PONYVILLE - NIGHT FLURRY'S HOUSE
Night Flurry pricked his hoof again, grimacing through the mouthful of pins he tried to hold in his teeth as he carefully pulled the needle back. This was a lot harder then he'd thought it would be. He looked over at the pattern again. The pony at the fashion store had made it sound so easy.
"Oh, Earmuffs to match a scarf? It would be such a delightful little winter ensemble, perhaps some quaint boots and fur-lined saddle?" She had beamed, levitating out numerous supplies and fabrics.
Night had shook his head, looking down, almost afraid to interrupt her, but, "I... um... n-no, just um... well, the earmuffs. I... I just want to m-make the earmuffs."
"Oh, I see! A do-it-yourself project, is it? How cute. Well then, dear, here's what you'll need." She pushed away the majority of materials, and levitated a small stack of fabric and supplies forward, "Now, let me tell you what to do..."
He sighed. She had been so nice, hadn't even charged him for the materials. But it wasn't anywhere near as easy as she'd told him. His stitches were sloppy, the cuts inelegant, and his hooves bandaged from all the needle pricks. It was, overall, a mess. His living room table was covered with half-completed, distorted, and misshapen attempts. None of them were worthy of h-her...
Night closed his eyes, the vision of her playing through his head again, black coat glistening with a light dusting of snow as she trotted through the winter, her scarf flowing in the wind. His cheeks blushed heavily, she was so beautiful... she... she deserved something fabulous. Something... he looked down at the poorly sewn ear muffs. Something he could never deliver. He cleared off the table, resting his head down upon it. This was almost torture. Dusky Down... why did she haunt him so?
He raised his head up again and grabbed a new piece of fabric, beginning the next attempt. He'd try again. Just one more time. Just one more. One last try, just like the last five attempts had been. It had to be perfect.
PONYVILLE OUTSKIRTS - SEVERAL DAYS LATER
There was nothing for it. He had returned the remaining supplies to the fashion shop, apologizing to the unicorn there as best he could. He just wasn't good enough. He didn't know if he ever would be. In the end, Rarity had helped him through it. He'd picked out the materials, and the color, and she'd done all the work for him. So, he'd simply bought them. A pair of fuzzy blue earmuffs.
It didn't feel the same, but... they were something. Anything. He could give these to her, and... and then he didn't know. How would he even be able to speak to her? All the doubts played across his face, as he sat up on a small cloud, waiting. She took this route pretty often, more then once, and he had followed. Wanting to say hi, wanting to walk besides her and... and... anything! Just wanting to tell her how he felt.
He gazed down at the earmuffs again. A tiny tag was tied to them, with her name, and a small heart he'd drawn upon it. He could never just give them to her... not... like that. He looked down at the snow below. What if he just...? And with a sudden movement, he pushed the earmuffs off the cloud, down onto the well trod path below. They fell, Night's eyes tracking their descent. The second they landed in the soft snow, he realized just how stupid this was.
He stood, about to swoop down and retrieve them, when a soft creak of hooves upon the surface of the snow betrayed somepony's arrival. Night froze a second before throwing himself back down against the cloud. It wouldn't be her, he'd just dive down, play it off like he'd dropped his earmuffs, and head home as fast as he could! He looked out from behind the cloud, finding himself clutching it closely, hiding himself. Of course it was her. Her dark coat obvious against the pale glow from the half set sun.
His mind raced, 'Why didn't I pick the green ones?! What if she sees me? This is so stupid, I knew I never should have bought them... and I signed it with a heart, how cliché is that!? She's going to hate them... she's going to laugh... auaughghhghaghh!' He sat in utter silence, barely breathing as the soft pat pat pat of her hooves drew closer. He at last dared to look from the side.
She was watching the sunset, looking away from him, away from the earmuffs. She wouldn't even see them, if he was lucky, and he could retrieve his error the second she was away. He watched her move, watched her form dance across the snow, his heart beating faster in his chest. And then she stopped, something clearly catching her eye. She turned and headed straight for his misguided delivery.
'No no no no no.' His mind cowered against the coming laughter, the mockery. She bent down and examined the earmuffs closely, reading the tag. She looked to the sky, and Night threw his head back behind the cloud as quickly as possible, heart in his throat as he willed himself not to cry out. She couldn't see him, not here, not now. Not after... this blunder.
Her voice rang out, cutting through his dark thoughts like a knife, "Thank you!" It echoed over the landscape before it died back into the quiet whisper of the wind. Not laughter, not mockery... He held still, trying to hold onto her voice in his mind. After a second that seemed like an eternity, he heard her steps in the snow once more. Pat pat pat pat. They began to fade slowly away from where he hid as she departed.
He poked his head back around the cloud slowly, looking out over the field of white, quickly finding her as she trotted back the way she came. Under her wing, the telltale earmuffs. He wanted to call out, to fly down and explain himself. But as he struggled, all that came out was the faintest whisper, "You're welcome, Dusky." He stayed and watched her go, cheeks brightening just a touch at the very thought of her.
She'd liked them. All the worrying had been for nothing. All the concern, and panic. He practically giggled atop the cloud, pushing himself up into a spin with his wings, he grinned wide at the moon now coming into view, "She liked them!" Night hovered above the clouds, happily gazing up to the stars. "Dusky Down... You are so very welcome."