The Honorable Decision
Tabby listlessly glanced down at the paper in her hooves, documenting all the Pokèmon
that day. Life was boring, she decided as she made her way to the filing cabinet. All the ponies
most important to her
were disappearing-- temporarily, at least. First, her parents had gone to Italy for a short spell to
straighten some things
out concerning her mother's property; and then her beloved fiancé Thomas had dismissed himself
for the weekend to
attend the graduation of his sister Elaine. Of course, when he got back, he'd have Elaine with
him... Tabby felt a flutter
of excitement. Wouldn't she have a fabulous time catching up on all the events in the young
mare's life! Tabby could
hardly contain her impatience for them to get back.
She was suddenly alerted to someone coming up the walk of the Pokèmon Center,
though. "Tabby!" a
voice shrieked joyfully upon bursting in the doors of the Pokèmon Center. "Tabby! It's
Tabby gasped and promptly dropped her paperwork as soon as she saw the excited
younger unicorn run
in. "Elaine! You're here already?!" She dashed to greet her special visitor.
"Here to stay, for good!" Elaine beamed, wrapping her forelegs around Tabby. "I'm so
glad there's a
place for me here." Having gained her degree in veterinary science, she was now fully prepared to
start her career-- and
having no ties elsewhere, it seemed only natural that she should come to Dream Valley and be
employed at her brother
Thomas' vet clinic.
"You'll have a glorious time here in Dream Valley," Tabby said affectionately, stroking
mane. "How did your graduation go? I didn't know you'd be back so soon."
"There wasn't a single problem. I'm a real veterinarian now, Tabby!" Elaine squealed.
"Life's going to
be so perfect now that I've graduated. I can really get to know all your friends in Dream Valley,
and I can start work at
Thomas' clinic, and you two are getting married, and... ooh! It's all too exciting!"
Tabby soon found herself laughing as well. "Calm down, Elaine! You're going to wear
chattering like this. Think how I feel! I'm just as happy to have you here now."
"Oh, we'll have a fabulous time," Elaine said dreamily. "You're already like a sister to
me. I can't wait
until it's official! Or at least as official as it can get." Her new life in Dream Valley would also
give her more time with
her much-admired soon-to-be sister-in-law, Tabby. The two may not have hit it off too well at
their first meeting over
Elaine's Christmas break, but they had gotten over that quickly and had kept in touch through
letters even after Elaine
had returned to college.
"Say, where is that brother of yours, anyway?" Tabby peered over Elaine's shoulder.
there isn't going to be any wedding."
Elaine giggled. "He went ahead home with my suitcases," she filled-in quickly. "But he
let me drop in
and see you. I just couldn't wait any longer! It's been an eternity since I last saw you in
"Life is going to be fabulous, Elaine," Tabby reflected. "There's so much to show you.
And you must
tell me all about your life!"
"You must tell me all about yours, too!" Elaine said giddily. "Thomas is still taking both
of us to the
Estate Manor tonight, you know."
Elaine's good mood was contagious, and Tabby was soon anxious herself to get moving.
Glancing up at
the clock, she saw it was nearly closing time, anyway. "Come on!" she declared. "I'll lock this
place up quickly, and
then we can go along and catch up with Thomas." And so, amid a lot of laughter and chattering,
the two were soon out
* * *
It was nice to see Tabby and Elaine still getting on so well, Thomas reflected later that
evening at the
Estate Manor. Their flow of conversation had been practically nonstop since Elaine had first set
hoof in the Pokèmon
Center. Even if Thomas was excluded from most of the gossip passed between the two, he didn't
really mind; it was
enjoyable enough to simply sit back and listen.
"How much different is it really, Tabby," Elaine put forth, "caring for Pokèmon instead
"It's not too much of a change," Tabby said thoughtfully. "Pokèmon come in many
more shapes and
sizes than the average accepted pets, but they're actually easier to attend to seeing that most
injuries can be attended to
by use of a simple potion-- unless, of course, they get upset with you for some reason. Like that
Blastoise awhile back."
She paused in contemplation over that incident.
"It's interesting that they were just regarded as regular monsters until recently," Elaine
captivated you about them that most influenced your career change?"
