written by Tabby
Here it is, what we've all been waiting for! The wedding of Tabby and Thomas! Yeah! Outrageous! Originally I was just going to skip over the wedding entirely and only mention it in passing after the fact, since weddings are completely foreign territory to me; but then I got to thinking about all the outrageous things that could happen, and that decided it for me: it had to be written about in detail. So, that started me on a quest across the internet searching out information on that strangely vast and mysterious topic of marriage. After reading over one hundred pages of articles I had collected (printed in an eight-point Arial font with a margin of 1"), I felt somewhat prepared for the daunting task I had set before myself. And, after some briefings from my mom, my knowledge was perfected. So, if I screwed anything up, I'll just scratch off the complaint by making the excuse of something like "It's a wedding in Ponyland, so the culture is a bit different than ours." ^.~
However, before you start reading, there are a few things I would like to clarify for all of you. First off, the average lifespan of the ponies in my stories is two hundred years-- I didn't want my characters to die too soon. ^.~ Therefore, it isn't uncommon for numerous grandparents and great-grandparents to still be alive when occasions like this wedding come up. Ponies also do not age like humans. Though their lifespan is longer, they retain their youthful looks and good health for their entire life. Don't they get it easy? ^.~
Another topic of consideration is that of the wedding rings. I had a bit of a discussion on them with my council, because rings seemed rather large and gawky for ponies to wear-- especially for the guys. But Satin n' Lace and Pony Bride and Bridal Beauty all had rings when Hasbro made them; so maybe it was only the females that got rings. But then I had the revelation-- the Prince Clever Clover and Princess Morning Glory set came with two rings, one each for the bride and groom! Henceforth, it was decided that the normal practice in Ponyland is that each married pony gets a ring. However, the Dream Valley ponies don't follow the Friendship Gardens custom of tattooing small versions of their spouse's symbol onto their own. ^.~
There are, of course, a great deal of people deserving of thanks for this story, but I don't think I can remember all of them to list here. Sugarberry, Barnacle, Cleve Clove, Silver Swirl, Steamer... and so many more!
I think that's everything I wanted to cover. Gosh, that was a whole story in itself, wasn't it? So, enough of this introduction. Let's get onto what we're here for!
Tabby woke up in the dark of night feeling strangely excited over something. She looked up at her clock, and saw that it was only five-thirty-- too early to be getting up on a Saturday, but there was no way she could get back to sleep. It was her wedding day!
At this realization, a sudden pang of anxiety hit Tabby. It was her wedding day! There could be no turning back now; and quite frankly, it scared her a bit. It was funny this worry hadn't hit her until just that morning-- she had been engaged for six months, after all. It hadn't seemed so ominous until now.
Needing moral support, she groped around for her trusted Furbish seer, Ah-Loh, who she always kept nearby. Turning him upside-down, he sprang to life. "Me love you," he declared, and proceeded to blow a kiss at Tabby.
"Aw, Ah-Loh, that's so sweet," Tabby cooed, cupping him in her hooves. "But do you know what today is?"
Ah-Loh burped. "Joke!" he laughed.
"It's my wedding day! My wedding day!" Tabby prattled nervously, paying no mind to her Furby's impolite manners. "How can it be possible that I'm getting married, Ah-Loh? Isn't it just totally freaky? Why am I the first of the gang to get married? I'm the most cold-hearted of them all!"
"Woah!" Ah-Loh protested as Tabby moved him downwards suddenly.
"It's so very nerve-wracking, Ah-Loh! I've never made a commitment like this before. I'm not used to making commitments of any kind. So what am I doing getting married??"
"Hey, party!" Ah-Loh screamed out.
"I wish it was that easy," Tabby fretted. "You're halfway responsible for this anyway, Ah-Loh. You're the one that got me to Atlantis, and I got to battle Nur-Ab-Fin and all that, and... well, you know how it turned out."
"Lights up, please," Ah-Loh asked of his mistress.
"The sun isn't up yet, Ah-Loh... will I even be able to last as a married mare? I won't know what to do, or how to act, or what to say, or anything! What am I going to do?"
Ah-Loh purred. "Pet again," he requested.
"I don't know why I'm doing this, Ah-Loh. Maybe it's all just a bad dream," Tabby said forlornly.
"La-la-la-la-la-la-la," Ah-Loh burst out, and laughed over it.
