Wealth Granted from Generosity

Third main installment in the Tutelary Spirit universe. Recommended reading order: Loyalty, Honesty, Generosity, Kindness, Laughter, and Friendship.
In an urban metropolis, many ages after the original adventures of the Elements of Harmony, a young unicorn finds the Element of Generosity. And as the living embodiment of her Element, Generosity, like the rest of her friends, is always willing to guide and teach a pony of Equestria.



5. Granting the Wealth

Thrift Spender met the Mare of Generosity's gaze. For most of his time in the suite, he had spent it silent on the velvet couch, wary of speaking out in a room full of royalty and divinity. Like a dirty stain on the very couch he sat on, Thrift had felt that he looked out of place in his ragged suit and with his messy mane. So he opted to stay quiet, like a mouse; a silent observer hoping to stay unnoticed by the more important ponies.

But now the Mare of Generosity looked upon him, his presence noted and acknowledged by one of the moral icons of Equestrian society. She examined him, analyzed him, and under her gaze Thrift's ragged form practically wilted in the presence of her magnificence.

Finally, with a small shake of her head and a breath of laughter, she spoke.

"Alright Opalescence, that is quite enough," she said with a hint of humor in her tone, "I believe you've frightened the poor dear enough for the night."

Golden paws landed on the velvet carpet and Thrift no longer felt the light weight upon his back as the familiar's presence left him. The cat ambled across the room leisurely, rubbing its back against the Mare of Generosity's legs affectionately as it passed by, before disappearing into another of the suite's rooms.

"I must apologize for making you sit idle for so long, but you know how it is with royalty," spoke the Mare of Generosity to Thrift with a pleasant smile, "anyways, I believe introductions are in order. I'm Rarity, Lady Rarity if you so please," she insisted, "and you are?"

He was being addressed.

Thrift had been having quite the arduous night, more so than he ever thought he would. He had assumed that, at worst, he was in for another long night of sifting through account reports and other such paperwork in his effort to keep his business running.

But that was before he had made the mistake of stepping out his front door, or back alley exit as the case may more accurately be.

What had started out as a simple removal of garbage from his establishment had soon spiraled out of control into an uncomfortable journey through the city's urban environment. From walking Sunflower through the city streets to her sister's home, to being led by the nose by the Mare of Generosity familiar through the dirty alleys and even dirtier apartment blocks where a crazy old mare had convinced him to carry a basket of shampoo and such everywhere he went, until finally having a smug, pointy-toothed guard guide him through the clean and extravagant hallways of the lavish hotel where his alley-endured attire made him feel about as welcome as a stain on the velvet carpets that he had walked upon.

But it wasn't just the journey that had contributed to such an arduous night, as his arrival and stay in this very suite had also provided such sources of stress. Having a familiar lie on his back, whose claws could so casually curse his blood gold, definitely placed uneasiness on his mind. And being in the presence of two members of royalty, whose nobility was of the fact that they had been born from the loins of Equestria's ruling goddesses, would have already been an awkward experience, but to add a living, divine spirit that was the Mare of Generosity into the mix just pushed the feelings of being out of place to higher levels.

And now, after everything that this night had thrown at him, here was the Mare of Generosity, addressing him like he was somepony important.

It was enough to render a common pony dumbstruck.

Sitting up straight, Thrift quickly cleared his throat, and gave the Mare of Generosity a polite smile, "It is a pleasure to meet you, Lady Rarity," he greeted her with a courteous bow of his head, "I'm Thrift Spender, and I can assure you that there is no need to apologize, for however much time spent with a lovely lady such as yourself is always well worth whatever idleness one would have to endure."

Luckily for Thrift, he was not so common a pony as most would believe.

But if his sudden charm mixed with his ragged appearance was intended to surprise anypony, it was not to be with Rarity, whose small smile and knowing eyes only expressed pleasant amusement at his words, "Is that so?" she asked, before turning her head away, a hoof placed on her cheek in feigned hurt, "Well then, I'm sorry to inform you that if your words were intent on cheering me up, then they have failed to do so, for now I feel even more distraught than previous for allowing such a charming gentlestallion like yourself wait so long to be addressed."

With a smile, Thrift put a hoof up in mock defense, "Now, now, none of that," assured Thrift soothingly, "I'm nopony to be distraught over; just a simple restaurateur making his way in the world," he claimed sincerely.

