Caramel's voice sounded from deep in the closet by the door, his mellow tan hindquarters the only thing visible as he rooted about, his brown tail lashing in mild agitation. "Sweetheart, do you know where I put my umbrella?"
Pinkie Pie's chipper voice called out over a faint clattering from the direction of the kitchen. "You left it hanging on the coat pegs by the back door."
The earth pony stallion backed out of the closet and trotted across the empty tile floor of Sugarcube Corner and disappeared through a swinging door marked "Employees Only". A couple of moments later his plaintive call came from the store room. "Aw, now where did I leave my rain slicker? It was just here yesterday!"
Pinkie's voice in the kitchen chirped in reply. "On the rack in the bathroom, remember? From when Snails brought Gummy over from Froggy Bottom Bog for his weekly bath!"
"Oh right, how could I forget?" Came the stallion's mildly pained reply as he cantered out of the back room shaking his head, an umbrella hanging by it's hook from his withers. He made his way around one of the side counters and up the stairs.
Pinkie replied with a giggle over the sound of pots and bowls being moved around. "The same way you always forget things silly. It's like it's your special talent or something. I'd certainly never forget wrestling a thirty two hoof long alligator all the way up the back steps and into the bathtub, especially since we do it every week. That's some impressive forgetting right there." There was a dull thud of a heavy bag striking a tabletop. "Ooh! You know what? I bet that's why you only have three horseshoes as a cutie mark instead of four."
Caramel let out a sigh as he came trotting down the stairs, a shiny green rain slicker draped over his back along with the umbrella. "I remember Gummy's bath time, sweetheart." He quietly suppressed a shudder while casting about at the bottom of the stairs. "Now I don't remember where I left my galoshes."
Pinkie's voice took on an apologetic tone. "You left them on the back porch. They're probably just full to the brim with water right now, which totally defeats the whole point of galoshes, doesn't it? Why don't you wear mine? They're in the front closet."
The tan stallion walked back to the closet and craned his neck inside, coming back out with a quartet of boots in his teeth made of almost florescent magenta rubber.
He set them down and cocked his head dubiously as he looked at them. "Uh... I dunno, sweetheart... I don't think they... uh... fit me."
Another giggle came from the kitchen. "Just loosen the straps, gumdrop. They'll stretch."
The stallion pursed his lips and let out a sigh of imminent defeat. "But... but they're... pink."
At this, the door to the kitchen swung open and a slightly pouting, cotton candy colored face dusted with sugar and flour poked out and fixed him with a pair of limpid blue eyes that narrowed indignantly. "Hey. What's wrong with pink?"
Caramel hung his head with a soft chuckle and trotted over to his fiancees side, nuzzling her gently behind the ear, which caused the tiny gem studded horseshoes on her engagement earring to twinkle in the lights. "Nothing at all, sugar. It just doesn't look as good on me as it does on a certain mare I know."
Pinkie Pie gave a little hop, and turned her head so she was nose to nose with the tan stallion. "Ooh! You know I love guessing games! Is it Twilight Sparkle? She's got that super neat pink stripe in her mane and tail."
Caramel's face fell for a moment as his train of thought derailed, but with an ease born of hard practice he switched tracks. He gave her a weary smile and a peck on the nose and then walked back to the galoshes, settling down to loosen the straps and push his hooves into them. "NoOo. I'll give you a hint, sweetheart. She's the only pony I'd be willing to go out in this downpour for, especially wearing a set of bright pink booties."
She tapped her chin with a hoof as she turned back toward the kitchen. "Hmmmm. Fluttershy?"
Caramel breathed out another sigh as he got back to his feet. "Close... but no."
Now fully, if slightly ridiculously, girded against the lashing rain that pattered against the shop's windows outside, he followed her as she made her way to the center island where a large mixing bowl, a bag of flour, and a flour sifter waited. On one corner was a white cardboard pastry box wrapped in pink cling wrap and neatly tied off with string.
Pinkie picked up the flour in her fore hooves and dumped a measure of it into the sifter as Caramel took hold of the box's strings in his teeth and craned his neck to place it on his shoulders, then shifted the cape of the rain slicker so it was better protected.
When he turned back to face her, he gave her a sly grin. "I'll give you one more hint, sugar. She's the all over pinkest, sweetest, most beautiful mare this side of Equestria."
Her blue eyes crossed slightly in what passed for pensiveness for her. "Berry Punch?"
The tan stallion's face settled into a befuddled expression that was all too common for him. "Uh... no. She's more purple."
"She's what I'd call... uh... mauve, I guess. And, um... still no."
"What? No way. Well, okay, she's pink, but she's definitely not who I'm talking about."
The tan stallion furrowed his brows with the usual sinking feeling that the conversation was about to buck him off. "Princess Celestia isn't pink."
"I know, right? But try telling that to Hasb..." She stopped and gave a little hop. "Ooh! Is it Lotus?" Her face took on a puzzled expression. "Or wait, Aloe? I can never remember which twin is the pink one."