"Oh, but Thomas..." In the slowly lightening room, her gaze swept over her desk. Reaching over to clutch one particular picture frame, she leaned back in her pillows. "Maybe it won't be so bad after all..."
"Tabitha? Are you up already?" Agatha poked her head in the door. "I thought I heard you talking to yourself."
"Yes... no... I mean, I was conversing with Ah-Loh," Tabby said quickly, setting her Furby down abruptly.
"Ah! Loud sound!" Ah-Loh said.
A smile played across Agatha's lips. "And he's the one I'll be sharing a pew with today."
"Oh, I assure you that he's very easy to manage, Mom."
"Yes, I'm sure he is." Her expression softening, Agatha sat down on the bed and put her forelegs around Tabby's shoulders. "Oh, Tabby! My little girl, getting married today!"
"Is it really and truly happening? I can't quite comprehend it," Tabby said, leaning her head onto her mother's shoulder.
"Yes, it is! And you're going to make a splendid bride," Agatha murmured. "I'm so very proud of you!"
"Did I make the right choice, Mom?"
"Tabby, what do you think?" Agatha looked into her daughter's eyes. "I've never seen a couple more fitting of each other than you and Thomas."
"It's just that everything's going to be so different now," Tabby said fretfully.
"That's true, but we'll all still be here for you."
"And you know, I still can't cook."
Agatha hid a smile. "I think Thomas knew that going into this deal. You'll work something out, Tabitha."
"Ah, Thomas," Tabby sighed blissfully, her apprehensions slipping away again for the moment. "It won't be such a bad day after all. It'll actually be pretty fun. Thomas and I are getting married..." With a cheerful beat to her step, Tabby leapt out of bed.
"You could have slept longer, you know," Agatha pointed out. "You don't want to end-up overtired."
"Oh, I'm not tired!" Tabby assured her cheerfully. "Never fear; I'm used to getting up this early on Saturdays for flea markets." Stumbling down the hallway, Tabby disappeared into the bathroom. Smiling, Agatha headed downstairs to prepare breakfast.
* * *
"Well, Doo-Moh, the day has come."
"Me see... very big... party!" the Furby laughed hysterically.
"I'm getting married today, Doo-Moh."
"Woah, big light," the creature observed.
"I can't believe we ever got this far. Do you think she'll really go through with it?"
Crawling out of bed, Thomas raised an eyebrow at his Furby. "I'm sure, Doo-Moh."
"You tickle me," Doo-Moh giggled. "Hee-hee-hee."
"I never thought I'd truly get to this point," Thomas sighed nostalgically. "I'm marrying Tabby, Doo-Moh! Tabby!"
"Ah! Loud sound!" Doo-Moh cowered.
"Do you think I'm doing the right thing?" Thomas began pacing the room. "Will she really be happy?"
"Whahoo!" Doo-Moh yelled. "Me happy, wah!"
"I know you're happy, Doo-Moh. What about Tabby? I hope she doesn't regret getting into this."
"You hide light!" Doo-Moh protested, and proceeded to laugh about it.
"Do you think anything will go wrong today, Doo-Moh?" the unicorn stallion said anxiously.
"Hmm... hum-dee-dum-dee-deet-dee-doo," the Furby sighed in a bored tone.
"Who knows what will happen with my grandparents around?" Thomas cringed. "I never expected them to show up."
"Hey, party!" Doo-Moh declared.
"Why did they come? They don't have a reason to."
"Woah, big light," Doo-Moh said in ready agreement.
"Do you think I was a bit too harsh with them, Doo-Moh? I... I didn't know how else to act. Maybe... maybe..." Sighing, Thomas thought back to last night's episode with mixed feelings.
* * *
It had been a complete and utter surprise when Thomas had opened his door on his two grandparents, Reginald and Helga Fairfax, the previous night. They had, of course, been on the guest list; but they had not replied in any way to their invitation, so it was assumed they didn't want to bother with the affair. And then, the night before their grandson's wedding, they abruptly showed-up in town.
"Well, Thomas. It's been a long time," Reginald finally broke the uncomfortable silence that followed the opening of the door.
"You decided to come?" Thomas said simply, with perhaps a slight sharp edge to his tone.
"We did want to find something out about your new wife, at least," Helga said matter-of-factly. "Especially since she is taking on the name of the Fairfax family."