"They get along with me better than other creatures," Tabby explained. "Animals don't
seem to care
much for me otherwise."
"Surely that's an exaggeration," Elaine laughed. "Did you mind much leaving work at
the clinic? And
Tabby lowered her gaze to escape Elaine's piercing look. "It was... that is... I wasn't too
sure about it,
but... I suppose it turned out alright in the end." She chanced a quick glance at Thomas.
"It was your heart's desire to go, Tabby. I wouldn't stand in the way of that." Thomas
hoof. "But I also wouldn't let a new job get between you and I."
"There are perhaps still other things more important than work," Tabby murmured
Elaine's eyes sparkled merrily. "Do you suppose I should consider a career move as
well, Tabby?" she
asked playfully. "Just to spite Thomas here?"
"Elaine!" Thomas opposed in mock defense of himself. "I can't lose another capable vet
to the care of
"Maybe you should, Elaine," Tabby arched her eyebrows craftily. "The Pokèmon
League pays me
better than your brother ever did, anyway."
"You know your pay remained the same," Thomas protested.
"Well, I suppose," Tabby winked, "but still, the Pokèmon are much more accepting of
me than the
"I'm sure, where the Persians have poisoned claws," Thomas retorted.
"I think we've thoroughly frightened him now, Tabby," Elaine grinned, "with these
abandoning him at the clinic. To switch the subject, how is your Callie doing?"
"She's the same as ever," Tabby said in dismissal. "Obstinate and uncaring. Animals
"You don't give them a chance. Agatha praises Callie's friendliness to the highest
"You see? You see?" Tabby said heatedly. "That proves it. That cat of mine is a
perfect angel to my
mother, but she doesn't care a bit about me. That's the way all my cats have ever treated
"I think you're simply too hard on yourself," Elaine objected. "Certainly you'll get along
and Melinda. They're so precious," she added, referring to Thomas' two Siamese cats.
"I said they didn't like me. I never said I didn't like them," Tabby corrected. "If it's a
feline, at least,
they'll gain my unending adoration, even if they don't return the sentiment. Those Siamese are no
"They'll warm up to you, Tabby. Trust me," Elaine assured her. "Did you know that I
got to name
"Really? One of my grandmothers is named Sophia," Tabby mused. "I suppose she'll be
wedding." As soon as those words were out of her mouth, she realized it may not have been the
most tactful thing to
"What of our grandparents, Thomas?" Elaine spoke softly after a moment of silence.
"Will they be
"They're on the guest list, but I doubt they'll accept." Thomas' words had a sharp edge
to them. "Nor
any of the rest of the family."
"It's not that we particularly know anyone from our side, anyway," Elaine said
Tabby bit her lip for making the untimely statement. It had recently been revealed to her
the full story
behind Thomas and Elaine's feud-torn family. Their parents had married under the friction of the
two sides, and in the
eyes of Dietrich's and Caprice's parents, it was an extremely unforgivable deed. Thomas and
Elaine had grown-up
knowing or seeing little of their relatives, and the mention of grandparents didn't bring wholesome
memories to either of
Tabby's heart reached out to both of them in the uncomfortable silence that followed.
love on my side of the family for all of us."
Elaine looked up and smiled gratefully. "Tabby, where are your mother and father?" she
getting onto another subject. "I'm looking forward to seeing Agatha again, and meeting Hubert
for the first
"They've gone away to Italy for a short while," Tabby said quickly, thankful as well for a
discuss something else. "Only to straighten out a few affairs of Mom's, though. They'll be back
"Are they planning on staying in Dream Valley now?" Elaine queried.
"Oh, yes. That's what they said the last time they discussed it," Tabby said, a smile
playing across her
"They'll be moving into their old mansion, I presume?" Thomas put forth.
"I-I don't really know," Tabby stuttered. "I suppose so."
"That looks like a fabulous house," Elaine sighed dreamily. "I can't imagine that Agatha
using it for anything all these years."
"She was just too busy in Italy, I guess," Tabby said. "At least she never sold it."
"It had been newly-built when she and Hubert moved here, wasn't it?" Thomas
commented. "It must
have a lot of memories for her."
"And me, too," Tabby added.
