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Just Like Old Times · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
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First Date
For the hundredth time since this perfect night began, Shining Armor had to resist the urge to pinch himself to make sure that he wasn't dreaming.

"I usually go for Conjuration spells, but I've had fun with Transmutation too." Standing right next to him, close enough that their coats occasionally rubbed together as they walked, was Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, Empress of the Crystal Empire.

It'd taken three tries before Her Most Serene Highness had managed to convince Shining that she'd really asked him on date, but she'd eventually gotten him to have dinner with her at his favorite restaurant.

Said dinner had been absolutely wonderful, and he'd quickly found Princess Mi Amore – Cadance – to be a wonderfully charming mare with a kind heart, a sharp wit, and a beauty beyond compare both within and without.

He'd gotten so comfortable around her that he'd accidentally started talking about his latest Oubliettes and Ogres game, which, if his gaming group were to be believed, was a surefire way to ensure that a second date never happened. Instead…

"Did you know that Glibness is a level three spell? I used the plus-thirty bluff bonus to talk an Adult Dragon into giving me his whole hoard once. At level three." Cadance let out a delicate giggle, like the tinkling of wind chimes on a warm summer day.

"You play a lot of O-and-O?"

"Not that much, but I have a... friend who really likes to play, so I try to make time for some games."

They reached the Palace, where Cadance was staying while she was in Canterlot, and Shining knew that even if it was real, this dream was about to end. "I guess this is where I say good night, right?"

"No, this is the part where you give me a good night kiss." Cadance leaned over and captured his lips with her own, her tongue moving with expert precision against his. A hoof trailed up his barrel, stroking lightly at a sensitive spot around his withers that Shining didn't even know he had and making the stallion shiver with delight. "I hope you had fun tonight, Shiny."

Shining nodded until he thought his head might come off. "This d-date was perfect," he said, stumbling a little over the word that he couldn't quite bring himself to accept. "I feel like we've known each other for so long, even though this is only our first time. You certainly seem to know what I like."

"I am the Princess of Love," Cadance said. "Planning a perfect date is just one of the many things I've studied." She leaned in closer to Shining, her next words coming out low and sultry. "Do you want to come in and see what else I've been studying when it comes to love? I'm sure I can sneak you past my aunts."

Shining gulped. Yep, he was definitely the luckiest stallion in the world. Either that, or his sister was using her position as a Princess to help her brother out. He wasn't going to question it, not when he'd just been propositioned by the most beautiful mare in the world. "S-Sure," he replied, and congratulated himself for only stammering a little.

Shining Armor woke a few seconds before dawn out of habit. As such, the first thing he saw was the sun rising from a window on the other side of the room.

At the same time, a nondescript rock sitting on Cadance's end table flashed with arcane light, and Shining armor froze in place, the bed covers still clutched in his hooves. His eyes unfocused as they were surrounded in a powder-blue light before returning to normal.

"Good morning, sleepyhead."

Shining Armor turned to face his wife. "Good morning, honey. Did you sleep well?"

"Mhm." A hoof reached out to stroke him softly on the withers. "Did you have fun on our date last night?"

"Uh huh." Shining leaned over to give her a quick peck on the nose. "Giving you the chance to make me fall in love with you all over again is the best idea you've ever had. I can't wait for next week."

"Me too. Remind me to recalibrate the Memory Stone Version Two to work on me instead of you."

"Of course." As he drew his beloved wife into his embrace, he let out a sigh of pure contentment. "I can't wait you take you on the perfect first date."
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#1 · 1
· · >>TitaniumDragon

my initial impression was, "everyone already knows they get together," and then "huh that's unique"

it's a cute concept, and I think there's a lot of potential here. I could see this being applied to several different genres as an expanded story. It's just that this one, as-is, felt way too dry and objective. It's not emotional enough to feel romantic. It's like he's reliving all of that old awkwardness more than the excitement. and he's not even all that surprised when it wears off, either.

This could be sweet to some people, and creepy to others, but it's stuck in the middle as kinda boring, to be honest. It's got the potential, I want to see it express a viewpoint.
#2 · 1
I saw the inconsistencies early, but I have to say, it did not have the intended effect on me – given that Cadance was not, in fact, the Empress of the Crystal Empire at the time she met Shining Armor, and that Twilight was a princess, this seemed like something Bad was going on. It twigged my Uncanny Valley senses – changeling mind control? Mind wipe, and Cadance is having to marry him all over again? Indeed, my first thought was that this was some other pony named Shining Armor, who was similar to her first husband (which was wiped away as a possibility by the mention of his sister).

So, in short, rather than coming off as cute, this actually came off as creepy, because Something Bad was going on in the background, and so my senses were all focused on what could be really going on here.

Then at the end, we find out it was supposed to be cute and lovey-dovey.

This needs to be fixed, as while not everyone is going to fall into the pit I fell into, some people are, and those people are going to come in primed for the wrong kind of story.

I also am not sure how to make this more interesting - as >>Haze noted, what this actually is ends up coming off as kind of boring. There's no actual conflict here, not much of a story at all - this is more of an idea than anything else. It could be the setup for something rather ominous, honestly - the worst possibility, of course, being that "perfect first date" going wrong and leading to Unfortunate Implications or questions about their relationship. Or this.
#3 ·
The whole time I kept wanting to call out a canon/timeline problem, before the story itself corrected. Then that reveal at the end... Okay, yeah, weird. And a bit of a fridge horror if I stop to really think about it. But regardless, one of the more unique concepts and certainly a twist I didn't see coming. Nicely done.
#4 ·
Eh, this was just weird for me. Not that it's a bad idea, but I don't even know what motivated them to want to do this. Is it necessary? If so, that doesn't speak well of their marriage. It also seems like an extreme and potentially dangerous thing to do. I mean... okay, gender roles and all, but when they do the reverse, and the point is to seduce her on a first date... that just doesn't sit right with me. But that won't be everyone.

Still, it's kind of an interesting idea, but it just presents that idea and lets it generate its own interest instead of doing something with it. In the end, it makes it another one of those "okay, that happened" concept-based stories that doesn't explore what the consequences of that idea are. Sorry I don't have more to say, but I'm just not really the audience for this, and my only advice for improving it is in developing what all this means, what changes it's caused in their relationship, what point you want the story to make.