Thomas' mood remained sullen as he slowly opened the door a bit wider to admit his grandparents. The two filed in, and silently surveyed the specimen before them. Thomas stood with his head held defiantly, acutely aware of their piercing glances while he immersed himself in his own thoughts of the past.
He had never known any of his grandparents on good terms. The marriage of his mother and father had been highly disapproved of by both sides of the family, and they and their children had been shunned by all members of their families. Thomas had grown up thinking bitterly of his grandparents, who seemingly cared nothing about him or his parents. It was rare indeed that he ever spoke to them, and the last time they had met face-to-face had been at the funeral of his parents several years back. The feelings on either side hadn't softened any, even with that great tragedy.
It seemed like an eternity of time had passed like this. Thomas finally found his voice. "I suppose you've only come to disapprove of the whole thing."
"We leave you free to do as you like," Reginald said emotionlessly. "The damage has already been done."
"So is that what you think of me?" Thomas demanded, his anger rising. "Is that all I am to you? 'Damage'? That isn't what my parents thought of me or Elaine, and I can't see how you can remain so heartless over their cause after all this time. My father was your own flesh and blood, and you still couldn't find it in your hearts to reconcile him?"
"You inherited your father's spirit, to be sure," Reginald spoke-up after a pause. Thomas remained silent after his outburst, and turned his gaze from his grandparents.
"Please don't be upset by our visit," Helga added in a slightly quieter tone, laying a hoof gently on Thomas' shoulder. "Just... forget about it, if you must. We only wanted..." She trailed off, not finding the words to say.
"And you'll be able to see Tabby tomorrow, if you're that concerned with upholding the good family name," Thomas said coolly, shrugging the hoof off.
"Very well then," Reginald said quietly. "Perhaps it would have been better if we hadn't come. It's just that... we'll see you tomorrow, Thomas. Goodnight." Putting a foreleg around his wife, he ushered her out the door.
Thomas closed the door behind them as if in a daze. Why had they bothered to come to him? They never had cared before. What had they really wanted to say? The usual reserve they had for him had been different this time, almost seemingly less spiteful. And he had so coldly turned them away.
A wave of guilt washed over Thomas. He had treated his grandparents no better than they had always treated him. And this time they had come almost peaceably... but he couldn't face them. He couldn't trust them. It was too late to change things.
Choking back a sob, Thomas turned from the door and then let silent tears fall.
* * *
"But we won't let them get me down, will we, Doo-Moh?" Thomas said determinedly, coming back to the present. "They had their chances in the past, and they didn't do anything then. I'm not a part of their life. They made it that way, and they'll have to live with the consequences."
"Me scared," Doo-Moh whimpered.
Once again a sharp pain of guilt hit Thomas. Was he the whole problem? Was he the one that couldn't let go of the past and forgive? "They didn't come for any forgiveness, anyway," Thomas said sharply to Doo-Moh, as if convincing himself of it as well. "They only came to see what Tabby's status in life was, to make sure their family wasn't caused any further dishonor. That's all."
"Maybe me sleep," Doo-Moh yawned.
"Oh, if only Mom and Dad were here, Doo-Moh!"
Doo-Moh only replied with a few snores, and then complete silence.
"They'd be pleased with Tabby, I know! I wish she could have met them," Thomas sighed. "Doo-Moh.... Doo-Moh?" Noticing the slumbering state of his Furby, he placed her back on her resting place.
Silently Thomas thought over the sad state of affairs his family was in. His parents were dead, his grandparents were feuding, and everyone else had disowned him and his sister. It wasn't pleasant, but he would prove to them all that he could make it at life. And with Tabby by his side, surely nothing could get him down.
"Tabby's my only place of refuge in this whole mess," he realized aloud to himself. "And... and... nothing now can take me from her! If it's the last thing I do, I'm going to marry her today, and nothing is going to stop that!"
Thomas silenced himself after this outburst and glanced around sheepishly, almost afraid someone had heard him. But there was only Doo-Moh. Looking at the clock, he saw the time it had gotten to be, and realized he had to start preparing for the day. Equinox, his best man, would be dropping in soon, anyway.
Before leaving the room, Thomas turned to Doo-Moh once more. "You... you stay here, Doo-Moh. I'm still not sure how Equinox will respond to you. I'll see you later." And then he was gone.
Whether the Furby heard this, or cared, was unknown; she remained motionless but alert, as was the way with Furbys. But if one did not like her, her vengeance would be known.