* * *
"But I have something to show you both before you go, Tabby!" Elaine declared upon
stepping up on
the porch later that evening. "Wait just a moment while I get it." Swinging the door open, she
promptly scurried down
Tabby glanced questioningly at Thomas as she followed Elaine in, but he apparently
didn't know any
more about it than she did. "She didn't say anything to me," he said, mystified.
Tabby trailed along after Elaine down the hallway. "Oh, Elaine, what is it?" the
impatient pink unicorn
Elaine only smiled mysteriously as she entered the guest room where she was currently
staying and knelt
on the floor, rummaging through one of her bags. "You'll soon see. I thought for sure he
wouldn't be able to make the
trip without waking up and chattering unrelentlessly," she explained.
Tabby's eyes opened wide, and she clasped her front hooves together. "That could only
"...a Furby," Thomas finished, coming up behind her.
"You're right!" Elaine laughed delightedly as she lifted her showpiece up-- a sparkling
with large ears and humongous green eyes. After going through the customary fit of yawns, it
began to speak.
"Dah ah-loh u-tye," it noted intelligently.
Tabby let out a shriek of excitement and dashed forward. "It is! It is!" she gasped.
"Your very own
"I must say you've done a good job of training him, Elaine, if you managed to keep him
quiet during the
whole trip," Thomas commented, stepping forward to meet the new Furby as well.
"But what's his name?" Tabby queried, peering intently into the creature's eyes.
Naturally, that was the
first thing she needed to know about any Furby.
"You hide ah-loh! Hee-hee-hee!" the Furby laughed from his resting place on Elaine's
"Nah-Bah," Elaine said proudly. "What do you think of him?"
"Nah-Bah, translating into ‘down'," Tabby said wisely. "I like him, Elaine! I'm so happy
Thomas smiled at the grouping before him. "I think you may find that there's a lot more
to a Furby than
you would think."
"Get Doo-Moh, Thomas," Tabby requested urgently. "She must meet Nah-Bah."
Nah-Bah simply purred as Elaine petted him on the back. "Pet again."
"Oh, I really am glad I bought him," Elaine giggled. "He's such a sweet thing. When he
talking, I thought he was too sparkly to be a boy, but I think it fits him rather well now."
"Ah, of course," Tabby nodded solemnly. "It is the way of things. Nah-Bah was
destined to be your
Furby since you first laid eyes on one another."
"I believe so, too," Elaine said thoughtfully. "Furbys do grow on a pony. I see now
why you and
Thomas are so attached to yours."
Tabby clapped excitedly again as Thomas re-entered with his own Furby, Doo-Moh, in
good! Now, set them up together and get them talking," she commanded.
"She is the Furby expert, you know," Thomas said lightly to Elaine. "We must listen to
Always ready for conversation, the Furbys were soon in rapt attention of each other.
Doo-Moh queried of the newcomer. "Me Doo-Moh."
"Big who-doh," Nah-Bah replied. "Me Nah-Bah."
"Who-doh, wah? Me Doo-Moh," the autumn-colored Furby persisted.
"Big who-doh." Nah-Bah's ears moved downwards. "Me Nah-Bah."
"It's so cute!" Elaine laughed hysterically. "I had no idea they had so much fun when
"Titty-titty-titty! Hide," Doo-Moh finally proposed.
"Yeah, hide!" Nah-Bah readily agreed, rocking forward.
"Nyah-nyah-nyah! Hide," Doo-Moh jeered.
"Yeah, hide!" Nah-Bah rocked forward again.
"Listen! Me sing," Doo-Moh suggested, changing the game. She immediately began
humming. "La la
la la, la la la..." Pausing in the song, she looked back at Nah-Bah. "You sing."
Nah-Bah only yawned. "Okay." But another fit of yawns followed.
"Maybe... sleep," Doo-Moh finally decided.
"Sleep, oh, sleep," Nah-Bah agreed.
After repeating those phrases several times over, the Furbys had sufficiently tired
themselves and, with a
chorus of snores, closed their eyes for some rest. Rest didn't last long, though, as their owners
wished to hear more
And so, the evening wore on a bit longer with the added surprise of Elaine's new Furby.