"Just a simple restaurateur?" repeated Rarity in amused disbelief, "please, Mr. Spender, I admire your humility but there is no need for you to use it as a veil. My decade-long reprieve not withstanding, I am still a pony that prides herself on knowing who's who in Equestria. Tell me, is your father, Greenback, not still the Chancellor of Their Majesty's Treasury?"

Hesitating for but a moment, Thrift quickly nodded "Yes, he still is," he said calmly, "though I don't see how that is of any importance. The position is not hereditary in any fashion, so I'm still only left with the nomenclature of just a simple restaurateur," he sat up a little straighter, "not that I see anything wrong with that, of course."

"Ah, so you're another proud, independent young pony striking out on his own," commented Rarity; pure, suave amusement in her tone, "Well, I'm sure somepony as well-educated as you has built themselves quite the establishment."

"But of course," replied Thrift as he wore a smug grin upon his face that would make the longma guard seem humble, before donning a look of intrigued curiosity, "speaking of which, I was informed that you had business with me. May I ask what it is?"

The Mare of Generosity giggled lightly, "Oh it's nothing so formal, just a compensation of your services, really."

At her proclamation, Thrift stumbled in his social competence and looked at her in confusion, "My... services?"

The Mare of Generosity's crystalline horn glowed with azure power and a glass bottle of purple liquid floated out of the basket of assortments that were laid next to Thrift on the couch. Bringing the bottle up to her face, the Mare of Generosity wore a small smile on her face as her eyes looked far beyond what was contained in the bottle.

"Sublime's specially-brewed shampoo; Opalescence's favorite," spoke Rarity quietly, before turning to the longma guard, "Razor, remind me in the morning to pay her a visit. It's been ten years since I last spent time with that daughter of mine and I simply must do so before I leave this city."

Thrift Spender nearly chocked on air, "Daughter?!" he thought, shocked.

"Of course, Lady Rarity," nodded the guard, "I shall inform the hotel staff to provide a private chariot at the ready."

"Splendid," smiled Rarity; returning her gaze over the form of Thrift, she provided a gentle smile, "Thank you for delivering this. Opalescence only tolerates the finest of grooming products bar none." Casting her eyes to the side, over toward the dancing flames of the hearth fire, the Mare of Generosity's horn glowed a burning, white light and soon flashes of such magic popped and snapped around the crackling tips of the fiery flames. After awhile, her horn returned to its usual magnificence, while three orange-reddish crystals of warped shape exited the hearth in her azure aura.

"Here," said Rarity, presenting the fiery-like crystals to Thrift, "as compensation for taking so much time out of your day to deliver these to me."

Enveloping the crystals into his own teal aura, Thrift Spender brought them closer to look upon. Like the flames that they had been crystallized from, the orange-reddish gems were shaped as such and emanated a tender heat in his magical grasp that indicated them arcane in some nature. If Thrift remembered correctly, he recalled that these crystals of fire were recognized as rare and extraordinarily valuable in any market, as most deemed them too useful in particular enchantments to so easily part with.

And here were three, being so easily parted to him.

Thrift Spender stared in awe at the three blazed crystals held in his teal grip, completely taken aback at being presented items of such value. Surprised, amazed, enchanted; Thrift felt all of these things, but most of all: he felt confused.

"I... I can't accept these," spoke Thrift, his formal tongue seemingly forgotten. He looked directly at the glittering-maned mare before him, who stood with an expression of calm serenity even as he looked upon her with confusion in his eyes, "I mean, why am I being given something so valuable for just delivering shampoo of all things?"

Tilting her head back ever-so-slightly while a margin of amusement was etched on her face, Rarity brought up a hoof to her lips to halfheartedly stifle her giggles, "I'm sorry," she apologized between her mirthful giggling, "it's just that... you seem to be having trouble fully grasping the concept of what being generous entails."

As the Mare of Generosity settled down her giggles, Thrift quickly realized his folly and offered an awkward, broken smile, "Right, right, what am I saying?" depositing the crystals into a pocket of his coat, Thrift missed Rarity's small frown as he quickly got off of the couch and lowered himself in a courteous bow before the Mare of Generosity, "anyways, I believe I've made a fool of myself before you enough for the night, so if that's all of the business that you require to discuss with me, then I shall remove myself from your presence and quickly see myself out."

Turning on his hooves, Thrift trotted toward the suite's exit, intent on his leaving. As exciting as this night had become and as honored as he was to be in the Mare of Generosity's presence, Thrift still couldn't help but feel uncomfortable and out-of-place in such reputable company, and wished for nothing more than to return back to his work. But whatever plans that Thrift had for his leaving were evaporated when the longma guard suddenly placed himself before the door and studiously barred Thrift from the suite's exit.