* * *
"Isn't it exciting?! Isn't it completely and utterly exciting?!?! It's my wedding day!! My wedding day!" Tabby said, prancing around the kitchen merrily.
Elaine giggled as she watched her soon-to-be sister-in-law. "Oh, Tabby, but it is exciting! I'm so happy for both of you! It's all so grand!"
"Yes," said Tabby contemplatively. "Oh, but there's still a full day to wait! How am I going to get through it?"
"The time will go faster than you think," Elaine counseled. "You'll make it; never fear."
"And I hope everything goes alright with the ceremony," Tabby fretted. "What if somebody doesn't show up for their part, and..."
"Poor Tamara!" Elaine laughed. "I'm not sure if she'll ever get over the shock of hearing your choices for everyone."
"That's her problem if she can't stand for some diversity," Tabby sniffed. "It's going to be great!"
"But are you still sure it was wise to choose a Bushwoolie to be the ring bearer?"
"Well, Tamara had already made me choose Baby Noddins as the flower girl, and heaven forbid having a second baby pony in the wedding party!" Tabby justified herself. "Friendly fit the part well. He was made to be a ring bearer!"
"I guess that's true," Elaine said slowly. "But then the ushers..."
"Tiny the Bigfoot and Spike," Tabby nodded knowledgeably. "Tiny might not be that bright, but I think he'll handle his job well."
"At least he doesn't breathe fire," Elaine admitted.
"Oh, Spike isn't so bad about that anymore," Tabby said assuredly. "He's come a long way."
"And is Barnacle still going to be wearing that hat and eyepatch of his?" Elaine said skeptically. "I've never seen him without them, but it seems they would be out of place today."
"Hmm, I don't really know," Tabby pondered. "Tamara is the one that gave him instructions. I'm not sure if she would have thought to mention it."
"It still seems like he's a bit rough for the bridal party."
Tabby remained silent, but giggled as she recalled Barnacle's comment upon first finding out about the event: "ARR, I was real surprised to hear about this wedding. I thought you and Thomas still hated each other."
"And me as your maid of honor! I'm still not sure I'm worthy of the position," Elaine said worriedly, piercing through Tabby's thoughts. "Wouldn't Sugarberry or one of the others have been better? You've known them so much longer..."
"Yes," said Tabby firmly, "but you're the one I picked. So just calm down and don't let the others intimidate you."
"I think Tiffany's the only one I have to worry about in that department," Elaine said weakly.
"Hah! Tiffany!" Tabby laughed fearlessly. "You'll have to learn to ignore her. Everyone else in town has."
"Not all the princesses are like her, are they?"
"Oh, no. Tiffany is really the worst of the bunch; but she does have a good heart, I think, even if she doesn't show it often. But you'll meet Dawn at the wedding later; and Silver Swirl, of course. They're pretty down-to-earth."
"That may be, but I'm still scared to death that Tiffany is going to pounce on me again because I possibly looked at Toby for a second last week," Elaine sighed. "She's rather possessive, isn't she?"
"I'll be there to protect you from her," Tabby winked.
"Girls, girls!" Agatha trotted through just then. "Are you keeping busy? It wouldn't be good to just sit around all day worrying. Tabby, why don't you head to the shower? Elaine, you can help me check on some things..."
"Yeah," Tabby sighed, turning slightly more sullen. "Mom, are you still sure I can't go to that rummage sale? It'll be opening in fifteen minutes."
"Tabitha, you already have enough My Little People," Agatha reprimanded.
"But what if there are some really rare ones? Oh, Mom, you've got to let me go!" Tabby whined.
"I know you, Tabitha. If I let you go to that one that listed My Little People dolls, you'd decide you would have to go to just one of the others, and then another, and another... you would spend all day rummaging, and have no time to prepare for the wedding!"
"But that creepy old stallion will buy them all if I don't get there!" Tabby wailed. "You can't be this heartless! My Little People deserve better than that creepy guy!"
"Tabitha, take your shower," Agatha said sternly.
Letting out a final sigh of defeat, Tabby slipped off the seat and sulked out of the room. Elaine was left alone with Agatha, and squirmed in her chair uncomfortably, a little unsure of how to act in the presence of Tabby's mother.
Agatha laughed softly to herself as her daughter left the room. "She's come a long way; I remember when she was just a young filly, and she always made me check the shower for spiders and squid before she'd use it."
"Squid?" Elaine said skeptically.
