crush on her. Perhaps she had picked up on the fact that she was the only one in the whole school that a shy guy like you had ever tried to start a conversation with. Sure, the conversation usually ended with her yelling, “Get bent, loser!”, but she could have been just playing hard to get all this time!

You had fantasied about it, but never in a million lifetimes did you ever think it would happen. Heck, you started fantasizing about it right then! You could see Sour Sweet slowly walking up to you, her hips swaying hypnotically. Her cheeks were tinged with pink. In her hand was the rose. She held it out. It was for you. All for you. Only for you. Her lips formed a sultry smirk. Then, those three little words escaped from them: “I love you.” She bit her bottom lip and gave you an urgent “I need you now” gaze…


The bell snapped you out of your erotic Sour Sweet daydreams. Just in time, too. Any longer and a certain SNL music video involving pants would have became your life’s story.

For the rest of the school day, you carried around the rose everywhere with pride. You treasured it. Twirling it around with your fingers and fantasizing about the dates you would have with Sour Sweet got you through even the dullest class lecture. For the first time in your life, you had been given a real token of love! You just wished Sour Sweet would go ahead and admit it already. Every time you saw her in the hallway between classes you kept expecting and hoping that she would stop you and confess a heartfelt, “I love you”. She just kept walking, though.

After the final bell, you went straight to your locker to wait for her. If Sour Sweet was going to confess, the most perfect place to do it was where you two meet each other every day besides fourth period since her locker was only a few down from yours. All around you, overheard love confessions, date settings, and even a few make-out sessions going on in the hallways as students were finding out who gave them their rose only hyped you up more and more for what you thought was about to happen.

You WANTED it to be her! It just HAD to be her! You NEEDED to hear “I love you” from Sour Sweet!


You eagerly turned your head… only to see Trenderhoof.

“So, you figure out who gave you that rose, yet?” he asked.

You sure had the hope of who it was, but you still shook your head.

Trenderhoof chuckled. “Well, don’t wonder anymore. It was me!”

At that moment, you wondered if seismometers all over the globe went haywire over the magnitude of your heart shattering. “Y-you?”

“Yeah, I got you that rose as a thank you for all those times you let me borrow that blue pen.”

You searched Trenderhoof’s face for any sign of cruel malice. You couldn’t find any. He sincerely thought that buying you a rose would be a friendly gesture. That still didn’t keep you from feeling like you were about to be utterly sick from the disappointment.

“Uh, yeah, you’re welcome,” you managed to say, flatly. “Thanks for the rose.”

Trenderhoof smiled obliviously and started to walk away. As he did, he patted you on the shoulder and said, “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

With Trenderhoof out of sight, you just stood there in a daze, not sure what to do or what to think. The close sound of a locker opening then caught your attention. Her…

“H-hey, Sour Sweet.”

She looked over with a suspicious glare as she put her books away. “What do you want?

You found yourself trying to fight back tears. “I, uh, just wanted to know if you had a nice Valentine’s Day.”

Sour Sweet put on one of her fake smiles and chuckled. “You know very well that’s absolutely none of your business. Get bent, loser!

With that, Sour Sweet slammed her locker and left you.

You lifted up the rose. All day. All damn day. You had cherished a plant for nothing. It suddenly felt so meaningless. You sighed and began your way out of the Academy. As you did, you approached a garbage can.

In the trash the rose went, along with all the dreams and expectations you had for it.


“So, yeah, that’s what I meant," you sigh as you conclude the story. "Just a bad day, you know? No big deal.”

You look over at Sour Sweet. Her face is completely devoid of readable emotion.

“Sour Sweet, are you okay?”

Without a word, she gets up off her bed and comes over to you. All at once, she straddles and plops right into your lap with her hands taking hold of your head, yanking you straight into her mouth for a kiss. There was something different about this kiss, though.


You quickly join in with yours. Being the first time at French kissing for the both of you, it certainly is kind of messy and awkward, yet still earnest and passionate as your tongues dance with each other. When you finally part, a single strand of saliva still connects your mouths, as if trying its best to not let the moment end.

Sour Sweet gazes straight into your eyes. “I love you.”

You reach up and stroke her cheek. “You’re getting bolder.”

Sour Sweet smiles. “It’s only because you bring it out of me. I’m sorry I couldn’t have been the one to give you that rose last year, but I’m here for you now.”

The two of you embrace. How thankful you are that your life has gotten so much better since Sour Sweet officially came into it. No rose could ever compare to that.

You suddenly smirk. “A rose by any other name would smell as Sour Sweet.”

Oh, for the love of-- THE WORD PLAYS AREN’T FREAKING FUNNY!!!!!


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