"Actually," spoke Rarity, causing Thrift's ears to swivel back around as the Mare of Generosity's alluring voice rubbed up against the back of his neck, "now that I think on it, there is something else that I'd wish to discuss with you. Could I perhaps trouble you to join me on the balcony? I can assure you that the view is quite spectacular and, at the very least, worth the glance."

Thrift turned his head back, only to find the Mare of Generosity's swirling tail quickly receding behind the silk linen of the billowing drapes as she stepped out onto the suite's balcony.

Returning forward, Thrift found the longma guard still resolutely standing in front of the door, all remaining smugness of his personality gone from his face as he stoically guarded the exit.

Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, Thrift turned himself around once more and followed after the Mare of Generosity, letting the balcony drapes dance around him in the wind as he passed them by. Once past these drapes, with his hooves outside on the balcony floor and his messy, silver mane blowing wildly in the high wind, Thrift hesitated in mid-trot at the sight before him.

Two sparkling oceans of lights spanned out as far as his eyes could see, with Luna's starry sea swirling about above and the city's building-covered hills of glittering lights rising upwards below. Situated high up on the balcony of one of the city's sky-reaching towers, where he almost seemed to be centered between the two dazzling oceans, Thrift felt akin to being in a jewel-encrusted cave of enormous breadth.

But as spectacular as the view of the nighttime cityscape was, it was, of course, eclipsed by the sight of the Mare of Generosity, whose glimmering form stood more beautifully than any jewel held by the city.

Standing near the stone railing as she looked out over the city of lights, Rarity bobbed her glittering mane over her shoulder to cast her eyes on Thrift. Offering him a pleasant smile, she spoke, "Quite a view, don't you agree?"

"...Quite," agreed Thrift, absentmindedly nodding as he stared starstruck at the sight, "quite a view indeed."

"Mmm, yes," murmured Rarity, her pleasant smile never leaving her face even as her eyes gained a mischievous tint to them, "so are you to join me by the railing, or are you going to just continue standing there, glamouring at the sight of my finely-shaped backside in the moonlight?"

Her mentioning of her posterior immediately led Thrift's eyes toward her indeed very finely-shaped rump, which caused him to forcibly turn his head away so as to better prevent his face from blushing more so than it already currently was.

"Er, right. Sorry," apologized Thrift, his olive face crimson as he moved closer to the railing next to the Mare of Generosity, who giggled at his embarrassment. At this time, an uncomfortable silence reigned between the two as they looked out across the beautiful city—well, it was uncomfortable for Thrift, who refused to say a word until his blush died down; Rarity on the other hoof seemed to not be bothered by the silence, as evidenced by her serene smile as she looked off into the distance, and was simply quiet for reasons not obvious to Thrift.

"So tell me," she finally spoke, "what was it that you did before you encountered Opal?"

Thrift turned to her, his blush gone from his face, replaced by confusion, "Pardon?"

The Mare of Generosity faced Thrift, her smile all too knowing as she met his gaze, "It's not just shampoo that my familiar is stingy with, you know," she informed him, "she's also very picky about who she let's near her. You see, she only allows ponies she sees as generous approach her. It's why I gave you such valuable gems; a generous gift for such a generous pony," she showed off a grin, "so I'm curious. What was it that she saw of you that she deemed generous?"

Thrift looked down, the lights of the city being reflected in his eyes as he stood silent in contemplation, "Well, um... I helped this lost mare find her way through the city."

Rarity rolled her eyes, "And I nearly crashed the economy once," she replied disparagingly. Raising a hoof, she lightly bopped Thrift on the nose with a smile, "Details, my dear Thrift Spender, details. No good story comes without them. Tell me, who was this mare and how did you come to help her?"

Rubbing his nose at Lady Rarity's bop, Thrift idly wondered where this was all going, but nevertheless conceded her request, "Her name was Sunflower, and I was removing garbage from my restaurant's kitchen when she came up to me in the alleyway, asking for directions to her home."

The Mare of Generosity raised a questioning eyebrow, "She was asking directions to her home?"

Thrift nodded, "Yes—well, to be fair, I believe it was her sister's home, and that she was either visiting or moving in," looking away, down at the city lights, Thrift smiled a small smile as he let out a breath of a chuckle, "that said, new to the city or not, she was apparently somepony that could get lost quite easily, because when I started giving her some simple directions she looked more confused than any pony should ever rightly be. I actually ended up walking her there."

