"So...." said Twilight Sparkle, looking down, and dragging her forehoof across the "Welcome!" mat of the library, "I guess this is good night."
Caramel nervously looked away. "Yeah..." He picked up and put down his own right forehoof. "I, um..." The earth pony with the caramel cream coat and brown mane and tail hopefully looked up again.
Twilight stared straight into his eyes, her expression unreadable. Suddenly, he couldn't take it anymore. "Ienjoyedourdate, gotworkinthemorning, gottagetagoodnight'ssleep, goodnight!"
With that, he galloped away. Twilight sighed in relief, and wiped her brow. The book had said a good-night kiss was optional on the first date, and she had spent the last half of their date too nervous about it to properly converse.
Caramel slowed down after a few blocks, and panted, catching his breath and feeling shameful.
He had never run from anything before; his job at Mr. Meadow's five-pony smithy required steady hooves and iron nerves. In fact, his flank symbol was a group of horseshoes, symbolizing his courage. He had earned it on a school field trip to a big-city foundry. When the other colts and fillies had bolted from a startlingly loud noise, he didn't even jump. Yet...
Yet the thought of kissing Twilight Sparkle, the librarian unicorn from Canterlot, just took his breath away. She was so pretty, with her violet coat, purple hair, and deep beautiful eyes! He had no right to push himself on such... perfection.
The next day, while helping load a cart, Caramel was so deep in thought he nearly lost a hoof to a stray girder. He couldn't stop thinking about Twilight Sparkle. Next time, he promised himself, he would ask her out in a classy way, like a gentlepony. After all, she was high-class to a workhorse like him.
As the sun went down, he poured his heart out in a letter. He sealed the envelope, and went into the next room to fetch a stamp. On a cool Autumn evening like this, the small breeze that puffed through the room was refreshing, and such small gusts were the reason he kept his apartment windows open.
But when he returned with the stamp, the letter was gone.
He searched the apartment, then he searched the yard, but the envelope was nowhere to be found.
Despair grabbed his heart like a vice. The letter had his name at the bottom, and Twilight's at the top, and sandwiched between the two was every romantic thought that had ever crossed his mind, but the front of the envelope was as blank as a yearling's flank.
He started to panic, then he stopped. Caramel had to face this like a stallion, just like his job. He was a superior degater and sander; he could handle the loud noises and workplace emergencies of a smithy, and he could handle this.
So he walked to the library, on a path lit by the glow of Celestia's sunset and the rise of the sphere of the Night Princess.
At the door of the library, his nerve almost failed him. However, he could almost feel his flank symbol staring at him, judging him for losing his cool.
He knocked on the door.
Her dragon assistant answered. "Wha...? Library's closed, mister."
"I'm sorry for coming over so late," began Caramel, "But I need to speak with Miss Sparkle."
The little dragon's eyes bulged, and he tried to hide a sly grin. "I'll go get 'Miss Sparkle.'"
Caramel lowered his head as the door closed. This was a mistake. He knew it.
The wait seemed like a thousand years.
He thought he heard laughter, but it cut off before he could be certain. A door upstairs slammed. Then, the front door opened.
There she stood, her big violet eyes glistening in the moonlight. "Caramel. Good evening. This is a surprise."
"Miss Sparkle, I-"
"Call me Twilight, we've already been on one date. So, are you here to ask me something?" She stood there waiting to hear what he had to say.
"No, Twilight," said Caramel, "I've made a mistake, and I'm here to rectify it." Starting with the story of the letter and the gust of wind, he explained the series of events that had led him to her door. "So you see, what I wrote is out there for somepony to find, and I have no idea who will read it first. I'm sorry. Will you forgive me?"
Twilight Sparkle had gone from expectant to confused, to intrigued. Now, she was silent.
"Please?!?" he cried, his resolve breaking at last.
She nodded, smiling. "I forgive you, and I appreciate your honesty. But I've had an idea. Come in, I'll try to use a location trace spell to track where it went after you and it parted ways."
They stood on the balcony, Twilight concentrating as a vivid fuschia glow emanated from her horn. She grunted, then released the spell. "No good. It must be out of range.
Caramel's heart sank. "I'm so sorry, Twilight."
She put on a brave smile. "Well, if I hear any rumors, I'll know where they came from. And Ponyville has mostly decent folk. Whoever finds it will do the right thing, I imagine, and take it back to you with an apology for opening it."
He grinned, then turned to head downstairs. "I guess I should be going."
"Wait," said Twilight, and he stopped. "Since you came out here, and told me the truth, I was sort of hoping that you would stay. For a bit."
He turned to face her again, and he must have looked at her funny, because her eyes went wide. "Not the money kind of Bit! Not that you're a stud for hire!"
He felt the top of his nose blushing, and she put a hoof to her mouth. "Oh my goodness. Not that you wouldn't be a good one, or worth only a Bit, it's..." she trailed off.
Now her own nose was blushing, the bright flush clearly visible below the thin coat of hair there. (He had always wondered if purple mares' blushes showed, and a detached part of his mind confirmed that they did indeed.) "I, I..." she stammered, her eyes locked on his, her total and abject embarrassment clear by the way she was frowning in horror and about to cry.
He leaned forward, and touched his lips to hers. He didn't even know that he was kissing her until he was halfway done. He didn't know how to end it.
He didn't know how to breathe anymore. He was lost in her eyes, the way the evening stars shone in them out here on the balcony...
They broke the kiss. Their gaze didn't break. She smiled. He smiled.
It had felt like a thousand years.
"Wow," Caramel breathed out in ecstasy.
"And nopony knows where the craters came from," said Twilight, smiling as he continued to look through her telescope. "I was hoping to ask Luna at the Gala."
Caramel turned toward her, his eyes bugging out. "You know Princess Luna? Personally?"
"Oh," said Twilight, glancing to one side, "That's not common knowledge. Can I count on you to keep it a secret? Having the ears of the rulers can make a pony's social life complicated."
He gave a nervous laugh. "As long as I don't write it in a letter."
She smiled. "Yeah."
He turned back to the telescope, then back at her, another incredulous look on his face. "The Gala?!?"
Twilight thought for a moment, then her smile stopped being a smile. "Oh dear."
Ditzy Doo was flying through and through, with miles to go, when she saw something with left eye she did.
Toward the ground, to where she saw the envelope fluttering fluttering along, she stopped before the ground and stepped on the ground to make it stop moving.
Her brow wrinkled in frustration when white and no stamp or address was on the front. "Proper postage!" she exclaimed to nopony near her and nopony didn't answer her.
Now how was she supposed to see the inside of the letter, to see the inside without opening like she wasn't supposed to ever ever?