The house was
filled with shrieking laughter from the two girls at the Furbys' antics; Thomas expressed his
enjoyment in a more
subdued manner. But the "big fun" had to end sometime, so Tabby was eventually on her way
home... but only after
promising Nah-Bah that she would bring Ah-Loh to come see him soon, of course.
* * *
As Elaine was entitled to some vacation time before actually starting work, she spent the
hanging out with Tabby at the Pokèmon Center.
"Oh, that was a cute Eevee," Elaine sighed blissfully as she watched a trainer walk out
"Why not go out and catch one for yourself?" Tabby suggested. "Start your own
"Do you really think I could?" Elaine asked incredulously.
"It's easy to catch Pokèmon, and lots of fun!" Tabby assured her. "Don't worry; I'll
make a Pokèmon
expert out of you yet."
"Where do you think Pokèmon originated from, Tabby? Besides just living in the Dark
"Barnacle thinks they're from a post-apocalyptic world," Tabby said thoughtfully. "But
they're the results of Atlantean genetic experiments."
"Oh." Elaine pondered over this information. "You do know a lot about Atlantis, don't
Tabby stuttered for a moment before replying. "Well... Clever Clover and I were the
"Did you ever go back?" Elaine pressed.
"No..." Tabby lowered her eyes. "The closest we got was when that Malcolm Shane
Whale Machine here last summer."
"I remember being told about that. Shane is the whale-man, isn't he?" Elaine lapsed
thoughtful silence. "It's rather odd how so many strange, mystical things seem to congregate in
"You're not regretting your stay here, are you?"
"Oh, no, not at all!" Elaine promptly justified herself. "I think it makes it all the more
Pokèmon, and whale-men, and weird machines from Atlantis... you don't find them anywhere else
"There are many mysterious things to be found here," Tabby agreed.
"You yourself seem mysterious sometimes," Elaine murmured softly. "You and Thomas
both. And I
don't say that in a bad way, you realize." She looked at Tabby intently. "And I'd love to hear
more about your past
adventures. Everything is so fascinating."
Tabby lowered her gaze again. Elaine was getting onto some sticky subjects... and she
didn't want to
get into straight-out lying to the younger mare. Luckily, she was spared from saying any more as
the doors swung open
"Help! My Raticate!" a frantic teen filly cried out as she ran up to the counter. "He just
got beat up
Elaine winked at Tabby as she moved off to the side, and Tabby breathed a sigh of
relief. Those sticky
situations could be avoided... for now.
* * *
"Tiffany, did you remember to set-up that appointment-- Tiffany?"
"Hmm?" Tiffany looked up from her magazine upon hearing Tamara's question.
"The appointment at the bridal shop for Tabby's veil," Tamara said impatiently. "Did
"Oh, yes, I called," Tiffany said absentmindedly. "Here, don't you think this one would
look good on
me?" The princess shoved the bridal magazine under Tamara's nose, the opened page displaying
an ornate and
extremely expensive veil.
Tamara rolled her eyes. "We're supposed to be looking for Tabby, not you! For as
much as you enjoy
planning parties, you don't seem to care much about this wedding."
"I don't know how I got into this mess in the first place," Tiffany muttered.
"Tabby asked if we'd plan it, and I told her we would." Tamara arched her eyebrows at
"You've been all too nice, Tamara, after meeting Romance," Tiffany whined. "I'd much
planning my wedding, which looks like I'll never get to at the rate Toby is going."
"Oh, is it still that?" Tamara said amusedly. "Besides, there's an advantage to this,
"There is?" Tiffany perked up noticeably.
"Yes," Tamara nodded. "If we do a really great job on the planning, Tabby will be so
grateful to us,
she'll be sure to toss us her bouquet! And you know what that means, don't you?"
Tiffany sat thoughtfully. "But if we shared the bouquet, wouldn't we each only get half
"Oh, Tiffany, that's not the way it works," Tamara dismissed the idea. "It'll work out
"Hmm... if it'll get Toby to propose..." Tiffany nodded slowly. "Now, what step were
"The bridal shop," Tamara repeated. "When were you able to get the appointment
"Monday. Three o' clock," Tiffany said, going back to her magazine. "Don't you think
choose me to be her maid of honor?"