With such pleasant amusement written all over her finely face, the Mare of Generosity leaned forward and said, "How generous of you."

Thrift looked away, "Well, truth be told, I only did that because I had work to get back to and thought that leading her there would be much quicker than taking the time to explain to her the directions."

"Oh, now don't be so cynical," chastised Rarity, "closing the door on her face would have been much quicker," she smiled so knowingly, "what you did was generous."

"Well, if you say so then it must be true," he relented, a smile on his face, "I mean, who am I to argue with the Mare of Generosity?"

Placing a shimmering hoof on her chest in a self-directing manner, the Mare of Generosity spoke in an overly self-assured tone, "I'm so glad that you're competent enough to refer to experts on such matters," she ended in a giggle, "but don't stop now. Tell me, does the dashing stallion get a kiss from this damsel-in-distress as a reward for her rescue at the end of this story?"

Thrift opened his mouth to answer before pausing. He then looked away, a red blush tinting his cheeks.

Rarity raised her hoof over her mouth and gasped in dramatic shock, "He does!" she exclaimed joyously, before grinning expectantly, "Ooh, now you simply must tell me everything."

Thrift was quiet for a moment, rubbing the back of his silvery mane embarrassingly, "Well, when I took her to Cobblestone street—where her house was located—we met her sister, Iridescence, who I think was one of Loyalty's graced," Thrift turned toward Rarity, "do you know her?"

Azure irises lifted up skyward in thought as Rarity answered, "I believe Rainbow mentioned her to me once," she said offhoofedly, "something about trust issues." Looking back at Thrift, Rarity shrugged, "But no, I don't personally know her."

"Well, it's not really important," commented Thrift, looking back out over the horizon, "anyways, she thanked me profusely for bringing Sunflower to her. She invited me into their home, offered me to join them for dinner, and she even said that Sunflower could help me with my work," Thrift chuckled, "apparently the mare with no sense of direction was a mathematician. But anyways, after I politely turned down their offers, Sunflower gave me a kiss on the cheek as I was leaving them."

When he looked back at her, he was a little taken aback at the look Rarity was giving him. He was expecting her to be amused in some fashion, instead her head was tilted at an angle as she looked at him, her face conservatively curious, "Hmm..." she murmured quietly, before slowly trotting around Thrift, her azure eyes examining him up and down as she circled him.

Confused, and feeling uncomfortably exposed under the scrutinizing, Thrift could not help but voice out his question, "Uh, Lady Rarity, what exactly is it that you are doing?"

Due to their position near the balcony's edge, Rarity did not fully commit to circling around Thrift entirely, instead only stopping when she reached opposite from where she had started. "My eyes may not be as piercing as Applejack's," she spoke as her azure irises traveled across his well-worn suit, "or as absorbing as Fluttershy's," she flicked her gaze upwards to meet Thrift's teal eyes, "but they're still very good eyes, especially when it comes to finding the nuances in ponies," a gentle smile, "and I believe I've found your problem."

Befuddled at her words, Thrift Spender could only scrunch his eyebrows downward in confusion and ask, "My... problem?"

The Mare of Generosity stood before him on that high balcony, the wind in her violet mane as its glittering essence intermingled with the starry backdrop beautifully. She looked at him with a sympathetic expression, her small smile so reassuring and her azure stare holding such pity.

"Thrift," she finally spoke quietly, her tone genuine, "you need to learn to accept others' generosity."

Thrift blinked once as he stared at the Mare of Generosity blankly, now even more confused than previously, "What? What are you talking about?" he asked, legitimately lost to her meaning.

"Those two mares," elaborated Rarity, "they wanted to thank you for your help. They invited you to join them for dinner, and even offered to help you with your work. Why did you turn them down?"

"Because I had work to get back to," reasoned Thrift, "and that work involved my restaurant's financial information. I can't just trust ponies I don't know to look over that stuff."

"Really?" said Rarity as she raised a disbelieving eyebrow, "forgive me if this changed in the ten years I've been gone, but aren't our graced looked on highly in Equestria as morally, upstanding ponies?" she asked pointedly, before fixing Thrift a stare; her azure irises washing over him like a bucket of icy cold water, "Or are you implying that my dear friend, Rainbow Dash, would be so callous as to grace a pony who has such nefarious intent?"

Thrift hesitated, a shiver running down his spine at Generosity's words; cold as her stare, "Alright, I see your point," he admitted, "I may have been a bit too overcautious with them. That said, I don't see how this one instance labels me as somepony with some deep problem?"

