Belle, Button, and Sandal

Created 6 Oct 2013 • Last modified 9 Oct 2013

One day, I solicited ideas for a shipfic from /r/MLPLounge. The result was this little masterpiece. Hear also the dramatic reading by Discord Radio.

Button Mash ground his teeth in rage. "Bucking blue shells!"

"I win!" Sweetie Belle squeaked, hopping up and down, kinda like that part in season 2 episode 5 where Rarity is mad that Sweetie Belle cleaned—you know the one? Cool.

Anyway, this little dance was unwise. Sweetie Belle knew that in Button's view, video games were Serious Business, and gloating about her narrow victory wasn't going to help his temper. Button's face turned red, and with a cry, he stomped on his special-edition Pikachu-themed Neighntendo® Sixty-Horse™, smashing it to bits. A flying shard of plastic narrowly missed Sweetie's cheek and cut off a lock of her mane.

"Button!" called a stern voice from upstairs. "What in Celestia's name is going on down there?"

Button paled. "Uh, heh heh, sorry Sweetie, I'd better, uh, I have to see a mare about a dog." He ran out of the room.

Sweetie listened uneasily to the scampering of hooves and the tinkling of glass as Button fled the house, his mother rushing after him. Sweetie looked around the bedroom, unsure what to do now. She wasn't eager to clean up the mess of the slain video-game console. At least the room had been messy to begin with. It was cluttered with dirty clothes, old half-eaten food, and broken jewel cases (because apparently even unicorn magic can't make those stupid things stay in one piece for more than a week). Shrugging, Sweetie Belle picked up a controller attached to another, uninjured console, a HayStation™, and pressed the power button, not even bothering to check which game was in it.

She was surprised to find she was playing The Twelve Aponystles. This obscure title had the dubious distinction of being one of the few HayStation titles not officially licensed by Pony®. The discs were manufactured and handed out to impressionable young ponies for free as part of the outreach campaign of a small Neighzareth-based cult. Shrugging, Sweetie admired the low-poly models and blurry textures as she tried to maneuver her character, a silent protagonist with a hopelessly generic horseshoe cutie mark, through a crowd of NPCs clustered around a temple. (Say, why would Friendship Is Magic characters even want to think about horseshoes, anyway? Don't they have sensitive hooves? Remember that one time when Rarity poked a hoof on a sewing needle and it turned red? Imagine what it would feel like to have horseshoes nailed on to a hoof like that. I'd swear a lot worse than "hay", I can tell you that.) Apparently, they were listening to a stallion giving a lecture on the steps of the temple. As Sweetie's character got closer, parts of the lecture appeared in text boxes: "Brohoofed are the cool, for they shall become cooler, even unto a fifth more. Brohoofed are the radical, for they shall become alicorns in a sixth part of a minute horizontal." Sweetie was strangely moved by the lyrical beauty of the stallion's words.

Finally, Sweetie's character made it through the crowd and caught sight of the speaker. A pegasus turned her and said "It's Hay-Seuss himself, the Son of Mare! Isn't he dreamy?" Sweetie Belle looked at the triangle mesh in question and found herself… agreeing. Something about his austere white robe, his little yellow sandals (how do ponies wear sandals? don't ask me), his trapezoidal beard, and his perfectly #0000FF eyes arrested her attention. As Hay-Seuss turned towards her character, Sweetie Belle's lips parted, and she felt some hitherto unknown stirring in her tiny equine heart.

"Sister, what bringeth thee here?" said Hay-Seuss. "............" he added thoughtfully, speaking eloquently in the vernacular of video-game characters. "Thou needst say no more. I see from the look in thine eyes that thou art the mare we sought. My disciples forged and distributed many of the sacred disks throughout the wide world all so that, one day, a pony worthy of carrying on the faith to a new generation, a pony who thirsted after the magic of friendship, would heed the call." Hay-Seuss approached the player-character. "The question is only, art thou ready, Sweetie Belle?"

Sweetie Belle trembled with awe. She had named her character "homeslice"; there was only one way Hay-Seuss could know her real name. In a squeak that was also a whisper, at a volume barely audible over the hammering of her own heart, she breathed "Yes."

Hay-Seuss nodded. He was an earth pony—or at least, he had no horn—and yet his body began to glow with magic. (The particle effects, Sweetie had to admit, actually weren't that bad.) His eyes flashed white and he reared, crying "Behold!"

Now, at this point in the story, Sweetie Belle would have been reborn as the new avatar of the one true God. She, supported only by Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and an infant church, would begin a revolution. For a thousand years, the cult of the sun and moon had ruled Equestria with an iron fist; few ponies could even remember the old days when the seasons changed themselves, when Tartarus was sealed shut and nary a dragon was to be seen, when the Creator smiled on His children and their lives were as cheerful as their colorful coats. But Sweetie Belle, the Daughter of Mare, would spread the Word, would show the common ponies the glory of the Lord. And in time, after many a mighty struggle, she and her fellow children of God would overthrow the fraudulent monarchy and reunite the peoples of Equestria—ponies, zebras, griffins, and changelings alike—under the banner of the Almighty. Which would all be kinda cool, come to think of it, but I've got shipping to do, so to hay with that.