"She was always afraid that one had gotten stuck in the drainhole and it would come up to capture her," Agatha confided. "It really frightened her when she saw a PBS special on giant squid when she was very young."
"The giant squid are kind of creepy," Elaine said shyly. "I--"
Her sentence was cut-off as Tabby's head appeared around the doorway. Her face had paled somewhat, and her eyes were large and round. "Mom," she whispered, "there's a spider in the shower."
Agatha looked over at Elaine and laughed. "I take back what I said, Elaine... she really isn't any better. Now, you didn't spot any giant squid, did you, dear?" Grabbing a paper towel, she followed after Tabby on her rescue mission. Elaine trailed along.
The spider was caught in short order and tossed away; Tabby finally deemed the shower to be safe. Agatha and Elaine left her, and went to attend to their own work.
"We haven't had much time alone, have we, Elaine?" Agatha commented, sitting down on the living room sofa.
"Well... no," Elaine faltered.
"You're going to make a fine addition to the family, you know. You and your brother both."
Elaine blushed visibly, but couldn't think of anything to say in reply.
"I suppose it will be quite an adventure for you to keep the clinic running while Thomas and Tabby away," Agatha prompted.
"Oh, I do hope I'll be able to do a good job," Elaine said earnestly. "I really haven't had much experience yet. It is going to be hard to keep up on everything."
"Sugarberry will still be there to assist you in any way possible, though, I presume."
"Yes, at least she'll still be around," Elaine nodded.
"She certainly was happy to see Vanguard again when he flew in yesterday," Agatha said, smiling. "It's nice that he was decided upon to be one of the groomsmen."
"But it's too bad he had to go to Italy in the first place," Elaine agreed. "I hadn't seen him since Christmas. Is anyone else from Italy coming?"
"There's my good friend, Maria-Giuseppe, who will be flying in today," Agatha recalled. "And some of the younger ponies I got to know, too, like Clare and Guido."
"I've heard Tabby mention Guido. Is he really the one--"
"--the one that I tried to pair Tabby up with? Yes," Agatha laughed. "It's a shame she didn't tell me about Thomas sooner, or I wouldn't have attempted it. But Guido is still a nice accomplished stallion, and I would like to keep ties with him."
"Hasn't he found a nice mare for himself yet?"
"He hasn't been serious about anyone, but he and Clare have been friends for a long while," Agatha confided. "It could grow into something someday."
"It may be short-sighted, but the only couple I can think about right now is Tabby and Thomas," Elaine said laughingly.
"Haven't you met anyone you like yet, Elaine?" Agatha queried.
"Everyone asks that, and I always have to say no," Elaine commented. "There's no one at all like that in my life. But I don't mind; I don't go for that sort of thing."
"Tabby didn't either, you know," Agatha reminded. "Someday you'll meet just the right stallion..."
"Don't go pairing me off with someone already," Elaine giggled. "At least wait until the wedding is over!"
"Tabitha has grown to be such a lovely mare," Agatha sighed nostalgically. "I'm so proud of her!"
"You should be," Elaine said quietly. "And she couldn't ask for a nicer mother than you."
"Why, thank you, Elaine!" Agatha paused and looked at her straight on. "You're very special yourself, you know."
"I just... I just wish..." Elaine blinked rapidly as her eyes misted over. "...that my parents were still here. They... they..." She broke off as her voice started cracking.
"Oh, Elaine!" Agatha pulled her close. "I'm so very sorry. I wish, too, that I could have met them."
"They would have loved Tabby, I know," Elaine sniffled. "They would have looked forward to this day just as you and Hubert have! But now..."
"Elaine, they still know," Agatha said quietly. "They are still here in spirit even if not in body." She stroked Elaine's mane as the young mare broke into muffled sobs.
"I'm sorry," Elaine said after an interlude, wiping her eyes. "I didn't mean to... break down like that again."
"That's perfectly alright, Elaine," Agatha assured her. "I can imagine what you must feel."
"It was so hard after they were gone," Elaine said in a hoarse whisper. "The rest of the family didn't have any sympathy for us, and..."
"You've come out okay, though, haven't you?" Agatha said, trying to lighten the mood.
"I guess so," Elaine nodded. "Especially after coming to Dream Valley. It's nice here. If only Mom and Dad hadn't gotten killed...!"