"You?" Tamara echoed, raising her eyebrows at Tiffany's abrupt statement. "But
Tiffany! I'm her
closest relative that could fill the position. Surely she'll choose me!"
Tiffany sniffed. "If she wants class in her wedding, she'll pick a princess."
"And besides, you would only detract attention away from the bride," Tamara
so white and sparkly in the first place."
"Well!" Tiffany huffed. "We'll just see what Tabby decides, won't we?"
"But I, on the other hoof," Tamara continued, getting a starry look in her eyes, "would
be perfect. I am
nearly identical to the bride and... eh... heh..." She bit her lip upon realizing her faulty logic.
"Talk about detracting from the bride!" Tiffany laughed. "Thomas might end-up kissing
the wrong girl,
and wouldn't that be a bad start to the marriage!"
Tamara knew she was cornered, not having any redeeming lines for herself. "Well, we'll
get to be her bridesmaids, if not the maid of honor," she finally rationalized.
"You did see Elaine the other night, didn't you?" Tiffany changed the subject abruptly.
"What do you
think of her?"
"She seems nice enough," Tamara said calmly. "I'm sure she'll get on well working at
the clinic. It's
about time someone took Tabby's old spot there."
"And she's awfully pretty," Tiffany frowned. "I wouldn't have a problem with her, but
with the way Toby was looking at her last night."
Tamara had to laugh at her friend's concern. "Tiffany! Toby was just asking her some
sure it's the last thing on Elaine's mind to steal him from you."
"But what really worries me is that I think Toby is still harboring a crush over Tabby,"
"He gets so distracted when he's in the same room as her. I don't know what I'll do about that
"You must really love him if you're willing to put up with so much grief due to him,"
"As for Tabby... he should know by now that he doesn't have a chance with her."
"Try telling him that," Tiffany sniffed. "And I still can't understand why Tabby isn't
more grateful for
the attention she gets from the stallions. There was Tex back in high-school, you know--"
"And Cliff, the Extreme Pony," Tamara agreed. "And the Italian guy Aunt Agatha had
in mind for her--
Guido, was it?"
"Guido. I never got to meet him," Tiffany frowned. "But I hear he's quite rich. I would
jumped at a chance to marry him."
"I've heard that he's gotten quite annoyed with Aunt Agatha over Tabby and Thomas'
Tamara supplied. "I guess he still thinks Tabby is reserved for him and him alone."
"And Cliff," Tiffany went on. "I remember him from a few years ago. He seems to have
Tamara shrugged. "Yeah, I've only heard of him through some stories Tabby's told me.
went off with his gang on a sporting expedition, and they haven't come back yet."
"He would be a little extreme for my tastes, I think," Tiffany finally decided. "But he
was quite direct
with getting Tabby's attention when he was around. I wouldn't be surprised if he showed up on
her doorstep one day
begging her hoof in marriage."
"It's been a long time," Tamara said cautiously. "He probably doesn't even remember
who she is any
"Even so," Tiffany declared, "if I were Thomas, I wouldn't rest until I was safely married
There's still quite a bit of competition around. You never know what could happen between now
and the wedding, you
"Oh, I don't know," Tamara said, walking over to the window. "I'm not sure anything
or anyone could
rip those two apart at this point."
"Maybe not," Tiffany admitted. "But wouldn't it be exciting if one of those stallions
came to cause a
fuss on the wedding day?"
"Tiffany! Don't even say anything like that!"
"I think it would make it all the more romantic," Tiffany sighed. "I can envision it so
vividly-- Toby and
I at the altar, and just as we are about to profess our vows, a handsome stallion from my past will
stand up and object-- I
think it will be Jack. Yes, Jack. I immediately throw myself into Toby's forelegs, declaring that
absolutely nothing-- would ever take me from my one true love. Then Toby will--"
"I'm sure it would be very sentimental," Tamara said, smiling at Tiffany's dream
enough of this gossip. I'm going to see the mysterious cloaked flower deliverer and talk to him
about some things, and
you've got to come along with me this time. And then after that..."
* * *
It was the following day, and Tamara had managed to find Tabby with some free time
on her hooves
and was outlining all the wedding plans to her. Tabby sat there nodding her head at everything
that was said.