She was quiet, but then, "Your suit," she verbally pointed.

"My suit?" Thrift glanced down at his attire, at the well-worn clothing ragged with a few small tears here and there.

"Yes," she nodded sagely, "after all, I'd assumed that a restaurateur such as yourself would be able to afford a better suit than that one."

Removing his gaze from his attire, Thrift looked back up at the Mare of Generosity, a glare on his features, "Is that a slander against my business?" he asked, his tone defensive, "I'll have you know that my restaurant does quite well on its own merit. The state of my attire is only due to some unforeseen complications in my establishment's construction that I had no control over. I have to pay the construction company I owe in increments every week, and to keep my restaurant at its finest most of the owed money is taken from a cut of my income," with a huff, Thrift turned his head away from the divine mare in indignation, "I have to take the money from somewhere to pay it off and it's certainly not going to be from the checks of my employees. I thought you would understand that more than any other pony."

As Thrift looked away in his indignant huff, as the deadened silenced between the two increased, he slowly realized that he probably shouldn't have acted so disdainfully toward the powerful, divine spirit of Harmony that could probably get away with throwing him off of the balcony.

Turned away as he was and fearing the no-doubt encroaching retribution, he was wholly unprepared for the sudden rubbing sensation he felt against his neck. With a blush, he was surprised to find the Mare of Generosity nuzzling him in an appreciative and almost proudly manner.

When she pulled back she had a tender smile on her face, "I do understand, Thrift. And I'm also quite proud to see such a noble act in a pony," her smile disappeared, replaced by a frown and a stern expression, "but that only proves my point. Because do you honestly think for one second that I would believe that your father, who I've personally known much longer than you've been alive, wouldn't offer to assist his own son with a financial issue such as this?"

"I..." Thrift stammered, his mouth was open, but no words came out. His eyes stared straight ahead, distant as he struggled to think of what to say, "I... I don't want to impose on them," he finally said weakly.

The Mare of Generosity stood before him, her stern expression softening as she saw his internal struggle. "Thrift," she spoke soothingly, "you come from a rich family—a loving family who'd be happy to help you if you let them," she slowly shook her head, "there's no reason for you to put yourself through poverty like this."

Thrift Spender was quiet, his teal irises sifting in movement as they followed distant, invisible thoughts. His mouth firmed into a frown and his face scrunched inward as his thoughts concentrated.

Then slowly, before the Mare of Generosity, he plopped his rump down on the floor; his eyes downcast, still as they bore holes in the balcony floor under Generosity's hooves.

"You're right," admitted Thrift, not in a whimper of overtly depressed admittance, but in a quiet, withdrawn tone of disturbed realization. Angling his head to rest on the balcony's stone railing, Thrift cast his gaze out across the night horizon with the city lights and the stars glistening in his eyes, "You're right," he said again, "Thinking back on it now, I always told him that I didn't need his money, said that my problem wasn't as big as he was making it out to be. I don't think he ever believed my excuses. Why did I?"

Way up at the top of the luxurious hotel, the high wind blew noisily through Thrift's silver mane.

"In my experience, it's either because a pony is too prideful to accept the help or because they don't think they deserve it."

Thrift glanced over toward the Mare of Generosity, who's tender smile and gentle eyes looked at him with a beautiful mix of empathy and encouragement.

"Now you can be quite the pompous pony and be pretty prideful when it comes to your establishment," she said, bright cheer in her tone that quickly mellowed quiet as she continued, "but I don't believe that pride is your problem."

Thrift didn't say anything. Silent, he just returned his gaze to the starry horizon, his eyes far off in the distance even as they searched inward.

Finally, he spoke.

"I come from a rich family," he said, "so of course I was a spoiled brat," he glanced over to the Mare of Generosity, "I grew out of it of course. I mean, I didn't have this big revelation where I realized how wrong my behavior was, I just... grew up, you know?" at her nod, he looked back into the distance, "When I look back on my colthood, when I look back at all those times I spent father's money on extravagant items without a second thought or how I acted like a pompous foal to everypony I met, I can't help but cringe. I really wanted to distance myself as far as I possibly could from that pony. I stopped spending my father's money, and I always made sure that I didn't impose on or become a burden to anypony," Thrift let out a deep sigh, "Maybe I took to that too excessively? Maybe that behavior led to me having trouble accepting gifts or any sort of help?"