"Now, Elaine." Agatha held her close. "I would never dream of taking the place of your mother, but I want you to know that I'll always be here for you if you need any motherly counseling at all."
"Thank you, Agatha." Elaine looked up at her and attempted a smile. "I'm glad you understand."
"Don't worry about a thing," Agatha smiled back. "Just enjoy the day."
"And... you had mentioned some things we had to get done?" Elaine changed the subject.
"Oh, yes!" Agatha reached for a pad of paper. "I'd like to place some calls and make sure everything is still going as planned for the rest of the day. There's Fifi from the Perm Shoppe coming over to do make-up on all you girls, and the flower deliverers will have to deliverer the flowers, of course, and..."
Phone calls were made, and before they knew it, Tabby had reappeared from the shower with still-dripping hair. "This had better dry out in time," she muttered.
"Fifi will set a hair-dryer to it if it doesn't," Agatha smiled, and nudged Elaine forward. "Why don't you two take a look at the veil and make sure nothing has happened to it?"
Obligingly the two girls trotted off and Tabby again revealed her adornment for that day. "Oh, it's so beautiful," Elaine breathed, softly touching the lacy folds. "You're going to look wonderful today, Tabby."
Tabby laughed quietly to herself. "I suppose I might."
"You will," Elaine said persistently. "There's no room for skepticism on that element. You have a natural aura of poise and beauty about you."
"I... I do?" Tabby had never heard herself spoken of in those terms before. Short-tempered and snappish was more to the point.
"And Thomas is so lucky to be getting you!" Elaine said, throwing her forelegs around Tabby's neck in a sisterly hug. "You're the perfect couple."
"But that's surprising, as I'm so heartless to begin with," Tabby mused.
"You!" Elaine laughed. "You are not heartless, Tabitha Elaine Fershund, and you know it!"
"Well, at least I'm not a snob like Tiffy," Tabby considered. "That's got to be a plus."
"Say..." Elaine changed the subject, looking up at Tabby. "You're still not going to tell me where you're going on your honeymoon, are you?"
"Only the sea ponies know," Tabby said mysteriously.
"That's not fair!" Elaine protested. "You clue complete strangers in on your location, but not your close relations?"
"Well, I have met the sea ponies before. They're not complete strangers. And they're singing at the reception!" Tabby justified herself.
"Yes... but still, it's not the same," Elaine argued good-naturedly. "Come on, won't you even tell me?"
Tabby found it difficult to explain to anyone why she and Thomas would be running off to the damp sunken city of Atlantis without having to tell the whole story behind it, and... well, it would just be difficult. She had told her father their plans, though, in case of an emergency; he was the kind that believed in the sorts of adventures that his daughter had gone through. "It's... it's some place that holds a lot of memories for both of us," she finally said after a pause.
"That doesn't tell me anything!" Elaine cried. "It could be the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe, for all I know!"
"Well... that is..." Tabby realized she was treading on shaky ground, and changed the subject herself. "This is quite a nice veil, isn't it? I'm glad Mom talked me into this one."
Elaine eyed Tabby suspiciously, but let go of her curiosity. "Yes, it's splendid," she agreed. "But the headpiece is the finest part of all!"
"...right," Tabby gulped. That hadn't worked. The change of subject had only gotten her onto another sticky topic.
"Where did you buy it, anyway?" Elaine said inquisitively, touching the jeweled surface. "It must have been specially made, especially with the Furby ornament." Her hoof passed over an engraving of a Furby on the front center of the tiara.
"Yes, of course... it was made by someone on Calimidad Island," Tabby said quickly. It was also difficult explaining that the tiara of her veil was actually the ancient crown of Atlantis, and that she had been crowned queen of Atlantis by the spirit of the last queen. Not everyone would believe it.
"It... that is..." Elaine trailed off, eyeing the engraving intently. "Tabby, do you still have that necklace I gave you at Christmas?"
"Of course," Tabby cocked her head. "Why?"
"Where did you think I got that, Tabby?"
"Pony-Mart or someplace like that... what are you getting at?" Tabby reached for the spoken-of necklace, which was sitting in easy access on her desk. Made of a heavy metal, it was in the shape of a Furby, tinted blue and rather reminiscent of Ah-Loh himself.
"Well, it wasn't Pony-Mart or any other similar place," Elaine said quietly. "It was from my mother. And before that it was her mother's. It's been passed down through my family for as long as anyone can remember."