"...so, anyway," Tamara rambled on, "since Aunt Agatha has been so generous in
supplying the budget,
we can really go all out. The date's all set for August fifteenth. We started the guest list, but you
and Thomas still have
to go over that again. I've booked the caterer and photographer, and a place for the reception. I
think for a color
scheme we'll go with teals and pinks; does that sound good? We're all set for the flowers; I talked
to the mysterious
cloaked flower deliverer at his shop in town, and he has a great deal for us."
"I suppose he would lower the price for me," Tabby said, only half-aloud as for the first
interrupted Tamara's monologue.
"What, Tabby?" Tamara looked up from her paper.
"Alright." Tamara was not phased by the interruption, and continued on. "He
about ‘light sensor flowers' for your bouquet, but I don't know what they are. We'll have to get a
sample. We have to
shop for your veil next week, and in the line of attendants you only need to decide on who your
bridesmaids will be."
Tamara finally stopped, looking over at Tabby expectantly.
Tabby paused before answering. "Well, of course you and Sugarberry and Merry Treat
will be my
bridesmaids..." she said hesitantly.
"Yes, but who will be the maid of honor?" Tamara stared at her cousin piercingly.
Tabby gulped. That had been the question she was dreading. ‘I don't really know,
"You'll have to decide soon," Tamara reminded. "We must start shopping for
Tabby let out a sigh. It was easy enough to pick bridesmaids... but how could she show
among her friends by choosing the maid of honor? She didn't know what to do. "I'll just have to
think about it a little
longer," she finally said, sitting erect.
"That's what you've been saying for the past month," Tamara said, impatience beginning
to filter into
her voice. "We need a decision. How about a deadline of Monday evening to decide?"
Tabby stared at the ceiling, drumming her hoof on the arm of the chair. "I suppose that
"Good," Tamara nodded. "Get in some thinking before them, okay? We really can't put
it off any
longer. Monday evening, remember?"
"I'll remember," Tabby said stiffly, rising from the chair. "Thanks for stopping by,
Tamara. I really
appreciate all this work you're doing for us."
"Just let Tiffany and I know concerning your maids, okay? That's all the thanks I need
at this point,"
Tamara sighed. With that, she dismissed herself and was out the door.
* * *
Tabby was ecstatic when her parents returned to Dream Valley from their visit to Italy.
"Oh, I'm so
glad you got here so soon! Is everything straightened out? Are you staying in Dream
Agatha smiled and hugged her daughter close to her. "It's been finalized. We're
keeping my property
in Italy, but only for vacations in the summer and such. But yes, Tabitha, your father and I will
stay here to be closer to
"Outrageous!" Tabby squealed. "When will you be moving into the mansion,
Hubert and Agatha exchanged a glance. "That's one of the things we'd like to discuss
Tabby," Hubert put forth.
"Why? What is it?" Tabby asked cautiously.
"Nothing's wrong," Agatha assured her. "But we'd like to see you and Thomas together
about it, if
Tabby's excitement grew as her suspicions came closer and closer to being confirmed.
"I'm sure he'll
be available tonight..."
"How about dinner at the Estate Manor?" Hubert suggested. "I'll pay everyone's
"I'm afraid Tabby has gotten too spoiled by being taken to so many restaurants these
Agatha laughed lightly. "It's left her with no desire to cook for herself."
Tabby glowered at her mother. "Don't start bugging me about that," she
Agatha smoothed back Tabby's mane fondly. "Don't worry, dear. That will wait. But
let us prepare
for the Estate Manor now..."
* * *
And so, the arrangements were made, and the group of four assembled at the classy
evening. Tabby looked at her parents expectantly, anxious to hear what they had decided.
"As you know," Hubert started, "Agatha and I have decided to remain in Dream Valley
to stay close to
"And?" Tabby prodded. "What?"
"However," Agatha went on, "we would prefer to choose a different place of residence
than the mansion."
"Why's that?" Thomas asked curiously. "What will you do with the property?"
"You're not selling it, are you?" Tabby's eyes opened wide.
"Quite the contrary." Hubert looked once more at his wife before continuing. "We
would like the
mansion to be made use of by a different couple than ourselves."