Caramel blinked several times before he shook his head. "Now that you mention it, neither can I. Of course, I don't ever go to the spa except to pick up that mane conditioner you like."
Pinkie set the flour down on the counter cocked an eyebrow at him. "What were we trying to figure out here?"
Her fiance puffed out his cheeks and let out a heavy sigh. "I... I forget..."
She let out a giggle punctuated by a snort and shook her head. "You're adorable! Promise me you won't forget the way back from Sweet Apple Acres."
The tan stallion rolled his eyes. "I won't! Geez, I only worked there for like five years."
Pinkie nodded in satisfaction. "Good. When you get back, I'll have fresh bread right out of the oven to go with some hot rutabaga soup." She gave him a wink. "And there's some other ways I can help you get warmed up too."
Caramel's knees buckled a little as he flushed a bright red across his cheeks.
He shook his head and assumed a look of exaggerated resolve. "Well! With that kind of reward waiting for me, I'd better set out on my mission! Dare the dark and the rain and the wind to deliver one box of pfeffer... paffer... uh, peppernoogie... Um..."
The steely glint in his eye kind of went out of focus as he turned to the busily baking mare of his fancy. "What are these things called again?"
She giggled. "Pfeffernusse. They're my Mama's favorite type of cookie. So I thought they'd be good for a Mama to be." Pinkie replied matter-of-factly. "Although MY Mama might like them because they kind of look like little rocks but you can eat 'em."
Pinkie pursed her lips and gave him a solemn look. "Rocks were always kind of important to my family."
She resumed her breezy tone with a flick of her frizzy magenta mane. "I changed the recipe a little and put in oodles of pistachios because last time I went to visit Fluttershy she said she had this totally intense craving for pistachios, which is something I can work with. I mean more than the pickles or the pimentos although I suppose I could have done some kind of savory bread with olives in it and that would have been okay but savory foods and me are kind of like dragons and bicycles."
Caramel could only blink at her. "Dragons and..."
She continued without missing a beat. "Nothing to do with one another. Although if you gave Spike a tricycle I bet he'd be as cute as all get out. And we could race! I wonder if there's a place where you can rent tricycles in Canterlot. " She turned and looked at Caramel as if expecting an answer.
He felt a mild tic in his left eye. Finally, his hard won instincts kicked in and he leapt for the last trailing thread of the conversation he could reach. "Okay. Pafeffermoose. Got it. On my way."
She smiled at him as she turned, pausing before she wrapped her mouth around the handle of the sifter. "Hurry back. Tell Mackie and the girls I said hi!"
With that, she lifted the metal canister over the mixing bowl and began sifting its contents into it. Caramel nodded and turned to go, pausing at the door before trotting back to her side. He sidled up to her with a smile and leaned in to plant a kiss on her cheek. "Whoops. Almost forgot to do this."
The sides of her mouth curled up into a smile around the handle of the sifter as she gave him a sidelong glance with a flutter of her eyelashes.
Suddenly, her blue eyes went wide as a violent shudder shook her along the length of her body from nose to tail, lifting her hooves off the floor in a staccato cadence and sending a mushroom cloud of flour out of the sifter and into the air over the two ponies' heads.
When his fiancee's shaking just as abruptly stopped, Caramel let out a strained cough and blinked the powder out of his eyes. Pinkie's face and forelock were completely white, and an expression of shock and incredulity played across her features as the sifter dropped out of her mouth and into the bowl with a clank, throwing up a softer puff of flour.
Her voice came low and soft, causing eddies in the cloud of ingredients that enveloped them. "A... a doozy!" She turned and grabbed Caramel by his cheeks with both hooves, pulling his gaze to hers. "A DOOZY!"
The stallion stuttered out a reply as the violent shaking overtook her again. "A-a-a Wh-wh-what?"
His head kept bobbing up and down as she released it and clomped her hooves back on the floorboards, her ears perked and her nose raised as if she were following a scent on the air. The rattling of her hooves stopped as she went still again, more flour billowing in the air around her.
Just as the tan stallion got his head to stop nodding, she turned to him and locked eyes. "Sweet Apple Acres! It's at... Fluttershy!"
A huge, gasp escaped her as she leapt bodily into the air, each hoof spinning in a different direction. She pivoted in mid leap and rocketed toward the back door, sending it open with a crash as she hurtled through it. She paused a moment and leapt into Caramel's forgotten galoshes, sending gouts of water in all directions as her hooves drove down into them with a splat, and then tore off into the rainy night.
Caramel stared out the door after her with his jaw hanging loose, listening as the rapid, squishy patter of her hooves receded. He shook his head, sending another burst of flour into the air, turned and grasped the hook of his umbrella in his teeth, and charged out after her, calling her name. "Pfinkie!"
A moment later he came back, sheepishly closed the door and locked it, and then took off running again, the umbrella wildly thrashing over his head as he picked up his bright pink clad hooves.
The characters depicted in this fiction are copyright and trademarks of Hasbro, Inc. This is a work of fan fiction, and the author makes no claim on Hasbro's copyright or trademarks.