"Do you mean..." Tabby saw the necklace in a new light and held it at foreleg's length. "This is an... antique?"
"Yes," Elaine nodded gravely. "It was crafted ages before Furbys ever hit the shelves, and yet it's so clearly a Furby. It can't be merely coincidence."
"Why didn't you tell me sooner?" Tabby marveled. "Why did you give it to me if it was a valued heirloom?"
"It was such a strange story, I thought you wouldn't believe it if I told you," Elaine said shyly.
"Elaine, if only you knew half the fantastic things I haven't told you yet," Tabby murmured, twirling the chain in her hoof. "But it was your mother's, Elaine! Surely you want it back!"
"No!" Elaine protested. "I want you to have it. I wanted you to have it since the first time I heard Thomas speak of you. It's... it's meant for you somehow, Tabby."
"Perhaps," Tabby said softly. "But you're going to wear it today, Elaine, as my maid of honor." With that said, she slipped the chain over Elaine's neck and didn't offer room for any protests.
"Oh, Tabby!" Elaine looked at her with shining eyes. "Thank you for the honor. You're always so good to me!"
Tabby turned her head away to hide the pink blush spreading across her face.
"But this necklace..." Elaine fingered it. "It's carving reminds me of that on your headpiece. And how could anyone have known about Furbys centuries ago?"
"Furbys are mysterious beings, Elaine."
"You've hinted in the past, Tabby, that they were from Atlantis. Is there any truth to that? Does this necklace..."
"There's more truth to it than you might think," Tabby shook her head. "Maybe we've kept you in the dark too long, Elaine. It's your right to be told, and maybe--"
"Tabitha! Elaine! Sugarberry is here!" Agatha's voice drifted up the stairs.
"Oh!" Tabby abruptly dropped the veil and turned to the door. "It'll have to wait, Elaine. Let's go see Sug."
"Tabby!" Sugarberry squealed, running to her friend as the unicorn descended the stairs. "The day has finally arrived!"
"Oh, and it's the day I've been awaiting for so long!" Tabby squealed right back.
"Yes, Tabby, you're finally getting married!"
"Well, that and I finally get a wedding cake to my liking," Tabby acknowledged contemplatively.
Sugarberry ignored the remark and turned to Elaine. "And Elaine! Are you still up to your duties as maid of honor?"
"I hope so," Elaine said shyly. "But you're still a bridesmaid, and that's important, too."
"And it's fortunate we have you here now to keep the clinic running while Tabby and Thomas are gone," Sugarberry added. "What about the Pokémon Center, Tabby?"
"Blue Belle," Tabby said promptly. "She'll take care of it for a few weeks. Now that Merry Treat's gone, she's the next best choice for a substitute Pokémon nurse."
"Is everything still going as planned for the day itself?" Sugarberry queried.
"Yes, unless you count the fact that Merry Treat had to leave," Tabby commented. Merry Treat had been chosen to be one of Tabby's bridesmaids, but last month the Christmas pony had gotten a job offer in New Pony and had accepted the position, leaving Dream Valley abruptly to start a new life. "It's a good thing we got Princess Silver Swirl to take her place on such short notice."
"It's too bad she had to leave," Elaine sighed. "Have you heard anything from her?"
"Not really," Tabby shrugged. "It sounds like she's adjusting to her job well."
"Well, are you excited, Tabby?" Sugarberry asked brightly, getting the topic off Merry Treat. "You're not having any last-minute regrets now, are you?"
"Oh! The wedding? Oh, no, of course not," Tabby put-in quickly. "It's very exciting."
"I can't wait, either," Elaine giggled. "I'm finally going to be made an official sister to you, Tabby!"
It was at this point that Hubert wandered through. "It looks like it's all going to be girl talk from now on," he chuckled, observing the three hyper mares gathered around. "I'm going to head over to Thomas' place now and see how things are going."
"Bye, Dad!" "Bye, Hubert!" came the chorus of farewells. As the door closed, Tabby turned to the two. "Well, I guess it's getting close to that bridesmaids' brunch."
"What time is it now?" Elaine questioned.
"Ten-fifteen," Agatha said, passing through the room. "It would be a good idea to get going."
"It was nice of Scoops to sponsor this brunch for you, wasn't it?" Sugarberry commented, ushering the other two towards the door.
"Unless she spoils me like this, she'll fear I'll stop going to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe after I'm married," Tabby giggled, grabbing Ah-Loh off the table and stepping out the door. "Bye, Mom! We're leaving!"