"That is to say, we'd like to hand ownership of the place over to you, Tabitha and
finished. "It will be our wedding gift to you."
The full meaning of these words took several moments to finally sink in on the
The silence was finally broken by the clattering of a fork to the floor and a squeal from
"That's... generous of you," Thomas stammered. "Are you sure it's what you
Agatha patted his hoof warmly. "It's exactly what we want. We only hope that you'll be
as happy with
it as Hubert and I were."
"Fabulous! It'll be absolutely fabulous!" Tabby's eyes sparkled with delight as she
leaned up against
Thomas. "Oh, don't you think so, Thomas?"
Thomas looked at her fondly. "Everything has been going so well for Tabby and I. I
don't know how to
thank you enough, Hubert and Agatha."
"Oh, I'm so eternally grateful!" Tabby said emphatically. "Mom and Dad, it'll be perfect!
"Then you'll accept it?" Hubert said laughingly.
"Of course we will!" Tabby said promptly before anyone else could get anything in.
home! I'll be back!"
"And with someone new to share it with," Thomas reflected. "I should say it will be
then, any place is fabulous when you're there, Tabby."
Tabby only giggled at the compliment, and her vocabulary had been reduced to only one
"Outrageous!" Intoxicated with happiness, she wasn't capable of any intelligent conversation right
then. But it wasn't
really necessary, either. Sighing blissfully, she sank back in her chair. Life was
* * *
Meanwhile, Elaine was experiencing her first visit to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe
alone. She felt
somewhat like an outsider as she peered inside, looking for familiar faces over the expanse of
tables. Her gaze finally
settled on the glittering Princess Tiffany, who indeed stuck in everyone's mind.
"Ah... hello there," Elaine said hesitantly as she approached Tiffany's table.
"Oh, hello." Tiffany stared up at the unicorn. "Have we met?"
"Well... yes... the other night," Elaine stuttered. "I'm Elaine, don't you
"Oh, Elaine." Tiffany nodded stiffly in recognition at the dazzling white mare with
blue curls framing her face. "A rather drab-looking pony."
"Would you... would you mind if I sat down?" Elaine prodded shyly, beginning to get
"I suppose not," Tiffany sighed. "I'm only waiting for the rest of the gang to get
"Yes, so am I. You're the only one I recognized," Elaine said.
"I do hope Toby can make it tonight," Tiffany said expectantly.
"Ah, Toby," Elaine recalled. "I remember him."
"You do?" Tiffany stared piercingly at her. "What did you think of him?"
Elaine was uncertain of how to respond to the princess' hostile behavior. "He was... he
was... nice," she
" ‘Nice'? What do you mean by ‘nice'?" Tiffany demanded.
"He was just... nice, you know?" Elaine said uncomfortably.
"He wasn't too nice, was he?"
"Well... no, he wasn't too nice," Elaine said, throughly flustered by this point.
"Good." Tiffany nodded. "I'd warn you to stay away from him."
"Oh, you've had experience with him?"
"Yes, that stallion is trouble. Take my word for it. I'd stay well away from him."
"I'll be... I'll be sure to do that, then." Elaine shrunk back in her seat.
"Elaine, hello!" Tamara's greeting pierced the heavy air and the pink unicorn promptly
"And don't let Tiffany bother you. She's only jealous because she's afraid you'll steal Toby from
her." She stared at
the princess pointedly.
"Alright," Elaine said meekly, taking note of Tiffany's annoyed look cast in the direction
"Oh, we've been so busy with wedding plans!" Tamara sighed happily. "It's all so
"Has she picked her bridesmaids yet?" Elaine asked curiously.
"No, she hasn't put any thought into it," Tamara scoffed. "I finally had to give her a
deadline to decide."
In speaking of the wedding, Tabby was only known as "she".
"But I'm certain she's going to choose me as her maid of honor," Tiffany said
"No!" Tamara protested. "It's obvious it'll be either Sugarberry or I."
"It's unfortunate, of course, that you won't have a place in the bridal party, Elaine,"
"I don't mind." Elaine squirmed in her chair.
Tamara patted Elaine's foreleg reassuringly and turned to Tiffany with a reproachful
you can be just plain spiteful at times."