"Perhaps," spoke the Mare of Generosity smoothly as Thrift's ears swiveled in her direction without his looking, "but whatever the reason may be, the important lesson that you must take away from this is just how wealthy you can be if you accept the generosity of others."

Thrift snorted, "I suppose that's true, but you do know that I'm not so shallow as to only be interested in attaining large sums of money, right?"

She didn't respond.

Confused at her silence, Thrift turned his body around to fully face her, and his bottom lip hanged open as he stared at her in awe.

Under the light of Luna's moon, Generosity's coat shimmered with an exuberant fluorescence and her crystalline horn sprayed the luminescent light in a dazzling array of brilliant gleams, all the while the radiant sparkle of her violet, glittering mane reached out and added to the backdrop of stars with its own splendor. It was as if even her own body could not help but generously spread beauty wherever she stood.

Generosity Herself looked at Thrift Spender, her elegant features so serene and her smile so amused as she leaned forward, her lovely face just inches from Thrift's.

"Thrift," she said, her voice so sooth and mirthfully knowing, "I wasn't talking about money."

So close to her, Thrift couldn't help but gulp before asking in a stutter, "Wh-what do you mean then?"

Azure irises flicked to the left, and Thrift immediately followed them in their direction toward the suite's billowing-draped entrance to find a collection of scissors, combs, coils of measuring tape, and various pieces of colored cloth all floating around in the air in an azure aura.

"Thrift," said Generosity, her voice so sweet even as her crystalline horn glowed white from arcane power, "would you please be a dear and get on the stand?"




"I'm coming! I'm coming! Hold onto your reigns!" yelled out Iridescence as she walked through her house, grumbling distastefully under her breath at the time as she approached her front door. When she swung it open to reveal her sour face to the urban air, she shouted, "Do you have any idea what—" her voice quieted.

She blinked once, blankly staring straight ahead at who stood before her.

Standing there on her cement porch was the stallion that had guided her clueless, little sister home. Thrift Spender she believed his name was. The thing was though was that he wasn't the same messy-maned, raggedy-suited stallion that she had met before. His silver mane was no longer a mess, instead it was trimmed down and combed back nicely. The ragged suit that he had previously worn was now gone, replaced by a newer, sleeker one that made him look much more presentable for formal occasions. He looked cleaner, more refined.

But what was different the most about him though was how his olive coat seemed to magically shimmer in the moonlight, and how his mane practically glittered with a magic that was its own. It was as if his very soul was shining out of his body.

Thrift Spender pawed at her cement porch awkwardly with his hoof, "I... um... I reconsidered your offer and decided that I would love to come in and join you two for dinner," barely meeting her eyes, he rubbed the back of his neck nervously, his trimmed mane smooth upon his hoof, "but... if it's too late, I'll, um... I'll understand."

Iridescence blinked once, still staring blankly at Thrift.

For a long moment, the two of them stood there, an uncomfortable, raw silence between them.

But then, she began to laugh.

"Pfft—Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha!" she guffawed in front of the embarrassed stallion, bending over in front of him as she yukked it up at how she couldn't believe, yet just knew, what had happened to him on this night.

When she had finally calmed down enough from her uproarious laughing that she was now only chuckling lightly, she quickly moved behind Thrift at a speed that left a prism of light behind her and started enthusiastically pushing him into her home, "Yes, yes, of course you can come in," she laughed heartily, "I'll warm up some of the leftovers and then you just have to tell us about your night."

As he was forced through the doorway, Thrift turned his head back toward the mare behind him, "Hey! Okay, th-there's no need to push like that."

"Sis! What's going on? Who's at the door—oof!"

Thrift turned his head back front-forward just quick enough to see Sunflower accidentally walk into him. Her face in the fur of his chest, when she turned her head up she was stilled to find her's and Thrift's muzzles just a breadth apart, with her looking up at him and him looking down at her.

With the biggest grin to ever grace a pony, Iridescence quickly stepped by them, "I'll, um... I'll just go and get the soup ready," she informed them before speedily disappearing down the hallway, a hoof over her mouth to stifle the barely-contained giggles.

Thrift and Sunflower stood frozen together, silent, too shocked to move or say anything.

But then finally, Thrift showed off a small, genuinely cheerful smile, "Hi," he greeted her, "you're not lost, are you? Because if you are, I wouldn't mind helping you find your way to the kitchen."

For a moment, Sunflower only blinked in surprise at his words, before slowly matching his smile with a bright grin of her own.

"How generous of you."

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