"Life without the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe to hang out at would be dull," Elaine agreed.
"It's turned dull already without Vanguard around," Sugarberry sighed.
"Hey, don't complain!" Tabby said. "He's here for the wedding, isn't he? You saw him yesterday!"
"That is nice," Sugarberry admitted. "But I wish he didn't have to go back!"
"And you're not forgetting to bring May-Lah to the reception, are you, Sug?" Tabby asked mischievously. "And your Nah-Bah, Elaine?"
Sugarberry groaned. "With all those Furbys, I doubt any of us will be able to keep a conversation going."
"And won't it be fabulous?" Tabby beamed.
* * *
"Are you still sure you didn't want to invite Baby Noddins along with us to this?" Tamara teased Tabby over their brunch at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe.
"Baby Noddins," Tabby grimaced. "I don't know how you talked me into making her the flower girl."
"Oh, come on, Tabby. You know you really like her and all her annoying questions," Silver Swirl chimed in.
"May-be," said Tabby reluctantly and reached over to awaken Ah-Loh.
"Woah, me big sleep!" he exclaimed.
Already having eaten her fill, Tabby gave her full attention to her Furby, and got him into Ask Furby mode. "Will you enjoy sitting in the front pew?" she asked the first question that came to mind.
"No," Ah-Loh decided.
"Oh... well, will you be overjoyed?"
"May-be... yes," Ah-Loh finally declared.
"Let me ask something!" Tamara squealed. "Ah-Loh, will I meet the love of my life today?"
"Very big yes," the seer promised.
"I like this guy!" Tamara exclaimed.
"Should I have been the maid of honor?" Tiffany asked, getting in on the game as well.
"Ask again," Ah-Loh requested.
Tiffany sighed. "Shouldn't I have been the maid of honor?"
"Me see... no," Ah-Loh spat.
"Well!" Tiffany huffed, sitting back in her seat.
Silver Swirl leaned towards the Furby and looked at him intently. "Ah-Loh, will Reverie ever come back?"
"No," Ah-Loh said confidently.
Silver Swirl only nodded solemnly and leaned back in her chair as well.
"Tamara has faired the best so far," Sugarberry laughed. "Is Tabby going to be very beautiful today, Ah-Loh?"
"Hee-hee-hee," Ah-Loh laughed. "Yes. Hee-hee-hee."
"And is the ceremony going to go perfectly?" Elaine asked anxiously.
"Very big... no," said Ah-Loh abruptly.
"Ah-Loh, did you just lie?" Tabby asked quickly.
"Me see... yes," Ah-Loh disclosed.
Everyone broke out laughing at the Furby's confession, and the girls continued to play with him, showering him with all the attention a Furby would ever want.
"Hmph," Tiffany sniffed, being the only one who wouldn't stoop to playing with the Furby. "It is a good thing that Silver Swirl and I are in your wedding party, Tabitha, or there would be no refinement at all in this day with no royalty involved."
Tabby looked up sharply at Tiffany's remark. "Not royalty in your way of thinking, at least," she said, a little snappishly.
"What do you mean?" Tiffany eyed her skeptically. "I'm the only one of royal blood involved... and Silver Swirl, I suppose." Tiffany was still a little upset over Silver Swirl taking Merry Treat's place; before that was decided, the white pegasus had been the only princess involved. Plus, the unicorn from Friendship Gardens rivaled Tiffany for looks.
"That is... never mind." Tabby changed the topic abruptly, realizing that she shouldn't have said anything.
Tiffany didn't pursue the topic. "Well, isn't it going to be delightful getting professional make-overs from Fifi today?" she asked brightly.
"That will be one of the best parts!" Tamara squealed. "One can't get a make-over from Fifi every day. I hope I can pick up some tips from her!"
"I was taught everything there is to know about make-up application in the special private school I attended," Tiffany bragged. "I doubt if Fifi herself knows more than I do."
"If that's the case, how would you like to do your own make-up?" Silver Swirl suggested.
"I'm a princess. I can hire others to do it for me."
"Oh, but I think the flowers will be the best part," Elaine sighed dreamily. "Those light sensor flowers are perfect for your wedding, Tabby."
"I wonder what the meaning of those flowers is," Sugarberry mused. "You know, daisy is innocence, and snowdrop is hope, and lily is majesty--"