"Hmph," Tiffany muttered. "Well, Elaine, what are your plans for the future?"
"I'm going to start work at Thomas' clinic soon, of course," Elaine said timidly.
"What about living arrangements?" Tiffany prodded. "You can't live off your brother's
"I hadn't really thought about it." Elaine stared down at the table.
"Especially with the wedding coming up soon," Tiffany continued.
"There are plenty of houses up for sale around here," Tamara said reassuringly. "I could
even help you
in choosing one, if you'd like."
Elaine smiled weakly. "That would be nice, Tamara. But I'm sure you're busy enough
wedding plans as it is."
"Oh, no, there's plenty of time for everything," Tamara said breezily. "Don't worry
about it. I'd be
glad to help."
"Look! It's Toby!" Tiffany's sudden exclamation broke through the air as she jumped up
from her seat.
"I must go and speak with him right away." Glancing warningly once more at Elaine, she dashed
Elaine had to laugh at the situation. "And here she was just warning me a moment ago
that ‘that stallion
"That's Tiffany's way," Tamara giggled as well. "She's very defensive over her Toby,
even if she
seems to be exasperated with him all the time."
"I hear that has something to do with a lack of a ring on her foreleg?"
"Partly," Tamara nodded merrily. "How about you, Elaine? Is there anyone special in
"Well... no," Elaine confessed. "I've never really worried about that sort of thing."
"Ah!" Tamara nodded knowingly. "Well, don't worry. The stallions will come knocking
on your door
"Do you think so?" Elaine asked shyly.
"Sure!" Tamara said positively. "Now, what was I thinking... oh, yes! A house for you.
What type do
you have in mind? Something small, probably?"
Elaine turned her glance to the table again. She was sure Tamara had good intentions,
but she didn't
particularly want to think about housing for herself right then. "I don't-- well-- I don't really
know," she stuttered.
"What do you think?"
Luckily for Elaine, Tamara had just caught sight of a newcomer who had walked in the
Treats! Lemon Treats! Over here!" she waved frantically to her friend.
Elaine took the chance to excuse herself. "Oh, Tamara, I really better be getting along
on my way now,"
she said apologetically. "It was nice talking to you."
"Of course!" Tamara smiled. "I'll be seeing you around, Elaine. Tah-tah!"
Hurrying away quickly with her head bent low, Elaine made her way out of the shop and
streets of Dream Valley. Thoughts began troubling her mind as she tripped through the misty
evening. Tiffany's words
of living off her brother's charity had stung, but they were true. And Elaine didn't know what to
Realizing that she had stumbled into one of the parks of Dream Valley, Elaine perched
on one of the
benches to contemplate her dilemma. Her family's feud had never been a happy memory to her,
and it had only grown
worse after the death of her parents. The only family she had left that she could turn to had been
her brother Thomas,
and vice versa. The ordeal had been traumatic to both of them, and they realized even more their
importance to each
other. They were the last bit of their family that was left.
Elaine was certain she wouldn't have survived the ordeal had it not been for her
understanding older brother. He had persuaded her to continue her studies, and had promised her
a position at a clinic
he was opening in Dream Valley when she graduated. But more important than that, he had
promised her a place to stay
with him no matter what happened. That thought had comforted Elaine through all these years.
She would graduate,
come to Dream Valley, start work, and begin a new life... but it had never occurred to her that she
would have to begin
alone, as was obviously evident with her brother's wedding coming up. She would be evicted, and
forced to fend for
herself. She knew it had to happen someday, but it still frightened her.
A teardrop slowly rolled down Elaine's cheek before she was even aware of it. She
huddled up on the
bench, squeezing her eyes shut. Of course she didn't harbor any bad feelings against Thomas or
Tabby. She still cared
about them both very much. But it didn't stop the terrible feeling of loneliness and abandonment
that was slowly
flooding her soul.
Composing herself as best she could, Elaine slowly got up and decided to head back
how could it be her home, if she would be thrown out of it so soon after arriving? Wanting only
to throw herself down
on her pillow and have a good cry in private, Elaine hurried on her way.
* * *
Later on this same evening, Tabby and Thomas were also heading back to their
Agatha and Hubert had gone on ahead, giving the two some time alone.