See, I know I didn't mention this before, but Button Mash's house was built on an ancient buffalo burial ground. And it was Friday the 13th. And Button had cracked a mirror in his haste to escape his mother's wrath. And a butterfly had flapped its wings in Fillydelphia back in season 1. The long and the short of it is, Hay-Seuss's spell misfired. A bolt of holy lightning erupted from the TV screen, but it missed Sweetie Belle and forked into three. One prong of the lightning bolt hit a toy race car, one hit a Wonderbolts poster, and one hit a tipped-over jar of smooth peanut butter.

"Oops." said Hay-Seuss. Then, the HayStation crashed.

Sweetie whirled around. The whole room was glowing with an eerie green light. Sweetie watched in horror as the toy race car doubled in size, sprouted a pair of chicken's legs and a raccoon's tail, and leaped out a window. Then, Sweetie took a deep breath and ran screaming from the house. She proceeded to have many adventures, in which Applejack lassoed the race car-chicken-raccoon, Fluttershy tried to calm it down, and Twilight helped Sweetie write a letter to Princess Celestia explaining how she'd learned not to play video games without her parents' permission. All of which was very exciting, but beside the point, because the real hero of our story has only now entered the scene.

You see, the tipped-over jar of smooth peanut butter, branded Pupa Pan®—no, wait, wrong fandom, sorry—hadn't been entirely empty. I mean, it had been half-empty. Button had eaten some of the peanut butter. But it had more than just peanut butter in it. It also had Button in it. No, not Button Mash, and certainly not that way; get your mind out of the gutter. Hay-Seuss, I'm trying to writing a fanfic here. I mean Button the disembodied reset button from the special-edition Pikachu-themed Neighntendo Sixty-Horse, which, as you know (unless you're grossly ignorant of late-1990s Neighntendo collectibles), happens to be in the form of Pikachu's right foot. Button had just awakened from a very strange dream in which he, an Alamosaurus sanjuanensis, had been peacefully munching on some ferns, when suddenly this colossal asteroid-like object had smashed into the earth. Then Button realized that this had in fact happened, and after being smushed into petroleum for 65 million years, he had been made into a tiny piece of a special-edition video-game console. And if that wasn't bad enough, he was entirely submerged in a jar of peanut butter and had been rudely awakened from his ostensibly eternal slumber by a poorly timed bit of divine intervention.

Such a course of events is bound to try the patience of even the most level-headed sauropod. Button, however, had been known for his stoicism. When his big orange sister and his little yellow sister had wept and wailed over the sudden death of their aged green matriarch from a broken neck, Button had just said, with a mournful sigh, "Eeyup." And so he decided not to panic. No, on the contrary, he thought; if he was a chunk of plastic soaked in a little colt's peanut butter—*will* you quit that infernal tittering, you ninny?—then, well, what of it? Hell (they hadn't had hay back in the Cretaceous), he didn't even care.

Unbeknownst to Button, his peanut-butter bath had still been tingling with a bit of unused holy power, and it was only now released, just as Button decided he was not going to panic. So mighty was Button's stoicism, so great his indifference to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, that it attracted the unstable holy power. A chorus of angels sang, and in a flash of light, a tiny mare appeared on the shelf next to the jar of peanut butter. She was a two-inch-tall light-gray earth pony, with a white mane and tail. Her cutie mark was the word "Meh".

"What… just happened?" said Button. (How could he talk, you ask? Very well, thank you, even if he was a little difficult to hear under the mass of peanut butter.)

He hadn't expected a response, but the mare said "I don't know."

"Who are you?" said Button.

"I don't know."

"…How can you not know who you are?"

"I don't know."

"You're impossible!" said Button, exasperated.

"Meh." said the mare, shrugging.

"Don't you care about your own identity, your own origin story, your own purpose in life?"


There was a long pause.

Finally, Button said "That's it! You're indifference itself!"

There was another long pause.

"And not just any indifference," Button went on, realizing it, "my indifference."

A longer pause.

"In—Indifference?" said Button, choking up for the first time in his life, or rather, afterlife. "I… I love you."

"Oh." said Indifference.

"Will you marry me?"

"Eh, I guess."

They had a lovely wedding in a shoebox, which was attended by some other scraps of the special-edition Pikachu-themed Neighntendo Sixty-Horse, a daddy longlegs, and a ball of lint. Button looked forward to many long years of marital bliss. During their honeymoon in Button Mash's sock drawer, however, Button discovered to his horror that Indifference was having a fling with Soarin. Not the real flesh-and-blood Soarin, I mean, the Soarin depicted in the Wonderbolts poster hanging on the wall.

"Darling!" cried Button, upon confronting his wife with a telling text message. "How could you?"

The miniature mare replied "Meh."